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Posts Tagged ‘Lent’

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My Dad died way too young. Ironically, I was the same exact age when it was discovered that I had nodules on the lung. The alignment was interstitial, so doctor’s suspected lung cancer. (It was not.) Still, the disease was rare, non-specific, and I underwent six months of treatment.

Miraculously, I have no signs of it today. Not even scares on my lungs.

When then the doctor gave me the news, he appeared dumbfounded. He became even more perplexed by what he translated as a sense of disappointment.

“Damn,” I sighed.
“Are you okay?” he asked with concern.
“Oh yes,” I said with a smile as I look up at him. “But I’ve been praying to* John Paul, who needs another miracle to be a Saint, but I also used Brother Andre oil and water from Lourdes, given to me by a former student — so I don’t know who to attribute the miracle too. John Paul? Brother Andre? Or Our Lady of Lourdes.”

Needless to say, my physician looked at me as if I was insane.

Regardless, at the time, though I was married and had an established career, I felt like I had much life left — and much more to accomplish. Maybe that’s why there was so much sadness at my Dad’s wake and funeral.

He seemed in good-health. He was strong. He loved life. He had also given so much — to his family, to his community — but he still had so much more to give.

To all who attended his funeral — and there were many, my father’s death was a tremendous loss, a great tragedy.

So, Why Did Jesus Die in His Thirties?

To make sense of it all, Msgr. Charles Pope,the author who first proposed this question in title, immediately quoted St. Thomas Aquinas.

Christ willed to suffer while yet young, for three reasons. First of all, to commend the more His love by giving up His life for us when He was in His most perfect state of life. Secondly, because it was not becoming for Him to show any decay of nature nor to be subject to disease …. Thirdly, that by dying and rising at an early age Christ might exhibit beforehand in His own person the future condition of those who rise again. Hence it is written (Ephesians 4:13), “Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (Summa Theologica III, 46, 9 ad 4).

So, Why Did Jesus Die in His Thirties?

Christ died in the prime of his life to make His death, on the surface, a tremendous loss, a great tragedy, in turn, making it a greater sacrifice.

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

*AUTHOR’S NOTE:

When Catholics say we are praying to a saint we really mean through or with.  Just like you may ask a friend to pray for you, we believe in the Communion of Saints, our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Heaven.   So, we are literally saying “John Paul, can you pray for me today”.   The answer to that prayer (a miracle) is our proof that they are indeed in Heaven.  If your in Heaven, you are a Saint, regardless whether your name is John Paul, Padre Pio, Mother Theresa — or Chuck.

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Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Catholics may be onto something.   In fact, they’ve been “onto something” for almost two millennia!

I just can’t believe nobody trademarked this idea yet!

During Lent, most Christians feel called to give up “something”.

In my Catholic Christian family, we were also required to fast, for lack of a better term, for the whole period of Lent.

Everyone knows about Catholic’s Fish Fridays.  My mom just took it a bit further.

She instilled in us that, “If Jesus could give up food and water for 40 days and nights, the least we could do is gives up snacks between meals and desserts.”

Did I mention my mom is Irish Catholic. If you’re Irish Catholic, you know what that means.

So, every Lent we would eat smaller portions, cut out snacks and go without desserts.  I still continue this tradition to this day.

Though now I break fast on Sundays, we carried out this fast, in my childhood home, all the way to Easter Sunday.

As I matured in Faith, I fasted — as in no food — during Holy Week, cleansing my body with Detox Tea until the morning of the Great Sabbath, Holy Saturday aka Easter Eve.

Every year, I lost weight and felt like a million bucks!

Originally, I ended my holy fast on Easter Sunday.  However, here’s why I stopped.

Polish people celebrate Easter with Kielbasa and an cornucopia-kowski of Polish treats: hard-boiled eggs, butter, ham, horseradish, bread, babka and other foods.

Maria Sliwinska, ICIMSS, Poland

Photo: Maria Sliwinska, ICIMSS, Poland

After a week of cleansing my body, a slice of low-end, high-nitrate brand of smoked kielbasa nearly killed me.  My detoxed body went into revolt and I felt like I was going into toxic shock.  The only thing running through my mind as my body struggled to maintain homeostasis was, “They’re going to find me dead on the sofa and they’re going to think it was the fast.”

So, as a precaution, I now start toxifying the day before Easter, so I could feast on the holiest day of the year.

Now that I’m a parent myself, I instill the same sense of sacrifice in my children.  It’s easy to do — with a little help from the Easter Bunny.  I give a few tips here.  One alteration I made from mom is that my kids substitute a healthy snack for the usually after-dinner dessert.  Besides that, its pretty much the same regiment!

Do this for a whole year — and there you have it:  The Lent Diet()

Cut calories, eliminate snacking, and no desserts every day — except on Sundays!

The good thing is that you don’t have to be Catholic to feel good; just eat like one — during Lent and beyond!

As far as the trademark,  I’m working on it.

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

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Easter - Corporation YOU © 2017

Easter – Corporation YOU © 2017

Early Christians had allot of symbols.

The dove. The fish. The Lamb. The pelican. The peacock … and of course, the Easter Bunny.

It is without question that nearly all Christian symbols are adaptations of pre-Christian symbols, Dr. Ralph F. Wilson writes. With that said, there is a certain sort of believer that expresses concern over anything “pagan” in Christian symbols.

I understand the concern. But think about this: Is there no greater symbol of the godless cruelty of paganism than the cross?

I once heard a pastor rail against the Easter Bunny for similar reasons. It’s the Easter Bunny, I thought, not Santa Muerte for chrissake!

His argument was that there’s not reasonable application for this family-friendly egg-laying hare.  But I disagree!

God meets you were you are.

He also meets people in ways that you can understand and appreciate. So, why wouldn’t He meet the children of the world where they are and in ways they understand and appreciate — like the Easter Bunny?

Be it Peter Rabbit, Peter Cottontail, or Benjamin Bunny, nothing is as cute and cuddly to a pre- and elementary schooler, as a bunny rabbit!

Easter Bunny - Corporation YOU © 2017

Easter Bunny – Corporation YOU © 2017

 

The key is to make a bridge from cute and cuddly to orthodoxy in Faith. This is how we did it in our Christian household.

Starting on Ash Wednesday, along with fasting between meal and eating fish on Friday, we also eliminate dessert. This sacrifice gives us the opportunity, as parents, to discuss how Jesus sacrificed His life for us.

Additionally, we can introduce the biblical story on how He started His ministry with a 40-day fast in the desert.

You’ll be amazed, as were we, by the questions your children begin to ask and the depth of their understanding.

However, giving up dessert and convincing your three-year-old to sacrifice his or her fruit snack is not an easy task. That’s where the Easter Bunny comes in!

“Jesus takes account of all you cheerfully give to Him (in this case gives up) and He will repay you tenfold,” I tell my children.

The 10-fold
comes on Easter Sunday, in the form of a massive Easter Egg hunt. And of course, who delivers all that candy for Christ?

The Easter Bunny, that’s who!

Put the “Easter” back in Easter Bunny and let God meet your children were they are and in ways that they can understand and appreciate — and they will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life!

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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