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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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Reflection

    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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      Challenge

       

      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 

      For a printable PDF version of the entire Spark Series, click the button below.

       

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        Novena for Purification Day 2

        Description:

        This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Marys or say five times the Our Father, Haily Mary and Glory be to the Father, or to use some of the many well-loved novena prayers from other sources. Remember that prayers must be said with the lips in order to gain the indulgences. This novena starts on January 24 and ends on February 2.

        Prayer:

        O Blessed Mother of God, who went up to the Temple according to the law with your offering of little white doves, pray for me that I too may keep the law and be pure in heart like you.

        Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation.

        300 days. Plenary, under usual conditions, if said daily for a month. S. C. Indulg., Sept. 30, 1852.

        Prayer Source: All Day With God by Blanche Jennings Thompson

        Conversion of St. Paul

         

        Psalm 103, Verse 11

        For as the heavens tower over the earth, so his mercy towers over those who FEAR him. 

        The earth is indeed blessed among all the planets in our solar system because of our heaven. As the heavens have made the earth a garden rich with life like so is God grace over those who are faithful and love Him. 

        Never forget our Lord asked Peter if he loves Him three times.  One time for each of the times Peter denied our Lord on the eve of His crucifixion thus nullifying Peter’s denials and restoring him. Christ asks Peter with each affirmation to 1) feed His lambs 2) tend His sheep and 3) feed His sheep.  

        Character is Destiny 

        First Christ asked Peter if he loves Him more than the others thus establishing Peters leadership on love. Next Christ tells Peter to feed His lambs to give them a core of strength. If we wish to develop strength in ourselves and others it is imperative that we give hope, confidence, a work ethic, confidence, resilience, self-control, and courage to the lambs in our charge. 

        Secondly Christ asks Peter to “tend His sheep” or that is to give a firm purpose to direct their efforts to create the Kingdom of God. 

        Lastly Christ asks Peter to “Feed His sheep” by having an understanding heart and to be compassionate, faithful, merciful, tolerant, forgiving, and generous. 

        How God Raises a Leader[1] (Psalm 103: 1-5)


        1.      God pardons (v.3) leaders must push past shame or blame.

        2.      God heals (v.3) they must become healthy and be liberated from old wounds.

        3.      God redeems (v.4) they see their abilities and personality redeemed.

        4.      God crowns (v.4) they are given gifts and a place to serve.

        5.      God satisfies (v.5) they feel satisfied and fulfilled as they live out their role. 

            

         

        Natural Leadership vs. Spiritual Leadership

         

        Natural Leader

        Spiritual Leader

         

        1. Self-Confident
        1. Confident in God
        1. Knows Men
        1. Knows God
        1. Makes own decisions
        1. Seeks to find God’s will
        1. Ambitious
        1. Self-Sacrificing
        1. Originates own methods
        1. Finds and follows God’s methods
        1. Enjoys commanding others
        1. Servant of all
        1. Motivated by self-interest
        1. Motivated by love of God and Man
        1. Independent
        1. God-dependent
        1. Gets power through personality
        1. Empowered by the Holy Spirit
        1. Cowboy driving the herd
        1. Shepard leading the flock

         Jesus led his disciples from being natural leaders to being spiritual leaders who were not afraid of asking questions and or the answer they may get. As a result, they transformed the earth through good works and humility: 

        Jesus said to his disciples, "Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men." But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying

        Rosary the Roadmap of Salvation 

        Leaders understand the importance of seeing the big picture to the accomplishment of their objectives. The other day while walking and praying I noticed that all of the mysteries of the Rosary when combined together seems to give us a roadmap for salvation. Before Mary gave the Rosary to Saint Dominic; the pious of Christ’s time prayed the 150 psalms and the Shema Israel daily. It is interesting to ponder that the Shema Israel is a type of mission statement for every righteous Jew and in turn Catholics: 

        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. 

        The question is how do we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? I believe the rosary is the answer to this question that also gives us practical examples. To know how to love God with all your mind study the Joyful mysteries and with all your strength the sorrowful, and with all your soul the glorious mysteries and with all your heart the luminous mysteries. 

        Also, I noticed that if you look at all the mysteries and line up the first decade of each of the four mysteries and continue lining up the second and third and so forth there is a roadmap of salvation with practical examples. I also think it could also be used as an examination of conscious. i.e. Lord have I been a humble person? Have I done the will of the Father?  Study the chart below: 

        Rosary Roadmap of Salvation

         

         

        Joyful

        Sorrowful

        Glorious

        Luminous

         

        Step One foundation of love

        The Annunciation-Humility

        The Agony in the Garden-Do the will of the Father

        The Resurrection-Faith

        The Baptism in the Jordan-Gratitude

        Mystery of Love

        Step Two

        understanding heart

        The Visitation-Love of neighbor

        The Scourging-Mortification of the Senses

        The Ascension-Christian Hope

        The Wedding at Cana-Fidelity

        Mystery of the Heart

        Step Three

        a firm purpose

        The Birth of Christ-Spirit of Poverty

        The Crowning of Thorns-Reign of Christ in your heart

        The Descent of the Holy Spirit-Gifts of the Holy Spirit

        The Proclamation of the Kingdom-Desire for Holiness

        Mystery of Purpose

        Step Four a Core of Strength

        The Presentation-Purity of Mind and Body

        The Carrying of the Cross-Patient Bearing Trials

        The Assumption-To Jesus Through Mary

        The Transfiguration-Spiritual Courage

        Mystery of Strength

        Step Five Victory

        The Finding of Jesus in the Temple-Obedience

        The Crucifixion-Pardoning of Injuries

        The Coronation-The Grace of Final Perseverance

        The Institution of the Eucharist-Love of Our Eucharistic Lord

        Mystery of Triumph

         

        Love your God with all your Mind

        Love your God with all your Strength

        Love your God with all your Spirit

        Love your God with all your Heart

         



        Feast of the conversion of St. Paul[2]


        St. Paul was born at Tarsus, Cilicia, of Jewish parents who were descended from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Roman citizen from birth. To complete his schooling, St. Paul was sent to Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of the learned Gamaliel and was educated in the strict observance of the ancestral Law. As a convinced and zealous Pharisee, he returned to Tarsus before the public life of Christ in Palestine.

        Sometime after the death of Our Lord, St. Paul returned to Palestine. His profound conviction made his zeal develop to a religious fanaticism against the infant Church. He took part in the stoning of the first martyr, St. Stephen, and in the fierce persecution of the Christians that followed. Entrusted with a formal mission from the high priest, he departed for Damascus to arrest the Christians there and bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was nearing Damascus, about noon, a light from heaven suddenly blazed round him. Jesus with His glorified body appeared to him and addressed him, turning him away from his apparently successful career. An immediate transformation was wrought in the soul of St. Paul. He was suddenly converted to the Christian Faith. He was baptized, changed his name from Saul to Paul, and began travelling and preaching the Faith. He was martyred as an Apostle in Rome around 65 AD.

        Feast of St. Paul the Apostle[3]

        THE history of this conversion is fully given in the epistle taken from the Acts. The Introit of the Mass is as follows: "I know Whom I have believed, and I am certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day, being a just judge. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me, Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up."

        Prayer.

        O God, "Who didst teach the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul the apostle, grant us, we beseech Thee, that we, who this day celebrate his conversion, may advance towards Thee by his example. Amen.

        EPISTLE. Acts ix. 1-22.

        In those days: Saul as yet breathing out threatening’s and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus: and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? Who said: Who art Thou, Lord? And He said: I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. And he trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hands, brought him to Damascus. And he was there three days without sight, and he did neither eat nor drink. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias: and the Lord said to him in a vision: Ananias. And he said: Behold I am here, Lord. And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the street that is called Strait, and seek in the house of Judas, one named Saul of Tarsus. For behold he prayeth. (And he saw a man named Ananias, coming in and putting his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight.) But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints in Jerusalem. And here he hath authority from the chief priests, to bind all that invoke Thy name. And the Lord said to him: Go thy way, for this man is to Me a vessel of election, to carry My name before the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake. And Ananias went his way and entered into the house: and laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, He that appeared to thee in the way as thou earnest: that thou mayst receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and rising up he was baptized. And when he had taken meat, he was strengthened. And he was with the disciples that were at Damascus for some days. And immediately he preached Jesus in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. And all that heard him were astonished, and said: Is not this he who persecuted in Jerusalem those that called upon this name; and came hither for that intent, that he might carry them bound to the chief priests? But Saul increased much more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt at Damascus, affirming that this is the Christ.

        What do we learn from this history?

        Not to despise any sinner, nor to despair of his salvation: for, like Paul on the road to Damascus, the greatest sinner may, by the grace of God, be suddenly converted, and become a saint. At the command of God, he accepted Ananias as his leader in the way of salvation and became as zealous for the honor of Christ as he had previously been intent on persecuting Him. In like manner, a convert must shut his eyes to all by which he has heretofore been led astray and must give heed to that only which God commands.

        Today try and be 100% for God.

         

        As iron, cast into the fire, loses its rust and becomes bright with the flame, so too a man who turns his whole heart to Me is purified and all sluggishness and changed into a new man.[4]

         

        Who am I, Lord, that I should be considered by You: I AM WHO AM.

         Like Paul we must be fearless in proclaiming the gospel. 

        “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mk. 16:15-16)

        GOSPEL. Matt. xix. 27-29.

        At that time Peter said to Jesus: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed Thee: what, therefore, shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen I say to you, that you, who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of His majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting. This gospel teaches that he who renounces the world, its pleasures, and its riches, shall receive the grace of God, virtues, interior consolation, and eternal happiness, which are a hundred-fold, that is, infinitely, more precious than worldly goods. Prayer. O St. Paul, great apostle, who, from being an enemy, became the most zealous friend and preacher of Christ, procure for me from Him, I beseech thee, grace at last truly to know Him, Whom I have heretofore so often denied, offended, and, by my sins, crucified anew; to follow Him, and, after thy example to be henceforth as diligent in doing justice as I have formerly been in practicing evil; that I may one day attain to that happiness which thou hast gained. Amen.

        Highlights and Things to Do[5]:

        Food[6] 

        Some ideas for honoring St. Paul on his conversion (also for June 29, Saints Peter and Paul):

         

        1. Incorporating a horse in the celebration seems most obvious to me. This previous post for Horseshoe Cookies for the feast of St. Martin has loads of ideas for other horse themed foods. There is also Podovy: St. Stephen's Horns which is a filled bread in the shape of horseshoes. How about the Giddy-Up Horse Cake from Kraft Foods?
        2. Roast beef and horseradish, one of my favorite combinations would make a nice main course. And how about Garlic Horseradish Mashed Potatoes?
        3. Don't forget what we feed the horse! Perhaps a plate of crudités: maybe just celery and carrot sticks with dip.
        4. St. Paul followed the Jewish laws strictly, which would mean dietary laws, too. This could be an opportunity to serve a Biblical Jewish meal.

        Irish Coffee Day[7]

        1942 proved a fortuitous year for transatlantic travelers wearied by the cold and damp conditions of an Irish winter. Thanks to the innovative imagination of bartender Joe Sheridan, they were soon to have their cockles delightfully warmed by an almost decadent blend of fine Irish whiskey with the irresistible taste and aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Combined with the subtle sweetness of brown sugar and sipped through the luxurious density of whipped cream, it was a recipe that would become a global hit that needed no specific weather conditions to be enjoyed.

        Get Creative with Irish Coffee

        While the two most important ingredients are listed in the name, it is also possible to make things much more interesting with some unique ingredients added to the basic recipe. Try out one of these modernized Irish Coffee ideas in celebration of the day:

        ·         The Blind Abbott. Start with cold brew coffee and 1 shot of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. Then intensify the coffee flavor even more by adding a half shot of Galliano Ristretto, an espresso-based liqueur. Finish it off with some cinnamon syrup and a few dashes of bitters, pour over ice and shake until frosty. Serve topped with fresh, sweet whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

        ·         Vintage Coffee Cocktail. Named after the Vintage Cocktail Club located in Dublin, Ireland, this one is Dublin-ified with a bit of the city’s signature beer: Guinness. Start by infusing Guinness with some malt extract and a vanilla bean pod over heat. This combination is then whisked together with whipping cream and stirred in with a shot of Paddy Old Irish Whiskey, a few shots of espresso, and a teaspoon of light molasses. Top with a garnish of nutmeg sprinkling.

        ·         Gort’s Reprieve Irish Coffee. Featured at the Drink Well Bar in Austin, Texas, this unique version of the drink is a fun departure from the original. Start with coffee that has been freshly brewed in a French Press, then add in a shot of Irish Whiskey and a half shot of amaro (Italian herbal bitters), a bit of simple syrup and a few dashes of New Orleans coffee bitters. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle on some spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice. Make it extra special by adding chocolate covered espresso beans on top!

        ·         Bailey’s Irish Cream Coffee. This recipe builds a sweeter, creamier, stronger drink (reminiscent of a dessert!) by starting with coffee and whiskey, then adding a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur and finishing it off with a dollop of sweet, whipped cream.

        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 the State of Indiana.

          • Irish Coffee
          • Slow-Cooked Loaded Potato Soup
          • Yellow Squash and Zucchini Casserole
          • Bacon-Topped Meat Loaf
          • Sugar Cream Pie

        Catechism of the Catholic Church

        PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

        SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

        CHAPTER THREE-GOD'S SALVATION: LAW AND GRACE

        Article 1-THE MORAL LAW

        I. The Natural Moral Law

        1954 Man participates in the wisdom and goodness of the Creator who gives him mastery over his acts and the ability to govern himself with a view to the true and the good.

        The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie:

        The natural law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man, because it is human reason ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin . . . But this command of human reason would not have the force of law if it were not the voice and interpreter of a higher reason to which our spirit and our freedom must be submitted.

        1955 The "divine and natural" law shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. The natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. It hinges upon the desire for God and submission to him, who is the source and judge of all that is good, as well as upon the sense that the other is one's equal. Its principal precepts are expressed in the Decalogue. This law is called "natural," not in reference to the nature of irrational beings, but because reason which decrees it properly belongs to human nature:

        Where then are these rules written, if not in the book of that light we call the truth? In it is written every just law; from it the law passes into the heart of the man who does justice, not that it migrates into it, but that it places its imprint on it, like a seal on a ring that passes onto wax, without leaving the ring.

        The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding placed in us by God; through it we know what we must do and what we must avoid. God has given this light or law at the creation.

        1956 The natural law, present in the heart of each man and established by reason, is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties:

        For there is a true law: right reason. It is in conformity with nature, is diffused among all men, and is immutable and eternal; its orders summon to duty; its prohibitions turn away from offense .... To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege; failure to apply even one of its provisions is forbidden; no one can abrogate it entirely.

        1957 Application of the natural law varies greatly; it can demand reflection that takes account of various conditions of life according to places, times, and circumstances. Nevertheless, in the diversity of cultures, the natural law remains as a rule that binds men among themselves and imposes on them, beyond the inevitable differences, common principles.

        1958 The natural law is immutable and permanent throughout the variations of history; it subsists under the flux of ideas and customs and supports their progress. the rules that express it remain substantially valid. Even when it is rejected in its very principles, it cannot be destroyed or removed from the heart of man. It always rises again in the life of individuals and societies:

        Theft is surely punished by your law, O Lord, and by the law that is written in the human heart, the law that iniquity itself does not efface.

        1959 The natural law, the Creator's very good work, provides the solid foundation on which man can build the structure of moral rules to guide his choices. It also provides the indispensable moral foundation for building the human community. Finally, it provides the necessary basis for the civil law with which it is connected, whether by a reflection that draws conclusions from its principles, or by additions of a positive and juridical nature.

        1960 The precepts of natural law are not perceived by everyone clearly and immediately. In the present situation sinful man needs grace and revelation so moral and religious truths may be known "by everyone with facility, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error." The natural law provides revealed law and grace with a foundation prepared by God and in accordance with the work of the Spirit.


        Daily Devotions/Practices

         

        ·         Today's Fast: Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: The sanctification of the Church Militant.

        ·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

        ·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

        ·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

        ·         Novena to the Holy Face-Day 2

        ·         FEAST DAY go to Mass.

        ·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

        ·         National fish taco day

        ·         Universal Man Plan

        ·         Rosary




        [1]John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible

        [3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

        [4] Paone, Anthony J., Our Daily Bread, 1954.

        [6]https://catholiccuisine.blogspot.com/2009/01/conversion-of-st-paul.html

        [7]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/irish-coffee-day/




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