2 Maccabees, Chapter 12, Verse 22
But when Judas’ first cohort appeared, the enemy was overwhelmed with FEAR and terror at the manifestation of the all-seeing One. Scattering in every direction, they rushed away in such headlong flight that in many cases they wounded one another, pierced by the points of their own swords.
With the death of Antiochus IV, the gang warfare of sorts ceases for a while, yet the problem with Hellenization has not ended and the temple needs to be defended by Judas. Small battles ensue and although Antiochus VI is dead the real power was placed in Lysias who was in charge of the government and military. Judas defeats him with the power of God when a mysterious horseman appears to help the armies of the Lord. Peace with the Syrians is temporary, but the gang warfare continues. Judas marches into the Transjordan when he comes upon a large force which he engages. Here we see that despite the enemies of God having an overwhelming force they are put to route by a mysterious being (all seeing) and flee causing their own destruction.
St. Gertrude the Great, a Cistercian nun, is one of the most lovable German saints from medieval times, and through her writings she will remain for all ages a guide to the interior life. When she was twenty-five years old (1281), Christ began to appear to her and to disclose to her the secrets of mystical union. Obeying a divine wish, she put into writing the favors of grace bestowed upon her. Her most important work, Legatus Divinae Pietatis, "The Herald of Divine Love,".
The Gift of Frequent Communion
All too few of us are blessed with the opportunity for daily Mass and Communion. Even St. Gertrude herself had trouble doing that (primarily due to her illnesses). In one of her writings, she relates a conversation with Jesus in which they talked about the graces given to daily communicants…with a surprising statement about when graces are NOT given.
Here’s an excerpt from St. Gertrude’s writings:
· Gertrude said, “How far above me in beatitude will those priests be who communicate every day to fulfill the duties of their ministry!”
o “It is true,” replied Our Lord, “that those who celebrate worthily shall shine in great glory, but the love of him who communicates with pleasure should be judged of very differently from the exterior magnificence that appears in this mystery. There will be one reward for him who has
§ approached with desire and love.
§ there will be another for him who approaches with fear and reverence.
§ and another for him who is very diligent in his preparation.
§ But those who habitually celebrate through custom only shall have no share in My gifts.”
–The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great
How many of us Catholics judge our sanctity by the numbers of Masses and Communions we experience? Holiness is not a numbers game, but a “heart game.” The most eloquent prayers–even the Mass itself–are of little value without engagement of the heart. But prayers fueled by love, devotion and confidence will move the highest mountains.
Reflection: At Communion time, we must always be aware of the awesome significance of what we are about to do. Our hearts must be in the game. It is Christ Himself, Creator of the Universe, whom we receive in the form of the Host.
Before approaching the table of the Lord, we pray to be worthy; we pray to be in the moment when God blesses us with this indescribable Eucharistic miracle. We pray to be prepared.
World Philosophy Day
Shit Happens! Forrest Gump
World Philosophy Day seeks to promote human thought, new ideas and critical thinking to confront today's challenges. Philosophy refers to the study of knowledge, experience, existence and reality. According to the United Nations, philosophy provides the conceptual bases of principles and values on which world peace depends: democracy, human rights, justice and equality. World Philosophy Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 2005. Since then, every third Thursday of November has served as a celebration of philosophical knowledge.
World Philosophy Day Facts & Quotes
· Rene Descartes is considered to be the father of modern Western philosophy. He is widely credited with being the first to use the concept of reason to develop the natural sciences. He lived from 1596 to 1650.
· Thales of Miletus is widely considered to be the father of philosophy. He was a Greek philosopher, mathematician and astronomer that lived around 624-546BC.
· Truth in philosophy means that concept and external reality correspond. – George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a German philosopher of the late enlightenment period.
World Philosophy Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtags #WorldPhilosophyDay, #PhilosophyDay and #PhilosophyandCooperation.
· Tune in to the live webcast of the philosophical debates on UNESCO’s website. It can be streamed in French or English at the UNESCO site.
· Watch a movie that touches on philosophy. Some suggestions are: The Matrix (1999), Blade Runner (1982) and Being There (1979).
