Armed Forces Day Build Up
US Air Force
Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band, which toured U.S. air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. In 1943, an American bomber crewman stood only a one-in-five chance of surviving his tour of duty, twenty-five missions. The Eighth Air Force lost more men in the war than the U.S. Marine Corps. The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors who were a microcosm of America — white America, anyway. (African Americans could not serve in the Eighth Air Force except in a support capacity.) The actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, and so was the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable. And the air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men. The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland.
The U.S. Space Force (USSF) is a new
branch of the Armed Forces. It was established on December 20, 2019 with
enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and will
be stood-up over the next 18 months. The USSF was established within the
Department of the Air Force, meaning the Secretary of the Air
Force has overall responsibility for the USSF, under the guidance
and direction of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, a four-star general
known as the Chief of Space
Operations (CSO) serves as the senior military
member of the USSF. The CSO is a full member of the Joint Chiefs of
The USSF is a military service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. USSF responsibilities include developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to our Combatant Commands.
The new, independent U.S. Space Force will maintain and enhance the competitive edge in space while adapting to new strategic challenges. Spacelift operations at the East and West Coast launch bases provide services, facilities and range safety control for the conduct of NASA and commercial space launches. Through the command and control of all defense satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects – continuous global coverage, low vulnerability and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations and threat warning. Ground-based and space-based systems monitor ballistic missile launches around the world to guard against a surprise missile attack on North America. A global network of space surveillance sensors provides vital information on the location of satellites and space debris for the nation and the world. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect U.S. space assets from hostile attacks
Thursday Ascension of the Lord
Deuteronomy, Chapter 14, Verse 22-23
22 Each year you shall tithe all the produce of your seed that grows in the field; 23 then in the place which the LORD, your God, chooses as the dwelling place of his name you shall eat in his presence the tithe of your grain, wine and oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, that you may learn always to FEAR the LORD, your God.
The way I read this is God wants you to celebrate life; you shall eat in his presence the tithe of your produce. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone did this! If we all took time off with a tenth of the money, we made to celebrate with God and our family and friends together. What a different world it would be. Imagine all the celebrations you would attend. Maybe we should all strive to take a 40-day retreat/celebration. Save your money for this! What is on your bucket list; perhaps the Lord wants you and me to cross off some of those things in His presence. If I were young again this is how I would budget: 10% for His Presence (30 to 40 days’ vacation); 10% for charity/church; 10% savings and live off the 70 percent; that is after the government takes their 50%. Imagine if there was a flat tax……. A good resource for financial advice is a book entitled, “The Richest Man in Babylon”
Feast of the Ascension
Forty days after Easter, our Lord ascends into heaven. The Paschal candle is extinguished.
AT the Introit of the Mass the Church sings the words spoken by the angels to the apostles when Jesus ascended to heaven: “Ye men of Galilee, why wonder ye, looking up to heaven? Alleluia. He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into heaven, alleluia! alleluia! alleluia! Oh, clap your hands, all ye nations, shout unto God with the voice of joy.”
Prayer. Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who believe that Thy only begotten Son, our Redeemer, ascended this day into heaven, may ourselves also, in mind, dwell in heavenly things.
EPISTLE. Acts i. 1-11.
The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom He had chosen, He was taken up: to whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard, saith He, by my mouth: for John, indeed, baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. They therefore who were come together asked Him, saying: Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
But He said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father hath put in His own power. But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. And when He had said these things, while they looked on, He was raised up: and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they were beholding Him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments, who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven?
This Jesus Who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen Him going into heaven.
Explanation. For forty days after His resurrection, Jesus remained with His disciples, to convince them of the truth of His resurrection, to teach them in regard to His kingdom, that is, His Church, and their vocation; and as they were still thinking of an earthly kingdom to be established by Christ, He referred them to the instruction of the Holy Ghost, and then ascended to heaven, whence He shall come to be our judge. Rejoice over the instructions which are preserved for you through the Church; but rejoice especially that Jesus has taken possession of the glory gained by His most profound humiliations, for now He is there an intercessor for you; there He prepares for you a mansion; there is now your home. To-day look up to heaven where Christ is, hope, suffer, love, and pray.
GOSPEL. Mark xvi. 14-20.
At that time, as the eleven were at table, Jesus appeared to them and He upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart: because they did not believe them who had seen Him after He was risen again. And He said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues: they shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. And the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached everywhere, the Lord working withal, and con firming the word with signs that followed. “Let us ‘says St. Augustine, “in spirit, ascend with Christ, that when the time comes, we may follow Him in body also. But we must know, dear brethren, that neither pride, nor avarice, nor impurity can ascend with Christ, our Lord, for pride does not keep company with the teacher of humility, nor wickedness with the source of all good, nor impurity with the Son of the Virgin.”
Aspiration. O King of glory! Who didst on this day ascend victoriously above the heavens, leave us not orphans, but send us, from the Father, the Spirit of truth Whom Thou hast promised, and receive us all into Thy glory.
Why, on this day, is the Easter-candle extinguished and carried away after the gospel?
It is done in remembrance of the hour in which Christ, Who is typified by the Easter-candle, left this earth.
Ascension Thursday Customs
In the early centuries the Church celebrated the Feast of the Ascension with elaborate processions that imitated Christ's conducting His Apostles to Bethany (Lk. 24.50). Eventually, however, these liturgical processions became nonliturgical pageants, and the pageants, in turn, became plays. Ascension Thursday was a day for special effects. This could happen in a dignified way during the Mass, as when in Germany the priest would lift a crucifix during the Gospel at the words, "He was taken up into heaven," or it could happen in a dramatic way after Mass with a theatrical representation of the Ascension event. Statues of the risen Christ would be hoisted by pulleys into the air and then either concealed by white silk representing clouds or pulled through an opening in the ceiling. The audience would then be showered with roses, lilies, and wafers. The flowers symbolized the various gifts of the Holy Spirit promised by Christ before He left, while the wafers reminded all that Jesus is still present to us in the Blessed Sacrament.
· Traditional banquets on this day would gastronomically imitate Christ's ascension by making the main course something that could fly to heaven. Birds of almost every feather - pigeons, pheasants, partridges, and even crows - eventually found their way to the Ascension Day table.
In Central Europe Ascension Thursday is a popular day for mountain climbing or picnicking on hilltops. No doubt this is in commemoration of the summit of the Mount of Olives from which Christ ascended and the heights to which he soared. A similarly inspired tradition is eating some kind of bird for the Feast since on this day Christ "flew" to Heaven.
Like any other solemnity, Ascension Thursday is supposed to be a day of rest and liberal leisure. For some reason or another, however, traditional folklore treats this observance for today with particular severity. Popular superstitions warned against working in field or garden, and special punishments were purportedly reserved for women who sewed. Any needle, it was thought, that was used for work on Ascension Thursday would soon attract lightning!
Ascension commemorates the day that Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:1-11) after spending 40 days appearing to his disciples after his resurrection. The disciple’s thought Jesus was going to restore the earth to the Kingdom of Heaven, but instead, as he promised to send the Holy Spirit to give them power, he ascended into Heaven and disappeared in a cloud. Ascension is the 40th day after Easter, celebrated on the sixth Sunday of the Easter season in Protestant churches and on the 40th day after Easter in Roman Catholic churches.
Ascension Facts & Quotes
· The Apostle's Creed, one of the statements of faith in the Christian Church, mentions Jesus' ascension:
· I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. The third day he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
· An ancient custom in England, called the Beating of the Bounds, is often performed on or near Ascension. Before maps, this was the day that people would mark the boundaries of their property with stones marked with chalk. Some English churches still perform the custom, led by the vicar. Church members carry sticks to wick at weeds as they process.
· In the Orthodox tradition, celebration of the Jesus' Ascension starts with an all-night vigil or vespers (evening) service beginning on Saturday.
Ascension Top Events and Things to Do
· Johann Sebastian Bach wrote several pieces related to both Easter and the Ascension. Listen to Bach's the Ascension Oratorio, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen (Praise God in His Kingdoms) on YouTube.
· Go bird watching. A custom in Sweden, is to get up early in the morning of Ascension and venture out into the woods to listen for the call of a cuckoo. It is considered good luck to hear one on this holiday.
· Go to church and learn about why Jesus' ascension is important to the Christian faith. Jesus is considered to be both human and divine, and the ascension is an illustration of Christ's divine nature.
· View paintings that depict the ascension. One of the most famous works is The Ascension of Christ by Rembrandt Van Rijn.
· Have a picnic.
Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Chinese Chicken Salad
(It is traditional to eat some sort of bird since Jesus "flew" to heaven.)
(The fruit represents Christ, the first fruit of all men.)
(Symbolizing the clouds that were in the sky.)
Sparkling Grape Juice
(Chosen for the "rising" bubbles.)
Today is World Arak Day try
this Lebanon drink-caution 126 proof
Preparing for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit
On Ascension Day the Lumen Christi is taken from the dining room table to signify that the Lord has ascended. In the days when the Faith was flourishing, the Sunday after the feast of the Ascension was called "The Sunday of the Roses," the name given from the custom of strewing the pavements of the churches with roses, as an homage to Christ who ascended into heaven when the earth was in the season of flowers. Why cannot we in our day have roses in our homes, make an offering of flowers to our church, or take roses from our gardens to one infirm or sick?
Here are some prayers and meditations to be said in the family between the Ascension and Pentecost Sunday.
One of the simplest ways we have found for young children to prepare for Pentecost is by meditating on the mysteries of the Chaplet of the Holy Spirit. We reflect on one mystery a day.
Opening Prayer: Sign of the Cross-Act of Contrition
First Mystery: Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary.
Meditation: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and
the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. Therefore, the Holy One to be
born shall be called the Son of God (Luke 11:35).
Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.
Second Mystery: The Spirit of the Lord rests upon
Meditation: When Jesus was baptized, He immediately came up from the water. And behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a Dove and coming upon Him (Matthew 3:16). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.
Third Mystery: Jesus is led by the Spirit into the
Meditation: Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit about the desert for forty days, being tempted the while by the devil (Luke 4:11). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.
Fourth Mystery: The Holy Spirit in the Church.
Meditation: Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak of the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:2, 4, 11). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.
Fifth Mystery: The Holy Spirit in the souls of the Just.
Meditation: Or, do you not know that your members are
the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Do not extinguish the Spirit. And
do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God in whom you were sealed for the day of
redemption (1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Thess. 5:19; Eph. 4:30).
Prayers: One Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.
Devotions for Holy Communion
HOW WE OUGHT TO COMMUNICATE.
PREPARE yourself for holy communion the evening before by many thoughts of love, retiring earlier, that you may rise sooner in the morning. Should you awake in the night, raise your heart to God immediately, and make some ardent aspirations, in order to prepare your soul for the reception of her Spouse, Who, being awake whilst you were asleep, prepares a thousand graces and favors for you, if, on your part, you are disposed to receive them.
In the morning, rise up with eagerness to enjoy the happiness you hope for; and having confessed, go with a great but humble confidence to receive this heavenly food, which nourishes your soul to immortality: and after repeating thrice, “Lord, I am not worthy,” cease to move your lips to pray, or to sigh, but opening your mouth gently and moderately, and lifting up your head as much as is necessary, that the priest may see what he is about, full of faith, hope, and charity, receive Him, in Whom, by Whom, and for Whom you believe, hope, and Whom you love. Represent to yourself that as the bee, after gathering from the flowers the dew of heaven, and the choicest juice of the earth, reducing them into honey, carries it into her hive, so the priest, having taken from the altar the Savior of the world, the true Son of God, Who, as the dew, is descended from heaven, and the true Son of the Virgin, Who, as a flower, is sprung from the earth of our humanity, puts Him as delicious food into your mouth and body.
Having received Him in your breast, excite your heart to do homage to the author of your salvation; treat with Him concerning your internal affairs; consider that He has taken up His abode within you for your happiness; make Him then as welcome as you possibly can, and conduct yourself in such a manner as to make it appear by all your actions that God is with you.
But when you cannot enjoy the benefit of really communicating at holy Mass, communicate at least spiritually, uniting yourself by an ardent desire to this life-giving flesh of Our Savior. Your principal intention in communicating should be to advance in virtue, to strengthen yourself in the love of God, and to receive comfort from this love; for you must receive through love that which love alone caused to be given to you. You cannot consider Our Savior in an action either more full of love, or more tender than this, in which He annihilates Himself, or, as we may more properly say, changes Himself into food, that so He may penetrate our souls, and unite Himself most intimately to the heart, and to the body of His faithful.
If worldlings ask you why you communicate so often, tell them it is to learn to love God, to purify yourself from your imperfections, to be delivered from your miseries, to be comforted in your afflictions, and supported in your weaknesses.
Tell them that two sorts of persons ought to communicate frequently: the perfect, because, being well disposed, they would be greatly to blame not to approach to the source and fountain of perfection; and the imperfect, to the end that they may be able to aspire to perfection; the strong, lest they should become weak; and the weak, that they may become strong; the healthy, lest they should fall into sickness; and the sick, that they may be restored to health: that for your part, being imperfect, weak, and sick, you have need to communicate frequently with Him Who is your perfection, your strength, and your physician.
Tell them that those who have not many worldly affairs to look after ought to communicate often, because they have leisure; that those who have much business on hand should also communicate often, for he who labors much and is loaded with toil ought to eat solid food, and that frequently.
Tell them that you receive the Holy Sacrament, to learn to receive it well; because one can hardly perform an action well which he does not often practice. Communicate frequently, then, and as frequently as you can, with the advice of your ghostly father; and, believe me, by approaching to and eating beauty, purity, and goodness itself, in this divine sacrament, you will become altogether fair, pure, and virtuous.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I. The Mass as the new Exodus from Slavery of Sin
16. Remember the First Passover was offered at the climax of the deliverance of Israel from slavery to the Egyptians (c.f. Exodus 12). Each household was to take a male lamb in the prime age of its life, free of defects, and sacrifice it to God. The blood of the lamb was to be spread on the entrances of their homes while its flesh was to be eaten. Every home that followed the rites commanded by God for this sacred meal were spared from the death of their firstborn sons. The first Passover saved the Israelites from death and led to their liberation from slavery. At the annual Passover, the head of the household was to recount the story of how the Lord delivered them from the oppression of Egypt and spared their lives. Then they were to eat the flesh of the lamb that they sacrificed.
17. Jesus brought this first Passover to its ultimate fulfillment at the Last Supper. At this Passover, Jesus took the position at the head of the household, the father of the family. Instead of recounting the story of the first exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, He spoke of His own suffering and death about to take place.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
26 We begin our profession of faith by saying: "I believe" or "We believe". Before expounding the Church's faith, as confessed in the Creed, celebrated in the liturgy and lived in observance of God's commandments and in prayer, we must first ask what "to believe" means. Faith is man's response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life. Thus we shall consider first that search (Chapter One), then the divine Revelation by which God comes to meet man (Chapter Two), and finally the response of faith (Chapter Three).
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896