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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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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

 

MARCH

 

The winds of March point to the power of God's Spirit working in us. We need to listen and respond to the gentle breezes of the Spirit; but will we, or will we be too distracted? The rebirth of spring reminds us of the energy of nature so that we ask ourselves whether we waste or wisely use energy –electricity, oil, gas, etc. Can we and should we continue to use nonrenewable fossil fuels, often with accompanying air pollution, at the rate we do? Or will the environmental ills we cause today call us in the future as a society to use wind and solar energy? 

Overview of the Month of March[1] 

The entire month of March falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color violet or purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. All saint days that are usually Memorials are shifted to Optional Memorials during the season of Lent. 

A Time of Penance and Promise

 

Here and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb!

 

During this month we will continue our journey to the cross with our acts of penitence. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell. During this month we will go from the suffering of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We will trade the purple of penance for the white of victory and resurrection.

 

Let us not tire of doing our good works and penance but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

 

As the weeks of Lent progress let us not tire of doing our good works and penance but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

 

MARCH TIMETABLE 

March Travel?[2] 

·       Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain March 1-19 Enjoy a high-spirited fiesta in Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city. The annual bash, held in commemoration of Saint Joseph, sees neighborhoods transformed into lively parties over a boisterous five-day period.

·       Daytona, Florida-Bike Week March 3-12 Rev up for a week of diesel and fun at Daytona Bike Week. The annual motorcycle rally attracts some of the fiercest bikers, clad in leather (and sometimes little else) to celebrate the freedom of the open road.

·       Holi in India March 8th Celebrate spring with a dash of color. The annual Holi festival in India inspires revelers to hit the streets, playfully throwing powdered colors on each other. Once your clothes are doused with all sorts of hues, you’ll understand why this is called a festival of colors.

·       Patrick’s Day March 17th Don your friendliest green for St. Patrick’s Day. Boston is the place to be, with the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day Parade drawing anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million people every year.

·       Spring Equinox: Stonehenge March 21st Mark the beginning of spring with a celebratory gathering at Stonehenge. Join the crowds who gather at the mysterious stone structures in Wiltshire, England, to see the sun rise, ushering in the spring equinox.

·       Spring Break in Panama City Beach Slap on your sunscreen and grab your shades for a laid-back spring break on Panama City Beach. This sunny haven on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico beckons with its tagline, “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.” You’ll see why once you sink your toes into its unique sugar-white sand. 

Iceman’s Calendar

           

·       Mar. 1- FAST Ember Wednesday

o   First Wednesday

·       Mar. 3- FAST Ember Friday

o   First Friday

·       Mar. 4th FAST Ember Saturday

·       Mar. 5th Second Sunday of Lent

·       Mar 7th St. Perpetua/Full Worm Moon

·       Mar 12th Third Sunday of Lent

·       Mar 17th St. Patrick’s Day

·       Mar 19th Fourth Sunday of Lent

·       Mar 20th Feast of St. Joseph-Spring Begins

o   March 20-April 16 National Cherry Blossom Festival

·       Mar 25th FAST Feast of the Annunciation

·       Mar 26th Fifth Sunday of Lent

·       Mar 29th Start Novena to the Holy Face for First Friday

 

MARCH 1 Ember Wednesday

LA FALLA-FIRST WEDNESDAY

 


Genesis, Chapter 35, Verse 7

When her labor was most intense, the midwife said to her, “Do not FEAR, for now you have another son.”

 

Rachel was the one love of Jacob (Israel). Due to her father, Lot’s, tricks on Jacob, he was forced to work for her for over 14 years to take Rachel, whom he dearly loved, as his bride. Rachel was barren and died in childbirth with her two sons Joseph and Benjamin. She was not afraid because after her long suffering with barrenness at last she had given birth to two healthy sons; a dying wish. Life at times can be hard. God does not promise us perfect happiness in this life; for we are made for heaven and eternal happiness with Him. We are to do our best, but when our best is not sufficient; surrender it to Him. We must be humble; trusting with great confidence in Him that we may do His will in good seasons and bad. Pray that we may not forget this truth and complain as the Israelites did in the desert to such an extent that Moses cried out to God, “Where can I get meat to give to all these people? For they are crying to me, ‘Give us meat for our food.’ I cannot carry this entire people by myself, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face my distress.” (Nm 11:13-15)

 

Moses was despondent here, yet he did not give up; he gave it up. When things get tough; trust in Him. Knowing that, “One does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4) In retrospect when we are despondent let us remember to go to the great Mother of God, Mary for truly on the day of Christ’s death in some respects she died too-yet she did not fear for “now she had another son” reflecting her spiritual adoption of all of mankind.

Ember Days[3]

One question that comes up repeatedly is why are the Ember Days only Wednesday, Friday and Saturday? Is there any rhyme or reason to these days?

In the days of the early church, Mass was originally only on Sundays. Gradually other days were added, the development can be seen in connection with the Roman Station Churches, as I wrote about last year in Roman Pilgrimage: Station Churches. The Ember Days fall on the days that had assigned stational churches, originally Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Station churches for Thursdays were a much later addition and are not included in the Ember Days.

Unique Character of the Spring or Lent Ember Days

The Lent Ember Days fall on the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday during the first week of Lent. There are four major intentions of the Quarterly Ember Days, but each set of days has a different flavor according to the corresponding liturgical season.

The Lent Ember Days were the last ones added to the liturgical calendar, and they have a slightly different character than the other three. Since the Lenten season already had fasting and abstinence, observing Ember Days in Lent only added a little extra in penance to the already formerly strict laws of Lent.

The focus of the Lenten Ember Days:

1.     Consecration of the New Season. The other Ember Days marked thanksgiving for different harvests, but the Lent Ember Days did not. Instead, this was a time of consecrating the new spring to God and asking blessing on the upcoming growing season. This was also a time of thanksgiving for the gift of light. Instead of harvest offerings on Ember Wednesday, flowers were usually presented and blessed. The symbol of the Lenten Ember Days is the Paschal and baptismal candles. (I have not found any evidence, but I conjecture that perhaps the wax harvest from the honeybee might have been featured during these Lenten Ember Days? It would seem to be a logical connection.)

2.     Days of Spiritual Renewal. Holy Mother Church provides us so many opportunities to redirect, refresh and renew. The Lenten Ember Days blends with the season of Lent, providing reminders to continue and persevere in the spirit of conversion and penance.

3.     Praying for Priests. The Church no longer regularly ordains priests during the Quarterly Ember Days, but this is a special time, particularly Ember Saturday, to pray for priests and for seminarians, particularly the ones who are about to be ordained within the year.

4.     Reflecting the Spirit of the Season. Each set of Ember Days reflect the season of the Liturgical Year in which they occur. The Lenten season focuses on our conversion of our hearts, and also a focus on the supernatural life we receive at baptism, whether it be as a catechumen or a renewal of baptismal promises.

Wednesday in the First Week of Lent[4] 

EPISTLE, m. Kings xix. 3-8. 

IN those days came Elias to Bersabee of Juda, and left his servant there, and he went forward one day s journey into the desert. And when he was there, and sat under a juniper tree, he requested for his soul that he might die, and said: It is enough for me, Lord, take away my soul: for I am no better than my fathers. And he cast himself down and slept in the shadow of the juniper-tree: and behold an angel of the Lord touched him and said to him: Arise and eat. He looked and behold there was at his head a hearth-cake, and a vessel of water: and he ate and drank, and he fell asleep again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said to him: Arise, eat: for thou hast yet a great way to go. And he arose, and ate, and drank, and walked in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights, unto the mount of God, Horeb. 

GOSPEL. Matt. xii. 38-50.

                                             

At that time, some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Jesus, saying: Master, we would see a sign from Thee. Who answering said to them: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights: so, shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas here. The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and behold a greater than Solomon here. And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So, shall it be also to this wicked generation. As He was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold His Mother and His brethren stood without, seeking to speak to Him. And one said unto Him: Behold Thy Mother and Thy brethren stand without, seeking Thee. But He answering him that told Him, said: Who is My Mother, and who are My brethren? And stretching forth His hand towards His disciples, He said: Behold My Mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my father, that is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother. 

Prayer. Mercifully hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and against all our adversaries extend the right hand of Thy majesty. Amen.

What is the Ember-Days? 

Days instituted to thank God, each season of the year, for the benefits received during that season, and to remind the faithful, each quarter of the year, of the duty of penance; also, to pray to God for deserving priests, for on those days the ordination of priests usually takes place. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions)

 

·       The Ember Days are four series of Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays which correspond to the natural seasons of the year. Autumn brings the September, or Michaelmas, Embertide; winter, the Advent Embertide; Spring, the Lenten Embertide; and in summer, the Whit Embertide (named after Whitsunday, the Feast of Pentecost).

·       The English title for these days, "Ember," is derived from their Latin name: Quatuor Temporum, meaning the "Four Times" or "Four Seasons."

·       The Embertides are periods of prayer and fasting, with each day having its own special Mass.

·       Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday were days of particularly devotion in the early church: Wednesday, as recalling the betrayal of our Lord, and Friday in memory of His Passion, Saturday was later added to these days of prayer and penance as a continuation of Friday, and as far back as the second century they were set apart as Stational days, that is as days of special religious service and fasting.

·       The Ember Days, although the occasion of their institution is uncertain, are a reminder of these ancient days of devotion. Their purpose is to thank God for the fruits of the earth and other gifts of nature, to teach moderation in their use, and to assist the needy. From the time of Pope Gelasius in the fifth century it has been allowed to confer the diaconate and priesthood on the Saturdays of Ember weeks.

 

Ember Day Prayers[5]

Prayer: Antiphon: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee.
V. Lord, Thou has been our refuge. R. From generation to generation.

