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Saturday, September 17, 2022

 

Oktoberfest September 17-Oct. 3. Raise a stein to Oktoberfest. This annual, 16-day celebration of all thing’s beer kicks off in late September in Munich. Can’t make it to Germany? Bring your taste for brewski to these US Oktoberfest events.


Oktoberfest[1]

 

Remember no carousing or drunkenness!!!

Oktoberfest is a 16-day folk festival celebrated in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.  It is also the world’s largest Volksfest, which are German events that combine beer festivals with traveling funfairs.  Oktoberfest first emerged on October 12, 1910 when King Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Citizens of Munich celebrated the marriage in fields leading to the city gates.  These fields were named ‘Theresienwiese’ in honor of the Princess.  The wedding celebrations ended on October 17th with horse races and until 1960, horse races were held annually. Eventually, carnivals, amusement rides, food booths, beer tents and parades were all added to the celebrations. Today, Oktoberfest is still held annually at the Theresienwiese fairgrounds in Munich although there are no longer any horse races.  Oktoberfest celebrations have also spread globally, becoming synonymous with beer and German culture. This festival usually starts on the third weekend of September and ends on the first weekend of October.

Oktoberfest Facts

·       According to tradition, beer tents at the Oktoberfest can only sell beer that has been brewed in Munich.  The beer has to adhere to the Bavarian Purity Requirements called Reinheitsgebot.
The six breweries allowed at the Oktoberfest include:
1) Augustiner
2) Hacker Pschorr
3) Hofbräu
4) Löwenbräu
5) Paulaner
6) Spaten

·       Since Oktoberfest is still held on the Theresienweise, locals refer to Oktoberfest as Wies'n.

·       Beer served at the Oktoberfest is poured in mugs called Maß.  A Maß is made of clear glass, so that the consumer can see whether the Maß is full or not.  Maß also contains a calibration mark to which beer must be filled and the calibration mark has to amount to 1-liter.  If a Maß is not completely filled, or the calibration mark falls below the true 1 liter position, or if there is no calibration mark, then the seller can be prosecuted for committing fraud.  Verein gegen betrügerisches Einschenken is a Munich-based organization that monitors whether glasses are being completely filled or not.

·       Traditional German clothing for Oktoberfest includes a Sennerhut.  Sennerhut is a woollen hat that may have symbols of a person’s hometown, or is embroidered with bright flowers.  For a measure of good luck, some people add goat hair on the hat.  Men traditionally wear Lederhosen, which are leather breeches, while women wear Dirndl.  A dirndl is a dress that consists of a bodice, blouse, skirt and apron.

·       In 2015, 5,900,000 visitors attended Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.  Approximately 7.3 million liters of beer was consumed and the average 1-litre mug of beer cost approximately 10.22 euros ($12).

Oktoberfest Top Events and Things to Do

·       Attend the real Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

·       Try the only beer that adheres to Bavarian Purity Requirements (Reinheitsgebot), and which is sold at the Oktoberfest, including:
1) Augustiner
2) Hacker Pschorr
3) Hofbräu
4) Löwenbräu
5) Paulaner
6) Spaten

·       Try traditional Oktoberfest food:
1) Bavarian Brez’n, a soft pretzel that is served with sausage and mustards
2) Sausages including Bratwurst, Weisswurst, or Currywurst
3) Slow roasted ox
4) Rotisserie chicken
5) Schweinshaxe which is a pickled ham served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes

·       Celebrate Oktoberfest at beer gardens in the United States.  Here are some recommendations:
1) Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2) Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan
3) Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California
4) Fremont Brewing Company in Seattle, Washington
5) Draught House Pub & Brewery in Austin, Texas
6) Frankford Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7) Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Brooklyn, New York
8) Cisco Brewers in Nantucket, Massachusetts
9) Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in San Diego, California
10) Der Biergarten in Atlanta, Georgia
11) Rhein Haus in Seattle, Washington
12) Wurstküche in Los Angeles, California

Host an Oktoberfest party.  Try different German beers and Oktoberfest dishes including sausages and soft pretzels and even dress up in traditional Oktoberfest clothing called Tracht , including a dirndl for women and a lederhosen for men


ST. HILDEGARDE-CONSTITUTION DAY 

2 Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 20-21

20 For I FEAR that when I come I may find you not such as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; that there may be rivalry, jealousy, fury, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, immorality, and licentiousness they practiced. 

In the gospel Christ warns us much like Paul. Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.” 

Although Paul exhorts the Corinthians, but I can hear Christ saying this same warning to modern man; the same warning has been repeated by Mary at Fatima. Change your hearts. 

Pure hearts want to live the Shema Yisrael which Christ Himself practiced: 

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength.

 

Strengthening the mind, heart and soul[1]



Dr. Daniel Amen a noted Psychiatrist tells us; our thoughts are often negative and seem to at times come automatically severely limiting a person’s ability to enjoy his or her life. How you think “moment-by-moment” plays a large role in how you feel (a deep limbic system function). Negative thoughts may cause you to feel internal discomfort or pain and they often cause you to behave in ways that alienate you from other people. Hopeful thoughts, on the other hand, influence positive behaviors and lead people to feel good about themselves and be more effective in their day-to-day lives. Hopeful thoughts also are involved in helping people connect with others. Healing the deep limbic system requires a person to heal their moment-to-moment thought patterns. Most people do not understand how important thoughts are and leave the development of thought patterns to random chance. Did you know that every thought you have sends electrical signals throughout your brain? Thoughts have actual physical properties. They are real! They have significant influence on every cell in your body. When your mind is burdened with many negative thoughts, it affects your deep limbic system and causes deep limbic problems (irritability, moodiness, depression, etc.). Teaching yourself to control and direct thoughts in a positive way is one of the most effective ways to feel better. Here are the actual step-by-step “thinking” principles that I use in my psychotherapy practice to help my patients heal their deep limbic systems.

STEP #1 KNOW that every time you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals. That’s how our brain works…you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals, an electrical transmission goes across your brain and you become aware of what you’re thinking. Thoughts are real, and they have a real impact on how you feel and how you behave.

STEP #2 Every time you have an angry thought, an unkind thought, a sad thought, or a cranky thought, your brain releases negative chemicals that make your body feel bad (and activate your deep limbic system). Think about the last time you were mad. How did your body feel? When most people are angry their muscles become tense, their hearts beat faster, their hands start to sweat, and they may even begin to feel a little dizzy. Your body reacts to every negative thought you have.

STEP #3 Every time you have a good thought, a happy thought, a hopeful thought or a kind thought, your brain releases chemicals that make your body feel good (and cools your deep limbic system). Think about the last time you had a really happy thought. How did you feel inside your body? When most people are happy their muscles relax, their hearts beat slower, their hands become dry and they breathe slower. Your body also reacts to your good thoughts.

STEP #4 Your body reacts to every thought you have. We know this from polygraphs or lie detector tests. During a lie detector test, a person is hooked up to equipment that measures: hand temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle tension and how much the hands sweat. The tester then asks questions, like “Did you do that thing?” If the person did the bad thing his body is likely to have a “stress” response and it is likely to react in the following ways: hands get colder, heart goes faster, blood pressure goes up, breathing gets faster, muscles get tight and hands sweat more. Almost immediately, his body reacts to what he thinks, whether he says anything or not. Remember, the deep limbic system is responsible for translating our emotional state into physical feelings of relaxation or tension. Now the opposite is also true. If he did not do the thing the tester asked about it is likely that his body will experience a “relaxation” response and react in the following ways: hands will become warmer, heart rate will slow, blood pressure goes down, breathing becomes slower and deeper, muscles become more relaxed and hands become drier. Again, almost immediately, your body reacts to what you think. This not only happens when you’re asked about telling the truth, your body reacts to every thought you have, whether it is about work, friends, family or anything else.

STEP #5 Thoughts are very powerful. They can make your mind and your body feel good or they can make you feel bad. Every cell in your body is affected by every thought you have. That is why when people get emotionally upset, they actually develop physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches. Some physicians think that people who have a lot of negative thoughts are more likely to get cancer. If you can think about good things you will feel better. Think of your body like an “ecosystem.” An ecosystem contains everything in the environment like the water, the land, the cars, the people, the animals, the vegetation, the houses, the landfills, etc. A negative thought is like pollution to your system.

STEP #6 Unless you think about your thoughts they are automatic or “they just happen.” Since they just happen, they are not necessarily correct. Your thoughts do not always tell the truth. Sometimes they even lie to you. I once treated a college student who thought he was stupid, because he didn’t do well on tests. When his IQ (intelligence level) was tested, however, we discovered that he was close to a genius! You don’t have to believe every thought that goes through your head. It’s important to think about your thoughts to see if they help you or they hurt you. Unfortunately, if you never challenge your thoughts you just “believe them” as if they were true.

STEP #7 You can train your thoughts to be positive and hopeful or you can just allow them to be negative and upset you. Once you learn about your thoughts, you can choose to think good thoughts and feel good or you can choose to think bad thoughts and feel lousy. That’s right, it’s up to you! You can learn how to change your thoughts and you can learn to change the way you feel. One way to learn how to change your thoughts is to notice them when they are negative and talk back to them. If you can correct negative thoughts, you take away their power over you. When you just think a negative thought without challenging it, your mind believes it and your body reacts to it.

STEP #8 As I mentioned above, negative thoughts are mostly automatic or they “just happen.” That is why I call these thoughts “Automatic Negative Thoughts” or ANTs. Think of these negative thoughts that invade your mind like ants that bother a couple at a picnic. One negative thought, like one ant at a picnic, is not a big problem. Two or three negative thoughts, like two or three ants at a picnic, becomes more irritating. Ten or twenty negative thoughts, like ten or twenty ants at a picnic, may cause the couple to pick up and leave the picnic. Whenever you notice these automatic negative thoughts or ANTs you need to crush them, or they’ll ruin your relationships, your self-esteem and your personal power. One way to crush these ANTs is to write them down and talk back to them. For example, if you think, “My husband never listens to me,” write it down. Then write down a rational response; something like “He’s not listening to me now, maybe he’s distracted by something else. He often listens to me.” When you write down negative thoughts and talk back to them, you take away their power and help yourself feel better. Some people tell me they have trouble talking back to these negative thoughts because they feel that they are lying to themselves. Initially, they believe that the thoughts that go through their mind are the truth. Remember, thoughts sometimes lie to you. It’s important to check them out before you just believe them!

Here are nine different ways that your thoughts lie to you to make situations out to be worse than they really are. Think of these nine ways as different species or types of ANTs (automatic negative thoughts). When you can identify the type of ANT, you begin to take away the power it has over you. I have designated some of these ANTs as red, because these ANTs are particularly harmful to you. Notice and exterminate ANTs whenever possible.

ANT #1: “Always or Never Thinking” This happens when you think something that happened will “always” repeat itself. For example, if your partner is irritable and she gets upset you might think to yourself, “She’s always yelling at me,” even though she yells only once in a while. But just the thought “She’s always yelling at me” is so negative that it makes you feel sad and upset. It activates your limbic system. Whenever you think in words like always, never, no one, everyone, every time, everything those are examples of “always” thinking and usually wrong. Here are some examples of “always” thinking: “He’s always putting me down.” “No one will ever call me.” “I’ll never get a raise.” “Everyone takes advantage of me.” “You turn away every time I touch you.”
“My children never listen to me.” “Always thinking” ANTs are very common. Watch out for them.

ANT #2 (red ANT): “Focusing on the Negative” This occurs when your thoughts only see the bad in a situation and ignore any of the good parts that might happen. For example, I have treated several professional speakers for depression. After their presentations they had the audience fill out an evaluation form. If l00 of them were returned and 2 of them were terrible, but 90 of them were outstanding, which ones do you think they focused on? Only the negative ones! I taught them to focus on the ones they liked a lot more than the ones they didn’t like. It’s important to learn from others, but in a balanced, positive way. Your deep limbic system can learn a powerful lesson from the Disney movie, “Pollyanna.” In the movie, Pollyanna came to live with her aunt after her missionary parents died. Even though she had lost her parents she was able to help many “negative people” with her attitude. She introduced them to the “glad game,” to look for things to be glad about in any situation. Her father had taught her this game after she experienced a disappointment. She had always wanted a doll, but her parents never had enough money to buy it for her. Her father sent a request for a second-hand doll to his missionary sponsors. By mistake, they sent her a pair of crutches. “What is there to be glad about crutches?” they thought. Then they decided they could be glad because they didn’t have to use them. This very simple game changed the attitudes and lives of many people in the movie. Pollyanna especially affected the minister. Before she came to town he preached hellfire and damnation, and he did not seem to be very happy. Pollyanna told him that her father said that the Bible had 800 “Glad Passages,” and that if God mentioned being glad that many times, it must be because He wants us to think that way. Focusing on the negative in situations will make you feel bad. Playing the glad game or looking for the positive will help you feel better.

ANT #3 (red ANT): “Fortune Telling” This is where you predict the worst possible outcome to a situation. For example, before you discuss an important issue with your partner you predict that he or she won’t be interested in what you have to say. Just having this thought will make you feel tense. I call “fortune telling” red ANTs because when you predict bad things you can make them happen.

ANT #4 (red ANT): “Mind Reading” This happens when you believe that you know what another person is thinking even when they haven’t told you. Mind reading is a common cause of trouble between people. I tell my wife, “Please don’t read my mind, I have enough trouble reading it myself!” You know that you are mind reading when you have thoughts such as, “She’s mad at me. He doesn’t like me. They were talking about me.” I tell people that a negative look from someone else may be nothing more than they are constipated! You don’t know. You can’t read anyone else’s mind. You never know what others are really thinking. Even in intimate relationships, you cannot read your partner’s mind. When there are things you don’t understand, clarify them and stay away from mind reading ANTs. They are very infectious.

ANT #5: “Thinking with Your Feelings” This occurs when you believe your negative feelings without ever questioning them. Feelings are very complex, and, often based on powerful memories from the past. Feelings sometimes lie to you. Feelings are not about truth. They are about feelings. But many people believe their feelings even though they have no evidence for them. “Thinking with your feelings” thoughts usually start with the words “I feel.” For example, “I feel like you don’t love me. I feel stupid. I feel like a failure. I feel nobody will ever trust me.” Whenever you have a strong negative feeling, check it out. Look for the evidence behind the feeling. Do you have real reasons to feel that way? Or, are your feelings based on events or things from the past?

ANT #6: “Guilt Beatings” Guilt is not a helpful emotion, especially for your deep limbic system. In fact, guilt often causes you to do those things that you don’t want to do. Guilt beatings happen when you think with words like “should, must, ought or have to.” Here are some examples: “I ought to spend more time at home. I must spend more time with my kids. I should have sex more often. I have to organize my office.” Because of human nature, whenever we think that we “must” do something, no matter what it is, we don’t want to do it. It is better to replace “guilt beatings” with phrases like “I want to do this…It fits with my goals to do that…It would be helpful to do this….” So, in the examples above, it would be helpful to change those phrases to “I want to spend more time at home. It’s in our best interest for my kids and I to spend more time together. I want to please my spouse by making wonderful love with him (or her) because he (or she) is important to me. It’s in my best interest to organize my office.” Get rid of this unnecessary emotional turbulence that holds you back from achieving the goals you want.

ANT #7: “Labeling” Whenever you attach a negative label to yourself or to someone else, you stop your ability to take a clear look at the situation. Some examples of negative labels that people use are “jerk, frigid, arrogant and irresponsible.” Negative labels are very harmful, because whenever you call yourself or someone else a jerk or arrogant you lump that person in your mind with all of the “jerks” or “arrogant people” that you’ve ever known, and you become unable to deal with them in a reasonable way. Stay away from negative labels.

ANT #8: “Personalization” Personalization occurs when innocuous events are taken to have personal meaning. “My boss didn’t talk to me this morning. She must be mad at me.” Or, one feels he or she is the cause of all the bad things that happen, “My son got into an accident with the car. I should have spent more time teaching him to drive. It must be my fault.” There are many other reasons for behavior besides the negative explanations an abnormal limbic system picks out. For example, your boss may not have talked to you because she was preoccupied, upset or in a hurry. You never fully know why people do what they do. Try not to personalize their behavior.

ANT #9 (the most poisonous red ANT): “Blame” Blame is very harmful. When you blame something or someone else for the problems in your life, you become a victim of circumstances and you cannot do anything to change your situation. Many relationships are ruined by people who blame their partners when things go wrong. They take little responsibility for their problems. When something goes wrong at home or at work, they try to find someone to blame. They rarely admit their own problems. Typically, you’ll hear statements from them like: “It wasn’t my fault that….” “That wouldn’t have happened if you had….” “How was I supposed to know….” “It’s your fault that….” The bottom line statement goes something like this: “If only you had done something differently, I wouldn’t be in the predicament I’m in. It’s your fault, and I’m not responsible.” Whenever you blame someone else for the problems in your life, you become powerless to change anything. The “Blame Game” hurts your personal sense of power. Stay away from blaming thoughts and take personal responsibility to change the problems you have.

Summary of A.N.T. Species:

  1. “Always” thinking: thinking in words like always, never, no one, everyone, every time, everything.
  2. Focusing on the negative: only seeing the bad in a situation.
  3. Fortune telling: predicting the worst possible outcome to a situation.
  4. Mind reading: believing that you know what another person is thinking, even though they haven’t told you.
  5. Thinking with your feelings: believing negative feelings without ever questioning them.
  6. Guilt beatings: thinking in words like “should, must, ought or have to.”
  7. Labeling: attaching a negative label to yourself or to someone else.
  8. Personalization: innocuous events are taken to have personal meaning.
  9. Blame: blaming someone else for your own problems.

Selichot[2]

Selichot (Hebrew: סליחות) means 'sorry/forgiveness prayers'.  Selichot are recited from the Sunday before the Jewish New Year until the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  Selichot are aimed for both the individual and communities to atone their sins between man and God.  They are intended for Jews to reflect on their actions of the past year and to refrain from committing the same sins in the next New Year.

Selichot Facts

·     For many Orthodox Jews, Selichot prayers are added to the daily cycle of religious services.  Selichot are recited before normal daily shacharit (morning prayers) service.  They add about 45 minutes to the regular daily service in a typical service.

·     A fundamental part of selichot service is the repeated recitation of the Thirteen Attributes, a list of God's thirteen attributes of mercy that were revealed to Moses after the sin of the golden calf (Ex 34:6-7): Ha-shem [1], Ha-shem [2], God [3], merciful [4], and gracious [5], long-suffering [6], abundant in goodness [7] and truth [8], keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation [9], forgiving iniquity [10] and transgression [11] and sin [12], who cleanses [13].

·     This is the season to begin the process of asking forgiveness for wrongs done to other people.  According to Jewish tradition, God cannot forgive us for sins committed against another person until we have first obtained forgiveness from the person we have wronged.

·     Many of the Selichot prayers are in the form of a main Selichah (forgiveness) prayer and a Pizmon (chorus), which is repeated after each changing Selichah prayer. Some of these Selichot have cantorial music for the Selichah and a repeating tune for the chorus.

Selichot Top Events and Things to Do

·     Consider your position in life and ask God for forgiveness. Use this time to reset your daily habits and think how to change them to the better.

·     Use this period of time to forgive others and as well as ask others for forgiveness. This is often most difficult to do between life partners, parents and children.

·     Many people visit cemeteries at this time, because the awe-inspiring nature of this time makes us reflect on our own life, death, and mortality. Consider visiting the graves of your ancestors, soldiers, or anyone who may have made a positive impact on society.

·     Attend to a Selichot prayer ceremony or watch one on YouTube.  A popular Selichot rendition is by Yitzchak Meir Helfgot.

Preaching God's Forgiveness[3]

Much has been written about the great challenges the Church faces in contemporary culture. The great modern "isms" confront a us daily—relativism, individualism, and consumerism, to name a few.

·       Relativism holds that absolute truth and enduring values are illusory.

·       Individualism gives "strong emphasis [to] the individual and individual choice, which often eclipses the sense of community or of the common good."

·       Consumerism puts "focus on material satisfaction to the detriment of spiritual values".

Given this cultural climate, it is hardly surprising that there is a lack of a sense of sin and a dropping rate of participation in Church life. In fact, the heart of every person in Christ must be about the heart of Jesus Christ, and the central mystery of his life, the Paschal Mystery: "The person and mission of Jesus, culminated in his Death and Resurrection, this is ultimately the central content of all the Scriptures". People of God can understand their own lives properly and be able to see their own experience in the light of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus". In a culture often dominated by relativism, individualism, and consumerism, the proclamation of the salvation of Christ is truly Good News. It allows people to see there is another way; it paves the way for conversion; it brings hope. God can open up a space in the human heart, a space that he alone can fill. Christ is about calling persons back to fruitful participation in the Sacrament of Penance, especially if it has been years since their last confession.

St. Hildegarde[4]





Called the "Sibyl of the Rhine," Hildegard of Bingen became the most famous mystic and prophet of her time. Her writings and music are still found in all major bookstores, and no woman saint is more popular in her native Germany. When she was eight, she was placed in a convent, where she later became abbess. She was a biblical exegete, visionary, preacher, composer, and herbalist, who corresponded with the major royalty and church leaders of her day, including four popes. Her greatest vision came when she was forty-two, which is recorded in her famous Scrivias, or Know the Ways of the Lord, a treatise whose magnificence rivals William Blake's visionary work. Hildegard's spiritual writings found approval during her lifetime, and her lectures on the spiritual life drew crowds from all over Europe. She wrote prolifically, on topics as varied as history and drama, politics and liturgical poetry. Her monastery joyfully sang the praises she wrote. During the last year of her life, when she was eighty-one, she entered into a conflict with ecclesiastical authorities because she allowed a young man who had been excommunicated to be buried in her abbey cemetery, and her convent was placed under interdict. It is probably that, for this reason, Hildegard was never formally canonized, although she is found in all major saints' books and her cult was approved locally because of so many miracles reported at her tomb.

— Excerpted from Women Saints, Madonna Sophia Compton

 

Things to Do:

·        Learn more about St. Hildegarde.

·        Visit Hildegard's Medieval Garden

·        St. Hildegard was a composer, visit this page to read more.

·        Read St. Hildegard of Bingen: A Visionary for All Time 

Constitution Day[5]

Constitution Day commemorates the adoption of the United States Constitution and celebrates the citizens of the United States.  The Constitution was written because the existing charter of government, known as the Articles of Confederation, had resulted in creating a weak and ineffective central government.  The Constitution defines the supreme law of the United States, with each article of the constitution pertaining to aspects such as the congress, president, judicial system, interrelationship between the state and federal government and process of amendments to the Constitution. James Madison, Oliver Ellsworth, Nathaniel Gorham, Alexander Hamilton, William Johnson, Rufus King, Gouverneur Morris, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington wrote the Constitution.  Constitution Day originally began in 1939 with the suggestion of a holiday to celebrate American Citizenship. President Harry Truman then declared that the third Sunday of May become I am American Day. A decade later, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower changed the date to coincide with the signing of the Constitution and renamed it Citizenship Day. Constitution or Citizenship Day is observed annually on September 17th, the same day as the US Constitution was signed in 1787. 

Constitution Day Top Events and Things to Do

·        To learn more about judicial system, read the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution is only a few pages in length and well-organized.

·        Visit the National Museum of American History to view displays about the heritage of the United States. Displays include those related to the political, social, cultural, scientific and military history of the United States, including the Constitution. The museum is located in Washington D.C.

·        The United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and accepted at the floors of Independence Hall, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Visit Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

·        Visit the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It offers a range of activities for kids and adults, videos and educational material about the U.S. Constitution.

·        Watch documentaries relating to the United States Constitution including Constitution USA with Peter Sagal (2013), The Constitution Project (The Documentary Group, 2014), and The United States Constitution (2007).

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

Article 7-THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY

II. The Celebration of Marriage

1621 In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass, because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ. In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up. It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but "one body" in Christ.

1622 "Inasmuch as it is a sacramental action of sanctification, the liturgical celebration of marriage . . . must be, per se, valid, worthy, and fruitful." It is therefore appropriate for the bride and groom to prepare themselves for the celebration of their marriage by receiving the sacrament of penance.

1623 In the Latin Church, it is ordinarily understood that the spouses, as ministers of Christ's grace, mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the Eastern liturgies the minister of this sacrament (which is called "Crowning") is the priest or bishop who, after receiving the mutual consent of the spouses, successively crowns the bridegroom and the bride as a sign of the marriage covenant.

1624 The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God's grace and blessing on the new couple, especially the bride. In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church. The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Individuals with Mental Illness

·       Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: September

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary


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Thursday, May 27, 2021

  Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of  Mary Help of Christians  (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the  Church Triumphant  (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the  Church Suffering  (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the  Church Militant  (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me

Friday, August 26, 2022

 Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA   Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.   Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target.   Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

  Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter PINOT GRIGIO DAY John, Chapter 14, verse 27 Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID .   Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation a messianic blessing. Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again. 10 things happy professionals do before 10 a.m. [1]   Success often seems like a visionary goal — a feat in life that’s attempted only after many strides, plenty of pitfalls and a healthy serving of endurance. However, for those who consider themselves fulfilled by their career, it’s not only a sense of accomplishment and an impressive LinkedIn profile that defines

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

  Introduction to Philippians [1] Philippi, in northeastern Greece, was a city of some importance in the Roman province of Macedonia. Lying on the great road from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, the Via Egnatia, and in the midst of rich agricultural plains near the gold deposits of Mt. Pangaeus, it was in Paul’s day a Roman town, with a Greek-Macedonian population and a small group of Jews. Originally founded in the sixth century B.C. as Krenides by the Thracians, the town was taken over after 360 B.C. by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and was renamed for himself, “Philip’s City.” The area became Roman in the second century B.C. On the plains near Philippi in October 42 B.C., Antony and Octavian decisively defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, the slayers of Julius Caesar. Octavian (Augustus) later made Philippi a Roman colony and settled many veterans of the Roman armies there. Paul established at Philippi the first Christian community in Europe. He c

Sunday, September 4, 2022

  Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost   Acts, Chapter 27, verse 29 FEARING that we would run aground on a rocky coast, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.   Paul was under arrest and was an inmate on a prison ship bound for Rome, when the ship he was on, was in danger of being sunk. Yet, God had not abandoned Paul. His faith saved him and also the crew. Paul in this case really did lead from behind.   The Law of Influence : An Inmate Takes Command (Acts 27:4-44) [1]   1.      Paul built trust which influences his jailer, Julius, to allow special privileges, noting his trustworthiness. 2.      He took the initiative by stepping in when action was needed. 3.      He possessed good judgment through his use of wisdom and experience. 4.      He spoke with authority and credibility based on earlier actions. 5.      He showed optimism and confidence by speaking boldly. 6.      He gave encouragement to the hopeless that feared their

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

LOVE LITIGATING LAWYERS DAY   Acts, Chapter 23, verse 10 The dispute was so serious that the commander, AFRAID that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, ordered his troops to go down and rescue him from their midst and take him into the compound.   During Paul’s time the Jewish people were divided into two camps. Paul in his fearlessness had spoken the truth and it struck a nerve with both sects wanting his death. How often is truth and reason ignored? Men find it easier to fall into camps and rationalize or justify their actions. Christ tells us to use reason much as He did with Thomas and believe. God has given us intelligent foresight as well as the Holy Spirit. The Virtue of Foresight: A Mark of Wisdom [1] The ancient philosophers identified man ’ s capacity for thought by the use of different words for perceiving reality: sensus (the five senses), imaginatio (the ability of the mind to recall pictures from the past or paint pictures of the future), ratio (the abil

Thursday, September 15, 2022

  OUR LADY OF SORROWS   2 Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 3-4 3 Nonetheless, I sent the brothers so that our boast about you might not prove empty in this case, so that you might be ready, as I said, 4 for FEAR that if any Macedonians come with me and find you not ready, we might be put to shame (to say nothing of you) in this conviction.   Christ died for all. This was Paul’s message, yet he was not blind to cultural distrusts, nor should we be, we should be aware of them and work to bring the peace of Christ to all.   At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Mt. 14:27)   Let’s Play Who Hates Who! [1] Indian nationalists hate Muslims, Christians, Whites, Asians and Blacks. Really everyone who is not a Hindu. Chinese nationalists hate Whites, Blacks, Jews, Southeast Asians and the non-Han people of China. Remember Huax? Korean nationalists hate Japanese, Chinese, Whites, Jews, and Blacks. Remember Hacienda? Vietnamese nationalists hate

Friday, September 16, 2022

    2 Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 3 But I am AFRAID that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere [and pure] commitment to Christ.   Paul was concerned here about the faithfulness of the church knowing that where the mind goes so does the heart and soul. We are often plagued by worldly hearts.   Let us listen to the words of Saint John Vianney: The World is Everything and God is Nothing! [1] If people would do for god what they do for the world, my dear people, what a great number of Christians would go to Heaven! But if you, dear children, had to pass three or four hours praying in a church, as you pass them at a dance or in a cabaret, how heavily the time would press upon you! If you had to go to a great many different places in order to hear a sermon, as you go for your pastimes or to satisfy your avarice and greed, what pretexts there would be, and how many detours would be taken to avoid going at all. But nothing is

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

  FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS  2 Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verse 15 And his heart goes out to you all the more, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, when you received him with FEAR and trembling.   We know that if our fear gives way to a deep sense of peace and joy when we seek to be reconciled to God; then it is the holy fear of God and we are on the right path.   Let those turn to me who fear you and acknowledge your decrees. (Ps. 119:79)   The Masculine Spirit [1]   In America we are gradually seeing the wholesale destruction of the masculine spirit. We are so confused many of us don’t know which bathroom to use. Is this just another attempt by Satan to kill the body as God created it? Men and women need to value themselves and value the beneficial characteristics of masculinity and to reject the false images of being male. Men and women were created to be different. They were created to be in partnership, neither one dominating the other, each using their God-g