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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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Friday in the Octave of Easter 

Psalm 118, verse 4-6

4 Let those who FEAR the LORD say, his mercy endures forever. 5 In danger I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. 6The LORD is with me; I am not afraid; what can mortals do against me? 

When can we say, “His mercy endures forever!” It is when we have received it and given it away. Everybody needs to forgive somebody. 

Forgiveness will unleash a power in your life that is underrated and often ignored. It is underrated mainly because it is underused. We fail to capture the power of forgiveness because we are afraid of it, because we have grown comfortable in our familiar wounds, or because we are sinfully stubborn. But the power is there waiting for us.[1] 

Allen R. Hunt outlines there are three parts to forgiveness:

1) Receiving Forgiveness which involves experiencing God and forgiving yourself.

2) Deciding to Forgive.

3) Sharing Forgiveness. 

Friday In the Octave of Easter[2]

Acts 4:1-12  +  John 21:1-14

He revealed Himself in this way.

What does St. John the Evangelist mean when he reports to us that the disciples “dared” not ask Jesus “Who are you?”  After all, the Beloved Disciple had told Peter that this was the Lord.  Today’s Gospel passage suggests some unresolved ambiguity.  While the miracle of catching 153 fish convinced the disciples who He was, there was still some reason for them to ask His identity.  His miracle convinced them, but His appearance did not.

So the Risen Jesus, in His glorified Body, was the same person, yet somehow different.  He had the same two natures—human and divine—yet He was somehow different.  The Resurrection narratives demonstrate some of the ways in which Jesus was different after His rising from the dead:  most famously—as we will hear this coming Sunday—the Risen Lord had a physical body that could pass through solid matter.

The point here is that in His Risen Body, Jesus looks different to His disciples.  He looks different enough to cause some confusion in their minds:  at least enough confusion for them to be tempted to “dare” ask Him “Who are you?”  For ourselves, regarding both our meditation and our speaking to the Lord in prayer, we should ask:  do we expect the Lord to appear to us in some certain way?  How might God want to surprise us in making Himself known to us, and in showing us His love?

Easter Friday Meditation[3]

Easter reminds us of these fundamental requirements of the Christian life: the practice of piety and patience. Through piety we live detached from human frailties, in purity of mind and body, in union with Christ. Through patience we succeed in strengthening our character and controlling our temper so as to become more pleasing to the Lord and an example and encouragement to others, in the various contingencies of social life. The Resurrection of the Lord truly represents—and for this reason it is celebrated every year—the renewed resurrection of every one of us to the true Christian life, the perfect Christian life which we must all try to live. "The Resurrection of Christ is the sacrament of new life." My beloved brothers and children! First of all let us look closely at our pattern, Jesus Christ. You see that everything in His life was in preparation for His resurrection. St Augustine says: "In Christ everything was working for His resurrection." Born as a man, He appeared as a man for but a short time. Born of mortal flesh, He experienced all the vicissitudes of mortality. We see Him in His infancy, His boyhood, and His vigorous maturity, in which He died. He could not have risen again if He had not died; He could not have died if He had not been born; He was born, and He died so that He might rise again.

·       Plan a pilgrimage; go to a shrine; do a Divine Mercy Hike.

 

o   Easter Friday was a favorite day for pilgrimages in many parts of Europe. Large groups would take rather long processions to a shrine or church, where Mass would be offered.

 

Easter Friday is a favorite day for pilgrimages. [4]

 

Pilgrimage was an essential part of Jesus’ religious life. As God was one, so he had only one holy city, Jerusalem, to which he called his people to make pilgrimage: “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God.” These Tri-annual pilgrimages were required at the feast of unleavened bread (Passover), at the feast of the weeks (commemoration of the Torah & the 10 commandments) and the feast of the booths (Sukkoth). Christ by his sacrifice has created a heavenly Jerusalem which is not in a geographic location but is Eucharistic and is located in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church. Jerusalem has still retained an attractive power, because it contained the monuments of the Lord’s passion and is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites. A modern Catholic map of the world will offer many possible destinations for pilgrimage. Jerusalem and Rome remain favorites as well as the Marian shrines of Lourdes and Fatima. Also, since the middle ages travelers have also thronged to Santiago de Compostela, the shrine of St. James in Spain. Yet, here is the greatness of our God: we need not go to the far ends of the earth to go on pilgrimage as God lives with us in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and we can always find local shrines to make small pilgrimages. We could also make a pilgrimage to visit with holy people we know, or travel to honor the graves of our ancestors, friends and mentors. A pilgrimage is sacramental: an outward sign of an inward grace. It reminds us that we are wayfarers on earth till we are taken up into heaven.

 

Holy Catholic pilgrimages for your “bucket list”[5]

 

Whether you follow in the footsteps of Jesus or the saints, a holy pilgrimage is an opportunity to enrich one's faith.


Click here to launch the slideshow

 

The holy pilgrimage has been a Christian tradition since the first recorded spiritual journey, in which a bishop named Mileto from Sardis in Asia Minor traveled to the Holy Land in around 160 to visit the place where [things described in the Bible] were preached and done. “In the 4th century, pilgrimages following the footsteps of Jesus and the apostles became popular after Constantines mother, St. Helena, visited Jerusalem, discovered what is thought to have been the True Cross, and built churches over holy sites related to Jesus life. To walk the same path as Jesus and his followers, and to see with ones own eyes the places mentioned in Scripture, was more than just travel, it was meant to hasten an interior journey as well. Rome became a major destination for European pilgrims in the 7th century after the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land limited the number of Christians allowed to visit the holy sites there. The Crusades themselves were considered a form of pilgrimage, and pilgrimages to the Holy land increased in the late Middle Ages, partly due to the guidance of the Franciscan friars who were entrusted with the guardianship of the holy sites.

 

Today, Christians continue to make pilgrimages to enrich their spiritual lives. Taken in the spirit of prayer, a pilgrimage can be as life-changing today as it was in the time of St. Jerome, who in the 4th century wrote, We will have a clearer grasp of Scripture after we have gazed with our own eyes on the sites where the events of our salvation unfolded.

 

Read more: Here’s why a pilgrimage is an important aspect of the spiritual life

 

Heres a glimpse of a few sacred places to complete any Catholics bucket list, where modern pilgrims can travel to walk the same path as Jesus and his followers, and visit the sites of the miracles and apparitions:

 

The Holy Land


 

Pilgrims to the Holy Land and Jerusalem follow in the footsteps of Jesus, from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem where Jesus was born to the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where he was laid to rest. For the last 800 years, the Order of St. Francis has had guardianship over these holy sites and is today working to ensure that Christians continue to exist in the birthplace of Christianity. By offering pilgrimages in the Holy Land, they can help fulfill that mission.

 

·       When to visit: The busiest times in Holy Land are during the major Christian and Jewish feasts in spring and fall. 

Fatima


 

The shrine in Fatima, Portugal, marks the spot where Our Lady of the Rosary appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, between May and October of 1917. Pilgrims from all over the world gather for the torch-lit processions held every day, but especially on pilgrimage days in May and October.

 

·       When to visit: Pilgrim’s travel to Fatima all year round, but the best-attended processions are held on the 13th of May and October.

 

El Camino de Santiago


 

The Way of St. James or El Camino de Santiago became a major pilgrimage destination during the Middle Ages. Tradition tells us that St. James remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried. Medieval pilgrims traveled from their homes to what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela, receiving penance for the expiation of sins by undertaking the arduous journey.

 

Today, the pilgrimage has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, among believers as well as non-believers in search of a retreat from modern life. Pilgrims hostels or albergues welcome travelers along the way and can be found along the routes in Spain, France and Portugal.

 

Read more:

 

You want to walk the Camino de Santiago? Here are 10 things you should know

 

·       When to visit: July and August are the busiest months on the Camino. Pilgrims traveling during April, May, June and September enjoy warm weather without the crowds. 

Ireland

Ireland has a long tradition of holy pilgrimages, dating back to St. Patrick’s fast on what is now known as Croagh Patrick in 441. In the pasts few years, the Pilgrim Paths foundation has been restoring the ancient penitential paths and has so far created five guided walks. After pilgrims get their “passports” stamped after completing each of the five routes, they receive an Irish Pilgrim Paths completion certificate from Ballintubber Abbey in County Mayo.

Read more:

 

Walk along Irelands own Camino pilgrimage route

·       When to visit: This

·       Irish Pilgrim Journey 2023 – June 17th to 24th.

Rome

European pilgrims headed to Rome along the Via Francigena to follow the paths of the martyred saints and early Christians. Emperor Constantine erected basilicas over the tombs of Peter and Paul, which attracted the faithful from all over Europe.

Read more:

The Via Francigena: The other great European pilgrimage

Today a modern pilgrim would similarly visit St. Peters Basilica, attend a papal audience with the successor to St. Peter, take a tour of the Catacombs, the Vatican museums, and the ancient churches of the Eternal City.

·       When to visit: Winter is the best time to visit Rome if you want to avoid the crowds. Spring and fall, outside of Easter week, offer mild temperatures without the crowds of summer.

Lourdes

Millions of pilgrim’s flock to southwestern France each year to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is there that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 18 times in 1858 to a young peasant girl, St. Bernadette Soubirous. In one of her appearances, she told St. Bernadette to drink from the grotto’s spring. Many of the sick and suffering claim to have been miraculously cured by the spring’s healing waters.

Read more:

Traveling to Lourdes? Go out of your way to visit St. Bernadette’s incorrupt body

·       When to visit: The quiet season at Lourdes is between October and March. During peak season, beginning at Easter, there are usually about 25,000 pilgrims a day visiting Lourdes.

Poland

Even before Pope John Paul II’s canonization, a spiritual journey to his homeland in Poland had become a popular pilgrimage among Catholics. An itinerary might include a visit to Karol Wojtyla’s childhood home in Wadowice, the shrine of the Black Madonna at Jasna Gora Monastery in Częstochowa, and the beautiful Tatra Mountains where John Paul II skied. Other must-visit sites: The Shrine of Divine Mercy and the martyred St. Maximilian Kolbe’s cell at Auschwitz.

Divine Mercy Novena[6]


Eighth Day - Today Bring Me the Souls Who Are In the Prison Of Purgatory.

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so, I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

Eternal Father turn Your most merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded, manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way than through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

Fasting: Wednesdays and Fridays (Water/Juice and bread only, if medically allowed, otherwise as is outlined by the USCCB)

 

Fitness Friday

 

·       Try the St. George Universal Man Plan and slay dragons.



US Patron Saint?


Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER THREE-THE LIFE OF PRAYER

Article 2-THE BATTLE OF PRAYER

Article 2-THE BATTLE OF PRAYER

2725 Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. the great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. the "spiritual battle" of the Christian's new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

The Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Catholic Politian’s and Leaders

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       30 Days with St. Joseph Day 27

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

Operation Purity



[1] Allen R. Hunt, Everybody needs to forgive somebody.

[2]https://reflectionsonthesacredliturgy.com/2021/04/08/2021-04-09/

[4] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 31. Pilgrimage.




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