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Death and Positve aditude


Bridge-to-heaven-for-new-life-outreach-international_op_963x797As part of my weekend mornings, I love to sit and read the news, and now that I have an iPad, not only can I read the news, but now I can read articles from all kinds of different sources. One of my favorite apps for the iPad is Zite, a personalized magazine. Basically it allows you to choose the content, and based on your likes and dislikes, it customizes the content. I love it! I get to read a magazine that truly reflects my interest. I have Religion, Politics, The Beatles, Leadership, Reading and a few other topics all downloading to make my perfect magazine.

This morning as I was reading my Zite, I ran across an article that caught my eye, Thinking About Death Can Lead To A Good Life, definitely not your typical title. So I read it, and found that not only did I agree, but it was something I did naturally, and didn’t even realize the positive effects.  So I thought I would share the article with you:

Thinking About Death Can Lead To A Good Life

(source)

Article Date: 22 Apr 2012 – 0:00 PDT

Thinking about death can actually be a good thing. An awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies. Even non-conscious thinking about death – say walking by a cemetery – could prompt positive changes and promote helping others.
Past research suggests that thinking about death is destructive and dangerous, fueling everything from prejudice and greed to violence. Such studies related to terror management theory (TMT), which posits that we uphold certain cultural beliefs to manage our feelings of mortality, have rarely explored the potential benefits of death awareness.
“This tendency for TMT research to primarily deal with negative attitudes and harmful behaviors has become so deeply entrenched in our field that some have recently suggested that death awareness is simply a bleak force of social destruction,” says Kenneth Vail of the University of Missouri, lead author of the new study in the online edition of Personality and Social Psychology Review this month. “There has been very little integrative understanding of how subtle, day-to-day, death awareness might be capable of motivating attitudes and behaviors that can minimize harm to oneself and others, and can promote well-being.”
In constructing a new model for how we think about our own mortality, Vail and colleagues performed an extensive review of recent studies on the topic. They found numerous examples of experiments both in the lab and field that suggest a positive side to natural reminders about mortality.
For example, Vail points to a study by Matthew Gailliot and colleagues in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2008 that tested how just being physically near a cemetery affects how willing people are to help a stranger. “Researchers hypothesized that if the cultural value of helping was made important to people, then the heightened awareness of death would motivate an increase in helping behaviors,” Vail says.
The researchers observed people who were either passing through a cemetery or were one block away, out of sight of the cemetery. Actors at each location talked near the participants about either the value of helping others or a control topic, and then some moments later, another actor dropped her notebook. The researchers then tested in each condition how many people helped the stranger.
“When the value of helping was made salient, the number of participants who helped the second confederate with her notebook was 40% greater at the cemetery than a block away from the cemetery,” Vail says. “Other field experiments and tightly controlled laboratory experiments have replicated these and similar findings, showing that the awareness of death can motivate increased expressions of tolerance, egalitarianism, compassion, empathy, and pacifism.”
For example, a 2010 study by Immo Fritsche of the University of Leipzig and co-authors revealed how increased death awareness can motivate sustainable behaviors when pro-environmental norms are made salient. And a study by Zachary Rothschild of the University of Kansas and co-workers in 2009 showed how an increased awareness of death can motivate American and Iranian religious fundamentalists to display peaceful compassion toward members of other groups when religious texts make such values more important.
Thinking about death can also promote better health. Recent studies have shown that when reminded of death people may opt for better health choices, such as using more sunscreen, smoking less, or increasing levels of exercise. A 2011 study by D.P. Cooper and co-authors found that death reminders increased intentions to perform breast self-exams when women were exposed to information that linked the behavior to self-empowerment.
One major implication of this body of work, Vail says, is that we should “turn attention and research efforts toward better understanding of how the motivations triggered by death awareness can actually improve people’s lives, rather than how it can cause malady and social strife.” Write the authors: “The dance with death can be a delicate but potentially elegant stride toward living the good life.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our psychology / psychiatry section for the latest news on this subject.

—–END—-

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did… Gives you something to think about… Life is short, make it a great one!

