Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homily of the Holy Father




Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.
I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.
In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission whom God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).
How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.
How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, and he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!
The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!
Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!
Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!
Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!
In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.
To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!
I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen.


*TAU-Daily@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TAU-Daily@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf of Kathleen White OFS

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Who Knew?



Eliminate ear mites. All it takes is a few drops of Wesson Corn Oil in your cat's or dog's ear... massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.
Kills fleas instantly.... Dawn Dish washing Liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Good-bye fleas.
Rainy day cure for dog odor: Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.
Did you know that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately-without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain relievers?
Did you know that Colgate Toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?
Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.
Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 tablespoon horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as massage oil for instant relief for aching muscles.
Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.
Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly-even though the product was never been advertised for this use.
Honey remedy for skin blemishes ... cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.
Listerine therapy for toenail fungus: Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine Mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.
Easy eyeglass protection... to prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear Nail Polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.
Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer... if menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409 . Insects drop to the ground instantly.
Smart splinter remover: Just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.
Hunt's Tomato Paste boil cure... cover the boil with Hunt's Tomato Paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.
Balm for broken blisters... to disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine, a powerful antiseptic.
Vinegar to heal bruises... soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.
Quaker Oats for fast pain relief ... it's not for breakfast any more! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.

Car Keys



Several days ago as I left a meeting at a hotel; I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I realized I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the parking lot. My husband has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. His theory is that the car will be stolen. As I burst through the door, I came to a terrifying conclusion. His theory was right. The parking lot was empty.
I immediately called the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen. Then I made the most difficult call of all, "Honey," I stammered; I always call him "honey" in times like these. "I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen." There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard his voice. He barked, "I dropped you off!" Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, "Well, come and get me." He retorted, "I will, as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car."

Apples



 A few years ago a group of salesmen from here went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner.
In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.  ALL BUT ONE! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.  He was glad he did.
The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one stopping and no one to care for her plight. The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?" She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister...." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?" He stopped in mid-stride ... and he wondered. He gently went back and said, "No, I am nothing like Jesus - He is good, kind, caring, loving, and would never have bumped into your display in the first place." The girl gently nodded: "I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me gather the apples. He sent you to help me, so you are like Him - only He knows who will do His will. Thank you for hearing His call, Mister." Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing around in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"

God Created Children



Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing God said was ’Don't eat the forbidden fruit.' 'Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve, we have forbidden fruit!’’ No Way!’ ’Yes way!’
'Do NOT eat the fruit!’ said God. 'Why?’ 'Because I am your Father and I said so!’ God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants. A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked ’Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?’ God asked. 'Uh huh,' Adam replied. 'Then why did you?’ said the Father. 'I don't know,' said Eve. 'She started it!’ Adam said. 'Did not!’ 'Did too!’ 'DID NOT!’
Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

Things to Think About!

  1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.
  2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.
  3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.
  4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
  5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.
  6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.
  7. Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day!
  8. If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: 'take two aspirin' and keep away from children'!

Idiot Sightings



I handed the teller @ my bank a withdrawal slip for $400.00 I said "May I have large bills, please" She looked at me and said "I'm sorry sir, all the bills are the same size." When I got up off the floor I explained it to her.
When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. 'Hey,' I announced to the technician, 'it's open!' His reply: 'I know. I already got that side.' This was at the Ford dealership.
We had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.' I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, 'NO, it's not.’ Four is larger than two.' We haven't used Sears repair since.
My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter. She said, 'you gave me too much money.' I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back. She sighed and went to get the manager, who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said 'We're sorry but we could not do that kind of thing.' The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change.
I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.'
My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for 'minimal lettuce.' He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.
I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?' To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?' He smiled knowingly and nodded, 'That's why we ask.'
The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, 'what on earth are blind people doing driving?!'
At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker, who was leaving the company due to downsizing,' our manager commented cheerfully, 'This is fun. We should do this more often.' Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the sake of her life, couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.
How would you pronounce this child's name?
"Le-a"
Leah?? NO
Lee - A?? NOPE
Lay - a?? NO
Lei?? Guess Again. Her mother is irate because everyone is getting her name wrong. It's pronounced "Ledasha".
When the Mother was asked about the pronunciation of the name, she said, "the dash don't be silent."

