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Friday, January 14, 2022




 ORTHODOX NEW YEAR 

Sirach, Chapter 16, Verse 1-2

1 Do not yearn for worthless children, or rejoice in wicked offspring. 2 Even if they be many, do not rejoice in them if they do not have FEAR of the LORD. 

Life at times can be hard. God does not promise us perfect happiness in this life; nor perfect children; for we are made for heaven and eternal happiness with Him. We are to do our best, but when our best is not sufficient; surrender it to Him. We must be humble; trusting with great confidence in Him that we may do His will in good seasons and bad. Pray that we may not forget this truth and complain as the Israelites did in the desert to such an extent that Moses cried out to God, “Where can I get meat to give to all these people? For they are crying to me, ‘Give us meat for our food.’ I cannot carry this entire people by myself, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face my distress.” (Nm 11:13-15) 

Moses was despondent here, yet he did not give up; he gave it up. When things get tough; trust in Him. Knowing that, “One does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4) 

In retrospect when we are despondent let us remember to go to the great Mother of God, Mary for truly on the day of Christ’s death in some respects she died too-yet she did not fear for “now she had another son” reflecting her spiritual adoption of all of mankind. 

Catechism of the Catholic Church 

III. THE LOVE OF HUSBAND AND WIFE 

The fecundity of marriage 

2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is "on the side of life," teaches that "it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life." "This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act." 

2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God. "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility." 

2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality: When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart. 

2369 "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood." 

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil: Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality. 

2371 "Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man's eternal destiny." 

2372 The state has a responsibility for its citizens' well-being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of the population. This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children.  In this area, it is not authorized to employ means contrary to the moral law. 

Orthodox New Year[1]

Orthodox New Year is celebrated as the first day of the New Year as per the Julian calendar.  Orthodox New Year is a celebration of the year to come.  It is often referred to as Old New Year, and is celebrated by Orthodox churches in Russia, Serbia, and other Eastern European countries on January 14.  Although most countries have adopted the Gregorian calendar, where New Year's Day is January 1, the Orthodox Church still follows the Julian calendar, which places Christmas on January 7 and New Year's a week later.

·       Russian Orthodox churches in the United States hold church services often with festive dinner and dancing to celebrate the holiday.  The traditional dishes include meat dumplings, beet salad, pickled mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumbers along with vodka.

·       Orthodox Serbians also celebrate Old New Year, which is sometimes called the Serbian New Year.  Many Serbians Orthodox churches hold services, followed by dinner, and dancing.

·       Although the Old New Year is a popular holiday for many practicing the Orthodox faith, it isn't an official holiday.

·       Macedonians, including those living in the United States, also celebrate Old New Year's with traditional food, folk music, and visiting friends and family.

·       Many Russians enjoy extending the holiday season by including Orthodox New Year in it. 

Orthodox New Year Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       Enjoy a dinner dance at Orthodox Church with native cuisine folk music.

·       Learn to cook some Russian or Eastern European dishes.  One of the most important Russian dishes during the holiday season is kutya, a porridge made of grain, honey and poppy seeds.  It symbolizes hope, happiness, and success.

·       Rent a movie Dr. Zhivago (1965).  It depicts some of the lavish parties held during the holidays right before the Russian Revolution.  The film is based on the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternak. 



Fitness Friday[2]

Health Benefits of Bergamot

If you’ve ever had Earl Grey tea, then you’ve tasted the flavor of bergamot. It comes from the Citrus bergamia plant, a fruit tree believed to be native to the Mediterranean region. 

A blend of the sour orange and lemon (or citron) plant, bergamot produces a fruit that looks like a round lemon. Although generally too sour to eat on its own, it’s been part of the Mediterranean diet since the early 18th century.

People use extracts from bergamot’s sour juice and oil from its peel for a variety of things including:

  • Scents for personal care products
  • Aromatherapy
  • Health supplements

Health Benefits

Bergamot has health benefits include:

Reducing Cholesterol

Several studies have shown that bergamot may help to reduce overall cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol. It may also help to increase “good” HDL cholesterol and has the potential to be an effective supplement to cholesterol drugs.

Depression Relief

Studies have shown that an aromatherapy blend that includes bergamot may help with depression symptoms in older adults, people with terminal cancer, and women who are at high risk of postpartum depression.

There hasn’t been enough research yet to confirm the results, and there’s no conclusive evidence that it can help with depression in other populations. However, there have been some promising early studies with animals.

Easing Joint Pain  

Scientists have found that bergamot might protect the joints in people taking aromatase inhibitors as part of cancer treatment. More research is needed.

Schizophrenia Relief

One study shows that taking bergamot supplements may help people with schizophrenia think more clearly. People in the study had better results on several cognitive tests after taking bergamot. Further research is needed.

Health Risks of Bergamot

Mild side effects. Some people experience side effects like dizziness, muscle cramps, and heartburn when they take bergamot with food.

Blood sugar issues. Bergamot may cause your blood sugar to drop. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar might reach unsafe levels. It’s important to monitor those levels if you choose to use bergamot supplements.

Even if you don’t have diabetes, bergamot could make it harder for doctors to control your blood sugar during surgery. Experts recommend that you stop using bergamot supplements two weeks before you have surgery. 

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Catholic Politicians & Leaders

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary

 

Please pray for the intentions of my daughter Candace Faith, whose name means “Shining Faith” pray that the “Candace can do miracles”!

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