Skip to main content

Friday, January 7, 2022

 


First Friday

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[1] we tend to be: 

·       Confident in God

·       Know God

·       Seek God’s will

·       Self-sacrifice

·       Serve all

·       Motivated by love

·       Trust the Holy Spirit

·       Lead others 

First Friday Devotion[2]

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 of men.

Orthodox Christmas[3]


 

Well, 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.

 

·       Traditionally, when the first star appears on Christmas Eve Eastern Orthodox Christians will break their fast with a celebratory meal.

·       Also, 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.

·       A 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 the manger.

·       On 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 world.

·       Afterwards 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[4]

·       Attend an Orthodox Christmas service.  Orthodox Christianity is popular in Greek and Slavic-language communities, including Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Macedonian communities.

·       Go on a fast or diet leading up to Orthodox Christmas.  Try eliminating meat and animal foods from your diet.

·       Go for dinner at the Russian or Greek Restaurant.  Many will serve specials to commemorate this holiday.


Distaff Day[5], 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[6]

 

St. 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.

 

For 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)

 

Fitness Friday[7] 

BRIGHT MINDS 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 age are: 

·       Not working or working less than half-time

·       Social isolation

·       A lack of new learning

·       Having 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: 

·       Ferritin

·       Telomere 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: 

·       Spend at least 15 minutes a day learning something new, such as a language, a musical instrument or dance moves

·       Take your health seriously—eat well, exercise, get seven hours of sleep a night

·       Eat more 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

·       Limit your consumption of charred meats

·       Supplement 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

·       Try a 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)

·       Get the social support you need so you aren’t isolated or lonely

·       Volunteer for an organization you believe in

·       Donate blood if your ferritin is too high 

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Restoring the Constitution

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Christmas and the Eucharist

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary




[1] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[2]https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/what-is-the-first-friday-and-first-saturday-devotion/

[6]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-01-07

[7] https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/retirement-aging-brain/



Comments

  1. I ran across your blog while looking into the history of St. Distaff for a spinning article I am writing. I need to offer a correction in your text above. I am a handspinner. A distaff is not a rock. A distaff is a stick, or staff, around which fiber is arranged and lightly bound. This assists in the spinning process, making it easier for the spinner to draw out the fiber as it is fed onto the spindle. There are many types of distaffs, some for use with a drop spindle and some for use with a spinning wheel. Although most commonly used with flax or linen to make the very long plant fibers easier to manage, distaffs can also be used with wool. Some distaffs are a simple wooden shaft, while others are forked.

    The word "distaff" is also a reference to the matriarchal line.

    The "rock" to which you refer is the "whorl," or weight, found on primitive drop spindles. Typically a ball of clay would be pierced by a smooth stick on the simplest and most ancient drop spindles. In many parts of the world, this rock was later replaced by a smooth, flat disc, usually made of wood, which spins more evenly and well-balanced when twirled. (In some cultures, an X-shaped structure is used to achieve the same effect.) When referring to a drop spindle, the stick is called the shaft and the weight (rock), regardless of material or shape, is called the "whorl." The simple clay ball and stick spindle is still in use in some parts of the world, with Peru being the most well-known area where this method of construction is still in use.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Thursday, May 27, 2021

  Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of  Mary Help of Christians  (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the  Church Triumphant  (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the  Church Suffering  (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the  Church Militant  (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me

Monday, August 12, 2019

Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast [1] After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t

Sunday, November 11, 2018

FEAST OF SAINT MARTIN/VETERANS DAY Acts, Chapter 26, Verse 5-7 5 They have known about me from the start, if they are willing to testify, that I have lived my life as a Pharisee, the strictest party of our religion. 6 But now I am standing trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors. 7 Our twelve tribes hope to attain to that promise as they fervently worship God day and night; and on account of this hope I am accused by Jews, O king. Paul clearly explains that his entire life was in preparation for the hope of Israel, Christ Jesus, who Israel did not recognize as the son of God. Paul states that the prophets and Moses had foretold that the Christ would suffer, and as first to be raised from the dead, he would proclaim light to both God’s people and the Gentiles. The resurrection is God’s promise to Israel. Paul like Christ ultimately was a victim of intolerance. [1] Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost [2] GOSPEL Matthew 13: 24 –

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday after laetare Sunday: end of mid-lent [1] Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that the LORD had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.” Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him. Dire Straits [2] ·          At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. ·          If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up

Thirty Days with Mary-Day 26-September 9

    30 Days of Women and Herbs – Frauendreissiger Mugwort   (Artemisia vulgaris) 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 8 He urged his men not to  fear  the attack of the Gentiles, but mindful of the help they had received in the past from Heaven, to expect now the victory that would be given them by the Almighty.   As an old, retired military man it was common for us to say while we were loading our magazines with bullets, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." We knew that without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Optimists see steppingstones where pessimists see stumbling blocks.   Heavenly Intercession [1] "Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him, he said 'Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries.' " —2 Maccabees 15:15-16   Nicanor planned to slaughter the Jews on th

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

feast of saint anthony, abbot Sirach, Chapter 22, Verse 16 A wooden beam firmly bonded into a building is not loosened by an earthquake; So the mind firmly resolved after careful deliberation will not be afraid at any time. A prudent mind firmly resolved is undisturbed by violent and conflicting thoughts. Sometimes we all have senseless thoughts and feelings which shake us but faith is a firm anchor for our thoughts. We indeed do have the power within ourselves to choose not to react to impulsive thoughts. Sacredness [1] ·          Holiness consists in friendship with God. If we would be in any sense the friends of God, we must have at least that desire for holiness without which such friendship would be impossible; growth in the knowledge of God is the deepening of this friendship. ·          To know God is to know self and if we know ourselves well, we know have one or two prominent sins that have dogged our life’s path for years, and against these we struggle

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, Verse 21-22 21 Should you say to yourselves, “How can we recognize that a word is one the LORD has not spoken?”, 22 if a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD but the word does not come true, it is a word the LORD did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not fear him. Even saints at times may have spoken presumptuously. Let us meditate on the words of Padre Pio,  “Love and fear must go united together, fear without love becomes cowardice. Love without fear becomes presumption. When there is love without fear, love runs without prudence and without restraint, without taking care where it is going.”   This is the great beauty of the Holy Spirit for it tells us when even a very holy person speaks not every word they speak comes from God. We error sometimes in this way, making men into gods; but a heart that is filled with the spirit of God is filled with quiet joy and even if the person were to be impriso

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Romans, Chapter 8, verse 14-15 14  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear , but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” By the sacrifice of Christ, we are the adopted children of God, who feared none, and by whose sufferings and glory we share; by reason of the Holy Spirits presence within us. We are thus giving us a new life and relationship with God. ( Novena to the Holy Spirit ) To some is giving the gift of tongues. To which many years ago (40 to be exact February 1975) at the birth of my first born daughter I had gone to the Gunpowder Inn, in  Bermuda,  to celebrate her birth, with a couple of Native American friends. At the time I was in the Navy Seabees and we worked together. When I had got there, all of the sudden, I got an overwhelming feeling that I needed to speak in tongues to P. Graves and I did. I felt stupid an

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 17 Do not deal unfairly with one another, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God. Our loving God wants us free and He demands that we out of love treat each other with love and fairness. In the Jewish calendar God specified that we are to rest one out of seven days but it goes further with a rest after seven weeks ending in a year of Jubilee after the 49 th year called a Shemitah. The Shemitah Year is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel and still observed in contemporary Judaism. When Moses received the Levitical law, God gave the commandment to rest on the seventh day… the Sabbath. Moses also applied the cycles of "seven" to weeks and years . A cycle of seven weeks points to the 50th day, called Pentecost. And a cycle of seven sets of seven years points to the 50th year, the year of Jubilee. The year of Jubilee is based on letting the land rest

Monday, January 7, 2019

Plough Monday ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS-DISTAFF DAY Psalm 2, verse 11 Serve the LORD with fear ; exult with trembling , accept correction lest he become angry and you perish along the way when his anger suddenly blazes up. Blessed are all who take refuge in him! To fully understand this verse, we must know who the writer is referring to. In verse 10 the writer states “ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear.   Our God is a just God and to “those who have been given much; much is required”; to quote the spider man movie. Kings (and the 1 percent’ers) to be wise must humble themselves. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle then for a rich man to get into heaven. The "Eye of the Needle" has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. [1]   I a