NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Friday, October 14, 2022

 


Revelation, Chapter 14, Verse 6-7

6Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, with everlasting good news_to announce to those who dwell on earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. 7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for his time has come to sit in judgment. Worship him who made heaven and earth and sea and springs of water.”

 

Note in Revelations [14:613] Three angels proclaim imminent judgment on the pagan world, calling all peoples to worship God the creator. Babylon (Rome) will fall, and its supporters will be tormented forever.

 

In Revelations [14:6] there is Everlasting good news: that God’s eternal reign is about to begin, therefore, Fear not, for God is with you! Trust in Him as you would a mighty fortress in adversity.


Fitness Friday-Sleep[1]

 

Sleep. Something we all need more of, but never seem to get. (If only we had more timeright?) Today we’re going to cover how you can. First stop and think!

 

Sleep is important, and you should get more of it!


 

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)

 

Before we cover why sleep is important, let’s talk about what happens when you don’t get enough For example: If you manage to only get four hours of sleep, a sleep deprived body can actually act similarly to an intoxicated body.

 

Getting less sleep than average regularly? 

 

This is correlated with increased bodyfat percentage, more issues with insulin sensitivity, and even a disproportionate decrease in lean muscle mass when eating a caloric deficit. We all know missing sleep can make us grouchy, miserable, unfocused, and unproductive. I know I’m going to have a crappy day in the gym when I don’t get enough sleep the night before. I know not sleeping enough AFTER a workout day can further hinder the muscle building process.

 

So, what else happens when you don’t get enough sleep?

 

 “One study found that skipped sleep led to a shrinking brain. The heart and kidneys also take a beating as does your blood pressure. You, in fact, put yourself at continually increased risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases, including obesity and diabetes.

 

What is the logical extension of this pattern?

Numerous studies link partial sleep deprivation/disruption and increased mortality risk!”

 

Conversely, let’s talk about the awesomeness that is sleep.  Here are the benefits associated with getting enough shut eye:

 

·       Sleep will enhance your memory performance and creative problem solving skills.  You know, those things that make you smart.

·       Sleep can boost your athletic performance.  And we all know appearance is a consequence of fitness.

·       Sleep triggers the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a huge role in muscle and cellular regeneration.

·       Sleep cuts your risk for the common cold and other basic illnesses.  Less sick days at work = more productivity, more awesome, more leveling up.

·       Sleep makes you more resilient to daily stress..aka more willpower!

 

Moral of the story: Sleep is awesome.  Yes, some adults can function perfectly on only five hours of sleep, while others need 9-10 hours of sleep to thrive. Most people will fall in that 7-9 range for sleeping needs. So let’s get to the root of the problem for most: “I know I need to sleep more, but my day is too busy and I just can’t get to bed sooner or wake up earlier.” First and foremost, you’re not alone. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of all working Americans get six hours or fewer of sleep a night.

 

Does any of this sound like you? I am always freaking tired, and I need five cups of coffee to get through the day. Even on days when I get enough sleep, I wake up groggy. I get to ‘bed’ but I toss and turn and it takes me forever to fall asleep. I hit snooze half a dozen times before miserably crawling out of bed.

 

A perfect night of sleep

 

Let’s imagine a perfect night:  

 

·       You go to bed at a time that you’re happy with.  

·       You’re not stressed out because you didn’t just watch The Walking Dead.

·       You’re reading a good book in bed that’s putting you closer to sleep rather than checking your smart phone or screwing around on the internet (damn you Twitch.tv).  

·       You sleep uninterrupted through the night

·       . You have good dreams.

·       When you wake up, either naturally or with an alarm…you immediately get out of bed, without a single snooze, and you feel damn good.  

·       You then crush your morning routine and dominate your day.

 

If you’re looking at your screen and laughing right now, you’re not alone.  I’d guess this is a pipe dream for a huge majority of our society because they’re not sure how sleep actually works, and thus have NOT made sleep a priority.

 

It’s time to start looking at sleep as one of your most important tasks.

 

How to get better sleep

 

We have a circadian rhythm (a daily biological clock) that ebbs and flows throughout the day. Our body uses outside stimuli and our own activity to produce certain hormones at certain times to make our body more prepared for the required functions at that time (alertness vs restfulness).

 

·       When the sun rose, our bodies are signaled “the day has begun! Get cracking!” We reduce the hormones that make us sleepy and produce more hormones that allow us to do the things that need to get done.

·       As the sun went down, our body starts to produce more melatonin, which produces that sleepy feeling and encourages us to rest/recover.  Our only option for light back then was a candle or campfire. If that went out, we’d have moonlight and nothing else.

·       While sleeping, our bodies knew to cut back on urine production, decrease body temperature, decrease heart rate, and muscle activity.  Our brains are still highly active during our sleeping.

 

Unfortunately, these days, our bodies aren’t tied to the rise and fall of that giant ball of gas above us. Instead, we use electricity, alarm clocks, computer screens, smart phone screens, and all other sorts of outside stimuli to adjust our natural sleeping schedule. This means that our bodies often have no effin’ clue what time it is!

 

Here’s how we can get back to our roots:

 

Trying to get to bed sooner or fall asleep sooner? Limit your exposure to the blue glow of your computer screens, TV screens, and phones later in the evening.  Our bodies look at blue light and think “Sun is up! Sky is blue! Energy! WEEE!” Conversely, lights with a red/orange hue are more reminiscent of a campfire or candle.  

 

·       If you are somebody who has to spend time on your computer at night, consider installing a program like F.lux – it syncs with the sunrise and sunset in your time zone, gradually shifting your screens hue from Blue and bright to red and dim.  I’ve been using the app for over a week now and have quickly adjusted to it.

·       Purchase old-man blue blocker glasses which limits the colors your eyes are exposed to after the sun has gone.

·       Consider purchasing red lightbulbs to install in your bedroom.

·       Consider getting black-out curtains for your bedroom windows, especially if you live in a city.

·       No TV in bed.  This might be incredibly difficult for you if you’ve been falling asleep to TV for years.  Instead of falling asleep with the blue glow of a TV at the foot of your bed, read a book – real books or read on a Kindle, no iPads! trust me, it will put you right to sleep.

·       Buy the right TYPE of Mattress for you

·       Have allergies? Try a hypoallergenic pillowcase!  Your allergies could be affecting you while you sleep and having the proper pillowcase can make a world of a difference.

 

How to get more sleep

 

So we’ve covered how to get BETTER sleep, what if you also need to get more of it? In order to start getting more sleep, sleep must become more of a priority. If you constantly stay up too late because things need to get done, evaluate how your time is spent after work. Seriously, think about it!

 

Are you doing the important tasks first?

 

Are you watching late night shows long after they’ve become enjoyable, simply because your DVR records them?

 

Are you checking your smart phone while in bed, watching Vine videos, or using your laptop to watch more shows you don’t really care about on Netflix?

 

Here are the best practical tips for giving you the greatest chance at getting into bed earlier:

 

·       Don’t drink caffeine after lunch if possible.  Caffeine can have an effect up to 6 hours after consumption.  We love caffeine for many reasons (in moderation); however, you want to make sure its not consumed too late or your body will revolt.

 

·       Turn off the electronics sooner.  I have to enforce a “laptops closed by 11PM” or a “TV off after 10PM” rule on many nights or I never get to bed. I get lost in internetland far too easily.  Putting in actual barriers really helps.  If you find yourself checking Facebook and Twitter and other sites incessantly, BLOCK YOURSELF from those sites after a certain time.

·       Stop watching crap TV shows! DVRs can be helpful, but it’s so easy to record shows without second thought…and then we end up spending WAY too much time watching TV.  

·       Shift things by 15 minutes every week. If you want to get to bed sooner, don’t just try to get to bed an hour earlier than normal. You’ll probably lie in bed for that whole hour wondering why you can’t fall asleep, stressing yourself out and making things worse. I shifted my pattern by waking up 15 minutes earlier and getting to bed 15 minutes sooner. Then I repeated that process over a series of weeks. Eventually, you can shift your bedtime by an hour or two but do it gradually!

 

How to wake up better

 

Is there any more annoying sound in the world than the “beep beep beep” of an alarm clock?  So here you are, dreaming about riding a dragon with Daenerys Targaryen, doing improv with Liam Neeson, and playing poker with Iron Man and Spock…and that damn alarm clock wakes you up.  You are now incredibly groggy and miserable.

 

Here’s what’s happening: Remember earlier how we talked about different sleep cycles?  Depending on which cycle you were woken up during, your body can struggle to move from “asleep” to “wide awake.” Wake up in the right phase and you can feel energized and ready to go. Wake up in the wrong phase and you will feel lethargic and sleepy. Because we’re often waking up at times when we’re not ready to wake up, we need to use technology to our advantage.

 

This is why snoozing is a horrible idea!

 

Instead of snoozing, set your alarm for 30 minutes later and SKIP snoozing entirely.  If this is an issue for you, put your alarm across the room so you need to physically get out of bed to turn it off! 

I’ve been using the Sleep Cycle App to wake up and it’s been really interesting. You simply put the time in which you want to wake up, put your phone on your bed, and it will wake you up slowly and quietly in at the best point in a 30-minute window. Because it also tracks your sleep incredibly accurately, it’s probably the best 99 cents I’ve ever spent on an app. Try a dawn-simulator alarm clock.  Rather than waking yourself up in the pitch black with a disgusting beeping noise, why not gradually rise as if there was a natural sunrise in your room?

 

Still feeling groggy? Go for a walk first thing; a mile every morning, if you can.   Walking outside and seeing that blue sky can trigger your body to release the hormones that encourage you to feel more awake and alive.

 

What about naps?

 

Although generally not part of a day here in the states, we’re actually programmed to desire a quick nap in the early afternoon. In other countries, naps are more socially acceptable (Siesta?  Si, por favor!).  If you feel bad that you get tired in the early afternoon, it’s not because you’re lazy. It’s because you’re naturally wired for naptime.  Now, you might still be lazy, but it’s not related to your nap schedule.

 

What about second sleep? Biphasic Sleep is sleeping in two distinct periods. We’re gonna go back in the day again: during winter months, night time could last 12-14 hours. With our bodies production of melatonin (the “sleepy time” hormone) kicking into high gear when that sun drops, people had nothing else to do (no TV, PS4, or iPads) and would fall asleep  early. Then they would wake up for an hour or two in the middle of the night to read, pray, or think, and then fall back asleep for another 4-5 hours before waking up for the day.

 

If you’ve ever gone to bed at a normal hour, and then woke up in the middle of the night without being able to fall back asleep for an hour or so, you know what I’m talking about. Here’s the thing: this is actually quite natural! Rather than freaking the heck out and lying in bed wondering why you can’t fall asleep…consider it something that is more common than our current sleep schedule. Don’t be afraid to turn on the light and read a book or use the time for meditation until you can fall back asleep. This one ‘mental shift’ alone can keep your stress levels down and let you get back to sleep faster and provide you with BETTER sleep.

 

 Fish on Friday

 

Why Fish on Friday?[2]

 

Many major world religions have dietary rules which are meant to be followed for a period of time (e.g., Ramadan, Lent) or are prescribed lifestyles (e.g., Kosher, Halal).  The practice of eating fish on Friday – still followed by many Catholics today – was written about in the first century A.D.  According to Christian teaching, Jesus died on a Friday, and people fasted as a sacrifice in his memory.   While fasting is part of many religious traditions, it does not always mean abstention from all food and drink.  In this case, fasting meant that people stopped eating the flesh of warm-blooded animals on Fridays; cold-blooded fish could still be consumed.

 

Fish has been an important part of human diet from the time of Stone Age hunter‐gatherers, who ate the meat of warm-blooded animals, plants and fish. Some of our earliest cookbooks are clay tablets from the 18th century B.C. (housed in Yale University’s Babylonian Collection) that include recipes for preparing fish.  Fish has always been a primary ingredient in Jewish cookery because it was plentiful, easy to prepare, and symbolized fertility and prosperity.

 

Additional symbolism has been attached to fish (the Old Testament’s claim that God created fish and marine life on the fifth day (Friday), most of the apostles were fishermen who then became “fishers of men” who gathered converts to Christianity, and the use of the fish symbol in early Christianity).  Fish were also important to the Greeks, Romans, and other pagans who used the fish symbol prior to its adoption by Christians.  This meant that early Christians could use the mark without drawing undesired attention to themselves.   

 

The 4th century Council of Nicea formalized the tradition of 40 days of Lent (from Ash Wednesday to Easter), during which only weekdays are counted as fasting days when it was forbidden to eat meat (including poultry), animal fats, milk, or eggs. The medieval Christian calendar named even more meat-free days:  Fridays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, Advent (the weeks before Christmas) and Lent (the weeks before Easter).  Some suggest that the medieval Catholic Church increased the number of fasting days/fish days to prop up the fishing economy dominant in monasteries, however Brian Fagan (UC Santa Barbara) and Michael Foley (Baylor University) both discredit this theory.

 

It has also been suggested that the timing of fasting from meat and dairy products in Spring is not coincidental. Rather, it comes at a time when stored provisions might be running low, fields are bare, ewes are not lambing, and hens are laying fewer eggs. Fasting in Spring also pre-dates the Christian era.  In addition, many fish varieties are high in B Vitamins, Niacin, and Folate, which would offer nutritional benefits after a winter of weak sunshine and a declining choice of vegetables.

 

The fish industry was well-established and vital to the medieval economy.  Descriptions, depictions (including 130 churches with relevant wall paintings, and artifacts of fishing are plentiful from the Middle Ages (5th - 15th century).  The use of fishhooks, spears, nets, traps, and even fish farming was widespread throughout Europe.  Sometime around 1000 AD, there was a shift from the consumption of locally caught freshwater fish to ocean caught fish.  While this might have been a response to overfishing of local fish, dried Scandinavian cod appears as an important traded commodity. The drying and smoking of herring and cod as a way of preserving them for eating later, in the centuries before refrigeration, made fishing a growth industry. Vikings, who were expert at preserving cod, were sailing first to Iceland and Greenland, and then onto Newfoundland to fish where Atlantic cod were plentiful.

 

Vikings were thought to have developed an early sun compass, allowing them during mid summers to measure the declination of the sun to keep them on latitude courses, thus able to steer relatively straight courses to and from these areas across the North Atlantic. In this way, the growing demand for fish spurred advances in Medieval navigation and the discovery of new lands.

 

Fish fasting continued to stimulate growth in seafood right up into modern times and played quite a role here in the development of North America’s cod and other fishing industries. Fast-forwarding to the twentieth century, when an early McDonald’s franchise owner wrestled with the challenge of selling burgers on Friday, he developed the solution in the ever-popular Filet-O-Fish sandwich. Indeed, when the Pope scaled back Fish Fridays in the 1960s to just the 40-day period of Lent, cod prices dropped dramatically as demand fell for a period of time.


 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

CHAPTER ONE THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

Article 2-OUR VOCATION TO BEATITUDE

Article 4 THE MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS

IN BRIEF

1757 The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the three "sources" of the morality of human acts.

1758 The object chosen morally specifies the act of willing accordingly as reason recognizes and judges it good or evil.

1759 "An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention" (cf St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. 6). the end does not justify the means.

1760 A morally good act requires the goodness of its object, of its end, and of its circumstances together.

1761 There are concrete acts that it is always wrong to choose, because their choice entails a disorder of the will, i.e., a moral evil. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.

Daily Devotions

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

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: October

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary



[1]https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/are-you-making-these-mistakes-with-your-sleep/

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