NATIVITY OF MARY-FORGIVE-QUIET
2 Maccabees, Chapter 14, Verse 22
Judas had posted armed men in readiness at strategic points for FEAR that the enemy might suddenly commit some treachery. But the conference was held in the proper way.
During are last episode we see that our Hero Judas with the help of the All Seeing Almighty vanquishes the enemy. Judas wants peace and returns home but the enemy the devil never sleeps, and snip snap the Syrians invade again. This time under the leadership of a gangster called Nicanor; a crafty little snake who wants a peace treaty. In this verse we see Judas is being ready and prepared for any trouble; and his fear is justified.
Making and Breaking Treaties
"When the Jews heard of Nicanor's coming, and that the Gentiles were rallying to him, they sprinkled themselves with earth and prayed to Him Who established His people forever, and Who always comes to the aid of His heritage." —2 Maccabees 14:15
Nicanor was sent again to fight Judas (8:9). Instead of fighting, he made a peace treaty and became a good friend of Judas. But this didn't last long. Soon Nicanor was hunting down Judas, blaspheming the Temple, and murdering the faithful Jewish elders. "Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh" (Jer 17:5). "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord" (Jer 17:7).
Prayer: Father, may I make a peace treaty with You by repenting of sin and surrendering my life to You.
Promise: "Therefore, O Holy One, Lord of all holiness, preserve forever undefiled this house, which has been so recently purified." —14:36
Lesson: When you play with snakes they often bite; don’t make treaties with the Devils children.
The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
THIS feast is a commemoration of that happy and joyful day on which the ever-blessed virgin Mother of God first saw the light of day. The Church accordingly sings on this day, “Thy nativity, virgin Mother of God, has brought joy to the whole world; for from thee has come forth the Sun of justice, Christ the Lord, Who putting away cursing bestowed blessing, and by overcoming death obtained for us life eternal."
In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: ‘Hail, holy parent, who as a happy mother brought forth the King Who rules heaven and earth from eternity to eternity. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, we beseech Thee, unto us Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace, that, as in the childbirth of the Blessed Virgin our salvation began, so from the votive solemnity of her nativity we may obtain an increase of peace. Amen.
EPISTLE. Prov. viii. 22-35.
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways, before He made anything from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived, neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: the mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when with a certain law and compass He enclosed the depths; when He established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters; when He compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits; when He balanced the foundations of the earth, I was with Him forming all things; and was delighted every day, playing before Him at all times; playing in the world, and my delight is to be with the children of men. Now, therefore, ye children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.
GOSPEL. Matt, i.1-16.
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Judas and his brethren. And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram. And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Naasson begot Salmon. And Salmon begot Booz of Kahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse. And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Urias. And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abias. And Abias begot Asa. And Asa begot Josaphat And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias. And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias. And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias. And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon. And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel. And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor. And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud. And Elind begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, Who is called Christ.
Let us honor Mary, especially by imitation of those virtues of hers which are to us, as St. John Damascene says, an open book of instruction; let us rejoice in her prerogatives and glory; let us encourage others in the veneration of her; let us, in our need, have recourse to her, who, according to the name Star of the Sea with which the Church salutes her, shines for all who sail upon the dangerous sea of the world. For this reason St. Bernard calls out to each one of us, " Take not your eyes from the light of this star if you would not be overwhelmed by the waves; if the storms of temptation arise, if you are thrown upon the rocks of affliction, look to the star, invoke Mary. Are you confounded at the enormity of your sins, are you ashamed at the defilement of your conscience, are you terrified on account of the dreadful judgment, so that you begin to be overpowered by sadness, or even to sink into the abyss of despair, then turn your thoughts to Mary. In dangers, in distress, in doubt, call on Mary. She will not be far from your mouth, or your heart; and that you may obtain her intercession omit not to imitate her conduct. When you follow her, you will not go astray; when you invoke her, you will no longer be in doubt; when she supports you, you will not fall; when she leads you, you will surely come to eternal life, and will find by your own experience that she is justly called Maria that is, Star of the Sea."
Things to Do
· Learn prayers to Mary, such as the Angelus, Litany of Loreto, Memorare, Hail Mary, and Hail Holy Queen. Learn and sing various hymns to Mary, such as the Salve Regina, Immaculate Mary, Hail Holy Queen.
· Start researching and planning a Mary Garden, or a special plant or flower for each feast day of Mary. This can be for next spring, but if some bulbs are to be included, this is the time to plant them! Decorate the house, family table or family altar with flowers or special Marian decor.
· Contemplate on how all the feasts of Mary point to the mysteries of Christ and our salvation history. Biblical readings: Proverbs 8:22-35 and Matthew 1:1-16 (this points to the appreciation of the heritage and family of Jesus).
· Have a birthday party for Mary, with a specially decorated birthday cake and birthday decorations. Blue is the traditional color of Mary's mantle, so incorporating blue into the decor and food is quite appropriate. Try making an all-white cake symbolizing Mary's purity, or cookies with white icing. White meringue cookies (or kisses) would also remind one of Mary's sinlessness. Birthday parties don't need special explanations for children. Have each child present a "gift" to their Mother Mary, such as spiritual bouquets, faults or virtues to work on, corporal works of mercy, etc. Learn to make string knot rosaries to give as "favors."
· Eat some form of blueberries on this day, particularly in the morning -- blueberry muffins or blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie or just fresh blueberries on your cereal. The blue is symbolic of Mary's blue mantle.
· Find out about the devotion to "Maria Bambina" or "Baby Mary."
· Women for Faith and Family have some wonderful ideas for this feast day.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”– Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiveness, the process by which an offended party chooses to change the way they feel about someone who has committed the offense against them. It bears a distinct difference from the idea of condoning (where one does not see the offense as wrong, and therefore not needing forgiveness), excusing the action (where you place the blame for the action on someone else entirely), giving pardon (cleared by a legal representative), forgetting (where the action no longer exists in memory in any real or present way), or the act of reconciliation (where the relationship is restored without the action strictly being forgiven).
On the 8th of September back in 1974, President Gerald Ford presented a rather controversial Presidential Proclamation. This proclamation pardoned Richard M. Nixon of all wrongdoing that was related to that most famous of American scandals, the Watergate affair. Richard made very clear that he felt he had committed grievous wrong doings against the people of the United States and the seat they had granted him. While you are unlikely to be in a position to grant a presidential pardon, what you can do is be more forgiving on International Pardon Day. If you are holding a grudge against those who have committed some offense against you, Pardon Day grants you a valid reason to examine your feelings and the time that has passed, and to let that resentment and anger go.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”– Steve Maraboli
What is known about forgiveness is that it is an act that brings happiness to those who give it, one can release the hold on the negative emotions they’re harboring in themselves, but they cannot release the associated guilt for the person who committed the act. As a result, forgiveness is for the one giving it, rather than the one who committed the transgression. Research has shown that those who have chosen to give up resentments live longer lives as a result to an improvement in their cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Ways to Celebrate
There are a number of good ways to celebrate International Pardon Day, the simplest being to make sure you use ‘Excuse Me’ and ‘Pardon Me’ whenever you feel it appropriate. You need to get by someone, a simple ‘pardon me’ will serve to politely ask them to clear the way. Did you pass gas, or bump into someone when trying to get past them? ‘Excuse me’ is a good step towards showing you’re truly contrite.
“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”– John F. Kennedy
Another, perhaps more difficult way to celebrate is to take the time to examine the grudges you carry with you on a day to day basis. To think them over and determine if it’s truly worth carrying that anger and resentment forward. Take International Pardon Day to set them, and yourself, free from the toxic weight you’re carrying. You can do it via email, in person, over coffee, or you can write them a letter. If they’ve passed on, don’t let that stand in your way, write a letter with everything you’d like to say in it, and then burn it to set it free
Noise is everywhere, on the crowded train, in the busy office, in the pub, the school playground, and even at home. We simply can’t seem to get away from the buzz of everyday life. Sometimes it’s just all too much. We know that peace and quiet are good for the both the body and the mind, but it’s increasingly difficult in today’s world to experience real quiet, and that’s why a National Quiet Day is so important.
that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness
of silence. Your words come out of this voice. Your very essence emerged from
emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.”
~ Wayne Dyer
Every day we are surrounded by the chatter of TV, the radio, even our friends and family. Few are the opportunities we have to engage in a little quiet contemplation, giving our vocal chords a rest to simply listen to the world around us and simply experience it. Quiet Day is dedicated to taking a little time to free your voice and mind from the rigors of conversation.
History of Quiet Day
Quiet Day was established to remind us to slow down and give silence a chance. During this celebration, you are encouraged to simply not speak, and preferably to take a chance to not communicate at all. The sounds of our voices, and in fact our active interaction with others has served to keep us spiritually silent and separated from the world around us, and in some odd ways from the very people we interact with every day. Quiet Day allows you to engage the world around you by removing the shield that is the wall of words we use every day. In India, there are meditation retreats where time is spent kneeling and in contemplation, sometimes as many as 10 days in succession. These are called Vipassana retreats, a word which means “to see things as they really are” and comes from ancient Buddhist practices. While Quiet Day is just one day, the principles included in these retreats can be applied to your one Day of Silence. The peace and clarity it can bring has the possibility of opening your mind to things about your life that have long since been buried in verbal noise.
How to Celebrate Quiet Day
The best way to celebrate Quiet Day is to head somewhere to
experience your time in silence uninterrupted. If the weather is pleasant you
can head out to a park or to walk among the trees, just getting out in nature
and letting your mind wander and find peace. If you must go in and go to work
or encounter other people, carry a card that says “I’m spending a day in
silence.” that you can flash, letting people know that you are attempting to
not speak for the day. Let Quiet Day be your vacation from vocalization!
Peace and quiet is good for you, both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that taking time for quiet can have a positive effect on your body and in some cases can even lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. However, it is increasingly difficult in today’s world to experience real quiet, and that’s why we are establishing the first ever Quiet Day. In these busy times, more people are suffering from stress. Often made worse by the relentless invasion of unwanted noise in our lives, stress levels can be lowered by reducing your exposure to noise and taking a little sanctuary in silence.
35 Promises of God cont.
“Those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”-Proverbs 1:33
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph
· Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Protection of Traditional Marriage
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 19
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
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