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Monday, September 5, 2022

 Monday Night at the Movies


Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, 1964.

Introduction to Romans[1]

Romans is the longest and most systematic unfolding of the apostle’s thought, expounding the gospel of God’s righteousness that saves all who believe; it reflects a universal outlook, with special implications for Israel’s relation to the church. Yet, like all Paul’s letters, Romans too arose out of a specific situation, when the apostle wrote from Greece, likely Corinth, between A.D. 56 and 58. Paul at that time was about to leave for Jerusalem with a collection of funds for the impoverished Jewish Christian believers there, taken up from his predominantly Gentile congregations. He planned then to travel on to Rome and to enlist support there for a mission to Spain. Such a journey had long been on his mind. Now, with much missionary preaching successfully accomplished in the East, he sought new opportunities in the West, in order to complete the divine plan of evangelization in the Roman world. Yet he recognized that the visit to Jerusalem would be hazardous, and we know from Acts that Paul was arrested there and came to Rome only in chains, as a prisoner. The existence of a Christian community in Rome antedates Paul’s letter there. When it arose, likely within the sizable Jewish population at Rome. The Roman historian Suetonius mentions an edict of the Emperor Claudius about A.D. 49 ordering the expulsion of Jews from Rome in connection with a certain “Chrestus,” probably involving a dispute in the Jewish community over Jesus as the Messiah (“Christus”). Aquila and Priscilla (or Prisca, as in Rom 16:3) were among those driven out; from them, in Corinth, Paul may have learned about conditions in the church at Rome. Opinions vary as to whether Jewish or Gentile Christians predominated in the house churches in the capital city of the empire at the time Paul wrote. Perhaps already by then Gentile Christians were in the majority. Paul speaks in Romans of both Jews and Gentiles. The letter also refers to those “weak in faith” and those “who are strong”; this terminology may reflect not so much differences between believers of Jewish and of Gentile background, respectively, as an ascetic tendency in some converts combined with Jewish laws about clean and unclean foods. The issues were similar to problems that Paul had faced in Corinth. In any case, Paul writes to introduce himself and his message to the Christians at Rome, seeking to enlist their support for the proposed mission to Spain. The gospel Paul presents is meant to be a familiar one to those in Rome, even though they heard it first from other preachers. This gospel of Paul finds its center in salvation and justification through faith in Christ. While God’s wrath is revealed against all sin and wickedness of Gentile and Jew alike, God’s power to save by divine righteous or justifying action in Christ is also revealed. The consequences and implications for those who believe are set forth, as are results for those in Israel who, to Paul’s great sorrow, disbelieve. The apostle’s hope is that, just as rejection of the gospel by some in Israel has led to a ministry of salvation for non-Jews, so one day, in God’s mercy, “all Israel” will be saved. The fuller ethical response of believers is also drawn out, both with reference to life in Christ’s body and with regard to the world. Others have viewed Romans the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, a topic judged to be much in the minds of the Roman Christians. Each of these religious faiths claimed to be the way of salvation based upon a covenant between God and a people chosen and made the beneficiary of divine gifts. But Christianity regarded itself as the prophetic development and fulfillment of the faith of the Old Testament, declaring that the preparatory Mosaic covenant must now give way to the new and more perfect covenant in Jesus Christ. Paul himself had been the implacable advocate of freedom of Gentiles from the laws of the Mosaic covenant and, especially in Galatia, had refused to allow attempts to impose them on Gentile converts to the gospel. He had witnessed the personal hostilities that developed between the adherents of the two faiths and had written his strongly worded Letter to the Galatians against those Jewish Christians who were seeking to persuade Gentile Christians to adopt the religious practices of Judaism. For him, the purity of the religious understanding of Jesus as the source of salvation would be seriously impaired if Gentile Christians were obligated to amalgamate the two religious’ faiths. Still others find the theme of Israel and the church as to be the heart of Romans. Then the implication of Paul’s exposition of justification by faith rather than by means of law is that the divine plan of salvation works itself out on a broad theological plane to include the whole of humanity, despite the differences in the content of the given religious system to which a human culture is heir. Romans presents a plan of salvation stretching from Adam through Abraham and Moses to Christ and on to the future revelation at Christ’s parousia. Its outlook is universal. Paul’s Letter to the Romans is a powerful exposition of the doctrine of the supremacy of Christ and of faith in Christ as the source of salvation. It is an implicit plea to the Christians at Rome, and to all Christians, to hold fast to that faith. They are to resist any pressure put on them to accept a doctrine of salvation through works of the law. At the same time, they are not to exaggerate Christian freedom as an abdication of responsibility for others or as a repudiation of God’s law and will.

 


SEPTEMBER 5 Monday

TERESA OF CALCUTTA-LABOR DAY 

Romans, Chapter 3, verse 10-18

10 “There is no one just, not one, 11 there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have gone astray; all alike are worthless; there is not one who does good, [there is not] even one. 13 Their throats are open graves; they deceive with their tongues; the venom of asps is on their lips; 14 their mouths are full of bitter cursing. 15 Their feet are quick to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery are in their ways, 17 and the way of peace they know not. 18 There is no FEAR of God before their eyes.” 

There is no hope except in Christ; all are broken vessels. Yet, by the gift of fortitude we endure; seeking Him who is our salvation. 

As we read in the gospel: Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave me alone. (Sounds like the Bishops during Covid) But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:31-33) 

Teresa of Calcutta[2]



Mother Teresa of Calcutta, known as the "saint of the gutters", feast day will be September 5 for the church calendar, during her life, was declared a saint of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Francis (September 4, 2016) just 19 years after her death. A Nobel peace laureate, her legacy complements Pope Francis's vision of a humble church that strives to serve the poor. Francis said she was a "dispenser of divine mercy" and held world powers to account "for the crimes of poverty they created. For Mother Teresa, mercy was the salt which gave flavor to her work, it was the light which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering. She showed we can't all do everything, but little gestures made with so much love are what's important."

Foundation of Love[3] 

John McCain in his book “Character is Destiny” stated Mother Teresa shows us how mercy is the only way to find contentment by being selfless. Great leadership is based on a foundation of love. McCain states, “She chose to live amid squalor and sickness and desperation, endured hardship and endless toil, and might have been the happiest person on earth.” Mother did not flee from the Lord; nor did she fear anyone. When the Lord called her; she knew the call was authentic because it filled her with joy.

The first counsel of Mother Teresa is to put your hand in His and walk all the way with Him. When you hear the call to follow follow. To Mother Teresa it was never more complicated than that. To her care of the dying was the purest expression of love. Who around you is dying-physically, emotionally or spiritually? Love might not heal every wound of disease, but it heals the heart.  McCain notes that Mother Teresa showed that rather than chasing ambition the greatest contentment comes from having a foundation of love. “She loved and was loved, and her happiness was complete.”

 

International Day of Charity[4]

 

The International Day of Charity seeks to promote and recognize charity and its role in easing humanitarian crises and suffering in the world. The day also serves to recognize the work of charitable organizations and individuals around the globe whose philanthropic actions have contributed to the creation of more inclusive and resilient societies. The International Day of Charity was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in an effort to mobilize the world to help others. The day is celebrated every year on September 5th, the anniversary of the death of Mother Theresa of Calcutta, one of the most philanthropic individuals of our time. Mother Theresa passed away in 1997 at the age of 87 after a lifetime of charitable work with the sick and dying in India.

 

International Day of Charity Facts & Quotes

 

·       Any charity donations that are made are tax deductible in many countries the year they are made.

·       Americans donated approximately 2% of their disposable income to charity in 2014. This amount has remained constant over the past decade, despite large fluctuations in the economy.

·       The annual average US household charitable donation is $2,974.

·       98.4% of high earning households give to charity and 63% say that a major motivation for their donations is to give back to the community.

·       Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. – Mother Teresa, world-renowned nun and missionary.

 

International Day of Charity Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       Watch a movie about the impact and importance of charitable work. Some suggestions are: Pay it Forward (2000), It Could Happen to You (1994), and The Letters (2014).

·       Spread awareness about the holiday by using the hashtags #InternationalDayofCharity, #Charity and #MamaT.

·       Buy a book that directly supports charity. All net proceeds from any of the books listed go directly to charity. Ready a great story and support a good cause all at once!

·       Donate to your favorite charity. If you do not have a charity of choice, Charity Navigator can help you find one. There’s a charity that just about everyone can find reason to support out there. Check out Cross Catholic Outreach

·       Read a book about the impact and importance of charitable work and about the charitable life that Mother Teresa led. Some suggestions are: Abundance, Systems Thinking for Social Change, Start Something that Matters, The Joy in Loving and Mother Teresa: A Simple Path.

 

Labor Day[5]


 

Labor Day is dedicated to honoring and remembering the achievements of the US worker. It is a national celebration which recognizes the contributions that American workers have made to the prosperity of their nation. Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September as a three-day weekend.

 

Labor Day Facts & Quotes

 

·       The Central Labor Union observed the first Labor Day holiday in 1882 in New York City.

·       Labor Day marks the end of the summer season, the beginning of school and the start of football season.

·       According to the rules of fashion, Labor Day Weekend is the last official time where wearing white is appropriate.

·       All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. - Martin Luther King Jr.

·       Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration. - Abraham Lincoln

 

Labor Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       Go camping. Enjoy the last three-day weekend before the weather gets significantly colder.

Recovering Rest for Faith and Family[6]

When workers do not have adequate time to rest, families suffer.  Also lost is the necessary time for spiritual growth and building a relationship with God. 

As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "Even as God rests in Himself alone and is happy in the enjoyment of Himself, so our own sole happiness lies in the enjoyment of God.  Thus, also, He makes us find rest in Himself, both from His works and our own.  It is not, then, unreasonable to say that God rested in giving rest to us."  A culture that obsesses less over endless activity and consumption may, over time, become a culture that values rest for the sake of God and family.  Employers ought to consider the total well-being of their employees and prioritize conditions that help them to thrive as human persons.  Wages and working hours should support the fundamental needs of people to form and nurture families.  The spiritual needs of workers must also be taken into account, so that God may more easily draw them into deeper relationship toward their ultimate purpose.

One of my favorite memories of being stationed as a soldier in Germany was the mandatory closing of shops from Saturday afternoon until early Monday morning. As a result, I was able to spend time with my family walking with them through the beautiful German woodlands. Often, we Volksmarched together. There are Volksmarching Clubs in America take advantage of them with your family this holiday.

Why, Close Shops?  Sunday is a Day to Synchronize Society[7]

"The Constitutional Court had to overthrow the Berlin law. ... The judgement was not 'out of touch with reality,' as the Berlin Chamber of Commerce claims, but is actually very closely in touch with real life. The great diversity of working lives brings with it the fact that members of a single family are forced into different and sometimes incompatible working hours.

If the state does not use some of its regulatory power to give a dependable rhythm to at least one free day -- and that is still Sunday -- then the family faces the threat of being pulled further apart."

"If they have no time with each other and for each other, then the formal notion of belonging together loses value. This danger faces many families in society. … The fact that in the face of growing commercialization and fewer jobs hardly any employee ever dares to ask for a free Saturday, led the labor unions to join the churches in their campaign -- with noticeable success."

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

ARTICLE 6 THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS

1536 Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.

(On the institution and mission of the apostolic ministry by Christ, see above, no. 874 ff. Here only the sacramental means by which this ministry is handed on will be treated.)

Daily Devotions

·       30 DAY TRIBUTE TO MARY 22nd ROSE: Precious Gift of the Cross



o   30 Days of Women and Herbs – Frauendreissiger

·       Unite yourself in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Authentic Feminism

·       Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: September

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary



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