Saturday, May 9, 2020


Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
TRAIN DAY

Jeremiah, Chapter 32, Verse 39-40
39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me always, for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 With them I will make an everlasting covenant, never to cease doing good to them; I will put fear of me in their hearts so that they never turn away from me.


We should have a holy fear of our Priest and Bishops. We should follow their guidance as we would a beloved father or brother. To give us one heart and one way the Bishop of Phoenix asks us men to enter into the breach.[1]

Sometimes we are tempted to follow any leader who is popular. We forget God’s warning about following the proud and evil hearted:

For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts.(Mal 3: 19)

We may think that following the leadership of our bishops is a waste of time.

You have said, “It is useless to serve God; what do we gain by observing God’s requirements, and by going about as mourners-before the LORD of hosts? But we call the arrogant blessed; for evildoers not only prosper but even test God and escape.” (Mal 3:14-15)

God is not a God of the past and continues to this day in the action of raising a man up and He does so in our Priests and Bishops. Just like an architect that uses rocks and sticks to become temples or bridges God uses men to build his Kingdom. Strive therefore to be God’s man or women.

The Practices of a Committed Catholic Man[2]


Given these reflections on Catholic manhood, we move to the practical, that is, how to live like a Catholic man. What practices can help us to take up our cross and follow our King?

If we think of soldiers who do not remain in strong physical and mental shape and who fail to practice the essential combat arts, we know they will not be ready for battle and will be a danger to themselves and their comrades in arms. The same is true for Catholic men; those who do not prepare and strengthen themselves for spiritual combat are incapable of filling the breach for Christ.

While there are many habits and devotions that a Catholic man can form, I charge you with keeping these seven basic practices on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. If these practices are not (yet) part of your life, start now!

Daily

1.      Pray every day. Each Catholic man must start his day with prayer. It is said, “Until you realize that prayer is the most important thing in life, you will never have time for prayer.” Without prayer, a man is like a soldier who lacks food, water, and ammunition. Set aside some time to speak with God first thing each morning. Pray the three prayers essential to the Catholic faith: The Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Pray also at every meal. Before food or drink touches your lips, make the Sign of the Cross, say the “Bless us, O Lord” prayer, and end with the Sign of the Cross. Do this no matter where you are, with whom or how much you are eating. Never be shy or ashamed about praying over meals. Never deny Christ the gratitude that is due to Him. Praying as a Catholic man before every meal is a simple but powerful way to keep strong and fill the breach.

2.      Examine your conscience before going to sleep. Take a few moments to review the day, including both your blessings and sins. Give God thanks for blessings and ask forgiveness for sins. Say an Act of Contrition.

3.      Go to Mass. Despite the fact that attending weekly Mass is a Precept of the Church, only about one in three Catholic men attend Sunday Mass. For large numbers of Catholic men, their neglect to attend Mass is a grave sin, a sin that puts them in mortal danger. The Mass is a refuge in the Spiritual Battle, where Catholic men meet their King, hear His commands, and become strengthened with the Bread of Life. Every Mass is a miracle where Jesus Christ is fully present, a miracle that is the high point not only of the week, but of our entire lives on Earth. In the Mass, a man gives thanks to God for his many blessings and hears Christ send him again into the world to build the Kingdom of God. Fathers who lead their children to Mass are helping in a very real way to ensure their eternal salvation.

4.      Read the Bible. As St. Jerome so clearly tells us, “Ignorance of the Sacred Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” When we read God’s word, Jesus is present. Married men read with your wife and your children. If a man’s children see him read the Scriptures, they are more likely to remain in the Faith. My brothers in Christ, this I can assure you: men who read the Bible grow in grace, wisdom, and peace.

5.      Keep the Sabbath. From the creation of Adam and Eve, God the Father established a weekly cycle ending with the Sabbath. He gave us the Sabbath to ensure that one day out of seven we will give thanks to God, rest, and be refreshed. In the Ten Commandments, God asserts anew the importance of keeping the Sabbath. With today’s constant barrage of buying and selling and the cacophony of noisy media, the Sabbath is God’s respite from the storm. As Catholic men, you must begin, or deepen, keeping the holiness of the Sabbath. If you are married, you must lead your wives and children to do the same. Dedicate the day to rest and true recreation, and avoid work that is not necessary. Spend time with family, attend Mass, and enjoy the gift of the day.

