FRIDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
Isaiah, Chapter 25, verse 3
Therefore, a strong
people will honor you, ruthless nations will FEAR you.
Pope Emiratis Benedict XVI wrote in his Theology of the Covenant that we are a people of many faiths with one covenant with God. Therefore it is reasonable that strong people will honor us in our faith as we have the same covenant with the living God but may worship in a different way.
What are some of the traits we and our cousins in the covenant may have as strong people? According to the daily elite-the voice of generation Y there are 20 things that strong people DON’T do:
What Strong people DON’T do.
1. Dwell on the past (but stay in the present).
2. Stay in their comfort zone.
3. Refuse to listen to the opinion of others.
4. Avoid change.
5. Keep a closed mind (but are open to new ideas).
6. Let others make decisions for them.
7. Get jealous over the success of others.
8. Dwell on the possibility of failure (they keep a positive perspective).
9. Feel sorry for their selves.
10. Focus on their weaknesses.
11. Try to please people.
12. Blame themselves for things outside their control.
13. Be impatient.
14. Let misunderstandings continue.
15. Feel they are entitled or privileged.
16. Repeat mistakes.
17. Give into their fears.
18. Act without using prudence.
19. Refuse to help.
However, on the other hand, we must realize that ruthless nations will fear a covenant people because ruthless nations are made up of ruthless people and ruthless people fear what they cannot control.
These are Six Assumptions That Ruthless people make according to Askmen.com.
· Emotion is to be avoided in all decision making.
· No tolerance for incompetence.
· Never forgive.
· Punish quickly and brutally.
· Instill fear in others.
focused and determined.
To be a people of the covenant we must remember the urgings of Christ that “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15). “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law of the prophets.” (Mt. 7:12)
The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus . . . which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins." To those who show him love and who make reparation for sins, however, our Lord made a great pledge: "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, or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life."
To gain this grace, we must:
· Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays.
· Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching final perseverance.
· Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offenses against the Blessed Sacrament.
The fullness of God is revealed and given to us in Christ, in the love of Christ, in Christ's heart. For it is the heart of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Were one to lose sight of this great plan of God-the overflow of love in the world through the Incarnation, the Redemption and Pentecost-he could not understand the refinement with which our Lord deals with us. So, when we talk about the heart of Jesus, we stress the certainty of God's love and the truth of his commitment to us. When we recommend devotion to the Sacred Heart, we are recommending that we should give our whole selves to Jesus, to the whole Jesus-our souls, our feelings and thoughts, our words and actions, our joys. That is what true devotion to the heart of Jesus means. It is knowing God and ourselves. It is looking at Jesus and turning to him, letting him encourage and teach and guide us. The only difficulty that could beset this devotion would be our own failure to understand the reality of an incarnate God. But note that God does not say: "In exchange for your own heart, I will give you a will of pure spirit." No, he gives us a heart, a human heart, like Christ's. I don't have one heart for loving God and another for loving people. I love Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit and our Lady with the same heart with which I love my parents and my friends. I shall never tire of repeating this. We must be very human, for otherwise we cannot be divine. . ..
If we don't learn from Jesus, we will never love. If, like some people, we were to think that to keep a clean heart, a heart worthy of God, means "not mixing it up, not contaminating it" with human affection, we would become insensitive to other people's pain and sorrow. We would be capable of only an "official charity," something dry and soulless. But ours would not be the true charity of Jesus Christ, which involves affection and human warmth. In saying this, I am not supporting the mistaken theories-pitiful excuses-that misdirect hearts away from God and lead them into occasions of sin and perdition. . ..
But I have still a further consideration to put before you. We have to fight vigorously to do good, precisely because it is difficult for us to resolve seriously to be just, and there is a long way to go before human relations are inspired by love and not hatred or indifference. We should also be aware that, even if we achieve a reasonable distribution of wealth and a harmonious organization of society, there will still be the suffering of illness, of misunderstanding, of loneliness, of the death of loved ones, of the experience of our own limitations. Faced with the weight of all this, a Christian can find only one genuine answer, a definitive answer: Christ on the cross, a God who suffers and dies, a God who gives us his heart opened by a lance for the love of us all. Our Lord abominates injustice and condemns those who commit it. But he respects the freedom of each individual. He permits injustice to happen because, as a result of original sin, it is part and parcel of the human condition.
