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 Monday 2nd week in Lent

LA FALLA DE SAN CHUSEP-PI DAY

 

Isaiah, Chapter 43, verse 1

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel: Do not FEAR, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.

 

God, as the Ultimate Leader, consistently practices the Law of Sacrifice. Leaders will do the illogical and surrender valuable possessions in order to fulfill and capture their dream. Fortunately for us, we are God’s dream. Only through the prophet Isaiah does God say directly to His people, “I love you.”[1]

The Law of the Sacrifice – A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up[2]


If you desire to become the best leader you can be, then you need to be willing to make sacrifices in order to lead well. If that is your desire, then here are some things you need to know about the Law of Sacrifice.

1) There Is No Success without Sacrifice – Every person who has achieved any success in life has made sacrifices to do so. Effective leaders sacrifice much that is good in order to dedicate themselves to what is best.

2) Leaders Are Often Asked to Give Up More Than Others –The heart of leadership is putting others ahead of yourself. It’s doing what is best for the team. For that reason, leaders have to give up their rights. The cost of leadership: Leaders must be willing to give up more than the people they lead. Leadership means sacrifice.

3) You Must Keep Giving Up to Stay Up – Leadership success requires continual change, constant improvement, and ongoing sacrifice.

4) The Higher the Level of Leadership, the Greater the Sacrifice – The higher you go, the more it’s going to cost you. And it doesn’t matter what kind of leadership career you pick. You will have to make sacrifices. You will have to give up to go up.  

The Value of Fasting[3]

Prayer and fasting are extraordinary means (we may call them violent means) when other simpler ways are of no avail against the powers of hell. Look into the earthly life of our Savior. He is our model. He dwelt with us in order to teach us how to form our lives inwardly and outwardly. Christ Himself fasted often and accorded it high praise in His teaching. Recall how He fasted forty days before entering upon His work of teaching. At the beginning of Lent the Church wishes to stamp this fact deep in our hearts: our fasting must be in union with and in imitation of Christ's. Recall when the disciples were unable to cure a possessed boy, asked, "Why could we not cast him out?" and Jesus answered, "This kind can be driven out in no way except by prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29). Now another saying of Jesus comes to mind. When John's disciples began to reproach Him, "Why do Your disciples not fast?" He replied: "Can you make the wedding guests fast as long as the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; in those days they will fast" (Luke 5:35). There is a hidden depth of meaning in these words. The coming of Christ among men was a wedding feast. Fasting had no place. But it is most proper to fast when the divine Bridegroom is taken away. Fasting on Fridays and during Holy Week, then, is in accord with Christ's own wishes. Once our Savior compared Himself with the Baptist in these words, "John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a devil!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold a glutton and a wine drinker.’" John was a man devoted to penance, an ascetic, who fasted throughout his life. Not so Christ. His way of living was not based exclusively upon self-denial and mortification, but upon an ordered enjoyment of life. So, we learn from the Savior that fasting should be the exception, not the rule, in Christian morality. Let us consider the passage in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus speaks of the three important pious exercises of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. He highly recommends all three but warns against practicing these virtues in a pharisaical manner.

The main points in Jesus' doctrine on fasting, then, are:

  1. Fasting is an extremely important means of resisting the inroads of hell (hence Lent).
  2. Fasting should be practiced as a memorial of Christ's death (Friday, Holy Week).
  3. Fast days occur by way of exception in Christian life, they are not the normal practice.
  4. Fasting holds a place alongside prayer and almsgiving as a pious exercise.

Examination of Conscience (Daily)

We should along with our morning offering to God and reception of the sacraments of confession and Holy Communion do some daily accounting if we are going to make improvements. We should try to see ourselves and ask God to help us see our day as He sees it by examining our conscience. Spiritual writers usually divide the daily examination into two parts general and particular.

 

The general exam is an overall review of the day and should be done in the evening and the particular exam is done throughout the day on how we are doing in those areas where our rebellion is the greatest or in acquiring a certain virtue.

 

The general examination is a weapon of defense. The particular exam is of attack. The first is the shield. The second is the sword (St. Josemaria Escriva).

 

Most people make their general exam near bedtime (This should cure any sleeping problems). Some people make their particular exam at noon so they can redouble efforts for the rest of the day. In the evening when we do the general exam, we should consider the whole day both the big things and the little.

