Is prayer still considered relevant in the third millennium? Our schools do not allow prayer. Nor do most schools follow the traditional invocation before a graduation event. In the 1992 case Lee v. Weisman the court ruled that having prayers violated the establishment clause of the US Constitution and that schools have no business sponsoring prayer
Prayer is deeply personal and for some and the life of prayer is not a burdensome task but is refreshing and gives the mind calm; the heart gratitude; the eyes the vision to create a better world and the strength to accomplish ominous tasks with ease. Prayer has been around for a long time simply because we are created in the image and likeness of God and what we call the soul cries out and longs for communication with him.
Warriors nearly always prayed before going into battle and as a retired soldier my leaders continually told me there are no atheists in foxholes. Soldiers also know that their enemies are also praying to God too. Similarly, part of a soldier’s prayer may be to invoke the God almighty to not pay attention to their enemies’ prayers. The Apostles of Christ were warriors of sorts and ask our Lord how to pray. Our Lord gave them the “Our Father” prayer. The “Our Father” or the Lord’s prayer has seven petitions of God
The first petition is “Hallowed be thy Name” and we ask that we with our thoughts, words and actions never fail to honor the Holiness of God. The second petition is “Thy Kingdom Come” here we ask God that we in some way this day bring His kingdom about. We also ask that we not lose his grace and Holy Spirit in our souls and that he will lead our hearts and mind and give us the strength and spirit to build a kingdom of God with his help. The third petition is “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” which means we do the will of the Father and that Christ live in us so we may be filled with virtue. The fourth petition is “Give us this day our daily bread” where we as God to help us with our daily needs and that we also be mindful of the needs of others. In addition, this is also a call for the Holy Eucharist which feeds our souls for the daily battles and helps us to trust him in all things. The fifth petition is “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” Mercy we must give to our enemies and to ourselves. God will forgive us if we only ask. Peter asked for forgiveness and Judas did not but gave up hope and hung himself. The sixth petition is “And lead us not into temptation” we are basically asking God to guide us out of harm’s way. The seventh petition is “But deliver us from evil” we acknowledge there are evil men, thoughts, governments, and natural and spiritual forces that seek our destruction, and we ask God’s protection.
These seven petitions are all encompassing and come from our Lord. Say the Lord’s Prayer Daily. Additionally, I encourage everyone to prayer. Prayer will bring to closer to HE WHO IS and will make you happier, your mind less burdened and help you to live each day better. Through prayer you will learn to love yourself and others and be at peace and joy with God. Yes, I believe prayer is relevant in the third Millennium.
Julie P. Samuels, Contributing Writer Updated June 2007 by Scott Felsenthal. Freedom Forum Institute. 2007. https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/first-amendment-center/topics/freedom-of-religion/religious-liberty-in-public-schools/graduation-ceremonies/. 26 11 2022.
Staff My Catholic Life. My Catholic Life. 2022. https://mycatholic.life/the-my-catholic-life-series/my-catholic-worship/chapter-11-the-lords-prayer/. 26 11 2022.
Tuesday in the First week of Advent
saint Nicholas eve-Prohibition Repeal
Isaiah, Chapter 11, Verse 2-4
2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of FEAR of the LORD, 3 and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, 4 But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
This is the source of the traditional names of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Septuagint and the Vulgate read “piety” for “fear of the Lord” in its first occurrence, thus listing seven gifts.
Saint Nicolas Eve
The Feast of Saint Nicholas is celebrated on December 6. Children leave their shoes outside their bedroom door the night before and awaken that day to find a surprise treat in their shoes. Saint Nicholas was a fourth century bishop in Lycia, a province in Turkey. He became well known for his generosity. He is also considered the patron saint of brides and children and the precursor to Santa Claus.
The Eve of the Feast of Saint Nicholas is celebrated throughout much of Europe with sweets and gifts to children. Legend tells us that Nicholas was a man of action and used his abundance that the Lord provided him to give special protection to children and unmarried young women. Let us find some way today to practice both the spiritual and temporal works of mercy. Today would be a good day to do something that helps children or young unmarried women from the abundance that God has provided us. For those who cannot share it is suggested to fast twice this week as was the practice of Saint Nicholas and give the cost of the food you would normally spend to help those in need. From the store house of your spiritual abundance your prayers can make a difference: pray especially for women who are enslaved in addictions and/or the sex slave trade. Thousands of men from over 80 countries consistently pray for women lead by an online organization called “e5 men”. Perhaps the Lord is calling you to this.
Krampus is a mythical
character, appearing as a sort of a horned, devil-ish monster who sometimes has
a scraggly, hairy body as well as long tongue. Sometimes the monster is
depicted wearing chains. While the origins of Krampus may go all the way back
to the 7th century, it wasn’t until the 17th century when the character was
paired with St. Nicholas in Christian winter festivities in Europe. The
creature has been used as a means to scare children into behaving ahead of the
Christmas holiday, sometimes carrying a bundle of twigs used to swat children.
Krampus may also have the power to take away gifts given by St. Nicholas,
replacing them with coal.
Krampusnacht takes place
the day before the Feast of St. Nicholas. In many cities throughout Europe, men
will dress up in costumes as Krampus and roam through the streets to frighten
children. In some traditions, Krampus is also accompanied by an angel or
fairy-like character, along with St. Nicholas.
Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, and the Angels
As is well-known, "Santa Claus" comes from the Dutch rendering of Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop famous for giving gifts anonymously to children and the needy. However, as Father Francis Weiser argues in his Handbook of Christian Customs (p. 113), the various legends surrounding Santa Claus actually come from the god of Norse and Germanic mythology, Thor (after whom Thursday is named). Thor was portrayed as a large, jovial old man with a long white beard whose symbolic color was red (owing to his association with fire). Thunder was said to have been caused by the rolling of his chariot (drawn by two white goats) across the clouds, and his home was said to have been "Northland," somewhere among the icebergs. The fireplace was also considered sacred to Thor because it was through it that he came into his element, the fire. We owe this odd metamorphosis of a Christian saint into a pagan god to New York City. When the Dutch founded the city in the seventeenth century, they observed the Catholic custom of "Saint Nicholas' visit" on the saint's feast day (December 5). This the Dutch did even though they were Protestant. When English Protestants later commandeered the city, they were offended by the practice, but their children very much liked it. The compromise that was eventually made was to transfer the giving of gifts from the 5th of December to the 25th and to add so many pagan elements to the story that the figure of the saintly Catholic bishop (who, incidentally, was notoriously intolerant of heretics) would no longer be recognizable. The older Christian custom is that on the night of December 5 (the vigil of Saint Nicholas Day), children write notes addressed to the Child Jesus and put them on their windowsill, whence St. Nicholas carries them to heaven. A variation of this custom, prevalent in South America, is to write notes sometime between December 16 to 24 and to put them in front of the crib, from which point Angels carry the requests to heaven. Though the value of bringing children up on these stories is open to debate, at least the older customs explicitly tie the reception of gifts to the advent of Christ and portray the other figures (Nicholas or the angels) as His assistants. There was also a charming custom of "St. Nicholas" (a man dressed as a bishop) bringing gifts to children in person on his feast day.
Tonight, candy for the kids and… for Mom & Dad?
If you like a drink, then
Repeal Day is all about you. On the 5th of December, it’s time to raise a glass
to all things: cocktails, beer, and spirit, and celebrate your right to have a
cheeky little (or large!) tipple now and then. Whether you enjoy a sip of
sophistication with a swish cocktail or simple G and T, or even if you’re happy
to sit back with a bottle of beer, this day celebrates kicking back with a
drink or two whether at home, with friends or at the pub.
Between January 5th, 1919,
and December 5th, 1933, America was dry. And we don’t mean it didn’t get much
rainfall – during these years, the consumption of alcohol was banned. This was
supposed to end drunkenness and put a stop to crime – but if anything, it just
made problems with lawbreaking even worse.
Simply enough, even though
it had been banned, there was still a demand for alcohol – and some shady
characters made it their business to help America get a swig of the sweet
stuff. Soon enough, organized crime would become a key driver of the liquor trade.
Bootlegging, or rum
running as it might also be known, became of especial favor with crime lords.
Sneaking liquor around the country became a big business in 1920s USA, and
despite the best effort of authorities, the big wigs of the underworld were
soon reveling in the money it brought them.
Realizing perhaps keeping
beer away from the people was causing more trouble than it was worth, several
repeal organizations were born and eventually, after much consideration, the
18th Amendment was lifted. And so, on the back of all that, we celebrate repeal
How to celebrate Repeal Day
This day is an easy one to
celebrate, especially if you are partial to a cheeky drink or two. There’s no
need to get dressed up – although if you choose to go to a posh wine bar, you
could always pop on something sparkly; Celebrate repeal day by grabbing
yourself a quick drink on the 5th, or perhaps you could make some swanky
cocktails at home.
If you’re feeling sociable
after a day at work, why not get the gang together and go down to your
local pub for a few? And if you don’t drink alcohol, you can always get
involved with alcohol-free beer, or some tasty virgin cocktails. Cheers!
Tree Scriptures (The Symbols Are Only Suggestions)
December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun,
moon, stars, animals, earth
December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols:
tree, man, woman
December 3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbols:
tree, serpent, apple with bite
December 4 Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22 Symbols:
ark, animals, dove, rainbow
December 5 Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3 Symbols:
torch, sword, mountain
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE
ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
Article 1-MAN: THE IMAGE OF GOD
1701 "Christ, . . . in the
very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, makes man fully
manifest to himself and brings to light his exalted vocation." It is
in Christ, "the image of the invisible God," that man has been
created "in the image and likeness" of the Creator. It is in Christ,
Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin,
has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.
1702 The divine image is present in
every man. It shines forth in the communion of persons, in the likeness of the
union of the divine persons among themselves (cf chapter two).
1703 Endowed with "a spiritual
and immortal" soul, The human person is "the only creature on
earth that God has willed for its own sake." From his conception, he
is destined for eternal beatitude.
1704 The human person participates
in the light and power of the divine Spirit. By his reason, he is capable of
understanding the order of things established by the Creator. By free will, he
is capable of directing himself toward his true good. He finds his perfection
"in seeking and loving what is true and good."
1705 By virtue of his soul and his
spiritual powers of intellect and will, man is endowed with freedom, an
"outstanding manifestation of the divine image."
1706 By his reason, man recognizes
the voice of God which urges him "to do what is good and avoid what is
evil." Everyone is obliged to follow this law, which makes itself
heard in conscience and is fulfilled in the love of God and of neighbor. Living
a moral life bears witness to the dignity of the person.
1707 "Man, enticed by the Evil
One, abused his freedom at the very beginning of history." He
succumbed to temptation and did what was evil. He still desires the good, but
his nature bears the wound of original sin. He is now inclined to evil and
subject to error:
Man is divided in himself. As a result, the whole life of men, both individual and social, shows itself to be a struggle, and a dramatic one, between good and evil, between light and darkness.
1708 By his Passion, Christ
delivered us from Satan and from sin. He merited for us the new life in the
Holy Spirit. His grace restores what sin had damaged in us.
1709 He who believes in Christ
becomes a son of God. This filial adoption transforms him by giving him the
ability to follow the example of Christ. It makes him capable of acting rightly
and doing good. In union with his Savior, the disciple attains the perfection
of charity which is holiness. Having matured in grace, the moral life blossoms
into eternal life in the glory of heaven.
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel