DEE107's SparkPeople Blog DEE107's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Day 19 of Lent: Day 19 of Lent: Do not be conformed <BR> <BR> "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2 <BR> <BR> Lent is a time to renew your mind, body and spirit so that throughout the year you can focus on God and discern his will. <BR> <BR> LENTEN CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: <BR> <BR> Give up checking your phone when you are with others. Focus on that pe... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:28:38 EST Day 18 of Lent: Day 18 of Lent: Deepen your knowledge <BR> <BR> Studying is important to deepening your knowledge of your faith in Christ. Try to form a daily habit of reading something every day that strengthens your knowledge of truth. <BR> <BR> LENTEN CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: <BR> <BR> Write a letter to someone who has changed your life. Thank them for the good influence they have been on you and pray for them throughout the day. Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:40:48 EST Day 17 of Lent: Day 17 of Lent: What have you given up before? <BR> <BR> What have you given up for Lent in the past? Any great ideas you would like to share? <BR> <BR> LENTEN CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: <BR> <BR> Fast from social media for the next two days. Use this time to talk to God instead. Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:33:22 EST Feast of St Joseph <BR> St. Joseph, by Guido Reni, 1635 <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Seven days before the Feast of the Annunciation (25 March) which commemorates Gabriel's visit to Mary announcing that she is to give birth to the Messiah, we meet St. Joseph, her spouse. <BR> <BR> St. Joseph was born in Bethlehem and worked as a carpenter (Matthew 13:55: "Is not this the carpenter's son?"), an occupation he later passed on to his Son (Mark 6:3: "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the broth... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:47:07 EST Day 16 of Lent: Day 16 of Lent: Why do we have Easter Eggs? <BR> <BR> What do Easter Eggs have to do with Christ rising from the dead? The practice of blessing Easter eggs actually came from the practice of giving up dairy products during Lent. Since you couldn't have eggs during Lent, they became part of the Easter morning tradition. <BR> <BR> LENTEN CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: <BR> <BR> Try offering up dairy products for the day (if you already don't eat dairy pick something else). As you fast from this offe... Sun, 19 Mar 2017 00:16:51 EST Day 15 of Lent: Day 15 of Lent: Why do we give up certain foods? <BR> <BR> In the middle ages, meat, eggs, and milk were forbidden during Lent not only by ecclesiastical law, but by civil statues as well. Believe it or not, this rule was enforced until the reign of King William III (England, 1689). <BR> <BR> Why do we give up certain types of food for Lent? What good does that do? Giving up a sensual pleasure (food) helps ensure that our lives do not become overly comfortable and without suffering. Fasting... Sat, 18 Mar 2017 00:35:19 EST Day 14 of Lent How's it going? <BR> <BR> You are already two weeks into your Lenten journey! How is it going? Anything you need to work on between now and Easter? <BR> <BR> LENTEN CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: <BR> <BR> Reflect on your relationship with Christ. Where can you grow closer to him? <BR> <BR> Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:02:53 EST Day 13 of Lent: Day 13 of Lent: Why the number 40? <BR> <BR> 40 has always been a significant time period in the Bible. <BR> Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai with God (Exodus 24:18) <BR> Elijah spent 40 days and nights walking to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8) <BR> God sent 40 days and nights of rain in the great flood (Genesis 7:4) <BR> The Hebrew people wandered 40 years in the desert (Numbers 14:33) <BR> Jonah's prophecy of judgment gave 40 days to the city of Nineveh to repent or be destroyed (Jonah 3:4) ... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:47:23 EST Day 12 of Lent: Day 12 of Lent: Why do we focus on prayer? <BR> <BR> Scripture says to "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:12) There are many scripture passage that stress the importance of prayer. Prayer is the building block to our relationship with Christ. <BR> <BR> How can we say we know him if we don't spend time with him? <BR> <BR> LENTEN CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: <BR> <BR> Add a little more time to your usual prayer routine today. <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:34:46 EST Day 11 of Lent Day 11 of Lent: What is Almsgiving and why do we do it? <BR> <BR> Almsgiving is donating money or good to the poor. It is a witness to fraternal charity and a work of justice that is pleasing to God. <BR> <BR> "Give alms from your possessions. Do not turn your face away from any of the poor, and God's face will not be turned away from you. Son, give alms in proportion to what you own. If you have great wealth, give alms out of your abundance: if you have but little, distribute even some of ... Tue, 14 Mar 2017 01:00:41 EST Catechism in a Year 110. What is the meaning of the Transfiguration? <BR> <BR> Above all the Transfiguration shows forth the Trinity: "the Father in the voice, the Son in the man Jesus, the Spirit in the shining cloud" (Saint Thomas Aquinas). Speaking with Moses and Elijah about his "departure" (Luke 9:31), Jesus reveals that his glory comes by way of the cross and he anticipates his resurrection and his glorious coming "which will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body" (Philippians 3:21). <BR> <B... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:20:58 EST Day 10 of Lent Day 10 of Lent: Why do we fast during Lent? <BR> <BR> Why do we fast during Lent? <BR> <BR> Jesus is questioned about fasting in Mark 2:18 -20 <BR> "Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not? Jesus answered, 'How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when ... Sun, 12 Mar 2017 20:53:31 EST Day 9 of Lent Day 9 of Lent: Why is Lent for 40 days? <BR> <BR> The Lenten duration of 40 days is practiced in imitation of the 40 days Jesus was in the desert. <BR> <BR> "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights and afterwards he was famished." (Matthew 4:1-2) <BR> <BR> <BR> LENTEN CHALLENGE OF THE DAY <BR> <BR> Read and meditate on Chapter 4 of Matthew's Gospel. As you read this passage, focus on the things that the d... Sat, 11 Mar 2017 00:53:31 EST Day 8 of Lent: Day 8 of Lent: How long has Lent been universally practiced? <BR> <BR> With the legalization of Christianity in 313 A.D., Lent becomes a more universally, standardized observance. Why do we continue to practice this centuries later? <BR> <BR> Although our culture, daily living and the world around us has changed drastically since 313 A.D. human nature has not. Human nature still has all the flaws it did back in 313. So we still observe Lent today because we still need Christ! We still need... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:47:25 EST Day 7 of Lent: Day 7 of Lent: Are you giving up something? <BR> <BR> Today Christians strive to "give up" something during Lent in the categories of almsgiving, prayer and fasting. It's been a week since Ash Wednesday, how are you doing in your Lenten journey to grow closer to Christ? <BR> <BR> Have you picked something to "give up" or work toward in your prayer, fasting on almsgiving? Click the Add a Comment button below to let us know how your first week of Lent went. <BR> <BR> LENTEN CHALLENGE OF THE... Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:25:46 EST Lent Day 6 Day 6 of Lent: Has Lent always been 40 days? <BR> <BR> Although there are records of some form of Lenten season before Easter since the beginning of Christianity, the time period of Lent varied at the beginning of Christianity. The practices were also different in the East and the West. During the second century, Lent was only 40 hours long (between Good Friday and Easter) but the fast was intense - eating nothing for 40 hours. <BR> <BR> Would you rather observe Lent how we do today or do w... Wed, 8 Mar 2017 00:39:30 EST Day 5 Lent Day 5 of Lent: What is Lent in other languages? <BR> <BR> Since Lent is practiced all over the world, there is a word for it in almost every language. In most languages they use a word that implies "forty." <BR> <BR> Quaresima - deriving from the Italian word for forty (quaranta) <BR> Cuaresma - deriving from the Spanish word for forty (cuarenta) <BR> Carême - deriving from the French word for forty (quarante) <BR> <BR> Do you know the word for Lent in another language? Use the Add a Comme... Tue, 7 Mar 2017 00:29:05 EST Catechism in a Year 98. What does the virginal conception of Jesus mean? <BR> <BR> The virginal conception of Jesus means that Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Virgin solely by the power of the Holy Spirit without the intervention of a man. He is the Son of the heavenly Father according to his divine nature and the Son of Mary according to his human nature. He is however, truly the Son of God in both natures since there is in him only one Person who is divine. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 496-498, 503 ... Mon, 6 Mar 2017 00:45:13 EST Day 4 Lent Day 4 of Lent: Why do we call it Lent? <BR> <BR> The English word for Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "Lencten" meaning "Spring." This signifies the time period in which Lent and Easter fall. The English word Lent can also be derived from the Old German word of "Lenzin" meaning "long," and refers to the "lengthening of days." <BR> <BR> Some historians interpret this as the days lengthening as Spring approaches, and can also be applied to our attempt to "lengthen" our spirituality durin... Sun, 5 Mar 2017 00:25:24 EST Day 3 Lent Day 3 of Lent: Why fasting on Fridays? <BR> <BR> From the beginnings of Christianity, both the Western and Eastern Churches observed Fridays as a special fast day in observance of the ultimate sacrifice Christ made for us on Good Friday. For some this meant giving up meat, for some it meant giving up meat plus any dairy products. <BR> <BR> Why is fasting important? The apostles and our forefathers knew that in order to say yes to Jesus, we have to practice saying no to ourselves. Fasting he... Sat, 4 Mar 2017 00:48:04 EST Day 2 Lent Day 2 of Lent: When did Lent come about? <BR> <BR> From the early days of the church we have evidence of some sort of observance of Lent. We have a writing from St. Irenaeus (d. 203) to Pope St. Victor I where he says this about Lent: <BR> <BR> "The dispute is not only about the day, but also about the actual character of the fast...Such variation in the observance did not originate in our own day, but very much earlier, in the time of our forefathers." (Eusebius, History of the Church, V,... Fri, 3 Mar 2017 01:00:32 EST Day 1 Lent Day 1 of Lent: Why do we receive ashes on Ash Wednesday? <BR> <BR> The practice of receiving ashes on your head on Ash Wednesday comes from the Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. Often the scriptural words from Genesis 3:10, "You are dust, and to dust you shall return" are spoken when the ashes are placed on the forehead. <BR> <BR> The act of receiving ashes reminds us of our humility and our mortality. We do all things through Christ. Without him, in the end, we are dust. <BR> <BR>... Thu, 2 Mar 2017 01:02:09 EST Catechism in a Year 89. How does the Church set forth the Mystery of the Incarnation? <BR> <BR> The Church confesses that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, with two natures, a divine nature and a human nature, not confused with each other but united in the Person of the Word. Therefore, in the humanity of Jesus all things - his miracles, his suffering, and his death - must be attributed to his divine Person which acts by means of his assumed human nature. <BR> <BR> "O Only-begotten Son and Word of God yo... Wed, 1 Mar 2017 00:25:41 EST Catechism in a Year 85. Why did the Son of God become man? <BR> <BR> For us men and for our salvation, the Son of God became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. He did so to reconcile us sinners with God, to have us learn of God's infinite love, to be our model of holiness and to make us "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 456-460 <BR> <BR> 86. What does the word "Incarnation" mean? <BR> <BR> The Church calls the mystery of the w... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:34:50 EST Pope #40 Pope from 401-417 A.D. <BR> Died: 417 A.D. <BR> <BR> Give me the scoop on Innocent I. <BR> His date of birth is unknown, as is most of his life prior to being pope other than him having, in some capacity, served the Church in Rome. The energetic and zealous leader was unanimously chosen to succeed Anastasius I in December of 401, and he never looked back. <BR> <BR> Innocent had no problem exercising his authority to help firm up the practices of the Church, issuing decretals (letters on can... Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:25:01 EST Catechism in a Year <BR> <BR> 87. In what way is Jesus Christ true God and true man? <BR> <BR> Jesus is inseparably true God and true man in the unity of his divine Person. As the Son of God, who is "begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father," he was made true man, our brother without ceasing to be God, our Lord. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 464-467, 469 <BR> <BR> 88. What does the Council of Chalcedon (in the year 451) teach in this regard? <BR> <BR> The Council of Chalcedon teaches us to confe... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 00:20:37 EST Catechism in a Year 83. In what sense is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God? <BR> <BR> Jesus is the Son of God in a unique and perfect way. At the time of his Baptism and his Transfiguration, the voice of the Father designated Jesus as his "beloved Son". In presenting himself as the Son who "knows the Father" (Matthew 11:27), Jesus affirmed his singular and eternal relationship with God his Father. He is "the Only Begotten Son of God" (I John 4:9), the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is the central fig... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:15:07 EST Catechism in a Year 81. What is the meaning of the name "Jesus"? <BR> <BR> Given by the angel at the time of the Annunciation, the name "Jesus" means "God saves". The name expresses his identity and his mission "because he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Peter proclaimed that "there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we can be saved" (Acts 4:12). <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 430-435, 452 <BR> <BR> <BR> 82. Why is Jesus called "Christ"? <BR> <BR> "Christ" in Greek, "M... Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:30:01 EST Catechism in a Year 79. What is the Good News for humanity? <BR> <BR> It is the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the "Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16), who died and rose from the dead. In the time of King Herod and the Emperor Caesar Augustus, God fulfilled the promises that he made to Abraham and his descendants. He sent "his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4-5) <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 422-424 <... Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:32:26 EST Catechism in a Year 145. What does the Spirit do in the Church? <BR> <BR> The Spirit builds, animates and sanctifies the Church. As the Spirit of Love, he restores to the baptized the divine likeness that was lost through sin and causes them to live in Christ the very life of the Holy Trinity. He sends them forth to bear witness to the Truth of Christ and he organizes them in their respective functions so that all might bear "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22). <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 733-741, 74... Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:34:03 EST Catechism in a Year 77. What other consequences derive from original sin? <BR> <BR> In consequence of original sin human nature, without being totally corrupted, is wounded in its natural powers. It is subject to ignorance, to suffering and to the dominion of death and is inclined toward sin. This inclination is called concupiscence. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 405-409, 418 <BR> <BR> <BR> 78. After the first sin, what did God do? <BR> <BR> After the first sin the world was inundated with sin but God did ... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:29:48 EST Saint John Chrysostom Quote Be ashamed when you sin, don't be ashamed when you repent To repent means to have a change of heart and mind. It is not simply a feeling of sorrow ,but a psycho/spiritual growth away from evil/death and a turning to God/life. Sin is the wound, repentance is the medicine. Sin is followed by shame; repentance is followed by boldness Boldness means to beg God for undeserved mercy. Satan has overturned this order and given boldness to sin and shame to repentance. <BR> Saint John Chrysostom Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:24:01 EST St Vincent De Paul quote Let us do our duty well; let us go straight to God; let us work to become very humble, very patient, very mortified, and very charitable. <BR> Vincent de Paul Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:26:53 EST Catechism in a Year 75. What was the first human sin? <BR> <BR> When tempted by the devil, the first man and woman allowed trust in their Creator to die in their hearts. In their disobedience they wished to become "like God" but without God and not in accordance with God (Genesis 3:5). Thus, Adam and Eve immediately lost for themselves and for all their descendants the original grace of holiness and justice. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 396-403, 415-417 <BR> <BR> <BR> 76. What is original sin? <BR> <BR> O... Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:00:19 EST Catechism in a Year 73. How should we understand the reality of sin? <BR> <BR> Sin is present in human history. This reality of sin can be understood clearly only in the light of divine revelation and above all in the light of Christ the Savior of all. Where sin abounded, he made grace to abound all the more. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 385-389 <BR> <BR> 74. What was the fall of the angels? <BR> <BR> This expression indicates that Satan and the other demons, about which Sacred Scripture and the Tradition ... Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:33:32 EST Catechism in a Year 70. Where does the soul come from? <BR> <BR> The spiritual soul does not come from one's parents but is created immediately by God and is immortal. It does not perish at the moment when it is separated from the body in death and it will be once again reunited with the body at the moment of the final resurrection. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 366-368, 382 <BR> <BR> <BR> 71. What relationship has God established between man and woman? <BR> <BR> Man and woman have been created by God in e... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:30:49 EST Catechism in a Year 68. Why does the human race form a unity? <BR> <BR> All people form the unity of the human race by reason of the common origin which they have from God. God has made "from one ancestor all the nations of men" (Acts 17:26). All have but one Savior and are called to share in the eternal happiness of God. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 360-361 <BR> <BR> <BR> 69. How does the soul and body form a unity in the human being? <BR> <BR> The human person is a being at once corporeal and spiritual.... Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:25:33 EST Catechism in a Year 66. In what sense do we understand man and woman as created "in the image of God"? <BR> <BR> The human person is created in the image of God in the sense that he or she is capable of knowing and of loving their Creator in freedom. Human beings are the only creatures on earth that God has willed for their own sake and has called to share, through knowledge and love, in his own divine life. All human beings, in as much as they are created in the image of God, have the dignity of a person. A pe... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:34:34 EST St Vincent De Paul quote I pray our Lord himself will be your strength and life, as he is for all those who feed upon his love.