Thursday, December 8, 2022


Character, Followership and Leadership

If you desire to lead, you must first learn to follow and to follow you must first be a person of character. Leadership is built up overtime and in stages and the basis of a person’s leadership is their character.  Likewise, if you are a person of character, you have a care for others or love of others which often instills a desire for you to serve. I believe that you cannot become a person of character or a follower and much less a leader if you have an inability to love. A narcissist may be a character but is hardly a person of character.

John McCain recognized in his book, “Character is Destiny” that the basis of any character development or ability to follow others or to lead others is selfless interest in others (McCain). If we are going to use love as a foundation to leadership then we should have a working definition of love. Often, we can learn a great deal about a word if we study words with similar meanings as well as the words with the opposite meanings ( The synonyms of love are passion, friendship, affection, and charity. The antonyms of love are disloyalty, apathy, and indifference.  Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church). My working definition of love/charity is to will the good of the other as other and be prepared to do something about it (Neal).

The military has long recognized the need for caring leaders to be effective on the battlefield (Military Leadership, Field Manuel 22-100).

According to the US Army Leadership manual followers tend to ask two questions: 1) Is the leader powerful? 2) Does he care about me?     

Does He care about me?

Does He have power?




Trusted and Respected






Using the above graph, we see that if a leader is powerful and is caring he or she will be trusted and respected. However, if only powerful and has no care for the soldier they will be feared. We also see that the powerless leader will be tolerated and the leader that is not powerful and has no care for the led will be despised. When a leader is trusted and respected the group, he or she leads will naturally have a synergist effect that enable the group to accomplish great things together. Therefore, being a caring loving person is the foundation for becoming a leader, follower, and a person of character.

With love as a foundation the next step in character building is to work on developing a core of strength (McCain). Every person of character must develop some degree of hope or belief that they are on the right path which in turn will help them in developing their own personal confidence. They should not be afraid of hard work thus being industrious which will give them in turn robust self-esteem and build their determination and resilience. Self-control and courage are the hallmarks of a person who has mastered their self and is in control of their passions. If a person has learned to be hopeful, be confident, has been industrious, managed all of this with resilience and they are in control of themselves and their fears they will need a firm purpose to guide their destiny.

Strong men and women temper their core of strength often by great ideals such as those expressed in America’s founding documents such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Strong people manage their actions responsibly and are diligent in their duties. They tend to have a belief in a greater power (a faith in God) and may be a member of a religious organization and strive to be righteous in accordance with the dictates of their faith. Strong people channel their strengths through cooperation and good citizenship striving to build a better world. As they work with others, they will develop an understanding heart that reaches out to others.

A person with an understanding heart is compassionate and they are faithful not only to their idealism but also to their superiors and subordinates. They tend to be swayed to be merciful while maintaining justice. They are tolerant of contradicting ideas and have respect for others not judging a person based on their appearance but on the content of their character. They tend to forgive and forget and give generously to just causes using their time, talent, and their treasure in support of them. A person with an understanding heart endeavors to maintain a creative mind and be open to new ideas.

If you wish to develop yourself further, you must always seek to maintain a creative mind. You must not lose your curiosity; use it to find truth where you can. Endeavour to be enthusiastic even in the most trying of circumstances. Learn to be discerning to see what others miss and maintain a critical mind. Aspire to greatness realizing that greatness is 99% hard work and a commitment to suffer and endure for a greater good. Understanding that failure will come, and that failure is a learning experience. In fact, history records that Thomas Edison failed over 2000 times before discovering the secret to the light bulb (Ramkumar). Recalling excellence is obtained by overcoming great odds. A creative mind allows the common to become the uncommon.

Having a right judgement is essential in leading yourself or others. A person who desires to make good decisions must have a good sense of judgement. One of the first steps in making right judgements is to maintain a sense of humility. Do not be afraid to seek the advice of others and always try to make a decision that will be a win-win or result in growth of some kind. Seek to be fair and give others their due. Do not win at all costs. The end does not justify the means. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Be grateful to others as well as for your successes and your failures if they have taught you something. Never forget to be courteous to others. Always maintain a sense of humor and do not take yourself too seriously. Remember that a person of character respects themselves as well as others. They seek the truth and tend to be honest. They tend to be authentic, loyal, and dignified toward others. They tend to be a person who is present and will lead, follow, or get out of the way so others may lead if called for.

Allowing others to lead is what being a good follower is all about.  Many of the qualities it takes to be a person of character have a direct correlation with the ability of being a good follower. Being a good follower is as important to a successful enterprise as is leadership and in many cases an organization can survive poor leaders although no organization can survive for long a work force that won’t work or follow.