Social Security - Federal Benefit Payment - Entitlement!




Have you noticed your Social Security check is now referred to as a "Federal Benefit Payment"? I'll be part of the one percent to forward this. The government is now referring to our Social Security checks as a “Federal Benefit Payment.”; this isn’t a benefit – its earned income! Not only did we all contribute to Social Security but our employers did too. It totaled 15% of our income before taxes. If you averaged $30K per year over your working life, that's close to $180,000 invested in Social Security.
If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment in social security ($375/month, including both your and your employer’s contributions) at a meager 1% interest rate   compounded monthly, after 40 years of working you'd have more than $1.3+ million dollars saved! This is your personal investment. Upon retirement, if you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $39,318 per year, or $3,277 per month. That’s almost three times more than today’s average Social Security  benefit of $1,230 per month, according to the Social Security Administration (Google it - it’s a fact). And your retirement fund would last more than 33 years (until you’re 98 if you retire at age 65)!
I can only imagine how much better most average-income people could live in retirement if our government had just invested our money in low-risk interest-earning accounts. Instead, the folks in Washington pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than  Bernie Madoff ever did. They took our money and used it elsewhere. They “forgot” that it was  OUR money they were taking. They didn’t have a referendum to ask us if we wanted to lend the money to them. And they didn’t pay interest on the debt they assumed. And recently, they’ve told us that the money won’t support us for very  much longer. But is it our fault they misused our investments? To add insult to injury, they’re calling it a “benefit,” as  if we never worked to earn every penny of it. Just because they “borrowed” the money, doesn't mean that our investments were a charity!
Let’s take a stand. We have earned our right to Social Security and Medicare. Demand that our legislators bring some sense into our government –; Find a way to keep Social Security and Medicare going, for the sake of that 92% of our population who need it. Then call it what it is: Our Earned Retirement Income.

Faith and Science



Professor: You are a Christian, aren’t you, son?
Student:  Yes, sir.
Professor: So, you believe in GOD?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Professor: Is GOD good?
Student: Sure.
Professor: Is GOD all powerful?
Student: Yes.
Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?   (Student was silent.)
Professor: You can’t answer, can you? Let’s start again, young fell. Is GOD good?
Student: Yes.
Professor: Is Satan good?
Student: No.
Professor: Where does Satan come from?
Student: From … GOD …
Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student: Yes.
Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it? And GOD did make everything. Correct?
Student:  Yes.
Professor: So who created evil?  (Student did not answer.)
Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness?  All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?
Student:  Yes, sir.
Professor: So, who created them?  (Student had no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?
Student: No, sir.
Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?
Student: No, sir.
Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.
Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student:  Yes.
Professor: According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Professor: Yes, faith.  And that is the problem Science has.

Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Professor: Yes.
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Professor: Yes.
Student: No, sir. There isn’t.    (The lecture theatre became very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it. (There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?
Student: You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?
Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Professor: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality.  You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD.  You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.  To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?  (The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir?  Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class was in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain? (The class broke out into laughter.)
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol,
Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir? (The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir … Exactly! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

Ruth and the Letter From Jesus




Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:

Dear Ruth:
I’m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Love Always,
Jesus
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. 'Why would the Lord want to visit me'? I am nobody special. I don't have anything to offer.  With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. 'Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.' She reached for her purse and counted out its contents: five dollars and forty cents. Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.' She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk, leaving Ruth with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
'Hey lady, can you help us, lady?' Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans; she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags. 'Look lady, I don't have a job, you know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kind of hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady, we'd really appreciate it.' Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. 'Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.' 'Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.' The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.
As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. 'Sir, wait!' The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. 'Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest.' She handed the man her grocery bag. 'Thank you lady. Thank you very much!' 'Yes, thank you!' It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering 'You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one.' Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. 'Thank you lady! Thank you very much!  Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. 'That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day.'

Dear Ruth:
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
Love Always,
Jesus

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.

Rules To Make You Happy



A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
      As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. I love it,' he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.'
'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' he replied. Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind... I already decided to love it. 'It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
      Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away... Just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!
'Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries..
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Wet Pants




Come with me to a third grade classroom. There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives.
The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, 'Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat.' He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a class mate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap. The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, 'Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!'
Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out.. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done enough, you klutz!' Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, 'You did that on purpose, didn't you?' Susie whispers back, 'I wet my pants once too.'  

Microwaving Water




A 26-year old man decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for, but he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup, he noted that the water was not boiling, but suddenly the water in the cup 'blew up' into his face. The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand, but all the water had flown out into his face due to the build-up of energy. His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring.  He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye. While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is a fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc, (nothing metal).

General Electric's Response:
Thanks for contacting us.
I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that you received is correct. Microwaved water and other liquids do not always bubble when they reach boiling point. They can actually get superheated and not bubble at all. The superheated liquid will bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a spoon or tea bag is put into it. To prevent this from happening and causing injury, do not heat any liquid for more than two minutes per cup. After heating, let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it.
Here is what a local high school science teacher had to say on the matter: 'Thanks for the microwave warning. I have seen this happen before. It is caused by a phenomenon known as super heating. It can occur any time water is heated and will particularly occur if the vessel that the water is heated in is new, or when heating a small amount of water (less than half a cup). What happens is that the water heats faster than the vapor bubbles can form. If the cup is very new, then it is unlikely to have small surface scratches inside it that provide a place for the bubbles to form. As the bubbles cannot form and release some of the heat that has built up, the liquid does not boil, and the liquid continues to heat up well past its boiling point. What then usually happens is that the liquid is bumped or jarred, which is just enough of a shock to cause the bubbles to rapidly form and expel the hot liquid. The rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews when opened after having been shaken.

Walking The Dog



Reportedly, a woman was flying from Seattle to San Francisco. Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sacramento along the way.  The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane would re-board in 50 minutes. Everybody got off the plane except one lady, who was blind.
A man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her guide dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight. He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, "Kathy, we are in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?" The blind lady said, "No thanks, but maybe Buddy would like to stretch his legs."
All the people in the gate area came to a complete stand still when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a guide dog for the blind! Even worse, the pilot was wearing sunglasses! People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Tau Cross



The Tau Cross is also called the Cross of Tau, the Franciscan Tau Cross, the Cross of St. Francis, and the Cross of St. Anthony.  The symbolism of the cross was connected not only to the letter Chi, but also to the Tau, the equivalent of the last letter in the Phoenician and old Hebrew alphabets, and which was originally cruciform in shape.  It is pronounced taw and predates the cross of the crucifixion, so for this reason it is also known as the Old Testament cross.
According to studies by Damien Vorreaux, the mystique of the Tau was not the product of a spontaneous germination in the mind of Francis; it was based on a solid acquisition of tradition. In the 3rd century, St. Anthony, the Egyptian hermit who is considered the father of monasticism, carried a Tau cross, and one of his religious communities was active in Assisi during St. Francis’s time. This is likely where he first encountered the Tau Cross. 
Pope Innocent III opened the Fourth Lateran Council on November 11, 1215 with an admirable and eloquent sermon which immediately aroused universal interest. As a theme he took the following words of Christ: “I have desired with a great desire to eat this Pasch with you.” (Lk. 22:15). He then recalled that the Pasch means Passover and he expressed his hope that the Council would be a Passover, a New Passover. After depicting the profanation of the Holy Places by the Saracens, Innocent deplored the scandals dishonoring Christ’s flock, threatening it with God’s punishments if it did not reform. He also gave a commentary to the Council members on Chapter 9 of Ezekiel. He made his own the words of God to his prophet: “Pass through the center of the city and mark with a Tau the foreheads of the men who weep and wail because of all the abominations which are committed there.” The Church was in a bad state during this period of history. Innocent pointed out that the Tau is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and its form traces a cross like the one which was presented before attaching Pilate’s placard. The Tau was to be the sign borne on one’s forehead that would manifest the radiance of the cross in all of one’s conduct.
Some writers believe that the Council persuaded Francis to play a role in the reform of the Church. Francis understood the discourse of Innocent III to be addressed to him personally. The fact is that the Tau, which the Pope made the emblem of the reform, became Francis’ own blazon. He used it as a signature, painted it on his door, and placed it on his writings. The Pope had said: “Mercy will be granted to those who bear the Tau, a mark of life of penance and renewal in the Church.” So Francis wanted to sign himself with the Tau and his brothers along with him. The Tau colored Francis’ entire spirituality, which from 1215 on, became the spirituality of the cross and salvation.
The Tau of penance was a favorite theme of Francis’ preaching because he considered himself enlisted by the Pope for this crusade. Francis was very aware that the Tau was the sign of conquerors, and after having preached it, he reproduced it even in his own flesh through the Stigmata. He knew that it would radiate the joy of the cross. The Tau for Francis:
·        Represented the universality of salvation
·        Symbolized permanent conversion and total disappropriation
·        Marked one as poor
·        Called one to the mission of service to others
·        Was the sign of the goodness and love of God
·        Became the title of glory
·        Became the source of his perfect joy
Because of this, the Tau Cross became associated with the Franciscan Order. It was and still is adopted and worn by many of his followers, whether part of the religious order or secular. Even for those unfamiliar with the details of St. Francis’s life, the Franciscan Order is what comes to mind when most people see the Tau Cross.

Vicks Vapor Rub



Some of us have used Vicks VapoRub for years for everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I've never heard of this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of the time, although the scientists who discovered it aren't sure why. To stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks VapoRub generously on the soles of your feet, cover with socks, and the heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly.
Just happened to tune in A.M. Radio and picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do more harm than good, due to the chemicals in them. This method of using Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet was found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bed time. In addition it seems to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.
My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100%! She said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her, coughing stopped in a few minutes. So she went from; every few seconds uncontrollable coughing, she slept cough-free for hours every night she used it.
If you have grandchildren, pass this on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be amazed at how it works.

Snopes.com reported:
Joe and Teresa Graedon of "The People's Pharmacy," a health advice feature that is both a syndicated newspaper column and a weekly show on National Public Radio, included mention of this potential use of the salve in their 2002 "Guide to Unique Uses for Vicks." Expanding on the 2002 suggestion that "Easing chest congestion is standard, of course, but have you considered applying it to the soles of the feet for a persistent nighttime cough?" in February 2007 they wrote, "We also suggest putting Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet for a nighttime cough. Put on socks to protect the sheets."
Vicks' usage instructions state nothing about slathering their VapoRub product on one's feet; instead, they instruct those looking for temporary relief of cough due to common cold to rub a thick layer of the salve onto their chests and throats. Some health agencies have advised that camphor-containing products should not be used on children and should only be used in accordance with the directions on their labels:
The [New York City] Health Department warned New York City parents and caregivers to keep products containing camphor away from children. Some camphor products can be toxic to children when accidentally ingested or excessively applied to skin. Three recent cases of seizures associated with camphor have been confirmed in the Bronx. All three children have recovered. The Health Department is investigating seven additional cases suspected to be associated with camphor.
Camphor, alcanfor in Spanish, is a common ingredient in many products used for colds, pest control, to ward off illness, or as air freshener. Camphor is sold in cubes, or as a balm or ointment. Camphor cubes and tablets are not approved by the FDA for use as cough or cold medicine. Camphor products that are not labeled with ingredients and do not have manufacturer information should not be used; they are unsafe and illegal. Legal camphor products, such as some chest rubs used to relieve congestion, should only be used as directed on the label.
(Vicks' VapoRub product has about a 5.26% camphor content; the unapproved camphor cubes and tablets referenced above may contain higher concentrations of camphor.)

Snopes.com article can be found at: http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/vaporub.asp.