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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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Sunday, January 14, 2024

Second Sunday After Epiphany

ORTHODOX NEW YEAR 

Psalm 66, verse 16

Come and hear, all you who FEAR God, while I recount what has been done for me. 

It is just that we recount how God has removed our faults and how he imputes no guilt on us when we sincerely repent and turn away from our sins and ask for forgiveness. Once He has freed us, it is then that we can gratefully receive the counsels of the Holy Spirit which show us our path. 

The Shema Yisrael which is the same prayer the Christ prayed every morning tells us that God is to be loved. 

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength. 

Christ is the living example of God’s love for us. His heart could not rest until He repaid our debt. His soul was so tormented for love of us that He sweated blood in the garden for us. His mind was ever on us when He multiplied the loaves or healed the sick and with all His strength, He offered his life as an eternal sacrifice before the Father. He for love of us took the cup and drank it to the dregs during His passion. 

To help us understand this love of His for us is the mission of the Confraternity of the Passion International[1] who document the full suffering of our Lord to show us how we are loved knowing that Christ and His mother weep over lost souls and delight over converted ones. 

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[2]

CHAPTER I

DIES DOMINI

The Celebration of the Creator's Work

From the Sabbath to Sunday

18. Because the Third Commandment depends upon the remembrance of God's saving works and because Christians saw the definitive time inaugurated by Christ as a new beginning, they made the first day after the Sabbath a festive day, for that was the day on which the Lord rose from the dead. The Paschal Mystery of Christ is the full revelation of the mystery of the world's origin, the climax of the history of salvation and the anticipation of the eschatological fulfilment of the world. What God accomplished in Creation and wrought for his People in the Exodus has found its fullest expression in Christ's Death and Resurrection, though its definitive fulfilment will not come until the Parousia, when Christ returns in glory. In him, the "spiritual" meaning of the Sabbath is fully realized, as Saint Gregory the Great declares: "For us, the true Sabbath is the person of our Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ". This is why the joy with which God, on humanity's first Sabbath, contemplates all that was created from nothing, is now expressed in the joy with which Christ, on Easter Sunday, appeared to his disciples, bringing the gift of peace and the gift of the Spirit (cf. Jn 20:19-23). It was in the Paschal Mystery that humanity, and with it the whole creation, "groaning in birth-pangs until now" (Rom 8:22), came to know its new "exodus" into the freedom of God's children who can cry out with Christ, "Abba, Father!" (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). In the light of this mystery, the meaning of the Old Testament precept concerning the Lord's Day is recovered, perfected and fully revealed in the glory which shines on the face of the Risen Christ (cf. 2 Cor 4:6). We move from the "Sabbath" to the "first day after the Sabbath", from the seventh day to the first day: the dies Domini becomes the dies Christi!

Second Sunday after Epiphany[3]

Christ manifests His divinity and His mystical union with the Church with His first miracle at the Wedding of Cana.

THE Introit the Church invites us to thank God for the incarnation of His only begotten Son: “Let all the earth adore Thee, and sing to Thee, O God; let it sing a psalm to Thy name, shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name, give glory to His praise”.

 

Prayer.

 

Almighty and everlasting God, “Who dost govern all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace in our days”. Amen.

EPISTLE.

Rom. xii. 6-16. Brethren:

We have different gifts, according to the grace that is given us: either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith, or ministry in ministering, or he that teacheth in doctrine, he that exhorteth in exhorting, he that giveth with simplicity, he that ruleth with carefulness, he that showeth mercy with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good: loving one another with the charity of brotherhood: with honor preventing one another: in carefulness not slothful: in spirit fervent: serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation: instant in prayer; communicating to the necessities of the saints: pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep: being of one mind one towards another: not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits.

 

What lesson does the Apostle give us in this epistle?

 

That we should hate that which is evil, and love that which is good; that we should love one another, and practice works of mercy; that we should be solicitous and fervent, as in the service of God. We should cooperate with the grace of God, and pray instantly.

PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUPERIORS.

They must expect a severe judgment who seek office only for the sake of emolument, caring little for their duty, and regarding bribes and presents rather than justice.

 

Aspiration.

 

O God, give us Thy grace to follow faithfully what St. Paul teaches us of humility and charity, that we may have compassion on all who are in need, and not exalt ourselves above our neighbors, but, humbling ourselves with the humble, may merit, with them, to be exalted. Amen.

 

GOSPEL. John ii. 1-11

 

At that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His Mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drank, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

 

Why was Jesus present at the wedding with His Mother and disciples?

 

1. In order there to reveal His majesty, and by that means to establish and confirm the belief in His divinity.

2. To show that marriage is pleasing to God.

3. To let us understand how pious the bridegroom and bride were.

4. To teach us that those pleasures are permitted which are in accordance with reason and Christianity, and neither sinful nor leading to sin.

 

Why did Mary intercede for the bride and bridegroom when the wine was failing?

 

She was sorry for them, for she is the tender-hearted mediatrix of the afflicted and destitute. Besides, the number of the guests had been considerably increased by the presence of Jesus and His disciples, so that the wine was not sufficient for all. 

What is the meaning of the words, “Woman, what is that to Me and to thee?” 

According to the idiom of the Hebrew language, they mean as much as, Mother, be not anxious; I will provide the wine as soon as the hour appointed by My Father is come. Jesus did not mean to rebuke His Mother, but He thus gave her and all who were present, to understand that He had not received the power of working miracles as the son of woman, but that He possessed it as the Son of God and should use it according to the will of His Father.

Lent is a month away[4]

The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time is exactly 31 days before Ash Wednesday. The Church has entered Tempus ad Annum, "The Season Throughout the Year," most commonly referred to as "Ordinary Time" and will soon enter the six-week period of Lent culminating in the heart of the Liturgy and the Liturgical Year: Easter, the Paschal Feast. Although not a liturgical season of the Church, the weeks after Christmas are unofficially known as "Carnival," a season of balls, parades, parties and rich food. There is no set beginning as Carnival begins on various dates all over the world. Rio de Janeiro and Venice begin two and a half weeks before Ash Wednesday. Most Americans are familiar with the South Louisiana Mardi Gras which begins on Epiphany.

Regardless of when Carnival begins or how it is celebrated, the celebration intensifies the closer it gets to the beginning of Lent and comes to screeching halt on Ash Wednesday.

The word "carnival" literally means "farewell to meat." In earlier times in the Church, Lenten fasting, and abstinence had more stringent rules. Foods such as meat, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, fat, and bacon were all forbidden in Lent, so Carnival was a time to indulge and use up (and not waste) these foods. While Lent doesn't have the formerly strict regulations, the word carnival in a broad sense is also saying farewell to fleshly or worldly pleasures (even if they are mere indulgences and not sinful) before our Lenten penances and mortifications.

Carnival's Spiritual Connections

For centuries, all over the world, this has been known as a time for preparing for Lent. "Preparing for Lent" is an odd way to describe what goes on during Carnival, but it does have religious connections. Perhaps some have forgotten the original intention, but Carnival is a time of mental and physical preparation for the Lenten time of self-denial. This is a time for family, food and fun before we face Ash Wednesday and fill our days with prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Although it seems like such a secular and materialistic celebration, without the spiritual grounding there can be no Carnival. As Josef Pieper explains:

Wherever festivity can freely vent itself in all its possible forms, an event is produced that leaves no zone of life, worldly or spiritual, untouched.... There are worldly, but there are no purely profane, festivals. And we may presume that not only can we not find them, but that they cannot exist. A festival without gods is a non-concept, is inconceivable. For example, Carnival remains festive only where Ash Wednesday still exists. To eliminate Ash Wednesday is to eliminate the Carnival itself. Yet Ash Wednesday is obviously a day in Christendom's liturgical year (Josef Pieper, 1963, pp 33-34).

And Bernard Strasser elaborates on this spiritual connection:

These carnival days in particular contain a remarkable lesson of spirituality for us. According to their origin and the Church's intention they are anything but days of thoughtless conviviality, and certainly not of dissolute merrymaking. They are not a carryover from pagan times, of which the Church was unable to destroy the memory and observance. Rather are they an integral part of the Church year, with the significant task of illustrating graphically the first part of the Church's sermon text for this season: "You are fools, all of you who seek your final end in earthly things! I your Mother will during the coming weeks of Lent show you where true happiness may be found, Who it is that brought it, and how He merited it for us" (Carnival and Ashes,  Orate Fratres: A Liturgical Review, Vol. XVII, No. 4, 146).

Of course, over the centuries there have been abuses of extremes, and the Church has counterbalanced by providing spiritual balance, such as encouragement for Shriving (confessions), Eucharist Adoration, especially the Forty Hours devotion before Ash Wednesday. 

There is a juxtaposition of Carnival and Lent. As Pieper mentioned that Carnival festivity "leaves no zone of life, worldly or spiritual, untouched," similar to our observance of Lent. The Church gives us this time to reexamine and reorder all aspects of our life. We can see the contrast of Carnival indulgence and Lenten fasting not just in foods, but all areas of life.

Balancing Family Fun Time

Maria von Trapp in Around the Year with the Trapp Family recognized Carnival as a time for family celebration. She suggested using this time of "merry-making" for dancing, singing, games, parties and gatherings with family and friends. Perhaps some of her suggestions seem subdued and old-fashioned for a very electronically connected generation, but her emphasis was to enjoy the togetherness. Our attention is focused outward nurturing family connections and friendships, with opportunities in practicing dancing and music. The opposite is true in the season of Lent: it is a season to reduce social activities, to turn off the extra noise and visuals (electronics) and to turn inward to talk to and listen to God.

In the modern world our lives are not as connected to the days and the seasons of nature except as inconvenience or enjoyment. Many of us are also disconnected to the rhythm of the Liturgical Year, with its contrasting seasons and feasts. Maria von Trapp explained this so beautifully:

Nobody could stand a Thanksgiving Day dinner every day of the year. There can only be mountains if there are also valleys. It is a pity that the Reformation did away not only with most of the sacraments and all of the sacramentals, but also, unfortunately, with the very breath of the Mystical Body — that wonderful, eternal rhythm of high and low tide that makes up the year of the Church: times of waiting alternate with times of fulfillment, the lean weeks of Lent with the feasts of Easter and Pentecost, times of mourning with seasons of rejoicing. Modern man lost track of this. Deep down in the human heart, however, is imbedded the craving to celebrate, and, in a dumb way, the other craving to abstain, perhaps to atone. In general, these cravings are no longer directed in seasonal channels, as they are for the Catholic, or even for the aborigine who participates in some tribal religious belief..... 

It should be our noble right and duty to bring up our children in such a way that they become conscious of high tide and low tide, that they learn that there is "a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance." The rhythm of nature as it manifests itself in the four seasons, in day and night, in the individual's heartbeat and breathing — this rhythm we should learn to recognize, and to treat with more reverence. Modern man has become used to turning day into night and night into day according to his whim or pleasure. He has managed to lose contact completely with himself. He has lost the instinct for the right food and drink, stuffing himself with huge quantities of the wrong things and feeding himself sick. But worst of all, and this sounds almost ridiculous, in the process of growing up he forgot the right kind of breathing....

Again, it is our faithful friend, Holy Mother Church, who leads her children first back to nature in order to make them ready to receive supernatural grace. "Gratia supponit naturam."

Looked upon in this light, the weeks of Carnival are a most necessary time for the individual as well as for families and communities. This period is set aside for us to "let off steam," "to have a good time." And for this we need company. Therefore, Carnival is most obviously the season for parties and family get-togethers...with the avowed intention of having that good time together. Carnival is the time to be social, to give and to receive invitations for special parties. It is the time to celebrate as a parish group... (Maria von Trapp, Around the Year with the Trapp Family, Carnival or Mardi Gras).

Mrs. Trapp shared different activities that her family enjoyed, such as folk dancing, singing folk songs, and playing games. Growing up my family enjoyed similar ideas, even though we weren't as musical as the Trapp Family. We loved to learn songs in rounds or harmony to sing together. Other ideas: taking hikes that end singing around a campfire, and Bunco parties, which any age can enjoy. Our local homeschool group just had a sock-hop open to all ages, and checkers and chess tournaments on cold winter days. Some gatherings can be quiet, like family movie nights with popcorn. And don't forget just nurturing mothers with little social gatherings, maybe with themes like a little craft or recipe exchange or just coffee or wine and adult conversation. I have hosted socials where my friends and family come to learn and practice writing pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). Later in Lent we have quiet times where we work on our eggs as meditative work, but during Carnival time it's more of a fun social gathering. The object is to enjoy this time with others.

Carnival is a season with a spiritual focus that encompasses the entire person. It provides contrasts with the spiritual and material, with feasting and fasting, and with Ordinary Time and Lent. We can embrace this time and find ways for merry making, focusing on family and friends to highlight those contrasts in preparation for Lent. Happy Carnival Time!

Orthodox New Year[5]

Orthodox New Year is celebrated as the first day of the New Year as per the Julian calendar.  Orthodox New Year is a celebration of the year to come.  It is often referred to as Old New Year, and is celebrated by Orthodox churches in Russia, Serbia, and other Eastern European countries on January 14.  Although most countries have adopted the Gregorian calendar, where New Year's Day is January 1, the Orthodox Church still follows the Julian calendar, which places Christmas on January 7 and New Year's a week later.

·         Russian Orthodox churches in the United States hold church services often with festive dinner and dancing to celebrate the holiday.  The traditional dishes include meat dumplings, beet salad, pickled mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumbers along with vodka.

·         Orthodox Serbians also celebrate Old New Year, which is sometimes called the Serbian New Year.  Many Serbians Orthodox churches hold services, followed by dinner, and dancing.

·         Although the Old New Year is a popular holiday for many practicing the Orthodox faith, it isn't an official holiday.

·         Macedonians, including those living in the United States, also celebrate Old New Year's with traditional food, folk music, and visiting friends and family.

·         Many Russians enjoy extending the holiday season by including Orthodox New Year in it. 

Orthodox New Year Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Enjoy a dinner dance at Orthodox Church with native cuisine folk music.

·         Learn to cook some Russian or Eastern European dishes.  One of the most important Russian dishes during the holiday season is kutya, a porridge made of grain, honey and poppy seeds.  It symbolizes hope, happiness, and success.

·         Rent a movie Dr. Zhivago (1965).  It depicts some of the lavish parties held during the holidays right before the Russian Revolution.  The film is based on the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternak. 


Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

                                                CHAPTER TWO-THE HUMAN COMMUNION

Article 2-PARTICIPATION IN SOCIAL LIFE

I. Authority

1897 "Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all."
By "authority" one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them.

1898 Every human community needs an authority to govern it. The foundation of such authority lies in human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society.

1899 The authority required by the moral order derives from God: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."

1900 The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will.

Pope St. Clement of Rome provides the Church's most ancient prayer for political authorities: "Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, so that they may exercise without offense the sovereignty that you have given them. Master, heavenly King of the ages, you give glory, honor, and power over the things of earth to the sons of men. Direct, Lord, their counsel, following what is pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so that by exercising with devotion and in peace and gentleness the power that you have given to them, they may find favor with you."

1901 If authority belongs to the order established by God, "the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens."
The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities that adopt them. Regimes whose nature is contrary to the natural law, to the public order, and to the fundamental rights of persons cannot achieve the common good of the nations on which they have been imposed.

1902 Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a "moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility":

A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.

1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."

1904 "It is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. This is the principle of the 'rule of law,' in which the law is sovereign and not the arbitrary will of men." 

Please pray for the intentions of my daughter Candace Faith, whose name means “Shining Faith” pray that the “Candace can do miracles”! 

Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

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

·         Religion in the Home for Preschool: January

·         Carnival Time begins in Catholic Countries.

·         National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

 








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