Friday, January 1, 2021

 

DAY 54 - OUR LADY OF VICTORY, PRAY FOR US

NO CROSS, NO CROWN!
No cross, no crown. No pain, no gain. No guts, no glory. St. James summons us to see the challenges we face as opportunities to rise to new heights of existence, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him" (Jas 1:12).

In the military, the cross and crown symbolizes a soldier's willingness to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, and to country, no matter what. This kind of unwavering dedication is exactly what Jesus meant when he gave us the criterion for enlisting in his elite fighting force: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" (Lk 9:23-25).

While sounding like a military drill instructor, St John Vianney expounds on this radical call to discipleship: "There is no doubt about it: a person who loves pleasure, who seeks comfort, who flies from anything that might spell suffering, who is over-anxious, who complains, who blames, and who becomes impatient at the least little thing which does not go his way - a person like that is a Christian only in name; he is only a dishonor to his religion, for Jesus Christ has said so: 'Anyone who wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross every day of his life, and follow Me.'"

The Gospels stories show how Jesus touched people in ways that made them question the direction of their lives. Some turned away because his challenge seemed to be too hard. But many others were so moved by his mission and ministry that they were compelled to search for a more perfect way of living and being. Where do you stand? Are you ready to put it all on the line? This means nothing less than to do what God is calling you. Are you ready to say "yes" to the call to become his champion? (Excerpt from my book, Church Militant Field Manual).
PRAY A ROSARY
Choose either:
  1. Rosary of the Day: Sorrowful Mysteries
  2. Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Glorious Mysteries
PRAYERS FOR TRADITIONAL 54 DAY NOVENA

THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Prayer before the recitation: Sign of the cross. Hail Mary.

In petition (first 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I humbly kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses, full-blown white roses, tinged with the red of the passion, to remind thee of thy glories, fruits of the sufferings of thy Son and thee, each rose recalling to thee a holy mystery, each 10 bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, dispenser of God's graces, and Mother of all who invoke thee! Thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my petition; from thy bounty thou wilt give me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly seek. I despair of nothing that I ask of thee. Show thyself my Mother!

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I gratefully kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses full blown white roses, tinged with the red of the passion, to remind thee of thy glories, fruits of the sufferings of thy Son and thee each rose recalling to thee a holy mystery; each 10 bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, dispenser of God s graces, and Mother of all who invoke thee! Thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my thanksgiving; from thy bounty thou hast given me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly sought. I despaired not of what I asked of thee, and thou hast truly shown thyself my Mother.

Say: The Apostles' Creed, Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

For each of the following Mysteries, say: Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

The Resurrection - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of faith and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Ascension - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of hope and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of charity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Assumption of Mary - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of union with Christ and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Coronation of the Blessed Mother - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of union with thee and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

Say: The Hail Holy Queen.

Spiritual Communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

In petition (first 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this spiritual communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow. O my Mother! Look with favor upon my gift, and in thy love obtain for me (specify request, see below). Hail Mary ...

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this Spiritual Communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow in thanksgiving for (specify request, see below) which thou in thy love hast obtained for me. Hail, Mary, etc.

PETITION: May truth be revealed, and may America and the Catholic Church become strong in God's power. - Ephesians 6:10
 
Please consider adding these prayers, until the election is called (more information HERE):

Fr. Ripperger's Recommended Prayers for
Breaking Oppression and Sending Back Evil
Until the Election is Called

Consecration of One's Exterior Goods to the Blessed Virgin Mary

(This prayer is particularly useful for breaking various forms of oppression. By relinquishing what belongs to us into the hands of the Blessed Virgin, Satan cannot touch them. This is a strong prayer of protection on you and yours):