Let us Pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that as year by year we devoutly keep these holy observances, we may be pleasing to Thee both in body and soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Honor of Christ's Betrayal and Passion

O God, Who for the world's Redemption was pleased to be born, circumcised, rejected by the Jews, betrayed by the kiss of traitor Judas, bound with chains, led like an innocent lamb to sacrifice, and shamefully presented before Annas, Caiphas, Pilate, and Herod, accused by false witnesses, beaten with whips, buffeted, insulted, spat upon, crowned with thorns, smitten with a reed, blindfolded, stripped of Thy garments, fastened with nails to the cross and lifted up on high, reputed among thieves, made to drink gall and vinegar and wounded by a lance; oh, by these most sacred sufferings, which, unworthy as I am, I thus commemorate, and by Thy holy cross and death, deliver me, Lord, from the pains of hell, and deign to lead me where Thou didst lead me where Thou didst lead the penitent thief, who was crucified by Thy side. Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc. five times.

Prayer for God's Blessing on our Labors

O Lord, graciously look down upon Thy servants and upon the work of their hands, and do Thou, Who givest food to every creature, bless and preserve the fruits of the earth, that the needy may be filled with good things and that all may praise the glory of Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Vocations to the Priesthood

Antiphon. Why stand ye all the day idle, go ye into my vineyard.
V. Ask the Lord of the harvest.
R. That He send laborers into His vineyard.

Let us Pray God, who willest not the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live; grant, by the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin and of all saints, laborers for Thy Church, fellow laborers with Christ, to spend and consume themselves for souls. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Blessed Be God: A Complete Catholic Prayer Book by Charles J. Callan, OP, S.T.M, P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1961

Preparing for Battle[6]

Know Your Commander and Comrades

Our Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Conqueror of hell and death, calls us to battle alongside Him against the Enemy so that we can have a share in His victory. To fight the good fight, however, we must know not only our adversary and his strategies; we must also know the comrades that our great Commander has given to us. Our comrades in arms are our Lady and the Saints. Just as Eve’s yes to the Enemy’s temptation brought death and the Devil’s domination into the world, so Mary’s yes to God opened the door for the ultimate victory of her Son over Satan. 

Whenever the Enemy’s assaults on us seem to multiply, we should call on Mary not just as our Blessed Mother, but as a mighty warrior before whom the demon’s tremble. St. Bonaventure once put it: “Men do not fear a powerful, hostile army as much as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.” 

We also have the aid of St. Michael and the Angels. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them” (Ps 34: 7). 

We also have our fellow Christians. We must not focus so much on heavenly warriors that we forget our earthly comrades-in-arms. Our brother and sister soldiers in the battles of this life need our support, and we need theirs. We should be praying daily with them and for them, spiritual soldiers “vigilant in all perseverance and supplication for all” our fellow combatants (Eph 6: 18). We should be offering them encouragement and counsel when we find them weary or confused, tempted by the Devil’s lies, accusations, doubts, enticements, and provocations. Roman soldiers were taught to fight alongside comrades with their backs toward one another. That way, as they battled the enemy, they were protecting one another’s backs. One man’s sword was another man’s shield. If they didn’t fight in this way, they were exposed to mortal danger. The same is true in spiritual warfare. Wherever a fellow soldier is vulnerable to the Enemy’s onslaught, we must make up the difference with the shield of our faith. This is one important reason why Our Lord established the Church. His grace to conquer the Enemy comes to us through her worship, her sacraments, and her teaching. 

First Wednesday[7] 

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

 

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 8-THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT

III. Offenses Against Truth

2475 Christ's disciples have "put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." By "putting away falsehood," they are to "put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander."

2476 False witness and perjury. When it is made publicly, a statement contrary to the truth takes on a particular gravity. In court it becomes false witness. When it is under oath, it is perjury. Acts such as these contribute to condemnation of the innocent, exoneration of the guilty, or the increased punishment of the accused. They gravely compromise the exercise of justice and the fairness of judicial decisions.

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. and if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.

2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

2480 Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another's vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages.

2481 Boasting or bragging is an offense against truth. So is irony aimed at disparaging someone by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his behavior.

2482 "A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving." The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil: "You are of your father the devil, . . . there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

2483 Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth. By injuring man's relation to truth and to his neighbor, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of his word to the Lord.

2484 The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.

2485 By its very nature, lying is to be condemned. It is a profanation of speech, whereas the purpose of speech is to communicate known truth to others. the deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and charity. the culpability is greater when the intention of deceiving entails the risk of deadly consequences for those who are led astray.

2486 Since it violates the virtue of truthfulness, a lie does real violence to another. It affects his ability to know, which is a condition of every judgment and decision. It contains the seed of discord and all consequent evils. Lying is destructive of society; it undermines trust among men and tears apart the fabric of social relationships.

2487 Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation, even if its author has been forgiven. When it is impossible publicly to make reparation for a wrong, it must be made secretly. If someone who has suffered harm cannot be directly compensated, he must be given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. This duty of reparation also concerns offenses against another's reputation. This reparation, moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: End to abortion

·       Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 15

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan




[4]Goffine’s Devout Instructions

[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1369

[6]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

[7]https://enteringintothemystery.blogspot.com/2018/12/dont-forget-first-wednesday-devotion-t





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