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ST. VINCENT DE PAUL Haggai, Chapter 2, verse 5 This is the commitment I made to you when you came out of Egypt. My spirit rem...

Friday, August 7, 2020

Saturday, August 8, 2020

 

DaLet Freedom Ring: Freedom from Irreverence
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Theft" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, Our Father gave us the Ten Commandments for a reason, a good reason. Few people will do it, but we all should look in the mirror and say, "MY Father gave me Ten Commandments because He knew very well I, myself, needed such COMMANDS - not suggestions - because otherwise I would tend to misbehave." After all, if we all were greatly inclined to holiness, we would not have needed those Ten in the first place. In fact - and again, few like to admit it - Our Father pretty much had us pegged as to the main areas we would sin.

So He gave us these Commands like stripes along the highway, to keep us within the boundaries of the narrow road to Heaven.  To stray outside those boundaries - to disobey those Commandments - to SIN - well, welcome to the broad road to destruction. Sometimes there are immediate consequences, like running into the ditch of sin, hitting a tree and dying. Other times there are less immediate consequences. We might "get away" with doing something - or so we erroneously think. Like that secular hymn to Santa, Our Father actually does know when we've been bad or good so be good for goodness' sake.

Life itself tends to have consequences when we violate those Ten Commandments, when we sin.  If we sin in smaller matters, maybe those consequences will be like straying over the "chatter-bumps" intended to alert us when we stray onto or over the highway stripes. Maybe we will get away with texting while driving most of the time. That's what makes it so dangerous. Without immediate consequences; we are lulled into a false sense of security, we are emboldened, until that day when our distracted driving actually does result in a real accident and we and others are maimed or killed. So it is with venial sins. The consequences are not immediate or are minor, so we are emboldened to continue and push the envelope further. That is such dangerous ground.  Sin causes darkness in our souls, and the more we sin, the more it gets dark, dark, dark in there. It gets darker and darker until the time when we cross the line into grave sin and do not even recognize it for what it is. Then, dear family, we have definitely chosen to drive down the broad road to destruction.

Dear family, I say all this because too many people do not appreciate Commandment #7, thou shalt not steal. Other words for stealing include "Theft" and "Larceny." In the secular world, Theft is often defined as the unauthorized taking of property from another with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. Within this definition lie two key elements:  a) a taking of someone else's property; and b) the requisite intent to deprive the victim of the property permanently.

As an aside, "permanently leaves out "unauthorized borrowing" - but just try and tell the store that you only were borrowing something you shoplifted! Similarly, if we put on our thinking caps, it just "doesn't fly" when a criminal alien suggests his "unauthorized entry" simply was a moment of "undocumented immigration." Our Federal Government - and every government on the face of this planet - has immigration commandments for a purpose. Get it straight, dear family:  unauthorized entry, illegal aliens, are thieves, and have just stolen from every other citizen of this country, and no amount of left-wing lib changing of the language to "undocumented" can change that.

Understand this, dear family. Our Father had to COMMAND us not to steal precisely because we were inclined to steal. We were inclined to take that which was not ours. And the more we take, the more darkened are our souls to the reality and the gravity of the taking that which was not ours. Eventually, we get to the point of not even realizing the "taking." That is when we are blithely driving down the very center of the road to destruction.

Dear family, most of us know what is ours and what is not ours. You don't need me to tell you taking what is not yours is a sin, and there will be consequences, now or in eternity. You know this. For today, please recognize that many do NOT know this, or do not care. I do not believe for a second that all those rioters, looters, burners and shooters do not know that what they are taking or destroying is not theirs to begin with. They just do not care. They are lawless, which means - get this straight - they are Godless. Disregard the Law, disregard God. It really is just that simple. Let us recognize it for what it is. This Godlessness can be less evident, like when all those people took over the Wisconsin State Capital in a "protest," ultimately causing about seven million dollars in costs and damages - all paid for by the Badger taxpayers. Dear family, apart from the fact that many of them were teachers taking unauthorized leave and stealing time from the parents and students, they literally stole from every taxpayer every penny of costs and damages.  They.  Are.  Thieves.

