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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-08-11, Solemnity, Immaculate Conception
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-08-11 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/07/2011 9:09:53 PM PST by Salvation

December 8, 2011

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Reading 1 Gn 3:9-15, 20

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself."
Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!"
The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with meC
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it."
The LORD God then asked the woman,
"Why did you do such a thing?"
The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it."

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
"Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel."

The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R. (1) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

Reading 2 Eph 1:3-6, 11-12

Brothers and sisters:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: advent; blessedvirginmary; catholic; saints
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1 posted on 12/07/2011 9:09:58 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
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2 posted on 12/07/2011 9:12:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

3 posted on 12/07/2011 9:13:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 3:9-15, 20

Temptation and the First Sin (Continuation)


[9] But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
[10] And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, be-
cause I was naked; and I hid myself.” [11] He said, “Who told you that you were
naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat?” [12] The
man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the
tree, and I ate.” [13] Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you
have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.” [14] The Lord
said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle,
and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life. [15] I will put enmity between you and the woman, and
between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise
his heel.”

[20] The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all li-
ving.

********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

3:7-13. This passage begins the description of the effects of the original sin.
Man and woman have come to know evil, and it shows, initially, in a most direct
way — in their own bodies. The inner harmony described in Genesis 2:25 is bro-
ken, and concupiscence rears its head. Their friendship with God is also broken,
and they flee from his presence, to avoid their nakedness being seen. As if his
Creator could not see them! The harmony between man and woman is also frac-
tured: he puts the blame on her, and she puts it on the serpent. But all three
share in the responsibility, and therefore all three are going to pay the penalty.

“The harmony in which they found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now
destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered:
the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions (cf. Gen 3:7-16),
their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation
is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man (cf. Gen 3:17,
19). Because of man, creation is now subject ‘to its bondage to decay’ (Rom 8:
21). Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come
true: man will ‘return to the ground’ (Gen 3:19), for out of it he was taken. ‘Death
makes its entrance into human history’ (cf. Roman 5:12)” (”Catechism of the
Catholic Church”, 400).

3:14-15. The punishment God imposes on the serpent includes confrontation
between woman and the serpent, between mankind and evil, with the promise
that man will come out on top. That is why this passage is called the “Proto-
gospel”: it is the first announcement to mankind of the good news of the Re-
deemer-Messiah. Clearly, a bruise to the head is deadly, whereas a bruise to
the heel is curable.

As the Second Vatican Council teaches, “God, who creates and conserves all
things by his Word, (cf. In 1:3), provides men with constant evidence of himself
in created realities (cf. Rom 1:19-20). And furthermore, wishing to open up the
way to heavenly salvation, by promising redemption (cf. Gen 3:15); and he has
never ceased to take care of the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life
to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing (cf. Rom 2:6-7)” (”Dei
Verbum”, 3).

Victory over the devil will be brought about by a descendant of the woman, the
Messiah. The Church has always read these verses as being messianic, refer-
ring to Jesus Christ; and it was seen in the woman the mother of the promised
Savior; the Virgin Mary is the new Eve. “The earliest documents, as they are
read in the Church and are understood in the light of a further and full revelation,
bring the figure of a woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually clearer
light. Considered in this light, she is already prophetically foreshadowed in the
promise of victory over the serpent which was given to our first parents after
their fall into sin (cf. Gen 3:15) [...]. Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly
assert with Irenaeus in their preaching: ‘the knot of Eve’s disobedience was un-
tied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary
loosened by her faith’ (St Irenaeus, “Adv. haer.” 3, 22, 4) Comparing Mary with
Eve, they call her ‘Mother of the living’ (St Epiphanius, “Adv. haer. Panarium”
78, 18) and frequently claim: ‘death through Eve, life through Mary’ (St Jerome,
“Epistula” 22, 21; etc.)” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 55-56).

So, woman is going to have a key role in that victory over the devil. In his Latin
translation of the Bible, the “Vulgate”, St Jerome in fact reads the relevant pas-
sage as “she [the woman] shall bruise your head”. That woman is the Blessed
Virgin, the new Eve and the mother of the Redeemer, who shares (by anticipa-
tion and pre-eminently) in the victory of her Son. Sin never left its mark on her,
and the Church proclaims her as the Immaculate Conception.

St Thomas explains that the reason why God did not prevent the first man from
sinning was because ‘God allows evils to be done in order to draw forth some
greater good. Thus St Paul says, ‘Where sin increased, grace abounded all the
more’ (Rom 5:20); and the “Exultet” sings, ‘O happy fault,...which gained for us
so great a Redeemer’” (”Summa Theologiae”, 3, 1, 3 and 3; cf. “Catechism of
the Catholic Church”, 412).

********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 12/07/2011 9:27:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: All

From: Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12

Hymn of Praise


[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, [4] even as he
chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and
blameless before him. [5] He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus
Christ, according to the purpose of his will, [6] to the praise of his glorious grace
which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

[11] In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things accor-
ding to the counsel of his will, [12] we who first hoped in Christ have been des-
tined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

3-14. Verses 3-14 are a hymn of praise to God for the plan of salvation he has
devised and brought to fulfillment in benefit of men and all creation. It is written
in a liturgical style of rhythmic prose, similar to that in Colossians 1:15-20. In
the Greek it is one long complex sentence full of relative pronouns and clauses
which give it a designed unity; we can, however, distinguish two main sections.

The first (v. 3-10), divided into four stanzas, describes the blessings contained in
God’s salvific plan; St Paul terms this plan the “mystery” of God’s will. The sec-
tion begins by praising God for his eternal design, a plan, pre-dating creation, to
call us to the Church, to form a community of saints (first stanza: vv. 3f) and re-
ceive the grace of being children of God through Jesus Christ (second stanza: vv.
5f). It then reflects on Christ’s work of redemption which brings this eternal plan
of God to fulfillment (third stanza: vv. 7f). This section reaches its climax in the
fourth stanza (vv. 9f) which proclaims Christ as Lord of all creation, thereby re-
vealing the full development of God’s salvific plan.

The second section, which divides into two stanzas, deals with the application
of this plan — first to the Jews (fifth stanza: vv. 11f) and then to the Gentiles, who
are also called to share what God has promised: Jews and Gentiles join to form
a single people, the Church (sixth stanza: vv. 13f).

Hymns in praise of God, or “eulogies”, occur in many parts of Sacred Scripture
(cf. Ps 8; Ps 19; Dan 2:20-23; Lk 1:46-54, 68-78; etc.); they praise the Lord for
the wonders of creation or for spectacular interventions on behalf of his people.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, St Paul here praises God the Father for all Christ’s
saving work, which extends from God’s original plan which he made before he
created the world, right up to the very end of time and the recapitulation of all
things in Christ.

We too should always have this same attitude of praise of the Lord. “Our entire
life on earth should take the form of praise of God, for the never-ending joy of our
future life consists in praising God, and no one can become fit for that future life
unless he train himself to render that praise now” (St Augustine, “Enarrationes
in Psalmos”, 148).

Praise is in fact the most appropriate attitude for man to have towards God: “How
can you dare use that spark of divine intelligence — your mind — in anything but in
giving glory to your Lord?” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 782).

3. St Paul blesses God as Father of our Lord Jesus Christ because it is through
Christ that all God’s blessings and gifts reach us. God’s actions in favor of man
are actions of all three divine Persons; the divine plan which the Apostle consi-
ders here has its origin in the Blessed Trinity; it is eternal. “These three Persons
are not to be considered separable,” the Eleventh Council of Toledo teaches,
“since we believe that not one of them existed or at any time effected anything
before the other, after the other, or without the other. For in existence and ope-
ration they are found to be inseparable” (”De Trinitate” Creed, “Dz-Sch”, 531).

In the implementation of this divine plan of salvation, the work of Redemption is
attributed to the Son and that of sanctification to the Holy Spirit. “To help us
grasp in some measure this unfathomable mystery, we might imagine the Bles-
sed Trinity taking counsel together in their uninterrupted intimate relationship of
infinite love. As a result of their eternal decision, the only-begotten Son of God
the Father takes on our human condition and bears the burden of our wretched-
ness and sorrows, to end up sewn with nails to a piece of wood” (St. J. Escriva,
“Christ Is Passing By”, 95).

St Paul describes as “spiritual blessings” all the gifts which the implementation
of God’s plan implies, gifts which are distributed by the Holy Spirit. When he
speaks of them as being “in the heavenly places” and “in Christ”, he is saying
that through Christ who has risen from the dead and ascended on high we too
have been inserted into the world of God (cf. 1:20; 2:6).

When man describes God as “blessed” it means he recognizes God’s greatness
and goodness, and rejoices over the divine gifts he has received (cf. Lk 1:46, 68).
Here is what St Thomas Aquinas has to say about the meaning of this passage:
“The Apostle says, ‘Benedictus’ [Blessed be the God ...], that is, may I, and you,
and everyone bless him, with our heart, our mouth, our actions — praising him as
God and as Father, for he is God because of his essence and Father because of
his power to generate” (”Commentary on Eph.”, 1, 6).

Sacred Scripture very often invites us to praise God our Lord (cf. Ps 8:19; 33; 46-
48; etc.); this is not a matter only of verbal praise: our actions should prove that
we mean what we say: “He who does good with his hands praises the Lord, and
he who confesses the Lord with his mouth praises the Lord. Praise him by your
actions” (St Augustine, “Enarrationes in Psalmos”, 91, 2).

4. As the hymn develops, the Apostle details each of the blessings contained in
God’s eternal plan. The first of these is his choice, before the foundation of the
world, of those who would become part of the Church. The word he uses, trans-
lated here as “chose”, is the same one as used in the Greek translation of the
Old Testament to refer to God’s election of Israel. The Church, the new people
of God, is constituted by assembling in and around Christ those who have been
chosen and called to holiness. This implies that although the Church was foun-
ded by Christ at a particular point in history, its origin goes right back to the eter-
nal divine plan. ‘The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and
mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness,... ‘predestined (the elect) to be
conformed to the image of his Son in order that he might be the first-born among
many brethren’ (Rom 8:29). He determined to call together in a holy Church those
who believe in Christ. Already present in figure at the beginning of the world, this
Church was prepared in marvelous fashion in the history of the people of Israel
and in the Old Alliance. Established in this last age of the world, and made mani-
fest in the outpouring of the Spirit, it will be brought to glorious completion at the
end of time” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 2).

God’s choice seeks to have us become “holy and blameless before him”. In the
same way as in the Old Testament a victim offered to God had to be unblemished,
blameless (cf. Gen 17:1), the blameless holiness to which God has destined us
admits of no imperfection. By the very fact of being baptized we are made holy (cf.
note on 1: 1), and during our lifetime we try to grow holier with the help of God;
however, complete holiness is something we shall attain only in heaven.

The holiness with which we have been endowed is an undeserved gift from God:
it is not a reward for any merit on our part: even before we were created God
chose us to be his: “’He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that
we should be holy.’ I know that such thoughts don’t fill you with pride or lead you
to think yourself better than others. That choice, the root of your vocation, should
be the basis of your humility. Do we build monuments to an artist’s paintbrush?
Granted the brush had a part in creating masterpieces, but we give credit only to
the painter. We Christians are nothing more than instruments in the hands of the
Creator of the world, the Redeemer of all men” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing
By”, 1).

“He destined us in love”: the loving initiative is God’s. “If God has honored us with
countless gifts it is thanks to his love, not to our merits. Our fervor, our strength,
our faith and our unity are the fruit of God’s benevolence and our response to his
goodness” (St John Chrysostom, “Hom. on Eph, ad loc”.).

God’s election of Christians and their vocation to holiness, as also the gift of di-
vine filiation, reveals that God is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8); we have become partakers
of God’s very nature (cf. 2 Pet 1:4), sharers, that is, in the love of God.

“He destined us in love”, therefore, also includes the Christian’s love of God and
of others: charity is a sharing in God’s own love; it is the essence of holiness,
the Christian’s law; nothing has any value if it is not inspired by charity (cf. 1
Cor 13:1-3).

5. The Apostle goes on to explore the further implications of God’s eternal plan:
those chosen to form part of the Church have been given a second blessing, as
it were, by being predestined to be adoptive children of God. ‘The state of this
people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the
Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium, 9).

This predestination to which the Apostle refers means that God determined from
all eternity that the members of the new people of God should attain holiness
through his gift of adoptive sonship. It is God’s desire that all be saved (cf. 1 Tim
2:4) and he gives each person the means necessary for obtaining eternal life.
Therefore, no one is predestined to damnation (cf. Third Council of Valence, “De
Praedestinatione”, can. 3).

The source of the Christian’s divine sonship is Jesus Christ. God’s only Son, one
in substance with the Father, took on human nature in order to make us sons and
daughters of God by adoption (cf. Rom 8:15, 29; 9:4; Gal 4:5). This is why every
member of the Church can say: “See what love the Father has given us, that we
should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 Jn 3:1).

What is involved here is not simply formal adoption, which is something external
and does not affect the very person of the child. Divine adoption affects man’s en-
tire being, it inserts him into God’s own life; for Baptism makes us truly his chil-
dren, partakers of the divine nature (cf. 2 Pet 1:4). Divine sonship is therefore the
greatest of the gifts God bestows on man during his life on earth. It is indeed right
to exclaim “Blessed be God” (v. 3) when one reflects on this great gift: it is right
for children openly to acknowledge their father and show their love for him.

Divine filiation has many rich effects as far as the spiritual life is concerned. “A
child of God treats the Lord as his Father. He is not obsequious and servile; he
is not merely formal and well-mannered: he is completely sincere and trusting.
God is not shocked by what we do. Our infidelities do not wear him out. Our Fa-
ther in heaven pardons any offense when his child returns to him, when he repents
and asks for pardon. The Lord is such a good father that he anticipates our desire
to be pardoned and comes forward to us, opening his arms laden with grace” (St.
J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 64). See the notes on Jn 1:12.

6. The gift of divine filiation is the greatest expression of the glory of God (cf. note
on 1:17 below), because it reveals the full extent of God’s love for man. St Paul
stresses what the purpose of this eternal divine plan is — to promote “the praise
of his glorious grace”. God’s glory has been made manifest through his merciful
love, which has led him to make us his children in accordance with the eternal
purpose of his will. This eternal design “flows from ‘fountain-like love’, the love of
God the Father [...]. God in his great and merciful kindness freely creates us and,
moreover, graciously calls us to share in his life and glory. He generously pours
out, and never ceases to pour out, his divine goodness, so that he who is Creator
of all things might at last become ‘everything to everyone’ (1 Cor 15:28), thus si-
multaneously assuring his own glory and our happiness” (Vatican II, “Ad Gentes”,
2).

The grace which St Paul speaks of here and which manifests the glory of God re-
fers first to the fact that God’s blessings are totally unmerited by us and include
the grace-conferring gifts of holiness and divine filiation.

“In the Beloved”: the Old Testament stresses again and again that God loves his
people and that Israel is that cherished people (cf. Deut 33:12; is 5:1, 7; 1 Mac
6:11; etc.). In the New Testament Christians are called “beloved by God” (1 Thess
1:4; cf. Col 3:12). However, there is only one “Beloved”, strictly speaking, Jesus
Christ our Lord — as God revealed from the bright cloud at the Transfiguration:
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 17:5). The Son of his
love has obtained man’s redemption and brought forgiveness of sins (cf. Col 1:
13ff), and it is through his grace that we become pleasing to God, lovable by him
with the same love with which he loves his Son. At the Last Supper, Jesus asked
his Father for this very thing — “so that the world may know that thou hast sent
me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me” (Jn 17:23). “Notice”, St
John Chrysostom points out, “that Paul does not say that this grace has been
given us for no purpose but that it has been given us to make us pleasing and lo-
vable in his eyes, now that we are purified of our sins” (”Hom. on Eph, ad loc.”).

11-14. The Apostle now contemplates a further divine blessing — the implemen-
tation of the “mystery” through the Redemption wrought by Christ: God calls the
Jews (vv. 11f) and the Gentiles (v. 13) together, to form a single people (v. 14).
Paul first refers to the Jewish people, of which he himself is a member, which is
why he uses the term “we” (v. 12). He then speaks of the Gentile Christians and
refers to them as “you” (v. 13).

