Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Acts, Chapter 28, Verse 20
This is the reason, then, I have requested to see you and to speak with you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear these chains.”

The hope of Israel is of course the messiah. Paul is trying to show to the Jews in Rome that Jesus was indeed the hope of Israel. Paul states that he is wearing chains yet later in Acts it states he has his own house and seems to be quite free. One must conclude that he may have been speaking metaphorically for later Paul quotes Isaiah 6:

Go and say to this people: Listen carefully, but do not understand! Look intently, but do not perceive! Make the heart of this people sluggish, dull their ears and close their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and their heart understand, and they turn and be healed.

I see in this verse that Paul may be saying that the Jews did not recognize Christ because they may have been in the habit of saying the Shema Israel every morning yet in the end failing to live it.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart1, and with all your soul2, and with your entire mind3, and with all your strength4.

1. Love with all your Heart: “their heart understand, and they turn and be healed.” (Accept Christ as messiah)

2. with all your soul: “Look intently, but do not perceive!” (Eyes are the window of the soul).

3. with your entire mind: “and their heart understand”

4. with all your strength: “the heart of this people sluggish, dull their ears and close their eyes.”

Paul then said to the Roman Jews: “Let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

Four Pillars[1]

We must be prayerful, and we can look to the example of the early Church. "They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles

1. [Creed] and to the communal life
2.[Morality], to the breaking of the bread
3.[Sacraments] and to the prayers
4.[Prayer]" (Acts 2:42).

These four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church are based on the life of the early Church. We can see these aspects of a holy life pre-figured in the Old Testament: the Shema, the preeminent belief of the Hebrew people that God is one (Dt 6:42); the Ten Commandments; the Passover; and the Psalms. These four pillars of the Catholic faith are not to be assimilated consecutively: they must be encompassed simultaneously. Our Christian lives must be integrated. Our prayer lives cannot be properly formed unless we infuse into them what we believe, how we worship, and how we behave. And how does our lived experience of all four pillars take root in our lives? Love! The Catechism says that all doctrine is directed to the love that never ends (CCC, no. 25). Pope Francis, in the address above, continued,” To 'be' a catechist requires love, an ever-stronger love for Christ, a love for his holy people . . . This love comes from Christ! It is Christ's gift! And if it comes from Christ, it also starts with Christ, and we too need to start anew with Christ, from the love he gives us". He gave three ways that we, as catechists, can start anew. The first is to remain close to Christ, abiding in him, forever. The second is to leave ourselves behind and go out to others. And the third is going with Christ to the outskirts. These are integral to Francis' pontificate, but also echo the Doxology of the Mass, "Through him, with him, and in him." Of the ways to start anew, the hardest one for most of us is to leave ourselves behind. Therefore, we must always seek conversion. Our self-love can rob us of generosity; it can make our catechetical endeavors self-centered rather than Christ-centered. We can build our own kingdoms rather than building up the kingdom of God.

Purgatory is Temporary[2]

Purgatory is not eternal. Its duration varies according to the sentence pronounced at each particular judgment. It may be prolonged for centuries in the case of the guiltier souls, or of those who, being excluded from the Catholic communion, are deprived of the suffrages of the Church, although by the divine mercy they have escaped hell. But the end of the world, which will be also the end of time, will close for ever the place of temporary expiation. God will know how to reconcile His justice and His goodness in the purification of the last members of the human race, and to supply by the intensity of the expiatory suffering what may be wanting in duration. But, whereas a favorable sentence at the particular judgment admits of eternal beatitude being suspended and postponed and leaves the bodies of the elect to the same fate as those of the reprobate; at the universal judgment, every sentence, whether for heaven or for hell, will be absolute, and will be executed immediately and completely. Let us, then, live in expectation of the solemn hour, when "the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God." He that is to come will come, and will not delay, as the Doctor of the Gentiles reminds us; His arrival will be sudden, as that of a thief, we are told, not only by St. Paul, but also by the prince of the apostles and the beloved disciple; and these in turn are but echoing the words of our Lord Himself: "As lightning cometh out of the east and appears even unto the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."

Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.

Things to Do

·         Say a prayer for the Poor Souls; for instance, recite the Little Litany of the Holy Souls.
·         Offer up some small sacrifice for the relief of the most abandoned soul. "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins" (Mc. 12:46).

World Diabetes Day[3]

World Diabetes Day aims to raise awareness of diabetes, a disease that raises blood sugars. Diabetes can result in problems with other organs and significantly increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and death.  As of 2015, approximately 1 in 10 adults worldwide is diabetic, a problem which poses a massive burden on nations as it threatens their health and economic prosperity. In 1991, World Diabetes Day was established by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in an effort to address the increasing number of diabetes cases and its burden on countries.  Currently, diabetes prevalence is highest in the Middle East and Southern Asia while it is lowest in Sub Saharan Africa. Diabetes, especially type 2, has been linked to obesity and a sedentary, inactive lifestyle and thus World Diabetes Day also serves to promote a healthy and active lifestyle that can drastically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

World Diabetes Day Facts & Quotes

·         According to the World Health Organization, about 350 million people in the world have diabetes. The organization expects this number to double in the next two decades.
·         More than 80% of deaths related to diabetes occur in low and middle-income countries.
·         Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% of the world's diabetes cases.
·         50% of people with diabetes die due to heart disease and stroke (cardiovascular diseases).
·         I was determined to share my positive approach and not let diabetes stand in the way of enjoying my life - Paula Deen, celebrity chef

World Diabetes Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Visit your doctor if you are overweight, obese, do not regularly exercise and do not eat a balanced diet. These are all factors that can cause diabetes.
·         Participate in one of the American Diabetes Association's fundraising activities which include, The Tour de Cure, Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, Rip's B.A.D. Ride or you can create your own fundraising event by using the organizations' online tools.
·         Watch a documentary about diabetes and diabetes-related topics such as obesity, sugar consumption and fast food. Our favorites are: Sugar Babies, The Human Trial, Simply Raw Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days and Diabetes Cure Documentary
·         Learn about ways to control and lower the risk of developing diabetes. The American Diabetes Association provides some great ways to reduce your risk which include:
1) Eat a healthy balanced diet
2) Exercise regularly
3) Ensure that you are not overweight or obese
4) Remove unnecessary processed foods with high sugar content from your diet
5) Get checked for high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol levels
·         Learn about the symptoms and signs of diabetes. Many cases of diabetes go undiagnosed for long periods of time while causing irreversible damage to the body. Some common signs and symptoms include:
-Frequent urination
-Constant Thirst
-Blurred vision

The Way[4] Purity

"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."

At the time of temptation think of the Love that awaits you in heaven: foster the virtue of hope
 — this is not a lack of generosity.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood


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