While I do not need to define taking of anything tangible, like a candy bar from Kwik Trip or a Wrangler from the Jeep dealership, the above example of the teachers stealing intangible time is instructive for another type of theft of which so many are clueless. For today, let us relate theft of intangible time by relating Commandment #7, "Thou shalt not steal," to Commandment #3, Keep Holy the Lord's Day. The Commandment was a day. That means 24 hours. I sometimes say it this way, "God commanded us to keep holy the DAY. That means 24 hours.  Commandment #3 does not say 'keep holy the Lord's 55 minutes and get mad if father's homily is a little long!" A day is a day, and a day has 24 hours. Remember that bit about how if we sin our soul gets darker until it gets really dark? All those people who cannot be bothered to show up for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday - they commit grave sin because they have stolen God's time. Usually it does not happen all at once. Usually they start by playing fast and loose with just some of the 24 hours - doing unnecessary work, or making someone else to unnecessary work by shopping or eating out on Sunday. They start down that very slippery slope until one day - boom, they find any excuse good enough to blow off their Sunday OBLIGATION. That will not end well for them. If they do not want to be with God on Sunday, they will not be with Him in eternity.  Period.

Dear family, most of us - excluding the rioters, looters, burners and shooters - know that we should not steal tangible things. How about for today let us ponder how so many of us steal intangible things - like time - like God's time?  As part of our next Confession - how about if we examine our consciences and ask ourselves how much time have we stolen. That is an important examination, dear family, because stealing time makes us thieves. To help with that examination - let us ask ourselves if we have made it a point to do what Jesus told us to do:  spend an hour a day with our Lord in this life, so we really can spend an eternity with Him in the next. Then let us, in these troubled, troubled times, resolve to be free from our attachment to time, and start giving back the Lord one hour for every 23 other hours of the day He gives us.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward theft.
Maybe our greatest theft is the theft of time, our stealing from the Lord what really is His time.
We are so immersed in temporal pleasures that we are blinded to our purpose in life, which is to know, love and serve God in this world so we can be with Him in the next.
Serving takes time, and so many are so stingy with their time.
We intentionally justify leaving God out of our daily lives because we have so many other priorities other than God.
So often we drive so far outside the God-defined narrow lines of life that we do not even recognize we are on the broad road to destruction.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our own theft of time - especially for the times we have not even kept Your day holy, all 24 hours of Your day.
We love you, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love you more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let us pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



SAINT DOMINIC

 1 Corinthians, chapter 2, Verse 3-15

3I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, 4and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive (words of) wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, 5 so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

 It is God’s desire that we be wise not in the way of the world but in the ways of eternity.

 

Human wisdom[1] 

Greek tradition of wisdom was based in argumentations. The Greeks lived to argue. Arguments (discussions) & logics were entertainments. Interests in philosophies and rhetoric was based not only what is said, but how it is said. Always looking for something profound (deep meaning).

 Jews have their wisdom tradition which includes the wisdom Literatures.

 

1. Job – story of a man who did right & suffers

2. Psalms – classic wisdom, praise, laments, etc

3. Proverbs – classic wisdom: do right & no suffering

4. Ecclesiastes – meaning of life

5. Song of Songs – intimate relationship with God

 Gnostics tradition of wisdom and knowledge was a heresy in the early church, a bad theology based on “Secret knowledge” that is needed for salvation. All matters are evil, spirit is good. Gnostics denied the humanity of Christ “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel –not with words of (human) wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power (made void)” “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” The Cross – is the Message. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

 

Saint Dominic[2]

 

St. Dominic had for many years preached against the errors of the Albigenses and other heretics, with such zeal and profound ability that they were often convinced. But nevertheless, the results were unimportant; but few returned to the bosom of the Catholic Church. In this discouraging state of things St. Dominic redoubled his prayers and works of penance, and in particular besought Mary for support and assistance. One day Mary appeared to him and taught him the Rosary. He zealously labored to introduce everywhere this manner of prayer, and from that time preached with such success that in a short period more than one hundred thousand heretics and sinners were converted. The divine origin of the Rosary is testified to by the bull of Gregory XIII. of the year 1577. 

In his life Christ prayed the shema Israel every day stating worship of God must be with the whole heart, mind, soul and strength. Now using Mary’s Rosary given to St. Dominic we can meditate on the mysteries of the rosary and see how Christ and Mary lived the shema and follow their lead. 

Mind=Joyful mysteries

Heart=the Luminous mysteries

Soul=the Glorious mysteries

Strength=the Sorrowful mysteries

 Ten Reasons to Pray the Rosary[3]

 Motivation is the key to carrying out any worthy enterprise. Great men and great women have clear goals and strong motivations. They know what they want, and they have a clear plan before their eyes.

CEO’s in successful companies know what they want, have goals, deadlines, and concrete steps to attain those goals. Professional athletes have a determined determination to win.  They study their opponents’ weak points, capitalize on their own strengths and play for victory.  Therefore, to attain to any goal there must be a clear plan and strong motivations.

 Spiritual Goals and Objectives

Even more important for the human person created in the image and likeness of God should be the goal and the motivation to attain that goal.  Our goal is very clear—to get to heaven.  One of the most efficacious means to attain eternal salvation with God in heaven is through prayer. Prayer is the key to salvation. What oxygen is to our lungs so is prayer to the life of our soul. For that reason, Saint Augustine asserted: “He who prays well lives well; he who lives well dies well; and he who dies well, all is well.”

 Still there is a powerful means and intercessor before the throne of God who can help us to get to heaven and to help us in our prayer life and motivate us to focus our energies on God and God alone—the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 Mary’s Favorite Prayer

Our Lady has a prayer that fills her heart with joy—the Hail Mary and the most Holy Rosary.  Every time the Hail Mary is prayed with attention and sincere heart, Our Lady’s heart is filled with joy. Therefore, let us offer ten points to motivate us to pray the most Holy Rosary.

 1. Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima appeared in Fatima, Portugal six times to three little shepherd children: Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia. In every one of these six apparitions Our Lady said: “Pray the Rosary.”

 2. Her Title.  Finally at the end of her apparitions Our Lady gave herself the title: “Our Lady of the Rosary.” Therefore, if Our Lady insisted six times to pray the Rosary and actually called herself “Our Lady of the Rosary,” common sense tells us that she really wants us to pray the Rosary!

 3. Pope St. John Paul II. This great modern saint, as well as spiritual giant, strongly encouraged the world to pray the most Holy Rosary. In his writing The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary, the Vicar of Christ insisted that we pray the Rosary. He himself said at the start of his pontificate that the Rosary was his favorite prayer.

 4. For the Sake of the Family. In this same document Saint Pope John Paul II insisted that we pray the Rosary for the sake of the family which is under attack and in crisis.  With the growing numbers of separations and divorces, with the legalization of same-sex unions, with so many children without the warmth of the family, now more than ever we must pray the most Holy Rosary.  The Holy Father quotes the Rosary-priest, Father Patrick Peyton: “The family that prays together stays together.”

 5. For World Peace. The document of Saint Pope John Paul II came in the wake of the terrorist attack in New York City with the Twin Towers. Therefore, another reason to pray the Rosary now, more than ever, is for the sake of world peace. With the threat of ISIS, nuclear arsenals, and general tensions growing among nations, the Rosary can be our shield and safeguard. At the end of the First World War Our Lady of Fatima stated clearly that wars come as a result of sin; and if people did not stop sinning then a worse World War would erupt. Within twenty years, the Second World War broke out.  Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen states that world wars are the net result of many individual wars waging in the hearts of sinners, that spreads out to towns, cities, countries and continents, and then boom—the huge war explodes. Sin produces war; prayer produces peace of heart, mind and soul and harmony among peoples!

