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Friday, December 7, 2018


pearl harbor day


Psalm 27, verse 1:
1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?

This verse is and should be our declaration of faith.  Let us commit it to memorization and repeat it to ourselves daily or when fear and doubt rears its ugly head within our depths.  Doing this will help us trust the Lord and develop a true relationship of love with the Trinity through prayer.  God will become our sanctuary and we will be able to put away our fears and rest in the arms of God.

We will no longer have to pretend that we are not afraid for we will trust the Lord with our whole being offering our lives, families, time and treasure with total peace.  We will be able to sleep and awaken easily.  The old Navajo adage will no longer apply to us; you cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep; due to our faith in God.

Through our reliance in Him we will be able to say with King David, “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14).

First Friday[1]


The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus . . . which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins."

To those who show him love and who make reparation for sins, however, our Lord made a great pledge: "I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor, or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life."

 To gain this grace, we must:

·         Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays.
·         Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching final perseverance.
·         Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offenses against the Blessed Sacrament.

Considerations

The fullness of God is revealed and given to us in Christ, in the love of Christ, in Christ's heart. For it is the heart of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Were one to lose sight of this great plan of God-the overflow of love in the world through the Incarnation, the Redemption and Pentecost-he could not understand the refinement with which our Lord deals with us. So, when we talk about the heart of Jesus, we stress the certainty of God's love and the truth of his commitment to us. When we recommend devotion to the Sacred Heart, we are recommending that we should give our whole selves to Jesus, to the whole Jesus-our souls, our feelings and thoughts, our words and actions, our joys. That is what true devotion to the heart of Jesus means. It is knowing God and ourselves. It is looking at Jesus and turning to him, letting him encourage and teach and guide us. The only difficulty that could beset this devotion would be our own failure to understand the reality of an incarnate God. But note that God does not say: "In exchange for your own heart, I will give you a will of pure spirit." No, he gives us a heart, a human heart, like Christ's. I don't have one heart for loving God and another for loving people. I love Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit and our Lady with the same heart with which I love my parents and my friends. I shall never tire of repeating this. We must be very human, for otherwise we cannot be divine. . ..

If we don't learn from Jesus, we will never love. If, like some people, we were to think that to keep a clean heart, a heart worthy of God, means "not mixing it up, not contaminating it" with human affection, we would become insensitive to other people's pain and sorrow. We would be capable of only an "official charity," something dry and soulless. But ours would not be the true charity of Jesus Christ, which involves affection and human warmth. In saying this, I am not supporting the mistaken theories-pitiful excuses-that misdirect hearts away from God and lead them into occasions of sin and perdition. . ..

But I have still a further consideration to put before you. We have to fight vigorously to do good, precisely because it is difficult for us to resolve seriously to be just, and there is a long way to go before human relations are inspired by love and not hatred or indifference. We should also be aware that, even if we achieve a reasonable distribution of wealth and a harmonious organization of society, there will still be the suffering of illness, of misunderstanding, of loneliness, of the death of loved ones, of the experience of our own limitations.

Faced with the weight of all this, a Christian can find only one genuine answer, a definitive answer: Christ on the cross, a God who suffers and dies, a God who gives us his heart opened by a lance for the love of us all. Our Lord abominates injustice and condemns those who commit it. But he respects the freedom of each individual. He permits injustice to happen because, as a result of original sin, it is part and parcel of the human condition. Yet his heart is full of love for men. Our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our hunger and thirst for justice . . . he took all these tortures on himself by means of the cross. . . . 

Suffering is part of God's plans. This is the truth, however difficult it may be for us to understand it. It was difficult for Jesus Christ the man to undergo his passion: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." In this tension of pleading and acceptance of the Father's will, Jesus goes calmly to his death, pardoning those who crucify him.

This supernatural acceptance of suffering was, precisely, the greatest of all conquests. By dying on the cross, Jesus overcame death. God brings life from death. The attitude of a child of God is not one of resignation to a possibly tragic fate; it is the sense of achievement of someone who has a foretaste of victory. In the name of this victorious love of Christ, we Christians should go out into the world to be sowers of peace and joy through everything we say and do. We have to fight-a fight of peace-against evil, against injustice, against sin. Thus do we serve notice that the present condition of mankind is not definitive. Only the love of God, shown in the heart of Christ, will attain our glorious spiritual triumph.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1675, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, our Lord appeared to her and said: "Behold this heart which, not withstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service."

The great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling: the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having Jesus' heart as our sure refuge and Infinite Ocean of mercy in our last hour.

Almighty and everlasting God look upon the heart of your well-beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction which he offers to you in the name of all sinners; and grant them pardon when they seek your mercy. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

1. Love is revealed to us in the Incarnation, the redemptive journey which Jesus Christ made on our earth, culminating in the supreme sacrifice of the cross. And on the cross it showed itself through a new sign: "One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water." This water and blood of Jesus speak to us of a self-sacrifice brought to the last extreme: "It is finished"-everything is achieved, for the sake of love. . . .

2. Let us realize all the richness hidden in the words "the Sacred Heart of Jesus." When we speak of a person's heart, we refer not just to his sentiments, but to the whole person in his loving dealings with others. In order to help us understand divine things, Scripture uses the expression "heart" in its full human meaning, as the summary and source, expression and ultimate basis, of one's thoughts, words and actions. One is worth what one's heart is worth. . . .

3. Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for us, is such an eloquent commentary on the value of people and things that words only get in the way. Men, their happiness and their lives, are so important that the very Son of God gave himself to redeem and cleanse and raise them up. "Who will not love this heart so wounded?" a contemplative asks in this connection. "Who will not return love for love? Who will not embrace a heart so pure? We, who are made of flesh, will repay love with love. We will embrace our wounded One, whose hands and feet ungodly men have nailed; we will cling to his side and to his heart. Let us pray that we be worthy of linking our heart with his love and of wounding it with a lance, for it is still hard and impenitent. . . ."
Saint Joan of Arc patron of Soldiers[2]



At the command of voices that only she could hear, she rode to battle and saved her country. SHE COULD NOT READ OR WRITE, BUT SAINTS AND ANGELS SPOKE TO HER. Michael the Archangel, and Catherine and Margaret, the patron saints of France, commanded the thirteen-year-old peasant girl to pray vigilantly and attend Mass regularly. She is remembered as very beautiful, a slight seventeen-year-old girl with black hair who could ride for long hours in heavy armor without any sign of discomfort. She kept silent for long periods but could be roused to great anger at men swearing or behaving in some other sinful manner. She prayed and fasted often and seemed most comfortable in the company of poor priests. Before they embarked, she had dictated to a priest a letter for the English commanders in Orléans, warning them to “go away back to England . . . or I will drive you out of France.” This is the first the English had ever heard of Joan of Arc. To the French, and their dauphin, who now placed their trust in her, she was becoming a saint. As they marched to Orléans, she saw to the spiritual needs of her soldiers, ordering them to abandon their vices, to refrain from looting and harming civilians, to confess their sins and attend Mass regularly, which they did. Men who had refused to serve Charles in what they believed was a losing cause now rushed to her standard and prepared for battle. Whatever the case, legend has it that she responded to her soldiers’ fears by telling them to rally to her when they saw her banner strike the fort’s wall. And when they did see it, they recovered their courage and took the fort. The next day the English abandoned the siege. Orléans was saved. Both English and French generals gave the credit to Joan. She gave it to God. Then she rode to meet Charles. When they met, she bowed to him, and urged him to hasten to Reims, where his crown awaited him. But Charles hesitated. His will was weak, for he was not a man of great courage, and his advisors at court, some of whom resented Joan’s interference, cautioned him to proceed slowly, for there were still many powerful English armies in France that had to be destroyed. Joan was eventually betrayed by Charles and was captured by the English who released her to John of Luxembourg who took her to his castle, where, distraught over the fate of the people of Compiègne, she twice tried to escape, once by jumping from a castle tower into the moat below. The rules of war did not permit the English to condemn Joan for opposing them in battle. So they sought her death by falsely accusing her of witchcraft. Cauchon tried for weeks to compel her to confess, but despite threats of torture and execution, she steadfastly refused to divulge her conversations with Charles or to concede that the saints who spoke to her were demons or merely inventions of her own blasphemy. She was denied permission to attend Mass and receive the sacraments. She was often kept in chains and became very ill. Yet she stayed true to herself, and to her saints. She wore a dress when they brought her to a church cemetery to hear her sentence read, condemning her to be burned at the stake. She asked that her conviction be appealed to the pope. Her persecutors refused her. And then, Joan of Arc, for the first and only time in her brief life, tried to be someone she was not. Fearing the flames, she confessed to being a heretic, recanted her claim to have heard and obeyed her saints, and begged her enemies for mercy. Mercy they had little of but having taken from her what their armies could not, they no longer thought her life such a great thing that it could not be spared. She was now nothing more than a confessed imposter. They had wanted to destroy her truth, that she was God’s messenger. Having done so, it mattered little whether she died or suffered long imprisonment. Their work done, they left her in her cell, to the taunts and abuses of the guards, and commanded her to dress only in women’s clothes. When they next saw her, a few days later, she was attired in the clothes of a boy. She had recovered her courage and her truth. Her saints had reproached her for denying them, and she had begged their forgiveness. She had become her true self again. She was the Maid of Orléans, a pretty, pious nineteen-year-old girl who had left her father’s house and taken up arms for more than a year, as heaven had commanded her. And with heaven’s encouragement she had defeated France’s enemies in battle after battle, frightened and awed the bravest English heart, rallied a nation to her banner, and made a weak, defeated man a king. God’s messenger went bravely to her death, forgiving her accusers and asking only that a priest hold high a crucifix for her to see it above the flames. She raised her voice to heaven, calling out to her saints and her Savior. Even her enemies wept at the sight. Her executioner was shaken with remorse, and an anguished English soldier who witnessed the crime feared for his soul. “God forgive us,” he cried, “We have burned a saint.”

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day[3]

Today we honor the victims of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, an American Naval Station.  The attack is often cited as the catalyst for American involvement in the Second World War, given that President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan the following day. At 8am on December 7th, 1941, without prior warning, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked a Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, located on Oahu, Hawaii.  The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighter planes. In total, 2,403 people perished, another 1,178 were injured, four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk, and 188 aircrafts were destroyed.  The aim of the attack was to immobilize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which would allow Japan to advance into Malaya and Dutch East Indies.  On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress passed Public Law 103-308 to designate December 7 of each year as the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Facts & Quotes

·         Within hours of the attack, Canada was the first nation to declare war on Japan. The United States declared war the following day.
·         The Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal was established by the United States Congress on November 5, 1990.  U.S. Armed Forces veterans and civilians who served, were injured or killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor were eligible to receive the medal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the attack.  (Public Law 101-510, 104 Stat. 1721 and Public Law. 104-201, 110 Stat. 2654)
·         The USS Arizona Memorial was built in 1962 to mark the resting place of the 1,102 sailors and marines who died on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
·         ...commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor will instill in all people of the United States a greater understanding and appreciation of the selfless sacrifice of the individuals who served in the armed forces of the United States during World War II... (Public Law 103-308)
·         Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  This speech by President Roosevelt is widely cited and referred to as the Infamy Speech or Pearl Harbor Speech.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu Island in Hawaii.
·         Spend some time learning about the Second World War and the US involvement that began after Pearl Harbor.
·         Attend a remembrance ceremony at your local naval club, army base, naval base, or museum of war.
·         Watch movies about Pearl Harbor and World War II.  Here are some recommendations:

·         1) Pearl Harbor (2001)
2) Saving Private Ryan (1998)
3) Inglorious Basterds (2009)
4) Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
5) Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
6) Empire of the Sun (1987)
7) The Longest Day (1962)
8) Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
9) Schindler's List (1993)
10) The Pianist (2002)

Father Aloysius H. Schmitt and the USS Schmitt[4]

Aloysius H. Schmitt was born in St. Lucas, Iowa on December 4, 1909, and was appointed acting chaplain with the rank of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) on June 28, 1939.  Serving on his first sea tour, he was hearing confessions on board the battleship USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  When the ship capsized, he was entrapped along with several other members of the crew in a compartment where only a small porthole provided a means of escape.  He assisted others through the porthole, giving up his own chance to escape, so that more men might be rescued. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal posthumously for his courage and self-sacrifice.  St. Francis Xavier Chapel, erected at Camp Lejeune in 1942, was dedicated in his memory. The destroyer escort USS SCHMITT was laid down on February 22, 1943, launched on May 29, 1943, and was commissioned on July 24, 1943.  The USS Schmitt was decommissioned and placed in reserve on June 28,1949 and struck from the Navy list on May 1,1967.
  
Fitness Friday-Sleep[5]

Make a good confession today or tomorrow and rest in the arms of the angels.


Sleep. Something we all need more of, but never seem to get. (If only we had more timeright?) Today we’re going to cover how you can. First stop and think!

Sleep is important, and you should get more of it!

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)

Before we cover why sleep is important, let’s talk about what happens when you don’t get enough For example: If you manage to only get four hours of sleep, a sleep deprived body can actually act similarly to an intoxicated body.

Getting less sleep than average regularly? This is correlated with increased bodyfat percentage, more issues with insulin sensitivity, and even a disproportionate decrease in lean muscle mass when eating a caloric deficit. We all know missing sleep can make us grouchy, miserable, unfocused, and unproductive. I know I’m going to have a crappy day in the gym when I don’t get enough sleep the night before. I know not sleeping enough AFTER a workout day can further hinder the muscle building process.

So, what else happens when you don’t get enough sleep? One study found that skipped sleep led to a shrinking brain. The heart and kidneys also take a beating as does your blood pressure. You, in fact, put yourself at continually increased risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases, including obesity and diabetes.

What is the logical extension of this pattern? Numerous studies link partial sleep deprivation/disruption and increased mortality risk!”

Conversely, let’s talk about the awesomeness that is sleep.  Here are the benefits associated with getting enough shut eye:

·         Sleep will enhance your memory performance and creative problem solving skills.  You know, those things that make you smart.
·         Sleep can boost your athletic performance.  And we all know appearance is a consequence of fitness.
·         Sleep triggers the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a huge role in muscle and cellular regeneration.
·         Sleep cuts your risk for the common cold and other basic illnesses.  Less sick days at work = more productivity, more awesome, more leveling up.
·         Sleep makes you more resilient to daily stress..aka more willpower!

Moral of the story: Sleep is awesome.  Yes, some adults can function perfectly on only five hours of sleep, while others need 9-10 hours of sleep to thrive. Most people will fall in that 7-9 range for sleeping needs. So let’s get to the root of the problem for most: “I know I need to sleep more, but my day is too busy and I just can’t get to bed sooner or wake up earlier.” First and foremost, you’re not alone. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of all working Americans get six hours or fewer of sleep a night.

Does any of this sound like you? I am always freaking tired, and I need five cups of coffee to get through the day. Even on days when I get enough sleep, I wake up groggy. I get to ‘bed’ but I toss and turn and it takes me forever to fall asleep. I hit snooze half a dozen times before miserably crawling out of bed.
  
A perfect night of sleep

Let’s imagine a perfect night:  

·         You go to bed at a time that you’re happy with.  
·         You’re not stressed out because you didn’t just watch The Walking Dead.
·         You’re reading a good book in bed that’s putting you closer to sleep rather than checking your smart phone or screwing around on the internet (damn you Twitch.tv).  
·         You sleep uninterrupted through the night
·         . You have good dreams.
·         When you wake up, either naturally or with an alarm…you immediately get out of bed, without a single snooze, and you feel damn good.  
·         You then crush your morning routine and dominate your day.

If you’re looking at your screen and laughing right now, you’re not alone.  I’d guess this is a pipe dream for a huge majority of our society because they’re not sure how sleep actually works, and thus have NOT made sleep a priority.

It’s time to start looking at sleep as one of your most important tasks.