· Donate to the Philosophy Foundation. Any money raised is put towards providing specialist teachers to schools that need it most but can’t afford it. The organization aims to support young people in higher education studying philosophy.
· Read a book on philosophy. Some suggestions are Plato’s Republic, Critique of Pure Reason and A History of Western Philosophy.
Great American Smokeout
The Great American Smoke out is an informal holiday aimed at encouraging citizens to quit or plan to quit smoking. Smoking is a habit that involves consumption of tobacco smoke, which has been shown to cause a variety of cancers, most notably lung and mouth cancer. Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of Cancer death in the United States and the most preventable type of cancer worldwide. The Great American Smokeout is promoted by the American Cancer Society and is held on the third Thursday of November each year in an effort to reduce cases of preventable cancers, reduce secondhand smoke and improve the health of all Americans.
Great American Smokeout Facts & Quotes
· The holiday began in 1970, when a man in Massachusetts asked people to give up smoking for one day, and donate the money saved to the local high school scholarship fund.
· According to the Center for Disease Control, smoking is responsible for 1 in 3 cancer-related deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from any cause. Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year.
· The Center for Disease Control state that life expectancy for smokers is 10 years less than that of non-smokers.
· The Center for Disease Control states that middle-aged man who smokes, triples his risk of dying from some type of heart disease.
· More Doctors Smoke Camels than Any Other Cigarette - line used in 1949 commercial for Camel Cigarettes.
Great American Smokeout Top Events and Things to Do
· Organize a sporting event like soccer or softball as a way to have fun and otherwise help smokers take their minds off of smoking.
· Talk to someone you know who smokes and challenge them to quit for the day.
· Give out sugarless gum to otherwise smokers as friendly gesture to promote an alternative.
movies and documentaries that aim to uncover the tobacco industry and impact of
1) The Insider (1999)
2) Addiction Incorporated (2011)
3) Dying for a Smoke (1992)
4) Smoke & Mirrors: A History of Denial (2000)
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
1590 St. Paul said to his disciple Timothy: "I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands" (2Tim 1:6), and "If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task." (1 Tim 3:1) To Titus he said: "This is why I left you in Crete, that you amend what was defective, and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you" (Titus 1:5).
1591 The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the "common priesthood of the faithful." Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community.
1592 The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. the ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi).
1593 Since the beginning, the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in three degrees: that of bishops, that of presbyters, and that of deacons. the ministries conferred by ordination are irreplaceable for the organic structure of the Church: without the bishop, presbyters, and deacons, one cannot speak of the Church (cf St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Trall. 3,1).
1594 The bishop receives the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders, which integrates him into the episcopal college and makes him the visible head of the particular Church entrusted to him. As successors of the apostles and members of the college, the bishops share in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope, successor of St. Peter.
1595 Priests are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dignity and at the same time depend on them in the exercise of their pastoral functions; they are called to be the bishops' prudent co-workers. They form around their bishop the presbyterium which bears responsibility with him for the particular Church. They receive from the bishop the charge of a parish community or a determinate ecclesial office.
1596 Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and the service of charity, tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop.
1597 The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the ordinand the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry. Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character.
1598 The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men (viri), whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.
1599 In the Latin Church the sacrament of Holy Orders for the presbyterate is normally conferred only on candidates who are ready to embrace celibacy freely and who publicly manifest their intention of staying celibate for the love of God's kingdom and the service of men.
1600 It is bishops who confer the sacrament of Holy Orders in the three degrees.
Thursday is the day of the week that our Lord gave himself up for consumption. Thursday commemorates the last supper. Some theologians believe after Sunday Thursday is the holiest day of the week. We should then try to make this day special by making a visit to the blessed sacrament chapel, Mass or even stopping by the grave of a loved one. Why not plan to count the blessing of the week and thank our Lord. Plan a special meal. Be at Peace.
· St. Martin is patron saint of wine growers, wine makers and vintners. In France, the tasting of the new wine is done today. Have a Martinmas gathering, serving this year's Noveau Beaujolais wine from France.
o Lyonnaise Salad with Sausage and Walnuts
o Coquilles St-Jacques (Gratinéed Scallops)
o Steak Diane
o Barigoule of Spring Vegetables
o Pain au Chocolat
The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.