Friday, January 6, 2023

 

First Friday

TRADITIONAL EPIPHANY-ST. ANDRE BESSETTE 

Acts, Chapter 3, Verse 16

And by FAITH in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you.

 

Peter at the beginning of Christ’s approach to him said Lord Leave me for I am a sinful man-and he was. Notice that after the resurrection Peter was changed and now took on the work of Christ. We are all sinners we are all lame as the man in this verse but by faith we can do the work of Christ and He will change us.

 

Demonstration + Proclamation = Credibility[1]

 

After Pentecost when the apostle received the Holy Spirit, they started to build the church: The Kingdom of God. Peter and John encountered a lame man on their way to temple. Using only the name of Jesus they healed the man, and they gained credibility because they did what they said, “they walked the talk.” As their credibility grew so did the church. Note how Acts 3 (Acts 3:1-26) describes these leaders:

 

1.     They faithfully did what they knew to do.

2.     They stopped and sensitively addressed needs.

3.     They had courage to face problems.

4.     Others anticipated receiving solutions from them.

5.     They realistically admitted their lack of material resources.

6.     They generously gave away their spiritual resources.

7.     They solved practical problems.

8.     They gained credibility through demonstration, not just proclamation.

9.     Peter’s demonstration gave him a platform and a convincing argument.

Eyes of Faith[2]

Many of us today are still enthralled to a Deist view of God, whereby God is a distant and aloof first cause of the universe, uninvolved with the world he has made. But Thomas Aquinas taught that God is in all things, "by essence, presence, and power" and that God providentially cares for every aspect of his creation. Therefore, we should expect to see signs of his presence and activity in nature, in history, and in human affairs.  And once we see, we are meant to speak! In a way, followers of Jesus are not looking at the signs of the times for their own benefit, but rather that they might share their prophetic perspective with everyone else. So, look around, look with attention, look with the eyes of faith!

Spiritual Weapon-Fasting[3] 


Fasting gives birth to prophets and strengthens the powerful; fasting makes lawgivers wise. Fasting is a good safeguard for the soul, a steadfast companion for the body, a weapon for the valiant, and a gymnasium for athletes. Fasting repels temptations, anoints unto piety; it is the comrade of watchfulness and the artificer of chastity. In war it fights bravely, in peace it teaches stillness. – St. Basil the Great 

Are you struggling with a sin? I mean a sin that you just can’t seem to get rid of; a sin that is keeps you in a constant state of guilt and despair. You’ve prayed, you’ve frequented the sacraments, but you just can’t seem to break its hold. We’ve all been there at one point or another, and such struggles are part and parcel of the spiritual life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, I want to introduce you to a very powerful, but much neglected weapon in the spiritual arsenal: Fasting. If you want to put to energize your spiritual life, if you want to slay a sin that has you in bondage, if you want to grow in union with God, take up the holy weapon of fasting. For as Jesus said, there are some demons that “cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.” Let’s examine this powerful weapon and its use in the spiritual life. 

1. Start with the basics The first step in fasting is obeying the law of the Church—fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, abstaining from meat on Fridays, and observing the Eucharistic fast (do not eat or drink one hour before communion).

Regarding abstaining from meat on Friday, it’s true that it is technically is not required in the U.S., but some sort of food-based penance or sacrifice is still required. But instead of trying to invent some new penance, why not just stick with what Catholics have always done? Abstain from meat on Fridays. There’s a good reason for it. Men, fasting two days a year and abstaining from meat on Fridays is incredibly easy. In the “old days”, fasting was required every weekday in Lent. And there was once even a time when that fasting required abstinence from all dairy products. There were a ton of other fasts and days of abstinence throughout the liturgical year as well. I would say that we have it easier than any other period in Catholic history. So let’s start with the basics and obey the law of the Church without grumbling or complaining. 

2. Add more – As Catholic men, we should never be satisfied with the bare minimum. We should seek to constantly pursue a deeper conversion. St. Francis de Sales gives some good advice in this regard: If you are able to fast, you will do well to observe some days beyond what are ordered by the Church, for besides the ordinary effect of fasting in raising the mind, subduing the flesh, confirming goodness, and obtaining a heavenly reward, it is also a great matter to be able to control greediness, and to keep the sensual appetites and the whole body subject to the law of the Spirit; and although we may be able to do but little, the enemy nevertheless stands more in awe of those whom he knows can fast.

 

Accordingly, once you’ve begun to follow the law of the Church, build on that foundation to include fasting in other ways. Here are some ideas:

 

·       Skip one meal extra a week, like breakfast or lunch. In addition to Fridays, Wednesdays are traditional days of fasting, so that might be a good day to start with.

·       Deny yourself dessert on set days. Most of us eat too much sugar anyway.

·       Skip salt on your food.

·       Fast from soda. It’s terrible for you!

·       Skip the beer or other alcoholic drinks when going out to eat.

·       Don’t eat between meals. This sounds easy but try it. You’ll find it’s quite hard since most of us snack frequently and don’t even realize it.

·       Include things besides food. For example, fast from all technology one day a week.

·       Fast (one main meal with two small snacks) one day a week.

·       Drink only water.

·       Now, you don’t have to fast from all of these things all of the time. It is best to choose set days for fasting, like the Wednesdays or Fridays mentioned above. Doing so helps keep our fasting consistent. 

3. Fast from sin Bodily fasting is meaningless unless it is joined with a spiritual fast from sin. St. Basil gives the following exhortation regarding fasting: Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood, and perjury. Privation of these is true fasting. 

4. Pray Fasting is not simply a matter of will power. Grace is absolutely necessary. While fasting energies prayer, prayer energizes fasting. Both are weak without the other.

 

As you fast to conquer your passions, pray constantly for the grace of God to flood your soul, beg for the virtues in which you need to mature, and ask for strength in the spiritual warfare. 

5. Beware of Pride – With any kind of self-discipline, penance, or fasting comes a temptation to pride. We face the danger of believing that we are superior to others because we fast or thinking that fasting is an end in itself. But fasting itself is never the goal, nor does it make us perfect or more spiritual than others. Rather, fasting is an aid, a training tool in our ascent toward perfection, which is found in a pure, self-giving love of God and neighbor. “Be on your guard when you begin to mortify your body by abstinence and fasting,” says St. Jerome, “lest you imagine yourself to be perfect and a saint; for perfection does not consist in this virtue. It is only a help; a disposition; a means though a fitting one, for the attainment of true perfection.”  

Conclusion: If we neglect fasting, our spiritual life will always be mediocre. We will be weak in the combat against our passions, we will easily succumb to temptation, and we will never truly overcome our inherent selfishness and self-indulgence. As men, our desire should be to strengthen ourselves and be the best that we can be. We should train ourselves to be strong in the spiritual warfare, so we can resist the temptations of the evil one. There is no better way to begin this spiritual training than through the practice of fasting. 

First Friday Devotion[4]

Nine consecutive Fridays in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), a French nun in the Visitation Order, and gave her the special task to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart at a time when religion was growing cold in the hearts of mankind. He said to her:

“Behold this heart which, not withstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service.” Jesus asked for special prayers and practices to make amends (reparation) for this great neglect to the proper reverence owed to God. For those who did this faithfully, he made what St. Margaret Mary referred to as the “Great Promise” which was the last and greatest of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

“I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor [the grace of final repentance], or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life.”

Conditions to Fulfill the First Friday Devotion

The specific conditions to receive the Great Promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are:

1. Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays of the month (this assumes that the person is in a state of grace, having made a sacramental confession for any mortal sins prior to receiving communion).

2. Having the intention, at least implicitly, of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and ingratitude of men

Catholic Calendar[5]

 

Read: The Epiphany marks the arrival of visitors, identified in Scripture as magi, to the place where Jesus was born. Although we know virtually nothing about them, we do know they brought three gifts:

 

·       Gold, a symbol of wealth and power, identifies the recipient as a king.

·       Frankincense, the crystalized resinous sap of a tree used as incense and as an offering, is symbolic of prayer.

·       Myrrh, another resinous tree sap, was used in healing liniments and as an embalming ointment. Myrrh is an odd gift for a child—so, even at the beginning of Jesus' life on earth, this gift foreshadows his death.

 

Reflect: Practice the ancient art of Lectio Divina today and reflect on the readings on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

 

Pray: Say a blessing on your home on the Epiphany.

 

Act: Did you wish someone a Merry Christmas today? The Christmas season continues until Sunday, which is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. An easy way to evangelize is to wish someone a Merry Christmas during the Christmas season after December 25 and explain why. The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Epiphany: The Holy Light of the Manifestations (January 6)[6]

Traditionally today is the Feast of the Epiphany or the day the three kings presented gifts to Christ. They are an example of men who overcame great obstacles and their own fears to come and present gifts to our Lord. They also being wise men knew that they could not trust Herod when he asked them to return to him and tell him where Christ was. It is not always possible to get to a win-win situation and we must also use our wisdom as the three Kings did and know when we must fight, run, do nothing, compromise or prepare for growth. Christ reveals Himself not just to the Jews, but to the Gentiles, as the visitation of the Magi makes clear that the Light of Christ did not come to illuminate one nation but all, and so on the Feast of the Epiphany we celebrate His first manifestation (epiphaneia) to the Gentiles, the three Magi who followed His star from the East. This manifestation also leads us to consider other "firsts" -- the first manifestation of His mission at His Baptism and the first manifestation of His power at the wedding of Cana. Hence both are also remembered on the Feast of the Epiphany.

 

Epiphany is one of the greatest feasts of the liturgical year. The twelfth day after Christmas, it concludes Christmastide proper by celebrating the "manifestation," or epiphaneia, of Christ to the Gentiles. To this day the Eastern churches consider Epiphany more important than Christmas. The Holy Spirit's guidance of these wise men to the Holy Land through the aid of a star signifies the calling of all nations, not just the Jews, to the New Covenant. But this "manifestation" to non-Jews also calls to mind other manifestations of our Lord's divinity. The Nativity continues to be remembered as the first crucial manifestation, but so too does the Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan, since it affirms both His divinity as well as His humanity. And the wedding of Cana comes to mind because it was Christ's first public manifestation of His power with the transubstantiation of water into wine. (It also comes to mind because the Gospel uses the word "manifest" (ephanerosen) to describe this event (Jn. 2.11).)

 

Finally, the manifestations of Jesus Christ during His earthly existence ineluctably lead us to consider His final manifestation in glory, a manifestation for which we have longed throughout Advent and Christmastide. Hence St. John Chrysostom says in his sermon on Epiphany:

There are two manifestations of Christ, not one. The first is the one which has already happened, His epiphany in the present. The second is the one of the future which will come at the end of time with great splendor and glory. You have heard read today what St. Paul writes to Titus about both of these epiphanies. Concerning the first he says, "The grace of God our Savior has appeared to all men..." About the second he writes, "We look for the blessed hope and glorious coming of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2.11-13) (On the Baptism of Christ).

It is for these reasons that St. Gregory Nazianzus refers to Epiphany as the "the Holy light of the manifestations."

The Three Kings

The Gospel of Matthew mentions only that several Magi -- respected priestly scholars from Persia and other neighboring countries -- came to worship the Christ Child from the East. Tradition, however, has added a few details: that there were three of them, that they were kings, and that their names were Gaspar, Melchior, and Baltasar. Devotion to the three kings is a marked feature of Epiphany and was traditionally encouraged in a number of ways. From Christmas onward, for example, the figurines of the Magi, which had been kept a distance from the crèche, were brought closer and closer until it reached the crèche on Twelfth night. Another traditional observance was the solemn blessing of a home on the Feast of the Epiphany, after which the initials of the Magi would be written on the frame of the door, together with the year and several crosses that connected all of the letters and numbers. There is even a special blessing for the chalk in the Roman ritual.

Blessing of Water

The commemoration of our Lord's Baptism in the Jordan led to a number of impressive blessings concerning water. In Palestine, the river Jordan itself was blessed, with throngs of the faithful immersing in it three times to obtain the blessing, while in Egypt, the whole Christian population and its livestock would show up for the blessing of the Nile and do the same thing. In Byzantium, Epiphany water was blessed in church and then distributed. Rome followed this custom, instituting it on the Vigil of the feast. The formula for the blessing may be found in the Roman ritual.

Magi Plays

Like Christmas, Epiphany was a favorite time for caroling; and like all great solemnities from the Middle Ages, Epiphany encouraged mystery plays. These were called Magi plays and featured the story of the Nativity, the slaughter of the Innocents, and the visit of the Magi. They were also quite boisterous: the character of Herod was portrayed as a raving lunatic, wreaking havoc with his wooden spear: hence Shakespeare's line about overacting-- "it out-herods Herod!" (Hamlet III.ii). Variations of these mystery plays have survived into the present day.

Feasting

And also like all great solemnities, Epiphany was a day for great feasting. Though the dishes varied, one consistently popular custom was Kings' or Twelfth-night cake, which included a small object that identified its finder as the "king" for the day. Many countries also use this occasion for the exchange of gifts.

The Feast of the Holy Family

Held on the Sunday after Epiphany, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph holds up the domestic life of Jesus, his mother, and foster father as the perfect model for all Catholic households. As Pope Leo XIII explains, there is a lesson in this family for everyone: for fathers, for mothers, for children; for nobility (the Holy Family was from the royal house of David), for the poor (they gave up their possessions in fleeing to Egypt), and so on. There are no prescribed or uniform customs for the feast, but that does not mean no observances were made. The following is an account from Father Weiser of Holy Family Sundays at our own parish, Holy Trinity German Church, in the 1940s. The annual Holy Childhood procession, on the feast of the Holy Family, is one of the most attractive ceremonies. In former years this procession was called the "Shepherds' Procession" as the children marched through the church dressed as shepherds and shepherdesses -- a lovely relic of popular medieval piety (Holy Trinity Parish, 1844-1944, p. 37). This feast is also an ideal time to pray any of the devotions to the Holy Family that are given in the Raccolta, the Church's old official list of indulgences. The fact that many of these prayers are no longer indulgenced does not make them any less meaningful or worthy of use.

Epiphany Facts & Quotes[7]

·       Epiphany Day is celebrated as a public holiday in Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Denmark and Norway do not have the day off but do hold special mass and church services. The day is also a holiday throughout much of Eastern Europe.

·       Frankincense, a perfume, and myrrh, anointing oil, were traditional gifts for kings during the time of Christ.  Bodies were also prepared for burial with these items.  These were the gifts that the wise men brought to the baby Jesus.

·       In Latin American culture, Epiphany, which means 'manifestation', is celebrated with plays and special songs that celebrate the coming of the three kings, or magi.  Children  place boxes of hay under their beds for the magi' camels, and in return they receive gifts.

·       In some Eastern Orthodox Christian communities, Epiphany is celebrated by a procession to the nearest river, lake, or pond.  The priest blesses the water and he throws a cross in the waves.  People dive into the water to retrieve the cross, and the one who finds it is thought to be particularly blessed in the New Year.

·       It’s a time to focus on the guiding star and the three men who out of curiosity followed the star to Jesus, - Martin Modeús of the Church of Sweden

Epiphany Top Events and Things to Do

·       Take down any decorations, you should have taken these down on Knut’s Day, the day before Epiphany, but if you’ve been too busy eating, today is the day to get them down.

·       Sing We Three Kings, a traditional Epiphany hymn telling the story of the magi.

·       Go to an Orthodox service and witness a Epiphany procession.  This often includes pageantry of colorful robes and a large bowl of water centered in the middle of the church.  Churches are often decorated with flowers and greenery.

·       In some Western churches, church members share king cake, similar to the pastry served on Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  A coin or bean is cooked into the cake, and whoever receives them gets to wear a crown for a day.

·       Watch a Christmas themed movie. Our favorites include
1) Fanny and Alexander (1982), this film depicts a family in Uppsala, Sweden during the 1900s and is a national favorite.
2) Santa Claus (1990)
3) Elf (2003), Will Ferrell’s modern Christmas classic

 

Home Blessing for the Feast of Epiphany[8]

 

Today would also be a good time to honor your Father in heaven by marking your home in chalk; publicly stating who’s you are.

Every year the Carmelite Pre-novitiate Community at Carith House in Chicago on the Feast of the Epiphany blesses their home. We invite you to adopt this custom in your family. The family gathers to ask God’s blessing on their home and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.

