This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Subscribe to this blog
Follow by Email
Monday, January 21, 2019
SAINT AGNES-MLK DAY-Tu Bishvat-FULL WOLF MOON
Numbers, Chapter 21, Verse 34
LORD, however, said to Moses: Do not fear
him; for into your hand I deliver him with all his forces and his land. You
will do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who reigned in
This verse is referring to Og a great and terrible
OG (Heb. עֹג ,עוֹג), ruler of Bashan,
one of the Amorite kings in the Transjordan area during the time of Moses. The
Bible remembers Og as belonging to the race of giants "who was left of the
remaining Rephaim," and special attention is paid to the description of
his huge iron bedstead (Deut. 3:11). The kingdom of Og comprised Bashan and the
Hermon region, and extended to the Jordan river to the west (Josh. 12:4–5).
Three or four of the cities of his kingdom are mentioned in the Bible – Ashtaroth,
which was apparently his capital and known as the capital of the realm from this
it would appear that his kingdom was one of the remaining Hyksos kingdoms whose
cities at that time were scattered in Palestine. It is also possible that this
kingdom was established by Amorites who invaded the area in the time of the
Egyptian-Hittite struggle during the reign of Ramses II (13th
century). Og was defeated by the Israelites when the eastern side of the Jordan
was conquered by those who left Egypt (Num. 21:33, 35; Deut. 3:1ff.). Half of
the tribe of Manasseh took Og's land as their inheritance (Josh. 13:31). This
victory greatly strengthened the spirit of the people. "Sixty towns …
fortified with high walls, gates, and bars" were then conquered (Deut.
3:4–5). Echoes of this victory, which was of exceptional importance, are also
encountered in later passages
Today we honor the martyrdom of Saint Agnes, a
God-fearing child of 12, when she faced her death. Here is St. Ambrose’s
account of her demise.
has a favorable beginning, since it is the birthday of the holy Virgin Agnes,
of whose name, modesty, and martyrdom St. Ambrose speaks in commendation, but
more especially of her age, seeing that she, being but twelve years old, was
superior to terrors, promises, tortures, and death itself, with a courage wholly
worthy of a man.
my task begins favorably, that since today is the birthday of a virgin, I have
to speak of virgins, and the treatise has its beginning from this discourse. It
is the birthday of a martyr, let us offer the victim. It is the birthday of St.
Agnes, let men admire, let children take courage, let the married be astounded,
let the unmarried take an example. But what can I say worthy of her whose very
name was not devoid of bright praise? In devotion beyond her age, in virtue
above nature, she seems to me to have borne not so much a human name, as a
token of martyrdom, whereby she showed what she was to be.
I have that which may assist me. The name of virgin is a title of modesty. I
will call upon the martyr, I will proclaim the virgin. That panegyric is long
enough which needs no elaboration but is within our grasp. Let then labor
cease, eloquence be silent. One word is praise enough. This word old men and
young and boys chant. No one is more praiseworthy than he who can be praised by
all. There are as many heralds as there are men, who when they speak proclaim
is said to have suffered martyrdom when twelve years old. The more hateful was
the cruelty, which spared not so tender an age, the greater in truth was the
power of faith which found evidence even in that age. Was there room for a
wound in that small body? And she who had no room for the blow of the steel had
that wherewith to conquer the steel. But maidens of that age are unable to bear
even the angry looks of parents and are wont to cry at the pricks of a needle
as though they were wounds. She was fearless
under the cruel hands of the executioners, she was unmoved by the heavy weight
of the creaking chains, offering her whole body to the sword of the raging
soldier, as yet ignorant of death, but ready for it. Or if she were unwillingly
hurried to the altars, she was ready to stretch forth her hands to Christ at
the sacrificial fires, and at the sacrilegious altars themselves, to make the
sign of the Lord the Conqueror, or again to place her neck and both her hands
in the iron bands, but no band could enclose such slender limbs.
new kind of martyrdom! Not yet of fit age for punishment but already ripe for
victory, difficult to contend with but easy to be crowned, she filled the
office of teaching valour while having the disadvantage of youth. She would not
as a bride so hasten to the couch, as being a virgin, she joyfully went to the
place of punishment with hurrying step, her head not adorned with plaited hair,
but with Christ. All wept, she alone was without a tear. All wondered that she
was so readily prodigal of her life, which she had not yet enjoyed, and now
gave up as though she had gone through it. Everyone was astounded that there
was now one to bear witness to the Godhead, who as yet could not, because of
her age, dispose of herself. And she brought it to pass that she should be
believed concerning God, whose evidence concerning man would not be accepted.
For that which is beyond nature is from the Author of nature.
threats the executioner used to make her fear him, what allurements to persuade
her, how many desired that she would come to them in marriage! But she
answered: It would be an injury to my spouse to look on any one as likely to
please me. He who chose me first for Himself shall receive me. Why are you
delaying, executioner? Let this body perish which can be loved by eyes which I
would not. She stood, she prayed, she bent down her neck. You could see the
executioner tremble, as though he himself had been condemned, and his
right-hand shake, his face grow pale, as he feared
the peril of another, while the maiden feared
not for her own. You have then in one victim a twofold martyrdom, of modesty
and of religion. She both remained a virgin and she obtained martyrdom.
that we may emulate Agnes who was martyred rather than forsake her betrothal to
Christ and exhibited the traits of a true marriage.
We celebrate today the legacy of a man who died
and lived to create a culture of justice that ensures the dignity of all men,
women and children in America. Our church also recognizes the need for dignity
not only for mankind but also in marriage and it is only when we recognize the
grandeur of His works that we begin to realize that every man, woman and child
is a wonder wroth by His hands.
The reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
championed a movement that was based on love and his ideal was to obtain
justice by nonviolent means as expressed in this speech.
hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must
meet the forces of hate with the power of love. Our aim must never be to defeat
or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding. “The
ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the
very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor
establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not
murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for
violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid
of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate
cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther
According to John McCain a person or nations character
determines its destiny. McCain points out in his book Character is Destiny the
person who most exemplifies the characteristic of fairness is that of Martin
Luther King, Jr.
John said of King:
From a jail cell he wrote a letter that is one of the most celebrated
documents in American history and summoned his country to the cause of justice.“My Dear Fellow Clergymen,” it began. Recognizing that his correspondents
were “men of genuine good will and your criticisms sincerely set forth,” he
promised to respond in patient and reasonable terms. They were reasonable
terms, and undeniably fair, but patient they were not.
We have waited for more than
340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. . . . Perhaps it is easy
for those who have never felt the stinging dark ofsegregation to say, “Wait.” But when
you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown
your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen
curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the
vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage
of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your
tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your
six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has
just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when
she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds
of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her
beginning to distort her personality by developing unconscious bitterness
toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son
who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when
you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night
in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will acceptyou; when you are humiliated day in and
day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name
becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your
last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected
title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that
you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what
to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when
you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” then you will
understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of
endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss
America still struggles internally and externally to
arrive at the place Dr. King had summoned us to, that exalted place that had
been the highest ambition of our Founding Fathers and the highest value we
recommend to the rest of the world; the place where all people are recognized
as equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. African
Americans recognize the debt they owe Dr. King’s courage, wisdom, and
unshakable sense of fairness. But Americans of European descent owe him a
greater one. At the cost of his life, he helped save us from a terrible
disgrace, the betrayal of our country, and the principles that have ennobled
our history. And that is a debt we must
happily bear forever.
·Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1964. He was 35 years old, which made him the youngest Peace
Prize winner at that time.
·I have a dream that my four little children
will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of
their skin, but by the content of their character. - Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr., August 28, 1963.
·Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What
are you doing for others?' - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
·Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
everywhere. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
·Hate is too great a burden to bear. - Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Top Events and Things to Do
to find out about local events and ways you can help promote unity, justice,
and fight racism.
·Become a mentor to an underprivileged person in your
community through Big Brothers, or another similar organization.
Tu Bishvat (Hebrew: ט״ו בשבט,
literally: the 15th of the Lunar Month of Shevat) is the New Year for trees
(similar to Arbor Day). It falls in January or February each year,
typically when almond blossom is seen in Israel. It is one of the four
New Years in the Jewish Calendar. According to the Jewish Law (Halachah), the
'New Year for trees' defines the beginning of the year for separating tithes
for the poor and Levite. Tithes are 10% portions of a product, which are
allocated as charity
to either the Levites or the poor. Torah Law requires, that when the Holy
Temple was standing, these tithes would be removed from the produce, before it
was 'fit for consumption'. There was a seven-year cycle, culminating in the Shimittah
year, when fields lay fallow. After every seven seven-year cycles, a Jubilee, 50th
year was celebrated.
Bishvat Facts & Quotes
is customary on Tu Bishvat to eat fruits of the Land of Israel, particularly
those of the Biblical verse A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig
trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey (Deuteronomy 8:8).
The honey in this verse refers to date honey, according to tradition.
Another custom is to plant trees in Israel.
Tu Bishvat, we remember that Man is a Tree of the Field (Deuteronomy 20:19).
It explains that we may not cut down trees during the siege of a city.
The tree of the field is man's life to be used in and after the siege.
Code of Jewish Law states that on Tu B'Shevat fasting and eulogies are
forbidden, and all penitential prayers are omitted. One of the most important
authorities, the Magen Avraham, adds (131:16): It is the custom to eat many
different kinds of fruit. The Arizal suggested the eating of fifteen
kinds of fruit (on the fifteenth of the month).
should be noted that all Jewish holidays begin at sundown one the eve before
the Gregorian date specified for the holiday.
Bishvat Top Events and Things to Do
·Make a Tu Bishvat Fruit Plate. Magen
Avraham, a leading Jewish authority suggested the eating of fifteen kinds of
fruit (on the fifteenth of the month).
·Say Blessings for new Fruit. Two
blessings are said for new fruits (which have not yet been eaten that year),
namely the standard blessing for fruits ..Who created the fruits of the tree
and ..Who kept us alive, and sustained us and allowed us to reach this day.
·Attend a Tu Bishvat tisch which is popular
in Hasidic communities. A Tisch is the Yiddish word for table. It
refers to a festive meal with Holy Land fruits, wine, bread, fish and other
According to the almanac today we are having a Full
Wolf Moon; plan to get with your children or grandchildren around a fire and
howl a little at the moon having fun together. Also, you could sit down
together and listen to the music from Peter
and the Wolf. As a child this was one of my favorite record albums that I
would make my mother play over and over again much to her distress.
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
Intercession: May those nearing life’s end receive
medical care that respects their dignity and protects their lives.
Prayers: Our Father, 3
Hail Marys, Glory Be
dying process is a sacred time—a final season to seek closure in this life and
prepare for the next. We know earthly death is not the end, but rather the door
through which we must pass to gain eternal life. The deadly practice of
assisted suicide—now legal in several states—shortens or even eliminates this
sacred season, carelessly cutting short the life of the patient. To support the
“false compassion” of assisted suicide is to see people as a problem to be
eliminated. End-of-life care should instead help eliminate or alleviate the
patient’s problems, whether they are physical, spiritual, or emotional. Those
who die in God’s grace and friendship live forever with Christ. Because of our
belief and hope in the Resurrection, we can face death not with fear, but with
trust. We pray that society might recognize that every day of our lives is a
gift and is always worth living, especially our final days. We need not
fear. Christ is with us.
Acts of Reparation (Choose
some of your free time to do a small act of service, such as making breakfast
for a family member, writing a note of encouragement for a coworker, or praying
for the intentions of a friend.
a decade of the rosary (www.usccb.org/rosary)
for your friends and family who have passed away, as well as the departed who have
no one to pray for them.
some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for
93. While each family is created by God to mirror His own love and to
share in His very life, the entrance of sin into the world damaged this
original intention and everywhere threatens the strength and stability of the
family. Each and every family, without exception, feels the burden of sin and
its consequences. However, the suffering caused by sin, when united to Christ,
becomes redemptive and can be the source of indescribable grace in the
sanctification and salvation of your families.
94. Society would tell us that suffering is an evil
to be avoided at all costs, even if that avoidance results in sin. But our
faith tells us this is not true.
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."
What a taste of gall and vinegar, of ash and aloes! What a dry and
coated palate! And this physical feeling seems as nothing compared with that
other bad taste, the one in your soul. The fact is that 'more is being asked of
you', and you can't bring yourself to give it. Humble yourself Would that
bitter taste still remain in your flesh and your spirit if you did all that you
Ash Wednesday Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, Verse 21-22 21 Should you say to yourselves, “How can we recognize that a word is one the LORD has not spoken?”, 22 if a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD but the word does not come true, it is a word the LORD did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not fear him. Even saints at times may have spoken presumptuously. Let us meditate on the words of Padre Pio, “Love and fear must go united together, fear without love becomes cowardice. Love without fear becomes presumption. When there is love without fear, love runs without prudence and without restraint, without taking care where it is going.” This is the great beauty of the Holy Spirit for it tells us when even a very holy person speaks not every word they speak comes from God. We error sometimes in this way, making men into gods; but a heart that is filled with the spirit of God is filled with quiet joy and even if the person were to be impriso
Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast  After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t
Wednesday after laetare Sunday: end of mid-lent  Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that the LORD had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.” Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him. Dire Straits  · At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. · If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up
Full Worm Moon According to the almanac we are having a Full Worm Moon-plan to take your family or grandchildren fishing! Hummingbirds are migrating North now; look for them. Monday 2 nd Week in Lent PURIM-MEATBALLDAY-HOLI Proverbs, Chapter 31, Verse 30 Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Woman is the key to the salvation of the world. It is the miracle of God that the salvation of mankind was deposited in the care of the Virgin Mary and likewise in the physical sense the material world through the modern woman who is faithful to the precepts of the Lord. Such a woman knows the secret to raising children to be happy and successful is to do it in a home overflowing with love. A woman of faith truly knows: God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken, and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea. A woman of Influence
Romans, Chapter 8, verse 14-15 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear , but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” By the sacrifice of Christ, we are the adopted children of God, who feared none, and by whose sufferings and glory we share; by reason of the Holy Spirits presence within us. We are thus giving us a new life and relationship with God. ( Novena to the Holy Spirit ) To some is giving the gift of tongues. To which many years ago (40 to be exact February 1975) at the birth of my first born daughter I had gone to the Gunpowder Inn, in Bermuda, to celebrate her birth, with a couple of Native American friends. At the time I was in the Navy Seabees and we worked together. When I had got there, all of the sudden, I got an overwhelming feeling that I needed to speak in tongues to P. Graves and I did. I felt stupid an
Plough Monday ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS-DISTAFF DAY Psalm 2, verse 11 Serve the LORD with fear ; exult with trembling , accept correction lest he become angry and you perish along the way when his anger suddenly blazes up. Blessed are all who take refuge in him! To fully understand this verse, we must know who the writer is referring to. In verse 10 the writer states “ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear. Our God is a just God and to “those who have been given much; much is required”; to quote the spider man movie. Kings (and the 1 percent’ers) to be wise must humble themselves. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle then for a rich man to get into heaven. The "Eye of the Needle" has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed.  I a
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter ST MATTHIAS-Novena St. Rita-Chicken Dance Day Jeremiah, Chapter 42, Verse 11-16 11 Do not FEAR the king of Babylon, as you do now. Do not FEAR him—oracle of the LORD—for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from his power. 12 I will take pity on you, so that he will have pity on you and let you return to your land. 13 But if you keep saying, “We will not stay in this land,” thus disobeying the voice of the LORD, your God, 14 and saying, “No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we will not see war, nor hear the trumpet alarm, nor hunger for bread. There we will live!” 15 then listen to the word of the LORD, remnant of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: If you are set on going to Egypt and settling down there once you arrive, 16 the sword you FEAR shall overtake you in the land of Egypt; the hunger you dread shall pursue you to Egypt and there you shall die. Faith is always a great multiplier in overcom
Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 17 Do not deal unfairly with one another, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God. Our loving God wants us free and He demands that we out of love treat each other with love and fairness. In the Jewish calendar God specified that we are to rest one out of seven days but it goes further with a rest after seven weeks ending in a year of Jubilee after the 49 th year called a Shemitah. The Shemitah Year is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel and still observed in contemporary Judaism. When Moses received the Levitical law, God gave the commandment to rest on the seventh day… the Sabbath. Moses also applied the cycles of "seven" to weeks and years . A cycle of seven weeks points to the 50th day, called Pentecost. And a cycle of seven sets of seven years points to the 50th year, the year of Jubilee. The year of Jubilee is based on letting the land rest
LABOR DAY John 20, Verse 26 Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “ Peace be with you.” Are the doors of you heart locked? Are you without faith? Perhaps Christ will stand someday in your midst as he did Thomas. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Doubt  Preachers have called Thomas the "Doubter." Few have touched upon his cynicism. Over and over, Thomas heard the witness of the followers. But, Thomas wanted more than proof positive. ("Inspect and touch," literally meant "to see and thrust.") He stepped beyond skepticism into cynicism. A week later, Jesus again appear with the greeting of
DAY 7 - MOTHER MOST CHASTE, PRAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE GIFT OF COURAGE! GOD'S WORD "Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD." (Psalm 27:14) HEROES' WORDS "Fortitude is the disposition of soul which enables us to despise all inconveniences and the loss of things not in our power." -St. Augustine "I know well that the greater and more beautiful the work is, the more terrible will be the storms that rage against it." -St. Faustina "Moreover, Christians are born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God willing, the triumph: 'Have confidence; I have overcome the world' (Jn 16:33)." -Pope Leo XIII "Though the path is plain and smooth for men of good will, he who walks it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty, if he does not have good feet: that is, courage and a persevering spirit." -St. John of the Cross MEDITATION Fortitude is the mor