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Sunday, June 20, 2021

 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost (12th S. in Ord. Time)

ORTHODOX PENTECOST FATHER’S DAY SUM. SOLSTICE 

1 Chronicles, Chapter 28, Verse 20

David said to his son Solomon: “Be strong and steadfast, and go to work; do not FEAR or be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or abandon you before you have completed all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. 

We all long to hear this from our fathers but the ultimate truth is He tells us this every day in the quiet of our hearts. We merely reflect His grace when we pray. When we give Him all our strength, He makes us strong and steadfast; when we give Him our mind, He breaks our fears and gives us a purposeful mind; when we give Him our heart, He does not abandon us and when we give Him our soul, He gives us the vision to see the work He has laid before us. 

Amoris Lætitia[1] (Joy) the Work of your Hands 

“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you”. It is clear from the very first pages of the Bible that work is an essential part of human dignity; there we read that “the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it” 

This is why any charity must include some type of work to preserve the dignity of the person such as the practice of gleaming or the use of loans in the Old Testament for food. Labor also makes possible the development of society and provides for the sustenance, stability and fruitfulness of one’s family. The Book of Proverbs also presents the labor of mothers within the family; their daily work is described in detail as winning the praise of their husbands and children. Paul was so convinced of the necessity of work that he laid down a strict rule for his communities: “If anyone will not work, let him not eat”. 

This having been said, we can appreciate the suffering created by unemployment and the lack of steady work, as reflected in the Book of Ruth, Jesus’ own parable of the laborers forced to stand idly in the town square, and his personal experience of meeting people suffering from poverty and hunger. Sadly, these realities are present in many countries today, where the lack of employment opportunities takes its toll on the serenity of family life. Yet, those that employ are often trapped by their own greed and power and instead of using the joy in their work; they are selfish and instead of founding living sustainability with their work their actions often lead to the desertification of the earth By our work we are to build up a garden and make, no create with God, a better world, not rape it and by love make it better.

 

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,

Conclusion

107. What we should humbly and fervently ask from God, then, is a deepening of our love for Him with our whole heart. We should ask for this gift because love of God is the only way to God. What rouses us to love God more than the Sacrament of Love, the Eucharist? But as Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote, the mystery of love in the Eucharist is available not to our unaided senses but only to faith: “Sight, touch, taste fail with regard to Thee, but only by hearing does one believe surely; I believe whatever God’s Son said: nothing is truer than the word of Truth”. The Church’s ultimate reason to believe in the Eucharist is because she trusts Jesus. She has faith in her Lord’s words spoken up and down the centuries on the lips of her priests: “This is My Body given up for you”. The Blessed Sacrament is thus the greatest sign given by God to stir up love in the hearts of His people until He comes again. Let us beg God for the grace to be on fire with the divine love which flows from the heart of Christ in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.

108. My dear sons and daughters in Christ, the Eucharist is the heart of our faith. It is the center of the faith of the Church for it is Christ Himself. All the concrete expressions of Eucharistic faith I mention above represent our humble response to this mystery. If done in trusting surrender to God, they are meant to draw us closer to the eternal wedding banquet to which every Eucharistic celebration is a foretaste. May we never tire of discovering that the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life! As from the source of a great river, everything that matters in life flows from it. As to a great mountain peak, all the striving and struggle of life seeks it.

109. For this reason, while we continue this earthly journey towards the eternal Promised Land, we rejoice that the Eucharistic Christ is our protection against powerful currents of selfishness and worldly temptations. In all of his Eucharistic hymns, Aquinas always ends them pointing out the connection between the Eucharist and heaven. In the hymn “Panis Angelicus”, he gives voice to the ultimate desire and longing of every human heart: “We ask You, O God Three and One, to visit us just as we celebrate You; along Your paths, lead us to where we are headed, to the light where You dwell”. He reminds us that the most effective way for us to prepare for eternal life is to seek to be nourished by Jesus in the Eucharist.

