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NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Friday, January 20, 2023

Day Two:

January 20, 2023

March for Life, Washington, DC

If you or someone you know is suffering from participation in abortion, confidential, compassionate help is available. Visit www.hopeafterabortion.org.
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Intercession


May each person suffering from participation in abortion find forgiveness, hope, and healing in Christ.


Prayers


Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be


Reflection


Countless children’s lives have been ended by abortion, and countless parents and family members suffer guilt, grief, and regret—often in silence. Yet God’s greatest desire is to forgive. No matter how far we have each strayed from His side, He says to us, “Don’t be afraid. Draw close to my heart.” Be assured that it is never too late to seek God's forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Consider the parable of the Prodigal Son. After repenting of sinning against his father, he returns from far away to seek forgiveness and work as a servant. But his father sees him approaching, runs to warmly embrace him, and hosts a banquet to celebrate his return. So, too, does God welcome all His children who come to Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation with contrite hearts, no matter how serious the sin. Let us turn confidently to Our Lord, Who is love and mercy.



Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)


  • Abstain from meat today.



  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.


One Step Further


If a friend confided in you that she had an abortion, would you be able to listen and respond in a way that brings her closer to forgiveness and healing? Learn how in How to Talk to a Friend Who’s Had an Abortion


Models used for illustrative purposes only. iStock.com / alexey_ds. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2022, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


Sacred Heart of Jesus

The soul in moral Sin

ST. SEBASTIAN -PENGUIN DAY 

Acts, Chapter 26, Verse 5-7

5 They have known about me from the start, if they are willing to testify, that I have lived my life as a Pharisee, the strictest party of our religion. 6 But now I am standing trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors. 7 Our twelve tribes hope to attain to that promise as they fervently worship God, day and night; and on account of this HOPE, I am accused by Jews, O king. 

Paul clearly explains that his entire life was in preparation for the hope of Israel, Christ Jesus, who Israel did not recognize as the son of God. Paul states that the prophets and Moses had foretold that the Christ would suffer, and as first to be raised from the dead, he would proclaim light to both God’s people and the Gentiles. The resurrection is God’s promise to Israel. Paul like Christ ultimately was a victim of intolerance.[1]

St. Sebastian[2] 

The name of Sebastian is enveloped in a wreath of legends. By birth he was a Milanese. Perhaps the persecutor of Christians had left Milan, or had not yet arrived, or had become momentarily more tolerant. Sebastian believed that here there was no opportunity for combat, or that it had already passed. So, he went to Rome, the scene of bitter opposition arising from the Christians' zeal for the faith. There he suffered; there he gained the crown." St. Sebastian was widely venerated during the Middle Ages, particularly as a protector against the plague. Paul the Deacon relates that in 670 a great pestilence at Rome ceased when an altar was dedicated in his honor. The Breviary account of the saint is highly legendary; in part it reads: "Diocletian tried by every means to turn Sebastian from the faith of Christ. After all efforts had proven fruitless, he ordered him tied to a post and pierced with arrows. When everyone thought him dead, a devout woman named Irene arranged for his burial during the night; finding him still alive, she cared for him in her own house. After his recovery he appeared again before Diocletian and boldly rebuked him for his wickedness. Enraged by the saint's sharp words, the emperor ordered him scourged until he expired. (Remember that in our Lords scourging; He paid particularly for the sins of the flesh) His body was thrown into a sewer."

Things to Do:[3]

·        Read a longer account of St. Sebastian's life.

·        St. Sebastian's Day is marked in Sicily and in Kerala, India with huge celebrations. Try a Sicilian or Kerala dish for dinner tonight in honor of the saint.

·        If you have an athlete in your family teach them the prayer to St. Sebastian.

Litany of St. Sebastian[4]

Lord, have mercy on us!         Christ, have mercy on us!

Lord, have mercy on us!        

Christ hear us!            Christ, graciously hear us!

God, the Father of heaven,                                         Have mercy on us!

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,                       Have mercy on us!

God, the holy Ghost,                                                               Have mercy on us!

Holy Trinity, one God,                                                           Have mercy on us!

Holy Mary, Queen of Martyrs,                                                           Pray for us.

Saint Sebastian,                                                                                              Pray for us.

Invincible Martyr,                                                                               Pray for us.

Knight, noble by birth and fame,                                            Pray for us.

Glorious warrior and martyr of Christ,                                   Pray for us.

Patron and mirror of Christian soldiers,                                 Pray for us.

Despiser of the world,                                                                        Pray for us.

Conqueror of Satan,                                                                            Pray for us.

Comfort of the dying,                                                                         Pray for us.

Consoler of the afflicted,                                                                    Pray for us.

Announcer of the word of God,                                              Pray for us.

Protector and Patron of countries and cities,              Pray for us.

Saint Sebastian, perfect in virtue and wisdom,          Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, lover of God and men,                         Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, might in word and work,                                  Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, who didst strengthen the Christians in torments and death,                                                                                                                            Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, who didst fortify those wavering in their faith,

Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, who didst encourage the doubting to persevere to the end,                                                                                                                             Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, who, in flamed with love of God, didst despise the pains inflicted by the tyrant,                                                              Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, surrounded by celestial light,                           Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, instructed by the holy Angels,                         Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, giving speech to the dumb,                              Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, who for defending the truth wast wounded by arrows,                                                                                                                                   Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, who wast put to death with clubs,                    Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, who wast crowned with eternal glory,             Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, great intercessor for us with God,                    Pray for us.

St. Sebastian, endowed with power from God to avert pestilence and all contagious diseases,                                                                      Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord!

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord!

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us, O Lord! Christ, hear us! Christ, graciously hear us!

Let us pray. Mercifully look on our weakness, O almighty God; since the weight of our own evil deeds bears us down, may the glorious intercession of Thy blessed martyr Sebastian be our protection Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. R. Amen.

Penguin Awareness Day[5] 



was created to celebrate everybody’s favorite zoo animal! Find out more about penguins, explore what others have to say about penguins, why not visit your local zoo to share the penguin love! You don’t have to wait until Penguin Awareness Day, because penguins can be loved all year long!

 

Fitness Friday[6]


Fitness Friday

Is Chocolate Good for You? The Health Benefits of Chocolate

Theobroma Cacao, the Latin name for chocolate, means “Food of the Gods” for a reason. It’s a heavenly way to lift your performance. There are also some major health benefits of chocolate.

We’re not talking about junk chocolate in candy bars and sweet desserts; dark chocolate has a long history as a healing plant, a mood enhancer, and even an aphrodisiac. So, you’re in luck: you can indeed use high-quality chocolate to take delicious control of your biology.

7 health benefits of chocolate

You’ve probably read that chocolate affects your brain by causing the release of the “happiness neurotransmitters” serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Like coffee, chocolate is also a potent source of polyphenol antioxidants, which can fight damaging free radicals and protect your mitochondria.

But experienced chocolate hackers also know chocolate to be a useful tool for improving performance in lesser-known ways. In fact, cacao exerts a systemic effect on the body, with benefits ranging from improved blood flow and cognition to beneficial alterations in gut bacteria! Here are some of the most important benefits of chocolate (besides taste…).

1.     Chocolate for a better mood

Chocolate can improve your mood, especially in high-pressure or stressful situations. Participants were asked to complete serial subtraction tasks of threes and sevens (counting down by 3s and 7s), and a rapid visual information-processing task to test sustained attention. Those who consumed cocoa flavanol drinks prior to the trial had overall better cognitive performance and reported less mental fatigue than the control group.

2.     Chocolate makes you eat less

One of my favorite effects of chocolate consumption is a reduction in appetite. One study quantified this by giving participants a 100 g serving of either milk or dark chocolate two hours before being served an all-you-can-eat lunch. Ingestion of dark chocolate was correlated with a 17% lower calorie intake at the following meal, compared to the milk chocolate group. (I’d imagine that it’s because the casein in milk binds to the polyphenols in chocolate, making them unavailable to your body.)

Chocolate may also have a significant effect on mood, as one double-blind study recorded that subjects were able to subjectively discriminate the effects of theobromine at doses as low as 100-560 mg.

