This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
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Friday, April 20, 2018
prophet from the Northern Kingdom, preached in his homeland, which he addresses
as Israel, Jacob or, frequently, Ephraim. Hosea began his mission in a period
of prosperity, the last years of Jeroboam II (783–743 B.C.). This was followed
by a period of internal instability, with intrigues at the royal court leading
to the assassination of several kings. Hosea witnessed the revival of Assyria,
the Syro-Ephraimite war, and the numerous treaties the Israelite kings made
with Egypt and Assyria to survive. Hosea’s long ministry (ca. 750–725) seems to
have ended before the capture of Samaria in 722/721. The only information the
text provides us about the life of Hosea concerns his marriage. Even if we
cannot reconstruct what happened exactly, the text as it now stands speaks of
three moments in the relationship: first love, separation, reunion. This
marriage is a symbol of the covenant between the Lord and Israel. Hosea speaks
about the first love, the short period of Israel’s loyalty in the desert, which
was then followed by a long history of unfaithfulness lasting until his day.
Hosea accuses Israel of three crimes in particular. Instead of putting their
trust in the Lord alone, the people break the covenant: (1) by counting on their
own military strength, (2) by making treaties with foreign powers (Assyria and
Egypt), and (3) by running after the Baals, the gods of fertility. Israel thus
forgets that the Lord is its strength, its covenant partner, and giver of
fertility. This unfaithful behavior will lead to Israel’s destruction by
Assyria, but God’s love will have the last word. The back and forth movement
from doom to salvation is typical of the Book of Hosea. Hosea began the Old
Testament tradition of describing the relation between the Lord and Israel in
terms of marriage (e.g., Jer
3:1; Ez 16:23; Is 50:1). The New
Testament uses the marriage imagery to describe the union between Christ and
the Church (e.g., Mk 2:19–20; Eph 5:25).
To remind us: 1. that all good
things come from Him, and that without Him we have nothing. 2. That we may
confide in Him and try to make ourselves worthy of His divine grace, by
thoughts pleasing to Him, and valuing more, and using better, the graces we
is our prayers often not heard?
It is because we often ask for
something that would be more hurtful than profitable to us.
ought we to pray?
We should pray at all times, but
especially at, 1, morning, noon, and night; 2, in time of great temptation; 3,
when receiving the sacraments; 4, when about to undertake anything important;
5, at the hour of death.
is the best of all prayers?
The Lord’s Prayer; but though we
say it a hundred times, it will fail to produce its beneficial effects if we
repeat it thoughtlessly, without thinking of its meaning or purpose.
does this prayer commence with “Our Father?”
To encourage us thereby to a
child-like confidence in God. As our Father, Who loves all men, and is ever
ready to help them.
do we say, “Who art in heaven,” since God is everywhere?
We say this to admonish us to
lift up our hearts to heaven, our true home, where God has set up the throne of
do we ask of God in this prayer?
In the first petition, “hallowed be Thy name,” we pray that God may be
known and loved by all men, and that His name may be glorified by a Christian
In the second petition, “Thy
kingdom come,” we pray God to enter and rule in our hearts by His grace, to
spread His Church throughout the whole world, and after our death to award us
In the third petition,
“Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,” we offer ourselves entirely to
God, and declare ourselves ready to be subject to the dispositions of His holy
will, as are the angels in heaven, and pray to Him for grace to do this.
fourth petition, “give us this day
our daily bread,” we ask for all things which we need for the body, as food and
clothing, and for the soul, as grace and the divine word.
In the fifth petition, “forgive us our
trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us,” we pray to God for
forgiveness, but only as far as we forgive those that injure us. We must
therefore remember that we shall not obtain forgiveness from God so long as we
have in our hearts hatred against anyone.
In the sixth petition, “and lead us not into temptation,” we acknowledge
our frailty, and ask God to remove temptations from us, or, if He permit us to
fall into those which the world, the flesh, and the devil prepare for us, to
give us grace not to consent to them, but, by combating and overcoming them, to
gain the merit and the crown of justice.
In the seventh petition, “but deliver us from evil,” we pray to God to
preserve us from sin, and the occasions of sin; an evil death and hell also
from all temporal evils, so far as may be for the salvation of our souls.
America is now at
the threshold of history
Like Israel in Hosea’s time America has drifted into
serious sin. According to John Maxwell Israel while in captivity had no real
leadership (much like America) and had broken the “Law of Solid Ground.” The 6th
irrefutable law of leadership—The Law of Solid Ground
states that “trust is the foundation of leadership.” Israel’s leadership made
false promises that had eroded the people’s confidence in their leaders and
people follow only in proportion to their trust in the leader.
American’s are a just people and fair people and our
hearts go out to the world. Yet what are we to do?
Many years ago while reviewing the CIA handbook I
noticed that economically all of the nations that have been giving us the most
trouble militarily were also on the list of those countries with the worst per capita
income: people who make less than 200 dollars a year. I thought rather than do
battle with a number of these people in some way if we were to bring the
economic power of America to these populaces and help them to improve their
lives and rid themselves of the gangs and dictators. Thus bringing up their per
capita income; what would the effect be on those who we may have to embattle? I
questioned would improving their lives in their own country decrease our need
to do battle? I decided to do an experiment. With a little research I invested
in one of the stocks from one of the poorest countries: Zimbabwe. After three
months I sold my stock after doubling my money. My point is perhaps we as
America’s can do more by helping the downtrodden in building up their own
20 has become a counterculture holiday in North America, where people gather to
celebrate and consume cannabis.Some events have a political nature
to them, advocating for the legalization of cannabis. North American
observances have been held at Hippie Hill in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park
near the Haight-Ashbury district, the University of Colorado's Boulder campus,Ottawa, Ontario, at Parliament Hill and Major's Hill Park, Montreal,
Quebec at Mount Royal monument, Edmonton, Alberta at the Alberta Legislature
Building,as well as Vancouver, British Columbia at the Vancouver
Art Gallery.The growing size of the unofficial event at UC Santa
Cruz caused the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to send an e-mail to parents
in 2009 stating: "The growth in scale of this activity has become a
concern for both the university and surrounding community."
Chapter 26, Verse 5-7 5They have known about
me from the start, if they are willing to testify, that I have lived my life as
a Pharisee, the strictest party of our religion. 6But now I am standing
trial because of my hope in the
promise made by God to our ancestors. 7 Our twelve tribes hope to attain to that promise as they
fervently worship God day and night; and on account of this hope I am accused by Jews, O king. Paul clearly explains that his entire life was in
preparation for the hope of Israel, Christ Jesus, who Israel did not recognize
as the son of God. Paul states that the prophets and Moses had foretold that
the Christ would suffer, and as first to be raised from the dead, he would
proclaim light to both God’s people and the Gentiles. The resurrection is God’s
promise to Israel. Paul like Christ ultimately was a victim of intolerance. Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost GOSPEL Matthew 13: 24 – 30 At that time
Jesus spoke this parable…
The Bible for some is stuffy, overblown, and boring.
So and so, son of so and so did such and such a thing to this ruler and then X,
Y, and Z happened. (Snore.) Well, that may be a Dull Fest, but Psalms
will set the record straight. Think fire and brimstone, giant sea monsters,
cannibals, and even drunks. Yeah, ancient poetry is juicy. Psalms is one of the
longest books of the Bible, but that's because it's actually a collection of
150 poems about life back in the day. We're talking Real Housewives of the Negev. The
Bible mostly comprises stories, prophecies, and laws, but Psalms brings the
poetic punch. Most of the Psalms are attributed to David, the Israelites'
greatest and most famous king. Turns out King David was a poet too—yeah, he did
know it. The Psalms are all written in Hebrew, and have been jazzed up, classed
up, and mistranslated ever since they were written starting 3,000 years ago.
Part of Psalms' appeal is its poetry. If Levi…
Nineveh 90 Nineveh 90 for life: January 13, 2020 to Easter vigil (Apr 12) Whether it’s a Navy SEAL or a Saint, we admire those who put it all on the line — go “all in!” — Those who are totally dedicated to the mission … and God admires them too. Throughout salvation history, we have seen how God responds to this resolute and determined kind of prayer, just as Jesus taught His disciples. It was in Nineveh that the entire city turned back to God and did all that they could, through prayer and penance, to “demonstrate to” God that they were absolutely resolute in this “turning.” God saw how “serious” they were about this, and He was moved (Jonah 3:3-10). This is yet another story that demonstrates how God – a perfect Father – compels His children to be truly resolute and quite serious when calling out to Him. St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote, “Timid prayer does not pierce heaven, because immoderate fear binds the soul so that prayer, far from flying upward, cannot even come out. Being lukew…
Proverbs, Chapter 24,
Verse 21-22 21 My son, fear the LORD and the king; have nothing
to do with those who hate them; 22
for disaster will issue suddenly, and calamity from them both, who knows when? Proverbs chapter 24 comments on the fates of the
wicked and foolish—it begins with a warning not to take the foolish as role
models. The faithful are encouraged “to be jealous, zealous; to emulate.”
Christ; for—the wicked have no future.
If Christ is real to you every day of your life then rendering to God what is
God's is not a sacrifice. No, we are compelled by the Holy Spirit and we must give ourselves up entirely to Him;
as did the first martyr Steven.
THE epistle of to-day contains a
short account of the life and sufferings of this saint. It only remains to be
added that, on account of his virtues, his wisdom, and his zeal for the faith,
the apostles thought him worthy to be chosen the first of the seven deacons,
whose office i…
First Sunday after epiphany BAPTISM OF JESUS Acts, Chapter 10, verse 34-3534 Then Peter
proceeded to speak and said, “In
truth, I see that God shows no partiality.35 Rather, in every
nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. God shows no impartiality. This is true today as it
was in the time of Peter. Rome had no fear of God when it came to the sins of
the flesh and lust of the eyes having killed an estimated 400,000 human beings
in the coliseum. Yet Rome as terrible as it was pales in comparison to the sins
of America with 60,069,971 abortions in America since Roe v. Wade in
1973. God shows no impartiality to Nations either. Each receives their due. God is no respecter of rank or titles and asks us to
combat the evil in our day. Pope John Paul has proclaimed “Here is the remedy
against evil. Pray, pray, and nothing more. Michael Brown in his book “Prayer of the Warrior,” reminds us that it was Luke who mentions
that Jesus very frequently stated: “Unlessyou repent…
Wisdom, Chapter 18, Verse 17-18 17 Then, at once, visions in horrible dreams perturbed them and
unexpected fears assailed them; 18 and cast half-dead, one here, another there, they revealed why
they were dying. Egyptians had just had the tenth plague the death of
the first born; all their horrible dreams and visions had come true. The day
before or even the hour before they were happy; they continued to revele in
their ungodly ways. They had 10 chances to change and now the last plague. Nightmares in Ancient Egypt The dream in ancient Egypt functioned as a liminal
zone between the land of the living and the afterlife. However, the dream
was also a phenomenon over which the dreamer had little control, and its
permeable boundaries allowed both the divine and the demonic inhabitants of the
beyond access to the visible world. Sometimes the result was a positive
beneficial experience, as is attested in New Kingdom royal texts and elite
hymns that relate the awe-inspiri…
Wisdom, Chapter 18, Verse 25To these the
destroyer yielded, these he feared;
for this sole trial of anger sufficed. The destroyer angel fears nothing, but the name of God
inscribed on the doorposts of the Jews written in the blood of the lamb. At
this does he stop his destruction, at this name the angel turns aside; at the
name of He that is the angel of death yields. The Destroying Angel The particular term
"destroying angel" (malakh ha-mashhit) occurs twice in the
Bible, in II Samuel 24:16 and its parallel, I Chronicles 21:15. Other allusions
to this "destroyer" (mashhit), can be found in Exodus 12:23
and Isaiah 54:16. In the cultures of the ancient Near East, gods were believed
to be responsible for death and destruction. The Bible, however, does not
portray such a configuration. Instead, the destructive agents act according to
God's instruction: they are His messengers and it is the Lord who initiates
death and destruction. We w…
Monday of the Fourth Week of AdventProverbs, Chapter 23,
Verse 17-18 17 Do
not let your heart envy sinners, but only those who always fear the LORD; 18
For you will surely have a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Those whom one admires or associates with exercise
enormous influence. Do not join the wicked, who are a doomed group.
Nor desire to be with them for the mind is a terrible thing to waste. Let your
hope be in Christ. Vision:
Hope for a Preferred Future
Leaders understand the importance of their minds to
the future of their organizations. Consider some of the timeless principles
offered in Proverbs 23 about our minds and a godly vision for tomorrow: 1.Your thoughts determine your character. 2.Be careful of your thoughts; they
may break into words at any time. 3.Don’t waste your thoughts on those
who don’t hunger for them. 4.The first person you lead is you,
and the first organ you master is your mind. 5.Don’t let your mind drift away from God’s truth
and into vain envy. 6…
ORTHODOX NEW YEAR Wisdom, Chapter 17, Verse 8-10 8 For they who undertook to banish fears and terrors from the sick soul themselves sickened with
ridiculous fear. 9 For even though no monstrous thing frightened them, they shook at the passing of insects and the
hissing of reptiles, 10 And perished
trembling, reluctant to face even the air that they could nowhere escape. Darkness afflicts the Egyptians, while the Israelites
have light! Only the Light of Christ dispels the Darkness What are the preparations necessary so that “something (effective)
happens” as we exercise the three offices of Christ in the war “against the
principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil
spirits in regions above” (Eph 6:10-12)?
“hot” (“Go Weapons Hot”) gives us an excellent acronym for understanding how we
are best positioned to receive the free offer of God’s supernatural grace:
H.O.T. = Humility, Obedience, Trust. Humility:
St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “There is no doubt…