Yet his heart is full of love for men. Our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our hunger and thirst for justice . . .
he took all these tortures on himself by means of the cross. . ..
Suffering is part of God's plans. This is the truth; however difficult it may be for us to understand it. It was difficult for Jesus Christ the man to undergo his passion: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." In this tension of pleading and acceptance of the Father's will, Jesus goes calmly to his death, pardoning those who crucify him. This supernatural acceptance of suffering was, precisely, the greatest of all conquests. By dying on the cross, Jesus overcame death. God brings life from death. The attitude of a child of God is not one of resignation to a possibly tragic fate; it is the sense of achievement of someone who has a foretaste of victory. In the name of this victorious love of Christ, we Christians should go out into the world to be sowers of peace and joy through everything we say and do. We have to fight-a fight of peace-against evil, against injustice, against sin.
Thus, do we serve notice that the present condition of mankind is not definitive. Only the love of God, shown in the heart of Christ, will attain our glorious spiritual triumph. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1675, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, our Lord appeared to her and said: "Behold this heart which, notwithstanding 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." The great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling: the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having Jesus' heart as our sure refuge and Infinite Ocean of mercy in our last hour. Almighty and everlasting God look upon the heart of your well-beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction which he offers to you in the name of all sinners; and grant them pardon when they seek your mercy. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.
1. Love is revealed to us in the Incarnation, the redemptive journey which Jesus Christ made on our earth, culminating in the supreme sacrifice of the cross. And on the cross, it showed itself through a new sign: "One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water." This water and blood of Jesus speak to us of a self-sacrifice brought to the last extreme:
"It is finished"-everything is achieved, for the sake of love. . .
2. Let us realize all the richness hidden in the words "the Sacred Heart of Jesus." When we speak of a person's heart, we refer not just to his sentiments, but to the whole person in his loving dealings with others. In order to help us understand divine things, Scripture uses the expression "heart" in its full human meaning, as the summary and source, expression and ultimate basis, of one's thoughts, words and actions. One is worth what one's heart is worth. . . .
3. Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for us, is such an eloquent commentary on the value of people and things that words only get in the way. Men, their happiness and their lives, are so important that the very Son of God gave himself to redeem and cleanse and raise them up. "Who will not love this heart so wounded?" a contemplative asks in this connection. "Who will not return love for love? Who will not embrace a heart so pure? We, who are made of flesh, will repay love with love. We will embrace our wounded One, whose hands and feet ungodly men have nailed; we will cling to his side and to his heart. Let us pray that we be worthy of linking our heart with his love and of wounding it with a lance, for it is still hard and impenitent. . .."
Friday after Ash Wednesday-Fast Day
EPISTLE. Isaias Iviii. 1-9.
THUS, saith the Lord God: Cry, cease not, lift up thy voice - like a trumpet, and show My people their wicked doings, and the house of Jacob their sins. For they seek Me from day to day, and desire to know My ways, as a nation that hath done justice, and hath not forsaken the judgment of their God: they ask of Me the judgments of justice: they are willing to approach to God. Why have we fasted, and Thou hast not regarded: why have we humbled our souls, and Thou hast not taken notice? Behold in the day of your fast your own will is found, and you exact of all your debtors. Behold you fast for debates and strife, and strike with the fist wickedly. Do not fast as you have done until this day, to make your cry to be heard on high. Is this such a fast as I have chosen: for a man to afflict his soul for a day? is this it, to wind his head about like a circle, and to spread sack-cloth and ashes? wilt thou call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this rather the fast that I have chosen?
Loose the bands of wickedness, undo the bundles that oppress, let them that are broken go free, and break asunder every burden. Deal thy bread to the hungry and bring the needy and the harborless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily arise, and thy justice shall go before thy face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall hear thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am. Because I thy Lord God am merciful.
GOSPEL. Matt. v. 43, vi. 1-4.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy: but I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: that you may be the children of your Father Who is in heaven, Who maketh His sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. Take heed, that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise, you shall not have a reward of your Father Who is in heaven. Therefore, when thou dost an alms deed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honored by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father Who seeth in secret, will repay thee.
What Is Lent?
Lent is the penitential season of approximately 40 days set aside by the Church in order for the faithful to prepare for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. During this holy season, inextricably connected to the Paschal Mystery, the Catechumens prepare for Christian initiation, and current Church members prepare for Easter by a recalling of Baptism and by works of penance, that is, prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Even in the early Church, Lent was the season for prayerful and penitential preparation for the feast of Easter. Though the obligation of penance was originally only imposed on those who had committed public sins and crimes, by medieval times all the faithful voluntarily performed acts of penance to repair for their sins.
Ash Wednesday is the clarion call to “Repent and believe the gospel” (Mk 1:15). For the next forty days, the faithful willingly submit to fasting and self-denial in imitation of Our Lord’s forty-day fast in the desert. It is in these dark and still nights, these desert-times, that the soul experiences its greatest growth. There, in the inner arena, the soul battles the world, the flesh and the devil just as Our Lord battled Satan's triple temptation in the desert. His battle was external, for Jesus could not sin; our battle is interior, but with a hope sustained by the knowledge of Christ’s Easter victory over sin and death.
His victory is our renewal, our “spring” — which is the meaning of the Anglo-Saxon word, “lengten” or Lent. In this penitential season we have the opportunity to make an annual spiritual “tune-up”, a 40-day retreat with Our Lord. Have we allowed worldly cares and the “daily drama” to obscure our call to holiness? Have self-love and materialism eroded our relationship with God? Then let us renew our efforts, and through our Lenten observance, discipline the body and master it as we “follow in the footsteps of the poor and crucified Christ” (St. Francis of Assisi). Activity Source: Original Text (JGM & MG) by Jennifer Gregory Miller and Margaret Gregory
Posture and Prayer
We are composed of body and soul, “every part of the body is an expressive instrument of the soul. The soul does not inhabit the body as a man inhabits a house, it lives and works in each member, each fiber, and reveals itself in the body’s every line, contour and movement.” Our bodies communicate respect or contempt. By our gestures and the way, we comport ourselves we confirm his presence. We are “ensouled” bodies as much as we are embodied souls. We should always move as the Church directs us: sit, stand, bow, kneel, strike the breast, make the Sign of the Cross, all in due time. The scriptures speak of several postures of prayer: 1) Standing 2) Kneeling 3) bowing 4) prostrating.
Standing gives the expression to the prayers of our heart. Standing is a sign of vigilance and action acknowledging that we are the warriors of God, as a soldier on duty. A Knight always stood in the presence of the King or Judge. Standing was a sign of deference and trust. We acknowledge that none of our weapons or self-defenses can repel Him for He alone is all powerful and all knowing. We are vulnerable in His presence. Military officers know that comportment has serious consequences. Soldiers tend to live up, or down to the way they carry themselves. That’s why there are strict rules about how a soldier should stand when at attention. Bad posture is bad for the spine and communicates disrespect for us and others. Standing expresses the filial liberty given us by the risen Christ, who has freed us from the slavery to sin.
Bowing or genuflecting is an act of showing recognition of our God. It is adoration. In bowing or genuflecting we show our faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the altar. To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Kneeling is the prayer posture of mothers, rulers, lepers, and Jesus himself. Kneeling is the side of worship that is at rest and is quiet; “I bow my knees before the Father”. (Eph. 3:14) Kneeling expresses the recognition of our humility before the Almighty Lord (Phil 2:10). Kneeling is associated with reverence, submission and obeisance. Kneeling renders a person defenseless and unable to flee and shows a trust in a power beyond the merely human.
Sitting-We spend a lot of time in church sitting; by this position we show our receptiveness and our willingness to listen and take the Word of God.
In prostration a person lies face down upon the ground. We are connected to the earth from which we came. Prostrations are reserved for most solemn moments, such as the ordination of a bishop or priest. Remember our Lord prostrated Himself in the garden of Gethsemane. The posture indicates the candidate’s inadequacy for the task to which he has been called. Recall our Lord asking the Father to take to cup…but not my will but thine. Our body expresses self-emptying.
Grace at Meals
Part and parcel of the breakdown of a family begins when the family no longer shares a communal meal. The strongest families are those who meet daily for the breaking of the bread and have an established time of the day when everyone is expected to eat together whether that meal is a breakfast, lunch or supper. When we “say grace” before (or after) our meals, we transform our family or lone meals into “sacraments” of God’s banquet. A meal shared in this manner is shared with God himself. In this way every meal, then, is a celebration of God’s creation and his providence.
Traditional Grace before meals
“Bless us, O Lord, and these, thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty. Through Christ, our Lord, Amen
The Canticle is chanted in some Dominican monasteries on the Fridays of Lent.
Lament of Christ
X My friends and My neighbors have drawn near and stood against Me.
X I was delivered up and came not forth; My eyes languished through poverty.
X And my sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down and upon the ground.
X For many dogs have encompassed Me the council of the malignant hath besieged Me.
X I have given My body to the strikers and My cheeks to them that plucked them.
X I have not turned away My face from them that rebuked Me and spit upon Me.
X For I am ready for scourges, and My sorrow is continually before Me.
X The soldiers, plaiting a crown of thorns, placed it upon My head.
X They have dug My hands and feet; they have numbered all My bones.
X And they gave Me gall for My food; and in My thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.
X All they that saw Me laughed Me to scorn; they have spoken with lips and wagged their heads.
X They have looked and stared upon Me; they parted My garments among them and upon My vesture they cast lots.
X Into Thy hands I commend My spirit; Thou has redeemed me, O God of truth.
X Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants, when Thou shalt come into Thy kingdom.
X And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice gave up the ghost.
The mercies of the Lord I will sing for all eternity. Surely, He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows. He was bruised for our sins. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; everyone hath turned aside into his own way. For the Lord hath placed upon him the iniquities of us all. Arise, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? Arise and cast us not off to the end. Behold, God is my Savior, I will deal confidently, and will not fear. We beseech Thee, O Lord, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
V. Have mercy on us, O benign Jesus. R. Who in Thy clemency didst suffer for us.
Look down, we beseech Thee, O Lord, on this Thy family for which Our Lord Jesus Christ did not hesitate to be delivered into the hands of the wicked and suffer the torments of the Cross.
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.
Sleep is an important element of life and along with it is the rest or recreation. One must regenerate not only the body but the mind and soul as well.
25 Ways to Re-Create
1. Saltwater Fishing-As the title indicates, saltwater fishing takes place out at sea giving fishermen the opportunity to catch large and exotic fishes such as the Marlin. The big drawback to this activity is that you have to have access to a boat (either own, know someone who does, or rent), and own special fishing gear that can handle large catches.
2. Bird Watching- With about 10,000 species of birds and only a handful of people who can claim having seen over 7000 of them, bird watching is become a popular recreation activity. It’s believed that bird watching is an expression of the male hunting instinct while others links it with the male tendency for “systemizing”. Either way, bird watching is a great, safe way to enjoy nature.
3. Skiing- Also known as downhill skiing, Alpine skiing began as a club sport in 1861 at Kiandra in Australia. Today, most alpine skiing occurs at ski resorts with ski lifts that transport skiers up the mountain.
4. Snowboarding-An American born sport that is getting worldwide attention, snowboarding was developed in the 1960’s and became part of the Olympics in 1998. Like any other extreme sport, snowboarding does present risks of injury (especially for new participants), in fact, you are twice as likely to get injured while snowboarding than Alpine skiing.
5. Overnight Backpacking- Not to be confused with backpacking for traveling purposes, overnight backpacking describes a multi-day hike that involves camping. Aside from the health benefits, backpacking allows adventurers to enjoy remote places that are usually un-accessible by any other means.
6. Snowshoeing-Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during winter months while maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. In fact, as of 2006, at least 500 American schools have started offering snowshoe programs in their physical education curriculum to help combat obesity.
7. Skateboarding-Skateboarding appeals to people all over the world. In a 2002 report, it was found that there were 18.5 million skateboarders in the world. 85 percent of those who had used a board in the last year of the poll were under the age of 18.
8. Trail running-An increasingly popular sport, trail runners have increased from 4.5 million to more than 6 million in the United States alone between 2006 and 2012.
9. Snorkeling-If you want to check out an underwater world without the mess of complicated equipment and tanks, snorkeling is for you. Not only is it simpler than scuba diving, but cheaper as well since you are not required to have a license and or permit to dive.
10. Bowhunting- Unlike hunting with a rifle, Bowhunting places the hunter in closer proximity to its prey and is more physical (in that you burn more calories by using a bow rather than firing a gun). This activity entices many new participants; however, it is a controversial sport due to the fact that animals tend to die slowly when struck by an arrow.
11. Cross-Country Skiing-Considered to be one of the most grueling endurance sports out there, cross country skiing promises to test your fitness. If you are looking for a sport that burns the most calories per hour, this is it.
12. Wake Boarding-No waves? No problem. Wake boarding makes up for the lack of waves with a boat by dragging you along. This activity is relatively safe, popular, and will definitely keep you fit if done consistently.
13. Fly Fishing-A perfect activity for enjoying the outdoors, fly fishing requires some technical skill (mainly casting techniques) but these are relatively easy to learn.
14. Sailing-Probably one the most romantic outdoor activity on this list, sailing captivates the imagination and offers participants a chance for a relaxing trip on the seas. The only downfall to this activity is the price of a sailboat.
15. BMX Biking-BMX bicycling is an impressive sport to watch, which is probably why so many people attempt to get into it. If you are thinking of doing the same, be warned, you can’t fear getting hurt as falls, scrapes, and fails are common.
16. Surfing-A challenging sport, surfing definitely requires some skill development. Nevertheless, many people attempt this dynamic sport.
17. Scuba Diving-With the opportunity to experience a rare and stunning encounter with a world outside the norm, it’s not surprising why so many people try out scuba diving. Just be careful as scuba diving can get a bit expensive and certification is required for solo divers.
18. Climbing-The danger factor should be obvious with this one. Nevertheless, climbing appeals to many first-time participants and many more find it to be a great outdoor activity. If you’re thinking about giving this a try, I suggest starting out in an indoor climbing facility.
19. White Water Rafting-With six grades of intensity, white water rafting appeals to veterans and novices alike. With that said, if you want to try rafting for the first time, be sure to stick to the lower grades since white water rafting can be dangerous.
20. Sea Kayaking-Kayaking in the sea will allow you to enjoy an active lifestyle while gliding through open waters. It’s a relatively easy sport to get into and for the most part safe (unlike the next item on our list).
21. White Water Kayaking-A surprisingly popular activity for first time practitioners, white water kayaking is a pretty intense sport. If you’re not careful, you can end up seriously hurt, or worse…dead. Nevertheless, 35% of first-time participants indicate that this is their sport of choice.
22. Adventure Racing-You just never know what you will get with adventure racing. As the name suggest, the ‘adventure’ can consist of swimming, running, climbing, kayaking, etc. There usually is no time limit and some races can even last days.
23. Triathlon Consisting of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines (running, bicycling, and swimming), a triathlon does not require a particular high level of skills per se. However, the training for such an event can be grueling.
24. Windsurfing-An engaging combination of sailing and surfing, windsurfing takes the #2 spot on our list. If you’re itching to try this sport, know that it does take some patience and perseverance to become proficient. You must develop your balance and core stability; acquire a basic understanding of sailing theory; and learn a few techniques.
25. Stand Up Paddling-Stand up paddling (SUP) is the #1 activity for new time users. Similar to surfing in that you stand on a board. In SUP, waves are not required, and you can enjoy a tranquil stroll while enjoying a total body workout.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
II. Transmit the faith:
8 The periods of renewal of the Church are also times in which catechesis deserves a greater commitment. Thus, in the great age of the Fathers of the Church, we see holy bishops devoting an important part of their ministry to catechesis. It is the time of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem and of Saint John Chrysostom, of Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine, and of many other Fathers whose catechetical works continue to be models.
Daytona, Florida-Bike Week March 4-13 Rev up for a week of diesel and fun at Daytona Bike Week. The annual motorcycle rally attracts some of the fiercest bikers, clad in leather (and sometimes little else) to celebrate the freedom of the open road.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 17
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 10. Posture.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 14. Grace at Meals.