3.     Chocolate for a healthy heart

Regular chocolate consumption can improve your cardiovascular health. Notably, the polyphenols in cacao increase HDL cholesterol (often thought of as the protective kind of cholesterol), which in turns leads to decreased oxidized LDL cholesterol. Other effects include higher levels of circulating nitric oxide, and reduced platelet adhesion,, resulting in improved circulation benefits of chocolate

One study even found the cacao flavanol epicatechin to be responsible for the rise in nitric oxide, which is essential for vascular health. Bioavailability of nitric oxide is an essential determinate of vascular health as it regulates dilation tone, signals cell growth and inflammatory response, and protects blood vessels from clotting.

Vascular function is also really important for insulin-regulated glucose uptake. That’s why dark chocolate can also improve/

“Healthy levels of insulin sensitivity.

4.     Chocolate for glowing skin and sun protection

Chocolate can help you maintain healthy skin by modulating healthy blood flow. In one study, two groups of women consumed either a high flavanol or low flavanol cocoa powder for a period of 12 weeks. While the low flavanol group showed no change in markers of skin health, subjects in the high flavanol group had on average 25% reduction in UV-induced erythema (sunburn) after exposure to a solar simulator.

The high flavanol group also recorded increased skin density and thickness, as well as better hydration and less transepidermal water loss.

5.     Chocolate may lower inflammation

Chocolate has inflammation-modulating properties. In one study, obese mice supplemented with cocoa powder had healthier levels of inflammation and insulin. These mice also had a 30% reduction in plasma levels of the major pro-inflammatory mediator interleukin 6. Additionally, a cross-sectional study of an Italian cohort discovered an inverse relationship between dark chocolate consumption and serum C-reactive protein.

6.     Chocolate is a prebiotic

While many studies assume that it is the cacao polyphenols acting directly to modulate biomarkers, it is most likely the case that at least some of the effect is indirect, and works through interaction with our gut microbiome. Research suggests that low molecular weight cocoa flavanols such as epicatechin and catechin can be absorbed directly into blood circulation, (unless you mix them with milk) but this is not so for the larger polyphenols. In this case, microflora in the colon work to break down high molecular weight polyphenols, so that the smaller secondary metabolites may circulate throughout the body. Cocoa flavanols are processed by gut microbiota, and secondary metabolites can enter circulation.

benefits of chocolate and effects of cocoa on the immune system

If gut bacteria are feeding on the larger cocoa polyphenols, then it follows that they can also change the composition of the intestinal microbiome. In fact, one study did discover a beneficial prebiotic effect of high flavanol chocolate consumption. After a period of 4 weeks of consuming a high flavanol cocoa powder, subjects had a significant increase in bifidobacteria and lactobacilli populations, as well as significantly decreased clostridia levels. This was accompanied by significantly decreased C-reactive protein (which correlates to inflammation reduction in the body), which was associated particularly with changes in lactobacilli.

7.     Chocolate for anti-aging

Last, but certainly not least, cacao can enhance mitochondrial biogenesis, or, the creation of new mitochondria! If you’ve read about Unfair Advantage, you know how important it is to have healthy mitochondria, and more of them. It is the flavanol epicatechin in chocolate which is responsible for mitogenesis. In one study, oral administration of epicatechin to senile mice shifted numerous biomarkers towards those of young mice, including sirtuin 1, a well-recognized regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. In another mouse study, treatment with epicatechin improved exercise performance by ~50% compared to controls, and enhanced muscle fatigue resistance by ~30%. The epicatechin group also recorded significant increases in mitochondrial volume in hindlimb and cardiac muscles.

Does chocolate have caffeine?

Yes, but in much smaller amounts than coffee. So much less, you could probably eat a square or two of dark chocoalte before bed without any trouble falling asleep. The really cool energy-giving molecule in coffee is called theobromine. Theobromin is the primary alkaloid found in cocoa that is responsible for multiple positive effects, one of which is similar to the effects of caffeine. Although theobromine is present in other plants, there’s a high contentration in dark chocolate, with measures between 237-519 mg per 50g.

The benefits of theobromine

Promotes steady energy: Due to the molecular makeup of theobromine, while it promotes energy in the body, it doesn’t exert its effects on the central nervous system – so its effects are a more gentle, feel-good type of energy. Also, due to its molecular makeup, theobromine takes longer to clear from your body, which means this calm energy lasts longer.

Better cognitive function: The immediate cognitive effects of chocolate are primarily accounted for by caffeine and theobromine. A study comparing the effects of cocoa powder versus an equivalent caffeine and theobromine powder found equivalent improvements in cognitive and mood assessments.

Addictive taste: It is said that dark chocolate is an “acquired taste,” and research suggests that theobromine may be the component responsible for our attraction to dark chocolate. One study demonstrated an increased liking for a ‘novel’ drink when it was mixed with theobromine.

The pitfalls of chocolate

Most chocolate contains sugar

By now you may be interested in picking up some chocolate, but be sure to choose one with as little sugar as possible or even none.

While research shows that cocoa can have a beneficial effect with regards to maintaining healthy vascular tone and insulin sensitivity, the reverse is true for sugar. Eating sweetened chocolate is still not good for you. Beware of chocolate marketed as “sugar-free” that may contain unhealthy artificial sweeteners, which are found in the “kryptonite” zone of the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap. The only recommended sweeteners are Stevia, erythritol from non-GMO corn, and xylitol from hardwood.

In one study, rats fed a high-fat, high-sucrose diet for 4 weeks displayed insulin resistance, and decreased endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), which is responsible for creating nitric oxide in blood vessels.[29] Other studies have demonstrated that the detrimental effect of sugar on vascular function is independent of obesity and insulin resistance, so sugar is bad for you even if you are in otherwise good health.

Chocolate can contain mold

Unfortunately, due to intensive farming techniques and poor agricultural, processing, and storage practices, much of the world’s chocolate supply is contaminated with meaningful levels of mold toxins. One of the more insidious and dangerous forms of mycotoxin, ochratoxin A, was present in 98% of samples tested in one study. Of those contaminated with ochratoxin, the study found an 80% co-occurrence of aflatoxin as well. Mycotoxins amplify each other when more than one is present.

Cacao trees are a tropical crop, making them highly susceptible to fungus and mold. Roasting moldy beans destroys the actual fungi, but it doesn’t destroy the fungi’s byproduct: harmful mold toxins. Beans aren’t just susceptible when they’re on the tree. They can become host to mold and fungi during pre-processing, so it’s important not to let them sit for long periods of time.[34] The good news is that one study found that the processing of cocoa beans into a finished product resulted in a 93.6% decrease in ochratoxin A.[35] My experience is that mold toxins vary greatly from batch to batch and from brand to brand, and a brand with “clean” chocolate this month may not be clean the following month.

Keep the following in mind while selecting and eating chocolate:

    Make sure your chocolate is at least 85 percent dark chocolate

    European chocolate tends to be lower in mold toxins, as they have stricter government limits than the US

    Take activated coconut charcoal with chocolate to bind some of the mold toxins like I always do

How to get more chocolate into your day

Your options are almost limitless. Try these unique options to get more chocolate into your diet:

   Drink cacao tea

    Make a Bulletproof Mocha: add some high-quality chocolate powder to your morning BP coffee

    Make Bulletproof Get Some Ice Cream

    Check out The Bulletproof Diet book for Bulletproof dessert AND dinner recipes that use high-quality chocolate

Friday Fish

This shrimp in marsala sauce can be served over pasta or rice. This is a delicious Friday night dinner.

DIRECTIONS

Dredge shrimp in flour; sauté in oil 3 minutes. Drain shrimp, reserving oil. Add wine to shrimp; simmer 5 minutes or until shrimp is nearly done. Add reserved oil, tomato paste mixed with water, scallion, salt, and pepper; simmer 5 minutes longer or until shrimp is done. Stir in lemon juice. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

CHAPTER ONE-YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND

Article 3 -THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.

The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so, the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Reparations for offenses and blasphemies against God and the Blessed Virgin Mary

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: January

·       Carnival Time begins in Catholic Countries.

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary

 Day 6


St. Joseph is the head of the Holy Family


[1]The Collegeville Bible Commentary

[2]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-01-20

[4]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1125

[6]https://www.bulletproof.com/diet/superfoods/is-chocolate-good-for-you-health-benefits/






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