[xi] Vincent de Paul Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:42:30 EST St Vincent De Paul quote “You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your... Sun, 12 Feb 2017 00:18:37 EST Catechism in a Year 64. What kind of bond exists between created things? <BR> <BR> There exist an interdependence and a hierarchy among creatures as willed by God. At the same time, there is also a unity and solidarity among creatures since all have the same Creator, are loved by him and are ordered to his glory. Respecting the laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is, therefore, a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 34... Sat, 11 Feb 2017 00:31:29 EST Catechism in a Year 62. What does Sacred Scripture teach about the creation of the visible world? <BR> <BR> Through the account of the "six days" of creation Sacred Scripture teaches us the value of the created world and its purpose, namely, to praise God and to serve humanity. Every single thing owes its very existence to God from whom it receives its goodness and perfection, its proper laws and its proper place in the universe. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 337-344 <BR> <BR> 63. What is the place of the hu... Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:46:09 EST Catechism in a Year 59. What did God create? <BR> <BR> Sacred Scripture says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). The Church in her profession of faith proclaims that God is the Creator of everything, visible and invisible, of all spiritual and corporeal beings, that is, of angels and of the visible world and, in a special way, of man. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 325-327 <BR> <BR> <BR> 60. Who are the angels? <BR> <BR> The angels are purely spiritual creatures, incorp... Thu, 9 Feb 2017 00:41:26 EST Catechism in a Year 57. If God is omnipotent and provident, why then does evil exist? <BR> <BR> To this question, as painful and mysterious as it is, only the whole of Christian faith can constitute a response. God is not in any way - directly or indirectly - the cause of evil. He illuminates the mystery of evil in his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose in order to vanquish that great moral evil, human sin, which is at the root of all other evils. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 309-310, 324, 400 <BR> <BR> 58... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 00:51:35 EST Catechism in a Year 54. How did God create the universe? <BR> <BR> God created the universe freely with wisdom and love. The world is not the result of any necessity, nor of blind fate, nor of chance. God created "out of nothing" (ex nihilo) (2 Maccabees 7:28) a world which is ordered and good which he infinitely transcends. God preserves his creation in being and sustains it, giving it the capacity to act and leading it toward its fulfillment through his Son and the Holy Spirit. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC... Tue, 7 Feb 2017 00:51:19 EST St Vincent De Paul quote Make it a practice to judge <BR> persons and things in the most favorable light <BR> at all times and under all circumstances.” <BR> St. Vincent de Paul Mon, 6 Feb 2017 00:30:10 EST St Vicent De Paul quote Prayer and Preaching <BR> Prayer is a great book for a preacher: from it you will draw the divine truths of the Eternal Word, who is their source, and you in turn will pour them forth on the people. It is hoped that all Missionaries may have a great love for this virtue, for without its help they will do little or nothing useful, but with its help it is certain that they will touch hearts. I ask God to give us the spirit of prayer. Vincent de Paul Sun, 5 Feb 2017 00:00:32 EST Catechism in a Year 52. Who created the world? <BR> <BR> The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the one and indivisible principles of creation even though the work of creating the world is particularly attributed to God the Father. <BR> <BR> Further reading: CCC 290-292, 316 <BR> <BR> 53. Why was the world created? <BR> <BR> The world was created for the glory of God who wished to show forth and communicate his goodness, truth and beauty. The ultimate end of creation is that God, in Christ, might be "a... Sat, 4 Feb 2017 00:25:55 EST Catechism in a Year 50. What does it mean to say that God is almighty? <BR> <BR> God reveals himself as "the strong One, the mighty One" (Psalm 24:8), as the One "to whom nothing is impossible" (Luke 1:37). His omnipotence is universal, mysterious and shows itself in the creation of the world out of nothing and humanity out of love; but above all it shows itself in the Incarnation and the Resurrection of this Son, in the gift of filial adoption and in the forgiveness of sins. For this reason, the Church directs... Fri, 3 Feb 2017 00:25:47 EST Catechism in a Year 48. How does the Church express her trinitarian faith? <BR> <BR> The Church expresses her trinitarian faith by professing a belief in the oneness of God in whom there are three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three divine Persons are only one God because each of them equally possesses the fullness of the one and indivisible divine nature. They are really distinct from each other by reason of the relations which place them in correspondence to each other. The Father generates the So... Thu, 2 Feb 2017 00:38:16 EST