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 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 "to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices." The aggressive secularist State wants freedom of religion to be limited to "mere freedom of worship," and not to "freedom of conscience" which extends beyond the realm of the four walls of a Church into the "public square" of social, civil, political, and economic life." Christians may conscientiously object to civil laws if they infringe upon one or more of three things:
(1) the law violates the moral order, that is, the natural moral law; (2) the law violates fundamental human rights; or
(3) the law violates the teachings of the Gospel, which is to say the teachings of the Church.
Laws that trespass against one or more of these three things may not be obeyed, and obedience to them must be refused. In fact, the Christian has both a duty and a right to refuse such a law. And though it may be unrecognized, it is a right that he must exercise regardless of the consequences to him.
The full text of the Compendium on this issue merits quotation: "Citizens are not obligated in conscience to follow the prescriptions of civil authorities if their precepts are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or to the teachings of the Gospel. Unjust laws pose dramatic problems of conscience for morally upright people: when they are called to cooperate in morally evil acts they must refuse. Besides being a moral duty, such a refusal is also a basic human right which, precisely as such, civil law itself is obliged to recognize and protect. 'Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary, financial and professional plane.'" "It is a grave duty of conscience not to cooperate, not even formally, in practices which, although permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to the Law of God. Such cooperation in fact can never be justified, not by invoking respect for the freedom of others nor by appealing to the fact that it is foreseen and required by civil law. No one can escape the moral responsibility for actions taken, and all will be judged by God himself based on this responsibility (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12)." (Compendium, No. 399)
The right of conscientious objection is not the right of resistance, and the two should be carefully distinguished. Moreover, resistance which can be expressed in "many different concrete ways" should be distinguished from the last and desperate recourse of "armed resistance." The right to resist an oppressive law or an oppressive government is one that is found in the natural law. It is a right which precedes a government, and so is one that is inalienable. Resistance generally is something to be avoided, and it is justified only if there is a "serious" infringement or "repeated" and chronic infringements of the natural moral law, a fundamental human right, or a Gospel precept. "Recognizing that natural law is the basis for and places limits on positive law means admitting that it is legitimate to resist authority should it violate in a serious or repeated manner the essential principles of natural law. Saint Thomas Aquinas writes that 'one is obliged to obey . . . insofar as it is required by the order of justice.' Natural law is therefore the basis of the right to resistance." The right of resistance is not one that necessarily has the overthrow of government in mind. There may be many ways in which resistance may be expressed, and there may be many ends which resistance may have in mind: "There can be many different concrete ways this right may be exercised; there are also many different ends that may be pursued. Resistance to authority is meant to attest to the validity of a different way of looking at things, whether the intent is to achieve partial change, for example, modifying certain laws, or to fight for a radical change in the situation." (Compendium, No. 400)
Resistance in the sense of armed resistance is something which is a last resort. The Church has identified five conditions all of which must be met before armed resistance is morally justified:
"1) there is certain, grave and prolonged violation of fundamental rights,
2) all other means of redress have been exhausted,
3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders,
4) there is well-founded hope of success; and
5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution."
As the Church observes, armed resistance, even if morally justified, is generally to be avoided, and passive resistance is to be preferred. Armed resistance is often a Pandora's Box which unleashes as much or more evil as it intended to avoid. "Recourse to arms is seen as an extreme remedy for putting an end to a 'manifest, long-standing tyranny which would do great damage to fundamental personal rights and dangerous harm to the common good of the country.' The gravity of the danger that recourse to violence entails today makes it preferable in any case that passive resistance be practiced, which is 'a way more conformable to moral principles and having no less prospects for success.'" (Compendium, No. 401)
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God. (2 Tm. 1:7-8)
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Psalm 51, 14-15.
Give me again the joy of your help, with a spirit of fervor sustain me, that I may teach transgressors your ways and sinners may return to you.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.