I; (Name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose thee, O Mary, this day for my Mother and Mistress. Knowing that I have received rights over all my exterior goods by the promulgation of the Natural Law by the Divine Author, I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, all of my exterior goods, past, present and future; I relinquish into thy hands, my Heavenly Mother, all rights over my exterior goods, including our President, the fairness, honesty and accuracy of the outcome of the election, and our country and I retain for myself no right of disposing the goods that come to me but leave to thee the entire and full right of disposing of all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity. As I now interiorly relinquish what belongs to me exteriorly into thy hands, I entrust to thee the protection of those exterior goods against the evil one, so that, knowing that they now belong to thee, he cannot touch them. Receive, O good and pious Virgin, this little offering of what little is, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to Thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of You have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. Trusting in the providential care of God the Father and thy maternal care, I have full confidence that thou wilst take care of me as to the necessities of this life and will not leave me forsaken. God the Father, increase my trust in Thy Son's Mother; Our Lady of Fair Love, give me perfect confidence in the providence of Thy Son. Amen.

Sending Evil Back

(Fr. Chad Ripperger comments that the following prayer may appear harsh, in that it seems to seek evil befall on another, yet it is meant to expose evil and to teach that evil does not win. And, in fact, choosing evil will, eventually, lead to bad repercussions)

Jesus and Mary, I ask that if it be Your Holy Will, that any curses or evil sent against the President or the election process be sent back from whence they came.

PRAYER OF TOTAL CONSECRATION

By St. Maximilian Kolbe

O Immaculata, Queen of heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, N..., a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you. If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and, "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise you, O sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.

 
All of the daily Novena Prayers and Reflections are also posted at usgraceforce.com

Spanish language Novena prayers and reflections are available at https://rosarycoasttocoast.com/nfon-espanol/.

Those who would like to pray with others via The Telephone Rosary, call 1-951-799-9866 daily at 6 pm Eastern.



January 2021 

Creeks, rivers, and other forms of moving water, including ice, manifest the flow of life itself. A gurgling stream or rushing river, even in midwinter's rest, is the sign that new life is coming forth, even when it is not yet perceptible in a snow-covered landscape. Our life in Christ begins through the saving water of Baptism; since this is so, we have an obligation to protect and save the water. Water pollution is widespread, denying safe drinking water to millions of people. 

Overview of January[1] 

The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, which is celebrated on January 3. The first twelve days of January fall during the liturgical season known as Christmas which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The remaining days of January are the beginning of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. 

In the first part of January, we continue to rejoice and celebrate Christ's coming at Bethlehem and in our hearts. We have the wonderful feasts of Mary, Mother of God, where we honor Mary's highest title, and then we follow the Magi to the crib as they bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh on Epiphany. Finally, we reach the culmination of this season with the Baptism of Our Lord by St. John the Baptist. With a touch of sadness, we take down our decorations and enter into the liturgical period known as Ordinary Time where we will devote ourselves to the mystery of Christ in its entirety. 

The opening days of January may be cold and nature bleak, but the domestic church still glows warm with the peace and joy of Christmas. We dedicate the New Year to Mary on the January 1st Solemnity honoring her as Mother of God; and on January 7, the Solemnity of Epiphany, we rejoice with her, as her Son is adored by the three Wise Men. 

Herald John, who ushered in the Advent season, is present once again to close Christmastide on the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (The First Luminous Mystery), and to open the Season of Ordinary Time. He points to Jesus, the Lamb of God who unites time and eternity in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and even January’s diminishing darkness seems to echo St. John’s prayer: “He must increase, and I must decrease.” 

In this liturgical season the Church eagerly follows Our Lord as he gathers his apostles and announces his mission. At Cana’s wedding feast (The Second Luminous Mystery) he performs his first public miracle at the request of his Mother, and his disciples saw his glory and believed in him. 

We, his present-day disciples pray for a like faith as we contemplate the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb and the unique role of the Blessed Mother in the plan of salvation. May we wholeheartedly obey her words of counsel: “Do whatever he tells you.” 

Introduction to Genesis[2]

Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), the first section of the Jewish and the Christian Scriptures. Its title in English, “Genesis,” comes from the Greek literally, “the book of the generation (genesis) of the heavens and earth.”

