ELECTION DAY-BITTER CHOCOLATE WITH ALMONDS DAY
1 Maccabees, Chapter 13, Verse 17-18
17 Simon knew that they were speaking deceitfully to him. Nevertheless, for FEAR of provoking much hostility among the people, he sent for the money and the boys, 18 lest the people say, “Jonathan perished because I would not send Trypho the money and the boys.”
Simon Maccabee now with the assumed death of his brother Jonathan becomes the next leader of the Jews but unlike his brother Jonathan does not become the high priest. Yet because it is not certain that his brother is dead, he is prepared to pay the ransom that Trypho demands which is money and two of Jonathan’s sons as hostages which guarantee that when Jonathan is set free, he will not revolt against Trypho. Trypho invades the land of Judah bringing Jonathan along as prisoner. If Simon refuses the exchange the people will hold him responsible for Jonathan’s death. If he accepts, he is making a deal with a deceitful, treacherous, and ambitious animal called Trypho. Simon has no choice and pays. Trypho of course reneges, marches, and ravages as he goes. Simon delays his march on Jerusalem. Thus, Trypho prevented from taking the city of God, like Napoleon at the attempted taking of Moscow must retreat back to Syria when a seasonal snowstorm comes and before he goes kills Jonathan and probably his sons as well. This is tribalism at its worst.
Tribalism and Fear - Unworthy of Christianity
Marilynne Robinson, noted author, express’s some of her fears to what is happening today in many of the churches and inside many of us, namely, new forms of tribalism and fear are reducing our wondrous God to a ‘tribal deity’ and our own ‘local Baal’.
The God of all nations, all families, and all peoples, she asserts, is too frequently being invoked by us as a God, more exclusively, of my own nation, my own family, my own church, and my own people. She cites various examples of this, including her own sadness at how sincere Christians cannot accept each other’s authenticity: “I must assume that those who disagree with my understanding of Christianity are Christians all the same, that we are members of one household. I confess that from time to time I find this difficult. This difficulty is owed in part to the fact that I have reason to believe they would not extend this courtesy to me.”
This, she rightly asserts, is unworthy of God, of Christianity, and of what’s best in us. We know better, though we usually don’t act on that and are thus indicted by what Freud called “the narcissism of minor differences.” And this takes its root in fear, fear of many things. Not least among those fears is our fear of the secularized world and how we feel this has put us on a slippery slope in terms of our Christian heritage and our moral values. To quote Robinson here: “These people see the onrush of secularism intent on driving religion to the margins, maybe over the edge, and for the sake of Christianity they want to enlist society itself in its defense. They want politicians to make statements of faith, and when merchants hang their seasonal signs and banners, they want them to say something more specific than ‘Happy Holidays’.
Robinson, however, is distrustful of enlisting political power to defend Christianity. Why because “this country [the United States] in its early period was largely populated by religious people escaping religious persecution at the hands of state Churches, whether French Huguenots, Scots Presbyterians, English Congregationalists, or English Catholics”. She adds: “Since my own religious heroes tended to die gruesomely under these regimes. I have no nostalgia for the world before secularism, nor would many of these ‘Christian nation’ exponents, if they looked a little into the history of their own traditions.”
Inside our fear of secularism, she suggests, lies a great irony: We are afraid of secularism because we have, in fact, internalized the great prejudice against Christianity, namely, the belief that faith and Christianity cannot withstand the scrutiny of an intellectually sophisticated culture. And that fear lies at the root of an anti-intellectualism that is very prominent inside many religious and Church circles today. How much of our fear today about Christianity being on a slippery slope can be traced back to this prejudice.
Why are we so afraid of our world and of secularized intellectuals This fear, she asserts, spawns an antagonism that is unworthy of Christianity. Fear and antagonism are very fashionable within religious circles today, almost to be worn as a badge of faith and loyalty. And is this a sign of health?
