Wednesday in the Octave of Corpus Christi
ST. JOSE ESCRIVA-GET OFF DRUGS DAY-CANOE DAY
Genesis, Chapter 15, verse 1
Sometime afterward, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: Do not fear, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.
Let us take heart for the word (Christ) appeared to Abram and told him to not to fear the world. Abram was sore afraid because he had just been in battle with four Kings to rescue Lot his nephew and he feared retribution. Christ is our shield against the world (the four kings east, west, north and south) and he has rewarded us the spiritual children of Abram with eternal life. Our shield is our Faith. Do you believe? Do you really believe? Think of a shield it protects the heart from the arrows of the devil-which is doubt. But notice the shield does not protect the eyes and the head unless it is raised. When doubt comes around raise your shield of Faith and after the assault lower the shield and advance using your reason and your head and eyes in faith to make a difference in the world.
Additionally, in Proverbs 2 it states that he is a shield to those who walk in integrity; let us resolve to walk resolutely in integrity by using faith and reason in the battle with the world, the flesh and the devil. True integrity is being willing to lay down your life for what you hold fast as the truth without wavering. Having integrity means avoiding the sins of envy and having a true love for God our creator and to love our neighbor as ourselves and our fellow humans treating them with kindness.
St. Josemaria Escriva was born in 1902 at Barbastro Spain. He was ordained in Saragossa in 1925 and by divine inspiration founded Opus Dei which opened a new way for the faithful to sanctify themselves in the midst of the world. He died on June 26, 1975 and was canonized a saint on October 6, 2002.
Things to Do:
· Read a longer biography of St. Josemaria.
· Visit Opus Dei's official US website.
· St. Josemaria Escriva’s teachings stressed the universal call to holiness; in fact, this is the root of his teaching. Vatican II echoed this in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium: “It is therefore quite clear that all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love, and by this holiness a more human manner of life is fostered also in earthly society” (no. 40). In a document as far back as 1930, for example, St. Josemaria wrote: “Holiness is not something for some privileged few. God calls everyone; from everyone He waits for Love: from everyone, wherever they may be; from everyone, whatever may be their state in life, profession, or occupation.” See the marble structure of the Universal Call to Holiness at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Read Francis Cardinal George's comments on this teaching.
· “Divine filiation is the foundation of the spirit of Opus Dei,” said its founder, Saint Josemaría Escrivá. A Christian is a child of God by virtue of baptism. Thus, the formation provided by the Prelature seeks to foster among the Christian faithful a deep awareness of their being children of God, and helps them act accordingly. It fosters confidence in divine providence, simplicity in their dialogue with God, a deep awareness of the dignity of each human being and of the need for fraternity among all people, a truly Christian love for the world and for all human realities created by God, and a sense of calm and optimism.
· Ordinary life. “It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind,” said Saint Josemaría. The family, marriage, work – all of our activities – are opportunities for drawing close to and imitating Jesus, trying to practice charity, patience, humility, diligence, integrity, cheerfulness, and all the other human and Christian virtues.
· Sanctifying work means to work with the spirit of Christ, to work competently and ethically, with the aim of loving God and serving others, and thus to sanctify the world from within, making the Gospel present in all activities whether they be outstanding or humble and hidden. In the eyes of God what matters is the love that is put into work, not its human success.
· Prayer and sacrifice. The formation given by Opus Dei encourages prayer and sacrifice in order to sustain the effort to sanctify one’s ordinary occupations. Thus, members strive to incorporate into their life’s certain practices of Christian piety, such as prayer, daily Mass, sacramental confession, and reading and meditating on the Gospel. Devotion to our Lady occupies an important place in their hearts. Also, in striving to imitate Christ, they try to acquire a spirit of penance by offering up small sacrifices, particularly those that help them fulfill their duties faithfully and make life more pleasant for others, such as renouncing small pleasures, fasting, almsgiving, etc.
· Unity of life. Saint Josemaría explained that Christians working in the world should not live “a kind of double life. On the one hand, an interior life, a life of union with God; and on the other, a separate and distinct professional, social and family life.” On the contrary: “There is just one life, made of flesh and spirit. And it is this life which has to become, in both soul and body, holy and filled with God.”
· Freedom. The members of Opus Dei are ordinary citizens who enjoy the same rights and are subject to the same obligations as any other citizen. In their professional, family, political, financial or cultural activities, they act with freedom and personal responsibility, not involving the Church or Opus Dei in their decisions, nor presenting those decisions as the only Catholic solutions. This implies respecting the freedom and the opinions of others.
