Genesis, chapter 22, Verse 12
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the angel. “Do not do the least thing to him. For now I know that you FEAR god, since you did not withhold from me your son, your only one.”
This was the last test of Abraham. It was by Abraham’s confidence and humility before God that all the peoples of the earth are blessed for God did not withhold from us his only son Jesus Christ in sacrifice for our sins.
Rabbinical sources record that there were 10 tests of Abraham:
1) God tells him to leave his homeland to be a stranger in the land of Canaan.
2) Immediately after his arrival in the Promised Land, he encounters a famine.
3) The Egyptians capture his beloved wife, Sarah, and bring her to Pharaoh.
4) Abraham faces incredible odds in the battle of the four and five kings.
5) He marries Hagar after not being able to have children with Sarah.
6) God tells him to circumcise himself at an advanced age.
7) The king of Gerar captures Sarah, intending to take her for himself.
8) God tells him to send Hagar away after having a child with her.
9) His son, Ishmael, becomes estranged.
10) God tells him to sacrifice his dear son Isaac upon an altar.
Carnival Friday-Rio de Janeiro
At the height of Rio’s summer, beginning at least a week before the official event, which runs from the Friday before Ash Wednesday until Shrove (Fat) Tuesday. Rio’s more than 70 samba “schools” (neighborhood social groups, not educational institutions) spend the entire year preparing for this moment, and many open to visitors beginning in September for those who come outside of Carnival season. For those who come for the Carnival itself, though, the centerpiece is the samba parades, made up of lavishly costumed troupes and over-the-top floats from Grupo Especial (the 12 top-tier schools)— each accompanied by a pounding, 150-member-strong drum corps— who perform and compete on the Sunday and Monday before Ash Wednesday.
The parades are televised from 9 P.M. to dawn, at the filled-to-capacity, 75,000-seat Sambódromo (a stadium built specifically for this purpose). Here, the flamboyantly— often scantily— dressed teams fill the air with music, passion, and unbridled frenzy as they compete for the year’s coveted championship.
Indoor samba balls (often attended by guests in full costume) are held in nightclubs, bars, and some hotels around town. But the most authentic experience of all is to join the open-air concerts and tag-along bands that snake through the beachside neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon and the hilltop Bohemian district of Santa Teresa, forming a kind of citywide street party. A glitzy and outrageous bacchanal of flesh and fantasy, Rio’s Carnival is not for the prudish or crowd-fearing.
For those who want to escape the chaos of Carnival, there’s the grand Belmond Copacabana Palace, which hosts the most exclusive black-tie ball in Rio. Built in 1923, “The Palace” overlooks the famous beach from which it takes its name, and its elegant pool makes a beautiful setting for a dip or an afternoon caipirinha (cocktail), while its top-rated restaurants serve excellent meals. This was the backdrop for Flying Down to Rio, the 1933 film that first paired Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; the movie made the Palace a Hollywood favorite. The myth of yesteryear lives on in the ornate Golden Room; its famous glass dance floor, lit from below, is where the famous Magic Ball takes place during Carnival.
The Devil and Temptations
There are many and varied ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way.
Spiritualists or Spiritualistic Churches
· Spiritualism involves a communication with the dead or with the spirit world by some psychic or occult means.
· Great care is to be used because many people are fooled. There can be the use of the Bible, holy water, statues of saints and Catholic hymns. Spiritualists often believe in the Fatherhood of God, doing good to others, personal responsibility for what one does, reward for good deeds and punishment for evil deeds. Many are Christian or even Catholic and profess faith in Jesus.
· There is always a dangerous attempt to communicate with the dead or with spirits in some way. It can be through a seance, or perhaps the person just seems to go into a trance.
· Spiritualists are involved in healing, witchcraft, fortune telling or even blessing homes to protect them. Sometimes they believe in reincarnation as well.
· This is the belief that the soul, after death, passes into the body of another human being, an animal, a plant or even an object. Many oriental religions or cults believe this. In Hinduism the god Vishnu is believed to have several reincarnations as a fish, a dwarf, as the person of Rama, and as Krishna in the different ages of the world. This is contrary to the Bible and to all Christian belief in the afterlife. "It is appointed that men die once, and after death be judged" (Heb. 10:27). Those involved with spiritualists must renounce Satan, renounce spiritualism, ask God's pardon, and confess their sin to a priest.
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
Daily Preparatory Prayer
O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Psalm 51, 12-13.
A pure heart create for us O God, put a steadfast spirit within us. Do not cast us away from your presence nor deprive us of your Holy Spirit.
May our hearts be cleansed, O Lord, by the inpouring of the Holy Spirit, and may He render them fruitful by watering them with His heavenly dew, Mary, the most chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit, intercede for us, Saint Joseph pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
O Victorious Prince, most humble guardian of the Church of God and of faithful souls, who with such charity and zeal took part in so many conflicts and gained such great victories over the enemy, for the conservation and protection of the honor and glory we all owe to God, as well as for the promotion of our salvation, come, we pray Thee, to our assistance, for we are continually besieged with such great perils by our enemies, the flesh, the world and the devil; and as Thou was a leader for the people of God through the desert, so also be our faithful leader, and companion through the desert of this world, until Thou conduct us safely into the happy land of the living, in that blessed fatherland from which we are all exiles. Amen. (St. Aloysius)
Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)
Seven Founders of the Orders of Servite’s
These seven men were the founders of the Servite Order, a community instituted for the special purpose of cultivating the spirit of penance and contemplating the passion of Christ and Mary's Seven Sorrows. Due to the spirit of humility cherished by the members of the Order, their accomplishments are not too widely known. But in the field of home missions’ great things are to their credit, and certainly they have benefited millions by arousing devotion to the Mother of Sorrows. The Breviary tells us that in the midst of the party strife during the thirteenth century, God called seven men from the nobility of Florence. In the year 1233 they met and prayed together most fervently. The Blessed Mother appeared to each of them individually and urged them to begin a more perfect life. Disregarding birth and wealth, in sackcloth under shabby and well-worn clothing they withdrew to a small building in the country. It was September 8, selected so that they might begin to live a more holy life on the very day when the Mother of God began to live her holy life. Soon after, when the seven were begging alms from door to door in the streets of Florence, they suddenly heard children's voices calling to them, "Servants of holy Mary." Among these children was St. Philip Benizi, then just five months old. Hereafter they were known by this name, first heard from the lips of children. In the course of time they retired into solitude on Monte Senario and gave themselves wholly to contemplation and penance. Leo XIII canonized the Holy Founders and introduced today's feast in 1888.
Today is my mother Rosella’s birthday (RIP)
Feb 17, 1927-Feb 2, 2002
Please say a Hail Mary for her soul.
Today is also the National Congress of Mothers later known as the PTO which was established in 1897. Motherhood is tough these days don’t forget to pray for mothers of today.
The New Stay-at-Home Mom (Does not just eat bon bons and watch “Charmed” on TV)
Forget everything you've heard about stay-at-home moms. A new generation is starting their own; businesses, blogging and working at home. These women are known as WAHM’s (Work At Home Moms) proving women can be nurturing while increasing the net income of a family while overseeing that the family comes first. Great families start with great couples; great parents which means a great family. If we want to make America great it starts here. The model for any mother is of course the original work at home mom which is Mary mother of God. Today say the Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary.
Moms: Here is an original children’s story I have written a long time ago. Enjoy
THE TREE OF HAPPINESS
Sir Michael was, Guardian of the Throne, to the King of Utopia, Richard. Utopia was a Kingdom like many others of that age, Most the Knights to the King had long forgot their oaths of duty and selfless service. Most of them were heavily involved in petty schemes or feuds with other Knights and spend a great deal of time and energy in self-promotion. In order to afford these pursuits of big-headedness they extracted heavy taxes from the peasants. The sons of these Knights were worse than their fathers and had much time for idle pleasures and failed to train properly as Knights of the Realm. These youth wasted much of their time in satisfying selfish pleasures, such as taking magical powders which made the takers have visions and feel a great sense of well-being. In addition, many of these Knights to be were in the habit of drinking strong drinks to excess and going about mistreating the daughters and sons of the peasants. To be continued tomorrow.
Enhancing one’s fitness goes a long way to improving oneself image and raising one to the challenge of God’s mission for them.
Help! I’m Poor but Want to Eat Healthy!
Unhealthy food is indeed often more accessible and cheaper than healthy alternatives. Unfortunately, it’s these very foods that make us unhealthy and overweight, causing all sorts of INCREDIBLY expensive medical problems down the road. Healthy eating on a budget IS possible; it just takes a game plan and a little creativity. Today we’re going to talk about specific foods that are a great bang for your buck. Whether you’re simply trying losing weight and getting in shape or build some muscle and put on weight without looking like Jabba the Hut, making the right dietary choices will always be 80-90% of your success. And because diet is going to make up THAT BIG of your chance for success, we want you to slowly shift to the most effective choices you can – and for that we recommend the Paleo diet. Over the last few decades, we’ve been eating and drinking more and more, and we developed the idea that a “good deal” means a lot of food. In other words, we tend to associate a deal by looking at the price per calorie. “I got SOO many fries, what a great deal!” Sure, you could buy pasta and ramen and live on mere dollars a day, but we want a game plan that doesn’t skip out on practically every macro and micronutrient – this is a strategy that builds Superheroes. The aim will be to reshape the way you evaluate ‘good deals.’ Instead of price per calorie, we’ll be looking at the price per nutrient. We want the most nutrients for the least amount of money. The choices below will:
· Target nutrient dense foods, but understand that we’re looking for the most economical choices. If food A costs $10 and has 50 of nutrient x, we’ll pick food B instead, which only provides 45 of x but costs just $2.
· Limit our draw to ‘good caloric deals,’ avoiding nutrient deficient options such as white bread or ramen.
· Identify foods with high caloric AND nutritional value, for those currently trying to gain weight through strength training.
Let’s do this!
While vegetables can often be expensive, when we looked at some of the best choices, veggies are pretty awesome. One study showed:
“that although fruits and vegetables are an expensive source of dietary energy (calories), they provide key nutrients at a reasonable cost.”
· For starters, don’t be afraid to buy frozen vegetables in the freezer section of your local grocery store (or even canned vegetables). Sure, I love fresh veggies, but since frozen veggies are picked and then frozen at peak ripeness (and thus most nutritionally dense), they are often a better value while being edible for months longer.
· Kale and leafy greens (such as mustard or collard): If there is one super cheap superfood, kale and leafy greens are it! Practically nature’s multivitamin, kale is packed full of protein, vitamin K, C, and A, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and more (a whole lot more). The catch is that kale and leafy greens can be bitter raw, so they need to be cooked. But don’t worry, there are tons of quick and easy ways to make kale delicious. You do NOT want to miss out on one of the most economical superfoods. To get you started, check out Kale Chips or this try this kale and bacon recipe.
· Cabbage: A sister food to kale and leafy greens, from antioxidant to fiber to vitamin C, cabbage is both affordable and nutritionally dense. Cabbage is extremely versatile (soup, salad, stir fry, or sandwiches), and looks like it may have some superfood cancer fighting qualities as well.
· Broccoli: I didn’t understand why everyone else hated Broccoli. Whether fresh or frozen, broccoli provides an excellent price per nutrient value.
· Spinach: Rich in minerals and vitamins, fiber and protein, spinach should be your go-to choose for salads over cheaper but nutritionally deficient greens like iceberg lettuce. The difference between spinach and lettuce is so large, this comparison is a great example to demonstrate why we should be making choices based on price per nutrient, rather than price per calorie.
· Carrots: Carrots are one of my favorite nutritionally dense snacks. Crazy amounts of vitamin A, good carbs, and a little bit of everything else; carrots are a solid choice to supplement a salad or soup.
Be sure to check out your local farmers’ market, as you may find some great deals on fruits and veggies depending on the season and where you live.
Consider the Paleo Diet, today we’re going to explore all cheap protein sources, Paleo or non-Paleo. Meats (chicken/turkey/beef): When we looked at prices across the U.S., chicken and turkey consistently offered better values. However, don’t count beef out; there is almost ALWAYS a specific cut of beef on sale, and by targeting cheaper (and fattier) cuts, you can usually leave the meat section with a killer deal. We aren’t targeting these cuts simply because they’re cheaper.
