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  ST JOHN PAUL II   Psalm 49, Verse 17 Do not FEAR when a man becomes rich, when the wealth of his house grows great.   The next verse ...

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Friday, July 9, 2021

 Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Treason

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: LOYALTY)

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord
To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception...pray for us
St. Joseph...pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel...pray for us
(the patron of your parish )... pray for us
(your confirmation saint)...pray for us

 
"Freedom from Treason" by Fr. James Altman

Dear family, the very word "treason" stirs a fundamental loathing within us toward the traitor. Nobody likes a traitor, a betrayer. Indeed, as to the greatest traitor of all time, the betrayer of the Son of God, Jesus Himself said "... woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born" (Matthew 26:24).

The common understanding or definition of traitor is criminal disloyalty, typically to the state. It is a crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's nation or sovereign. Perhaps the most ancient figure that exemplifies treason is Brutus, who betrayed Julius Caesar, through whom Shakespeare had utter the famous words "et tu Brute?" - "and you, Brutus?" - even you, Brutus, my friend? Remember such similar, chilling words, spoken 2,000 years ago, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48).

As Americans - at least before the current historical revisionism - we have known since schooldays what to think of treason. We were taught what to think through classic examples that, like every good parable, imparted to us the sense of right and wrong. On the one hand, we learned of the betrayal by Benedict Arnold, whose name has become synonymous with treason. Benjamin Franklin wrote that "Judas sold only one man, Arnold three million." On the other hand, we learned of the glorious sacrifice of Nathan Hale who, as he stood before the British gallows, uttered the renowned words "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

Who can forget the brave witness of faith of Bishop St. John Fisher who refused to apostatize himself before the malevolent King Henry VIII, whilst the rest of the cowardly episcopacy bent to the will of a mere human? Who can forget the more recent brave witnesses of the Mexican clergy-martyrs, like Blessed Miguel Pro, or the incomprehensibly brave 14-year-old boy, St. José Sánchez del Río?

It all fits together ... the secular revulsion we have toward the "Benedict Arnolds" of the world, and the revulsion we have toward the "Judases" who betrayed us in the Faith. It certainly explains the revulsion that the faithful had for the grave betrayal of the abuse scandal. It was bad enough that abuse occurred in the first place; it was immeasurably worse when certain members of the hierarchy covered it up; it was much worse than that when others who knew stood by and did nothing; and worst of all when some of the hierarchy themselves were perpetrators. The grave consequences to the faith of the faithful are well known.

But it is easy to blame those we readily identify as Judases. It is a lot easier to point the finger at other particularly evil traitors, but what about us? Let us never forget the parable Jesus taught about those who were convinced of their own righteousness. How often are we like the Pharisee who took up his position in the temple "and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of humanity - greedy, dishonest, adulterous - or even like this tax collector'" (Luke 18:11).

The fact is that we all have been traitors. In fact, we all are traitors, to a greater or lesser extent maybe, but traitors, nonetheless. Every single time we betray the Sacrifice on Calvary...traitor. Every time we sin, in what we have done and in what we have failed to do...traitor. We betray the Cross of Christ every time we refuse to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus to our own personal Calvary. For today, let us look at what might be the most insidious way we betray Jesus - in what we have failed to do.

As the great Archbishop Charles Chaput once said: "For Pope Benedict, lay people and priests don't need to publicly renounce their Catholic faith to be apostates; they simply need to be silent when their baptism demands that they speak out, to be cowards when Jesus asks them to have courage." So, what about us? What about our own treason?

Dear family, in our politically-correct-poisoned culture, we are stigmatized, chastised, and ostracized when we try to live out our Faith publicly. We are hammered by the proposition that we are being "judgmental" when we stand up for the truths of our Faith. Yet, if we speak up and speak out about the unchanged and unchangeable truth about sin, and endure the repercussions for doing so, should we not have the same attitude as Jesus to the temple guard? - "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?" (John 18:23).

Let us pray this day to be free from treason - from highest treason - against Jesus our Lord, in what we do, but perhaps even more, in what we have failed to do.  Too many times we have remained silent when our baptism calls us to stand up and speak out against sin in the world. Indeed, dear family, we will know we have gone spiritually blind when we can see nothing significantly wrong with something that God has called sin.

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward treason. We have fallen into treason when we have not lived up to the call of our baptism by not acknowledging You before others. We fear the persecution in every aspect of our lives, especially those things that impact our income or our social relationships. In our weakness, we have been weak in faith, and betrayed You like Peter in the courtyard, denying You far many more times. In so many ways, we fear the ill-will of man more than we fear the loss of heaven. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our countless betrayals. We love You, Lord, and we beg for the courage to say to others, "Yes, I know Him who is Lord of heaven and earth." We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

 
Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of heaven and earth, in Your power and goodness, You created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth, cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to silence and treason. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of treason have planted in Your Church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in Your goodness Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done, in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

 
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, .
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.

 
Daily Checklist

__ Prayer for Freedom from the Devil
__ Daily reflection and prayers
__ Litany of the day
__ Pray a Rosary
__ Divine Mercy Chaplet
__ Spiritual or corporal work of mercy
__ Fast/abstain (according to level)
__ Exercise (according to level/ability)
__ Refrain from conventional media (only 1 hr. of social)
__ Examination of conscience (confession 1x this week)

 
More Information

To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.

For those enlisted in the US Grace Force, you will receive, by way of email, the daily prayers and reflections for "Let Freedom Ring: A 40 Day Tactical Training for Freedom from the Devil." 

You can enlist in the United States Grace Force HERE (please recruit family and friends!)

Information on the United States Grace Force can be found HERE

We highly recommend ordering the book (recently published), authored by Fr. Bill Peckman, Fr. James Altman and Fr. Rick Heilman. This amazing book will be a great tool for easy access, highlighting and bookmarking as you traverse through this 40-day challenge with tens of thousands of other special forces prayer warriors!

You can order the book at RomanCatholicGear.com.
 


Nehemiah, Chapter 5, Verse 15

The earlier governors, my predecessors, had laid a heavy burden on the people, taking from them each day forty silver shekels for their food; then, too, their attendants oppressed the people. But I, because I FEARED God, did not do this.

 

A person that fears God does not oppress or take advantage of those dependent on them. Evil or power-hungry people love to get cash cows. In our country the best cash cows are the addicted and many of these users and abusers do so through legal means. Alcohol, Cigarettes, high fructose corn syrup, mortgages, taxes are legal. Then there is the illegal even more deadly, prescription drugs, marijuana, heroin; you name it. Then if that wasn’t enough there is porn and the internet. Whew…then there is congress and the education system along with the Drug Cartels slave trade caused by the democratic issues at the US Border!

Cheating. Cybersexting. Hazing, Drug abuse. Murder[1]

Scanning the headlines of the latest scandals in America’s schools, it’s quite clear that the problem is not that there’s too much God in students’ lives. The problem is that there isn’t nearly enough of Him. With the malfunction of moral seatbelts and the erosion of moral guardrails, too many kids have turned to a pantheon of false gods, crutches and palliatives. They’re obsessed with “Slender Man” and “Vampire Diaries.” Alex from Target’s hair and Rihanna’s tattoos. Overpriced basketball sneakers and underdressed reality stars. Choking games and YouTube games. Gossip and hookups. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. It’s all about selfies over self-control, blurred lines over bright lines. In a metastatic youth culture of soullessness and rootlessness, the idea of high school teens voluntarily using their free time to pray and sing hymns is not just a breath of fresh air. It’s salvation. But leave it to secularists run amok to punish faithful young followers of Christ. When the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a religious freedom lawsuit against Pine Creek High School here in my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs. Chase Windebank, a senior at the District 20 school, had been convening an informal prayer group for the past three years “in a quiet area to sing Christian religious songs, pray, and to discuss issues of the day from a religious perspective.”

Windebank and his friends weren’t disrupting classroom time. They shared their Christian faith during an open period earned by high-achieving students. Other kids used the time to play on their phones, eat snacks, get fresh air outside, or schedule meetings for a wide variety of both official and unofficial school clubs. A Pine Creek choir teacher had given permission to Windebank and his fellow worshipers to meet in an empty music practice room. No complaints ever ensued from other students or faculty. For three years, the group encountered no problems, according to ADF’s complaint. But in late September, Windebank was summoned to the assistant principal’s office and ordered to stop praying because of “the separation of church and state.” The school singled out the young man of faith’s harmless activities and banned members of his group from discussing current issues of the day from a religious perspective during an open period in an unobtrusive meeting place. It defies common sense that in conservative-leaning Colorado Springs, home to a vibrant faith community and leading evangelical organizations, students would be reprimanded and deprived of basic constitutional rights. As a letter from local parents to the school district decried: “To what benefit does it serve a school to limit the ability for a student to pray with their friends, fellowship with their friends, or discuss daily events from a Christian perspective? It is obvious that School District 20 is taking a freedom FROM religion perspective, not a freedom OF religion perspective.” Think about it: If the high-schoolers gathered in the cafeteria to listen to Billboard magazine’s No. 1 pop hit “Habits (Stay High)” — “You’re gone and I gotta stay high/ all the time/ to keep you off my mind” — school officials would have no issue. If they lounged in a courtyard to joke about the latest girl-fight videos or off-color joke memes posted on Vine, no problem. If they discussed the latest “Walking Dead” episode or napped in the library? All good. But singing “Amazing Grace” and studying scripture? This subversion must be stopped!

How did we get here? And in Colorado Springs, of all places — not Berkeley or Boulder or Boston? Blame cowardice, ignorance and politically correct bureaucrats pledging allegiance to one nation, under godlessness, without religious liberty, and the occult of extreme secularism for all.

Pray for our Nation.



Fitness Friday[2]


Is Chocolate Good for You? The Health Benefits of Chocolate

Theobroma Cacao, the Latin name for chocolate, means “Food of the Gods” for a reason. It’s a heavenly way to lift your performance. There are also some major health benefits of chocolate.

We’re not talking about junk chocolate in candy bars and sweet desserts; dark chocolate has a long history as a healing plant, a mood enhancer, and even an aphrodisiac. So, you’re in luck: you can indeed use high-quality chocolate to take delicious control of your biology.

7 health benefits of chocolate

You’ve probably read that chocolate affects your brain by causing the release of the “happiness neurotransmitters” serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Like coffee, chocolate is also a potent source of polyphenol antioxidants, which can fight damaging free radicals and protect your mitochondria.

But experienced chocolate hackers also know chocolate to be a useful tool for improving performance in lesser-known ways. In fact, cacao exerts a systemic effect on the body, with benefits ranging from improved blood flow and cognition to beneficial alterations in gut bacteria! Here are some of the most important benefits of chocolate (besides taste…).

1.      Chocolate for a better mood

Chocolate can improve your mood, especially in high-pressure or stressful situations. Participants were asked to complete serial subtraction tasks of threes and sevens (counting down by 3s and 7s), and a rapid visual information-processing task to test sustained attention. Those who consumed cocoa flavanol drinks prior to the trial had overall better cognitive performance and reported less mental fatigue than the control group.

2.      Chocolate makes you eat less

One of my favorite effects of chocolate consumption is a reduction in appetite. One study quantified this by giving participants a 100 g serving of either milk or dark chocolate two hours before being served an all-you-can-eat lunch. Ingestion of dark chocolate was correlated with a 17% lower calorie intake at the following meal, compared to the milk chocolate group. (I’d imagine that it’s because the casein in milk binds to the polyphenols in chocolate, making them unavailable to your body.)

Chocolate may also have a significant effect on mood, as one double-blind study recorded that subjects were able to subjectively discriminate the effects of theobromine at doses as low as 100-560 mg.

3.      Chocolate for a healthy heart

Regular chocolate consumption can improve your cardiovascular health. Notably, the polyphenols in cacao increase HDL cholesterol (often thought of as the protective kind of cholesterol), which in turns leads to decreased oxidized LDL cholesterol. Other effects include higher levels of circulating nitric oxide, and reduced platelet adhesion,, resulting in improved circulation benefits of chocolate

One study even found the cacao flavanol epicatechin to be responsible for the rise in nitric oxide, which is essential for vascular health. Bioavailability of nitric oxide is an essential determinate of vascular health as it regulates dilation tone, signals cell growth and inflammatory response, and protects blood vessels from clotting.

Vascular function is also really important for insulin-regulated glucose uptake. That’s why dark chocolate can also improve/

“Healthy levels of insulin sensitivity.

4.      Chocolate for glowing skin and sun protection

Chocolate can help you maintain healthy skin by modulating healthy blood flow. In one study, two groups of women consumed either a high flavanol or low flavanol cocoa powder for a period of 12 weeks. While the low flavanol group showed no change in markers of skin health, subjects in the high flavanol group had on average 25% reduction in UV-induced erythema (sunburn) after exposure to a solar simulator.

The high flavanol group also recorded increased skin density and thickness, as well as better hydration and less transepidermal water loss.

5.      Chocolate may lower inflammation

Chocolate has inflammation-modulating properties. In one study, obese mice supplemented with cocoa powder had healthier levels of inflammation and insulin. These mice also had a 30% reduction in plasma levels of the major pro-inflammatory mediator interleukin 6. Additionally, a cross-sectional study of an Italian cohort discovered an inverse relationship between dark chocolate consumption and serum C-reactive protein.

6.      Chocolate is a prebiotic

While many studies assume that it is the cacao polyphenols acting directly to modulate biomarkers, it is most likely the case that at least some of the effect is indirect, and works through interaction with our gut microbiome. Research suggests that low molecular weight cocoa flavanols such as epicatechin and catechin can be absorbed directly into blood circulation, (unless you mix them with milk) but this is not so for the larger polyphenols. In this case, microflora in the colon work to break down high molecular weight polyphenols, so that the smaller secondary metabolites may circulate throughout the body. Cocoa flavanols are processed by gut microbiota, and secondary metabolites can enter circulation.

benefits of chocolate and effects of cocoa on the immune system

If gut bacteria are feeding on the larger cocoa polyphenols, then it follows that they can also change the composition of the intestinal microbiome. In fact, one study did discover a beneficial prebiotic effect of high flavanol chocolate consumption. After a period of 4 weeks of consuming a high flavanol cocoa powder, subjects had a significant increase in bifidobacteria and lactobacilli populations, as well as significantly decreased clostridia levels. This was accompanied by significantly decreased C-reactive protein (which correlates to inflammation reduction in the body), which was associated particularly with changes in lactobacilli.

7.      Chocolate for anti-aging

Last, but certainly not least, cacao can enhance mitochondrial biogenesis, or, the creation of new mitochondria! If you’ve read about Unfair Advantage, you know how important it is to have healthy mitochondria, and more of them. It is the flavanol epicatechin in chocolate which is responsible for mitogenesis. In one study, oral administration of epicatechin to senile mice shifted numerous biomarkers towards those of young mice, including sirtuin 1, a well-recognized regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. In another mouse study, treatment with epicatechin improved exercise performance by ~50% compared to controls, and enhanced muscle fatigue resistance by ~30%. The epicatechin group also recorded significant increases in mitochondrial volume in hindlimb and cardiac muscles.

Does chocolate have caffeine?

Yes, but in much smaller amounts than coffee. So much less, you could probably eat a square or two of dark chocoalte before bed without any trouble falling asleep. The really cool energy-giving molecule in coffee is called theobromine. Theobromin is the primary alkaloid found in cocoa that is responsible for multiple positive effects, one of which is similar to the effects of caffeine. Although theobromine is present in other plants, there’s a high contentration in dark chocolate, with measures between 237-519 mg per 50g.

The benefits of theobromine

Promotes steady energy: Due to the molecular makeup of theobromine, while it promotes energy in the body, it doesn’t exert its effects on the central nervous system – so its effects are a more gentle, feel-good type of energy. Also, due to its molecular makeup, theobromine takes longer to clear from your body, which means this calm energy lasts longer.

Better cognitive function: The immediate cognitive effects of chocolate are primarily accounted for by caffeine and theobromine. A study comparing the effects of cocoa powder versus an equivalent caffeine and theobromine powder found equivalent improvements in cognitive and mood assessments.

Addictive taste: It is said that dark chocolate is an “acquired taste,” and research suggests that theobromine may be the component responsible for our attraction to dark chocolate. One study demonstrated an increased liking for a ‘novel’ drink when it was mixed with theobromine.

The pitfalls of chocolate

Most chocolate contains sugar

By now you may be interested in picking up some chocolate, but be sure to choose one with as little sugar as possible or even none.

While research shows that cocoa can have a beneficial effect with regards to maintaining healthy vascular tone and insulin sensitivity, the reverse is true for sugar. Eating sweetened chocolate is still not good for you. Beware of chocolate marketed as “sugar-free” that may contain unhealthy artificial sweeteners, which are found in the “kryptonite” zone of the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap. The only recommended sweeteners are Stevia, erythritol from non-GMO corn, and xylitol from hardwood.

In one study, rats fed a high-fat, high-sucrose diet for 4 weeks displayed insulin resistance, and decreased endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), which is responsible for creating nitric oxide in blood vessels.[29] Other studies have demonstrated that the detrimental effect of sugar on vascular function is independent of obesity and insulin resistance, so sugar is bad for you even if you are in otherwise good health.

Chocolate can contain mold

Unfortunately, due to intensive farming techniques and poor agricultural, processing, and storage practices, much of the world’s chocolate supply is contaminated with meaningful levels of mold toxins. One of the more insidious and dangerous forms of mycotoxin, ochratoxin A, was present in 98% of samples tested in one study. Of those contaminated with ochratoxin, the study found an 80% co-occurrence of aflatoxin as well. Mycotoxins amplify each other when more than one is present.

Cacao trees are a tropical crop, making them highly susceptible to fungus and mold. Roasting moldy beans destroys the actual fungi, but it doesn’t destroy the fungi’s byproduct: harmful mold toxins. Beans aren’t just susceptible when they’re on the tree. They can become host to mold and fungi during pre-processing, so it’s important not to let them sit for long periods of time.[34] The good news is that one study found that the processing of cocoa beans into a finished product resulted in a 93.6% decrease in ochratoxin A.[35] My experience is that mold toxins vary greatly from batch to batch and from brand to brand, and a brand with “clean” chocolate this month may not be clean the following month.

Keep the following in mind while selecting and eating chocolate:

    Make sure your chocolate is at least 85 percent dark chocolate

    European chocolate tends to be lower in mold toxins, as they have stricter government limits than the US

    Take activated coconut charcoal with chocolate to bind some of the mold toxins like I always do

How to get more chocolate into your day

Your options are almost limitless. Try these unique options to get more chocolate into your diet:

   Drink cacao tea

    Make a Bulletproof Mocha: add some high-quality chocolate powder to your morning BP coffee

    Make Bulletproof Get Some Ice Cream

    Check out The Bulletproof Diet book for Bulletproof dessert AND dinner recipes that use high-quality chocolate

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]http://worldtribune.com/life/one-nation-under-godlessness/

[2]https://www.bulletproof.com/diet/superfoods/is-chocolate-good-for-you-health-benefits/



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