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Eat Something with Spinach today   OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL   Isaiah, Chapter 7, Verse 3-6 3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to me...

Thursday, December 7, 2023

 
Thursday in the First week of Advent

Vigil Immaculate conception-Chanuka-Pearl Harbor

 

Job, Chapter 11, Verse 15

Surely then you may lift up your face in innocence; you may stand firm and UNAFRAID.

Now Jobs’ other friend speaks saying that “If iniquity is in your hand, remove it, and do not let injustice dwell in your tent” then you may be unafraid. Yet, Job has not been immoral, he hates his life and what is happening to him.

Job Detests His Life[1]

·         Job continues his bumming out session, asking God why he would oppress the people who love him. Doesn't really seem like a good business model.

·         Time for more thoughts from the peanut gallery. 

·         Zophar says that Job must have done something wrong; God is unfathomable, sure, but he always punishes people less than they deserve. 

·         Some friend.

10 Steps to Make You Stop Despising your Life[2]

Life can and is hard and tough and painful at times. That doesn’t mean it can’t change. Life goes through ebbs and flows all the time and the key to getting through it all without cutting off your social circle and eating your local grocery store out of Ben & Jerry’s, is to cultivate some techniques and methods of going through life with some stability and grace. It’s not a guarantee against life’s hardships but take the steps you want to use, and you won’t dislike life.

Step 1) Get plenty of sleep.

Seriously, you’re obviously going to be grouchy as hell and more inclined towards the more miserable side, if you’re not getting your recommended seven or more hours of sleep a night. Start checking how much you sleep and then start taking steps to go to bed earlier and sleep for longer. It might cure every problem but at least you’ll be well-rested and less likely to nap throughout the day. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, try eating right.

Step 2) Eat healthily.

Eating a lot healthier improves mood and makes you feel better.

Step 3) Write it all down.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is let it all out. Keeping things that are making you hate life all bottled up is neither helpful to getting out of that cycle nor healthy for your overall wellbeing. Grab yourself a notebook, a journal, a diary, a bit of paper, whatever, and just start writing down how you feel. As soon as you’ve done that, start thinking about what you could do in theory to stop this from happening or to stop you from feeling like this.

Step 4) Get some fresh air.

It’s underrated and we all take it for granted, but really, getting out of your home and going for a walk can be really beneficial. It gets you outside in the (hopefully) sunshine and getting to see the whole of life as you walk around can be really grounding and calming. Believe me, if you’re stuck inside mulling over on the bad things of your life, grab a pair of sneakers and go for a walk. Plus, it’s free. Can’t say better than that, can you?

Step 5) Get some exercise.

This is practically Part II of the previous step, but as someone who used to look at the gym as something people did when they were feeling particularly masochistic, I can actually say I enjoy it now. You don’t even have to subscribe to a fancy gym—go for a run around the block with your headphones in or lift some heavy boxes to build up muscle tone.

Step 6) Treat yourself.

Hating your life can be exhausting, and I mean that literally. It drains the energy from you until all you want to do is lie in bed with a pint of ice cream and the last five seasons of a TV show on Netflix. Therefore, a good thing to keep your spirits up can be to treat yourself. Life is too short, after all, to deny yourself some treats. Go see that movie that looks awesome in the cinema, grab a gelato with a friend, paint your nails, whatever makes you happy, do it. You deserve it.

Step 7) Cut out those negative triggers.

Chances are that if you hate life, something is setting off those triggers in your head. Until you’re able to deal with them without turning all misanthropic, the best thing might be just to get rid of all of those negative triggers. If you’re suffering from what AllGroanUp refer to as “Obsessive Comparison Disorder” (i.e. obsessively checking out the lifestyles of all your “successful” friends), then stop using Facebook and Twitter as much. Social media can be a fantastic way to connect, but it can also be a toxic environment for neuroses and comparisons to breed. Trust me, I know. If it sets you off, cut it out.

Step 8) Dance.

Yes, you can dance. No, really, you can. It doesn’t matter if you’re not some breakdancing dynamo or ballroom extraordinaire, everyone can dance. It’s programmed into the human race, the ultimate expression of emotion. Dance like no one’s watching, dance like you don’t care. Tap your feet, sway your hips, go as mad or as wild as you want to your favorite songs. Nothing quite shakes the cobwebs off than losing yourself in rhythm and dancing to a song you love.

Step 9) Get organized.

A great way to start moving forward and looking at what you can change in your life to make it better, is to get organized. Spend a weekend going through your home and clearing the hell out of it. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need or don’t want anymore and start to give everything a space. It doesn’t have to look like it’s stepped off the pages of Good Housekeeping, but clearing a lot of space and making sure that your home has a bit of harmony can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

Step 10) Pay it forward.

Life is a mystery, and it can be a minefield to get through. Sometimes you stumble, sometimes you fall. The important part is picking yourself back up and keeping walking forward. Paying it forward is simply helping others. Charity is something that is often thrown around as an accessory to human behavior—how many celebrities have you read about who have done something heinous, but are defended by the phrase “but [they] do charity work”?

Go volunteer. If you think you’re at the breaking point, go help other people. People in the world out there will be going through the same things that you are going through and while you might not run into someone who’s going through the exact same circumstances, you will be helping people who need help. Helping out a soup kitchen, or at a church bake sale, or at a homeless shelter or wherever needs help, can make a huge difference to the lives of those individuals involved, and believe me, it’ll do a hell of a lot for your state of mind.

1274 The Holy Spirit has marked us with the seal of the Lord ("Dominicus character") "for the day of redemption." "Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life." The faithful Christian who has "kept the seal" until the end, remaining faithful to the demands of his Baptism, will be able to depart this life "marked with the sign of faith," with his baptismal faith, in expectation of the blessed vision of God - the consummation of faith - and in the hope of resurrection.

Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Day of Fast and Abstinence[3]

Besides being the feast day of St. Ambrose, today is the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception.  And, consequently, today is traditionally a day of fasting and partial abstinence from meat.

For today, we as traditional Catholics are called upon to fast and to refrain from eating any flesh meat, except with the one principal meal allowed on a day of fasting.  Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.  On this day one, normal-sized meal and two smaller meals that do not equal the normal meal are allowed. Eating between meals, however, is prohibited although fruit juices and milk are allowed. The two smaller meals can not contain flesh meat.

History of the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception:

On November 30, 1879, Pope Leo XIII added the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception to the Universal Church's calendar, increasing the number of liturgical vigils from 16 to 17, which not including Holy Saturday, consisted of "the eves of Christmas, the Epiphany, the Ascension, Pentecost, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, the eight feasts of the Apostles, St. John the Baptist, St. Laurence, and All Saints." At this time, the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception was not yet a fast day. These 17 vigils mentioned were still in place at the time of the writing of the Catholic Encyclopedia in 1909.

On July 25, 1957, Pope Pius XII transferred the fast in the Universal Church from the Vigil of the Assumption to the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception on December 7, even though he had previously abrogated the Mass for the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception. Thus, this day starting in 1957 was a day of mandatory fasting and abstinence. This is preserved in the laws in force in 1962 for instance.

By 1962, the laws of fasting and abstinence were as follows as described in "Moral Theology" by Rev. Heribert Jone and adapted by Rev. Urban Adelman for the "laws and customs of the United States of America" copyright 1961: "Complete abstinence is to be observed on all Fridays of the year, Ash Wednesday, the Vigils of Immaculate Conception and Christmas. Partial abstinence is to be observed on Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays and on the Vigil of Pentecost. Days of fast are all the weekdays of Lent, Ember Days, and the Vigil of Pentecost." If a vigil falls on a Sunday, the law of abstinence and fasting is dispensed that year and is not transferred to the preceding day. Father Jone adds additional guidance for the Vigil of the Nativity fast: "General custom allows one who is fasting to take a double portion of food at the collation on Christmas Eve (jejunium gaudiosum)."

The Importance of the Immaculate Conception:

The Immaculate Conception is a dogma of the faith stating that Mary was conceived sinless in the womb of her mother Anne, and Mary remained without sin throughout her entire life. Remember, Mary is not just an average woman but the Mother of God; she is extraordinary (Luke 1:42). She is, by no means, divine in anyway, but she certainly is the greatest of all saints. She is the perfect model of charity. Let us try and imitate Mary by wearing her Brown Scapular and praying the Rosary. To imitate Mary, is to grow closer to Jesus Christ, Our Savior.

Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum:

An interval of a few months will again bring round that most happy day on which, fifty years ago, Our Predecessor Pius IX., Pontiff of holy memory, surrounded by a noble crown of Cardinals and Bishops, pronounced and promulgated with the authority of the infallible magisterium as a truth revealed by God that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in the first instant of her conception was free from all stain of original sin. All the world knows the feelings with which the faithful of all the nations of the earth received this proclamation and the manifestations of public satisfaction and joy which greeted it, for truly there has not been in the memory of man any more universal or more harmonious expression of sentiment shown towards the august Mother of God or the Vicar of Jesus Christ.
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE ST. PIUS X ON THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FEBRUARY 2, 1904

Mary, Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Chanukah Begins at Sundown[4]

One wonders if Jesus and Mary celebrated Chanukah.

Chanukah (Hebrew: חנוכה) is an eight-day Jewish festival, also known as the festival of lights. On each day a Menorah (an eight branched candelabra) is lit with an ascending number of candles to match the day.  The reason for Chanukah is based on the story of the Maccabees battle with the Greeks.  It is told that one pure bottle of olive oil lasted for eight days in the Holy Temple.  It should have lasted only for the first day.

Chanukah Facts

·         It is customary to eat fried foods on Chanukah because of the significance of oil to the holiday.  Among Ashkenazic Jews, this usually includes latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) and doughnuts.

·         A popular game during Hanukkah is dreidel.  The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with one Hebrew letter inscribed on each face/side.  These letters are Nun (like N), Gimel (like G), Hei (Like H) and Shin (like Sh).  These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, a great miracle happened there, referring to the miracle of the oil.

·         There is a special prayer called for the Miracles said during all prayer sessions and grace after meals.  In this prayer the Lord is thanked for allowing the Jewish minority to overcome their much larger and stronger enemies (a recurrent theme in Jewish survival).

·         Chanukah is not one of the Biblical festivals and Jews are permitted to work on Chanukah.

Hanukkah Top Events and Things to Do

·         An event that gathers much attention is the White House Hanukkah Party.  Watch it on TV (some parts are broadcast) or YouTube.

·         Play a dreidel game, which consists of spinning a special four-sided block with Hebrew letters. Once you're out of game pieces, you can either get a loan or you're out until one person collects all of the game pieces.

·         Make latkes and donuts at home.  Many recipes can be found online.

·         Listen to a special song is sung after the lighting of the candles, called Maoz Zur, 'the Rock of our Salvation'.  Many renditions of it can be found on YouTube

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day[5]


Today we honor the victims of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, an American Naval Station.  The attack is often cited as the catalyst for American involvement in the Second World War, given that President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan the following day. At 8am on December 7th, 1941, without prior warning, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked a Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, located on Oahu, Hawaii.  The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighter planes. In total, 2,403 people perished, another 1,178 were injured, four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk, and 188 aircrafts were destroyed.  The aim of the attack was to immobilize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which would allow Japan to advance into Malaya and Dutch East Indies.  On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress passed Public Law 103-308 to designate December 7 of each year as the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Facts & Quotes

·         Within hours of the attack, Canada was the first nation to declare war on Japan. The United States declared war the following day.

·         The Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal was established by the United States Congress on November 5, 1990.  U.S. Armed Forces veterans and civilians who served, were injured or killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor were eligible to receive the medal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the attack.  (Public Law 101-510, 104 Stat. 1721 and Public Law. 104-201, 110 Stat. 2654)

·         The USS Arizona Memorial was built in 1962 to mark the resting place of the 1,102 sailors and marines who died on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

·         ...commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor will instill in all people of the United States a greater understanding and appreciation of the selfless sacrifice of the individuals who served in the armed forces of the United States during World War II... (Public Law 103-308)

·         Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  This speech by President Roosevelt is widely cited and referred to as the Infamy Speech or Pearl Harbor Speech.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu Island in Hawaii.

·         Spend some time learning about the Second World War and the US involvement that began after Pearl Harbor.

·         Attend a remembrance ceremony at your local naval club, army base, naval base, or museum of war.

·         Watch movies about Pearl Harbor and World War II.  Here are some recommendations:
1) Pearl Harbor (2001)

2) Saving Private Ryan (1998)


3) Inglorious Basterds (2009)
4) Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
5) Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
6) Empire of the Sun (1987)
7) The Longest Day (1962)
8) Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
9) Schindler's List (1993)
10) The Pianist (2002)

Father Aloysius H. Schmitt and the USS Schmitt[6] 

Aloysius H. Schmitt was born in St. Lucas, Iowa on December 4, 1909, and was appointed acting chaplain with the rank of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) on June 28, 1939.  Serving on his first sea tour, he was hearing confessions on board the battleship USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  When the ship capsized, he was entrapped along with several other members of the crew in a compartment where only a small porthole provided a means of escape.  He assisted others through the porthole, giving up his own chance to escape, so that more men might be rescued. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal posthumously for his courage and self-sacrifice.  St. Francis Xavier Chapel, erected at Camp Lejeune in 1942, was dedicated in his memory. The destroyer escort USS SCHMITT was laid down on February 22, 1943, launched on May 29, 1943, and was commissioned on July 24, 1943.  The USS Schmitt was decommissioned and placed in reserve on June 28,1949 and struck from the Navy list on May 1,1967.

Fast all Day break-fast after sunset for a Thursday Feast

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 stop 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.

Today’s menu is from the State of Hawaii

    • Avocado-Mango Poke Salad
    • Paradise Fried Rice
    • Butter Mochi

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

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

I. The Beatitudes

1716 The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching. They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham. the Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

1717 The Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity. They express the vocation of the faithful associated with the glory of his Passion and Resurrection; they shed light on the actions and attitudes characteristic of the Christian life; they are the paradoxical promises that sustain hope in the midst of tribulations; they proclaim the blessings and rewards already secured, however dimly, for Christ's disciples; they have begun in the lives of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Holy Bishops and Cardinals

·         Religion in the home: Preschool for December

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary


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









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