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Tuesday, January 1, 2019


January


Creeks, rivers, and other forms of moving water, including ice, manifest the flow of life itself. A gurgling stream or rushing river, even in midwinter's rest, is the sign that new life is coming forth, even when it is not yet perceptible in a snow-covered landscape. Our life in Christ begins through the saving water of Baptism; since this is so, we have an obligation to protect and save the water. Water pollution is widespread, denying safe drinking water to millions of people.

Overview of January[1]

The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, which is celebrated on January 3. The first eight days of January fall during the liturgical season known as Christmas which is represented by the liturgical color white. The remaining days of January are the beginning of Ordinary Time. The liturgical color changes to green — a symbol of the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. In the first part of January we continue to rejoice and celebrate Christ's coming at Bethlehem and in our hearts. We have the wonderful feasts of Mary, Mother of God, where we honor Mary's highest title, and then we follow the Magi to the crib as they bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh on Epiphany. Finally, we reach the culmination of this season with the Baptism of Our Lord by St. John the Baptist. With a touch of sadness, we take down our decorations and enter into Ordinary Time where we will devote ourselves to the mystery of Christ in its entirety. This is a time of growth and an opportunity to allow the dignity of Sunday to shine forth prolonging the joy of Easter and Pentecost. The opening days of January may be cold and nature bleak, but the domestic church still glows warm with the peace and joy of Christmas. We dedicate the New Year to Mary on the January 1st Solemnity honoring her as Mother of God; and on January 6, the Solemnity of Epiphany, we rejoice with her, as her Son is adored by the three Wise Men. Herald John, who ushered in the Advent season, is present once again to close Christmastide on the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (The First Luminous Mystery), and to open the Season of Ordinary Time. He points to Jesus, the Lamb of God who unites time and eternity in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and even January’s diminishing darkness seems to echo St. John’s prayer: “He must increase, and I must decrease.” In this liturgical season the Church eagerly follows Our Lord as he gathers his apostles and announces his mission. At Cana’s wedding feast (The Second Luminous Mystery) he performs his first public miracle at the request of his Mother, and his disciples saw his glory and believed in him. We, his present-day disciples pray for a like faith as we contemplate the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb and the unique role of the Blessed Mother in the plan of salvation. May we wholeheartedly obey her words of counsel: “Do whatever he tells you.”


Stay at an Ice Hotel?[2]

Dates Vary With Location

There are several locations with accommodations made of ice, Norway, Quebec, Alaska and Sweden to name a few. Regardless of the temperature outside, the air in the Icehotel is always between 17- and 23-degrees Fahrenheit. The bedrooms have blocks of ice as beds, covered with fur, skin, hides and sleeping bags so you’ll stay toasty warm.


FEAST OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD/NEW YEARS DAY

Exodus, Chapter 9, Verse 27-30
27 Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time! The LORD is the just one, and I and my people are the ones at fault. 28 Pray to the LORD! Enough of the thunder and hail! I will let you go; you need stay no longer.” 29 Moses replied to him, “As soon as I leave the city I will extend my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail so that you may know that the earth belongs to the LORD. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the LORD God.”

This was the seventh plague of God on the Egyptians and of course Pharaoh had closed his ears and heart to God. Thunder was to the Egyptians the voice of God, but they did not listen nor did the hail melt the ice of their hearts to the true God. Because God loves us, He sometimes permits plagues in our lives that will bring about an exodus from our sin and a melting of our heart. When we are poor in spirit it is then that we can draw near to the Lord.

A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. (Mt. 19:16-22)

Today might be a good day to make a poor man’s feast.

Poor Man’s Feast[3]


Recipe originally uploaded to YouTube by 91-year-old cook and great grandmother, Clara, who recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era.

DIRECTIONS

·         Prepare the vegetables: Dice the onion. Peel the potatoes and dice into cubes no larger than 1/2 inch.
·         Heat the oil in a 12" non-stick skillet over medium heat.
·         Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once.
·         Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
·         Add the sliced wieners and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

INGREDIENTS

·         3 tablespoons vegetable oil
·         1 medium onion, diced
·         2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced small
·         5 hot dogs, sliced into rounds (about 10 oz)
·         8 ounces tomato sauce
·         1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
·         2 teaspoons sugar

 Solemnity of Mary

For Catholics, today is a holy day of obligation to honor Mary the Mother of God the second Eve:  who is the first example of courage. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.  (Luke 1:30-31)

On my 2006 visit to Israel my wife and I visited and had Mass on the Mount of the Beatitudes.  I remember our Priests were a little miffed with the little sister who worked there.  She was upset with us because it was a warm day and some in our group had taken off their sweaters and their arms were exposed. She was focused on the rules, as Christ pointed out to the Pharisees who were focused on the outside of the cup being clean rather than the inside being clean.  Similarly, the beatitudes of our Lord seek to not do away with the rules (10 commandments) but points at our inner dispositions.  I think Church of the Beatitudes which an octagon is (eight sided) best represents how me should seek to best conform our hearts and our dispositions to be more like that of Christ.  On the floor of the Church of the Beatitudes are eight mosaics with words in Latin.  They reflect the dispositions of our Lord which we are to emulate.

