Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent
Daniel, Chapter 5, Verse 19
Because he made him so great, the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Whomever he willed, he would kill or let live; whomever he willed, he would exalt or humble.
The “He” we are talking about is King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel here explains to Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson that "the Most High God" gave Nebuchadnezzar power and greatness, which allowed him to do whatever he wanted as king. But God proved to Nebuchadnezzar that only God was really in charge, by making him live in the wild with the animals for seven years and forcing Nebuchadnezzar to acknowledge God. Yet, says Daniel, Belshazzar, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, failed to learn the same lesson and become humble.
Only humble leaders can be secure in their own power.
The Law of Empowerment says that
Only secure leaders give power to others. But what does it mean to be secure? Using the analogy of personal finance, let’s look at what’s missing from the lives of insecure leaders. This will help us better understand where security comes from and why it matters. Paupers, debtors, and hoarders lack the real or perceived financial security necessary to give generously to others.
· Leaders without purpose are like paupers. Paupers have no source of income aside from the financial assistance they receive from someone else. Penniless and dependent, they’re clearly unable to help others financially. They have no passion, low energy, and little drive to grow in influence. Usually, their only source of power is the position they have been given by somebody else. In terms of personal authority, they’re impoverished.
· Leaders without authenticity are like debtors. Debtors may have nice salaries, but their expenses exceed their income. They’ve maxed out credit cards and taken out hefty loans. Consequently, they’re stuck paying exorbitant interest rates on the amounts they have borrowed. In an upside-down financial situation, they’re in no position to give generously to others. Someone deeply in debt may appear wealthy, even though they’re secretly on the verge of bankruptcy. The closer you inspect their life, the more signs of dysfunction you see. Similarly, inauthentic leaders may seem to have all the tools to lead with excellence. However, they are missing the crucial component of moral authority. They do not practice the values they preach, and they prefer to keep others at arm’s length to hide their shortcomings.
· Leaders without humility resemble hoarders. Hoarders are sitting on a pile of wealth, but they think only of protecting it rather than of sharing it with others. They have the plentiful resources but are unwilling to part with them. Having put their talents to work, they enjoy a significant amount of power. However, they’re worried about others taking it from them or gaining more of it than they have. So, instead of using their influence to empower others, they keep it for their own benefit.
As leaders, we can only lift others up when we’re standing on a firm foundation. Purpose, authenticity, and humility give us a secure, stable base from which to lead. Purpose is the answer to the question: why do you want to lead? The best leaders have a purpose that is greater than they are. Their “why” involves more than accumulating money or seeking self-actualization. They see leadership as a calling rather than a career, relishing the opportunity to use their unique talents to accomplish something significant that will outlive them. Authenticity means being comfortable in your own skin. Authentic leaders have self-awareness, self-respect, self-confidence, and emotional maturity. They prize integrity above image, and they seek to build trust with others on the basis of their personal character. Humility is often wrongly associated depreciating and downgrading ourselves. However, true humility flows out of gratitude and comes when we credit God for our blessings and others for our successes. As Rick Warren teaches, a humble leader doesn’t deny his strengths; he’s simply honest about his limitations. Humble leaders feel no need to trumpet their status, are unthreatened by criticism, and revel in the accomplishments of others. They put their pride aside so that others have room to shine.
Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent
EPISTLE, iv. Kings v. 1 15.
In those days: Naaman, general of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable: for by him the Lord gave deliverance to Syria: and he was a valiant man and rich, but a leper. Now there had gone out robbers from Syria and had led away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited upon Naamaii’s wife. And she said to her mistress: I wish my master had been with the prophet, that is in Samaria: he would certainly have healed him of the leprosy which he hath. Then Naaman went in to his lord, and told him, saying: Thus, and thus said the girl from the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said to him: Go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment, and brought the letter to the king of Israel, in these words: When thou shalt receive this letter, know that I have sent to thee Naaman my servant, that thou mayest heal him of his leprosy. And when the king of Israel had read the letter, he rent his garments, and said: Am I God, to be able to kill and give life, that this man hath sent to me, to heal a man of his leprosy? mark, and see how he seeketh occasions against me. And when Eliseus the man of God had heard this, to wit, that the king of Israel had rent his garments, he sent to him, saying: Why hast thou rent thy garments? let him come to me, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus: and Eliseus sent a messenger to him saying: Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, and thy flesh shall recover health, and thou shalt be clean. Naaman was angry and went away, saying I thought he would have come out to me, and standing- would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me. Are not the Abana and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, arid be made clean?
So, as he turned, and was going away with indignation, his servants came to him, and said to him: Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, surely, thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: Wash, and thou shalt be clean?
Then he went down, aiid washed in the Jordan seven times: accord ing to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored, like the flesh of a little child, and he was made clean. And returning to the man of God with all his train, he came, and stood before him, and said: In truth, I know there is no other God in all the earth, but only in Israel.
GOSPEL. Luke iv. 23-30.
At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: Doubtless you will say to Me this similitude: Physician, heal Thyself: as great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in Thy own country. And He said: Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country. In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth. And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. And they rose up and thrust Him out of the city: and they brought Him to the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He passing through the midst of them, went His way.
Read: The Seven Penitential Psalms, Day One:
(During times when we wish to express repentance, and especially during Lent, it is customary to pray the seven penitential psalms. The penitential designation of these psalms dates back to the seventh century. Prayerfully reciting these psalms will help us to recognize our sinfulness, express our sorrow and ask for God’s forgiveness.)
Today we will focus on Psalm 6.
Reflect: Read this reflection on Psalm 6—Prayer in Distress.
Pray: “Have pity on me, LORD, for I am weak; heal me, LORD, for my bones are shuddering.” (Ps 6:3, NABRE)
Act: In this psalm, the psalmist proclaims his weakness before God, with tears and sighing. Yet he lifts his prayers to the Lord, confident in the Lord, who is merciful.
Listen to a recording of Psalm 6 as you read along with your Bible.
It’s not just Popeye who will be strong to the finish on Spinach Day, but everyone who chooses to celebrate the day by consuming some of this leafy green plant will get to join in the health benefits as well! Packed with nutrients such as Iron, Vitamin A and Calcium, spinach is known for being a healthy part of a balanced diet – but do we eat enough of it? If not, why not try a new recipe on Spinach Day? Sauté it in olive oil and a little bit of garlic – or what about a baby spinach salad with mozzarella cheese, avocado slices and crispy bacon crumbled on top? Delicious! You can purée spinach up and hide it in soups and pizza sauces for the finicky eaters in your life who might not eat it straight up. So, no excuses – get your leafy greens down you on Spinach Day!
Fasting and Mortification
Modern man and the media often portray persons that fast as deranged, passé or even ignorant. However, fasting and bodily discipline are truly the marks of a man or woman of mature intellect which has mastery over not only the mind but also the body and spirit. St. Paul put it in stronger terms, “put to death therefore what is earthly in you (Col. 3:5).” Jesus has also said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Christ knew we become attached to created things and to the pleasure they bring us. St. Augustine said that sin begins as a turning away from God and a turning toward lesser goods. When we sin, we don’t choose evil. We choose something less than God and His will. Our bodies want more than they need, so we must give them less than they want. Our bodies must be subject to our reason—or our reason will soon be subjected to our bodies. St. Paul went even further. “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Cor. 9:27). Nevertheless, our goal should be to let our reason/soul cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Chassidic philosophy demonstrates three ways in which the body and soul can interact:
Ø The soul can try and mitigate the urges of the body. Things that look good, taste good and feel good are stimulating and addictive. Most of us live life with our body in the driver’s seat. The soul just can’t compete. And so, the soul tries to negotiate reasonably, and encourages moderation.
Ø Or, the soul can choose to reject the body and abhor anything associated with materialism. The soul-driven person would then rebel against society’s shallow and false veneers. Simplicity and ascetism become the ultimate goals of the soul.
Ø The third scenario is not a compromise between the first two. It is an entirely new approach, where the body and soul learn to work together. The soul neither leans towards the body nor rejects it. It does not react; it pro-acts. In a proactive position, the soul directs and channels the body’s inclination in a constructive way. In this last approach, instead of repressing the body’s needs, the soul views them as an opportunity to serve God in a whole new way.
Using the third approach we should fast with a purpose like Moses or Elijah for example before going into God’s presence or to strengthen us or for the benefit of others. Jesus fasted not because He needed to, but as a model for us. We should make self-sacrifices in an effort to make others happy or out of love for our God to share in his plan of salvation. By dying to self, daily, we prepare ourselves for our own moment of death.
Aids in Battle Help from Saints
Saints are veterans of the spiritual war that continues to rage in this world. Their insights, born of long experience in combat with the Enemy, can make us wise and strong in battle.
· God has fashioned and shaped only one enmity, and that an irreconcilable one, which will endure and even increase, until the end: It is that between the Virgin Mary and the Devil, between the children and servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and accomplices of Satan; so that the most terrible of the enemies of Satan created by God is Mary, his Blessed Mother. ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT
· Men do not fear a powerful, hostile army as much as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary. ST. BONAVENTURE
· You, O Lady, by the simple invocation of your most powerful name, give security to your servants against all the assaults of the Enemy. ST. GERMANUS
· By invoking the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, Satan is driven out of men. ST. IRENAEUS
· We are all inclined to sin, my children; we are idle, greedy, sensual, given to the pleasures of the flesh. We want to know everything, to learn everything, to see everything. We must watch over our mind, over our heart, and over our senses, for these are the gates by which the Devil penetrates. See, he prowls round us incessantly; his only occupation in this world is to seek companions for himself. All our life he will lay snares for us; he will try to make us yield to temptations. We must, on our side, do all we can to defeat and resist him. We can do nothing by ourselves, children. But we can do everything with the help of the good God. Let us pray Him to deliver us from this enemy of our salvation, or to give strength to fight against him. With the Name of Jesus, we shall overcome the demons; we shall put them to flight. With this name, though they may sometimes dare to attack us, our battles will be victories, and our victories will be crowns for heaven, all brilliant with precious stones. ST. JOHN VIANNEY
The Way Scruples
"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."
I forbid you to think any more about it. — Instead, bless God, who has given back life to your soul.
· Manhood of Christ Day 7, Third Week.
 Goffines Devout Instructions, 1896
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 27. Fasting and Mortification.
 Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
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