Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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

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

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-98 last
To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Monday
Include in your Christmas cards a note about the blessings you have received this year. It will be a witness to God's love.

51 posted on 12/10/2006 8:28:06 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: All


















 



Week 2: Tuesday

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; the abode where the jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. (Isaiah 35: 5-7)

Reflection

In Advent we celebrate the miraculous transformations Isaiah talks about: the lame leaping and streams of water bursting forth in the desert. We also celebrate seemingly ordinary events, the birth of two babies, John the Baptist and Jesus, that are part of the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. In every event of our lives, God is there, with His mercy and love and purpose. God desires that all should feel His mercy and love just as the desert sands would experience the overflowing spring.

Advent Action

Let God’s mercy and love operate in your own life. Make up with a friend or family member you have been fighting with.

Prayer

Lord, may I joyfully overflow the confining boundaries I have set to my love.



52 posted on 12/12/2006 8:53:36 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: All

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Protectress of the Unborn

Was Our Lady of Guadalupe Wrong?

METHODIST CHURCH DISPLAYS VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE

GUADALUPE DEVOTION IS CROSSING INTO PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS

 
A Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Relic From Guadalupe Tilma to Tour U.S.

The Amazing Truth of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Celebrating 470 years of an ongoing miracle, the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe 1531

Science Stunned by Virgin of Guadalupe´s Eyes

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE [Read only]


53 posted on 12/12/2006 8:54:34 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Tuesday
In honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, place a rose in a vase and pray a "Hail Mary" whenever you notice it.

54 posted on 12/12/2006 8:56:49 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]

To: All
Monday, December 11
Monday of the Second Week of Advent

Re-examining Our Thinkiing

In the middle of this vivid Gospel, in which Jesus heals a paralyzed man lowered by stretcher through a roof, is the blunt question of Our Lord: “What are you thinking in your hearts?” The words are directed at the Pharisees and teachers of the law who have just witnessed the miracle, but who are offended by Our Lord saying, “Your sins are forgiven.” A stubborn logic beclouds their thought: they are too confident of wrong being done. God alone can forgive sins: the man speaking pronounces words only God can say: therefore he blasphemes. It is amazing that they hold tightly to this cold analysis even after the paralyzed man stood up, picked up his mat, and walked. This refusal to re-examine their thinking, to backtrack from a harsh conclusion and realize the divine presence in their midst, is not so much poor thinking, a mistake in argument, but a grave error of soul. The scene recalls words of Saint John of the Cross: “The evil-minded see sin everywhere. Wisdom alone gives eyes of discernment. And only those who love are truly wise.” For our part, let us hear Jesus ask this same question of us, so that our perceptions, our habits of thought, are never separated from a desire to love present in our hearts. Let us grow in the wisdom of love.


Reflection based on Luke 5:17-26

Father Donald Haggerty

Loving Father, refashion my perception and perfect the way I think so that I may live in your wisdom.

55 posted on 12/12/2006 9:07:51 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 54 | View Replies]

To: All
 
Our Lady of Guadlupe

Our Lady of Guadlalupe


 

 

guadalup.jpg (4744 bytes)

Click to see larger imageThe Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe


The only true picture
of the Mother of God To the Aztecs a message To the Spaniards a picture color, lines, stars, designs, rays, moon. all have meaning

 Flowers and Songs

Mary appeared on Tepeyac, the hill was covered with flowers, surrounded by songs of the most beautiful birds
meaning: flowers and songs mean the full truth

 DESCRIPTION

Image

Size of the image: 6 1/2' X 3 1/2' Mary adolescent, around 15, oval face, Mexican clear dark face, a little mother

Angel

as a caryatid, wings half open, sustain Our Lady red, white, blue in color the angel is holding both: the pink dress represents earth; the blue mantle represents heaven meaning: Heaven and earth are witnesses to the truth of the apparition message

Stars

Brightest gold - finest - royalty: as if woven, as if they would fall at touch 48 stars, 8 points; 22 on right, 26 on left show constellations that were in the sky at the time of the apparition 10:30 am December 12, 1531

pattern: The stars on one side represent the northern constellations, the others represent the southern constellations. Can see Venus the morning star, Virgo would fall on the hands, Leo on the womb, crown of stars on the head.

