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Tuesday, December 11, 2018


INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY


Genesis, Chapter 31, Verse 53
May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us!” Jacob took the oath by the Fear of his father Isaac.

Laban and Jacob both take oaths here not to war with each other. Nahor[1] was the brother of Abraham and an idol worshiper who used several God’s as a type of insurance policy. Laban here is doing the same mentioning His gods, but Jacob wanted to ensure Laban that there is only one God which he states was the Fear of Isaac. Laban sets up a pillar as a border line for the two to prevent trespassing which leads often to war. War and the taking of life by one another have been with us since Cain slew Abel. Christ the promise of God came to stop the cycle of revenge to change the law of an eye for an eye. Yet, there are times when one must take up the sword and not stand by to let the evil defile the weak. We are not to tolerate bullies or murderers. God was not pleased with our Nation when we idly watched the slaughter that took place neither in Rwanda nor at our silence while our courts allow the murder of children by abortion and the selling of their body parts.

International Mountain Day[2]

In certain areas of the world they are also a source of unique agriculture, providing ample space for the production of those products that grow best on their slopes. Coffee, Cocoa, Herbs, Spices, and the form of handicrafts that spring from the minds of those who live in the unchanging protection of these towering edifices to geology. International Mountain Day is your opportunity to head out and appreciate these unique landforms, and all they have to offer. Established in December of 2003, the United Nations General Assembly created this day to help bring awareness to all of the things we rely on mountains for. Whether it’s all of the glories mentioned above, or how necessary they are for the health and well-being of the flora and fauna that call them their home, International Mountain Day promotes them all.

How to Celebrate International Mountain Day

International Mountain Day can be celebrated in a cavalcade of fun and educational ways. Head out to your local mountain to discover all the things it has to offer. Whether it’s a day in the numerous parks and hidden places that can be found in their craggy terrain, or amazing tourist towns like Leavenworth, WA, get on out there and explore. Hiking enthusiasts will find the many trails and secret places a joy, as well as being able to enjoy the far-flung places that so few ever visit. Due to the challenges of developing them, there is almost always an opportunity to enjoy nature in all its glory. Even better, once you’ve hiked your way into the far reaches of untouched wilderness, you can settle down to camp away from the light pollution and noise of city life. Or maybe you prefer to drive, the twisting winding roads that navigate the mountainsides have some of the most beautiful country that can be found, near or far. Snugged down between the rising cliff-face and the sheer drop into the valley, the view is simply unmatched, and such a thing can be refreshing to the human soul. International Mountain Day is a call to get out into the wild and see what it has to offer!

10 Sacred Mountains Around the World[3]

Since ancient times various mountains around the world have been held sacred. Here are 10 worth visiting for a spiritual high.

1. Mount Nebo, Jordan (2,330 ft)
According to the final chapter of Deuteronomy, Mount Nebo is where the Hebrew prophet Moses beheld the promised land that God would give to the Jewish people. On a clear day you can see the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, the River Jordan, Jericho and the Mount of Olives. The remains of a 4th century monastery was discovered on this windy peak in western Jordan in 1933, and the church features an impressive collection of ancient mosaics.


2. Mount Croagh Patrick, Ireland (2,507 ft)
As many as one million pilgrims trek this peak annually to pray at the stations of the cross, participate in Mass, or just enjoy the spectacular view over Ireland’s western coast. Pre-Christian Celts believed the deity Crom Dubh lived on the mountain and later St. Patrick who introduced Christianity to Ireland”is believed to have spent 40 days and nights fasting and praying atop the mountain.


3. Mount Olympus, Greece
The legendary home of the Greek Gods and throne of Zeus is the highest mountain in Greece at 9,577 feet. The 2-3-day hike to the summit features a close-up look at the roughly 1,700 different species of flora that grow on the mountain.


4. Mount Agung, Bali
The Balinese consider the volcanic Mount Agung to be the center of the universe. It rises 10,308 feet high in eastern Bali. The Mother Temple of Besakih, the largest and holiest temple in Bali, sits roughly 3,000 feet up its slopes.

  
5. Mount Fuji, Japan
This snowcapped mountain west of Tokyo is sacred in both Buddhism and Shintoism. During the July and August climbing season more than 200,000 people hike to the top of this 12,388 ft. peak. Also, an active volcano, Mount Fuji has been venerated as the home of a fire god, a Shinto goddess and Dainichi Nyorai, the Great Sun Buddha.


6. The San Francisco Peaks, Arizona
More than a dozen Native American tribes consider this volcanic chain in the Coconino National Forest to be sacred, including the Hopi, who believe the peaks are the mythological home of the Kachina People. In order to protect the area as much as possible, there are no paved roads to the summit. The 9-mile Humphreys Peak Trail is a strenuous round-trip journey that leads to the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet.


7. Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado
Legends of a giant cross hidden deep in the Rocky Mountains proved true when photographer William Henry Jackson returned from an expedition in 1873 with a picture of this mythical peak, the northernmost 14,000 ft mountain in the Sawatch Range. Mount of the Holy Cross is named for the distinctive cross-shaped snowfield that adorns its northeastern face and is a popular Christian pilgrimage site.


8. Popocatepel, Mexico (17,802 ft) 
This volcanic peak located roughly 45 miles southeast of Mexico City figures largely in both Aztec and Nahua legends and among local Nahua today El Popo, as its called for short, is a living, breathing entity. Spanish missionaries built 14 monasteries on El Popo√Ęs slopes during the 16th century, and theyve been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


9. Mount Kailash, China/Tibet (21,778 ft)
Thousands of Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Bonpo pilgrims’ journey to the remote Himalayan town of Darchen each year to make koras, ritual circuits, around the base of Mount Kailash. Setting foot on the mountain is considered to be a sacrilege, but one 32-mile kora around the base is believed to erase a lifetime of sins.


10. Mount Everest, Nepal/China border
Tibetans call Mount Everest the Goddess Mother of the Universe, the Nepalese call it Goddess of the Sky. At 29,029 feet, it the highest mountain on the planet. Everest is part of the Himalayan mountain range and it a day hike from the Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet to Base Camp.


All of us may not have the opportunity to climb mountains but we can develop our spiritual fortitude and thus this enables us to climb out own personal mountains.

Fortitude[4]

Ways to live out the gift of fortitude in your life, bestowed upon you by the Holy Spirit at your Confirmation.

1.      Speak out against evil wherever you find it.
2.      Take the job in which you can do the most good for the spiritual welfare of others.
3.      Be cheerful at your work; practice the apostolate of smiling; it will cost an effort at times.
4.      Have a loving solicitude for all with whom you come in contact, especially for those who are friendless.
5.      Fight down your own evil passions daily with renewed energy.
6.      Be ready to defend your Faith in word, deed, and association.
7.      Bring happiness where there is strife.
8.      Live your Faith; join organizations that promote Catholic Action.
9.      Advise others what to do in a spiritual difficulty; make sure the advice is correct.
10.  Stay informed on Catholic news; it will help when explaining the Faith to those outside of the Church.
11.  Forsake the job rather than Christian principles.

The Best Remedy in the Hour of Sorrow[5]

In need, sorrow, and dejection the best means to relieve our distressed hearts is humble and confiding prayer, in which we can pour out our hearts before God, and give ourselves up to His love and mercy, as did Anna, the sorrowful mother of Samuel the prophet, Josaphat in painful uncertainty, Susanna falsely accused and condemned to death, and innumerable other servants of God. These all prayed to God and were delivered from their afflictions, receiving help and consolation. St. James therefore admonishes us, “Is any one of you sad? let him pray” (James v. 13); and St. Paul, encourages us not to be solicitous about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, to let our requests be known to God. Are you, then, sad and discouraged? Lift up your soul to God, and say with David, “Give joy to the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul” (Ps. Ixxxv. 4).

What does it mean to rejoice in the Lord? It means to be glad in remembering the grace by which God called us to the true faith, and gave us the hope of eternal salvation, and to rejoice even in all our tribulations and adversities for the Lord’s sake, as St. Paul did (n. Cor. vii. 4). It also admonishes us to give a good example by modesty and an edifying life, and to fix our desires on God, Who will never fail us if we make our wants known to Him by prayer and supplication, and give Him thanks for benefits received.

In what does the peace of God consist? It consists in a good conscience, such as St. Paul enjoyed. It is this peace, this tranquility of the soul, which sustained the holy martyrs in their agonies, and consoled others under persecution for Christ s sake (St. Matt. v. 11, 12).

Spiritual Crib[6]

A special devotion that can be performed during Advent to prepare for the coming of the Infant Savior. It can be adapted for adults and/or children and applied as is appropriate to your state in life.

1st day, December 11th: THE STONES—Pure Intention By pure intention today, we will bring together the materials for the stable. The Wagon to carry the stones shall be the pure intention, the Horses the great fervor in the service of God, and the stones we collect by making 100 aspirations to the most Sacred Heart of our dear Redeemer.

49 Godly Character Traits[7]

During this 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:

Discernment vs. Judgment

The God-given ability to understand why things happen (I Samuel 16:7)

801 It is in this sense that discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism (an extraordinary power (as of healing) given a Christian by the Holy Spirit for the good of the church) is exempt from being referred and submitted to the Church's shepherds. "Their office [is] not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good," so that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together "for the common good."

1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:

Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.

2820 By a discernment according to the Spirit, Christians have to distinguish between the growth of the Reign of God and the progress of the culture and society in which they are involved. This distinction is not a separation. Man's vocation to eternal life does not suppress, but actually reinforces, his duty to put into action in this world the energies and means received from the Creator to serve justice and peace.


The Way[8] 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 who for an earthly love have gone through so much, do you really believe that you love Christ when you are not willing — for him! — to suffer that humiliation?

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood


[1] http://coatofmanycolors.net/2012/08/24/nahor-abrahams-brother/
[4]Our Christian Home by Rev. Joseph A. Fischer, Seraphic Press, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1954
[5] Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896.
[7]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/
[8]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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