 6. To Save our Children. Never have we lived in a society with so many dangers, especially with respect to our children and teens. Of great importance is the virtue of purity. The mass media, the modern electronics media, the modern school and teaching agenda, billboards and posters, modern movies and TV programs militate fiercely against the virtue of purity. And to be honest, we live in a pornographic society!  Devotion to Our Lady and the family Rosary can serve as a shield against this onslaught and deluge of filth that is descending upon the world, especially our children and young people.  In a word, we must shield our children in the most pure and Immaculate Heart of Mary; she is an oasis, a refuge, and ark of safety and protection! If you like Noah and his family as well as the animals sought refuge and protection from the deluge in the Ark. We must find refuge in the ark of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart—most certainly a safe refuge!

 7. To Order our Disorders. As a result of the Original Sin that we all inherit in the moment of our conception, our life is marked with disorder. Our thought process, our will, our emotional state of being, our soul, our intentions, our family and social life—all have a certain disorder. Saint Ignatius of Loyola suggests that we do the Spiritual Exercises so as to order the disordered in our lives. Sin causes disorder; prayer brings order. Prayer to Our Lady communicates to our soul and lives the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is a God of order.  Our Lady of Guadalupe with her own hands ordered the roses in the tilma of Saint Juan Diego. By praying the most holy Rosary Our Lady can help to order the disordered in our lives.

 8. For Interior Peace of Mind and Soul. Another wonderful effect of praying the most Holy Rosary is peace of mind, heart and soul. We all desire peace and Our Lady of the Rosary also known with the title “Queen of peace” can definitely attain for us this peace that our hearts so ardently yearn. Saint Augustine defines peace as the tranquility of order. As the hymn reminds us: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

 9. It’s a Biblical Prayer. Pope St. John XXIII stated that the Rosary is a summary of the whole of the Gospel. They are truly based on the Bible, even the prayers of the Our Father and the Hail Mary have their foundation in the Gospels. Therefore, by praying the Rosary fervently, we get to know Jesus and Mary better and better as presented from the Word of God, we fall in love with them and then we become their fiery and ardent Apostles in a world marked with so much coldness and indifference. As Pope Francis reminded us in his Lenten message: There is a widespread globalization of indifference because there is a lack of love of God in the world. This love can be planted and ignited through love of Our Lady and the Holy Rosary—a summary of the Gospels and a true Biblically centered prayer.

 10. To Conquer our Adversities. David had to fight against the ferocious and malicious giant Goliath. Strategically, there was no way that the smaller, inexperienced, unprepared shepherd boy could conquer the giant Goliath. It was like an ant against an elephant. However, the Bible teaches us a very certain truth: Nothing is impossible with God.  David went with a total trust in His God, the Lord of heaven and earth. We all know the ending! David shot a stone from his slingshot; the stone riveted itself in the brow of Goliath, who cascaded to the ground unconscious. David quickly drew the sword of Goliath and cut off his head! Victory, due to the intervention of God! Today we are surrounded by so many “Goliaths”, almost too many to count!  However, our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. Let us turn to the Queen of Heaven and earth and pull out our spiritual slingshot which is the most Holy Rosary and win the battle. Jesus is the King of Heaven and earth and Our Lady is the Queen. Let us find sure refuge under her heavenly mantle!

The Fourteen Holy Helpers[4]

                                        

The Fourteen Holy Helpers are invoked as a group because of the Black Plague which devastated Europe from 1346 to 1349. Among its symptoms were the black tongue, a parched throat, violent headache, fever, and boils on the abdomen. The victims were attacked without warning, robbing them of their reason, and killed within a few hours; many died without the last Sacraments. No one was immune, and the disease wreaked havoc in villages and family circles. The epidemic appeared incurable. The pious turned to Heaven, begging the intervention of the saints, praying to be spared or cured. Each of these fourteen saints had been efficacious in interceding in some aspect for the stricken during the Black Plague. The dates are the traditional feast days; not all the saints are on the General Roman Calendar.

Let us invoke these 14 Holy Helpers for help during the current real and political afflictions that are assaulting us during the COVID 19 crisis.

  1. St. Blaise (also Blase and Blasius) (February 3rd), bishop and martyr. He is invoked against diseases of the throat. Blessing of the throats takes place on his feast day.
  2. St. George (April 23rd), soldier-martyr. Invoked for protection for domestic animals and against herpetic diseases. Also, patron of soldiers, England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Genoa and Venice
  3. St. Acathius (also Acacius) (May 8th), martyr. Invoked against headaches and at the time of death's agony
  4. St. Erasmus (also St. Elmo) (June 2nd), bishop and martyr. He is invoked against diseases of the stomach and intestine, protection for domestic animals and patron of sailors.
  5. St. Vitus (also St. Guy) (June 15th), martyr. Invoked in epilepsy, chorea ("St. Vitus' dance"), lethargy, and the bites of poisonous or mad animals and against storms. Also, protection for domestic animals. Patron of dancer and actors.
  6. St. Margaret of Antioch (July 20th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against backache. Patron for women in childbirth.
  7. St. Christopher (also Christophorus) (July 25th), martyr. Invoked against the plague and sudden death. He is the patron of travelers, especially motorists, and is also invoked in storms.
  8. St. Pantaleon (July 27th), bishop and martyr. Invoked against consumption, protection for domestic animals and patron of physicians and midwives.
  9. St. Cyriacus (also Cyriac) (August 8th), deacon and martyr. Invoked against diseases of the eye and diabolical possession. Also interceded for those in temptation, especially at the time of death.
  10. St. Giles (also Aegidius) (September 1st), hermit and abbot. Invoked against the plague, panic, epilepsy, madness, and nightmares and for a good confession. Patron of cripples, beggars, and breastfeeding mothers
  11. St. Eustace (also Eustachius, Eustathius) (September 20th), martyr. Invoked against fire — temporal and eternal. Patron of hunters. Patron in all kinds of difficulties, and invoked in family troubles
  12. St. Denis (also Dionysius) (October 9th), bishop and martyr. Invoked against diabolical possession and headaches.
  13. St. Catherine of Alexandria (November 25th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against diseases of the tongue, protection against a sudden and unprovided death. Patroness of Christian philosophers, of maidens, preachers, wheelwrights and mechanics. She is also invoked by students, orators, and barristers as "the wise counselor."
  14. St. Barbara (December 4th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against fever and sudden death. Patron of builders, artillerymen and miners. Also invoked against lightning, fire and sudden death.

Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 20[5]


                                        

On Day 20 Father Calloway points out that Joseph was obedient, to his God, his countrymen, and the laws of the temple, but he was obedient to God first.

Lord, have mercy. 
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy. 
Christ, hear us. 
Christ, graciously hear us. 

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, Pray for Us.

Noble offspring of David, Pray for Us.

Light of Patriarchs, Pray for Us.

Spouse of the Mother of God, Pray for Us.

Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, Pray for Us.

Foster Father of the Son of God, Pray for Us.

Zealous Defender of Christ, Pray for Us.

Head of the Holy family, Pray for Us.

Joseph Most Just, Pray for Us.

Joseph Most Chaste, Pray for Us

Joseph Most Prudent, Pray for Us.

Joseph Most Courageous, Pray for Us.

 Joseph Most Obedient, Pray for Us.

 

Joseph was quick to obey the laws of Judaism and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit; he even obeyed in his sleep. Obedience requires trust. One of the major ploys of the evil one is to instill doubt. Joseph did not doubt. We must obey the 10 commandments; attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and go to confession. Also, we must defend the laws of the church regarding marriage and the protection of children in the womb. We must be also prepared to suffer mocking or even violence for our obedience to the laws of God.

 ·         Saint Joseph is a model of obedience.

·         Saint Joseph will increase the virtue of obedience in you. 

Sleeping St. Joseph[6] 

According to Father Calloway God loves sleep-He made it. In fact, Saint Joseph’s sleep was so important and powerful that Satan fears it. God wants us to rest-remember the sabbath. Sleep is pleasing to God.

This is the secret to being indefatigable[7]

Just sleep. Why don’t people make use of it. I’ve given this secret to everyone, says God, I haven’t sold it. He who sleeps well, lives well. He who sleeps, prays. (He who works, prays too. But there’s time for everything. Both for sleep and for work. Work and sleep are like two brothers. And they get on very well together. And sleep leads to work just like work leads to sleep. He who works well sleeps well, he who sleeps well works well.)

Sleep[8]

                                            

Something we all need more of, but never seem to get. (If only we had more timeright?) Today we’re going to cover how you can. First stop and think!

Sleep is important, and you should get more of it!

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)

Before we cover why sleep is important, let’s talk about what happens when you don’t get enough For example: If you manage to only get four hours of sleep, a sleep deprived body can actually act similarly to an intoxicated body.

Getting less sleep than average regularly? This is correlated with increased bodyfat percentage, more issues with insulin sensitivity, and even a disproportionate decrease in lean muscle mass when eating a caloric deficit. We all know missing sleep can make us grouchy, miserable, unfocused, and unproductive. I know I’m going to have a crappy day in the gym when I don’t get enough sleep the night before. I know not sleeping enough AFTER a workout day can further hinder the muscle building process.

So, what else happens when you don’t get enough sleep? “One study found that skipped sleep led to a shrinking brain. The heart and kidneys also take a beating as does your blood pressure. You, in fact, put yourself at continually increased risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases, including obesity and diabetes. 

What is the logical extension of this pattern? Numerous studies link partial sleep deprivation/disruption and increased mortality risk!”

Conversely, let’s talk about the awesomeness that is sleep.  Here are the benefits associated with getting enough shut eye:

·         Sleep will enhance your memory performance and creative problem solving skills.  You know, those things that make you smart.

·         Sleep can boost your athletic performance.  And we all know appearance is a consequence of fitness.

·         Sleep triggers the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a huge role in muscle and cellular regeneration.

·         Sleep cuts your risk for the common cold (Corona Virus) and other basic illnesses.  Less sick days at work = more productivity, more awesome, more leveling up.

·         Sleep makes you more resilient to daily stress. aka more willpower!

Moral of the story: Sleep is awesome.  Yes, some adults can function perfectly on only five hours of sleep, while others need 9-10 hours of sleep to thrive. Most people will fall in that 7-9 range for sleeping needs. So, let’s get to the root of the problem for most: “I know I need to sleep more, but my day is too busy, and I just can’t get to bed sooner or wake up earlier.” First and foremost, you’re not alone. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of all working Americans get six hours or fewer of sleep a night.

Does any of this sound like you? I am always freaking tired, and I need five cups of coffee to get through the day. Even on days when I get enough sleep, I wake up groggy. I get to ‘bed’ but I toss and turn and it takes me forever to fall asleep. I hit snooze half a dozen times before miserably crawling out of bed.

A perfect night of sleep

Let’s imagine a perfect night:  

·         You go to bed at a time that you’re happy with.  

·         You’re not stressed out because you didn’t just watch The Walking Dead.

·         You’re reading a good book in bed that’s putting you closer to sleep rather than checking your smart phone or screwing around on the internet (damn you Twitch.tv).  

·         You sleep uninterrupted through the night

·         . You have good dreams.

·         When you wake up, either naturally or with an alarm…you immediately get out of bed, without a single snooze, and you feel damn good.  