11-12. The Jewish people’s expectations have been fulfilled in Christ: he has
brought the Kingdom of God and the messianic gifts, designed in the first in-
stance for Israel as its inheritance (cf. Mt 4:17; 12:28; Lk 4:16-22). God’s inten-
tion in selecting Israel was to form a people of his own (cf. Ex 19:5) that would
glorify him and proclaim to the nations its hope in a coming Messiah. “God, with
loving concern contemplating, and making preparation for, the salvation of the
whole human race, in a singular undertaking chose for himself a people to whom
he would entrust his promises. By his covenant with Abraham (cf. Gen 15:18)
and, through Moses, with the race of Israel (cf. Ex 24:8), he did acquire a people
for himself, and to them he revealed himself in words and deeds as the one, true,
living God, so that Israel might experience the ways of God with men. Moreover,
by listening to the voice of God speaking to them through the prophets, they had
steadily to understand his ways more fully and more clearly, and make them
more widely known among the nations (cf. Ps 21:28-9; 95:1-3; Is 2:1-4; Jer 3:
17)” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”, 14).

St Paul emphasizes that even before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
just of the Old Testament acted in line with their belief in the promised Messiah
(cf. Gal 3:11; Rom 1:17); not only did they look forward to his coming but their
hope was nourished by faith in Christ as a result of their acceptance of God’s
promise. As later examples of this same faith we might mention Zechariah and
Elizabeth; Simeon and Anna; and, above all, St Joseph. St Joseph’s faith was
“full, confident, complete”, St. Escriva comments. “It expressed itself in an ef-
fective dedication to the will of God and an intelligent obedience. With faith went
love. His faith nurtured his love of God, who was fulfilling the promises made to
Abraham, Jacob and Moses, and his affection for Mary his wife and his fatherly
affection for Jesus. This faith, hope and love would further the great mission
which God was beginning in the world through, among others, a carpenter in
Galilee — the redemption of mankind” (”Christ Is Passing By”, 42).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


6 posted on 12/07/2011 9:29:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation and Incarnation of the Son of God


[26] In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee
named Nazareth, [27] to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph,
of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. [28] And he came to her
and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” [29] But she was greatly trou-
bled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might
be.

[30] And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor
with God. [31] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and
you shall call His name Jesus. [32] He will be great, and will be called the Son
of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David,
[33] and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there
will be no end.”

[34] And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?”
[35] And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the po-
wer of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be
called holy, the Son of God. [36] And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her
old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was
called barren. [37] For with God nothing will be impossible.” [38] And Mary said,
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your
word.” And the angel departed from her.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

26-38. Here we contemplate our Lady who was “enriched from the first instant of
her conception with the splendor of an entirely unique holiness; [...] the virgin of
Nazareth is hailed by the heralding angel, by divine command, as ‘full of grace’
(cf. Luke 1:28), and to the heavenly messenger she replies, ‘Behold the hand-
maid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word’ (Luke 1:38). Thus
the daughter of Adam, Mary, consenting to the word of God, became the Mother
of Jesus. Committing herself wholeheartedly to God’s saving will and impeded
by no sin, she devoted herself totally, as a handmaid of the Lord, to the person
and work of her Son, under and with Him, serving the mystery of Redemption,
by the grace of Almighty God. Rightly, therefore, the Fathers (of the Church)
see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating
in the work of man’s salvation through faith and obedience” (Vatican II, “Lumen
Gentium”, 56).

The annunciation to Mary and incarnation of the Word constitute the deepest
mystery of the relationship between God and men and the most important event
in the history of mankind: God becomes man, and will remain so forever, such is
the extent of His goodness and mercy and love for all of us. And yet on the day
when the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity assumed frail human nature in
the pure womb of the Blessed Virgin, it all happened quietly, without fanfare of
any kind.

St. Luke tells the story in a very simple way. We should treasure these words
of the Gospel and use them often, for example, practising the Christian custom
of saying the Angelus every day and reflecting on the five Joyful Mysteries of the
Rosary.

27. God chose to be born of a virgin; centuries earlier He disclosed this through
the prophet Isaiah (cf. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23). God, “before all ages made
choice of, and set in her proper place, a mother for His only-begotten Son from
whom He, after being made flesh, should be born in the blessed fullness of time:
and He continued His persevering regard for her in preference to all other crea-
tures, to such a degree that for her alone He had singular regard” (Pius IX, “Inef-
fabilis Deus,” 2). This privilege granted to our Lady of being a virgin and a mother
at the same time is a unique gift of God. This was the work of the Holy Spirit
“who at the conception and the birth of the Son so favored the Virgin Mother as
to impart fruitfulness to her while preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity” (”St.
Pius V Catechism,” I, 4, 8). Paul VI reminds us of this truth of faith: “We believe
that the Blessed Mary, who ever enjoys the dignity of virginity, was the Mother of
the incarnate Word, of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (”Creed of the People of
God”, 14).

Although many suggestions have been made as to what the name Mary means,
most of the best scholars seem to agree that Mary means “lady”. However, no
single meaning fully conveys the richness of the name.

28. “Hail, full of grace”: literally the Greek text reads “Rejoice!”, obviously referring
to the unique joy over the news which the angel is about to communicate.

“Full of grace”: by this unusual form of greeting the archangel reveals Mary’s
special dignity and honor. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church “taught that
this singular, solemn and unheard-of-greeting showed that all the divine graces
reposed in the Mother of God and that she was adorned with all the gifts of the
Holy Spirit”, which meant that she “was never subject to the curse”, that is, was
preserved from all sin. These words of the archangel in this text constitute one
of the sources which reveal the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception (cf.
Pius IX, “Ineffabilis Deus”; Paul VI, “Creed of the People of God”).

“The Lord is with you!”: these words are not simply a greeting (”the Lord be with
you”) but an affirmation (”the Lord is with you”), and they are closely connected
with the Incarnation. St. Augustine comments by putting these words on the
archangel’s lips: “He is more with you than He is with me: He is in your heart,
He takes shape within you, He fills your soul, He is in your womb” (”Sermo De
Nativitate Domini”, 4).

Some important Greek manuscripts and early translations add at the end of the
verse: “Blessed are you among women!”, meaning that God will exalt Mary over
all women. She is more excellent than Sarah, Hannah, Deborah, Rachel, Judith,
etc., for only she has the supreme honor of being chosen to be the Mother of
God.

29-30. Our Lady is troubled by the presence of the archangel and by the confu-
sion truly humble people experience when they receive praise.

30. The Annunciation is the moment when our Lady is given to know the voca-
tion which God planned for her from eternity. When the archangel sets her mind
at ease by saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary,” he is helping her to overcome that
initial fear which a person normally experiences when God gives him or her a
special calling. The fact that Mary felt this fear does not imply the least trace
of imperfection in her: hers is a perfectly natural reaction in the face of the super-
natural. Imperfection would arise if one did not overcome this fear or rejected the
advice of those in a position to help — as St. Gabriel helped Mary.

31-33. The archangel Gabriel tells the Blessed Virgin Mary that she is to be the
Mother of God by reminding her of the words of Isaiah which announced that the
Messiah would be born of a virgin, a prophecy which will find its fulfillment in Mary
(cf. Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 7:14).

He reveals that the Child will be “great”: His greatness comes from His being
God, a greatness He does not lose when He takes on the lowliness of human
nature. He also reveals that Jesus will be the king of the Davidic dynasty sent by
God in keeping with His promise of salvation; that His Kingdom will last forever,
for His humanity will remain forever joined to His divinity; that “He will be called
Son of the Most High”, that is that He really will be the Son of the Most High
and will be publicly recognized as such, that is, the Child will be the Son of God.

The archangel’s announcement evokes the ancient prophecies which foretold
these prerogatives. Mary, who was well-versed in Sacred Scripture, clearly rea-
lized that she was to be the Mother of God.

34-38. Commenting on this passage Bl. John Paul II said: “’Virgo fidelis’, the faith-
ful Virgin. What does this faithfulness of Mary mean? What are the dimensions
of this faithfulness? The first dimension is called search. Mary was faithful first of
all when she began, lovingly, to seek the deep sense of God’s plan in her and for
the world. ‘Quomodo fiet?’ How shall this be?, she asked the Angel of the An-
nunciation [...].”

“The second dimension of faithfulness is called reception, acceptance. The quo-
modo fiet?’ is changed, on Mary’s lips, to a ‘fiat’: Let it be done, I am ready, I ac-
cept. This is the crucial moment of faithfulness, the moment in which man per-
ceives that he will never completely understand the ‘how’: that there are in God’s
plan more areas of mystery than of clarity; that is, however he may try, he will
never succeed in understanding it completely [...].”

“The third dimension of faithfulness is consistency to live in accordance with what
one believes; to adapt one’s own life to the object of one’s adherence. To accept
misunderstanding, persecutions, rather than a break between what one practises
and what one believes: this is consistency[...].”

“But all faithfulness must pass the most exacting test, that of duration. Therefore,
the fourth dimension of faithfulness is constancy. It is easy to be consistent for a
day or two. It is difficult and important to be consistent for one’s whole life. It is
easy to be consistent in the hour of enthusiasm, it is difficult to be so in the hour
of tribulation. And only a consistency that lasts throughout the whole life can be
called faithfulness. Mary’s ‘fiat’ in the Annunciation finds its fullness in the silent
‘fiat’ that she repeats at the foot of the Cross” (”Homily in Mexico City Cathedral”,
26 January 1979).

34. Mary believed in the archangel’s words absolutely; she did not doubt as Ze-
chariah had done (cf. 1:18). Her question, “How can this be?”, expresses her
readiness to obey the will of God even though at first sight it implied a contradic-
tion: on the one hand, she was convinced that God wished her to remain a virgin;
on the other, here was God also announcing that she would become a mother.
The archangel announces God’s mysterious design, and what had seemed im-
possible, according to the laws of nature, is explained by a unique intervention
on the part of God.

Mary’s resolution to remain a virgin was certainly something very unusual, not in
line with the practice of righteous people under the Old Covenant, for, as St. Au-
gustine explains, “particularly attentive to the propagation and growth of the peo-
ple of God, through whom the Prince and Savior of the world might be prophesied
and be born, the saints were obliged to make use of the good of matrimony” (”De
Bono Matrimonii”, 9, 9). However, in the Old Testament, there were some who, in
keeping with God’s plan, did remain celibate — for example, Jeremiah, Elijah, Eli-
seus and John the Baptist. The Blessed Virgin, who received a very special inspi-
ration of the Holy Spirit to practise virginity, is a first-fruit of the New Testament,
which will establish the excellence of virginity over marriage while not taking from
the holiness of the married state, which it raises to the level of a sacrament (cf.
“Gaudium Et Spes”, 48).

35. The “shadow” is a symbol of the presence of God. When Israel was journe-
ying through the wilderness, the glory of God filled the Tabernacle and a cloud co-
vered the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 40:34-36). And when God gave Moses the
tablets of the Law, a cloud covered Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:15-16); and also, at
the Transfiguration of Jesus the voice of God the Father was heard coming out of
a cloud (Luke 9:35).

At the moment of the Incarnation the power of God envelops our Lady — an ex-
pression of God’s omnipotence. The Spirit of God — which, according to the ac-
count in Genesis (1:2), moved over the face of the waters, bringing things to life
— now comes down on Mary. And the fruit of her womb will be the work of the Ho-
ly Spirit. The Virgin Mary, who herself was conceived without any stain of sin (cf.
Bl. Pius IX, “Ineffabilis Deus”) becomes, after the Incarnation, a new tabernacle
of God. This is the mystery we recall every day when saying the Angelus.

38. Once she learns of God’s plan, our Lady yields to God’s will with prompt obe-
dience, unreservedly. She realizes the disproportion between what she is going
to become — the Mother of God — and what she is — a woman. However, this is
what God wants to happen and for Him nothing is impossible; therefore no one
should stand in His way. So Mary, combining humility and obedience, responds
perfectly to God’s call: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done ac-
cording to your word.”

“At the enchantment of this virginal phrase, the Word became flesh” (St. J. Escri-
va, “Holy Rosary”, first joyful mystery). From the pure body of Mary, God shaped
a new body, He created a soul out of nothing, and the Son of God united Himself
with this body and soul: prior to this He was only God; now He is still God but al-
so man. Mary is now the Mother of God. This truth is a dogma of faith, first defined
by the Council of Ephesus (431). At this point she also begins to be the spiritual
Mother of all mankind. What Christ says when He is dying — ‘Behold, your son...,
behold, your mother” (John 19:26-27) — simply promulgates what came about si-
lently at Nazareth. “With her generous ‘fiat’ (Mary) became, through the working
of the Spirit, the Mother of God, but also the Mother of the living, and, by receiving
into her womb the one Mediator, she became the true Ark of the Covenant and
true Temple of God” (Paul VI, “Marialis Cultus”, 6).

The Annunciation shows us the Blessed Virgin as perfect model of “purity” (the
RSV “I have no husband” is a euphemism); of “humility” (”Behold, I am the hand-
maid of the Lord”); of “candor” and “simplicity” (”How can this be?”); of “obedi-
ence” and “lively faith” (”Let it be done to me according to your word”). “Following
her example of obedience to God, we can learn to serve delicately without being
slavish. In Mary, we don’t find the slightest trace of the attitude of the foolish vir-
gins, who obey, but thoughtlessly. Our Lady listens attentively to what God wants,
ponders what she doesn’t fully understand and asks about what she doesn’t know.
Then she gives herself completely to doing the divine will: ‘Behold, I am the hand-
maid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word’. Isn’t that marvel-
lous? The Blessed Virgin, our teacher in all we do, shows us here that obedience
to God is not servile, does not bypass our conscience. We should be inwardly
moved to discover the ‘freedom of the children of God’ (cf. Romans 8: 21)” (St. J.
Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 173).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


7 posted on 12/07/2011 9:30:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thank you.


8 posted on 12/07/2011 9:43:49 PM PST by delacoert
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To: delacoert
Mary's new name:

"Hail, Full of Grace"

9 posted on 12/07/2011 9:47:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Genesis 3:9-15,20 ©
After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
  Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,
‘Be accursed beyond all cattle,
all wild beasts.
You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust
every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other:
you and the woman,
your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head
and you will strike its heel.’
The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

Psalm Psalm 97:1-4 ©
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
Sing a new song to the Lord
  for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
  have brought salvation.
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
  has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
  for the house of Israel.
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
All the ends of the earth have seen
  the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
  ring out your joy.
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.

Second reading Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12 ©
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ,
to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,
determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ
for his own kind purposes,
to make us praise the glory of his grace,
his free gift to us in the Beloved,
And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own,
chosen from the beginning,
under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things
as he decides by his own will;
chosen to be,
for his greater glory,
the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Lk1:28
Alleluia, alleluia!
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!
Blessed art thou among women.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 1:26-38 ©
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

10 posted on 12/07/2011 9:54:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

The Annunciation is not the Immaculate Conception. The Immaculate Conception is the conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary, who was conceived without sin.


11 posted on 12/07/2011 9:56:19 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

But she was called “Full of Grace” because she had no sin that could be inherited by her human son, Jesus.

“Full of Grace” speaks to the Immaculate Conception pof the Blessed Virgin Mary.


12 posted on 12/07/2011 10:03:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
13 posted on 12/07/2011 10:05:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
14 posted on 12/07/2011 10:27:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

15 posted on 12/07/2011 10:30:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Luminous Mysteries or Mysteries of Light
(Thursdays) see Rosarium Virginis Mariae
1. Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan (II Corinthians 5:21, Matthew 3:17 and parallels) [Spiritual fruit - Gratitude for the gift of Faith]
2. Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana (John 2:1- 12) [Spiritual fruit - Fidelity]
3. Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with His call to conversion (Mark 1:15, Mark 2:3-13; Luke 7:47- 48, John 20:22-23) [Spiritual fruit - Desire for Holiness]
4. Jesus' Transfiguration (Luke 9:35 and parallels) [Spiritual fruit - Spiritual Courage]
5. Jesus' institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery. (Luke 24:13-35 and parallels, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25) [Spiritual fruit - Love of our Eucharistic Lord]

16 posted on 12/07/2011 10:35:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

17 posted on 12/07/2011 10:37:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


18 posted on 12/07/2011 10:40:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
immaculate_conception.jpg (155743 bytes)

December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of December is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first moment of her conception, by a singular privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior and hers, was preserved from all stain of original sin. This age-old belief of the Church was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854 as an article of revealed truth.

Mary was in need of redemption and she was indeed redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The manner of Mary's redemption, however, was unique. Instead of being freed from original sin after having contracted it, she was preserved from contracting it. This was a most fitting favor for the Mother of the Redeemer.

INVOCATION
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

TO THE VIRGIN IMMACULATE
O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon me thine eyes of pity. Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech thee to extend to. me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. And in order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, , but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee. I consecrate my heart to thee for ever, my only desire being to love thy divine Son Jesus. Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too be saved. Amen.

PRAYER OF PRAISE
O pure and immaculate and likewise blessed Virgin, who art the sinless Mother of thy Son, the mighty Lord of the universe, thou who art inviolate and altogether holy, the hope of the hopeless and sinful, we sing thy praises. We bless thee, as full of every grace, thou who didst bear the God-Man: we all bow low before thee; we invoke thee and implore thine aid. Rescue us, 0 holy and inviolate Virgin, from every necessity that presses upon us and from all the temptations of the devil. Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of death and judgment; deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother. Thou indeed art our only hope, most sure and sacred in God's sight, to whom be honor and glory, majesty and dominion for ever and ever world without end. Amen.   
Saint Ephrem the Syrian

PRAYER OF POPE PIUS XII
This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

The Corona of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer Thread
New chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon at National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos December 9th
On the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Mary: "Trust Jesus, he will save you" (Catholic Caucus)
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception

LAND OF MARY IMMACULATE [Ecumenical]
Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant [Catholic Caucus]
THE LIFE OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Defender of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
An Unfathomable Marian Richness [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
History of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 [Catholic Caucus]
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Father Marquette's Devotion to the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)

St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
And It Was Night. The Real Story of Original Sin [Ecumenical]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Ark of the new covenant
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud

Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s Enemies Hate The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us
U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Sermon from 1934)

My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

19 posted on 12/07/2011 10:42:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

December, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions

General Intention: That the nations of the earth, through knowledge and mutual respect, may grow in harmony and peace.

Missionary Intention: That children and young people may be messengers of the Gospel and that their dignity may always be respected and preserved from all violence and exploitation.


20 posted on 12/07/2011 10:44:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Thursday, December 08, 2011
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

Nothing is far from God.

-- St Monica


21 posted on 12/07/2011 10:51:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


22 posted on 12/07/2011 10:53:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Dec 08, About Today for Immaculate Conception

December 8

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Solemnity

The Immaculate Conception from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”  The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

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 in 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, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”. The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.

The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.  By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

23 posted on 12/08/2011 3:40:44 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 08, Invitatory for Immaculate Conception

Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us celebrate the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, let us worship her son, Christ the Lord!

Psalm 24

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Ant.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

Ant.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Ant.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Ant.

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

Ant.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Ant.

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory.

Ant. Come, let us celebrate the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, let us worship her son, Christ the Lord!

24 posted on 12/08/2011 3:40:51 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 08, Office of Readings – Solemnity for Immaculate Conception

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 649
Proper of Saints: 1226
Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 1328

Christian Prayer (single volume):
Does not contain Office of Readings.

Office of Readings for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

A Spotless Rose is growing,
Sprung from a tender root,
Of ancient seers’ foreshowing,
Of Jesse promised fruit;
Its fairest bud unfolds to light
Amid the cold, cold winter,
And in the dark midnight.

The Rose which I am singing,
Whereof Isaiah said,
Is from its sweet root springing
In Mary, purest Maid;
Through God’s great love and might
The Blessed Babe she bare us
In a cold, cold winter’s night.

A Spotless Rose by the Choir of the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; The text is thought to be penned by an anonymous author, and the piece first appeared in print in the late-16th century.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 At her conception Mary received a blessing from the Lord and loving kindness from God her savior.

Psalm 24
The Lord’s entry into his temple

Christ opened heaven for us in the manhood he assumed (St. Irenaeus).

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. At her conception Mary received a blessing from the Lord and loving kindness from God her savior.

Ant. 2 God gave her his help from the dawning of her days; the Most High has made his dwelling place a holy temple.

Psalm 46
God our refuge and strength

He shall be called Emmanuel, which means: God-with-us (Matthew 1:23).

God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress:
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

The waters of a river give joy to God’s city,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken;
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken:
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Come, consider the works of the Lord,
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth;
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps.
He burns the shields with fire.
“Be still and know that I am God,
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. God gave her his help from the dawning of her days; the Most High has made his dwelling place a holy temple.

Ant. 3 Glorious things are said of you, O city of God, established on his holy mountain.

Psalm 87
Jerusalem is mother of us all

The heavenly Jerusalem is a free woman; she is our mother (Galatians 4:26).

On the holy mountain is his city
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Zion
to all Jacob’s dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things,
O city of God!

“Babylon and Egypt I will count
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,
these will be her children
and Zion shall be called ‘Mother’
for all shall be her children.”

It is he, the Lord Most High,
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes:
“These are her children,”
and while they dance they will sing:
“In you all find their home.”

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God, established on his holy mountain.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

The God of power has given me his strength.
He has kept me in the way of holiness.

READINGS

First Reading
From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Romans
5:12-21
Where sin abounds, there is an abundance of grace

Just as through one man sin entered the world and with sin death, death thus coming to all men inasmuch as all sinned—before the law there was sin in the world, even though sin is not imputed when there is no law—I say, from Adam to Moses death reigned, even over those who had not sinned by breaking a precept as did Adam, that type of the man to come.

But the gift is not like the offense. For if by the offense of the one man all died, much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound for all. The gift is entirely different from the sin committed by the one man. In the first case, the sentence followed upon one offense and brought condemnation, but in the second, the gift came after many offenses and brought acquittal. If death began its reign through one man because of his offense, much more shall those who receive the overflowing grace and gift of justice live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ.

To sum up, then: just as a single offense brought condemnation to all men, a single righteous act brought all men acquittal and life. Just as through one man’s disobedience all became sinners, so through one man’s obedience all shall become just.

The law came in order to increase offenses; but despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it, so that, as sin reigned through death, grace may reign by way of justice leading to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

RESPONSORY Romans 5:12; Luke 1:30; see Psalm 115:8; 17:19

Through one man sin came into the world; in him all men have sinned.
Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.

The Lord has rescued you from death and sheltered you from all harm.
Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.

Second reading
From a sermon by Saint Anselm, bishop
Virgin Mary, all nature is blessed in you.

Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night—everything that is subject to the power or use of man—rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by men who believe in God.

The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.

RESPONSORY Psalm 34:4; 86:13; Luke 1:48

Proclaim with me the glory of the Lord,
for great is his merciful love for me.

From this day all generations will call me blessed.
For great is his merciful love for me.

TE DEUM

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
And we shall never hope in vain.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

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.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

25 posted on 12/08/2011 3:40:58 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 08, Morning Prayer – Solemnity for Immaculate Conception

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 653
Propers: 1230
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, 688

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 689
Propers: 1334
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, 707

Morning Prayer for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Ave Maria Gratia plena
Maria Gratia plena
Maria Gratia plena
Ave, ave dominus
Dominus tecum

Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tui Jesus

Ave Maria
Ave Maria Mater dei
Ora pro nobis pecatoribus
Ora, ora pro nobis
Ora ora pro nobis pecatoribus

Nunc et in hora mortis
In hora mortis, mortis nostrae
In hora mortis nostrae
Ave Maria!

English translation

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with you, blessed are you

Among women and blessed is
The fruit of your womb, Jesus

Holy Mary, Holy Mary
Mary pray for us,
For us sinners,

Now and in the hour,
In the hour of our death.
Hail Mary!

The Latin text of the Ave Maria prayer set to the music by Franz Schubert; Performed by Melinda Kirigin-Voss

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 O Mother, how pure you are, you are untouched by sin; yours was the privilege to carry God within you.

Psalm 63
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Father, creator of unfailing light, give that same light to those who call to you. May our lips praise you; our lives proclaim your goodness; our work give you honor, and our voices celebrate you for ever.

Ant. O Mother, how pure you are, you are untouched by sin; yours was the privilege to carry God within you.

Ant. 2 The Lord God Most High has blessed you, Virgin Mary, above all the women of the earth.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praise worthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. The Lord God Most High has blessed you, Virgin Mary, above all the women of the earth.

Ant. 3 Sinless Virgin, let us follow joyfully in your footsteps; draw us after you in the fragrance of your holiness.

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people.

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Let Israel rejoice in you, Lord, and acknowledge you as creator and redeemer. We put our trust in your faithfulness and proclaim the wonderful truths of salvation. May your loving kindness embrace us now and for ever.

Ant. Sinless Virgin, let us follow joyfully in your footsteps; draw us after you in the fragrance of your holiness.

READING Isaiah 43:1

But now, thus says the Lord,
who created you, O Jacob,
and formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name: you are mine.

RESPONSORY

The God of power has given me his strength.
The God of power has given me his strength.

He has kept me in the way of holiness.
And has given me his strength.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
The God of power has given me his strength.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. The Lord God said to the serpent: I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring; she will crush your head, alleluia.

Luke 1:68 – 79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The Lord God said to the serpent: I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring; she will crush your head, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us glorify our Savior, who chose the Virgin Mary for his mother. Let us ask him:
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Sun of Justice, the Immaculate Virgin was the white dawn announcing your rising,
grant that we may always live in the light of your coming.
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Savior of the world, by your redeeming might you preserved your mother beforehand from all stain of sin,
keep watch over us, lest we sin.
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

You are our redeemer, who made the Immaculate Virgin Mary your purest home and the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
make us temples of your Spirit for ever.
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

King of kings, you lifted up your mother, body and soul, into heaven;
help us to fix our thoughts on things above.
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

Father,
the image of the Virgin is found in the Church.
Mary had a faith that your Spirit prepared
and a love that never knew sin,
for you kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception.
Trace in our actions the lines of her love,
in our hearts her readiness of faith.
Prepare once again a world for your Son
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

26 posted on 12/08/2011 3:41:03 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 08, Midday Prayer for Thursday of the 2nd week of Advent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 661
Propers: 239
Psalter: Thursday, Week II, 881

Midday Prayer (Sext) for Thursday in Advent, using Current Psalmody

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia

HYMN

Glory to God in the highest
And peace to His people on earth
Lord God, Heavenly King, Almighty God and Father
We worship You
We give You thanks
We praise You for Your glory

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father
Lord God, Lamb of God
You take away the sins of the world
Lord, have mercy on us
You are seated at the right hand of the Father
Receive our prayer

For You alone are the Holy One
For You alone are the Lord
For You alone are the Most High
Jesus Christ
With the Holy Spirit
In the glory of God the Father

Amen.

Glory to God in the highest by St. Paul’s Choir Indianapolis

PSALMODY

Ant. The angel Gabriel said to Mary in greeting: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.

Psalm 119:65-72
IX(Teth)

Lord, you have been good to your servant
according to your word.
Teach me discernment and knowledge
for I trust in your commands.

Before I was afflicted I strayed
but now I keep your word.
You are good and your deeds are good;
teach me your commandments.

Though proud men smear me with lies
yet I keep your precepts.
Their minds are closed to good
but your law is my delight.

It was good for me to be afflicted,
to learn your will.
The law from your mouth means more to me
than silver and gold.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord, teach us goodness, discipline and wisdom, and these gifts will keep us from becoming hardened by evil, weakened by laziness, or ignorant because of foolishness.

Psalm 56:2-7b, 9-14
Trust in God’s word

This psalm shows Christ in his passion (Saint Jerome).

Have mercy on me, God, men crush me;
they fight me all day long and oppress me.
My foes crush me all day long,
for many fight proudly against me.

When I fear, I will trust in you,
in God whose word I praise.
In God I trust, I shall not fear:
what can mortal man do to me?

All day long they distort my words,
all their thought is to harm me.
They band together in ambush,
track me down and seek my life.

You have kept an account of my wanderings;
you have kept a record of my tears;
are they not written in your book?
Then my foes will be put to flight
on the day that I call to you.
This I know, that God is on my side.

In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not fear:
what can mortal man do to me?

I am bound by the vows I have made you.
O God, I will offer you praise
for you rescued my soul from death,
you kept my feet from stumbling
that I may walk in the presence of God
and enjoy the light of the living.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, victim for our sins, you trusted in your Father’s protection and kept silent when you were tormented. Give us that same confidence and we will gladly suffer with you and for you, offering the Father our living sacrifice of praise and walking before him in the light of the living.

Psalm 57
Morning prayer in affliction

This psalm tells of our Lord’s passion (Saint Augustine).

Have mercy on me, God, have mercy
for in you my soul has taken refuge.
In the shadow of your wings I take refuge
till the storms of destruction pass by.

I call to God the Most High,
to God who has always been my help.
May he send from heaven and save me
and shame those who assail me.
May God send his truth and his love.

My soul lies down among lions,
who would devour the sons of men.
Their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongue a sharpened sword.

O God, arise above the heavens;
may your glory shine on earth!

They laid a snare for my steps,
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my path
but fell in it themselves.

My heart is ready, O God,
my heart is ready.
I will sing, I will sing your praise.
Awake, my soul,
awake, lyre and harp,
I will awake the dawn.

I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples,
I will praise you among the nations,
for your love reaches to the heavens
and your truth to the skies.

O God, arise above the heavens;
may your glory shine on earth!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord, send your mercy and your truth to rescue us from the snares of the devil, and we will praise you among the peoples and proclaim you to the nations, happy to be known as companions of your Son.

Ant. The angel Gabriel said to Mary in greeting: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.

READING Haggai 2:6, 9

One moment yet, a little while,
and I will shake the heavens and the earth,
the sea and the dry land.
Greater will be the future glory of this house
than the former;
And in this place I will give peace,
says the Lord of hosts!

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

Remember us, Lord, because of the love you have for your people.
Come and bring us your salvation.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready
the paths of your Only Begotten Son,
that through his coming
we may be found worthy to serve you
with minds made pure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

27 posted on 12/08/2011 3:41:09 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 08, Evening Prayer II – Solemnity for Immaculate Conception

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 667
Proper of Saints: 1235
Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 1345

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 694
Proper of Saints: 1336
Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 1378

Evening Prayer II for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Mary, crowned with living light,
Temple of the Lord,
Place of peace and holiness,
Shelter of the Word.
Mystery of sinless life
In our fallen race,
Free from shadow, you reflect
Plenitude of grace.

Virgin-mother of our God,
Lift us when we fall,
Who were named upon the
Cross Mother of us all.
Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Heaven sings your praise;
Mary Magnifies your name
Through eternal days.

Title: Mary, crowned with living light; Music: Gossner’s Choralbuch, Leipzig, 1832; Text: Stanbrook Abbey;
“Mary, crowned with living light” Sung by The Cistercian Nuns of St. Mary’s Abbey Glencairn is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 You are all beautiful, O Mary; in you there is no trace of original sin.

Psalm 122
Holy city Jerusalem

You have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22).

I rejoiced when I heard them say:
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is,
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgment
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray:
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls,
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends
I say: “Peace upon you!”
For love of the house of the Lord
I will ask for your good.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. You are all beautiful, O Mary; in you there is no trace of original sin.

Ant. 2 You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel; you are the fairest honor of our race.

Psalm 127
Apart from God our labors are worthless

You are God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:9).

If the Lord does not build the house,
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city,
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising,
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat:
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord,
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel; you are the fairest honor of our race.

Ant. 3 The robe you wear is white as spotless snow; your face is radiant like the sun.

Canticle – Ephesians 1:3-10
God our Savior

Praised be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has bestowed on us in Christ
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in him
before the world began
to be holy
and blameless in his sight.

He predestined us
to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ,
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.

In him and through his blood, we have been redeemed,
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous
is God’s favor to us.

God has given us the wisdom
to understand fully the mystery,
the plan he was pleased
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out
in Christ, in the fullness of time,
to bring all things into one in him,
in the heavens and on earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The robe you wear is white as spotless snow; your face is radiant like the sun.

READING Romans 5:20-21

Despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it, so that, as sin reigned through death, grace may reign by way of justice leading to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

By this I know you have chosen me.
By this I know you have chosen me.

You have not let my enemy triumph over me.
You have chosen me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
By this I know you have chosen me.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, alleluia.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us praise God our almighty Father, who wished that Mary, his Son’s mother, be celebrated by each generation. Now in need we ask:
Mary, full of grace, intercede for us.

O God, worker of miracles, you made the immaculate Virgin Mary share, body and soul, in your Son’s glory in heaven, direct the hearts of your children to that same glory.
Mary, full of grace, intercede for us.

You made Mary our mother. Through her intercession grant strength to the weak, comfort to the sorrowing, pardon to sinners,
salvation and peace to all.
Mary, full of grace, intercede for us.

You made Mary full of grace,
grant all men the joyful abundance of your grace.
Mary, full of grace, intercede for us.

Make your Church of one mind and one heart in love,
and help all those who believe to be one in prayer with Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Mary, full of grace, intercede for us.

You crowned Mary queen of heaven,
may all the dead rejoice in your kingdom with the saints for ever.
Mary, full of grace, intercede for us.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

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.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

28 posted on 12/08/2011 3:41:14 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 08, Night Prayer for Thursday of the 2nd week of Advent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours:
Vol I, page 1183
Vol II, Page 1642
Vol III, Page 1283
Vol IV, Page 1247

Christian Prayer:
Page 1049

General instruction:
Please pray with us actively, especially by joining with us in saying antiphons and responses, most of which are indicated in this highlight.

Consider an examination of your own conscience before beginning to best make use of our time together in prayer.

Night Prayer for Thursday

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Examination of conscience:

We are called to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and to ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask for His strength to do better.

Lord Jesus raise us to new life:
Lord, have mercy
Lord have mercy

Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus you feed us with your body and blood:
Lord, have mercy
Lord have mercy

HYMN

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

”How Great Thou Art” by Melinda Kirigin-Voss; Originally this was a Swedish folk melody, “O Store Gud” by Carl Boberg (1859-1940) and was translated by Stuart K. Hine in 1899.
”How Great Thou Art” by Melinda Kirigin-Voss is available from Amazon.com.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 In you, my God, my body will rest in hope.

Psalm 16
God is my portion, my inheritance

The Father raised up Jesus from the dead and broke the bonds of death (Acts 2:24).

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord: “You are my God.
My happiness lies in you alone.”

He has put into my heart a marvelous love
for the faithful ones who dwell in his land.
Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows.
Never will I offer their offerings of blood.
Never will I take their name upon my lips.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
it is you yourself who are my prize.
The lot marked out for me is my delight:
welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me!

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
nor let your beloved know decay.

You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand happiness for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. In you, my God, my body will rest in hope.

READING 1 Thessalonians 5:23

May the God of peace make you perfect in holiness. May he preserve you whole and entire, spirit, soul, and body, irreproachable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

RESPONSORY

Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Gospel Canticle

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32
Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Concluding Prayer

Lord God,
send peaceful sleep
to refresh our tired bodies.
May your help always renew us
and keep us strong in your service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Blessing

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.
Amen.

Antiphon or song in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

29 posted on 12/08/2011 3:41:22 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: All
Holy Day of Obligation

US Conference of Catholic Bishops -
Canon 1246 - Sundays & Holy Days

[Note: following are the complementary norms and subsequent decisions on Canon 1246 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) - concerning the Holy Days of Obligation to be observed in Churches in the US.]

ß1: Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church. Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary Mother of God and her Immaculate Conception and Assumption, Saint Joseph, the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and finally, All Saints.

ß2: However, the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See.

Complementary Norm: In accord with canon 1246, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops decrees that the holy days of obligation to be observed in the United States are the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; the Solemnity of the Ascension; the Solemnity of the Assumption; the Solemnity of All Saints; the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception; the Solemnity of Christmas. The Solemnity of the Epiphany shall be transferred to the first Sunday following January 1; the Solemnity of Corpus Christi shall be observed on the second Sunday following Pentecost.

Approved: General Meeting, November 1983

Reviewed: Holy See (Congregation for Clergy), Letter from Apostolic Pro-Nuncio (Prot. No. 1091/84/8) February 13, 1984

Promulgated: Minutes of November 1983 General Meeting, March 1984


SUBSEQUENT ACTION: Canon 1246ß2
DECREE OF PROMULGATION

On December 13, 1991 the members of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States of American made the following general decree concerning holy days of obligation for Latin rite Catholics:

In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America, in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows:

January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension
August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 1, the solemnity of All Saints
December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Whenever January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.

This decree of the Conference of Bishops was approved and confirmed by the Apostolic See by a decree of the Congregation for Bishops (Prot. N. 296/84), signed by Bernardin Cardinal Gantin, prefect of the Congregation, and dated July 4, 1992.

As president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, I hereby declare that the effective date of this decree for all the Latin rite dioceses of the United States of America will be January 1, 1993, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

Given at the offices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, November 17, 1992.

Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk
Archbishop of Cincinnati
President, NCCB

Monsignor Robert N. Lynch
General Secretary


SUBSEQUENT ACTION: Canon 1246ß2

In accord with the provisions of canon 1246ß2 of the Code of Canon Law, which states: "... the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See", the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States decrees that the Ecclesiastical Provinces of the United States may transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter to the Seventh Sunday of Easter according to the following procedure.

The decision of each Ecclesiastical Province to transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension is to be made by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the bishops of the respective Ecclesiastical Province. The decision of the Ecclesiastical Province should be communicated to the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and to the President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This decree was approved by His Holiness Pope John Paul II by a decree of the Congregation for Bishops signed by His Eminence Lucas Cardinal Moreira Neves, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and dated July 5, 1999.

As President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, I hereby decree that the effective date of this decree for all the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America will be September 8, 1999, Feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary.

Given at the offices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, August 6, 1999, Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza
Bishop of Galveston-Houston
President, NCCB

Reverend Monsignor Dennis M. Schnurr
General Secretary

February 28, 2002

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Summary

The number Holy Days of Obligation other than Sundays has varied considerably through the Church’s history, and at some periods and places dozens of saints days were included as obligatory.

In 1911, Pope Pius X reduced the number of Holy Days of Obligation for the universal Church to eleven, eliminating most patronal feasts. Even earlier, at the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884), the US bishops had already removed the obligation from the Epiphany, Corpus Christi, and saints days (other than the Blessed Virgin Mary), reducing the number of these days to six, as in the present calendar.

In 1983, the year the new Code of Canon Law came into effect, the US bishops issued a “Complementary Norm” to Canon 1246, decreeing that the Holy Days of Obligation to be observed in the United States are

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1)

The Solemnity of the Ascension (Thursday before Pentecost, 40 days after Easter)

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15)

The Solemnity of All Saints (November 1)

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8)

The Solemnity of Christmas (December 25)

At the same time, they transferred the celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany (January 6 on the universal calendar) to the Sunday after January 1, and the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (Thursday after Trinity Sunday on the universal calendar) to the second Sunday after Pentecost, with the intention of restoring central importance to these feasts of Christ, too-often neglected on their traditional dates by most Catholics.

The US bishops’ action was approved by the Holy See in February 1984.

In 1991, the US bishops further amended the Church calendar, by removing the obligation to attend Mass whenever January 1, August 15, or November 1 fell on a Saturday or a Monday. Their action was approved by the Holy See in 1992.

Another change was made in 1999, and approved by the Holy See. It decreed that Ecclesiastical Provinces “may transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter to the Seventh Sunday after Easter”, by the vote of 2/3 of the bishops of any “ecclesiastical province” in the United States. Each province would then communicate their decision to the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and to the conference president. Thus the date of celebration of the Ascension varies in the dioceses of the United States.


30 posted on 12/08/2011 8:34:52 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Patronal Feastday of the United States of America]

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
[Patronal Feastday of the United States of America]
Solemnity
December 8th

Jean Bellegambe
Saint Anne conceiving the Virgin Mary

Douai, Musée de la Chartreuse
VIS Link -- Plenary Indulgence for Solemnity Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2005
History - Catechism | Pope Benedict XVI - address 12/08/2009 | Magnificat | Prayers - Readings | Family Celebration | Homily:Why the Immaculate Conception | Pope John Paul II's Homily at Lourdes - August 15, 2004 | WFF's Family Sourcebook for Advent and Christmas | Fulgens Corona, Encyclical of Pope Pius XII, Proclaiming a Marian Year to Commemorate the Centenary of the Definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, September 8, 1953, [links to Vatican Website] | Ineffabilis Deus - Pope Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, November 1, 1950 [links to Vatican Website] | AD DIEM ILLUM LAETISSIMUM, Encyclical of Pope Pius X on the Immaculate Conception, February 2, 1904 [links to Vatican Website] | Pius IX, Apostolic Constitution of the Immaculate Conception, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854
Prayer of Pope John Paul II
December 8, 2003 Queen of peace, pray for us!  Our gaze is directed toward you in great fear, to you do we turn with ever-more insistent faith in these times marked by many uncertainties and fears for the present and future of our planet.
Together we lift our confident and sorrowful petition to you, the first fruit of humanity redeemed by Christ, finally freed from the slavery of evil and sin: hear the cry of the pain of victims of war and so many forms of violence that bloody the earth. Clear away the darkness of sorrow and worry, of hate and vengeance. Open up our minds and hearts to faith and forgiveness!
Mother of mercy and hope:.
Help every human being of every race and culture to find and embrace Jesus, who
came to earth in the mystery of Christmas to give us 'His' peace.
Mary, Queen of peace, give us Christ, true peace in the world!

 

History

The Immaculate Conception, a solemnity, is the patronal feast of the United States. It is one of the few Holy days of obligation on the Church calendar -- that is, all Catholics are obligated to attend Mass on this day. As this feast occurs early in Advent, it is a perfect time to consider Mary and her important role in the celebration of Christmas.

In 1854, Pope Pius IX's solemn declaration, Ineffabilis Deus, clarified with finality the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin. In proclaiming the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a dogma of the Church, the pope expressed precisely and clearly that Mary was conceived free from the stain of original sin. This privilege of Mary derives from God's having chosen her as Mother of the Savior; thus she received the benefits of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception. (The picture above shows her mother, Anna, with the infant Mary within her womb.) This great gift to Mary, an ordinary human being just like us, was fitting because she was destined to be Mother of God. The purity and holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a model for all Christians.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of the Immaculate Conception of Mary:

490. To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role". The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.

491. 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 in 1844:

"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, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854.)

492. The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son." The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love."

493. The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia) and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature". By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

For more on the role of Mary in Salvation History, read the entire section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, §§ 456-511.


Pope Benedict XVI - address 12/08/2009
VATICAN

Pope: “Do not be afraid, Jesus defeated evil,” Mary tells people of our times
In his tribute to the statue of the Immaculata in Piazza di Spagna, Benedict XVI outlines the city’s problems: the evil told and amplified by the media, the indifference and lack of respect for people, the lack of responsibility that makes us spectators of evil. Mary’s presence means Jesus has defeated evil and “makes us hope even in the humanly most difficult situations.” The Pope thanks all those who respond to evil doing good rather complaining or recriminating.

Here is Benedict XVI’s full address:

Dear brothers and sisters!

In the heart of Christian cities, Mary constitutes a sweet and reassuring presence. In her self-effacing style, she gives everyone peace and hope during the happy and sad moments of life. In churches, chapels or the walls of buildings, a painting, mosaic or a statue stand as a remainder of the Mother’s presence, constantly watching over her children. Here too in Piazza di Spagna, Mary stands high, on guard over Rome.

What does Mary tell the city? What does her presence remind us? It reminds us that “where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more (Rom., 5:20), as the Apostle Paul wrote. She is the Immaculate Mother who tells people of our time: Do not be afraid, Jesus defeated evil, uprooted it, freeing us from his rule.

When do we need such good deeds? Every day, in the newspapers, television and radio, evil is told to us, said again, amplified, so that we get used to the most horrible things, and become desensitised. In a certain way, it poisons us, because the negative is never fully cleansed out of our system but accumulates day after day. The heart hardens and thoughts become gloomy. For this reason, the city needs Mary, whose presence speaks of God, reminds us of Grace’s victory over sin and makes us hope even in the humanly most difficult situations.

Those who invisible live or rather survive in the city. They make it to the front page of newspapers or the top of TV newscast—they are exploited until the end, for as long as the news and the images are newsworthy. Few can resist such a perverse mechanism. The city first, hides then exposes them to public scrutiny, without pity or with false pity. Everyone would like to be accepted as a person and considered as something sacred, because each human story is a sacred story that deserves the utmost of respect.

Dear brothers and sisters, we are the city! Each one of us contributes with our lives to its moral climate for better or worse. The border between good and evil runs across everyone’s heart and none of us should feel entitled to judge others. Instead, each one of us must feel duty-bound to improve ourselves. Mass media make us feel like “spectators” as if evil only touched others and that certain things could not happen to us. Instead, we are all “actors” for better or worse, and our behaviour influences others.

We often complain about air pollution, that in some parts of the city the air is unbreathable. That is true. Everyone must do his or her part to make the city a cleaner place. However, there is another kind of pollution, which the senses cannot easily perceive, but which is equally dangerous. It is the pollution of the spirit, which makes us smile less, makes us gloomier, less likely to greet one another or look into each other face . . .

The city has many faces, but sadly, collective factors lead us to forget what is behind them. All we see is the surface. People become bodies, and these bodies lose their soul, become faceless objects that can be exchanged and consumed.

Mary Immaculate helps us rediscover and defend what is inside people, because in her there is perfect transparency of soul and body. She is purity in person in the sense that the spirit, soul and body are fully coherent in her and with God’s will. Our Lady teaches us to open up to God’s action and to look at others as he does, starting with the heart, to look upon them with mercy, love, infinite tenderness, especially those who are lonely, scorned or exploited. “[W]here sins increased, grace overflows all the more.”

I want to pay tribute publicly to all those who in silence, in deeds not in words, strive to practice the Evangelical law of love which drivers the world forward. There are so many of them even here in Rome. They do not make the headlines. They are men and women of all ages, who realise that it is not worth condemning, complaining or recriminating; that it is better to respond to evil doing good; to changes things; or better, to changes people, hence improve society.”

Dear Roman friends and all of you who live in this city! Whilst we are busy in everyday tasks, let us listen to Mary’s voice. Let us hear her silent but pressing appeal. She tells each one of us that wherever sin increases, may grace overflow all the more, first in our hearts, and then in our lives! Thus, the city shall be more beautiful, more Christian and more humane.

Thank you, Holy Mother, for this message of hope. Thank you for your silent but eloquent presence in the heart of our city. Immaculate Virgin, Salus Populi Romani, pray for us!


The Magnificat
Luke 1: 46-55 (Douay translation)
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
Because he hath regarded the humility of
his handmaid; for behold from henceforth
all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty hath done great
things to me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto
generations, to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might with his arm; he
hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their
seat, and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good
things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant, being
mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham
and to his seed for ever.

Readings for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Antiphon

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 adorned with her jewels.

Collect

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son,
grant, we pray,
that, as you preserved her from every stain
by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw,
so, through her intercession,
we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presences.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
+Amen.

Scripture

First Reading - Genesis 3: 9-15, 20
After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him, "Where are you?" He asked. "I heard the sound of You in the garden," he replied. "I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid." "Who told you that you were naked?" He asked. "Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?" The man replied, "It was the woman You put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it." Then the Lord God asked the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman replied, "The serpent tempted me and I ate."

Then the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Be accursed beyond all cattle, and wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life. I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel."

The man named his wife 'Eve' because she was the mother of all those who live.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

O sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

The LORD has made known his victory,
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love
and faithfulness to the house of Israel.

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
Make a joyful noise to the LORD,
all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

Second Reading - Ephesians 1: 3-6,11-12

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Before the world was made, He chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in His presence, determining that we should become His adopted sons, through Jesus Christ for His own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of His grace, His free gift to us in the Beloved. And it is in Him that we were claimed as God's own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the One who guides all things as He decides by His own will; chosen to be, for His greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before He came.

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

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, full of grace, 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. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end.

And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?"

And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren, for with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (RSV-CE translation)

Devotional Reading

Why the Immaculate Conception?, a homily by Father Paul Mankowski, SJ, presented at Women for Faith & Family's Immaculate Conception Mass and festival held at St. Roch's Church in St. Louis, December 8, 1989.

Family celebration of the Immaculate Conception

Mary's Candle

An especially appealing project for this Solemnity of Mary is to make a special candle. This candle can be made by attaching a picture or figure of the Infant Jesus to the base of a large pillar-type candle. You might carve a little niche for a tiny figure in the wax. The figure is then veiled (a piece of cloth fastened with pins) until Christmas Eve, when the veil is removed to reveal the Holy Child. On the Immaculate Conception, and every evening until Christmas Eve, have the children light "Mary's candle" when they say their prayers, and say the Hail Mary, or read with them her prayer, called the Magnificat (above).

Rose for Mary

It would also be appropriate to have children place a rose before a picture or image of the Blessed Virgin Mary on this day.

Special Prayers

The Collect for this feast (above), and the Angelus can be added to the mealtime prayers for Advent at the evening meal, or for family prayers before bedtime.
(Angelus - Spanish Version)


31 posted on 12/08/2011 8:40:42 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Corona of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer Thread
New chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon at National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos December 9th
On the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Mary: "Trust Jesus, he will save you" (Catholic Caucus)
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception

LAND OF MARY IMMACULATE [Ecumenical]
Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant [Catholic Caucus]
THE LIFE OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Defender of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
An Unfathomable Marian Richness [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
History of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 [Catholic Caucus]
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Father Marquette's Devotion to the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)

St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
And It Was Night. The Real Story of Original Sin [Ecumenical]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Ark of the new covenant
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud

Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s Enemies Hate The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us
U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Sermon from 1934)

My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

32 posted on 12/08/2011 8:41:38 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
Immaculate Conception
Feast Day: December 8

33 posted on 12/08/2011 9:05:03 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

Immaculate Conception of Mary

Immaculate Conception of Mary
Feast Day: December 08

On December 8, we honor the Immaculate Conception of Mary our Mother.

Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously. Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, every baby is born into the world with original sin.

We are all children of our first parents so; we all inherit their sin. This sin in us is called original sin.

But the Blessed Virgin Mary was given a marvelous gift. She was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without this original sin.

Our Lady was to be the mother of Jesus, God's only Son. The evil one, the devil, should have no power over Mary. There was never the slightest sin in our all-beautiful mother.

That is why one of the Church's favorite hymns to Mary is: "You are all-beautiful, O Mary, and there is no sin in you."

This great favor that God blessed Our Lady with is called her Immaculate Conception.

One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed to the whole world that there was no doubt at all that Mary was conceived without sin.

Four years later, she appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes. When St. Bernadette asked the lovely lady who she was, Mary joined her hands and raised her eyes toward heaven. She said, "I am the Immaculate Conception."


34 posted on 12/08/2011 9:10:44 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic
Almanac:
 
 
Thursday, December 8
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius IX declared that at the moment of her conception Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin through the merits of her son, Jesus our Savior.

35 posted on 12/08/2011 4:12:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

It is a notable fact that our Lord and his Mother lived in a time long before photographs, even at a time, and among a people, where drawings and portraits of people were almost unknown. Also notably absent in the Sacred Scriptures are any details regarding the physical appearances of most Biblical figures, unless a detail is necessary for the story (e.g. Zacchaeus being short, Goliath tall, Leah being less attractive due to her misshapen eyes). But generally there seems to be an almost complete lack of preoccupation with such things in the Biblical narrative. And even when we are told that David was handsome or Bathsheba was beautiful, we are not really told how.

We live in a polar opposite world when it comes to images. Everything is visual, and we are quite obsessed with appearance and looking acceptable and good, and how other people look.

We attach great meaning (for better, but usually for worse) on our physical appearance. We divide out over race, skin tone, hair etc. We also prize thinness and ridicule fatness, we worry if we are tall enough, pretty enough, if our hair is too straight or not straight enough, if we are tan enough or too dark skinned, and when age sets in many head for the cosmetic surgeon.

Instructive! Thus when we wonder as to what Jesus or Mary “looked like,” it may be instructive for us to reflect on why the Lord would have them live in a time and place, where this data would NOT be supplied us. For, in the end, they look like us. And some historical sketch or painting, had one ever been made, would only tend to limit our vision, rather than allow us to identify with them.

To the question what did Mary look like we may garner five possible answers:

  1. None of your business.
  2. Why do you care?
  3. She looks just like you think she looks.
  4. She looks like you, because she is your mother.
  5. She is far more beautiful than you ever imagined (My favorite answer).

But answer four is probably the most helpful when it comes to accepting the diverse ways she is depicted.

Most of us American Catholics see her in very European terms. Historically this may be dubious, by why shouldn’t we see here as looking like us. She is after all our mother.

As I walk though the dozens of chapels in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception here in Washington, I see her as Chinese, American, Lithuanian, Mexican, Filipino, Korean, African, Lebanese, Irish, Ethiopian, and so on. And why shouldn’t these various Ethnicities  see her as looking like them, she is, after all their mother.

In her various apparitions her look varies too. La Virgen de Guadalupe “La Morena”  (= dark skinned) is surely different than the descriptions we have from other sights such as Fatima or Lourdes. But here too, why can’t the heavenly beauty of Immaculate Mary, so brightly reflective of God’s glory, not refract through the prism of human experience in different colors and ways?

What does Mary look like? She is our Mother, she looks like us. Jesus is our brother (and Lord), he looks like us.

Happy Feast Day


36 posted on 12/08/2011 4:40:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

The fullness of time

Written by Br. Innocent Smith, O.P.

Sometimes people are nostalgic for an era they never lived in. They might prefer the fashion, the music, or the mores of a bygone era, or they might look forward to some future period when all of their political or cultural aspiration will be realized. On one level, a critical evaluation of the glories of the past can be helpful in giving us a measuring stick for our own achievements. Nevertheless, we must be always conscious of the importance of living our lives to the full in the world in which we really exist, not obsessed with our own imaginary construction of the past or future.

The reason for this is that although there is a certain contingency to our existence at this moment in history—I did not choose to enter the world I did, but happened to do so following upon the concrete decisions of others that ordered their lives in a certain way—nevertheless my existence at this moment fits into God’s providential plan. There is no contradiction between contingent human decisions and divine providence. God freely creates the soul of each of us at the moment of conception, a moment that occurs on the basis of the union of our parents. This, incidentally, is the core of the tragedy of abortion—although this child may not be desired by his or her parents, whatever the contingent circumstances may be, he or she is created and loved by God.

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we celebrate the marvelous congruence between the contingent human action and divine providence in the conception of Mary. The parents of the Virgin conceived her in the normal manner, but on this occasion God not only created her soul but did so in a way that preserved her from every stain of sin by virtue of the death of his Son, which he foresaw, preparing her to be a worthy

dwelling for Jesus. Mary’s parents lived at a particular moment of history, unchosen by themselves, and decided to marry each other at a time they themselves chose. The child that was born to them, whom they decided to name Mary, was to play an integral role in the mystery of redemption: in the fullness of time, at the exactly appropriate moment, she was to bear a son, and name him Jesus.

Meditation: Reflect on the ways God’s providence has worked in your life through contingent events. Pray for your parents, and those who have played an important role in your life.


37 posted on 12/08/2011 4:50:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Archdiocese of Washington

Have you ever seen “The Family Man,” a film starring Nicholas Cage? Cage’s character is an wealthy businessman who’d made a choice thirteen years earlier to leave behind the woman he was to marry to pursue his professional dreams. But then one day he wakes up to find he’s been given a glimpse of what might have been if he’d made a different choice. He’d married the woman instead of having left her. She’s loyal and loving, and they have two beautiful children and a supportive network of friends. Having experienced this, Cage comes to regret the choices he’d made. So when he’s returned to his real life, he fights valiantly to restore what he had lost, and make a reality the glimpse he’d been given of what might have been.

In Mary, our mother, you and I are given a glimpse of what might have been if different choices had been made, if the choice to sin had never been made, leaving us with a fallen human nature. Through the Immaculate Conception, God preserved Mary from this condition, allowing us to behold in her a life of perfect faith, love, and obedience to God’s will. We see in Mary what we might have been today.

However, Mary’s witness should give us, not only a longing for what might have been, but also a sign for what might yet be. This is because Mary’s Immaculate Conception made possible the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, who came to heal us, and restore what had been lost. Through Jesus, we can hope that the perfection Mary enjoyed on earth might be ours to enjoy one day in heaven. Which makes our commemoration today, not an occasion of longing and regret, but a celebration of gratitude and hope.


38 posted on 12/08/2011 5:18:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: December 08, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Advent: December 8th

  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 holy day 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 Blessed 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

"Hail Mary, full of grace". For thousands of centuries, millions of times per day the Virgin Mary is greeted by the faithful with the greeting of the Archangel, that we hear resonating a new in today’s Gospel. The sons of the Church learn from the words of the Archangel Gabriel that the fullness of the mystery of God’s grace was realised in Holy Mary. St Paul, the Apostle teaches us that the Father made all fullness dwell in His Incarnate Son (c.f. Col 1:12-20), which overflows from Christ’s head and spills out on His Mystical Body that is the Church. Before descending in Body, Christ’s fullness was spread in a unique and unrepeatable way on Mary, predestined from eternity to be the Mother of God.

Significantly in the first reading, the liturgy recalls the figure of Eve, the mother of all the living. The Father’s of the Church saw in Mary, the new Eve that unties the knot bound by the first woman. The knot of disobedience tied by Eve, was untied by the obedience of Mary. As Eve was created in purity and integrity, also the new Eve was miraculously preserved from the contamination of original sin because she had to give humanity the Word, who was incarnated for our ransom.

Saint Irenaeus compares the virginity of the pure earth from which Adam was drawn to the virginity of the immaculate humanity of Mary from which the Second Adam was drawn. ‘And as the protoplast himself Adam, had his substance from untilled and as yet virgin soil (for God had not yet sent rain, and man had not tilled the ground (Genesis 2:5) so did He who is the Word, recapitulating Adam in Himself, rightly receive a birth, enabling Him to gather up Adam [into Himself], from Mary, who was as yet a virgin’ (Adversus hereses III, 21:10).

Blessed Pope Pius IX on the 8th December 1854 proclaimed the Dogma of the faith revealed by God that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin" (Denz.-Schonm, 2083). If the official proclamation of the dogma is relatively recent, the profession of faith by Christians and the liturgy is very ancient in this regard. Furthermore, four years later the same Virgin Mary, appearing in Lourdes to St Bernadette, confirmed the truth of the doctrine by presenting herself with the title ‘I am the Immaculate Conception’.

Mary’s predestination to this singular grace—consistent with the suspension of the universal degree by which every man, from the moment of his conception is contaminated with original sin—leads us to ponder in the deepest depths the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity’s salvific plan. God, One and Triune had foreseen from the very beginning the future incarnation of the Word cumulating in the redemption of human nature that had fallen into sin. He therefore predestined pure Mary, so that He could draw from her uncontaminated humanity, which the Son could adopt in order to re-establish in Himself the original purity of creation and reorientate it to eternal glory.

For this reason, in the second reading of today’s liturgy, St Paul reminds us that God wants to see us holy and immaculate before Him. The purity of our origins seamed to be irredeemably lost. However, in Immaculate Mary, God found the perfect solution to reverse the disaster made from the misuse of our liberty, and returned humanity to the original purity that seamed hopelessly lost.

Mary’s Immaculate Conception is a direct consequence of her Divine Maternity. St Anslem of Aosla wrote: ‘Assuredly, it was fitting that the Virgin be beautified with a purity than which a greater cannot be conceived, except for God's. For, toward her, God the Father was so disposed to give His only Son was naturally one and the same common Son of God the Father and of the Virgin.’ (De conceptu virginali et originali peccato, XVIII)

This link between the privilege of Divine Maternity and Mary’s Immaculate Conception results also in her superiority with respect to us. She is a perfect image of the Church in heaven, the new triumphant Jerusalem, that won’t have any marks nor will there be pain and death. This is why today’s preface recites: '…she was to be a worthy mother of your Son, your sign of favour to the church at its beginning, and the promise of its perfection as the bride of Christ, radiant in beauty’. Also in heaven Mary isn’t or will ever be only a disciple, but her Son’s most exalted. She is and will always be the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of the Angels and Saints. Therefore, the preface of the Mass adds: ‘…You chose her from all creatures to be our advocate with you and our pattern of holiness.’

Mary was Immaculate because she had to be the Mother of God. She, herself has received the original grace of purity and the final state of the blessed life that we also, by collaborating with Divine Grace, hope one day to receive.

Immaculate Mary is full of grace. She is not only Christ’s disciple, that with the help of grace has overcome the chains of sin, but she is totius Trinitatis nobile triclinium, the noble resting place of the Holy Trinity (St Thomas Aquinas, Exposito Salutatioris Angelicae, I). The Immaculate, full of grace will always be Mother and Queen for that elect part of the Church that we hope one day to join, that will one day will joyfully sing in front of the Almighty.

From the Congregation for the Clergy

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:


39 posted on 12/08/2011 5:26:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

 The Immaculate Conception of Mary

I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)

Have you ever wondered why there are so many beautiful works of art portraying the early life of Mary? Why do imaginative stories like those of the birth of Mary to Anne and Joachim, her dedication as a young girl in the Temple, and her betrothal to Joseph have such a strong appeal?

Neither the gospels nor the church offers any information about Mary’s parentage, birth, infancy, or adolescence. Nor do they at­tempt any historical reconstruction of Mary’s unique conception. In defining the dogma of the Immac­ulate Conception of Mary in 1854, Pope Pius IX simply stated: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God … preserved im­mune from all stain of original sin.” Nonetheless, we love those magnif­icent paintings that depict Marian legends.

Why do these works have such an effect? Because God created us with a deep capacity for wonder and awe. He has also given us the abil­ity to dream and imagine, and he wants us to use this ability to lift up our hearts to him. So even if some of these works may not be historically accurate, these stories, paintings, and sculptures can really inspire us and bring us closer to God.

There is another point here, how­ever. As inspiring as these works of art are, God’s actual plan for Mary is even more amazing and inspiring— precisely because it is real!

Just think: God’s plan for each one of us is just as fantastic as his plan for Mary. We may not have had the grace of an immaculate conception, but that doesn’t mean that we are barred from the glory of heaven that Mary knows right now. And neither does it mean that we have to wait for our final salvation before we can begin enjoying the adventure God wants to give us. The truth is, he is calling us to a life of beauty and holiness—right here and right now—that will make even the most stunning of paintings seem pale and dull in comparison.

“Lord, I lift up my heart to you in awe and worship! Your plans for me are wondrously and infinitely greater than anything I could ever imagine!”