The book has two major sections—the creation and expansion of the human race, and the story of Abraham and his descendants. The first section deals with God and the nations, and the second deals with God and a particular nation, Israel.

The Composition of the Book.

The Book of Genesis was written for a Jewish audience that had suffered the effects of the exile and was now largely living outside of Palestine. The text highlighted themes of vital concern to this audience:

·         God intends that every nation have posterity and land.

·         The ancestors of Israel are models for their descendants who also live-in hope rather than in full possession of what has been promised.

·         The ancient covenant with God is eternal, remaining valid even when the human party has been unfaithful.

Genesis 1–11.

The seven-day creation account tells of a God whose mere word creates a beautiful universe in which human beings are an integral and important part. The plot has been borrowed from creation-flood stories attested in Mesopotamian literature of the second and early first millennia. In the Mesopotamian creation-flood stories, the gods created the human race as slaves whose task it was to manage the universe for them—giving them food, clothing, and honor in temple ceremonies. In an unforeseen development, however, the human race grew so numerous and noisy that the gods could not sleep. Deeply angered, the gods decided to destroy the race by a universal flood. One man and his family, however, secretly warned of the flood by his patron god, built a boat and survived. Soon regretting their impetuous decision, the gods created a revised version of humankind. The new race was created mortal so they would never again grow numerous and bother the gods. The authors of Genesis adapted the creation-flood story in accord with their views of God and humanity. For example, they attributed the fault to human sin rather than to divine miscalculation and had God reaffirm without change the original creation. In the biblical version God is just, powerful, and not needy.

How should modern readers interpret the creation-flood story?

The stories are neither history nor myth. “Myth” is an unsuitable term, for it has several different meanings and connotes untruth in popular English. “History” is equally misleading, for it suggests that the events actually took place. The best term is creation-flood story. Ancient Near Eastern thinkers did not have our methods of exploring serious questions. Instead, they used narratives for issues that we would call philosophical and theological. They added and subtracted narrative details and varied the plot as they sought meaning in the ancient stories. Their stories reveal a privileged time, when divine decisions were made that determined the future of the human race. The origin of something was thought to explain its present meaning, e.g., how God acts with justice and generosity, why human beings are rebellious, the nature of sexual attraction and marriage, why there are many peoples and languages. Though the stories may initially strike us as primitive and naive, they are in fact told with skill, compression, and subtlety. They provide profound answers to perennial questions about God and human beings.

Genesis 11–50.

One Jewish tradition suggests that God, having been rebuffed in the attempt to forge a relationship with the nations, decided to concentrate on one nation in the hope that it would eventually bring in all the nations. The migration of Abraham’s family is part of the general movement of the human race to take possession of their lands. Abraham, however, must come into possession of his land in a manner different from the nations, for he will not immediately possess it nor will he have descendants in the manner of the nations, for he is old and his wife is childless. Abraham and Sarah have to live with their God in trust and obedience until at last Isaac is born to them and they manage to buy a sliver of the land. Abraham’s humanity and faith offer a wonderful example to the exilic generation.

The historicity of the ancestral stories has been much discussed. Scholars have traditionally dated them sometime in the first half of the second millennium, though a few regard them as late (sixth or fifth century B.C.) and purely fictional. There is unfortunately no direct extra-biblical evidence confirming (or disproving) the stories. The ancestral stories have affinities, however, to late second-millennium stories of childless ancestors, and their proper names fit linguistic patterns attested in the second millennium. Given the lack of decisive evidence, it is reasonable to accept the Bible’s own chronology that the patriarchs were the ancestors of Israel and that they lived well before the exodus that is generally dated in the thirteenth century.

Jacob and his twelve sons.

The stories are united by a geographical frame: Jacob lives in Canaan until his theft of the right of the firstborn from his brother Esau forces him to flee to Paddan-Aram (alternately Aram-Naharaim). There his uncle Laban tricks him as he earlier tricked his brother. But Jacob is blessed with wealth and sons. He returns to Canaan to receive the final blessing, land, and on the way is reconciled with his brother Esau. As the sons have reached the number of twelve, the patriarch can be given the name Israel. The blessings given to Abraham are reaffirmed to Isaac and to Jacob.

The last cycle of ancestor stories is about Jacob’s son Joseph. The Joseph stories are sophisticated in theme, deftly plotted, and show keen interest in the psychology of the characters. Jacob’s favoring of Joseph, the son of his beloved wife Rachel, provokes his brothers to kill him. Joseph escapes death through the intercession of Reuben, the eldest, and of Judah, but is sold into slavery in Egypt. Judah undergoes experiences similar to Joseph’s. Joseph, endowed by God with wisdom, becomes second only to Pharaoh in Egypt. From that powerful position, he encounters his unsuspecting brothers who have come to Egypt because of the famine, and tests them to see if they have repented. Joseph learns that they have given up their hatred because of their love for Israel, their father. Judah, who seems to have inherited the mantle of the failed oldest brother Reuben, expresses the brothers’ new and profound appreciation of their father and Joseph. At the end of Genesis, the entire family of Jacob/Israel is in Egypt, which prepares for the events in the Book of Exodus. 

JANUARY 1 First Friday

MARY, MOTHER OF GOD-NEW YEARS DAY 

Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 8-10:

8 When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 The LORD God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you? 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was AFRAID, because I was naked, so I hid.” 

Before the fall both Adam and Eve were unafraid of being exposed to God and they were innocent in that they knew not that they were naked.  Adam states I heard the sound of you in the garden. We do not know what the sound of God is from the verse.  Was it the same sound as a man walking in the garden? Or was it the sound of a rushing wind? We do not know; but Adam heard God and he was afraid because he was naked. On the cross our Lord who always heard the Father was now utterly alone,…And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' and he was also naked nailed to a tree. Tradition states that our Lord’s cross rested on the skull of Adam in payment for the fall. Our Lord paid the ultimate price for our sins. Christ on the cross reversed the taking of the fruit and the eating by Adam and Eve and became the fruit of life.  Christ on the cross reversed the nakedness of Adam and Eve by being naked himself. Christ on the cross no longer heard the Father and He was afraid. The greatest fear is a world without the Father. Christ brought us at a great price to bring us back to the Father. We need not fear for God is now in us through the accomplishment of the Holy Spirit.  We must listen to His voice and follow Him. 

The Law of Influence[3] 

Eve had no leadership role; no title yet she had influence. Everyone regardless of their roles is important and generates influence either positive or negative. Eve demonstrated the impact of negative influence. Although God commissioned Adam as her spiritual leader, Eve usurped the role of Adam, who followed his wife rather than God and together they led humankind into sin.

 

First Friday[4]


Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Order of the Visitation, at Parayle-Monial, France; one day, when, according to her custom during the octave of Corpus Christi, she was deeply engaged in devotions before the Blessed Sacrament, the divine Savior appeared to her, showed her His Heart burning with love, and said: “Behold this Heart, which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of love. And what is most painful to Me is that they are hearts consecrated to Me. It is for this reason I ask thee that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be appropriated to a special feast to honor My Heart by communicating on that day and making reparation for the indignity that it has received. And I promise that My Heart shall dilate to pour out abundantly the influences of its love on all that will render it this honor or procure its being rendered.”

The Supreme Lover[5]

The Goodness of God means that God gives us what we need for our perfection, not what we want for our pleasure and sometimes for our destruction. As a sculptor, He sometimes applies the chisel to the marble of our imperfect selves and knocks off huge chunks of selfishness that His image may better stand revealed. Like a musician, whenever He finds the strings too loose on the violin of our personality, He tightens them even though it hurts, that we may better reveal our hidden harmonies. As the Supreme Lover of our soul, He does care how we act and think and speak. What father does not want to be proud of his son?

