Monday, October 10, 2022
Monday Night at the Movies
Fred Zinnemann, A Man for All Seasons, 1966
Introduction to Revelation
The Apocalypse, or Revelation to John, the last book of the Bible, is one of the most difficult to understand because it abounds in unfamiliar and extravagant symbolism, which at best appears unusual to the modern reader. Symbolic language, however, is one of the chief characteristics of apocalyptic literature, of which this book is an outstanding example. Such literature enjoyed wide popularity in both Jewish and Christian circles from ca. 200 B.C. to A.D. 200. This book contains an account of visions in symbolic and allegorical language borrowed extensively from the Old Testament, especially Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Daniel. Whether or not these visions were real experiences of the author or simply literary conventions employed by him is an open question. This much, however, is certain: symbolic descriptions are not to be taken as literal descriptions, nor is the symbolism meant to be pictured realistically. One would find it difficult and repulsive to visualize a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes; yet Jesus Christ is described in precisely such words. The author used these images to suggest Christ’s universal (seven) power (horns) and knowledge (eyes). A significant feature of apocalyptic writing is the use of symbolic colors, metals, garments, and numbers (four signifies the world, six imperfection, seven totality or perfection, twelve Israel’s tribes or the apostles, one thousand immensity). Finally, the vindictive language in the book is also to be understood symbolically and not literally. The cries for vengeance on the lips of Christian martyrs that sound so harsh are in fact literary devices the author employed to evoke in the reader and hearer a feeling of horror for apostasy and rebellion that will be severely punished by God. The lurid descriptions of the punishment of Jezebel and of the destruction of the great harlot, Babylon, are likewise literary devices. The metaphor of Babylon as harlot would be wrongly construed if interpreted literally. On the other hand, the stylized figure of the woman clothed with the sun, depicting the New Israel, may seem to be a negative stereotype. It is necessary to look beyond the literal meaning to see that these images mean to convey a sense of God’s wrath at sin in the former case and trust in God’s providential care over the church in the latter. The Book of Revelation cannot be adequately understood except against the historical background that occasioned its writing. Like Daniel and other apocalypses, it was composed as resistance literature to meet a crisis. The book itself suggests that the crisis was ruthless persecution of the early church by the Roman authorities; the harlot Babylon symbolizes pagan Rome, the city on seven hills. The book is, then, an exhortation and admonition to Christians of the first century to stand firm in the faith and to avoid compromise with paganism, despite the threat of adversity and martyrdom; they are to await patiently the fulfillment of God’s mighty promises. The triumph of God in the world of men and women remains a mystery, to be accepted in faith and longed for in hope. It is a triumph that unfolded in the history of Jesus of Nazareth and continues to unfold in the history of the individual Christian who follows the way of the cross, even, if necessary, to a martyr’s death. Though the perspective is eschatological—ultimate salvation and victory are said to take place at the end of the present age when Christ will come in glory at the parousia—the book presents the decisive struggle of Christ and his followers against Satan and his cohorts as already over. Christ’s overwhelming defeat of the kingdom of Satan ushered in the everlasting reign of God. Even the forces of evil unwittingly carry out the divine plan, for God is the sovereign Lord of history. The Book of Revelation had its origin in a time of crisis, but it remains valid and meaningful for Christians of all time. In the face of apparently insuperable evil, either from within or from without, all Christians are called to trust in Jesus’ promise, “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age”. Those who remain steadfast in their faith and confidence in the risen Lord need have no fear. Suffering, persecution, even death by martyrdom, though remaining impenetrable mysteries of evil, do not comprise an absurd dead end. No matter what adversity or sacrifice Christians may endure, they will in the end triumph over Satan and his forces because of their fidelity to Christ the victor. This is the enduring message of the book; it is a message of hope and consolation and challenge for all who dare to believe. The author of the book calls himself John, who because of his Christian faith has been exiled to the rocky island of Patmos, a Roman penal colony. Although he never claims to be John the apostle, whose name is attached to the fourth gospel, he was so identified by several of the early church Fathers, including Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Hippolytus. This identification, however, was denied by other Fathers, including Denis of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen, and John Chrysostom. Indeed, vocabulary, grammar, and style make it doubtful that the book could have been put into its present form by the same person(s) responsible for the fourth gospel. Nevertheless, there are definite linguistic and theological affinities between the two books. The tone of the letters to the seven churches is indicative of the great authority the author enjoyed over the Christian communities in Asia. It is possible, therefore, that he was a disciple of John the apostle, who is traditionally associated with that part of the world. The date of the book in its present form is probably near the end of the reign of Domitian (A.D. 81–96), a fierce persecutor of the Christians.
OCTOBER 10 Monday
COLUMBUS DAY HOLIDAY-World Mental Health Day
Revelation, Chapter 1, Verse 17-18
17 When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be AFRAID. I am the first and the last, 18 the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld.
All have sinned; all are unjust. Have you ever thought “Now comes the reckoning for his blood” as Joseph’s brothers did (OT: coat of many colors)? Yet, the Lord has touched us, and it is important to note that he has touched us with his right hand; signifying power, forgiveness and authority saying, “Do not be afraid”.
Saint Pope John Paul II was an
example of someone who walked through the valley of the shadow of death and feared
no evil. The Lord’s rod and staff sustained him through the nightmare of the
Nazis and the Communists. Both were evil empires devoted to the destruction of
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all except for the few selected elites. These empires systematically replaced God
with the rule of the chosen ones of the State. People from both the Fatherland
and the Motherland sat by and watched the evil grow without taking decisive
action, making the adage ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that
good men (or women) do nothing.’ Remember to measure our nation and our
politics with Gods Rod (Rods were
often used in ancient times to measure) and not the political States or the
media nor the opinion of the rich and the powerful. Let us be ever ready to
speak up for what is righteous using Gods rod, which are His laws of justice
and mercy, working tirelessly and remember Saint Pope John Paul II words of
encouragement, “I plead with you –
never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become
discouraged. Be not afraid.”
Let us also carry with us for the journey the Staff of God which is truth, not worldly truth but Gods truth. “The word of truth, publicly, indeed almost liturgically, proclaimed was the antidote the Rhapsodic Theater sought to apply to the violent lies of the Occupation. The tools for fighting evil included speaking truth to power.” 
Satan has in the past assailed us by evil governments; is it any wonder that having been unsuccessful; that now the attack comes from within. Let us remember it is Christ who holds the keys to death and the netherworld.
Columbus Day is the celebration of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born explorer who discovered the Americas for the Spanish King Ferdinand of Spain. Columbus set off into the Atlantic with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Two months later he would set foot on the Bahamas and establish settlements on Hispanola Island (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Upon his return to Spain, he spoke of gold in the New World and thus the Americas were opened up for European colonization. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared October 12th every year as Columbus Day. In the US, Columbus Day is celebrated by all US states except for Hawaii, South Dakota and Alaska. Columbus Day now occurs on the second Monday in October each year.
Columbus Day Facts & Quotes
· Colorado was the first state to officially recognize and celebrate Columbus Day in 1906.
· Christopher Columbus' first settlement on Hispaniola Island was called Villa de Navidad (Christmas Town)
· In 1971, the official holiday was moved to the second Monday in October in order to give workers in the US a long weekend. This was part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
· Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. - Robert F. Kennedy
· You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Christopher Columbus
Columbus Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend a Columbus Day Parade. The parade in New York City is one of the largest.
· Eat some good Italian food.
· Watch a parade.
· Visit the Library of Congress's online exhibit 1492: An Ongoing Voyage.
· Host a scavenger hunt for the neighborhood kids and let them become Explorers for the afternoon.
Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity. The Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works. The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world's foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities. The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to 15,342 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine, and South Korea
World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day seeks to raise awareness of mental health illnesses while educating the population and mobilizing efforts to support mental health. Mental health, which includes a person's emotional, psychological and social well-being, has become increasingly important in recent decades as an estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In 1992, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) established World Mental Health Day in an effort to promote education and advocate for mental health sufferers. The Foundation aims to provide further awareness and assistance for those suffering from a wide range of mental disorders in the hopes of saving lives and increasing quality of life for these individuals. World Mental Health Day is celebrated annually on October 10th.
World Mental Health Day Facts & Quotes
· Depression can lead to suicide. More than 800,000 people worldwide take their own lives every year. Compare this to the 200,000 from COVID to get an idea of the problem.
· Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the world for individuals 15 to 44. Suicide rates have increased by 60% over the past 45 years.
· 10-20% of children in the world experience a mental disorder. It is the leading cause of disability in youth.
· I used to think that the worst thing in like was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone. - Robin Williams, actor who committed suicide in 2014
World Mental Health Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Volunteer your time at an organization that works with child mental health. Depression is a growing concern among children and organizations such as Big Brothers and Sisters of America, Teen Mental Health, NAMI and Children's Mental Health can help you find a local area to help your youth.
· Watch a movie that touches on mental health issues or particular disorders. Some of our favorites are
1) Bipolar: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
2) Schizophrenia: A Beautiful Mind (2001)
3) OCD: As Good as It Gets (1997)
4) Suicide: The Virgin Suicides (1999)
5) Alzheimer's: Still Alice (2014)
6) Borderline Personality: Girl, Interrupted (1999)
7) Depression: Inside Out (2015)
8) Post Traumatic Stress: Jacob's Ladder (1990)
· Read a book about mental disorders. Some of our picks: The Bell Jar, Thirteen Reasons Why and All the Bright Places
your own mental well-being or that of someone you are close to.
- Are you always sad?
- Do you have suicidal thoughts?
- Do you feel that you have no reason to live?
· Visit a psychologist to discuss any problems that have overwhelmed you lately.
Keys to Healthier Mind Development
Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as the ability to monitor one’s own emotions, as well as those of other people, to discriminate between different emotions, and to label them appropriately. while applying EI, we are guiding our thinking and behavior with an educated focus on healthier mind development.
Emotional quotient (EQ) is a testing measurement of our ability to understand and apply our own minds emotionally. Although a comprehensive ambition, EQ testing is meant to reveal how well we have learned to manage the harmful and helpful effects of emotions for the purpose of facilitating healthful thoughts, communication, and behavior. Researchers now realize that emotional literacy helps to prevent and solve myriad problems that we experience in our personal and professional lives. The more we understand about our mind’s emotional component, the more valuable assets we possess as individuals-namely emotional stability, security, overall intelligence, and physical health, as well as our ability to treat other people and other things in healthier, more meaningful. Emotional intelligence is the secret to building healthier minds, getting the best out of life, and developing a behaviorally safer world. With the emotional state of the world today, emotional intelligence is our strongest hope for an optimistic future.
Epigenetics is a relatively new branch of genetics that has been heralded as the most important biological discovery since DNA. Until recently, it was believed you were stuck with the genes you were born with. But now it’s known that your genes get turned on and off and are expressed to greater or lesser degrees depending on lifestyle factors. Let’s take a look at what epigenetics is, how it works, and what you can do to improve your chances in the health lottery.
What Is Epigenetics?
The “epi” in epigenetics is derived from the Greek word meaning “above” or “over.” Epigenetics is defined as the study of any process that alters gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. More simply, it is the study of gene expression — how external factors turn genes on and off, and up and down. The Human Genome Project has identified 25,000 genes in human DNA. DNA is widely regarded as the code the body uses to build and rebuild itself. But genes themselves need instructions for what to do, and where and when to do it. Epigenetic modifications, also called “tags,” provide the instructions. Several of these tags have been discovered, but the two main ones involve methyl groups (made of carbon and hydrogen) and histones (a type of protein). To imagine how tags work, think of a gene as a lamp. Methyl groups act as an on-off switch that turn a gene on or off. Histones, on the other hand, act like a dimmer switch, regulating gene activity up or down. It’s thought that we have four million of these switches that are triggered by lifestyle and environmental factors.
