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Praying through Advent -- 2006
EWTN.com ^ | Advent, 2006 | EWTN

Posted on 12/03/2006 12:12:32 AM PST by Salvation

 
 
 
 
Click on candles to light them
 
 
Click here for the daily prayers on the clickable calendar

Advent
 

 

 

 



TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: advent; catholiclist; prayer
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1 posted on 12/03/2006 12:12:36 AM PST by Salvation
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To: All

















 



Week 1: First Sunday of Advent

 Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.
O Lord,
let your blessing come upon us as we light the first (purple) candle of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this in His holy name. Amen.

 

Waiting

 We light a candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark. But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master. The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:

See! The ruler of the earth shall come,  the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile
The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.
We must capture that urgency today in the small flame of our candle. We light the candle because we know that the coming of Christ is tied to our building of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting the lonely and forgotten – doing all these works hastens His coming.



2 posted on 12/03/2006 12:14:51 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Prayer Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Prayer Ping List.

3 posted on 12/03/2006 12:17:07 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Advent BUMP


4 posted on 12/03/2006 12:21:00 AM PST by Pajamajan (Pray for president Bush-pray for our military-pray for our congress-pray for our nation)
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To: Pajamajan

Thanks for the bump!


5 posted on 12/03/2006 12:23:51 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Thanks for the Advent Links :-)
6 posted on 12/03/2006 12:27:38 AM PST by Pajamajan (Pray for president Bush-pray for our military-pray for our congress-pray for our nation)
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To: Salvation

O Lord God, our Father Almighty,
You who were pleased that your only begotton Son
should take flesh from a virgin
and be made man for our salvation,
You who sent your angel Gabriel to the holy Virgin Mary
with the good tidings of his conception,
You were the one who had decided that before all ages
that she should be the instrument of such a great mystery.

By her prayers,
and those of all your saints,
announce to our souls the good news,
the glad tidings of the forgiveness of sins
through your grace and mercy and and love.
Speak peace to your people,
Help us walk the path that will make us well pleasing in your sight
through your kindness and mercy,
and may our feet never stray
from the road to your heavenly kingdom
opened up to us through the mercy and love of Jesus your Son
for a sad and suffering mankind.

O Lord, during this advent season,
soften our hearts,
open our eyes,
and may we ponder the truth of a God who truly loves us,
this day, and always.

Amen.


7 posted on 12/03/2006 6:17:24 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Salvation

Thank you Salvation for the links and prayers and beautiful images. May God continue to bless you and yours during the advent season :-). I love the flickering candle, what a a grand and warm light. Thanks again!


8 posted on 12/03/2006 1:03:03 PM PST by GOP Poet
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

Thank you, kac for the prayer/poem.


9 posted on 12/03/2006 6:59:16 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All









 



Week 1: Monday

 Many peoples shall come and say: "Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

Reflection

Christ is the ultimate center of meaning in the universe. It is through Christ that all people will be led to the Father. How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God? Only when men and women are working to achieve the unity that Christ’s redemption promises us.

Advent Action

Perform an act of kindness for someone you do not know.

Prayer

Lord, help me be at home with You, that I may listen to Your word and walk in Your way.



10 posted on 12/03/2006 7:04:07 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Ah, time for the Advent thread again. Such a blessing, that you post this every year, Salvation.


11 posted on 12/03/2006 8:38:26 PM PST by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
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To: Ciexyz

Thanks for your kind words.


12 posted on 12/03/2006 8:39:10 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

I love the burning candle at the top of this thread, the way it flickers makes me feel like it's real!


13 posted on 12/03/2006 8:41:25 PM PST by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
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To: Salvation

The admonition to "feed the hungry" reminds me of the alternative gift giving programs involving livestock for the Third World that many congregations sponsor, where you can make even a small donation and buy shares of livestock, such as bees, rabbits, chickens, cows, etc. You receive a bookmark in return picturing the animal that you've helped purchase. Good gifts to stuff in Christmas cards.


14 posted on 12/03/2006 8:45:16 PM PST by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
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To: GOP Poet

May the first candle of Advent light a flame of hope in this dark world. Hallelujah, Christ the Savior is born!


15 posted on 12/03/2006 8:51:01 PM PST by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
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To: Ciexyz

Had not heard of that before.


16 posted on 12/04/2006 8:41:46 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

I am putting a variety of information on one thread this year!

Including:
Daily Reflections above
Prayers
Advent Calendar
Reflections
Gospels
etc.


17 posted on 12/04/2006 8:44:04 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Sunday, December 3
Buy or make an Advent wreath. Bless it and light the first purple candle each night this week.

18 posted on 12/04/2006 8:48:24 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Monday, December 4
Develop a new prayer with your family to say before each meal during Advent. Write it down and say it every year during Advent.

19 posted on 12/04/2006 8:50:23 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Sunday, December 3

First Sunday of Advent

 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

 

Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,

stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


20 posted on 12/04/2006 5:20:58 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Sunday, December 3

First Sunday of Advent

 

Seeking a Savior

 

We begin the season of Advent with two contrasting images: those who will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming, and those who raise their heads awaiting their redemption.  What sets the second group apart?  I experience and admit my sinfulness, my emptiness, my inability, that persistent wound and lack of completeness which characterizes my very existence.  I will never admit to needing a savior.  If I am not seeking a savior then Jesus Christ becomes just a name, just a word.  In John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “I will not reject anyone who comes to me.” (John 6:27).  Therefore we have no reason to fear the coming of our Lord, as long as we are sincerely begging for and awaiting his coming.  The one who is coming has pity on our nothingness, and is always moved by our begging.  “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find.”  (Matthew7:7)  In today’s Gospel, Jesus advises us to pray for the strength to stand before the Son of Man.  Our strength is our asking.  Let us, in all of our weakness and sin, stand erect as Advent begins.  For if we stand begging before the Son of Man then his power will be made perfect in our weakness. ~~Father Richard Veras

 

 

Loving Father, let give me the grace to face the truth of myself, and to hand myself over to you this Advent.


21 posted on 12/04/2006 5:27:14 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Most beautiful scripture verses.


22 posted on 12/04/2006 9:24:29 PM PST by Ciexyz (Satisfied owner of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.)
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To: All



















 



Week 1: Tuesday
 

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. (Isaiah 11:6)

Reflection

The old joke about this passage is that the leopard might light down with the kid, but the kid won’t get much sleep. We chuckle at this because Isaiah gives us an image that goes against all our experience and expectations. Take note: the kingdom of God will not be how we expect it! Assumptions about natural friends and enemies are not true in the kingdom of God. What is the modern, urban equivalent of Isaiah’s pastoral image of lamb and wolf? Black and white folks breaking bread and worshipping together? A teenage delinquent and an older person sharing a cup of coffee? "The wolf shall be a guest of the lamb…"

Advent Action

Send a card to a friend or loved one who lost a family member during this year. Let them know you are praying from them and thinking of them this Christmas.

Prayer

Lord, help me welcome You once again and make room for You in my daily life, that You may make Your home in my heart.


 

23 posted on 12/05/2006 9:04:22 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Offer your parish a Christmas gift of your time, talent, or treasure. Describe it in a Christmas card that you send to your pastor.

24 posted on 12/05/2006 9:06:56 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
This prayer can be prayed every day until Christmas!

Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Beginning on St. Andrew the Apostle's feast day, November 30, the following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.

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 the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
[here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,


25 posted on 12/05/2006 9:49:01 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Monday, December 4

First Monday of Advent

The Bond between Authority and Obedience

Jesus expressed amazement at the faith of the centurion – a faith that came from his understanding of the relationship between authority and obedience. His soldiers obeyed him because he was obedient to Caesar and there he had the entire weight of the Roman Empire behind his commands. The centurion saw that Jesus had supernatural authority. It came from his obedience to God the Father. For the centurion, the link between obedience and authority was obvious. We live in confusing times when many are losing their faith. They listen to the world and ask, “Why doesn’t the Church change this or that teaching?” Some seem to think that the Church’s teachings should be decided by a poll. But the Church is the Body of Christ and it is under authority. It must be obedient to God. It can’t make up new teaching or change old ones. If it did, it would lose its authority and become one opinion among many. Before we receive communion we remember the words of the centurion: “Lord, I am not worthy.” We can receive this marvelous gift because the priest has the authority to change ordinary bread into the Blessed Sacrament. He has this authority because the Church has the authority to ordain priests. The authority comes from obedience.


Reflection based on Matthew 8:5-11

Dale “O’Leary

Loving Father, help me to follow the authority that you put in my life so that by my obedience I may bear a more perfect likeness of you.

26 posted on 12/05/2006 6:43:49 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

#26 is the best explanation of authority and obedience that I think I have ever read. Anyone else have an opinion?


27 posted on 12/05/2006 6:44:57 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

















 



Week 1: Wednesday
 

 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. (Matthew 14: 19-20)

Reflection

During Advent we always consider the past, present, and future dimensions of Jesus’ coming. Jesus came to us at Bethlehem; He is risen and present in the world today; we look forward to His second coming.
In the miracle of the loaves and fishes, all these dimensions of time are also present. Jesus fed the people on the hillside that day, but He also prefigured the Eucharistic banquet, as well as the eternal banquet to which we are all invited. How are we to make this miracle real in the present? Just as Jesus asked the disciples that day in Galilee to distribute the food, it is our duty to act as the hands of Jesus today, bringing His gifts and presence to others.

Advent Action

Multiply your own resources (however great or small) to help the poor. Make a gift of your time or money to a charitable organization that helps the poor.

Prayer

Lord, may I be generous with others from the richness You have shared with me through Your goodness.



28 posted on 12/05/2006 8:12:42 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Tuesday, December 5

First Monday of Advent

Fulfillment of Longing

Jesus’ words in Luke’s tenth chapter can be read as a rich commentary on the Eucharist “ . . . although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike.” Our faith makes us long to see the God who became man in Jesus Christ. Yet already prior to the beatific vision in heaven, he offers us in the Eucharist a very real fulfillment of our spiritual longing. Whenever we pray before the Blessed Sacrament, whenever we receive his body in Holy Communion, a quite personal encounter with Jesus is possible. Grace invites us to adore God in the host held by a monstrance or within a tabernacle, and to be humbly overwhelmed in knowing that Our Lord enters and reaches our soul after receiving communion. Our eyes are still blind, our tongue tastes no miracle, and we may be empty of feeling. Yet by faith we can know with certainty that we are being drawn into contact with God himself. It is a childlike awareness that fosters this recognition. As Jesus says in the same Gospel passage, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” And blessed are we when he deigns to come to us in the Eucharist. Let us make a special effort to rejoice with childlike awe at this great gift during these weeks of Advent.


Reflection based on Luke 10:21-24

Father Donald Haggerty

Loving Father, make me childlike so that I will rejoice in the presence of your Son in all the ways that he reveals himself to me.

29 posted on 12/05/2006 8:59:05 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Oops -- missed that the previous post said "First Monday of Advent" when it was the reflection for Tuesday.


30 posted on 12/06/2006 10:27:34 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Collect:
Father, hear our prayers for mercy, and by the help of Saint Nicholas keep us safe from all danger, and guide us on the way of salvation. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

December 06, 2006 Month Year Season

Optional Memorial of St. Nicholas, bishop

Old Calendar: St. Nicholas, bishop and confessor

St. Nicholas was born in Lycia, Asia Minor, and died as Bishop of Myra in 352. He performed many miracles and exercised a special power over flames. He practiced both the spiritual and temporal works of mercy, and fasted twice a week. When he heard that a father who had fallen into poverty was about to expose his three daughters to a life of sin, Nicholas took a bag of gold and secretly flung it through the window into the room of the sleeping father. In this way, the three girls were dowered and saved from mortal sin and hell.

Jesse Tree ~ Noah

St. Nicholas of Myra
Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra, is undoubtedly one of the most popular saints honored in the Western world. In the United States, his memory has survived in the unique personality of Saint Claus — the jolly, rotund, white-bearded gentleman who captivates children with promises of gifts on Christmas Eve. Considered primarily as the patron saint of children, Nicholas is also invoked by sailors, merchants, bakers, travelers and pawnbrokers, and with Saint Andrew is honored as the co-patron of Russia.

In spite of his widespread fame, Saint Nicholas, from the historian's point of view, is hardly more than a name. He was born in the last years of the third century in Asia Minor. His uncle, the archbishop of Myra in Lycia, ordained him and appointed him abbot of a nearby monastery. At the death of the archbishop, Nicholas was chosen to fill the vacancy, and he served in this position until his death. About the time of the persecutions of Diocletian, he was imprisoned for preaching Christianity but was released during the reign of Emperor Constantine.

Popular legends have involved Saint Nicholas in a number of charming stories, one of which relates Nicholas' charity toward the poor. A man of Patara had lost his fortune, and finding himself unable to support his three maiden daughters, was planning to turn them into the streets as prostitutes. Nicholas heard of the man's intentions and secretly threw three bags of gold through a window into the home, thus providing dowries for the daughters. The three bags of gold mentioned in this story are said to be the origin of the three gold balls that form the emblem of pawnbrokers.

After Nicholas' death on December 6 in or around 345, his body was buried in the cathedral at Myra. It remained there until 1087, when seamen of Bari, an Italian coastal town, seized the relics of the saint and transferred them to their own city. Veneration for Nicholas had already spread throughout Europe as well as Asia, but this occurrence led to a renewal of devotion in the West. Countless miracles were attributed to the saint's intercession. His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them.

The story of Saint Nicholas came to America in distorted fashion. The Dutch Protestants carried a popularized version of the saint's life to New Amsterdam, portraying Nicholas as nothing more than a Nordic magician and wonder-worker. Our present-day conception of Santa Claus has grown from this version. Catholics should think of Nicholas as a saint, a confessor of the faith and the bishop of Myra — not merely as a jolly man from the North Pole who brings happiness to small children. Many countries and locations honor St. Nicholas as patron: Greece, Russia, the Kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, and many cities in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Belgium.

Taken in part from Lives of the Saints for every day of the Year, Volume III © 1959, by The Catholic Press, Inc.

Patron: against imprisonment; against robberies; against robbers; apothecaries; bakers; barrel makers; boatmen; boot blacks; boys; brewers; brides; captives; children; coopers; dock workers; druggists; fishermen; grooms; judges; lawsuits lost unjustly; longshoremen; maidens; mariners; merchants; murderers; newlyweds; old maids; parish clerks; paupers; pawnbrokers; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; pilgrims; poor people; prisoners; sailors; scholars; schoolchildren; shoe shiners; spinsters; students; thieves; travellers; unmarried girls; watermen; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Union; Bari, Italy; Fossalto, Italy; Duronia, Italy; Portsmouth, England; Greece; Lorraine; Russia; Sicily;

Symbols: Three children in a trough or tub; three golden balls on a book; six golden balls; three golden apples; three loaves; three purses or bags of gold; anchor; ship; Trinity symbol on a cope; angel; small church; three balls;
Often Portrayed As: Bishop with three children in a tub at his feet; Bishop calming a storm; bishop holding three balls; bishop holding three bags of gold; bishop with three children.

Things to Do:

  • Today is a good day to teach your children the difference between Santa Claus and St. Nicholas. This story of the origin of Santa Claus will help you. Also learn all you can about St. Nicholas.

  • Choose some of the recommended activities — a puppet show, a party, a visit from "St. Nicholas." Make sure to include in all the activities the story of St. Nicholas, virtues to imitate, and his significance in the Advent season. Read how different countries Celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas.

  • To enhance your feasting, purchase a copy of the cd by the Anonymous 4 Legends of St. Nicholas. This is medieval music, all in honor of St. Nicholas, done by four female vocalists.

  • There are numerous recipes to enhance this feast, anything from a soup to dessert, so have fun in the kitchen trying different ones.

  • St. Nicholas did his charitable works secretly. Suggest that your children do one hidden act of kindness in imitation of the saint.

  • From the Netherlands we have the most popular recipe, speculaas (or St. Nicholas Cookies; Speculaus; Speculatius; Kris Kringle Cookies; Dutch spice cookies). You can find tips for using special speculaas cookie molds by Gene Wilson. Try these sites for St. Nicholas Cookie cutters or molds: Heart and Home, House on the Hill, HOBI Picture Cookie Molds, Rycraft, and St. Nicholas Center. You could also use Nativity Cookie Cutters, like these from Cookie Craft.

31 posted on 12/06/2006 12:03:37 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Show love on St. Nicholas' Day by being generous with your time, patience or money. Perform at least one generous act today.

32 posted on 12/06/2006 3:00:14 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Please put me on this list.


33 posted on 12/06/2006 6:41:55 PM PST by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Thursday
Pray anytime you have to wait today. Keep your prayer simple and begin with praise.

34 posted on 12/06/2006 9:00:30 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

















 



Week 1: Thursday

A nation of firm purpose You keep in peace; in peace for its trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock. (Isaiah 26: 3-4)

Reflection

We cannot eliminate upsets and anxiety from our lives, but Advent is a good time to slow down and remember where we should look for stability and peace. Throughout these weeks of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, the Scriptures for our liturgies tell us again and again to turn to God, to build our house on the rock of Jesus. Only there we will find peace.

Advent Action

Make a phone call. Call someone you have been meaning to speak to, but for some reason you have not done so.

Prayer

Lord, may I truly bring peace to others that I may be at peace with myself and one with You.



35 posted on 12/06/2006 9:04:46 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Wednesday, December 6

First Wednesday of Advent

Bread Enough for All

Today’s Gospel reading is a story we have heard many times – the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. But why are we reading it now, in Advent? Is not the bread which Jesus multiplies the sign of his own body, broken and shared by us in the Eucharist? Is this not a Lenten reading? Perhaps we have forgotten that before Jesus feeds the people, they have been waiting. “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat.” Perhaps the answer lies in this waiting, in the yearning that grew in the people as their bellies were empty but their hearts were filled by Jesus’ words. And then, at the end of the three days (like the three days in the tomb!), they witness a miracle – but one so humble! There are no pyrotechnics here, just bread, enough for all. In Advent we are waitng, yearning for just such a miracle – the Bread of Heaven that comes to earth as a newborn babe. And like the people that crowded onto the hillside, one against the other, we must strain to hear Christ’s words that prepare us humbly to receive the gift.


Reflection based on Matthew15:29-37

Lisa Lickona

Loving Father, may my spiritual hunger lead me to your Son and to my daily Bread.

36 posted on 12/07/2006 2:56:07 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

















 



Week 1: Friday

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed (Him), crying out, "Son of David, have pity on us!" When He entered the house, the blind men approached Him and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do this?" "Yes, Lord," they said to Him. Then He touched their eyes and said, "Let it be done for you according to your faith." And their eyes were opened. (Matthew 9:27-30)

Reflection

Many people scoff at the idea of miracles. Unwilling to believe that Jesus could restore the sight of the blind when He walked on earth, they are unwilling to see the miracles that Jesus continues to work today. If we are open to the guiding touch of God’s hand and willing to discover His plan for our lives, miracles will happen. What prevents us from seeing and being a part of God’s miracles? Would we rather be blind?

Advent Action

Send a get-well card to someone in the hospital.


Prayer

Lord, clarify my vision that I may see You in others and sense You within my own soul.



37 posted on 12/07/2006 10:28:22 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Friday
In honor of Mary's Immaculate Conception, attend Mass and pray a Rosary.

38 posted on 12/07/2006 10:30:38 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
 

The Immaculate Conception


immacconc.jpg (11339 bytes)

Feast Day: December 8

Roman Catholic dogma holding that from the first instant of its creation, the soul of the Virgin Mary was free from original sin; this doctrine is not to be confused with that of the Virgin Birth, which holds that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin mother. Despite divergent scholarly opinions, the Roman Catholic church has consistently favored belief in the Immaculate Conception; a festival of that name, the significance of which is now indefinite, was celebrated in the Eastern church as early as the 5th century and in the Western church from the 7th century. Opposition to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was conducted in the 12th century by the French monastic St. Bernard of Clairvaux and in the 13th century by the famous Italian philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas. Among those who supported the doctrine was the 13th-century Scottish theologian John Duns Scotus. The theological controversy over the Immaculate Conception gained momentum in the 19th century. Finally in 1854, Pope Pius IX issued a solemn decree declaring the Immaculate Conception to be a dogma essential for the belief of the universal church. Under the title Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Mary is invoked as the patron of the United States, Brazil, Portugal, and Corsica.

If Jesus, the Son of God, could choose for His Mother her who pleased Him most, He would surely choose one acceptable to the Blessed Trinity and worthy of the great honour for which she was destined.  Mary was, therefore, not only free from all actual sin, but she also remained exempt from original sin; otherwise, she would not have been a Mother suitable for Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

God Himself has testified to Mary's Immaculate Conception by miracles.  Who can number the wonders that have been wrought at Lourdes, where she appeared eighteen times and declared to Bernadette and to the world: "I am the Immaculate Conception," just four years after this doctrine was defined as a dogma of faith?  Mary declared to the wholel world her approval of this doctrine and that she was not only immaculately conceived, but that she is the Immaculate Conception.

THE WORD OF GOD

“You are the glory of Jerusalem, the surpassing joy of Israel; you are the splendid boast of our people….May you be blest by the Lord Almighty forever and ever.”  (Jdt 15:9-10)

“I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for He has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,….like a bride bedecked with her jewels.”   (Is 61:10)

“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”  (Rv 12:1)

NOVENA PRAYERS

Novena Prayer
Immaculate Virgin Mary, you were pleasing in the sight of God from the first moment of your conception in the womb of your mother, St Anne.   You were chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I believe the teaching of Holy Mother the Church, that in the first instant of your conception, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race and your beloved Son, you were preserved from all stain of original sin.  I thank God for this wonderful privilege and grace He bestowed upon you as I honour your Immaculate Conception

Look graciously upon me as I implore this special favour:  (Mention your request).

Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from your throne in heaven, turn your eyes of pity upon me.  Filled with confidence in your goodness and power, I beg you to help me in this journey of life, which is so full of dangers of my soul.  I entrust myself entirely to you, that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may always live a humble and pure life.   I consecrate myself to you forever, for my only desire is to love your Divine Son Jesus.

Mary, since none of your devout servants has ever perished, may I, too, be saved.   Amen.

Prayer to Mary Immaculate

Mary, Mother of God, your greatness began at the first instant of your existence with the privilege of your Immaculate Conception.  After Almighty God and the Sacred Humanity of Jesus, there is no being so great as you.  It is true, you are a creature, and, therefore, far beneath the Supreme Being.  But you are a creature so holy and so perfect that you are superior to all other creatures.  God alone could make you so holy and so beautiful, and He did so to make you worthy of the dignity of being the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God, the Divine Word.

It was fitting that you, a virgin Mother, should conceive the Man who was also the Son of God.  It was fitting that you should be adorned with the greatest purity ever possible to a creature.  You are the Virgin to whom God the Father decreed to give His only Son – the Divine Word, equal to Himself in all things – that entering the natural order He might become your Son as well as His.  You are the immaculate Virgin whom the Son Himself chose to make His mother.   You are the immaculate Virgin whom the Holy Spirit willed to make his bride and in whom He would work the tremendous miracle of the Incarnation.  The privilege of the Immaculate Conception was suitable to your dignity.

Mary, my immaculate Mother, help me to imitate your sinlessness by keeping my soul free from every willful sin by the faithful observance of God’s commandments.   Help me to imitate your fullness of grace by receiving Holy Communion frequently, where I shall obtain the sanctifying grace that will make my soul holy and pleasing to God, and the actual graces I need to practice virtue.  Through prayer may grace fill my soul with the life of God and transform me into a living image of Jesus, just as you were.

Prayer
Father, You prepared the Virgin Mary to be the worthy Mother of Your Son.  You made it possible for her to share beforehand in the salvation Your Son, Jesus Christ, would bring by His death, and kept her without sin from the first moment of her conception.  Give us the grace by her prayers ever to live in Your presence without sin.  We ask this through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.


39 posted on 12/08/2006 8:27:17 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Collect:
Father, You prepared the Virgin Mary to be the worthy mother of your Son. You let her share beforehand in the salvation Christ would bring by His death, and kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception. Help us by her prayers to live in your presence without sin. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Activities:
moreless

December 08, 2006 Month Year Season

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Old Calendar: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the solemn dogma defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. As Our Lady Immaculately Conceived is the patroness of the United States of America, this is a holyday of obligation in the United States.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed on December 8, 1854: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." — Catechism of the Catholic Church

Jesse Tree ~ Mary

Immaculate Conception of Mary
"Tota pulchra es! O Mary, thou art all fair, unstained by original sin" (1st Ant. at Vespers; All.). This cry of admiration, which the Church puts on our lips, expresses the feelings of fallen man before the spotless purity of our Lady. From all eternity God had chosen Mary to be the Mother of the Word Incarnate; He therefore decked her in holiness, preserving her from all stain and making her a worthy dwelling for His Son. The Blessed Virgin's perfect redemption which, from the moment of her conception, preserved her from original sin cannot, therefore, be dissociated from our redemption by Christ; and so, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, coming in the course of Advent, heralds the splendours of the Incarnation of the Redeemer.

Pope Pius IX in his bull Ineffabilis Deus of December 8, 1854, declared the Immaculate Conception to be an infallible teaching of the Church as well as "a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful that the Blessed Virgin Mary in the first instant of her conception was, by a unique privilege and grace of Almighty God in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, preserved exempt from all stain of original sin." The stain of original sin was excluded from her soul, not removed from it. Many confuse the meaning of this dogma, thinking it refers to Mary's conception of the immaculate Jesus. That is the Incarnation, which we celebrate on the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25. This dogma of the Immaculate Conception, on the other hand, refers to St. Anne's conception of Our Immaculate Lady in her womb.

Patron: United States.

Symbols: crown and monogram; lily; enclosed garden; crown of stars; glass (symbol of purity) lily often placed in a vase of transparent glass; lily of the valley.

Things to Do:


40 posted on 12/08/2006 9:17:45 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 1: Saturday
 

The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of His people, He will heal the bruises left by His blows. (Isaiah 30:26)

Reflection

God, while His ways are still mysterious to us, is not on the sidelines of our lives. Just as Isaiah predicted, He has come, in Jesus, to bind up the hurt of His people, and through Jesus’ presence is still active in the world.

Advent Action

Find an opportunity today to be the hands of God, and "bind up" someone’s hurt. Say a kind word and listen with compassion to someone who is suffering.

Before going to bed, say a decade of the rosary for  your mother.

Prayer

Lord, flood me with Your light, and help me to brighten the lives of those whom I find most dark.



41 posted on 12/09/2006 10:29:19 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Saturday
Attend Confession today to ready your soul for the grace of Christ's birth!

42 posted on 12/09/2006 10:31:41 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Friday, December 8
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Where We Are Molded into the Image of Jesus

When Gabriel greets Mary, the world changes. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Each human being is caught up in the mystery that comes to life in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What we call the grace of adoption achieves its completion in baptism. But the mystery begins when the Word becomes man in the immaculate womb of a virgin whose name was Mary. Thenceforth her womb occupies a privileged place in the life of Christians. There we are molded into the image of Jesus Christ. We receive God’s favor. “ To live without God’s favor means to remain sterile and alone. It is a frightening prospect. There is never cause for discouragement, however. God made Mary immaculate to protect us from the vicious blackmail of the devil. His voice that, like the serpent in the garden, whispers, “You’ll never change. You’ll always be alone.” Only God can change man’s original plight. To announce this great reversal, he made the mother of his Son immaculate from the first moment of her conception. What happened to Mary in an instant happens to us progressively. She alone is the Morning Star. The rest of us find consolation in her Immaculate Conception. Like a good mother, Mary encourages us. She wants us to become fruitful and holy companions of her Son.


Reflection based on Luke 1:26-38

Father Romanus Cessario

Loving Father, change my plight of doubt, desolation, and defeat through the love and maternal mediation of Mary Immaculate.

43 posted on 12/09/2006 2:30:29 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Esperience the Joy of Advent

Touched By Grace
Fr. Jack Peterson  
Other Articles by Fr. Jack Peterson
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Experience the Joy of Advent

December 9, 2006

Advent is a season of joyful expectation. There are many sources of our joy during Advent. I would like to take a look at three of them: experiencing God's tender mercy, receiving a special gift, and serving others.

The Church watches three major figures as it prepares for Christmas: Scrooge, Jimmy Stewart and the Grinch. Actually, they are Isaiah the prophet, John the Baptist, and Mary, the Mother of God. The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent turns our attention to John the Baptist. John was the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New.

Prophets have the job of calling us out of our stubbornness and demanding change. As the first New Testament prophet, John had the supreme privilege of introducing the whole world to Christ, the promised Messiah, and pointing out the surest path to a profound encounter with Jesus, the way of repentance. John attracted huge crowds because he spoke the truth in love. He helped people recognize the serious consequences of their sins and convince them that God is deeply pleased when we acknowledge them, humbly ask for forgiveness, and commit to avoiding them in the future.

 I have found that one of the great joys of my life is receiving God's mercy in the Sacrament of Penance. In confession, I have found God's goodness and mercy to be beyond measure. I never cease to be amazed that God is willing to forgive me time after time. If John's baptism of repentance was so essential to the first coming of Christ, it will be equally essential for the coming of Christ anew into our hearts this Christmas. The fundamental connection of repentance with Christmas is why so many of the classic Christmas movies are stories about conversion.

Another Advent joy is the blessing of receiving a precious gift. When I was about 13 years old, I asked my parents for an over-the-top gift for Christmas. I never expected actually to receive it, but I tossed my wish out there anyway, as kids often do. When I woke up on Christmas morning, there was a motorcycle near our tree. I was completely overwhelmed. I do not remember at what point that year I finally stopped saying "awesome." To this day, I am astonished that my parents sacrificed for me and provided that present.

As I got older, I was able to realize that that gift from my parents was a very pale reminder of the greatest gift that the world has ever known - the Gift of God's only-begotten Son. My parents' sacrificial love represented in that gift was, in fact, a tiny little glimpse of our heavenly Father's sacrificial love poured out in the gift of Emmanuel, God-with-us. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, the Wonderful Counselor, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, was born of Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a borrowed manger. Is there a greater gift? Is there a greater cause for joy?

Finally, there is the joy that comes from serving others in love. We all have so much more than we need, yet God wants to give us even more. The key to this quandary is to give the gift of ourselves and what we have to those in need. Advent provides us with many opportunities to serve our families and those who have less - the poor, the elderly, the lonely, and the suffering.

A few years ago, the junior class president at Marymount University arranged to have a 30-person choir from a local middle school sing at our annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. The children who sang were visibly thrilled to be at our event and our Advent tradition took on a joyful, new twist. I am sure that making those arrangements was an extra burden for our student leader at the end of the semester. Yet the effort to serve both the kids and the Marymount community added remarkable joy to our campus. Caring service comes with a built-in joy. Make it your intention to be a servant this Advent and you will know the joy of the Lord.

Advent is indeed a time of joyful expectation. Joy comes wrapped in many packages. Take the time to humbly repent of your sins, ask for the grace of God to fully appreciate the gift of the Christ-child, and commit yourself to serving those in need this Advent and you will enter into the joy of the Lord.


44 posted on 12/09/2006 7:18:02 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Saturday, December 9
First Saturday of Advent

Absolute Generosity and Abundance

Christ’s tremendous compassion for human weakness stands out in the Gospels. Time and again we see his tender mercy in the face of our frailty and suffering. While it hurts our pride – no doubt a good thing! -- to admit it, we truly are the lost sheep; we don’t know what to do with ourselves, we go this way and that, we try to live according to our own devices – and fall. Today is the feast day of Saint Juan Diego, the humble Mexican who saw a vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe, now America’s patroness. Mary gave him a cape full of roses to help convince the bishop of the apparition’s authenticity. Nowadays, we have flowers flown in from all parts of the world and so out of season blooms are not so surprising. But in Diego’s day, a mantle full of fresh roses was a singular sign in December, evidence of something extraordinary, something beyond human devices. Winter roses are not merely a spectacular sight they are also a beautiful sign of God’s favor. Mary chose to make herself known to Juan Diego through an extraordinary gift, a gift that later transformed itself into an image of herself that time has not destroyed – one that points to the absolute generosity and abundance that Christ brings into our lives. Into lives of nothingness and confusion he brings joy and light and love.


Reflection based on Matthew 9:35, 10:1, 5a, 6-8

Rebecca Vitz Cherico

Loving Father, amidst the confusion and powerlessness of my life let me experience the light and love of your Son.

45 posted on 12/09/2006 10:30:42 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 2: Second Sunday of Advent
 

Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.
O Lord,
let your blessing come upon us as we light the first and second (purple) candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this in His holy name. Amen.

 

Waiting

 We light a candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark. But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master. The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:

See! The ruler of the earth shall come,  the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile
The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.
We must capture that urgency today in the small flame of our candle. We light the candle because we know that the coming of Christ is tied to our building of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting the lonely and forgotten – doing all these works hastens His coming.


 

46 posted on 12/09/2006 10:32:56 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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2006 Advent Calendar
Sunday
Light two purple candles in the Advent wreath each night this week. Sing "O Come, O Come Emanuel."

47 posted on 12/09/2006 10:36:12 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Sunday, December 10
Second Sunday of Advent

Gospel
Lk 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”



48 posted on 12/10/2006 7:50:06 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Sunday, December 10
First Saturday of Advent

Preparing for a New Presence

During Advent the Church identifies with John the Baptist and uses his witness to prepare us for the new presence of Christ that will be ours at Christmas. This towering saint, the friend of the Bridegroom, as Luke shows us today in the Gospel, appeared at just the moment God willed for him. He is a figure in time and space, in history. The word of the Lord came to him in “the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar” (probably AD 28-29) and, to prepare Israel for the coming of its Messiah, he preached a “baptism of repentance.” In this way the people could ratify their membership in Israel and accept their vocation. They repented and renounced their sins, accepted a baptism that signified conversion, and committed themselves to God. John was “a voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord.” We prepare the way for the Lord to come into our hearts by repenting of our sins, expressing our conversion by a good confession, accepting our vocation as Christians, and helping others, especially in our families, to prepare their hearts for the grace of Christmas. The Lord is saying to you: listen to John’s words resounding in my Church and yield to what I want to do in your life.


Reflection based on Luke 3:1-6

Father Francis Martin

Loving Father, make me sorrowful for my sins and enable me to yield to what you want to do in my life.

49 posted on 12/10/2006 8:22:49 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 2: Monday
 

Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, He comes with vindication; With divine recompense He comes to save you. (Isaiah 35: 4)

Reflection

In a world where political instability threatens long established order, where crime in our country seems out of control and unstoppable, there seems to be plenty to be afraid of. Isaiah reminds us that God’s power is beyond anything on this earth that could frighten us. "Be strong" and "fear not" this Advent.
Is having a frightened heart different that just being afraid? The kind of fear we have in our hearts is usually fear for people we love. God’s care encompasses them as well. Trust God’s power.

Advent Action

Send a Christmas card to a young person you know and care for. Remind them that you are praying for them, and remind them of the faith significance of the upcoming holiday.

Prayer

Lord, You are my strength and with You here, my own fears fade right away.

 

50 posted on 12/10/2006 8:25:46 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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