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                                                 Robert Bresson, Au Hasard Balthasar, 1966.

Introduction to Maccabees[1]

The name Maccabee, probably meaning “hammer,” is actually applied in the Books of Maccabees to only one man, Judas, third son of the priest Mattathias and first leader of the revolt against the Seleucid kings who persecuted the Jews. Traditionally the name has come to be extended to the brothers of Judas, his supporters, and even to other Jewish heroes of the period, such as the seven brothers. The two Books of Maccabees contain independent accounts of events that accompanied the attempted suppression of Judaism in Palestine in the second century B.C. The vigorous reaction to this attempt established for a time the religious and political independence of the Jews. First Maccabees was written about 100 B.C., in Hebrew, but the original has not come down to us. Instead, we have an early, pre-Christian, Greek translation full of Hebrew idioms. The author, probably a Palestinian Jew, is unknown. He was familiar with the traditions and sacred books of his people and had access to much reliable information on their recent history (from 175 to 134 B.C.). He may well have played some part in it himself in his youth. His purpose in writing is to record the deliverance of Israel that God worked through the family of Mattathias—especially through his three sons, Judas, Jonathan, and Simon, and his grandson, John Hyrcanus. The writer compares their virtues and their exploits with those of Israel’s ancient heroes, the Judges, Samuel, and David.

The doctrine expressed in the book is the customary belief of Israel. The people of Israel have been specially chosen by the one true God as covenant-partner, and they alone are privileged to know and worship God, their eternal benefactor and unfailing source of help. The people, in turn, must worship the Lord alone and observe exactly the precepts of the law given to them. The rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in the book is the origin of the Jewish feast of Hanukkah. There is no doctrine of individual immortality except in the survival of one’s name and fame, nor does the book express any messianic expectation, though messianic images are applied historically to “the days of Simon”. The author insists on fidelity to the law as the expression of Israel’s love for God. The contest which he describes is a struggle, not simply between Jew and Gentile, but between those who would uphold the law and those, Jews or Gentiles, who would destroy it. His severest condemnation goes, not to the Seleucid politicians, but to the lawless apostates among his own people, adversaries of Judas and his brothers, who are models of faith and loyalty. 

march 4 Monday of the Third Week of Lent 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 2, Verse 62

Do not FEAR the words of sinners, for their glory ends in corruption and worms.

 

Maccabean wars were fought for religious freedom.

 

FREEDOM[2]

In the course of over 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has developed a significant body of teaching on human rights, conscience protection, the relationship between Church and state, and religious freedom.  Learn more about the depth and breadth of Church teaching here.

The Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Liberty

On December 7, 1965, the Second Vatican Council approved Dignitatis humanae, the Declaration on Religious Liberty.  The document roots religious freedom in the perennial teaching of the Church on human dignity.  It teaches that religious freedom is the cornerstone of a society that promotes human dignity; it is a fundamental human right, which follows on the duty of all people to seek the truth about God.  Learn more!

Papal Encyclicals

Pope Leo XIII

Pope St. John Paul II

Monday of the Third Week of Lent[3]



Prayer.

POUR forth, in Thy mercy, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that, as we abstain from flesh, we may also restrain our senses from hurtful excesses.

EPISTLE, iv. Kings v. 1 15.

In those days: Naaman, general of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable: for by him the Lord gave deliverance to Syria: and he was a valiant man and rich, but a leper. Now there had gone out robbers from Syria and had led away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited upon Naaman’s wife. And she said to her mistress: I wish my master had been with the prophet, that is in Samaria: he would certainly have healed him of the leprosy which he hath. Then Naaman went into his lord, and told him, saying: Thus, and thus said the girl from the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said to him: Go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment, and brought the letter to the king of Israel, in these words: When thou shalt receive this letter, know that I have sent to thee Naaman my servant, that thou mayest heal him of his leprosy.

And when the king of Israel had read the letter, he rent his garments, and said: Am I God, to be able to kill and give life, that this man hath sent to me, to heal a man of his leprosy?

Mark and see how he seeketh occasions against me.

And when Eliseus the man of God had heard this, to wit, that the king of Israel had rent his garments, he sent to him, saying: Why hast thou rent thy garments?

Let him come to me and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel.

So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus: and Eliseus sent a messenger to him saying: Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, and thy flesh shall recover health, and thou shalt be clean. Naaman was angry and went away, saying: I thought he would have come out to me, and standing- would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me.

Are not the Abana and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, arid be made clean?

So, as he turned, and was going away with indignation, his servants came to him, and said to him: Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, surely thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: Wash, and thou shalt be clean? Then he went down and washed in the Jordan seven times: according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored, like the flesh of a little child, and he was made clean. And returning to the man of God with all his train, he came, and stood before him, and said: In truth, I know there is no other God in all the earth, but only in Israel.

GOSPEL. Luke iv. 23-30.

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: Doubtless you will say to Me this similitude: Physician, heal Thyself: as great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in Thy own country. And He said: Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country. In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth. And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. And they rose up and thrust Him out of the city: and they brought Him to the brow of the hill, where on their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He passes through the midst of them, went His way.

 

Aids in Battle the Power of the Holy Spirit

 

In the Holy Spirit we have from God a mighty Ally and Protector, a great Teacher of the Church, a mighty Champion on our behalf. We must not be afraid of the demons, nor of the Devil himself; for more powerful than those is the One who fights for us. But we must open our doors to Him, for He goes about seeking those who are worthy and searching for those on whom He may bestow His gifts. ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM

 

Tutelage of the Holy Spirit

 

Being baptized in Christ is the only requirement for receiving the Holy Spirit, but to grow in the Spirit there are certain things that are necessary, and these are a few of them.

 

§ A genuine desire to be holy 

I always use the word 'holy' to mean living a life pleasing to God in every possible way, not just in those matters you consider expedient; and obeying his commandments to the fullest extent that you are capable of. Holiness has to be your goal and you must be prepared to do whatever it takes to attain it, which includes a total, unwavering commitment. The course is grueling and if you aren't committed, you will crash out in no time.

§ Heartfelt repentance: 

You have to be genuinely sorry for your sins. It doesn't matter that you might be constrained by sin at this point — part of the Holy Spirit's role is to take away the constraints and free you of sin, which will happen in time — but what is important at this stage is that you be truly sorry for the offences that you have committed against God and be determined never to sin against him anymore.

§    Honesty and courage: 

Another requirement is honesty, more with ourselves than with anybody else, and the courage to face up to who we really are. Most of us put up facades for public display and have been doing it for so long we have ended up even fooling ourselves. The Holy Spirit is going to rip the masks apart, albeit gently, and reveal things about you that you will not like to see. If you aren't willing to face up to the truth of who you are and be ready to remedy yourself without justification, you aren't going to make much progress.

§ Love for God: 

A vital requirement is a genuine love for God, translatable into action. Love for God is something that will grow as you grow in him, but what you need is a basic element of it to begin with, because it is only love for God that will help you make a lot of the tough decisions that you will be called to make as you progress through this school. The more love for God that you have, the more you will be prepared to do for him, which will, consequently, make it that much easier for you.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

CHAPTER TWO-YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

ARTICLE 4-THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT

IN BRIEF

2247 "Honor your father and your mother" (Deut 5:16; Mk 7:10).

2248 According to the fourth commandment, God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents and those whom he has vested with authority for our good.

2249 The conjugal community is established upon the covenant and consent of the spouses. Marriage and family are ordered to the good of the spouses, to the procreation and the education of children.

2250 "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life" (GS 47 # 1).

2251 Children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just obedience, and assistance. Filial respect fosters harmony in all of family life.

2252 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They have the duty to provide as far as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their children.

2253 Parents should respect and encourage their children's vocations. They should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to follow Jesus.

2254 Public authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom.

2255 It is the duty of citizens to work with civil authority for building up society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom.

2256 Citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order. "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

2257 Every society's judgments and conduct reflect a vision of man and his destiny. Without the light the Gospel sheds on God and man, societies easily become totalitarian.

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “As my mother was a source of comfort, consolation, and strength to me so likewise she will be to you. Ask her to aid you in your trials. Ask her to guide you to me as she did the apostles. Salvation comes through the eucharistic church which is guided by my mother. She will teach you how to listen to me; and to love with all your mind, heart, soul, and strength?” 

Bucket list?

Daily Devotions

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

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Religion in the Home for Preschool: March

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 19

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan


[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.




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