To be continued

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost[3]

Trusting in God in the midst of troubles. The example of St. Peter is given because of this Sunday's usual proximity to the Feast of Saints. Peter and Paul.*

WITH confidence in God’s fatherly protection, say, with the priest, in the Introit of the Mass, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall, I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear” (Ps. xxvi. 1-3).

Prayer.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the course of the world, by Thy direction, may, in our regard, be peaceful; and that Thy Church may rejoice in tranquil devotion.

EPISTLE. Rom. viii. 18-23.

Brethren: I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God For the creature was made subject to vanity not willingly, but by reason of Him that made it subject, in hope: because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every creature groaneth, and travaileth in pain even till now. And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the spirit: even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body: in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Brief Lessons.

There is no better consolation under crosses and afflictions than the thought that all the troubles of this world are not to be compared with the glory to come, and “that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory” (Cor. iv. 17). And, therefore, St. Bede says: “If we had to bear for a while the pains of hell, it would not appear so hard, if thereby we might merit to see Christ in His glory, and to be added to His saints.”

GOSPEL. Luke v. 1-11.

At that time, when the multitudes pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Genesareth. And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon’s, He desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting, He taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when He had ceased to speak, He said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said to Him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at Thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’s knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed Him.

What may we learn from the multitudes who pressed on Jesus to hear the word of God? That we, also, should hear the word of God with great zeal, since it conveys to men the life of the soul and eternal happiness.

Why did Our Savior teach the multitude out of the ship of St. Peter? That, as the ship is the figure of the Church, so we can receive the true doctrine from that Church only of which Peter was the head (John xxi. 15 17). Amid all storms Jesus has preserved, and will preserve, this ship of His Church, till the end of time (Matt. xvi. 18). Peter yet stands at the helm, in the unbroken line of his successors; Jesus yet teaches from the ship the same doctrines as before, by the mouth of bishops and priests, the assistants of St. Peter’s successors, and whoever hears them hears Him. Hear them, therefore, with willingness and docility.

What was signified by the great draught of fishes which the apostles took, by the command of Jesus, after they had labored the whole night in vain? To the disciples it was a type of their vocation, a pledge of their successful labors, and at the same time a lesson how to labor so as to gain fruits. The exceeding and wonderful abundance of the draught of fishes was to assure them that their zealous labors to save souls should, in like manner, be crowned with rich success. That, after laboring all the night in vain, they should at once take so many fish, when they let down their nets at the word of Jesus, was to be to them a lesson never to be forgotten, that they could work with blessing and success only by relying, not on their own skill and painstaking, but only on the might and blessing of the Lord.

What other lessons are to be drawn from this gospel? We learn that nothing has any value before God which is done from mere natural inclination and human respect, that our labors are without merit if not undertaken in the name of God, but that He does not permit the least work to be in vain when undertaken without hesitation, relying on His assistance and for His sake. That the disciples obeyed so quickly, teaches us to obey God at once, to spare no sacrifice, to leave all quickly, and not to put off till to-morrow what is to be done to-day. Finally, we may learn not to be proud of the success of our labor, but, like Peter, to give glory to God, Who does such great things, by cheerfully leaving all earthly things to follow Him.

Orthodox Pentecost[4]

Fifty days after the Resurrection, on the excising Jewish feast of Pentecost, while the disciples and many other followers of Jesus Christ were gathered together to pray, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of "cloven tongues of fire," with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and they began to speak in languages that they did not know. There were many visitors from the Jewish diaspora to Jerusalem at that time for the Jewish observance of the feast, and they were astonished to hear these untaught fisherman speaking praises to God in their alien tongues. This account is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2.

The number fifty, as in the fiftieth day after Pascha, stands for eternal and heavenly fulfillment, seven times seven, plus one.

Feast of Pentecost

The Orthodox Church sees Pentecost as the final fulfillment of the mission of Jesus Christ and the first beginning of the messianic age of the Kingdom of God, mystically present in his Church. It is traditionally called the beginning of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Besides celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit, the feast also celebrates the full revelation of the divine Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hymns of the Church, celebrate the sign of the final act of God's self-disclosure to the world of His creation.

To Orthodox Christians, the feast of Pentecost is not just a celebration of an event in history. It is also a celebration their membership in the Church. They have lived Pentecost and received "the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit" in the sacrament of chrismation.

Celebration of the feast

For the feast of Pentecost the icon of the Holy Trinity, the three angelic figures who appeared to Abraham, is placed in the center of the church for veneration. This icon is used with the traditional Pentecost icon. The church building is decorated with flowers and the green leaves of the summer to show that God's divine breath comes to renew all creation. Green vestments and coverings are also used.

In many parishes the feast is celebrated starting the evening before with Great Vespers. Some parishes also serve Matins on the morning of the feast before the Divine Liturgy.

The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom with special hymns replacing the standard Antiphons. The hymns O Heavenly King and We have seen the True Light are sung for the first time since Easter, calling the Holy Spirit to "come and abide in us," and proclaiming that "we have received the heavenly Spirit."

An extraordinary service called the Kneeling Vespers, is observed on the evening of Pentecost. This is a Vespers service to which are added three sets of long poetical prayers, the composition of Saint Basil the Great, during which everyone makes a full prostration, touching their foreheads to the floor (prostrations in church having been forbidden from the day of Pascha (Easter) up to this point). In many parishes, this service is done immediately after the Liturgy.

After Pentecost

The Monday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Church, and the Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of All Saints.

Even though the start of the Church year is considered to start in September, the liturgical center of the annual cycle of Orthodox worship is the feast of Pascha, preceded by Great Lent, and pre-lent, and followed by the fifty days of paschal celebration until the feast of Pentecost. Until the start of the next Great Lent, the Sundays and weeks following Pentecost, are numbered from Pentecost. Liturgical readings and hymns will be based on the "weeks after Pentecost" as listed in the Octoechos, Apostolos, and Lectionary arranged Gospel.

Father’s Day[5]


 

Father's Day is the day to recognize, honor and celebrate the sacrifices and accomplishments of fathers. In 1910, Washington State Governor declared Father's Day on the 19th of July.  It then became a permanent federal holiday in 1972 when President Richard Nixon proclaimed that the third Sunday in June would be further known as Father's Day. On this day, children celebrate their fathers and father figures to show their love and appreciation.

 

Father's Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.  It became a permanent holiday in 1972 when President Richard Nixon proclaimed that the third Sunday in June would remain Father's Day.

·         Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd first came up with the idea for Father's Day after hearing a Mother's Day sermon in church.  She was raised by her father and wanted to honor him.

·         In 2014, 4% of all U.S. children lived only with their fathers.

·         It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father. - Pope John XXIII

·         When one has not had a good father, one must create one. - Frederich Wilhelm Nietzsche 

Father's Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Attend a Baseball game.  Father’s Day occurs in the midst of Baseball season.

·         Arrange a BBQ and invite all of the fathers in your family.

·         Spend the day with Dad doing one of his favorite activities: fishing, golfing, hiking.

·         Complete one of dad's chores or projects as a surprise. If it's something you don't know how to do, offer to help and learn.

·         Take the President's Fatherhood’s Pledge.

·         Teach justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude to children.

How to Be a Good Father[6]

The father's role in our modern society has dwindled to almost nothing. But as a Christian the father's role is important in molding and giving example to his children, especially to his sons.

Probably nobody denies that the typical father exercises less authority in his home today than at any time in history. Reasons for this decline probably are of no interest or help in the present discussion; but the effect of it cannot be overlooked. For evidence accumulated by psychiatrists, social workers and similar experts proves unmistakably that when children lack a strong father to guide them, they suffer serious damage in many important ways. Consider these facts:

There is a startling growth in homosexual tendencies among the young, and most authorities agree that the boy who develops feminine characteristics usually has had unsatisfactory relations with his father in one or several important respects. Increases in juvenile delinquency a headlined trend in every part of the country are also due to the weak position of the father; the lack of an affectionate and understanding relationship between father and son is a prevalent characteristic in the background of boys charged with criminal offenses. Many authorities also blame the shocking rates of divorce and marriage breakdowns to this cause. The fathers of those who cannot succeed in marriage often never gave their children a realistic example of how a man should live with his wife in this relationship.

The importance of the father as an example of manhood to his son and daughter probably cannot be overestimated. For example, one day your son may marry and have a family. To be a successful father, he should know how to train his children; how to treat his wife and their mother in their presence; what to discuss with them about his work; how to show them manual skills, such as repairing a chair or painting furniture; how to perform in countless other important areas. The best way to learn how to act as a father is to observe one in action.

What ideals will he display as husband and father? To a large extent, that answer will depend upon those he has learned from you, his father, in your own home. What part will he play in the religious education of his children? The answer will largely depend upon whether you have led the family to Mass each Sunday, whether you say grace before meals in your home, whether you take an active part in the spiritual life of your parish. How should he act toward his wife aloof, affectionate, domineering, docile? Here too the answer will mainly depend upon your example.

The adage, "Like father, like son," is firmly based on fact. No matter how much he may resist your influence, your son will be like you in many different ways. If your influence is wholesome, the effect upon him will be wholesome. If you are a bad father, you will almost surely corrupt him in some significant way. Remember also that you represent God before your child because you are or should be the figure of authority in your home. He will be taught that he can always depend upon the mercy and goodness of the eternal Father; but it will be difficult for him to grasp the full importance of that teaching if he cannot rely upon the goodness of his earthly father.

It has been said that, in addition to giving wholesome example, a good father follows four fundamental rules in his dealing with his children.

·         First, he shows himself to be truly and sincerely interested in their welfare.

·         Secondly, he accepts each child for what he is, and encourages any special talent which the youngster possesses.

·         Thirdly, he takes an active part in disciplining his children.

·         And finally, he keeps lines of communication open with them at all times.

Each of these rules is worth detailed consideration, because the typical American father often ignores one or more of them.

1. Show an interest in your child's welfare. You can do this by devoting time to him, every day if possible. Try to discuss with him his experiences, problems, successes and failures. By giving yourself to him in this intimate way, you give him the feeling that he can always depend upon you to understand and help him in his difficulties. In a large family, it is especially important that you find time for intimate moments with each child. Every youngster should know that his father is interested in him as an individual, and is sympathetic with him and devoted to his welfare.

Modern fathers may find it more difficult to make their children an intimate part of their lives than did men of a few generations ago. Today's fathers often work many miles away from home. They leave for their jobs early in the morning and do not return until late in the evening, perhaps after the children are in bed. Unlike the men of an earlier age who often worked close to their homes, today's fathers may seldom see their youngsters during the week. To offset this condition, they should try to devote as much of their weekends to them as possible. This does not mean that you should be a "pal" to your children or that you must act like a juvenile, when aging bones may not permit this. But at family gatherings, picnics, trips to the ballpark or even visits to the school, you are sharing leisure moments with them.

2. Accept your child and encourage his talents. One man hoped for a son, and found it impossible to conceal his disappointment when a girl was born. He now spends much time trying to inculcate masculine virtues in her and berates her constantly because she is not proficient at sports. A successful lawyer prides himself upon his intellect and once hoped that his son would achieve great scholastic success. But the lad, now in high school, has shown no pronounced ability in academic work; however, he is skilled at working with his hands. He must face unending sneers from his father about his "stupidity." A third man married a beautiful woman and expected his daughters to be beauties too. One girl is extremely plain, however. Even at the age of ten she knows that she is a complete disappointment to her father.

All of these examples indicate ways in which fathers display a lack of acceptance of their children. It is a fact that the qualities a child inherits his physical attributes, aptitudes, and many other characteristics are the result of chance. He may be a genius or an idiot: you should not claim credit if the first possibility occurs any more than you should feel ashamed for the second. The moral is plain: your children are a gift from God, and you should always accept each of them in a spirit of gratitude. In fact, the saintly father will accept a defective child with greater gratitude, for God has offered him an opportunity to provide more love, affection and direction than the ordinary youngster might need.

Remember also that your child is an individual, with talents which you perhaps cannot appreciate. Let him develop them in the best way possible. In attempting to learn why many gifted children do not go to college, researchers have found that their parents often have actively discouraged them. In a typical case, a father became wealthy through real estate investments and could easily afford college for a son with a strong aptitude in science. But the father accused the boy of trying to "put on airs" whenever college was discussed. Thanks to him, the son is now a misfit.

3. Don't shirk unpleasant tasks of parenthood. "See your mother; don't bother me" is a remark commonly made by one type of father. He returns from work, eats his dinner and then settles down to an evening behind his newspaper or before the television screen. When his children seek his aid with their homework or when they become unruly and require a strong parental hand, he is "too busy" to pay attention. Such an attitude tells a child that his mother is the true figure of importance in the family, while Dad is only the boarder who pays the bills.

It is not fair for fathers to enjoy all the pleasures of parenthood to play with the children, to boast about their growth and to give mothers all the painful duties. A father should discipline as often as the mother. If he fails to do so, he gives the children the idea that he does not stand with the mother in her efforts to instill proper manners and acceptable forms of behavior. As a matter of fact, in major matters the good father is likely to be the court of last resort. This is as it should be for his authority is more impressive and its effect more lasting than that of the mother.

4. Keep lines of communication open with your children. Teenagers often say that they cannot talk to their fathers about questions which disturb them. This breakdown in communication usually stems from one of three factors, or a combination of them. The father may be so severe in his discipline that he appears as a dictator in the youngster's mind; in the past he has always been "too busy" to keep on close terms with his boy; or he has not given his youngster the respectful attention he should have.

Stalin-type fathers fortunately are on the way out in America, for most men have learned that it is easier to train a child with loving kindness than with brute force. But some stern unyielding fathers remain. They may beat their child into patterns of behavior that offend no one, but in the process, they often create a bitter adult who is never able to confide fully in another human being.

The second and third possible explanations for a child's unwillingness or inability to confide in his father may have even worse effects than the first. In the first instance, unless the father is a calloused brute, his child may at least discern evidence that his father is interested in his welfare. But when a father does not even care enough to concern himself with the child's upbringing in any serious way, he evidences a complete absence of love or interest.

There are many things that human beings prefer to keep to themselves, and it is probably good that this is so. Your child should not feel that he must lay bare his innermost thoughts and desires. But he should know that in times of stress and strain he has a sympathetic and loving adviser to turn to. You will fulfill that role if you strive always to treat him with courtesy and sympathy, and with an understanding based upon your memory of the difficulties, problems, fears and aspirations of your own boyhood. Never ridicule him: it is the opposite of sympathy and probably locks more doors between father and son than any other action.

Activity Source: Catholic Family Handbook, The by Rev. George A. Kelly, Random House, Inc., New York, 1959

Summer Solstice[7]



The Summer Solstice marks the beginning of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.  On this day, the North Pole is tilted towards the Sun at the highest degree of angle. Places in the Northern Hemisphere experience the longest hours of sunlight throughout the year on this day. The history of the Summer Solstice is rooted in both ancient mysticism and nature. This day takes place somewhere around June 20th or 21st each year.

Summer Solstice Facts

·         On the Summer Solstice, the North Pole receives 24 hours of daylight, and the South Pole receives 24 hours of darkness.

·         Solstice comes from the Latin words for "Sun" and "to stop."

·         Many Native American tribes celebrated the Summer Solstice by holding "sun dances".

·         On the summer solstice, the Earth's axis is tilted the most, up to 26°.

Summer Solstice Top Events and Things to Do

·         Host a bonfire to celebrate the arrival of summer.

·         Visit Stonehenge and take the Summer Solstice Tour.

·         Go fishing - it is the longest fishing day of the year.

·         Visit the polar circle and enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight.

·         Remember at the South Pole it is a day of total darkness,

Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Do not fear struggle; courage itself often intimidates temptations, and they dare not attack us. Courage, God is.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary

 



[1] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

* http://www.holytrinitygerman.org/postpentecostschema.htm

[4] https://orthodoxwiki.org/Pentecost

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

[6]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=128

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