Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
NATIONAL DOCTORS DAY
Exodus, Chapter 34, Verse 30
Moses after experiencing the presence of God while receiving the 10 commandments came down from the mountain and he glowed with God’s glory. We too can glow with the glory of God by being in His presence.
The Radiant Person
The Four Dimensions of Life
Beyond the laws of radiant health are some broader principles that include the whole person. Human beings are made up of more than just a body. The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." This definition is incomplete as it leaves out one significant aspect of life and health—the spiritual. This understanding is illustrated clearly in Luke 2:52 which tells us that, "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man." A rough paraphrase would state that Jesus grew mentally, physically, spiritually and socially.
Health for the whole person
We cannot be totally well unless every part of us is healthy. In fact the mental, social, and spiritual factors may be even more involved in causing or fighting many diseases than are the physical factors. Many of the laws that we listed as governing physical health apply equally well to the other facets of life.
1. Nutrition-It is necessary to eat to live, not only physically, but also in the other three dimensions.
Mentally: If new information and ideas are not fed into the mind on a regular basis the intellect ceases to grow and develop, becoming weak and stunted. Don't dwell on the trivial, degrading, or useless; these things can be considered mental junk food. I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble ... my loving God. PSALM 59:16
Socially: If love, respect, and companionship are not a regular part of your life, your social capabilities become weak and dwarfed.
Spiritually: Christians nourish themselves spiritually through Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and service to others.
2. Exercise—Activity is a law of life that is often phrased this way, "Use it or lose it."
Mentally: Intellect, memory, wisdom, attitude, and willpower need to be exercised.
Socially: Love, tact, the social graces, communication, and core values grow when they are practiced.
Spiritually: The exercise of faith, prayer, love, and perseverance are essential for spiritual strength and growth.
3. Rest—We need to relax and regenerate after activity.
Mentally: The mind needs to rest after periods of intense mental activity in order to recuperate. In addition, a good night's sleep gives the mind a chance to reorganize and start afresh.
Socially: A time away in privacy and solitude is necessary after periods of heavy social interaction.
Spiritually: After intense periods of ministry Christ's servants need to "Come apart and rest awhile" by spending time with Him. Time with Christ is spiritual rejuvenation. (See Mark 6:30,31).
4. Temperance—The basic definition of this law of life and health is to avoid that which is harmful and practice moderation in that which is healthful.
First, do no harm.
Mentally: Don't do anything that would destroy or pollute your mental faculties.
Socially: Don't acquire harmful habits or friends, or engage in socially destructive behaviors like gossip, criticism, breaking civil laws, or engaging in risky, degrading, sexual behaviors.
Spiritually: Don't destroy your spiritual sensibilities by dwelling on spiritually destructive emotions such as hatred, anger, or revenge. Avoid putting yourself under Satan's power through occult practices or the rejection of the Spirit of God.
Second, practice moderation and balance in things that are good. This involves more than just a balance between such things as activity and rest, logic and emotion, solitude and the multitude. It also consists of keeping a healthy balance between the four dimensions (mentally, physically spiritually and socially). When one of these areas of life becomes all encompassing or is neglected, the result is an unbalanced and unhealthy individual.
Finally, part of being in balance is knowing what is most valuable and important. There will be times when you will have to choose between what is best for one element at the expense of the others. A young person might have to choose between a career in sports or science. You might have time to get either physical exercise or spiritual nourishment but not both. You make choices based on what you value most. Why not make your spiritual dimension the top priority, and base each decision on how it will affect your spiritual life and health? It would be a terrible waste to make physical health your highest priority only to miss out completely on eternal life and the associated radiant health Christ promises. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33).
5. Water, fresh air, and sunshine—These are all useful for cleanliness, which is a principle that applies equally to all segments of life.
Spiritually: We need to open our hearts daily to the sunshine of God's love, let the pure air of the Spirit flow into our lives, and be washed in the cleansing blood of Jesus, accepting His forgiveness.
Mentally: Likewise, when the mind is polluted and degraded there is help in the principle, "By beholding we become changed?" But ultimately, only by accepting Christ's offer to create in us a new life can the mind be completely cleansed.
Socially: As Christ changes the life and the person sincerely repents, confesses, apologizes, and makes amends, others will realize that this is a new and clean person.
Christ knows and loves each of us as if there was no one else. He longs for us to accept His offer of salvation. He desires to cleanse us, and make us whole, so that we might achieve the happiness and abundant life for which we were created.
