The Campaigns of Alexander the Great

The Book of Man

The Campaigns of Alexander the Great – as told by Arrian, the Roman historian.

After a difficult battle, Alexander the Great allowed disabled soldiers to go home, while he and the able-bodied soldiers remained to press on. At their grumbling, he gave a speech meant to shame and encourage them.

He offers them the opportunity to leave, but first they must understand what he has done for them and what they have done for him in return.

Personal suffering. Have they suffered more than he has? “There is no part of my body but my back which has not a scar….” He led them to victory. He married as they did, so that his descendants and theirs are similar in bloodline. Even though they have been able to profit from their wars, it was he and not the individual soldier who paid the soldier’s debts. He has rewarded those who have served well and has honored those who had fallen in battle, even paying monies due to the soldier to his surviving family members.

So what is Alexander saying about how men should behave? I think he is saying a couple of things. First, leaders should be willing to do everything they request of their men. There cannot be an air of superiority among the ranks (although there is quite compelling reasons for hierarchy and differences in authority and role). Second, as regards the soldiers, they should not disgrace themselves to complain about their lot, especially as they have been treated far better than what justice would dictate. Alexander went above and beyond for them, so, to an extent, he expects his men to go above and beyond for him is response.

Preparing for Eternal Life

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Fr. John suggests that we bring a Bible, paper and pen to church on Sundays. This way, when God speaks to us during the readings or homily, we can write these things down, reflect upon them and put them into work in our lives.

I haven’t reached this point yet.

But, for the past two Masses, I *have* had a couple index cards in my purse….

Yesterday, I caught the 5 pm Mass at St. Anastasia. Fr. JJ was celebrating and gave a homily on John 6, where Jesus says that whoever eats of Him will have eternal life. He went on to give a story of a family on a cross-Atlantic voyage, rationing on bread and cheese, who only finds out at the end of the journey that a sumptuous feast was included in the price of their tickets. So, they could have been eating like kings the whole way. Not only do we sometimes miss the “feasts” that God sends our way during this journey on earth, but we also go the other way and take them for granted — not seeing them as the precious gifts that they are.

In what way to we take Him for granted?

Fr. JJ also reminded us that partaking of the Eucharist is an intimacy, an exchange between people who love each other, and not a one night stand experience. But how many of us treat Communion as a Wham-Bam event? Leaving church as quickly as we can, without so much as a Thank You?

Finally, he left us all with a question. What are we doing — how are we planning — to be a better person?

Because growing in holiness isn’t just going to happen. We have to work on it. We can’t just say, “Oh, I want to pray more.” We have to deliberately set aside the time and DO IT. Are we willing to put forth the effort?

Makenzie’s 1st Birthday!

I wasn’t feeling very well on Sunday, but knew that I should be there for my cousin’s daughter’s first birthday. It’s kind of odd that most of my family doesn’t know what is going on with me, but what do you do about that? I don’t think they’d understand if I wasn’t able to make it, so I dragged myself off the couch and headed over, knowing that it would have to be a short visit. Hopefully, they are okay with that.

Kenzie is such a cute little girl, and very well-behaved, at least as far as I can tell from the times I’ve been around her. 🙂 But instead of me talking all this time, why don’t I show you….

Having late lunch/early dinner:
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I just love her little pigtails!

Her heap o’ presents:
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Pink flower cookies:
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Laughing, like any girl should at her birthday party:
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She had a very fun candy cake. The lollipop theme carried over from Michelle’s baby shower.
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Playing with a balloon:
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Lisa’s son, Leo. At one point, Kenzie and Leo were sitting next to each other and she gave him a kiss. It was very cute, and thankfully, Aunt Anna caught it on video. 🙂
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Close-up of the brightly colored gifts. I really liked this wrapping paper.
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She was having a lot of fun on one of her new scooter toys:
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Here’s a quick video of her on her toy:

Sometimes, depending on how you photograph her, she looks like her Grandma Marilyn. 🙂 Her mom had one of these monthly photo frames on the table I was sitting at, and you could especially see this in the 9 month old photo.

I had to leave before the presents were opened, but I hope she had a great birthday and got lots of fun presents! 🙂 Love you, little girl!