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Friday, January 28, 2022

 


FEAST of Saint Thomas Aquinas 

Sirach, Chapter 25, Verse 6

The crown of the elderly, wide experience; their glory, the FEAR of the Lord. 

We used to say in the military to the younger troops fresh out of high school that joined the military that beyond showing us normal military courtesy they really should listen and follow what we do because “We survived youth.” The fact is experience is the best teacher and experience teaches us that God is real and the older ones have learned that fear of the Lord is more than a crown of glory it is the key to reaching old age. 

One of the most curious phenomena of our modern society is that in the year 2020 we had five generations working together: Each with different values and views of life. 

The Johnsons report[1] that each generation has been influenced by the major historical events, social trends, and cultural phenomena of its time. These forces shape ideas about everything from expectations and perceptions about what the workplace will provide and how employees should behave, to company loyalty and work ethic.


 

Generational characteristics identified After studying generational characteristics of the five major working generations, the Johnsons identified distinct generational characteristics that impact work styles, team behavior, and communication styles. By understanding the differences between generational groups, conflicts can be avoided, they say. The father-daughter team explains generational differences as follows:

 

Traditionals: Born before 1945, “The Depression Babies.” Influenced by the Great Depression and World War II. Traits: Loyal, respectful of authority, stubbornly independent, excellent work ethic, dependable, and have advanced communication and interpersonal skills.

 

Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964, “The Woodstock Generation.” Influenced by the Vietnam War, the ’60s, and postwar social change. Traits: Well-educated, question authority, excellent teamwork skills, and thrive on adrenaline-charged assignments.

 

Generation X: Born 1965-1980, “The Latchkey Generation.” Products of divorced parents. Traits: Independent, family-focused, intolerant of bureaucracy, critical, hardworking, and socially responsible.

 

Generation Y: Born 1981-1995. “The Entitled Generation.” Influenced by technology and doting parents. Traits: Highly socialized, loyal, technologically savvy, socially responsible, and require work-life balance.

 

Linksters: Born after 1995. “The Facebook Crowd.” Influenced by a media-saturated world. Traits: Technologically dependent, closely tied to parents, tolerant of alternative lifestyles, involved in green causes and social activism.

 

How to resolve intergenerational conflicts

 

How do you work with or manage the different generational groups? The Johnsons offer the following six tips:

 

1.     Understand work styles. Traditionals and baby boomers don’t like to be micromanaged, while Gen Y’ers and linksters crave specific, detailed instructions about how to do things and are used to hovering authorities.

2.     Consider generational values. Each generation is protecting a distinct set of values, and conflict may threaten these values. For example, baby boomers value teamwork, cooperation, and buy-in, while Gen X’ers prefer to make a unilateral decision and move on—preferably solo.

3.     Share perceptions. When employees of two or more generations are involved in a workplace conflict, they can learn a great deal by sharing their perceptions. A traditional may find the lack of formality and manners of a Gen Y’er offensive, while a Gen Y’er may feel “dissed” when this older employee fails to respect his or her opinions and input.

4.     Find a generationally appropriate fix. You can’t change people’s life experiences, but you can work with the set of workplace attitudes and expectations that result. If there is a knowledgeable boomer who is frustrated by the lack of experience of a Gen Y’er, coupled with his or her sense of entitlement, turn the boomer into a mentor.

5.     Find commonality. Traditionals and Gen Y employees tend to value security and stability. Traditionals and boomers resist change. But both crave training and development. Gen X and Gen Y employees place a high value on workplace flexibility and work-life balance. Boomers and linksters are most comfortable with diversity and alternative lifestyles. Gen Y and linksters are technologically adept and committed to socially responsible policies.

6.     Learn from each other. Each generation has valuable lessons to teach the next. Traditionals and boomers have a wealth of knowledge and tricks of the trade that younger workers need. Generation X employees are widely known for their fairness and mediation abilities. Generation Y workers are technology wizards. And Linksters hold clues to future workplace, marketing, and business trends.[2]

 

St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church[3]

 

Thomas Aquinas thoughts on Fear

Article 1. Whether God can be feared? I answer that, Just as hope has two objects, one of which is the future good itself, that one expects to obtain, while the other is someone's help, through whom one expects to obtain what one hopes for, so, too, fear may have two objects, one of which is the very evil which a man shrinks from, while the other is that from which the evil may come. Accordingly, in the first way God, Who is goodness itself, cannot be an object of fear; but He can be an object of fear in the second way, in so far as there may come to us some evil either from Him or in relation to Him. From Him there comes the evil of punishment, but this is evil not absolutely but relatively, and, absolutely speaking, is a good. Because, since a thing is said to be good through being ordered to an end, while evil implies lack of this order, that which excludes the order to the last end is altogether evil, and such is the evil of fault. On the other hand the evil of punishment is indeed an evil, in so far as it is the privation of some particular good, yet absolutely speaking, it is a good, in so far as it is ordained to the last end. In relation to God the evil of fault can come to us, if we be separated from Him: and in this way God can and ought to be feared.

Article 2. Whether fear is fittingly divided into filial, initial, servile and worldly fear? I answer that, We are speaking of fear now, in so far as it makes us turn, so to speak, to God or away from Him. For, since the object of fear is an evil, sometimes, on account of the evils he fears, man withdraws from God, and this is called human fear; while sometimes, on account of the evils he fears, he turns to God and adheres to Him. This latter evil is twofold, viz. evil of punishment, and evil of fault. Accordingly if a man turn to God and adhere to Him, through fear of punishment, it will be servile fear; but if it be on account of fear of committing a fault, it will be filial fear, for it becomes a child to fear offending its father. If, however, it be on account of both, it will be initial fear, which is between both these fears.

Article 3. Whether worldly fear is always evil? I answer that, moral acts and habits take their name and species from their objects. Now the proper object of the appetite's movement is the final good: so that, in consequence, every appetitive movement is both specified and named from its proper end. For if anyone were to describe covetousness as love of work because men work on account of covetousness, this description would be incorrect, since the covetous man seeks work not as end but as a means: the end that he seeks is wealth, wherefore covetousness is rightly described as the desire or the love of wealth, and this is evil. Accordingly, worldly love is, properly speaking; the love whereby a man trusts in the world as his end, so that worldly love is always evil. Now fear is born of love, since man fears the loss of what he loves, as Augustine states. Now worldly fear is that which arises from worldly love as from an evil root, for which reason worldly fear is always evil.

Things to do:[4]

·        Read G.K. Chesterton's biography, St. Thomas Aquinas, The Dumb Ox, which is full of Chestertonian profundity and wit online or purchase it from Amazon.

·        Dive into the intellectual depth and beauty of St. Thomas' thought in his Summa Theologiae. Familiarize yourself with his method of inquiry by reading his section on God's attributes, especially the goodness of God. Here is a Bibliography in English.

·        Nearly everyone, especially young people, knows and appreciates the story of St. Thomas chasing the prostitute from his room with a burning log. (She was sent by his wealthy family to tempt him away from the religious life.) After he drove away the temptress, two angels came to him and fastened a mystical chastity cord around his waist. Buy or fashion your own chastity belt, easy to make from braided yarn or thin, soft rope. (St. Joseph chastity belts are available at some Catholic shops.) This would be a beautiful alternative or addition to the "True Love Waits" chastity pledge and ring. It is a wonderful low-key symbol for self-conscious teens. It also serves as an excellent reminder to pray daily for the virtue of chastity.

·        Meditate upon the profound humility of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose intellectual capacity far surpasses any since his time. He stopped writing at the end of his life after having a vision of the glory of God, claiming that 'All that I have written seems to me like straw compared to what has now been revealed to me.' How often do we take pride in our own intellectual achievements, fully crediting them to ourselves?

·        If you are a student or teacher, or at all concerned about the crisis of Catholic education, make ample use of the Prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas for Schools and the Prayer to the Angel of Schools.

·        Read Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Aeterni Patris, strangely relevant to our time in its exhortation towards a renewal in philosophical study with a focus on the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas.

·        Finally, read Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Fides et Ratio, especially the section on The enduring originality of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. He expresses a similar intent to that of Pope Leo XIII's in the following words, "If it has been necessary from time to time to intervene on this question, to reiterate the value of the Angelic Doctor's insights and insist on the study of his thought, this has been because the Magisterium's directives have not always been followed with the readiness one would wish."

·        From the Catholic Culture library: Light from Aquinas , The Meaning of Virtue in St. Thomas Aquinas and The Philosophy of Woman of St. Thomas Aquinas. For many more documents search the library for "aquinas".

Life First[5] 9 Days for Life

 

Day Nine: 

Intercession: May the tragic practice of abortion come to an end. 

Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be 

Reflection: Today, on this 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we mourn the many children’s lives ended by abortion and remember in prayer those who suffer the aftermath. The Church comes together today to pray for the protection of all unborn children and to make reparation for abortion, trusting that the Lord hears our prayers. Pope Saint John Paul II wrote, “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer” (Evangelium vitae, 100). May that prayer arise in our hearts today and each day forward until every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

 

·        Abstain from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
 

·        Learn how to pray the Angelus (www.usccb.org/angelus), and consider saying it every day for the next week—on awakening, at noon, or at 6 p.m. (or all three times).
 

·        Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

 

Fitness Friday

 

Recognizing that God the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength, mind, soul and heart.

 

When the fast is over make some Minestrone di riso.

 

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Binding and suppressing the Devils Evil Works

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary





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