Thursday, March 9, 2023

Holi-Another Pagan Fest[1]


 

Holi is the ancient Hindu Festival of Love and also known as the Festival of Colors.  The origins of Holi lie in ancient Hindu traditions where Holi was celebrated to mark the arrival of spring.  Holi is also related to the legend of Holika, the evil sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu, who tried to burn Hiranyakashipu's son Prahlada.  Prahlada had maintained faith in god (Vishnu), while Hiranyakashipu contended that he was god.  Wearing a cloak that guarded her from fire, Holika lured Prahlada into a fire but the cloak that was guarding Holika flew and protected Prahlada instead.  Because of this Holi also celebrates the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and love over hate.

 

Holi Facts & Quotes

 

·       The name Holi stems from Holiya, who was the evil sister of a demon god that tried to burn her nephew.  According to ancient Sanskrit scriptures, Holiya died in the fire while her nephew was unharmed.  Since then, on the eve of Holi, a bonfire named Holiya is lit to signify the triumph of good over evil.

·       Central to most Holi festivals are bright colors that are often thrown, sprayed or painted on. For this reason, Holi is often refered to as the Festival of Colors.

·       Traditionally colors were achieved through dyes that were made from turmeric, sandalwood, flower and leaf extracts, and beetroots.  In recent times Synthetic Color dyes are often used during Holi festivals.  These dyes are often toxic or cause allergic reactions.  It's a good idea to rub coconut oil into your skin beforehand, to prevent toxic color dyes from absorbing.

·       Bhang, tea made from cannabis leaves, is frequently served at some Holi celebrations in India and Nepal. Bhang also contains milk, butter and spices (cinnamon or nutmeg).

·       Holi is the day to express love with colors. It is a time to show affection. All the colors that are on you are of love. – Anonymous

Catholics and Holi[2]

With Indians and Hindus celebrating Holi, a spring festival of colors, today, Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona has encouraged the faithful to participate in the celebration, which is meant to promote spiritual and social harmony. Holi is celebrated with everyone throwing brightly dyed powders on each other. It marks the setting aside of differences and grudges in a spirit of reconciliation. Observing the collective celebratory spirit of Holi which integrates joy, enthusiasm and freedom, Bishop Dabre said the day “gives a message of joy and happiness.”

Nevertheless, Bishop Dabre cautioned that “Holi must live the holy joy, and the joy a religion should spread is not without norms or principles but must be coupled with the observance of commandments.” The true joy that emanates from religion must respect the freedom of others; not impose our likes and dislikes on others,” he reflected. Hindus begin the celebration with a Holika bonfire the evening prior to Holi, which relates to the myth upon which the festival is based. However, the throwing of color and water which all Indians participate in is a manifestation of joy and friendship across religious lines.  Bishop Dabre also noted that “religion must be experienced as a liberating experience of freedom, and this is very significant in the context of religious terrorism and extremism in different parts of the world, and in India.”

He lamented the rise of such groups as the Taliban, Boko Haram, and Islamic State, saying that in these cases, “religion has become a cause of fear, terror, injustice and oppression.” In the light of recent persecution and discrimination against Christians in India, Bishop Dabre lamented that “even in our country, in the name of religion unreasonable restriction are imposed on the people; force and pressure is employed to reconvert people and to ban the adoption of a religion of one’s choice … also gruesome crimes are committed against women and people of the so-called low caste. Thus, religion has become a matter of grievous concern. “However, “in such a situation Holi gives an important lesson that religion must spread true joy and freedom,” he added.


 

Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

MEATBALL DAY 

Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 7-8

7 Blessed are those who trust in the LORD; the LORD will be their trust. 8 They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not FEAR heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought, it shows no distress, but still produces fruit.

 

I live in Arizona where hardly anything grows in the desert. However, along a stream or a creek, trees do put their roots into the bed of the water and create a mini paradise with flowers, deer and even provides sustenance even during the hottest days. Likewise, we should sink our roots into our Lord through our church and receive refreshment through frequent reception of the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist; along with spiritual reading and time alone with our Lord. In this way we are nourished and prepared for the work our Lord has given us.

 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:3)

Though thus says the Lord for those who neither hope nor know Him and does not fear God: “Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a barren bush in the wasteland that enjoys no change of season, but stands in lava beds in the wilderness, a land, salty and uninhabited.” (Jer. 17:5-6)

Preparing for Battle[1] Know Your Armor

Prayer and fasting, worship and adoration, Scripture and sacraments and sacramentals all provide the weapons of our spiritual warfare. With them we go on the offensive against the Evil One. But the virtues provide our defensive armor. St. Paul sums it up: “Put on, therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience. Bear with one another, if anyone has a grievance against any other; even as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection” (Col 3: 12– 14). Only with such armor will we be fully covered and protected from the Evil One’s attacks.

·       The Shield of Faith. St. Paul reminds us that faith must be firmly grasped and held up as a barrier between ourselves and the Enemy.

·       The Helmet of Hope. It is essential for protecting the mind. If we have no hope of winning why fight? We must never take off the helmet of hope or we will be overcome before we start.

·       The Breastplate of Love. The breastplate protects our heart-keeping it for God alone. Love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind; and be rightly related to others is to love them as we love ourselves (see Mt 22: 36– 40).

·       Cincture of Truth. Being truthful with God, yourself, and others is a spiritual form of ballistic groin protection. Nothing can hurt like the truth. We must not let the intimate parts of our inner selves be led astray by blinding passion; and the Devil’s enticement. We must seek the truth and live the truth. We must not seek to gratify the desires of the flesh, but instead we must “put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” imitating the virtues displayed in His character.

·       Feet shod in Peace. Wherever we go, we must be prepared to bring the good news of salvation, of peace with God, to all we may encounter. The Devil will try to turn us back. He’ll scatter across our path, like so many rocks and thorns, a wagonload of doubts, accusations of our inadequacy, and fear of conflict and rejection. But if we’ve put on the “boots” of readiness— if we’ve prepared ourselves, through faithful study and prayer, to share the gospel— then we’ll walk safely over these obstacles, crushing them as we go.

·       The Mantle of Humility. Humility is the essential virtue that provides the soil in which all the other virtues grow. Humility keeps us from dangerous “high places” where the Enemy could tempt us to pride and vainglory.

 Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

Prayer.

 

GRANT us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the help of Thy grace, that we, dutifully engaged in fasting and prayer, may be freed from all enemies of body and soul.

 

EPISTLE. Jer. xvii. 5-10.

 

Thus, saith the Lord God: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert in a salt land, and not inhabited. Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat corneth. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit. The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it? I am the Lord that search the heart and prove the reins: Who give to everyone according to his way, and accord ing to the fruit of his devices, saith the Lord Almighty.

 

GOSPEL. Luke xvi. 19-31.


 

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen: and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man s table, and no one did give him: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: and he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his linger in water, to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now lie is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither. And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father s house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. But he said: No, Father Abraham, but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe if one rise again from the dead. 

National Meatball Day[2]

Just the word meatball is enough to bring to mind great family meals for most people. These little balls of various meats can be found throughout the world in almost every culture. Most people may associate them with Italian cuisine, though spaghetti and meatballs are an American dish. No matter your background, you can jump in and enjoy Meatball Day! There are many times in history that meatballs have been recorded in culinary records. In Turkey, there is a dish called kofte which has many different variations. In China, there is a record of a recipe that can date back to 221 BC! Ancient Rome can add a claim to meatballs as there is a surviving cookbook that holds a variety of recipes with balls of meat. It is easy to see that people have been enjoying meatballs for a very long time. Meatballs are made by taking ground or minced meat that has been mixed with spices, breadcrumbs, eggs or other ingredients and then rolled into a ball to be cooked. Cooking methods vary and include frying, braising, or baking. There is no wrong way to choose to make your version of the meatball. Just remember to make a large enough batch so that all your friends and family will get to try them!

How to Celebrate Meatball Day

·       Meatball day, like other culinary holidays should be enjoyed with family or friends gathered around. The most difficult part of preparing for Meatball Day is going to be picking what nation’s recipe you will use. Lucky for you, this is a yearly occurrence, so you can pick a new nation each year to try if you like. Or you could be truly adventurous and try more than one at a time!

·       Meatballs can be an appetizer, a side dish or the star of the meal. To celebrate, you and your friends who like to cook can have a playful evening by letting each person bring their own dish and then you can select a favorite! Think if it as the home version of Iron Chef! With a little craftiness, a prize could even be offered to grace the winner’s mantle.

·       What is your favorite way to enjoy meatballs? There are so many ways to make them. Have you added them added to your pizza or on a sandwich? Do you prefer to stick to the traditions of your family or try to create something new? This is the time to shine! An entire day devoted to meatball goodness.

·       It doesn’t matter if you are a chef or a first-time cook. Making a meal with meatballs is easy but has the wonderful side effect of making you look like the star of your kitchen. Just do a search with your favorite search engine for meatball recipes and pick the one that sounds yummy (that might be all of them!). Don’t forget to record your adventure by taking a few pictures and use #meatballday on social media to share!

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

I. Purification of the Heart

2517 The heart is the seat of moral personality: "Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication...." The struggle against carnal covetousness entails purifying the heart and practicing temperance:

Remain simple and innocent, and you will be like little children who do not know the evil that destroys man's life.

2518 The sixth beatitude proclaims, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." "Pure in heart" refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of truth and orthodoxy of faith. There is a connection between purity of heart, of body, and of faith:

The faithful must believe the articles of the Creed "so that by believing they may obey God, by obeying may live well, by living well may purify their hearts, and with pure hearts may understand what they believe."

2519 The "pure in heart" are promised that they will see God face to face and be like him. Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of God. Even now it enables us to see according to God, to accept others as "neighbors"; it lets us perceive the human body - ours and our neighbor's - as a temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of divine beauty.

Daily Devotions

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

·       do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·       Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 23

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan




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



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