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Death and Positve aditude


Bridge-to-heaven-for-new-life-outreach-international_op_963x797As part of my weekend mornings, I love to sit and read the news, and now that I have an iPad, not only can I read the news, but now I can read articles from all kinds of different sources. One of my favorite apps for the iPad is Zite, a personalized magazine. Basically it allows you to choose the content, and based on your likes and dislikes, it customizes the content. I love it! I get to read a magazine that truly reflects my interest. I have Religion, Politics, The Beatles, Leadership, Reading and a few other topics all downloading to make my perfect magazine.

This morning as I was reading my Zite, I ran across an article that caught my eye, Thinking About Death Can Lead To A Good Life, definitely not your typical title. So I read it, and found that not only did I agree, but it was something I did naturally, and didn’t even realize the positive effects.  So I thought I would share the article with you:

Thinking About Death Can Lead To A Good Life

(source)

Article Date: 22 Apr 2012 – 0:00 PDT

Thinking about death can actually be a good thing. An awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies. Even non-conscious thinking about death – say walking by a cemetery – could prompt positive changes and promote helping others.
Past research suggests that thinking about death is destructive and dangerous, fueling everything from prejudice and greed to violence. Such studies related to terror management theory (TMT), which posits that we uphold certain cultural beliefs to manage our feelings of mortality, have rarely explored the potential benefits of death awareness.
“This tendency for TMT research to primarily deal with negative attitudes and harmful behaviors has become so deeply entrenched in our field that some have recently suggested that death awareness is simply a bleak force of social destruction,” says Kenneth Vail of the University of Missouri, lead author of the new study in the online edition of Personality and Social Psychology Review this month. “There has been very little integrative understanding of how subtle, day-to-day, death awareness might be capable of motivating attitudes and behaviors that can minimize harm to oneself and others, and can promote well-being.”
In constructing a new model for how we think about our own mortality, Vail and colleagues performed an extensive review of recent studies on the topic. They found numerous examples of experiments both in the lab and field that suggest a positive side to natural reminders about mortality.
For example, Vail points to a study by Matthew Gailliot and colleagues in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2008 that tested how just being physically near a cemetery affects how willing people are to help a stranger. “Researchers hypothesized that if the cultural value of helping was made important to people, then the heightened awareness of death would motivate an increase in helping behaviors,” Vail says.
The researchers observed people who were either passing through a cemetery or were one block away, out of sight of the cemetery. Actors at each location talked near the participants about either the value of helping others or a control topic, and then some moments later, another actor dropped her notebook. The researchers then tested in each condition how many people helped the stranger.
“When the value of helping was made salient, the number of participants who helped the second confederate with her notebook was 40% greater at the cemetery than a block away from the cemetery,” Vail says. “Other field experiments and tightly controlled laboratory experiments have replicated these and similar findings, showing that the awareness of death can motivate increased expressions of tolerance, egalitarianism, compassion, empathy, and pacifism.”
For example, a 2010 study by Immo Fritsche of the University of Leipzig and co-authors revealed how increased death awareness can motivate sustainable behaviors when pro-environmental norms are made salient. And a study by Zachary Rothschild of the University of Kansas and co-workers in 2009 showed how an increased awareness of death can motivate American and Iranian religious fundamentalists to display peaceful compassion toward members of other groups when religious texts make such values more important.
Thinking about death can also promote better health. Recent studies have shown that when reminded of death people may opt for better health choices, such as using more sunscreen, smoking less, or increasing levels of exercise. A 2011 study by D.P. Cooper and co-authors found that death reminders increased intentions to perform breast self-exams when women were exposed to information that linked the behavior to self-empowerment.
One major implication of this body of work, Vail says, is that we should “turn attention and research efforts toward better understanding of how the motivations triggered by death awareness can actually improve people’s lives, rather than how it can cause malady and social strife.” Write the authors: “The dance with death can be a delicate but potentially elegant stride toward living the good life.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our psychology / psychiatry section for the latest news on this subject.

—–END—-

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did… Gives you something to think about… Life is short, make it a great one!

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

Enhanced by Zemanta
 
 

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Lent 2011: Are you ready for it?


Christ on the Cross cropped. Crop of old Mass ...

Image via Wikipedia

With Lent here, it’s a good time to ask the question, “Are you ready for it?” or an even better question, “Do you understand it?”

Lent is a complex time in the Church year, we are depriving ourselves, we are reminded of our mortality yet we are to be preparing for the Death and Resurrection of our Lord, a time of celebration….

Talk about emotions running the gamete… The high and lows of life are all put into the 40 days of Lent… We as Catholic/Christians are called to use this time as a time of renewal, a time to prepare for the new life, the new life in Christ.

It’s a time of sacrifice, a time to offer up to God. But many look at it as a time to stop eating candy or drinking pop. Yes they are sacrifice for many, but is that all we need to do?


(Source)

  1. Online Lenten ResourcesTake 30 minutes to pray, ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance, look over this activities list for the Season of Lent, and make a few practical Lenten resolutions. Be careful. If you try to do too much, you may not succeed in anything. If you need to get up early or stay up late to get the 30 minutes of quiet, do it. Turn off your phone and computer. Don’t put it off and don’t allow interruptions.
  2. During the Season of Lent, Get up earlier than anyone else in your house and spend your first 15 minutes of the day thanking God for the gift of life and offering your day to Him.
  3. Get to daily Mass.
  4. If you can’t do Mass daily, go to Mass on Fridays in addition to Sunday and thank Him for laying his life down for you. Maybe you can go another time or two as well.
  5. Spend at least 30 minutes in Eucharistic adoration at least one time during the week.
  6. Recover the Catholic tradition of making frequent visits to the Blessed sacrament throughout the week, even if it is only for 5 minutes.
  7. Get to confession at least once during the Season of Lent after making a good examination of conscience. If you are not sure why confession is important, get my CD “Who Needs Confession.
  8. In addition to the penance assigned by the priest, fulfill the conditions necessary for a plenary indulgence. You can learn about plenary indulgences from the official Handbook of Indulgences.
  9. Make a decision to read at least some Scripture every day. Starting with Today’s!
  10. Even if you can’t get to daily Mass during the Lenten Season, get a Daily Roman Missal or go visit the Crossroads Homepage for a link to the Daily Mass readings, and read these readings daily. During special seasons such as Lent, the Mass readings are thematically coordinated and make for a fantastic Bible study!
  11. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours. You can buy a one volume edition or a full four volume edition. Or you can get it day by day online for free at www.universalis.com. Or you can subscribe to a monthly publication called the Magnificat that provides a few things from the liturgy of the hours together with the Mass readings of the day. The Magnificat is a great way to start learning the Liturgy of the Hours.
  12. Get to know the Fathers of the Church and read selections from them along with Scripture. Short selections from the Fathers writing on Lenten themes can be downloaded for free from the Lenten Library of our website at www.crossroadsintiative.com
  13. Make the Stations of the Cross each Friday of the Season of Lent either with a group or by yourself. If you have kids, bring them.
  14. Online Catholic Resources for LentPray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary often during Lent, especially on Friday and Wednesday. The glorious mysteries are especially appropriate on Sundays. Joyful and Luminous mysteries are great on other days.
  15. Purchase the Scriptural Rosary, which supplies you with a scripture verse to recite between each Hail Mary. This makes it easier to meditate on the mysteries. Another resource to deepen your understanding of the Rosary is my CD set “How Mary and the Rosary can Change Your Life.”
  16. If you’ve never done a family rosary, begin doing it. If starting with once a week, try Friday or Sunday. If it’s tough to start with a full five decades, try starting with one. Use the Scriptural Rosary and have a different person read each of the Scriptures between the Hail Mary’s. This gets everyone more involved.
  17. Make it a habit to stop at least five times a day, raise your heart and mind to God, and say a short prayer such as “Jesus, I love you,” or “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or “Lord, I offer it up for you.”
  18. Pray each day for the intentions and health of the Holy Father.
  19. Pray each day for your bishop and all the bishops of the Catholic Church.
  20. Pray for your priests and deacons and for all priests and deacons.
  21. Pray for the millions of Christians suffering under persecution in various Muslim and Communist countries around the world such as the Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, Viet Nam, and North Korea.
  22. Pray for Christian unity, that there would be one flock and one shepherd.
  23. Pray for the evangelization of all those who have not yet heard and accepted the Good News about Jesus.
  24. Pray for your enemies. In fact, think of the person who has most hurt you or who most annoys you and spend several minutes each day thanking God for that person and asking God to bless him or her.
  25. Pray for an end to abortion on demand in the United States. Pray for pregnant women contemplating abortion.
  26. Pray for a just peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Holy Land and elsewhere. Pray for our troops and for others in harm’s way.
  27. Pray for an end to capital punishment. Pray for those on death row, and for the families of murder victims.
  28. Find a form of fasting that is appropriate for you, given your age, state of health, and state of life. Some fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some fast from sweets or alcohol throughout Lent. Some fast on one or more days per week from breakfast all the way to dinner, spending lunch hour in prayer or at noon Mass. Some cut out all snacks between meals. The money saved from not buying various things should be given to an apostolate or ministry serving the physically or spiritually poor.
  29. Prayer is like breathing – you have to do it continually. But sometimes you need to pause and take a very deep breath. That’s what a retreat is. Plan a retreat this Lent. It could be simply a half day, out in nature, or in a Church. Or it could be a full day. Or an overnight. You can certainly read lots of things during your retreat or listen to lots of talks. But try sticking to Scripture, the liturgy, and quiet as much as you can. During or at the end of the retreat, write down what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying.
  30. Find a written biography of a Saint that particularly appeals to you, and read it during the Season of Lent.
  31. Instead of secular videos for weekend entertainment, try some videos that will enrich your spiritual life. Suggestions: Jesus of Nazareth, by Franco Zeffirelli, The Scarlet and the Black, the Assisi Underground.
  32. While driving, turn off the secular radio for awhile and use commute time to listen to some teaching on audiocassette or CD. Some great resources can be purchased through this site or from other Catholic apostolates and publishers that you can find on our links page.
  33. Find a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or crisis pregnancy center, and volunteer some time there throughout Lent. Serve the people there with the understanding that in so doing, you are serving Jesus. Try to see Jesus in each person there.
  34. Visit someone at a nursing home or in the hospital or sick at home. Again, love Jesus in and through the suffering person.
  35. Is there a widow or divorced person living in your neighborhood? If so, invite that person to your home for dinner, coffee, etc.
  36. Catholic Online Resources, The Passion of the ChristView Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ during Lent on VHS or DVD, if you feel you can handle the violence. Get a copy of The Guide to the Passion to help you get the most out of the movie.
  37. Invite folks to view The Passion of the Christ with you, especially people whose faith is rather nominal, or who do not practice their faith, or who do not profess Christian faith at all. Give them a copy of The Guide to the Passion.
  38. Spend some focused time with your spouse, strengthening your marriage. Start praying together, or make praying together a more frequent occurrence.
  39. Spend some focused time together with each of your children. Listen. Pray. Maybe even have fun.
  40. When Easter comes, don’t drop the new practice you’ve begun during the Season Lent! Make a permanent feature of a deeper Christian life!

