Wednesday, January 8, 2023

 Polar Express


First Wednesday

St. Elizabeth ANN SETON-11TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS 

Romans, Chapter 14, Verse 15

If your brother is being hurt by what you eat, your conduct is no longer in accord with LOVE. Do not because of your food destroy him for whom Christ died.

 

Adjust your habits and traditions remembering that the mind like the body can be demanding of its own way and must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. Contemplate you do not have to believe or act on all the things the mind tells you of the things/pleasures and entertainments it wants. 

Married love should be a union of two friends but because of human nature each friend in order to give themselves fully to the other must practice the virtue of chastity. To do otherwise is to invite unhappiness. 

Catechism of the Catholic Church 

II. THE VOCATION TO CHASTITY 

2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift. 

The integrity of the person 

2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech. 

2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end." 

2340 Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascetic adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God's commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. "Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity." 

2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason. 

2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life. The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence. 

2343 Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by imperfection and too often by sin. "Man day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth." 

2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society." Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life. 

2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort. The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ. 

Widow Saint[1] Elizabeth Ann Seton


 

This wife, mother and foundress of a religious congregation was born Elizabeth Ann Bayley on August 28, 1774 in New York City, the daughter of an eminent physician and professor at what is now Columbia University. Brought up as an Episcopalian, she received an excellent education, and from her early years she manifested an unusual concern for the poor.

 

In 1794 Elizabeth married William Seton, with whom she had five children. The loss of their fortune so affected William's health that in 1803 Elizabeth and William went to stay with Catholic friends at Livorno, Italy. William died six weeks after their arrival, and when Elizabeth returned to New York City some six months later, she was already a convinced Catholic. She met with stern opposition from her Episcopalian friends but was received into full communion with the Catholic Church on March 4, 1805.

 

Abandoned by her friends and relatives, Elizabeth was invited by the superior of the Sulpicians in Baltimore to launch a school for girls in that city. The school prospered, and eventually the Sulpician superior, with the approval of Bishop Carroll, gave Elizabeth and her assistants a rule of life. They were also permitted to make religious profession and to wear a religious habit.

 

In 1809 Elizabeth moved her young community to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she adopted as a rule of life an adaptation of the rule observed by the Sisters of Charity, founded by St. Vincent de Paul. Although she did not neglect the ministry to the poor, and especially to Negroes, she actually laid the foundation for what became the American parochial school system. She trained teachers and prepared textbooks for use in the schools; she also opened orphanages in Philadelphia and New York City. She died at Emmitsburg on January 4, 1821, was beatified by Pope John XXIII in 1963, and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1975.

 

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - Day Eleven[2]

 

Elizabeth Seton was born of a wealthy and distinguished Episcopalian family. She was baptized in the Episcopal faith and was a faithful adherent of the Episcopal Church until her conversion to Catholicism.

 

·       Day Eleven activity (Story Time)

·       Day Eleven recipe (Colonial Wassail)

Spaghetti Day[3]

One of the world’s favorite dishes, spaghetti is more than deserving of its own little holiday. And because it is both simple and delicious, spaghetti is the perfect dish to make to bring out your inner chef, even if you don’t have all that much cooking experience! 

Many people don’t know that the first historical reference to boiled noodles suggests that the Arabs invented the dish thousands of years ago, long before it became a staple of Italian cuisine.

What’s especially remarkable about this is that historical records actually refer to dried noodles being purchased from a street vendor, which means that pasta has been sold in stores since at least the 5th century A.D.! Of course, today we associate pasta with the Italians, who revolutionized the dish and invented a wide variety of pasta shapes. 

The first Western pasta was likely long, thin forms made in Sicily around the 12th century; till this day, spaghetti is the most common round-rod type of pasta and in Italian, “spaghetti” means “little lines.” However, the popularity of pasta only spread across the whole country of Italy after the establishment of pasta factories in the 19th century, substantially shortening the time needed for making dishes like spaghetti and enabling the mass production of pasta for the Italian market. 

The steady flow of Italian immigrants to the United States brought traditional Italian dishes with it, and spaghetti was offered in restaurants as early as the 19th century. Spaghetti then gained popularity all over the world.

Spaghetti Day Recipe

Ingredients: (serves 2)

1/2 medium onion
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
200g tin chopped tomatoes
20g pack basil leaves, chopped finely
200g dried spaghetti (roughly half of a 500g pack)
100g ball mozzarella
a few pinches of salt & a bit of oil for the pasta

Preparation:

Peel the onion and the garlic and chop both finely. Set a large frying pan over medium heat and when hot, pour in the oil then add the onion. Cook the onion for about 4-5 mins, or until it softens, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cook 2 mins more until fragrant. Then, add the tomatoes and half the basil. Leave to gently bubble for 15 mins or so, stirring occasionally–the sauce should become thick and pulpy. Break up any large clumps of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.

Pour water ¾ of the way up your largest pot. Heat over a high heat and add several large pinches of salt and a spoon or so of oil. When water has reached a rolling boil, put the spaghetti in it. Giving it a stir every now and then stir to separate the pasta, cook it according to pack instructions, usually about 10 mins. Before you finish cooking it, taste a strand of the pasta. It should be just soft, but not mushy. Scoop out a cup of water before draining and set aside (this will help to loosen your sauce). Put the drained pasta back into its cooking pan, then pour in the tomato sauce.

Give everything a good stir. The sauce should just coat the pasta, but if it is thick and looks dry, stir in a few spoons of the pasta water you set aside before. If it is watery, cook over a low heat for 2-3 mins or until evaporated, stirring often.

Use your hands to break the mozzarella into chunky pieces and stir through the pasta along with the remaining basil leaves.

Serve straight away.



Christmas Calendar 

Read: Today we remember the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized as a saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton. 

Reflect: Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly [on the night of Christmas] entered into our night.

Pray: Pray for the intersession of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton today. 

Act: Aim to put these practices of building a domestic Church into action. 

11th day of Christmas

 

 The 11 pipers piping is a sign for the eleven faithful apostles.  It is interesting to note that Judas’ sin was due to fear, greed, pride, and envy.  Today would be a good day to read about the remaining 11 pipers and their courage to create a Kingdom of God that changed the world.  

First Wednesday[4] 

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.

·       Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

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

 

Daily Devotions/Activities

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: An increase of the Faithful.

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       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



·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Pray for our nation.

·       Rosary.



[1]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-01-04

[4]https://enteringintothemystery.blogspot.com/2018/12/dont-forget-first-wednesday-devotion-to.html



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