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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2018


NINE DAYS FOR LIFE-ORTHODOX NEW YEAR


Jeremiah, Chapter 46, Verse 27-28
27 But you, my servant Jacob, do not fear; do not be dismayed, Israel! Listen! I will deliver you from far-off lands; your offspring, from the land of their exile. Jacob shall again find rest, secure, with none to frighten him. 28 You, Jacob my servant, must not fear—oracle of the LORD—for I am with you; I will make an end of all the nations to which I have driven you, But of you I will not make an end: I will chastise you as you deserve, I cannot let you go unpunished.

The Lord embraces Israel and gives hope and correction but warns against Egypt.

Against Egypt[1]

·         This chapter is a prophecy in poetic form against Egypt. It begins with God speaking about Pharaoh Neco, who gets defeated by Nebuchadnezzar at the River Euphrates in Mesopotamia. It's kind of like, "Get on your horses, Egyptians! Put on your armor and shields! Oh wait, you're retreating? You're getting slaughtered? What a shame."
·         Like the floodwaters of the Nile, Egypt tries to spread over the earth and destroy cities. God urges the Egyptian warriors and their allies to get ready for battle. Then he says that they're just another sacrifice to his glory. They're next up to get clobbered by Babylon.
·         God sarcastically tells Egypt to seek a medicinal balm in Gilead. But there's no healing for them: they're toast. God predicts that Nebuchadnezzar will invade and destroy Egypt.
·         God says to tell the Egyptians to get ready for their slaughter. He also mocks their bull god, Apis, who's zero help to them.
·         The Egyptians stumble home in defeat and the Pharaoh earns the nickname "Braggart Who Missed His Chance." Oh, snap! Egypt should pack its bags for exile—they're in for it. Egypt's like a "beautiful heifer" who gets stung and driven nuts by a gadfly from the north (Babylon). Egypt will be put to shame, slithering away in retreat like a snake, and being flattened like a forest cut down by the Babylonian war axes.
·         God's bringing punishment on Amon of Thebes, Pharaoh, and all the Egyptian gods and kings. Pharaoh and those who trust in him will be captured, but afterwards Egypt will be inhabited again like it used to be.
·         In concluding the chapter, God again promises Israel that it will be freed from captivity. God will destroy the nations that have oppressed Israel, but not Israel itself. The people will return to their homeland under God's protection.

Life First[2] 9 Days for Life

9 Days for Life is a "digital pilgrimage" of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person's life. A multi-faceted novena highlighting a different intention each day provides reflections, bonus information, and suggested actions. Join to receive the novena through the 9 Days for Life app, daily emails, or daily texts. See below for information on how else you can get involved! #9DaysforLife #OurPrayersMatter

Day One:

Intercession: May a culture of life grow ever stronger in our communities.

Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: God has carefully, lovingly created every person
—in His own image and likeness—to be in a loving relationship with Himself. From each tiny child knit within a mother’s womb, to every person approaching death, all are loved perfectly and completely by God. “It is therefore a service of love,” Pope Saint John Paul II explains, “which we are all committed to ensure to our neighbor, that his or her life may be always defended and promoted, specially when it is weak or threatened. In a world in which the most vulnerable are so often overlooked and disregarded, Christ calls us to embrace and uphold the unconditional dignity of every human life. In doing so, we help to build “a new culture of life, the fruit of the culture of truth and of love”

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

  • ·         Do you love your cup of tea or coffee? Abstain from caffeine today or try your coffee black.
  • ·         “Unplug” for some time, and reflect on how God may be asking you to help build a culture of life in your home, workplace, or Church community.
  • ·         Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.


Complete My Joy[3]

Openness to New Life

58. I rejoice in the fatherly teaching of Pope St. Paul VI in his 1968 letter On Human Life (Humanae Vitae) where he courageously and prophetically upholds the dignity of husband, wife and child in accord with God’s loving designs. This encyclical, published the year before we became a diocese, remains as relevant as ever.

59. The disaster invited by theologians, bishops, priests and laity who rejected Pope St. Paul VI’s letter is upon us. Enough! What further evidence do we need to see that the Sexual Revolution’s divisions: sexual pleasure separated from procreation, sexuality from marriage, man from woman in divorce, woman from child in abortion, youth from the hope that love can be faithful and beautiful, the elderly from children who can care for them at life’s end—are a plague of misery on a scale never known before? Enough! Husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, you are called to have great hearts here, counter-cultural and brave. You can build something better, freer, more generous, and nobler, beginning in your own home.

60. Love and openness to life go together in the marital act. Contracepting this unity on purpose, by any means including surgical sterilization, is inviting a poison into your marriage. Do not refuse the gift of a new child into your home, into God’s family, into the history of the world, with a soul meant for eternal life. Your own heart will grow in virtue and in the capacity for love, which is the real meaning of your life.

61. At times, a couple discerns, prayerfully and thoughtfully, a just reason to postpone pregnancy for a time or even an indefinite period. The Church recognizes and encourages here the exercise of responsible parenthood. “The parents themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgement in sight of God.” Having a large family is also responsible, and the Church rejoices in this sometimes-heroic decision of a married couple, but there can be times when justice and love call for a postponement. What is a couple to do then? This is where the science and discipline of Natural Family Planning are so helpful. Modern methods of NFP, readily available thanks to many dedicated laypeople in our diocese, are reliable, relationship-building tools. There is also a challenge with NFP. Specifically, NFP requires periodic abstinence from the marital act.  

62. Periodic abstinence from the marital act does not mean periodic abstinence from love! In fact, at times abstinence is a requirement of love in a marriage. Abstinence is an opportunity to learn to love each other in a myriad of other ways. In fact, respecting the God-designed cycle of fertility reliably strengthens the marital relationship with the benefits of self-control, understanding and mutual respect. Is this a challenge? Certainly. Does it involve suffering? Yes, at times. Yet as the saints show us, suffering, well-lived and offered to God, brings surprising joy.

63. The suffering of temporary or even permanent infertility should be mentioned here. This particular cross is among the heaviest for a couple, and the temptation to access illicit technological means to conceive a child, such as in vitro fertilization, can be intense. But this grasping at life causes further harm, is intrinsically evil, and must not be used. It violates the equal dignity of the child, who, like his parents, is always a gift and not a means to some other end; nor is he a “product” to be purchased. I highly recommend Natural Procreative Technology (NAPRO), developed at the Paul VI Institute, for moral medical means of increasing the natural possibilities of conception, and assuring that the nature of child as gift from God is respected.

64. The fundamental issue here is trust. Trusting God in all things, including His care for the needs of your family and each child that blesses your home with his or her arrival, is at the heart of your family’s mission.

Orthodox New Year[4]


Orthodox New Year is celebrated as the first day of the New Year as per the Julian calendar.  Orthodox New Year is a celebration of the year to come.  It is often referred to as Old New Year, and is celebrated by Orthodox churches in Russia, Serbia, and other Eastern European countries on January 14.  Although most countries have adopted the Gregorian calendar, where New Year's Day is January 1, the Orthodox Church still follows the Julian calendar, which places Christmas on January 7 and New Year's a week later.

·         Russian Orthodox churches in the United States hold church services often with festive dinner and dancing to celebrate the holiday.  The traditional dishes include meat dumplings, beet salad, pickled mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumbers along with vodka.
·         Orthodox Serbians also celebrate Old New Year, which is sometimes called the Serbian New Year.  Many Serbians Orthodox churches hold services, followed by dinner, and dancing.
·         Although the Old New Year is a popular holiday for many practicing the Orthodox faith, it isn't an official holiday.
·         Macedonians, including those living in the United States, also celebrate Old New Year's with traditional food, folk music, and visiting friends and family.
·         Many Russians enjoy extending the holiday season by including Orthodox New Year in it.

Orthodox New Year Top Events and Things to Do

·         Enjoy a dinner dance at Orthodox Church with native cuisine folk music.
·         Learn to cook some Russian or Eastern European dishes.  One of the most important Russian dishes during the holiday season is kutya, a porridge made of grain, honey and poppy seeds.  It symbolizes hope, happiness, and success.
·         Rent a movie Dr. Zhivago (1965).  It depicts some of the lavish parties held during the holidays right before the Russian Revolution.  The film is based on the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternak.

Please pray for the intentions of my daughter Candace Faith, whose name means “Shining Faith” pray that the “Candace can do miracles”!

49 Godly Character Traits[5]

During this New Year 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:

Virtue vs. Impurity

The moral excellence and purity of spirit that radiate from my life as I obey God’s Word (II Peter 1:3)

1055 By virtue of the "communion of saints," the Church commends the dead to God's mercy and offers her prayers, especially the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist, on their behalf.

1833 Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good.

1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the "inner man," justification entails the sanctification of his whole being:
Just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. . . . But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.
The Way[6] 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."

One has to give the body a little less than its due. Otherwise it turns traitor.

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


[2]http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/nine-days-of-prayer-penance-and-pilgrimage.cfm
[3]https://family.dphx.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-Complete-My-Joy-Apostolic-Exhortation-English.pdf
[5]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-Tcharacter-qualities/
[6]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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