Friday in the Second Week of Lent
Matthew, Chapter 21, verse 26:
26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we FEAR the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.”
The chief priests and the elders of the people were master politicians during Christ’s time. Some of them were faithful in thought word and deed, but many were as Christ pointed out like marble sepulchers which are pretty on the outside but inside full of death and rottenness within. Many of them put on the airs of piety but in reality, were agnostic in nature.
“He told them to be good, not to compromise themselves, to stick by one another, to be fearless, and that God is the only source of goodness, the only standard of conduct. 'Be not afraid,' he said. Millions shouted in response, 'We want God! We want God! We want God!' The regime cowered. Had the Pope chosen to turn his soft power into the hard variety, the regime might have been drowned in blood. Instead, the Pope simply led the Polish people to desert their rulers by affirming solidarity with one another. The Communists managed to hold on as despots a decade longer. But as political leaders, they were finished. Visiting his native Poland in 1979, Pope John Paul II struck what turned out to be a mortal blow to its Communist regime, to the Soviet Empire, [and] ultimately to Communism."
Friday in the Second Week of Lent
Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that, purified by the holy fast, we may celebrate the coming festival with pure hearts.
EPISTLE. Gen. xxxvii. 6-22.
In those days Joseph said to his brethren: Hear my dream which I dreamed. I thought we were binding sheaves in the field: and my sheaf arose as it were and stood, and your sheaves standing about, bowed down before my sheaf. His brethren answered: Shalt thou be our king? or shall we be subject to thy dominion?
Therefore, this matter of his dreams and words ministered nourishment to their envy and hatred. He dreamed also another dream, which he told his brethren, saying: I saw in a dream, as it were, the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars worshipping me. And when he had told this to his father, and brethren, his father rebuked him, and said: What meaneth this dream that thou hast dreamed? shall I and thy mother, and thy brethren worship thee upon the earth?
His brethren therefore envied him: but his father considered the thing with himself. And when his brethren abode in Sichem, feeding their father’s flocks, Israel said to him: Thy brethren feed the sheep in Sichem: come, I will send thee to them. And when he answered: I am ready; he said to him: Go and see if all things be well with thy brethren, and the cattle: and bring me word again what is doing. So being sent from the vale of Hebron, he came to Sichem: and a man found him there wandering in the field and asked what he sought. But he answered: I seek my brethren, tell me where they feed the flocks. And the man said to him: They are departed from this place: for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothain. And Joseph went forward after his brethren and found them in Dothain. And when they saw him afar off, before he came nigh them, they thought to kill him. And said one to another: Behold the dreamer cometh. Come, let us kill him, and cast him into some old pit, and we will say: Some evil beast hath devoured him: and then it shall appear what his dreams avail him: and Ruben hearing this, endeavored to deliver him out of their hands, and said: Do not take away his life, nor shed his blood: but cast him into this pit, that is in the wilderness, and keep your hands harmless: now he said this, being desirous to deliver him out of their hands, and to restore him to his father.
GOSPEL. Matt. xxi. 33-46.
At that time Jesus spoke this parable to the multitude of the Jews and the chief priests: There was a man a householder who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husband men: and went into a strange country. And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits thereof. And the husband men laying hands on his servants, beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the former: and they did to them in like manner. And last of all he sent to them his son, saying: They will reverence my son. But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves: This is the heir, come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance. And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. When, therefore, the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen?
They say to Him: He will bring those evil men to an evil end: and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season. Jesus saith to them: Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this hath been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes. Therefore, I say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they knew that He spoke of them. And seeking to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes: because they held Him as a prophet.
Confidence and Union with God in Temptation
Nothing is more efficacious against temptation than the remembrance of the Cross of Jesus. What did Christ come to do here below if not to "destroy the works of the devil"? And how has He destroyed them, how has He "cast out" the devil, as He Himself says, if not by His death upon the Cross?
Let us then lean by faith upon the cross of Christ Jesus, as our baptism gives us the right to do. The virtue of the cross is not exhausted. In baptism we were marked with the seal of the cross, we became members of Christ, enlightened by His light, and partakers of His life and of the salvation He brings to us. Hence, united to Him, whom shall we fear? Dominus illuminatio mea et salus mea; quern timebo? Let us say to ourselves: "He hath given His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways."
"Because he hoped in Me (says the Lord) I will deliver him; I am with him in tribulation, I will deliver him, and I will glorify him. I will fill him with length of days, and I will show him My salvation."
The Bible is a weapon and in the hands of the untrained, “You could shoot your eye out kid”. Therefore, the Bible should be handled with care. Using an approved translation of the Bible; we should approach scripture reading in light of the liturgy and church Dogmas. “Dogma is by definition nothing other than an interpretation of Scripture.” (Pope Benedict XVI) Dogmas are the Church’s infallible interpretation of Scripture. In the 1970’s the Catholic Church revised its lectionary—the order of scriptural readings for the Mass. The readings now unfold in a three-year cycle and include almost all the books of both testaments of the Bible. The great thing about lectionary is that it presents the scriptures and also teaches us a method of understanding the Scriptures: Showing us a consistent pattern of promise and fulfillment. The New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old is revealed the New. Perhaps a good practice would be for us to read the daily scripture in the lectionary, maybe even before Mass.
"Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo's description remains fundamental.
1. He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer, but the passage should not be too long.
2. The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.
3. The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.
4. The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously, this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.
These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening. Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve, and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. How much time should be given to each stage depends very much on whether it is used individually or in a group.
The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.
Holi-Another Pagan Fest
Holi is the ancient Hindu Festival of Love and also known as the Festival of Colors. The origins of Holi lie in ancient Hindu traditions where Holi was celebrated to mark the arrival of spring. Holi is also related to the legend of Holika, the evil sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu, who tried to burn Hiranyakashipu's son Prahlada. Prahlada had maintained faith in god (Vishnu), while Hiranyakashipu contended that he was god. Wearing a cloak that guarded her from fire, Holika lured Prahlada into a fire but the cloak that was guarding Holika flew and protected Prahlada instead. Because of this Holi also celebrates the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and love over hate.
Holi Facts & Quotes
· The name Holi stems from Holiya, who was the evil sister of a demon god that tried to burn her nephew. According to ancient Sanskrit scriptures, Holiya died in the fire while her nephew was unharmed. Since then, on the eve of Holi, a bonfire named Holiya is lit to signify the triumph of good over evil.
· Central to most Holi festivals are bright colors that are often thrown, sprayed or painted on. For this reason, Holi is often refered to as the Festival of Colors.
· Traditionally colors were achieved through dyes that were made from turmeric, sandalwood, flower and leaf extracts, and beetroots. In recent times Synthetic Color dyes are often used during Holi festivals. These dyes are often toxic or cause allergic reactions. It's a good idea to rub coconut oil into your skin beforehand, to prevent toxic color dyes from absorbing.
· Bhang, tea made from cannabis leaves, is frequently served at some Holi celebrations in India and Nepal. Bhang also contains milk, butter and spices (cinnamon or nutmeg).
· Holi is the day to express love with colors. It is a time to show affection. All the colors that are on you are of love. – Anonymous
Catholics and Holi
With Indians and Hindus celebrating Holi, a spring festival of colors, today, Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona has encouraged the faithful to participate in the celebration, which is meant to promote spiritual and social harmony. Holi is celebrated with everyone throwing brightly dyed powders on each other. It marks the setting aside of differences and grudges in a spirit of reconciliation. Observing the collective celebratory spirit of Holi which integrates joy, enthusiasm and freedom, Bishop Dabre said the day “gives a message of joy and happiness.”
Nevertheless, Bishop Dabre cautioned that “Holi must live the holy joy, and the joy a religion should spread is not without norms or principles but must be coupled with the observance of commandments.” The true joy that emanates from religion must respect the freedom of others; not impose our likes and dislikes on others,” he reflected. Hindus begin the celebration with a Holika bonfire the evening prior to Holi, which relates to the myth upon which the festival is based. However, the throwing of color and water which all Indians participate in is a manifestation of joy and friendship across religious lines. Bishop Dabre also noted that “religion must be experienced as a liberating experience of freedom, and this is very significant in the context of religious terrorism and extremism in different parts of the world, and in India.”
He lamented the rise of such groups as the Taliban, Boko Haram, and Islamic State, saying that in these cases, “religion has become a cause of fear, terror, injustice and oppression.” In the light of recent persecution and discrimination against Christians in India, Bishop Dabre lamented that “even in our country, in the name of religion unreasonable restriction are imposed on the people; force and pressure is employed to reconvert people and to ban the adoption of a religion of one’s choice … also gruesome crimes are committed against women and people of the so-called low caste. Thus, religion has become a matter of grievous concern. “However, “in such a situation Holi gives an important lesson that religion must spread true joy and freedom,” he added.
Aids in Battle When tempted and tested
The ordinary activity of the Enemy is to seek the ruin of souls through various kinds of temptation. These passages offer counsel about how to turn away from evil so that you can overcome temptation and pass the tests that God allows for your strengthening.
· Because He Himself suffered and has been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted. We may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 2: 17– 18; 4: 14– 16
· My son, if you come forward to serve the LORD, remain in justice and in fear, and prepare yourself for temptation. Sir 2: 1
· [Jesus prayed:] “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the Evil One.” Jn 17: 15 RSVCE
· Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him. Let no man say when he is tempted, that he is tempted by God; for God is no tempter to evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But everyone is tempted by being drawn away and enticed by his own passion. Then when passion has conceived, it brings forth sin; but when sin has matured, it begets death. Therefore, my beloved brethren, do not err. Jas 1: 12– 16
· The fear of men lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe. Pr 29: 25
· The Lord knows how to deliver the God-fearing from temptation. 2 Pt 2: 9
· Have no anxiety, but in every prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. And may the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable, whatever of good repute, if there be any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think upon these things. Phil 4: 6– 9
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.
Is interval training more effective than steady-state cardio training for fat loss?
· Exercise combined with diet modifications has been shown to be more effective than either alone for promoting weight loss.
· Establishing exercise habits during the weight loss phase can help prevent weight regain and yo-yo dieting down the road. One of the most common excuses for lack of exercise is a lack of time.
· These results show that the type of cardio performed for fat loss (intervals vs. steady state) probably doesn’t matter as much as the number of calories burned in the exercise session. Moreover, the overall amount of fat loss is small.
· Focus should be placed on how the exercise session impacts other areas of life, such as appetite, food intake, and leisure-time physical activity.
· Focus should also be placed on whether you can see yourself sticking with your chosen exercise modality for the long-term.
· Exercise may not be all that for fat loss, but it certainly impacts fitness and health improvement. As such, all forms of exercise should be encouraged despite their relatively minimal contribution to fat loss.
· Strength training is especially important for developing lean body mass.
· High-intensity training such as interval endurance training appears to be more effective at reducing inflammation and increasing insulin sensitivity than lower-intensity training such as steady-state cardio.
Evidence has shown that exercise has additional benefits on
health that warrant its inclusion in daily life, such as reducing inflammation
and increasing insulin sensitivity. Moreover, high-intensity exercise appears
to be more effective than lower intensity exercise at inducing these beneficial
changes, which might be one reason to prefer interval training over
steady-state even if fat loss would be similar. Ultimately, though,
adherence is key. Thus, enjoyment and personal preferences when it comes to
exercise are what’s most important
Tomorrow is the Feast of St.
Joseph. Do the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
SAW. The necessary adaptations
24 For its very purpose, this catechism does not propose to give an adapted response, both in content and in method, to the demands arising from the different cultures, ages, spiritual life, social and ecclesial situations of those who is directed the catechesis. These indispensable adaptations correspond to catechisms specific to each place, and even more so to those that take charge of instructing the faithful:
"He who teaches must become all things to all, in order to win them all to Jesus Christ [...] Above all, let him not imagine that only one class of souls has been entrusted to him, and that, therefore, it is lawful for him to teach and to train all the faithful equally in true piety, with a single method and always the same! Let them know well that some are, in Jesus Christ, as newborn children, others as adolescents, others finally as possessors of all their strength [. ..] it is necessary to take into account carefully who may need milk and who may need other more solid food [...] The Apostle [...] pointed out that it should be considered that those who are called to the ministry of preaching must, at the transmit the teaching of the mystery of faith and the rules of customs,accommodate his words to the spirit and intelligence of his listeners" (Roman Catechism , Preface, 11).
Above all, Charity.
Full Worm Moon
to the almanac we are having a Full Worm Moon-plan to take your family or
grandchildren fishing! Hummingbirds are migrating North now; look for them.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 32
 Angelo M. Codevilla, "Political Warfare: A Set of Means for Achieving Political Ends", in Waller, ed., Strategic Influence: Public Diplomacy, Counterpropaganda and Political Warfare (IWP Press, 2008.)
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 16. Bible Study.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.