ST. KATERI TEKAKWITHA-BASTILLE DAY
1 SAMUEL, Chapter 15, Verse 24
three lessons we can learn from the life of King Saul.
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.
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
Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680).
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Bastille Day Facts & Quotes
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.
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.
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.
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
the Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. They usually start around 11pm and can be
viewed from the Champs de Mars and Trocadero.
a French military parade.
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.
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)
out to a French Restaurant. Many have specials for this day.
Grand Marnier Day
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 didn’t 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, they’ve
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
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.
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.
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.
Friday-The 5 Switches of Manliness: Challenge
The Vital Need for Challenge in a
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
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 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.
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.
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
Make it a goal to pray or meditate every morning
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.
· Join the Catholic Church in Afghanistan.
Sign up for a Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder
Take up intermittent fasting.
· Do the Universal Man Plan
Reconcile with somebody you’ve been estranged with
for a long time.
Have that difficult conversation you’ve been
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.
That woman you’ve been wanting to ask out on a
date? Do it. Today.
Find your true
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
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
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION
TWO-I. THE CREEDS
BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD
Article 5-"HE DESCENDED INTO HELL. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE
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
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.
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.
Freedom Ring Day 8 Freedom from Elitism
Litany of the Most Precious
Blood of Jesus