The ungrateful heart
February 24 Friday after Ash Wednesday
SAINT MATTHIAS- FITNESS FRIDAY-SPRING TRAINING
Genesis, Chapter 31, Verse 42
If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the FEAR of Isaac, had not been on my side, you would now have sent me away empty-handed. But God saw my plight and the fruits of my toil, and last night he reproached you.”
This is Jacob speaking about his treatment from his father-in-law Laban. We see that Laban feared Isaac; Jacobs father because God was with him. People who know the Lord radiate a presence; it affects their whole being. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is real. God’s Holy presence changes us physically, mentally and in a deeper sense within the heart. We are new people. In a similar way Moses face radiated this presence so much his face had to be covered because its glowing terrified the Israelites. In earlier postings we discussed how Sarah; Abraham’s wife was exquisitely beautiful at an advanced age. Those who radiate the presence of God seek His will. They have the right intention giving all things to God. They avoid mortal sin and obey the laws of God. They cherish God in their hearts and seek to do those things that please God. At times we find ourselves so engrossed with our day-to-day activities and worry about the mundane; much like Saint Martha forgetting “the better part”. If we are to radiate His presence, we must be in His presence. Perhaps today would be a good day to develop the practice of putting one item on your daily “To Do” list that you know will please God. We should above all; avoid thinking of ourselves too much, honor our own and others bodies and work hard to create a better world.
Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
The feast of Saint Matthias was included in the Roman Calendar in the 11th century and celebrated on the sixth day to the Calends of March (24 February usually, but 25 February in leap years). In the revision of the General Roman Calendar in 1969, his feast was transferred to 14 May, so as not to celebrate it in Lent but instead in Eastertide close to the Solemnity of the Ascension, the event after which the Acts of the Apostles recounts that Matthias was selected to be ranked with the Twelve Apostles.
OF this apostle nothing certain is known beyond what is contained in the epistle. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.”
Prayer. O God, Who didst associate blessed Matthias to the company of the apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by his intercession, we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards us.
EPISTLE. Acts i. 15-26.
In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren said (now the number of persons together was about a hundred and twenty): Men, brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: who was numbered with us and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity and being hanged burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, Who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
GOSPEL. Matt. xi. 25-30.
At that time Jesus answered and said I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden light. The wise and prudent referred to in this gospel are the proud scribes and Pharisees, who, in their imaginary wisdom, would not receive the incarnate and suffering Son of God, but despised and rejected Him; in general, they represent also all who in their pride would measure everything by their own understanding, and to whom, consequently, the mysteries of faith seem foolishness. The little ones are the apostles, who, although taken from a low condition of life, without a learned education, but rather ignorant, were enlightened by God to know the deepest mysteries, because they had docile and humble hearts, desirous of salvation. Thus, God gives grace to the humble, while the proud go away empty. To those who bear His yoke, and follow Him, Christ promises peace of mind, temporal and eternal happiness; and, indeed, we must confess that as often as we are disquieted and discontented the cause of it is our selfishness and want of submission to the will of God, our pride and vanity. Learn, then, to love to be meek and humble, if you would enjoy peace, here or here after.
Prayer to St. Matthias. O St. Matthias, glorious apostle and martyr of Jesus Christ, who, by the special providence of God, wast added to the eleven apostles in the room of the traitor, I humbly beseech thee to obtain for us the grace of Him Who chose thee from all eternity, that, assisted thereby, we may, after thy example, keep the commandments of God, practice good works, and thus merit to be numbered with the elect. Amen.
Fitness Friday the Daniel Fast
The Daniel Fast, in Christianity, is a partial fast that, in which meat, lacticinia, wine, and other rich foods are avoided in favor of vegetables and water in order to be more sensitive to God. The fast is based on the lifelong kosher diet of the Jewish hero Daniel in the biblical Book of Daniel and the three-week mourning fast in which Daniel abstained from all meat and wine.
Among Catholic and Mainline Protestant Christians, the Daniel Fast has been practiced by some during the 40-day season of Lent, though the Daniel Fast can variously be set at three weeks, or even ten days. As such, evangelical Christian churches such as those of the Baptist tradition, have partaken in the fast at various times of the year. The passage in Chapter 1 refers to a 10-day test wherein Daniel and others with him were permitted to eat vegetables and water to avoid the Babylonian king's food and wine. After remaining healthy at the end of the 10-day period, they continued the vegetable diet for the three years of their education. The passage in Chapter 10 refers to a three-week fast of no meat, wine, or rich food. In addition to the practices of fasting and abstinence undertaken during the Daniel Fast, Christians may also add spiritual disciplines such as daily church attendance, increased prayer, as well as the reading of Sacred Scripture and a daily devotional.
One of the first signs that spring is on the way is the beginning of Major League Baseball’s spring training camps. Spring training games are a great way to see up-and-coming players as well as the seasoned veterans up close in smaller stadiums; plus, the ticket prices are more affordable than the regular season. The Grapefruit League (Florida) and the Cactus League (Arizona) both start in late February and continue through opening day in early April.
Most Churches have Stations of the Cross and Soup suppers following.
Pray the Stations of the Cross today with your family. An excellent version with beautiful meditations composed by our Holy Father is his Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum. Some other recommended versions are: Eucharistic Stations of the Cross, and the more traditional Stations of the Cross written by Saint Alphonsus Liguori can be found in most Catholic bookstores. Here are some guidelines for praying the Stations of the Cross in your home.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 10
 Laitman, Michael. (2011). Unlocking the Zohar. Laitman Kabbalah Publishers.
 Convey, Steven. (2011). The 3rd Alternative. Free Press.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896