Prayer in Honor of Mary
Hail Mary, Daughter of God the Father! Hail Mary, Mother of God the Son! Hail Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit! Hail Mary, Temple of the Most Holy Trinity! Hail Mary, our mistress, our wealth, our mystic rose, Queen of our hearts, our Mother, our life, our sweetness and our dearest hope! We are all Thine, and all we have is Thine. O Virgin blessed above all things; may Thy soul be in us to magnify the Lord; may Thy spirit be in us to rejoice in God. Place Thyself, O faithful Virgin, as a seal upon our hearts, that in Thee and through Thee we may be found faithful to God. Grant, most gracious Virgin, that we may be numbered among those whom Thou art pleased to love, to teach and to guide, to favor and to protect as Thy children. Grant that with the help of Thy love, we may despise all earthly consolation and cling to heavenly things, until through the Holy Spirit, Thy faithful spouse, and through Thee, His faithful spouse, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, be formed within us for the glory of the Father. Amen. (St. Grignon de Montfort)
Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)
In John McCain’s book Character is Destiny the 1st President of the United States is McCain’s example of a man who demonstrates for us the characteristic of SELF CONTROL. Self-control is the ability to control one's emotions, behavior, and desires in the face of external demands in order to function in society. (Matt DeLisi)
George Washington was a warrior and a mensch. Washington was a self-made man who learned to govern himself before he governed our great country. Washington was a passionate man by nature, yet he was famous for his reserve and graciousness to others. Washington worked on himself very hard to control his temper and to not be sensitive to criticism. It was a lifelong struggle and at times he was given to fits of anger. His passion was a two-edged sword that either cut for him or against him. His passion was also the source of his great courage. History records his fury in battle where he wore out two horses and stood in defiance of withering fire and having his coat tore by four musket balls. Washington did not just tell his men to stand fast and face the enemy but set the example; leaping headlong into battle and the men followed. Washington disciplined his passionate nature with iron will and self-control. Washington wrote, “Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect, to those that are present” and, “Labor to keep alive in your breast the little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
He strove to be a man of unquestionable dignity and manners. He was modest and wore clothes that were fine and neat but never showy. He was consciously groomed and was seldom discourteous to anyone, of higher or lower station in life. He knew his strengths as well as his weaknesses; there was no hubris in him.
“He understood the nature of his countrymen as well as he understood his own. He knew we are all flawed, that we must always be alert to the danger of ungoverned appetites and must strive to control and improve our nature. He understood his country at its birth needed a leader of towering honor, wisdom, and selflessness, whose appearance must fit the role as well as his character, did. And through the constant application of his self-control, he inhabited that role as no one has again, and became, in fact, the father of our country. He imprinted his character on this nation, and in that sense, we are all his descendants, a people famous for our constant struggle to improve. We are never so removed from the failings of our nature that we cannot stand more improvement, but neither are we so removed from Washington’s magnificent example that we dare not dream we can achieve it.”
Son of the Republic
In America, we have until now had no fear in worshiping Him in holiness and righteousness. In fact, the model in America since its founding has been one of “Many religions, but one covenant”.
We are certainly a blessed people because we as a whole have not abandoned the covenant, nor shall we if the vision of George Washington at Valley Forge is true. In it he saw that Americans would remain true to our creator.
"Son of the Republic…Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third, but in this greatest conflict the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and the Union." With these words the vision vanished, and I started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown to me the birth, progress, and destiny of the United States.
Be Humble Day
Humility may be the most difficult of all the virtues to truly attain. There seems to be a paradox in that claiming to have humility may be an act of pride. Some people might be prideful in their humility… or something like that. Either way, Be Humble Day focuses on humbling yourself. There is no boasting allowed on Be Humble Day. Choosing not to brag about your successes and abilities can prove to be much more difficult than one might anticipate, as the culture surrounding us is often centered on self and the successes achieved by an individual. Throughout the age’s philosophers and the average Joe alike have pondered humility and what it means to be truly humble. It is a difficult question to answer and the final answer may never fully present itself. But perhaps the seeking of humility is more important than the achieving. In a fascinating twist of irony, the person responsible for the founding of Be Humble Day is unknown. Whoever it was clearly took humility seriously and didn’t bother to brag about starting a recognized day of celebration. Perhaps the person was so humble that they didn’t even stop to think they might have instigated something that would reach so far.
Observing Be Humble Day
The observance of Be Humble Day can be gone about in many ways, but all the avenues of observance should maintain the quietness associated with humility. There should be no loud proclamations of the fact that you’re celebrating Be Humble Day, as that would ruin the point. The first step is simply to bear in mind to be humble. If you keep that focus, then the rest may follow along after quite simply. Remember: don’t focus on your own greatness and the achievements you’ve made. Be Humble Day is also about encouraging others and focusing on their achievements and giving a friend or co-worker the props, they deserve is an excellent way to keep in the spirit of Be Humble Day. If you’re looking for further inspiration and more ways to dig deeper into humility on Be Humble Day then perhaps considering these quotes from some great minds (a title foisted upon them by others, not one they themselves took in keeping with humility) will assist you in your journey.
The Christian thinker C.S. Lewis, best known for his beloved Chronicles of Narnia book series, said that “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” A perfect quote for Be Humble Day. Criss Jami, an American poet and philosopher observed that “The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.” And if you think you know something then stop for a minute and consider the words of Albert Einstein: “A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.” If Albert Einstein can admit that he knows nothing, then perhaps there is hope for all of us to be humbler in our everyday lives. Opportunities to humble ourselves pass us by every day, and Be Humble Day is the perfect inspiration to sit up and notice these chances to better ourselves and to make the world a more pleasant place for the people around us.
· The devil certainly wants you to give in to temptation and do what is wrong, because his main goal is to turn us away from God. When we yield to temptation, you can be sure we make the devil happy.
· But the devil isn’t directly responsible for every temptation we face, nor can we blame him when we give in and do wrong. Temptations come to us in many ways—but when we give in to them, we alone are responsible for what we’ve done. The Bible says, “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14).
· Remember, it isn’t a sin to be tempted; even Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn away from God’s plan (see Matthew 4:1-11). But it is sin to give in to temptation and go our own way instead of God’s way. Every sin is an act of rebellion on our part, telling God we think our way is better than His way. But that is a lie, for God’s way is always best.
· Don’t fight your temptations alone; if you do, you will fail. Instead, ask God to help you by giving you the courage and inner strength to turn away. Begin by asking Christ to come into your life, forgiving and cleansing your sins and coming to live within you by His Spirit.
· Then learn to walk with God every day, through prayer and fellowship with other believers and reading the Bible. The Bible says, “God is faithful. … When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). `
The Devil and Temptations
· Although hypnotism is now used sometimes by respectable doctors, dentists and therapists, it was linked in the past with the occult and with superstition.
· Even when it is legitimate, there are certain real dangers that must be very carefully considered. In hypnotism, one surrenders for a time his own capacity to reason; there is a dependence of the one hypnotized on the will of the hypnotist; also, there can be unfortunate aftereffects that result from this technique.
· Except for a very serious reason, avoid submitting to a hypnotist; never do it for the purpose of entertainment.
MusicIn our day, hard rock music played by "satanic" musical groups presents additional problems. This music often glorifies Satan and also, at times, awakens desires to commit suicide, to use drugs, and to misuse sex. The music is also known to encourage physical violence. Even hell is proposed as a desired end of life. The evil is found in the musical combination of words, rhythm and noise. Records or tapes of this kind should not be kept in the home but should be destroyed, even if they have cost a considerable amount of money. Choose the Kingdom of God!
· It goes without saying that praying to the devil, worshipping Satan, reading the Satanic bible, or taking part in a Black Mass which mocks the crucifixion of Jesus and the Eucharist are among the most serious sins that one can commit.
· In some Satanic worship, there is at times sacrifice to Satan by a horrible killing of animals, and even the murder of human infants. The secrecy surrounding this activity enables the "Church of Satan" to obtain a certain respectability in our society. It has the same legal standing as any other church.
· Do not be deceived; being involved in this false church is a very serious matter. Catholics who wish to repent must resign from the false religion at whatever cost, renounce Satan and their sin in all their heart, and confess this sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
 McCain, John; Salter, Mark. Character Is Destiny.