Immaculate Conception of Mary

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception refers to the condition that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from Original Sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. We celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8; nine months before is December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

By Pontifical designation and decree, it is the patronal feast day of Argentina, Brazil, Korea, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain, the United States and Uruguay. By royal decree, it is also designated by as the Patroness of Portugal. It is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church as well as a few other closely related Christian churches.

At present time, the majority of Orthodox Christians refuse to accept the scholastic definition of Mary’s preservation from original sin before her birth that subsequently evolved in the Western Church after the Great Schism of 1054.[6]

In 1568, Pope Pius V revised the Roman Breviary…and the office of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin was substituted, the word “Conception” being substituted for “Nativity.

Immaculate Conception of Mary Statue
Immaculate Conception of Mary Statue

The first move towards describing Mary’s conception as “immaculate” came in the 11th century. In the 15th century Pope Sixtus IV, while promoting the festival, explicitly tolerated those who promoted it as the Immaculate Conception and those who challenged such a description, a position later endorsed by the Council of Trent.

In 1854, Pius IX made the infallible statement Ineffabilis Deus: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”[12]

Eastern Orthodoxy

While the Eastern Orthodox Churches have never accepted the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, they do celebrate December 9 as the Feast of the Conception by St. Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos. While the Orthodox believe that the Virgin Mary was, from her conception, filled with every grace of the Holy Spirit, in view of her calling as the Mother of God, they do not teach that she was conceived without original sin as their understanding of this doctrine differs from the Roman Catholic articulation.[15] The Orthodox do affirm that Mary is “all-holy” and never committed a personal sin during her lifetime.

The Orthodox feast is not a perfect nine months before the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos (September 8) as it is in the West, but a day later. This feast is not ranked among the Great Feasts of the church year, but is a lesser-ranking feast (Polyeleos).

Lutheranism

Although the Lutheran churches teach that Mary was immaculately conceived,[16] they have nothing on their calendar for December 8. But some individual Lutheran churches may choose to celebrate the “Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (Roman Catholic title) on December 8 as a lesser festival.[17]

source:  wikipedia

 

Flower gardens

Pictures from our gardens.  I take IMG_1208snapshots throughout the season to enjoy during the long winter months.

Isaiah 60:1 ” Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you”
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Prayers to Honor the Infant (Jesus)

 

This Christmas prayer carries an Imprimatur from Archbishop Michael Augustine of New York City during the Pontificate of Pope Leo XIII on February 6, 1897. From November 30th to December 24 this prayer should be said 15 times per day.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

(From directionforourtimes.org

 

Divine Infant Jesus, I want to give You my hands today.  I want to serve You with all my heart and make You known and loved.  Doing Your will is the source of my inner peace and joy.

Divine Infant, I give You my hands to touch those I meet with Your love and peace.  I ask You to heal those in pain, to encourage the hopeless, to console the sorrowing, to provide for those in want.  I ask You to reach out to the lonely.  I especially plead for the many people suffering from great poverty and injustice.

Miraculous Infant, I believe that You love me and know all of my needs.  I place them in Your hands, especially my present concerns (mention here).  I trust in Your love and care.  I want to honor and praise You, now and forever.  Amen

 

Infant Jesus of Prague
Infant Jesus of Prague

The Many Faces of Pride

Mark 7:20-22: “And he (Jesus) said, what comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man”.

And again, Sirach 10:12 “The beginning of man’s pride is to depart from the Lord; his heart has forsaken his Maker, for the beginning of pride is sin, and the man who clings to it pours out abominations”.  

Mother Nadine, the author of Bathe Seven Times,  speaks about the seven deadly sins of Pride, Sloth, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, Avarice and Lust.   In this post we will focus on Pride.   St Thomas Aquinas tells us, “Pride is the beginning of all sin” (A tour of the Summa, 84-2).   “Pride is a powerful sin.  It is the sin that was committed by Adam and Eve through disobedience and rebellion.  Theologians, saints and mystics tell us that pride is the sin most hated by God, even though lust is the most frequently committed sin.” (Bathe Seven Times, pg 68).

So, there are eight different types of pride which we can fall into if we aren’t careful and watch our hearts.  But, we all have some form of pride that we have to fight, because none of us are perfect.   The most important thing here is to recognize where your weaknesses are so you can work on them and correct them.

Pride of Intellect is basically being “attached to our own judgments, opinions and thoughts” (pg 68).  Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not”

An example of this type of pride would be resenting being told what to do.  According to Mother Nadine, these individuals rely on their minds, rather than the heart.  Faith starts in the heart and is then relayed to the mind, but because they only let knowledge into their minds, it never gets to the heart, …this kills faith.

Pride of Superiority or Authority:  This type of pride is also called pride of Independence.  We can become very stubborn and want to control the lives of others.  Always telling others what they should be doing and how.  We want to assert our authority over them, and make them think and believe as we do.   This type of pride really dislikes being told what to do, and according to Mother Nadine, this kind of pride is really excessive self-love.  “It is overbearing and arrogant.  It has a very critical attitude.  Its bossy, argumentative, conceited, and unkind.  It wants no advice and accepts no counsel”.  Jeremiah 35:13 “Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words, says the Lord?

Pride of Ambition:  This kind of pride is seeking attention or recognition, honor and or positions of power.  These individuals have alot of confidence in themselves and their abilities to the point of being excessive.   They are doing things for their glory rather than Gods.

Pride of Sensitiveness:    This type of pride is where the person is extremely sensitive and you are literally walking on egg shells around them, always afraid of hurting their feelings.  They harbor grudges and very suspicious of your every word or move.  They tend to be  unforgiving.  Have you ever had anyone ignore you and give you the quiet treatment.    Oh yeah, this reminds me of me.  I have done this a few times.  In fact, many years ago, a good friend of mine pointed this out to me when one day she said “boy, you sure hang on to grudges.”  I am so glad she did, because it was only after that, that I consciously tried to work on that.  This pride wants to have ill feelings towards the one who “hurt them” and will walk around with a “Poor Me” attitude.  Self -pity is very evident here.  Usually, if they do speak, their tone of voice is very cold. Another characteristic of this type of pride is feeling unloved and unwanted.  They tend to feel like everyone is against them and they are very anxious of what others think about them.

Pride of Timidity:  Pride of timidity can be closely linked to pride of sensitiveness.  These individuals tend to have a fear of what others think of them.  “Often times they will even compromise in order to have someone’s respect or friendship” (pg 69) and fear being ridiculed.  Fear is the driving force in this kind of pride.  As I spoke earlier in my post on Fear, this type of pride will miss many opportunities to do Gods will simply because they are afraid to step out and follow God’s counsels or inspirations.

Pride of Scrupulosity:  Scrupulosity has a tendency to fix itself and its attention on the wrong things.  The evil one here is really trying to get our attention off of what is important and think non-stop about something that is not important.  We worry excessively about this or that being a sin, when in fact, it is not.

Pride of complacency or vanity:  This type of pride is very self-centered.   touchy, easily offended, anxious to look good in the eyes of others.  Perfectionism is a characteristic of this type of pride.   “Perfectionism operates out of the pride of intellect where we already have our opinions, and of course, they are correct.  We may pretend to listen to others opinions, but we really don’t take them to heart.  This type of pride can also lead to being overtakative. We don’t let others get a word in, we do all the talking.  This type leads to legalism, hypocrisy and stubbornness in our actons which is false humility “(Bathe Seven Times)

Spiritual Pride:  St. John of the Cross says spiritual pride will show up in beginners.  Beginners will pursue perfection with great zeal.  The problem  is that we easily become prideful in the sense that we start looking at others and condemning them if they do not have similar devotions.   The beginner will love to instruct rather than take instruction.  Another example of this type of pride shows up when we try to minimize our faults with others such as our spiritual directors.  We don’t want them thinking that we are not as far along as we would like to think we are.  Another way this pride can take hold is when intercessors begin to take credit for the answered prayers.  For example, if we tell others that it was us praying for them that got the victory, instead of giving God the credit for the victory, we have fallen straight into satans camp, and out of Gods.  We really need to give God the credit for all answered prayer.   Whenever we do something for our glory or attention, rather than for Gods glory we have fallen into pride.

Mother Nadines’s Book, Bathe Seven Times, can be found at www.bellwetheromaha.org.  It is a very poweful book.

 

Virgin Coconut Oil Restores Hair Loss

Oiling baldness away-                      Reprint From Fijitimes.com
Serafina Silaitoga
Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Mereseini and Lasarusa Lesi show how VCO helped him grow hair back on his bald head.

LASARUSA Lesi is a testament of how virgin coconut oil can help bald men grow new hair.

The 60-year-old native of Cicia in Lau, who has lived at Salialevu Estate on Taveuni for more than a decade, told this newspaper that after using VCO for a month, he had noticed hair growing again on his bald head.

virgin coconut oil grew hair back
virgin coconut oil grew hair back

“I used to have no hair in the centre of my head from the front to the back. Hair just grew along the side and that was it for me knowing that having a bald head is part of life,” he said.

“I used to hear a lot about the good things VCO does, so after my wife made the oil at home, I used it to oil my bald head every morning and afternoon and I have seen the difference.

“Hair is starting to grow again and it has amazed me because I had no hair at all on my bald head for the past six years and only a month of using VCO, hair is growing again.

“Even the farmers here come home to ask me if they can check my head.

“When I go to the farm, as soon as people see me, they will only ask to do one thing and that is to check my bald head,” he giggled, as he explained people’s reaction.

Estate manager Gabiriele Josua said he remembered meeting Mr Lesi three years ago with a partly bald head.

“When I saw him again in the farm last week, I had to look at him again because there was just something different about his head,” he said.

“I then noticed that hair had started growing again on his bald head and he even came closer for me to have a better look.

“But that can only be done with the VCO from Salialevu Estate,” Mr Josua joked.

Mr Lesi’s wife Mereseini was a student who attended the government’s Wholenut Processing Centre on the island to learn more about making products from coconuts.

“I returned last month after the graduation and made our own VCO at home. I gave it to my husband and told him to use it on his bald head because we were told about how this oil could help regrow hair,” she said.

“And it has worked for us. Even I am shocked but VCO does work well and I am encouraging our women to also use it as a medication.”

According to Google search engine, studies have shown that virgin coconut oil can help stimulate hair growth because of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients present in the oil.

“Massaging these nutrients into the scalp can help stimulate hair follicles to produce more hair,” the studies showed.  from Fijitimes.com

Benefits of Coconut Oil

tropical traditions coconut oil
tropical traditions coconut oil

The benefits of coconut oil are many.  In fact, at the bottom, I have a link that   will take you to the Tropical Traditions web site.  I have been using Tropical traditions coconut oil for approx 10 months now.  I use it to cook with, bake, and  I absolutely love using it on my skin.  You need not buy anymore lotions, because this is probably the best you can use to soften your skin.  try it.  You will see how it penetrates the three layers of our skin, like no other lotion on the market.  The Health benefits are phenomenal.

To receive your free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, click on the link below.  you must purchase one of their products first though.

Coconut Oil Health Benefits found here

So how are people using coconut oil? What are some of the health benefits of coconut oil being reported? Some of the most recent research has come from people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, with reports of people improving or even reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s by using coconut oil….see more at above link.

Coconut Oil Research

While some people falsely accuse coconut oil of being a “fad,” the fact is that it is a traditional oil that has been consumed for thousands of years in tropical cultures, and the research on the health benefits of coconut oil has existed for a very long time. Lauric acid, for example, has a long history of use in combating pathogens, and this research has been around for more than 50 years. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid. So while we do publish a lot of people’s experiences with coconut…..”more at coconutoil.com

 

Coconut oil was once prevalent in western countries like the United States. With a long shelf life and a melting point of 76 degrees, coconut oil was a favorite in the baking industry. But a negative campaign against saturated fats in general, and coconut oil in particular, led to most food manufacturers abandoning coconut oil in recent years in favor of hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils that come from the main government-subsidized cash crops in the US, particularly corn and soy…..”more at link above.

Coconut Oil Testimonies

The CoconutDiet.com website contains the Coconut Diet Forums, which is a compilation of discussions of people discussing the health benefits of coconut oil over a 10+ year period. This was the first Internet discussion group started back in 2001 by Brian Shilhavy, while still living in the Philippines at the time….see more at link above.

Coconut Oil News

You can find all the latest coconut oil news published throughout the Internet at Health Impact News, in the Coconut Health section. Brian Shilhavy is the editor of Health Impact News, and he tracks the news throughout the Internet each day to cover the top stories related to the health benefits of coconut oil, as well as other alternative health news. Published studies that appear in peer-reviewed journals will be logged here, on CoconutOil.com, on our peer-reviewed coconut oil research page. We have also added a coconut oil news section here on CoconutOil.com that can be tracked via an RSS reader to stay up to date on all the latest news regarding coconut oil.

Characteristics of Our Gold Label® Virgin Coconut Oil
This Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is a truly unrefined coconut oil. This coconut oil is made on Mt. Banahaw and surrounding areas from organic coconuts. Coconuts are used fresh (within 24-48 hours of harvest) from small family farms on Mt. Banahaw and other rural places in Quezon Province, the coconut capital of the Philippines. Only the highest quality coconuts are hand-picked from each harvest…..see more at link above.

click here to order your coconut oil from tropical traditions and you will receive a free copy of the book, “coconut Oil”.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

No Bake Energy Balls

image2 Cups Oatmeal

1 cup peanut butter

2/3 cup honey

1 cup coconut flakes

1 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

2 tsp vanilla

add nuts or anything else you desire.

mix everything together, roll into balls and freeze.

makes approx 14 balls.

 

In order to make this with less sugar I do the following substitutions:

instead of 2/3 cup honey, I put in 1 tbsp. honey, and maybe 3-4tbsp of truvia depending on your taste, and 1/3 cup coconut oil to make it healthier.

Tada….Its done

I want to give credit to the person who posted this recipe, but the only thing I know is that it came from a posting on Pinterest.

Coconut Oil Deodorant & Toothpaste Recipes

 

Coconut Oil Deodorant

This deodorant is the BEST I have ever used.  I work outside for many hours in the sun gardening (digging, shoveling, hauling, planting) and I am sweating and I DO NOT have problems with body odor anymore. I have used this for maybe 9 months now, and even my husband is amazed….You will have to try this, all natural, good for you deodorant.   I found this on
www.theprairiehomestead.com

coconut oil deodarent
coconut oil deodorant

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup baking soda

1/4 cup arrowroot powder

4 Tbsp cornstarch (antipersperant)

optional:  5 drops essential oil  ex: tea tree oil

Mix baking soda, cornstarch, and arrowroot powder in bowl.  add coconut oil and use fork or pastry cutter

add essential oil if you plan on using any

add more coconut oil or baking soda to achieve desired consistency.

Coconut Oil Toothpaste:

coconut oil facilitate absorption of calcium in the body (an essential element for strong, healthy teeth), it also stops tooth decay.

Ingredients:image
1 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Peppermint   Extract

Directions:

mix the coconut oil, and baking soda together.  Then add peppermint extract to the mixture.  Thats it.  I made a batch for myself and I like it.

found at: Honeyville Farms

Do you suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

 

IMG_0420

Hello, its me, Patty, and I want to share with you what I have found to help me with my 30 year bout with this terrible metabolic disorder.  I know there are lots of people out there suffering from this because when I began researching this disorder and looking for answers, I was reading alot of blogs with people begging for answers.

Ten months ago, I began searching with a vengeance, begging God to help me figure this out.  I was so sick and the Dr’s couldn’t give me any answers, except maybe some drugs to try.  I said I would try another avenue first.  I just felt in my soul that God knew the answer and He would lead me to what could help me get this under control….and He did!

The first solution I found is Soluble Fiber. Second is probiotics and third, getting rid of the flour and sugar in my diet. For most, wheat is really hard on those with IBS.

I started taking small amounts of fiber before meals, like maybe 1/4 tsp, then upped it to 1/2 tsp and now I am at 1 tsp. If you take too much to begin with you may experience bloating…so take it slow. I also found that 80 percent of diseases are started in the gut. so if you have digestive issues, like IBS, then taking probiotics is a good idea. I began with 90 billion to begin with…and now I take a lower dosage, like 20 billion. So soluble fiber, probiotics and cutting out flour and sugar have really been the solution for me. I have been doing this for almost 10 months now and I can honestly say I feel human again. I have lots of energy, my digestive issues are gone. I have not been bloated for probably 9 months now. the diet changes I made were dramatic from what I used to eat. I increased my protein dramatically, cut out all foods with flour and sugar, except for wraps once in awhile. I added coconut oil, nuts and butter to my diet and eat more vegetables along with egg protein powder drinks and green drinks each day.