The Ivey Business School stresses that businesses to be successful must have followers with the following qualities: Judgement, work ethic, competence, honesty, courage, discretion, loyalty, and ego management (John S. McCallum).

Judgement: A follower has the obligation to do their job but when they are directed to do something that is unethical or criminal, they also have the obligation and the duty to refuse. Again, don’t cheat. Don’t lie. The end does not justify the means.

Work ethic: Be a good worker pay attention to detail, be enthusiastic, like your job if you don’t it may be time to find another; stay committed to the company; seek responsibility and be responsible.

Competence: Do your best to be competent at the job; ask if you don’t know how to do something. Seek to learn other jobs. Seek to know your boss’s job and anticipate his or her needs. Make your bosses job easy.

Honesty: Don’t tell your boss what they want to hear; tell your boss what they need to know and act on. Don’t allow your leader to fail and then mock them. Know that if you are silent, you have set them up for failure. But be polite and respectful but don’t hold back the facts or truth. If the situation threatens the business seek higher authority. If you are in error admit your mistakes and learn from your experience if you wish to improve yourself.

Courage: I would list this trait higher than honesty because without courage you will not be honest with your leadership. I remember in briefings with the general staff the lieutenants would brief the General with what he wanted to hear and then would be embarrassed when at the end the General would call out to me. Sergeant Havermale, what do you think about this? I would tell him. Often, I would get heat from the lieutenants afterward. I remember once I told my lieutenant no stop the harassment and if not, I am going to quit. The lieutenant went to the General and told him. To which the General stated, you should do what Sergeant Havermale suggests because lieutenant, I need Sergeant Havermale, but I don’t need you. It takes courage to follow well and not quit. Many follows have quit while getting paid by just doing the minimum and not screwing up enough to get terminated.

Discretion. Having the courage to speak up is important but it is equally as important to keep your mouth shut and practice some discernment and self-control in the lip department. Be discreet. If you speak to often without discretion your employers may start looking for a chance to transfer, you to another department or look for you to make a misstate they can terminate you for. Keep your opinions to yourself.

Loyalty. First be true to your God, then your family, friends and then the company store. Do it in that order. An employee that does not have virtue nor loyalty to they family, faith and friends will not be loyal to the leader and the organization. Persons without character or virtue will inevitably be a source of difficulty. They often create problems, and most likely have already “quit” mentally while still getting paid.

Ego management. Good followers manage their pride and ego. They most likely have a high degree of emotional intelligence. They realize there is no “I” in “TEAM”. They are not focused on themselves but in mission accomplishment. They don’t overdo the self-promotion stuff. They balance work and home and encourage “win-win. They have a “can do” attitude.

Destiny and providence come to the virtuous. Leaders who are led by vain self-glory often do not stand the test of time. They often do not leave a legacy. True leadership comes from a base of love a desire to serve. Usually, the best leaders are those who care as much for the work force as equally as the mission goal of the organization. They exhibit a core of strength, they are compelled by a firm purpose, they understand people and care for them, they have a sharp mind that sees the future as well as the past, and their judgements are usually sound. They treat others with dignity.

If you wish to lead, be a person of character, follow or get out of the way of those who lead and if graced with leadership take the mission and care of the led equally important. True leaders care for others, and they never display any disloyalty, apathy, and indifference. 

Works Cited

Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Theological Virtues 1822. 2022. 05 12 2022.

John S. McCallum. Ivey Business Journal. 09 2013. 05 12 2022.

McCain, John. Character is Destiny. New York: Random House, 2005. book.

Military Leadership, Field Manuel 22-100. Washington: US Army, 1982.

Neal, Dr. Tom. To Will the Good of the Other. 2022. 05 12 2022.

Ramkumar, N. The Greatest Inventor "Thomas Alva Edison's" vision on Failures. 19 12 2019. 05 12 2022. 2022. 05 12 2022.

Thursday of the Second Week of Advent

immaculate conception (Holy Day of Obligation) 

Ephesians, Chapter 1, Verse 3-6

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, 4as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In LOVE 5he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, 6for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. 

This is the plan of the Fathers salvation of man. The spiritual blessings we have received through Christ are the call to holiness; the gift of divine adoption establishing a unique spiritual relationship with God the Father through Christ; liberation from sin through Christ’s sacrificial death; revelation of God’s plan of salvation in Christ; the gift of election and faith in Christ bestowed upon Jewish Christians; and finally, the same gift granted to Gentiles. In the Christ-centered faith and existence of the Christian communities the apostle sees the predetermined plan of God to bring all creation under the final rule of Christ being made known and carried through, to God’s glory.  

Darkest Hour[1]


Mary as the new Eve is an essential part of God’s redemptive plan bringing light to a dark world.


The season of Advent is about preparing to celebrate the birth of our redeemer. God in his love has chosen us, predestined us to be his children and then in the fullness of time, redeemed us.


These are our darkest afternoons. But surprise! For most of us, December 8, will bring the turnaround. It’s a major winter milestone: the day of our earliest sunset. This puzzles people, but in fact it’s a reliable yearly sequence. First comes earliest sunset, this week. Then there’s the solstice half a month later, the day with the fewest minutes of daylight. Finally, another two weeks later, in early January, we get our murkiest morning—the latest sunrise. So, we’re now slam bang at the low point of afternoon sunshine. And since far more people are awake and aware of things at 4:30 PM than they are at 6 in the morning, in a very real sense you can forget about the solstice and the “official” shortest day of the year. So far as what most folks actually experience, NOW is the darkest time of the year.


Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception[2]


Mary who was conceived without sin on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception is our example of courage in the presence of God and His angels.  Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.  (Luke 1:30-31)


ON this and the following eight days the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men. The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very remarkable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times. Pope Pius IX., forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally, on December 8, 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin. It is, therefore, now no longer, as formerly, a pious belief, but an article of the faith, that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin.


DECEMBER 8. ON this and the following eight days the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men. The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very re markable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times. Pope Pius IX., forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally, on December 8, 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin. It is, therefore, now no longer, as formerly, a pious belief, but an article of the faith, that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “Hail, holy parent, who as a happy mother brought forth the King Who rules heaven and earth from eternity to eternity.” “My heart hath uttered a good    , I speak my works to the King.” Glory be to the Father, etc.


We beseech Thee, O Lord, to bestow on Thy servants the

gift of heavenly grace, that, for those to whom the Blessed

Virgin s maternity was the beginning of salvation, the votive

solemnity of her immaculate conception may procure increase

of peace. Amen.

EPISTLE. Prov. viii. 22-35.

The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His ways, before lie made anything from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived, neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: the mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass He enclosed the depths: when He established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters: when He compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when He balanced the foundations of the earth, I was with Him forming all things ; and was delighted every day, playing before Him at all times; playing in the world, and My delights were to be with the children of men. Now, therefore, ye children, hear Me: Blessed are they that keep My ways. Hear instruction and be wise and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth Me, and that watcheth daily at My gates, and waiteth at the posts of My doors. He that shall find Me shall find life and shall have salvation from the Lord.


This lesson is, in the literal sense, a eulogy on the divine and uncreated wisdom, which before all things was in God; through which all things were made, disposed, and preserved; which rejoices in its works, and calls upon all its creatures, especially on men, to render to it love and obedience. Most of what is here said is also to be applied to Mary, of whom it may with truth be said that, as the holiest and most admirable of all creatures, she occupies the first place in the heart of God.

Therefore, the Church also refers to her those words of the wise man: “I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first born of all creatures.”

GOSPEL. Luke i. 26-28.

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Immaculate Conception Facts[3]


·       God gave Mary a pure soul incapable of sinning when she was received.  It prepared her to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  This teaching does not appear in Scripture.  It was decreed by Pope Pious IX on December 8, 1854.

·       Our Holy Lady Immaculately Conceived is the patroness for the United States - as decreed by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

·       Our Mother Mary is full of beauty because she is full of grace. - Pope Francis via twitter on Dec 30, 2013.

·       The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. - Catechism of the Catholic Church


Immaculate Conception Top Events and Things to Do


·       Go to Mass.  It is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in the United States.

·       Study the Immaculate Conception in art.  One famous painting, The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception was completed by Spanish artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo in the 17th century.  It hangs in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

·       Watch the movie, Mary of Nazareth (2013)


More Things to Do[4]

·        The dogma of the Immaculate Conception lends itself to fruitful meditation and should be taught to children. The doctrine of original sin, the sin of Adam and its effects on the human race, is a good beginning for study. For the best explanation of the teachings of the Church on this, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, numbers 386-412. Also you might read Pope Piux IX's bull, Ubi Primum (On The Immaculate Conception) proclaiming the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of Faith. Other reading from the Catholic Culture Library:

o   Apostolic Constitution The Immaculate Conception (Ineffabilis Deus) by Pius IX;

o   Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum (On The Immaculate Conception) by Pius X;

o   Fulgens Corona (Proclaiming A Marian Year To Commemorate The Centenary Of The Definition Of The Dogma Of The Immaculate Conception) by Pope Pius XII;

o   On Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Marialis Cultus) by Pope Paul VI;

o   Immaculate Conception Defined by Pius IX by Pope John Paul II;

o   John Duns Scotus: Champion of the Immaculate Conception by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.;

o   The Message of the Virgin of Lourdes by Bishop Donald Montrose, D.D.;

o   The Immaculate Conception by Abbot Gueranger

·        Mary as the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States. Visit or take a virtual tour of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, America's patronal church.

·        This day would also be appropriate for parents to plan their approach on family sex education, as it is the privilege and duty of parents to teach their own children in this area.

·        Make a Mary candle for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. See Celebrating for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception for details and other ideas.

·        Prepare an all-white meal for dinner and then discuss with your children the dogma of the Immaculate Conception with the visual aids of dinner showing the purity and the stainlessness of Mary's soul. Read Teaching the Immaculate Conception and Advent and the Immaculate Conception for discussion ideas.

Ideas for dinner:

Appetizers: Rice crackers and white cheeses;
Soups: cream soups, such as clam chowder, potato soup, cream of celery;
Main Course: chicken breasts, pasta with alfredo sauce;
Side Dishes: mashed potatoes, white rice, cauliflower with (or without) white cheese sauce, white bread (with crusts removed), white corn;
Dessert: White cake with white icing, meringue kisses, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, white chocolate.

·        The special treat for this feast is Moravian Spritz, or gingerbread cookies, loaded with fine, aromatic spices. These are mixed on the vigil, December 7. Or make your favorite gingerbread cookie. Perhaps for this solemnity the family could make a gingerbread house or Gingerbread Bowls.

·        Today, plant an Immaculate Conception Rose Bush. During this winter season, it is also a good time to plan a Mary Garden. Flower Theology by John Stokes, the website Mary's Gardens and the book Mary's Flowers, Gardens, Legends and Meditations by Mary's Gardens Associate, Vincenzina Krymow, are good beginnings for planning your garden.

·        No room for a garden? No time to nurture nature? Read Flowers for the Fairest by Daniel Foley to read about flowers appropriate for Our Lady, and purchase a small bouquet or a few flowers...real or silk to display for feasts of Mary.

Why Is the Octave of the Immaculate Conception No Longer Observed?[5] 

On this octave day of the Immaculate Conception, it occurred to me that it was in 1956, six years before the Missal of 1962 was promulgated by Pope John XXIII, that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception lost its octave and became a feast celebrated in the course of one day. 

A similar simplification occurred in 1955, when Pope Pius XII accepted the suggestions of Fr. Annibale Bugnini concerning the reform of Holy Week. Seven years later, Pope John XXIII himself would accept the suggestions of the same Fr. Bugnini to simplify Catholic pious devotions and remove the octaves from the Church calendar. 

Why did John XXIII agree to Bugnini’s proposition to reform this feast of the Immaculate Conception? 

Several answers can be given to this question. Here I want to stress just one point that I present as a hypothesis. The answer seems related to the fact that John XXIII also failed to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart even though he knew he should do so. That was in 1960 after the Pope read the Third Secret and decided that “it was not for our time,” even though Our Lady had explicitly asked the Pope to make it known at that time. There is more that could be said but others have addressed the issue of Fatima in great detail, so I will not repeat what they have already written. 

I think that when we disobey the will of God, we receive a curse from God rather than a blessing. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that when a person receives such a curse, God allows increased demonic activity and influence in his life, or if it happens to be a Pope in question, that demonic power would extend to the Church and the world. 

At La Salette, Our Lady told Melanie that in the 1840s Satan and some of the other most powerful devils were released from Hell to punish mankind for sins committed. 

Bugnini, proposed the octave be eliminated; John XXIII agreed: This fact was confirmed in a revelation received by Pope Leo XIII more than a half century later. After Mass one day, he had a vision of the confrontation between Jesus and Satan. The latter boasted that he could destroy Christ's Church if he were only given more time, which was granted to him. Shortly after this vision, the Holy Pontiff composed the St. Michael prayer [click here] as well as wrote several encyclicals on the Rosary. He also ordered that the St. Michael prayer, in addition to three Hail Marys, the Hail Holy Queen, and a prayer for the Church should be prayed at the end of every Mass for the conversion of sinners. These prayers were made optional in 1962, and abolished in 1965. 

Where disobedience increases, degeneration increases, and as Fr. Patrick Perez pointed out in a recent talk in Indianapolis for the Catholic Family News Conference, this corrosion of the liturgy did not begin in 1969 with the New Mass. It did not begin even with the 1962 Missal. It began much earlier. 

Why did it happen? 

In 1929, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucy in Tuy, Spain, requesting the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. She wanted the Consecration made not only to bring about millions of conversions to the Catholic Faith, but also so that those who adhered in substance to the Catholic Faith would be more faithful and zealous. 

By failing to honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary and fulfill the requests that would establish devotion to her Heart throughout the world, as Our Lord desires, the last Popes in succession became guilty of greater and greater disobedience to the Divine Will. 

Our Lady of Fatima 

The Popes disregarded Our Lady's command to consecrate Russia. 

Just as a disease that is not cured spreads, so it happens with a malady in the Church. The internal crisis in the Church becomes worse and worse so long as the right remedy is not applied to it. 

As the power and influence of Satan and his minions increase, the temptations to sin become greater and it becomes more difficult to resist, although it is never impossible. We must always keep before us the horror of all sin, especially mortal sin, in order to keep up our resistance to the evil of our times. Wherever we go, we should consign Jesus and Mary to go with us. They witness our every action. 

Now, if we further reflect that the season of Advent commemorates that time when Our Lady was preparing to give birth to the Redeemer, then we realize we should ask her protection in the name of the great love she had for her Son. 

By honoring today, the octave of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception, we prove to her and to Almighty God that we will not accept any rebellion against the will of God, not even the trial balloon of the 1962 Missal. For already at that point in the game, Progressivism was preparing its great assault on the Church, which was Vatican II. 

It is this kind of firm resistance to errors and concessions toward Progressivism that will help us to also resist temptation to mortal sin in our personal life, obtaining for us the graces necessary to remain firmly planted in the footsteps of Our Lady and Our Lord, far from Satan’s wicked instruments. The decree Maxima Redemptionis, which introduced the new rite in 1955, changed the times of the ceremonies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday to evenings.


    It also suppressed the Last Gospel for the Masses of Holy Week, the psalm Judica me for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, initiated the practice of the priest facing the people in certain places, diminished the role of the priest in the readings, changed the Prayer for the Conversion of Heretics to the Prayer for Church Unity, introduced the vernacular in places, and many other such innovations.


Jesse Tree[6]

Jesse Tree Scriptures (The Symbols Are Only Suggestions)

December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth

December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols: tree, man, woman

December 3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbols: tree, serpent, apple with bite

December 4 Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22 Symbols: ark, animals, dove, rainbow

December 5 Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3 Symbols: torch, sword, mountain

December 6 Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14 Symbols: bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush

December 7 Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 Symbols: kettle, ladder

December 8 Joseph: Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15 Symbols: bucket, well, silver coins, tunic

Thursday Feast

Thursday is the day of the week that our Lord gave himself up for consumption. Thursday commemorates the last supper. Some theologians believe after Sunday Thursday is the holiest day of the week. We should then try to make this day special by making a visit to the blessed sacrament chapel, Mass or even stop by the grave of a loved one. Why not plan to count the blessing of the week and thank our Lord. Plan a special meal. Be at Peace.

Feast of the day: crawfish boil

December 8-27 San Francisco Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

The holiday season wouldn’t be quite the same without catching a performance of "The Nutcracker." We suggest heading to the city by the Bay to see the sparkling two-act ballet performed by the San Francisco Ballet, which first introduced Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to American audiences in 1944. 


Catechism of the Catholic Church





I. Justification

1987 The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ" and through Baptism:

But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves as dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

1988 Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in Christ's Passion by dying to sin, and in his Resurrection by being born to a new life; we are members of his Body which is the Church, branches grafted onto the vine which is himself:

(God) gave himself to us through his Spirit. By the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine nature.... For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized.

1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus' proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. "Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.

1990 Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon God's merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals.

1991 Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or "justice") here means the rectitude of divine love. With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us.

1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.

1993 Justification establishes cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom. On man's part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent:

When God touches man's heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God's grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God's sight.

1994 Justification is the most excellent work of God's love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit. It is the opinion of St. Augustine that "the justification of the wicked is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth," because "heaven and earth will pass away but the salvation and justification of the elect . . . will not pass away." He holds also that the justification of sinners surpasses the creation of the angels in justice, in that it bears witness to a greater mercy.

1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the "inner man," justification entails the sanctification of his whole being:

Just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification.... But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Daily Devotions

·       Today's Fast: Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Protection of Traditional Marriages.

·       Religion in the home: Preschool for December

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Rosary

[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896




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