SPIRITUAL crib-MOUNTAIN DAY
Ecclesiastes, Chapter 8, Verse 10-13
10 Meanwhile I saw the wicked buried. They would come and go from the holy place. But those were forgotten in the city who had acted justly. This also is vanity. 11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not promptly executed, the human heart is filled with the desire to commit evil— 12 because the sinner does evil a hundred times and survives. Though indeed I know that it shall be well with those who FEAR God, for their reverence toward him; 13 and that it shall not be well with the wicked, who shall not prolong their shadowy days, for their lack of reverence toward God.
Nothing ever changes. The key to living a life fearlessly is to have our hearts close to God’s. When we do this, we will soon discover that the mind is designed to implement your heart’s desire. Is your heart at peace? What are the desires of your heart? What should the desires of our hearts be? The old Baltimore catechism states that our purpose and our desires should be to know, love and serve the Lord.
According to paragraph 1718 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it: We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated. How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you. God alone satisfies.
When our desires are not on God we become spiritually ill. Christ implemented the sacrament of reconciliation to heal our hearts.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis recently commented that without daily prayer, regular participation in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, daily contact with God’s Word, and a “spirituality translated into charity,” we may die spiritually. Pope Francis went on to list 15 spiritual “sicknesses” that are “more usual” in “our life”. The 15 include not being self-critical and thinking oneself indispensable, “Martha-ism” (excessive Martha-like busyness), hardheartedness, excessive planning, failing to work with others, “spiritual Alzheimer’s” (forgetting one’s spiritual journey), and rivalry and vainglory. Other spiritual sicknesses, the Pope added, include existential “schizophrenia” (living a double life that is “often dissolute”), gossip, careerism and flattering superiors, indifference to others, a severe “funeral face” (rather than self-deprecating good humor), the “disease of closed circles,” and “worldly profit, exhibitionism” (through “calumniating, defaming, and discrediting others,” even in the media “in the name of justice and transparency”). These temptations, he continued, are a danger to every Christian and every community.
A special devotion that can be performed during Advent to prepare for the coming of the Infant Savior. It can be adapted for adults and/or children and applied as is appropriate to your state in life.
· 1st day, December 11th: THE STONES—Pure Intention By pure intention today, we will bring together the materials for the stable. The Wagon to carry the stones shall be the pure intention, the Horses the great fervor in the service of God, and the stones we collect by making 100 aspirations to the most Sacred Heart of our dear Redeemer.
International Mountain Day
In certain areas of the world, they are also a source of unique agriculture, providing ample space for the production of those products that grow best on their slopes. Coffee, Cocoa, Herbs, Spices, and the form of handicrafts that spring from the minds of those who live in the unchanging protection of these towering edifices to geology. International Mountain Day is your opportunity to head out and appreciate these unique landforms, and all they have to offer. Established in December of 2003, the United Nations General Assembly created this day to help bring awareness to all of the things we rely on mountains for. Whether it’s all of the glories mentioned above, or how necessary they are for the health and well-being of the flora and fauna that call them their home, International Mountain Day promotes them all.
How to Celebrate International Mountain Day
International Mountain Day can be celebrated in a cavalcade of fun and educational ways. Head out to your local mountain to discover all the things it has to offer. Whether it’s a day in the numerous parks and hidden places that can be found in their craggy terrain, or amazing tourist towns like Leavenworth, WA, get on out there and explore. Hiking enthusiasts will find the many trails and secret places a joy, as well as being able to enjoy the far-flung places that so few ever visit. Due to the challenges of developing them, there is almost always an opportunity to enjoy nature in all its glory. Even better, once you’ve hiked your way into the far reaches of untouched wilderness, you can settle down to camp away from the light pollution and noise of city life. Or maybe you prefer to drive, the twisting winding roads that navigate the mountainsides have some of the most beautiful country that can be found, near or far. Snugged down between the rising cliff-face and the sheer drop into the valley, the view is simply unmatched, and such a thing can be refreshing to the human soul. International Mountain Day is a call to get out into the wild and see what it has to offer!
10 Sacred Mountains Around the World
Since ancient times various mountains around the world have been held sacred. Here are 10 worth visiting for a spiritual high.
1. Mount Nebo, Jordan (2,330 ft)
According to the final chapter of Deuteronomy, Mount Nebo is where the Hebrew prophet Moses beheld the promised land that God would give to the Jewish people. On a clear day you can see the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, the River Jordan, Jericho and the Mount of Olives. The remains of a 4th century monastery was discovered on this windy peak in western Jordan in 1933, and the church features an impressive collection of ancient mosaics.
2. Mount Croagh Patrick, Ireland (2,507 ft)
As many as one million pilgrims trek this peak annually to pray at the stations of the cross, participate in Mass, or just enjoy the spectacular view over Ireland’s western coast. Pre-Christian Celts believed the deity Crom Dubh lived on the mountain and later St. Patrick who introduced Christianity to Ireland “is believed to have spent 40 days and nights fasting and praying atop the mountain.
3. Mount Olympus, Greece
The legendary home of the Greek Gods and throne of Zeus is the highest mountain in Greece at 9,577 feet. The 2-3-day hike to the summit features a close-up look at the roughly 1,700 different species of flora that grow on the mountain.
4. Mount Agung, Bali
The Balinese consider the volcanic Mount Agung to be the center of the universe. It rises 10,308 feet high in eastern Bali. The Mother Temple of Besakih, the largest and holiest temple in Bali, sits roughly 3,000 feet up its slopes.
5. Mount Fuji, Japan
This snowcapped mountain west of Tokyo is sacred in both Buddhism and Shintoism. During the July and August climbing season more than 200,000 people hike to the top of this 12,388 ft. peak. Also, an active volcano, Mount Fuji has been venerated as the home of a fire god, a Shinto goddess and Dainichi Nyorai, the Great Sun Buddha.
6. The San Francisco Peaks, Arizona
More than a dozen Native American tribes consider this volcanic chain in the Coconino National Forest to be sacred, including the Hopi, who believe the peaks are the mythological home of the Kachina People. In order to protect the area as much as possible, there are no paved roads to the summit. The 9-mile Humphreys Peak Trail is a strenuous round-trip journey that leads to the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet.
7. Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado
Legends of a giant cross hidden deep in the Rocky Mountains proved true when photographer William Henry Jackson returned from an expedition in 1873 with a picture of this mythical peak, the northernmost 14,000 ft mountain in the Sawatch Range. Mount of the Holy Cross is named for the distinctive cross-shaped snowfield that adorns its northeastern face and is a popular Christian pilgrimage site.
8. Popocatepel, Mexico (17,802 ft)
This volcanic peak located roughly 45 miles southeast of Mexico City figures largely in both Aztec and Nahua legends and among local Nahua today El Popo, as its called for short, is a living, breathing entity. Spanish missionaries built 14 monasteries on El Popoâs slopes during the 16th century, and they’ve been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
9. Mount Kailash, China/Tibet (21,778 ft)
Thousands of Buddhists, Hindu, Jain and Bonpo pilgrims’ journey to the remote Himalayan town of Darchen each year to make koras, ritual circuits, around the base of Mount Kailash. Setting foot on the mountain is considered to be a sacrilege, but one 32-mile kora around the base is believed to erase a lifetime of sins.
10. Mount Everest, Nepal/China border
Tibetans call Mount Everest the Goddess Mother of the Universe; the Nepalese call it Goddess of the Sky. At 29,029 feet, it the highest mountain on the planet. Everest is part of the Himalayan Mountain range and it a day hike from the Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet to Base Camp.
· Jesse Tree ornament: Jesse: 1 Sam. 16:1-13 Symbols: crimson robe, shepherd's staff