ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS-Distaff-Day 14-Fitness
Psalm 103, Verse 13
As a father has
compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who FEAR him.
Does God derive anything from having us fear Him?
His only wish is to see us truly growing and fruitful. He made us and as a loving father knows our needs both physical and spiritual. If we have a loving fear of our father, we are compelled by the Holy Spirit into spiritual leadership avoiding sloth which often comes as a result of being stuck in a victim mentality or not letting go of rage by forgiving the offender.
Today seek the Father’s compassion by going to confession then arise and grow in spiritual leadership.
As we grow in our spiritual leadership we tend to be:
· Confident in God
· Know God
· Seek God’s will
· Serve all
· Motivated by love
· Trust the Holy Spirit
· Lead others
First Friday Devotion
Nine consecutive Fridays in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Our Lord appeared to St.
Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), a French nun in the
Visitation Order, and gave her the special task to spread devotion to His Most
Sacred Heart at a time when religion was growing cold in the hearts of mankind.
He said to her:
“Behold this heart which, not withstanding the burning love
for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return
from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude,
even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart
most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially
consecrated to my service.” Jesus asked for special prayers and practices to
make amends (reparation) for this great neglect to the proper reverence
owed to God. For those who did this faithfully, he made what St. Margaret Mary
referred to as the “Great Promise” which was the last and greatest of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my
omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who
receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not
die in my disfavor [the grace of final repentance], or without having received
the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last
moments of their life.”
Conditions to Fulfill the First Friday Devotion
The specific conditions to receive the Great Promise of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus are:
1. Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays
of the month (this assumes that the person is in a state of grace, having made
a sacramental confession for any mortal sins prior to receiving communion).
2. Having the intention, at least implicitly, of making
reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and ingratitude
if you have not got enough of the Christmas Season you can always celebrate
with the Orthodox Catholics.
Some Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but others mark the birth of Jesus on a variety of dates including January 7th and January 19th. It depends on which calendar the particular church follows - while western Christendom has adopted the Gregorian calendar, some Orthodox churches use the older Julian calendar to calculate the dates for holy feast days. December 25th on the original Julian calendar falls on January 7th of our calendar. Most Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on this date; however, some churches, including Armenian orthodox Christians use the revised Julian calendar and their Christmas falls on January 19th of our calendar. While Christmas is a very important religious celebration for Orthodox Christians, it falls second to Easter which they consider to be the most important date in the religious calendar.
Religious Observance of Orthodox Christmas
Most believers in the Eastern
Orthodox Church prepare for Christmas with 40 days of fasting, continuing right
up until late on Christmas Eve Jan 6th.
when the first star appears on Christmas Eve Eastern Orthodox Christians will
break their fast with a celebratory meal.
on Christmas Eve, traditionally Orthodox Christians will cut a branch from a
tree and bring it into their home, as a symbol that Jesus is entering their
house and their hearts.
prayer and blessing will be said before the Christmas Eve feast begins, and the
head of the family will greet each person present with the traditional
Christmas greeting of 'Christ is born'
to which the response is 'Glorify him!'.
Then the bread will be torn by hand and shared with all present. Some families
will have straw scattered around the table, as a reminder of Jesus's birth in
Christmas Day, Orthodox Christians will attend Divine Liturgy, which will
usually be a little longer than usual due to being an exceptional religious
holiday. It is traditional to light candles in honor of Jesus, as light of the
people walk in procession to a sea, lake or river. The water will be blessed as
part of an outdoor ceremony, and some people will take the blessed water back
to their homes.
Orthodox Christmas Top Events and
Things to Do
an Orthodox Christmas service. Orthodox Christianity is popular in Greek
and Slavic-language communities, including Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian,
on a fast or diet leading up to Orthodox Christmas. Try eliminating meat
and animal foods from your diet.
for dinner at the Russian or Greek Restaurant. Many will serve specials
to commemorate this holiday.
Distaff Day, also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after
the traditional feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff's Day, one of the many
unofficial holidays in Catholic nations. The distaff, or rock, used in spinning
was the medieval symbol of women's work. In many European cultural traditions,
women resumed their household work after the twelve days of Christmas. Women of
all classes would spend their evenings spinning on the wheel. During the day,
they would carry a drop spindle with them. Spinning was the only means of
turning raw wool, cotton or flax into thread, which could then be woven into
cloth. Men have their own way of celebrating this occasion; this is done
through Plough Monday. It is the first Monday after Epiphany where men are
supposed to get back to work. Every few years, Distaff Day and Plough Monday
falls on the same day. Often the men and women would play pranks on each other
during this celebration, as was written by Robert
Herrick in his
poem "Saint Distaff’s day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day" which
appears in his Hesperides.
St. Raymond of Penafort - Day Fourteen
Raymond devoted much of his life to helping the poor. The famous incident which
is recounted in the story of Raymond's life took place when he went with King
James to Majorca. The King dismissed Raymond's request to return home. Relying
on his faith and love of God, Raymond walked on the waves to his ship, spread
his cloak to make a sail, made the sign of the cross then sailed to the distant
harbor of Barcelona.
St. Raymond's feast we should remember that "caroling and storytelling
belong to the whole Christmas season. Hospitality and giving to others also
must continue if true Christmas joy is to remain. An outing to which friends
are invited or a party that includes a round of caroling become perhaps even
more appropriate with the approach of Epiphany." — Excerpted from The
Twelve Days of Christmas
Day Fourteen activity (Legend of the Little Girl)
Day Fourteen recipe (Christstollen)
Program, which is designed to identify and treat all 11 risk factors that contribute
to memory problems. Here is what the words BRIGHT MINDS stand for:
B – Blood Flow
R – Retirement/Aging
I – Inflammation
G – Genetics
H – Head Trauma
T – Toxins
M – Mental Health
I – Immunity/Infection Issues
N – Neurohormone Deficiencies
D – Diabesity
S – Sleep Issues
Watch your weight being 20 pounds overweight has a number of BRIGHT MINDS vulnerabilities, including low blood flow to the brain as well as high blood glucose, homocysteine and ferritin, or iron—all tied to faster aging.
In addition to
getting older, the general risk factors associated with living past retirement
working or working less than half-time
of new learning
attained less than a high school education
It is a good idea
to have a checkup with your health-care provider to evaluate your current state
of health. Request these specific lab tests:
length (telomeres are casings at the ends of chromosomes that shorten with age;
people with longer telomeres tend to live longer)
You can take these
simple steps to make sure your mind and memory are sharp for years to come:
least 15 minutes a day learning something new, such as a language, a musical
instrument or dance moves
your health seriously—eat well, exercise, get seven hours of sleep a night
antioxidant-rich foods like cocoa, walnuts, blueberries, artichokes and
pomegranates, and more choline-rich foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, beef,
scallops, shrimp, salmon, cod, chickpeas, and lentils
your consumption of charred meats
your diet with a good multivitamin/mineral, extra vitamin D, omega-3 fatty
acids EPA/DHA and the following nutraceuticals to strengthen your brain: PS
(phosphatidylserine), alpha GPC (alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine), ALCAR
(acetyl-L-carnitine), huperzine A, saffron (standardized extract), sage
daily 12-to-16-hour fast to help your brain clear out debris (if dinner is at 7
pm, breakfast should be no earlier than 7 am)
social support you need so you aren’t isolated or lonely
for an organization you believe in
blood if your ferritin is too high
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership