Thursday first week of Lent
Sirach, Chapter 34, Verse 14-17
14 Living is the spirit of those who fear the Lord, 15 for their hope is in their savior. 16 Whoever fear the Lord are afraid of nothing and are never discouraged, for he is their hope. 17 Happy the soul that fears the Lord!
Let His light radiate through you. Do not let modern living dissuade you from having a spirit of kindness which is displayed in those who exude grace and courtesy. Our newspapers, favorite reality shows, twitters and tweets and politicians, all continually show us the proper response to anyone not seeing things the way they do is to be rude, crude and socially unacceptable. God's grace is in courtesy, the devil's disgrace lurks in discourtesy According to the author of Piers Plowman, discourtesy will be one of the marks of the Antichrist. William Langland prophesied a terrible falling away from Christ and his Church, and the sign of that apostasy would be discourtesy. Intellectual arrogance would lead men into infidelity to Holy Mother Church, contempt for the little and weak, and depravity of morals--in a word, into what Scripture calls "the pride of life," the deadly opposite of courtesy.
McCain says of Aung San Suu Kyi:
In Burma, courtesy is a rebellious gesture to a ruling elite that has tried to terrorize such refined kindness from their culture, and make a world where only power matters, where there are only the fearsome and the fearful. Suu, as she asks Western visitors to call her, never reciprocates discourtesy. She is a practicing Buddhist who refuses to hate those who hate her because, she says, she cannot fear what she doesn’t hate. In a statement she had smuggled to the press, she explained her steady, almost cheerful resistance to the regime’s attempts to frighten her. “It is not power that corrupts but fear,” she wrote. “Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” She remained unmoved. (One must never mistake her good manners and delicate beauty for a lack of will and strength.) She was willing, as always, to show her persecutors every courtesy and to entertain a polite willingness to consider their concerns as they discussed the future of their country. “Confrontation,” she told a Time magazine reporter, “comes about because there is no other way to settle differences. If there is a channel open for settling differences, there should be no need for confrontation.” And when she was asked how cruelly she had been treated by the regime, she responded, “I have never been treated cruelly.” But the regime, the bullies who are destroying the country and are so afraid of this one small woman and her implacable determination, would not acquiesce to any plan that might result in their long-overdue loss of power. Recently, reports have surfaced that the tyrants are again considering the release of Burma’s national heroine. Perhaps they will soon knock at the door of her home again. I have no doubt that when they do she will receive them with perfect courtesy, not that they deserve it. But she does not extend her courtesy as a sign of respect for them or their power, but to show, yet again, that they cannot make her become the only type of person they understand, one of the fearful or one of the fearsome. She is merely, steadfastly, reaching out to beauty to banish ugliness from her sight and the lives of her countrymen.
EPISTLE. Ezech, xviii. 1-9.
IN those days: The word of the Lord came to me, saying: What is the meaning, that you use among you this parable as a proverb in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, this parable shall be more to you a proverb in Israel. Behold all souls are Mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, the same shall die. And if a man be just, and do judgment and justice, and hath not eaten upon the mountains, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel: and hath not defiled his neighbor’s wife, nor come near to a menstruous woman: and hath not wronged any man: but hath restored the pledge to the debtor, hath taken nothing away by violence: hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment: hath not lent upon usury, nor taken any increase: hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, and hath executed true judgment between man and man: hath walked in My commandments, and kept My judgments, to do according to truth : he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord Almighty.
GOSPEL. Matt. xv. 21-28.
At that time: Jesus went from thence and retired into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And behold a woman of Canaan who came out of those coasts, crying out, said to Him: Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David: my daughter is grievously troubled by a devil. Who answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying: Send her away, for she crieth after us. And He answering, said: I was not sent but to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel. But she came and adored Him, saying: Lord, help me. Who answering, said: It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs. But she said: Yea, Lord, for the whelps also eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters. Then Jesus answering, said to her: O woman, great is thy faith: be it done to thee as thou wilt: and her daughter was cured from that hour.
Prayer. Look, O Lord, upon the devotion of Thy people, that we, who are afflicted in body by abstinence, may be refreshed in mind by the fruit of good works.
Read: In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, also called confession, we meet the Lord, who wants to grant forgiveness and the grace to live a renewed life in him. In this sacrament, he prepares us to receive him free from serious sin, with a lively faith, earnest hope, and sacrificial love in the Eucharist. The Church sees confession as so important that she requires that every Catholic go at least once a year.
Reflect: “To pray for those with whom we are angry is a beautiful step toward that law of love.” (Pope Francis, June 12, 2013)
Pray: If you have anger in your heart towards someone, say a prayer for him or her today as a step towards healing.
Act: Make going to confession a priority during Lent this year.
The First Seabees
Because of the urgent need for these men, the first Seabees had no time for military training. They were given medical shots, handed equipment, and sent off to pick up where the civilian contractors left off. One month after the first units were organized, Seabees were at work constructing roads on Bora Bora, one of the Society Islands, thousands of miles out in the Pacific Ocean.
Throughout World War II the Seabees were without construction ratings as we know them now. They were given the most appropriate existing Regular Navy rating on the basis of their civilian vocation and experience; for example, an experienced steelworker or plumber who had achieved a position of responsibility-perhaps as a foreman or owner of a small business-was rated first class or chief Shipfitter. Seabees who held this and other ratings, such as Boatswain's Mate, Machinist's Mate, and Electrician's Mate, were easily distinguished from those who held corresponding shipboard ratings by the Seabee insignia shoulder patch. This now famous insignia consists of a flying bee-fighting mad-with a "white hat" on his head, a spitting "tommy gun" in his front hands, a wrench in his middle hand, and a carpenter's hammer in his rear hand.
Preparing for Battle Know Your Weapons
The weapon of prayer
We can see how much the Devil fears those who pray, since there’s not a moment of the day when he tempts us more than when we’re at prayer. He does everything he possibly can to prevent us from praying. When the Devil wants to make someone lose his soul, he starts out by inspiring in him a profound distaste for prayer. However good a Christian he may be, if the Devil succeeds in making him either say his prayers badly or neglect them altogether, he’s certain to have that person for himself. (St. John Vianney)
The traditional Catholic midday prayer is called the Angelus. Christians have always paused for prayer at the noon. In apostolic times, it was called the prayer of the “sixth hour”, counting from sunrise. It was also at the sixth hour that Jesus was crucified. Though Catholics most commonly recite the Angelus at noon, some pray it at six in the morning and six in the evening. For those who wish to make personal change this is a good time to examine our day so far and offer ourselves us to our God. It is at the turning point of our day that we recall the turning point of history: the moment when the angel appeared to a young woman named Mary.
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Hail Mary…
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. Hail Mary…
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Manhood of the Master-Day 25
 McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 13. The Angelus