God Bless and Happy Lent

Paul

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Snapshots


altarboy2 Friday was a good day for me, I had time to catch up on some of my reading. I subscribe to 3 different Catholic newspapers and 3 different magazines, two Catholic and one political. The problem is time, when do I have time to read them all. Well Friday night I was able to slam through all the newspapers, than Saturday a new one arrived… UGH! But such is life.

One of the newspapers is Our Sunday Visitor (OSV). I like this paper because of the brief sections, the snapshots as it were. Such as “By the numbers”. This section gives me brief snapshots of the Catholic faith. It gives me percentages and facts is a quick glance.  Such as:

Snapshot of Catholic growth

The Catholic presence in the word is growing significantly, according to a recent edition of the Statistical Yearbook of the Church. the Vatican Publishing House released information for 2000-2008 period, which showed the number of Catholics increased worldwide, but in some areas, the number of priest is not keeping up.

Africa: 33% increase in Catholics 33.1% increase in Priest

Asia:  15.61% increase in Catholics 23.8% increase in Priest

Europe 1.17% increase in Catholics –7% increase in Priest

Oceania 11.39& increase in Catholics –4% increase in Priest

America 10.93% increase in Catholics no change in Priest

__________________#####____________________

That’s an over all 72.1% increase in Catholics and a 45.9% increase in Priest. Overall that good, but looking at the numbers we see that the Europe and Oceanic numbers are falling in the priesthood and Europe is hardly growing at all in the over all Catholic  category. America is growing in the number of Catholics but holding still on new priest. The good news is we are not falling, we have not gone in to the negative yet, but the possibility exist.

I have a friend who figures the growth of the priesthood is due to the economy, in the countries were the poor outnumber the middle class and wealthy, that the priesthood is an attractive “career”. The thought to me is a little uhm, anti “called to the priesthoodish” for me but she holds to this idea. But to her the priesthood is really nothing more than a men’s club. the priesthood is not a calling as much as an escape from the economic hardships and a way to provide for yourself in what would be considered a good career move. Cynical at best and down right scandalest. But its her point of view. To me, well I look at it this way, the fall of the calling to the priesthood is a human condition. God has not stopped calling, we have stopped hearing.

At one time, in America as well as Europe, the call to the priesthood was considered noble and honorable. It was something that every Catholic family wished for and prayed for. That their little boy would grow up to become a priest. What an honor for the family. that family prayer was heard by God, and God would call the ones he chosen. The local parish would support and nurture the youngster and help develop his discernment skills. And the young lad would be encouraged to consider the priesthood.  In today’s world if you were to say to a young Catholic lad that he should consider the priesthood he would look at you as if you were on drugs, the parents would ask you why you would say such a thing and the local priest would do all he could to discourage the lad. Now this is not all parents or priest or even parishes, but sadly it is most.

The life of the priest is not looked upon as a noble one, but rather a sad and lonely one. One with out family and friends, one with out purpose of reason. Ask many young men why they do not want to be priest and the response will be something along the lines of:

“I want a real job”

“I want to make money”

“I want respect”

“I want a wife and kids”

Ask any parents and they will respond:

“I want him to be happy”

“I want to be a grandparent”

“I want him to have a real career”

Notice that all the statements begin the same “I want”, none of them began with “God wants”. This is the main issue, we have become a society that places our needs before Gods wishes. We have taken our trust in Him and placed it in ourselves. God calls young men to the priesthood daily, God knows what is best for us and He knows were we need to be in our lives. We only have to allow Him to speak to us, and for us to hear His call.

The priesthood will survive, as will that Catholic Church. America and Europe along with the rest of the world will continue to grow in the faith and one day we will figure out that the problem of the lack of priest is not the economy of the country but the economy of the soul.

God Bless

Paul

Many Are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood

Purchase this book for yourself or someone who is discerning
the priesthood. Just select the link above
Romans 8:1-2“[Life Through the Spirit] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

 

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Interesting Facts


This blog really has nothing to do with the Catholic faith directly, but indirectly it should make a lot of Catholics uneasy and make them question their views.

This information is taken from an article in the March 2010 edition of Townhall magazine, page 72-73.

Title: The real Party of Civil Rights

Sen. Everett …Democrats claim to be champions of civil. In fact, they have been among black Americas’ harshest foes.

It is hard to overstate the consistency and ferocity with which Democrats through U.S. history have opposed civil rights legislation for black Americans. The Republican Party has been responsible for ensuring the passage of virtually every major civil rights initiative in U.S. history, including winning passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and authoring, introducing and seeing to passage the 1960 Civil Rights Act. But it would be a speech by Everett McKinley Dirksen, the Republican Senate minority leader from Illinois, leading his small band of Senate Republicans, that would pave the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

On June 10, 1964, at exactly 9:51 am, former KKK member Sen. Robert C. Byrd, theLBJ signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964  Democrat from West Virginia, spoke the last word of what had been a 14-hour and 13-minute speech in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the House, of the 420 voting members at the time, the bill had passed on a 290-130 vote. House Republicans supported the ill by a 138-34 margin. Democrats, however, had been more divided, voting for he bill 152-96….

The above is only part of the article, the rest of the article is Sen. Everett’s speech.

Common perception is the Republicans are anti Civil Right and Democrats are pro-civil rights. Well as the history and votes show, that simple is not the case. Once again the American people have been lied to and duped! And many in the Catholic faith have walked blindly in to the lie.

Like I said it is not directly related to the faith, but indirectly it is. I hope this makes you stop and think, maybe do a little research on your own and find out the truth of the Democratic and Republican Parties.

God Bless

Paul

 

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