· Charity. To meet Christ is to find a treasure that one cannot stop sharing. Christians are witnesses to Jesus and spread his message of hope among their companions, with their example and their words. “Side by side with our colleagues, friends and relatives and sharing their interests, we can help them come closer to Christ,” wrote Saint Josemaría. The wish to make others know Christ, which is a direct consequence of charity (that is, love of God above all things and of one’s neighbor as oneself), cannot be separated from the desire to contribute to finding solutions to the material needs and social problems of one’s surroundings.
Today serves to draw awareness to the need for action and cooperation in order to achieve a drug-free world. Illicit drugs and their trafficking pose a large health threat to humanity. Drug problems and dependencies put a great deal of pressure on health care systems and constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of humans all around the globe. Long-term drug abuse has been linked to poor general health, contraction of diseases through needle sharing, trouble with the law, poor self-hygiene and alienation from loved ones, psychological illnesses and death from overdose. In December 1987, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was designated by the United Nations. It is celebrated annually on June 26, a symbolic day that commemorates the dismantling of the opium trade in Guangdong. The day also serves as an opportunity for Member Nations to reaffirm their support for UN Conventions that attempt to control the world's drug supply.
Facts & Quotes
· The UN estimates that in 2007, the value of the illegal drug trade is 322 billion dollars per year.
· Approximately 51 billion dollars is spent on the war on drugs in the US every year.
· No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions. – Patrick J. Kennedy, American democratic politician and former US representative for Rhode Island.
Top Events and Things to Do
· Watch a movie on the perils of the war on drugs on society, government and the citizens involved. Some suggestions are: Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Sicario (2015), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Christiane F (1981) and Blow (2001).
· Attend the World Drug Report 2016, which is organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, by watching the webcast online.
· Spread awareness by using the hashtags #InternationalDayAgainstDrugAbuseandIllicitTrafficking, #saynotodrugs and #warondrugs on social media.
· Read a book on the dangers of drug use and the problems with the war on drugs. Some suggestions are: Smoke and Mirrors, Chasing the Scream, and Drug Wars.
U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration Statement in Response to Imminent Administration Deportation Plans
“We recognize the right of nations to control their borders in a just and proportionate manner. However, broad enforcement actions instigate panic in our communities and will not serve as an effective deterrent to irregular migration. Instead, we should focus on the root causes in Central America that have compelled so many to leave their homes in search of safety and reform our immigration system with a view toward justice and the common good. We stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress to achieve those objectives.
Here’s an idea-Do a Canoe and not Drugs
There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace. Sigurd F. Olson
There is a special day for just about every hobby nowadays, and canoeing doesn’t miss out on the fun, with its very own day of aquatic paddling celebration. Canoeing is a fantastic hobby, and along with being environmentally friendly and relaxing, its also a great form of outdoor exercise that’s suitable for all ages. It’s no surprise that canoeing gets its own day of celebration, with so many fans around the world. Canoeing is an easy activity to learn, and with some basic safety gear anyone can hit the water and enjoy this healthy hobby.
The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten. It is an antidote to insecurity, the open door to waterways of ages past, and a way of life with profound and abiding satisfaction. Sigurd F. Olson
Despite the huge popularity of paddling a canoe, Canoe Day began in 2007. Since that time, it has become the highlight of every canoe loving fan each year, and you can find activities in all regions of the world to enjoy paddling with new friends. Canoes have been part of cultures all over the world, from the deep South Pacific to the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Used for commerce and hunting, fishing and recreation, the role they’ve played in the cultures of the past and in the world of today cannot be understated. Even better, it’s a great way to get healthy and stay in shape while getting out in to the wild. Going out to sea in a canoe is another unique experience, one that has you above the water, but right down on it where you can enjoy visits from critters like otters and seals.
How to Celebrate
Celebrating Canoe Day is easy! You get out there and become one with your canoe! Explore the great wide open and find adventure and freedom in the steady rhythm of your paddles pushing you along. There are places you can’t get with roads or on foot, only the river will take you there. Get out there and find what the world has to offer, and come back with a sense of wonder and profound peace in your soul.
When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known. Sigurd F. Olson
· Novena to Sacred Heart Day 7
· Have an Italian night and ask for St. Joseph’s intersession for your family and drug addiction in America.
· Pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus