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Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

LEAP DAY

 

Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 7-8

7 Blessed are those who trust in the LORD; the LORD will be their trust. 8 They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not FEAR heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought, it shows no distress, but still produces fruit.

 

I live in Arizona where hardly anything grows in the desert. However, along a stream or a creek, trees do put their roots into the bed of the water and create a mini paradise with flowers, deer and even provide sustenance even during the hottest days. Likewise, we should sink our roots into our Lord through our church and receive refreshment through frequent reception of the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist, along with spiritual reading and time alone with our Lord. In this way we are nourished and prepared for the work our Lord has given us.

 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:3)

Though thus says the Lord for those who neither hope nor know Him and does not fear God: “Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a barren bush in the wasteland that enjoys no change of season, but stands in lava beds in the wilderness, a land, salty and uninhabited.” (Jer. 17:5-6)

Preparing for Battle[1] Know Your Armor

Prayer and fasting, worship and adoration, Scripture and sacraments and sacramentals all provide the weapons of our spiritual warfare. With them we go on the offensive against the Evil One. But the virtues provide our defensive armor. St. Paul sums it up: “Put on, therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience. Bear with one another, if anyone has a grievance against any other; even as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection” (Col 3: 12– 14). Only with such armor will we be fully covered and protected from the Evil One’s attacks.

·         The Mantle of Humility.

o   Humility is the essential virtue that provides the soil in which all the other virtues grow. Humility keeps us from dangerous “high places” where the Enemy could tempt us to pride and vainglory.

·         The Breastplate of Love.

o   The breastplate protects our heart-keeping it for God alone. Love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind; and be rightly related to others is to love them as we love ourselves (see Mt 22: 36– 40).

·         Cincture of Truth.

o   Being truthful with God, yourself, and others is a spiritual form of ballistic groin protection. Nothing can hurt like the truth.

§  We must seek the truth and live the truth.

§  We must not let the intimate parts of our inner selves be led astray by blinding passion, and the Devil’s enticement.

§  We must not seek to gratify the desires of the flesh, but instead we must “put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” imitating the virtues displayed in His character.

·         The Helmet of Hope.

o   It is essential for protecting the mind.

§  If we have no hope of winning why fight?

·         We must never take off the helmet of hope or we will be overcome before we start.

·         Feet shod in Peace.

o   Wherever we go, we must be prepared to bring the good news of salvation, of peace with God, to all we may encounter. The Devil will try to turn us back. He’ll scatter across our path, like so many rocks and thorns, a wagonload of doubts, accusations of our inadequacy, and fear of conflict and rejection. But if we’ve put on the “boots” of readiness— if we’ve prepared ourselves, through faithful study and prayer, to share the gospel— then we’ll walk safely over these obstacles, crushing them as we go.

·         The Shield of Faith.

o   St. Paul reminds us that faith must be firmly grasped and held up as a barrier between ourselves and the Enemy. 

Thursday in the Second Week of Lent 

Prayer.

 

GRANT us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the help of Thy grace, that we, dutifully engaged in fasting and prayer, may be freed from all enemies of body and soul.

 

EPISTLE. Jer. xvii. 5-10.

 

Thus, saith the Lord God: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert in a salt land, and not inhabited. Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat corneth. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit. The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it? I am the Lord that search the heart and prove the reins: Who give to everyone according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices, saith the Lord Almighty.

 

GOSPEL. Luke xvi. 19-31.


 

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen: and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and no one did give him: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: and he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither. And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. But he said: No, Father Abraham, but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe if one rise again from the dead.

 

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

II. The Family and Society

2207 The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

2208 The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

2209 The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the family's prerogatives or interfere in its life.

2210 The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty "to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity."

2211 The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:
- the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions;
- the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family;
- the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;
- the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate;
- in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits;
- the protection of security and health, especially with respect to dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
- the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have representation before civil authority.

2212 The fourth commandment illuminates other relationships in society. In our brothers and sisters we see the children of our parents; in our cousins, the descendants of our ancestors; in our fellow citizens, the children of our country; in the baptized, the children of our mother the Church; in every human person, a son or daughter of the One who wants to be called "our Father." In this way our relationships with our neighbors are recognized as personal in character. The neighbor is not a "unit" in the human collective; he is "someone" who by his known origins deserves particular attention and respect.

2213 Human communities are made up of persons. Governing them well is not limited to guaranteeing rights and fulfilling duties such as honoring contracts. Right relations between employers and employees, between those who govern and citizens, presuppose a natural good will in keeping with the dignity of human persons concerned for justice and fraternity.

Leap Day[2] 


A leap year is a year containing one additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.

 

Folk Traditions.

 

In Ireland and Britain, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only in leap years. While it has been claimed that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland, this is dubious, as the tradition has not been attested before the 19th century. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation was deemed to be a pair of leather gloves, a single rose, £1 and a kiss. In some places the tradition was tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, February 29, or to the medieval (bissextile) leap day, February 24. According to Felten: "A play from the turn of the 17th century, 'The Maydes Metamorphosis,' has it that 'this is leape year/women wear breeches.' A few hundred years later, breeches wouldn't do at all: Women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to pitch woo were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat — fair warning, if you will." In Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman's proposal on leap day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt. In France, since 1980, a satirical newspaper entitled La Bougie du Sapeur is published only on leap year, on February 29. In Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky. One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year. In February 1988 the town of Anthony in Texas, declared itself "leap year capital of the world", and an international leapling birthday club was started. In the United States, February 29 is often referred to as "Sadie Hawkins Day" signifying a gender role reversal, such as a day when a woman proposes marriage to a man.

Thursdays are Sacred.

Why not made Thursdays Catholic Family Night thus making adequate time for God with the family.

Thursdays are next to Sundays, the holiest day of the week. Pope John Paul knew this when he created the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. It was also on Thursday that our Lord instituted the Mass and last celebrated with the apostles. In a week also our Lord Ascended into heaven to intercede for us with the Father. It would be a pious practice to make Thursdays a little special by being in the Lord’s presence and celebrating Mass.

Feast of the day:

·         soup Mushroom a la Mary-Louise

·         main dish Tuna Melt Stuffed Bell Peppers

·         salad Rainbow Bean Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing

·         desert Crepes Saint-Gwenole

·         Drink sweet white wine!

Reflection on making adequate time for God during Lent.

DIRECTIONS

    In seed time the sluggard plows not, when he looks for the harvest, it is not there (Proverbs 20:4).

This Lent make time for God. Adequate time. Ordinarily we assign only minutes a day to him. He knocks at the door of our hearts. Like the inhospitable inns of Bethlehem, we seemingly have no welcome. If we let God in, we crowd him into a corner. Yet we need him so badly in every area of life.

It is difficult to find time for family Lenten renewal. Father works overtime and comes home exhausted. Or he has a pressing evening meeting to attend. Mother is exhausted, the children cranky.

Frequently mothers work outside their homes. Finding ten or fifteen minutes a day for Lenten projects or prayer with the family seems an impossibility. I worked when our children were small — and remember. But somehow living the Church Year remained paramount. My mother, fretting over Lenten activities, would say, "How can you cut out Biblical mobiles when your closets look so? And it's almost Easter!" The closet may have been hastily tidied later. Those precious minutes spent with the children are theirs for time and eternity.

Mothers go out to work because they have to as a rule. In certain professions some have time for children and home. A few work to escape.

    Mother is happy turning a crank That increases the money in somebody's bank; And I feel satisfaction that mother is free from the sinister task of attending to me.

    — G. K. Chesterton, Song for a Crèche

Still others work to give their children "every advantage." A secular writer recently passed judgment on the children now "emerging from school, church, and the station wagon." For him "they face us eloquent with the tormenting discontent of American youth for which everything is being done, to which everything is being given, except a reason for living."

St. Paul and again Pius X have outlined a way of changing this for our children. We are to restore things in Christ. How many Catholics use only part of the Church's spiritual riches! This Lent why not take time to tap for your children the treasuries of its liturgy?

Activity Source: Holy Lent by Eileen O'Callaghan, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1975

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “Herod could not find me at my birth because of his pride; only the humble find my presence. My favor rests on those who humble themselves and are grounded in the truth. To carry your cross is to be fully present to the moment and have a spirit of service to others. Loving is not just giving but giving the right thing now. True charity is drawing the good out of others and helping them to reach their fullest potential.”

 

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: The Sick, afflicted, and infirmed.

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Fasting Is Prayer of the Body

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

 

MARCH 

The winds of March point to the power of God's Spirit working in us. We need to listen and respond to the gentle breezes of the Spirit; but will we, or will we be too distracted? The rebirth of spring reminds us of the energy of nature so that we ask ourselves whether we waste or wisely use energy –electricity, oil, gas, etc. Can we and should we continue to use nonrenewable fossil fuels, often with accompanying air pollution, at the rate we do? Or will the environmental ills we cause today call us in the future as a society to use wind and solar energy? 

Overview of the Month of March[3] 

The entire month of March except the very last day falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color violet or purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. All saint days that are usually Memorials are shifted to Optional Memorials during the season of Lent. The last day of the month is the beginning of the Easter season. 

This year the feast of the Annunciation will be celebrated on April 8 since the 25th falls during Holy Week. 

A Time of Penance and Promise

 

Here and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb!

 

During this month we will continue our journey to the cross with our acts of penitence. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell. During this month we will go from the suffering of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We will trade the purple of penance for the white of victory and resurrection.

 

Let us not tire of doing our good works and penance but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

 

As the weeks of Lent progress let us not tire of doing our good works and penance but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

Go to Joseph[4]

“This patronage must be invoked as ever necessary for the Church, not only as a defense against all dangers, but also, and indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world and to re-evangelization,” wrote St. John Paul II in Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer).

John Paul II further said, “Because St. Joseph is the protector of the Church, he is the guardian of the Eucharist and the Christian family. Therefore, we must turn to St. Joseph today to ward off attacks upon the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and upon the family. We must plead with St. Joseph to guard the Eucharistic Lord and the Christian family during this time of peril.” 

 

MARCH TIMETABLE

 

March Travel?[5] 

·         Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain March 1-19 Enjoy a high-spirited fiesta in Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city. The annual bash, held in commemoration of Saint Joseph, sees neighborhoods transformed into lively parties over a boisterous five-day period.

·         Daytona, Florida-Bike Week March 1-10 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.

o   Bike Week AZ April 3-7

·         Spring Break in Panama City Beach March 15-31st.

Slap on your sunscreen and grab your shades for a laid-back spring break on Panama City Beach. This sunny haven on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico beckons with its tagline, “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.” You’ll see why once you sink your toes into its unique sugar-white sand.

 

o   Spring break Arizona.

 


·         Patrick’s Day March 17th Don your friendliest green for St. Patrick’s Day. Boston is the place to be, with the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day Parade drawing anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million people every year.

o   Arizona Green

·         Spring Equinox: Stonehenge March 19th Mark the beginning of spring with a celebratory gathering at Stonehenge. Join the crowds who gather at the mysterious stone structures in Wiltshire, England, to see the sun rise, ushering in the spring equinox.

·         Holi in India March 25th Celebrate spring with a dash of color. The annual Holi festival in India inspires revelers to hit the streets, playfully throwing powdered colors on each other. Once your clothes are doused with all sorts of hues, you’ll understand why this is called a festival of colors. 

Iceman’s Calendar           

·         Mar. 1st-First Friday

·         Mar. 2nd-First Saturday

·         Mar. 3rd-Third Sunday of Lent

·         Mar. 6th-First Wednesday

·         Mar 7th-St. Perpetua

·         Mar 10th-Fourth Sunday of Lent

·         Mar 17th-Fifth Sunday of Lent

o   Passion Sunday

o   St. Patrick’s Day


·         Mar 19th-Feast of St. Joseph

o   Spring Begins

·         Mar 20-April 16 National Cherry Blossom Festival

·         Mar 22nd Friday after Passion Sunday: Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

·         Mar 24th MASS Palm Sunday Holy Week begins

·         Mar 25th-Monday of Holy Week

o   Full Worm Moon

·         Mar 27th Spy Wednesday

o   Start Novena to the Holy Face for First Friday

·         Mar 28th Maundy Thursday

·         Mar 29th Good Friday

·         Mar 30th Easter Vigil

·         Mar 31st Easter


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