Lifestyle Factors Affect Your Genes
Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is a professor of neurology at Harvard University Medical School and he states “You are not simply the sum total of the genes you were born with. You are the user and controller of your genes, the author of your biological story. No prospect in self-care is more exciting.” It means that you’re not at the mercy of your genetic makeup at birth. You actually have a great deal of control over your health and your future no matter what genetic hand you have been dealt. The field of epigenetics is in its infancy and there is still much to learn, but so far, the evidence shows that there are many fundamental lifestyle factors that can alter gene expression.
Not surprisingly, diet can affect the health of your DNA. A diet high in refined carbohydrates that promotes high blood glucose attacks your DNA. On the other hand, compounds like sulforaphane (found in broccoli), curcumin (turmeric), epigallocatechin gallate (green tea), and resveratrol (wine) can slow or potentially reverse DNA damage. Inadequate sleep also disrupts genetic activity. A team of researchers that included sleep science and genetics experts examined the influence of sleep on gene function and discovered that just a single week of insufficient sleep altered the activity of over 700 genes. It’s well accepted that physical exercise is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and mental well-being. Now there’s evidence that physical exercise can positively affect gene expression. A recent study of the brains of elderly mice found 117 genes that were expressed differently in the brains of animals that ran regularly, compared to those that were sedentary. If you are interested in starting a program of fitness try the Iceman’s Universal Man Plan.
Stress, Relationships, And Thoughts
Not only do tangible factors like diet, sleep, and exercise affect your genes, so do intangibles like stress, your relationships with others, and your thoughts. One of the most powerful stress reduction techniques, mindfulness meditation, turns down the expression of pro-inflammatory genes thus reducing inflammation. Chronic inflammation is an underlying cause of seven of the top ten leading causes of death including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. You might expect that you’d have to meditate for years to change gene expression sufficiently, but measurable changes have been observed in as little as eight hours of meditation. However, these effects were stronger in experienced meditators than in those new to the practice. Dr. Dawson Church is an award-winning author whose bestselling book, Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention, has been hailed as a breakthrough in the field of epigenetics. In his book, Church cites over 400 scientific studies that show how intangibles like the expression of gratitude, acts of kindness, optimism, and mind-body healing techniques like the Emotional Freedom Technique positively affect the expression of genes. And just as in the meditation study, these epigenetic benefits were often experienced immediately. It’s not only positive habits that affect your genes though. So do the bad ones. Substance abuse, addictions, inactivity, malnutrition, and exposure to toxins negatively affect the way your genes express themselves. Researchers have found that emotional factors such as trauma and stress can activate harmful epigenetic changes.
There are numerous diseases thought to have an epigenetic component including asthma, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, immune disorders, kidney disease, glaucoma, muscular dystrophy, and pediatric syndromes as well as many psychiatric disorders including autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. In 2008, the U.S. National Institutes of Health committed to investing $190 million into epigenetics research to hopefully find new and better ways to treat these diseases.
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 3-MAN'S FREEDOM
1743 "God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel (cf Sir 15:14), so that he might of his own accord seek his creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him" (GS 17 # 1).
1744 Freedom is the power to act or not to act, and so to perform deliberate acts of one's own. Freedom attains perfection in its acts when directed toward God, the sovereign Good.
1745 Freedom characterizes properly human acts. It makes the human being responsible for acts of which he is the voluntary agent. His deliberate acts properly belong to him.
1746 The imputability or responsibility for an action can be diminished or nullified by ignorance, duress, fear, and other psychological or social factors.
1747 The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in religious and moral matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of man. But the exercise of freedom does not entail the putative right to say or do anything.
1748 "For freedom Christ has set us free" (Gal 5:1).
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Restoring the Constitution
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Religion in the Home for Preschool: October
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
· Monday: Litany of Humility
 George Wiegel, Witness to Hope, 1999, p66.
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