Friday, March 10, 2023



 
 
 
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Eight years ago we lost a beautiful soul, my mother. Before her diagnosis I had never heard of pancreatic cancer, over the next 6 months I would come to understand and hate this disease. My mom fought for 6 months, bravely and graciously. When she was diagnosed the 5 year survival rate was 5%, today it has increased to 12% through awareness and research. I've been witness to the great work PanCan has done over the years. Please consider donating and joining my team in memory of my mom, Diane Havermale. I've stepped up to Wage Hope at PurpleStride, the walk to end pancreatic cancer. Will you help me rewrite the future of this disease by making a donation today? Every dollar that you give ensures that the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network can continue working to improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients. Purple ribbons aren't enough. Please join me in the fight today.
 
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Friday in the Second Week of Lent

FAST DAY-NOVENA ST. JOSEPH-BAGPIPE DAY 

Matthew, Chapter 21, verse 26:

26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we FEAR the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” 

The chief priests and the elders of the people were master politicians during Christ’s time. Some of them were faithful in thought word and deed, but many were as Christ pointed out like marble sepulchers which are pretty on the outside but inside full of death and rottenness within. Many of them put on the airs of piety but in reality, were agnostic in nature.  

Here we see the priest and elders were afraid of the people. I think in our time a similar thing occurred with Saint John Paul II’s struggle with communism in Poland. John Paul was a John the Baptist of his time. Poles like the Jews of the Baptists time identified with John Paul and were hungry for a chance to cleanse themselves of the compromises they had to make to live under the rule of the communists. I believe John the Baptist message to have been very similar to John Paul’s.

 

 “He told them to be good, not to compromise themselves, to stick by one another, to be fearless, and that God is the only source of goodness, the only standard of conduct. 'Be not afraid,' he said. Millions shouted in response, 'We want God! We want God! We want God!' The regime cowered. Had the Pope chosen to turn his soft power into the hard variety, the regime might have been drowned in blood. Instead, the Pope simply led the Polish people to desert their rulers by affirming solidarity with one another. The Communists managed to hold on as despots a decade longer. But as political leaders, they were finished. Visiting his native Poland in 1979, Pope John Paul II struck what turned out to be a mortal blow to its Communist regime, to the Soviet Empire, [and] ultimately to Communism."[1]

 

Friday in the Second Week of Lent[2]

Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that, purified by the holy fast, we may celebrate the coming festival with pure hearts.

EPISTLE. Gen. xxxvii. 6-22.

In those days Joseph said to his brethren: Hear my dream which I dreamed. I thought we were binding sheaves in the field: and my sheaf arose as it were and stood, and your sheaves standing about, bowed down before my sheaf. His brethren answered: Shalt thou be our king? or shall we be subject to thy dominion?

Therefore, this matter of his dreams and words ministered nourishment to their envy and hatred. He dreamed also another dream, which he told his brethren, saying: I saw in a dream, as it were, the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars worshipping me. And when he had told this to his father, and brethren, his father rebuked him, and said: What meaneth this dream that thou hast dreamed? shall I and thy mother, and thy brethren worship thee upon the earth?

His brethren therefore envied him: but his father considered the thing with himself. And when his brethren abode in Sichem, feeding their father’s flocks, Israel said to him: Thy brethren feed the sheep in Sichem: come, I will send thee to them. And when he answered: I am ready; he said to him: Go and see if all things be well with thy brethren, and the cattle: and bring me word again what is doing. So being sent from the vale of Hebron, he came to Sichem: and a man found him there wandering in the field and asked what he sought. But he answered: I seek my brethren, tell me where they feed the flocks. And the man said to him: They are departed from this place: for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothain. And Joseph went forward after his brethren and found them in Dothain. And when they saw him afar off, before he came nigh them, they thought to kill him. And said one to another: Behold the dreamer cometh. Come, let us kill him, and cast him into some old pit, and we will say: Some evil beast hath devoured him: and then it shall appear what his dreams avail him: and Ruben hearing this, endeavored to deliver him out of their hands, and said: Do not take away his life, nor shed his blood: but cast him into this pit, that is in the wilderness, and keep your hands harmless: now he said this, being desirous to deliver him out of their hands, and to restore him to his father.

GOSPEL. Matt. xxi. 33-46.

At that time Jesus spoke this parable to the multitude of the Jews and the chief priests: There was a man a householder who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husband men: and went into a strange country. And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits thereof. And the husband men laying hands on his servants, beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the former: and they did to them in like manner. And last of all he sent to them his son, saying: They will reverence my son. But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves: This is the heir, come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance. And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. When, therefore, the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen?

They say to Him: He will bring those evil men to an evil end: and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season. Jesus saith to them: Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this hath been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes. Therefore, I say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they knew that He spoke of them. And seeking to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes: because they held Him as a prophet.