No. Neither fear nor antagonism, she submits, are “becoming in Christians or in the least degree likely to inspire thinking or action of the kind that deserves to be called Christian”. Moreover, “if belief in Christ is necessary to attaining of everlasting life, then it behooves anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian, any institution that calls itself a Church, to bring credit to the Faith, at very least not to embarrass or disgrace it. Making God a tribal deity, our local Baal, is embarrassing and disgraceful.”
Fear and antagonism do nothing, she adds, to draw respect to Christianity and our churches and to the extent that we let them be associated with Christianity, we risk defacing Christianity in the world’s eyes. But saying that in today’s climate is to be judged as unpatriotic. We are not supposed to care what the world thinks. But it is the world we are trying to convert. And so, we need to be careful not to present Christianity as undignified, xenophobic, and unworthy of our wondrous, all-embracing God.
Why all this fear, if we believe that Christianity is the deepest of all truth and believe that Christ will be with us to the end of time Her last sentences capsulize a challenge we urgently need today.
“Christianity is too great a narrative to be reduced to serving any parochial interest or to be underwritten by any lesser tale. Reverence should forbid its being subordinated to tribalism, resentment, or fear.”
Election Day refers to the day on which general elections in the United States are held. Presidential elections are held every 4 years and the elected president will then be sworn in and take office the following January 20th, a day known as Inauguration Day. Election Day is always held on the first Tuesday in November in the US.
Election Day Facts & Quotes
· Elections held for federal offices only occur on even-numbered years.
· There is no law in the Constitution or Federal mandate which requires electorates to vote in accordance with the popular vote of their state.
· There are 538 Electoral College members. In order to win the vote for President of the United States, a candidate must obtain at least 270 of these votes.
· Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
· Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual--or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. - Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), Vol. IV, p. 256.
Election Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Register to vote prior to Election Day.
· Attend a local polling place and cast your vote.
· If voting by absentee ballot or mail-in ballot, make sure it arrives on or before Election Day.
· Be informed about the candidates and new amendments on the ballot before going to the polling place.
· Attend an Election Day party.
2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country:
Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
[Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners. . . . They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws. . . . So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.
The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way."
Remember the souls in purgatory, especially politicians.
Which place do you think houses the most politicians, heaven, hell, or purgatory? Is it a moot point to pray for them after their demise?
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Holy Souls, Pray for us.
For the souls of our families We pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of our friends, We pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of our enemies, We pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of all pagans, We pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of all priests, We pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of all religious, We pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of the just, We pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of all sinners, We pray Thee, O God.
For the Holy Souls in Purgatory, We pray Thee, O God.
For those who have none to pray for them, We pray Thee, O God.
O almighty and eternal God, we beg Thee to have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially those for whom we are bound to pray; and we ask Thee also to listen to the prayers of the Blessed Souls in our behalf. Amen.
Bitter Chocolate with Almonds Day
This intriguingly specific Day celebrates a particular combination of flavors – dark, bitter chocolate and toasted almonds. This is one of the oldest recipes involving chocolate known in the English-speaking world, featuring as the only chocolate dish in an 18th-century cookbook. This festivity exists mainly as an idea circulated on the internet. It is sponsored by the National Confections Association, and celebrated and encouraged by organizations such as food.com, a site which aims to encourage cooking and the appreciation of food by holding various different food days. Both the tannins in dark chocolate and the various fatty acids in almonds have many health benefits, various studies have shown. Bitter Chocolate with Almonds Day encourages a delicious and nourishing dessert, which contributes to health and long life. Celebrate by dipping blanched almonds in the best dark chocolate you can find and serving to your friends with a glass of red wine!
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
1533 Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are sacraments of Christian initiation. They ground the common vocation of all Christ's disciples, a vocation to holiness and to the mission of evangelizing the world. They confer the graces needed for the life according to the Spirit during this life as pilgrims on the march towards the homeland.
1534 Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.
1535 Through these sacraments those already consecrated by Baptism and Confirmation for the common priesthood of all the faithful can receive particular consecrations. Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ's name "to feed the Church by the word and grace of God." On their part, "Christian spouses are fortified and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament."
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.