Dress

in Nahuatl the designs of gold thread as embroidered flowers of 8 petals represent mountains; the only 4-petal flower on womb just below sash in the center means life and movement

Sash

tied around the waist; symbol of pregnancy Central part of dress bulging - means She is with child

Cuffs

End of dress rolled back over the sleeves white fur means nobility - dressed in Jewish nobility - nothing Indian about it

Hands

joined in prayer of supplication, therefore not a goddess; there is someone greater than Her

Moon

stands on moon, horns up - Rev. 12:1 moon pagan god of night, providence, youth, war She is greater than the moon

Sun

mighty god; Our Lady blocks the sun behind Her She is brighter than the sun god

Rays

rays bright near body, fade out away from body 129 rays - 62 on right, 67 on left equidistant alternating forms: 1) straight like swords 2) undulating flames

Red Border

because of rising sun - new life

Cloud

surrounding the entire image


56 posted on 12/12/2006 10:09:05 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: All
Catholic Culture

Collect:
Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving. 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.

December 12, 2006 Month Year Season

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Old Calendar: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Third Class, U.S.)

"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.

In 1910 Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of Latin America, and in 1945 Pope Pius XII declared Her to be the Empress of all the Americas. She appeared to an Indian convert named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Jesse Tree ~ Moses

Our Lady of Guadalupe
"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."
— Our Lady to Juan Diego

In the winter of 1531, a poor, 57-year-old Aztec Indian living five miles outside of Mexico City encountered a miraculous happening on his way to morning Mass. First he heard strange music coming from Tepeyac Hill, and then he heard a woman's voice calling his name. Juan Diego climbed the hill and encountered a young woman, appearing to be of his own people in physical appearance and dress. The woman identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and told Juan Diego to ask the bishop of Mexico City to build a church on the hill to assist in the conversion of the nation and be a source of consolation to the people.

Juan Diego obeyed the request, but the bishop was skeptical regarding the message, even though he perceived that Juan was a humble, and well meaning Catholic. Juan reported the bishop's doubt to Our Lady at Tepeyac Hill, and she asked him to return to the bishop once again, bearing the same message. The bishop once again heard the story, and told Juan Diego to ask Our Lady for a sign that it was indeed herself that wished for the church to be built.

When he returned to the hill, Mary gave Juan Diego such a sign. Miraculously, roses appeared on the hill in the middle of winter, and Juan gathered them in his tilma, or cloak. Our Lady arranged the roses in his tilma with her own hands, and Juan returned to the bishop's presence. When Juan released the tilma, allowing the flowers to fall to the floor, it was revealed that a miraculous image of Our Lady had imprinted itself on his tilma (see above).

The bishop immediately fell to his knees, and came to believe in Juan Diego's message. A church was built on the spot of the apparition, as Mary had requested, and 8 million people converted to Catholicism in a short period of time upon hearing of or viewing the miraculous image of Our Lady.

The tilma of Juan Diego has been the subject of much modern research. The tilma, woven out of coarse cactus fiber, should have disintegrated after 20 years, but although over 500 years have passed the tilma is still in perfect condition. The pupils of Mary in the picture reflect the Indians and clergy present at the time of the first revelation of the image. No paint was used, and chemical analysis has not been able to identify the color imprint. Additionally, studies have revealed that the stars on Mary's mantle match exactly what a Mexican would have seen in the sky in December of 1531.

Patron: The Americas; pro-life movement.

Things to Do:

  • Start a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  • If you live close to La Crosse, WI visit the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe if not make a virtual visit.

  • Read more about this title of Our Lady.

  • Make a sacrifice, say a prayer or visit the Blessed Sacrament for an end to abortion.

  • If your parish is having a pro-life Mass or holy hour try to attend.

  • Have a party, which includes a procession and a special Mexican dinner to celebrate the feast.

  • See Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe for ideas.

57 posted on 12/12/2006 10:15:05 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 56 | View Replies]

To: All
Tuesday, December 12
Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Answer Beginning to Happen

Bishop Zumarraga prayed to Our Lady for help in what was an impossible situation. How could he convert a people who were too terrified of their gods to turn away from them? How could he ever unite under the banner of Christ the Spanish and the Aztecs, when there was so much reason for each to be suspicious of the other? As the Bishop prayed, Our Lady quietly appeared on an unimportant hill to a poor Aztec. At the very moment Zummarraga was longing for help, the answer was already beginning to happen. The Jewish people longed for their kingdom to be restored and to last for ever, as had been promised to the great King David. As the Jewish people prayed for a messiah to deliver them, an angel was appearing to a young girl in the little known northern town of Nazareth. As they prayed for deliverance, the answer was already beginning to happen. As we pray that God’s kingdom come through Jesus Christ, do we pray with faith that the answer to our prayers is already beginning to happen? Do we recognize the seemingly insignificant ways that God is already breaking into our lives? Are we aware that God has chosen us as those seemingly insignificant instruments through which he will manifest the coming of his Kingdom?


Reflection based on Luke 1:26-38

Father Richard Veras

Loving Father, let me be aware of all the ways that you offer yourself to me in even the least significant circumstances of my life.

58 posted on 12/12/2006 6:04:18 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: All


















 



Week 2: Wednesday

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Reflection

Are there burdens I can let go of? Sometimes we make other people’s problems our own. What burdens that are not my own can I give to God? Remember the old phrase, "Let go and let God."
But, at the same time Jesus offers comfort, He asks us to take on His yoke. To be "yoked" to Jesus means that we must walk in step with Him. If we are in step with Jesus, then we can hear any burden that comes our way. Jesus, and the graces we receive through His Church, share the load every step of the way.

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 for them and thinking of them this Christmas.

 

Prayer

Lord, I give over all my cares to Your most Sacred Heart that I may be at rest in You.



59 posted on 12/13/2006 9:40:10 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 58 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Wednesday
Spend some time today examining your life for some areas needing repentance.

60 posted on 12/13/2006 9:43:37 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: All
Examination of Conscience

A Guide for Confession

How To Make a Good Confession (especially if you haven't gone in years)

Why Go to Confession? (Part 1) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte

Why Go to Confession? (Part 2) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte

Why Go to Confession? (Part 3) - Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Bruno Forte

Pulling Sin up by the Roots: The Need for Mortification

Reasons for Confession [Sacrament of Reconciliation]

Cardinal Stafford's Homily at Penitential Liturgy With an Examination of Conscience

How to Go to Confession

61 posted on 12/13/2006 9:44:22 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]

To: All
Wednesday, December 13
Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

Laying Down Our Burdens

Advent is supposed to be a time of spiritual preparation, but for many of us it has become a time of frantic activity. Too often we feel that in honor of the season we must host the perfect Christmas part, find perfect gifts for family and friends, put on elaborate decorations and send a card or note to everyone we have or haven’t seen in the last year. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden light, but here we are halfway through the Advent season – halfway to Christmas – and we feel our yoke getting harder to carry and our burden heavier. It is obvious that we are not carrying Jesus’ yoke, but a yoke that has been placed on our shoulders by our own perfectionism or by the expectations of others. Will the world come to an end if we don’t fulfill all those unreasonable expectations? Does Jesus want us to arrive at Christmas Eve totally exhausted and unable to stay awake through midnight Mass? Let us sit down quickly and make a list of all the things we think we have to do before Christmas and then ask ourselves which ones are really God’s will for us and which ones can be eliminated. Let us lay down our burdens and find rest. The virgin martyr Saint Lucy knew how to put first things first. She gave her life to Christ. Let us ask her intercession as we prepare for Christmas.


Reflection based on Matthew 11:28-30

Dale O’Leary

Loving Father, free me from the false priorities and distractions that alienate me from you.

62 posted on 12/14/2006 9:17:24 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 61 | View Replies]

To: All


















 



Week 2: Thursday

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it be force. (Matthew 11:12)

Reflection

Our world will never be bliss. We can say with Matthew, that from the days of John the Baptist until now, that God’s kingdom suffers violence. That is why we celebrate Advent over and over. We reassert that the violence we suffer in this world is not the norm, but only a temporary condition. That mystery of our faith is proclaimed each time we celebrate the Eucharist: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. We are grounded in this present world, but look to the world to come.

Advent Action

Renew your commitment to a special time of Advent prayer each day throughout the season.

Say a prayer sometime today for the Americas.

Contemplate on the miracle of the Cloak Of Juan Diego. 

 

Prayer

Lord, may I refrain from all violent words and deeds, and help make my part of this world a more peaceful place.

 


63 posted on 12/14/2006 9:19:05 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Thursday
Put a lamp or an electric candle in the window to welcome the Christ Child. Light it each night until Christmas Day. (Or through the Epiphany, if you wish.)

64 posted on 12/14/2006 9:21:28 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 63 | View Replies]

To: All
Thursday, December 14
Thursday of the Second Week of Advent

The Promise of Greatness

What a strange man John the Baptist was – how strange, passionate, and fortunate to be the one to recognize and proclaim Jesus! And yet, we are told that while there had been no man greater than he, the very least in the kingdom of heaven is greater! What can this mean, we wonder? It is clear that time would never be the same again after Christ’s birth and death. What a change has happened in the world, that this greatest of men is less than the least of heaven. All of history prepared for John the Baptist, but the time of prophets has passed: we are in the time of the fulfillment of all history. The Savior has truly come: he is with us now and we will recognize him once again as a little baby on Christmas Day. But it is easy to forget that time and history have been ineradicably changed – just as it is easy to be distracted from the truth of Christmas even during Advent. We need to be reminded how fortunate we ourselves are. In all our smallness, we can be greater than John the Baptist, the great prophet! This is the promise made to us. No longer is greatness measured the way it was of old, but by the simplicity of those who have ears and choose to hear.


Reflection based on Matthew 11:11-15

Rebecca Vitz Cherico

Loving Father, let me see the blessing of my littleness and live only according to your measure.

65 posted on 12/15/2006 8:39:28 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 64 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Friday
Today, think about all the Biblical accounts of God's merciful treatment of sinners.

66 posted on 12/15/2006 8:40:59 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 65 | View Replies]

To: All

















 



Week 2: Friday
 

Thus says the Lord, you redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea; your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence. (Isaiah 48:17-19)

Reflection

The use of water as a metaphor of God, or for any good thing, is common in Hebrew Scriptures. Who should know more about the preciousness of water than a desert people like the Israelites?
Isaiah says our prosperity will be like a river. Have we let God’s love flow over us like a river, or are we stingy when we imagine it? Do we imagine God’s love as a trickle or a torrent?

Advent Action

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

Ask St. Lucy to help us not to be blinded our personal goals, but to always seek what the Lord wants us to do.

Prayer

Lord, wash me and I shall be clean, bathe me in Your loving mercy and I shall be truly forgiven.

 

67 posted on 12/15/2006 8:43:49 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 66 | View Replies]

To: All
Friday, December 15
Friday of the Second Week of Advent

Singing Our Carols

The children in Jesus’ day sang a little rhyme to one another: “We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.” Our generation is not unlike the one Jesus condemned in today’s Gospel for wanting it both ways. No matter what the Church does there are those who want us to do something else. The worldly worry about whether or not receipts from Christmas sales will be high enough and then complain about the use of the word, Christmas. We are told to keep our religion inside our churches. No images of the Mother and Child must be allowed to intrude on the holiday festivities. Just as there was no room in the inn for the Holy Family, there is no room in the public square for Nativity scenes. We must not allow this to spoil our celebration. We must go on singing our carols, putting up our Nativity scenes, and greeting friends and strangers with “Merry Christmas.” And we must pray for those who are afraid of Christmas. After all their fears are nor groundless. Christmas is not an innocuous winter celebration; it is the anniversary of a world-shattering event – the birth of a baby who changed everything for ever.


Reflection based on Matthew 11:16-19

Dale O’Leary

Loving Father, let me live the mystery of the incarnation filled with conviction, ardor, and zeal to witness to your Son.

68 posted on 12/16/2006 6:38:31 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 67 | View Replies]

To: All


















 



Week 2: Saturday

Then the disciples asked Him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He said in reply, "Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Matthew 17: 10-13)

Reflection

Some among those who followed Jesus would not believe that He was the Messiah. They were waiting for the reappearance of Elijah, who Scripture said must return before the coming of the Messiah. In the same way, many of us have set up obstacles that prevent us from living as if the Messiah has already come.
What are we waiting for? What obstacles have we set up to prevent us from living as if our Savior has already come?

Advent Action

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

May St. John Of The Cross intercede in our prayers for peace on Earth. 

Prayer

Lord, in Your own way remove everything that makes it hard for me to see You clearly today.

 


69 posted on 12/16/2006 6:40:52 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 68 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Saturday
Even if you live alone, put up and decorate a Christmas tree.

