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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, January 18, 2024


Eucharistic Revival


    Some pieces of news result in big changes—an acceptance letter for school, a job, or a home. But have you ever received news that changed the course of your life? The announcement of a pregnancy or the death of a loved one carries a different weight. Life and death: the two greatest mysteries of human life. We all share them. We don’t choose entrance into this world, and we cannot escape death.


    Thus, we spend much of our lives trying to find purpose in our birth and avoiding death. We speak about the end in hushed tones and euphemisms, if we even speak about it at all. We engage in endless cycles of trying to find meaning and seeking to understand our existence.


    Can you imagine if there was news that helped us understand it all and taught us how to truly live?


    This is the message of Jesus Christ, the Gospel. Those who encounter his life can never be the same.


    How can we preserve this message to make sure it stays alive in our hearts? Jesus is the one who teaches us how to live. He is Life itself who takes on flesh and walks among us, showing us what holiness looks like, and through his Death and Resurrection offers us the forgiveness of sins. Jesus came so that we might partake in the divine life of God. Not only does Jesus forgive our sins, but Jesus offers us everything we need to “sin no more” (John 8:11).


    It can be a struggle to choose what is good, just, and right, and we may at times feel that we are constantly pulled toward sin. While sin always remains a choice, not a given, we find that we are often inclined to sin. The problem with sin is that it can not only break our relationship with others but also rupture our relationship with God. Even the most private sin misuses the freedom God gave us and wounds our relationship with him. There are consequences for our sin, but God’s mercy is bigger.


    This is life-changing news—but do we really live it? Do we live like people transformed by the power of Jesus Christ, or are we chasing meaning and purpose in our lives, trying to avoid death like everyone else?


    Today is your wake-up call. Let the power of the Gospel take hold of your heart again. Let it convict you in your sin and call you to repentance. The Gospel message isn’t life-enhancing; it is life-changing. It is the message that speaks to the heart about life and death, and it has the power to transform who you are forever.

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      Lord Jesus Christ, you are the everlasting Good News. By your Life, Death, and Resurrection, you have accomplished the work of salvation. Pour grace into my heart and mind to receive this message in a new way today. By your grace, solidify this message in my heart so that I never forget my purpose and my destiny. I ask this in your Name, amen.


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      The four Gospels contain the Good News of Jesus. Choose one of the four today and read the final chapters that recount his full Paschal Mystery—his Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension. Depending on the Gospel you choose, this may take 15–30 minutes. You can find those narratives here:

      • Matthew 26–28
      • Mark 14–16
      • Luke 22–24
      • John 18–20 

      Psalm 85, verse 10:

      10 Near indeed is his salvation for those who FEAR him; glory will dwell in our land.

      This psalm is a national lament reminding God of past favors and forgiveness and begging for forgiveness and grace now. A speaker represents the people who wait humbly with open hearts: God will be active on their behalf. [1] This is a prayer that asks that the Lord restore favor to the land. We must not fear but revere! This is Holy fear which acknowledges, He that is, and that we exist in and through Him by the saving grace of Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit. The opposite of revere is to despise. There are many in our country and world who despise the Lord. How did this come about? 

      According to the US Army Leadership manual[2] followers tend to ask two questions: 1) Is the leader powerful? 2) Does he care about me?


      Does He care about me?

      Does He  have power?




      Trusted and Respected






      To get to Holy fear we must know that God has power (thus acting accordingly by following his commandments) and know that He cares about us. To not do this we will fear, tolerate or despise our Lord but if we acknowledge His power and His love we will have reverence and according to the second part of this verse, “Glory will dwell in our land.” 


      Example of a trusted and respected person


      January 18-Ice trapped the Endurance.


      Antarctic explorers like Ernest Shackleton who wrote this famous advertisement for men of courage.


      Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.


      Loyalty-Sir Ernest Shackleton[3]

      Sir Ernest Shackleton, like so many of his generation, were ultimate adventurers – part hero, part daredevil – fighting the elements and the odds, too far from civilization to call for help – laying it all on the line purely for the love of adventure. Shackleton led a doomed expedition to miraculous survival through the sheer force of his motivational leadership. In 1914, he set out with a crew of twenty-eight men on a quest to be the first to travel across the entire Antarctic continent by way of the South Pole. His ship, Endurance, became caught in ice and was crushed. After abandoning the ship, he and his men faced incredible hardship from a variety of brutal Antarctic conditions – from shifting weather to shifting ice, along with the trials of hunger, illness, and discouragement – for more than a year.

      Yet every man got home safely when the entire expedition would have perished under weaker leadership. Incredibly, the only casualty was frostbitten toes on one man. He had passion for the adventure of the mission, but he also had passion for the men he led. When he was forced to abandon his doomed ship and realized he would not achieve his goal of reaching the South Pole en route to the other side, he kept his disappointment to himself while he shifted his priorities to the well-being of his men. He said to another leader, F.A. Worsley, “It is a pity [to miss the crossing], but that cannot be helped. It is the men we have to think about. “He put his men above himself.

      He understood that the survival of them all might well depend on the quality of his leadership. He also realized that he could provide better leadership if he served as well as led. “Shackleton shared the physical labors as well as the watches…[He] would forego his own rations in order to feed the undernourished or the ill. And he often did so without anyone knowing it…Shackleton always put the needs of his men ahead of his personal comfort, and as a result he saved them all.” He realized that in order to survive they would have to stay healthy – mentally as well as physically.

      When we are trying to survive, having fun is the farthest thing from our minds. It may even be seen as trivializing the suffering. But during harsh tribulation it is more important than ever to find something to enjoy. During hard times we need to find a source of joy in order to maintain a healthy perspective. As a leader, Shackleton accepted responsibility for maintaining the spirits as well as the health of his men. Yes, they were brave adventurers just as Shackleton was, well able to take care of themselves. Still, Shackleton knew that as a leader he could provide a unique kind of influence that would be empowering, energizing and uplifting. He continually sought out ways to boost morale. He set aside time for recreation. They improvised various forms of entertainment. Several of the men had chosen books among the possessions they salvaged, and they read aloud to each other. They played soccer on the ice. “Humor…played a role, with Shackleton telling stories or teasing his men. What Shackleton was doing was keeping his men alive inside; by encouraging them to read or sing, he was keeping their spirits from sagging or dwelling on the inhospitalities that in other circumstances might have overwhelmed them.” He Inspired Loyalty.

      Shackleton’s passion for his mission and for his men, his passion for leadership, and his passion for motivation were a source of energy and courage during times of severe adversity. These virtues made him a leader that people wanted to follow. Even when his men may not have wanted to do something for themselves, they would do it for him. He inspired this kind of loyalty because he gave it to his men. They respected and trusted him because he respected and trusted them. They took care of him because he took care of them. They put him first because he put them first. He was a wonderful example of what a role model should be.

      Shackleton dedicated South, the book he wrote about their extraordinary exploits, “To My Comrades.” In one especially moving passage he observed: “In memories we were rich. We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole. We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that natures renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” Sixty years after they had been rescued, the expedition’s first officer, Lionel Greenstreet, was asked how they had done it, how had they survived such a deadly misadventure. Greenstreet gave a one-word response:




      The Ice is Nice and Chee-Chee is Peachy


      Over 100 years ago Roald Amundsen on March 7, 1912 announced his success in reaching the Geographic South Pole to the world. This is the story about the construction of the South Pole Station in Antarctica in 1973-4 by Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB71), also known as the ICE Battalion, which the author was a member of. The difficulties encountered in the construction of the station were monumental; enduring temperatures reaching 45 degrees below zero with wind chill factors reaching 80 below. This station was comprised of a 52-foot-high geodesic dome, weather balloon launch station and an observation tower for monitoring auroral phenomena. This Battalion was on the ICE for almost five months and worked around the clock to complete the project. This was an amazing fact when you consider that most of the construction was completed in freezing temperatures at a high altitude; for the South Pole is nearly two miles high by construction engineers less than 20 years old. The physical and mental stresses of working in this "frozen desert" took its tolls on these young men. This story chronicles the authors experience in this hostile environment, with bawdy engineers; humorous antics; hard drinking and temporary insanities and the authors faith journey amid the beauty and grandeur of the earth's last frontier: Antarctica. The title of the book is also the motto of the ICE Battalion—it refers to our mission and our R&R (rest and recreation) in Christchurch, New Zealand.



      Also, according to the Almanac “Sale of pre-sliced bread banned in U.S. (law rescinded March 8), WWII, 1943.”

      Better than Sliced Bread.[4]

      Around 1928, a Missouri jeweler named Otto F. Rohwedder invented the automatic bread-slicing machine and became the darling of American kitchens. Bakeries began advertising the pre-cut loaves as "the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped," prompting Americans to coin that immortal phrase: "The greatest thing since sliced bread."

      But America's love of sliced bread wouldn't stop the government from later banning it.

      Starting January 18, 1943—the midst of World War II—sliced bread was barred from American bakeries and homes. New baking regulations set by the Office of Price Administration had boosted flour prices, and the government wanted to prevent these costs from getting passed down to the consumer. By banning the use of expensive bread-slicing machines, the government was hoping bakeries could keep their prices low. Officials were also worried about the country's supply of wax paper—and sliced bread required twice as much paraffin wrapping as an unsliced loaf. (It prevented the slices from drying prematurely.)

      The decision was extremely unpopular. On January 26, Sue Forrester of Fairfield, Connecticut wrote a letter to the editor of The New York Times complaining on behalf of the country’s housewives. "I should like to let you know how important sliced bread is to the morale and saneness of a household," Forrester wrote, saying she was forced to hand-cut more than 30 slices of bread every day for her family. It was a waste of American time and energy, she argued. It was also a waste of money: A good bread knife was difficult to find, let alone afford, during the war.

      The rule was so disliked that nobody in the government apparently wanted to confess to having the idea. The ban was ordered by Food Administrator Claude R. Wickard, but the office of Price Administration blamed the idea on the agricultural department, which blamed the baking industry.

      "The 'off-again-on-again' ban on sliced bread today has all the earmarks of a bureaucratic thriller," Illinois's Belvidere Daily Republican reported. "The mystery over 'whodunnit' in the first place is surprised only by the confusion in high places and the pointing of fingers at the next guy or anyone within pointing distance."

      The rule also apparently took everybody by surprise. (Or, as the Daily Republican put it, "[B]akers were caught with their wrappers down, so to speak.") According to the Chicago Tribune, "[T]he governmental ban on the sale of sliced bread, effective yesterday, caught hundreds of Chicago housewives by surprise and sent them scurrying to hardware stores to raid depleted supplies of bread knives."

      The ban applied to everybody except hotels, restaurants, and railroad dining cars, which were awarded a 60-day reprieve to prepare. Bakeries that refused to abide by the regulation and continued using their bread slicers faced steep fines. The New York Area Supervisor of the Food Distribution Administration, John F. Conaboy, warned bakeries that the government was "prepared to take stern measures if necessary."

      But even the law's biggest proponents couldn't seem to get behind it. Emil Fink, a prominent baker and member of the New York City Bakers Advisory Committee, pushed hard for the bread-slicing ban. But one year later, Fink was in court—for slicing bread. According to The New York Times, a U.S. Attorney chastised the bakery-owner: "[Fink] called upon the Government to enforce the regulation rigidly and, at that very time, his bakery was violating the law." Fink was fined $1000.

      According to a February 1943 report in the Harrisburg Telegraph, the ban wasn't even saving money—in fact, bakers in the area saw sales drop as much as 5 or 10 percent. "While all bakers have varied reasons for the prevailing decrease, they all agree that the absence of sliced bread is at least playing some part in the drop," the paper reported.

      Not only did the rule fail to save money, it didn't even save that much wax paper. On March 8, 1943, the ban was rescinded, prompting jubilant headlines across the country. As The New York Times trumpeted: "Sliced Bread Put Back on Sale; Housewives' Thumbs Safe Again."

      Hmmm…anyone for banning gas stoves?

      Do you fear, tolerate, despise, or trust and respect your government?

      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 stopping 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 Antarctica where Shackleton proved his medal.

        • Shackleton blended malt scotch Whiskey

      Catechism of the Catholic Church



                                                      CHAPTER TWO-THE HUMAN COMMUNION

      Article 3-SOCIAL JUSTICE

      1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.

      Nine Days for Life-Day Three

      Intercession: May every pregnant mother receive compassionate care and support as she nurtures the life in her womb.

      Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

      Reflection: When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she opened her heart to receive his message that she would conceive the Son of God in her womb. As a young bride who had not yet lived with her husband, Mary knew that her pregnancy presented many challenges. Despite this knowledge, she faithfully responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). 

      Like the Blessed Mother, women who unexpectedly become pregnant often face significant challenges. They, too, are called to place their trust in God and faithfully respond to His gift of new life. And we are called to walk with them in their time of need. As Jesus taught us, when we love and serve others, we are loving and serving Him.

      May all expectant mothers be encouraged by Mary’s example and receive support and grace in lovingly welcoming their children into the world.

      Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

                Pray for pregnant and parenting moms in need in your local community, and ask the Lord how you can help them by using your unique gifts. (You can sign up for monthly stories of how Catholics across the country are Walking with Moms in Need at

                Pray the Angelus today ( You might also consider saying it every day for the next week—on awakening, at noon, or at 6 p.m. (or all three times).

              Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

      One Step Further: When a woman is facing an unexpected pregnancy, the reaction of the first person she tells tends to set the tone for her decision-making. Pregnancy can be difficult and frightening, but no matter the circumstances, it’s important for an expectant mother to feel supported and loved. Read “10 Ways to Support Her When She’s Unexpectedly Expecting” ( for simple tips on how to provide loving, life-affirming support for a friend who is unexpectedly pregnant. Your support may be the only support she receives.

      NABRE © 2010 CCD. Used with permission. Copyright © 2023, USCCB, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.

       Daily Devotions/Practices

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

      ·         The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity-18th thru 24th Day 1

      ·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

      ·         Religion in the Home for Preschool: January

      ·         Carnival Time begins in Catholic Countries.

      ·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

      ·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

      ·         Universal Man Plan

      ·         Rosary

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