Friday, May 25, 2018

Ember Friday

Mark, Chapter 5, Verse 33
The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.

The woman in the chapter had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years and was ritually unclean by Jewish laws.

An unclean person in general had to avoid that which was holy and take steps to return to a state of cleanness. Uncleanness placed a person in a "dangerous" condition under threat of divine retribution, even death, if the person approached the sanctuary. Uncleanness could lead to expulsion of the land's inhabitants and its peril lingered upon those who did not undergo purification. Bodily discharges (blood for women, semen for men) represented a temporary loss of strength and life and movement toward death. Because decaying corpses discharged, so natural bodily discharges were reminders of sin and death. Physical imperfections representing a movement from "life" toward "death" moved a person ritually away from God who was associated with life. Purification rituals symbolized movement from death toward life and accordingly involved blood, the color red, and spring (lit. "living") water, all symbols of life.[1]

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ also being clean took this woman uncleanliness and gave her his Holiness. Indeed, she was filled with wonder and awe.

This day emulate our Lord by reflecting and living the prayer of St. Francis.

The Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Ember Friday[2]
History of Ember Days

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the celebration of Ember Days derived from a pagan Roman practice. Before converting to Christianity, the Romans had performed pagan religious ceremonies on these days in relation to their agriculture.

These occasions were changed when former pagans converted, and Ember Days became a part of Christian tradition early, as noted in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution.”

As mentioned in the above quote, Ember Days were not set for a particular week in the early centuries. The timing for Catholic Ember Days was officially arranged and fixed by Pope Gregory VII, who was pope from 1073 to 1085.

Today plan to use moderation as a lifestyle and share your time, talents are treasure with the less fortunate.

The Mediocre Man[3]

·         The truly mediocre man admirers everything a little and nothing with warmth He considers every affirmation insolent, because every affirmation excludes the contradictory proposition. But if you are slightly friendly and slightly hostile to all things, he will consider you wise and reserved. The mediocre man says there is good and evil in all things, and that we must not be absolute in our judgments.
·         If you strongly affirm the truth, the mediocre man will say that you have too much confidence in yourself.
·         The mediocre man regrets that the Christian religion has dogmas. He would like it to teach ethics, and if you tell him that its code of morals comes from its dogmas as the consequence comes from the principle, he will answer that you exaggerateIf the word exaggeration did not exist, the mediocre man would invent it.
·         The mediocre man appears habitually modest. He cannot be humble, or he would cease to be mediocre.
·         The humble man scorns all lies, even where glorified by the whole earth, and he bows the knee before every truthIf the naturally mediocre man becomes seriously Christian, he ceases absolutely to be mediocre
·         The man who loves is never mediocre.

For as the heavens tower over the earth, so his mercy towers over those who fear him.

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.

Please pray for the intentions of my youngest son Vincent Michael (Conqueror-Who is like God) whose birthday is today.


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