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sT. eLIZABETH ANN SETON-11TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS


30 Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day from the power of Egypt. When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore 31 and saw the great power that the LORD had shown against Egypt, the people feared the LORD. They believed in the LORD and in Moses his servant.

The Hebrew’s after the crossing of the red sea and seeing Gods great power feared Him with human fear; but not Holy fear. There was no love towards God; only fear. God desires a spiritual union with us; therefore, our belief must be mingled with great love and affection. This is why later Israel would make the golden calf since their hearts were dead to God after 400 years in Egypt. What was it about Egypt that enslaved the Israelites even after they were freed by God? Egypt was rich, so rich that even the Israelites were as self-indulgent as the Egyptians. It meant a daily life of giving in to your desires and the brief enjoyments of this passing life. They only thought of satisfying themselves with no thought of He that Is. They made faint offerings to false gods to justify their behavior. Their minds became weak and confused. Their mistakes and sins robbed them of peace that only comes from doing the will of He that Is. We only find peace and happiness when we are in union with God and doing His Holy will. We are created by God for eternal happiness with Him. Things cannot bring us happiness.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength.
Power of Egypt[1]

The power of Egypt was the worship of demons back thousands of years ago. The occult still is around today and just as in the Holy Church, some official rites are required and are tied to particular feast days. The most important is Halloween, which falls on the night between October 31 and November 1 of each year: it is considered the magic New Year. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the extreme danger for our children and youth who participate in the feast of Halloween on that date. The second precedes our feast of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple on February 2. The night before, in fact, begins the magic spring. We need not fear but look with love to our Lord. Perhaps we could attend Mass this day and offer God our prayers and love.

First Friday[2]


“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.”  Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

How to complete the First Friday’s Devotion

1.      Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday;
2.      The nine Fridays must be consecutive;
3.      They must be made in honor and in reparation to His Sacred Heart.

ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!

·         The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
·         The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!
·         The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!
·         The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
·         The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!
·         The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal Heart of Jesus!
·         The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart of Jesus, model of every virtue!
·         The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!
·         The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!
·         The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!
·         The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!
O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of heaven.  Amen.

12 Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary

1.  I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2.  I will give peace in their families.
3.  I will console them in all their troubles.
4.  I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5.  I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6.  Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7.  Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8.  Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9.  I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

Fitness Friday-Hunting Workout

Recognizing that God, the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength; mind, soul and heart.
Elk hunting[3] (or indeed any rough-country hunt where drastic elevation changes are a routine part of the hunt) requires a different kind of planning and conditioning than your usual whitetail hunt. The most common problem out-of-state hunters experience is not being in good enough physical condition to handle constant up-and-down foot travel at high elevation - especially when carrying a pack. The result is a physically exhausted hunter who is unable to perform. Hours and days of precious hunting time are wasted due to need for rest and recovery. Here’s a twelve-week plan that will prep you for the high country. There are two main components to physical prep for rough-country hunting: cardiovascular and muscular. Plan on exercising thirty to forty-five minutes per weekday, alternating between cardio and muscular workouts. Be sure to stretch and warm up gradually before workouts and cool off gradually afterwards.

1.      Week One: Start out easy on yourself to lower risk of hurting joints or tendons.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Go for a brisk 45-minute walk, preferably including up and down terrain.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Spend 30 minutes climbing up and down the local bleacher stairs (or a nice steep hill). Take regular short rests.
2.      Week Two: Step it up a little.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Add short stints of jogging to your walk.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: same 30-minute routine, just cut down on rest time.
3.      Week Three: Start getting focused.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Begin pushing yourself, walking less and jogging more.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Same 30-minute routine, add three squats and three lunges (don’t use weights) alternately during short rest periods.
4.      Week Four: You should be feeling much stronger by now and hurting less. Remain careful to avoid injury.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Try to jog the majority of your 45 minutes.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Try to spend the entire 30 minutes climbing your stairs or hillside, alternating between five squats and five lunges every few minutes. Only rest at the ten- and twenty-minute marks.
5.      Week Five: By now you should be enjoying your workouts.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Warm up, then alternate two-minute sprints with walking to catch your breath. 45 minutes.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Wear a pack with 20 pounds of weight in it during your routine. Rest when needed.
6.      Week Six: You should be feeling like a bonafide athlete.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Back to jogging but pick up the pace a bit.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Try to get through your routine – hiking with pack and five crunches/lunges every five minutes – without stopping to rest.
7.      Week Seven: Halfway there!
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Back to sprinting/walking. Push yourself.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Add five pounds to your pack (total 25), same routine.
8.      Week Eight: Second amendment week.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Trade the jogging in for a smooth relaxed 45 min run. (Faster than jogging, but not a sprint)
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Same routine as week seven but carry your bow or rifle (empty of course) or object of similar weight/balance).
9.      Week Nine: Hang in there.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Sprinting and walking. Keep pushing.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Add five pounds – you’re up to 30 pounds plus your rifle/bow. Stay strong and focused.
10.  Week Ten: Home stretch – only three weeks till the hunt.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: More smooth relaxed running. Keep it strong.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Same routine, add another five pounds. You’re up to thirty-five now, approximately the weight of a three-day bivy pack. Keep up the squats and lunges, they will prep you for big tough steps when climbing and crouching while stalking.