The Inseparable Four Dimensions
The four dimensions of life are inseparable and so interrelated that what affects one part of us affects every other part as well.
Physically: Poor physical health can cloud the mind, depress the attitudes, and make it more difficult to keep spiritually healthy. Conversely, good health can clear the mind and improve the mental outlook, promoting enriched spiritual strength and health.
Mentally: Willpower, attitude, and intellect have a decided influence on how we live our lives and apply or reject the various laws of health.
Socially: Both the attitudes that permeate our homes, and the relationships we form, have the power to affect our health
Spiritually: The exercise of faith, love, hope, prayer, perseverance, and dedication to God will bring peace of mind, character growth, and increased physical health.
The study and practice of these extended health principles will make a difference in the usefulness and quality of life. Each of these laws with which we cooperate brings a benefit, but when we cooperate with all of them the rewards are multiplied!
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the dignity of human nature, wounded by intemperance, may be reformed by healthful abstinence.
EPISTLE. Daniel iii. 34-45.
In those days Azarias prayed to the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, deliver us not up forever, we beseech Thee, for Thy name’s sake, and abolish not Thy covenant. And take not away Thy mercy from us for the sake of Abraham Thy beloved, and Isaac Thy servant, and Israel Thy holy one: to whom Thou hast spoken promising that Thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the seashore. For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins. Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first fruits before Thee, that we may find Thy mercy: nevertheless, in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted. As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so, let our sacrifice be made in Thy sight this day, that it may please Thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in Thee. And now we follow Thee with all our heart, and we fear Thee, and seek Thy face. Put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to Thy meekness, and according to the multitude of Thy mercy. And deliver us according to Thy wonderful works, and give glory to Thy name, O Lord: and let all them be confounded that show evils to Thy servants, let them be confounded in all Thy might, and let their strength be broken. And let them know that Thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world, O Lord our God.
GOSPEL. Luke vii. 36-50.
At that time one of the Pharisees desired Him to eat with him. And He went into the house of the Pharisee and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment: and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man if He were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most?
Simon answering said I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And He said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, He said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman?
I entered into thy house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet: but she with tears hath washed My feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint but she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less. And He said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And He said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe: go in peace.
Read: The Servant Songs, Day Four:
(Within the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we encounter four poetic sections known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. The specific identity of this Servant of the Lord remains the topic of scholarly debate. Perhaps it refers to the prophet Isaiah himself, perhaps the entire nation of Israel, or possibly the promised Messiah. Christian faith sees these prophetic utterances fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Lord.
Because of the Christian identification of the Suffering Servant with Jesus, the four Servant Songs become a way of encountering the Lord during this Lenten Season. Not only do they give us a sense of the commitment and endurance that characterized his messianic ministry, but they become a way of touching the bruised face of the Messiah, of hearing the resolute determination that sustained him in the midst of trial, and of rejoicing with him in God’s ultimate vindication of his calling and service.)
The fourth song proclaims the salvific value of the Servant’s innocent suffering that will justify many and blot out their offenses.
Pray: Take time with the fourth Servant Song today. Read from Isaiah 52:13 to Isaiah 53:12.
Act: Here the prophet proclaims the “prosperity” of God’s servant, but it is not a worldly prosperity accomplished through human wisdom. “Who would believe what we have heard?” God’s silent and afflicted servant prospers through a life given to God as an offering for sin. Through suffering, the servant acquires great wealth and “offspring” before God: many are justified before God, iniquity is removed, wounds are healed, and sinners receive an intercessor. The servant prospers in what is true wealth to God.
Aids in Battle  The “Our Father” is a battle cry
In this prayer, Christ has just spoken of the Evil One, placing us on alert before the battle, reminding us of our enemy, and keeping us from negligence. “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours” (see Mt 6: 13).
· The kingdom belongs to God, we should fear no one. For no one can withstand Him or tear apart His Empire.
· “The power is Yours,” Christ says. For this reason, no matter how many forms your weakness may take, you may still rightly be confident in the battle.
· “The glory is Yours.” Not only can God free you from the dangers you face; He can also make you glorious and outstanding in battle. His power is great, and His glory is beyond telling— they are both limitless and never come to an end. See how He has in every way anointed you, His champion, and surrounded you with confidence? ST. JOHN
National Doctor's Day
National Doctor's Day commemorates the nation's doctors, who have dedicated themselves to public service by helping to ensure the good health of US citizens. Doctors are qualified and licensed individuals who practice medicine of all forms. They include many types such as physicians, surgeons, specialists, anesthesiologists and pediatricians, who dedicate their lives to helping, healing and curing the sick and needy. President George W. Bush designated March 30th as National Doctor's Day on October 30, 1990 in an effort to celebrate the sacrifices and contributions made by our nation's doctors. National Doctor's Day is observed on March 30th every year in the US.
National Doctor's Day Facts & Quotes
· The red carnation is the symbolic flower used for this holiday. It is often placed on the gravesites of deceased physicians.
· Eudora Almond, wife of Dr. Charles Almond, celebrated the first Doctor's Day in Winder, Georgia on March 30, 1933.
· According to a study by AAMC, the average cost of attending a US Medical school as a nonresident is about $50,000 per year.
· People pay the doctor for his trouble; for his kindness-they still remain in his debt. - Seneca, ancient Roman philosopher.
· A good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease. - William Osler, Canadian physician and founder of John Hopkins Hospital
National Doctor's Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Order a gift for your doctor. Find something related to medicine such as a spine keychain or even a basket of fruits shaped like bones.
· Send a personal Thank You Note to your doctor letting them know you appreciate him/her.
· Place a red carnation on a deceased physician’s grave.
· Drop by your doctor's office with a free lunch or a snack in appreciation of their dedication towards your health.
· If you haven't been for a checkup in a while, get one. Your doctor will be happy that you came in.
These words were spoken to Sister on the eve of St. Joseph’s feast day, March 18, 1958:
· My child, I desire a day to be set aside to honor my fatherhood.
· The privilege of being chosen by God to be the Virgin-Father of His Son was mine alone, and no honor, excluding that bestowed upon my Holy Spouse, was ever, or will ever, be as sublime or as high as this.
· The Holy Trinity desires thus to honor me that in my unique fatherhood all fatherhood might be blessed.
· Dear child, I was king in the little home of Nazareth, for I sheltered within it the Prince of Peace and the Queen of Heaven. To me they looked for protection and sustenance, and I did not fail them.
· I received from them the deepest love and reverence, for in me they saw Him Whose place I took over them.
· So, the head of the family must be loved, obeyed, and respected, and in return be a true father and protector to those under his care.
· In honoring in a special way my fatherhood, you also honor Jesus and Mary. The Divine Trinity has placed into our keeping the peace of the world.
· The imitation of the Holy Family, my child, of the virtues we practiced in our little home at Nazareth is the way for all souls to that peace which comes from God alone and which none other can give.
St. Joseph appeared to Sister again to explain the First Wednesday devotion God wishes to establish in his honor. Sister states:
His requests were similar to those of Our Lady and the First Saturday. The Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have been chosen by the Most Holy Trinity to bring peace to the world; hence, their request for special love and honor, also, in particular, reparation and imitation.
These are the words of St. Joseph as recorded on March 30, 1958:
“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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
I will come again, little child of my most pure heart. Until then, continue in patience and humility, which is so pleasing to God.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
CHAPTER ONE-THE REVELATION OF PRAYER - THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER
Article 3-IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
2644 The Holy Spirit who teaches the Church and recalls to her all that Jesus said also instructs her in the life of prayer, inspiring new expressions of the same basic forms of prayer: blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.
2645 Because God blesses the human heart, it can in return bless him who is the source of every blessing.
2646 Forgiveness, the quest for the Kingdom, and every true need are objects of the prayer of petition.
2647 Prayer of intercession consists in asking on behalf of another. It knows no boundaries and extends to one's enemies.
2648 Every joy and suffering, every event and need can become the matter for thanksgiving which, sharing in that of Christ, should fill one's whole life: "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thess 5:18).
2649 Prayer of praise is entirely disinterested and rises to God, lauds him, and gives him glory for his own sake, quite beyond what he has done, but simply because HE IS.
PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
What is a Sacrament?
A sacrament is an external sign, given to us by Jesus Christ, that point to an internal change or conversion. It is a visible sign of God's grace. Sacraments and faith are linked together in that sacraments pre-suppose, nourish, fortify and express faith. They build up the body of Christ, the Church.
It is a ritual that has been codified and evolved over time; coming from both the Bible (scripture) and lived experience (tradition).
In 1215 at the 4th Lateran Council the Church names the seven sacraments, using this definition "Something is properly called a sacrament because it is a sign of God's grace and is such an image of invisible grace that it bears its likeness and exists as its cause. (Peter Lombard)
Vatican II called the Church to ref-focus on the community aspect of the sacraments, reminding us that each sacrament communicates God's grace to the world. The Church itself is a sacrament.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.