Monday in the first week of Advent
Proverbs, Chapter 19, Verse 23
The FEAR of the Lord leads to life; one eats and sleeps free from any harm.
The gift of fear of the Lord enables a person “to avoid sin and attachment to created things out of reverence and love of God.” Primarily, this gift entails a profound respect for the majesty of God who is the Supreme Being. Here, a person realizes his “creatureliness” and dependency upon God, has a true “poverty of spirit,” and never would want to be separated from God, who is love. As such, this gift arouses in the soul a vibrant sense of adoration and reverence for God and a sense of horror and sorrow for sin. This gift of fear of the Lord is sometimes misunderstood because of the word “fear.” “Fear of the Lord” is not a servile fear whereby a person serves God simply because he fears punishment, whether some sort of temporal punishment in this life or the eternal punishment of hell. A genuine relationship with God is based on love, not fear. Therefore, this “fear of the Lord” is a filial or reverential fear that moves a person to do God’s will and avoid sin because of love for God, who is all good and deserving of all of our love. In a similar way, a child should not be motivated to obey a parent simply because of fear of punishment, but because of love and respect; a person who loves someone does not want to disappoint or to break the other person’s heart. One should fear hurting a loved one and violating that person’s trust more than one should fear punishment. Nevertheless, one should have a healthy sense of fear for the punishment due to sin, including the fires of hell, even though this should not be the motivating factor for loving God. Therefore, this gift motivates the person in three ways:
· first, to have a vivid sense of God’s infinite greatness.
· second, to have a real sorrow for sin, even venial sins, and to do penance to atone for sins committed.
· third, to be vigilant to avoid the near occasions of sin, to struggle against personal weakness and fight temptation.
The gift of fear brings to perfection the virtue of hope. A person respects God as God trusts in His will and anchors his life in Him. He approaches the Lord with humility, docility and obedience. He believes in His promises of forgiveness of sin and eternal life in heaven. Also, this gift is the launchpad for the other gifts. As sacred Scripture attests, “Happy the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands” (Ps 112:1), and “the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord” (Sir 1:12). This gift also perfects the virtue of temperance, which seeks to use all things wisely and in moderation, neither in excess nor in defect, especially those sensible pleasures. With reason enlightened by faith, temperance controls the passions. Temperance is related to the gift of fear because one’s respect for God, and one’s awareness of being made in His image and likeness and being redeemed by Christ motivate a person to give glory to God by being temperate in actions and desires, not using, doing, or indulging in anything to excess or defect. For example, chastity is a virtue of temperance, which respects the goodness of one’s own sexuality, the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of marital love. A person moved by the gift of fear strives to live a chaste life because God is the creator of these goods, and a chaste life gives glory and praise to Him. This gift also prevents us from being too familiar with God. We are the victims of original sin and suffer from concupiscence; therefore, each of us struggles with a rebellious heart. A person could easily take God’s love for granted and presume forgiveness without real contrition; or forget God’s majesty by taking His holy name in vain; or make demands of God and then be angry when He does not meet them; or forget that every gift is from God and be selfish; or neglect prayer and worship because there is not enough time for Him; or disregard God’s commandments and the teachings of His church. And without fear of the Lord, such a person might say, “God loves me just the way I am, and I am going to heaven.” One has to ask, “Does such a person really love God?” While the Lord will never spurn a humble and contrite heart, He will humble the haughty.
A good way to cultivate this gift is through
1. Daily prayer and worship at Mass.
2. Regular and careful examinations of conscience also are important, as well as the regular use of the sacrament of penance.
3. Meditating on the infinite majesty of God.
Monday in the First
week of Advent
Advent is the time for renewal or repentance for the coming of Christ. "Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time, it entails the desire and resolution to change one's life, with hope in God's mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart)" (CCC, 1431). Today's Gospel (Matthew 8:5-11) of the Centurion and his servant illustrates both the invitation for all, from both East and West, to come to Christ. The Centurion gives us words for our heart for trust and mercy in his grace, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof: only say the word and my servant will be healed."
Cyber Monday (another secular event)
This Christmas season when you make out your gift list try to give a gift to those you love that truly helps them to prosper!
Cyber Monday seeks to sell massive quantities of goods through online stores at a sale price. Marketing companies created the term Cyber Monday as a catchphrase to persuade people to shop online. In 2014, Cyber Monday sales were a record 2.68 billion dollars, making it one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Cyber Monday is not an official holiday, but it is an international day recognized by consumers. The term Cyber Monday developed naturally overtime as online sales following Thanksgiving spiked. This was seen as an opportunity to brand the new shopping occasion; much the same way black Friday was years earlier. Cyber Monday was first originally held November of 2005. The day it is held varies from year to year, but it is always held the Monday following Thanksgiving in the US.
Cyber Monday Facts & Quotes
Since 2010, Cyber Monday has been the highest online spending day in the year in the US. Sales numbers on Cyber Monday have gradually increased by at least $100 million each year since the term was first coined. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 90% of online shoppers surveyed said low prices were the most important part of their shopping experience on Cyber Monday. The top 3 products purchased online on Cyber Monday are: Apparel, books/DVDs/Videos/Games and Consumer electronics. You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There's another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity. – Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft.
Cyber Monday Top Events and Things to Do
Buy something! You can buy just about anything online these days, so treat yourself or a loved one to something you have been saving up for. Chances are it is at a reduced price on Cyber Monday! Fill your online shopping cart with all the things you were thinking of buying at all retail shops. Total up the cost of all the things you were going to buy, and instead of buying them, donate that exact amount of money to a charity of your choice. Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtag#CyberMonday, #CyberDeals and #DealsDealsDeals. Promote your favorite retailers over social media using their hashtags and by reposting their posts. Save your money today and wait until Giving Tuesday tomorrow to donate it all or use it to purchase items for donation.
Today is a day for any last-minute shopping. Remember that “A happy heart is better than a full Purse.”
Ponder on the thought that God wants us to study the world, fall in love with its creator, and live happily forever after. “Lord my God, teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you.” Anselm of Canterbury
Christmas normally is a time for joy. Decorations are set up, parties ensue, presents are given, and laughter commences. Not many people realize that those in law enforcement work tirelessly during the holiday season to keep people safe. Blue Christmas is a holiday dedicated to those who work in that field, giving them an opportunity to be thanked for their services and celebrate Christmas their own way. While Elvis made the term “A Blue Christmas” popular to describe Christmas blues, this holiday is for those who work in law enforcement, such as police, firefighters, EMTs, and 911 dispatchers. For them, it is rough. Long nights in the wet, cold snow or long nights in the office can be particularly dangerous, especially for those who have the potential factor of being shot at, having emotional trauma from an emergency situation, and so forth. Because of their job, they keep people safe and save lives, but it comes at a cost. They miss out on spending time with their families and lose out on enjoying what Christmas is all about. That’s why when it comes to the holiday season, Blue Christmas gives people a chance to give to others by giving gifts and thanking them for their services. While some may be cheerful doing their job, because they know that Christmas is about helping others, Blue Christmas helps raise awareness for the behind-the-scenes action that the people working in law enforcement and the medical field are the ones truly making the holiday seasons special. With the potential dangers involved, they deserved their thanks and gifts the most.
How to celebrate Blue Christmas
To take part in a Blue Christmas, you can easily do so by displaying a blue light throughout the winter holidays. It can be a single porch light, blue candles in the window, or blue Christmas lights as part of the display. If you know someone who works in law enforcement or the medical industry, buy or make them a gift and take the time out to thank them for what they do to keep society and the holidays going. Share this holiday on social media using the hashtag #bluechristmas and let everyone know how important it is to see those who don’t ask for much in return.
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Monday: Litany of Humility
· Go to Mass