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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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Thursday, February 8, 2024

 February 8 Thursday after Sexagesima-Carnival

Saint Bakhita-Marriage Week 

Psalm 119, Verse 46

I will speak openly of your testimonies without FEAR even before kings. 

Professing Christians!

Are we ready to bear our testimony for Jesus, against the sneer and ridicule of the ungodly?

We are not likely to "be brought before kings and rulers for the Son of Man's sake." Yet no less do we need Divine help and strong faith in withstanding the enmity of a prejudiced relative or scornful neighbor.

Young people!

You are perhaps in especial danger of being ashamed of your Bible, your religion, your Savior. You may be brought under the snare of the "fear of man," and be tempted to compromise your religion, and to sacrifice your everlasting all from a dread of "the reproach of Christ."

But remember him, who for your sake "before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession"; and shall the dread of a name restrain you from sharing his reproach, and banish the obligations of love and gratitude from your hearts? Have you forgotten that you once owned the service of Satan? And will you not be as bold for Christ, as you were for him? Were you once "glorying in your shame; "and will you now be ashamed of your glory?

Oh! Remember who hath said, "Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." Think much and often of this word. Think about this day. Think of the station of "the fearful and unbelieving" on the left hand on that day. Think of their eternal doom.

What is a prison compared to hell?

What need to pray and tremble! If you are sincere in your determination, and simple in your dependence, then will the. "Love of Christ constrain you”, not to a cold, calculating, reluctant service; but to a confession of your Savior, bold, unfettered, and "faithful even unto death." Every deviation from the straight path bears the character of being ashamed of Christ. How much have you to speak on behalf of his testimonies, his ways, his love! When in danger of the influence of "the fear of man," look to him for strength. He will give to you, as he gave to Stephen—"a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist." Thus, will you, like them, be strengthened "to profess a good profession before many witnesses."[1]

Thursday after Sexagesima-Carnival[2] 

It might sound odd that during the period of "Carnival" there occurs some of the most decadent feasting of the liturgical year. There is, however, a pious (if not somewhat convoluted) logic behind this consumption. Because not only meat but lacticinia (dairy products) were originally prohibited during Lent, Christians knew that they had to eat these foods before Ash Wednesday, or they would spoil. The last days before Lent were thus spent in eating copious amounts of fat dishes. From this necessity comes England's famous Shrove Tuesday Pancakes and northern England's Collop Monday (a collop is made of sliced meat and eggs fried in butter). This also gave rise to the most famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Christian party of all:  Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday," is the French celebration of the final day before Lent. In this country it is associated mostly with the Cajun and Creole cuisine of New Orleans, two culinary traditions that provide a myriad of spicy, delicious dishes. One of the more interesting customs of the New Orleans Mardi Gras is the baking of a King's Cake, in which is placed a small doll of the Infant Jesus. The person whose piece of cake has the doll must provide the cake for next year's party.

How to Party like a Catholic[3] 

Postmodern man—and postmodern woman—don’t know how to give a good party. It’s up to us Catholics to reclaim this lost art and share it with the world.

Why? Because good parties are intrinsic to our Catholic faith. The liturgical year is punctuated with a wide array of feast days and celebrations, many of which are Christianized versions of holidays that once closely tracked the agricultural calendar of planting and harvesting. The two largest and best-known feasts are, of course, Christmas and Easter, but there are also the two Christmas and Easter spin-offs, Epiphany and Pentecost. In addition, there’s the feast of Mary, Mother of God (New Year’s Day); Ascension Thursday; Corpus Christi; the feast of the Immaculate Conception; All Saints Day (with Halloween and the Day of the Dead); and, the most famous party of all, Mardi Gras, which has strayed far from its Catholic origin as the last celebration before the Lenten fast but still embodies a certain Catholic sensibility. Above all, every Sunday for Catholics is a feast day on which we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Only in Lent and the mini-Lent of Advent is it not party time, but even in these two seasons, there are exceptions for St. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, St. Nicholas’s Day, and other feasts.

Of course, as the Church wisely realizes, feasts are more fun if preceded by fasts. The stricter the fast, the merrier the feast. Truly the Catholic tradition has mastered the art of well-timed, heavily scheduled, carefully orchestrated good times.