If the father speaks with authority now and then to his son, it is not because he is a dictator, but because he wants him to be a worthy son. Not even progressive parents, who deny discipline and restraint, are indifferent to the progress of their children. So long as there is love, there is necessarily a desire for the perfecting of the beloved. That is precisely the way God's goodness manifests itself to us. God really loves us and, because He loves us, He is not disinterested. He no more wants you to be unhappy than your own parents want you to be unhappy. God made you not for His happiness, but for yours, and to ask God to be satisfied with most of us as we really are, is to ask that God cease to love. — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Solemnity of Mary 

For Catholics, today is a holy day of obligation to honor Mary the Mother of God the second Eve:  who is the first example of courage. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.  (Luke 1:30-31) 

On my 2006 visit to Israel my wife and I visited and had Mass on the Mount of the Beatitudes.  I remember our Priests were a little miffed with the little sister who worked there.  She was upset with us because it was a warm day and some in our group had taken off their sweaters and their arms were exposed. She was focused on the rules, as Christ pointed out to the Pharisees who were focused on the outside of the cup being clean rather than the inside being clean.  Similarly, the beatitudes of our Lord seek to not do away with the rules (10 commandments) but points at our inner dispositions.  I think Church of the Beatitudes which an octagon (eight sided) is best represents how me should seek to best conform our hearts and our dispositions to be more like that of Christ.  On the floor of the Church of the Beatitudes are eight mosaics with words in Latin.  They reflect the dispositions of our Lord which we are to emulate.

 

1.      Charitas (a heart that burns with love of God and benevolence toward others)

 

2.      Prvdentia (forethought or prudence. Those who are Prudent are far from indecisive, for their bold decisions bear no streaks of doubt. Prudence disposes us to have a true care and concern for the health and wellbeing of others)

 

3.      Lavs Tibi Christi (Praise God in all that we do)

 

4.      Temperantia (Temperance is a spirit of moderation and personal restraint; to keep ourselves in balance physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally)

 

5.      Fides (Faith in God; to trust Him; to give yourself as He gave Himself)

 

6.      Fortitvdo (fortitude and courage.  We must have the courage to allow Christ to increase in us)

 

7.      Spes (Hope.  We must hope in the good news of Christ and trust ourselves in the church as we would a ship upon the waters)

 

8.      Ivstitia (Justice.  Christ compels us to not ignore others, to understand others, not to rationalize and/or justify our questionable acts, do right even at risk of ourselves, and to pray for others.

 

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - Day Eight of Christmas[6]

Although New Year's Day is not celebrated by the Church, this day has been observed as a holy day of obligation since early times due to the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Each family and country have different traditional foods to eat on New Year's Day, with lentils being the main superstition: ill luck befalling those who do not eat lentils at the beginning of the year.

New Year's is a day of traditional hospitality, visiting and good cheer, mostly with a secular view, but there is no reason that this day, too, could not be sanctified in Christ.

·         Day Eight activity (New Year's Day Party)

·         Day Eight recipe (New Year's Pretzel)

 

8th day of Christmas The Eight Maids a milking is a sign for the eight beatitudes.  Today would be a good day to reflect on them.

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
  3. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.
  4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
  5. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the clean of heart: they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
  8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Feast of the Circumcision[7] 

The Feast of the Circumcision combines and celebrates many things. On the one hand, the feast celebrates the Octave of the Nativity and the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary (partially because the pope celebrated Mass in St. Mary Major on this day). On the other hand, it commemorates the Circumcision of our Lord which, though a cause of joy, is the cause of a more subdued kind of joy because it involves the shedding of our Lord's blood. There is also a tradition in the Roman church of penitence as a counterpoint to the pagan reveling of the day (a counterpoint which is necessary as much today as it was then). The Church delicately balances all of these elements in a single feast to God. 

·         As mentioned above, it is traditional in France for adults to exchange gifts on this day. This custom is known as les √©trennes. 