70 posted on 12/16/2006 6:42:57 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: All
Saturday, December 16
Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

The Patron Saint of Adulthood

As a girl in Catholic School, I was taught that John the Baptist was the “greatest of the prophets.” This never made much sense to me, probably because there the Gospel stories about John seemed so uninteresting. I was much more taken with the antics of Job or the heartfelt cries of Isaiah than the austere proclamations of John. Now as I raise my own children up in the faith, I begin to see where John’s greatness lies. Jesus himself calls him Elijah and says that John came to “restore all things.” He had to prepare the people for Jesus. And this is exactly what he does. He prepares in the desert, preaches to the people, dies at the hands of the authorities. John was singular in purpose, unflagging in his task – je never did anything that was dramatic or spectacular. His whole life was just a pointer, an indicator. And this amounts to a life that might bore the average third-grader, but inspires an adult struggling to remain in union with Jesus. In John the Baptist we have a model, simple and beautiful. Let us live today so that our life says, “Look not at me, but at the other one, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”


Reflection based on Matthew 17:9a, 10-13-19

Lisa Lickona

Loving Father, let me be obedient to the One John the Baptist points out to me through the passion and sacrifice of his life.

71 posted on 12/17/2006 7:30:12 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 70 | View Replies]

To: All
















 



Week 3: Sunday
 

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  two (purple) candles and the third (pink) 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.

Rejoicing

"(The desert) will bloom with abundant flowers and rejoice with joyful song." "Rejoice in the Lord always!" "Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!"

The Scriptures for the Third Sunday of Advent proclaim their message in no uncertain terms: Rejoice! Joy is all around us and our celebration of Advent calls us to discover it. The joy that the Scripture passages speak about is not a joy that equates with hilarious laughter. It is a joy that comes from a security with our God, those around us, and our place in the world. It is the joy Isaiah describes when he writes, "I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul." It is a joy that cannot be bought or obtained from artificial highs. It is a joy that comes from our living faith in a living God.

It is the joy we feel as we approach the birth of our Savior and remember the awesome beauty of what happened on that cold Bethlehem night.

Rejoice!

 

72 posted on 12/17/2006 7:32:37 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 71 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Sunday
Light the two purple candles and the rose one for joy! Look for one new thing at Mass yoday that you haven't noticed before.

73 posted on 12/17/2006 7:35:33 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 72 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Sunday
Light the two purple candles and the rose one for joy! Look for one new thing at Mass today that you haven't noticed before.

74 posted on 12/17/2006 7:35:56 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 72 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday, December 17
Third Sunday of Advent


Gospel
Lk 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,
“What should we do?”
He said to them in reply,
“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,

“Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them,
“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him,
“And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages.”

Now the people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Exhorting them in many other ways,
he preached good news to the people.



75 posted on 12/17/2006 6:06:15 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 74 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Sunday, December 17
Third Sunday of Advent

What Should We Do?

In the Gospel account of Luke, the crowds that came out to the desert to hear John the Baptist preach, whatever their background, found themselves united in a common question: “What then should we do?” John’s message of course, was of the imminent coming of the Messiah, and it is understandable that such an expectation aroused a desire to prepare for the momentous event, symbolized in John’s baptism by water. John’s answer to the question “what to do” is both very pragmatic – give to the poor, be upright and honest – and very mysterious. For he speaks of a new baptism by fire and the Holy Spirit, and of a judgment that awaits souls. “His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear the threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” This modern age seems increasingly disinclines to acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ as the central event of human history. The question of Jesus Christ cannot be ignored, however. Every person in history takes a stand in some manner before this mystery of the God-man offered for our salvation. The question then is always pertinent – what should we do? Let us renew deeply our faith in Jesus our Savior as Christmas draws near. And pray fervently for a world that needs his presence more than ever.


Reflection based on Luke 3:10-18

Father Donald Haggerty

Loving Father, let me live in front of the Event of your Son so that my life becomes a true witness to the Gospel.

We are starting the last week of Advent -- any thoughts or prayers?

76 posted on 12/18/2006 7:29:20 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 75 | View Replies]

To: All

















 



Week 3: Monday
 

When He had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached Him as He was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" (Matthew 21:23)

Reflection

The question of authority always followed Jesus. Different groups and individuals would try to ask Him difficult questions to trick Him and make Him look stupid in front of the crowds who listened to His teaching. It is clear that Jesus derived His authority from an unshakable inner knowledge of His relationship to the Father. Do we have confidence in our relationship with God so that we can speak the truth as we see it? Or do we expect the Church or some other authority to speak for us?

Advent Action

Make something (bake a cake, draw a picture, cut out a cartoon) to cheer someone up or as a means of sharing the spirit of the season.

Prayer

Lord, make me confident anew of Your great gift of faith that I may tell others of Your goodness.

 


77 posted on 12/18/2006 7:31:17 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 76 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Monday
The presence of Jesus in our lives speaks of our hope in God's mercy and love. Today list your reasons for hope in the future.

78 posted on 12/18/2006 7:34:07 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 77 | View Replies]

To: All
Monday, December 18
Monday of the Second Week of Advent

The Greatness of Joseph

The passage which immediately precedes today’s Gospel gives the genealogy of Jesus ending with the word: “Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.” This is how it came about: “When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.” A reputable segment of Church tradition understands what happens next in the following manner. When Joseph, a holy man, learned probably from Mary, the true nature of this pregnancy, he was overawed as later will be Elizabeth at Mary’s visit, or the centurion at Jesus’ offer to enter his house. Joseph reasoned that he was not worthy to be considered the father of such a child and resolved to give Mary a private bill of divorce that would not oblige him to publicize her secret. The angel came to him and told him: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All the greatness of Joseph, gradually appreciated over the centuries, has its foundation here.


Reflection based on Matthew 1:18-25

Father Francis Martin

Loving Father, through the mother of your Son, help me to recognize your providence in the impossible circumstances of my life.

79 posted on 12/19/2006 7:15:42 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: All
















 



Week 3: Tuesday

 
For then I will change and purify the lips of the people, that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord. (Zephaniah 3:9)

Reflection

Zephaniah’s prophetic dream of unity seems no closer to reality today than when it was 2500 years ago. Even though our world enjoys many modern technological advantages over the world of Zephaniah, it seems that there is not technological "fix" for the human heart.
"Change" and "pure lips" require personal conversion. What have I done to promote "one accord" in the world? No matter how we might view ourselves, all people are equal in the sight of God. We are all His servants.

Advent Action

Examine your conscience. Are you continually turning towards God?

Prayer

Lord, purify me of everything, whether present or past, that hinders me from serving You.

 


80 posted on 12/19/2006 7:16:46 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 79 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Tuesday
Take a moment today to listen to Christmas carols as a joyful symbol of the season.

81 posted on 12/19/2006 7:19:49 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 80 | View Replies]

To: All
Tuesday, December 19
Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

Need to Know

What is God doing here? What is the plan? These are the questions that arise as we progress in our life of prayer. We know that he has a plan – but how does it all come together? There is in our human nature a seemingly unquenchable “need to know,” a demand to see the breadth of his providential plan and the way we fit into it. When the angel came to Zechariah to announce that his barren wife, Elizabeth, would soon be with child, Zechariah asked that same question: “How shall I know this?” For this querying, for the expression of his lack of faith, Zechariah was struck dumb. How different is that other annunciation where Mary, too, asks a question of the angel: “ How can this be since I have no relations with a man?” But, unlike Zechariah, Mary does not seek to know. She simply wants to be true to her own virginal purity. Her life is utter abandonment to God, trusting that God’s will is one with his fatherly love. Let us, in these days of Mary’s journey to Bethlehem, join her in her total acceptance. Let us not demand reasons, but seek an ever-deeper trust in our Father’s plan for us.


Reflection based on Luke 1:5-25

Lisa Lickona

Loving Father, deepen my trust in your plan for me.

82 posted on 12/20/2006 7:32:56 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 81 | View Replies]

To: All














 



December 2
0

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
 
[Luke 1:27 -31]

Reflection

What should Christians look like to the world in which we live? How could other people know by our words and actions that we are followers of Christ? What should make us distinctive and stand out from non-Christians? How can we be the light of the world and the salt of the earth as our Lord says we should be?

Advent Action

If we are to teach by example, make plans to teach someone  during the Holiday season. A child or friend could learn by your actions.

Prayer

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


 

83 posted on 12/20/2006 7:37:03 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Wednesday
Desginate or decorate a special candle as your "Jesus Candle." Think about how Jesus brings us the "Light of the World" on Christmas Day. Say a special prayer of anticipation.

84 posted on 12/20/2006 7:39:52 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 83 | View Replies]

To: All
Wednesday, December 20
Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

The Light that Is a Mystery

In the beginning of his Gospel, John beautifully synthesizes Advent and Christmas: “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” (Jn 1:9) Advent is when we await this light; Christmas is when we celebrate this light. The lights around our houses and on our trees are reminders of this true light. The first moment this light broke into the darkness was when Jesus entered Mary’s womb. A virgin’s womb has no reason to expect the presence of a child. Yet into this dark enclosure comes the child who is the light of the human race. Our Christmas lights are noble but pale images of this true light. Our lights come from electricity or flame. The source of this light is a Mystery. This Mystery would come to be known as Father through the human face of the Son of God who would call this Virgin his Mother. This familiarity of God with us is the good news of Christianity. It is what we want to await with eyes wide open during Advent. Let us seek this light even, and especially, in those situations where we least expect it. For it all began with a poor virgin in a small town whose “Yes” brought about the fulfillment of the promise of a King whose kingdom, and whose light, would last for ever.


Reflection based on Luke 1:26-38

Father Richard Veras

Loving Father, do not let me be overcome by the darkness in my life. In Mary, help me to claim the light.

85 posted on 12/21/2006 11:42:07 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 84 | View Replies]

To: All



















 



December 21

The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty Savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Reflection

The reading from Zephaniah expresses in poetic language the boundless love God has for each of us. In some translations the words say "God will exult over you!" It is surely God’s desire that someday we will all be with Him in heaven. No matter what happened before, God is ready each moment to show us this love. The words of Zephaniah and our celebration of Christmas should bring us to a deeper awareness of how profound is God’s love for us.

Advent Action

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

Prayer

O come, O Dayspring from on high And cheer us by your drawing nigh; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadow put to flight.

 


86 posted on 12/21/2006 11:46:17 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 85 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Thursday
Set up your Nativity set or creche. (The Christ Child will be added Christmas Eve.) Imagine yourself in the scene and think about how you would act if you were there. Say a prayer.

87 posted on 12/21/2006 11:49:32 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: All
Thursday, December 21
Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

The Bearer of God

Yesterday we gazed on Mary as with all the power of her spirit she accepted God’s call to be the mother of his Son. Today, the Church places all of us in the position of Elizabeth watching as Mary approaches over the hills bearing Jesus. “Hark, my lover – here he comes/springing across the mountains,/ leaping across the hills…../My lover speaks; he says to me,” ‘Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come’…../’O my dove in the clefts of the rock,/ in the secret recesses of the cliff,/ Let me see you,/ let me hear your voice./ For your voice is sweet,/ and you are lovely’”….(See Song of Songs 2:8-24). Jesus comes to us through Mary; he tells us that he loves us and that he wants to hear our voice. He wants to listen to our spirit as we talk to him. Finally, we can join with Mary and the Church as they sing to him on this day: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of the eternal light, sun of justice, come shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” Or perhaps we can let him hear the voice of our heart and our lips: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord: / my spirit rejoices in God my savior!” Ask Mary, the bearer of God to visit you today.


Reflection based on Luke 1:29-48

Father Francis Martin

Loving Father, give me the eagerness of Elizabeth as I await the coming of your Son whose love banishes all my misery.

88 posted on 12/22/2006 8:09:05 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 87 | View Replies]

To: All



















 



December 22

And Mary said, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord: my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For He has looked upon His handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed." (Luke 1:46)

Reflection

Mary says that she is lowly, and also that all will call her blessed. How can both of these things be true? Mary’s lowliness was transformed by her faith in God’s promise as given to her by the angel. Through this faith she became the most exalted of God’s servants. Do we let God work with and transform our lives? Or, do we use our own "lowliness" as an excuse for inaction? Christmas is a beautiful time for re-inviting God into our lives and letting His power transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Advent Action

Make a "mini-retreat" to prepare for Christmas. Read the first and second chapters of Luke’s Gospel and spend some time reflecting on the story of Jesus’ birth and early life.

Prayer

O come, Desire of nations, bind In one the hearts of humankind; O bid our sad divisions cease  And be for us our King of Peace.

 


89 posted on 12/22/2006 8:12:04 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 88 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Friday
Gather some friends and neighbors and go Christmas caroling at a nursing home or homeless shelter.

90 posted on 12/22/2006 8:13:52 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 89 | View Replies]

To: All
Friday, December 22
Friday of the Third Week of Advent

The Song after Silence

The Magnificat of the Virgin Mary may have been the first words uttered by Mary after a silence that possessed her soul following the annunciation. She made a hard journey to her cousin, Elizabeth, in haste, as the Gospel says, and we can surmise from the burst of these beautiful words from her lips that the spirit of this prayer accompanied that long dusty journey. The Magnificat is indeed stunning in its beauty, like Mary herself, so much so that the whole Church repeats it at every evening vespers, allowing us to gaze inward at the heart of our Mother. Above all we can be moved by the sense of humble awe at God’s favor that filled Mary. We ought to let our Virgin Mother teach us to make this prayer our own, beginning with the opening verse: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant.” How merciful God is, and how privileged we are to be invited to draw close to him, even in our lowliness. Christmas is a mere three days away. Let us spend some of these hours in companionship with Mary in her humble silence, knowing her love for us and her desire that we turn with great open-hearted desire toward her newborn Son on Christmas morning.


Reflection based on Luke 1:46-56

Father Donald Haggerty

Loving Father, despite my lowliness, let the favor of my desire honor you and prepare me for your Son’s birth.

91 posted on 12/23/2006 2:45:43 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 90 | View Replies]

Comment #92 Removed by Moderator

To: All



















 



December 23

Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

Reflection

For children, these last days of waiting are probably the hardest. The goal is in sight now, but it is still far enough away to make the wait seem endless.
When we are grown, waiting for Christmas is not a major problem. Nevertheless, as the day approaches even grownups feel the urgency in the air. As we anticipate the celebration of Christmas, let us look around us. Are those around us anticipating joy and happiness or loneliness and depression?

Advent Action

Find someone who is not anticipating the holiday with joy and attempt to brighten their outlook.

Prayer

O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appears.

 


93 posted on 12/23/2006 2:54:09 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 91 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Saturday
The holidays can be a lonely time for anyone who is alone. Today offer someone some companionship.

94 posted on 12/23/2006 2:56:48 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 93 | View Replies]

To: All
Friday, December 23
Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

Recognizing Greatness

The Gospel today tells us that all those who heard about John the Baptist’s birth (and his father’s transformation when it came time to name him) wondered at the story and asked what this child would become, “For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.” They understood that the Lord was working through this small child and his family; they perceived their God through the signs he placed in the world. The Lord had shown great mercy to John’s aged, barren mother. He had silenced Zechariah for doubting. And then the Lord freed Zechariah’s tongue for recognizing his greatness. God gave clear signs to his people that this was someone they needed to watch. Truly this is the great invitation that John’s birth signals – an invitation to recognize the Lord through his signs, and to gaze attentively at what his hand has wrought. John is a perpetual, continual, sign for each of us.


Reflection based on Luke 1:57-66

Rebecca Vitz Cherico

Loving Father, you fill my life with signs so that I might live with certainty before your Presence. Make me more sensitive to your every grace.

95 posted on 12/25/2006 10:03:58 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 94 | View Replies]

To: All














 



December 24

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for He has visited and brought redemption to His people. (Luke 1:68)

Reflection

As soon as Jesus was born, visitors began to come. First it was the shepherds. Then the wise men. Then Simeon and Anna. Then even the soldiers of Herod were sent to find Him. Together these visitors represent the people of every nation, coming by every possible path and conveyance to see Christ.  These words of Zechariah’s Canticle, cited above, remind us that it was impossible to contain God in heaven. Through Jesus, He "visited" and "brought redemption" to us. He continues through Jesus and through us to dwell in our world today. When people look at us, do they think of Jesus?

Advent Action

Thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus.

Prayer

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel. Lord, may we rejoice that Jesus Christ is born anew in our hearts and in our home. Amen.

 


96 posted on 12/25/2006 10:06:34 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 95 | View Replies]

To: All
2006 Advent Calendar
Sunday
Light all four candles in the Advent wreath tonight. Reread today's Gospel readings, Luke 1:39-45. Place the Child Jesus in your Nativity Scene tonight.

97 posted on 12/25/2006 10:10:09 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 96 | View Replies]

To: All

The purest of Virgins gave us our God, who was this day born of her, clothed in the flesh of a Babe, and she was found worthy to feed him at her Breast: let us all adore Christ, who came to save us.

Ye faithful people, let us all rejoice, for our Savior is born in our world: this Day there has been born the Son of the great Mother, and she yet a pure Virgin.

O Queen of the world, and Daughter of a kingly race! Christ has risen from thy womb, as a Bridegroom coming from the bride-chamber: He that rules the stars lies in a Crib. — Antiphon from the ancient Church of Gaul


98 posted on 12/26/2006 7:33:18 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 97 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-98 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson