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The reason this blog is called "Iceman for Christ" is I was a member of Navel Mobile Construction Battalion that complete construction of the South Pole Station in 1974. At that time there was only one priest in Antarctica and I was asked by him to give the eucharistic to my fellow Catholics at a protestant service celebrated by the Battalion Chaplin on Sundays. At that time only priestly consecrated hands could give the eucharist. There were not eucharist ministers at that time. I was given permission by a letter from the bishop to handled our Lord. Years later I was reading the bible and read "and you shall take me to the ends of the earth." I reflected on it for a second and thought Yes, been there done that. Be not afraid and serve Christ King. Greater is HE; than he who is in the world.

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John, Chapter 13, Verse 34-35

34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have LOVED you, so you also should love one another. 35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 

Have you ever wondered how Jesus really loved? How the disciples felt in His presence?

Jesus commands us to love one another even as He loved us.

The crux of this command is to understand how Jesus loved us. Our text reveals five aspects of this love:[1]

1. Jesus’ love was costly love (John 13:31-32). 

For Jesus, the way was a costly one. He traveled the road of sorrows, and it ended with his death on a cross. Jesus was willing to suffer and die for us because his death would enable us to escape from our sins and to live with God forever. Though he was God in the flesh, Jesus let himself be whipped and spat on and crowned with thorns. He let himself be crucified, with nails driven through his hands and feet. He offered his life as an act of love for us--an act so perfect, so pure, and so valuable that it paid for the sins of the whole world. This was something only God could do. No matter what we might do to atone for our sins, we are merely finite creatures and never could pay for our offenses against the infinite holiness of God. But God could pay for them-- and, because he loves us, he did. After the Crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead. The Resurrection serves as a sign of what is waiting for all who turn to God. One day Jesus will return, and those who have loved God will experience their own glorious resurrection, the overthrow of death, and eternal life in the love of God.[2] 

2. Jesus’ love was caring love (John 13:33). 

THE MANDATE of Christianity is simple: love. Yet in this simplicity, complicated problems can spring up like weeds, for we more often than not use “love” as a mere excuse for self-indulgence. In the modern world especially—although it has been a problem throughout Church history—we commonly scorn real love. We scorn the suffering, self-sacrificial love with which Christ loved us to save us from our sins. And even though Christ told us to love each other “as I have loved you,” we scorn this love because we have so perverted and eroticized the concept of “love” that we even condone sin today in the name of Christ.[3] 

3. Jesus’ love was commanded love (John 13:34). 

Some people claim that the Church puts too much emphasis on the concept of sin, and that, if parents didn’t scare children with talk of sin and focused more on love, the world would be a better place. This argument can even lead to the idea that we should accept everything in the name of Christian love, and that we lack charity and are being judgmental merely to speak about sin. “It’s offensive to another’s individuality,” they claim, “to say that something that ‘does not really hurt others’ is morally wrong.” Well, it’s a great sadness that most parents do not teach their children how to love. Love is hard work, and most parents shrink from that work. When children misbehave, for example, it’s far easier to tell the children that they will go to hell because of their misbehavior than it is to show them consistently, by example, that all behavior should be motivated by love for God. When parents take the easy way, the children grow up being afraid of hell and understanding nothing about real love.

 

The irony, though, is that parents fail to teach their children real love because they fail to understand the psychological reality of sin.[4]

 

4. Jesus’ love was conspicuous love (John 13:35).

 

In psychological terms, sin can be described as a sort of infatuation with the vanity of our personal desires. That is, most people are narcissistically preoccupied with their immediate desires and have little, if any, altruistic awareness of anyone or anything else around them. Psychologically, this behavior allows you to feel good about yourself (that is, to feel strong and “in control”) by using, hurting, or neglecting someone else. Sin therefore leads you away from true love and compassion, and it sends you right into all the predicaments of self-indulgence. Sin really does hurt others because sin defiles love. Simply teaching children to be kind to one another, therefore, will not make sin “take a back seat.” In fact, teaching kindness without also teaching the full meaning of sin unwittingly promotes sin. Without an awareness of sin, anything goes. “If it feels good, do it,” is equivalent to the devil’s motto: Do what thou wilt. To see what is really required to overcome sin, let’s look more closely at the various forms of love.[5] 

5. Jesus’ love was committed love (John 13:36-38). 

Love, in its purest and most divine meaning refers to something so far beyond our comprehension that it is, well, incomprehensible. Christian theology says that “God is love,” but most us can grasp that concept only intellectually. Many Catholic mystics through the ages, however, have had an immediate experiential encounter with divine love, and they all end up saying essentially the same thing: I thought my heart would burst and that I would die right there. This sort of love is what Catholic mysticism is all about: a love for Christ so overwhelming that a person would risk anything and give up anything to get close to it. But this divine love is not something you “fall into”; it’s something you have to work at. To understand this, let’s first consider love’s other forms naturally accessible to general human experience.

 

·       A child’s love for a parent refers to a natural emotional bond every child must make with a caretaker in order to survive the helplessness of infancy and childhood. This childlike love for a parent serves as a preparation for the eventual experience of real love for God.

 

·       We also naturally love our siblings within our families; this is called brotherly love, and it is necessary for peace and growth in families—although sibling rivalry often manifests in dysfunctional families.

 

·       We can naturally love our neighbors, too; this is called neighborly love, and it, too, is necessary for social survival—although aggression and war often stain all societies.

 

·       What we commonly call romantic love, or erotic love (from the Greek eros), is just “common love”—a politically correct distortion of real love. Romance—in all truth, and contrary to popular sentiment—is actually a mixture of two things: a dependent, infantile attachment to a caretaker, and desire. Now, infantile dependence needs no further explanation.      Desire, in the psychological sense, refers to our attempts to fill ourselves with things that feel pleasurable or soothing, so as to hide from ourselves the reality of our essential human emptiness and brokenness. When you look at another person with desire, you do not see a soul enrobed in chaste beauty; you see only your own exuberant fantasy that your aching throb of loneliness might be alleviated.[6]

 

Desire isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. Although Buddhism, for example, teaches that all desire must be avoided, and although Christian theology teaches us that misplaced desire can lead us straight into sin, desire can be raised to the level of the divine. In fact, that’s the essence of the Catholic mystic tradition: to desire union with God as the supreme desire. As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God (Psalm 42:2). In this mystical desire for God we turn away from the illusory social attractions of the world around us and turn only to God for strength and refuge. That’s what it means to “die” to the world. And that’s a necessary step toward holiness for everyone—clerics, religious, and the laity. Thus, our natural human capacity for some forms of love is but a faint reflection of the divine love by which God created and redeemed us. Yet when natural love is raised to the level of the divine through Christ, it enters into a true mystery. In regard to this mystery, Christ told us something very important.[7]

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. —John 15:13

First Wednesday[8] 


Our Heavenly Father desires all three hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to be honored. And so along with devotion to Jesus on First Fridays, and to Mary on First Saturdays, Our Father longs for us to add devotion to St. Joseph on each First Wednesday of the month. 

"The Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have been chosen by the Most Holy Trinity to bring peace to the world." It is at God's request that "special love and honor be given to them" to help us "imitate" their love and their lives, as well as "offer reparation" for the sins committed against them and their love. 

The St. Joseph First Wednesday devotion is: 

1. Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary - remembering St. Joseph's love, his life, his role and his sufferings 

2. Receive Holy Communion - in union with the love St. Joseph had for Jesus the first time and each time he held him - his son, his God and Savior - in his arms. 

In the approved apparitions of Our Lady of America, St. Joseph revealed:

 

·       "I am the protector of the Church and the home, as I was the protector of Christ and his mother while I lived upon earth. Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way. 

 

·       Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them, the sorrow I suffered with them. 

 

·       Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms. 

 

·       Those who honor me in this way will be consoled by my presence at their death, and I myself will conduct them safely into the presence of Jesus and Mary."

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·       Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·       Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day[9]

Today we honor the victims of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, an American Naval Station.  The attack is often cited as the catalyst for American involvement in the Second World War, given that President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan the following day. At 8am on December 7th, 1941, without prior warning, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked a Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, located on Oahu, Hawaii.  The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighter planes. In total, 2,403 people perished, another 1,178 were injured, four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk, and 188 aircrafts were destroyed.  The aim of the attack was to immobilize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which would allow Japan to advance into Malaya and Dutch East Indies.  On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress passed Public Law 103-308 to designate December 7 of each year as the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Facts & Quotes

·       Within hours of the attack, Canada was the first nation to declare war on Japan. The United States declared war the following day.

·       The Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal was established by the United States Congress on November 5, 1990.  U.S. Armed Forces veterans and civilians who served, were injured or killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor were eligible to receive the medal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the attack.  (Public Law 101-510, 104 Stat. 1721 and Public Law. 104-201, 110 Stat. 2654)

·       The USS Arizona Memorial was built in 1962 to mark the resting place of the 1,102 sailors and marines who died on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

·       ...commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor will instill in all people of the United States a greater understanding and appreciation of the selfless sacrifice of the individuals who served in the armed forces of the United States during World War II... (Public Law 103-308)

·       Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  This speech by President Roosevelt is widely cited and referred to as the Infamy Speech or Pearl Harbor Speech.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Top Events and Things to Do

·       Visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu Island in Hawaii.

·       Spend some time learning about the Second World War and the US involvement that began after Pearl Harbor.

·       Attend a remembrance ceremony at your local naval club, army base, naval base, or museum of war.

·       Watch movies about Pearl Harbor and World War II.  Here are some recommendations:

·       1) Pearl Harbor (2001)
2) Saving Private Ryan (1998)


3) Inglorious Basterds (2009)
4) Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
5) Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
6) Empire of the Sun (1987)
7) The Longest Day (1962)
8) Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
9) Schindler's List (1993)
10) The Pianist (2002)

Father Aloysius H. Schmitt and the USS Schmitt[10] 

Aloysius H. Schmitt was born in St. Lucas, Iowa on December 4, 1909, and was appointed acting chaplain with the rank of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) on June 28, 1939.  Serving on his first sea tour, he was hearing confessions on board the battleship USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  When the ship capsized, he was entrapped along with several other members of the crew in a compartment where only a small porthole provided a means of escape.  He assisted others through the porthole, giving up his own chance to escape, so that more men might be rescued. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal posthumously for his courage and self-sacrifice.  St. Francis Xavier Chapel, erected at Camp Lejeune in 1942, was dedicated in his memory. The destroyer escort USS SCHMITT was laid down on February 22, 1943, launched on May 29, 1943, and was commissioned on July 24, 1943.  The USS Schmitt was decommissioned and placed in reserve on June 28,1949 and struck from the Navy list on May 1,1967. 

Jesse Tree[11]

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

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

CHAPTER THREE-GOD'S SALVATION: LAW AND GRACE

Article 2-GRACE AND JUSTIFICATION

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.

Full Cold Moon

 

According to the almanac today is a Full Cold Moon; today would be a good day to take the children/grandchildren out in the cold and enjoy hot chocolate afterward.



Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Holy Bishops and Cardinals

·       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



First Wednesday-St. Joseph



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