Genesis 3:9-15,20; Psalm 98:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12


40 posted on 12/08/2011 5:34:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, In mense autem sexto, missus est angelus Gabriel a Deo in civitatem Galilææ, cui nomen Nazareth, εν δε τω μηνι τω εκτω απεσταλη ο αγγελος γαβριηλ υπο του θεου εις πολιν της γαλιλαιας η ονομα ναζαρετ
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. ad virginem desponsatam viro, cui nomen erat Joseph, de domo David : et nomen virginis Maria. προς παρθενον μεμνηστευμενην ανδρι ω ονομα ιωσηφ εξ οικου δαυιδ και το ονομα της παρθενου μαριαμ
28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit : Ave gratia plena : Dominus tecum : benedicta tu in mulieribus. και εισελθων ο αγγελος προς αυτην ειπεν χαιρε κεχαριτωμενη ο κυριος μετα σου ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν
29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. Quæ cum audisset, turbata est in sermone ejus, et cogitabat qualis esset ista salutatio. η δε ιδουσα διεταραχθη επι τω λογω αυτου και διελογιζετο ποταπος ειη ο ασπασμος ουτος
30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Et ait angelus ei : Ne timeas, Maria : invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum. και ειπεν ο αγγελος αυτη μη φοβου μαριαμ ευρες γαρ χαριν παρα τω θεω
31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. Ecce concipies in utero, et paries filium, et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum : και ιδου συλληψη εν γαστρι και τεξη υιον και καλεσεις το ονομα αυτου ιησουν
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. hic erit magnus, et Filius Altissimi vocabitur, et dabit illi Dominus Deus sedem David patris ejus : et regnabit in domo Jacob in æternum, ουτος εσται μεγας και υιος υψιστου κληθησεται και δωσει αυτω κυριος ο θεος τον θρονον δαυιδ του πατρος αυτου
33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end. et regni ejus non erit finis. και βασιλευσει επι τον οικον ιακωβ εις τους αιωνας και της βασιλειας αυτου ουκ εσται τελος
34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? Dixit autem Maria ad angelum : Quomodo fiet istud, quoniam virum non cognosco ? ειπεν δε μαριαμ προς τον αγγελον πως εσται τουτο επει ανδρα ου γινωσκω
35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Et respondens angelus dixit ei : Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te, et virtus Altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Ideoque et quod nascetur ex te sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei. και αποκριθεις ο αγγελος ειπεν αυτη πνευμα αγιον επελευσεται επι σε και δυναμις υψιστου επισκιασει σοι διο και το γεννωμενον αγιον κληθησεται υιος θεου
36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Et ecce Elisabeth cognata tua, et ipsa concepit filium in senectute sua : et hic mensis sextus est illi, quæ vocatur sterilis : και ιδου ελισαβετ η συγγενης σου και αυτη συνειληφυια υιον εν γηρει αυτης και ουτος μην εκτος εστιν αυτη τη καλουμενη στειρα
37 Because no word shall be impossible with God. quia non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. οτι ουκ αδυνατησει παρα τω θεω παν ρημα
38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Dixit autem Maria : Ecce ancilla Domini : fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. Et discessit ab illa angelus. ειπεν δε μαριαμ ιδου η δουλη κυριου γενοιτο μοι κατα το ρημα σου και απηλθεν απ αυτης ο αγγελος

(*) Verses 32-33 breakdown differs in the translations.

41 posted on 12/08/2011 7:36:22 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
26. And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

THEOPHYL; Because either the Incarnation of Christ was to be in the sixth age of the world, or because it was to serve to the fulfilling of the law, rightly in the sixth month of John's conception was an angel sent to Mary, to tell her that a Savior should be born. Hence it is said, And in the sixth month, &c. We must understand the sixth month to be March, on the twenty-fifth day of which our Lord is reported to have been conceived, and to have suffered, as also to have been born on the twenty-fifth day of December. But if either the one day we believe to be the vernal equinox, or the other the winter solstice, it happens that with the increase of light He was conceived or born Who lightens every man that comes into the world. But if any one shall prove, that before the time of our Lord's nativity or conception, light began either to increase, or supersede the darkness, we then say, that it was because John, before the appearance of His coming, began to preach the kingdom of heaven.

BASIL. The heavenly spirits visit us, not as it seems fit to them, but as the occasion conduces to our advantage, for they are ever looking upon the glory and fullness of the Divine Wisdom; hence it follows, The angel Gabriel was sent.

GREG. To the virgin Mary was sent, not any one of the angels, but the archangel Gabriel; for upon this service it was meet that the highest angel should come, as being the bearer of the highest of all tidings. He is therefore marked by a particular name, to signify what was his effectual part in the work. For Gabriel is interpreted, "the strength of God." By the strength of God then was He to be announced Who was coming as the God of strength, and mighty in battle, to put down the powers of the air.

GLOSS. But the place is also added whither he is sent, as it follows, To a city, Nazareth. For it was told that He would come a Nazarite, (i.e. the holy of the holy.)

THEOPHYL; It was as a fit beginning for man's restoration, that an angel should be sent down from God to consecrate a virgin by a divine birth, for the first cause of man's perdition was the Devil sending a serpent to deceive a woman by the spirit of pride.

AUG. To a virgin, for Christ could be born from virginity alone, seeing He could not have an equal in His birth. It was necessary for our Head by this mighty miracle to be born according to the flesh of a virgin gin' that He might signify that his members were to be born in the spirit of a virgin Church.

JEROME; And rightly an angel is sent to the virgin, because the virgin state is ever akin to that of angels. Surely in the flesh to live beyond the flesh is not a life on earth but in heaven.

CHRYS. The angel announces the birth to the virgin not after the conception, lest she should be thereby too much troubled, but before the conception he addresses her, not in a dream, but standing by her in visible shape. For as great indeed were the tidings she receives, she needed before the issue of the event an extraordinary visible manifestation.

AMBROSE; Scripture has rightly mentioned that she was espoused, as well as a virgin, a virgin, that she might appear free from all connection with man; espoused, that she might not be branded with the disgrace of sullied virginity, whose swelling womb seemed to bear evident marks of her corruption. But the Lord had rather that men should cast a doubt upon His birth than upon His mother's purity. He knew how tender is a virgin's modesty, and how easily assailed the reputation of her chastity, nor did He think the credit of His birth was to be built up by His mother's wrongs. It follows therefore, that the holy Mary's virginity was of as untainted purity as it was also of unblemished reputation. Nor ought there, by an erroneous opinion, to be left the shadow of an excuse to living virgins, that the mother of our Lord even seemed to be evil spoken of. But what could be imputed to the Jews, or to Herod, if they should seen to have persecuted an adulterous offspring? And how could He Himself say, I came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, if He should seem to have had his beginning from a violation of the law, for the issue of an unmarried person is condemned by the law? Not to add that also greater credit is given to the words of Mary, and the cause of falsehood removed? For it might seem that unmarried becoming pregnant, she had wished to shade her guilt by a lie; but an espoused person has no reason for lying, since to women child-birth is the reward of wedlock, the grace of the marriage bed. Again, the virginity of Mary was meant to baffle the prince of the world, who, when he perceived her espoused to a mall, could cast no suspicion on her offspring.

ORIGEN; For if she had had no husband, soon would the thought have stolen into the Devil's mind, how she who had known no man could be pregnant. It was right that the conception should be Divine, something more exalted than human nature.

AMBROSE; But still more has it baffled the princes of the world, for the malice of devils soon detects even hidden things, while they who are occupied in worldly vanities, can not know the things of God. But moreover, a more powerful witness of her purity is adduced, her husband, who might both have been indignant at the injury, and revenged the dishonor, if he also had not acknowledged the mystery; of whom it is added, Whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.

THEOPHYL; Which last applies not only to Joseph, but also to Mary, for the Law commanded that every one should take a wife out of his own tribe or family. It follows, And the virgin's name was Mary.

ID. Maria, in Hebrew, is the star of the sea; but in Syriac it is interpreted Mistress, and well, because Mary was thought worthy to be the mother of the Lord of the whole world, and the light of endless ages.

28. And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women.
29. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

AMBROSE; Mark the virgin by her manner of life. Alone in an inner chamber, unseen by the eyes of men, discovered only by an angel; as it is said, And the angel came in to her. That she might not be dishonored by any ignoble address, she is saluted by an angel.

GREG. NYSS. Far different then to the news formerly addressed to the woman, is the announcement now made to the Virgin. In the former, the cause of sin was punished by the pains of childbirth; In the latter, through gladness, sorrow is driven away. Hence the angel not unaptly proclaims joy to the Virgin, saying, Hail.

GREEK EX. But that she was judged worthy of the nuptials is attested by his saying, Full of grace. For it is signified as a kind of token or marriage gift of the bridegroom, that she was fruitful in graces. For of the things which he mentions, the one appertains to the bride, the other to the bridegroom.

JEROME; And it is well said, Full of grace, for to others, grace comes in part; into Mary at once the fullness of grace wholly infused itself. She truly is full of grace through whom has been poured forth upon every creature the abundant rain of the Holy Spirit. But already He was with the Virgin Who sent the angel to the Virgin. The Lord preceded His messenger, for He could not be confined by place Who dwells in all places. Whence it follows, The Lord is with you.

AUG. More I than with me, for He Himself is in your heart, He is (made) in you womb, He fills your soul, He fills your womb.

GREEK EX. But this is the sum of the whole message. The Word of God, as the Bridegroom, effecting an incomprehensible union, Himself, as it were, the same both planting, and being planted, has molded the whole nature of man into Himself. But comes last the most perfect and comprehensive salutation; Blessed are you among women. i.e. Alone, far before all other women; that women also should be blessed in you, as men are in your Son; but rather both in both. For as by one man and one woman came at once both sin and sorrow, so now also by one woman and one man has both blessing and joy been restored, and poured forth upon all.

AMBROSE; But mark the Virgin by her bashfulness, for she was afraid, as it follows; And when she heard, she was troubled. It is the habit of virgins to tremble, and to be ever afraid at the presence of man, and to be shy when he addresses her. Learn, O virgin, to avoid light talking. Mary feared even the salutation of an angel.

GREEK EX. But as she might be accustomed to these visions, the Evangelist ascribes her agitation not to the vision, but to the things told her, saying, she was troubled at his words. Now observe both the modesty and wisdom of the Virgin; the soul, and at the same time the voice. When she heard the joyful words, she pondered them in her mind, and neither openly resisted through unbelief, nor forthwith lightly complied; avoiding equally the inconstancy of Eve, and the insensibility of Zacharias. Hence it is said, And she cast in her mind what manner of salutation this was, it is not said conception for as yet she knew not the vastness of the mystery. But the salutation, was there aught of passion in it as from a man to a virgin? or was it not of God, seeing that he makes mention of God, saying, The Lord is with you.

AMBROSE; She wondered also at the new form of blessing, unheard of before, reserved for Mary alone.

ORIGEN; For if Mary had known that similar words had been addressed to others, such a salutation would never have appeared to her so strange and alarming.

30. And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary for you have found favor with God.
31. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.
32. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:
33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

When the angel saw that she was troubled at this unusual salutation, calling her by her name as if she was well known to him, he tells her she must not fear, as it follows, And the angel said, Fear not, Mary.

GREEK EX. As if he said, I came not to deceive you, nay rather to bring down deliverance from deception; I came not to rob you of your inviolable virginity, but to open a dwelling-place for the Author and Guardian of your purity, I am not a servant of the Devil but the ambassador of Him that destroys the Devil. I am come to form a marriage treaty, not to devise plots. So far then was he from allowing her to be harassed by distracting thoughts, lest he should be counted a servant unfaithful to his trust.

CHRYS. But he who earns favor in the sight of God has nothing to fear. Hence it follows, For you have found favor before God. But how shall any one find it, except through the means of his humility. For God gives grace to the humble.

GREEK EX. For the Virgin found favor with God, in that decking her own soul in the bright robes of chastity, she prepared a dwelling-place pleasing to God. Not only did she retain her virginity inviolate, but her conscience also she kept from stain. As many had found favor before Mary, he goes on to state what was peculiar to her. Behold, you shall conceive in your womb.

GREEK EX. By the word behold, he denotes rapidity and actual presence, implying that with the utterance of the word the conception is accomplished.

GREEK EX. You shall conceive in your womb, that he might show that our Lord from the very Virgin's womb, and of our substance, took our flesh upon Him. For the Divine Word came to purify man's nature and birth, and the first elements of our generation. And so without sin and human seed, passing through every stage as we do, He is conceived in the flesh, and carried in the womb for the space of nine months.

GREEK EX. But since it happens also that to the spiritual mind is given in an especial manner to conceive the Divine Spirit, and bring forth the Spirit of salvation, as says the Prophet; therefore he added, And you shall bring forth a Son.

AMBROSE; But all are not as Mary, that when they conceive the word of the Holy Spirit, they bring forth; for some put forth the word prematurely, others have Christ in the womb, but not yet formed.

GREG. NYSS. While the expectation of child-birth strikes a woman with terror, the sweet mention of her offspring calms her, as it is added, And you shall call his name Jesus. The coming of the Savior is the banishing of all fear.

THEOPHYL; Jesus is interpreted Savior, or Healing.

GREEK EX. And he says, You shall call, not His father shall call, for He is without a father as regards His lower birth, as He is without a mother in respect of the higher.

CYRIL; But, this name was given anew to the Word in adaptation to His nativity in the flesh; as that prophecy said, You shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord has named.

GREEK EX. But as this name was common to Him with the successor of Moses, the angel therefore implying that He should not be after Joshua's likeness, adds, He shall be great.

AMBROSE; It was said also of John, that he shall be great, but of him indeed as of a great man, of Christ, as of the great God. For abundantly is poured forth the power of God; widely the greatness of the heavenly substance extended, neither confined by place, nor grasped by thought; neither determined by calculation, nor altered by age.

ORIGEN; See then the greatness of the Savior, how it is diffused over the whole world. Go up to heaven, see there how it has filled the heavenly places; carry your thoughts down to the deep, behold, there too He has descended. If you see this, then, in like manner, behold you fulfilled in very deed, He shall be great.

GREEK EX. The assumption of our flesh does not diminish ought from the loftiness of the Deity, but rather exalts the lowness of man's nature. Hence it follows, And he shall be called the Son of the Highest. Not, you shall give Him the name, but He Himself shall be called. By whom, but His Father of like substance with Himself? For no one has known the Son but the Father. But He in Whom exists the infallible knowledge of His Son, is the true interpreter as to the name which should be given Him, when He says, This is my beloved Son; for such indeed from everlasting He is, though His name was not revealed till now; therefore he says, He shall be called, not shall be made or begotten. For before the worlds He was of like substance with the Father. Him therefore you shall conceive; His mother you shall become; Him shall your virgin shrine enclose, Whom the heavens were not able to contain.

CHRYS. But since it seems shocking or unworthy to some men that God should inhabit a body, is the Sun, I would ask, the heat whereof is felt by each body that receives its rays, at all sullied as to its natural purity? Much more then does the Sun of Righteousness, in taking upon Himself a most pure body from the Virgin's womb, escape not only defilement, but even show forth His own mother in greater holiness.

GREEK EX. And to make the Virgin mindful of the prophets, he adds, And the Lord God shall give to him the seat of David, that she might know clearly, that He Who is to be born of her is that very Christ, Whom the prophets promised should be born of the seed of David.

CYRIL; Not however from Joseph proceeded the most pure descent of Christ. For from one and the same line of connection had sprung both Joseph and the Virgin, and from this the only-begotten had taken the form of man. BASIL; Our Lord sat not on the earthly throne of David, the Jewish kingdom having been transferred to Herod. The seat of David is that on which our Lord reestablished His spiritual kingdom which should never be destroyed. Hence it follows, And he shall reign over the house of Jacob.

CHRYS. Now He assigns to the present house of Jacob all those who were of the number of the Jews that believed on Him. For as Paul says, They are not all Israel which are of Israel, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

THEOPHYL; Or by the house of Jacob he means the whole Church which either sprang from a good root, or though formerly a wild olive branch, has yet been for a reward of its faith grafted into the good olive tree.

GREEK EX. But to reign for ever is of none save God alone; and hence though because of the incarnation- t nation Christ is said to receive the seat of David, yet as being Himself God He is acknowledged to be the eternal King. It follows, And his kingdom shall have no end, not in that He is God, but in that He is man also. Now indeed He has the kingdom of many nations, but finally he shall reign over all, when all things shall be put under Him.

THEOPHYL; Let Nestorius then cease to say that the Virgin's Son is only man, and to deny that He is taken up by the Word of God into the unity of the Person. For the Angel when he says that the very same has David for His father whom he declares is called the Son of the Highest, demonstrates the one Person of Christ in two natures. The Angel uses the future tense not because, as the Heretics say, Christ was not before Mary, but because in the same person, man with God shares the same name of Son.

34. Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35. And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall he born of you shall be called the Son of God.

AMBROSE; It was Mary's part neither to refuse belief in the Angel, nor too hastily take to herself the divine message. How subdued her answer is, compared with the words of the Priest. Then said Mary to the Angel, How shall this be? She says, How shall this be? He answers, Whereby shall I know this? He refuses to believe that which he says he does not know, and seeks as it were still further authority for belief. She avows herself willing to do that which she doubts not will be done, but how, she is anxious to know. Mary had read, Behold, she shall conceive and bear a son. She believed therefore that it should be but how it was to take place she had never read, for even to so great a prophet this had not been revealed. So great a mystery was not to be divulged by the mouth of man, but of an Angel.

GREG. NYSS. Hear the chaste words of the Virgin. The Angel tells her she shall bear a son, but she rests upon her virginity, deeming her inviolability a more precious thing than the Angel's declaration. Hence she says, Seeing that I know not a man.

BASIL; Knowledge is spoken of in various ways. The wisdom of our Creator is called knowledge, and an acquaintance with His mighty works, the keeping also of His commandments, and the constant drawing near to Him; and besides these the marriage union is called knowledge as it is here.

GREG. NYSS. These words of Mary are a token of what she was pondering in the secrets of her heart; for if for the sake of the marriage union she had wished to be espoused to Joseph, why was she seized with astonishment when the conception was made known to her? seeing in truth she might herself be expecting at the time to become a mother according to the law of nature. But because it was meet that her body being presented to God as an holy offering should be kept inviolate, therefore she says, Seeing that I know not a man. As if she said, Notwithstanding that you who speak are an Angel, yet that I should know a man is plainly an impossible thing. How then can I be a mother, having no husband? For Joseph I have acknowledged as my betrothed.

GREEK EX. But mark, how the Angel solves the Virgin's doubts, and shows to her the unstained marriage and the unspeakable birth. And the Angel answered, and said to her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you.

CHRYS. As if he said, Look not for the order of nature in things which transcend and overpower nature. Do you say, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Nay rather, shall it happen to you for this very reason, that you have never known a husband. For if you had, you would not have been thought worthy of the mystery, not that marriage is unholy, but virginity more excellent. It became the common Lord of all both to take part with us, and to differ with us in His nativity; for the being born from the womb, He shared in common with us, but in that He was born without cohabitation, He was exalted far above us.

GREG. NYSS. O blessed is that womb which because of the overflowing purity of the Virgin Mary has drawn to itself the gift of life! For in others scarcely indeed shall a pure soul obtain the presence of the Holy Spirit, but in her the flesh is made the receptacle of the Spirit.

ID. For the tables of our nature which guilt had broken, the true Lawgiver has formed anew to Himself from our dust without cohabitation, creating a body capable of taking, His divinity, which the finger of God has carved, that is to say, the Spirit coming upon the Virgin.

ID. Moreover, the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. Christ is the power of the most high King, who by the coming of the Holy Spirit is formed in the Virgin.

GREG By the term overshadowing, both natures of the Incarnate God are signified. For shadow is formed by light and matter. But the Lord by His Divine nature is light. Because then immaterial light was to be embodied in the Virgin's womb, it is well said to her, The power of the Highest shall overshadow you, that is, the human body in you shall receive an immaterial light of divinity. For this is said to Mary for the heavenly refreshing of her soul.

THEOPHYL; You shall conceive then not by the seed of man whom you know not, but by the operation of the Holy Spirit with which you are filled. There shall be no flame of desire in you when the Holy Spirit shall overshadow you.

GREG. NYSS. Or he says, overshadow you, because as a shadow takes its shape from the character of those bodies which go before it, so the signs of the Son's Deity will appear from the power of the Father. For as in us a certain life-giving power is seen in the material substance, by which man is formed; so in the Virgin, has the power of the Highest in like manner, by the life-giving Spirit, taken from the Virgin's body a fleshly substance inherent in the body to form a new man. Hence it follows, Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you.

ATHAN. For we confess that which then was taken up from Mary to be of the nature of man and a most real body, the very same also according to nature with our own body. For Mary is our sister, seeing we have all descended from Adam. BASIL; Hence also, St. Paul says, God sent forth his Son, born not (by a woman) but of a woman. For the words by a woman might convey only a mere passing expression of birth, but when it is said, of a woman, there is openly declared a communion of nature between the son and the parent.

GREG. To distinguish His holiness from ours, Jesus is stated in an especial manner to be born holy. For we although indeed made holy, are not born so, for we are constrained by the very condition of our corruptible nature to cry out with the Prophet, Behold, I was conceived in iniquity. But He alone is in truth holy, who was not conceived by the cementing of a fleshly union, nor as the heretics rave, one person in His human nature, another in His divine; not conceived and brought forth a mere man, and afterwards by his merits, obtained that He should be God, but the Angel announcing and the Spirit coming, first the Word in the womb, afterwards within the womb the Word made flesh. Whence it follows, Shall be called the Son of God.

GREEK EX. But observe, how the Angel has declared the whole Trinity to the Virgin, making mention of the Holy Spirit, the Power, and the Most High, for the Trinity its indivisible.

36. And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.

CHRYS. Seeing that his previous words had overcome the mind of the virgin, the angel drops his discourse to a humbler subject, persuading her by reference to sensible things. Hence he says, And, behold, Elisabeth your cousin, &c. Mark the discretion of Gabriel; he did not remind her of Sarah, or Rebecca, or Rachel, because they were examples of ancient times, but he brings forward a recent event, that he might the more forcibly strike her mind. For this reason also he noticed the age, saying, She also has conceived a son in her old age; and the natural infirmity also. As it follows, And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For not immediately at the beginning of Elisabeth's conception did he make this announcement, but after the space of six months, that the swelling of her womb might confirm its truth.

GREG. NAZ. But some one will ask, How is Christ related to David, since Mary sprang from the blood of Aaron, the angel having declared Elisabeth to be her kinswoman? But this was brought about by the Divine counsel, to the end that the royal race might be united to the priestly stock; that Christ, Who is both King and Priest, might be descended from both according to the flesh. For it is written, that Aaron, the first High Priest according to the law, took from the tribe of Judah for his wife Elisabeth, the daughter of Aminadab. And observe the most holy administration of the Spirit, in ordering that the wife of Zacharias should be called Elisabeth, so bringing us back to that Elisabeth whom Aaron married.

THEOPHYL; So it was then, lest the virgin should despair of being able to bear a son, that she received the example of one both old and barren about to bring forth, in order that she might learn that all things are possible with God, even those which seem to be opposed to the order of nature. Whence it follows, For there shall be no word impossible with God.

CHRYS. For the Lord of nature can do all things as He will, Who executes and disposes all things, holding the reins of life and death.

AUG, But whoever says, "If God is omnipotent, let Him cause those things which have been done to have not been done," does not perceive that he says, "Let Him cause those things which are true, in that very respect in which they are true to be false." For He may cause a thing not to be which was, as when He makes a man who began to be by birth, not to be by death. But who can say that He makes not to be that which no longer is in being? For whatever is past is no longer in being. But if aught can happen to a thing, that thing is still in being to which any thing happens, and if it is, how is it past? Therefore that is not in being which we have truly said has been, because the truth is, in our opinions, not in that thing which no longer is. But this opinion God can not make false; and we do not so call God omnipotent as supposing also that He could die. He plainly is alone truly called omnipotent, who truly is, and by whom alone that is, whatever in any wise exists, whether spirit or body.

AMBROSE; Behold now the humility, the devotion of the virgin. For it follows, But Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord. She calls herself His handmaid, who is chosen to be His mother, so far was she from being exalted by the sudden promise. At the same time also by calling herself handmaid, she claimed to herself in no other way the prerogative of such great grace than that she might do what was commanded her. For about to bring forth One meek and lowly, she was bound herself to show forth lowliness. As it follows, Be it to me according to your word. You have her submission, you see her wish. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, signifies the readiness of duty. Be it to me according to your word, the conception of the wish.

GREEK EX. Some men will highly extol one thing, some another, in these words of the virgin. One man, for example, her constancy, another her willingness of obedience; one man her not being tempted by the great and glorious promises of the great archangel; another, her self-command in not giving an instant assent, equally avoiding both the heedlessness of Eve and the disobedience of Zacharias. But to me the depth of her humility is an object no less worthy of admiration

GREG. Through an ineffable sacrament of a holy conception and a birth inviolable, agreeable to the truth of each nature, the same virgin was both the handmaid and mother of the Lord.

THEOPHYL; Having received the consent of the virgin, the angel soon returns heavenward, as it follows, And the angel departed from her.

EUSEB. Not only having obtained what he wished, but wondering at her virgin beauty, and the ripeness of her virtue.

Catena Aurea Luke 1
42 posted on 12/08/2011 7:37:14 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


Annunciation

Andrea della Robbia

c. 1493
Glazed terracotta, 154 x 285 cm
Cloister, Spedale degli Innocenti, Florence

43 posted on 12/08/2011 7:38:43 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
A Christian Pilgrim

HOW MUCH MORE HOLY MUST BE THE ONE BEING FROM WHOM THE HOLY ONE OF GOD TOOK HUMAN FLESH 

(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, 8 December 2011) 

Gospel Reading: Lk 1:26-38 

First Reading: Gen 3:9-15,20; Psalms: Ps 98:1-4; Second Reading: Eph 1:3-6,11-12 


The Scripture Text

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, full of grace, 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 favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father  David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Lk 1:26-38 RSV) 

Throughout the ages, God’s preservation of Mary from the stain of original sin has always fascinated and occupied the minds of Christians. How was it that Christian believers were led over centuries of reflection to believe in the Immaculate Conception?

Various points from the Bible impressed these praying Christians seeking the light of God’s revelation for their minds. One was the thoroughness of God’s preparation. They saw that God had a plan and a purpose for creation (see Eph 1:9-10;Col1:25-27) and that each believer was chosen in Christ ‘before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4). God prepares for the future – a truth expressed in each prophecy of the Messiah and in each “type” or forerunner of Jesus in the Old Testament (Isaac, Joseph, Joshua, David, Jeremiah, to name a few). God did not choose Mary to be the mother of His Son as an afterthought.

When Christians prayed about the holiness of the priests who ministered in the sanctuary (see Lev 21:6; 22:3), they realized how much more holy must be the one being from whom the Holy One of God took human flesh. If the temple in Jerusalemdemanded such ritual purity, would not the temple where the Lord took on flesh need to be free of the stain of sin and impurity? Similar reflections focused on the word translated as “overshadow” in relation to Mary (Lk 1:35), a word with strong Old Testament and Exodus connections. Comparisons were also made with the sanctification of John the Baptist in his mother’s womb (Lk 1:15,41,44).

All these thoughts were present in the minds of many praying Christians as they pondered the meaning of the angel Gabriel’s address to Mary: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28). Today, let us ponder God’s perfect preparation for the incarnation. Does it not seem right that God would want a pure and spotless vessel as the first earthly  abode for His pure and spotless Son? What God does is sometimes too great for us to imagine or understand. Only with the aid of the Holy Spirit can we confront this mystery.

Additional notes: The early Fathers of the Church, beginning with Justin would see in the above story of Annunciation the reversal of the process of sin: Mary listened to the angel; she was obedient to God’s words; in a more profound sense she is the mother of all those who live through the redeeming death of her Son who finally conquers evil, Satan and death

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, we rejoice in the privilege of our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, which preserved her from the stain of sin by the power of Christ’s redeeming death, and prepared her to be the Mother of God. By Your Holy Spirit, teach us to be ever humble, obedient, and faithful to Your call to holiness, hence imitating our Mother, Mary. Thank you Father. Amen. 


44 posted on 12/08/2011 8:15:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 8, 2011:

To thrive, love requires attention, communication and time

(Follow the Way of Love, USCCB).


45 posted on 12/08/2011 8:23:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Vultus Christi

Immaculata: Hope of Thy Children Scarred by Sin

 on December 8, 2011 11:26 AM |
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I wrote this prayer of consecration in 2007 while supplying for a fortnight as chaplain to the Benedictines of the Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament at the Monastery of Notre-Dame d'Orient in the Avéyron in France.

One may find this prayer of consecration when one needs to entrust particular souls in difficulty to the Immaculate Conception. When a priest prays it, he may want to don the stole and pray it before a blessed image of the Most Holy Virgin. This consecration is appropriate for the unbinding and healing of situations marked by sin and moral suffering. The Immaculate Virgin Mary is ever-ready to intervene in the lives of her children. She is the Mother of Mercy and the Mediatrix of All Graces. I keep a record of the persons for whom I have prayed in this way in order to thank the Mother of God for her interventions and magnify with her the Most Holy Trinity. Here is the prayer, first in my English translation,and then in the original French text.

Efficacious Consecration of Persons
to the Pierced and Immaculate Heart of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

In the name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Most holy Virgin Mary.
-- thou whom the FATHER didst preserve from the first instant of thy conception
from all evil and from the least shadow of sin,
-- thou whom the Precious Blood of JESUS didst render immaculate and all-beautiful, even before that same Blood was formed in thy virginal womb and poured out upon the altar of the Cross,
-- thou whom the HOLY GHOST didst fill full with every grace in view of the glorious motherhood of the Son of God for which thou wast created,
-- thou art she who crusheth the head of the ancient serpent,
thou art she who alone overcometh the evil that is in us and around us.

To thee, O Mary,
thy Son hast entrusted the liberation of souls enchained by sin,
the healing of wounded souls,
and the sanctification of souls who have suffered evil's worst ravages.

Thou hast only to open thy immaculate hands over them,
and they are shot through with the rays of thy purity.
Through thee, entereth the light to shine in the darkest places.
Through thee, souls are washed in a downpour of graces.
Through thee, the Holy Ghost giveth succour to the weakest souls
and to the sterile a wonderful fecundity.

Thou, O Mary, art the only hope of thy children scarred by sin
and poisoned by its venom.
To those whom the enemy hath made to go astray in bitterness and in fear,
thou openest the path of life and of beatitude.

This is why, impelled today by the boldness that cometh of the Holy Spirit,
and by a confidence that is altogether that of a son,
[and when the consecration is made by a priest:
and in virtue of my priesthood,]
I entrust to thee N. and N.,
in consecrating them to thy pierced and immaculate Heart.

Show thyself the Mother of mercy.
Show thyself our all-powerful Queen,
for there is nothing that resisteth thy supplication
in the presence of Jesus, the King of Love.

Mediatrix of all graces,
save these souls from the tentacles of evil.
Heal them, even in those secret and painful wounds,
that only thy most gentle motherly hand can touch
without adding to their pain.

From this moment on,
these souls are consecrated entirely to thee.
Do thou for them whatsoever thy maternal Heart will suggest to thee.
Purify them in the Precious Blood of thy Jesus the Lamb without stain,
so that now, and even unto the ages of ages,
they may live for the praise of the glory
of the Father + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


Consécration efficace des personnes
au Coeur transpercé et immaculé
de la Très Sainte Vierge Marie, Mère de Dieu

Au nom du Père, + et du Fils, et du Saint Esprit. Amen.

Très sainte Vierge Marie,
-- toi que le PÈRE a préservée dès le premier instant de ta conception
de tout mal et de la moindre ombre du péché,
-- toi que le Précieux Sang de JÉSUS a rendu immaculée et toute belle,
avant même d'avoir été formé dans ton sein virginal
et répandu sur l'autel de la Croix,
-- toi que l'ESPRIT SAINT a comblée de toute grâce
en vue de la glorieuse maternité du Fils de Dieu
pour laquelle tu as été créée,
tu es celle qui écrase la tête de l'antique serpent,
tu es celle qui seule parvient à vaincre le mal qui est en nous
et autour de nous.

À toi, ô Marie,
ton Fils a confié la libération des âmes enchaînées par le péché,
la guérison des âmes blessées,
et la sanctification des âmes qui ont souffert les pires ravages du mal.

Tu n'as qu'à ouvrir tes mains immaculées au-dessus d'elles,
et elles sont pénétrées par les dards de ta pureté.
Par toi, entre la lumière pour briller dans les lieux les plus obscurs.
Par toi, les âmes sont lavées dans une pluie de grâces.
Par toi, l'Esprit Saint vient au secours des plus faibles,
et donne aux stériles une merveilleuse fécondité.

Toi, ô Marie,
tu es l'unique espérance de tes enfants meurtris par le péché
et empoisonnés par son venin.
À ceux que l'ennemi a fait errer dans l'amertume et la crainte,
tu ouvres le chemin de la vie et de la béatitude.

Voilà pourquoi, aujourd'hui,
animé de l'audace qui me vient de l'Esprit Saint,
et d'une confiance toute filiale,
[quand la consécration est faite par un prêtre :
et fort de la vertu de mon sacerdoce,]
je te confie N. et N.,
en les consacrant à ton Cœur transpercé et immaculé.

Agis maintenant en Mère de miséricorde.
Agis en Reine toute-puissante,
car rien ne peut résister à ta supplication auprès de Jésus, le Roi d'Amour.

Médiatrice de toutes grâces,
sauve ces âmes de l'emprise du mal.
Guéris-les jusque dans ces blessures secrètes et douloureuses
que seule ta main très douce de Mère peut toucher
sans augmenter la souffrance.

À partir de ce moment,
ces âmes te sont entièrement consacrées.
Fais pour elles tout ce que ton Cœur maternel te dira.
Purifie-les dans le Précieux Sang de ton Jésus, l'Agneau sans tache,
pour que, de nouveau, et jusque dans l'éternité,
elles vivent à la louange de la gloire
du Père, + et du Fils, et du Saint Esprit. Amen.


46 posted on 12/08/2011 8:29:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

To the Spiritual Mothers of Priests

 on December 8, 2011 11:45 AM |
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7 December 2011
Cathedral of the Holy Family
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Last evening, I was privileged to offer Holy Mass in the presence of the Spiritual Mothers of Priests of the Diocese of Tulsa. The Mass--of the Immaculate Conception--was offered in humble thanksgiving for my twenty-five years of priesthood. It marked, at the same time, the third anniversary of the beginning of the Spiritual Mothers of Priests in our diocese. A lovely reception followed. I am immensely grateful to the Spiritual Mothers of Priests of the Diocese of Tulsa for saying "Yes" with magnanimity to a special vocation that, while hidden, is bearing fruit in the lives and in the hearts of priests the world over.

A Song From the Womb

"Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God. He has clothed me with the garment of salvation, and with the robe of justice He has wrapped me about, as a bride adorned with her jewels" (Is 61:10). A song intoned from the womb! The Church takes the jubilant words of the prophet Isaiah and places them in the mouth of the tiniest and most vulnerable of human creatures, an embryo implanted in the mothers womb, a human person, already full of grace: this is the Immaculate Conception. The mother is Saint Anne. The child full of grace will be named Mary.

Oh, the audacity of the sacred liturgy! The Immaculate Conception begins to sing in the cloister of the womb. If you would delight the heart of God, says little Mary, learn my song and sing with me. Nothing so ravishes the heart of God as the song of one very little, very vulnerable, very poor, and, at the same time, immensely great in the mind of God. Here is the immaculate child destined to crush the head of the ancient serpent. Here is the immaculate child lowly, poor, and inexpressibly rich in the mercy that clothes her like a garment and in a holiness that shines more brightly than a million galaxies in the firmament's darkest night.

Prelude to the Magnificat

"Gaudens, gaudebo in Domino." "Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord." The melody of this evening's Introit soared pure as crystal in a kind of ecstatic cry of undiluted joy in God. Mary herself intoned the first chant of the Mass today: a kind of prelude to her Magnificat. Already -- just conceived -- the child Mary begins to sing, and the whole Church takes up her song. On no other feast of the year does the Virgin Mary open the Mass by singing in the first person singular. "Rejoicing, I will rejoice" (Is 61:10). Mary's message, from the first instant of her Immaculate Conception, is one of joy in God.

The Tree of the Cross

The joy of the Immaculate Conception springs from the mystery of the Cross. The Collect says that Mary was "preserved from all stain" in foresight of the death of Christ on the tree of the Cross. Yes, in foresight, for there was never a moment when Mary was not present in the mind of God: present to God in all her loveliness, in the immaculate splendor that would be hers because, from all eternity she was destined to be the all-holy Mother of God.

Conceived in the Mind of God

Given that Mary was conceived into a race rebellious and hostile to God, she too had to be redeemed, bought back from the bondage of Adam's progeny in this valley of tears. God, conceiving her in His mind, before she was conceived in the womb of Saint Anne, willed her, and saw her immaculate.

The Precious Blood of the Son

The Father, from all eternity, willed an Immaculate Mother for His Only-Begotten Son. Thus did the Father accept, in advance, the Precious Blood of the Son shed in His most bitter Passion, not in atonement for any sin of Mary's, but in order that by the power of that Blood, the very Blood formed for the Word by the power of the Holy Ghost in her virginal womb, Mary might enter the world pure and free, with a purity and freedom unknown in the world since the creation of Eve
Holy and Immaculate Before the Father

In the Collect we asked that, by Mary's intercession, we might come into the presence of God "with pure hearts." Saint Paul says that "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 1:3) chose us in Christ "that we should be holy and immaculate before Him" (Eph 1:4). This standing before God in holiness contrasts with the fear of Adam and Eve who, upon hearing the sound of God in the garden, "hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden" (Gen 3:8). The naked Christ, exposed to the gaze of the Father on the tree of the Cross, casts out the fear that caused our first parents to make of the trees of the garden a screen between themselves and the Face of God. The first effect of the grace of Christ is that it makes us come into the presence of the Father, "free from fear" (Lk 1:73). "For you have not received the spirit of bondage in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: 'Abba, Father'" (Rom 8:15).

Blessed the Clean of Heart

In the Collect, we further asked that we might come unto God with clean hearts. "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God" (Mt 5:8). Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is the Mother of the clean of heart. By her intercession, she obtains from Christ, again and again, the application of "the blood of his Cross" (Col 1:20) to every heart darkened and defiled by sin. The Collect inspires us to pray, specifically through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the poignant petition of King David: "A pure heart create for me, O God" (Ps 50:12). And you, dear spiritual mothers of priests, will you not make this same prayer for every priest as he ascends the altar to offer the Holy Sacrifice? "A pure heart create for him, Thy priest, O God."

The Secret of the Mass returns to the same petition, asking that "we may be delivered from all our faults" by Mary's intercession. A culpis omnibus liberemur! What a stupendous petition! And it is a petition that the Father grants freely and graciously, for all that is sought through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is, by that very fact, asked through the Heart of Jesus, and nothing of what is asked through the Hearts of Jesus and Mary will the Father deny. "If you ask the Father any thing in my name, He will give it to you" (Jn 16:23).

Glorious Things

The Communion Antiphon will deploy a phrase from Psalm 86, a song in praise of Zion, the city cherished by the Lord "Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God" (Ps 86:3), but in place of "city of God" will say "Mary." "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O Mary." Yes, glorious things, because from Mary "has arisen the Sun of Justice, Christ our God" (cf. Mal 4:2).

In the Radiance of Christ

In fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy, the "sun of justice" rises from the womb of the Virgin "with healing in His wings" (Mal 4:2), that is to say with wholeness for those fractured and fragmented by sin; with purity for those fallen into the filth of every manner of vice; with beauty for those distorted by the attempts of the Evil One to twist and disfigure men and women created in God's image and likeness. Mary, the Immaculate Mother of the clean of heart, is also the Mother of all those whom she brings to be healed in the radiance of Christ, the Sun of Justice.

Spiritual Mothers Collaborate With Our Blessed Lady

Spiritual Mothers, if you would continue faithful and fearless in your mission: entrust your priests--all priests--to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Weaknesses do not shock Our Blessed Lady. The sight of sin does not repulse her. Even betrayals do not make her bitter. She was, I think, even more of a mother to Peter after his shameful denial of Jesus than before. Speak to the Immaculate Virgin confidently, as mothers to a Mother. In the priests entrusted to your own maternal care, collaborate with Mary; unite your hearts to her Immaculate Heart. There are no sins so dark, no vices so entrenched in a soul, no trials so harsh, no work so burdensome that Mary cannot enter in, ministering mercy, delivering from enslavement, infusing hope, and making light the burden.

The First and Last Word Given to Joy

Return, for a moment, to the Introit. "Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God. He has clothed me with the garment of salvation, and with the robe of justice he has wrapped me about, as a bride adorned with her jewels" (Is 61:10). This is the song of every new beginning in grace. For me, for us, this New Year of Grace will be marked by a new beginning, or rather, by continuity in the newness that characterizes every thing wrought by Him who says, "Behold, I make all things new."

The New Song

Sing then the new song of every man and woman once paralyzed by fear, but now set free to stand unafraid with the Son of the Virgin in the sight of the Father. Sing the new song of every heart darkened and stained by sin, but now made bright and clean by grace. Sing the new song of every life wounded by sin, but healed by the Sun of Justice who, in a few moments, will be lifted above the altar "with healing in his wings" (Mal 4:2). The last word and the first belong to joy. This joy is Mary's. And she wants you to have it, this evening, and for ever.


47 posted on 12/08/2011 8:31:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Holiness Is Just a “Yes” Away!
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8, 2011).

December 8, 2011
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Luke 1: 26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Introductory Prayer:  Lord, you are the author of life and of love. You wish to draw me closer to you, and yet I seem to find so many ways to escape from you. Forgive my dullness and coldness of heart. At least here I am now, hungry to know you and love you more and more.

Petition:  Heavenly Father, help me to decide once and for all to strive for holiness.

1. God Makes the First Choice: When we read the Old Testament we marvel at the many accounts of people chosen by God to fulfill a certain mission. We are familiar with the calling of the prophets Isaiah (cf. Isaiah 6), Jeremiah (cf. Jeremiah 1), Moses (cf. Exodus 3), and so on. Mary is the New Testament prototype of God’s calling. In all cases, God is the one who takes the initiative; he sends his messenger to communicate his choice. For Mary, the humble girl of Nazareth, this calling comes unexpectedly and is beyond purely human possibilities. For this reason she is troubled by the words of the angel Gabriel and wonders about the greeting he gives. Do I keep in mind that God’s plan for my life comes of his own initiative? Have I given my answer yet? Lord, help me to cooperate with you fully in putting into action your ‘golden’ blueprint for my life.

2. A Case Presented to Confirm Freedom: God doesn’t want Mary to act blindly; he wants a response that involves her whole heart, mind and soul. For this reason the angel Gabriel answers Mary’s questions and concerns, which do not manifest doubt but, rather, humility in seeking to understand God’s will. God created Mary free of sin and filled her with grace and goodness. Yet he respects her freedom to choose to do his will. What a mystery that the all-powerful God who created all things and who lovingly cares for us should be so generous in respecting our freedom! Lord, keep me from abusing my freedom in willfully subjecting myself to the slavery of my passions: pride, vanity, sensuality.

3. Holiness Is Just a “Yes” Away: After hearing God’s messenger, Mary must give her answer. She does so with flying colors. Her generosity perfectly echoes God’s.  Every moment of the day is a new opportunity for us to imitate Mary’s excellent example. She dedicated her life to saying “yes” to everything God asked of her, no matter what it was. She was rewarded with the grace of the Assumption. Only saints get into heaven, so we need to dedicate ourselves to following the path of holiness, too. That means giving a simple, humble “yes” to every opportunity provided by God to become more Christ-like. Lord, give me the courage to offer you my life as a blank sheet of paper, so you can write whatever you wish upon it.

Conversation with Christ:  Jesus, I know that you are calling me to be more like you  today! I know this is not an easy task, but you will give me the grace to achieve such a high ideal. I need to trust you and to see everything as something you send my way to help me achieve my goal of holiness. Grant me the grace, motivation, and continued good examples of others to be generous like Mary, your Mother.

Resolution:  I will take a moment to encourage another person to strive for holiness, too. In a special way, I will be mindful to encourage young people to be open to the consecrated vocation, should the Lord be calling them.


48 posted on 12/08/2011 8:38:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Immaculately Conceived

December 8th, 2011 by Food For Thought

First Reading: Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm: Psalm 98:1-4
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

A shoeshine boy was working hard at his job of shining shoes. A silver medal danced at his neck as he slapped his shine cloth again and again across the shoes of a man.

After watching the medal for a while, the man said curiously, “Boy, what’s that thing around your neck?” “It’s a medal of the mother of Jesus,” said the boy. “But why her medal?” asked the man, “She’s no different from your mother.” “You could be right,” said the boy, “But there’s sure a big difference between her son and me.”

The man knocked the ashes from his cigar, slapped a twenty-peso bill in the boy’s hand, and walked off. That boy’s answer was not only good diplomacy, but also good theology. And both are sometimes necessary in talking to non-Catholics about Mary.

Many Protestants also recognize that Mary is somebody special. For example, the Protestant poet William Wordsworth once called Mary “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” Wordworth’s beautiful phrase explains why Catholics celebrate today’s feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s because Mary is indeed “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” She alone was preserved from sin.

Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant reformation in Germany. He had a great devotion to Mary. Not only did he write about her extensively, but he also kept a statue of her in his office. Years after Luther broke with the Church, Lutherans continued to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854. It holds that Mary was untouched by sin from the moment of her conception. In other words, she was born free from original sin and remained free from sin the rest of her life.

Belief in the Immaculate Conception is as old as Christianity itself, and is also in perfect agreement with the teaching of the Scripture. For example, take today’s first reading. There, God says to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.” Christians have universally held that the woman referred to is ultimately Mary, and that the offspring is ultimately Jesus.

In today’s Gospel reading, the Angel Gabriel says to Mary, “Rejoice, O highly favored daughter…. Blessed are you among women.” The Angel’s salutation puts Mary in a class by herself, above all women of the world.

When you think of it, it’s only fitting that God should protect Mary from sin. After all, she would be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God. And isn’t it fitting that the Son of God should be born of a sinless mother?

We in the Philippines always have a special devotion to Mary. Our country is consecrated to her under the title of the Immaculate Conception. And so, today we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception with special joy and gratitude. For it is, in a special way, “our” feast.

PRAYER
“Heavenly Father, you offer us abundant grace, mercy, and forgiveness through your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to live a grace-filled life as Mary did by believing in your promises and by giving you my unqualified “yes” to your will and to your plan for my life.”


49 posted on 12/08/2011 8:52:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Thursday, December 8, 2011 >> Immaculate Conception
Saint of the Day
 
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12

View Readings
Psalm 98:1-4
Luke 1:26-38

 

WOMAN-LIBERATION

 
"The woman answered, 'The serpent tricked me into it.' " —Genesis 3:13
 

In the wake of the first sin, on the worst day in history, the Lord said to the serpent: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel" (Gn 3:15). God's curse of the serpent is a promise of mercy for us. The woman and the snake will hate each other and be at war. The offspring of the woman will have a decided advantage and win the war.

The woman is Eve, the chosen people, the Church, and Mary. On Calvary, moments before His death, Jesus called Mary "woman" (Jn 19:26). He told her to adopt all His disciples. Therefore, the offspring of the woman is not only the human race and Jesus but also Jesus' disciples. Thus, God has promised us victory over "the ancient serpent known as the devil or Satan" (Rv 12:9).

Jesus destroyed "the devil's works" (1 Jn 3:8) and even swallowed up death in victory (1 Cor 15:54). From the moment of her conception, Mary shared perfectly in her Son's time-transcending victory over Satan. We, as disciples of Jesus and adopted children of Mary, also share greatly in Jesus' victory.

Today's great, solemn feast is a celebration of victory, hope, Mary, and discipleship. Today is a celebration of Jesus — God, Man, Savior, and Lord. Alleluia! Praise the Lord Jesus!

 
Prayer: Father, may I be free from sin by repenting and constantly depending on Your grace. "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you."
Promise: "Nothing is impossible with God." —Lk 1:37
Praise: Praise Jesus, Whose Presence was the reason for Mary's Immaculate Conception.

50 posted on 12/08/2011 8:54:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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