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Friday, July 5, 2024

July 5

 

Saint of the day:

Saint Elizabeth the New Martyr


Patron Saint of Russia


First Friday

 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 19, Verse 16-20

16 If a hostile witness rises against someone to accuse that person of wrongdoing, 17 the two parties in the dispute shall appear in the presence of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and judges in office at that time, 18 and the judges must investigate it thoroughly. If the witness is a false witness and has falsely accused the other, 19 you shall do to the false witness just as that false witness planned to do to the other. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. 20 The rest shall hear and be AFRAID, and never again do such an evil thing as this in your midst. 21 Do not show pity. Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot! 

This is some hard stuff. Yet, we should not be namby-pamby either. There should be a system of justice and we should be just people. Christ reminds us that if we want justice, we must be just ourselves.

 

The Gospel of St. Matthew records these words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:

 

5:38 "You have heard that it was said, —An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'

 

5:39 But I say to you, do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;

 

5:40 and if anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;

 

5:41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

 

5:42 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.

 

5:43 "You have heard that it was said, —You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

 

5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

 

5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

 

5:47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

 

Answer provided by Fr. John Echert[1] on 6/12/2001 via EWTN.

 

First Friday Promises[2]

 

Those who faithfully complete the First Friday devotion for nine consecutive months are promised the following, as told to Roman Catholic nun St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Our Lord Jesus Christ:

1.      I will give them all of the graces necessary for their state of life.

2.      I will establish peace in their homes.

3.      I will comfort them in all their afflictions.

4.      I will be their strength during life and above all during death.

5.      I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.

6.      Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.

7.      Tepid souls shall grow fervent.

8.      Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.

9.      I will bless every place where a picture of my heart shall be set up and honored.

10.  I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

11.  Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

12.  I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

To gain these blessings there are just three simple requirements to complete each month.

  1. Attend Holy Mass
  2. Receive Communion
  3. Go to Confession †

What are the seven wounds or scars of Christ?[3]

 

God’s love for sinners led Him to give all for their salvation (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ bore the chastisement necessary to give guilty humans peace with God. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Our Savior shed His blood to save humanity from eternal death (Romans 6:23). He did this because, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins” (Leviticus 17:11, 14; Hebrew 9:22). Every animal sacrifice pointed forward to the ultimate sacrifice of the “Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Therefore, “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). The Bible records the following seven wounds or scars of Jesus: 

1-The wounds on His head

 

Matthew wrote, “And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it on His head… (ch. 27:9, also John 19:5). The type of thorns that were grown in Jerusalem were called the Arabian Nebulae. This plant had sharp thorns that were up to 4 inches long. It is estimated that the cruel crown had over 100 spicules or thorns. This crown was pushed into Jesus’ head causing deep wounds. The prophecy given to Ezekiel appears to apply not only to him in his day, but also of Jesus. “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day…  And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 2:3, 6). In addition, Jesus received blows on his face on two different occasions. This could have caused additional wounds or scars. Matthew wrote, “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands” (Matthew 26:67; John 18:22). This was a fulfillment to the Old Testament prophecy.  “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). 

2-The wounds on His back

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged Him” (Matthew 27:20; John 19:1). The Romans used the brutal cat-of-nine tails whip to scourge prisoners. At the tips of the whip were nine strands of leather which had sharp bones or metal balls attached with nails. As the whip was lashed on the back of the prisoners, it would tear out the flesh causing intense bleeding. According to the law, victims could be whipped up to 40 times. However, the punishment would frequently end at 39 lashes because the effects were often fatal.

This was a fulfillment of several Old Testament prophecies to the wounds or scars of Jesus. “The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long” (Psalms 129:3). “I gave My back to the smiters” (Isaiah 50:6). Also, “They shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod” (Micah 5:1). Jesus indeed endured suffering and pain for those whom He loves. 

3 and 4-The wounds on His two hands

Perhaps the most notable scars or wounds of Jesus are those on His hands from the crucifixion. “So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified” (Mark 15:15 also Matthew 27:26, 35; John 19:1, 17). The nailing of Jesus’ hands was a fulfillment to a Messianic Psalm. “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16). Also, the prophet Zechariah foretold of the Messiah’s pierced hands. “And one shall say unto Him, what are these wounds in Thine hands?…” (ch. 13:6). He also added, “They shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).

After the resurrection, Jesus invited Thomas “the doubter” to see and touch His nail-pierced hands for himself. “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands… Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27). 

5 and 6- The wounds on His two feet

The New Testament records that Jesus was crucified by nailing His feet. “And when they were come… to Calvary, there they crucified Jesus” (Luke 23:33; John 19:16-18). This was a fulfillment to the Old Testament prophecy that stated, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16). Also, “They shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10). The piercing of the feet was an important part of the crucifixion. When the victim was nailed in the feet to the cross, this was essential to them being able to breathe. As they hung with arms extended, breathing was very difficult, and the person would have to push up with their legs onto their nail-pierced feet in order to inhale. It caused excruciating pain with every breath, but it was how the victim temporarily survived. This is why the guards would break the legs of the victim in order for the person to expire. However, it was prophesied of Jesus that none of His bones would be broken. “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken” (Psalm 34:20).

“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away… But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs… For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken” (John 19:31, 33, 36).  

7- The wound on His side

In order to verify Jesus’ death, “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water” (John 19:34). This fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy that stated, “They shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10). After the resurrection, Jesus invited Thomas “the doubter” to put his hand also into His side saying, “Reach your finger here…and put it into My side…” (John 20:27). This final piercing of Jesus showed the state of His heart. The fact that both water and blood came out demonstrates the extreme stress and trauma He was under. It was so intense that it brought about a condition known as pericardial effusion. This is where fluid builds around the heart and can be fatal.  It is often said that this event shows that Jesus died of a broken heart.

Jesus’ wounds of love

God demonstrated inexplicable love for the lost race in enduring this sacrifice for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

The scars or wounds on Christ’s glorified body will remain throughout eternity to testify to the Creator’s infinite love for humanity. “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zechariah 13:6).

 

Fitness Friday

 

Flipping the Switches of Manliness[4]

The solution for the modern male malaise lies at the heart of the idea behind the Art of Manliness itself: to move forward by looking back.

The solution means moving beyond the all-or-nothing proposition we sometimes feel we are stuck with. Men feel like they cannot fully embrace the old ways nor move into the new ways, and so they decide to do nothing at all. But it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to become a sensitive ponytail guy OR a Neanderthal.

Something that has helped me lately is picturing those unique primordial male characteristics as power switches that are either on or off. When these switches are turned on, they activate our Wild Man. Talked about in books like Iron John and Wild at Heart, and here on AoM, the Wild Man is the spirited, primal part of a man’s soul.

And the thing I’ve discovered is that you can activate your Wild Man by doing things far short of running down a herd of antelope for your dinner. You can take the parts of masculinity that have been an integral part of manliness for thousands of years and make sure some semblance of them are operating in your life. Not to the extent that they were manifested in the lives of primitive man, but active nonetheless.  Sometimes we don’t move forward in our life because we think the solution to our problem must be complicated and arduous to be effective. But the switches of manliness can be turned on in surprisingly small and simple ways.

What are the switches of manliness?

I know it’s debatable, and everyone is going to have their opinion as to what they are, but I personally believe that there are five switches that every man must turn on in order to power his spiritedness and flip on the motivation that allows him to reach his full potential:

One wonders if these are also be used as switches to turn a sinful man to a saint.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be exploring each of the these switches, both the sociology and biology behind them, but also the practical ways to flip the switches in your life so you can rein in your restlessness, activate your manliness, and cure the modern male malaise you might be feeling.

Switches of Manliness Series:
The Cure for the Modern Male Malaise
Switch #1: Physicality
Switch #2: Challenge
Switch #3: Legacy
Switch #4: Provide
Switch #5: Nature


·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: True Masculinity 

 

"Faith cannot save without virtue" (St. John Chrysostom).

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION ONE-"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"

CHAPTER THREE-MAN'S RESPONSE TO GOD

Article 2-WE BELIEVE

I. "Lord, Look Upon the Faith of Your Church"

168 It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith. Everywhere, it is the Church that first confesses the Lord: "Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you", as we sing in the hymn Te Deum; with her and in her, we are won over and brought to confess: "I believe", "We believe". It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister of Baptism asks the catechumen: "What do you ask of God's Church?" and the answer is: "Faith." "What does faith offer you?" "Eternal life."

169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: "We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation." Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.

NIC’s Corner-National Bikini Day-Men should not wear bikini’s

Today in National Hawaii Day

Men by nature, are masculine, and the Catholic Church's understanding of masculinity can be summed up in one word: sacrifice.[1]

ACT OF FAITH

 

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God, in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man and died for our sins and that He will come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. (Psalm 23:1)

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