· Eggs: There’s a reason eggs are usually a staple among those seriously strength training: eggs are a simple yet nutritionally dense source of protein. Toss hard boiled eggs in a salad, scramble eggs in a stir fry, or prepare a regular breakfast staple, eggs are usually too cheap to pass up.
· Canned Tuna: One can of Albacore Tuna contains approximately 120 calories, 28g of protein, and can cost $1 or less. This makes canned tuna a superb value and an awesomely lean protein source. Check out other canned fish, such as salmon, for some variety. And be sure to rotate canned tuna in and out of your diet to reduce risks associated with mercury.
· Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, oh my! Legumes (especially when purchased in bags), are one of the best prices per nutrient values out there. Legumes such as beans work great in a salad, soups, or even dips. Providing copious amounts of both protein and carbs, legumes offer a great value and easily satisfy macronutrient requirements. Be wary though, nutritional value will vary depending on your specific legume of choice!
· Protein Powder: If the above recommendations don’t work for you and you’re still a little short on protein, try a huge tub of protein powder online. Make yourself a quick protein shake breakfast or post workout meal.
· Other `cheap protein options that may be a great deal include quinoa, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and one of the many types of nut butter.
Fruits provide one of the biggest challenges, especially in the United States, because they are so expensive relative to other food groups. Fruits can also be tricky. Grapes, which seem to be a moderate value, end up being one of the worst price per nutrient options out there. This may lead to the completely understandable reaction that I had, “SCREW IT! I love grapes, and I’m buying them!” But don’t worry, there are still some excellent cost-efficient options for fruits:
· Watermelon: I know, I know. My first thought too was, “isn’t it mostly water?” Well, yes. But as it turns out, since watermelon is so darn cheap, it is an incredible value per nutrient. Packed with lycopene (antioxidant), vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, watermelon is a wonderful and easy to eat nutritional deal.
· Bananas: If you’re following the Paleo Diet and avoiding most grains, bananas are a great source of carbs. Bananas are super cheap and provide you with tons of potassium. They can be added to oatmeal, eaten as a snack, or my favorite, as a desert (frozen bananas).
· Plums: Packed full great micronutrients like vitamin A, K, and C, plums are an excellent source of fiber and carbs.
· Pears: Although pears possess a good amount of natural sugars, they are another great source of fiber and vitamin C…and usually even cheaper than plums.
· Other fruits that may be great nutritional deals in your area: cantaloupe, apricots, kiwis, and nectarines.
Don’t forget about dried fruit – although high in sugar, bulk dried fruit can be an incredible nutrient value.
If you are training like crazy or are working hard to get bigger by packing on muscle and size, then chances are you’ll require more and more food (read: fuel) to reach your goals. If you’re strength training and not getting bigger, then you’re not eating enough – it’s that simple. Calories become more important, fats and oils, beans and legumes, and dairy products become more cost effective than vegetables and fruits (however, don’t neglect vegetables to make sure your…um…” plumbing” can handle the extra calories!).
· Oats: Oats are incredibly cheap, provide ridiculous amounts of both carbohydrates and protein, and fulfill other micronutrient and mineral requirements such as thiamin, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus. Oats are simple to make, can be prepared a variety of ways (sweet or savory), and can be bought and stored easily in bulk!
· Whole Milk: Although milk isn’t Paleo, its low cost combined with high amounts of protein, calcium, and vitamin D makes it an attractive option when trying to meet high calorie requirements (if your body can handle the lactose).
· Avocados: Avocados are perhaps the densest food listed in this entire article, both calorically and nutritiously. Although they may appear costly, avocados can be an incredible price per nutrient value. Put them in salads, on sandwiches, or eat them plain with a little bit of salt! When your local grocery store puts avocados on sale, be sure to stock up!
· Sweet Potato: A better nutritional value than normal potatoes (plus a lower glycemic load), sweet potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and incredible amounts of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes sliced, covered in olive oil, and thrown in the oven at 375 for 12 minutes each side. So simple, even a nerd could cook it.