How to get better sleep

We have a circadian rhythm (a daily biological clock) that ebbs and flows throughout the day. Our body uses outside stimuli and our own activity to produce certain hormones at certain times to make our body more prepared for the required functions at that time (alertness vs restfulness).

·         When the sun rose, our bodies are signaled “the day has begun! Get cracking!” We reduce the hormones that make us sleepy and produce more hormones that allow us to do the things that need to get done.
·         As the sun went down, our body starts to produce more melatonin, which produces that sleepy feeling and encourages us to rest/recover.  Our only option for light back then was a candle or campfire. If that went out, we’d have moonlight and nothing else.
·         While sleeping, our bodies knew to cut back on urine production, decrease body temperature, decrease heart rate, and muscle activity.  Our brains are still highly active during our sleeping.

Unfortunately, these days, our bodies aren’t tied to the rise and fall of that giant ball of gas above us. Instead, we use electricity, alarm clocks, computer screens, smart phone screens, and all other sorts of outside stimuli to adjust our natural sleeping schedule. This means that our bodies often have no effin’ clue what time it is!

Here’s how we can get back to our roots:

Trying to get to bed sooner or fall asleep sooner? Limit your exposure to the blue glow of your computer screens, TV screens, and phones later in the evening.  Our bodies look at blue light and think “Sun is up! Sky is blue! Energy! WEEE!” Conversely, lights with a red/orange hue are more reminiscent of a campfire or candle.  

·         If you are somebody who has to spend time on your computer at night, consider installing a program like F.lux – it syncs with the sunrise and sunset in your time zone, gradually shifting your screens hue from Blue and bright to red and dim.  I’ve been using the app for over a week now and have quickly adjusted to it.
·         Purchase old-man blue blocker glasses which limits the colors your eyes are exposed to after the sun has gone.
·         Consider purchasing red lightbulbs to install in your bedroom.
·         Consider getting black-out curtains for your bedroom windows, especially if you live in a city.
·         No TV in bed.  This might be incredibly difficult for you if you’ve been falling asleep to TV for years.  Instead of falling asleep with the blue glow of a TV at the foot of your bed, read a book – real books or read on a Kindle, no iPads! trust me, it will put you right to sleep.
·         Buy the right TYPE of Mattress for you
·         Have allergies? Try a hypoallergenic pillowcase!  Your allergies could be affecting you while you sleep, and having the proper pillowcase can make a world of a difference.

How to get more sleep

So we’ve covered how to get BETTER sleep, what if you also need to get more of it? In order to start getting more sleep, sleep must become more of a priority. If you constantly stay up too late because things need to get done, evaluate how your time is spent after work. Seriously, think about it!

Are you doing the important tasks first?

Are you watching late night shows long after they’ve become enjoyable, simply because your DVR records them?

Are you checking your smart phone while in bed, watching Vine videos, or using your laptop to watch more shows you don’t really care about on Netflix?

Here are the best practical tips for giving you the greatest chance at getting into bed earlier:

·         Don’t drink caffeine after lunch if possible.  Caffeine can have an effect up to 6 hours after consumption.  We love caffeine for many reasons (in moderation); however, you want to make sure its not consumed too late or your body will revolt.

·         Turn off the electronics sooner.  I have to enforce a “laptops closed by 11PM” or a “TV off after 10PM” rule on many nights or I never get to bed. I get lost in internetland far too easily.  Putting in actual barriers really helps.  If you find yourself checking Facebook and Twitter and other sites incessantly, BLOCK YOURSELF from those sites after a certain time.
·         Stop watching crap TV shows! DVRs can be helpful, but it’s so easy to record shows without second thought…and then we end up spending WAY too much time watching TV.  
·         Shift things by 15 minutes every week. If you want to get to bed sooner, don’t just try to get to bed an hour earlier than normal. You’ll probably lie in bed for that whole hour wondering why you can’t fall asleep, stressing yourself out and making things worse. I shifted my pattern by waking up 15 minutes earlier and getting to bed 15 minutes sooner. Then I repeated that process over a series of weeks. Eventually, you can shift your bedtime by an hour or two, but do it gradually!

How to wake up better

Is there any more annoying sound in the world than the “beep beep beep” of an alarm clock?  So here you are, dreaming about riding a dragon with Daenerys Targaryen, doing improv with Liam Neeson, and playing poker with Iron Man and Spock…and that damn alarm clock wakes you up.  You are now incredibly groggy and miserable.

Here’s what’s happening: Remember earlier how we talked about different sleep cycles?  Depending on which cycle you were woken up during, your body can struggle to move from “asleep” to “wide awake.” Wake up in the right phase and you can feel energized and ready to go. Wake up in the wrong phase and you will feel lethargic and sleepy. Because we’re often waking up at times when we’re not ready to wake up, we need to use technology to our advantage.


Instead of snoozing, set your alarm for 30 minutes later and SKIP snoozing entirely.  If this is an issue for you, put your alarm across the room so you need to physically get out of bed to turn it off! 
I’ve been using the Sleep Cycle App to wake up and it’s been really interesting. You simply put the time in which you want to wake up, put your phone on your bed, and it will wake you up slowly and quietly in at the best point in a 30-minute window. Because it also tracks your sleep incredibly accurately, it’s probably the best 99 cents I’ve ever spent on an app. Try a dawn-simulator alarm clock.  Rather than waking yourself up in the pitch black with a disgusting beeping noise, why not gradually rise as if there was a natural sunrise in your room?

Still feeling groggy? Go for a walk first thing; a mile every morning, if you can.   Walking outside and seeing that blue sky can trigger your body to release the hormones that encourage you to feel more awake and alive.

What about naps?

Although generally not part of a day here in the states, we’re actually programmed to desire a quick nap in the early afternoon. In other countries, naps are more socially acceptable (Siesta?  Si, por favor!).  If you feel bad that you get tired in the early afternoon, it’s not because you’re lazy. It’s because you’re naturally wired for naptime.  Now, you might still be lazy, but it’s not related to your nap schedule.

What about second sleep? Biphasic Sleep is sleeping in two distinct periods. We’re gonna go back in the day again: during winter months, night time could last 12-14 hours. With our bodies production of melatonin (the “sleepy time” hormone) kicking into high gear when that sun drops, people had nothing else to do (no TV, PS4, or iPads) and  would fall asleep  early. Then they would wake up for an hour or two in the middle of the night to read, pray, or think, and then fall back asleep for another 4-5 hours before waking up for the day.

If you’ve ever gone to bed at a normal hour, and then woke up in the middle of the night without being able to fall back asleep for an hour or so, you know what I’m talking about. Here’s the thing: this is actually quite natural! Rather than freaking the heck out and lying in bed wondering why you can’t fall asleep…consider it something that is more common than our current sleep schedule. Don’t be afraid to turn on the light and read a book or use the time for meditation until you can fall back asleep. This one ‘mental shift’ alone can keep your stress levels down and let you get back to sleep faster and provide you with BETTER sleep.

49 Godly Character Traits[6]

As we begin the Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:

Deference vs. Rudeness

Limiting my freedom in order not offend the tastes of those whom God has called me to serve (Romans 14:21)

1930 Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy. If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects. It is the Church's role to remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from unwarranted or false claims.

1931 Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that "everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as 'another self,' above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity." No legislation could by itself do away with the fears, prejudices, and attitudes of pride and selfishness which obstruct the establishment of truly fraternal societies. Such behavior will cease only through the charity that finds in every man a "neighbor," a brother.
  
The Way[7] Heart

"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."

You are a squanderer of tenderness. And I tell you: charity towards your neighbour — yes, always. But — listen to me, apostolic soul — from Christ and for him alone is that other feeling which God himself has placed in your heart. Besides, isn't it a fact that the drawing back of any one of the bolts of your heart — and it needs seven of them has more than once left a cloud of doubt floating on your supernatural horizon..., and, tormented in spite of the purity of your intentions, you asked yourself: haven't I perhaps gone too far in my outward show of affection?

Daily Devotions
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[2] McCain, John; Salter, Mark. Character Is Destiny
[5]https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/are-you-making-these-mistakes-with-your-sleep/
[6]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/
[7]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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