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?”
this work of God’s Mercy, Christ frees the jailer from the jail of fear and
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.
The penal consequence of sin is death. There are three kinds of death that result from sin. Sinners are dead to God. There is no real communion between God and us. He has withdrawn and no longer walks with us in the cool of the day. All men physically die. Our old bodies will not last forever. Finally, for those who remain God's enemies at heart there is ultimately the destruction of both body and soul.
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."
The Lesser Rogation Days prior to the Ascension were especially important in rural communities dependent on agricultural bounty. They were also the inspiration for a number of semi-liturgical imitations, where farmers would take holy water and douse their fields for protection and blessing. Perhaps this would be a good time to have one's garden blessed. Another interesting feature of Rogationtide is the tradition of having parishioners end resentments or conflicts that had been festering between them. Eoman Duffy's The Stripping of the Altars includes vivid accounts from pre-Reformation England of some of these reconciliations.
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.
Saint John Paul II wrote the Encyclical "Laborem Exercens" in 1981, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII's Encyclical "Rerum Novarum" on the question of labor. In it he develops the concept of man's dignity in work, structuring it in four points: the subordination of work to man; the primacy of the worker over the whole of instruments and conditioning that historically constitute the world of labor; the rights of the human person as the determining factor of all socio-economic, technological and productive processes, that must be recognized; and some elements that can help all men identify with Christ through their own work.
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
The Pope observes that during the period which has passed since the publication of "Rerum Novarum" (1891), "which is by no means yet over, the issue of work has of course been posed on the basis of the great conflict that in the age of, and together with, industrial development emerged between 'capital' and 'labor'." This antagonism "found expression in the ideological conflict between liberalism, understood as the ideology of capitalism, and Marxism, understood as the ideology of scientific socialism and communism, which professes to act as the spokesman for the working class and the world-wide proletariat." Later, he recalls the principle of "the priority of labor over capital." The first "is always a primary efficient cause, while capital, the whole collection of means of production, remains a mere instrument or instrumental cause." Thus appears the error of economism, "that of considering human labor solely according to its economic purpose." John Paul II then refers to the right to private property, emphasizing that the Church's teaching regarding this principle "diverges radically from the program of collectivism as proclaimed by Marxism," and "the program of capitalism practiced by liberalism and by the political systems inspired by it." "The position of 'rigid' capitalism continues to remain unacceptable, namely the position that defends the exclusive right to private ownership of the means of production as an untouchable 'dogma' of economic life. The principle of respect for work demands that this right should undergo a constructive revision, both in theory and in practice." For this reason, regardless of the type of system of production, it is necessary for each worker to be aware that "he is working 'for himself'."
Rights of Workers
The Holy Father highlights that the human rights that are derived from work are a part of the fundamental rights of the person.
· 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.
Success often seems like a visionary goal — a feat in life that’s attempted only after many strides, plenty of pitfalls and a healthy serving of endurance. However, for those who consider themselves fulfilled by their career, it’s not only a sense of accomplishment and an impressive LinkedIn profile that defines their satisfaction with their work. In fact, their overall desire to work harder and effectively doesn’t just stem from extra zeros on their paycheck, but rather, it derives from a place of happiness. As the old rhyme reminds, contentment isn’t a destination, but a process — and if you’re smart, a priority for both your professional and personal life. How do you carve in time to, well, improve your overall mood and outlook?
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!”
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.
US Marine Corp
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!
Twilight Zone Day
“You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”
Beloved by children, teenagers and adults alike, the cult classic TV show The Twilight Zone has affected entire generations of people, prompting them to take a closer look at life and various phenomena and take nothing for granted, thanks to its unique combination of science fiction, mystery, and thriller/horror themes. Not to mention how many of today’s well-known actors got their start in it—Burt Reynolds, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, to name but a few. How then could this majorly influential show not have its own holiday?
The Twilight Zone was created by acclaimed television producer Rod Sterling in 1959, with the first episode premiering on October 2nd. At the time of its release, it was vastly different from anything else on TV, and it struggled a bit to carve out a niche for itself at the very beginning. In fact, Sterling himself, though respected and adored by many, was famous for being one of Hollywood’s most controversial characters and was often call the “angry young man” of Hollywood for his numerous clashes with television executives and sponsors over issues such as censorship, racism, and war. However, his show soon gained a large, devoted audience. Terry Turner of the Chicago Daily News gave it a rave review, saying, “…Twilight Zone is about the only show on the air that I actually look forward to seeing. It’s the one series that I will let interfere with other plans”. The Twilight Zone ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964.
Twilight Zone Day is an annual holiday created to celebrate this thought-provoking television series, where everything was strange and surreal, and nothing was ever quite as it seemed to be.
How to celebrate Twilight Zone Day
There are a number of ways to celebrate Twilight Zone Day, and the one you choose may be connected to how well you know this TV series. Believe it or not, there are still people out there who have never seen it! You could watch some episodes from the classic series, perhaps “To Serve Man”, “It’s a Good Life”, or “The Eye of the Beholder”, episodes that are widely considered some of the very best in the entire series. If you don’t know the series and would like to get a taste of what it was like in a nutshell, you could also watch the 1983 Twilight Zone Movie. If, on the other hand, you know The Twilight Zone very well, you could get together with some other Twilight Zone aficionados and play Twilight board or trivia games. Alternately, you could discuss who you think were the strangest Twilight Zone villains, and what the true reasons were for them being the way they were. And what would a good party be without some tasty drinks? Yes, there are Twilight Zone cocktails!
Finally, you can try making Twilight Zone cocktails, by mixing Bacardi White, Dark and 151 Proof Rum, Triple Sec, pineapple and orange juices. Sounds pretty scumptious, right? And that’s not its only benefit—if you have a few Twilight Zone Cocktails, you may well find yourself transported to a different dimension, too!
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel