Friday, September 20, 2019


Ember Friday
103 KOREAN MARTYRS


Psalm 49, Verse 17
Do not fear when a man becomes rich, when the wealth of his house grows great.

The next verse drives the point: for his glory shall not descend with him!

Inheritance vs. Legacy[1]

Fix your eyes on that which endures. In the movie Centennial it portrays a young Arapahoe child in the year 1756, who learns his father has just been killed in battle and is taught the lesson that 'only rocks live forever'. God encourages us to fix our eyes on the eternal. Leaders become consumed with the momentary but forget the lasting. Christ tells us that leaders must not pursue wealth or power for true greatness comes from inside out. Even our own bodies make a testimony to this by accomplishing the healing from the inside out. True leaders pursue a legacy rather than wealth. What does any man take with him to the grave? Only a vision came outlive a man. Think of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. A huge difference exists between a legacy and an inheritance. Anyone can leave an inheritance. An inheritance is something you leave TO your family or loved ones, and it also fades. A legacy is something you leave IN your family and loved ones.

·         An inheritance is something tangible you give to others but a legacy is something you place in others.

·         An inheritance brings temporary happiness but a legacy transforms lives.
·         An inheritance is spent but a legacy is renewing.
·         An inheritance may or may not pay off but a legacy always propagates.

Live, Love, Learn and Leave a Legacy[2]

One of the great achievements of Steven Covey was the coining of the phrase “To Live, To Love, To Learn, To Leave a Legacy”. Beyond the beautiful wording, it taught that a fulfilling life requires recognizing the existence, importance and differences of four human dimensions.

·         Physical-The first dimension is the the physical dimension. It is the world of action, the world of survival, the world of physical pleasure. It’s easy to access this dimension through an activity like eating, but the pleasure is short-lived and ends shortly after the last bite.
·         Emotional-Next up is the emotional dimension. It’s the world of belonging, caring, connecting and loving. It takes more work to properly access this dimension because it involves other people. The pleasure is much deeper and more meaningful than the physical. A litmus test is that one would not trade the true love of a spouse or a child for even $1billion, which can buy a lot of physical pleasure.
·         Mental-Higher up is the mental dimension. It’s the world of learning, understanding and creating. These activities require more time, thought and effort than emotional activities. They are the activities at the root of self-actualization, and they help us keep our emotional and physical activities within the proper measure. It is the dimension that powers the political, business and altruistic worlds in which people often sacrifice their emotional relationship in pursuit of solutions to big problems.
·         Spiritual-The highest dimension is the spiritual dimension. It goes beyond self-actualization to self-transcendence, higher purpose and leaving a legacy. It is the realm of belief and dedication to a Higher Power. It is all the dimension of free will and doing the intrinsically right thing

When a person is actively cognizant and living within these four human dimensions he is functioning at a higher level. Understanding them is a key component of health, happiness, and meaning.

Ember Days[3]

Before the revision of the Catholic Church's liturgical calendar in 1969 (coinciding with the adoption of the Mass of Paul VI), the Church celebrated Ember Days four times each year. They were tied to the changing of the seasons, but also to the liturgical cycles of the Church. The spring Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the First Sunday of Lent; the summer Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Pentecost; the fall Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the third Sunday in September (not, as is often said, after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross); and the winter Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of Saint Lucy (December 13).

·         The Roman Origin of Ember Days: It's common to claim that the dates of important Christian feasts (such as Christmas) were set to compete with or replace certain pagan festivals, even though the best scholarship indicates otherwise. In the case of the Ember Days, however, it's true. As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes: The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class. At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding.
·         Keep the Best; Discard the Rest: The Ember Days are a perfect example of how the Church (in the words of the Catholic Encyclopedia) "has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose." The adoption of the Ember Days wasn't an attempt to displace Roman paganism so much as it was a way to avoid disrupting the lives of Roman converts to Christianity. The pagan practice, though directed at false gods, was praiseworthy; all that was necessary was to transfer the supplications to the true God of Christianity.
·         An Ancient Practice: The adoption of Ember Days by Christians happened so early that Pope Leo the Great (440-61) considered the Ember Days (with the exception of the one in the spring) to have been instituted by the Apostles. By the time of Pope Gelasius II (492-96), the fourth set of Ember Days had been instituted. Originally celebrated only by the Church in Rome, they spread throughout the West (but not the East), starting in the fifth century.
·         The Origin of the Word: The origin of the word "ember" in "Ember Days" is not obvious, not even to those who know Latin. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "Ember" is a corruption (or we might say, a contraction) of the Latin phrase Quatuor Tempora, which simply means "four times," since the Ember Days are celebrated four times per year.
·         Optional Today: With the revision of the liturgical calendar in 1969, the Vatican left the celebration of Ember Days up to the discretion of each national conference of bishops. They're still commonly celebrated in Europe, particularly in rural areas. In the United States, the bishops' conference has decided not to celebrate them, but individual Catholics can, and many traditional Catholics still do, because it's a nice way to focus our minds on the changing of the liturgical seasons and the seasons of the year. The Ember Days that fall during Lent and Advent are especially useful to remind children of the reasons for those seasons.
·         Marked by Fasting and Abstinence: The Ember Days are celebrated with fasting (no food between meals) and half-abstinence, meaning that meat is allowed at one meal per day. (If you observe the traditional Friday abstinence from meat, then you would observe complete abstinence on an Ember Friday.) As always, such fasting and abstinence has a greater purpose. As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, through these activities, and through prayer, we use the Ember Days to "thank God for the gifts of nature, teach men to make use of them in moderation, and assist the needy."
Korean Catholics[4]

During the 17th century the Christian faith was brought to Korea through the zeal of lay persons. From the very beginning these Christians suffered terrible persecutions and many suffered martyrdom during the 19th century. Today's feast honors a group of 103 martyrs. Notable of these were Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest, and the lay apostle, Paul Chong Hasang. Also, among the Korean martyrs were three bishops and seven priests, but for the most part they were heroic laity, men and women, married and single of all ages. They were canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 6, 1984.

St. Andrew Kim Taegon and St. Paul Chong Hasang and their companions

This first native Korean priest was the son of Korean converts. His father, Ignatius Kim, was martyred during the persecution of 1839 and was beatified in 1925. After baptism at the age of fifteen, Andrew traveled thirteen hundred miles to the seminary in Macao, China. After six years he managed to return to his country through Manchuria. That same year he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai and was ordained a priest. Back home again, he was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter by a water route that would elude the border patrol. He was arrested, tortured and finally beheaded at the Han River near Seoul, the capital. Paul Chong Hasang was a lay apostle and a married man, aged forty-five. Christianity came to Korea during the Japanese invasion in 1592 when some Koreans were baptized, probably by Christian Japanese soldiers. Evangelization was difficult because Korea refused all contact with the outside world except for an annual journey to Beijing to pay taxes. On one of these occasions, around 1777, Christian literature obtained from Jesuits in China led educated Korean Christians to study. A home church began. When a Chinese priest managed to enter secretly a dozen years later, he found four thousand Catholics, none of whom had ever seen a priest. Seven years later there were ten thousand Catholics. Religious freedom came in 1883.

When Pope John Paul II visited Korea in 1984, he canonized Andrew, Paul, ninety-eight Koreans and three French missionaries who had been martyred between 1839 and 1867. Among them were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were laypersons: forty-seven women, forty-five men. Among the martyrs in 1839 was Columba Kim, an unmarried woman of twenty-six. She was put in prison, pierced with hot awls and seared with burning coals. She and her sister Agnes were disrobed and kept for two days in a cell with condemned criminals but were not molested. After Columba complained about the indignity, no more women were subjected to it. The two were beheaded. A boy of thirteen, Peter Ryou, had his flesh so badly torn that he could pull off pieces and throw them at the judges. He was killed by strangulation. Protase Chong, a forty-one-year-old noble, apostatized under torture and was freed. Later he came back, confessed his faith and was tortured to death.
Today there are approximately four million Catholics in Korea.

Fitness Friday

In the movie “Christmas.” we witnessed the day “Ralphie” pronounced the big F word and as a result his mother in loving correction immediately inserted a bar of soap in “Ralphie’s” nasty mouth. Today let us look at our own nasty mouths. Caring for our teeth may improve your fitness more than we realize.

Clean Mouth-Ralphie![5]

Taking care of your teeth is important for all ages, but it’s especially important for older adults who may be at greater risk of oral health problems. Adults 65 and older are at an increased risk for oral cancer, gum disease and cavities. Luckily, it’s never too late to start taking better care of your teeth. With proper care, you can maintain — or even improve — your oral health as you age. Here are six things that help improve senior oral hygiene.

·         Cut Out Bad Habits-There are dozens of reasons to quit smoking or chewing tobacco, and the health of your entire mouth is no exception. If you’re currently using tobacco products, talk to your doctor about healthy methods for quitting. And as you likely remember from childhood, sugary foods like candy and soda can increase your risk for cavities. Committing to healthy eating isn’t just good for your heart and waistline — it’s great for your teeth, too.
·         Increase Your Fluoride Intake-Many municipalities have fluoride added to their drinking water, but you can also incorporate a fluoride toothpaste or fluoride rinse into your daily care routine, too. If necessary, you can even talk to your dentist about regular fluoride treatments.
·         Be Diligent About Your Teeth Cleaning Routine-It isn’t enough to simply brush your teeth twice a day, every day. Additionally, you should floss at least once per day and consider rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Make sure to replace your toothbrush or brush head every three months.
·         If You Have Dentures, Clean Them Daily-Denture-wearers may have a different routine, but good oral hygiene is still a priority. Follow your dentist’s instructions for keeping your dentures clean so the rest of your mouth also stays clean and healthy.
·         Keep Your Mouth Hydrated-If you’re prescribed a medication that causes dry mouth, make sure you’re taking extra steps to keep your mouth hydrated. Drink lots of water and switch to sugar-free gum, if you’re a gum chewer. (Bonus: Sugar-free gum is better for your teeth, too!)
·         Go to the Dentist-regular checkups with your primary care physician, going to the dentist is the single best thing you can do for your oral health. Not only can your dentist give your teeth a good cleaning, but they’ll also be able to identify oral health problems before they progress and give you tips for taking care of your teeth. While the minimum recommendation is once per year, many older adults prefer to see their dentist every six months just to make sure everything is going well.

35 Promises of God[6] cont.

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
-Luke 11:9-13

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Battle for the Soul of America-Day 34
·         Operation Purity



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