Monthly

1.      Go to Confession. At the very start of Christ’s public ministry, Jesus calls on all men to repent. Without repentance from sin, there can be no healing or forgiveness, and there will be no Heaven. Large numbers of Catholic men are in grave mortal danger, particularly given the epidemic levels of pornography consumption and the sin of masturbation. My brothers get to Confession now! Our Lord Jesus Christ is a merciful King who will forgive those who humbly confess their sins. He will not forgive those who refuse. Open your soul to the gift of our Lord’s mercy!

2.      Build fraternity with other Catholic men. Catholic friendship among men has a dramatic impact on their faith lives. Men who have bonds of brotherhood with other Catholic men pray more, go to Mass and Confession more frequently, read the Scriptures more often, and are more active in the Faith. Proverbs tells us: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (27:17). I call on each of our priests and deacons to draw men together in their parishes and to begin to rebuild a vibrant and transforming Catholic fraternity. I call on laymen to form small fellowship groups for mutual support and growth in the faith. There is no friendship like having a friend in Christ.

Train Day[3]

They cross thousands of miles across the countryside all over the world, transporting goods and passengers to places far-flung, and bringing back the same to their point of origin. Two gleaming lines of silver lay their path, as they move through cities and forests, mountains and plains to bring everything to those who need it, whether its cargo or people. Of course, were talking about trains, those powerful machines that inspired so much of history and have done amazing things for economies and industry all over the world. Train Day commemorates these wonderful machines and the role they play in our lives.

History of Train Day

The history of Train Day is the history of trains, and that history goes back farther than you might suspect. Railroads were actually a progression from wagonways, which were essentially railroads powered by horse, and have a history going back over 2000 years. The reason wagonways (and of course railways) came into existence was one of simple practicality, you could transport larger loads over a greater distance with prepared paths! The first ways werent even created with metal rails, they were instead created with wooden rails, and in the distance, path even cut-stone tracks. By being carefully prepared you could increase the amount a single horse could haul from one ton to nearly 13 tons! Thats a huge improvement in cargo capacity and a huge boon to those who have to move a lot of it a goodly distance. Of course, with wooden rails they had to be often replaced and so it became common practice to cover them with a thin metal plate to help the wood last. The industrial revolution changed all that, and metal rails are here to stay! And then in 2008 Amtrak established Train Day to help celebrate the history of the locomotive.


How to Celebrate Train Day

The best way to celebrate train day is to go out and take a ride on a train! It doesnt matter where its going, riding a train can be a fantastic and relaxing experience. Some towns have steam trains that are part of their history and still in operation, and dinner trains are always a nice experience. Or, if youre planning on taking a trip, rather than taking a car or plane, take a train for a relaxing ride across the country. Train Day is a great chance to go out and see the world and experience these amazing vehicles.


Must Take Train Trips[4]top ten count down

10. VIA Rail's Canadian


Country: Canada

The Canadian is considered as one of the best trains in Canada, and it indeed is your window to the vast nation of Canada. The train runs between Toronto and Vancouver and covers the distance of 4,466 km in four nights and five days. The train takes the travelers through the varied terrains of the vast Canadian country. Running through waterfalls, golden prairie fields, and the Canadian Rockies, the train gives the traveler a glimpse of the vastness and diversity of Canada. The train has Prestige, sleeper plus, and economy class to suit every budget. It is equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and elegant lounges and spacious compartments.

9. Rocky Mountaineer



Country: Canada

This train follows the historic Canadian Pacific route. The Rocky Mountaineer takes you through the Canadian Rockies into Western Canada. The train journey is filled with some of the most memorable views. From lava cliffs to canyons, the train takes you through some of the best Canadian landscapes. More than likely you will even spot some wildlife on the side as well including bighorn sheep and even an occasional grizzly or a black bear! The best view is seen from the Gold-leaf rail carriages, where the passengers are seated in a glass dome atop the train.

8. Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad



Country: United States of America

It is one of the best-preserved heritage railroads in the world. The narrow-gauge rail track is just 3 feet wide and operates at a distance of 45.2 miles. The train connects the towns of Durango and Silverton in the state of Colorado. This is a historic route that was taken by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway and was used for the transportation of gold and silver mined in the San Juan Mountains. This train still uses a steam driven locomotive and has been in operation without interruption since 1881.

7. California Zephyr


Country: United States of America

One of the longest railroad journeys in the Unites States, the Zephyr connects the cities of Chicago and San Francisco. The train takes the passengers through arguably one of the most scenic train routes in North America. It cruises along the Rockies and the beautiful Sierra Nevada. The train crosses as many as seven states. Some of the highlights that the train goes through include Moffat tunnel, the Rockies, Sierra Nevada, Glenwood Canyon, Winter Park and San Pablo Bay.

6. Coast Starlight


Country: United States of America

The Coast Starlight is one of the few train tracks that runs almost entirely along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The train connects the cities of Los Angeles and Seattle. It eases through many cities including Santa Barbara, Sacramento, and San Francisco. The route is breathtaking. From the snow-clad mountains to lush forests and serene coastline makes up a view that stays with you for a long time. The train itself is not quite as luxurious as some other trains on this list, but the sheer view makes for it and then some more!

5. The Grand Canyon Railway


Country: Unites States of America

The train offers the iconic view of the Grand Canyon like no other. The breathtaking cliffs of the south tip of the Grand Canyon and the desert land of Arizona makes one of the best traveling experience. The train itself is also quite exclusive. The passenger cars are vintage 1920s Pullman cars while the cafĂ© on board dates back to 1950s. The 130-mile route is studded with numerous spots that make you gaze in wonder and awe.

5. Denali Star


Country: The United States of America

The picturesque route from Anchorage to Fairbanks in Alaska is best explored from this beautiful train. The specially designed double-decker dome shapes cars offer the best views of the majestic state of Alaska. The view of Mount McKinley is one of the things that you will never forget from this train. The route is also quite frequently visited by wildlife including the massive Grizzly Bears and Moose.

4. Hiram Bingham Orient-Express



Country: Peru

The alluring Machu Pichu can be reached aboard the Hiram Bingham. The train itself is a 1920s-style locomotive that chugs along the high plains and cruises through the agricultural terraces to reach the Inca Citadel. The train 3-and-a-half-hour-long journey takes you through the best views of Peru's Urubamba River. The train takes the travelers to an elevation of 7500 feet above the sea level. It can cause altitude sickness, and oxygen is available just in case.

3. Rhine Valley Line



Country: Germany

The most beautiful train trip that you can take in Germany, the Rhine Valley line offers postcard views of the German land. The train tracks overlooking river takes you from Mainz to Koblenz in less than three hours. The train takes you through the beautiful castles and fortresses. This is truly one of the best train rides in Europe. Although the distance is quite short (62-miles), there is no scarcity of some gorgeous vistas.

2. The Ghan


Country: Australia

This is perhaps the longest train trip on this list. The Ghan takes you across the continent of Australia from Adelaide to Darwin. The two-day mammoth journey through the natural landscapes and wilderness of central and northern Australia offers some of the best views of the desert in the central part to the lush tropical climates of the northern territory. The train offers both Platinum and Gold class accommodations. Although the Platinum level is significantly more expensive, it offers private cabins and bathrooms.

1. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express


Country: Italy

This is perhaps the most gorgeous train you will ever see. The interiors of the cars were designed by famous artists such as Rene Lalique. It is arguably one of the most celebrated trains in the entire world. The train carries the passengers in the classic pre-modern era style. The glamorous cars and the delicious meals add to the overall experience of cruising through Europes most beautiful landscapes.

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Iceman’s 40 devotion
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Rosary




[3] https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/train-day/
[4]https://www.vacationsbyrail.com/train-travel-resources/traveling-by-train/tips-and-advice/25-must-take-train-trips



Comments

Popular Posts