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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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Wednesday, December 13, 2023


 Wednesday of the Second Week in Advent Feast of Saint Lucy 

Job, Chapter 31, Verse 34

Because I FEARED the great multitude and the scorn of the clans terrified me—then I should have remained silent, and not come out of doors!

 

Job’s present protest is made, not despite hidden sins which he had been unwilling to disclose, but out of genuine innocence. He is claiming that his only fear was that of the Lord and that all his life he has followed the law of God in the nine areas of moral concern.

 

To practice righteousness in the areas of moral concern we must strive for humility and its source in knowing that all goodness comes from the Spirit. 

 

Areas of Moral uprightness[1]

 

1.      Falsehood and deceit



2.      Exploitation of the land.

3.      Lust and Adultery.

4.      Rights of servants (We are all made in the image of God)

5.      Hardness toward the poor and needy.

6.      Idolatry. Social injustice is the reverse side of idolatry.

7.      Hatred of enemies. Don’t curse. Repay evil with good.

8.     Hospitality. In ancient society, without police you had a duty to protect and help.

9.     Hypocrisy. Integrity between mind, body, and actions.

 Saint Lucy[2]

 

The traditional story of St. Lucy tells us that she was of noble Greek parentage, born in Syracuse, Sicily, and brought up as a Christian by her mother, Eutychia. Although Lucy, like Cecilia, wished to dedicate herself to God, Eutychia arranged for her a marriage with a young pagan. The mother, who suffered from hemorrhage, was persuaded to make a pilgrimage to Catania, to offer prayers at the tomb of St. Agatha. Lucy accompanied her mother, and their prayers for a cure were answered. Then Lucy made known to Eutychia her desire to give her own share of their fortune to the poor and devote herself to God's service. Eutychia, in gratitude for her cure, gave permission. This so angered the young man to whom Lucy had been unwillingly betrothed that he denounced her as a Christian to the governor, Paschius. The persecutions instituted by the emperor Diocletian were then at their height, and when Lucy steadfastly clung to her faith, she was sentenced to prostitution in a brothel. God rendered her immovable, and the officers were not able to carry her off to the place of evil. An attempt was then made to burn her, but boiling oil and pitch had no power to hurt her or break her strong spirit. At last, she was put to death by the sword. At Rome in the sixth century Lucy was honored among the other virgin martyrs, and her name was inserted in the Canon of the Mass. A reference to her sanctity occurs in a letter written by Pope Gregory the Great. In the Middle Ages, she was invoked by persons suffering from eye trouble, perhaps because Lucy (in Italian, Lucia) derives from <lux>, the Latin word for light. The first church writer to give an account of St. Lucy from her <Acts> was the English bishop St. Aldhelm of Sherborne at the end of the seventh century. This saint's relics are venerated at Venice and at Bourges, in France. She is patroness of Syracuse; her emblems are a cord and eyes. Father Kenelm Digby Best knew her example of fearlessness when he penned in his book “A Priest’s Poems”[3] on St. Lucy:

 

Flames might not harm her: Saint Lucy stood fearless, still as a statue's the neck which they smote: Scarcely another save, Lucy, was tearless. When the sharp dagger was plunged in her throat. 

The customs surrounding the Feast of St. Lucy also illuminate the themes of Advent and Christmas. Lucy, whose name means light and whose association with light has made her the patron saint of the "light of the body" (the eyes), once had her feast fall on the shortest day of the year. (Before the Gregorian calendar was reformed in the Middle Ages, December 13 was the day of the winter solstice.) For all of these reasons, St. Lucy is honored with a number of customs involving fire. Lucy candles were once lit in the home and Lucy fires burned outside. In Sweden and Norway, a girl dressed in white and wearing an evergreen wreath on her head with lit candles would awaken the family and offer them coffee and cakes. She was called the Lussibrud (Lucy bride) and her pastry the Lussekattor

The Feast of St. Lucy comes at a propitious time during the observance of Advent. Reminding us of the importance of light, the light of St. Lucy foreshadows the coming of the Light of the World at Christmas like a spark foreshadows the sun.[4] 

Things to Do[5] 

·         Choose one of the customs for St. Lucy's feast and try it with your family. See Celebrating for the Feast of St. Lucy, Swedish Lucia Feast, and St. Lucia Devotions.

·         Select one of the recipes for this feast to prepare. Here is a recipe for cuccia, an Italian dish. This is another version.

·         Say a prayer to St. Lucy for those who are physically and spiritually blind.

·         Read the Life of St. Lucy taken from Ælfric’s Lives of the Saints written in the 10th century.

·         For St. Lucia Swedish resources, see Hemslöjd. Especially recommended are the St. Lucia's Crowns, either plastic to wear or brass for display, the books and Lucia Morning in Sweden

Perhaps today would be a good day to put up some Christmas lights and drink Hot Cocoa 

Hot Cocoa Day[6]



” The superiority of chocolate (hot chocolate), both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

We’re sad to say that President Jefferson didn’t quite hit the mark on this one, but we can all agree that he should have. Perhaps he should have included it in the American constitution to ensure that his good sense got passed on to the country he formed. It’s not too late to make this statement come true! Hot Cocoa Day reminds you that your options go far beyond “Tea or Coffee” when it comes to your morning hot beverage. Chocolate’s history goes far back into history, far longer than most people are aware. It first was found by European explorers in South America, where it had been being enjoyed for hundreds of years prior to their arrival. We have reason to believe that the reason the America’s didn’t make contact with Europe sooner is they didn’t want to share this delightful beverage with the rest of the world. The first origins of cocoa can be traced back to 500BC, but many archaeologists believe that this is only as early as we can trace it, and that coffee consumption predates even that august culture. Of course, the chocolate of those days was much different than that which we consume now, as sugar was not something that had found its way to the America’s. Instead, the beverage was flavored with vanilla and often with chili and was served at all temperatures depending on the recipe being used. The Spaniards first found the flavor unpleasant and one an individual had to acquire. It would not be until it was introduced to Europe and had spent some time there as a luxury drink of the wealthy that it would be sweetened, and milk chocolate invented. It took until 1828 for powdered chocolate to be made, and in that glorious moment of culinary history, both the chocolate bar and instant hot cocoa came into existence.

How to Celebrate Hot Cocoa Day

We think the best way to celebrate Hot Cocoa Day is to try every variety you can think of. Form a gathering of friends and have everyone bring their favorite recipe and all their favorite varieties. White and Dark, Milk and Bittersweet, there are as many different Hot Cocoa recipes as there are individuals! Our personal favorite is to make Hot Cocoa with 50/50 Milk and Sweetened Condensed milk and Dark Powdered Chocolate, followed by a sprinkling of cinnamon and shavings of dark chocolate on top. Rich and flavorful, it’s not for the timid.

Spiritual Crib[7] 

A special devotion that can be performed during Advent to prepare for the coming of the Infant Savior. It can be adapted for adults and/or children and applied as is appropriate to your state in life. 

3rd day, December 13th: THE WALLS—Charity Today we must erect the Walls of our little stable by showing great love and kindness towards others, in spite of our feelings for them. Always to excuse their faults, and if that is not possible, at least the intention. Take no offence at anything and show great kindness to such as put your patience to the test. Pray much for the Poor Souls and for poor sinners. Visit the tabernacle. 

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 3-MAN'S FREEDOM

II. Human Freedom in the Economy of Salvation

1739 Freedom and sin. Man's freedom is limited and fallible. In fact, man failed. He freely sinned. By refusing God's plan of love, he deceived himself and became a slave to sin. This first alienation engendered a multitude of others. From its outset, human history attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human heart in consequence of the abuse of freedom.

1740 Threats to freedom. The exercise of freedom does not imply a right to say or do everything. It is false to maintain that man, "the subject of this freedom," is "an individual who is fully self-sufficient and whose finality is the satisfaction of his own interests in the enjoyment of earthly goods." Moreover, the economic, social, political, and cultural conditions that are needed for a just exercise of freedom are too often disregarded or violated. Such situations of blindness and injustice injure the moral life and involve the strong as well as the weak in the temptation to sin against charity. By deviating from the moral law man violates his own freedom, becomes imprisoned within himself, disrupts neighborly fellowship, and rebels against divine truth.

1741 Liberation and salvation. By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. "For freedom Christ has set us free." In him we have communion with the "truth that makes us free." The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." Already we glory in the "liberty of the children of God."

1742 Freedom and grace. the grace of Christ is not in the slightest way a rival of our freedom when this freedom accords with the sense of the true and the good that God has put in the human heart. On the contrary, as Christian experience attests especially in prayer, the more docile we are to the promptings of grace, the more we grow in inner freedom and confidence during trials, such as those we face in the pressures and constraints of the outer world. By the working of grace the Holy Spirit educates us in spiritual freedom in order to make us free collaborators in his work in the Church and in the world:

Almighty and merciful God,

in your goodness take away from us all that is harmful,

so that, made ready both in mind and body,

we may freely accomplish your will.

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

·         Joseph was chosen

 Daily Devotions 

·         Today is the Day of the Horse-take a ride; bet on the ponies or watch a movie about horses. My grandson’s name is Philip which means, lover of horses.


·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Victims of clergy sexual abuse

·         Jesse Tree ornament: Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28 Symbols: scales of justice, temple, two babies and sword

·         Religion in the home: Preschool for December

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Light a candle for a loved one

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



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