· Olive Oil: One of the best ways to add good fat without cholesterol or sodium is olive oil. Add extra olive oil to salads, meats, and legumes.
· Almonds/Walnuts/Almond butter: Raw almonds are a versatile option that can serve as a great supplementary source of protein and fat. While almonds can be a great value, be sure to buy them in bulk to optimize your price per nutrient deal. And if you haven’t tried almond butter and apple slices, you’re missing out.
No matter what value foods you plan to buy, be sure approach eating healthy on a budget with a plan of attack. You will find that if you take advantage of healthy foods on sale (especially buy one get one free deals), many foods that aren’t listed here will suddenly become a great value! Remember: If your goal is weight loss, the majority of your calories should come from fat and protein, NOT carbohydrates/grains! This is the whole premise of the Paleo Diet that we’re so fond of. Concerned about pesticides and have a bit more money to spend? Here are nine foods you should try to buy organic, and seven organic options you can pass up. As long as you’re no longer thinking “more is better,” but instead searching for value healthy foods, you’ll be on your way to becoming a Superhero.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Chapter 2 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Article 7-THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
II. Respect for Persons and Their Goods
2407 In economic matters, respect for human dignity requires the practice of the virtue of temperance, so as to moderate attachment to this world's goods; the practice of the virtue of justice, to preserve our neighbor's rights and render him what is his due; and the practice of solidarity, in accordance with the golden rule and in keeping with the generosity of the Lord, who "though he was rich, yet for your sake . . . became poor so that by his poverty, you might become rich."
Respect for the goods of others
2408 The seventh commandment forbids theft, that is, usurping another's property against the reasonable will of the owner. There is no theft if consent can be presumed or if refusal is contrary to reason and the universal destination of goods. This is the case in obvious and urgent necessity when the only way to provide for immediate, essential needs (food, shelter, clothing . . .) is to put at one's disposal and use the property of others.
2409 Even if it does not contradict the provisions of civil law, any form of unjustly taking and keeping the property of others is against the seventh commandment: thus, deliberate retention of goods lent or of objects lost; business fraud; paying unjust wages; forcing up prices by taking advantage of the ignorance or hardship of another.
The following are also morally illicit: speculation in which one contrives to manipulate the price of goods artificially in order to gain an advantage to the detriment of others; corruption in which one influences the judgment of those who must make decisions according to law; appropriation and use for private purposes of the common goods of an enterprise; work poorly done; tax evasion; forgery of checks and invoices; excessive expenses and waste. Willfully damaging private or public property is contrary to the moral law and requires reparation.
2410 Promises must be kept and contracts strictly observed to the extent that the commitments made in them are morally just. A significant part of economic and social life depends on the honoring of contracts between physical or moral persons - commercial contracts of purchase or sale, rental or labor contracts. All contracts must be agreed to and executed in good faith.
2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted. Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.
One distinguishes commutative justice from legal justice which concerns what the citizen owes in fairness to the community, and from distributive justice which regulates what the community owes its citizens in proportion to their contributions and needs.
2412 In virtue of commutative justice, reparation for injustice committed requires the restitution of stolen goods to their owner:
Jesus blesses Zacchaeus for his pledge: "If I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold." Those who, directly or indirectly, have taken possession of the goods of another, are obliged to make restitution of them, or to return the equivalent in kind or in money, if the goods have disappeared, as well as the profit or advantages their owner would have legitimately obtained from them. Likewise, all who in some manner have taken part in a theft or who have knowingly benefited from it - for example, those who ordered it, assisted in it, or received the stolen goods - are obliged to make restitution in proportion to their responsibility and to their share of what was stolen.
2413 Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. the passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.
2414 The seventh commandment forbids acts or enterprises that for any reason - selfish or ideological, commercial, or totalitarian - lead to the enslavement of human beings, to their being bought, sold and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity. It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit. St. Paul directed a Christian master to treat his Christian slave "no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother, . . . both in the flesh and in the Lord."
Respect for the integrity of creation
2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.
2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.
2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice, if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.
2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.
Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die