1 Maccabees, Chapter 7, Verse 18
This verse is referring to Alcimus who was a descendant of the Biblical Aaron, brother of Moses, but not in the high-priestly line; and being ambitious for the office of high priest, he traveled to Antioch to secure the assistance of the Seleucid king Demetrius I Soter, who had just overthrown Antiochus. Alcimus was of the Hellenizing party, and therefore bitterly opposed by the Maccabees. Demetrius sent an army under Bacchides to establish Alcimus in the high priesthood at Jerusalem. The favor with which Alcimus was received by the Jews at Jerusalem on account of his Aaronic descent was soon turned to hate by his cruelties. When Bacchides and his army returned to Antioch, the Hasmonean Judah Maccabee attacked and overcame Alcimus, and drove him also to Syria. There he secured from Demetrius another army, led by Nicanor, who, failing to overcome Judah by treachery, attacked him directly, but was defeated and killed. A third and greater army, under Bacchides again, was dispatched to reinstall Alcimus. Judah was defeated and killed, Alcimus established as high priest and a strong garrison left in Jerusalem to maintain him. But he did not long enjoy his triumph, since he died soon after, while he was pulling down the wall of the temple that divided the court of the Gentiles from that of the Israelites.
breeds Strife-Love breed’s love therefore; be always
open to forgiving injuries.
Christ tells us to love our enemy which is much easier to say than to do. Yet as much as possible we are to not fear them but strive to love them. Often, we find it difficult to love even our family and neighbors let alone our enemies. In fact, the opposite of fear is not courage but love. Paul illustrates for us the following ways of living to demonstrate true love or charity. (Hebrews, Chapter 13, Verse’ 1-6)
· In all that you do be an agent of hospitality. That is to be generous. Even the poor can be rich in their praise and love of others. Share not only your time, talent and treasure but truly give of yourself to others of your intellect, emotional support, and physical presence. A good guide is the spiritual works of mercy: instruct the ignorant; counsel the doubtful; admonish sinners; bear wrongs patiently; forgive offences willingly; comfort the afflicted; pray for the living and the dead.
· Do what you can to free others of their prisons whether these are self-imposed i.e. addictions or through ignorance. A good guide is the corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; harbor the harbor-less; visit the sick; ransom the captive; bury the dead.
· Marriage is the physical reality of our souls marriage to God through the Holy Spirit; therefore. If married love and honor your wife; be chase in spirit whether married or single knowing that marriage is the physical sign of your union with God. Disdain any kind of sexual defilement.
· Avoid the love of money. Seek simplicity and contentment. Treat all the wealth you have as if it were Gods; on loan to you to build the Kingdom; which it is. You can do this if you know, and trust God will never forsake you or abandon you.
The proper meaning of love is to seek the good of the other as other.
Not Holding a Grudge
St. John Gualbert was the son of a noble Florentine, who had only one other and older son, Hugh. When Hugh was murdered by a man supposed to be his friend, John swore vengeance and, in spite of the warnings and sorrow of his father, he set out to destroy him. Well might his father sorrow more over John than over his murdered son, for the motive of revenge is not excusable even in the punishment of a murderer. Still less is it acceptable before God to try to right one injury with another or one murder with another. By chance one day John met his enemy in a very narrow passage and, having the advantage, drew his sword to run him through. The enemy, knowing he had no chance to save himself, fell to his knees, crossed his hands over his breast (let us hope he made a good act of contrition) and awaited the death blow. John advanced in a fury — halted and remembered Christ had prayed for His murderers as He hung on the cross. He put up his sword, gave his enemy his hand and, drawing him to his feet, embraced him. They parted in peace.
As he went down the road, filled with contrition for the terrible deed he had intended to do, he came to the monastery of San Miniato, entered it, and kneeling before the Crucifix he poured out his heart in contrition. As he prayed, the Crucifix miraculously bowed its head as though to bless John's victory over revenge and John was filled with the desire to serve only Christ. He went to the abbot to ask permission to wear the habit, and, when the abbot hesitated for several days for fear of the displeasure of John's father, John hacked off his hair and put on a borrowed habit. This convinced Father Abbot that the young penitent was a serious prospect and he received him into the community.
Enthusiasm-Teddy Roosevelt. We need to be enthusiastic about all things that God wills for us. John McCain in his book “Character is Destiny” points out that to have a creative mind we must be enthusiastic. John’s example of a man filled with enthusiasm is that of President Theodore Roosevelt.
McCain says of President Roosevelt:
He led one of the most eventful lives in American history and did it all with the delight and eagerness of a six-year-old boy. Yet he was not afraid of work: library shelves would eventually groan under the weight of his forty books, many of them with multiple volumes. Besides being a writer and politician, he was also a warrior during the Spanish American war and led a charge up San Juan Hill.
Roosevelt was sickly as a boy. He was small, terribly nearsighted, and plagued by asthma that left him chronically breathless. His father, who was the greatest influence on his life, and whom he loved more than any other, took him for carriage rides in the evenings so that the cool night air might restore regular breathing to his gasping child. Despite the crowded duties of the respected and civic-minded reformer, the older Roosevelt never deprived his son of loving attention. He calmed his fears, and encouraged him to defy his physical handicap, build his willpower, and strengthen his body. The dutiful son complied, and pushed himself with exercise, sports, and sheer bloody-minded determination to begin his lifelong crusade to become a vigorous, exuberant outdoorsman. He swam and fished and hunted and rowed and hiked and rode on horseback whenever he could. His mind was as eager as was the body he willed to health.
Theodore as a young “Harvard” man had a romantic temperament, but he was a scrupulously moral young man. He did not smoke or drink and would never offend God and womankind by pressing unseemly affections on a young lady. And he could not abide, under any circumstances, indolence. He always thought “My duty is clear—to study well and live like a brave Christian gentleman.” He spent a few weeks before the start of his junior year living in Maine’s north woods with a rugged outdoorsman, lumberjack, and hunting guide, Bill Sewall, who became his lifelong friend. He was still a skinny kid, with thick spectacles. His constitution looked fragile to those who didn’t know him, but he impressed the older man immediately, carrying as much in his pack on their hunting trip as Sewall, sharing the chores, keeping the pace in their canoe, hiking for endless distances through all kinds of weather, swimming in freezing water, and falling exhausted into sleep beneath the stars.
Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1909)
Teddy Roosevelt was a determined guy, and when it came to dinnertime, he made sure that his favorite comfort foods were a priority. Pigs in blankets, turtle soup and fried chicken smothered in white gravy kept him running—that and plenty of coffee, sweetened with as many as seven lumps of sugar!
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER TWO-THE SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
Article 4-THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
XI. The Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance
1480 Like all the sacraments, Penance is a liturgical action. the elements of the celebration are ordinarily these: a greeting and blessing from the priest, reading the word of God to illuminate the conscience and elicit contrition, and an exhortation to repentance; the confession, which acknowledges sins and makes them known to the priest; the imposition and acceptance of a penance; the priest's absolution; a prayer of thanksgiving and praise and dismissal with the blessing of the priest.
1481 The Byzantine Liturgy recognizes several formulas of absolution, in the form of invocation, which admirably express the mystery of forgiveness: "May the same God, who through the Prophet Nathan forgave David when he confessed his sins, who forgave Peter when he wept bitterly, the prostitute when she washed his feet with her tears, the Pharisee, and the prodigal son, through me, a sinner, forgive you both in this life and in the next and enable you to appear before his awe-inspiring tribunal without condemnation, he who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen."
1482 The sacrament of Penance can also take place in the framework of a communal celebration in which we prepare ourselves together for confession and give thanks together for the forgiveness received. Here, the personal confession of sins and individual absolution are inserted into a liturgy of the word of God with readings and a homily, an examination of conscience conducted in common, a communal request for forgiveness, the Our Father and a thanksgiving in common. This communal celebration expresses more clearly the ecclesial character of penance. However, regardless of its manner of celebration the sacrament of Penance is always, by its very nature, a liturgical action, and therefore an ecclesial and public action.
1483 In case of grave necessity recourse may be had to a communal celebration of reconciliation with general confession and general absolution. Grave necessity of this sort can arise when there is imminent danger of death without sufficient time for the priest or priests to hear each penitent's confession. Grave necessity can also exist when, given the number of penitents, there are not enough confessors to hear individual confessions properly in a reasonable time, so that the penitents through no fault of their own would be deprived of sacramental grace or Holy Communion for a long time. In this case, for the absolution to be valid the faithful must have the intention of individually confessing their sins in the time required. The diocesan bishop is the judge of whether or not the conditions required for general absolution exist. A large gathering of the faithful on the occasion of major feasts or pilgrimages does not constitute a case of grave necessity.
1484 "Individual, integral confession and absolution remain the only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of confession." There are profound reasons for this. Christ is at work in each of the sacraments. He personally addresses every sinner: "My son, your sins are forgiven." He is the physician tending each one of the sick who need him to cure them. He raises them up and reintegrates them into fraternal communion. Personal confession is thus the form most expressive of reconciliation with God and with the Church.
Fitness Friday-Take a bath
Rome was in part a great nation due to their system of "Bathing". After researching the bath system, I have reinvented the roman bath into a 10-step method.
- Light Exercise
- Warm bath/massage
- Steam Room followed by drinks.
- Hot Bath/Sauna
- Cold Bath
- Massage w/oils
We can safely assume that the Roman Bath, or Thermae, is the father of our modern-day spas and
health clubs. Bathing in ancient Rome was not a private activity conducted in the intimacy of one's home. Quite to the contrary, it was a highly social activity where men and woman of all classes congregated at different hours to exercise, bathe, socialize, relax and even read in the bathhouse’s communal libraries. During the Roman Empire bathhouses flourished. The city of Rome had 170 baths during the reign of Augustus, which increased to 900 in 300 AD. Bathhouses were considered a public facility and were built using tax money collected by the municipality. Sometimes a rich lord or emperor would build a sumptuous bath to impress his subjects and would grant them free entrance for a period of time. Generally, a modest entrance fee, affordable by all men was charged at the bathhouse. The women's fee was double, and their bath time restricted to mornings, while men used the baths from the early afternoon to closing time.
Communal bathing, although frowned upon, must have been indulged in regularly in ancient Rome as various Roman emperors frequently outlawed it. An interesting aspect of the Roman Bath was the exercise area or Palaestra (as the gym is still referred to by the Italians today). This is where the ancient
Roman males and some females engaged in various types or muscle-building and sweat-inducing exercises like weightlifting, ball games, wrestling and boxing. Bowls, gambling with dice and various board games were available for the less energetic. The Roman bathhouses were the height of luxury. Even the average bath had floor to ceiling mirrors, intricate mosaics and rich marble pools. The baths were the equivalent of a social club or today's shopping malls. Besides the bath and the gym, they had a library with a reading room, a snack bar, restaurants, wine and beer bars, shops, lounges, taverns and hair cutting salons. Some even had a museum and a theatre. A typical Roman bath started in the apodyterium or changing rooms, where people would take their clothes off in small cubicles and leave
their slaves to guard them. From there, they would step into the unctuarium where they had various
oils rubbed onto their skin and could then exercise in one of the exercise yards or Palaestra. Then, they would generally move to the tepidarium or warm room, where they would lie around chatting with
their friends, with attendants serving them snacks and drinks. The tepidarium was a transitional area and a preparation for the hot caldarium. The latter is the equivalent of a sauna or steam bath, hot and
steamy with heated floors where the bathers would sweat profusely while scraping their skin with a strigil. This curved metal tool was used to remove the oils, which were used by the common people instead of the very expensive soaps, only accessible to the rich.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Reparations for offenses and blasphemies against God and the Blessed Virgin Mary
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Friday Fish: Halibut