Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them in, but without force, because they were AFRAID of being stoned by the people.
The apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin for trial. These temple priests which were instrumental in causing the crucifixion of Christ were now enflamed with jealousy over the apostles, who by the resurrection of Christ no longer feared death or taxes. The people began to believe, and the world was never the same.
The apostles after their release immediately resumed public teaching, they rendered unto God what was God’s.
The apostles filled with the Holy Spirit were not afraid anymore. They practiced obedience, commitment, healthy relationships, and faith. They had generous hearts.
Building Generosity into your life
Effective leaders gather for others then give it away. This is God’s economy which is radically different. By releasing our grasp and not clinging to our possessions we become more like Him who had nothing; the one who gave the only resource He had--Himself.
1. Be grateful for whatever you have.
2. Put people first.
3. Don’t allow greed to control you.
4. Regard money as a resource.
5. Develop the habit of giving.
“I now pray, not for more of this world’s goods and greater blessings, but to be worthy of that which I already have.”
Roméo Dallaire (Soldier of Righteousness)
As the world failed Rwanda he could not and would not abandon the people.
John McCain in his book Character is Destiny examined the character traits exemplified by Roméo Dallaire who in 1993, was appointed Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans. When the rest of the world looked away, he stayed behind in a manmade evil for the sake of duty and justice. Dallaire was in charge of a small overwhelmed African peacekeeping force, he could have left but he refused and witnessed the genocide. He is ashamed he could have not done more and the reaction of the world that stood by for 100 days doing nothing allowing the devil to reap carnage, terror and hopelessness. Dallaire was the one candle in a darkened room of despair created by the collective failure of mankind’s conscience along with the apathy and deceitfulness of world governments toward Rowanda’s plight. McCain writes of Dallaire’s dilemma:
The U.S. government, our allies, and the United Nations went to extraordinary and ridiculous lengths to avoid using the term, “genocide”, aware that once genocide was acknowledged, they would have to act. Day after day, long night after long night, for over three months, more men, women, and children were added to the rolls of the victims by their hate-crazed persecutors. Romeo Dallaire soldiered on, saving those he could and agonizing over those he couldn’t, all the while begging the UN, and the world, to send more troops, to do something, anything, to help. In his telling, his mission was to keep peace; peace was destroyed by unimaginable violence, and many thousands died. He failed. He tried to convince his superiors to send him more men. He failed. He tried to get the United States and other powerful countries to listen to their consciences and help. He failed. He tried to persuade the world to stop genocide. He failed. And while many, many people who had a responsibility to stop the killings looked the other way and never had a moment of doubt or a night of troubled sleep, Romeo Dallaire took his failures very, very seriously.
A righteous person, no matter how blameless, will always take humanity’s failures personally.
Speaking of Men motivated by love today is.
Rwanda Lessons Learned
· The first and enduring lesson of the Rwandan genocide – not unlike the Holocaust – is that they occurred not only because of the machinery of death, but because of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide. It is this teaching of contempt, this demonizing of the other – this is where it all begins. Indeed, as the jurisprudence of the Rwandan tribunals has demonstrated, these acts of genocide were preceded by – and anchored in – the state-orchestrated demonization and dehumanization of the minority Tutsi population – using cruel, biological ascriptions of Tutsis as “inyenzi” (cockroaches) – prologue and justification for their mass murder.
· The second lesson is the danger of indifference and the consequences of inaction. The genocide of Rwandan Tutsis occurred not only because of the machinery of death and a state-sanctioned culture of hate, but also because of crimes of indifference and conspiracies of silence. What makes the Rwandan genocide so unspeakable is not only the horror of the genocide, but that this genocide was preventable. Simply put, while the UN Security Council and the international community dithered and delayed, Rwandans were dying.
· The third lesson is the danger of a culture of impunity. If the last century was the age of atrocity, it was also the age of impunity. Few of the perpetrators were brought to justice. Just as there cannot be a sanctuary for hate or a refuge for bigotry, neither can there be a haven for the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity.
· The fourth lesson is the danger of the vulnerability of the powerless and the powerlessness of the vulnerable – the brutalized children, women victimized by massive sexual violence, the slaughter of the innocents – all the first targets of mass atrocity. It is our responsibility to empower the powerless while giving voice to the voiceless, wherever they may be.
· The fifth lesson is the cruelty of genocide denial — an assault on memory and truth – a criminal conspiracy to whitewash the Rwandan genocide. In the obscenest form of genocide denial – as in the case also of Holocaust denial – it actually accuses the victims of falsifying this “hoax.” Remembrance of the Rwandan genocide is itself a repudiation of such denial – which tragically becomes more prevalent with the passage of time.
· The sixth lesson is the importance of remembering the heroic rescuers, those who remind us of the range of human possibility; those who stood up to confront evil, prevailed, and transformed history.
Finally, and most important, we must remember and pay tribute to the survivors who endured the worst of inhumanity – of crimes against humanity – and somehow found in the resources of their own humanity the will to go on, to contribute and to make our society a better and more compassionate community. And so, this anniversary must be an occasion not only to remember but to learn the lessons of the crime whose name we should even shudder to mention – namely genocide – and most important: to act on these lessons.
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.
Build Personal Holiness
Personal holiness is not centered in the fight against sin but in love for Christ, who shows Himself to us as being truly human, fully aware of everything about us. The love of God for men and of men for God is a love of mutual friendship. And one of the specific characteristics of friendship is relationship. In order to love Our Lord, it is necessary to know Him, to speak to Him. We get to know Him by meditating on His life in the Holy Gospels. In them He shows Himself to us as being endearingly human and very close to our life. We meet Him in prayer and in the Sacraments, especially in the Blessed Eucharist.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
CHAPTER THREE-THE LIFE OF PRAYER
2752 Prayer presupposes an effort, a fight against ourselves and the wiles of the Tempter. the battle of prayer is inseparable from the necessary "spiritual battle" to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ: we pray as we live, because we live as we pray.
2753 In the battle of prayer we must confront erroneous conceptions of prayer, various currents of thought, and our own experience of failure. We must respond with humility, trust, and perseverance to these temptations which cast doubt on the usefulness or even the possibility of prayer.
2754 The principal difficulties in the practice of prayer are distraction and dryness. The remedy lies in faith, conversion, and vigilance of heart.
2755 Two frequent temptations threaten prayer: lack of faith and acedia - a form of depression stemming from lax ascetical practice that leads to discouragement.
2756 Filial trust is put to the test when we feel that our prayer is not always heard. the Gospel invites us to ask ourselves about the conformity of our prayer to the desire of the Spirit.
2757 "Pray constantly" (1 Thess 5:17). It is always possible to pray. It is even a vital necessity. Prayer and Christian life are inseparable.
2758 The prayer of the hour of Jesus, rightly called the "priestly prayer" (cf Jn 17), sums up the whole economy of creation and salvation. It fulfills the great petitions of the Our Father.
PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Angel of God
Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
 Napoleon Hill, Outwitting the Devil.