NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Thursday, March 14, 2024

 Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

PI DAY-World Kidney Day

 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 8, Verse 12

They subjugated kings both near and far, and all who heard of their fame were AFRAID of them.

This verse is referring to the Romans (150 B.C.) and Judas Maccabee was impressed with the romans for, “Judas had heard of the reputation of the Romans. They were valiant fighters and acted amiably to all who took their side. They established a friendly alliance with all who applied to them. He was also told of their battles and the brave deeds that they performed against the Gaul’s.” (1 Maccabees 8:1-2) Judas sent envoys to Rome, probably before the death of Nicanor, to conclude a treaty of alliance between Rome and the Jewish nation. Without precise chronology, the pertinent data are gathered into a unified theme. The image of the Roman Republic greatly impressed the smaller Eastern peoples seeking support against their overlords, because of Roman success in war and effective aid to their allies. Numerous interventions by Rome in the politics of the Near East bear witness to its power and prestige in the second century B.C. With the increased Roman control of Palestine after 63 B.C., the Republic and later the Empire became heartily detested. The eulogy of Rome in this chapter is one of the reasons why 1 Maccabees was not preserved by the Palestinian Jews of the century that followed.[1]

Fall of the Roman Republic[2]

Tomorrow is the Ides of March

Considering the current politics in America could we have the fall of the American Republic?

In 133 BC, Rome was a democracy. Little more than a hundred years later it was governed by an emperor. This imperial system has become, for us, a by-word for autocracy and the arbitrary exercise of power. At the end of the second century BC the Roman people was sovereign. True, rich aristocrats dominated politics. In order to become one of the annually elected 'magistrates' (who in Rome were concerned with all aspects of government, not merely the law) a man had to be very rich. Even the system of voting was weighted to give more influence to the votes of the wealthy. Yet ultimate power lay with the Roman people. Mass assemblies elected the magistrates, made the laws and took major state decisions. Rome prided itself on being a 'free republic' and centuries later was the political model for the founding fathers of the United States. The system was weighted to give more influence to the votes of the wealthy. By 14 AD, when the first emperor Augustus died, popular elections had all but disappeared. Power was located not in the old republican assembly place of the forum, but in the imperial palace. The assumption was that Augustus's heirs would inherit his rule over the Roman world - and so they did. This was nothing short of a revolution, brought about through a century of constant civil strife, and sometimes open warfare. This ended when Augustus - 'Octavian' as he was then called - finally defeated his last remaining rivals Mark Antony and Cleopatra in 31 BC and established himself on the throne.

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent[3]

Prayer.

GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who are chastised by the fasts we have undertaken, may rejoice with holy devotion; that, our affections being weakened, we may more easily apprehend heavenly things.

EPISTLE, iv. Kings iv. 25-38.

In those days a Sunamite woman came to the man of God to Mount Carmel: and when the man of God saw her coming towards, he said to Giezi his servant: Behold that Sunamitess. Go therefore to meet her, and say to her: Is all well with thee, and with thy husband, and with thy son?

And she answered: Well. And when she came to the man of God to the mount, she caught hold on his feet: and Giezi came to remove her. And the man of God said: Let her alone, for her soul is in anguish, and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. And she said to him: Did I ask a son of my lord? did I not say to thee: Do not deceive me?

Then he said to Giezi: Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thy hand, and go. If any man meets thee, salute him not: and if any man salutes thee, answer him not: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. But the mother of the child said: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. He arose, therefore, and followed her. But Giezi was gone before them and laid the staff upon the face of the child, and there was no voice nor sense: and he returned to meet him, and told him, saying: The child is not risen. Eliseus therefore went into the house, and behold the child lay dead on his bed; and going in he shut the door upon him, and upon the child, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up and lay upon the child: and he put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he bowed himself upon him, and the child’s flesh grew warm. Then he returned and walked in the house, once to and fro: and he went up, and lay upon him: and the child gaped seven times and opened his eyes. And he called Giezi and said to him: Call this Sunamitess. And she being called went in to him: and he said: Take up thy son. She came and fell at his feet and worshipped upon the ground: and took up her son, and went out. And Eliseus returned to Galgal.

GOSPEL. Luke vii. 11-16.

At that time Jesus went into a city that is called Nairn; and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow: and a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, He said to her: Weep not. And He came near and touched the brier. And they that carried it, stood still. And He said: Young man, I say to thee, arise. And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying, A great prophet is risen up among us: and God hath visited His people.

Aids in Battle [4] The Devil and his cohorts as a siege force

Beloved brothers and sisters, we must strive with all our strength to repel the enemy of our souls, with full attention and vigilance, as he rages and aims his darts against every part of us that can be assaulted and wounded. This is what the Apostle Peter, in his epistle, warns.

·         He and his forces circle around each of us and watches. When weaknesses are found, the siege forces break through them and then penetrate to the inside.

·         The enemy presents to the eye’s seductive images and easy pleasures, so he can destroy chastity through the sense of sight.

·         He tempts the ears with seductive music, so that by hearing these sweet sounds, the soul relaxes its guard and loses strength.

·         He provokes the tongue by rebukes.

·         He instigates the hand to do evil through exasperating wrong.

·         He presents the lure of dishonest gains.

·         He promises earthly honors so that he can deprive us of heavenly ones.

·         He makes a show of false things, so that he can steal away the true ones. And when he can’t deceive through stealth, he threatens explicitly and openly, holding out the fear of violent persecution to vanquish God’s servants.

·         For these reasons, beloved brothers and sisters, the mind ought to stand arrayed and armed against all the Devil’s deceiving snares and open threats, as ever ready to repel as the foe is ever ready to attack.

Good Works[5]

 

Lent is traditionally considered a particularly good time for performing corporal works of mercy (e.g., almsgiving, peacemaking, etc.). The importance of supplementing ascetical denial with active virtues is underscored in the Gospel (Luke 11.14-28), in which a man who has had a demon exorcized from him later becomes repossessed by the demon and seven other unclean spirits. Christ's point seems to be that holy practices such as fasting do indeed remove bad things from one's soul, but this is ultimately to no avail if the soul is not then filled with good things. This understanding is also operative in the Collect for the First Sunday of Lent:

 

O God, who by the yearly Lenten observance dost purify Thy Church, grant to Thy household that what they strive to obtain from Thee by abstinence, they may achieve by good works.

 

Baptism[6]
 

Supernatural Life begins at baptism. Jesus himself spoke of baptism in terms of a strict obligation: “unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” When new believers asked St. Peter, the first pope, what they should do, he declared: “Repent, and be baptized”. It is easy for us to take God’s fatherhood for granted. We say easily, “God is our Father” yet we forget that that during Christ’s time to say that could get you killed. This was why the Jews sought to kill Jesus because he called God his Father. When we are born anew in baptism, we are born not of human parentage but heavenly by what theologians call the “marvelous exchange.” In Jesus, God became what we are so that we might become what HE is. This is why God became man and this is why he gave us baptism. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in you mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:11-14). 

Pi Day[7]


Pi Day celebrates the mathematical constant π (pi) or 3.141592653....  Pi is the ratio between the circumference (the distance around the circle) and diameter (the distance through the center of the circle). Pi is a constant; therefore it will be the same for circles of all sizes. Pi is a special number due to its infinite and patternless nature, meaning that the digits after the decimal point never repeat themselves in a specific order. Pi Day celebrations originated in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium when Larry Shaw, a physicist at the Exploratorium, organized the first Pi Day.  It was held on March 14th (3/14), given that the first digits of Pi are 3.14.  Celebrations at the Exploratorium included taking young museum visitors on a parade to the Pi Shrine, which is a round brass plaque fixed on the floor of the museum and serving fruit pies to visitors. Since then, Pi Day celebrations have spread both nationally and globally.  On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day.

 

Pi Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         In 2015 at 9:26:53 (AM and PM), all of the first ten digits of Pi (3.141592653) were present in the date and time.

·         Pi is an irrational number, meaning it cannot be expressed properly as a fraction.

·         Albert Einstein, widely referred to as the father of modern physics, was born on March 14, 1879.  Therefore, Pi Day also recognizes Einstein's birthday.

·         According to the Guinness World Records, Rajveer Meena from India holds the record for memorizing the most decimal places of Pi.  On March 21, 2015, Meena wore a blindfold and recalled 70,000 decimal places of Pi over a period of 10 hours.

·         Pi is not just a collection of random digits, pi is a journey; an experience; unless you try to see the natural poetry that exists in pi, you will find it very difficult to learn. – Dr. Antranig Basman, Mathematician and Software Developer

 

Pi Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Memorize as many digits of Pi as you can (remember, the World Record Holder was able to memorize 70,000 decimal places of pi).

·         Eat a pie to celebrate Pi day and earn bonus points if you can calculate Pi for your pie's circumference!  Here are some twists on traditional pies that you can try:
1) Avocado and cream cheese pie
2) Cheeseburger and pickle pie made from ground beef, cheese, and chopped dill pickles
3) Mac and Cheese Pie topped with bacon
4) Hot dog pie covered with a layer of cheese
5) Twinkie pie topped with whipped cream

·         Practice your geometry and algebra equations that contain the constant Pi. Here are some useful formulas to help you:
Circumference of a circle = 2 πr
Area of a Circle = π r^2
Volume of a Cylinder = π r^2h
where r=radius and h=height

·         Go for a 3.14km walk to celebrate Pi Day.

·         Watch movies about mathematics:
1) Good Will Hunting (1997)
2) A Beautiful Mind (2001)
3) The Number 23 (2007)
4) Rain Man (1988)


5) The Theory of Everything (2014)

Kidney Day[8]

Kidney Day was first celebrated in 2006 asking – Are Your Kidneys, Ok?

The idea that there is great need to educate the world about the importance of kidney health and reduce the impact of kidney disease and other health conditions associated with them, is what pushed the ISN and IFKF to team up and make a difference.

The goal that was established was to raise awareness of what our kidneys do and what can happen when they are not working properly. They strive to teach the risk factors and bring screening to those at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD). Prevention is the main overall goal by teaching communities how to keep their risk factors as low as possible.

Respectfully, Kidney Day is also about donation. Transplant professionals use the day to educate people on the need for organ donation. This is a decision that if left until the last moment can be difficult and painful for families. But individuals can easily make their wishes known and in the United States can identify this on their identification. These donations can bring the joy of life back to someone who is suffering from kidney disease.

How to celebrate Kidney Day

Across the world, celebrations take different forms, from free screenings to Zumba marathons! Is your community planning an event? Celebrate by attending and learning more!

Do you know what your personal risk for chronic kidney disease is?

If not, use this reminder to make an appointment to see your physician and find out.

According to worldkidneyday.org, there are 8 golden rules for kidney health.

  1. Keep regular control of your blood sugar. About 50% of people with Diabetes will develop kidney damage. Make sure you are doing all you can to stay in control!
  2. Keep fit and active. Staying active helps in many areas to keep your kidneys healthy as well as promotes positive mood and weight loss.
  3. Eat healthy and keep your weight in check. Making good food choices will go hand in hand with staying active to reduce weight and encourage good health.
  4. Water, water, water! Keeping hydrated is good for your skin as well as your kidneys. Staying hydrated flushes, the toxins out of the kidneys and reduces the chance of kidney stones.
  5. No Smoking! Smoking is bad in many ways, but for the kidneys, the chance of developing cancer in them increases by 50% for smokers.
  6. Stay away from over-the-counter medicine for chronic issues. Many over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen can harm your kidneys if taken regularly. It is ok to take for emergencies, but see a physician if you are having chronic pain for options that will not cause harm.

Celebrate Kidney Day by learning more about your kidneys and how to keep them healthy and happy for years to come!

chronic kidney disease

I Just found out from my doctor that I have chronic kidney disease. So here is my plan. 

·         Exercise. Focus on daily exercise which includes 20 minutes of cardio followed by 20 minutes resistance training using a modified Universal Man Plan.

o   The morbidity and mortality associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are primarily caused by atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, which may be in part caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. Aerobic exercise and resistance training have been proposed as measures to combat obesity, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and progression of CKD.[9]

·         Cold Therapy. Inflammatory cytokines play a pivotal role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and innovative non-pharmacological therapies aimed at limiting cytokine production are highly warranted. Recently, our group showed that healthy volunteers trained in an intervention developed by 'Iceman' Wim Hof were able to voluntarily attenuate the pro-inflammatory response during experimental human endotoxemia (a model of systemic inflammation elicited by administration of lipopolysaccharide [LPS] in healthy volunteers). Subjects trained in the intervention exhibited profound increases in plasma adrenaline levels, a rapid increase of an anti-inflammatory cytokine and subsequent attenuation of the pro-inflammatory response.[10]

o   Wim Hof Method-Free Mini Course


·         Eat less Meat. Plan to eat 60/20/20. 60% fruits and vegetables. 20% fats. 20% protein. (Note: protein is hard on kidneys)[11]

o   Eat Fish[12]

o   Make Soup[13]Catholic Recipe: Monastery Soup

·         Have a drink. The link between the quantity consumed per drinking day and getting CKD was U-shaped. Those who had about five or more drinks per drinking day had risk levels about as high non-drinkers. Similar categories of quantity per drinking day were examined. The risks of CKD were lower in the four to seven drinking days per week group than in the one to three drinking days per week group.[14]

·         Daily Rosary. Prayer can provide multiple beneficial effects, such as reduction of mortality in patients with bloodstream infections, reduction of anxiety, and depression and better physical functioning.[15]

·         Sleep 7-8 hours. "Short sleep and fragmented sleep are significant yet unappreciated risk factors for chronic kidney disease progression," said study author Dr. Ana Ricardo, of the University of Illinois at Chicago.[16]

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 6-THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT

IV. Offenses Against the Dignity of Marriage

Adultery

2380 Adultery refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations - even transient ones - they commit adultery. Christ condemns even adultery of mere desire. The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely. The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of idolatry.

2381 Adultery is an injustice. He who commits adultery fails in his commitment. He does injury to the sign of the covenant which the marriage bond is, transgresses the rights of the other spouse, and undermines the institution of marriage by breaking the contract on which it is based. He compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who need their parents' stable union.

Divorce

2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble. He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.
Between the baptized, "a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death."

2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.
If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself.

2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.

Other offenses against the dignity of marriage

2387 The predicament of a man who, desiring to convert to the Gospel, is obliged to repudiate one or more wives with whom he has shared years of conjugal life, is understandable. However, polygamy is not in accord with the moral law." [Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive." The Christian who has previously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his children.

2388 Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them. St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you . . . for a man is living with his father's wife.... In the name of the Lord Jesus ... you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh...." Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.

2389 Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. the offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives, and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.

2390 In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy.

The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future?

The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.

2391 Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However, firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.

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[17] 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 is from KANSAS

After Dinner Cigars 

Rachel’s Corner[18]

The Rosary is a treasure to be discovered by everyone, at any age, at any time in history.

Just START!

When families pray the Rosary together regularly, children learn about Jesus’s life and how much he loves them. It also models for our children how to lean on and trust in God during difficult times.

Your family doesn’t have to do it perfectly or resemble a gathering of monks. Just grab a rosary and gather your children. If you imagine your children sitting like angels with hands folded together reverently with their rosaries dangling between their palms, you have probably seen one too many Catholic stock photos!

It’s okay if your kids are wiggly, ask questions in the middle of the prayers, or suddenly remember a story about your dog in between decades. This is life with children. You have to live in the moment, not in a fantasy. If you expect too much of your kids in the beginning, you may never start – and that would be a shame.

So, my big message to you is JUST START. Start where you are and where your kids are.

·         Religion in the Home for Elementary School: March

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “To find the spirit of poverty try to think of others as much as you think of yourself or try to think less of yourself and others more. Let humility be your way of being. Treasure each day being open to the gifts the Father gives, be grateful for the unfailing love He gives you. The humble spirit finds treasure in chastity and is not disturbed by rebukes or the of the envies of others, nor do they seek revenge, nor the lure of dishonest gains. No, they find joy in the most trying of circumstances, their ears are attuned to the music of the soul.”  

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Catholic Politian’s and Leaders.

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 28

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Universal Man Plan

 



[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[4] Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

[6] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 3. Baptism.

[7]https://www.wincalendar.com/Pi-Day

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18155113/

[10] https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03240497

[11]https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/eating-nutrition

[12]https://www.kidneycoach.com/kidney-nutrients/fish-oil-omega-3-and-its-use-in-kidney-disease/

[13]https://blogs.davita.com/kidney-diet-tips/six-soups-make-season/

[16]https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20161119/poor-sleep-linked-to-worsening-kidney-disease

[17] 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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