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ST. WENCESLAUS John, Chapter 5, Verse 20 For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he w...

Friday, December 28, 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018


FEAST OF ST. THOMAS BECKET-PEPPER POT DAY

Exodus, Chapter 3, Verse 6
I am the God of your father, he continued, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

This is Moses first encounter with the Living God. Moses responded with natural fear thus he tried to hide himself just as Adam did in the garden. Yet, how does one hide from God. The beginning of Holiness is to not try to hide but to face our Lord manfully and admit we are what we are and He is what He is. After this Moses was 100 percent for God; he was His man. Moses here began a journey with God that eventually led to the birth of Christ true God and true man and we beheld him face to face.

Today try and be 100% for God.

As iron, cast into the fire, loses its rust and becomes bright with the flame, so too a man who turns his whole heart to Me is purified and all sluggishness and changed into a new man.[1]


[1] Paone, Anthony J., Our Daily Bread, 1954.

St. Thomas Becket



St. Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, suffered martyrdom by the king's men in 1170 on this day.  There is an excellent movie about his life “Becket” if you have time to watch tonight which stars Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. Becket was a man of strength.

Things to Do[1]

·         Read more about this historical event. For some web sources see The Murder of Thomas Becket, 1170, and more information on Henry II. Watch this You Tube video of Canterbury Cathedral.
·         Some wonderful literature is based on this saint. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400) follows a group of 30 pilgrims traveling to the Canterbury Cathedral, the pilgrimage spot of St. Thomas Becket. T. S. Eliot wrote a play called Murder in the Cathedral based on St. Thomas' murder.



·         Today would be a good time to gather with family and friends enjoy some Christmas goodies and spend an evening singing Christmas carols.

o    The saints who are assigned immediately following Christmas are honored because of their special connection with Christ. December 29, the Feast of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was martyred in his cathedral by the soldiers of Henry II in 1170, is the true anniversary date of his death. Because of the great shock and sensation that this martyrdom caused at a time when all of Europe was Catholic, the Roman authorities, in the thirteenth century, deemed it appropriate to assign the celebration of his feast within the privileged days of Christmas week, thus adding him to the group of "Christ's nobility."
o    In the Middle Ages, Christmas week also assumed the note of a hallowed time within the homes of the faithful. Many observances of a religious character were introduced locally and spread over large sections of the Christian population of Europe. For the farmers and their animals, it was a time of rest and relaxation from laborious work; only the necessary chores were done in stable and barn. Thus, the whole week became a series of holidays. More time than usual was spent on prayer and religious exercises. It is still the custom in many sections of Europe to light the candles of the Christmas tree every night while the whole family says the rosary or performs some other devotion, followed by the singing of carols.
o    Carol singing from house to house is an ancient tradition in central Europe on the twelve nights between Christmas and Epiphany. The Poles call these nights the "Holy Evenings" (Stoiete Wieczory). Another widespread practice is the performance of religious plays portraying events of the Christmas story (such as the Nativity, the visit of the Magi, the flight into Egypt, and the massacre of Bethlehem). In southern Germany and Austria many such plays are still performed in rural communities. Among the northern Slavs (Poles, Ukrainians, Czechs, Slovaks) a puppet theater (szopka) is in vogue; its religious scenes alternate with secular dramatic exhibits. In the cities of Poland children put on Christmas dramas (jaselka). A similar performance (Bethlehemes jatek) is done by children in Hungary; a representation of the manger is carried from house to house, little dramatic plays are enacted, and carols sung.

Christmas Calendar[2]

Read about St. Thomas Becket, once a royal chancellor of England. He was slain in his own cathedral for defending the Church from interference by King Henry II.

Reflect: Christ's kingdom is already present, but it is not yet fulfilled. The destruction of the last enemy, death, is still to come, and then, says St. Paul, God will "be all in all." This is why we pray "Thy kingdom come." When we pray "Thy kingdom come," we are praying for a kingdom of truth, life, holiness, grace, justice, love, and peace. Yet, let us also remember that for the sake of this kingdom many of our sisters and brothers are suffering persecution.

Pray: Becket gave up his life for the sake of justice. Pray today for the many Christians who still face persecution and death because of their faith. 

Act: Take time to pray the Rosary for justice and peace today.

Pepper Pot Day[3]

Pepper Pot, a thick and spicy soup that is an American staple dish, especially in the southern regions of the United States. What is Pepper Pot? Well, it’s a soup that contains twelve different ingredients. Now that we know the ingredients for the Pepper Pot, let us look into the history of the day named for it, Pepper Pot Day, shall we? In the modern world of today, Pepper Pot Soup has many, many variations to it. But the soups true origins began on December 29th of 1777 during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army had been experiencing an exceptionally harsh winter during the battle of Valley Forge. The soldiers were low on food because the farmers in the area had gone and sold all their supplies to the British Army for cash rather than the weak currency that the Continental soldiers could offer them for their crops. Christopher Ludwick, a baker general of the Continental Army, gathered whatever food he could scrounge together to feed the cold and frail soldiers. The chef was able to find scraps of tripe, meat, and some peppercorn. He then mixed the ingredients together with some other seasonings and created the hot, thick, and spicy soup we now know as pepper pot soup. It quickly became known as “the soup that won the war.” The soup gave the soldiers the warmth and strength that they needed to push the enemies back through the harsh winter weather.


How to celebrate Pepper Pot Day

In order to celebrate this holiday, all we have to do is gather the necessary ingredients to make our own Pepper Pot Soup and share it amongst our friends and family. Pepper Pot soup is a great way to warm up on a cold and dark winter’s night, huddled around the fireplace and listening to stories narrated by family members who always have interesting stories to be told to everyone they can tell them to. Want to make your own? The ingredients are four cups of water, four tablespoons of chicken bouillon powder, two medium grated potatoes, two medium sized carrots which are also grated, two finely chopped celery stalks, one finely chopped onion, one and a half cups of finely chopped green, red, or yellow peppers, one half cup of all-purpose flour, two teaspoons of salt, one teaspoon of pepper, one more cup of water, and finally, six cups of milk.
Five Golden Rings

Today is the 5th day of Christmas the Five Golden Rings represent the five books of the "Pentateuch" [Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy].


49 Godly Character Traits[4]

During this Christmas 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:

Obedience vs. Willfulness

Freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely appointed authority (II Corinthians 10:5)

532 Jesus' obedience to his mother and legal father fulfills the fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. The everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy Thursday: "Not my will. . ." The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed.

564 By his obedience to Mary and Joseph, as well as by his humble work during the long years in Nazareth, Jesus gives us the example of holiness in the daily life of family and work.

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":

Father, accept this offering from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.
The Way[5] Mortification

"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."

Interior mortification. I don't believe in your interior self-denial if I see that you despise, that you do not practise, mortification of the senses.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan

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