27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew [his] sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, “Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.” 29 He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with FEAR, he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
In this work of God’s Mercy, Christ frees the jailer from the jail of fear and sin.
Freeing of the Jailer of his jail
Paul was not overwhelmed by circumstances. The earthquake had not numbed him with fear. He had no abject terror of death. Paul had his wits about him. He heard the jailer's cry, heard the sword being drawn - perhaps, he saw the shadow of it cast by the dim lamplight upon the prison wall and spoke out in mercy to save the man's life from the consequences of sin.
Our fallen natures continually drag us down. We have little power to withstand the inclination to sin when it is strong upon us. We scarcely live a day of our lives without falling short of the standards we set ourselves let along the standards that God sets. It is very doubtful that the Philippian jailer thought along these lines exactly - nor do most people who are converted! The jailer just knew that he needed saving from the way he was. He compared himself with Paul and Silas and he was disgusted with the life he led. He hadn't the fortitude, inner joy, peace or consideration for others that Paul exhibited. The jailer feared death. He had no sort of relationship with God. He had no hope of life beyond the grave because he had no assurance that God was interested him let alone loved him. The jailer was lost, and he knew it.
Paul and Silas replied to the jailer's question as one: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household." Paul did not point the jailer to Jesus' saving work but to Jesus himself. This is because in the first instance the human heart must submit to Jesus. A sinner has to answer, "I will," to that command of Paul and Silas. Saving faith involves submitting, surrendering and yielding to Jesus. The rebel has to shoulder arms and say to the Savior, "I give in. Please rescue me."
Today would be a good day to reflect on what we want to harvest this fall; so like farmers we must till the soil of our soul reflecting this day on our use of our TALENTS and look at in what ways we may offer our abilities to Christ to help build a harvest for His Kingdom.
Work is one of these aspects, a perennial and fundamental one, one that is always relevant and constantly demands renewed attention and decisive witness."
The Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to ensure authentic progress by man and society." "Human work is a key, probably the essential key, to the whole social question, if we try to see that question really from the point of view of man's good. And if the solution - or rather the gradual solution - of the social question, which keeps coming up and becomes ever more complex, must be sought in the direction of 'making life more human', then the key, namely human work, acquires fundamental and decisive importance."
Work and Man
John Paul, "work is a fundamental dimension of man's existence on earth." This conviction is found in the first pages of Genesis: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it." "Man's dominion over the earth is achieved in and by means of work. ... The proper subject of work continues to be man," and the finality of work "is always man himself." It is a question of the objective and subjective meaning of work: although both are important, the second takes precedence; "there is no doubt that human work has an ethical value of its own, which clearly and directly remains linked to the fact that the one who carries it out is a person, a conscious and free subject, that is to say a subject that decides about himself." Although technology fosters an increase in the things produced by work, sometimes it "can cease to be man's ally and become almost his enemy, as when the mechanization of work 'supplants' him, taking away all personal satisfaction and the incentive to creativity and responsibility, when it deprives many workers of their previous employment, or when, through exalting the machine, it reduces man to the status of its slave." "in order to achieve social justice in the various parts of the world, in the various countries, and in the relationships between them, there is a need for ever new movements of solidarity of the workers and with the workers.""Work is a good thing for man - a good thing for his humanity - because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfillment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes 'more a human being'."
Conflict: Labor and Capital in the Present Phase of History
Rights of Workers
· He discusses the need to take action against unemployment, which is a true social calamity and a problem of a moral as well as an economic nature. Starting with the concept of the "indirect employer," in other words, "all the agents at the national and international level that are responsible for the whole orientation of labor policy," he notes that in order to solve the problem of unemployment, these agents "must make provision for overall planning." This "cannot mean one-sided centralization by the public authorities. Instead, what is in question is a just and rational coordination, within the framework of which the initiative of individuals ... must be safeguarded."
· Speaking of the rights of workers, he recalls the dignity of agricultural work and the need to offer jobs to disabled people. As for the matter of salaries, he writes that "the key problem of social ethics in this case is that of just remuneration for work done."
· In addition, "there must be a social re-evaluation of the mother's role." Specifically, "the whole labor process must be organized and adapted in such a way as to respect the requirements of the person and his or her forms of life, above all life in the home, taking into account the individual's age and sex."
· It is fitting that women "should be able to fulfill their tasks in accordance with their own nature, without being discriminated against and without being excluded from jobs for which they are capable, but also without lack of respect for their family aspirations and for their specific role in contributing, together with men, to the good of society."
· Besides wages, there are other social benefits whose objective is "to ensure the life and health of workers and their families." In this regard, he notes the right to leisure time, which should include weekly rest and yearly vacations.
· The Pope then considers the importance of unions, which he calls "an indispensable element of social life." "One method used by unions in pursuing the just rights of their members is the strike or work stoppage. This method is recognized by Catholic social teaching as legitimate in the proper conditions and within just limits," but must not be abused.
· As for the question of emigration for work reasons, he affirms that man has the right to leave his country to seek better living conditions in another. "The most important thing is that the person working away from his native land, whether as a permanent emigrant or as a seasonal worker, should not be placed at a disadvantage in comparison with the other workers in that society in the matter of working rights."
Elements for a Spirituality of Work
· Labor has meaning in God's eyes. Thus, "the knowledge that by means of work man shares in the work of creation constitutes the most profound motive for undertaking it in various sectors."
· Labor is participation in the work of the Creator and the Redeemer. Jesus Christ looks upon work with love because he himself was a laborer.
· This is a doctrine, and at the same time a program, that is rooted in the "Gospel of work" proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth. "By enduring the toil of work in union with Christ crucified for us, man in a way collaborates with the Son of God for the redemption of humanity. He shows himself a true disciple of Christ by carrying the cross in his turn every day in the activity that he is called upon to perform."
10 things happy professionals do before 10 a.m.
Here, life coaches and psychologists explain the joint secrets happy professionals share:
1. They get enough sleep
Even if college was many moons ago, you’ve likely pulled an all-nighter in the past year. Or, you’ve been so overworked and double-booked that you spent more time tossing and turning than resting. For those people who wake up ready – and elated – to tackle the day ahead, the eight hours that come before the alarm clock dings are just as important as the minutes that follow it. As licensed therapist Melody Li explains, many workers overlook the power of a good night’s sleep in an effort to push their minds and bodies to the limit. As studies indicate and Li reminds, not reaping the rewards of shuteye usually results in poor memory, difficulty problem-solving and unexplained ups and downs. Professionals who tuck themselves into bed instead of watching Netflix (or their favorite YouTube videos on repeat)? They wake up in better spirits.
2. They take their time
Sure, there are some mornings that warrant that tempting snooze button, but to rise on the right side of the bed, yoga therapist and natural health expert Dr. Lynn Anderson Ph.D., giving yourself time to linger is key. When you feel frazzled or pressed for time, you’ll not only make more mistakes which can bum-out your confidence levels, but you don’t allow yourself to ease into the day’s tasks in an enjoyable manner. “Get up early enough to relax, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and organize the day. Rushing and running late leads to stress and stress is like a fire extinguisher for happiness. It’s a poisonous gas that makes a mess. Being organized and relaxed creates happiness,” she shares.
3. They make their bed
Seems simple enough, but how often do you leave your apartment or home in shambles? It’s easy to forget in the hustle of the morning, but motivational speaker and workplace expert Amy Cooper Hakim, Ph.D. says there’s a sense of glee found when your living area is prime. “A happy professional builds confidence and self-efficacy by completing a simple chore like making her bed before heading to the office. This act sets a ‘can do’ mindset into motion for the day. It’s an easy task to check off the to-do list,” she shares. “When we accomplish one item on our agenda, we are more driven to accomplish others. Also, as a double bonus, many find it especially comforting and gratifying to climb into a made bed at the end of a long day!”
4. They are able to see gratitude and practice humility
We all have that Wonder Woman (or man) in our life that seemingly glides through life, experiencing it all with ease. They’re top of their game at work, thoughtful and kind to others, brave to their core, and overall, rather funny. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll notice a common thread of humility in these happy-go-lucky, positive-thinking individuals. Career coach and shamanic practitioner John Moore explains that those who exercise gratitude as part of their daily routine tend to be more joyful, in life and in work. He adds that research even indicates thankful people have better relationships and more enduring psychological health.
5. They set daily goals
Yep, you read that correctly: Happy professionals are masters of setting micro, 24/7 goals that keep them on the right track. As career and branding expert Wendi Weiner explains, those who are able to turnaround the best work with the best attitude take the time to plan ahead, so they aren’t caught in a bind or a last-minute deadline that slipped off their radar. “These are non-negotiable tasks that must be completed for that day. The reason for this is that when you actually achieve what you set out to achieve, that will raise the level of happiness and personal satisfaction,” she says.
6. They communicate with others
Those people who are nearly always smiling — and not faking it, but really grinning their heart out — usually want to spend time with one another. Moore explains that the pull comes from a part in our brains called the ‘anterior cingulate cortex’ which measures social status, as well as pain and a high number of opiate receptors. “Social exclusion registers in the brain much like physical pain. In studies, one of the greatest predictors of happiness is the breadth of social networks,” he says.
Even if you don’t start chatting up a storm with your partner or your morning-hating roommate, Moore says you’ll start the day off brighter if you, at the very least, communicate in some way. “Happy professionals focus some of their morning time growing and nurturing social connections. Check in with friends, meet someone for coffee, chat up the cute barista — just start talking!” he says.
7. They keep their calendars open
It might be difficult to tango around time zones if you have international clients, but if you can help it, health coach Kenneth Rippetoe recommends keeping your calendar completely free until after 10 a.m. This gives you time to prepare for your day and be mindful of the moments you’re giving your energy to others, instead of always being readily available. “Practice being intentional with your time and resources. When you are intentional, you make the choices that do align with your value system and goals for your personal and professional life,” he explains.
8. They focus on the present and future, not the past
Ask anyone who has been able to send away the skeletons in their closet and they’ll agree that releasing the mistakes of yesteryear was the first step. If you find yourself dreading each day or feeling anxious about how your career will exceed, Weiner suggests taking a page from the notebook of joy-focused professionals who make a habit of living in the moment and preparing for the future with a solid outlook. “Happy professionals will concentrate their focus on the present things they are doing and the present goals they want to achieve as well as the future things they plan to do and/or achieve,” she explains. “Their energy will concentrate less on regrets, and more on taking chances and risks to maximize their happiness.”
9. They complete a task that makes them feel powerful
Perhaps it was after you ran your very first 5K. Or landed a client that took months to romance. Or when you finally took the plunge and checked ‘bungee jumping’ off your bucket list. While you can’t perform one-of-a-kind feats every single day (sadly), Li stresses the importance of completing something in the A.M. that set you up to feel powerful throughout the day. Though every person will sing a different tune, it’s most important that you strategize your day to make time for this task. “For many, it’s some type of physical activity like running, swimming, or lifting. For others, it might be solving a tricky puzzle or crossword. It could be meditating, dancing to energetic music, or even stretching,” she explains. “Whatever that looks like to you, spend at least 15 minutes doing something that reinforces the strength that you hold within and carry this sense of power with you into your day.”
10. They visualize their success
Much like amping up for the future — whether it’s a month, a year or a decade away — psychologist and relationship expert Anotina Hall says happy careers are much like flourishing love affairs. To truly find the grace and vulnerability in the positions you’re in, you have to be courageous enough to imagine your future. As Hall explains, “Studies have shown that by spending even a few minutes each morning to visualize your goals coming to fruition with ease increases the likelihood of successfully accomplishing those goals.
“See your upcoming meeting in vivid detail, visualizing the desired outcome will help make it go well and build your confidence!”
Memorial Day Build Up
Every day from now to Memorial Day I ask your prayers for each service and all of our defenders to include police and fire on Memorial Day.
Where the mighty go; God goes with them!
· At Iwo Jima, Marine Chaplain Father Charles Suver celebrated Holy Mass shortly before the raising of the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi by the Marines. Debate has been inconclusive whether it was the first less known or the second more well-known raising of the flag that is now immortalized in history. Regardless of which flag raising it was Father Suver could still hear Japanese voices in the nearby caves as he said the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
Pray Day 5 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops
Many believe this global pandemic, and subsequent distancing from Mass and Communion, has the hand of God on it. Or, at least, many believe God seeks to utilize it for His purposes. It may be that a kind of illumination is at work here. One that is calling us to a greater appreciation and love for the Most Holy Eucharist, while calling us priests and bishops to a greater fortitude, amidst the forces of evil moving, mostly, unabated in our times.
Recently, I pointed out that our First Shepherds (Apostles), when faced with a "crisis moment" (Jesus is arrested) behaved in certain way. I hypothesized that the ratio of present day Shepherds (we priests & bishops) seems similar to the first Shepherds.
- 1/12th of us present day Shepherds seem to have no supernatural faith, treating the Church merely as a business - like Judas.
- 10/12ths of us present day Shepherds seem to lack fortitude, like 10 of the 12 Apostles who deserted Jesus and fled, when Jesus was arrested. It seems that many of us modern day Shepherds simply allow evil to advance while we retreat in silence. However, it must be noted that the forces of evil in our times may be the strongest and most aggressive they have ever been, especially in this age of "instant information" ... "instant propaganda." Shepherds, today, are facing an enormous Goliath. We need much prayer for the strength of the Holy Spirit.
- Finally, there is the remaining 1/12th of us present day Shepherds who, like John the Beloved, courageously stay with Jesus, all the way to the foot of the cross. These modern day Shepherds fearlessly put their reputations on the line to bring the light of the Spirit of truth to outshine the evil forces of darkness.
However, don't we know that the Apostles were huddled in the Upper Room, when Jesus penetrated obstacles - a locked door - and breathed on them with the power of the Holy Spirit. In that moment, empowered by the Holy Spirit, they left their fear and timidity behind, and became courageous John the Beloved Good Shepherds. They would then go forth from the Upper Room to stand against the forces of evil in their times, bringing the Spirit of truth, even when that meant they would be martyred. They bravely accepted their call to be the "influencers of their times."
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you (John 14:15-17).
We need to call out to God for the grace of a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit for priests and bishops! We need a "Priestly Pentecost."
Blessed Concepción Cabrera de Armida (1862-1937) was a Mexican Roman Catholic mystic and writer. She is also referred to often simply as Conchita. She was beatified in Mexico City on 4 May 2019, as the first Mexican laywoman to receive this recognition.
The Lord revealed to Conchita the vital role of the priesthood for the world, and then the Lord revealed this:
"I want to give my Church a powerful impulse in which I will pour out the Holy Spirit over my priests like a new Pentecost. The Church and the world need a new Pentecost, a priestly Pentecost, an interior Pentecost."
Pentecost Novena Asking God for a Priestly Pentecost
A global pandemic emerges, distancing Catholics from the Mass, only a few months after our Church received a shocking new Pew Research Report that revealed 70% of professed Catholics do not believe in Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist. Coincidence? One wonders. This is a "crisis moment" that should not be dismissed.
Let's pray like we have never prayed before!
The Pentecost Novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church.
Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed.
Pentecost Novena Dates: The Pentecost Novena for our Priests and Bishops goes from
Friday, May 22 to Saturday, May 30 (Vigil of Pentecost).
Power Up Your Pentecost Novena: Be in a State of Grace (Go to Confession). Find time to pray, in silence, before the Blessed Sacrament. Add fasting, to whatever level God is calling you.
Simple Intention: We will seek the intercession of the Virgin Mary and Pope St. John Paul II, as our intention will be the same as that of the holy monk of In Sinu Jesu: "Johanninise the souls of our priests and bishops. Please, Lord, grant a Priestly Pentecost."
Daily Pentecost Novena Prayers Found by (I will post the daily novena prayers here) ...
- Joining the Grace Force email list: HERE
- Going to usgraceforce.com
- Joining the Grace Force Facebook group: HERE