·         Today, on the day in which St. Joseph circumcised our Lord (thereby consecrating him for God's holy service), was the festival for subdeacons

New Year’s Day and the Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord.[8] 

WHY do we call this New Year’s Day? Because the civil year begins on this day, as the ecclesiastical does on the first Sunday in Advent. 

What ought we to do on this day? We must dedicate the New Year to the service of God, in order that, assisted by His grace, we may both begin and end it to His honor, and our own sanctification. 

Why do we wish each other a happy New Year? To renew love and harmony, and to fulfil an obligation of charity by wishes for each other’s happiness and prosperity. 

What feast does the Church celebrate on this day? The circumcision of Christ, at which He received the name of Jesus. “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that He might redeem them that were under the law (Gal. iv. 4, 5). 

Aspiration. 

O my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I thank Thee for having to-day shed Thy blood for the first time for me. Grant me, I beseech Thee, the grace of mortifying, circumcising for Thy love, my eyes, ears, lips, hands, feet, and all my sensual appetites, that I may not see, hear, speak, touch, wish, or do any evil. Amen. 

Prayer. 

O God, Who by the fruitful virginity of the blessed Mary hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience her intercession for us, through whom we have received the Author of life, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen 

GOSPEL. Luke ii. 21. 

At that time: After eight days were accomplished that the child should be circumcised: His name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 

Why was Christ circumcised the eighth day of His birth?

 

1. So that by fulfilling the Jewish law, He might teach us patience and obedience to the law of God, and to His holy Church.

 

2. To show His infinite love to us in the very first days of His life. Who gave Him the name of Jesus? God Himself gave it to Him, Who came to save the world and sanctify us, for Jesus means Savior. It is, therefore, that holy and powerful name, whereby alone we can be saved (Acts iv. 12). 

What power has this name? 

A divine power: for in this name the apostles cast out devils and cured the sick (Mark xvi. 17, 18), as, for instance, the lame man who lay at the gate of the temple (Acts iii. 2-6). Through this name we receive from God whatever is helpful towards our salvation (John xiv. 13). It is well, therefore, to call on this holy name in adversities, in doubts, and in great temptations, particularly such as are hostile to purity. Even when we are so unhappy as to fall into sin, the remembrance of this holy name may bring us back to virtue, for it is as oil which en lightens, nourishes, and heals (Canticles i. 2, 3). 

How must we speak this holy name, that its virtue may be felt? 

With the greatest devotion and veneration, and with unbounded confidence; for, as St. Paul says, “in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth” (Phil. ii. 10). How sinful, therefore, is it in some to speak this name almost at every word, frivolously and disrespectfully; a habit which, in this country particularly, is so widely and fatally prevalent. 

Prayer for New Year’s Day. 

O Almighty God, now that we have lived to see another year, we thank Thy goodness and Thy incomprehensible mercy, that, from the moment of our birth, we have escaped so many dangers which have threatened our health and life. Would that we had never abused the precious time of our life to sin ! but, alas ! it is done, and we therefore pray Thee, through Thy Son, and through the precious blood He this day shed in His circumcision, to look, not upon the multitude of our sins, but upon Thy infinite mercy; we promise to be henceforth pious, just, and virtuous; strengthen us in our weakness ; increase in us faith, hope, and charity; keep us, by Thy powerful grace, from all sin, dangers, temptations, and adversities of soul and body; enable us, we beseech Thee, to offer up to Thee, from this day henceforth till the hour of our death, all our senses, thoughts, words, and deeds ; to subject them all to Thy holy will ; to op pose successfully every evil habit, and to practice every virtue. Grant, O Father, that we, living and dying in Thy only true faith, may enjoy in Thy kingdom, where one day is better than a thousand upon earth, an everlasting New Year of eternal happiness, and that we may praise Thee with all Thy angels and saints, forever and ever. Amen. 

New Year's Day[9] 

New Year's Day marks the start of a new year on the Gregorian calendar.  The Gregorian calendar was first introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and began to be used in Britain and its colonies in 1751. It is a solar calendar which maintains synchrony with the tropical year.  This holiday is celebrated every year on January 1st. 

New Year's Day Facts

 

·         Baby New Year is the most common symbol associated with this holiday.  He is a toddler dressed in a diaper, hat, and sash bearing the numbers of the New Year.  The myth states that he matures into an old man during the course of the year.  On December 31st, he hands his hat and sash to the new Baby New Year.

·         In early Roman calendar New Year was celebrated on March 1st. The new celebration of New Year on January 1st started in Rome in 153 BC. The New Year was moved to January because it was a month when two newly elected Roman consuls began their tenure, which reflected the beginning of civil year.

·         In medieval Europe celebrations of New Year on January 1st were not always observed. Sometimes it was celebrated on Dec. 25th, March 1st and March 25th (The Feast of the Annunciation).

·         Gregorian calendar came into force in 1582, which replaced the Julian calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII. After adoption of Gregorian calendar, January 1st was restored as New Year’s Day. 

New Year's Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Visit Times Square and watch the ball drop in New York City to celebrate the New Year.

·         Sing Auld Lang Sine and kiss a loved one at the stroke of midnight.

·         Make new resolutions for the upcoming year and let go of what happened in the previous one.

·         Take advantage of New Year's Eve skiing at a local ski hill near you. Usually, the hills are less crowded and offer discounts on this holiday.

·         New Year – means new trails to hike. Go hiking on a New Year’s Day to make a good start from day one and get motivated

Polar Bear Swim Day[10]

Mostly canceled due to COVID-may be fun if you can find it.

 

Strip down to your bathing suit, take a few steps over the snow and ice covering the ground, and hurl your body into ice-cold water. Sound like fun? Well, there are plenty of people who think it does, and these people get together to this every year! Sometimes it’s for charity and sometimes it’s just for a challenge, but either way, thousands of people worldwide take to the icy winter waters every year. These swims are understandably called “Polar Bear Swims”, and they usually take place in the sea.

 

Polar Bear Swims have been practiced for well over a hundred years in different countries. The first recorded Polar Bear Swim took place in Boston 1904. In many Canadian communities, plunging into icy water for a swim is a New Year’s Day tradition. Vancouver’s annual Polar Bear Swim Club has been active since 1920 and usually has 1,000 to 2,000 registered participants every New Year’s Day, with a record 2,128 registrants taking part in the Polar Bear Swim in English Bay in 2000.

 

It would seem that he Netherlands have greatly outdone North America, as about 10,000 people have been diving into the icy cold sea water at Scheveningen, The Netherlands’ main beach resort town, every year since 1960. In fact, it is estimated that all over the Netherlands, 30,000 people take part in what they call “Nieuwjaarsduik” New Year’s dive) each and every year.

 

New Year’s Day is thought to be the best day for this kind of swim, because as many participants have noted, after you’ve done that, no challenge the New Year could bring could possibly phase you. However, some swimming clubs organize regular winter sessions. Plungapalooza is the largest polar bear plunge in the United States, held annually at Sandy Point State Park in Maryland.

 

The event, that raises funds for the Special Olympics, has managed to collect millions of dollars. The largest Plungapalooza to date took place in 2008, with an estimated 12,000 people participating.

How to Celebrate Polar Bear Swim Day

·         It’s actually quite simple: take part! Find out where the nearest Polar Bear Swim Day will be organized, and sign up. You can help raise money for those who need it, meet new friends and make some incredible memories! However, you should keep in mind that human beings don’t have the fat and fur that polar bears have to protect them from the cold.

·         Enter the water slowly so it’s not too much of a shock, and be sure to have a towel and dry clothes ready for as soon as you come out of the water. You should also warm your body up afterwards from the inside out with a hot drink or bowl of soup. The Polar Bear Swim is also not right for everyone, as it triggers many intense bodily reactions—you may start to hyperventilate because of the inability to take a deep breath for the first 30 seconds or so, and your heartbeat and blood pressure will probably increase drastically.

