“The Week That Changed The World”

Palm Sunday-

“Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel.”- John 12:13

Holy Thursday-“And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake: and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me.”-Luke 22:19

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.”-Matthew 26:28

Good Friday-

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”- Luke 23:34

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?” That is, My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”-Matthew 27:46

“And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”- Luke 23:46

Holy Saturday-

” Command therefore the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day: lest perhaps his disciples steal him away, and say to the people: He is risen from the dead: and the last error shall be worse than the first…Pilate saith to them: You have a guard: go, guard it as you know.”- Matthew 27:64-65

 Easter Sunday-

“Who saith to them: Be not affrighted: you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here, behold the place they laid him.”- Mark 16:6

“For this was I born, and for this came I into the world: that I should give testimony to the  truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.”

“A Promise”

by,  Alan Malizia

Upon a cross a debt was paid and promise made for tortured souls enslaved.

From an empty tomb, as if a womb, emerged the promise kept.

And by it we are saved.

 

 

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Owner’s Manual

When one purchases a new motor vehicle, an owner’s manual is provided by the manufacturer. This manual provides all the information and instruction necessary to ensure that the vehicle performs to the highest level of performance and longevity as the designer has envisioned. The owner who faithfully follows the manual in care and operation will be fulfilled.

Now, the owner has a choice. He could follow the manual diligently or not. If he is negligent he will find that the vehicle will not perform as advertised; and will more likely be found in the repair shop instead of on the road. If he radically diverges from the manual; ie: filling the gas tank with perfume(because it smells better), rather than the appropriate recommended fuel, then it will not operate efficiently. It won’t operate at all.

We too come with an owner’s manual that instructs us on right living. Instructions that guarantee a contented life with an ordered purpose for which we were meant. These instructions are the Natural Laws. They originated from a designer as well. The designer, GOD, has embedded them in our consciences and written them on our hearts. This manual can be found on two stone tablets, in the Beatitudes and the golden rule. But especially is found on Calvary.

That same choice of adhering to the vehicle owner’s manual or not, also applies to our own life manual. We can do what we ought or do what we want. When we listen to and follow our conscience, our heart will be at rest. If we choose to turn a deaf ear and do what we want, based upon a relativistic viewpoint, then we are not doing our conscience which results in an unsettled heart. Because when we avoid the natural, we get the unnatural. In truth, we are then living lives contrary to that which God has intended.

Manuals are not meant to control us. Rather they open us to true freedom. Freedom from all the bad things that are the result of bad choices. You are always free to choose. You can choose to commit to the manual or ignore it. One choice puts you on the road, the other puts you in the repair shop. One choice leads to eternal happiness the other to eternal sorrow. It’s your choice-choose wisely.

 

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Smorgasbord and Salt

A Smorgasbord, as defined, is a meal with many different foods that are placed on a large table so that people can serve themselves. As often as I have attended a holiday style Smorgasbord(Brunch), I have found some foods did not need to be replenished as often as others. All one needed to do was view the plates carried by patrons returning to their tables. Most were filled to over-flow with those delicacies most pleasing to the palate-pancakes, waffles, sausage, bacon, home fries, roast beef, turkey, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls,  AND DESSERTS. I think you can gather what camp I am in. These items were most sought after. While fruits and vegetables scarcely draw our inattention. We tend to gravitate toward what pleases, instead of what is in our best interest.

Even among children, who dine regularly in a school cafeteria, we find similar food interests as that of their adult counterparts. Although school lunch menus are often pre-set with balanced nutrition in mind, an investigation of the refuse receptacles will most likely find the salad and fruit portions within. While the entrée of hot dog and fries are nowhere to be found. It just goes to prove, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink-nor eat their vegetables and fruit.

When I was a young man in my late teens to early twenties. I loved salt with my meals. So much so, one could find me with a fork in one hand and a salt shaker in the other. Salt enhanced the flavor to the extent that I felt I could not do without it. This was the case until after an annual physical revealed my blood pressure was elevated. I was 23 years old at the time. I still to this day can remember the frightening realization of what my doctor discovered. How could this be? At my age, high blood pressure? That’s for middle-aged smokers and drinkers with accompanying stress from high-profile jobs. Or so I thought. In truth it often comes to any who misuse and abuse.

I immediately went cold turkey. Stopped using salt completely, and tried but discontinued a salt supplement. It was difficult to break a habit that I had nurtured for so long. Yet the alternative was more disconcerting. With prudence, mild blood pressure medication and a low salt diet my health was restored.

Salt brought pleasure. But, overindulging regularly became addictive. My body’s need to be satisfied was compromising my health. It was a challenge to overcome, but was accomplished. And from it came a greater good-good health.

As it is with all that we give ourselves to out of pleasure; when done out of joy it can safely be enjoyed. For in this frame of mind we seek to celebrate, and do so infrequently. However, when indulging in pleasurable things out of some sadness, anger or dissatisfaction in order to anesthetize, then it can become harmful. Because with each sorrow we quickly reach for such things as a remedy. Rather than getting to the heart of our heart ache by common sense reason. No good can come from a practice as this. Which in time becomes a vicious cycle.

These simpler and seemingly unimportant examples of weaknesses toward the preferences of salt and smorgasbord delights, pale in comparison to those destructive addictions of alcohol, drugs and other complex gratifications. Yet the former teaches an important lesson. One of self-control. For with it, we are masters of the pleasures available to us for our enjoyment, as bounded by their proper purpose. Without it, our pleasures become our masters. We all have a free will, which when exercised, will either free or enslave. In the end it is our choice.

“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.”-G.K. Chesterton

 

 

 

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Spring Cleaning

As winter approaches its end, we look forward to spring. However, we ready ourselves by taking inventory of that which pertains to the season. Gardening tools are dusted off, lawn mowers serviced; seeds and plants for aesthetic and practical purpose are replenished. All to enhance the beauty of own properties or to make our gardens bountiful.

Natural law teaches us that spring is an awakening from the death of winter. All that was dormant is revived and flourishes as the earth warms and nurtures growth by the life given gifts of melting snow, spring rains and the bright rays of an energizing sun.

We too are subject to natural laws. Yet though we are affected in a like manner as nature, we are also affected by that which is unlike nature. The doldrums of winter are past. The sunlight of spring that enters our eyes inspires illumination of the heart. And there within an inventory must be taken also. An evaluation of conscience. A soul search that reveals the truth of our state of being.

The undoing of a vice invites a virtue. Each transference accomplished is like clearing out our basement of all unnecessary and unwanted boxes and rubbish that has obscured the potential of what that area may become.

By performing the same self-evaluation we, in good will, can clear the way for new relationships or renew the ones we have, through a less troubled heart. Too often the obstacles that stand between ourselves and our loved ones can be swept away with a little spring cleaning, as a result of a change in attitude-simply by willing it. The only thing that keeps us from accomplishing this is an over-concern of self rather that others.

So as you ready your home and property for spring’s joyous revitalization-do the same for yourself and re-ignite the flame of love between you and those you hold dear.

The Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said: “We should strive to rid ourselves of one sin each year.” In doing so our hearts will become lighter, less troubled and more accessible to others as the conscience clears with each sin that falls away.

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Introduction

Throughout our lives we are faced with decisions/choices. Some of a minor nature, while others are significant. Regardless, every choice we make changes the direction of our lives. If we are to arrive at a favorable outcome that fulfills our true purpose, we must choose wisely. To choose wisely, one’s acquired and usable knowledge, must be directed by right-reason.  If not, we will find ourselves wasting time and energy in an endless game of trial and error with each unnecessary blind turn we take.

At the moment of decision we are at a crossroad. Before wetting our finger and holding it up to determine our choice, by which way the wind is blowing, it would be beneficial to lean forward a bit and take a peek, to get some understanding of what may lie ahead. In this way we will have some basis, through procured information, to make a good and common sense choice.

That choice should primarily be in harmony with our conscience. Perfect choices are unlikely to be the norm, as they are made in an imperfect world. But, the effect that our choice has upon our conscience determines whether we will have to overcome the more difficult roadblocks of our own making, or manageable obstacles that are contrived outside ourselves, including the consequences of Murphy’s Law.

To be at peace as one moves forward, one’s conscience must be uncompromised. The best choices are not made by emotion but by unblemished right reason.

Saint Thomas Moore-when opposing King Henry VIII’s marriage, which was not recognized by the Catholic Church as valid, was encouraged by his comrades at court to go along with them in supporting the marriage for fellowship. His response was: “And when I go to hell for not doing my conscience and you go to heaven for doing yours, will you come with me for fellowship?” And as is known; The price of his soul was the loss of his head.

All of the choices we make in life are not going to determine earthly life or death, as that of Saint Thomas Moore. However, if our physical well-being is not at stake, then our soul’s well-being may. And if we are not simply cradle to grave thinkers-then the choices that influence the state of the soul must be considered in earnest.

In closing, the last sentence of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” accurately reflects the theme selected; “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

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