Skip to main content

Saturday, December 21, 2019


Ember Saturday
FEAST OF ST THOMAS-WINTER SOLSTICE

Proverbs, Chapter 19, Verse 23
The fear of the LORD leads to life; one eats and sleeps free from any harm.

A genuine relationship with God is based on love, not fear. [1]The gift of fear of the Lord enables a person “to avoid sin and attachment to created things out of reverence and love of God.” Primarily, this gift entails a profound respect for the majesty of God who is the Supreme Being. Here, a person realizes his “creatureliness” and dependency upon God, has a true “poverty of spirit,” and never would want to be separated from God, who is love.

As such, this gift arouses in the soul a vibrant sense of adoration and reverence for God and a sense of horror and sorrow for sin. This gift of fear of the Lord is sometimes misunderstood because of the word “fear.” “Fear of the Lord” is not a servile fear whereby a person serves God simply because he fears punishment, whether some sort of temporal punishment in this life or the eternal punishment of hell.

Therefore, this “fear of the Lord” is a filial or reverential fear that moves a person to do God’s will and avoid sin because of love for God, who is all good and deserving of all of our love. In a similar way, a child should not be motivated to obey a parent simply because of fear of punishment, but because of love and respect; a person who loves someone does not want to disappoint or to break the other person’s heart. One should fear hurting a loved one and violating that person’s trust more than one should fear punishment.

Nevertheless, one should have a healthy sense of fear for the punishment due to sin, including the fires of hell, even though this should not be the motivating factor for loving God.

Therefore, this gift motivates the person in three ways:

·         first, to have a vivid sense of God’s infinite greatness;
·         second, to have a real sorrow for sin, even venial sins, and to do penance to atone for sins committed;
·         third, to be vigilant to avoid the near occasions of sin, to struggle against personal weakness and fight temptation.

The gift of fear brings to perfection the virtue of hope. A person respects God as God trusts in His will, and anchors his life in Him. He approaches the Lord with humility, docility and obedience. He believes in His promises of forgiveness of sin and eternal life in heaven. Also, this gift is the launchpad for the other gifts. As sacred Scripture attests, “Happy the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands” (Ps 112:1), and “the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord” (Sir 1:12).

This gift also perfects the virtue of temperance, which seeks to use all things wisely and in moderation, neither in excess nor in defect, especially those sensible pleasures. With reason enlightened by faith, temperance controls the passions. Temperance is related to the gift of fear because one’s respect for God, and one’s awareness of being made in His image and likeness, and being redeemed by Christ motivate a person to give glory to God by being temperate in actions and desires, not using, doing, or indulging in anything to excess or defect. For example, chastity is a virtue of temperance, which respects the goodness of one’s own sexuality, the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of marital love.

A person moved by the gift of fear strives to live a chaste life because God is the creator of these goods, and a chaste life gives glory and praise to Him. This gift also prevents us from being too familiar with God. We are the victims of original sin and suffer from concupiscence; therefore, each of us struggles with a rebellious heart. A person could easily take God’s love for granted and presume forgiveness without real contrition; or forget God’s majesty by taking His holy name in vain; or make demands of God and then be angry when He does not meet them; or forget that every gift is from God and be selfish; or neglect prayer and worship because there is not enough time for Him; or disregard God’s commandments and the teachings of His church. And without fear of the Lord, such a person might say, “God loves me just the way I am, and I am going to heaven.” One has to ask, “Does such a person really love God?” While the Lord will never spurn a humble and contrite heart, He will humble the haughty.

A good way to cultivate this gift is through

1.      Daily prayer and worship at Mass.

2.      Regular and careful examinations of conscience also are important, as well as the regular use of the sacrament of penance.

3.      Meditating on the infinite majesty of God.

Ember Saturday[2]"Holy impatience" over the coming of the Lord, both in the manger and in glory at the end of time.
Psalm 147:12, 16-17 "Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion. Who giveth snow like wool: scattereth mists like ashes. He sendeth his crystal-like morsels: who shall stand before the face of his cold?"

Advent Calendar[3]

Read Explore the benefits of going to confession during Advent.


Reflect "If we say that we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 Jn 1:10).

Pray Add this "O Antiphon" to your daily or meal-time prayer today: "O Key of David, opening the gates of God's eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness." (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition, 76)

Act Make going to confession a priority before Christmas.

Feast of St. Thomas[4]



According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Thomas, now celebrated July 3.

THOMAS, also called Didymus, or the twin, was a fisherman of Galilee. After having been received among the apostles he accompanied Jesus in all His journeys, and uniformly showed docility, zeal, and love towards Him, particularly on the occasion of His going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. For when the apostles were afraid to go thither, because the Jews desired to kill Jesus, Thomas, full of courage, said, “Let’s also go, that we may die with Him” (John xi. 16). His faith, indeed, wavered for a moment in regard to the resurrection of Christ but no sooner had Christ satisfied him thereof by showing His wounds, than he cried out with firm faith, My Lord and my God. St. Gregory thereupon says, “God overruled the doubting of Thomas to our good, since that very doubt has profited us more than the ready belief of the other disciples, inasmuch as thereby Christ was induced to give so much clearer proofs of His resurrection, in order to confirm us in the belief of it. Thomas showed the firmness of his faith by the innumerable labors which he undertook, and by the sufferings that he endured for Christ. He traversed the most extensive and remote countries, and preached Jesus to the Armenians, Medes, Persians, Parthians, Hyrcardans, Bactrians, and other barbarous and wicked nations, enduring in the course of his labors, with astonishing firmness, the greatest sufferings for the honor of God and the salvation of men. Finally, he came to India, when, in the city of Calamina, or Meliapor, he underwent a glorious martyrdom, being pierced through with lances, by order of the idolatrous priests, as he was praying at the foot of the cross. So much did the apostle do to repair a single fault but we, who every day commit so many what do we do to repair them?

Winter Solstice[5]



The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year as the Northern Hemisphere is angled the farthest away from the Sun on this day.

Winter Solstice Facts

·         On the Winter Solstice, there are 24 hours of sunlight in the Antarctic Circle, and 24 hours of darkness in the Arctic Circle.
·         Many pagan rituals have revolved around the Winter Solstice. The short days and long hours of darkness prompted rituals intended to lure the Sun back.
·         10 inches of snow melt down into only 1 inch of rain.

Winter Solstice Top Events and Things to Do

·         Eat more Vitamin-D rich foods to balance out the lack of sunlight.
·         Light some candles and enjoy the early evening.
·         Finish some last-minute Christmas shopping.
·         Purchase a Christmas tree.  Tip: For a more environmentally friendly Christmas, purchase a Live trees in a burlap root sack that can be planted after the holiday.
·         Watch the lunar eclipse which happens within several days of the winter solstice.

Short Girl Appreciation Day[6] My wife is 5’1’



There’s something about a short girl, that delightfully compact and curvy phenomena that happens when a blessing of genetics realizes that less is more. It seems like evolution did them a favor and made up for their lack of vertical stature by packing those delightful frames with enough vim and vinegar to take on the world. They may be physically smaller, but they sure seem to live larger. Short Girls are all the rage, and Short Girl Appreciation Day is our opportunity to raise them up above the crowds.

How to celebrate Short Girl Appreciation Day

·         No matter who you are, you have to hand it to the Short Girls (if only because they can’t reach it themselves.)
·         Let Short Girl Appreciation Day be your inspiration to truly let these compact little gems know how much you appreciate them.
·         Take your favorite short girl out to lunch, buy them a step-stool, or just generally let them know how awesome they are.
·          If you know one of these beauties that is suffering from standard short-girl problems, then you can take this opportunity to help them out with that. To really let them know how fantastic they are, you can also organize a party for your favorite pack of short-girls themed around those things that are small. Tiny cakes and cookies, even meals in small portions (but make sure there’s a lot of them, short girls can pack it away when they get a hunger on), and round it all up with a short girl fashion show.
·         It’s bound to be interesting since so many of them have to shop in the children’s section!

One wonders if Mary was a short girl

God’s Handiwork

Every Christmas although the same in many ways is always new for each Christmas expresses a hope learned from a lifetime of praising God. For every Christmas if we open our eyes to truth, we will see the handiwork of God; the rock of our salvation. Perhaps in these final days of anticipation it would do us well to reflect on the virtues (Humility, Generosity, and Chastity) of Mary Christ’s very own mother and in these final days in some way reflect them in our own lives.

Chastity[7] a pouring out of the soul to God



After the fall of Adam, man's senses became rebellious to reason. As a consequence, chastity is the most difficult of all the virtues to practice. Saint Augustine says: "Of all inner conflicts the most arduous are concerned with chastity. These battles are of daily occurrence, but victory is rare." however, Mary is a shining example of this virtue. Saint Sophronius replies: "God chose a pure virgin for his mother, that she might be an example of chastity to everybody." That is why Saint Ambrose calls Mary "the standard-bearer of virginity." Because of Mary's purity the Holy Spirit declared that she is as beautiful as the turtledove: Your cheeks are beautiful as the turtledove's (Cant 1:9). "A most pure turtledove" is what Aponius calls her. She inspired everybody who saw her with chaste thoughts. Saint Thomas confirms this when he says that the beauty of the Blessed Virgin incited to chastity all who looked at her. Saint Jerome maintains that Saint Joseph remained a virgin as a result of living with Mary. Saint Gregory of Nyssa says that the Blessed Virgin loved chastity so much, that to preserve it she would have been willing to renounce even the dignity of Mother of God. This seems evident from her reply to the archangel: How shall this happen, since I do not know man? (Lk 1:34). And from the words she added then: Be it done to me according to your word (Lk 1:38), signifying that she gave her consent on the condition that, as the angel had assured her, she should become a mother only by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. Saint Ambrose says that "anyone who preserves chastity is an angel; anyone who loses it is a devil." Our Lord assures us that those who are chaste become angels: They...shall be as the angels of God in heaven (Mt 22:30). But the unchaste become hateful to God, like devils. Saint Remigius used to say that the majority of adults are lost by this vice. We have quoted Saint Augustine as saying that a victory is very seldom gained in this combat. Why is this? Because the means by which the victory may be gained are very seldom used. These means are threefold, according to Bellarmine and the masters of the spiritual life: fasting, the avoidance of dangerous occasions of sin, and prayer.

1. By fasting we mean especially mortification of the eyes and the appetite. Although our Blessed Lady was filled with divine grace, she nevertheless practiced mortification of the eyes, according to Saint Epiphanius and Saint John Damascene. Her glances were always modest, and she never gazed fixedly at anyone. She was so unassuming, even from childhood, that everyone who saw her was charmed by her reserve. Saint Luke remarks that when she went to visit Elizabeth, she went with haste (Lk 1:39), in order to avoid the public gaze. Saint Gregory of Tours maintains that she fasted throughout her life. Saint Bonaventure explains this: "Mary would never have found so much grace if she had not been moderate in her meals, for grace and gluttony do not go together." In short, Mary was mortified in everything, so that it was true to say of her: My hands dripped with myrrh (Cant 5:5).

2. The second means is avoidance of the occasions of sin: He that is aware of the snares shall be secure (Prov 11:15). Saint Philip Neri coined the expression: "In the war of the senses, cowards conquer." By cowards he means those who flee from dangerous occasions. Mary fled as much as possible from the gaze of men. Remember Saint Luke's remark that, in going to visit Elizabeth, Mary went with haste into the hill country. One author calls attention to the fact that Our Lady left Elizabeth before Saint John was born: And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her own house. Now Elizabeth's time was fulfilled that she should be delivered, and she brought forth a son (Lk 1:56-57). Why did Mary not wait for Saint John's birth? Because she wanted to avoid the hubbub and excitement that usually accompany such an event.

3. The third means is prayer. The Wise Man said: And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent except God gave it...I went to the Lord and besought him (Wis 8:21). Mary revealed to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary that she did not acquire any virtue without effort and without continual prayer. Saint John Damascene calls our Immaculate Mother "a lover of purity." She cannot endure those who are content to be unchaste. And if anybody appeals to her to be delivered from unchastity she will certainly help him. All he has to do is call upon her confidently. The Venerable John of Ávila used to say that many have conquered impure temptations merely through devotion to Mary Immaculate.

The Battle of the Soul and Flesh[8]



Beginning with Cain and Abel, there have been children of God who obeyed God's commandments, and, on the other hand, children of Satan, as Holy Scripture, call them, who seek their salvation in the pleasures of this life. Since the time of Cain and Abel, mankind has been split into two divisions, one seeking the kingdom of God, the other the kingdom of the world, the kingdom of Satan. When our Savior conquered Satan, He left him power over those who make themselves slaves to the sensual pleasures, and thus there exists an evil force against the Church, and it will exist to the end of time.
This is a fact that we must keep in view in order to fully understand and judge the conditions. The realm of darkness, Satan's realm, stands opposed to the realm of Christ. Satan and his adherents carry on the warfare against the Church of Christ, as they assaulted Christ Himself. "As they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you," so did Christ prophecy. The Church of Christ demands the subjection of the flesh; she preaches against luxury, pride and selfishness. She preaches chastity and submission to the commandments of God; she preaches penance alike to those of high and low station in life. This angers all those who would indulge in the evil things of this world. They cry: "Let us break her bonds asunder; and let us cast away her yoke from us." But as Christ foretold the persecution of His Church, so He also foretold that the gates of hell would not prevail against her.

Evening Antiphon

Come, and shine on those seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
O Dawn, splendor of eternal light, and sun of justice, come, and shine on those seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

Spiritual Crib[9]

A special devotion that can be performed during Advent to prepare for the coming of the Infant Savior. It can be adapted for adults and/or children and applied as is appropriate to your state in life.

·         11th day, December 21st: THE HOLY ANGELS—Attention to Inward Inspirations Have special regard for them today. Perhaps our dear Lord demands a little sacrifice, an extra prayer, an act of some virtue, an acknowledgment of your love for Him. Be watchful and faithful.


Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         54 Day Rosary day 50
·         Christmas Novena
·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Washington's birthday-Be Humble-Billy Graham



Sirach, Chapter 23, Verse 27 Thus, all who dwell on the earth shall know, all who remain in the world shall understand, that nothing is better than the fear of the Lord, nothing sweeter than obeying the commandments of the Lord.
What happens when those who dwell on the earth no longer know God and what should we do when it becomes abundantly clear to us that our duty to God is threatened by the governments of men?
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church[1]addresses the issue of when and how St. Peter's teaching that obedience to God comes before obedience to men as it applies in the modern Christian's life.
Presciently, or perhaps better, prophetically, Pope Benedict XVI foresaw and foresees increasing conflict between American Catholics and a public authority increasingly secularized and increasingly hostile to the moral values of its Catholic citizens. The conflict is caused by the increasing demands of the State to &qu…

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sirach, Chapter 25, Verse 6
The crown of the elderly, wide experience; their glory, the fear of the Lord.
We used to say in the military to the younger troops fresh out of high school that joined the military that beyond showing us normal military courtesy they really should listen and follow what we do because “We survived youth.” The fact is experience is the best teacher and experience teaches us that God is real, and the older ones have learned that fear of the Lord is more than a crown of glory it is the key to reaching old age.
One of the most curious phenomenon of our modern society is that by the year 2020 we will have five generations working together: Each with different values and views of life.
The Johnsons report[1] that each generation has been influenced by the major historical events, social trends, and cultural phenomena of its time. These forces shape ideas about everything from expectations and perceptions about what the workplace will provide and how employees should…

Friday, February 21, 2020

CARNIVAL FRIDAY
Sirach, Chapter 22, Verse 18 Small stones lying on an open height will not remain when the wind blows; So, a timid mind based on foolish plans cannot stand up to fear of any kind.
The wind is often used as a representation of the Holy Spirit in the bible. I wonder if this verse expresses the trinity of love which compels us to protect life and preserve the liberty to pursue the will of the Father in our lives.
Human Life and Dignity[1]
For the Church, there is no distinction between defending human life and promoting the dignity of the human person. Pope Benedict XVI writes in Caritas in Veritate. . . that "The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that 'a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued …

Monday, February 24, 2020

Carnival Monday PLAY MORE CARDS DAY
Psalm 19, Verse 10-11 10 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just;11 More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.
Our Lord showed no fear of the money changers or the priests when He overturned the tables in holy zeal for the statutes of the Lord. Is the Holy Spirit moving you to make a real change today? Are you being called to be holier, stronger, more committed to God and better prepared for the trials and persecution of our world? Consider the message of The Holy League.[1]
The Holy League

History-Pope St. Pius V formed the original Holy League in response to the dire situation in which Christian Europe found itself in 1571. Small bands of Catholic men and remnant armies from various nations came together under the spiritual leadership of the saintly pontiff and the military leadership of Don John of Austria. By prayer and fasting, …

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Shrove Tuesday


Sirach, Chapter 25, Verse 10-12
10 How great is the one who finds wisdom, but none is greater than the one who fears the Lord. 11Fear of the Lord surpasses all else. To whom can we compare the one who has it? 12 Fear of the Lord is the beginning of loving him, and fidelity is the beginning of clinging to him.
If only congress was afraid of the Lord as a prime motivator!
The quality of mercy is not strain’d; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. William Shakespeare
Saint Thomas Aquinas’ thoughts on fear[1]

1. Fear is a shrinking back from evil. Hence, we cannot fear God in himself, for God is infinite goodness. But one is said to fear God in the sense of fearing the evil of being separated from God by sin, and in the sense of fearing to incur his punishments for sin.

2. Fear is called servilefearwhen it is the dread of punishment alone. It is called filialfearor chaste fear when it is…

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Thursday After Ash Wednesday

Sirach, Chapter 4, Verse 17-18 17 “I will walk with them in disguise, and at first I will test them with trials. Fear and dread I will bring upon them and I will discipline them with my constraints. When their hearts are fully with me, 18then I will set them again on the straight path and reveal my secrets to them.
Do you walk with others and engage or walk away? Are you tested with trials? Are you constrained? Then bring your hearts to the Lord.

Road to Emmaus[1]

‘Walk with sinners, open the Book, break the Bread’
The story opens with two people going the wrong way. In Luke’s Gospel, Jerusalem is the spiritual center of gravity: it is the locale of the Last Supper, the cross, the resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. It is the charged place where the drama of salvation unfolds. So, in walking away from the capital city, these two erstwhile disciples of Jesus are going against the grain. Jesus joins them on their journey—though we are told that they are pr…

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

HOLY FACE DAY 4



Psalm 15, Verse 1-5 1 LORD, who may abide in your tent?Who may dwell on your holy mountain? 2Whoever walks without blame,doing what is right, speaking truth from the heart; 3 Who does not slander with his tongue, does no harm to a friend, never defames a neighbor; 4 Who disdains the wicked, but honors those who fear the LORD; Who keeps an oath despite the cost, 5lends no money at interest,[1] accepts no bribe against the innocent.
In life we are always moving toward the future. Our destination is life eternal with our creator. In our little sailboat of life, we tend to be either moving toward God by taking advantage of His graces which provide the wind for our sails or we do nothing but drift.
Napoleon Hill noted in his manuscript on a book he never published entitled “Outwitting the devil” stated drifting was one of the tools the devil uses to keep us off tack and not sailing towards God’s mountain. A Protection against drifting lies within easy reach of every human being …

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

AshWednesday GRAND CANYON Established

Sirach, Chapter 26, Verse 3 A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the Lord.
So, does this mean that if you don’t fear the Lord you are to be cursed with a bad wife? I don’t think that is the message here though; the point is that if our primary relationship with the Lord is right then as a natural result all our relationships will be improved. If you fear the Lord, that is Love the Lord, then you will love those around you and not see others as objects to be used but as persons of worth and dignity. As a husband seek to love your wife as Christ loved the church giving Himself up for her.
Today we are a community living in the fulfillment of faith in Christ and He asks us to do something unthinkable, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh …

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thursday after Sexagesima-Carnival holy face (Day 5) FRANCISCO AND JACINTA MARTO

Sirach, Chapter 22, Verse 16 A wooden beam firmly bonded into a building is not loosened by an earthquake; So the mind firmly resolved after careful deliberation will not be afraid at any time.
A prudent mind firmly resolved is undisturbed by violent and conflicting thoughts. Sometimes we all have senseless thoughts and feelings which shake us, but faith is a firm anchor for our thoughts. We indeed do have the power within ourselves to choose not to react to impulsive thoughts.
Sacredness[1]
·Holiness consists in friendship with God. If we would be in any sense the friends of God, we must have at least that desire for holiness without which such friendship would be impossible; growth in the knowledge of God is the deepening of this friendship. ·To know God is to know self and if we know ourselves well, we know we have one or two prominent sins that have dogged our life’s path for years, and against these we str…

Friday, May 10, 2019

ST. DAMIEN OF MOLOKAI

1 Samuel, Chapter 28, Verse 20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, in great fear because of Samuel’s message. He had no strength left, since he had eaten nothing all that day and night.
Christ is the strength of the weak and the humble and the confidence of those who trust in him. Christ says to us, “My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. (Jn. 10:27) Saul was in great fear because the spirit of God had long ago left him, and he no longer heard the voice of God. In desperation now that Samuel had died was to have the witch of Endor act as a medium to conjure up the spirit of Samuel to help save him from the Philistines. Saul broke his own laws by seeking the aid of a sorcerer. The Israelites were a Holy people and Saul could not understand the Ends never justify the means. No, we must be calm and listen to the voice of he that was the epitome of fairness and justice that took upon Himself our sins to the cross and thus be…