·         So, if you have any heart condition or have the tendency to panic, you may be better off standing on the shore in your nice warm coat, hat and scarf, taking pictures and laughing at the people running right back out of the water as quickly as they ran into it. Either way, you will be able to be part of the fun!

Wim Hof Method[11]

Over time, we as humans have developed a different attitude towards nature and we've forgotten about our inner power. This is the ability of our body to adapt to extreme temperature and survive within our natural environment. The Wim Hof Method is based on this principle. 

Because we wear clothes and artificially control the temperatures at home and at work, we've greatly reduced the natural stimulation of our bodies, atrophying the age-old mechanisms related to our survival and basic function. Because these deeper physiological layers are no longer triggered, our bodies are no longer in touch with this inner power. The inner power is a powerful force that can be reawakened by stimulating these physiological processes through the Wim Hof Method. 

Start learning the Wim Hof Method today and start your journey to a happier, healthier and stronger you. 

300 Club[12] 

The 300 Club is a small number of individuals who have endured a temperature difference of 300° Fahrenheit (166 °C) within a very short time. The group originated at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, and has since been established in North America. The Ceremonial South Pole, which 300 Club participants must run around. Participants in the Antarctic 300 Club wait for a day when the temperature drops to −100 °F (-73 °C) for more than a few minutes, generally in the winter. They first warm up in a sauna heated to 200 °F (93 °C) for as long as 10 minutes. Then they run naked to the Geographic South Pole, circling it in the −100 °F weather. After this, they usually warm up in the sauna again, often with the aid of alcoholic beverages. The first 300 Club outside of Antarctica was established on January 30, 2019 near Minneapolis, Minnesota during a polar vortex. With an outside temperature of −27 °F (−33 °C), three men heated their backyard sauna to 280 °F (138 °C) and sat inside for 10 minutes. Upon exiting the sauna, they sprinted around a flagpole planted in honor of the South Pole tradition, and took a brief roll in the snow before returning to the sauna. There are several patches made to commemorate the occasion that are entitled to be worn by those who have joined the 300 Club. 

250 Club 

(except from "The Ice is Nice and Chee Chee is Peachy"

 

Brillo and I decided to use the day off to head on over to the South Pole ourselves.  It was about a half a mile away, but it took us a lot longer than we thought.  It was slow trekking the distance through the loose snow.  Along the way, we passed a railroad sign that some humorous person put up out there.  When we got there, our intent was to get in the sauna, which was about 200 degrees.  We stripped and got in.  It was about the first time I had felt warm the whole time I had been there.


While we were in the sauna, we decided today was the day we were going to join club 250.  As soon as we got so warm, we couldn’t stand it anymore; we jumped out of the sauna with nothing but our boots running the distance from the sauna; up a 100-foot ramp to the outside of the station where it was about 50 below zero.  Thus, the name, club 250, we went from plus 200 to minus 50 and made a 250-degree temperature change.


We ran over to the international marker for the South Pole with signs to all the different places and flags from many nations.  It was interesting because even though Brillo was right next to me all I saw was a cloud because his body was giving off so much steam.  When we got to the international marker, we ran around the pole three times and then headed back to the sauna.  I mean think about it we just ran around the world naked three times.  “Can you dig it” (70’s slang for Do you understand?)


Brillo and I quickly headed back to the sauna as we were just beginning to lose our steam. 


Daily Devotions

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary




[1]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/months/01.cfm

[2] https://bible.usccb.org/bible/genesis/0

[3]John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[4]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-02-07

[6]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-01-01

[7]http://www.holytrinitygerman.org/xmascustoms.html#circumcision

[8]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896. In the General Roman Calendar, the 1 January feast, which from 1568 to 1960 was called "The Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity", is now named the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord.

[9]https://www.wincalendar.com/New-Years-Day

[10]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/polar-bear-swim-day/

[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_Club#The_200_Club




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