·         You then crush your morning routine and dominate your day.

If you’re looking at your screen and laughing right now, you’re not alone.  I’d guess this is a pipe dream for a huge majority of our society because they’re not sure how sleep actually works, and thus have NOT made sleep a priority.

It’s time to start looking at sleep as one of your most important tasks.

How to get better sleep

We have a circadian rhythm (a daily biological clock) that ebbs and flows throughout the day. Our body uses outside stimuli and our own activity to produce certain hormones at certain times to make our body more prepared for the required functions at that time (alertness vs restfulness).

·         When the sun rose, our bodies are signaled “the day has begun! Get cracking!” We reduce the hormones that make us sleepy and produce more hormones that allow us to do the things that need to get done.

·         As the sun went down, our body starts to produce more melatonin, which produces that sleepy feeling and encourages us to rest/recover.  Our only option for light back then was a candle or campfire. If that went out, we’d have moonlight and nothing else.

·         While sleeping, our bodies knew to cut back on urine production, decrease body temperature, decrease heart rate, and muscle activity.  Our brains are still highly active during our sleeping.

Unfortunately, these days, our bodies aren’t tied to the rise and fall of that giant ball of gas above us. Instead, we use electricity, alarm clocks, computer screens, smart phone screens, and all other sorts of outside stimuli to adjust our natural sleeping schedule. This means that our bodies often have no effin’ clue what time it is!

Here’s how we can get back to our roots:

Trying to get to bed sooner or fall asleep sooner? Limit your exposure to the blue glow of your computer screens, TV screens, and phones later in the evening.  Our bodies look at blue light and think “Sun is up! Sky is blue! Energy! WEEE!” Conversely, lights with a red/orange hue are more reminiscent of a campfire or candle.

·         If you are somebody who has to spend time on your computer at night, consider installing a program like F.lux – it syncs with the sunrise and sunset in your time zone, gradually shifting your screens hue from Blue and bright to red and dim.  I’ve been using the app for over a week now and have quickly adjusted to it.

·         Purchase old-man blue blocker glasses which limits the colors your eyes are exposed to after the sun has gone.

·         Consider purchasing red lightbulbs to install in your bedroom.

·         Consider getting black-out curtains for your bedroom windows, especially if you live in a city.

·         No TV in bed.  This might be incredibly difficult for you if you’ve been falling asleep to TV for years.  Instead of falling asleep with the blue glow of a TV at the foot of your bed, read a book – real books or read on a Kindle, no iPads! trust me, it will put you right to sleep.

·         Buy the right TYPE of Mattress for you

·         Have allergies? Try a hypoallergenic pillowcase!  Your allergies could be affecting you while you sleep and having the proper pillowcase can make a world of a difference.

How to get more sleep

So, we’ve covered how to get BETTER sleep, what if you also need to get more of it? In order to start getting more sleep, sleep must become more of a priority. If you constantly stay up too late because things need to get done, evaluate how your time is spent after work. Seriously, think about it!

Are you doing the important tasks first?

Are you watching late night shows long after they’ve become enjoyable, simply because your DVR records them?

Are you checking your smart phone while in bed, watching Vine videos, or using your laptop to watch more shows you don’t really care about on Netflix?

Here are the best practical tips for giving you the greatest chance at getting into bed earlier:

·         Don’t drink caffeine after lunch if possible.  Caffeine can have an effect up to 6 hours after consumption.  We love caffeine for many reasons (in moderation); however, you want to make sure it’s not consumed too late or your body will revolt.

·         Turn off the electronics sooner.  I have to enforce a “laptops closed by 11PM” or a “TV off after 10PM” rule on many nights or I never get to bed. I get lost in internetland far too easily.  Putting in actual barriers really helps.  If you find yourself checking Facebook and Twitter and other sites incessantly, BLOCK YOURSELF from those sites after a certain time.

