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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-29-11, Opt. Mem. St. Thomas Becket, Bishop, Martyr
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-29-11 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/28/2011 9:49:43 PM PST by Salvation

December 29, 2011

 

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

 

Reading 1 1 Jn 2:3-11

Beloved:
The way we may be sure that we know Jesus
is to keep his commandments.
Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:
whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you
but an old commandment that you had from the beginning.
The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
And yet I do write a new commandment to you,
which holds true in him and among you,
for the darkness is passing away,
and the true light is already shining.
Whoever says he is in the light,
yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness.
Whoever loves his brother remains in the light,
and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.
Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;
he walks in darkness
and does not know where he is going
because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty go before him;
praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Gospel lk 2:22-35

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

"Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel."

The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
(and you yourself a sword will pierce)
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; christmas; prayer; saints
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 12/28/2011 9:49:52 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
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2 posted on 12/28/2011 9:53:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 John 2:3-11

Keeping the Commandments


[3] And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his command-
ments. [4] He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar,
and the truth is not in him; [5] but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for
God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: [6] he who says
he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

[7] Beloved, I am writing to you no new commandment, but an old command-
ment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the world
which you have heard. [8] Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is
true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light
is already shining. [9] He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in
the darkness still. [10] He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it
there is no cause for stumbling. [11] But he who hates his brother is in the dark-
ness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because
the darkness has blinded his eyes.

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

3-6. “By this we may be sure”: a phrase that occurs often in this letter (cf., e.g.,
2:5, 18; 3:19, 24), usually to preface clear criteria for distinguishing doctrinal
and moral truth from error. In this instance, it has to do with keeping the
commandments being a sign of true knowledge of God.

For St John, knowing God is not a merely intellectual exercise nor does he mean
that the immensity of God can be grasped by man’s limited understanding. It re-
fers to something much simpler and more important: knowing God means being
united to him by faith and love — by grace. If this letter puts so much emphasis on
knowing God (cf., e.g., 2:14; 3:1; 4:6-8; 5:20) or knowing Jesus Christ (cf. 2:13-
14; 3:6), it may be because the heretics (particularly the Gnostics) were boasting
of having attained special knowledge of God, superior to that of ordinary faithful.
And so the Apostle describes what true knowledge of God consists in, using ex-
pressions which complement one another — knowing him (v. 4); in him who
knows God “truly love for God is perfected” (v. 5); abiding in him (v. 6).

“Keeping his commandments” (vv. 3 and 4), “Keeping his word” (v. 5), “walking
in the same way in which he walked” (v. 6): keeping the commandments is ab-
solutely necessary, because there is no room for faith without works (cf. 1 Jn 3:
17-18; Jas 2:14ff; Gal 5:6). Similarly, one must keep the word of God, that is,
accept all revelation docilely (an idea found very often in John: cf., e.g., Jn 5:38;
8:31, 51; 1 Jn 2:14). But, above all, Christians must identify their life with Christ’s;
St Prosper comments: “Walk as he walked: does that not mean giving up the
comforts he gave up, not being afraid of the kind of trials he bore, teaching what
he taught [...], persevering in helping even those who show no appreciation, pra-
ying for one’s enemies, being kind to evildoers, serenely tolerating the proud?”
(”De Vita Contemplativa”, 2, 21).

7-8. In a play of words, St John draw his readers’ attention to the commandment
of brotherly love, which he does on to describe in vv. 9-11. It is, he says, an old
commandment (v. 7) and at the same time a new one (v. 8). Old, because Chris-
tianity and charity are inseparable and that is something the faithful have known
“from the beginning”, that is, since they first received instruction; in some way,
it can be said that it is even pre-Christian, because it is impressed on the heart
of man. Yet it is new, because it is not out of date and has become a reality in
Christ and in Christians. The novelty lies not in the precept (which is to be found
in the Old Testament: cf. Lev 19:18) but in the standard which Jesus sets (”even
as I have loved you”: Jn 13:34) and in the fact that it covers everyone: we must
love everyone, friends and enemies, without distinction of race, or ideology, or
social status (cf. note on Jn 13:34-35).

Moreover, Christian love is not limited to seeking the earthly happiness of others,
but tries to lead all to faith and holiness: “What is perfection in love?” St Augus-
tine asks. “Loving our enemies and loving them so that they may be converted
into brothers. Our love should not be a material one. Wishing someone temporal
well-being is good; but, even if he does not have that, his soul should be secured
[...]. It is uncertain whether this life is useful or useless to someone; whereas life
in God is always useful. Therefore, love your enemies in such a way that they
become your brother; love them in such a way that you attract them to fellowship
with yourself in the Church” (”In Epist. Ioann. ad Parthos”, 1, 9).

9-11. In the special style of this letter, an application is made of the new com-
mandment, possibly to counter false teachers, who despised the ordinary faithful
and were sowing discord among the Christians. The rhythm of the language —
hate, love, hate — in which the positive idea is placed between two opposed ideas,
highlights the importance of brotherly love.

“The principal apostolate we Christians must carry out in the world,” St. J. Escri-
v writes, “and the best witness we can give of our faith, is to help bring about a
climate of genuine charity within the Church. For who indeed could feel attracted
to the Gospel if those who say they preach the Good News do not really love one
another, but spend their time attacking one another, spreading slander and quar-
relling?

“It is all too easy, and very fashionable, to say that you love everyone, Christians
and non-Christians alike. But if those who maintain this ill-treat their brothers in
the faith, I don’t see how their behavior can be anything but ‘pious hypocrisy’. By
contrast, when in the Heart of Christ we love those ‘who are children of the same
Father, and with us share the same faith and heirs to the same hope’ (Minucius
Felix, “Octavius”, 31), then our hearts expand and become fired with a longing to
bring everyone closer to our Lord” (”Friends of God”, 226).

Light/darkness: the action which began at 1:5 (”God is light”) ends with the repe-
tition of this contrasting imagery.

*********************************************************************************************
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.


3 posted on 12/28/2011 10:04:03 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 1 John 2:3-11 ©
We can be sure that we know God
only by keeping his commandments.
Anyone who says, ‘I know him’,
and does not keep his commandments,
is a liar,
refusing to admit the truth.
But when anyone does obey what he has said,
God’s love comes to perfection in him.
We can be sure that we are in God
only when the one who claims to be living in him
is living the same kind of life as Christ lived.
My dear people,
this is not a new commandment that I am writing to tell you,
but an old commandment
that you were given from the beginning,
the original commandment which was the message brought to you.
Yet in another way, what I am writing to you,
and what is being carried out in your lives as it was in his,
is a new commandment;
because the night is over
and the real light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light
but hates his brother
is still in the dark.
But anyone who loves his brother is living in the light
and need not be afraid of stumbling;
unlike the man who hates his brother and is in the darkness,
not knowing where he is going,
because it is too dark to see.

Psalm Psalm 95:1-3,5-6 ©
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
O sing a new song to the Lord,
  sing to the Lord all the earth.
  O sing to the Lord, bless his name.
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
Proclaim his help day by day,
  tell among the nations his glory
  and his wonders among all the peoples.
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
It was the Lord who made the heavens,
  his are majesty and state and power
  and splendour in his holy place.
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.

Gospel Acclamation Jn1:14,12
Alleluia, alleluia!
The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.
To all who received him he gave power to become children of God.
Alleluia!
Or
Alleluia, alleluia!
A light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:22-35 ©
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’

4 posted on 12/28/2011 10:10:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Francis and the Christmas crib.
Away in a Manger [St. Francis of Assisi and the first Nativity scene]

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5 posted on 12/28/2011 10:11:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
6 posted on 12/28/2011 10:13:14 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]
7 posted on 12/28/2011 10:14:19 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.

8 posted on 12/28/2011 10:15:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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]

9 posted on 12/28/2011 10:16:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

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
+

11 posted on 12/28/2011 10:18:18 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.


12 posted on 12/28/2011 10:18:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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]

13 posted on 12/28/2011 10:20:15 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.


14 posted on 12/28/2011 10:21:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Thursday, December 29, 2011
The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6
Luke 2:22-35

Recall to yourself that our Lord is the beloved Son of the living God; that He is Himself the God of all consolation, the sight of whom forms the beatitude of the angels and elect. And yet, what does He not suffer!

-- St Ignatius Loyola



15 posted on 12/28/2011 10:32:28 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. 


16 posted on 12/28/2011 10:33:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: TwoSwords

Caucus threads are closed to any poster who is not a member of the caucus.

For instance, if it says “Catholic Caucus” and you are not Catholic, do not post to the thread. However, if the poster of the caucus invites you, I will not boot you from the thread.

The “caucus” article and posts must not compare beliefs or speak in behalf of a belief outside the caucus.

There is no tolerance for posters coming onto a caucus thread claiming that they were once baptized into that belief and therefore are still a member of it due to the belief saying they are - even though they are not active in that belief and notoriously dispute that belief on “open” Religion Forum threads. The same holds for those who claim they are members because of their ancestry even though they are not active in that belief and notoriously dispute it on “open” RF threads.

That behavior is finessing the guidelines, it is flame baiting. No dice.

Also, there is little to no tolerance for non-members of a caucus coming onto the caucus thread to challenge whether or not it should be a caucus. Gross disruption usually follows.

http://www.freerepublic.com/~religionmoderator/


17 posted on 12/28/2011 10:57:23 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Salvation

Dec 29, Invitatory for Thursday of the 1st week of Christmas

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

Ant. Christ is born for us; come, let us adore him.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant.

The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him,
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship,
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people,
the flock he shepherds.

Ant.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me,
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant.

Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant.

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. Christ is born for us; come, let us adore him.

18 posted on 12/29/2011 3:03:01 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 29, Office of Readings for Thursday of the 1st week of Christmas

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 649
Proper of Seasons: 442

Christian Prayer:
Does not contain Office of Readings.

Office of Readings for the Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

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

Unto us a boy is born,
The King of all creation:
Came he to a world forlorn
The Lord of every nation,

Cradled in a stall was he
With sleepy cows and asses;
But the very beasts could see
That He all men surpasses.

Herod then with fear was filled:
‘A prince’, he said, ‘In Jewry!’
All the little boys he killed
At Bethl’em in his fury.

Now may Mary’s Son, who came
So long ago to love us,
Lead us all with hearts aflame
Unto the joys above us.

Omega and Alpha He!
Let the organ thunder,
While the choir with peals of glee
Doth rend the air asunder.

“Unto Us Is Born a Son” performed by St Paul’s Cathedral Choir; Traditional German carol

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 The Lord of power and might is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Psalm 46

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. The Lord of power and might is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Ant. 2 Fullness of peace will dawn on the day of the Lord, and he will be our King.

Psalm 72

I

O God, give your judgment to the king,
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
and your poor in right judgment.

May the mountains bring forth peace for the people
and the hills, justice.
May he defend the poor of the people
and save the children of the needy
and crush the oppressor.

He shall endure like the sun and the moon
from age to age.
He shall descend like rain on the meadow,
like raindrops on the earth.

In his days justice shall flourish
and peace till the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea,
from the Great River to earth’s bounds.

Before him his enemies shall fall,
his foes lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and the seacoasts
shall pay him tribute.

The kings of Sheba and Seba
shall bring him gifts.
Before him all kings shall fall prostrate,
all nations shall serve him.

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. Fullness of peace will dawn on the day of the Lord, and he will be our King.

Ant. 3 The Lord himself will come to save the poor.

II

For he shall save the poor when they cry
and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak
and save the lives of the poor.

From oppression he will rescue their lives,
to him their blood is dear.
Long may he live,
may the gold of Sheba be given him.
They shall pray for him without ceasing
and bless him all the day.

May corn be abundant in the land
to the peaks of the mountains.
May its fruit rustle like Lebanon;
may people flourish in the cities
like grass on the earth.

May his name be blessed for ever
and endure like the sun.
Every tribe shall be blessed in him,
all nations bless his name.

Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel,
who alone works wonders,
ever blessed his glorious name.

Let his glory fill the earth.
Amen! Amen!

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 himself will come to save the poor.

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.

When the shepherds saw the child.
They understood what the angel had said of him.

READINGS

First reading
The beginning of the letter of the apostle Paul to the Colossians
1:1-14
Thanksgiving and intercession

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the holy ones at Colossae, faithful brothers in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace.

We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in our prayers for you because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you bear toward all the saints – moved as you are by the hope held in store for you in heaven. You heard of this hope through the message of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, has borne fruit, and has continued to grow in your midst, as it has everywhere in the world. This has been the case from the day you first heard it and comprehended God’s gracious intention through the instructions of Epaphras, our dear fellow slave, who represents us as a faithful minister of Christ. He it was who told us of your love in the Spirit.