·         Temperantia (Temperance is a spirit of moderation and personal restraint; to keep ourselves in balance physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally).
·         Lavs Tibi Christi (Praise God in all that we do).
·         Charitas (a heart that burns with love of God and benevolence toward others).
·         Ivstitia (Justice.  Christ compels us to not ignore others, to understand others, not to rationalize and/or justify our questionable acts, do right even at risk of ourselves, and to pray for others).
·         Prvdentia (forethought or prudence. Those who are Prudent are far from indecisive, for their bold decisions bear no streaks of doubt. Prudence disposes us to have a true care and concern for the health and wellbeing of others).
·         Fides (Faith in God; to trust Him; to give yourself as He gave Himself).
·         Spes (Hope.  We must hope in the good news of Christ and trust ourselves in the church as we would a ship upon the waters).
·         Fortitvdo (fortitude and courage.  We must have the courage to allow Christ to increase in us).

Christmas Calendar[4]

Read-We close out the Christmas octave—the eight days following the birth of Christ—with a day honoring Mary as the Mother of God. Take time to read about the Mother of God today.

Reflect-"With his Mother's flesh God clothed himself, / Since from Virginity he was made man." — Prudentius, Hymn of the Divinity of Christ, 435-436

Pray-January 1 is also the World Day of Peace. There are a number of prayers for peace to choose from—pray one today.

Act-Visit the US Catholic bishops' Action Center. . . today to find out ways you can advocate for peace around the world.

8th day of Christmas[5] The Eight Maids a milking is a sign for the eight beatitudes.  Today would be a good day to reflect on them.
  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
  3. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
  4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
  5. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the clean of heart: they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
  8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
New Year's Day[6]

New Year's Day marks the start of a new year on the Gregorian calendar.  The Gregorian calendar was first introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and began to be used in Britain and its colonies in 1751. It is a solar calendar which maintains synchrony with the tropical year.  This holiday is celebrated every year on January 1st.

New Year's Day Facts

·         Baby New Year is the most common symbol associated with this holiday.  He is a toddler dressed in a diaper, hat, and sash bearing the numbers of the New Year.  The myth states that he matures into an old man during the course of the year.  On December 31st, he hands his hat and sash to the new Baby New Year.
·         In early Roman calendar New Year was celebrated on March 1st. The new celebration of New Year on January 1st started in Rome in 153 BC. The New Year was moved to January because it was a month when two newly elected Roman consuls began their tenure, which reflected the beginning of civil year.
·         In medieval Europe celebrations of New Year on January 1st were not always observed. Sometimes it was celebrated on Dec. 25th, March 1st and March 25th (The Feast of the Annunciation).
·         Gregorian calendar came into force in 1582, which replaced the Julian calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII. After adoption of Gregorian calendar, January 1st was restored as New Year’s Day.

New Year's Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Visit Times Square and watch the ball drop in New York City to celebrate the New Year.
·         Sing Auld Lang Sine and kiss a loved one at the stroke of midnight.
·         Make new resolutions for the upcoming year and let go of what happened in the previous one.
·         Take advantage of New Year's Eve skiing at a local ski hill near you. Usually the hills are less crowded and offer discounts on this holiday.
·         New Year – means new trails to hike. Go hiking on a New Year’s Day to make a good start from day one and get motivated.

49 Godly Character Traits[7]

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:

Persuasiveness vs. Contentiousness

Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks (II Timothy 2:24)

373 In God's plan man and woman have the vocation of "subduing" the earth as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator "who loves everything that exists", to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

Complete My Joy[8]


An Apostolic Exhortation to the Husbands and Wives, Mothers and Fathers of the Diocese of Phoenix

Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is Gods doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
PHILIPPIANS 1:27-2:2

·         So, in this 15th year of my service to you as your bishop, and the 50th anniversary of our founding as a Diocese, I seek in this exhortation to, in a way, visit your home.
·         Throughout this Jubilee Year, I shall be praising God for all of the husbands and wives, mothers and fathers of the Diocese of Phoenix. Over these past 50 years, countless faithful Catholics have surely attained the goal of their liveseternal salvation. Credit here is due to the rich mercy of God, to the dedicated priests and religious who have served our Diocese so well, and to you and the many faithful families who have livedand continue to liveyour vocations with generosity and even, at times, heroism.
·         I thank the Lord for each of you. I call upon the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of our Diocese, to assist me in encouraging and challenging you to deepen your relationship with Jesus ChristWho is the source of hope and love for every vocation. Your taking up this mission in a renewed way during this Year of the Family will do much to complete my joy in you as your spiritual father.

How to read this Exhortation

I ask that you read through this exhortation prayerfully and slowly, with a listening heart. In this way, you can receive what the Lord has for you, fitting for your own journey and your familys journey. Many of you, though from strong and intact families, have yet to hear family life presented as a beautiful, noble and joy-filled life that can certainly be lived with Gods grace. Others of you give thought regularly to your familys mission and are looking for a challenge; I trust you will find it.

I also am keenly aware that for many, the family pain that you experienced, or are experiencing now, has injured the hopes that such happiness in a family could be attainable. Do not be afraid. Great hope remains in Jesus Christ who has overcome the world. If this place of suffering is where you find yourself at this time, you may profit by reading chapter four first, on suffering, sin and healing.

The Way[9] 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."

The eyes! Through them many iniquities enter the soul. — What experiences like David's! — If you guard your sight you have assured the guard of your heart

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Devotion to the Holy Face Day 7


[1]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/months/01.cfm
[2]https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/travels-best/photos/awesome-things-to-do-in-january
[3]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/recipes/view.cfm?id=1656
[4]http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/christmas/christmas-january-1.cfm
[6]https://www.wincalendar.com/New-Years-Day
[7]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-Tcharacter-qualities/
[8]https://family.dphx.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-Complete-My-Joy-Apostolic-Exhortation-English.pdf
[9]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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