Confidence and Union with God in Temptation[3]

Nothing is more efficacious against temptation than the remembrance of the Cross of Jesus. What did Christ come to do here below if not to "destroy the works of the devil"? And how has He destroyed them, how has He "cast out" the devil, as He Himself says, if not by His death upon the Cross?

Let us then lean by faith upon the cross of Christ Jesus, as our baptism gives us the right to do. The virtue of the cross is not exhausted. In baptism we were marked with the seal of the cross, we became members of Christ, enlightened by His light, and partakers of His life and of the salvation He brings to us. Hence, united to Him, whom shall we fear? Dominus illuminatio mea et salus mea; quern timebo? Let us say to ourselves: "He hath given His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways."

"Because he hoped in Me (says the Lord) I will deliver him; I am with him in tribulation, I will deliver him, and I will glorify him. I will fill him with length of days, and I will show him My salvation."

                                            

Bible Study[4]

 

The Bible is a weapon and in the hands of the untrained, “You could shoot your eye out kid”. Therefore, the Bible should be handled with care. Using an approved translation of the Bible; we should approach scripture reading in light of the liturgy and church Dogmas. “Dogma is by definition nothing other than an interpretation of Scripture.” (Pope Benedict XVI) Dogmas are the Church’s infallible interpretation of Scripture. In the 1970’s the Catholic Church revised its lectionary—the order of scriptural readings for the Mass. The readings now unfold in a three-year cycle and include almost all the books of both testaments of the Bible. The great thing about lectionary is that it presents the scriptures and also teaches us a method of understanding the Scriptures: Showing us a consistent pattern of promise and fulfillment. The New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old is revealed the New. Perhaps a good practice would be for us to read the daily scripture in the lectionary, maybe even before Mass.

 

Lectio Divina[5]

"Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo's description remains fundamental.

1.     He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer, but the passage should not be too long.

2.     The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.

3.     The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.

4.     The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously, this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives. 

These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening. Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve, and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. How much time should be given to each stage depends very much on whether it is used individually or in a group. 

The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.

 

Novena of St. Joseph[6]


 

This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Mary’s or say five times the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, or to use some of the many well-loved novena prayers from other sources. Remember that prayers must be said with the lips in order to gain the indulgences. This novena begins on March 10 and ends on March 19.

 

Prayer

 

O dear and good St. Joseph who so lovingly cared for your little family at Nazareth, pray for all workingmen and their families. Help us all to enjoy a happy Christian family life. Be a father to us all and watch over us even as you cherished the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Holy Child. Patron of the Universal Church pray for us.

 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and soul.

 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.

 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.

 

7 years for each invocation. Plenary, under usual conditions, if any one of three is said daily for a month. S. Pen., Oct. 12, 1936.

 

Bagpipe Day[7]



The sound of bagpipes filling the air as day dawns is enough to bring joy to the hearts of many. Others, they may not feel quite the same. It seems that one either loves the pipes or not at all. There is not very much middle ground. International Bagpipe Day is the time to find out where you stand and join those who love them! The Bagpipe Society has been sponsoring the celebration of International Bagpipe Day since 2012. They have helped to bring the bagpipe to new players since 1986. It is important to them that the history and playing of the bagpipes is not lost. Putting this day together was with the hope of bringing awareness of the over 130 different types of bagpipe throughout the world. For the first International Bagpipe Day in 2012, there were reports of events held in some unique places. In South Africa, pipers gathered and played in an underground canyon. In Greece, they played on Athenian hill. The Society even heard of events in countries where previously it was thought that there were not many pipers or any at all! If you aren’t familiar with this ancient instrument, bagpipe is a term that means a wind instrument that uses enclosed reeds to produce sound. Air feeds the reeds with a constant flow of air from a reservoir in the form of a bag. In each area that it is found, the bagpipe may change in sound and shape. This is an ancient instrument and is claimed to be represented on a Hittite slab dated to 1000 BC!

How to Celebrate International Bagpipe Day

·       Celebrating the bagpipe when this holiday rolls around can take many forms. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at it, don’t wait! This is the time for you to find your local provider of the pipes and take a lesson. You could be the next great Piper! It could happen, you never know, right?

·       There is a multitude of information available about this instrument. A great idea to celebrate is to learn more about it. A quick internet search will bring up resources like The Bagpipe Society. You can follow the history of this unique instrument through the millennia to present day and from country to country! There is much more information than you could learn in just one day, but it’s a great time to start.

·       Another way to celebrate is to find out if there are any events planned in your local area. Grab the family or friends and go check it out! You may just find that you were missing out on all the fun. If you ask, it may even be possible to try it out and see if you can make a sound with it!

·       Bagpipes have a long history that spans the ages and spans many regions. It is an instrument that has weathered the test of time and surely deserves to be honored on International Bagpipe Day! 

Preparing for Battle[8] Know Your Weapons

The weapon of prayer

The Scripture tells us that the fervent prayer of righteous believers has great power in its effects (see Jas 5: 16). Prayer is the indispensable weapon in our battle with Satan. Prayer in the name of Jesus is especially powerful against the Devil. “In my name,” Jesus said of His followers, “they shall cast out devils” (Mk 16: 17). At “the name that is above every name,” St. Paul thundered, “at the name of Jesus, every knee” must bow, “in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (see Phil 2: 9– 10).

We can see how much the Devil fears those who pray, since there’s not a moment of the day when he tempts us more than when we’re at prayer. He does everything he possibly can to prevent us from praying. When the Devil wants to make someone lose his soul, he starts out by inspiring in him a profound distaste for prayer. However good a Christian he may be, if the Devil succeeds in making him either say his prayers badly or neglect them altogether, he’s certain to have that person for himself. (St. John Vianney) 

The Angelus[9] 

The traditional Catholic midday prayer is called the Angelus. Christians have always paused for prayer at the noon. In apostolic times, it was called the prayer of the “sixth hour”, counting from sunrise. It was also at the sixth hour that Jesus was crucified. Though Catholics most commonly recite the Angelus at noon, some pray it at six in the morning and six in the evening. For those who wish to make personal change this is a good time to examine our day so far and offer ourselves us to our God. It is at the turning point of our day that we recall the turning point of history: the moment when the angel appeared to a young woman named Mary.

The Angelus[10]

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Hail Mary

 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.  Hail Mary…

 

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 

 

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

 

Fitness Friday-Cardio[11]

 

Recognizing that God, the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength, mind, soul and heart.

 

Is interval training more effective than steady-state cardio training for fat loss?

 

·       Exercise combined with diet modifications has been shown to be more effective than either alone for promoting weight loss.

·       Establishing exercise habits during the weight loss phase can help prevent weight regain and yo-yo dieting down the road. One of the most common excuses for lack of exercise is a lack of time.

·       These results show that the type of cardio performed for fat loss (intervals vs. steady state) probably doesn’t matter as much as the number of calories burned in the exercise session. Moreover, the overall amount of fat loss is small.

·       Focus should be placed on how the exercise session impacts other areas of life, such as appetite, food intake, and leisure-time physical activity.

·       Focus should also be placed on whether you can see yourself sticking with your chosen exercise modality for the long-term.

·       Exercise may not be all that for fat loss, but it certainly impacts fitness and health improvement. As such, all forms of exercise should be encouraged despite their relatively minimal contribution to fat loss.

·       Strength training is especially important for developing lean body mass.

·       High-intensity training such as interval endurance training appears to be more effective at reducing inflammation and increasing insulin sensitivity than lower-intensity training such as steady-state cardio. 

Evidence has shown that exercise has additional benefits on health that warrant its inclusion in daily life, such as reducing inflammation and increasing insulin sensitivity. Moreover, high-intensity exercise appears to be more effective than lower intensity exercise at inducing these beneficial changes, which might be one reason to prefer interval training over steady-state even if fat loss would be similar. Ultimately, though, adherence is key. Thus, enjoyment and personal preferences when it comes to exercise are what’s most important

 

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 9-THE NINTH COMMANDMENT

II. The Battle for Purity

2520 Baptism confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God's grace he will prevail
- by the virtue and gift of chastity, for chastity lets us love with upright and undivided heart;
- by purity of intention which consists in seeking the true end of man: with simplicity of vision, the baptized person seeks to find and to fulfill God's will in everything;
- by purity of vision, external and internal; by discipline of feelings and imagination; by refusing all complicity in impure thoughts that incline us to turn aside from the path of God's commandments: "Appearance arouses yearning in fools";
- by prayer:

I thought that continence arose from one's own powers, which I did not recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know . . . that no one can be continent unless you grant it. For you would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you.

2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one's choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.

2526 So called moral permissiveness rests on an erroneous conception of human freedom; the necessary precondition for the development of true freedom is to let oneself be educated in the moral law. Those in charge of education can reasonably be expected to give young people instruction respectful of the truth, the qualities of the heart, and the moral and spiritual dignity of man.

2527 "The Good News of Christ continually renews the life and culture of fallen man; it combats and removes the error and evil which flow from the ever-present attraction of sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. It takes the spiritual qualities and endowments of every age and nation, and with supernatural riches it causes them to blossom, as it were, from within; it fortifies, completes, and restores them in Christ."

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Restoring the Constitution

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 24

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

                                            

[1] Angelo M. Codevilla, "Political Warfare: A Set of Means for Achieving Political Ends", in Waller, ed., Strategic Influence: Public Diplomacy, Counterpropaganda and Political Warfare (IWP Press, 2008.)

[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[4] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 16. Bible Study.

[6]Prayer Source: All Day with God by Blanche Jennings Thompson

[7]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/international-bagpipe-day/

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

[9] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 13. The Angelus


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