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NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Friday, May 10, 2024

Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts       

Novena Day One: Friday, 6th Week of Easter


Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin! Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for 'The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.'

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once
Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, 'Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.' Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.


Friday in the Octave of the Ascension

PENTECOST NOVENA-St. Damien Of Molokai

 

Acts, Chapter 18, verse 9-10

9 One night in a vision the Lord said to Paul, “Do not be AFRAID. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city.”

 

When we remain silent in the presence of evil, out of fear, this is wrong. Our Lord suffers with every injustice. We must speak out against evil our Lord tells us, “Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.”

 

One such evil is the murder of the unborn. The good news is we can do something.

 

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.

God will not hold us guiltless.

Not to speak is to speak.

Not to act is to act" ~

Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

The Virtue of Intolerance[1]

Intolerance has a bad reputation. And with good reason too. Still, Im not so sure it should be thrown out with the bathwater quite yet. As a matter of fact, Im actually an advocate of having a good healthy dose of it.

Surprised?

Keep reading. I think youll agree.

You see, the problem with intolerance is not so much the intolerance per se as much as what our intolerance is directed at. Its the object of intolerance that makes it a moral issue. Change the object and the morality of your intolerance changes too. There are certainly things in life we should tolerate like human differences, the incessant questions from children, clumsy attempts by good-meaning people to offer help, bad fashion and the like. But there are times when intolerance is an outright virtue. Read on to see what I mean

10 Things Worthy of Our Intolerance

1. Be Intolerant of Naysayers

Pursuing our dreams and reaching our goals are hard enough on their own. Trying to swim upstream as others throw rocks at us makes it unnecessarily harder. So be wary of sharing your goals with those who habitually doubt and criticize and put down. Wet blankets are wet blankets no matter what the relationship. Choose who you confide in wisely. Those who tolerate pessimism (from themselves or others) are those who volunteer to climb the mountain of life with one arm tied behind their back and one leg cut off. Still, dont confuse pessimism with wisdom or prudence. Optimism is not intellectual laziness. Positive thinking does not grant absolution from responsibility or honest self-evaluation of your assets, abilities and commitment. It doesnt excuse you from the hard work of preparation. Optimists still buy life insurance. But where pessimism itself is creating deep caverns of difficulty between you and your dreams, a quiet and respectful yet sturdy and firm intolerance may be the most appropriate response.

2. Be Intolerant of Hate

Dont tolerate racist jokes and comments. Dont accept hateful barbs thrown at you or others. Never look the other way or excuse the bully regardless of the bullys background. To do otherwise is to enable and empower the hate, to turn your back on the bullied, give tacit approval to the intolerable behavior and abandon its object to a miserable fate. Dont tolerate your own hate either. Hatred is a cancer that must be removed before it metastasizes into the bone marrow of your soul. But be careful not to accuse every disagreement as being motivated by hate. Be tolerant of opposing ideas even if intolerant of the hate that may motivate some who articulate them.

3. Be Intolerant of Dishonesty

Dont accept lies. Period. Dont tell them. Dont accept them. Live your life in such a way as to not feel the need to hide behind them. Don’t allow others (or yourself) the opportunity to nestle into their own cowardice. That is, after all, what lying is. It’s an attempt to get around the consequences of our decisions. Or perhaps it’s a way to avoid the overreaction of someone close or who has authority over us. Even so, have the courage to let the person overreacting choose how to deal with an honest life, not a pretended one. Then have the courage to accept their response.

4. Be Intolerant of Hypocrisy

Do you expect from others what you don’t expect from yourself? Do you impose a set of rules on others you won’t accept as an imposition on you?

That’s what hypocrisy is, you know. Hypocrisy is the act of living a lie, pretending to be something youre not or requiring others to live by a set of rules you reject for yourself. If you tolerate hypocrisy from others, stop it! Demand an equal playing field. Anything less is a form of servitude. Refuse to be a slave to someone elses unwillingness to treat you like an equal. But remember that hypocrisy is not the same as inconsistency or human frailty. We are all inconsistent at living up to all we value. Otherwise, we would be perfect – or would have no ideals, standards or values we would have to bother trying to live up to. So be decidedly tolerant of people inconsistently trying to live up to their values and intolerant of those who would hide behind their values or impose them on others while ducking the imposition themselves.

5. Be Intolerant of Excuses

Excuses are messy things. They squirm and whine and reshape themselves like playdough pushed into cracks and crevasses. They defuse and deny, weaken and stifle greatness. Stay away from the numbing poison of excuses. Providing reasons is not the same as giving excuses, though. Reasons give an accounting, while excuses justify. Reasons accept responsibility, while excuses seek to pin fault on someone elses lapel. Reasons explain, while excuses try to divert attention and hide motive. So never give in to the self-defeating urge to give excuses for balls dropped and wrong turns made. And while youre at it, dont accept them from others either. Hold yourself and others accountable for the decisions you and they make. Be compassionate, forgiving and patient as we all learn to accept responsibility for our choices, but intolerant of the excuses we may try to irresponsibly hide behind in the meantime.

6. Be Intolerant of Gossip

If you are not intolerant of gossip you will become a steppingstone for it to spread its social damage. Gossip not shared but tolerated is fueled. Refuse to tolerate it. Stop it dead in its tracks. Ask for evidence. Make those dishing it out explain themselves. Suggest going to the person being gossiped about for their side as a concerned friend or neighbor or associate. Be the person responsible for killing the words that whisper and sneak behind backs and cowardly hide behind anonymity. Gossip is a form of cowardice. Cowardice dies in the light. Shine the light.

7. Be Intolerant of Timewasters

The respect you have for yourself and others can be seen in the way you treat your time and theirs. Dont get me wrong, socializing and recreation are not wastes of time. They are essential to renew and befriend and experience many of lifes little joys. But to spend hours on end in no particular endeavor, as a pattern of repeated behavior, stealing the moments otherwise available for more meaningful activities is to fundamentally misunderstand what life was meant to be and, most tragically, what you could have become and accomplished had time been used more wisely.

8. Be Intolerant of Ingratitude

Ingratitude is a particularly ugly form of selfishness. Its taking others kindness for granted, indifferent to their thoughtfulness.

Ingratitude is intolerable because it fails to recognize the humanity of the person who has done something kind. Even Jesus asked the 10th leper where the other nine were he had healed when the 10th was the only one to thank him. Help people grow by gently and lovingly and compassionately reminding them to express gratitude more freely. You will be helping them lay a foundation for greater and deeper and more consistent levels of happiness. Still, the most effective way to encourage gratitude in others is to be grateful yourself. Lead by example, not in spite of it.

9. Be Intolerant of Self-condemnation

The words we use when we talk to ourselves or about ourselves matter tremendously. They matter because our words tend to gel into belief. And belief sets the parameter for action. We will never do what we are sure can never be done. So our self-talk, the tone and words and meaning we use in our internal dialogue, shapes us, affecting (sometimes infecting) our attitudes and reactions to life. When we criticize and condemn, we start to believe were less, unworthy, inevitable screw-ups and good for very little. Dont tolerate it. Correct it. Argue against it. Push the little whiny weasel into the corner and out the backdoor then lock it! And never allow the weasel back in. Tolerate mistakes and human imperfection. Dont tolerate the self-abusive contempt we sometimes internalize when we inevitably stumble.

10. Be Intolerant of Fear

Fear of bee stings is a good thing if youre deathly allergic and standing at the edge of a field of flowers swarming with the little buggers as a friend (or enemy?) waves you out into the field. But its not a good thing if it keeps you from ever going outside. Context and degree are important factors to consider when evaluating the psychological health of your fear. But here are a few basic questions that should help:

Is your fear limiting your ability to live life to its fullest?
Is it tearing you apart from the inside?
Is it harming relationships, self-esteem, self-respect, work performance or otherwise getting in the way?
Is it chronic and debilitating?
Does it control you?
Is it overwhelming?

If your answer is yes to any of those questions, you are tolerating a response to a perceived threat that may not be as threatening as you think it is. If you can, confront it. If you cant, get help from someone who can walk you through it or around it or away from it. Remember, fear is only a perceived obstacle to the path you want to travel. It does not control you. Its nothing more than a feeling, an emotional response to a perceived outcome. Change the perception and the fear starts to dissipate.

Pentecost Novena[2]

The Pentecost Novena is the first of all novenas, nine days of prayer. After Jesus' Ascension into heaven, He commanded His disciples to come together in the upper room to devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). They prayed for nine days before receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

On May 4, 1897, Pope Leo XIII proclaimed: "We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a novena shall take place before Whit-Sunday (Pentecost), in all parish churches." It has been reported that Pope Leo XIII was inspired to mandate the Pentecost novena because of a letter from a housewife in Italy. Pope John Paul II has reiterated Pope Leo XIII's command for a worldwide Pentecost novena, although the novena can be prayed at any time — not only before Pentecost.

Try to go to Mass daily throughout the novena. Go to Confession during the novena. Make visits to church to adore the eucharistic Jesus throughout the novena. The Church has not written any official prayers for the novena. The following prayers are suggested.

FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension)

 

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

 

Special Intention

 

“Johanninise the souls of our priests and bishops. Please, Lord, grant a Priestly Pentecost.”

 

The Holy Spirit

 

Only one thing is important — eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared–sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”

 

Prayer

 

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

 

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

 

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.

 

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

 

St. Damien of Molokai[3]

 

Joseph De Veuster, the future Father Damien, was born at Tremelo in Belgium, January 3rd, 1840. His was a large family and his father was a farmer-merchant. When his oldest brother entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts (called 'Picpus' after the street in Paris where its Generalate was located), his father planned that Joseph should take charge of the family business. Joseph, however, decided to become a religious. At the beginning of 1859 he entered the novitiate at Louvain, in the same house as his brother. There he took the name of Damien. In 1863, his brother who was to leave for the mission in the Hawaiian Islands, became ill. Since preparations for the voyage had already been made, Damien obtained permission from the Superior General to take his brother's place. He arrived in Honolulu on March 19th, 1864, where he was ordained to the priesthood the following May 21st. He immediately devoted himself, body and soul, to the difficult service of a "country missionary" on the island of Hawaii, the largest in the Hawaiian group. At that time, the Hawaiian Government decided on a very harsh measure aimed at stopping the spread of "leprosy," the deportation to the neighboring island of Molokai, of all those infected by what was thought to be an incurable disease. The entire mission was concerned about the abandoned "lepers" and the Bishop, Louis Maigret ss.cc., spoke to the priests about the problem. He did not want to send anyone "in the name of obedience," because he knew that such an order meant certain death. Four Brothers volunteered, they would take turns visiting and assisting the "lepers" in their distress. Damien was the first to leave on May 10th, 1873. At his own request and that of the lepers, he remained definitively on Molokai. He brought hope to this hell of despair. He became a source of consolation and encouragement for the lepers, their pastor, the doctor of their souls and of their bodies, without any distinction of race or religion. He gave a voice to the voiceless, he built a community where the joy of being together and openness to the love of God gave people new reasons for living.

 

After Father Damien contracted the disease in 1885, he was able to identify completely with them: "We lepers." Father Damien was, above all, a witness of the love of God for His people. He got his strength from the Eucharist: "lt is at the foot of the altar that we find the strength we need in our isolation..." It is there that he found for himself and for others the support and the encouragement, the consolation and the hope, he could, with a deep faith, communicate to the lepers. All that made him "the happiest missionary in the world," a servant of God, and a servant of humanity. Having contracted "leprosy" himself, Fr. Damien died on April 15th, 1889, having served sixteen years among the lepers. His mortal remains were transferred in 1936 to Belgium where he was interred in the crypt of the church of the Congregation of Sacred Hearts at Louvain. His fame spread to the entire world. In 1938 the process for his beatification was introduced at Malines (Belgium): Pope Paul VI signed the Decree on the "heroicity of his virtues" on July 7th, 1977. He was canonized on October 11th, 2009.

 

In Father Damien, the Church proposes an example to all those who find sense for their life in the Gospel and who wish to bring the Good News to the poor of our time.

 

Things to Do: 

Be adventurous and prepare a Hawaiian luau in honor of St. Damien.

 

Humble Confession[4]

A story about Father Damien the leper shows us how no one or anything should stop us from making a humble confession. One of Father Damien's greatest sufferings after he left for Molokai was his inability to go to confession. Two months after his arrival on the island, the Honolulu Board of Health ruled that no one on Molokai would be allowed to return, even temporarily. This was a cruel blow to a man of such delicate conscience as Father Damien, accustomed to receiving the grace of the sacrament of Penance weekly. Since he was forbidden to leave, it seemed someone must come to him. In September, a steamer stopped outside the shore settlement of Kalaupapa with the usual load of provisions, patients banished from the mainland, and this time with Father Damien's provincial, Father Modeste, who knew the young priest was longing to see him. As he prepared to land, Father Modeste was confronted by the captain. "I have formal orders to stop you," he announced. There was nothing left but for Damien to come out to the ship. He did, in a small boat rowed by two of his leper friends and prepared to board. "Stay back! Stay back!" shouted the captain. "I've been strictly forbidden to let you see anyone!" Father Damien stood in the little boat, so near and yet so far. Quickly he made up his mind. "Very well, I will go to confession here." And with his provincial leaning over the railing on the deck, the priest confessed his sins and received absolution. It is said no one on board knew French. Nevertheless, one cannot help feeling that in this case the walls, the very skies, had ears. It was truly heroic: a man making the choice between human respect and sacramental grace. There is no comparison. Penance is the torrent that will cleanse us. Let neither pride nor human respect prevent our making a humble confession.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER THREE-THE LIFE OF PRAYER

Article 2-THE BATTLE OF PRAYER

IV. Persevering in Love

2742 "Pray constantly . . . always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father." St. Paul adds, "Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints." For "we have not been commanded to work, to keep watch and to fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing." This tireless fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness, the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting, and persevering love. This love opens our hearts to three enlightening and life-giving facts of faith about prayer.

2743 It is always possible to pray: the time of the Christian is that of the risen Christ who is with us always, no matter what tempests may arise. Our time is in the hands of God:

It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone, or seated in your shop, . . . while buying or selling, . . . or even while cooking.

2744 Prayer is a vital necessity. Proof from the contrary is no less convincing: if we do not allow the Spirit to lead us, we fall back into the slavery of sin. How can the Holy Spirit be our life if our heart is far from him?

Nothing is equal to prayer; for what is impossible it makes possible, what is difficult, easy.... For it is impossible, utterly impossible, for the man who prays eagerly and invokes God ceaselessly ever to sin.

Those who pray are certainly saved; those who do not pray are certainly damned.

2745 Prayer and Christian life are inseparable, for they concern the same love and the same renunciation, proceeding from love; the same filial and loving conformity with the Father's plan of love; the same transforming union in the Holy Spirit who conforms us more and more to Christ Jesus; the same love for all men, the love with which Jesus has loved us. "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he [will] give it to you. This I command you, to love one another."

He "prays without ceasing" who unites prayer to works and good works to prayer. Only in this way can we consider as realizable the principle of praying without ceasing.

 

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prayer After Mass

Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, 
my memory, my understanding, and my will. 
All that I have and cherish
you have given me. 
I surrender it all to be guided by Your will. 
Your grace and Your love
are enough for me. 
Give me these, Lord Jesus, 
and I ask for nothing more. Amen.

Fitness Friday: Work out like a Polynesian warrior![5]

Bored of the gym? Practice the skills needed to survive on one of the world’s remotest islands.

For over a thousand years, the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island have lived in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Their survival has depended on strength, resourcefulness and sometimes war. Today, the island's annual two-week Tapati Festival celebrates their culture, and exhibits their athletic prowess. So put that gym visit on hold for a moment and imagine what some warpaint, a volcano and a 20kg banana weight belt could do for your fitness goals!

Here’s the set…

More: Here's how to win the world's harshest race...

1. Run

Begin with a pulse raiser. The Rapa Nui run barefoot with 20kg of bananas hanging over their shoulders, dressed in only a hami (loincloth). The route is a kilometre loop around an emerald lake inside the Rano Raraku volcano.

Replicate:

No treadmill we know has this adventure setting... Grab a sandbag (or a rucksack full of flour) and get outdoors for a run. Build up the distance and speed slowly.

2. Throw

The Rapa Nui whittle their spears from long straight branches, then attach sharpened flints. Points are accumulated by hitting banana tree targets. The thinner the tree, the more points for your tribe.

Replicate:

Stop yanking on those gym cables to improve your shoulder and back strength. Instead check out what field throwing sports your local athletics club can offer. Banana trees not included.

3. Carve

Easter Island is famous for the mysterious moai stone statues. Today the Rapa Nui hold forearm-bursting, speed-carving competitions – albeit on a slightly smaller scale to their ancestors.

Replicate:

Think 1,000 bicep curls is the only way to build forearm strength? Think again. Sculpt your cufflink crackers with some wood carving of your own.

4. Fish

The Rapa Nui are incredible underwater hunters. They can hold their breath for up to four minutes whilst stalking their prey.

Replicate:

Take the plunge and see how far you can go on a single breath with a freediving course.

5. Ride

Galloping along the edge of sea cliffs is not wild enough for the Rapa Nui. The jockeys ride bareback at the Vaihu horse race – gripping just the horse’s manes and squeezing wildly with their calves and thighs.

Replicate:

Don’t have a horse of your own? Get the same workout from riding a mountain bike at any of these great spots.

6. Paddle

The banana carrying footrace inside the volcano also requires a crossing of the lake. The Rapa Nui competitors cross the water on boats made of reeds that are collected and woven from the very same lake.

Replicate:

Turn your workout into an adventure with an introduction to sea kayaking.

7. Dance

Easter Island’s dances are a collection of the best cultural influences from their not-so-near neighbors. It’s an exhausting blend of the haka from New Zealand, the hula from Hawii and the Latin passion of South America.

Replicate:

Tired of zumba-ing soullessly into your gym studio’s mirror? Put some life back into your dance workout by making it fun and social with friends.

8. Slide

Take two banana trunks to the top of a volcano, lash them together, coat yourself in body paint and toboggan down at speeds up to 80kph.

Replicate:

Ahem… OK, you’ve got us here. The best option is to check it out for yourself!

Nicole’s Corner-Relaxing Getaway

Wine. Dine. Unwind. Retail therapy and aromatherapy are both on the agenda during this circuit of Greater Phoenix’s plentiful people pleasures.

Day 1: Phoenix spa day

Rejuvenate after your travels with a day at one of Phoenix’s premier destination spas, such as the Alvadora Spa or the Joya Spa .

Let the elements of the desert heal and rejuvenate with a spa treatment inspired by the local landscape.

Day 2: Retail therapy

Stroll beneath the palms in a sprawling shopper’s paradise at Biltmore Fashion Park or Kierland Commons, and splurge on couture at Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Take home a thoughtful gift from a local boutique such as MADE Art Boutique, downtown’s Bunky Boutique or one of these other shops selling local goods.

Day 3: Wine tours, scotch tastings, craft beer

Tour and taste your way through Arizona’s wineries on a short-day trip from Phoenix.

If you’re not a fan of reds and whites, just browse the shelves of Westin Kierland’s extensive Scotch Library, or hop on a ride with Arizona Brewery Tours to explore Phoenix's craft beer scene.

The Scotch Library at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Day 4: A day by the pool and fine dining

Don’t leave America’s sunniest metropolis without spending a little time poolside. From serene settings to wild water parks, we've got a resort pool to fit your style.

Cap your getaway with fine fare just steps away from your pool chair at Phoenix resort restaurants such as Prado Restaurant and Mbar at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia and elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney's Resort & Spa.

Daily Devotions

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

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

 

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Monday, October 3, 2022

 Monday Night at the Movies Luis Bunuel, Simon of the Desert, 1965 SAINT MOTHER THEODORE GUERIN   Hebrews, Chapter 12, Verse 21 Indeed, so FEARFUL was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.”   Moses was the heir apparent to the throne of Egypt in his youth. As a member of the Egyptian court, he would have seen many fearful spectacles yet imagine what it must have been like to have been a witness of God descending on Mount Sinai to give the law. He was terrified and trembling. Again, now imagine if Moses was somehow resurrected and was able to walk into an ordinary catholic church that has a very modest Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Do you think his reaction would be any different than the first time he encountered the living God?  Be Still and Know that I am God [1]   On the evening of October 1995, John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. It had been a very full day that began with a Mass at Oriole Park in Camden Y

Friday, August 26, 2022

 Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA   Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.   Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target.   Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden

Thirty Days with Mary-Day 26-September 9

    30 Days of Women and Herbs – Frauendreissiger Mugwort   (Artemisia vulgaris) 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 8 He urged his men not to  fear  the attack of the Gentiles, but mindful of the help they had received in the past from Heaven, to expect now the victory that would be given them by the Almighty.   As an old, retired military man it was common for us to say while we were loading our magazines with bullets, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." We knew that without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Optimists see steppingstones where pessimists see stumbling blocks.   Heavenly Intercession [1] "Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him, he said 'Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries.' " —2 Maccabees 15:15-16   Nicanor planned to slaughter the Jews on th

Monday, August 12, 2019

Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast [1] After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

iFrame is not supported! Self-mastery. Manliness requires virtue. Yet “virtue” can seem like a vague concept. How do you make it concrete? What does virtue look like for a man, a husband, a father? Most of you who took our survey awhile back asked us to talk about this. Today’s video covers the basics. In The Catholic Gentleman+, you’ll grow in virtue through a monthly challenge. By accepting each challenge, you will: Break down self-mastery into achievable goals. Practice essential virtues like chastity, patience, and charity. Perfect your God-given masculinity. WATCH THE VIDEO NOW We launch tomorrow! Look for the next email with your signup link.  We’ll give you a special launch discount too. See you inside. In Jesus Through Mary, John PS: Through all of the excitement we continue to get asked what will be inside Catholic Gentleman+ so I thought it would be helpful to outline it here. Daily Saint Quotes for Meditation straight to your email or SMS 6 Pillar Vi

Spain-Las Fallas-St. Joseph

 

Is "The Warning" Imminent?

Friday, March 18, 2016 Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that the LORD had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.” Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him. Dire Straits [1] · At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. · If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up north: it'll be devastated, but the priests and prophets don't want

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 h