Friday of the First Week of Lent
FAST DAY-KIDNEY DAY
13 For I am the LORD, your God, who
grasp your right hand; it is I who say to you, do not FEAR, I will help you. 14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you
maggot Israel; I will help you—oracle of the Lord; the Holy One of Israel is
I picture Christ saying this to Peter in the Sea of Galilee as He pulls Peter up after he walked on the water and feared the waves and began to drown. We must not waiver when we feel covered over by the waters of fear for, He will help us. When in fear if we cry out for his help, He will grab us by the hand and bring us back in to the boat, which is His church.
Let us not be children of fear but children of faith. In fact, the opposite of Faith is fear. Napoleon Hill author of the bestselling book THINK AND GROW RICH stated in his unpublished manuscript entitled “Outwitting the Devil” that the devil uses fear to manipulate and control us. Hill uses an imaginary conversation with the devil where the devil states: Once I capture the mind of a child, through fear, I weaken that child’s ability to reason and to think for himself, and that weakness goes with the child all through life. According to Hill the secret to freedom and success is to break the chains of fear and realize that failure and defeat are only a temporary experience.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first in inaugural address as President of the United States realizing this stating, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” As a new President he realized the power of fear and he also realized the power of courage. Mindful of this let us go forth manfully to face our fears and change ourselves, our families and our nation realizing YES, He IS and He grasps our hand—He will help us
Friday of the First Week of Lent
BE merciful, O Lord, to Thy people, and as Thou makest them devout to Thee, mercifully refresh them with kind assistance.
EPISTLE. Ezech. xviii. 20-28.
Thus, saith the Lord God: The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked do penance for all his sins, which he hath committed, and keep all My commandments, and do judgment and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die. I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done in his justice which he hath wrought, he shall live. Is it My will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live?
But if the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity according to all the abominations which the wicked man useth to work, shall he live? all his justices which he had done, shall not be remembered: in the prevarication, by which he hath prevaricated, and in his sin, which he hath committed, in them he shall die. And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel: Is it My way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse?
For when the just turneth himself away from his justice, and committeth iniquity, lie shall die therein: in the injustice that he hath wrought he shall die. And when the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, which he hath wrought, and doeth judgment and justice: he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath wrought, he shall surely live, and not die, saith the Lord Almighty.
GOSPEL. John v. 1-15.
At that time there was a festival-day of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered, waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond: and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water, was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under. And there was a certain man there, that had been eight-and-thirty years under his infirmity. Him when Jesus had seen lying, and knew that he had been now a long time, He saith to him: Wilt thou be made whole? The infirm man answered Him: Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pond. For whilst I am coming, another goeth down before me. Jesus saith to him: Arise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole: and he took up his bed and walked. And it was the Sabbath that day. The Jews therefore said to him that was healed: It is the Sabbath, it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed. He answered them: He that made me whole, He said to me: Take up thy bed, and walk. They asked him therefore: Who is that man who said to thee: Take up thy bed, and walk? But he who was healed, knew not who it was. For Jesus went aside from the multitude standing in the place. Afterwards Jesus findeth him in the temple, and saith to him: Behold thou art made whole: sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee. The man went his way and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had made him whole.
Have you ever heard about the Ember days, observed for most of the history of the Church prior to the late 20th century? If you haven’t, don’t feel bad. Like many traditional practices in the Church laden with deep meaning, Ember days have been chucked down the Catholic memory hole. But fear not! This is why God created the Internet: so, we can find all the neat things about Catholicism that are worth knowing and sharing.
Four times a year, the Church sets aside three days to focus on God through His marvelous creation. These quarterly periods take place around the beginnings of the four natural seasons that “like some virgins dancing in a circle, succeed one another with the happiest harmony,” as St. John Chrysostom wrote. These four times are each kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and are known as “Ember Days,” or Quatuor Tempora, in Latin. The first of these four times comes in Winter, after the the Feast of St. Lucy; the second comes in Spring, the week after Ash Wednesday; the third comes in Summer, after Pentecost Sunday; and the last comes in Autumn, after Holy Cross Day. Their dates can be remembered by this old mnemonic:
Father Peter Carota at the blog Traditional Catholic Priest offers some additional historical information on Ember days:
The Ember days are true Catholic tradition dating actually dating back to the Apostles, (Pope Leo The Great claims it was instituted by the Apostles). Pope Callistus (217-222) in the “Liber Pontificalis” has laws ordering all to observe a fast three times a year to counteract the hedonistic and pagan Roman rites praying for:
By the time of Pope Gelasius, (492-496), he already writes about there being four times a years, including Spring. He also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of Ember week. This practice was mostly celebrated around Rome, from Pope Gelasius’ time, they began to spread throughout the Church. St. Augustin brought them to England and the Carolingians into Gaul and Germany. In the eleventh century, Spain adopted them. It was not until Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) that these Ember days were prescribed for the whole Catholic Church as days of fast and abstinence. He placed these “four mini Lents” consisting of three days; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
The purposes of these “mini Lents” were to pray, fast and to thank God for the gifts He gives us through nature. They follow the four seasons of the year with the beauty and uniqueness of each particular season. They are here for us to teach us to use, with moderation, what God gives us through nature, and to also share these gifts with the poor.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, because of the changes in Church law, not a whole lot. At least not officially. The mandatory observation of Ember days was excised from Church practice during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI. But as a voluntary practice, there is much that is salutary in observing the Ember days of the Church.
I don’t know about you, but as a typically indulgent American, I’ve never been very good at fasting. Lately, I’ve noticed more and more people are advocating fasting as a counter-measure in today’s troubling times. This is the first year I will be observing these fasts, and I’ve got to tell you, I’m already pretty famished and a bit punchy. But the way I see it, there’s no point in continuing to put off the inevitable penance that I’m going to have to do for being a big, fat sinner. To say nothing about making reparations for the increasingly hostile darkness of a world steeped in its own sins. Fasting isn’t going to get easier at some point in the future when I get “holier.” In fact, I’m guessing the latter isn’t going to happen until I master the former. I don’t think there’s ever been a time where fasting and penance are more needed than right this moment. We can’t rely on others to do it for us. Gotta cowboy up and put our mortification where our mouth is. What do you say? Who will be hungry with me?!
The Devil and Temptations
There are many and varied ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way.
Freeing My Own Self from the Power of Evil
· Through his passion, death, and resurrection, Jesus has broken the power of the Evil One. When the influence of evil is perceived in one's own life, it most frequently comes about from personal sin. Family members suffer because of the sin of an individual member of the family. It is through the sacred power that the Lord has placed in his Church that the evil of sin is conquered.
· Through medicine, psychology and other human means, suffering can often be alleviated. But Jesus in his Church, has given us basic helps that are often neglected.
· In our day the Sacrament of Reconciliation has fallen into disuse. There exists a power in this sacrament to break the power of the Evil One and sin that is not possible otherwise.
· Our faith in the Eucharist is weakened. In this sacrament is the power and presence of Jesus Himself. Persons who have actually needed exorcism from the power of the Evil One have been cured by sitting in church in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, an hour each day, for one or two months. These were very difficult cases.
· Our Blessed Mother has been designated by God as the one who crushes the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:1s). The Rosary is a very powerful means of protection and salvation. Many sons and daughters have been saved from the power of sin and the loss of faith through the perseverance of their parents in saying the Holy Rosary.
Kidney Day was first celebrated in 2006 asking the above question – Are Your Kidneys Ok? The idea that there is great need to educate the world about the importance of kidney health, and reduce the impact of kidney disease and other health conditions associated with them, is what pushed the ISN and IFKF to team up and make a difference.
The goal that was established was to raise awareness of what our kidneys do and what can happen when they are not working properly. They strive to teach the risk factors and bring screening to those at risk for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Prevention is the main overall goal by teaching communities how to keep their risk factors as low as possible.
Respectfully, Kidney Day is also about donation. Transplant professionals use the day to educate people on the need for organ donation. This is a decision that if left until the last moment can be difficult and painful for families. But individuals can easily make their wishes known and in the United States can identify this on their identification. These donations can bring the joy of life back to someone who is suffering from kidney disease.
How to celebrate Kidney Day
Across the world, celebrations take different forms, from free screenings to Zumba marathons! Is your community planning an event? Celebrate by attending and learning more! Do you know what your personal risk for Chronic Kidney Disease is? If not, use this reminder to make an appointment to see your physician and find out.
According to worldkidneyday.org, there are 8 golden rules for kidney health.
- Keep regular control of your blood sugar. About 50% of people with Diabetes will develop kidney damage. Make sure you are doing all you can to stay in control!
- Keep fit and active. Staying active helps in many areas to keep your kidneys healthy as well as promotes positive mood and weight loss.
- Eat healthy and keep your weight in check. Making good food choices will go hand in hand with staying active to reduce weight and encourage good health.
- Water, water, water! Keeping hydrated is good for your skin as well as your kidneys. Staying hydrated flushes, the toxins out of the kidneys and reduces the chance of kidney stones.
- No Smoking! Smoking is bad in many ways, but for the kidneys, the chance of developing cancer in them increases by 50% for smokers.
- Stay away from over-the-counter medicine for chronic issues. Many over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen can harm your kidneys if taken regularly. It is ok to take for emergencies, but see a physician if you are having chronic pain for options that will not cause harm.
Celebrate Kidney Day by learning more about your kidneys and how to keep them healthy and happy for years to come!
In the movie “Christmas.” we witnessed the day “Ralphie” pronounced the big F word and as a result his mother in loving correction immediately inserted a bar of soap in “Ralphie’s” nasty mouth. Today let us look at our own nasty mouths. Caring for our teeth may improve your fitness more than we realize.
Taking care of your teeth is important for all ages, but it’s especially important for older adults who may be at greater risk of oral health problems. Adults 65 and older are at an increased risk for oral cancer, gum disease and cavities. Luckily, it’s never too late to start taking better care of your teeth. With proper care, you can maintain — or even improve — your oral health as you age. Here are six things that help improve senior oral hygiene.
· Cut Out Bad Habits-There are dozens of reasons to quit smoking or chewing tobacco, and the health of your entire mouth is no exception. If you’re currently using tobacco products, talk to your doctor about healthy methods for quitting. And as you likely remember from childhood, sugary foods like candy and soda can increase your risk for cavities. Committing to healthy eating isn’t just good for your heart and waistline — it’s great for your teeth, too.
· Increase Your Fluoride Intake-Many municipalities have fluoride added to their drinking water, but you can also incorporate a fluoride toothpaste or fluoride rinse into your daily care routine, too. If necessary, you can even talk to your dentist about regular fluoride treatments.
· Be Diligent About Your Teeth Cleaning Routine-It isn’t enough to simply brush your teeth twice a day, every day. Additionally, you should floss at least once per day and consider rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Make sure to replace your toothbrush or brush head every three months.
· If You Have Dentures, Clean Them Daily-Denture-wearers may have a different routine, but good oral hygiene is still a priority. Follow your dentist’s instructions for keeping your dentures clean so the rest of your mouth also stays clean and healthy.
· Keep Your Mouth Hydrated-If you’re prescribed a medication that causes dry mouth, make sure you’re taking extra steps to keep your mouth hydrated. Drink lots of water and switch to sugar-free gum, if you’re a gum chewer. (Bonus: Sugar-free gum is better for your teeth, too!)
· Go to the Dentist-regular checkups with your primary care physician, going to the dentist is the single best thing you can do for your oral health. Not only can your dentist give your teeth a good cleaning, but they’ll also be able to identify oral health problems before they progress and give you tips for taking care of your teeth. While the minimum recommendation is once per year, many older adults prefer to see their dentist every six months just to make sure everything is going well.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Part Two: The Sacraments of Faith
15 The second part of the catechism exposes how the salvation of God, accomplished once for all by Christ Jesus and by the Holy Spirit, is made present in the sacred actions of the liturgy of the Church (first section), particularly in the seven sacraments (second section ).
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 24
Goffine’s Devout Instructions