The occasion of a sacrament—baptism, confirmation, or matrimony—is the best possible opportunity for a good party. In fact, many Catholics take it for granted that a wedding should be marked by a grand feast. The bigger and more elaborate the feast, the more it conforms to the biblical model in John 2:1-11 of the wedding feast at Cana. Mary, Jesus, and His disciples all attend. In the middle of the party, the wine runs out. Mary explains this difficult situation to her son; after all, the gospel implies, it won’t be much of a party without wine. After an exchange with His mother, Jesus asks those in charge to fill six stone pots with water. "And they filled them to the brim," John says. When the host tastes the water, he is startled to discover that Jesus has changed it to wine, and not just any wine but the best they will have all night. Hence, Jesus’ first miracle was not a solemn occasion, as one might expect, but a celebration.

Party Poopers

You might expect that such a remarkable story as this, one that recounts Jesus’ first public display of divine power, would be standard fare in evangelical Protestant pulpits, where the words of the Bible take precedence over any liturgical design. Not so. If you have ever attended a Southern Baptist wedding, for example, you know why: There is no feast. The ceremony lasts perhaps 20 minutes at most, and then the entire crowd descends to the social hall under the church to eat pastel butter mints and cake and sip a tiny cup of fizzy, pink, nonalcoholic punch. Wine is forbidden by tradition, so no one is looking for any. The whole affair is over in less than an hour. Baptists may be people of the Book, but they certainly are not people of the party. So much for living the words of Scripture.

How did the wedding feast, so joyously celebrated at Cana, come to be the dreary occasion that it is in the Baptist tradition?

Like members of other non-liturgical faiths, Southern Baptists tend to reject regularly scheduled intervals of joy, sadness, celebration, and suffering, less for explicit doctrinal reasons than because it all just seems too, well, Catholic.

Protestants have traditionally found the Catholicity of Christian holidays deeply problematic. During the colonial period, Massachusetts actually outlawed Christmas, and the controversy about whether to put up a lighted tree in church still erupts in evangelical congregations. If Protestant Americans had been left to their own devices, we would celebrate only Thanksgiving (which is actually a version of St. Martin’s Day, November 11) and the Fourth of July.

This aspect of the Catholic faith is as conspicuous to outsiders as it is taken for granted by us: One day we are eating pancakes and throwing parties for Fat Tuesday, and the next day, Ash Wednesday, we are walking around with ashes on our foreheads repenting for our sins.

What is it about us Romanists and our ways?

The Bible, it turns out, is filled with fabulous parties. Think of the parable of the prodigal son. When he returns to his father’s home with a contrite heart after living the high life, he is not given broth and sent to bed. No, his father says, "bring hither the fatted calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son," as if to show that home is where the high life actually is. St. Clement of Alexandria wrote: "The repentant son came to the pitying father, never hoping for these things—the best robe, and the ring, and the shoes—or to taste the fatted calf, or to share in gladness, or enjoy music and dances; he would have been contented with obtaining what in his own estimation he deemed himself worthy." Instead, he got it all. Given this spirit of liberality in one of Jesus’ own parables, a good Catholic should be prepared to throw a great party whenever the opportunity arises. Now, it’s true that merrymaking cannot be the sum total of the way we live. The ever-stern St. Francis de Sales, in his Introduction to the Devout Life, warns against excessive frivolity. But he does affirm that balls and festivities are not evil in themselves and can even be used for good. "It is lawful to amuse yourself, to dance, dress, feast, and see seemly plays," he affirms. The proviso is that the good times must not hinder, but help, devotion.

Boring Parties

·         What is striking about modern life is how dull our attempts at frivolity often turn out to be, not only because they are not interrupted by fasting and prayer, as they should be, but also because we have lost the art of how to throw a good party.

·         We’ve all had the experience of walking into a party where we know only a few people, and all the rest are talking among themselves. We find someone we know and hope he doesn’t mind if we talk exclusively to him for, oh, the entire length of the party.

·         We know we are supposed to mingle with the others, but no matter how many tips on that we’ve heard or read, mingling never seems to work. Some people resent intrusions into their conversations, and in any case, there usually doesn’t seem to be much to talk about. The most we can hope for is a good opportunity to make an inconspicuous exit.

·         Thousands of parties like this come and go without leaving any impression on the guests. The host is left with a huge mess and not much else to show for it. It’s no wonder that many people are disinclined to hold parties, or that they do it only when they have to, or that they invite only the in-crowd when they can get away with it, or that they never attempt much in the way of food and drink beyond chips and beer.

Find a Reason to Party

It doesn’t have to be this way. All parties should have an ostensible reason for being. This is what makes them communal occasions and provides a reason why all these people should be together in one spot at the same time. With a theme, people have a mental hook, so that they can later think: "I loved that St. Cecilia party" Fortunately, our liturgical calendar provides plenty of ideas for themes. Saints’ days are the perfect excuses for celebrations, and it helps that these days rarely step on the more conventional party excuses of everyone else.

Here’s why theme parties are out of fashion: We live in a culture obsessed with the fear of violating someone else’s conscience. We don’t impose our values on others, and we never assert the superiority of our own or point out problems with others’ points of view. If we happen to have values, that’s fine, but we dare not suggest that others should adopt them. That would be bad form. A theme party is typically seen as an imposition on the conscience. For example, say you invite guests to your house to celebrate the feast of St. Blaise on February 3.

What if they don’t like this saint, or they think saints are generally weird? What if they aren’t in the mood? Why should your priorities trump theirs? Isn’t it manipulative to tell people how they should feel?

These are the kinds of deconstructionist fears that tacitly haunt us and keep us from setting a theme for an evening. The Catholic liturgy, however, assigns themes to practically every day. We are supposed to mourn on Good Friday and then two days later shout, "Alleluia."

Is this manipulative?

Not at all. Theologian Michael Foley of Boston College points out that the purpose of gathering together is to experience something together. He writes in his online liturgy manual (www.holytrinitygerman.org): "From the exilic pining of Septuagesima to the austerity of Lent, from the grief of Passiontide to the jubilance of the Pasch, the Church, by staggering its feasts and observances in a particular order, enables the faithful to experience a number of holy feelings as one. Indeed, the emotional range of the traditional Roman rite is perhaps the most variegated in all of Christendom."

Liturgical themes for parties are great, especially if they involve a sacrament. But the theme doesn’t have to be solemn and liturgical. It can be a mere excuse: to celebrate the opening of a great bottle of wine, to commemorate the hanging of a new painting, to mark the first day of summer, to eat an unusual food, to blow off steam after final exams. It takes very little creativity to come up with a good idea for a party. Even foolish themes are fun, like the "white elephant" parties of the 1950s, to which guests brought worthless gifts.

The Big Moment

·         Even more important than the theme of the party is the central moment of the party: Someone clinks a glass and makes an announcement that unifies the guests as a group. Ninety-nine percent of parties do not include this crucial feature, which is why most are unsatisfying. A group event of some sort underscores the reason for the party and gives people something to remember about it besides a few isolated conversations.

·         Toasts are invaluable for this purpose. When making a toast, don’t worry about being eloquent. Something as simple as "To St. Joseph the Worker" is enough.

Whatever happened to dinner parties?

They are becoming ever rarer. Today, food at parties mostly consists of snacky things you can pick up with your fingers, the better to stay on the move with. But the whole premise of moving around a party is wrong. It’s important that people be able to sit, so they can listen and share a group moment. Try having a dinner party and see what happens. You don’t have to have a huge dining table. Even if everyone is sitting on folding chairs eating chili, it is far better than yet another round of chips, dips, and existential isolation. And by the way, today’s emphasis on the quality of food at parties is wildly misplaced. You can hire the best catering service in town or knock yourself out cooking for days, but if you have no theme, no central moment, and no place for your guests to sit, the best snacks on the planet are not going to save your party.

Pick Your Poison

It happens all the time. You walk into your friends’ house for a party. They ask you what you want to drink and then run through a list of options: orange juice, diet and regular Coke and Sprite, Miller Lite, Bud Lite, sparkling water, V8, cran-apple juice, Fresca, coffee, ten more unappealing liquids, and, finally, water. You suddenly get this vague sense that maybe the V8 has been around awhile, or the Sprite may be flat, or the coffee not made, or the Fresca—do they even make that anymore? In the end, someone finally says, "Oh, I’ll just have a glass of water." Someone else concurs. Folks, when that happens, the party is over before it begins.

The way to avoid this catastrophe is to have one official drink of the evening. "Tonight," you announce, "I am serving champagne cocktails" Who wouldn’t cheer? Serve them with a cherry or an orange slice, and you have created a memorable drink. Alternatively, you could serve martinis, or mint juleps, or some slushy, fruity concoction from the freezer. Whatever it is, stick to it. If someone doesn’t drink, he’ll say so. You should always have some fancy water available for nondrinkers and throw in a slice of lemon or lime for good measure.

What to Wear?

What people should wear to a party is a tricky subject. This much is an incontrovertible fact: The best parties feature people dressing up, or at least not wearing torn cutoffs and worn sneakers. But if you tell your guests to come casual, cutoffs and sneakers is what you will get. Such is the nature of the times. Just look at what people wear to Mass these days! You can hardly expect them to show up at your party dressed any better.

People act nicer and smarter, however, when they wear nice clothes. They sit straighter and generally feel as though something special is taking place. Grubby clothes and truly memorable times just don’t mix, unless you are at the lake or repairing a house or in some other situation that specifically calls for casual attire.

Dress codes can seem like an imposition to some these days. I handle it by telling guests, "Feel free to dress up" or, "I’ll be in a coat and tie." It’s a way of leaving their options open while delivering a strong hint. Finally, don’t rule out telling your guests that the dress is black tie. If it’s New Year’s Eve, this can make the evening even more joyful.

Can we have a break from rock music, please?

Classical music is perfectly festive. Try Schubert’s Trout Quintet, Mozart’s string quintets, Bach’s orchestral works, or even light operas. Chamber music works better at parties than symphonies. Pre-World War II jazz has an endless capacity to charm. Old and new movie soundtracks are always fun. How about bluegrass? The idea is to play something that is not too intrusive but isn’t boringly familiar either.

Catholic liturgical music is great, but it should be reserved for Mass and Vespers, not parties. Always remember Pope St. Clement’s dictum from the first century: no pagan music at liturgy and no liturgical music at minstrel shows or other non-sacred occasions. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to and enjoy Machaut and Byrd at home, but parties aren’t the right times to push this repertoire.

My final musical note: If someone in the group can play the piano and there’s one in your home, it should be compulsory that he play.

It’s Mokerville

More important than the specifics of a party are the spirit. The spirit of a good party is a variant of the spirit of good liturgy: a work of a community of people that follows a plan. "Every religion has its feasts," the Catholic Encyclopedia says, "but none has such a rich and judiciously constructed system of festive seasons as the Catholic Church."

It’s time we lived up to our religious tradition by putting some effort and thought into our parties. Given the generally dull tenor of the times, you will suddenly become a famous and much-heralded host or hostess by making a little effort at being countercultural. And you will also help demonstrate to others, in the tradition of Cana, that we Catholics are not always dour and penitent, but also, at the right time, fun and hospitable people who display our hope that someday we will join the heavenly banquet, the most wonderful party of all. It’s part of our heritage and our faith.

5 Best Mardi Gras Celebrations Not in New Orleans[4] 

With over-the-top parades, festive music and delicious king cake, it’s easy to see why New Orleans is synonymous with Mardi Gras. You may be surprised to learn, however, that Fat Tuesday, the French translation of Mardi Gras, is actually just one day in a much longer celebration known as Carnival, which spans from the Epiphany (January 6) to Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). 

New Orleans has hosted an official Mardi Gras parade nearly every year since 1837, with only 13 cancellations due mostly to war. With a yearly attendance around 1.4 million, it’s the largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. Size isn’t everything though. Cities around the globe celebrate Carnival in their own special way and we’ve highlighted five of the most unique below. 

1: Mobile, Alabama 

If you head two hours east from New Orleans you’ll land in Mobile, Alabama, the original home of Mardi Gras in the United States. Mobile’s first Fat Tuesday celebration took place in 1703 and the first masked ball began the following year. At that time, Mobile was the capital of French Louisiana but due to fear of hurricane damage, the capital was moved to New Orleans along with the Mardi Gras tradition in 1718. Nearly 150 years later, the Mardi Gras celebration returned to Mobile and it’s now the second largest Fat Tuesday gathering in the country. 

2: Venice, Italy 

Estimated to have originated in the 12th century, Venetian Carnival draws millions of visitors each year. The festival is perhaps best known for the elaborate masks worn and sold on the streets of Venice. The expressive masks were worn during Carnival as early as the 13th century and they remain a symbol of the city to this day. The highlight of the Venetian Carnival is the Maschera piu Bella contest, which takes place in Saint Mark’s Square. In the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras, masked contestants dressed head-to-toe in decorative costumes are judged by a panel of experts and the winner is chosen on Fat Tuesday. 

3: Nice, France 

With a history that dates back to 1294, the original Carnival celebration is located in sun-soaked Nice, France. Nice Carnival is the premiere winter event on the French Riviera and draws over a million people each year. The celebration, which has a different theme every year, lasts for 15 days and visitors are treated to an array of floats and over 1,000 musicians and dancers from around the world. Not to be missed are the flower battles in which mimosas, gerberas and lilies are tossed to spectators from decorated floats. 

4: Binche, Belgium 

The Carnival of Binche is one of Europe’s oldest surviving street carnivals (dating back to the 14th century) and in 2003, it was recognized as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. The town begins celebrating several weeks before Ash Wednesday, but the carnival officially begins on the Sunday before and culminates on Mardi Gras when masked men known as Gilles parade through town in their traditional costumes consisting of wooden clogs, wax masks and ostrich-feather hats. After the dressing ceremony in the early hours of Mardi Gras, the Gilles lead a procession through town with musicians, dancers and other costumed participants in tow. The highlight of the day, though, is in the evening when the Gilles head to Binche’s Grand Place to dance under a fireworks display. 

5: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Known as the Carnival capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro welcomes approximately 500,000 visitors every year looking to experience one of the most colorful and artistic celebrations in the world. Rio Carnival is a five-day celebration that begins with the Rio mayor handing an oversized key to the city to someone dressed as King Momo (a mythical character based off Greek mythology and Brazilian folklore). The party takes over the city and eventually culminates with the Samba Parade at the Sambodromo, a stadium specifically built in 1984 for this event. The parade is essentially a competition between samba schools (social clubs with their own colors, flag and supporters) that involves months of preparation. The highly orchestrated events takes place over the span of a few days and schools are judged in 10 categories with the results being revealed on Ash Wednesday. 

Saint Bakhita-Slave to Saint-Quotes[5]

 

·         "If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today... The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone... we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita

·         "Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage." ~ Josephine Bakhita

·         "The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone...we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita

·         "O Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your goodness at the top of my voice, oh how many souls would be won!" ~ Josephine Bakhita 

Marriage Week-Male-Female Complementarity[6] 

God created man in his image in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. (Gn 1:27) The two creation stories in the book of Genesis communicate two important truths about the identity of man and woman and the relationship between them. In the first account, God creates both male and female at the same time and in the divine image. This act completes creation, and God judges it to be ―very good (Gn 1:31). In this way, Sacred Scripture affirms the fundamental equality and dignity of man and woman as persons created in God ‘s image. The second creation account emphasizes that both sexes are necessary for God ‘s plan. Having created Adam, God says, ―It is not good for the man to be alone (Gn 2:18). 

So, God creates a helpmate who is suitable for him and matches him. ―Helpmate (ezer) is a word reserved in the Bible not for inferiors but most often for God himself, who is Israel ‘s ―helper. 

Indeed, after God creates all of the animals and brings them to Adam to name, it becomes clear that none of them is―the suitable partner for the man (Gn 2:20). Then God puts Adam under a deep sleep and, using one of his ribs, builds up a woman for him as a suitable partner or helpmate. When he sees the woman, Adam cries out in wondrous joy: This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called―woman, for out of ―her man this one has been taken. (Gn 2:23) Adam and Eve were literally made for each other. Man and woman have been made to come together in the union of marriage. The text of Genesis continues: That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh] (Gn 2:24). 

Marriage, this clinging together of husband and wife as one flesh, is based on the fact that man and woman are both different and the same. They are different as male and female, but the same as human persons who are uniquely suited to be partners or helpmates for each other. The difference between man and woman, however, cannot be restricted to their bodies, as if the body could be separated from the rest of the human person. The human person is a union of body and soul as a single being. Man and woman are two different ways of being a human person. 

While man and woman are different, their differences serve to relate them to each other. They are not different in a parallel way, as two lines that never meet. Man and woman do not have separate destinies. They are related to each other precisely in their differences. The differences between male and female are complementary. Male and female are distinct bodily ways of being human, of being open to God and to one another—two distinct yet harmonizing ways of responding to the vocation to love. 

While human persons are more than biological organisms, the roots of marriage can be seen in the biological fact that a man and a woman can come together as male and female in a union that has the potential for bringing forth another human person. This kind of union fills the need for the continuation of the human race. Since human beings exist at more than a biological level, however, this union has further personal and spiritual dimensions. Marriage does not exist solely for the reproduction of another member of the species, but for the creation of a communion of persons. To form a communion of persons is the vocation of everyone. 

As Pope John Paul II teaches, all human persons are created in the image of God, who is a communion of love of three persons, and thus all are called to live in a communion of self-giving love: ―to say that man is created in the image and likeness of God means that man is called to exist ̳for ‘others, to become a gift. 

Marriage, however, is a unique communion of persons. In their intimate union as male and female, the spouses are called to exist for each other. Just as Genesis describes Eve as a helper for Adam, we can see that in marriage, a husband and wife are meant to help each other through self-giving. ―In the ̳unity of the two, ‘man and woman are called from the beginning not only to exist side by side ‘or together, ‘but they are also called to exist mutually one for the other. ‟This communion of persons has the potential to bring forth human life and thus to produce the family, which is itself another kind of communion of persons and which is the origin and foundation of all human society. It is precisely the difference between man and woman that makes possible this unique communion of persons, the unique partnership of life and love that is marriage. A man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife serve as a symbol of both life and love in a way that no other relationship of human persons can. 

Prayer for Married Couples[7] 

Almighty and eternal God, You blessed the union of married couples so that they might reflect the union of Christ with his Church: look with kindness on them. Renew their marriage covenant, increase your love in them, and strengthen their bond of peace so that, with their children, they may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen 

NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE

DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER

 O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Fifth Day

Psalm 5 1, 10-11. 
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may revive. From my sins turn away your Face and blot out all my guilt.

Holy Face of Jesus, Sacred Countenance of’ God, how great is your patience with humankind, how infinite your forgiveness. We are sinners, yet you love us. This gives us courage. For the glory of your Holy Face and of the Blessed Trinity, hear and answer us. Mary our Mother intercede for us, Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.

Prayer to Saint Joseph

Dear Saint Joseph! Adopt us as thy children, take charge of our salvation; watch over us day and night; preserve us from occasions of sin; obtain for us purity of body and soul, and the spirit of prayer, through thy intercession with Jesus, grant us a spirit of sacrifice, of humility and self-denial; obtain for us a burning love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, our Mother.

Saint Joseph, be with us in life, be with us in death and obtain for us a favorable judgment from Jesus, our merciful Savior. Amen.

Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)


The Devil and Temptations[8]

There are many and varied ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way.

Curing Sickness by Superstition ("Curanderos" And "Santeros")

·         It doesn't matter if there are statues, holy water, crucifixes, prayers to Jesus, Mary and the saints, if there is any superstitious practice it is evil. These are some examples:

o   using charms or a tomato to wash one's body, putting the remainder under the bed,

o   cleaning one's body with eggs or lemons and burning the materials with charcoal,

o   Using rose water and alcohol for healing. (In one case this was prepared by placing a skeleton in the water for six hours, followed by singing and praying over the water.)

·         Sometimes a "curandero" gives a special vitamin to take or even prescribes "Catholic" prayers to be said. None of these "prayers" should be said in these circumstances because they were prepared under the influence of evil. Other examples include:

o   Taking a special bath prepared with wine, flowers, bread, cinnamon, black sugar, and water from a river.

o   Wrapping a person in a special bandage, cutting off piece by piece, and burying it in a recent grave in the cemetery.

·         Sometimes people pray to God and to the saints and then go off seeking relief through the kingdom of darkness. Many times, God does not heal through prayer or doctors because He wants the soul to be healed first of hatred, jealousy, or some other sin. God knows what He is doing. We have to choose either the power of God or the power of evil. If you have any objects used in these false cures, destroy them. Renounce Satan, renounce this sin, ask God's forgiveness and confess your sin to a priest. 

Rule of Traditional Catholic Fasting[9]

 

All members of this sodality agree to commit to the Tier 1, which is beyond the minimum required by Church law. Members may also privately commit to Tier 2 or Tier 3 at their own or their spiritual director’s discretion. This is open to Catholics of any Rite. 

TIER 1 

This Tier takes the 1917 Code of Canon Law as a minimum (adding a few extra changes that occurred in the decades following its promulgation), but removes partial abstinence, which was instituted in 1741 as a direct attack to Lenten discipline. 

ABSTINENCE 

No flesh meat (i.e., meat from mammals or fowl) is to be consumed on any Friday in the year with no exceptions. 

No flesh meat is to be consumed throughout all of Lent from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday inclusive (including Sundays)

No flesh meat is to be consumed on any Ember Day, the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul (June 28), Vigil of the Assumption (August 14), the Vigil of All Saints (October 31), the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (December 7), the Vigil of Christmas (December 24), the Vigil of Pentecost, and January 22 (transferred to January 23 when the 22nd falls on a Sunday) for the National Day of Penance for Human Life. 

No sweets may be consumed for the duration of Lent (e.g., cake, cookies, pie, candies, gummies, chocolate/candy bars, pastries, cupcakes, chocolate muffins, pudding/custard, ice cream, Nutella, fudge, truffles, pralines, bonbons, mochi) 

FASTING 

Fasting is defined as one meal only a day that may not be consumed earlier than noon but preferably is consumed after 3 PM or even after sunset. If necessary, an optional evening collation and an optional morning frustulum is allowed. 

Fasting is to be observed for the entirety of Lent (except for Sundays), the Ember Days, the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul (June 28), Vigil of the Assumption (August 14), the Vigil of All Saints (October 31), the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (December 7), the Vigil of Christmas (December 24), the Vigil of Pentecost, and January 22 (transferred to January 23 when the 22nd falls on a Sunday) for the National Day of Penance for Human Life. 

TIER 2 

ABSTINENCE 

Everything as above in Tier 1 with the following additions:

No flesh meat (i.e., meat from mammals or fowl) is to be consumed on any Saturday in the year unless that day is a First-Class Feast or a former Holy Day of Obligation

Abstinence for all of Lent (including Sundays) includes abstaining from all seafood (e.g., fish, shellfish) and all dairy products (e.g., milk, eggs, cheese). Hence, Lent is a vegan fast – not a vegetarian one.

 Abstinence on the Minor and Major Rogation Days. 

No flesh meat is to be consumed during St. Martin’s Lent from November 12 until Christmas Day – except for Sundays, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (unless it falls on a Friday), and Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America 

FASTING 

Everything as above in Tier 1 with the following additions: The entirety of St. Martin’s Lent in Advent (except for Sundays) are days of abstinence from flesh meat. 

In this tier, the fast and abstinence that is omitted in years when a day falls on a Sunday is transferred to the preceding Saturday (as it was done before the 1917 Code of Canon Law changes). 

TIER 3 

ABSTINENCE 

Everything as above in Tier 1 & 2 with the following additions:

Abstinence for the Vigil of the Purification of our Lady (February 1), the Vigil of Corpus Christi, the Vigil of St. Lawrence (August 9), the Vigil of St. Bartholomew (August 23), the Vigil of Ss. Simon and Jude (October 27), and for the duration of the Apostles Fast (except on Sundays) and the Assumption Fast (except on Sundays). 

FASTING 

Everything as above in Tier 1 & 2 with the following additions: Fasting for the duration of Apostles Fast in June (except on Sundays) and the Assumption Fast in August (except on Sundays) along with the Vigil of St. Lawrence (August 9), the Vigil of St. Bartholomew (August 23), the Vigil of Ss. Simon and Jude (October 27). 

In this tier, like the one above, the fast and abstinence that is omitted in years a day falls on a Sunday is transferred to the preceding Saturday (as it was done before the 1917 Code of Canon Law changes).

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.

·         According to Mary Agreda[10] in her visions it was on a Thursday at six o'clock in the evening and at the approach of night that the Angel Gabriel approached and announced her as Mother of God and she gave her fiat.

Today’s Menu for Mardi Gras

  • Hurricane Drink
  • Chicken-Andouille Gumbo
  • Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
  • Crawfish Dip
  • Mini Muffuletta Sandwiches
  • Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
    • After Dinner Cigars

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

"Teacher, what must I do . . .?"

2052 "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" To the young man who asked this question, Jesus answers first by invoking the necessity to recognize God as the "One there is who is good," as the supreme Good and the source of all good. Then Jesus tells him: "If you would enter life, keep the commandments." and he cites for his questioner the precepts that concern love of neighbor: "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother." Finally, Jesus sums up these commandments positively: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

2053 To this first reply Jesus adds a second: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." This reply does not do away with the first: following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments. the Law has not been abolished, but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is its perfect fulfillment. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus' call to the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple and in the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call to poverty and chastity. The evangelical counsels are inseparable from the Commandments.

2054 Jesus acknowledged the Ten Commandments, but he also showed the power of the Spirit at work in their letter. He preached a "righteousness [which] exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees" as well as that of the Gentiles. He unfolded all the demands of the Commandments. "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill.' . . . But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment."

2055 When someone asks him, "Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?" Jesus replies: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. and a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets." The Decalogue must be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law:

The commandments: "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

The Decalogue in Sacred Scripture

2056 The word "Decalogue" means literally "ten words." God revealed these "ten words" to his people on the holy mountain. They were written "with the finger of God," unlike the other commandments written by Moses. They are pre-eminently the words of God. They are handed on to us in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. Beginning with the Old Testament, the sacred books refer to the "ten words," but it is in the New Covenant in Jesus Christ that their full meaning will be revealed.

2057 The Decalogue must first be understood in the context of the Exodus, God's great liberating event at the center of the Old Covenant. Whether formulated as negative commandments, prohibitions, or as positive precepts such as: "Honor your father and mother," the "ten words" point out the conditions of a life freed from the slavery of sin. the Decalogue is a path of life:

If you love the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply.

This liberating power of the Decalogue appears, for example, in the commandment about the sabbath rest, directed also to foreigners and slaves:

You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.

2058 The "ten words" sum up and proclaim God's law: "These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. and he wrote them upon two tables of stone, and gave them to me." For this reason these two tables are called "the Testimony." In fact, they contain the terms of the covenant concluded between God and his people. These "tables of the Testimony" were to be deposited in "the ark."

2059 The "ten words" are pronounced by God in the midst of a theophany (“The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire."). They belong to God's revelation of himself and his glory. the gift of the Commandments is the gift of God himself and his holy will. In making his will known, God reveals himself to his people.

2060 The gift of the commandments and of the Law is part of the covenant God sealed with his own. In Exodus, the revelation of the "ten words" is granted between the proposal of the covenant  and its conclusion - after the people had committed themselves to "do" all that the Lord had said, and to "obey" it. The Decalogue is never handed on without first recalling the covenant (“The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.").

2061 The Commandments take on their full meaning within the covenant. According to Scripture, man's moral life has all its meaning in and through the covenant. the first of the "ten words" recalls that God loved his people first:

Since there was a passing from the paradise of freedom to the slavery of this world, in punishment for sin, the first phrase of the Decalogue, the first word of God's commandments, bears on freedom "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."

2062 The Commandments properly so-called come in the second place: they express the implications of belonging to God through the establishment of the covenant. Moral existence is a response to the Lord's loving initiative. It is the acknowledgement and homage given to God and a worship of thanksgiving. It is cooperation with the plan God pursues in history.

2063 The covenant and dialogue between God and man are also attested to by the fact that all the obligations are stated in the first person (“I am the Lord.") and addressed by God to another personal subject (“you"). In all God's commandments, the singular personal pronoun designates the recipient. God makes his will known to each person in particular, at the same time as he makes it known to the whole people:

The Lord prescribed love towards God and taught justice towards neighbor, so that man would be neither unjust, nor unworthy of God. Thus, through the Decalogue, God prepared man to become his friend and to live in harmony with his neighbor.... the words of the Decalogue remain likewise for us Christians. Far from being abolished, they have received amplification and development from the fact of the coming of the Lord in the flesh.

The Decalogue in the Church's Tradition

2064 In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with the example of Jesus, the tradition of the Church has acknowledged the primordial importance and significance of the Decalogue.

2065 Ever since St. Augustine, the Ten Commandments have occupied a predominant place in the catechesis of baptismal candidates and the faithful. In the fifteenth century, the custom arose of expressing the commandments of the Decalogue in rhymed formulae, easy to memorize and in positive form. They are still in use today. the catechisms of the Church have often expounded Christian morality by following the order of the Ten Commandments.

2066 The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history. the present catechism follows the division of the Commandments established by St. Augustine, which has become traditional in the Catholic Church. It is also that of the Lutheran confessions. the Greek Fathers worked out a slightly different division, which is found in the Orthodox Churches and Reformed communities.

2067 The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor. the first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor.

As charity comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the prophets . . . so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets. Three were written on one tablet and seven on the other.

2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; The Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."

The unity of the Decalogue

2069 The Decalogue forms a coherent whole. Each "word" refers to each of the others and to all of them; they reciprocally condition one another. The two tables shed light on one another; they form an organic unity. To transgress one commandment is to infringe all the others. One cannot honor another person without blessing God his Creator. One cannot adore God without loving all men, his creatures. the Decalogue brings man's religious and social life into unity.

The Decalogue and the natural law

2070 The Ten Commandments belong to God's revelation. At the same time they teach us the true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person. the Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law:

From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to remind him of them. This was the Decalogue.

2071 The commandments of the Decalogue, although accessible to reason alone, have been revealed. To attain a complete and certain understanding of the requirements of the natural law, sinful humanity needed this revelation:

A full explanation of the commandments of the Decalogue became necessary in the state of sin because the light of reason was obscured and the will had gone astray.

We know God's commandments through the divine revelation proposed to us in the Church, and through the voice of moral conscience. the obligation of the Decalogue

2072 Since they express man's fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them. the Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human heart.

2073 Obedience to the Commandments also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light. Thus abusive language is forbidden by the fifth commandment, but would be a grave offense only as a result of circumstances or the offender's intention. "Apart from me you can do nothing."

2074 Jesus says: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of his mysteries, and keep his commandments, the Savior himself comes to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our Father and our brethren. His person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

Daily Devotions/Activities

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Protection of Traditional Marriage

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Plan winter fun:

o   Soak in hot springs

o   Hit the snow slopes

o   Ride a snowmobile

o   Go for a dog sled ride

o   Ride a hot air balloon

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Opera Day

·         Rosary.




[4]https://www.travelchannel.com/roam-blog/food-culture/best-mardi-gras-celebrations-not-in-new-orleans

[5]https://www.azquotes.com/author/28504-Josephine_Bakhita

[7]http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/upload/Prayer-for-Married-Couples.pdf

[9]https://onepeterfive.com/announcement-new-trad-fasting-sodality/

[10] Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations (p. 770). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition



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