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Friday, June 18, 2021

Friday in the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

INTERNATIONAL PICNIC DAY

 

1 Chronicles, Chapter 21, Verse 29-30

29 The tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar for burnt offerings were at that time on the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David could not go into his presence to inquire of God, for he was FEARFUL of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

 

The sword of the Angel is another way of saying the divine justice. When we sin we all fear the sword of the Angel, for all have sinned; yet when we sin we fear the thing that can save us-trusting that God is bigger than our sin. We like David are fearful of punishment for our sins and that we will get exactly what we did not count on. Yet, know; God’s mercy is greater than His justice. Trust is central to salvation.

 

Census of Sin[1]

 

King David had ordered a census to be taken. David’s general Joab strongly cautioned the King against such a measure, but David insisted on it anyway. Upon completion of the census the Prophet Gad informed David of God’s anger and intention to punish David and all Israel for this sin.

 

What’s wrong with a Census? –In effect David’s lack of trust. For God had called David to trust in God, not in man, not in numbers. We have a tendency to rely too much on numbers. We tend to think that something is good, or right or successful, based on how many people attended, or how many support a cause or view. Of this tendency we must be very careful.

 

Is our power or rightness rooted in numbers, in popularity, in profit, or in God? David in counting his people is, it would seem, seeking confidence in his numbers, rather than God, and this is a sin. For, David could well have considered with pride the fact that he had amassed a large number of people in reuniting the Israel and Judah, in conquering the Philistines and the Hittites et al.

 

Thus, taking a census was a way of flattering himself, and making a name for himself. The numbers ARE quite impressive. So impressive, in fact that we moderns doubt them: 800,000 men fit for military service in Israel, and 500,000 men in Judah. This number of over 1 million men does not include women, children or the elderly. Hence the full census number may have closer to 5 million. This seems an unlikely number, and opens up the great debate among biblical scholars about biblical numeration but for here, let it be said, David was enthroned over a numerous nation and his census is a likely indication that he was quite proud of his accomplishment, and wanted that accomplishment recorded for history and/or his contemporaries: “David: King of multitudes!”

 

These are not David’s people to number; they are God’s people. Since counting hints at accomplishment and control, David sins in trying to know a number that is none of his business, a number that is for God alone to know. God numbers the people and calls them by name (cf Gen 15:15). Note that David is delivered a number of men “fit for military service.” Hence in the ancient world, a census was often a tool of military draft. It was also a tool used to exact taxes, and for Kings to measure power, and manipulate and coerce based on that power. Even in our own time the taking of the Census every ten years is often steeped in power struggles, political gerrymandering, tax policy, spending priorities, the number of seats in the legislature, and the pitting of certain ethnic and racial groups against each other. A lot of mischief and political power struggles are tied back to the census, because numbers are powerful things. Those that have “the numbers on their side” get seats at the table. Those who do not can wait outside.


Thus, David, in amassing numbers, amasses power and the capacity to manipulate his people in sinful or unjust ways. 

Apostolic Exhortation[2]

Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling

of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Part III

Loving and Adoring the Eucharistic Lord

VI. Pastors, have one Eucharistic procession each year in your parish.

101. Of course, any Eucharistic procession should be reverent, beautiful, peaceful, festive, and well-planned. But there will be much variation from parish to parish. For a particular parish the procession could be several miles and in highly public places; it could be shorter and simply around the parish campus. Perhaps it involves a few dozen or several hundred people, or even much larger crowds. For some parishes (like those in the cooler climates) the feast of Corpus Christi may be the best time for a procession. For others (like those in warmer places), parishes may want to choose another day each year. Possibilities include the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe (our diocesan patroness), Christ the King, Epiphany, Pentecost, the parish’s patronal feast day, and the celebration of the anniversary of the dedication of the church.

VII. Pastors, consider how you can make Eucharistic adoration a more available evangelical opportunity.

102. As we discussed above, Eucharistic adoration can be a significant opportunity for evangelization because there we truly are able to bring a friend into the sacramental, living, bodily presence of Christ. The Eucharist is the greatest treasure of the Church for it is Christ Himself – and it is the treasure to which the church invites each man and woman in every place and time. But all priests know the confused and overwhelmed look that can often appear on the face of a non-Catholic after attending Mass for the first time. We can forget how rich, complex, and biblical are the symbolic words, images, and gestures in the Mass. It is like another world with a foreign language. For those unfamiliar with Catholic liturgy, this complexity can frequently be so alien as to be almost entirely impenetrable. Eucharistic adoration, on the other hand, is much simpler and less demanding for an un-evangelized person. It can be a kind of door or bridge to the full sacramental life of the church.

103. What would it look like if your parish made Eucharistic adoration more beautiful, available, and accessible to Catholics who could invite friends? Are times for adoration widely publicized? Is the place where adoration is held reverent, dignified, safe, and inviting? How often do Mass-going Catholics receive encouragement to invite friends and family members to adoration? Are there resources which can easily assist non-Catholics and fallen-away Catholics in beginning to learn to pray in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord?

To be continued

Humility leads to Gratitude; Gratitude leads to confidence; Confidence leads to love[3]

The virtues of gratitude, confidence and love, stimulated and motivated by the Holy Eucharist, are especially necessary in the modern world. Today gratitude has become a forgotten virtue; confidence in God has been replaced by arrogant self-reliance; love for God and for mankind has been driven from the hearts of many by a spirit of pagan selfishness.

Catholics must strive to revive these virtues and shall have the special help of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. If we cultivate a deep and persevering devotion to Him who dwells among us under the humble appearances of bread and wine, particularly if we receive Holy Communion frequently and fervently, we cannot but make progress in the spirit of gratitude, in unwavering confidence in God's assistance, and in ardent love both for God and for our fellowmen.

Fitness Friday[4]

Health Benefits of Bergamot

If you’ve ever had Earl Grey tea, then you’ve tasted the flavor of bergamot. It comes from the Citrus bergamia plant, a fruit tree believed to be native to the Mediterranean region. 

A blend of the sour orange and lemon (or citron) plant, bergamot produces a fruit that looks like a round lemon. Although generally too sour to eat on its own, it’s been part of the Mediterranean diet since the early 18th century.

People use extracts from bergamot’s sour juice and oil from its peel for a variety of things including:

  • Scents for personal care products
  • Aromatherapy
  • Health supplements

Health Benefits

Bergamot has health benefits include:

Reducing Cholesterol

Several studies have shown that bergamot may help to reduce overall cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol. It may also help to increase “good” HDL cholesterol and has the potential to be an effective supplement to cholesterol drugs.

Depression Relief

Studies have shown that an aromatherapy blend that includes bergamot may help with depression symptoms in older adults, people with terminal cancer, and women who are at high risk of postpartum depression.

There hasn’t been enough research yet to confirm the results, and there’s no conclusive evidence that it can help with depression in other populations. However, there have been some promising early studies with animals.

Easing Joint Pain  

Scientists have found that bergamot might protect the joints in people taking aromatase inhibitors as part of cancer treatment. More research is needed.

Schizophrenia Relief

One study shows that taking bergamot supplements may help people with schizophrenia think more clearly. People in the study had better results on several cognitive tests after taking bergamot. Further research is needed.

Health Risks of Bergamot

Mild side effects. Some people experience side effects like dizziness, muscle cramps, and heartburn when they take bergamot with food.

Blood sugar issues. Bergamot may cause your blood sugar to drop. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar might reach unsafe levels. It’s important to monitor those levels if you choose to use bergamot supplements.

Even if you don’t have diabetes, bergamot could make it harder for doctors to control your blood sugar during surgery. Experts recommend that you stop using bergamot supplements two weeks before you have surgery. 

International Picnic Day[5]

International Picnic Day celebrates gathering together outdoors to eat and enjoy one another's company, which has traditionally been called Picnic.  The true origin of International Picnic Day is unknown, but can be traced back to the end of the French Revolution and the Victorian Era.  Picnics were ways for people to escape the restrictions of etiquette and formality.  As an informal food holiday, there are few rules and lots of options.  International Picnic Day is observed on June 18th each year.

International Picnic Day Facts & Quotes

  • According to Guinness World Records, the largest picnic took place in Portugal, 2009. 22,232 people participated. Two other records were set during that same event, largest litter bin and loudest applause.
  • The use of the phrase no picnic is used to describe something unenjoyable.
  • Picnic was most likely invented by the French.  Shortly after the French Revolution ended, the Royal Gardens were opened to the public for the first time. It was the new common pastime for the French to visit the gardens and take along a meal.
  • You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can't predict the weather. - Andre 3000 (song 'Ms. Jackson')
  • A few sandwiches short of a picnic. - is a phrase used to describe someone who is not mentally together.

International Picnic Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Arrange a picnic with friends in the nearby park. Prepare foods beforehand and enjoy eating in the nature.
  • Take a Frisbee or a ball and play sport games after eating.
  • Bring a music player with you and listen to favorite music while enjoying the food and conversation.
  • Search in the internet for new food recipes and prepare new easy dishes for your picnic. Make a contest for the best recipe.

Daily Devotions

·         Do not examine with curiosity the roads down which I lead you. Choose to walk in faith. Resist the spirit of curiosity.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity




[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2021-06-18

[5] https://www.wincalendar.com/International-Picnic-Day



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