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The reason this blog is called "Iceman for Christ" is I was a member of Navel Mobile Construction Battalion that complete construction of the South Pole Station in 1974. At that time there was only one priest in Antarctica and I was asked by him to give the eucharistic to my fellow Catholics at a protestant service celebrated by the Battalion Chaplin on Sundays. At that time only priestly consecrated hands could give the eucharist. There were not eucharist ministers at that time. I was given permission by a letter from the bishop to handled our Lord. Years later I was reading the bible and read "and you shall take me to the ends of the earth." I reflected on it for a second and thought Yes, been there done that. Be not afraid and serve Christ King. Greater is HE; than he who is in the world.

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Saturday in the Octave of the Immaculate Conception

FEAST OF JUAN DIEGO-CHRISTMAS CARD DAY

 

Job, Chapter 21, Verse 9

Their homes are safe, without fear, and the rod of God is not upon them.

With the current political climate of today-North Korea, Kenya, Venezuela, Sanctuary Cities, Gangs etc.; we may not be feeling safe in our homes. We may feel God’s rod is upon us. Yet, we learn that God does not wish to destroy us but bring about the best in us. The wages of sin are usually destruction, but God is mercy. As in the parable of the wheat and tares God allows the weeds to grow with the wheat. We often ask with Job, “Why do the wicked keep on living, grow old, become mighty in power? Mercy!

Zophar & His Asps[1]

·         Zophar decides to beat a dead horse.

·         Not literally.

·         He tells Job that the wicked get what they deserve from God. 

·         For good measure, he adds that the venom of asps will poison people's stomachs and kill the sinners. Well that's graphic.

Job Refutes Zophar

·         Job sticks to his guns.

·         The wicked, he says, go unpunished all the time. Not that he's cool with that. He prays for the sinners' destruction, and then tells Zophar to stop being so depressing.

 

The LORD, your God, shall you fear; him shall you serve, and by his name shall you swear."

Evil in our Time[2]

The North Korean cult of personality surrounding its ruling family, the Kim family, has existed in North Korea for decades and can be found in many examples of North Korean culture. The personality cult began soon after Kim Il-sung took power in 1948, and was greatly expanded after his death in 1994. While other countries have had cults of personality to various degrees (such as Joseph Stalin's in the Soviet Union), the pervasiveness and extreme nature of North Korea's personality cult surpasses that of Stalin or Mao Zedong. The cult is also marked by the intensity of the people's feelings for and devotion to their leaders, and the key role played by a Confucianized ideology of familism both in maintaining the cult and thereby in sustaining the regime itself. The cult of personality surrounding the Kim family requires total loyalty and subjugation to the Kim family and establishes the country as a one-man dictatorship through successive generations. There is even widespread belief that Kim Il-sung "created the world" and that Kim Jong-il controlled the weather. Korean society, traditionally Confucian, places a strong emphasis on paternal hierarchy and loyalty. North Korean authorities have co-opted portions of Christianity and Buddhism, and adapted them to their own uses, while greatly restricting all religions in general as they are seen as a threat to the regime. An example of this can be seen in the description of Kim Il-sung as a god, and Kim Jong-il as the son of a god or "Sun of the Nation".

Time to Get Serious About Fatima[3]

The world's gone mad. Take the attack in Nice, France, let alone the regular atrocities and outrages perpetrated by ISIS upon their neighbors or the persecutions of the Church in China and North Korea, and the list could go on. But it's pointless to compare tragedies, to try to determine who's most wounded, who is most in pain. Rather, it's time and long past time to apply the solutions we've had all along. I'm talking, of course, about the message of Fatima, specifically Our Lady's calls for the daily Rosary for peace in the world and the Five First Saturday’s devotion.

My fellow Marian Fr. Seraphim Michalenko sometimes tells a story that a priest ministering in Japan shared with him in Rome. This priest was attending an international gathering of Christians from across the world, attended by foreign dignitaries. The ambassador from Japan approached the priest, verified that the priest served in Japan and was a Catholic priest, and then said, "War is your fault." The priest was surprised and asked what the ambassador meant. The ambassador said, "You Catholics, all of you — we do not have peace in the world. It is your fault." The priest said, "Ambassador, why do you blame us?" The ambassador said, "I've read about this. The Lady came to you at Fatima, right? That's what you believe? She told you what to do to secure peace in the world. Well, there's no peace in the world, so obviously you Catholics haven't done it." The priest had to acknowledge that the ambassador was correct, but still tried to protest, saying, "Isn't peace everyone's responsibility?" The ambassador was vehement. "No, she came to you Catholics. Not to Buddhists. Not to Hindus. She came to you, and it is your responsibility."

