Friday, June 4, 2021

 First Friday


COGNAC-FISH & CHIPS-DONUT DAYS

 

2 Samuel, Chapter 10, Verse 19

When Hadadezer’s vassal kings saw themselves vanquished by Israel, they made peace with the Israelites and became their subjects. After this, the Arameans were AFRAID to give further aid to the Ammonites.

 

God was with David, and he now defeats the Syrians and the Ammonites. The life of David was that of a warrior and this was David’s last victory before his fall with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah from David’s hand. All life is a battle and sometimes we fail but like David let us always return to the Lord.

 

Do not be afraid of anything that you are going to suffer. Indeed, the devil will throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will face an ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Rv. 2:10)

 

Let us build up our gratitude to the Lord for his saving graces.

 

“Lord Jesus Christ, you are the strength or the weak and the confidence of those who trust in you. Be my secure confidence and my abundant strength! Teach me to understand myself and to believe in effectiveness of your saving grace. Grant me the courage not to stop trying and teach me the humility to trust in you when I tend to be discouraged by my weakness.[1]

 

Apostolic Exhortation[1]

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 II

III. Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Conforming our life with Christ

55. The beautiful and rich Liturgy of the Church, which has been passed down to us from the first century, contains many expressions of devotion and faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. For example, we call to mind that the main reason our churches are decorated with beautiful and precious art is because here in the Church building, Jesus is present in the tabernacle, always accompanying us and interceding for us. We also celebrate our Masses with beautiful music and vestments, incense, candles, and many other details that allow us to express our faith and gratitude to Christ who has loved us so much that He has decided to stay with us, really present in the Eucharist, until the end of time. Many churches hold special hours of prayer and adoration of the Eucharist, to honor and thank our Lord, and to bring all our needs before Him. We dress respectfully for Mass knowing that we come to worship and receive our Lord who comes to us at the altar and especially in our hearts. All these expressions of devotion flow from a lively faith in Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist.

56. As the Eucharistic faith of the Church expresses itself in so many beautiful ways, so also, our faith in the Real Presence should move us to desire and strive with all our efforts to prepare and receive Jesus worthily in Holy Communion.

57. At the moment of Holy Communion, the priest holds up the consecrated Host and says, “the Body of Christ”. When we reply “Amen” and then receive the Body of Christ, we are expressing not only our faith in Jesus Christ but also our desire and effort to live in friendship with Him. By receiving the Body of Christ in Holy Communion we manifest our union with the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. Therefore, if with our “Amen,” we refuse to accept and live by the whole teaching of Christ and His Church, we are not in communion with Him but living a ‘fake’ union, one that overlooks truth and justice. In the same way, when we commit a mortal sin and deliberately fail in a serious matter of “rejection of communion with God… then we are seriously obliged to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until we are reconciled with God and the Church” through the Sacrament of Penance (USCCB “Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper”: On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist).

To be continued


[1]https://dphx.org/veneremur-cernui/



First Friday[2]

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus . . . which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins."


To those who show him love and who make reparation for sins, however, our Lord made a great pledge: "I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor, or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life."


 To gain this grace, we must:

 

·         Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays.

·         Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching final perseverance.

·         Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offenses against the Blessed Sacrament.

 

Considerations


The fullness of God is revealed and given to us in Christ, in the love of Christ, in Christ's heart. For it is the heart of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Were one to lose sight of this great plan of God-the overflow of love in the world through the Incarnation, the Redemption and Pentecost-he could not understand the refinement with which our Lord deals with us. So, when we talk about the heart of Jesus, we stress the certainty of God's love and the truth of his commitment to us. When we recommend devotion to the Sacred Heart, we are recommending that we should give our whole selves to Jesus, to the whole Jesus-our souls, our feelings and thoughts, our words and actions, our joys. That is what true devotion to the heart of Jesus means. It is knowing God and ourselves. It is looking at Jesus and turning to him, letting him encourage and teach and guide us. The only difficulty that could beset this devotion would be our own failure to understand the reality of an incarnate God. But note that God does not say: "In exchange for your own heart, I will give you a will of pure spirit." No, he gives us a heart, a human heart, like Christ's. I don't have one heart for loving God and another for loving people. I love Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit and our Lady with the same heart with which I love my parents and my friends. I shall never tire of repeating this. We must be very human, for otherwise we cannot be divine. . ..


