DAY 48 - MARY, QUEEN OF THE FAMILY, PRAY FOR US
"Build Catholic schools," said one.
"More churches," said another.
"Speed up the recruiting of priests," said a third.
"No, no," said the pope, "the most necessary thing of all, at this time, is for every parish to possess a group of laymen who will be at the same time virtuous, enlightened, resolute, and truly apostolic."
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Sorrowful Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Glorious Mysteries
TREES DECLARE THEIR OWN SERMON in brief autumn's painted landscape. We note their size and type and variety and beauty. Trees serve as symbols of the gift-giving aspects of our lives. Trees provide fruit, wood, climatic modification, wind and sun protection, prevention of soil erosion, and a host of other benefits. This is the time to plant trees and to prepare them for winter. Should we not give more attention to how our lives can bear fruit in Christ and in the protection of our forests?
Overview of October
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. October falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. During October, as in all of Ordinary Time (formerly known as Time After Pentecost), the Liturgy does not focus on one particular mystery of Christ but views the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. We follow the life of Christ through the Gospels and focus on the teachings and parables of Jesus and what it means for each of us to be a follower of Christ.
October usually is an enjoyable time of the year in the United States. The autumn season manifests itself with wonderful fall foliage in many parts of the country. The temperatures are cooler, inviting people outdoors for nature walks, apple or pumpkin picking. The celebrations of the Church for the month of October are also wonderful and unique. The feasts of some of the most popular saints of the universal Church are celebrated during this month: St. Therese the Little Flower (France), St. Francis of Assisi (Italy) and St. Teresa of Avila (Spain). These saints come from different countries, and in honoring these saints we can include cultural dishes or activities from each country to make the feast day even more special. Read more about the lives of these saints. Perhaps the family can pick one virtue that each saint practiced well and try to implement it.
The feasts in October also include two of the most popular, time-honored devotions of Catholics, the devotion to the Holy Rosary (October 7) and the Guardian Angels (October 2). In October 2002 our Holy Father John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (the Rosary of the Virgin Mary)." This letter introduced five new mysteries, called the Luminous or Mysteries of Light, which are (1) Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan, (2) Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with the call to conversion, (4) the Transfiguration, and (5) the Institution of the Eucharist. Try to make a more concerted effort to pray the Rosary together as a family during the month of October, read the Apostolic Letter to understand the beauty of this devotion more deeply, and pray the new Luminous mysteries. October 16 is known as "Pope Day" on which we celebrate the gift of the papacy and our current pope.
Every person has a guardian angel assigned to them, and October 2 the Church celebrates the role of these Guardian Angels. We should show devout gratitude to God for placing these angels at our service. Having a guardian should give us confidence during all of life's difficulties. Every Catholic should know the Angele Dei (Angel of God) prayer and pray it often. The Directory on Popular Piety suggests that families pray it at morning and evening prayers or after the Angelus.
All Hallows' Eve or Halloween heralds the month of November with emphasis on the Communion of Saints, especially the Church Suffering (the Poor Souls in Purgatory) and the second coming of Christ or parousia. This last day of October on the secular calendar is second only to Christmas in commercial preparations. The secular festivities center on ghouls, witches and devils, but the Christian counterpart focus on the communion of saints. As Christians living a "Catholic Culture", we should try to explore the Christian roots of the Halloween festivities.
October: Respect Life Month
We mark the month of October as Respect Life Month. Looking back over the last year, there's been a lot of uncertainty, suffering, and heartache. Between tragedies that occur in the public eye and trials that take place in our personal lives, there's no shortage of reasons we cry out to God. At such times, we may feel alone and unequipped to handle the circumstances. But we have an anchor of hope to cling to. With words that echo through thousands of years into the corners of our hearts, God says to us, "Do not fear: I am with you" (Isaiah 41:10). God isn't a detached, distant observer to our pain; the Eternal Son became man and Himself experienced immense suffering—for you and for me. His wounds indicate the very essence of our identity and worth: we are loved by God. There are times we may doubt the value of our own lives or falter at the thought of welcoming and embracing the life of another. But reflecting on the healed wounds of the Risen Christ, we can see that even our most difficult trials can be the place where God manifests his victory. He makes all things beautiful. He makes all things new. He is the God of redemption. That's powerful. That's something to hold onto. And, He is always with us. Jesus promised this when he gave the disciples the same mission, he gives to each of us: Go. As followers of Jesus Christ, we know that our identity and our mission are two sides of the same coin; like the apostles, we are called to be missionary disciples. We are not only invited to follow and take refuge in God, our stronghold, but we are also commissioned to reach out to one another, especially to the weak and vulnerable. Building a culture of life isn't something we just do one month of the year, or with one event or initiative—it's essential to who we are. It happens through our daily actions, how we treat one another, and how we live our lives. How do we respond when our aging parents are in failing health? Do they know how much we love them and cherish each day given? Do we ensure they know they are never a burden to us? In our own challenging times, do we ask for support? When others offer a helping hand, do we receive it? When our friend becomes pregnant in difficult circumstances, do we show compassion that tangibly supports her and helps her welcome the life of her new little one? Sometimes, we may not be sure exactly what to do, but let's not allow the fear of doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing keep us from living out our missionary call. We don't need to have everything figured out all at once. Let's remember the guidance of Our Blessed Mother, the first disciple: "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). https://www.usccb.org/prolife
Respect Life Month
From the time we are knit together in our mothers’ wombs until we take our final breaths, each moment of our lives is a gift from God. While every season of life brings its own challenges and trials, each season also gives us new opportunities to grow in our relationship with God. Today the gift of life is threatened in countless ways. Those who are most vulnerable, rather than receiving the protection they deserve, are all too often seen as a burden and as expendable. As new attacks on human life continue to emerge, we can be tempted to despair, but Christ instead offers us unfailing hope. Hope is not false optimism or empty positivity. Christian hope is something much more profound and goes to the very depths of our identity as followers of Christ. Hope is the virtue “by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit” (CCC, 1817).
Like us, Christ entered the world through the womb of a woman. He willingly experienced the fullness of human suffering. He breathed his last on the Cross at Calvary in order that He might save us. Therefore, “God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end” (Spe salvi 31).
Christians know “they have a future: it is not that they know the details of what awaits them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness” (SS 2).
For this reason, a woman experiencing a difficult pregnancy can find the strength to welcome her precious child into the world. A man facing a terminal diagnosis can see that the end of his earthly life is only the beginning of eternal life with Christ. The Church teaches us that “the one who has hope lives differently” (SS 2).
Christ’s promise of salvation does not mean that we will be spared from suffering. Rather, the promise of salvation ensures that even in the darkest moments of our lives, we will be given the strength to persevere. By virtue of this Christian hope, we can face any challenge or trial. When the seas of life swell and we are battered by the waves, hope allows us to remain anchored in the heart of God. May we hold fast to Christ our hope, from the beginning of life to its very end.
OCTOBER 1 First Friday
THÉRÈSE Of the Child Jesus-INTL COFFEE DAY
Job, Chapter 37, Verse 24
Therefore, people FEAR him; none can see him, however wise their hearts.
We cannot see God, but we can see His justice which condemns self-righteousness and is good to all; both the evil and the virtuous. Elihu proclaims God’s majesty is revealed in the entire universe and due to this majesty men are fearful.
Who has seen God
The First Letter of John begins: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.” “No one has ever seen God”? Wait . . . we definitely believe Jesus is God, and lots of people saw Jesus during his lifetime; doesn’t that count? What’s going on? Also John 1:18 (“No one has ever seen God. The only son God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.”) and 1 Timothy 6:16 (“. . . the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see”).
Not even Moses saw God; although he talked to the LORD “face to face” (Deuteronomy 34:10) – meaning in a conversational manner – the Scripture is clear that he didn’t really see God’s face (see Exodus 33:18-23). In addition it took a few centuries for mortal minds to fully wrap around the idea of the Trinity, even though it’s clearly in the Gospels (see, for example, Matthew 28:19). So it’s understandable that they say things that seem a bit askew to modern ears. And yet . . . is there more wisdom to be gleaned here? In Mark we see how Jesus walked on water after the miracle of feeding the five thousand. “But at once he spoke with them, ‘Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!’ He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” Christ’s answer of “It is I” is literally translated as “I am,” which points to the divine revelation found – among other places – in Exodus 3:14 (“God replied, ‘I am who am,’ Then he added, ‘This is what you shall tell the Israelites: IAM sent me to you.'”). Look at the last two sentences from Mark: “They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” What did they not understand? Why were their hearts hardened? Simply put, they didn’t understand the signs of Christ’s divinity. Their hearts were hardened to the truth that was before them: That Jesus was God. If you were walking along the street two thousand years ago and saw Jesus, you would not immediately know he was God. You would not “see” him. Similarly, if a nonbeliever saw the Eucharist, he would not “see” Christ, even though we know Scripture and Tradition clearly indicate he is physically there with us during that Sacrament. And even if we believe we are practicing Catholics, in our hearts, are we sure we are “seeing” Christ? About half of American Catholics don’t believe that – during Communion – the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. (I can’t find statistics worldwide, but I suspect there are a large number of Catholics across the globe who don’t understand or accept the doctrine of transubstantiation.) In the Gospel of Mark, we learn of those who saw the truth but didn’t believe, and their hearts were hardened. Let us remain ever vigilant that – through Sacraments, Scripture, prayer, and more – we have ample opportunity to know God. If we fail to do so, the fault is with us.
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."
1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity.
First Friday Promises
Those who faithfully complete the First Friday devotion for nine consecutive months are promised the following, as told to Roman Catholic nun St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Our Lord Jesus Christ:
1. I will give them all of the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their homes.
3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4. I will be their strength during life and above all during death.
5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9. I will bless every place where a picture of my heart shall be set up and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
To gain these blessings there are just three simple requirements to complete each month.
Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI called St. Therese of Lisieux's autobiography, "The Story of a Soul," a wonderful authentic "treasure" and invited everyone to read it. The 19th-century Carmelite saint's teaching of "the 'little way" of holiness has been so influential in our time." His catechesis was a continuation of a series of talks dedicated to the "doctors of the church," men and women who made important contributions to Catholic theological understanding. St. Therese, who was born in 1873 in France, died at the age of 24 of hemoptysis, or bleeding of the lungs. Her spirituality "centered on the contemplation of God's love revealed in the mysteries of the incarnation and redemption," the pope said. The saint "sought to be little in all things and to seek the salvation of the world," he said. Her autobiography was published a year after her death and was enormously successful in many parts of the world, he said. "I would like to invite all of you to rediscover this great little treasure, this glowing commentary on the Gospel fully lived," the pope said. The book is "a wonderful story of love, told with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness that the reader will be nothing but captivated," he said. "Therese shows all of us that Christian life is fully living the grace of baptism," by fully giving oneself over to God and by living like Christ, he said. The pope said "her example and prayers help us to follow 'the little way of trust and love' in spiritual childhood, abandoning ourselves completely to the love of God and the good of souls." A childlike faith in God entails giving oneself fully to him and putting one's life completely in his hands, the pope said. Such faith is "inseparable from true love," which is a total giving of self, he said. The pope said the faithful need to tell God every day that "we want to live out our love for him and others." St. Therese's life and teachings are "a guide for everyone" especially for theologians, he said, because she approached the sacred Scriptures with "humility and charity, faith and hope."
Things to Do
photographs of St. Therese and her family.
Her sister Celine and cousin Marier Guerin had become interested in the art of photography, and when Celine entered the Carmelites with her sisters, she was given permission to bring her equipment and use it in the convent. A wonderful out-of-print book with all the photographs of this saint is called The Photo Album of St. Therese of Lisieux.
· Read St. Therese's autobiography The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. The translation by John Clarke is considered the most accurate. Find biographies suitable for your children.
· The Institute of Carmelite Studies has a wonderful collection of writings by St. Therese and other books about her.
· Read more about her confidence in God, an excellent book is I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux by Father Jean C. J. d'Elbee .
· St. Therese belonged to the Discalced order of Carmelites, which means unshod or barefoot. Find out more about the order of Carmelites.
· From the Catholic Culture Library:
o Pope Saint John Paul II from 1997 Divini Amoris Scientia (Apostolic Letter Proclaiming St. Therese of Lisieux a Doctor of the Church)
o Pope Saint John Paul II from 1997 Homily at Mass proclaiming Therese to be Doctor of the Church
o Apostolic Exhortation of Paul VI from 1975 On Christian Joy (Gaudete in Domino). He speaks of St. Therese:
In more recent times, St. Therese of Lisieux shows us the courageous way of abandonment into the hands of God to whom she entrusts her littleness. And yet it is not that she has no experience of the feeling of God's absence, a feeling which our century is harshly experiencing: "Sometimes it seems that the little bird (to which she compared herself) cannot believe that anything else exists except the clouds that envelop it.... This is the moment of perfect joy for the poor, weak little thing.... What happiness for it to remain there nevertheless, and to gaze at the invisible light that hides from its faith."
· Learn about the Society of the Little Flower.
· There is the historic National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan, a Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, Texas.
· Bake a cake or brownies and frost. Decorate with roses, either real, artificial, marzipan, icing, candy or other. Let your imagination go! See top bar for marzipan suggestions.
· Do some rose crafts or recipes today. St. Therese's dying words were: "I will let fall a shower of roses after my death." Catholic Culture has some wonderful old-fashioned rose recipes.
International Coffee Day
International Coffee Day seeks to celebrate coffee from around the world while honoring the farmers, traders, roasters and baristas responsible for creating the coffees that are enjoyed by so many people worldwide. According to an Ethiopian legend, coffee, a black bean enclosed in red berry, was discovered by a goat herder in the Ethiopian highlands when he noticed that his goats had become overly energetic after eating the berries. Slowly, the herder's discovery spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula, into Europe and finally to the New World, increasing the demand for coffee and making it the second most sought after commodity in the world today (crude oil being the first). Organized by the International Coffee Organization and its 75 Member States, International Coffee Day was first celebrated on October 1, 2015 in Milan, Italy at Expo 2015. The International Coffee Organization is an intergovernmental organization that unifies coffee exporting and importing governments through international cooperation with the aim of creating a sustainable coffee market and lowering poverty levels in developing countries that harvest coffee.
International Coffee Day Facts & Quotes
· Based on the Food Regulation Standing Committee and Caffeine Working Group, Red bull has an average caffeine content of 32.0 mg/100ml, compared to a cappuccino which has caffeine content of 101.9 mg/100ml. Espresso style coffee made from ground coffee beans has 194.0 mg/ml of caffeine content. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400mg of caffeine is the safe limit for most adults
· Kopi Luwak is one of the most expensive coffees brewed in the world. Kopi Luwak it is made with digested coffee beans that had been eaten and defecated by an Asian toddy cat (Asian palm civet). This rare coffee can cost between $35-80 US dollars for a single cup.
· Long-term caffeine intake can lead to a caffeine addiction/dependence, which has been medically recognized as a disorder. When individuals with a caffeine addiction abstain from caffeine, they may experience withdrawal symptoms including headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and mood changes.
· According to the Coffee Organization, 143 million 60kg bags of coffee were produced in 2015 and Brazil was the leading exporter of coffee, with more than 18,953 60kg bags of coffee exported between August 2015 and January 2016.
· I am a coffee fanatic. Once you go to proper coffee, you can't go back. You cannot go back. - Hugh Laurie, Dr. House actor
Coffee with Christ
The idea of this book is to seek friendship with God through Christ, the Holy Spirit and His mother-Mary. Prayer is, in its purest sense, a personal journey or intimacy with Our Lord. There is no greater help in our life’s journey in this world than through friendship with Jesus Christ and His mother. The imaginary premise of this book is to have a regular “Coffee Clutch” with Christ and gather for coffee and conversation through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Ideally this book will serve as encouragement for you to enter into your own “coffee clutch” with Christ. Having a regular or daily set time or appointment to meet and discuss with Him your hopes, dreams, plans and goals. To bear your heart to Him. To just sit down with Christ and talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company, over a cup of coffee. The goal is to make the common Holy and grow in the love and likeness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Recognizing that God, the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength; mind, soul and heart.
German Volume Training
It's brutally hard, but I've found it to be an effective way to pack on muscle fast! In strength-coaching circles, this method is often called the Ten Sets Method. Supersets and trisets allow you to perform a lot of work in a short period of time. The rest-pause method allows you to use heavier weights, so you can recruit the higher threshold muscle fibers, and eccentric training enables you to overcome strength plateaus. The bottom line is that almost any training method will work—provided you do it with intensity—at least for the few weeks it takes for your body to adapt to it. There is, however, one training system that stands above all the rest. It's brutally hard, but I've found it to be a very effective way to pack on muscle fast! In strength-coaching circles, this method is often called the Ten Sets Method. Because it has its roots in German-speaking countries, I like to call it German Volume Training. To the best of my knowledge, this training system originated in Germany in the mid-'70s and was popularized by Rolf Feser, who was then the National Coach of Weightlifting. A similar protocol was promoted by Vince Gironda in the U.S., but regardless of who actually invented it, it works. In Germany, the Ten Sets Method was used in the off-season to help weightlifters gain lean body mass. It was so efficient that lifters routinely moved up a full weight class within 12 weeks. It was the base program of Canadian weightlifter Jacques Demers, Silver Medallist in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Jacques was known in weightlifting circles for his massive thighs, and he gives credit to the German method for achieving such a spectacular level of hypertrophy. The same method was also used by Bev Francis in her early days of bodybuilding to pack on muscle.
The program works because it targets a group of motor units, exposing them to an extensive volume of repeated efforts, specifically, 10 sets of a single exercise. The body adapts to the extraordinary stress by hypertrophying the targeted fibers. To say this program adds muscle fast is probably an understatement. Gains of 10 pounds or more in six weeks are not uncommon, even in experienced lifters!
Goals & Guidelines
The goal of the German Volume Training method is to complete ten sets of ten reps with the same weight for each exercise. You want to begin with a weight you could lift for 20 reps to failure if you had to. For most people, on most exercises, that would represent 60% of their 1RM load. Therefore, if you can bench press 300 pounds for 1 rep, you would use 180 pounds for this exercise.
For lifters new to this method, I recommend using the following body-part splits:
· Day 1: Chest & Back
· Day 2: Legs & Abs
· Day 3: Off
· Day 4: Arms & Shoulders
· Day 5: Off
When using this program or any other, you should keep a detailed journal of the exact sets/reps and rest intervals performed, and only count the repetitions completed in strict form.
35 Promises of God cont.
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away”-John 6:37
· Iceman’s Total Consecration to Mary-Day 21
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph