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NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Friday, October 28, 2022

 

FEAST OF ST. SIMON AND JUDE

 

Acts, Chapter 15, Verse 24-26

24 Since we have heard that some of our number [who went out] without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your PEACE of mind, 25 we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The issue that caused the disruption of peace in the new church was whether it was necessary for salvation for one to be circumcised. It was determined that it was not and that it was prudent not to lay on the new gentiles any burden that was not necessary for salvation. It was determined that the gentiles should abstain from:

 

1.     Things offered to idols.

2.     Blood.

3.     Things strangled.

4.     Sexual immorality.

 

One Prohibition, Not Four[1]

 

But these "essential abstinences” were not references to fragments of the Mosaic Law at all. This short list of things to avoid was the very essentials that divided believing Gentile from unbelieving Gentile. They divided Christian from idolater. Each of these four "essential" things to avoid were not four things, but one. They were meant to be read as "never again worship idols by eating with the idolaters in the sacrificial meals, drinking the cup of blood at the idol sacrifice ceremonies, do not ceremoniously eat the flesh of animals strangled during the worship of idols, and abstain from ritual acts of fornication with temple prostitutes". In other words, these four seemingly disassociated prohibitions were completely unified around one theme: Christians cannot serve God and idols. One cannot worship God and also worship idols. Also take note of the things cited: idols, blood, flesh, unity. Idols are the false gods. Drinking blood is the false wine of the idol’s communion cup. Strangled flesh is the false body of the idol’s communion dinner. And the temple prostitute is the false unity of the idol’s servants. The things listed are the false communion in the service of the idol. Again, to abstain from those things is essential.

Feast of Saint Simon and Jude[2]

ST. SIMON and St. Jude were probably brothers; the former received the surname Canaanite, to distinguish him from Simon Peter, either because he was a native of Cana, or because of his zeal for Christ (Luke v L 15; Acts i. 13). Judas was surnamed Thaddeus, or Lebbeus, to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. Both were chosen apostles by Christ and were constant witnesses of His life and deeds. It is related of them in the Martyrology that the light of faith was communicated to Egypt and other countries of Africa by Simon, and to Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Greater Armenia by Thaddeus. Meeting in Persia and propagating the Christian faith there by their preaching and miracles, they both gained the crown of martyrdom. There is extant an epistle of St. Jude which the Church has incorporated into the Holy Scriptures. From these two apostles learn to have zeal for the glory of God, for your own salvation and for that of your neighbor.

Prayer.

O God, Who, by means of Thy blessed apostles Simon and Jude, hast granted us to come to the knowledge of Thy name, grant that we may celebrate their eternal glory by making progress in virtue and improve by this celebration.

EPISTLE. Ephes. iv. 7-13.

Brethren: To every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the giving of Christ. Wherefore He saith: Ascending on high He led captivity captive; He gave gifts to men. Now that He ascended, what is it, but because He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ.

GOSPEL. John xv. 17-25.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember My word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake: because they know not Him that sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth Me, hateth My Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin: but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: They hated Me without cause.

Explanation.

From the fact that Christ and His disciples were hated and persecuted by the world the greatest consolation and encouragement may be derived by those who are obliged to suffer mockery, contempt, and persecution because they are not of the world; that is, because they do not follow its foolish principles and sinful customs. But they who, to escape the derision and hatred of the world, side with it, rather than with Christ, may learn to be ashamed of their cowardice and baseness. For as it is an honor to the servant to be treated like his master, so it is a great disgrace to him to be treated better than his master; if, then, the master is pleased to submit to the hatred and persecution of the world, why do his servants refuse to do so? When Christ says that the Jews could not excuse themselves on the ground that they did not know Him, but had hated and persecuted Him when it was easy for them to have known Him by His works, He teaches us that ignorance is not in every case an excuse for sin. Those Christians, therefore, are in the highest degree culpable who, like the Jews, might easily learn what they ought to believe and do, but who fail to do so either through maliciousness or neglect, and accordingly remain in ignorance by their own fault. Acting in this kind of ignorance, they become guilty of sin, and will be justly condemned forever. It is otherwise with men who, without any fault of theirs, hear nothing of Christ or of the true faith, on account of which they are not punishable, but who will be condemned for such sins as they commit against that natural law which is inscribed on the heart of every man.

Saint Simon and Jude[3]

St. Simon is represented in art with a saw, the instrument of his martyrdom. St. Jude's square points him out as an architect of the house of God. St. Paul called himself by this name; and St. Jude, by his Catholic Epistle, has also a special right to be reckoned among our Lord's principal workmen. But our apostle had another nobility, far surpassing all earthly titles: being nephew, by his father Cleophas or Alpheus, to St. Joseph, and legal cousin to the Man-God, Jude was one of those called by their compatriots the brethren of the carpenter's Son. We may gather from St. John's Gospel another precious detail concerning him. In the admirable discourse at the close of the last Supper, our Lord said: "He that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him." Then Jude asked Him: "Lord, how is it, that Thou wilt manifest Thyself to us, and not to the world?" And he received from Jesus this reply: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My word. And the word which you have heard is not Mine, but the Fathers who sent Me."

St. Jude Patron: Desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes; diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida.


 

St. Simon Patron: Curriers; sawmen; sawyers; tanners.


Charity[4]

Traditional Jews give at least ten percent of their income to charity.

·       Traditional Jewish homes commonly have a pushke, a box for collecting coins for the poor, and coins are routinely placed in the box. Jewish youths are continually going from door to door collecting for various worthy causes.

·       A standard mourner's prayer includes a statement that the mourner will make a donation to charity in memory of the deceased.

·       In many ways, charitable donation has taken the place of animal sacrifice in Jewish life: giving to charity is an almost instinctive Jewish response to express thanks to G-d, to ask forgiveness from G-d, or to request a favor from G-d.

·       According to Jewish tradition, the spiritual benefit of giving to the poor is so great that a beggar actually does the giver a favor by giving a person the opportunity to perform tzedakah.

The Meaning of the Word "Tzedakah"

"Tzedakah" is the Hebrew word for the acts that we call "charity" in English: giving aid, assistance and money to the poor and needy or to other worthy causes.

·       The nature of tzedakah is very different from the idea of charity. The word "charity" suggests benevolence and generosity, a magnanimous act by the wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor and needy.

·       The word "tzedakah" is derived from the Hebrew root Tzadei-Dalet-Qof, meaning righteousness, justice or fairness.

·       In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.

The Obligation of Tzedakah

Giving to the poor is an obligation in Judaism, a duty that cannot be forsaken even by those who are themselves in need.

·       Tzedakah is the highest of all commandments, equal to all of them combined, and that a person who does not perform tzedakah is equivalent to an idol worshipper.

·       This is probably hyperbole, but it illustrates the importance of tzedakah in Jewish thought.

·       Tzedakah is one of the three acts that gain us forgiveness from our sins.

·       The High Holiday liturgy repeatedly states that G-d has inscribed a judgment against all who have sinned, but teshuvah (repentance), tefilah (prayer) and tzedakah can alleviate the decree. See Days of Awe.

·       According to Jewish law, we are required to give one-tenth of our income to the poor.

·       This is generally interpreted as one-tenth of our net income after payment of taxes.

·       Taxes themselves do not fulfill our obligation to give tzedakah, even though a significant portion of tax revenues in America and many other countries are used to provide for the poor and needy.

·       Those who are dependent on public assistance or living on the edge of subsistence may give less, but must still give to the extent they are able; however, no person should give so much that he would become a public burden.

·       The obligation to perform tzedakah can be fulfilled by giving money to the poor, to health care institutions, to synagogues or to educational institutions.

·       It can also be fulfilled by supporting your children beyond the age when you are legally required to, or supporting your parents in their old age.

·       The obligation includes giving to both Jews and gentiles; contrary to popular belief, Jews do not just "take care of our own." Quite the contrary, a study reported in the Jewish Journal indicated that Jewish "mega-donors" (who give more than $10 million a year to charity) found that only 6% of their mega-dollars went to specifically Jewish causes.

·       Judaism acknowledges that many people who ask for charity have no genuine need. In fact, the Talmud suggests that this is a good thing: if all people who asked for charity were in genuine need, we would be subject to punishment (from G-d) for refusing anyone who asked.

·       The existence of frauds diminishes our liability for failing to give to all who ask, because we have some legitimate basis for doubting the beggar's sincerity.

·       It is permissible to investigate the legitimacy of a charity before donating to it.

·       We have an obligation to avoid becoming in need of tzedakah.

·       A person should take any work that is available, even if he thinks it is beneath his dignity, to avoid becoming a public charge.

·       However, if a person is truly in need and has no way to obtain money on his own, he should not feel embarrassed to accept tzedakah.

·       No person should feel too proud to take money from others.

·       It is considered a transgression to refuse tzedakah. One source says that to make yourself suffer by refusing to accept tzedakah is equivalent to shedding your own blood.

Levels of Tzedakah

Certain kinds of tzedakah are considered more meritorious than others. The Talmud describes these different levels of tzedakah, and Rambam organized them into a list. The levels of charity, from the least meritorious to the most meritorious, are:

  1. Giving begrudgingly
  2. Giving less that you should but giving it cheerfully.
  3. Giving after being asked
  4. Giving before being asked
  5. Giving when you do not know the recipient's identity, but the recipient knows your identity
  6. Giving when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient doesn't know your identity
  7. Giving when neither party knows the other's identity
  8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant

Fitness Friday:

15 Qualities You Need to Develop Mental Toughness[5]

Mental toughness is a huge indicator of success.

Here’s how to know if you’ve got it.

When Thomas Edison's factory burned to the ground in 1914, destroying one-of-a-kind prototypes and causing $23 million in damage, Edison's response was simple: "Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again." Edison's reaction is the epitome of mental toughness—seeing opportunity and taking action when things look bleak. There are habits you can develop to improve your mental toughness. In fact, the hallmarks of mentally tough people are actually strategies that you can begin using today.

1. Emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the cornerstone of mental toughness. You cannot be mentally tough without the ability to fully understand and tolerate strong negative emotions and do something productive with them. Moments that test your mental toughness are ultimately testing your emotional intelligence (EQ). Unlike your IQ, which is fixed, your EQ is a flexible skill that you can improve with understanding and effort. It's no wonder that 90 percent of top performers have high EQs, and that people with high EQs earn $28,000 more annually (on average) than their low-EQ counterparts. Unfortunately, EQ skills are in short supply. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people, and we've found that just 36 percent of these are able to accurately identify their emotions as they happen.

2. Confidence. "Whether you think you can or think you can't—you're right." —Henry Ford. Mentally tough people subscribe to Ford's notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed. This notion isn't just a motivational tool—it's a fact. A recent study at the University of Melbourne showed that confident people went on to earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than others did. True confidence—as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities—has a look all its own. Mentally tough people have an upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because their confidence inspires others and helps them to make things happen.

3. The ability to neutralize toxic people. Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. Mentally tough people control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their emotions and don't allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person's standpoint and are able to find common ground and solutions to problems. Even when things completely derail, mentally tough people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

4. Knowing how to embrace change. Mentally tough people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur. Only when you embrace change can you find the good in it. You need to have an open mind and open arms if you're going to recognize, and capitalize on, the opportunities that change creates. You're bound to fail when you keep doing the same things you always have in the hope that ignoring change will make it go away. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

5. Saying no. Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco showed that the more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Mentally tough people know that saying no is healthy, and they have the self-esteem and foresight to make their noes clear. When it's time to say no, mentally tough people avoid phrases such as "I don't think I can" or "I'm not certain." They say no with confidence because they know that saying no to a new commitment honors their existing commitments and gives them the opportunity to successfully fulfill them. The mentally tough also know how to exert self-control by saying no to themselves. They delay gratification and avoid impulsive action that causes harm.

6. Knowing that fear is the No. 1 source of regret. Mentally tough people know that, when all is said and done, they will lament the chances they didn't take far more than they will their failures. Don't be afraid to take risks. I often hear people say, "What's the worst thing that can happen to you? Will it kill you?" Yet, death isn't the worst thing that can happen to you. The worst thing that can happen to you is allowing yourself to die inside while you're still alive. It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

7. Embracing failure … Mentally tough people embrace failure because they know that the road to success is paved with it. No one ever experienced true success without first embracing failure. By revealing when you're on the wrong path, your mistakes pave the way for you to succeed. The biggest breakthroughs typically come when you're feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It's this frustration that forces you to think differently, to look outside the box, and to see the solution that you've been missing.

8. … Without dwelling on mistakes. Mentally tough people know that where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you're facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress, which hinders performance. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy, which produces positive emotions and improves performance. Mentally tough people distance themselves from their mistakes, but they do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success.

9. Refusing to let anyone limit your joy …When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction is derived from comparing yourself with others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When mentally tough people feel good about something they do, they won't let anyone's opinions or accomplishments take that away from them. While it's impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don't have to compare yourself with others, and you can always take people's opinions with a grain of salt. Mentally tough people know that regardless of what people think of them at any particular moment, one thing is certain—they're never as good or bad as people say they are.

10. … And not limiting the joy of others. Mentally tough people don't pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don't need to take other people down a notch to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself with other people is limiting. Jealousy and resentment suck the life right out of you; they're massive energy-stealers. Mentally tough people don't waste time or energy sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up. Instead of wasting your energy on jealousy, funnel that energy into appreciation. When you celebrate the success of other people, you both benefit.

11. Exercising. A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more socially, intellectually, and athletically competent. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher. Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, which is key to mental toughness, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.

12. Getting enough sleep. It's difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your mental toughness. When you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity when you're awake. Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while you're asleep, so when you don't get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think—something no amount of caffeine can fix. Mentally tough people know that their self-control, focus, and memory are all reduced when they don't get enough—or the right kind—of sleep, so they make quality sleep a top priority.

13. Limiting caffeine intake. Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you but not so great when life throws you a curve. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine's long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. Mentally tough people know that too much caffeine is trouble, and they don't let it get the better of them.

14. Not waiting for an apology to forgive. Mentally tough people know that life goes a lot smoother once you let go of grudges and forgive even those who never say they're sorry. Grudges let negative events from your past ruin today's happiness. Hate and anger are emotional parasites that destroy your joy in life. The negative emotions that come with holding on to a grudge create a stress response in your body and holding on to stress can have devastating consequences (both physically and mentally). When you forgive someone, it doesn't condone their actions; it simply frees you from being their eternal victim.

15. Being relentlessly positive. Keep your eyes on the news for any length of time, and you'll see that it's just one endless cycle of war, violent attacks, fragile economies, failing companies, and environmental disasters. It's easy to think the world is headed downhill fast. And who knows? Maybe it is. But mentally tough people don't worry about that because they don't get caught up in things they can't control. Instead of trying to start a revolution overnight, they focus their energy on directing the two things that are completely within their power--their attention and their effort.

Bringing it all together.

Mental toughness is not an innate quality bestowed upon a select few. It can be achieved and enjoyed.

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 7-THE VIRTUES

III. The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit

1830 The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.

Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

1832 The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. the tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Binding and suppressing the Devils Evil Works.

·       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

·       Friday Fish: Halibut

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary



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  Saints, Feast, Family - Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring  - May 4 The month of Mary: A Marian Month Saint of the day: St. Florian Patron Saint of chimneysweeps; firefighters; soap boilers; brewers; protector from floods, fires, battles & drowning  First Saturday ST. FLORIAN National Prayer-Derby-Star Wars Holocaust Remembrance Day at Sundown   Job, Chapter 33, Verse 7 Therefore, FEAR of me should not dismay you, nor should I weigh heavily upon you.   Although this is the young man Elihu speaking to Job and contradicting him, yet if we just look at the verse alone; could it be Christ is speaking to our hearts? Are you afraid to believe? Are you unsure of your ability to carry the burden of true religious convictions? Assuage your fears and begin, yesterday was our Lady’s commemoration of her assumption into heaven. She is the first of the warrior saints to enter heaven. She is our mother and wants us to entertain the same joys of eter

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Saints, Feast, Family - Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring  - May 9 The month of Mary: A Marian Month Saint of the day: Prophet Isaiah  Tunisian stew  Meatballs and broth served with beans and spinach over couscous. Thursday Ascension of the Lord   Job, Chapter 39, Verse 22 He laughs at FEAR and cannot be terrified; he does not retreat from the sword.   Here is the full response of God to Job about his creation of the horse.   Do you give the horse his strength, and clothe his neck with a mane? Do you make him quiver like a locust, while his thunderous snorting spreads terror?   He paws the valley, he rejoices in his strength, and charges into battle. He laughs at fear and cannot be terrified; he does not retreat from the sword. Around him rattles the quiver, flashes the spear and the javelin. Frenzied and trembling he devours the ground; he does not hold back at the sound of the trumpet; a t the trumpet’s call he cries, “Aha!” Even from a