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.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
10, Verse 19-24
19 Whose offspring can be honorable?
Human offspring. Those who fear the
LORD are honorable offspring. Whose offspring can be disgraceful? Human offspring.
Those who transgress the commandment are disgraceful offspring. 20 Among relatives their leader is
honored; but whoever fears God is
honored among God’s people.21 The beginning
of acceptance is the fear of the
Lord; the beginning of rejection, effrontery and pride. 22 Resident alien, stranger,
foreigner, pauper—their glory is the fear
of the LORD. 23
It is not right to despise anyone wise but poor, nor proper to honor the
The prince, the ruler, the judge are in honor; but none is greater than the one
who fears God.
By the action of Jesus Christ and the grace of the
Eucharist we are no longer human offspring but the very offspring of God. As
His offspring we radiate a presence; it affects our whole being. The indwelling
of the Holy Spirit is real. God’s Holy presence changes us physically, mentally
and in a deeper sense within the heart. We are new people. In a similar way
Moses face radiated this presence so much his face had to be covered because
its glowing terrified the Israelites. In earlier postings we discussed how
Sarah; Abraham’s wife was exquisitely beautiful at an advanced age. Those who
radiate the presence of God seek His will. They have the right intention giving
all things to God. They avoid mortal sin and obey the laws of God. They cherish
God in their hearts and seek to do those things that please God. At times we
find ourselves so engrossed with our day to day activities and worry about the
mundane; much like Saint Martha forgetting “the better part”. If we are to
radiate His presence, we must be in
His presence. Perhaps today would be a good day to develop the practice of
putting one item on your daily “To Do” list that you know will please God.
came from, Catania, a city in Sicily. I was stationed there while in the Navy
and lived in a small town of Nicolosi which was situated on the Volcano (Etna)
near the city of Catania. I was impressed and formed as a young man by the
faith and beauty of the people of Sicily.
Agatha was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. She
belonged to a rich, important family. When she was young, she dedicated her
life to God and resisted any men who wanted to marry her or have sex with her.
One of these men, Quintian, was of a high enough rank that he felt he could force
her to acquiesce. Knowing she was a Christian in a time of persecution, he had
her arrested and brought before the judge - - himself. He expected her to give
in to when faced with torture and possible death, but she simply affirmed her
belief in God by praying: "Jesus
Christ, Lord of all, you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I
am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil." Quintian
imprisoned her in a brothel in order to get her to change her mind. He brought
her back before him after she had suffered a month of assault and humiliation
in the brothel, but Agatha had never wavered, proclaiming that her freedom came
from Jesus. Quintian sent her to prison, instead of back to the brothel -- a
move intended to make her more afraid, but which probably was a great relief to
her. When she continued to profess her faith in Jesus, He had her tortured. He
refused her any medical care, but God gave her all the care she needed in the
form of a vision of St. Peter. When she was tortured again, she died after
saying a final prayer: "Lord, my
Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from
the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Receive my soul."
Because one of the tortures she supposedly suffered was to have her breasts cut
off, she was often depicted carrying her breasts on a plate. It is thought that
blessing of the bread that takes place on her feast may have come from the
mistaken notion that she was carrying loaves of bread. Because she was asked
for help during the eruption of Mount Etna, she is considered a protector
against the outbreak of fire. She is also considered the patroness of bell
makers for an unknown reason -- though some speculate it may have something to
do with the fact that bells were used as fire alarms.
Saint Agatha, you suffered sexual assault
and indignity because of your faith. Help heal all those who are survivors of
sexual assault and protect those women who are in danger. Amen
an Agatha loaf! On St. Agatha's feast day people would bake loaves attached to
a picture of St. Agatha and prayers for protection from fires. The parish
priests would bless the loaves, and people would keep them in their homes in
case of a poor harvest and famine. The prayers would then be hung above the
main door of each home to invoke St. Agatha's guardianship.
tradition associates this feast day with ancient fertility customs. Young men
would visit many farms throughout the countryside, singing songs of praise to
St. Agatha and invoking God's blessing upon people, animals, and fields.
However, if they did not receive the customary gifts of money or food for their
services, they would call down a 'quick old age' upon the ungrateful
inhabitants of that farm. Although most of us do not live in such communities
where this kind of custom would be practicable or even understood, we can pray
to St. Agatha for a greater openness to the transmission of new life in our
culture, and actively affirm and support young couples with children whenever
Agatha is the patron saint against fire. Take this day to establish a fire
escape plan for the family and to practice a family fire drill. Also check the
smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors to see if they are
all working. Change the batteries on all the alarms! (Idea taken from A
Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families by Monica McConkey. Used
with permission. Write to [email protected] or see Arma Dei for more information about this
great book. Treasure Chest is filled with unique ideas for activities,
crafts and recipes to help families celebrate the various Seasons and Feast
Days of the year.) She also has a couple of excellent websites worth a visit: Equipping Catholic
and Arma Dei Shop.
National Signing Day
National Signing Day marks the start of the college
football signing season. From this day forward, high school football players
can sign a National Letter of Intent to play football for a university in the
National College Athletic Association (NCAA). The National Letter of Intent is
a binding agreement between a potential student-athlete and a NLI member
institution. Once signed, the agreement requires the athlete to attend and
represent the institution for at least two semesters or three quarters, and in
return, the institution must provide athletic financial aid for the same
duration. National Signing Day marks the start of many football players'
careers as they transition into more professional setting. National Signing Day
was established in 1981 by the College Football Association in an effort to
eliminate separate conference signing dates and force student-athletes to
commit to only one NCAA institution. Prior to 1981, NCAA football
conferences required recruits to sign separate letters of intent since
conference letters only restricted signing within the conference itself.
Signing Day Facts & Quotes
until 2014, players for the NCAA were not paid. In August 2014, the NCAA began
to allow student-athletes to receive full scholarships and additional financial
supplements between $2,000-4,000 to support daily expenses and the cost of
have different signing days where high school athletes from that sport can
commit to the university of their choice.
to signing a letter of intent, prospective students usually go on a recruiting
trip paid for by the university in question. The trip serves to show the
recruit a good time and attempt to convince him/her to commit to studies there.
to the NCAA, of its 1,100 members, only 20 of them actually make more money
than they spend on sports each year.
again, we feel that we have another fine class. Most notably we feel that we're
continuing to add to our overall team speed and our athleticism on our football
team. We're successful in signing 24 players, or probably more aptly put we
have 24 new players in our program. - Tracy Claeys - Minnesota Golden Gophers
Head Football Coach
Signing Day Top Events and Things to Do
out to your local park and play a game of football with your family and friends
to celebrate all those who are committing to playing in NCAA football today.
the day's events of your favorite conference live. Most are aired live
across networks such as ESPN and they can often be found online.
some of the student-athlete rules and criteria in order to gain a better
understanding of the players' responsibilities and duties in addition to
playing ball. Some basic requirements include:
1) earn at least a 2.3 GPA in core courses
2) earn at least 9 credits per semester
3) adhere to amateurism requirements (limiting agent involvement, prize money,
salaries and contracts with professional teams)
a movie about NCAA Football. Our favorites are Friday Night Lights
(2004), The Blind Side (2009), Rudy (1993) and The Express (2008).
a local high school football team. Your financial and time donations can mean
the chance to get a scholarship for a high school student to pursue university