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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, 14 July, 2023

 ST. KATERI TEKAKWITHA-BASTILLE DAY

1 SAMUEL, Chapter 15, Verse 24

Saul admitted to Samuel: “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the command of the LORD and your instructions. I feared the people and obeyed them.

 

There are three lessons we can learn from the life of King Saul.

 

First, obey the Lord and seek to do His will. From the very start of his reign, Saul had the perfect opportunity to be the benchmark by which all future kings could be measured. All he had to do was to seek the Lord wholeheartedly, obey His commandments and align his will with that of God’s, and his rule would have been a God-honoring one. However, like so many others, Saul chose a different path and strayed away from God. We find a perfect example of his disobedience in the incident where God commanded him to kill all the Amalekites, but Saul kept the king and some of the spoils of war. Saul compounded his troubles by lying to Samuel over the incident. He claimed that it was the people that saved all of the animals (1 Samuel 15). This act, plus many others over the course of his rule, emphasized the fact that he could not be trusted to be an instrument of God’s will.

 

The second lesson we learn is not to misuse the power given to us. There is no question that King Saul abused the power God had entrusted to him. The over-riding reason for this is the pride often creeps into our hearts when people are serving and honoring us. In time, this type of “star treatment” can make us believe that we really are something special and worthy of praise. When this happens, we forget that God is the one who is really in control and that He alone rules over all. God may have chosen Saul because he was humble, but over time that humility was replaced by a self-serving and destructive pride that destroyed his rule.

 

The third lesson for us is to lead the way God wants us to lead. First Peter 5:2-10 is the ultimate guide for leading the people that God has placed in our charge: “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” How much different Saul’s life would have turned out had he obeyed these principles. King Saul would have had no shortage of wise counsel available to him. By ignoring God and His wise counsel, Saul allowed the spiritual health of his people to deteriorate further, alienating them from God.[1]

 

St. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680).

 

Kateri was born in 1656 near the town of Auriesville, New York, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She was baptized by Jesuit missionary Fr. Jacques de Lambertville on Easter of 1676 at the age of twenty. She devoted her life to prayer, penitential practices, and the care of the sick and aged in Caughnawaga near Montreal (where her relics are now enshrined). She incurred the hostility of her tribe because of her faith. She was devoted to the Eucharist, and to Jesus Crucified, and was called the "Lily of the Mohawks." She died in 1680 and was beatified June 22, 1980, and canonized on October 21, 2012—the first native American to be declared "Blessed" and "Saint."
—Excerpted from Magnificat, July 2003

 

Bastille Day[2]

Today, July 14, is Bastille Day, the commemoration of the revolution that brought down France’s Ancien Régime and led to the establishment of a new order that promised to totally refashion society. Unlike the American Revolution, which was fought to conserve rights and maintain political order, the French Revolution destroyed the fabric of French society. No aspect of human life was untouched. The Committee of Public Safety – influenced by Rousseau – claimed that to convert the oppressed French nation to democracy, “you must entirely refashion a people whom you wish to make free, destroy its’ prejudices, alter its habits, limit its necessities, root up its vices, purify its desires.” To achieve this end, the new rational state, whose primary ideological plank was that the sovereignty of “the people” is unlimited, attempted to eliminate French traditions, norms, and religious beliefs.

The revolutionary governing bodies were particularly determined to destroy every vestige of the Roman Catholic Church because France was hailed by Rome as the Church’s “eldest daughter” and the monarch had dedicated “our person, our state, our crown and our subjects” to the Blessed Virgin. The Constituent Assembly began the campaign against the Church by stating in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, “nobody or individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.” In other words, the Church could no longer have any say in public matters. The secular state would now have the final word over every aspect of human and social life.

Next, the government abrogated the 1516 Concordat that defined France’s relationship with the Vicar of Christ. Financial and diplomatic relations with the papacy ceased. In the name of freedom, all monastic vows were suspended and in February 1790, legislation was approved to suppress the monasteries and confiscate their properties. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, passed on July 12, 1790, decreed that the priesthood was a civil body and all bishops and priests were to be selected by the people and paid by the state.

·       The pope was to have no say in the matter. In addition, clerics had to swear an oath of loyalty to the French Constitution. Dissidents had to resign their ministries, and many were prosecuted as criminals. Lay Catholics loyal to the pope were treated as rebels and traitors. With only four out of 135 bishops taking the oath in 1791, the more radical Legislative Assembly ordered additional sanctions against the Church. All religious congregations were suppressed and wearing clerical garb was forbidden.

·       Priests loyal to the papacy were automatically guilty of “fanaticism” and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Processions were forbidden; crucifixes and religious artifacts were stripped out of churches. Government priests were granted freedom to marry, divorce was permissible, and marriage became a civil procedure.

·       Also, education, managed for centuries by the Church, was nationalized. To further de-Christianize France, a new civil religion was introduced – patriotism. The Gregorian calendar was eliminated and replaced with names related to nature. To abolish Sunday worship, months were rearranged to contain three “weeks” of ten days apiece, thus designating every tenth day for rest.

·       Catholic holy days were replaced with national holidays and civic days of worship. The “Cult of Great Men” (i.e., Rousseau) replaced the veneration of saints. The use of the word “saint” was forbidden. “There should be no more public and national worship but that of Liberty and Holy Equality,” declared the revolutionary government. Every city and village were ordered to erect an “altar to the fatherland” and to conduct July “Federation Month” patriotic rites.

·       The Feast of Nature was observed in August and the Cult of Reason was celebrated at Paris’ Civic Temple, formerly the Cathedral of Notre Dame. A female dancer was crowned as the Goddess of Reason and performed for the assembly. In 1794, the deistic cult of the Supreme Being replaced the atheistic adoration of reason. At the first public worship, the self-declared high priest, Robespierre, pronounced in his homily, “the idea of the Supreme Being and the soul’s immortality is a continuous summons to justice and consequently social and republican.”

·       Despite all the efforts of the missionaries of terror, the Church was not stamped out of existence. The heroism of the thousands of martyred bishops, priests, and religious inspired millions of the faithful and caused a spiritual renascence in France during the nineteenth century. The notorious political rogue and excommunicated bishop of Autun, the Prince de Talleyrand, reviewing that terrible period of persecution, conceded, “Regardless of my own part in this affair, I readily admit that the Civil Constitution of the Clergy . . . was perhaps the greatest political mistake of the Assembly, quite apart from the dreadful crimes which flowed there from.”  General of the Republic, Henri Clarke, agreed. In a report to the government in 1796, he wrote, “Our revolution, so far as religion is concerned, has proved a complete failure.

·       France has become once more Roman Catholic, and we may be on the point of needing the pope himself in order to enlist clerical support for the Revolution.” The French ideologues learned, as did their barbaric heirs in the twentieth century, that every effort to destroy the Church and eliminate the faithful fails. As Christ Himself promised: “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Therefore, do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

Bastille Day-the other story[3]

Bastille Day marks the anniversary of the attacks on the French prison of Bastille, a symbol of King Louis XVI's power. On July 14, 1789, a group of Parisian revolutionaries attacked the Bastille looking for gun powder to go with the rifles they had recently stolen from the Invalides. The revolutionaries stormed the prison, defeating the soldiers and bringing victory to the common people of France. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution, the defeat of a monarchy and the birth of a republic as King Louis XVI was beheaded by use of a guillotine on July 21, 1793, in front of a crowd of Parisians. The anniversary of this attack is now the French National holiday and is observed on July 14th each year.

Bastille Day Facts & Quotes

·       The French Revolution was brought about partially due to the unequal class system found in France during the late 1700s.  The Catholic clergy held the highest position, next came Louis XVI and his court, and lastly were the general population.  Without the benefit of being born into a higher class, the general population had almost no hope of ever improving their station in life.

·       Louis XVI's spending at Versailles and his financial support of the American Revolutionary War against the British, placed France in severe economic crisis.  The general population was starving while King Louis XVI was building a great navy and continuing his lavish lifestyle in Versailles.

·       The French flag consists of blue; white and red. White was the color of the Monarchy and red and blue represented Paris. During the Revolution, the white was surrounded by blue and then red.

·       A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Bastille Day Top Events and Things to Do

·       Watch the Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. They usually start around 11pm and can be viewed from the Champs de Mars and Trocadero.

·       Attend a French military parade.

·       Visit a French national museum as most is free to visit on Bastille Day or visit a local firehouse in France - they are open to the public on this holiday.

·       Watch a movie or a documentary about the French Revolution. Our picks: The French Revolution (2005), Jefferson in Paris (1995), Marie Antoinette (2006), Danton (1983) and That Night in Varennes (1982)

·       Go out to a French Restaurant.  Many have specials for this day.

Grand Marnier Day[4]

Grand Marnier Day celebrates this innovative adult beverage and all of the wonderful ways it can be used. Grand Marnier was the labor of love of Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, founder of the Grand Marnier brand. His ambition to blend together Haitian tropical oranges with traditional Cognac out of France was seen as entirely unexpected during its time, but that didnt deter him at all. Since then his family name has risen to mean quality and innovation in the liquor industry and maintains a position of distinction among connoisseurs. Nothing but the highest quality Cognac is used in the creation of Grand Marnier, specifically the Ugni Blanc grapes from within the Cognac region of France. The grapes are double distilled in copper stills to bring out the richest aromas and delicious flavor profile. The same Cognac has been sourced since the creation of Grand Marnier in 1880. Since their first release, theyve continued to release other groundbreaking liquors including their Cordon Jaune, produced with a neutral grain spirit instead of Cognac, and their Cuvee du Centenaire, a limited release made with 25-year-old Cognacs.

How to Celebrate Grand Marnier Day

·       The best way to celebrate Grand Marnier Day is to try out a few of the mixed drinks that can be made with it and indulge in its rich succulent flavors.

·       Why not start off with a Marnier & Bubbles! All you need to do is mix Grand Marnier with Champagne or another French sparkling white wine. The proportions are 1 ounce of Grand Marnier and 4 ounces of sparkling white wine. Then, for a splash of color, add a cherry.

·       Or you can mix up a Grand Marnier-Ita. Simply mix 2 parts Tequila with 1-part juice of lime and mix it up. Pour it into a cocktail glass through a strainer with ice, and then add some lime wheels to finish it off.

Fitness Friday-The 5 Switches of Manliness: Challenge[5]

The Vital Need for Challenge in a Man’s Life

So, despite these obstacles and knowing that daring greatly may result in failure, should a man seek to turn the switch of challenge, or should he simply opt-out in favor of a life of safety and convenience? Because sure, striving for greatness benefits society, but nobody wants to feel like they’re being used in a sucker’s game.

The truth is, what’s good for society as a whole is also good for the individual man. When you pursue a challenge, it is true that sometimes you will fail, but the real value is simply found in the striving. Whatever blood, sweat, and tears you expend in the pursuit of greatness, whether you ever reach your goal or not, will be returned to you in the form of greater strength, virtue, and deep satisfaction.

When NASA first sent astronauts up into space, they thought perhaps the zero-gravity atmosphere would do great things for the astronauts’ bodies–that their vitality might increase once they were released from having to contend with all that gravitational pressure. Of course, what they found instead was that without the pressure, their bodies deteriorated, and their muscles atrophied.

The lesson can very easily be applied here: you can try to float through life by shunning challenge and minimizing resistance, but you’ll end up as a soft shell of a man.

Obviously, most men these days don’t want to have 100 children. Some may not even want one. Of course, nature does not distinguish between the drive for progeny and the drive for sex, and plenty of men still want to have as much of the latter as possible. But whether you’re an unabashed lothario or no-sex-before-marriage man, our primal drive for challenge cannot be denied and left unsatisfied.

The Warrior Dash, a race in which participants run, climb over obstacles, crawl through the mud, and sprint through fire has more than 650,000 fans on Facebook. Whereas men used to get in the dirt to get paid, men now pay to get in the dirt. This is truly extraordinary. Clearly, the need for challenge cannot simply be rationalized away.

How to Turn the Challenge Switch in Your Life

Truly, the biggest challenge for modern men is motivating ourselves to embrace little challenges in a time of peace and prosperity, in order to be ready for a great challenge, if, perhaps simply when, it arises. In a time where there are not too many external challenges that are thrust upon us, a man must motivate himself to utilize every bit of his potential internally, to purposefully challenge himself.

Decades ago, psychologist Abraham Maslow came up with his famous “hierarchy of needs,” which described the ascending level of human needs. Once humans have taken care of their basic needs, like food and shelter, they have the freedom to seek even more from life, working their way to the peak of the pyramid, which is self-actualization.

Self-actualization sounds a little hokey, but it simply means this: “What a man can be, he must be.” In other words, a man at his peak utilizes all of his potential and becomes all he is capable of becoming. So, the pursuit of greatness and each man’s peak will look different for each individual man, according to his particular talents, abilities, and desires.

But for every man, it can only be attained by creating challenges for himself whenever possible. It sounds complicated and daunting but remember the mantra of the switches of manliness theory: it’s all about doing small and simple things.

I love what Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness has to say about finding a challenge in your life. Simply do sh** that scares you. Find whatever makes you uncomfortable and do it.

If that bit of advice is still too vague for you and you’re still looking for some specific ways to incorporate the switch of challenge in your life, we provide the following suggestions.

Mental Challenges

·       If you’re in high school or college, don’t take the easy classes just so you can get the easy A. Take classes that will challenge and stretch you intellectually.

·       Read books and articles that challenge your point of view.

·       Make it a goal to read the Great Books of the Western World. I’ve been doing this for two years now, with numerous starts and stops. Some of the reading is dense and challenging, but the effort has been worthwhile.

·       Take up meditation. Learning how to quiet the distracted mind requires discipline and dedication.

·       If you’ve never been a math guy like me, take free online math classes at Khan Academy. I freaking love this site. I’m in the middle of reviewing basic arithmetic but am looking forward to getting started with the calculus stuff.

·       Ask for assignments at work that challenge you. Don’t be the guy who plays it safe and stays ducked under his desk all the time.

Spiritual/Moral

·       Make it a goal to pray or meditate every morning and evening.

·       Challenge yourself to read your scriptures for 10 minutes or more a day.

·       Commit to doing several hours of community service each month.

·       Start tithing 10% of your income to your church or to a charitable organization.

·       Take Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues Challenge


·       Join the Catholic Church in Afghanistan.

Physical

·       Take up a combat sport like boxing or MMA. Go and train in Thailand. And don’t just do it recreationally, actually sign up for an amateur fight.

·       Sign up for a Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder event.

·       Do some gut busting football conditioning drills.

·       Take up intermittent fasting.


·       Do the Universal Man Plan

Social/Emotional Challenges

·       Reconcile with somebody you’ve been estranged with for a long time.

·       Have that difficult conversation you’ve been putting off.

·       Travel to a place that’s way off the map.

·       If public speaking scares the crap out of you, join Toast Masters. You’ll get plenty of opportunities to speak in public.

·       Talk to a stranger.

·       That woman you’ve been wanting to ask out on a date? Do it. Today.

·       Stop seeking for the approval of others.

·       Find your true vocation.

·       Quit “shoulding” all over yourself. Deciding to do what I chose to do in life instead of doing what I thought I should do was one the biggest challenges I’ve overcome.

·       Do you have any suggestions on how to flip the switch of challenge in a man’s life? What sort of challenges have you overcome that have made you feel more like a man? Share them with us in the comments.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS

CHAPTER TWO

I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD

Article 5-"HE DESCENDED INTO HELL. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN"

Paragraph 1. CHRIST DESCENDED INTO HELL

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection. This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom": "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell." Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead." The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live." Jesus, "the Author of life", by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage." Henceforth the risen Christ holds "the keys of Death and Hades", so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."

Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. the earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . "I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead."

IN BRIEF

636 By the expression "He descended into hell", the Apostles' Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil "who has the power of death" (Heb 2:14).

637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.

Event

·       July 14-15 California Wine Festival (Santa Barbara, California)[6]

Head to one of the biggest wine festivals under the sun! Celebrate wine harvest season this July with a visit to California wine country. Held this year in Santa Barbara, the annual California Wine Festival showcases vintage wines, along with gourmet appetizers including artisan breads and cheeses.

Daily Devotions

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

·       Let Freedom Ring Day 8 Freedom from Elitism

·       Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Day 8

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary

 



[4] https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/grand-marnier-day/

[5]https://www.artofmanliness.com/character/behavior/the-5-switches-of-manliness-challenge/

[6]https://www.californiawinefestival.com/santa-barbara




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