Friday, November 10, 2023

 


VETERANS DAY OBSERVED

 

2 Maccabees, Chapter 3, Verse 29-30

29 As Heliodorus lay speechless because of God’s action and deprived of any hope of recovery, 30 the people praised the Lord who had marvelously glorified his own place; and the temple, charged so shortly before with FEAR and commotion, was filled with joy and gladness, now that the almighty Lord had appeared.

 

As Mr. H approaches the temple both he and his associates encounter the living God where upon he and his associates are thrown into panic and fainting. Then a rider on the magnificent horse charges H and his two companions, who fall to the ground unconscious. Mr. H is then unceremoniously carried away on a stretcher, utterly helpless. The people praise God who has protected the temple. H fearful of his death, have his supporters ask the high priest to pray for him which the High priest does and Mr. H now proclaims God’s power and majesty and the story continues with:

 

·         Simon Maccabee opposes the high priest, Onias.

·         Onias is disposed as high priest by his brother Jason who bribes the king and is part of the Hellenistic party.

·         Jason doesn’t pay his bribe in a timely manner and is supplanted by Menelaus who offers more but does not pay as promised then is on the run.

·         The king marches with is army to squash the cities that are not with the program and leaves his trusted henchman Andronicus in charge who promptly murders the ex-high priest Onias.

·         Menelaus plunders the temple of its golden vessels and booms back on top; bribes away.

·         Jason the bad man with no money dies in exile. Do we see a pattern here?

·         Antiochus IV then attacks the Jews and profanes the temple.

·         Antiochus IV then proscribes Jewish practices and persecutes the religious

Veterans Day[1]

Tomorrow is the 105th Anniversary of the end of WWI[2]



Veterans Day seeks to honor and give thanks to all the men and women who have served and are serving in the US Armed Forces.  Ceremonies are held across the country at Veterans Hospitals, cemeteries, and National Monuments.  At 11:00 a.m. EST, the Veterans Day National Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery.  At this ceremony the President of the United States, or his assigned ambassador, places a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Veterans Day is observed on November 11th each year. Tomorrow is also the start of the Fasching season in Germany which begins on 11/11 at the 11th hour and at the 11th second.

Veterans Day Facts & Quotes

·         In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a proclamation urging the nation to support the Veterans Day effort in any way possible.

·         During World War II, over 16 million men and women served in the military. The war resulted in over 400,000 deaths.

·         The War of Global Terrorism, encompassing October 7, 2001, to May 29, 2012, has seen 54,820 casualties of which 6,456 resulted in death.

·         This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. - Elmer Davis

Veterans Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Volunteer at a local VA facility.

·         Thank everyone you know who has served in the armed forces.

·         Take flowers to the grave sites of deceased military personnel.

·         Invite local veterans to a special luncheon in their honor.

·         Make a donation of time or money to a local Veterans organization.

·         Today is the US Marine Corps birthday


Remember we are all in a battle with the forces of evil that seek the destruction of ourselves and our prosperity.

Today is the Feast of Leo the Great who faced down Attila the Hun and penned of Christ who was a warrior for our cause: 

Lowliness is assured by majesty, weakness by power, mortality by eternity. To pay the debt of our sinful state, a nature that was incapable of suffering was joined to one that could suffer. Thus, in keeping with the healing that we needed, one and the same mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, was able to die in one nature, and unable to die in the other. 

THE VIRTUES OF A SOLDIER OF CHRIST 

Another way to illustrate the virtues of a genuine man* of God is by reference to a good soldier. The relation between a man of God and a soldier will seem either somewhat obvious or a stretch depending upon your larger views of the military and military interventions. If you do not see the connection at this point, I ask you to bear with me briefly, because I think its relevance will soon become apparent. 

A good soldier, especially one fit for battle, generally has the following ten traits, among others:

 

1.      He is willing to give his life to protect others.

2.      He is task-oriented, and lets his actions speak for themselves.

3.      He does his duty, even when it is unappreciated.

4.      He is a man of honor, who is loyal to others and to his principles.

5.      He is rooted in discipline and strength.

6.      He may be tender and compassionate but never soft.

7.      He sees himself as part of a unit, a band of brothers, greater than himself.

8.      He follows the chain of command, without considering it demeaning.

9.      He is courageous, even and especially when heroism is required.

10.  He sees sacrifice as an opportunity to show his character and demonstrate love.

The practical and theological relevance of these observations for our discussion can be seen very readily in the fact that all ten of these traits can be said, without a stretch, about the God-man Jesus Christ.

• He was willing to give his life to protect others – Jesus willingly gave his life to save us. He is the Good Shepherd who made good on his promise to give his life for his sheep (John 10:11). Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, as he handed himself over, he demanded that his disciples be let go (John 18:8).

• He was task-oriented, and let his actions speak for themselves – from his earliest days, when he announced he was “about the Father’s business” (Luke 2:49), his whole life was dedicated to accomplishing that mission. He lived by the same principles he taught, not to be distracted from his purpose (Luke 10:4), which not even the devil could do by promising him all the power of the world (Matthew 4:9). He let his actions also speak more loudly than his words. As he said once when challenged by the Pharisees, “Even if you do not believe me, believe the works” (John 10:25, 37; 14:10). He backed up each of his discourses with miracles that testified to his power, the greatest miracle and message of all being what he said from the pulpits of the Cross and the empty tomb.

• He did his duty, even when it was unappreciated – Jesus fulfilled his mission even when one of his apostles thought he was less valuable than 30 silver pieces, when the rest of his hand-picked men ran away, when he was hammered to wood by those for whom he was dying, when he was mocked by four different groups as he agonizingly hung from the Cross, wondering all the while, “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). He was the “grain of wheat” that fell to the ground and died, knowing that that seed would hit hardened, rocky, weedy soil in addition to good, but he did it anyway (John 12:24; Luke 8:5ff). Yet, at the end of it all, he cried out in triumph, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) which was the equivalent of “mission accomplished.”

• He was a man of honor, who was loyal to others and to his principles – Jesus kept his dignity, even when being tempted by the devil, tested by the hypocritical Pharisees, beaten by the brutal guards, and mocked by thieves and passersby. He was loyal to his disciples, never abandoning them though they abandoned him; to Israelites, despite the many times they broke God’s covenant; to sinners, no matter what their sin. He was knightly in his protection and care for women in need and danger, like the woman caught in adultery, the woman at the well in Samaria, and the woman who washed his feet with her tears in the house of Simon the Pharisee.

• He was rooted in discipline and strength – He called himself the “stronger man” who would overpower the devil and divide his spoils (Luke 11:22), who could calm even the winds and the sea (Matthew 8:27), who would repeatedly say to his frightened followers, “Do not be afraid. It is I!” (Matthew 14:27). His strength was shown most when out of discipline he did not use it, when tempted in the desert or on the Cross. His power was always used not for his own benefit but for others, to teach them the discipline that makes disciples.

• He was tender and compassionate but never soft – He who was “meek and humble of heart,” who cared compassionately for parents and widows, for the woman caught in adultery, for the crowds who were like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 11:29; Luke 7:12; John  8:3; Mark 6:34), was also capable of driving the money changers from the temple with a whip, calling the Pharisees “whitewashed sepulchers” and telling forgiven sinners to “go and sin no more” (John 2:14; Matthew 23:27; John 8:11).

• He saw himself as part of a unit, a band of brothers – Jesus came from heaven to earth to form a family with the same Father in heaven (Matthew 12:50). To that family, the Church, he gave his whole mission. To the twelve whom he associated most intimately in this task, he gave his own power to turn bread and wine into his Body and Blood and to forgive sins in his name (Luke 22:19-20; Matthew 16:19; John 20:19-23). To the Church he gave his whole message (Matthew 28:18-20). He said that all members of the Church were a part of him, as branches on the vine (John 15:5).

• He followed the chain of command, without considering it a threat – Jesus said simply, “I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me,” “I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me” and “not my will, but thine, be done” (John 5:30; John 8:28; Luke 22:42).

• He was courageous, even and especially when heroism was required – Courage is doing what ought to be done in spite of one’s fears, a virtue Jesus showed us time and again, but especially during his agony and on Good Friday. Despite asking for the cup of suffering to pass from him, he drank it to the dregs, sweating blood-filled perspiration, being beaten, scourged and crucified for our sake (Matthew 26:39).

• He saw sacrifice as an opportunity to show his character and demonstrate love – “Greater love has no man than this,” he said, “that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13) and he evinced that love in hundreds of little ways and unforgettably through his supreme sacrifice. The real Christian man will seek to embody these same virtues. They will help him to become a real soldier of Christ. They will help form him to be another Christ and train him to love others as Christ loves.


Fitness Friday

Are You Tough Enough for the VETERAN’S Workout Challenge?[3]

45-minute program to push your body and mind to the limit.

The Warmup

warmup movements that will directly prepare your body for the challenging work ahead. Repeat 3 rounds before starting the workout.

  • 10 Lunge and reach
  • 10 Prisoner Squats
  • 10 Inchworms to Cobra

Mental Challenge

Lay out 10 random objects. Take two minutes to memorize as many details as possible about the items. For example: the logo, color, shapes, and words.

Strength Circuit 1

Set your timer for 10 minutes. Complete 3 reps of each exercise, then 6, then 9, working your way up a 3-rep ladder.

  • 25-meter Bear crawl
  • Iron mikes

Cardio Round 1

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete 50 burpees for time. The faster you finish, the more rest you have before your next set of strength work.

Strength Circuit 2

Set your timer for 10 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible. Complete both carries on one side before repeating on the other side.

  • 50 ft Single Arm Kettlebell Farmers Carry
  • 50 ft Single Arm Kettlebell Front Rack Carry

Cardio Round 2

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete 50 burpees for time. Try to complete them faster than the first time.

Strength Circuit 3

Set your timer for 10 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible.

  • 10 Walking lunges
  • 10 Kettlebell swings

Cardio Round 3

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete 50 burpees for time. Make this round your fastest.

Mental Challenge

Set a timer for two minutes and recite as many details as possible about the items you memorized at the beginning of the workout.

Mastering Wellness: Fight Health-Robbing Inflammation with 9 Simple Steps[4]

In a world where our daily routines are often filled with stress, unhealthy diets, and little time for self-care, inflammation has become a common health concern. Chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your body and lead to various diseases. The good news is that you can take control of your health by combating inflammation through simple yet effective steps. In this article, we'll explore how to fight health-robbing inflammation with nine practical strategies.

1. Prioritize Your Diet

The food you consume plays a pivotal role in your body's inflammatory response. To combat inflammation, focus on an anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, as they have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Avoid or limit processed foods, sugary snacks, and excessive red meat consumption, which can exacerbate inflammation.

2. Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is essential to maintaining a healthy balance in your body. Dehydration can trigger inflammatory responses, so ensure you drink an adequate amount of water daily. Herbal teas and infusions like ginger and turmeric can also be great choices, thanks to their natural anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Get Active

Regular physical activity is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise helps reduce inflammation by regulating the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Activities like walking, swimming, or cycling can be both enjoyable and beneficial.

4. Manage Stress

Stress is a well-known trigger for inflammation. Incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine. These may include meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or simply taking time for yourself to relax and unwind.

5. Adequate Sleep

Quality sleep is when your body rejuvenates and repairs itself. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Poor sleep can lead to increased inflammation and a higher risk of chronic diseases.

6. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess body fat can release pro-inflammatory chemicals. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can significantly reduce inflammation and its associated risks.

7. Say No to Smoking

Smoking is a major source of inflammation in the body. Quitting smoking is one of the best steps you can take to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health.

8. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to inflammation, particularly in the liver. If you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation to minimize its impact on your body.

9. Incorporate Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices

Nature provides us with an array of herbs and spices known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic are just a few examples. Incorporate them into your meals and enjoy their flavor and health benefits.

Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injuries and infections, but when it becomes chronic, it can lead to serious health issues. By following these nine simple steps, you can take control of your health and effectively combat health-robbing inflammation. Remember, consistency is key, and these lifestyle changes will not only reduce inflammation but also promote overall well-being. Start your journey towards a healthier, inflammation-free life today, and watch your vitality and quality of life soar.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER THREE-THE SACRAMENTS AT THE SERVICE OF COMMUNION

ARTICLE 6-THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS

                                                                II. The Sacrament of Holy Orders in the Economy of Salvation

The priesthood of the Old Covenant

1539 The chosen people was constituted by God as "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance. A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. the priests are "appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins."

1540 Instituted to proclaim the Word of God and to restore communion with God by sacrifices and prayer, this priesthood nevertheless remains powerless to bring about salvation, needing to repeat its sacrifices ceaselessly and being unable to achieve a definitive sanctification, which only the sacrifice of Christ would accomplish.

1541 The liturgy of the Church, however, sees in the priesthood of Aaron and the service of the Levites, as in the institution of the seventy elders, a prefiguring of the ordained ministry of the New Covenant. Thus in the Latin Rite the Church prays in the consecratory preface of the ordination of bishops:

God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

by your gracious word

you have established the plan of your Church.

From the beginning,

you chose the descendants of Abraham to be your holy nation.

You established rulers and priests

and did not leave your sanctuary without ministers to serve you....

1542 At the ordination of priests, the Church prays:

Lord, holy Father, . . .

when you had appointed high priests to rule your people,

you chose other men next to them in rank and dignity

to be with them and to help them in their task....

you extended the spirit of Moses to seventy wise men....

You shared among the sons of Aaron

the fullness of their father's power.

1543 In the consecratory prayer for ordination of deacons, the Church confesses:

Almighty God . . ..

You make the Church, Christ's body,

grow to its full stature as a new and greater temple.

You enrich it with every kind of grace

and perfect it with a diversity of members

to serve the whole body in a wonderful pattern of unity.

You established a threefold ministry of worship and service,

for the glory of your name.

As ministers of your tabernacle you chose the sons of Levi

and gave them your blessing as their everlasting inheritance.

The one priesthood of Christ

1544 Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the "one mediator between God and men." The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, "priest of God Most High," as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique "high priest after the order of Melchizedek"; "holy, blameless, unstained," "by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified," that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.

1545 The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. the same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers."

Two participations in the one priesthood of Christ

1546 Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church "a kingdom, priests for his God and Father." The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. the faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ's mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are "consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood."

1547 The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, "each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ." While being "ordered one to another," they differ essentially. In what sense? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace - a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit -, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians. the ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.

In the person of Christ the Head . . .

1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:

It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).
Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.

1549 Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.

1550 This presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister's sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church.

1551 This priesthood is ministerial. "That office . . . which the Lord committed to the pastors of his people, is in the strict sense of the term a service." It is entirely related to Christ and to men. It depends entirely on Christ and on his unique priesthood; it has been instituted for the good of men and the communion of the Church. the sacrament of Holy Orders communicates a "sacred power" which is none other than that of Christ. the exercise of this authority must therefore be measured against the model of Christ, who by love made himself the least and the servant of all.  "The Lord said clearly that concern for his flock was proof of love for him."

. . . "in the name of the whole Church"

1552 The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ - Head of the Church - before the assembly of the faithful, but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice.

1553 "In the name of the whole Church" does not mean that priests are the delegates of the community. the prayer and offering of the Church are inseparable from the prayer and offering of Christ, her head; it is always the case that Christ worships in and through his Church. the whole Church, the Body of Christ, prays and offers herself "through him, with him, in him," in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to God the Father. the whole Body, caput et membra, prays and offers itself, and therefore those who in the Body are especially his ministers are called ministers not only of Christ, but also of the Church. It is because the ministerial priesthood represents Christ that it can represent the Church.

Daily Devotions

·         Today's Fast: Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Restoring the Constitution.

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Friday Fish: Mahi Mahi

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary



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