·         Stop watching crap TV shows! DVRs can be helpful, but it’s so easy to record shows without second thought…and then we end up spending WAY too much time watching TV.  

·         Shift things by 15 minutes every week. If you want to get to bed sooner, don’t just try to get to bed an hour earlier than normal. You’ll probably lie in bed for that whole hour wondering why you can’t fall asleep, stressing yourself out and making things worse. I shifted my pattern by waking up 15 minutes earlier and getting to bed 15 minutes sooner. Then I repeated that process over a series of weeks. Eventually, you can shift your bedtime by an hour or two but do it gradually!

How to wake up better

Is there any more annoying sound in the world than the “beep beep beep” of an alarm clock?  So here you are, dreaming about riding a dragon with Daenerys Targaryen, doing improv with Liam Neeson, and playing poker with Iron Man and Spock…and that damn alarm clock wakes you up.  You are now incredibly groggy and miserable.

Here’s what’s happening: Remember earlier how we talked about different sleep cycles?  Depending on which cycle you were woken up during, your body can struggle to move from “asleep” to “wide awake.” Wake up in the right phase and you can feel energized and ready to go. Wake up in the wrong phase and you will feel lethargic and sleepy. Because we’re often waking up at times when we’re not ready to wake up, we need to use technology to our advantage.

This is why snoozing is a horrible idea!

Instead of snoozing, set your alarm for 30 minutes later and SKIP snoozing entirely.  If this is an issue for you, put your alarm across the room so you need to physically get out of bed to turn it off! 

I’ve been using the Sleep Cycle App to wake up and it’s been really interesting. You simply put the time in which you want to wake up, put your phone on your bed, and it will wake you up slowly and quietly in at the best point in a 30-minute window. Because it also tracks your sleep incredibly accurately, it’s probably the best 99 cents I’ve ever spent on an app. Try a dawn-simulator alarm clock.  Rather than waking yourself up in the pitch black with a disgusting beeping noise, why not gradually rise as if there was a natural sunrise in your room?

Still feeling groggy? Go for a walk first thing; a mile every morning, if you can.   Walking outside and seeing that blue sky can trigger your body to release the hormones that encourage you to feel more awake and alive.

What about naps?

Although generally not part of a day here in the states, we’re actually programmed to desire a quick nap in the early afternoon. In other countries, naps are more socially acceptable (Siesta?  Si, por favor!).  If you feel bad that you get tired in the early afternoon, it’s not because you’re lazy. It’s because you’re naturally wired for naptime.  Now, you might still be lazy, but it’s not related to your nap schedule.

What about second sleep? Biphasic Sleep is sleeping in two distinct periods. We’re gonna go back in the day again: during winter months, nighttime could last 12-14 hours. With our bodies production of melatonin (the “sleepy time” hormone) kicking into high gear when that sun drops, people had nothing else to do (no TV, PS4, or iPads) and would fall asleep early. Then they would wake up for an hour or two in the middle of the night to read, pray, or think, and then fall back asleep for another 4-5 hours before waking up for the day.

If you’ve ever gone to bed at a normal hour, and then woke up in the middle of the night without being able to fall back asleep for an hour or so, you know what I’m talking about. Here’s the thing: this is actually quite natural! Rather than freaking the heck out and lying in bed wondering why you can’t fall asleep…consider it something that is more common than our current sleep schedule. Don’t be afraid to turn on the light and read a book or use the time for meditation until you can fall back asleep. This one ‘mental shift’ alone can keep your stress levels down and let you get back to sleep faster and provide you with BETTER sleep.

o   Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Devotions

·         Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·         The necessity of being faithful to the end

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

 

                                            



[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[4]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-08-08

[5]https://catholicexchange.com/now-is-the-time-to-consecrate-yourself-to-saint-joseph

[7] https://humanumreview.com/articles/the-surrender-of-sleep

[8]https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/are-you-making-these-mistakes-with-your-sleep/

                                                

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