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.
Maccabee, probably meaning “hammer,” is actually applied in the Books of
Maccabees to only one man, Judas, third son of the priest Mattathias and first
leader of the revolt against the Seleucid kings who persecuted the Jews.
Traditionally the name has come to be extended to the brothers of Judas, his
supporters, and even to other Jewish heroes of the period, such as the seven
brothers. The two Books of Maccabees contain independent accounts of events
that accompanied the attempted suppression of Judaism in Palestine in the
second century B.C. The vigorous reaction to this attempt established for a
time the religious and political independence of the Jews. First Maccabees was
written about 100 B.C., in Hebrew, but the original has not come down to us.
Instead, we have an early, pre-Christian, Greek translation full of Hebrew
idioms. The author, probably a Palestinian Jew, is unknown. He was familiar
with the traditions and sacred books of his people and had access to much
reliable information on their recent history (from 175 to 134 B.C.). He may
well have played some part in it himself in his youth. His purpose in writing
is to record the deliverance of Israel that God worked through the family of
Mattathias—especially through his three sons, Judas, Jonathan, and Simon, and
his grandson, John Hyrcanus. The writer compares their virtues and their
exploits with those of Israel’s ancient heroes, the Judges, Samuel, and David.
The doctrine expressed in
the book is the customary belief of Israel. The people of Israel have been
specially chosen by the one true God as covenant-partner, and they alone are
privileged to know and worship God, their eternal benefactor and unfailing
source of help. The people, in turn, must
worship the Lord alone and observe exactly the precepts of the law given to
them. The rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in the book is the origin of the
Jewish feast of Hanukkah. There is no doctrine of individual immortality except
in the survival of one’s name and fame, nor does the book express any messianic
expectation, though messianic images are applied historically to “the days of
Simon”. The author insists on fidelity to the law as the expression of Israel’s
love for God. The contest which he describes is a struggle, not simply between
Jew and Gentile, but between those who would uphold the law and those, Jews or
Gentiles, who would destroy it. His severest condemnation goes, not to the
Seleucid politicians, but to the lawless apostates among his own people,
adversaries of Judas and his brothers, who are models of faith and loyalty.
AUGUST 30 Friday
MUHARRAM Begins at Sundown
1 Maccabees, Chapter 2,
Do not fear the words of sinners, for their
glory ends in corruption and worms.
wars were fought for religious freedom. Reflect today on our own Declaration of
Independence for freedom from the English Crown.
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men are
created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that,
to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their
just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of
government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation
on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall
seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will
dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and
transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are
more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by
abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of
abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty,
to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future
Almighty God, Father of all nations, for freedom
you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1). We praise and bless you for the
gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice, and the
common good. Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our
liberties; by your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves
and for all those who live in this blessed land. We ask this through the intercession
of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus
Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen.
(1st first month of the Islamic calendar), is the holiest month after Ramadan.
This month is most recommended by Muhammad to fast and worship in.
Islamic method of dating was invented by Umar ibn Al-Khattab, a close friend of
Muhammad. He was the second Islamic Caliph (rulers) and in the year 638
he standardized the many calendars of the Arabian Peninsula.
Islamic calendar is lunar cycle based and contains twelve months that make up a
total of 354.36 days together.
are parallels between this holiday and the day of Ashura. Ashura commemorates what Muslims
believe is Moses crossing the Red Sea to escape the oppressive Pharaoh on
Ashura. Similarly, the Islamic New Year marks Muhammad's crossing the
desert between Mecca and Medina to escape the oppressive Quraish nobles.
For both observances, Muhammad recommended Muslims to fast.
Islamic calendar is abbreviated A.H. or Anno Hegirae in Western languages.
The first date on the Islamic calendar, 1,1 Muharram A.H. corresponds to
July 16, year 622.
Top Events and Things to Do
parents traditionally tell their children of Muhammad's escape from Mecca to
Medina on this night.
a Islamic New Year Celebration. In Indonesia, the government holds
various parades and marches to celebrate the Islamic New Year. This
includes chanting songs called kidung.
more about Muhammad's journey from Mecca to Medina by reading his biography,
The Sealed Nectar.
less sleep than average regularly? This
is correlated with increased bodyfat
percentage, more issues with insulin sensitivity, and even a disproportionate
decrease in lean muscle mass when eating a caloric deficit. We all know missing
sleep can make us grouchy, miserable, unfocused, and unproductive. I know I’m
going to have a crappy day in the gym when I don’t get enough sleep the night
before. I know not sleeping enough AFTER a workout day can further hinder
the muscle building
the story: Sleep is awesome.Yes, some
adults can function perfectly on only five hours of sleep, while others need
9-10 hours of sleep to thrive. Most people will fall in that 7-9 range for
sleeping needs. So let’s get to the root of the problem for most: “I know
I need to sleep more, but my day is too busy and I just can’t get to bed sooner
or wake up earlier.” First and foremost, you’re not alone. According to a
recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly
a third of all working Americans get six hours or fewer of sleep a night.
of this sound like you? I
am always freaking tired, and I need five cups of coffee to get through the
day. Even on days when I get enough sleep, I wake up groggy. I get to ‘bed’ but
I toss and turn and it takes me forever to fall asleep. I hit snooze half a
dozen times before miserably crawling out of bed.
A perfect night of sleep
Let’s imagine a perfect night:
go to bed at a time that you’re happy with.
not stressed out because you didn’t just watch The Walking Dead.
reading a good book in bed that’s putting you
closer to sleep rather than checking your smart phone or screwing around on the
internet (damn you Twitch.tv).
sleep uninterrupted through the night
You have good dreams.
you wake up, either naturally or with an alarm…you immediately get out of bed,
without a single snooze, and you feel damn good.
then crush your morning routine and dominate your day.
If you’re looking at your screen and laughing right
now, you’re not alone. I’d
guess this is a pipe dream for a huge majority of our society because they’re
not sure how sleep actually works, and thus have NOT made sleep a priority.
It’s time to start looking at sleep
as one of your most important tasks.
How to get better sleep
We have a circadian rhythm (a
daily biological clock) that ebbs and flows throughout the day.Our body uses outside stimuli and
our own activity to produce certain hormones at certain times to make our body
more prepared for the required functions at that time (alertness vs
sun rose, our
bodies are signaled “the day has begun! Get cracking!” We reduce the hormones
that make us sleepy and produce more hormones that allow us to do the things
that need to get done.
sun went down, our
body starts to produce more melatonin, which produces that sleepy feeling and
encourages us to rest/recover. Our only option for light back then was a
candle or campfire. If that went out, we’d have moonlight and nothing else.
bodies knew to cut back on urine production, decrease body temperature,
decrease heart rate, and muscle activity. Our brains are still highly
active during our sleeping.
these days, our bodies aren’t tied to the rise and fall of that giant ball of
gas above us. Instead,
we use electricity, alarm clocks, computer screens, smart phone screens, and
all other sorts of outside stimuli to adjust our natural sleeping schedule. This
means that our bodies often have no effin’ clue what time it is!
Here’s how we can get back to our roots:
get to bed sooner or fall asleep sooner? Limit your exposure to the blue glow of your
computer screens, TV screens, and phones later in the evening. Our bodies
look at blue light and think “Sun is up! Sky is blue! Energy! WEEE!” Conversely, lights with a red/orange hue are
more reminiscent of a campfire or candle.
you are somebody who has to spend time on your computer at night, consider
installing a program like F.lux – it syncs with the sunrise
and sunset in your time zone, gradually shifting your screens hue from Blue and
bright to red and dim. I’ve been using the app for over a week now and
have quickly adjusted to it.
·Consider getting black-out curtains for your bedroom
windows, especially if you live in a city.
·No TV in
might be incredibly difficult for you if you’ve been falling asleep to TV for
years. Instead of falling asleep with the blue glow of a TV at the foot
of your bed, read a book – real books or read on a Kindle, no iPads! trust me, it will put
you right to sleep.
·Have allergies? Try a hypoallergenic pillowcase! Your allergies could be
affecting you while you sleep and having the proper pillowcase can make a world
of a difference.
How to get more sleep
covered how to get BETTER sleep, what if you also need to get more of it? In order
to start getting more sleep, sleep must
become more of a priority. If you constantly stay up too late because
things need to get done, evaluate how your time is spent after work. Seriously,
think about it!
Are you doing
the important tasks first?
watching late night shows long after they’ve become enjoyable, simply
because your DVR records them?
checking your smart phone while in bed, watching Vine
videos, or using your laptop to watch more shows you don’t really care about on
Here are the best practical tips for giving you the
greatest chance at getting into bed earlier:
drink caffeine after lunch if possible. Caffeine can have an effect up to 6 hours
after consumption. We love caffeine for many reasons (in moderation);
however, you want to make sure its not consumed too late or your body will
the electronics sooner. I
have to enforce a “laptops closed by 11PM” or a “TV off after 10PM” rule on
many nights or I never get to bed. I get lost in internetland far too easily.
Putting in actual barriers really helps. If you find yourself
checking Facebook and Twitter and other sites incessantly, BLOCK YOURSELF from those sites after a certain time.
watching crap TV shows! DVRs
can be helpful, but it’s so easy to record shows without second thought…and
then we end up spending WAY too much time watching TV.
things by 15 minutes every week.If you want to get to bed sooner,
don’t just try to get to bed an hour earlier than normal. You’ll probably lie
in bed for that whole hour wondering why you can’t fall asleep, stressing
yourself out and making things worse. I shifted my pattern by waking up 15
minutes earlier and getting to bed 15 minutes sooner. Then I repeated that
process over a series of weeks. Eventually, you can shift your bedtime by an
hour or two but do it gradually!
How to wake up better
there any more annoying sound in the world than the “beep beep beep” of an
alarm clock? So here you are, dreaming about riding a dragon with
Daenerys Targaryen, doing improv with Liam
playing poker with Iron Man and Spock…and that damn alarm clock wakes you up.
You are now incredibly groggy and miserable.
what’s happening: Remember
earlier how we talked about different sleep cycles? Depending on which
cycle you were woken up during, your body can struggle to move from “asleep” to
“wide awake.” Wake up in the right phase and
you can feel energized and ready to go. Wake up in the wrong phase and you will
feel lethargic and sleepy. Because
we’re often waking up at times when we’re not ready to wake up, we need to use
technology to our advantage.
of snoozing, set your alarm for 30 minutes later and SKIP snoozing entirely.
If this is an issue for you, put your alarm across the room so you need
to physically get out of bed to turn it off!
I’ve been using theSleep Cycle App to wake up and it’s been really interesting. You
simply put the time in which you want to wake up, put your phone on your bed,
and it will wake you up slowly and quietly in at the best point in a 30-minute
window. Because it also tracks your sleep incredibly accurately, it’s probably
the best 99 cents I’ve ever spent on an app. Try adawn-simulator alarm clock. Rather than waking yourself
up in the pitch black with a disgusting beeping noise, why not gradually rise
as if there was a natural sunrise in your room?
feeling groggy? Go for a walk first thing; a mile every morning, if you can. Walking
outside and seeing that blue sky can trigger your body to release the hormones
that encourage you to feel more awake and alive.
What about naps?
Although generally not part of a day here in the
states, we’re actually programmed to desire a quick nap in the early afternoon.
In other countries,
naps are more socially acceptable (Siesta? Si, por favor!). If you
feel bad that you get tired in the early afternoon, it’s not because you’re
lazy. It’s because you’re naturally wired for naptime. Now, you might
still be lazy, but it’s not related to your nap schedule.
What about second sleep? Biphasic Sleep is sleeping in two distinct periods. We’re gonna go back in the day again: during
winter months, night time could last 12-14 hours. With our bodies
production of melatonin (the “sleepy time” hormone) kicking into high gear when
that sun drops, people had nothing else to do (no TV, PS4, or iPads) and would
fall asleep early. Then they would wake up for an hour or two in the
middle of the night to read, pray, or think, and then fall back asleep for
another 4-5 hours before waking up for the day.
you’ve ever gone to bed at a normal hour, and then woke up in the middle of the
night without being able to fall back asleep for an hour or so, you know what
I’m talking about. Here’s
the thing:this is actually
quite natural! Rather than freaking the heck out
and lying in bed wondering why you can’t fall asleep…consider it something that
is more common than our current sleep schedule. Don’t be afraid to turn on the
light and read a book or use the time for meditation until you can fall back
asleep. This one ‘mental shift’ alone can keep your stress levels down and let
you get back to sleep faster and provide you with BETTER sleep.
Chapter 26, Verse 5-7 5They have known about
me from the start, if they are willing to testify, that I have lived my life as
a Pharisee, the strictest party of our religion. 6But now I am standing
trial because of my hope in the
promise made by God to our ancestors. 7 Our twelve tribes hope to attain to that promise as they
fervently worship God day and night; and on account of this hope I am accused by Jews, O king. Paul clearly explains that his entire life was in
preparation for the hope of Israel, Christ Jesus, who Israel did not recognize
as the son of God. Paul states that the prophets and Moses had foretold that
the Christ would suffer, and as first to be raised from the dead, he would
proclaim light to both God’s people and the Gentiles. The resurrection is God’s
promise to Israel. Paul like Christ ultimately was a victim of intolerance. Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost GOSPEL Matthew 13: 24 – 30 At that time
Jesus spoke this parable…
The Bible for some is stuffy, overblown, and boring.
So and so, son of so and so did such and such a thing to this ruler and then X,
Y, and Z happened. (Snore.) Well, that may be a Dull Fest, but Psalms
will set the record straight. Think fire and brimstone, giant sea monsters,
cannibals, and even drunks. Yeah, ancient poetry is juicy. Psalms is one of the
longest books of the Bible, but that's because it's actually a collection of
150 poems about life back in the day. We're talking Real Housewives of the Negev. The
Bible mostly comprises stories, prophecies, and laws, but Psalms brings the
poetic punch. Most of the Psalms are attributed to David, the Israelites'
greatest and most famous king. Turns out King David was a poet too—yeah, he did
know it. The Psalms are all written in Hebrew, and have been jazzed up, classed
up, and mistranslated ever since they were written starting 3,000 years ago.
Part of Psalms' appeal is its poetry. If Levi…
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 imprisoned, they can find true
First Saturday ALL SOULS DAY- DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS
Wisdom, Chapter 3, Verse 9Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the
faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with
his holy ones, and his care is with the elect. Immortality
is the reward of the righteous, yet in the old tradition suffering,
childlessness, and early death are often seen as a divine punishment. The
author of the book of Wisdom affirms that, for the righteous, sufferings are
not punishments but purification and opportunities to show fidelity, whereas
for the wicked suffering is truly a punishment. First
Saturday Devotion Five consecutive Saturdays in
reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary The practice of the First
Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd
children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917. She said to
Lucia, the oldest of the three children: “I shall come to ask . . . that on the
First Saturday of ever…
Job, Chapter 21,
Verse 28And to mortals he
said: See: the fear of the Lord is
wisdom; and avoiding evil is understanding.
The moral of the story is that wisdom lives with God. To fear
the scope and power of this divine wisdom is to be truly wise in a human sense.
Kind of how a truly wise man knows that he knows nothing.St. John of Capistrano St. John was born in 1386
at Capistrano in the Italian Province of the Abruzzi. His father was a German
knight and died when he was still young. When war broke out between Perugia and
Malatesta in 1416, St. John tried to broker a peace. Unfortunately, his opponents
ignored the truce and St. John became a prisoner of war. On the death of his
wife he entered the order of Friars Minor, was ordained and began to lead a
very penitential life. John became a disciple of Saint Bernadine of Siena and a
world at the time was in need of strong men to work for salvation of souls. ·Thirty
percent of the p…
Psalm 49, Verse 6-7 6 Why
should I fear in evil days, with the
iniquity of my assailants surrounding me, 7of those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their abundant riches? Trust
in Christ our savior and live the virtues of our Lady: humility, generosity,
chastity, patience, temperance and love of fellow man. Do not put your faith in
coin; for the bankruptcy of our cultural heart is that we allow the innocent to
be killed in this nation. God cries over the sacrifices of future unborn children
for the dreams of the mother. No amount of future happiness or gain in independence
is worth the life of an innocent. Know that life is greater than liberty and
liberty is greater than wealth. Beloved: Teach and urge these things. Whoever teaches
something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus
Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has
a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy,
Psalm 14, Verse 5They have good
reason, then, to fear; God is with
the company of the just. Those who have no fear of God are masters of the soft
enslavement; thus, keeping the poor in place and filling their own coffers and
the coffers of their fellow enlightened ones. Who are these enlighten ones?
Those who support, the culture of death, which kill excess populations via
abortions, wars, drugs and the enslavement of the mind via an education system
that keeps the poor in place. We are talking about those in control of the
worlds systems who would give the poor only enough to survive yet not enough to
empower them to greatness. Their greatest fear is a change in the water level
of the swamp. The greatest tragedy in all of this is a sense of complacency in
the enslaved; were we to be freed of our bondages from unclean water, processed
foods, overbearing taxes, unjust laws, and oppressing loans; to include the
student loan system; we would most likely cry as the Israelites did for the
Job, Chapter 21, Verse 9Their homes are safe, without fear, and the rod of God is not upon them. With
the current political climate of today-The Dark State, Turkey, Sanctuary
Cities, Gangs etc.; we may not be feeling safe in our homes. We may feel God’s
rod is upon us. Yet, we learn that God does not wish to destroy us but bring
about the best in us. The wages of sin are usually destruction, but God is
mercy. As in the parable of the wheat and tares God allows the weeds to grow
with the wheat. We often ask with Job, “Why do the wicked keep on living, grow
old, become mighty in power? Mercy! Zophar & His Asps ·Zophar decides to beat a dead horse. ·Not literally. ·He tells Job that the wicked get what they
deserve from God. ·For good measure, he adds that the venom of
asps will poison people's stomachs and kill the sinners. Well that's graphic. Job Refutes Zophar ·Job sticks to his guns. ·The wicked, he says, go unpunished all the
time. Not that he's cool with …
SAINT JOSAPHAT-FULL BEAVER MOON Psalm 40, verse 2-4 2 Surely, I wait for
the LORD; who bends down to me and hears my cry, 3 Draws me up from the
pit of destruction, out of the muddy clay, Sets my feet upon rock, steadies my
And puts a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in fear and they shall trust in the LORD. So
many in this nation have given in to modernism and we have descended
into the pit of destruction. We see the leaders of this Nation clamor to get
themselves out of the pit and pull each other down when they see another rising
higher out of the pit and so all are mired in their own filthiness. Let us now
acknowledge our greatness comes from the Lord who in his might reproves nations
that forsake his laws and shines on those that obey his laws. For surely only
He can bend down to save us. Pray, cry out to Him, for only He can draw us out
of the pit of destruction and set our feet upon the rock of truth. In hymn let
us sing out to His mother which …
Job, Chapter 31,
Verse 34Because I feared the great multitude and the scorn
of the clans terrified me—then I should have remained silent, and not come out
of doors! Job’s present protest is made, not in spite of hidden
sins which he had been unwilling to disclose, but out of genuine innocence. He
is claiming that his only fear was that of the Lord and that all his life he
has followed the law of God in the nine areas of moral concern. To practice righteousness
in the areas of moral concern we must strive for humility and its source in
knowing that all goodness comes from the Spirit. Areas of Moral uprightnessavoid these
like the plague 1.Falsehood and deceit 2.Exploitation of the land. 3.Lust and Adultery. 4.Rights of servants (We are all made
in the image of God) 5.Hardness toward the poor and needy. 6.Idolatry. Social injustice is the
reverse side of idolatry. 7.Hatred of enemies. Don’t curse.
Repay evil with good. 8.Hospitality. In ancient society