NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Sunday, March 3, 2024

 Third Sunday of Lent

INTERNATIONAL IRISH WHISKEY DAY

 

Ester, Chapter 9, Verse 2-4

2 The Jews mustered in their cities throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus to attack those who sought to do them harm, and no one could withstand them, for fear of them fell upon all the peoples. 3 Moreover, all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, governors, and royal procurators supported the Jews out of fear of Mordecai; 4 for Mordecai was powerful in the royal palace, and the report was spreading through all the provinces that he was continually growing in power.

 

The Jews destroyed their tormentors, and the feast of Purim was established but what the heck is a satrap.

 

Satrap[1]


Satraps were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The word satrap is also often used metaphorically in modern literature to refer to world leaders or governors who are heavily influenced by larger world superpowers or hegemonies and act as their surrogates.

Satraps today

·         It is also used in modern times to refer (usually derogatorily) to the loyal subservient lieutenants or clients of some powerful figure (with equal imprecision also styled mogul, tycoon, or the like), in politics or business.

·         In Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, the word sátrapa not only carries the aforementioned ancient historical meaning, but in modern usage also applies to people who abuse power or authority. It can refer as well to those living in luxurious and ostentatious conditions or to individuals who act astutely and even disloyally.

·         The College of 'Pataphysics used the title Transcendent Satrap for certain of its members, including Marcel Duchamp, Jean Baudrillard and the Marx brothers.

·         In the Serbian language, satrap is used to mock a person who displays servile tendencies to an authority figure.

·         THRUSH, the primary antagonist organization in the TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., was divided into satrapies, based on geographic location.

Is the New World order a Satrap?[2]

The New World Order (NWO) is a conspiracy theory in which adherents believe that a cabal of powerful elites is secretly implementing a dystopian international governing structure that will grant them complete control over the global populace. Under this regime, dissidents will be arrested, and the masses enslaved. Supporters of the conspiracy theory claim that most global leaders are complicit in the establishment of this “New World Order,” aiding the NWO through the manufacturing of global events (such as the coronavirus pandemic and mass shootings) and controlling their associated narratives to sow civil unrest. 

The NWO conspiracy theory can be found in the online chatter of fringe conspiracy theorists. While the associated rhetoric within these online groups can appear innocuous at first, this conspiracy theory presents a real-world danger, as it promotes a fatalistic worldview for adherents, possibly inciting them to commit violence against communities, infrastructure, and individuals deemed complicit in the NWO’s implementation. This cabal narrative is commonly associated with other anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that claim Jewish culpability, alleging that they are behind the orchestration of the NWO, leading to an increased danger towards Jewish communities. 

 

The NWO conspiracy theory has a complex history with a high degree of believability and a broad support base. Its malicious elements give its adherents the agency to threaten violence against any individual or group deemed complicit in the NWO agenda. Not only that, the conspiracy theory acts as a gateway to further hate and violence and has provided the foundation for more radical movements. If NWO-adjacent rhetoric is left unchecked on social media platforms, it can lead to further dehumanization, radicalization, and violence.


ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[3]

CHAPTER II

DIES CHRISTI

The Day of the Risen Lord
and of the Gift
of the Holy Spirit

The eighth day: image of eternity

26. By contrast, the Sabbath's position as the seventh day of the week suggests for the Lord's Day a complementary symbolism, much loved by the Fathers. Sunday is not only the first day, it is also "the eighth day", set within the sevenfold succession of days in a unique and transcendent position which evokes not only the beginning of time but also its end in "the age to come". Saint Basil explains that Sunday symbolizes that truly singular day which will follow the present time, the day without end which will know neither evening nor morning, the imperishable age which will never grow old; Sunday is the ceaseless foretelling of life without end which renews the hope of Christians and encourages them on their way. Looking towards the last day, which fulfils completely the eschatological symbolism of the Sabbath, Saint Augustine concludes the Confessions describing the Eschaton as "the peace of quietness, the peace of the Sabbath, a peace with no evening". In celebrating Sunday, both the "first" and the "eighth" day, the Christian is led towards the goal of eternal life.

·         Devotion of the Seven Sundays: St Joseph-5th  Sunday


Third Sunday of Lent

Prayer.

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, regard the prayers of Thy humble servants, and stretch forth in our defense the right hand of Thy majesty.

EPISTLE. Ephesians v. 1-9.

Brethren: Be ye therefore followers of God, as most dear children. And walk-in love as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness. But fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose: but rather giving of thanks. For know ye this and understand that no fornicator, nor unclean, nor covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk ye as children of the light: for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth.

Explanation. St. Paul here declares it to be the duty of every Christian, not only to walk in love, but also to abstain from fornication, impurity, and equivocal and immodest talk. No one, therefore, who is addicted to these vices can have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ.

Aspiration. O Lord, free my heart from all inordinate desires for temporal goods and sensual pleasures. May a childlike fear of Thee guard my tongue, that I may not speak foolish or sinful words.

GOSPEL. Luke xi. 14-28.

At that time Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb; and when He had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke: and the multitudes were in admiration at it: but some of them said: He casteth out devils, by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. And others tempting, asked of Him a sign from heaven. But He seeing their thoughts said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out?

Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court: those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger than he come upon him and overcome him: he will take away all his armor wherein he trusted and will distribute his spoils. he that is not with Me is against Me: and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest: and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. And it came to pass as He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd lifting up her voice said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck. But He said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.

What are we to understand here by the dumb devil?

The evil spirit, who so controls those of whom he has possession that they are dumb, and through a false shame keep away from confession.

By what power did Christ cast out the devil?

By His divine power, which worked so suddenly and perfectly that the possessed was at once freed and able to speak.

How did Christ show the Jews that He did not cast out devils by Beelzebub?

1. By the parable in which He explains to them that the kingdom of Satan cannot stand if one evil spirit is cast out by another.

2. By pointing to their own children, some of whom were enabled to cast out devils by the power they had received from God (Mark ix. 37, 38).

3. By His whole life, and His works, which were in direct opposition to the devil.

Prayer.

O Jesus, conqueror of the dumb devil, strengthen me, that if I should have the misfortune to sin against Thy holy commandments, I may have courage to overcome my false shame, and confess my sins in sincerity and humility. O my Savior, be Thou my leader in the fight, that I may foil those arms of the devil: my evil inclinations, idleness, bad company, bad books, and human respect, and grant that I may never relapse into sin, but serve Thee with perseverance. Amen.

Lenten Calendar[4]

Read: Take time to read the readings before going to Mass today. You can sign up to receive the daily readings. 

Pray: Pray in solidarity with refugees around the world.

Act: When confronted with your own weakness during Lent, dont give in to anger, frustration, and self-pity. Be patient and see yourself as God does, with unconditional love. 

Third Sunday of Lent[5]

Christ again foreshadows His victory (this time over the devil), but as we move closer to Passiontide, He also hints at the way in which this will be done.

Third Sunday of Lent is called Oculi, from the first word of the Introit. In the primitive Church, it was called Scrutiny-Sunday, because it was on this day that they began to examine the Catechumens, who were to he admitted to Baptism on Easter night. All the Faithful were invited to assemble in the Church, in order that they might bear testimony to the good life and morals of the candidates. At Rome, these examinations, which where called the Scrutinies, were made on seven different occasions, on account of the great number of the aspirants to Baptism; but the principal Scrutiny was that held on the Wednesday of the Fourth Week We will speak of it later on. The Roman Sacramentary of St. Gelasius gives us the form, in which the Faithful were convoked to these assemblies. It is as follows. “Dearly beloved Brethren: you know that the day of Scrutiny, when our elect is to receive the holy instruction, is at hand. We invite you, therefore, to be zealous and assemble on N., (here, the day was mentioned,) at the hour of Sext; that so we may be able, by the divine aid, to achieve without error, the heavenly mystery, whereby is opened the gate of the kingdom of heaven, and the devil is excluded with all his pomp’s.” The invitation was repeated, if needed, on each of the following Sundays. The Scrutiny of this Sunday ended in the admission of a certain number of candidates: their names were written down, and put on the Diptychs of the Altar, that they might be mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. The same also was done with the names of their Sponsors. The Station was, and still is, in the Basilica of Saint Laurence outside the walls. The name of this, the most celebrated of the Martyrs of Rome, would remind the Catechumens, that the Faith they were about to profess, would require them to be ready for many sacrifices.

·         The holy Church gave us, as the subject of our meditation for the first Sunday of Lent, the Temptation which our Lord Jesus Christ deigned to suffer in the Desert. Her object was to enlighten us with regard to our own temptations and teach us how to conquer them.

·         Today, she wishes to complete her instruction on the power and stratagems of our invisible enemies; and for this she reads to us a passage from the Gospel of St. Luke. During Lent, the Christian ought to repair the past, and provide for the future; but he can neither understand how it was he fell, nor defend himself against a relapse, unless he have correct ideas as to the nature of the dangers which have hitherto proved fatal, and are again threatening him.

·         Hence, the ancient Liturgists would have us consider it as a proof of the maternal watchfulness of the Church, that she should have again proposed such a subject to us. As we shall find, it is the basis of all today’s instructions. Assuredly, we should be the blindest and most unhappy of men, if, - surrounded as we are by enemies, who unceasingly seek to destroy us, and are so superior to us both in power and knowledge, - we were seldom or never to think of the existence of these wicked spirits. And yet, such is really the case with innumerable Christians now-a-days; for, truths are diminished from among the children of men [Ps. xi. 2].

·         So common, indeed, is this heedlessness and forgetfulness of truth, which the Holy Scriptures put before us in almost every page, that it is no rare thing to meet with persons who ridicule the idea of Devils being permitted to be on this earth of ours! They call it a prejudice, a popular superstition, of the Middle-Ages! Of course, they deny that it is a dogma of Faith. When we read the History of the Church or the Lives of the Saints, they have their own way of explaining whatever is there related on this subject. To hear them talk, one would suppose that they look upon Satan as a mere abstract idea, to be taken as the personification of evil.

·         When they would account for the origin of their own or others’ sins, they explain all by the evil inclination of man’s heart, and by the bad use we make of our free-will.

·         They never think of what we are taught by Christian doctrine; namely, that we are also instigated to sin by a wicked being, whose power is as great as is the hatred he bears us. And yet, they know, they believe, with a firm faith, that Satan conversed with our First Parents, and persuaded them to commit sin, and showed himself to them under the form of a serpent. They believe that this same Satan dared to tempt the Incarnate Son of God, and that he carried him through the air, and set him first upon a pinnacle of the Temple, and then upon a very high mountain. Again, they read in the Gospel, and they believe, that one of the Possessed, who were delivered by our Savior, was tormented by a whole legion of devils, who, upon being driven out of the man, went, by Jesus’ permission, into a herd of swine, and the whole herd ran violently into the sea of Genesareth, and perished in the waters. These, and many other such like facts, are believed, by the persons of whom we speak, with all the earnestness of faith; yet, notwithstanding, they treat as a figure of speech, or a fiction, all they hear or read about the existence, the actions, or the craft of these wicked spirits.

·         Are such people Christians, or have they lost their senses? One would scarcely have expected that this species of incredulity could have found its way into an age like this, when sacrilegious consultations of the devil have been, we might almost say, - fashionable. Means, which were used in the days of paganism, have been resorted to for such consultations; and they who employed them seemed to forget, or ignore, that they were committing what God in the Old Law, punished with death, and which, for many centuries, was considered by all Christian nations as a capital crime. But if there be one Season of the Year more than another in which the Faithful ought to reflect upon what is taught us both by faith and experience, as to the existence and workings of the wicked spirits, - it is undoubtedly this of Lent, when it is our duty to consider what have been the causes of our last sins, what are the spiritual dangers we have to fear for the future, and what means we should have recourse to for preventing a relapse. Let us, then, hearken to the Holy Gospel. Firstly, we are told, that the devil had possessed a man, and that the effect produced by this possession was dumbness.

·         Our Savior casts out the devil, and, immediately, the dumb man spoke. So that, the being possessed by the devil is not only a fact which testifies to God’s impenetrable justice; it is one which may produce physical effects upon them that are thus tried or punished. The casting out the devil restores the use of speech to him that had been possessed.

·         We say nothing about the obstinate malice of Jesus’ enemies, who would have it, that his power over the devils, came from his being in league with the prince of devils: - all we would now do is, to show that the wicked spirits are sometimes permitted to have power over the body, and to refute, by this passage from the Gospel, the rationalism of certain Christians.

·         Let these learn, then, that the power of our spiritual enemies is an awful reality; and let them take heed not to lay themselves open to their worst attacks, by persisting in the disdainful haughtiness of their Reason. Ever since the promulgation of the Gospel, the power of Satan over the human body has been restricted by the virtue of the Cross, at least in Christian countries; but this power resumes its sway as often as faith and the practice of Christian piety lose their influence. And here we have the origin of all those diabolical practices, which, under certain scientific names, are attempted first in secret, and then are countenanced by being assisted at by well-meaning Christians. Was it not that God and his Church intervene, such practices as these would subvert society? Christians! Remember your baptismal vow! You have renounced Satan: take care, then, that by a culpable ignorance you are not dragged into apostacy. It is not a phantom that you renounced at the Font; he is a real and formidable being, who, as our Lord tells us, was a murderer from the beginning [St. John, viii. 44].

·         But, if we ought to dread the power he may be permitted to have over our bodies; if we ought to shun all intercourse with him, and take no share in practices over which he presides, and which are the worship he would have men give him; - we ought, also, to fear the influence he is ever striving to exercise over our souls. See, what God’s grace has had to do in order to drive him from our soul! During this holy season, the Church is putting within your reach those grand means of victory, - Fasting, Prayer, and Alms deeds.

·         True sweets of peace will soon be yours, and, once more, you will become God’s temple, for both soul and body will have regained their purity. But be not deceived; your enemy is not slain. He is irritated; penance has driven him from you; but he has sworn to return. Therefore, fear a relapse into mortal sin; and in order to nourish within you this wholesome fear, meditate upon the concluding part of our Gospel. Our Savior tells it, that when the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water. There he writhes under his humiliation; it has added to the tortures of the hell he carries everywhere with him and to which he fain would give some alleviation, by destroying souls that have been redeemed by Christ.

·         We read in the Old Testament that, sometimes, when the devils have been conquered, they have been forced to flee into some far-off wilderness: for example. The holy Archangel Raphael took the devil that had killed Sara’s husbands and bound him in the desert of Upper Egypt [Tob. viii. 3]. But the enemy of mankind never despairs of regaining his prey. His hatred is as active now, as it was at the very beginning of the world, and he says: I will return into my house, whence I came out.

·         Nor will he come alone. He is determined to conquer; and therefore, he will, if he thinks it needed, take with him seven other spirits, even more wicked than himself. What a terrible assault is this that is being prepared for the poor soul, unless she be on the watch, and unless the peace, which God has granted her, be one that is well armed for war! Alas! with many souls the very contrary is the case, and our Savior describes the situation in which the devils finds them on his return: they are swept and garnished, and that is all! No precautions, no defense, no arms. One would suppose that they were waiting to give the enemy admission.

·         Then Satan, to make his re-possession sure, comes with a seven-fold force. The attack is made; - but there is no resistance, and straightway the wicked spirits entering in, dwell there; so that, the last state becometh worse than the first; for before, there was but one enemy, - and now there are many. In order that we may understand the full force of the warning conveyed to us by the Church in this Gospel, we must keep before us the great reality, that this is the acceptable time. In every part of the world, there are conversions being wrought; millions are being reconciled with God; divine Mercy is lavish of pardon to all that seek it. But will all persevere? They that are now being delivered from the power of Satan, - will they all be free from his yoke, when next year’s Lent comes round?

·         A sad experience tells the Church, that she may not hope so grand a result. Many will return to their sins, and that too before many weeks are over. And if the Justice of God overtake them in that state - what an awful thing it is to say it, yet it is true, - some, perhaps many, of these sinners will be eternally lost! Let us, then, be on our guard against a relapse; and in order that we may ensure our Perseverance, without which it would have been too little purpose to have been for a few days in God’s grace, - let us watch, and pray; let us keep ourselves under arms; let us ever remember that our whole life is to be a warfare. Our soldier-like attitude will disconcert the enemy, and he will try to gain victory elsewhere.

International Irish Whiskey Day 

Irish Whiskey Day was created by international whiskey writer Stuart McNamara. Although Stuart writes about whiskey (sometimes spelled “whisky”) from all over the world, his Irish upbringing means that he has a special love and respect for Irish Whiskey in particular. This led to him becoming the editor of IrishWhiskey.Com, the Irish Whiskey Trail and the Dublin Whiskey Trail. 

Stuart became concerned at the way that Irish Whiskey was being marketed outside Ireland by irresponsible marketers as a shots type drink. It bothered him that people partook of the precious drink without any recognition of the amazing degree of science, art, history, heritage, nature and culture which is the backbone of every single glass of Irish Whiskey or Uisce Beatha in Irish Gaelic. 

Of particular worry to Stuart was the lack of respect for Irish Whiskey outside of Ireland on that most Irish of days that occurs each year – St Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated on the 17th of March.  

So, Stuart created the special day and the very first International Irish Whiskey Day was celebrated more than ten years ago. And the date chosen was particularly significant in relation to many factors. 

History of International Irish Whiskey Day 

The numeral 3 has always been of special importance in Ireland, for a variety of reasons. The symbol of Ireland (the Shamrock) has three leaves. The Irish flag contains three colors (green, white and orange). And there are three types of Irish Whiskey – Single Malt, Single Grain and the uniquely Irish Single Pot Still.  

In keeping with the lucky number 3, Irish Whiskey is also unique in that by tradition, it is triple distilled. Plus, this spirit must be matured for 3 years in order to be considered “whiskey”, adding to the fortuitous nature of the number three.  

And so, the 3rd of March or 3/3 became the obvious choice of date for our annual Irish Whiskey Day. It also is exactly two weeks to the day before St Patrick’s Day which is always on 17 March, making it a perfect time to raise awareness.  

How to Celebrate International Irish Whiskey Day 

Sure, this day is a great time to raise a dram, but there’s much more to it than just drinking!  More options for celebrating this momentous day include:  

Join an Online or Live Event 

Today, Irish Pubs and Whiskey Clubs located all over the world host global online and in-person Irish Whiskey tastings, lectures, talks, visits and other fun and educational Irish Whiskey activities each year on March 3rd.  

The idea of these events is to educate and inform their patrons and members from all over the world on the wonder and joy of Irish Whiskey, just in time to share their newfound Irish Whiskey knowledge and appreciation with their own friends two weeks later on 17 March St. Patrick’s Day. 

In fact, any Pub, Restaurant or Irish Whiskey friendly venue can create a free event and map listing for their March 3rd Irish Whiskey Day Event, no matter where in the world they are located.  

Irish Whiskey Tasting Party 

Grab a few friends with discerning tastes (five to seven is perfect) and invite them to an Irish Whiskey tasting.  

Provide 4-5 varieties of Irish whiskey. Choose from: 

  • Tullamore D.E.W. Original
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • Bushmills Original
  • Redbreast 15 year
  • Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey
  • Knappogue Castle Single Malt 16 Year 

It will be necessary to have enough tulip-shaped tasting glasses for each guest to try each type of whiskey. Have a friend bring some along or borrow from a neighbor if there might not be enough on hand.  

Make sure there’s enough room temperature bottled water on hand to dilute the drinks as well as for people to drink between tastings. Also provide a few snacks as a palate cleanser, such as oatcakes or crackers. 

Make sure each guest has a notepad so they can keep track of their findings when tasting. Aficionados will know to use the terms Nose, Taste and Finish. People who are newer to whiskey tasting can simply write down what they think. 

Irish Whiskey in Entertainment 

While Scotch whiskey shows up in many films, Irish Whiskey may be just a bit more discerning. Still, for the person who is paying attention, Irish spirits can often be found making Cameo appearances in various films and shows, which are perfect for watching when celebrating International Irish Whiskey Day, such as: 

  • Mad Men, American drama series (2007-2015). Jameson Irish Whiskey makes an appearance with Don Draper (played by John Hamm), set in the 1960s.
  • Kill the Irishman, a 2011 biographical crime film. Bushmills Irish Whiskey is shown passing through the lips of the main character, Danny Greene (played by Ray Stevenson), a few times throughout the film. 
  • Out of Africa, an epic romantic film (1985). Jameson Irish Whiskey makes a cameo appearance in this film depicting the 1937 autobiographical novel of the same name, by Isak Dinesen. 

  • Blown Away, a 1994 action thriller where Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones are shown tipping back a few drams of Bushmills Irish Whiskey. 

With a growing online audience each year, International Irish Whiskey Day is playing its own small part in building a sustainable lifelong tribe of new Irish Whiskey drinkers and aficionados. Join in the celebration!

 

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

V. The Authorities in Civil Society

2234 God's fourth commandment also enjoins us to honor all who for our good have received authority in society from God. It clarifies the duties of those who exercise authority as well as those who benefit from it.

Duties of civil authorities

2235 Those who exercise authority should do so as a service. "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant." The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law.

2236 The exercise of authority is meant to give outward expression to a just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of freedom and responsibility by all. Those in authority should practice distributive justice wisely, taking account of the needs and contribution of each, with a view to harmony and peace. They should take care that the regulations and measures they adopt are not a source of temptation by setting personal interest against that of the community.

2237 Political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person. They will dispense justice humanely by respecting the rights of everyone, especially of families and the disadvantaged.
The political rights attached to citizenship can and should be granted according to the requirements of the common good. They cannot be suspended by public authorities without legitimate and proportionate reasons. Political rights are meant to be exercised for the common good of the nation and the human community.

The duties of citizens

2238 Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts: "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution.... Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God." Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.

2239 It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one's country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.

2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country:

Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

[Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners.... They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws.... So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.

The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way."

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." "We must obey God rather than men":

When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.

2243 Armed resistance to oppression by political authority is not legitimate, unless all the following conditions are met: 1) there is certain, grave, and prolonged violation of fundamental rights; 2) all other means of redress have been exhausted; 3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders; 4) there is well-founded hope of success; and 5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution.

The political community and the Church

2244 Every institution is inspired, at least implicitly, by a vision of man and his destiny, from which it derives the point of reference for its judgment, its hierarchy of values, its line of conduct. Most societies have formed their institutions in the recognition of a certain preeminence of man over things. Only the divinely revealed religion has clearly recognized man's origin and destiny in God, the Creator and Redeemer. the Church invites political authorities to measure their judgments and decisions against this inspired truth about God and man:

Societies not recognizing this vision or rejecting it in the name of their independence from God are brought to seek their criteria and goal in themselves or to borrow them from some ideology. Since they do not admit that one can defend an objective criterion of good and evil, they arrogate to themselves an explicit or implicit totalitarian power over man and his destiny, as history shows.

2245 The Church, because of her commission and competence, is not to be confused in any way with the political community. She is both the sign and the safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person. "The Church respects and encourages the political freedom and responsibility of the citizen."

2246 It is a part of the Church's mission "to pass moral judgments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it. the means, the only means, she may use are those which are in accord with the Gospel and the welfare of all men according to the diversity of times and circumstances."

Daytona, Florida-Bike Week March 3-12 Rev up for a week of diesel and fun at Daytona Bike Week. The annual motorcycle rally attracts some of the fiercest bikers, clad in leather (and sometimes little else) to celebrate the freedom of the open road.



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

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

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 17

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

  

Introduction to Maccabees[6]



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.


Comments