Sunday, July 15, 2018

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (15th S. Ord. Time)

Acts, Chapter 23, verse 10
The dispute was so serious that the commander, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, ordered his troops to go down and rescue him from their midst and take him into the compound.

During Paul’s time the Jewish people were divided into two camps. Paul in his fearlessness had spoken the truth and it struck a nerve with both sects wanting his death. How often is truth and reason ignored? Men find it easier to fall into camps and rationalize or justify their actions. Christ tells us to use reason much as He did with Thomas and believe. God has given us intelligent foresight as well as the Holy Spirit.

The Virtue of Foresight: A Mark of Wisdom[1]

The ancient philosophers identified mans capacity for thought by the use of different words for perceiving reality: sensus (the five senses), imaginatio (the ability of the mind to recall pictures from the past or paint pictures of the future), ratio (the ability to think in logical steps to reach a conclusion), and intellectus (the ability to perceive the truth all at once as self-evident). While animals have instincts as a form of knowledge, they do not reflect on the past or ponder the future with the capacity to think that distinguishes human virtues such as foresight and prudence, a mark of wisdom.

While ants prepare for the winter, they do not contemplate eternity. While dogs have keen memories, they do not gather wisdom from the accumulated experience of the entire human race as a source of universal truth.

Beyond the Present

Because man is a rational animal with the power of intelligence, human thinking goes beyond the immediate concerns and duties of the present moment. Mans memory allows him to recall the mistakes of the past and not repeat them and to learn from the previous experience of older generations in his study of history. Mans imagination allows him to project into the future and consider possibilities, consequences, and likely outcomes. The art of living requires this capacity to think today while mindful of the past and conscious of the future. This wise thinking, however, is not escaping into the past with nostalgia or calculating about the future with cunning. The foresight of a wise man is a far cry from the reckoning of a fox or rat.

Exceeding our Grasp

Foresight does not mean simply being insured for accidents to protect against harm to a persons health or damage to his home. While home and car insurance show prudential judgment, foresight is more than prevention or precaution. It goes beyond not taking foolish chances but rather embraces noble efforts and daring initiatives to achieve an ideal. It encompasses the common good, the welfare of future generations, the happiness of all family members young and old, and an awareness of the four last things: death, the final judgment, heaven, and hell. Foresight strives for excellence and imagines always the difference between the way things are in the present and the way things ought to be in the future. Famous characters in literature like Don Quixote seek to restore the best of the pastthe virtues of knighthoodto inspire future generations with truth, honor, chivalry, and courtesy. Robert Browning writes that mans reach should exceed his grasp, “Or else whats a heaven for?Foresight always aspires to perfection and never rests complacent with mediocrity, the lowest common denominator, or the average. Just as God in His Divine Providence foresees mans needs and plans for them, man too needs to be providentto be far-seeing, to think ahead, to be mindful of consequences, and to realize that the outcome of the future depends on the choices of today. Created in Gods image, man imitates God by providing for others and acting with prudence about the future with the virtue of foresight. For example, Gods all-wise plan for lifeenvisioning a childs needsprepares for the birth of the newborn by endowing man and woman with parental instincts to care for and protect the infant. All good parents are provident as they attend not only to the present needs of their children but also think ahead for their future.

Looking Ahead

The word pro-vide comes from two Latin words that mean to look before or ahead. To be Godlike, to be wise, to be prudent, and to exercise common sense means to weigh consequences and be aware of both the present and the future. All actions bear fruit for good or for ill. As the parable of the talents illustrates, God expects the coins to be multiplied and earn interestevidence of foresight and imagining the future with good judgment. God judges man by the abundance of his harvest: By their fruits you shall know them.There is no interest earned, no bountiful harvest, no fruitful field without foresight, without sowing the right seeds in the springtime of life for the later years. Unlike animals that live in the present and do not foresee the future with vision or ideals, man enjoys a greater awareness of time as he recollects the past and anticipates the future. In fact, the cardinal virtue of prudence takes account of past, present, and futurelearning from the mistakes and experience of the past, making a practical judgment based on the reality of the present, and foreseeing the consequences of actions today that affect others for the common good in the days ahead. To be responsible, moral, and sensible, a person naturally thinks aheadliving today but anticipating tomorrow, saving money now for next years purchases, educating children in their youth for their later adult life, keeping the Ten Commandments and living the life of the Beatitudes in the expectation of life everlasting.
Foresight for the Future

Christ taught his followers to be both gentle as doves and wise as serpents. The serpent looks to the left and to the right, moves slowly and cautiously, and checks for dangers and enemies. Thinking must always precede acting; otherwise, a person acts foolishly or imprudently without weighing the effects or reactions beforehand. Without foresight a person wastes money, time, or effort and accomplishes nothing. Without foresightan intelligent plan of action to achieve a moral goalno one progresses toward a destination. To live only for the present and think eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die does not amount to wisdom because the future always comes. Man enters the future either prepared or unpreparedlike the ants in Aesops fable that prepared for winter or the cicada that only sang in the summer and froze in the cold. Foresight for students means not only preparing for a career through a good education but also gathering wisdom to live well and to enjoy an abundant life. Nothing learnedno matter the subject matter, book, or classis ever wasted. Whatever a person learns in science, social studies, religion, or English, he will use in one capacity or another. Not to learn is to show no foresight. If not in his own profession, then in his own personal life a person will be glad he knows, glad he can teach others, glad he possesses an informed mind capable of making intelligent decisions. A person in high school or college is not just qualifying for a profession but providing for a life of the mind, one of the greatest sources of human happiness because man is designed to love truth, to desire knowledge for its own sake, and ultimately to know God. It is not only human wisdom to think ahead for the sake of ones own happiness but also charity to be far-sighted on behalf of the well-being of others. Just as a Christian is obligated to love others as Christ loves him and forgive others as God forgives him, he also needs to think of others and provide for their future as God provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.

Eight Sunday after Pentecost-Instruction on Calumny[2]

Near indeed is his salvation for those who fear him; glory will dwell in our land.

Is calumny a grievous sin? When the occasion is important, and the slander is deliberately uttered, with evil intention, when one’s neighbor is thereby grievously injured, and his good name damaged, everyone may see how grievous and detestable, in such a case, this sin is. (Hmm…Fake News?)

Is it sinful to disclose the faults of our neighbor? To make public the faults and sins of our neighbor uselessly, merely for the entertainment of idle persons, is always sinful. But if, after trying in vain to correct his faults and sins by brotherly admonition, we make them known to his parents or superiors, for his punishment and amendment, so far from being a sin, it is rather a good work and a duty of Christian charity.

Is it a sin also to listen willingly to calumny? Yes; for thereby we furnish the calumniator an occasion for sin and give him encouragement. For which reason St. Bernard says: “Whether to calumniate be a greater sin than to listen to the calumniator I will not lightly decide.”

What ought to restrain us from calumny? The thought,

1, of the enormity of this sin;

2, of the number of sins occasioned thereby of which the calumniator, as the occasion of them, becomes partaker;

3, of the difficulty of correcting the harm done, since we cannot know the full extent of the injury, nor stop the tongues of people. Finally, we must think on the eternal punishment which follows this sin. The holy Fathers say that of young persons who are condemned the greater part is for impurity, but of the old, for calumny.

Below is an Excerpt from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood

"There was a certain rich man who had a steward, . . .reported. . .as squandering his counting of thy stewardship, . . .thou canst be steward no longer'" (Gospel)
As children we have access to our Father's "possessions" (Gospel). "By virtue," of our Baptism, "we (all) cry, . . .Father! unto our God (Epistle). In the business of salvation, the Father has appointed us as "stewards" over human goods and Divine graces, to use, not to abuse them. The Introit recalls that even though we now receive "mercy," yet one day we must stand before "Justice." The meaning of this Gospel story is: "Act prudently," you children of God; use material treasures so as to make eternal friends; exercise your talents in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Those whom you help to save, will help save you.

National Ice Cream Day History[3]

National Ice Cream Day is dedicated to appreciating ice cream.  In 1984, Senator Walter Dee Huddleston of Kentucky initiated a joint resolution to declare July as the National Ice Cream Month and July 15 as National Ice Cream Day.  On July 9, 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July 1984 as the National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984 as the National Ice Cream Day. This holiday is now celebrated on the third Sunday of July.  

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the origins of ice cream date back to the second century B.C., when several prominent historical figures such as Alexander the Great, King Soloman and Nero Claudius Caesar enjoyed consuming iced beverages and snow. As the centuries passed, the snow and ice was refined into cream ice and eventually, in 1777, ice cream was first advertised in New York. However, ice cream was a rare delicacy for the elite until 1800s when ice houses were built. Since then, it has become a staple dessert for the American people.

National Ice Cream Day Facts & Quotes

·         During the summer of 1790, President George Washington spent $200 on ice cream.  Meanwhile, according to Thomas Berry of Duke University, the price of 1 pound of coffee was $0.50 in 1788.
·         10% of milk in the US goes towards making ice cream.
·         During World War II, ice cream was served to troops to boost morale while sanctions and rationing was in effect for the general public.  When the war ended, rationing of ice cream was lifted and Americans celebrated victory with a cold, creamy treat. In fact, each American consumed more than 20 quarts of ice cream in 1946.
·         In 2014, 872 million gallons of ice cream were produced in the United States.  The average American annually consumes 22 pounds of ice cream.
·         Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food. Over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States in 1983. - President Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5219 - National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day, 1984

National Ice Cream Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Enjoy ice cream with your family and friends.
·         Get free or discounted ice cream.  Most ice cream shops giveaway free ice cream or offer special discounts on National Ice Cream Day.
·         Make President Thomas Jefferson's favorite vanilla ice cream.  The recipe believed to have been hand written by Jefferson is archived at the Library of Congress.
·         Liven up your ice cream by getting some healthy toppings.  Our favorites:
-Chopped Walnuts
-Fresh Berries
-Raw Cacao nibs
-Goji Berries
-Frozen chopped banana
-Unsweetened shredded Coconut
·         Try a non-dairy alternative to milk-based ice cream products.  Whether it is for dietary choices or lactose-intolerance, there are a variety of non-dairy frozen desserts made from soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk and rice milk.  Here are some non-dairy frozen desserts to try:
- Rice Dream Organic Vanilla
- Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey
- So Delicious Dairy Free Cashew Milk in Salted Caramel Cluster flavor
- Nada Moo Gotta Do Chocolate Ice Cream
- So Delicious Almond Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

The Way[4]

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

15.   Excuses. You will always find plenty if you want to avoid your obligations. What a profusion of well-thought-out nonsense! Don’t stop to consider it. Dismiss it and do your duty.

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.
Pray our Democratic leaders confirm the new Supreme Court Judge.

[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.


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