 

·       I always ask our Lord, what Have I done NOT SO well today; and listen?

 

·       Next comes the question, “Lord, what have I done well?

     ·       Finally, I ask, Lord, what are your concerns? 

One aspiration we should have in our arsenal that we can use at the end is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” One thing not to do is give up. Ask Him for help. Gaining a virtue or losing a habit of sin might take time; but we will WIN.

 

Monday 2nd week in Lent[4]

Prayer. BE propitious, O Lord, to our prayers, and heal the desires of our souls, that, having received forgiveness, we may ever rejoice in Thy benediction.

EPISTLE, in. Kings xvii. 8-16.

In those days: The word of the Lord came to Elias, the Thesbite, saying: Arise, and go to Sarephta a city of the idonians, and dwell there: for I have commanded a widow woman there to feed thee. He arose and went to Sarephta. And when he was come to the gate of the city, he saw the widow woman gathering sticks, and he called her, and said to her: Give me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And when she was going to fetch it, he called after her, saying: Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. And she answered: As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruse: behold I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it, for me and my son, that we may eat it and die. And Elias said to her: Fear not but go and do as thou hast said: but first make for me of the same meal a little hearth-cake and bring it to me: and after make for thyself and thy son. For thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: The pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruse of oil be diminished, until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth. She went and did according to the word of Elias: and he ate, and she and her house: and from that day the pot of meal wasted not, and the cruse of oil was not diminished, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke in the hand of Elias.

GOSPEL. Matt, xxiii. 1-12.


At that time Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes. And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, and salutations in the marketplace, and to be called by men, Rabbi. But be not you called Rabbi. For One is your master, and all you are brethren. And call none your father upon earth: for One is your father Who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for One is your master, Christ. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Explanation. The law of God imposes certain obligations on us. The priest and the teacher teach God’s Gospel in His name, and we shall be judged if we refuse to believe God’s truth and, in His Church, because our teachers may not practice what they preach.

La Falla de San Chusep[5]

Italy is not the only country that claims great love for Saint Joseph. Here's an explanation of the festivities in Valencia, Spain.

·       Among the many folk festivals of Spain which each year attract large numbers of tourists, Saint Joseph's Day in Valencia takes a unique position. La Falla de San Chusep, as it is called in the local dialect, has been celebrated for centuries, and it is perhaps the most spectacular, the most colorful of all Spanish holidays. It starts on March 13 and attains its gala climax six days later, after a solid week of fun and festivities.

·       San Chusep (St. Joseph) is the patron saint of Valencia, and since the sixteenth century his day has been celebrated by the city's artisans and craftsmen with a great deal of zest, humor, and originality. In the Valencian dialect, falla means "pyre." It seems that the term originated in the annual custom of the carpenters who cleaned their shops of shavings and discarded wood at this time of the year and burned the debris with a short ceremony. With the scraps, a comical wooden figure depicting the most inept and backward of the carpenter's apprentices was thrown into the flames. Eventually this developed into a local tradition with all the guilds participating in the burning of humorous and satirical effigies of animals, people, or subjects of local or national ridicule and scorn. Apparently the falla figures are also a product of Baroque art, with its emphasis on painting on wood, for which Valencia's craftsmen became justly famous.

·       Today, each guild, club, or association builds a falla of wood or papier-mâché. A queen, la reine del Falla, is chosen, and a band accompanies the queen, her court, and the falla to the contest on the main plaza of Valencia. The lavish preparations for the festival attract artists and musicians from the provinces who help the various groups build and exhibit their entries to the contest of falla During the week, bullfights are held every day. The streets are jammed with visitors admiring the fallas. In decorated booths and pavilions food and drinks are being served. And in the streets and on the city squares people dance to the music of the innumerable bands which accompany the fallas.

·       The best productions in art and music are judged for subject-matter and presentation and awarded prizes. The most outstanding falla is transferred to a special museum which harbors the prize winners of previous years. On March 19, at midnight, all the other fallas, some towering three stories in height, are burned in huge bonfires. Strings of firecrackers explode around the plaza, and elaborate fireworks illuminate the scene with brilliant flashes of color. As each falla crumbles into ashes, the crowds shout with glee amidst the furiously burning pyres. As the fires slowly burn down to the last embers, the merrymakers leave the scene, exhausted and jubilant, already dreaming of next year, of the next falla. 

Preparing for Battle[6]

Know Your Enemy

Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. (1 Peter 5: 8– 9)

Like it or not, you are at war. No matter who you are— whether or not you know it— you have a mortal enemy who wants to destroy you, not just in this life, but in the next. No matter where you live on this planet— whether or not you can see it— you live on a hotly contested battlefield, and you can’t escape the conflict. It’s a spiritual war with crucial consequences in your everyday life. And the outcome of that war will determine your eternal destiny. The first rule of any type of warfare is to know your enemy.

 

·       Your adversary is the Devil, with his army of demons. Your battle with him rages not only all around you, but also within you, a fierce conflict for control of your mind, your heart, and your ultimate destiny.

·       Those who deny the devils existence are easy prey. 

Pi Day[7]

 

Pi Day celebrates the mathematical constant π (pi) or 3.141592653... .  Pi is the ratio between the circumference (the distance around the circle) and diameter (the distance through the center of the circle). Pi is a constant, therefore it will be the same for circles of all sizes. Pi is a special number due to its infinite and patternless nature, meaning that the digits after the decimal point never repeat themselves in a specific order. Pi Day celebrations originated in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium when Larry Shaw, a physicist at the Exploratorium, organized the first Pi Day.  It was held on March 14th (3/14), given that the first digits of Pi are 3.14.  Celebrations at the Exploratorium included taking young museum visitors on a parade to the Pi Shrine, which is a round brass plaque fixed on the floor of the museum and serving fruit pies to visitors. Since then, Pi Day celebrations have spread both nationally and globally.  On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day.

 

Pi Day Facts & Quotes

 

·       In 2015 at 9:26:53 (AM and PM), all of the first ten digits of Pi (3.141592653) were present in the date and time.

·       Pi is an irrational number, meaning it cannot be expressed properly as a fraction.

·       Albert Einstein, widely referred to as the father of modern physics, was born on March 14, 1879.  Therefore, Pi Day also recognizes Einstein's birthday.

·       According to the Guinness World Records, Rajveer Meena from India holds the record for memorizing the most decimal places of Pi.  On March 21, 2015, Meena wore a blindfold and recalled 70,000 decimal places of Pi over a period of 10 hours.

·       Pi is not just a collection of random digits, pi is a journey; an experience; unless you try to see the natural poetry that exists in pi, you will find it very difficult to learn. – Dr. Antranig Basman, Mathematician and Software Developer

 

Pi Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       Memorize as many digits of Pi as you can (remember, the World Record Holder was able to memorize 70,000 decimal places of pi).

·       Eat a pie to celebrate Pi day and earn bonus points if you can calculate Pi for your pie's circumference!  Here are some twists on traditional pies that you can try:
1) Avocado and cream cheese pie
2) Cheeseburger and pickle pie made from ground beef, cheese, and chopped dill pickles
3) Mac and Cheese Pie topped with bacon
4) Hot dog pie covered with a layer of cheese
5) Twinkie pie topped with whipped cream

·       Practice your geometry and algebra equations that contain the constant Pi. Here are some useful formulas to help you:
Circumference of a circle = 2 πr
Area of a Circle =  π r^2
Volume of a Cylinder = π r^2h
where r=radius and h=height

·       Go for a 3.14km walk to celebrate Pi Day.

·       Watch movies about mathematics:
1) Good Will Hunting (1997)



2) A Beautiful Mind (2001)
3) The Number 23 (2007)
4) Rain Man (1988)
5) The Theory of Everything (2014)

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

V. Practical indications for the use of this Catechism

18 This catechism is conceived as an organic exposition of the entire Catholic faith. It is necessary, therefore, to read it as a unit. For this reason, in the margins of the text the reader is frequently referred to other places (indicated by smaller numbers and which refer in turn to other paragraphs that deal with the same topic) and, with the help of the analytical index at the end of the volume, each theme is allowed to be seen in its connection with the whole of the faith.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Catholic Politian’s and Leaders.

·       54 Day Rosary for Priest’s and Religious Day 23

·       Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 27



·       Manhood of the Master-week 4 day 2



·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Nine Choirs of Angels Devotion

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan




[1] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[4] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[6]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare (Kindle Locations 115-124). TAN Books. Kindle Edition.

[7]https://www.wincalendar.com/Pi-Day



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