Christmas Calendar

Read: Today we remember the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized as a saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Reflect: Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly [on the night of Christmas] entered into our night.

Pray: Pray for the intersession of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton today.

Act: Aim to put these practices of building a domestic Church into action.

Widow Saint[4] Elizabeth Ann Seton

This wife, mother and foundress of a religious congregation was born Elizabeth Ann Bayley on August 28, 1774 in New York City, the daughter of an eminent physician and professor at what is now Columbia University. Brought up as an Episcopalian, she received an excellent education, and from her early years she manifested an unusual concern for the poor. In 1794 Elizabeth married William Seton, with whom she had five children. The loss of their fortune so affected William's health that in 1803 Elizabeth and William went to stay with Catholic friends at Livorno, Italy. William died six weeks after their arrival, and when Elizabeth returned to New York City some six months later, she was already a convinced Catholic. She met with stern opposition from her Episcopalian friends but was received into full communion with the Catholic Church on March 4, 1805. Abandoned by her friends and relatives, Elizabeth was invited by the superior of the Sulpicians in Baltimore to launch a school for girls in that city. The school prospered, and eventually the Sulpician superior, with the approval of Bishop Carroll, gave Elizabeth and her assistants a rule of life. They were also permitted to make religious profession and to wear a religious habit. In 1809 Elizabeth moved her young community to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she adopted as a rule of life an adaptation of the rule observed by the Sisters of Charity, founded by St. Vincent de Paul. Although she did not neglect the ministry to the poor, and especially to Negroes, she actually laid the foundation for what became the American parochial school system. She trained teachers and prepared textbooks for use in the schools; she also opened orphanages in Philadelphia and New York City. She died at Emmitsburg on January 4, 1821, was beatified by Pope John XXIII in 1963, and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1975.

11th day of Christmas the 11 pipers piping is a sign for the eleven faithful apostles.  It is interesting to note that Judas’ sin was due to fear, greed, pride and envy.  Today would be a good day to read about the remaining 11 pipers and their courage to create a Kingdom of God that changed the world. 

Complete My Joy[5]
I. The nature of the family: a garden and not a jungle

18. I am a farmer’s son. Planting and harvesting illustrates nature very well. Hence, I begin this section on the family’s nature with this story.

19. A wise teacher once had one of his young students over to his home. Among the topics they discussed was nature and the human soul. The young student was immovable on his argument that young people grow up best when left to their own decisions, and that parents and society were to blame for the sorry state of the individual in the country. Knowing that they were at an impasse in the discussion, the philosopher changed subjects. “Would you like to see my garden?” Knowing his teacher to be a cultured man, the student immediately agreed. The philosopher opened his home’s back door and they stepped out to view the “garden”. What greeted their eyes was a disheveled yard filled with weeds, overgrown trees, spider webs and piled leaves. It was a picture of neglect.

“What do you think?” asked the philosopher.

“Garden?” replied the student. “This is a mess!”
“Just like the uncultivated soul, my young friend.”

20. The Church will always uphold a demonstrable fact that, in our time, has become a point of controversy: the family has a nature; that is, it has a given meaning, structure and goal. Like a rosebush or a rhinoceros, and even more like a garden, the family does not invent, but receives its God-given reality as a gift—that which it tends toward when it has the conditions necessary for thriving. The structure is, from Creation until now, man and woman covenantally bound by vows for the sake of their own good and for the sake of any children who come forth from their “one flesh” union. The married couple’s family home is a life- and love-giving center in the world for as long as they both shall live, all the way to their Heavenly home.

21. Why is the family such a big deal? People in other periods of history would have answered, “What a silly question.” Not anymore. The nature of the family must be explained and defended because this question is now being asked regularly and answered badly. Simply put, the family is a big deal because it is the God-given and natural “soil” meant for each new child’s growth.

22. Back to human basics for a moment.  When it comes to the deep question of God’s will for the procreation of new human life, the Catholic Church has been entrusted with a profound insight into the beautiful mystery and meaning of marriage. In the marital embrace, husband and wife entrust to one another the reproductive matter needed to form new human life; sperm from the man, egg from the woman, and twenty-three chromosomes from each. But man is a unity of matter and spirit, of body and soul, and only God can create a soul— that immaterial, immortal, spiritual principle in man that gives life and unity to the human body. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (#366), “The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God—it is not “produced” by the parents—and also that it is immortal.” The soul is not some by-product of material evolution, nor is it “produced” somehow by the joining of sperm and egg, it is “created immediately by God.”  By joining a spiritual soul to the biological material provided by mom and dad, God brings a new human person into existence!

23. This person, hidden and awaited and awaiting birth, lives, on average, nine months of vulnerability, a vulnerability in many ways shared by his or her mother. This little person is entirely dependent on the generous readiness of others to “make space” for his life. During and after birth, unlike other animal young who often are physically capable of a certain independence within minutes or hours, humans remain very fragile. For years we are very dependent creatures! Childhood is a lengthy process requiring the nurturing of abiding patience, protection, and readiness to “make space” for another on the part of the mother. And here we come to the first crux of the family matter: who has made space for her to be a mother?

24. As one family advocate has put it, “At the birth of a child, a mother is usually close by. The question is, ‘where is the father’?” The nature of the family, into which each human being is vulnerably conceived, vulnerably born, and vulnerably raised, is clearly seen here to require more than biological motherhood and fatherhood; a secondary protective reality which speaks to our dignity as persons and which today requires the full voice and effort of the Church to uphold: marriage.

25. Marriage is then at the foundation of our consideration of the nature of the family. There may be an objection at this point. “Wait, we were talking about nature. Marriage is just a social construction, isn’t it?” I answer only that marriage, the social and personal event of the joining of a man and woman’s life for the purpose of establishing a family, appears in every known society throughout history. Man and woman, by their very nature, are social beings. We are forced to object to the existence of society itself if we object to the natural and smallest society, we call marriage. Marriage, the foundation of the little society of the family, appears in human history everywhere society is found. In other words, marriage is a healthy sign of natural human life. In the original garden of our first parents, marriage appears. In human history, anywhere marriage is thriving and garden-like, society is strong. When marriage becomes jungle-like, society suffers.

26. Therefore, the Church refers to the family, based on marriage, as the “fundamental cell of society.” Society is the living body, of which the smallest living part is the cell called the family. We should not be surprised, then, that in societies where the family is flourishing, the common good thrives as well. A body with the clear majority of its cells functioning well will be a strong body, with its immune system ready for the dangers of the world. A body with too many weakened and vulnerable cells is dying.

49 Godly Character Traits[6]

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:

Responsibility vs. Unreliability


Knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting from me (Romans 14:12)

596 The religious authorities in Jerusalem were not unanimous about what stance to take towards Jesus. The Pharisees threatened to excommunicate his followers. To those who feared that "everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation", the high priest Caiaphas replied by prophesying: "It is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." The Sanhedrin, having declared Jesus deserving of death as a blasphemer but having lost the right to put anyone to death, hands him over to the Romans, accusing him of political revolt, a charge that puts him in the same category as Barabbas who had been accused of sedition. The chief priests also threatened Pilate politically so that he would condemn Jesus to death.

2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones." Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them: 

He who loves his son will not spare the rod. . . . He who disciplines his son will profit by him.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

2431 The responsibility of the state. "Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly. . . . Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which make up society."

The Way[7] 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."

We must give ourselves in everything, we must deny ourselves in everything: the sacrifice must be a holocaust.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Make some colonial wassail




[1]Amorth, Fr. Gabriele. An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels
[2]https://americaneedsfatima.org/Our-Lord-Jesus-Christ/the-nine-first-fridays-devotion.html
[3]https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/game-changers/your-12-week-plan-get-shape-elk-hunting-season
[4]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-01-04
[5]https://family.dphx.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-Complete-My-Joy-Apostolic-Exhortation-English.pdf
[6]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-Tcharacter-qualities/
[7]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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