We've been given the answer. Pray the Rosary daily for peace in the world and invite others to pray with you. At college, there would occasionally be "sit ins for peace." A number of my fellow students, passionately convinced and righteously indignant though they were, would go and sit outside the student center with signs. That was their sit in for peace. It always massively frustrated me because here we were, a Catholic school, armed with a whole host of powerful prayers and devotions, and there they were just sitting. If they'd just bothered to pray the Rosary, their protest would have meant a great deal in this world and the next.  Why not arrange for a Rosary for peace at your colleges and universities, if not every day, then at least every Saturday, traditionally set aside as Our Lady’s Day? Why not revive the tradition of family and neighborhood Rosaries, offered specifically for the intention of peace in the world? What about having a regular Rosary for peace at your parish, maybe even before Mass with the permission of your pastor? And as we come up on the 100th anniversary (May 13-Oct. 13, 2017) of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima in 1917, let's embrace the whole message of Fatima.

• Make the
Five First Saturdays devotion
Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart, and encourage others to do the same.
• Become invested in
the Brown Scapular.
• Do penance for your sins and on behalf of poor sinners everywhere. Don't just sit there — the world is in trouble, and we have the answer.
 

Saint Juan Diego[4]

 

St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548). Little is known about the life of Juan Diego before his conversion, but tradition and archaeological and iconographical sources, along with the most important and oldest indigenous document on the event of Guadalupe, "El Nican Mopohua" (written in Náhuatl with Latin characters, 1556, by the Indigenous writer Antonio Valeriano), give some information on the life of the saint and the apparitions. Juan Diego was born in 1474 with the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin" ("the talking eagle") in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City, Mexico. He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced groups living in the Anáhuac Valley. When he was 50 years old, he was baptized by a Franciscan priest, Fr Peter da Gand, one of the first Franciscan missionaries. 

On 9 December 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, the outskirts of what is now Mexico City. She asked him to go to the bishop and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out her grace upon those who invoked her. The bishop, who did not believe Juan Diego, asked for a sign to prove that the apparition was true. 

On 12 December, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac. Here, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find in bloom. He obeyed, and although it was wintertime, he found roses flowering. He gathered the flowers and took them to Our Lady who carefully placed them in his mantle and told him to take them to the bishop as "proof". When he opened his mantle, the flowers fell on the ground and there remained impressed, in place of the flowers, an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac. With the Bishop's permission, Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration. Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus. Much deeper than the "exterior grace" of having been "chosen" as Our Lady's "messenger", Juan Diego received the grace of interior enlightenment and from that moment, he began a life dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue and boundless love of God and neighbor. 

He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was beatified on 6 May 1990 by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, Mexico City. The miraculous image, which is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows a woman with native features and dress. She is supported by an angel whose wings are reminiscent of one of the major gods of the traditional religion of that area. The moon is beneath her feet and her blue mantle is covered with gold stars. The black girdle about her waist signifies that she is pregnant. Thus, the image graphically depicts the fact that Christ is to be "born" again among the peoples of the New World and is a message as relevant to the "New World" today as it was during the lifetime of Juan Diego. 

Things to Do[5]

·         Read Pope John Paul II's homily at the canonization of St. Juan Diego.

·         Meditate on Our Lady's beautiful words to St. Juan Diego: "Hear and let it penetrate into your heart, my dear little son; let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also, do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?"

·         Cook some Mexican dishes for dinner and bake a Rose Petal Pound Cake or other rose theme for dessert in honor of St. Juan Diego.

·         From the Catholic Culture Library:

o    On The Canonization Of First Native American

o    Mexico Has Seen a Great Light

o    Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

·         Recommended Reading: For children: The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola. For adults: The Wonder of Guadalupe by Francis Johnston.

·         For music for Juan Diego's and Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast, see www.savae.org. The San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble have two cds of authentic music by Mexican medieval composers. Very beautiful!

·         Visit Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas for detailed accounts on the apparition to Juan Diego. 

Christmas Card Day[6]

 

Way back in 1843, the first commercial Christmas card was created in England by Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant who was responsible for the idea of sending greetings scribbled into the now familiar cards we get around the season of good cheer. Christmas Card Day honors its inventor on the 9th of December. The first ever commercial Christmas card showed a family raising a toast, and in the following year’s designs showing flowers or depicting the promise of spring were favored. Lithograph firm Prang and Mayer started selling their whimsical Christmas cards, often featuring children or cartoon animals, across the pond to America in 1874. By 1880, Prang and Mayer were producing a massive five million cards a year. With so many designs, shapes and sizes, some Christmas cards have become collector’s items which have been known to shift at a pretty penny at auction. One of the world’s first cards, commissioned by Cole and produced by J. C. Horsley, saw the hammer come down at £22,250 in 2001. Another one of Horsley’s cards sold for almost £9000 in 2005 – and if you want to see a big collection of these coveted cards you can drop by the British Museum to see Queen Mary’s early 1900s collection.

Today, seasonal cards are posted all over the world and can be found in hundreds of thousands of designs. The most popular messages you’ll find inside a Christmas card are ‘seasons greetings’ and ‘merry Christmas, and a happy new year’ – but many also stick to religious roots by featuring a short biblical verse or a religious blessing.

How to Celebrate Christmas Card Day

If you’ve got time, it’s always nice to make handmade cards to send out. Get hold of some glitter and a dab of glue and see what you can come up with. The recipients are sure to appreciate it – or if you have children, get them involved in making cards for friends and family! With the advent of e-mail, it’s easier than ever to send Christmas wishes to friend and family across the world – e-cards appeared in the 90s and are frequently used in place of physical cards, so you’ve got no excuse nowadays not to send those season’s greetings. But since nothing beats the real thing, perhaps now is the right time to send out those Christmas cards so they all get to your family and friends before the last post on 23rd December! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you could always send out some cheery cards to celebrate the coming of the new year!

Jesse Tree[7]

Jesse 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

December 6 Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14 Symbols: bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush

December 7 Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 Symbols: kettle, ladder

December 8 Joseph: Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15 Symbols: bucket, well, silver coins, tunic

December 9 Moses: Ex. 2:1-10 Symbols: baby in basket, river and rushes

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

                        CHAPTER ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

Article 2-OUR VOCATION TO BEATITUDE

III. Christian Beatitude

1720 The New Testament uses several expressions to characterize the beatitude to which God calls man:
- the coming of the Kingdom of God;
- the vision of God: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God"
- entering into the joy of the Lord;
- entering into God's rest:

There we shall rest and see, we shall see and love, we shall love and praise. Behold what will be at the end without end. For what other end do we have, if not to reach the kingdom which has no end?

1721 God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to paradise. Beatitude makes us "partakers of the divine nature" and of eternal life. With beatitude, man enters into the glory of Christ and into the joy of the Trinitarian life.

1722 Such beatitude surpasses the understanding and powers of man. It comes from an entirely free gift of God: whence it is called supernatural, as is the grace that disposes man to enter into the divine joy.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

It is true, because of the greatness and inexpressible glory of God, that "man shall not see me and live," for the Father cannot be grasped. But because of God's love and goodness toward us, and because he can do all things, he goes so far as to grant those who love him the privilege of seeing him.... For "what is impossible for men is possible for God."

1723 The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement - however beneficial it may be - such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love:

All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability.... It is a homage resulting from a profound faith ... that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second.... Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world - it may be called "newspaper fame" - has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration.

1724 The Decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and the apostolic catechesis describe for us the paths that lead to the Kingdom of heaven. Sustained by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we tread them, step by step, by everyday acts. By the working of the Word of Christ, we slowly bear fruit in the Church to the glory of God.

Arizona December 8-24 

Ballet Arizona takes the Symphony Hall stage in grand fashion with this holiday classic. Celebrate the joy and wonder of the season with Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker as Tchaikovsky’s cherished score is masterfully performed by The Phoenix Symphony. Follow Clara’s wintry adventures as she battles mischievous mice and charms the Sugar Plum Fairy. Whether this is your first Nutcracker or your 101st, this heartwarming tradition never fails to enchant and draw smiles from all! 

Phoenix City Skate

 

Daily Devotions

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

·         Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·         Religion in the home: Preschool for December

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

 

[7]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=545







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