If we don't learn from Jesus, we will never love. If, like some people, we were to think that to keep a clean heart, a heart worthy of God, means "not mixing it up, not contaminating it" with human affection, we would become insensitive to other people's pain and sorrow. We would be capable of only an "official charity," something dry and soulless. But ours would not be the true charity of Jesus Christ, which involves affection and human warmth. In saying this, I am not supporting the mistaken theories-pitiful excuses-that misdirect hearts away from God and lead them into occasions of sin and perdition. . ..
 
But I have still a further consideration to put before you. We have to fight vigorously to do good, precisely because it is difficult for us to resolve seriously to be just, and there is a long way to go before human relations are inspired by love and not hatred or indifference. We should also be aware that, even if we achieve a reasonable distribution of wealth and a harmonious organization of society, there will still be the suffering of illness, of misunderstanding, of loneliness, of the death of loved ones, of the experience of our own limitations.


Faced with the weight of all this, a Christian can find only one genuine answer, a definitive answer: Christ on the cross, a God who suffers and dies, a God who gives us his heart opened by a lance for the love of us all. Our Lord abominates injustice and condemns those who commit it. But he respects the freedom of each individual. He permits injustice to happen because, as a result of original sin, it is part and parcel of the human condition. Yet his heart is full of love for men. Our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our hunger and thirst for justice . . . he took all these tortures on himself by means of the cross. . .. 


Suffering is part of God's plans. This is the truth; however difficult it may be for us to understand it. It was difficult for Jesus Christ the man to undergo his passion: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." In this tension of pleading and acceptance of the Father's will, Jesus goes calmly to his death, pardoning those who crucify him.


This supernatural acceptance of suffering was, precisely, the greatest of all conquests. By dying on the cross, Jesus overcame death. God brings life from death. The attitude of a child of God is not one of resignation to a possibly tragic fate; it is the sense of achievement of someone who has a foretaste of victory. In the name of this victorious love of Christ, we Christians should go out into the world to be sowers of peace and joy through everything we say and do. We have to fight-a fight of peace-against evil, against injustice, against sin. Thus, do we serve notice that the present condition of mankind is not definitive. Only the love of God, shown in the heart of Christ, will attain our glorious spiritual triumph.

 

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1675, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, our Lord appeared to her and said: "Behold this heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service."

 

The great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling: the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having Jesus' heart as our sure refuge and Infinite Ocean of mercy in our last hour.

Cognac Day[3]

There are many forms of distilled alcohol that carry a distinct nobility to them, a bit of culture and of social grandeur that just cant be claimed by other alcohols. When you think of beer, the concepts that arrive in your mind are often cheap bars and backyard BBQs, with wine the themes are the same but generally of a higher social class. Mention Bourbon, Scotch, and Cognac, however, and suddenly the rich red of mahogany and distinguished gentlemen in high-class studies and dens come to mind. Cognac Day is dedicated to one of these rich beverages, and perhaps one of the most distinguished.

History of Cognac Day

To begin with, lets talk about what Cognac actually is. Cognac, in a way, is what happens when wine grows up and develops character, though we may be biased. Cognac begins with a white wine produced in one of six designated growing regions, and its worth noting that if it wasnt produced from a white wine grown in those regions, its not considered a real Cognac. The white wine from which it starts is considered by most connoisseurs to be entirely undrinkable. Theres a further distinction in which a Cognac must be produced from 90% Ugni Blanc, a form of white wine grape, to have a specific designation. It all starts with the grapes being pressed and left to ferment for three weeks in the wild yeasts that grow naturally in those regions without the addition of sugar or sulfur. This wine is then distilled in alembic stills and placed into Limousin oak casks for two years where it goes from being nearly 70% alcohol to 40% alcohol. There are multiple grades of Cognac, and exploring them can be a great way to spend Cognac Day.

How to celebrate Cognac Day

Ahhh, this is certainly one of the grandest celebrations. Cognac Day can be celebrated by taking a trip to your local liquor store and selecting a few varieties to try out. Get together a few friends and you can have a positively thrilling taste test with dozens of varieties to choose from. Cognac is far and away an improvement over the simply fermented grape, distilled and cultivated down to its ultimate final form. While youre sampling this drink, you should look into the various forms of glassware that are specially designed for serving Cognac. Fill a glass, take a sip, and savor the luxuriousness that is Cognac, you wont regret it!

Fish and Chip Day[4]


 

Rich, delicious, and flavorful, and utterly satisfying, thats the best way to describe this treat. Theres something about the tang of salt and the oil-stained newspaper that just speaks of a meal so steeped in tradition it only seems appropriate that it comes wrapped in the days news. Fish and Chips Day commemorates this fundamental meal of the working class, and while its roots may lay on Britannias foggy shores, there are few places in the world that this comfort food hasnt found its way to.

 

To talk of the history of this holiday is, as in the case of so many others, to speak of the origins of that which it celebrates. Fish and Chip seem an odd thing to have become the foundation for an entire cultures working class, but much comes into focus when you understand the economy and industry of the time it took hold. In the late 1800s, trawl fishing became a major part of the industry in the North Sea, resulting in a growing availability of fresh fish in areas further inland, especially within the cities. Anyone who understands economics knows that easily available means cheaper to get your hands on. Cheap, filling, and high caloric food created an excellent foundation for a working class that held incredibly physically demanding jobs. Thus, it was that Chippers started cropping up all over major population centers, the vendors that served fish and chips to the people on the street. From there, the meal spread all over the world and is now popular all over Canada (being sold from Chip Wagons) and throughout the USA. In the Americas it can be found in everything from corner burger shops as part of their fry menu, to some of the most upscale restaurants which provide them with only the best cod and sides. It really is a meal that crosses all the boundaries of culture, class, and status.

 

How to Celebrate Fish and Chip Day

 

Well, it starts off simple enough, doesnt it? Pop on over to your favorite Chipper and get yourself a paper-full of this delicious and filling meal. Try it, however, you like it, with a little tartar sauce in the US, a bit of mayonnaise in Canada, or whatever strikes you as your favorite thing to flavor your dish with. Malt vinegar is a very popular addition, and with the delicious tang, it will make your Fish and Chip Day flavorful and authentic!

 

National Doughnut Day[5]


 

National Doughnut Day is a day of appreciation of Salvation Army volunteers who distributed doughnuts to servicemen during World War I.  Doughnuts are fried circular pieces of dough that are usually topped with sugar syrups, chocolate, nuts and other flavorings. National Doughnut Day began in 1938 as a fundraiser for Chicago's Salvation Army.  The fundraiser aimed to support the needy and honor the Salvation Army volunteers who donated their time during World War I to hand out doughnuts to the soldiers.  When the US entered the war in 1917, Salvation Army huts were formed where many female volunteers were deployed to mother the soldiers.  During this time, women began to make doughnuts for the servicemen who began to refer to the women as, Doughnut Dollies. This national holiday is celebrated each year on the first Friday in June.

 

National Doughnut Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Visit your local doughnut store for specials and promotions to celebrate National Doughnut Day.  Many doughnut stores offer free doughnuts or specials.

·         Try to make your own doughnuts with your favorite toppings, or try new blends of sweet and savory toppings.  Some interesting twists include maple bacon doughnut, smoked salmon doughnut and grilled cheese doughnuts!

·         Become a volunteer with The Salvation Army.  According to The Salvation Army, more than 30 million Americans received assistance from the Salvation Army's officers, employees and 3.4 million volunteers in 2014.

·         Pick up a large box of doughnuts on your way to work or school to share with friends, family, colleagues or fellow students

 

Daily Devotions

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity



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