Thursday, November 25, 2021

THANKSGIVING-ST. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA



Daniel, Chapter 6, Verse 27-28

27 I decree that throughout my royal domain the God of Daniel is to be reverenced and feared: “For he is the living God, enduring forever, whose kingdom shall not be destroyed, whose dominion shall be without end, 28 A savior and deliverer, working signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who saved Daniel from the lions’ power.”

 

This is the summation of the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. In this chapter Daniel is a type of Christ like figure. He is falsely accused by those who are jealous of him. They use legal tricks to entrap Daniel and have him condemned to the lion’s den. He is even put inside; the den is sealed over with a giant boulder, thus mirroring Christ’s tomb. In the end Daniel is not eaten by the lions but those who conspired against him are thrown into the lions and eaten. The story reflects the glory of Christ’s victory over Satan and the demons.

 

Decision Making: Choices Confirm or Compromise Values[1]


 

Daniel when presented with a law that opposed the laws of God had to decide whether he would submit or stay true to his convictions. He chose his life principles. He likely followed the principles of:

 

1.     Weighting out the options before you decide.

2.     Ask if those choices force you to compromise personal values.

3.     Seek wise counsel.

4.     Count the cost.

5.     Decide based on principles.

6.     Act on your decision swiftly and firmly.

 

Daniel maintained a set of values and principles that enabled him to make decisions quickly and confidently. If you take too much time making decisions often it is too late to act. Do not wait to survey the pulse of your people and paralyze your organization. Do the right thing!

 

Let us be Thankful

Thanksgiving Day[2]

Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of giving thanks for the harvest and blessings of the past year. It is a day of giving thanks to God for his many blessings and expressing our gratitude to friends and family members. It is celebrated in the United States. Thanksgiving Day dates back to the Reformation Period and is accompanied by prayers, special ceremonies, and feasts. Thanksgiving is observed on the fourth Thursday in November each year.

Thanksgiving Day Facts & Quotes

·       The first Thanksgiving Day feast was held in 1621 between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians.

·       In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

·       According to the US Government Census, in 2014, 242 million turkeys were raised in the United States.

·       President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the fourth Thursday in November as the official Thanksgiving Day in 1941.

·       Thanksgiving is almost here.  It's my favorite holiday, which is surprising since I'm no fan of giving or saying thanks. - Stephen Colbert

Thanksgiving Day Top Events and Things to Do

·       Watch or attend a Parade.  The largest are the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York and the McDonalds Thanksgiving parade in Chicago.

·       Eat lots of traditional Thanksgiving food including turkey, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.

·       Watch or attend a football game.  Besides NFL, there are many college and high school football games on this day.

·       Go running or do some other form of exercise in the morning - so you won't feel so guilty indulging a grand Thanksgiving meal.

·       Talk to relatives and friends by phone, email, or internet to remind them how thankful you are that they are all part of your life.

Thanksgiving: Plimoth Plantation Plymouth, Massachusetts[3]

At Plimoth Plantation, it’s always 1627. The living museum and its costumed “residents” re-create New England’s first successful European settlement as well as a Native village. Thanksgiving dinner has its roots in a harvest celebration that 52 Pilgrims shared with 90 members of the Wampanoag tribe in 1621, one year after the settlers sailed from England. It included fowl (probably ducks and geese rather than turkey), venison, corn, and most likely fresh and dried fruits and vegetables. Every fall Plimoth Plantation re-creates a harvest meal from that period as well as serving a classic American Thanksgiving dinner.

The Mass: The Perfect Thanksgiving[4]

Men have not only prayed in thanksgiving but have offered in thanksgiving: something that was a sign of themselves, to show they were thankful for life, were sorry for their sins against the Giver of life, would give their lives in return, if they might, to the One they owe so much. They made offerings in thanks for the things that sustain life, for the preservation of life. "Abel also offered of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat.”.. "So Noe went out, he and his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons.... all living things went out of the ark. And Noe built an altar unto the Lord: and taking of all cattle and fowl that were dean, offered holocausts upon the altar.... ." They made bloody offerings, because the offering is a symbol of the offerer, and blood is the essence of life. Blood is life. There were other offerings... . . "Melchidesech, the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God, blessed him and said: Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth.”. . . Because bread maintains life, and wine enhances life. God told them what to sacrifice, and how to sacrifice; but especially He told them to make the sacrifice of the Pasch, because it was a memorial to their freedom and their protection, a memorial of thanksgiving to the God who loved them. ". . . and it shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, one year. . . and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening.”, "And this day shall be a memorial unto you: and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord. . . for with a strong hand the Lord hath brought you out of this place." He brought them through water, led them by fire, fed them with manna, and when they sinned against Him, He chastised them and accepted their sacrifices of expiation. He made it part of their Law, their Covenant, that they were to offer sacrifice: of reparation, of petition, of praise, of thanksgiving.

Then Christ came.

When it was time for the thing to happen for which He came, He said to the Apostles: "This is My body, which is being given for you; do this, in remembrance of Me." And He said: "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which shall be shed for you." This was the new covenant, the new Pasch. . . "in My blood," He said. From that moment on they were to make sacrifice "in My blood." The offering is a symbol of the offerer. Blood is the essence of life. This is our gift to offer: His Body and Blood, every day. Think of all the things the Redemption accomplished, and do not forget this last: to put into our hands the perfect Gift, the pure Victim — "holy and spotless, the holy bread of everlasting life and the chalice of everlasting salvation." With the sacrifice of Holy Mass, Catholics make their thanksgiving.

St. Catherine of Alexandria 

The account of her martyrdom is legendary and defies every attempt to cull out the historical kernel. Old Oriental sources make no mention of her. In the West her cult does not appear before the eleventh century, when the crusaders made it popular. She became the patroness of philosophical faculties; she is one of the "Fourteen Holy Helpers." The breviary offers the following: 

Catherine, virgin of Alexandria, devoted herself to the pursuit of knowledge; at the age of eighteen, she surpassed all her contemporaries in science. Upon seeing how the Christians were being tortured, she went before Emperor Maximin (311-313), upbraided him for his cruelty, and with convincing reasons demonstrated the need of Christian faith in order to be saved. Astounded by her wisdom, the Emperor ordered her to be kept confined, and having summoned the most learned philosophers, promised them magnificent rewards if they could confound the virgin and turn her from belief in Christ. Far from being successful, a considerable number of the philosophers were inflamed by the sound reasons and persuasiveness of Catherine's speech with such a love for Jesus Christ that they declared themselves willing to offer their lives for the Gospel. 

Then the Emperor attempted to win her by flattery and by promises, but his efforts proved equally fruitless. He ordered her whipped with rods, scourged with leaden nodules, and then left to languish eleven days without food in prison. The Emperor's wife and Porphyrius, general of the army, visited Catherine in prison; her words brought both to Christ and later they too proved their love in blood. Catherine's next torture consisted of being placed upon a wheel with sharp and pointed knives; from her lacerated body prayers ascended to heaven and the infernal machine fell to pieces. Many who witnessed the miracle embraced the faith. Finally, on November 25 Christ's servant was beheaded (307 or 312). By the hands of angels her body was carried to Mt. Sinai, where it was interred in the convent which bears her name. 

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch. 

Patron: Apologists; craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters; spinners; etc.); archivists; attorneys; barristers; dying people; educators; girls; jurists; knife grinders; knife sharpeners; lawyers; librarians; libraries; maidens; mechanics; millers; nurses; old maids; philosophers; potters; preachers; scholars; schoolchildren; scribes; secretaries; spinners; spinsters; stenographers; students; tanners; teachers; theologians; turners; unmarried girls; wheelwrights. 

Things to Do:

  • St. Catherine was invoked by young girls seeking husbands. If you have children, you could use this feast to discuss the qualities of a good spouse. You could bake St. Catherine's wigs and have your discussion as part of the fun (a spoon full of sugar).
  • Read more about St. Catherine.
  • St. Catherine's remains are in St. Katherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai. The Monastery, a 1,600-year old fortress at the base of Mt. Sinai, is inhabited by Coptic monks (not in union with Rome). Inside the chapel is believed to be the Burning Bush, through which God first appeared to Moses. Read more about the history of the Church of Alexandria and the Council of Chalcedon where the Coptic Church broke from the bark of Peter and pray for the reunion of all Eastern Churches under the Pope. 

Octave of Christ the King 

·       Mediate on the virtues of Mary (Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Patience, Temperance, Understanding/love and Wisdom. One for each day.

·       attend Mass daily or via EWTN or the internet

·       Fast doing the Daniel fast (Monday-Saturday).

·       Exercise-Universal Man Plan.


Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: The sanctification of the Church Militant.

·       do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       "Faith cannot save without virtue"

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary



[1] John Maxwell, The Leadership Bible.

[3]Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

Comments