A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 23. The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross and 2023 is the year.

Blessing the Chalk

V. Our help is the name of the Lord:

R. The maker of heaven and earth.

V. The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in:

R. From this time forth for evermore.

Let us pray.

Loving God, bless this chalk which you have created, that it may be helpful to your people; and grant that through the invocation of your most Holy Name that we who use it in faith to write upon the door of our home the names of your holy ones Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, may receive health of body and protection of soul for all who dwell in or visit our home; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Instructions for Blessing the Home

Using the blessed chalk mark the lintel of your front door (or front porch step) as follows:

20 + C + M + B + 23 while saying:

The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and twenty-two years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the New Year. Amen.

Then offer the following prayer: Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen

 

“Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of the Epiphany and God’s blessing of our lives and home. With time the chalk will fade. As it does, we let the meaning of the symbols written sink into the depths of our heart and be manifest in our words and actions the Latin words, Christus mansionem benedictat, “May Christ bless the house.”

 

Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the Day of Judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. (1 Jn 4:15-19)

Bl. Andre Bessette - Day Thirteen[9]

Brother André spent most of his days in a narrow lodge, with only a table, some chairs and a bench as furnishings. He was attentive to the needs of all, smiling, obliging. In the evening he would engage in the difficult work of maintaining the parlor and hallway floors. He was on his knees until late at night, washing, polishing, and waxing by the dim light of a candle. — Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval

The use of candles is one of the loveliest Christmas customs that we can keep on using throughout the year. Now, more than ever, Christmas is a festival of light in a dark world, a time to hold our candles high, and to teach our children all the little ceremonies which make life gracious and full of meaning. No matter how long we live, nor how learned we become, we may travel the world over, and find nothing more beautiful than candlelight on the face of a child. "Now the Lord be thanked because we have light." — Dorothy Albaugh Stickell

·       Day Thirteen Activity (Candles for the Domestic Church)

·       Recipe (Yule Spice Cake)

 

St. André Bessette


Brother André expressed a saint's faith by a lifelong devotion to Saint Joseph.

 

Sickness and weakness dogged André from birth. He was the eighth of twelve children born to a French-Canadian couple near Montreal. Adopted at twelve, when both parents had died, he became a farmhand. Various trades followed:  shoemaker, baker, blacksmith-all failures. He was a factory worker in the United States during the boom times of the Civil War.

 

At twenty-five, he applied for entrance into the Congregation of the Holy Cross. After a year's novitiate, he was not admitted because of his weak health. But with an extension and the urging of Bishop Bourget, he was finally received. He was given the humble job of doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal, with additional duties as sacristan, laundry worker and messenger. "When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door, and I remained forty years."

 

In his little room near the door, he spent much of the night on his knees. On his windowsill, facing Mount Royal, was a small statue of Saint Joseph, to whom he had been devoted since childhood. When asked about it he said, "Someday, Saint Joseph is going to be honored in a very special way on Mount Royal!"

 

When he heard someone was ill, he visited to bring cheer and to pray with the sick person. He would rub the sick person lightly with oil taken from a lamp burning in the college chapel. Word of healing powers began to spread.

 

When an epidemic broke out at a nearby college, André volunteered to nurse. Not one person died. The trickle of sick people to his door became a flood. His superiors were uneasy; diocesan authorities were suspicious; doctors called him a quack. "I do not cure," he said again and again. "Saint Joseph cures." In the end he needed four secretaries to handle the eighty thousand letters he received each year.

 

For many years the Holy Cross authorities had tried to buy land on Mount Royal. Brother André and others climbed the steep hill and planted medals of Saint Joseph. Suddenly, the owners yielded. André collected two hundred dollars to build a small chapel and began receiving visitors there smiling through long hours of listening, applying Saint Joseph's oil. Some were cured, some not. The pile of crutches, canes and braces grew.

 

The chapel also grew. By 1931 there were gleaming walls, but money ran out. "Put a statue of Saint Joseph in the middle. If he wants a roof over his head, he'll get it." The magnificent Oratory on Mount Royal took fifty years to build. The sickly boy who could not hold a job died at ninety.

 

He is buried at the Oratory and was beatified in 1982. On December 19, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree recognizing a second miracle at Blessed André’s intercession and on October 17, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI formally declared sainthood for Blessed André. — Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.

 

Things to Do:

·        Read more about the life of St. André.

·        Learn more about the Holy Cross Brothers, the order of which Bl. André was a member. Pray for an increase in vocations and for those who are already living the religious life.

·        If you live close to St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, make a pilgrimage. If that's not possible make a virtual pilgrimage.

·        Say a prayer for the sick who were so dear to the heart of Brother André.

·        Try the recipes offered to sample authentic French-Canadian food. 

Fitness Friday[10] 

BRIGHT MINDS Program, which is designed to identify and treat all 11 risk factors that contribute to memory problems. Here is what the words BRIGHT MINDS stand for:

 

B – Blood Flow

 

R – Retirement/Aging

 

I – Inflammation

 

G – Genetics

 

H – Head Trauma

 

T – Toxins

 

M – Mental Health

 

I – Immunity/Infection Issues

 

N – Neurohormone Deficiencies

 

D – Diabesity

 

S – Sleep Issues 

Watch your weight being 20 pounds overweight has a number of BRIGHT MINDS vulnerabilities, including low blood flow to the brain as well as high blood glucose, homocysteine and ferritin, or iron—all tied to faster aging. 

In addition to getting older, the general risk factors associated with living past retirement age are: 

·       Not working or working less than half-time

·       Social isolation

·       A lack of new learning

·       Having attained less than a high school education 

It is a good idea to have a checkup with your health-care provider to evaluate your current state of health. Request these specific lab tests: 

·       Ferritin

·       Telomere length (telomeres are casings at the ends of chromosomes that shorten with age; people with longer telomeres tend to live longer) 

You can take these simple steps to make sure your mind and memory are sharp for years to come: 

·       Spend at least 15 minutes a day learning something new, such as a language, a musical instrument or dance moves

·       Take your health seriously—eat well, exercise, get seven hours of sleep a night

·       Eat more antioxidant-rich foods like cocoa, walnuts, blueberries, artichokes and pomegranates, and more choline-rich foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, scallops, shrimp, salmon, cod, chickpeas, and lentils

·       Limit your consumption of charred meats

·       Supplement your diet with a good multivitamin/mineral, extra vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA and the following nutraceuticals to strengthen your brain: PS (phosphatidylserine), alpha GPC (alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine), ALCAR (acetyl-L-carnitine), huperzine A, saffron (standardized extract), sage

·       Try a daily 12-to-16-hour fast to help your brain clear out debris (if dinner is at 7 pm, breakfast should be no earlier than 7 am)

·       Get the social support you need so you aren’t isolated or lonely

·       Volunteer for an organization you believe in

·       Donate blood if your ferritin is too high 

Catechism of the Catholic Church 

II. THE VOCATION TO CHASTITY cont.

 

The integrality of the gift of self

 

2346 Chastity is the form of all the virtues. Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness to his neighbor of God's fidelity and loving kindness.

 

2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends, who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality. Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one's neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion. Friendship is when two bodies become one soul (Chinese Cookie Fortune).

 

Full Wolf Moon

 


According to the almanac today we are having a Full Wolf Moon; plan to get with your children or grandchildren around a fire and howl a little at the moon having fun together. Also, you could sit down together and listen to the music from Peter and the Wolf. As a child this was one of my favorite record albums that I would make my mother play over and over again much to her distress.

Daily Devotions

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

·       Carnival Time begins in Catholic Countries.

·       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

·       Plan winter fun:

o   Soak in hot springs

o   Hit the snow slopes

o   Ride a snowmobile

o   Go for a dog sled ride



o   Ride a hot air balloon


[1]John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[2]Bishop Robert Baron, October 27, 2017, gospel reflection.

[3]https://www.catholicgentleman.net/2014/04/spiritual-weapons-fasting/

[4]https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/what-is-the-first-friday-and-first-saturday-devotion/

[9]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2021-01-06

[10] https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/retirement-aging-brain/

Classic Christmas



Comments

Popular Posts