Ever since we heard this we have been praying for you unceasingly and asking that you may attain full knowledge of his will through perfect wisdom and spiritual insight. Then you will lead a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way. You will multiply good works of every sort and grow in the knowledge of God. By the might of his glory you will be endowed with the strength needed to stand fast, even to endure joyfully whatever may come, giving thanks to the Father for having made you worthy to share the lot of the saints in light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. Through him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.

RESPONSORY Colossians 1:12, 13; James 1:17

Let us give thanks to God our Father,
because he has rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.

Every good and perfect gift comes down to us from above, from the Father of light.
Because he has rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.

Second reading
From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot
In the fullness of time the fullness of divinity appeared

The goodness and humanity of God our Savior have appeared in our midst. We thank God for the many consolations he has given us during this sad exile of our pilgrimage here on earth. Before the Son of God became man his goodness was hidden, for God’s mercy is eternal, but how could such goodness be recognized? It was promised, but it was not experienced, and as a result few believed in it. Often and in many ways the Lord used to speak through the prophets. Among other things, God said: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. But what did men respond, thinking thoughts of affliction and knowing nothing of peace? They said: Peace, peace, there is no peace. This response made the angels of peace weep bitterly, saying: Lord, who has believed our message? But now men believe because they see with their own eyes, and because God’s testimony has now become even more credible. He has gone so far as to pitch his tent in the sun so even the dimmest eyes see him.

Notice that peace is not promised but sent to us; it is no longer deferred, it is given; peace is not prophesied but achieved. It is as if God the Father sent upon the earth a purse full of his mercy. This purse was burst open during the Lord’s passion to pour forth its hidden contents – the price of our redemption. It was only a small purse, but it was very full. As the Scriptures tell us: A little child has been given to us, but in him dwells all the fullness of the divine nature. The fullness of time brought with it the fullness of divinity. God’s Son came in the flesh so that mortal men could see and recognize God’s kindness. When God reveals his humanity, his goodness cannot possibly remain hidden. To show his kindness what more could he do beyond taking my human form? My humanity, I say, not Adam’s – that is, not such as he had before his fall.

How could he have shown his mercy more clearly than by taking on himself our condition? For our sake the Word of God became as grass. What better proof could he have given of his love? Scripture says: Lord, what is man that you are mindful of him; why does your heart go out to him? The incarnation teaches us how much God cares for us and what he thinks and feels about us. We should stop thinking of our own sufferings and remember what he has suffered. Let us think of all the Lord has done for us, and then we shall realize how his goodness appears through his humanity. The lesser he became through his human nature the greater was his goodness; the more he lowered himself for me, the dearer he is to me. The goodness and humanity of God our Savior have appeared, says the Apostle. Truly great and manifest are the goodness and humanity of God. He has given us a most wonderful proof of his goodness by adding humanity to his own divine nature.

RESPONSORY Ephesians 1:5, Romans 8:29

From all eternity, God destined us in Jesus Christ to be his children by adoption,
for it was his loving purpose to show in us the glory of his grace.

Long ago he knew us and chose to make us in the likeness of his own Son.
For it was his loving purpose to show in us the glory of his grace.

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

Almighty and invisible God,
who dispersed the darkness of the world
by the coming of your light,
look, we pray, with serene countenance upon us,
that we may acclaim with fitting praise
the greatness of the Nativity of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

19 posted on 12/29/2011 3:03:10 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 29, Midday Prayer for Thursday of the 1st week of Christmas

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 661
Proper of Seasons: 450 (Midday)
Psalter: Thursday, Week I, 757

Midday Prayer (Sext) for December 29, the Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas, using the 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

O heavenly Word, eternal Light,
begotten of the Father’s might,
who in these latter days wast born
for blessing to a world forlorn;

pour light upon us from above,
and fire our hearts with ardent love,
that, as we hear thy truth today,
all wrong may burn away;

and when, as judge, thou drawest nigh
the secrets of our hearts to try,
to recompense each hidden sin
and bid the saints their reign begin;

O let us not, for evil past,
be driven from thy face at last,
but with thy saints for evermore
behold thee, love thee, and adore.

To God the Father, God the Son
and God the Spirit ever one,
Praise, honor, might and glory be
from age to age eternally.

“O Heavenly Word, Eternal Light” performed by The Schola Cantorum of St. Peter’s in the Loop Words: Verbum supernum prodiens, Attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), ca. 1263

PSALMODY

Ant. Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Psalm 119:17-24
III (Ghimel)

Bless your servant and I shall live
and obey your word.
Open my eyes that I may see
the wonders of your law.

I am a pilgrim on the earth;
show me your commands.
My soul is ever consumed
as I long for your decrees.

You threaten the proud, the accursed,
who turn from your commands.
Relieve me from scorn and contempt
for I do your will.

Though princes sit plotting against me
I ponder on your rulings.
Your will is my delight;
your statutes are my counsellors.

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, giver of all good gifts, do not let us go astray from your commands but help us to seek you with all our hearts.

Psalm 25
Prayer for God’s favor and protection

Our hope will never be disappointed (Romans 5:5).

I

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
I trust in you, let me not be disappointed;
do not let my enemies triumph.
Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed,
but only those who wantonly break faith.

Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
for you are God my savior.

In you I hope all day long
because of your goodness, O Lord.
Remember your mercy, Lord,
and the love you have shown from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth.
In your love remember me.

The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,
he guides the humble in the right path;
he teaches his way to the poor.

His ways are faithfulness and love
for those who keep his covenant and law.
Lord, for the sake of your name
forgive my guilt; for it is great.

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

To you, Lord, we lift up our souls; rescue us, do not let us be put to shame for calling out to you. Do not remember the sins of our youth and stupidity, but remember us with your love.

II

If anyone fears the Lord
he will show him the path he should choose.
His soul shall live in happiness
and his children shall possess the land.
The Lord’s friendship is for those who revere him;
to them he reveals his covenant.

My eyes are always on the Lord;
for he rescues my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and have mercy
for I am lonely and poor.

Relieve the anguish of my heart
and set me free from my distress.
See my affliction and my toil
and take all my sins away.

See how many are my foes;
how violent their hatred for me.
Preserve my life and rescue me.
Do not disappoint me, you are my refuge.
May innocence and uprightness protect me:
for my hope is in you, O Lord.

Redeem Israel, O God, from all its distress.

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

Through your Son, Lord, you spared sinners to show us your mercy and love. Do not remember our sins, but show us your ways; relieve our distress, and satisfy the longing of your people, so that all our hopes for eternal peace may reach fulfillment.

Ant. Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

READING 1 John 4:9

God’s love was revealed in our midst in this way:
he sent his only Son to the world
that we might have life through him.

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.

All the ends of the earth, alleluia.
Have seen the saving power of God, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Almighty and invisible God,
who dispersed the darkness of the world
by the coming of your light,
look, we pray, with serene countenance upon us,
that we may acclaim with fitting praise
the greatness of the Nativity of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

20 posted on 12/29/2011 3:03:14 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 29, Morning Prayer for Thursday of the 1st week of Christmas

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 653
Proper of Seasons: 448 and 407 (antiphons)
Psalms and canticle: Sunday, Week I, 688

Christian Prayer (single volume):
Ordinary: 728
Proper of the Season: 164 and 144
Psalms and canticle: Sunday, Week I, 706

Morning Prayer for the Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

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

1. Puer natus in Bethlehem, alleluia: 1. A boy was born in Bethlehem,
Unde gaudet Jerusalem, Alleluia. Whence Jerusalem rejoices.

-Refrain- In cordis jubilo, -Refrain- In the heart of joy,
Christum natum adoremus, we adore the newborn
Cum novo cantico. Christ with a new song.

2. Assumpsit carnem Filius, alleluia, 2. The Son has assumed flesh.
Dei Patris altissimus, Alleluia. From the Father most high. -Refrain-

3. Per Gabrielem nuntium, alleluia, 3. Per Gabriel’s greeting,
Virgo concepit Filium, Alleluia. The virgin conceived a Son. -Refrain-

4. Tamquam sponsus de thalamo, alleluia, 4. Like a bridegroom from the chamber, alleluia,
Processit Matris utero, Alleluia, alleluia. he proceeds from the womb of the mother. -Refrain-

5. Hic iacet in praesepio, alleluia: 5. He lies in the manger,
Qui regnat sine termino, Alleluia. He who rules without end.

6. Et Angelus pastoribus, alleluia, 6. And the Angel of the shepherds,
Revelat quod sit Dominus, Alleluia. Revealed that he may be the Lord.

7. Reges de Saba Veniunt, alleluia, 7. The Kings from Sheba will come,
Aurum, thus, myrrham offerunt, Alleluia. Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh, they will offer.

8. Intrantes domum invicem, alleluia, 8. One by one, you enter the house,
Novum salutant Principem, Alleluia. They hail the new prince. -Refrain-

9. De Matre natus Virgine, alleluia, 9. Of the virgin mother born,
Qui lumen est de lumine, Alleluia. Who is the light from light. -Refrain-

10. Sine serpentis vulnere, alleluia, 10. Without the wound of a serpent,
De nostro venit sanguine, Alleluia. He comes of our blood. -Refrain-

11. In carne nobis similis, alleluia, 11. In our same flesh,
Peccato sed dissimilis, Alleluia. But without the same sin. -Refrain-

12. Ut redderet nos homines, alleluia, 12. That He might give back to us men,
Deo et sibi similes, Alleluia, alleluia. Of God and them the same. -Refrain-

13. In hoc natali gaudio, alleluia: 13. In this birth rejoicing, alleluia.
Benedicamus Domino, Alleluia. We bless the Lord. -Refrain-

14. Laudetur sancta Trinitas, alleluia, 14. The Holy Spirit be praised, alleluia
Deo dicamus gratias, Alleluia. We give thanks unto God, alleluia!

“Puer Natus in Bethlehem” by The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx (conductor); Author: Anon (1543); Chorale Melody: Ein Kind geborn zu Bethlehem (Puer natus in Bethlehem); Composer: Anon (1439)

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Tell us, shepherds, what have you seen? Who has appeared on earth? We have seen a newborn infant and a choir of angels praising the Lord, alleluia.

Psalm 63:2-9
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.

Ant.

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.

Ant.

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.

Ant.

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. Tell us, shepherds, what have you seen? Who has appeared on earth? We have seen a newborn infant and a choir of angels praising the Lord, alleluia.

Ant.2 The angel said to the shepherds: I proclaim to you a great joy; today the Savior of the world is born for you, alleluia.

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.

Ant.

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.

Ant.

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.

Ant.

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.

Ant.

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.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. The angel said to the shepherds: I proclaim to you a great joy; today the Savior of the world is born for you, alleluia.

Ant. 3 A little child is born for us today; little and yet called the mighty God, alleluia.

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.

Ant.

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.

Ant.

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. A little child is born for us today; little and yet called the mighty God, alleluia.

READING Hebrews 1:1-2

In times past, God spoke in fragmentary and varied ways to our fathers through the prophets; in this, the final age, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has made heir of all things and through whom he first created the universe.

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

The Lord has made known, alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord has made known, alleluia, alleluia.

His saving power.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
The Lord has made known, alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. The shepherds said to one another: Let us make our way to Bethlehem and see for ourselves this thing which the Lord has revealed to us.

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 shepherds said to one another: Let us make our way to Bethlehem and see for ourselves this thing which the Lord has revealed to us.

INTERCESSIONS

Because God has been merciful to us and sent his Son, the Prince of peace, let us cry out with confidence:
Peace to his people on earth.

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Church now celebrates your saving love,
graciously receive our praise.
Peace to his people on earth.

From the very beginning you promised mankind your victory through Christ our Savior,
let all be enlightened by the good news.
Peace to his people on earth.

In praise of your Son whose coming was joyously foreseen by Abraham, hoped for by the patriarchs, announced by the prophets and yearned for by the Gentiles,
save the whole people of Israel.
Peace to his people on earth.

You wished the birth of your Son to be proclaimed by angels and to be praised by the apostles, martyrs and faithful of all ages,
grant the world that peace which the angels proclaimed.
Peace to his people on earth.

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

Almighty and invisible God,
who dispersed the darkness of the world
by the coming of your light,
look, we pray, with serene countenance upon us,
that we may acclaim with fitting praise
the greatness of the Nativity of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

21 posted on 12/29/2011 3:03:14 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 29, Evening Prayer for Thursday of the 1st week of Christmas

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 667
Proper of Seasons: 451
Psalms and canticle as in Evening Prayer II of Christmas, 414

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 694
Proper of Seasons: 165
Psalms and canticle as in Evening Prayer II of Christmas, 147.

Evening Prayer for the Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

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

Dormi, Jesu. Mater ridet
Quae tam dulcem somnum videt.
Dormi, Jesu, blandule.

Si non dormis, mater plorat.
Inter fila cantans orat,
Blande, veni, somnule.

Approximate English Translation:

Sleep, Jesus. Thy mother smiles
when she sees such gentle slumber.
Sleep Jesus, gently.

If you do not sleep, your mother cries.
And, singing, prays as she weaves:
“Come, gentle sleep.”

“Dormi, Jesu” by Chichester Cathedral Choir; “Dormi Jesu” Latin lullaby that was copied by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge from a print that he saw in a German village, and which he then published in Sibylline Leaves in 1817.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 You have been endowed from your birth with princely gifts; in eternal splendor, before the dawn of light on earth, I have begotten you.

Psalm 110:1-5, 7
The Messiah, king and priest

Christ’s reign will last until all his enemies are made subject to him (1 Corinthians 15:25).

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
“Sit on my right:
your foes I will put beneath your feet.”

Ant.

The Lord will wield from Zion
your scepter of power:
rule in the midst of all your foes.

Ant.

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

Ant.

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
“You are a priest for ever,
a priest like Melchizedek of old.”

Ant.

The Master standing at your right hand
will shatter kings in the day of his great wrath.

Ant.

He shall drink from the stream by the wayside
and therefore he shall lift up his head.

Ant.

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 have been endowed from your birth with princely gifts; in eternal splendor, before the dawn of light on earth, I have begotten you.

Ant. 2 With the Lord is unfailing love; great is his power to save.

Psalm 130
A cry from the depths

He himself will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading.

Ant.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness:
for this we revere you.

Ant.

My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak
and Israel on the Lord.

Ant.

Because with the Lord there is mercy
and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity.

Ant.

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. With the Lord is unfailing love; great is his power to save.

Ant. 3 In the beginning, before time began, the Word was God; today he is born, the Savior of the world.

Canticle — Colossians 1:12-20
Christ the first-born of all creation and the first-born from the dead

Let us give thanks to the Father
for having made you worthy
to share the lot of the saints
in light.

Ant.

He rescued us
from the power of darkness
and brought us
into the kingdom of his beloved Son.
Through him we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.

Ant.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the first-born of all creatures.
In him everything in heaven and on earth was created,
things visible and invisible.

Ant.

All were created through him;
all were created for him.
He is before all else that is.
In him everything continues in being.

Ant.

It is he who is head of the body, the church!
he who is the beginning,
the first-born of the dead,
so that primacy may be his in everything.

Ant.

It pleased God to make absolute fulness reside in him
and, by means of him, to reconcile everything in his person,
both on earth and in the heavens,
making peace through the blood of his cross.

Ant.

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 the beginning, before time began, the Word was God; today he is born, the Savior of the world.

READING 1 John 1:1-3

This is what we proclaim to you:
what was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we have looked upon
and our hands have touched—
we speak of the word of life.
(This life became visible;
we have seen and bear witness to it,
and we proclaim to you the eternal life
that was present to the Father
and became visible to us.)
What we have seen and heard
we proclaim in turn to you
so that you may share life with us.
This fellowship of ours is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

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

The Word was made man, alleluia, alleluia.
The Word was made man, alleluia, alleluia.

He lived among us.
alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
The Word was made man, alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. The King of heaven humbled himself to be born of a virgin, that he might restore man to the kingdom he had lost.

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. The King of heaven humbled himself to be born of a virgin, that he might restore man to the kingdom he had lost.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us ask the Father of mercies who anointed his Son with the Holy Spirit and sent him to preach the good news to the poor:
God of mercy, have mercy on us.

Merciful, ever-living God, you desire all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of your truth. We thank you for giving your only-begotten Son to the world,
let the whole world rejoice in his birth.
God of mercy, have mercy on us.

You sent him to proclaim the good news to the poor, to announce release to captives and to proclaim a time of favor,
grant freedom and peace to mankind.
God of mercy, have mercy on us.

You directed the wise men to adore your Son,
receive the homage of our faith and prayer.
God of mercy, have mercy on us.

After the wise men, you called all people out of the darkness and into your wonderful light, so that at Jesus’ name every knee should bend,
make us go forth as witnesses of the good news.
God of mercy, have mercy on us.

You made Christ, born in Bethlehem, a light to the nations,
reveal your glory to our brothers and sisters who have died.
God of mercy, have mercy on 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

Almighty and invisible God,
who dispersed the darkness of the world
by the coming of your light,
look, we pray, with serene countenance upon us,
that we may acclaim with fitting praise
the greatness of the Nativity of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

22 posted on 12/29/2011 3:03:20 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 29, Night Prayer for Thursday of the 1st week of Christmas

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

23 posted on 12/29/2011 3:03:28 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

Henry and Thomas during happier times.

24 posted on 12/29/2011 7:33:22 AM PST by Oratam
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To: All

I guess this didn’t go through last night.


From: Luke 2:22-35

The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple


[22] And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses,
they (Joseph and Mary) brought Him (Jesus) up to Jerusalem to present Him to
the Lord [23] (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “every male that opens the
womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) [24] and to offer a sacrifice according to
what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.”

Simeon’s Prophecy


[25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this
man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy
Spirit was upon him. [26] And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that
he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [27] And inspired
by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child
Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, [28] he took Him up in
his arms and blessed God and said, [29] “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant de-
part in peace, according to Thy word; [30] for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation
[31] which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, [32] a light for reve-
lation to the Gentiles, and for the glory to Thy people Israel.”

[33] And His father and His mother marvelled at what was said about Him; [34]
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother, “Behold this child is
set for the fall and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken
against [35] (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts
out of many hearts may be revealed.”

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

22-24. The Holy Family goes up to Jerusalem to fulfill the prescriptions of the
Law of Moses — the purification of the mother and the pesentation and then re-
demption or buying back of the first-born. According to Leviticus 12:2-8, a wo-
man who bore a child was unclean. The period of legal impurity ended, in the
case of a mother of a male child, after forty days, with a rite of purification. Mary
most holy, ever-virgin, was exempt from these precepts of the Law, because she
conceived without intercourse, nor did Christ’s birth undo the virginal integrity of
His Mother. However, she chose to submit herself to the Law, although she was
under no obligation to do so.

“Through this example, foolish child, won’t you learn to fulfill the holy Law of
God, regardless of personal sacrifice?

“Purification! You and I certainly do need purification. Atonement and, more than
atonement, Love. Love as a searing iron to cauterize our soul’s uncleanness, and
as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretchedness of our hearts” (St. J. Es-
criva, “Holy Rosary”, Fourth Joyful Mystery).

Also, in Exodus 13:2, 12-13 it is indicated that every first-born male belongs to
God and must be set apart for the Lord, that is, dedicated to the service of God.
However, once divine worship was reserved to the tribe of Levi, first-born who did
not belong to that tribe were not dedicated to God’s service, and to show that
they continued to be God’s special property, a rite of redemption was performed.

The Law also laid down that the Israelites should offer in sacrifice some lesser
victim — for example, a lamb or, if they were poor, a pair of doves or two pigeons.
Our Lord, who “though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that
by His poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9), chose to have a poor
man’s offering made on His behalf.

25-32. Simeon, who is described as a righteous and devout man, obedient to
God’s will, addresses himself to our Lord as a vassal or loyal servant who, having
kept watch all his life in expectation of the coming of his Lord, sees that this mo-
ment has “now” come, the moment that explains his whole life. When he takes
the Child in his arms, he learns, not through any reasoning process but through
a special grace from God, that this Child is the promised Messiah, the Conso-
lation of Israel, the Light of the nations.

Simeon’s canticle (verses 29-32) is also a prophecy. It consists of two stanzas:
the first (verses 29-30) is an act of thanksgiving to God, filled with profound joy
for having seen the Messiah. The second (verses 31-32) is more obviously pro-
phetic and extols the divine blessings which the Messiah is bringing to Israel
and to all men. The canticle highlights the fact that Christ brings redemption to
all men without exception — something foretold in many Old Testament prophe-
cies (cf. Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 2:6; 42:6; 60:3; Psalm 28:2).

It is easy to realize how extremely happy Simeon was — given that many patri-
archs, prophets and kings of Israel had yearned to see the Messiah, yet did not
see Him, whereas he now held Him in his arms (cf. Luke 10:24; 1 Peter 1:10).

33. The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph marvelled not because they did not know
know who Christ was; they were in awe at the way God was revealing Him. Once
again they teach us to contemplate the mysteries involved in the birth of Christ.

34-35. After Simeon blesses them, the Holy Spirit moves him to further prophecy
about the Child’s future and His Mother’s. His words become clearer in the light
of our Lord’s life and death.

Jesus came to bring salvation to all men, yet He will be a sign of contradiction
because some people will obstinately reject Him — and for this reason He will be
their ruin. But for those who accept Him with faith Jesus will be their salvation,
freeing them from sin in this life and raising them up to eternal life.

The words Simeon addresses to Mary announce that she will be intimately linked
with her Son’s redemptive work. The sword indicates that Mary will have a share
in her Son’s sufferings; hers will be an unspeakable pain which pierces her soul.
Our Lord suffered on the cross for our sins, and it is those sins which forge the
sword of Mary’s pain. Therefore, we have a duty to atone not only to God but al-
so to His Mother, who is our Mother too.

The last words of the prophecy, “that out of many hearts thoughts may be re-
vealed”, link up with verse 34: uprightness or perversity will be demonstrated by
whether one accepts or rejects Christ.

36-38. Anna’s testimony is very similar to Simeon’s; like him, she too has been
awaiting the coming of the Messiah her whole life long, in faithful service of God,
and she too is rewarded with the joy of seeing Him. “She spoke of Him,” that is,
of the Child — praising God in her prayer and exhorting others to believe that this
Child is the Messiah.

Thus, the birth of Christ was revealed by three kinds of witnesses in three diffe-
rent ways — first, by the shepherds, after the angel’s announcement; second, by
the Magi, who were guided by a star; third, by Simeon and Anna, who were in-
spired by the Holy Spirit.

All who, like Simeon and Anna, persevere in piety and in the service of God, no
matter how insignificant their lives seem in men’s eyes, become instruments the
Holy Spirit uses to make Christ known to other. In His plan of redemption God
avails of these simple souls to do much good to all mankind.

39. Before their return to Nazareth, St. Matthew tells us (2:13-23), the Holy Fa-
mily fled to Egypt where they stayed for some time.

40. “Our Lord Jesus Christ as a child, that is, as one clothed in the fragility of
human nature, had to grow and become stronger but as the eternal Word of God
He had no need to become stronger or to grow. Hence He is rightly described as
full of wisdom and grace” (St. Bede, “In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.”).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


25 posted on 12/29/2011 8:45:07 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Oratam

Another Catholic killed by the English of that time.


26 posted on 12/29/2011 8:50:29 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr

Saint Thomas Becket,
Bishop and Martyr
Optional Memorial
December 29th

Stained glass -- St. Thomas Becket kneels before altar with monk attendant
Christ Church Cathedral North aisle Canterbury, England

(1118 - 1170) Born in London, he returned to England after studying in Paris. He first was chancellor to the king and then in 1162 was chosen Archbishop of Canterbury. A deep conversion followed his appointment as archbishop, as he went from being "a patron of play-actors and a follower of hounds" to being "a shepherd of souls." He absorbed himself in the duties of his new office, defending the rights of the Church against Henry II. This prompted the king to exile him to France for six years. After returning to his homeland, he endured many trials and was murdered by agents of the king.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 

Collect:
O God, who gave the Martyr Saint Thomas Becket
the courage to give up his life for the sake of justice,
grant, through his intercession,
that, renouncing our life
for the sake of Christ in this world,
we may find it in heaven.
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.

First Reading -- 2 Timothy 2:8-13;3:10-12
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal. But the word of God is not fettered. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory. The saying is sure: If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we endure, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful -- for He cannot deny Himself.

Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Responsorial Psalm 34: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
so your faces shall never be ashamed.

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him,
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and delivers them.

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

O taste and see that the LORD is good!
Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!
O fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no want!

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Gospel Reading -- Matthew 16:24-27
Then Jesus told His disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay every man for what he has done.


27 posted on 12/29/2011 8:55:44 AM 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 2
22 And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: Et postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis ejus secundum legem Moysi, tulerunt illum in Jerusalem, ut sisterent eum Domino, και οτε επλησθησαν αι ημεραι του καθαρισμου αυτων κατα τον νομον μωσεως ανηγαγον αυτον εις ιεροσολυμα παραστησαι τω κυριω
23 As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: sicut scriptum est in lege Domini : Quia omne masculinum adaperiens vulvam, sanctum Domino vocabitur : καθως γεγραπται εν νομω κυριου οτι παν αρσεν διανοιγον μητραν αγιον τω κυριω κληθησεται
24 And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons: et ut darent hostiam secundum quod dictum est in lege Domini, par turturum, aut duos pullos columbarum. και του δουναι θυσιαν κατα το ειρημενον εν νομω κυριου ζευγος τρυγονων η δυο νεοσσους περιστερων
25 And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him. Et ecce homo erat in Jerusalem, cui nomen Simeon, et homo iste justus, et timoratus, exspectans consolationem Israël : et Spiritus Sanctus erat in eo. και ιδου ην ανθρωπος εν ιερουσαλημ ω ονομα συμεων και ο ανθρωπος ουτος δικαιος και ευλαβης προσδεχομενος παρακλησιν του ισραηλ και πνευμα ην αγιον επ αυτον
26 And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. Et responsum acceperat a Spiritu Sancto, non visurum se mortem, nisi prius videret Christum Domini. και ην αυτω κεχρηματισμενον υπο του πνευματος του αγιου μη ιδειν θανατον πριν η ιδη τον χριστον κυριου
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, Et venit in spiritu in templum. Et cum inducerent puerum Jesum parentes ejus, ut facerent secundum consuetudinem legis pro eo, και ηλθεν εν τω πνευματι εις το ιερον και εν τω εισαγαγειν τους γονεις το παιδιον ιησουν του ποιησαι αυτους κατα το ειθισμενον του νομου περι αυτου
28 He also took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: et ipse accepit eum in ulnas suas : et benedixit Deum, et dixit : και αυτος εδεξατο αυτο εις τας αγκαλας αυτου και ευλογησεν τον θεον και ειπεν
29 Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Nunc dimittis servum tuum Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace : νυν απολυεις τον δουλον σου δεσποτα κατα το ρημα σου εν ειρηνη
30 Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum, οτι ειδον οι οφθαλμοι μου το σωτηριον σου
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum : ο ητοιμασας κατα προσωπον παντων των λαων
32 A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuæ Israël. φως εις αποκαλυψιν εθνων και δοξαν λαου σου ισραηλ
33 And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. Et erat pater ejus et mater mirantes super his quæ dicebantur de illo. και ην ιωσηφ και η μητηρ αυτου θαυμαζοντες επι τοις λαλουμενοις περι αυτου
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; Et benedixit illis Simeon, et dixit ad Mariam matrem ejus : Ecce positus est hic in ruinam, et in resurrectionem multorum in Israël, et in signum cui contradicetur : και ευλογησεν αυτους συμεων και ειπεν προς μαριαμ την μητερα αυτου ιδου ουτος κειται εις πτωσιν και αναστασιν πολλων εν τω ισραηλ και εις σημειον αντιλεγομενον
35 And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. et tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius ut revelentur ex multis cordibus cogitationes. και σου δε αυτης την ψυχην διελευσεται ρομφαια οπως αν αποκαλυφθωσιν εκ πολλων καρδιων διαλογισμοι

28 posted on 12/29/2011 9:09:47 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
22. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23. (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24. And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

CYRIL; Next after the circumcision they wait for the time of purification, as it is said, And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were come.

THEOPHYL; If you diligently examine the words of the law, you will find indeed that the mother of God as she is free from all connection with man, so is she exempt from any obligation of the law. For not every woman who brings forth, but she who has received seed and brought forth, is pronounced unclean, and by the ordinances of the law is taught that she must be cleansed, in order to distinguish probably from her who though a virgin has conceived and brought forth. But that we might be loosed from the bonds of the law, as did Christ, so also Mary submitted herself of her own will to the law.

TITUS BOST. Therefore the Evangelist has well observed, that the days of her purification were come according to the law, who since she had conceived of the Holy Spirit, was free from all uncleanness. It follows, They brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.

ATHAN. But when was the Lord hid from His Father's eye, that He should not be seen by Him, or what place is excepted from His dominion, that by remaining there He should be separate from His Father unless brought to Jerusalem and introduced into the temple? But for us perhaps these things were written. For as not to confer grace on Himself was He made man and circumcised in the flesh, but to make us Gods through grace, and that we might be circumcised in the Spirit, so for our sakes is He presented to the Lord, that we also might learn to present ourselves to the Lord.

THEOPHYL; On the thirty-third day after His circumcision He is presented to the Lord, signifying in a mystery that no one but he who is circumcised from his sins is worthy to come into the Lord's sight, that no one who ho has not severed himself from all human ties can perfectly enter into the joys of the heavenly city. It follows, As it is written in the law of the Lord.

ORIGEN; Where are they who deny that Christ proclaimed in the Gospel the law to be of God, or can it be supposed that the righteous God made His own Son under a hostile law which He Himself had not given? It is written in the law of Moses as follows, Every male which opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.

THEOPHYL; By the words, opening the womb, he signifies the first-born both of man and beast, and each one of which was, according to the commandment, to be called holy to the Lord, and therefore to become the property of the priest, that is, so far that he was to receive a price for every first-born of man, and oblige every unclean animal to be ransomed.

GREG. NYSS. Now this commandment of the law seems to have had its fulfillment in the incarnate God, in a very remarkable and peculiar manner. For He alone, ineffably conceived and incomprehensibly brought forth, opened the virgin's womb, till then unopened by marriage, and after this birth miraculously retaining the seal of chastity.

AMBROSE; For no union with man disclosed the secrets of the virgin's womb, but the Holy Spirit infused the immaculate seed into an inviolate womb. He then who sanctified another womb in order that a prophet should be born, He it is who has opened the womb of His own mother, that the Immaculate should come forth. By the words opening the womb, he speaks of birth after the usual manner, not that the sacred abode of the virgin's womb, which our Lord in entering sanctified, should now be thought by His proceeding forth from it to be deprived of its virginity.

GREG. NYSS. But the offspring of this birth is alone seen to be spiritually male, as contracting no guilt from being born of a woman. Hence He is truly called holy, and therefore Gabriel, as if announcing that this commandment belonged to Him only, said, That Holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called, the Son of God. Now of other first-borns the wisdom of the Gospel has declared that they are called holy from their being offered to God. But the first-born of every creature, That holy thing which is born, &c. the Angel pronounces to be in the nature of its very being holy.

AMBROSE; For among those that are born of a woman, the Lord Jesus alone is in every thing holy, who in the newness of His immaculate birth experienced not the contagion of earthly defilement, but by His Heavenly Majesty dispelled it. For if we follow the letter, how can every male be holy, since it is undoubted that many have been most wicked? But He is holy whom in the figure of a future mystery the pious ordinances of the divine law prefigured, because He alone was to open the hidden womb of the holy virgin Church for the begetting of nations.

CYRIL; Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! He offers victims, Who in each victim is honored equally with the Father. The Truth preserves the figures of the law. He who as God is the Maker of the law, as man has kept the law. Hence it follows, And that they should give a victim as it was ordered in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.

THEOPHYL; Now this was the victim of the poor. For the Lord commanded in the law that they who were should offer a lamb for a son or a daughter as well as a turtle dove or pigeon; but they who were not able to offer a lamb should give two turtle doves or two young pigeons. Therefore the Lord, though he was rich, deigned to become poor, that by his poverty He might make us partakers of His riches.

CYRIL; But let us see what these offerings mean. The turtle dove is the most vocal of birds, and the pigeon the gentlest. And such was the Savior made unto us; He was endowed with perfect meekness, and like the turtle dove entranced the world, filling His garden with His own melodies. There was killed then either a turtle dove or a pigeon, that by a figure He might be shown forth to us as about to suffer in the flesh for the life of the world.

THEOPHYL; Or the pigeon denotes simplicity, the turtle dove chastity, for the pigeon is a lover of simplicity, and the turtle dove of chastity, so that if by chance she has lost her mate, she heeds not to find another. Rightly then are the pigeon and turtle dove offered as victims to the Lord, because the simple and chaste conversation of the faithful is a sacrifice of righteousness well pleasing to Him.

ATHAN. He ordered two things to be offered, because as man consists of both body and soul, the Lord requires a double return from us, chastity and meekness, not only of the body, but also of the soul. Otherwise, man will be a dissembler and hypocrite, wearing the face of innocence to mask his hidden malice.

THEOPHYL; But while each bird, from its habit of wailing, represents the present sorrows of the saints, in this they differ, that the turtle is solitary, but the pigeon flies about in flocks, and hence the one points to the secret tears of confession, the other to the public assembling of the Church.

THEOPHYL; Or the pigeon which flies in flocks sets forth the busy intercourse of active life. The turtle, which delights in solitariness, tells of the lofty heights of the contemplative life. But because each victim is equally accepted by the Creator, St. Luke has purposely omitted whether the turtles or young pigeons were offered for the Lord, that he might not prefer one mode of life before another, but teach that both ought to be followed.

25. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28. Then took he him up in his arms.

AMBROSE; Not only did Angels and Prophets, the shepherds and his parents, bear witness to the birth of the Lord, but the old men and the righteous. As it is said, And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and he was a just man, and one who feared God. For scarcely is righteousness preserved without fear, I mean not that fear which dreads the loss of worldly goods, (which perfect love casts out,) but that holy fear of the Lord which abides for ever, by which the righteous man, the more ardent his love to God, is so much the more careful not to offend Him.

AMBROSE; Well is he called righteous who sought not his own good, but the good of his nation, as it follows, Waiting for the consolation of Israel.

GREG. NYSS. It was not surely worldly happiness that the prudent Simeon was waiting for as the consolation of Israel, but a real happiness, that is, a passing over to the beauty of truth from the shadow of the law. For he had learnt from the sacred oracles that he would see the Lord's Christ before he should depart out of this present life. Hence it follows, And the Holy Spirit was in him, (by which indeed he was justified,) and he received an answer from the Holy Spirit.

AMBROSE; He desired indeed to be loosed from the chains of bodily infirmity, but he wails to see the promise, for he knew, Happy are those eyes which shall see it.

GREG. Hereby also we learn with what desire the holy men of Israel desired to see the mystery of His incarnation.

THEOPHYL; To see death means to undergo it, and happy will he be to see the death of the flesh who has first been enabled to see with the eyes of his heart the Lord Christ, having his conversation in the heavenly Jerusalem, and frequently entering the doors of God's temple, that is, following the examples of the saints in whom God dwells as in His temple. By the same grace of the Spirit whereby he foreknew Christ would come, he now acknowledges Him come, as it follows, And he came by the Spirit into the temple.

ORIGEN; If you will touch Jesus and grasp Him in your hands, strive with all your strength to have the Spirit for your guide, and come to the temple of God. For it follows, And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, (i.e. Mary His mother, and Joseph His reputed father,) to do for him after the custom of the law,

then took he him up in his arms.

GREG. NYSS. How blessed was that holy entrance to holy things through which he hastened on to the end of life, blessed those hands which handled the word of life, and the arms which were held out to receive Him!

THEOPHYL; Now the righteous man, according to the law, received the Child Jesus in his arms, that he might signify that the legal righteousness of works under the figure of the hands and arms was to be changed for the lowly indeed but saving grace of Gospel faith The old man received the infant Christ, to convey thereby that this world, now worn out as it were with old age, should return to the childlike innocence of the Christian life.

28. - and blessed God, and said,
29. Lord, now let you your servant depart in peace, according to your word:
30. For mine eyes have seen your salvation,
31. Which you have prepared before the face of all people;
32. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

ORIGEN; If we marvel to hear that a woman was healed by touching the hem of a garment, what must we think of Simeon, who received an Infant in his arms, and rejoiced seeing that the little one he carried was He who had come to let loose the captive! Knowing that no one could release him from the chains of the body with the hope of future life, but He whom he held in his arms. Therefore it is said, And he blessed God, saying, Lord, now let you your servant depart.

THEOPHYL. When he says Lord, he confesses that He is the very Lord of both life and death, and so acknowledges the Child whom he held in his arms to be God.

ORIGEN; As it he said, "As long as I held not Christ, I was in prison, and could not escape from my bonds."

BASIL; If you examine the words of the righteous, you will find that they all sorrow over this world and its mournful delay. Alas me! says David, that my habitation is prolonged.

AMBROSE; Observe then that this just man, confined as it were in the prison house of his earthly frame, is longing to be loosed, that he may again be with Christ. But whoso would be cleansed, let him come into the temple; - into Jerusalem: let him wait for the Lord's Christ, let him receive in his hands the word of God, and embrace it as it were with the arms of his faith. Then let him depart that he might not see death who has seen life.

GREEK EX. Simeon blessed God also, because the promises made to him had received their true fulfillment. For He was reckoned worthy to see with his eyes, and to carry in his arms the consolation of Israel. And therefore he says, According to your word, i.e. since I have obtained the completion of your promises. And now that I have seen with my eyes what was my desire to see, now let you your servant depart, neither dismayed at the taste of death, nor harassed with doubting thoughts: as he adds, in peace.

GREG. NYSS. For since Christ has destroyed the enemy, which is sin, and has reconciled us to the Father, the removal of saints has been in peace.

ORIGEN; But who departs from this world in peace, but he who is persuaded that was Christ reconciling the world to Himself; who has nothing hostile to God, having derived to himself all peace by good works in himself?

GREEK EX. But it had been twice promised to him that he should not see death before ho should see the Lord's Christ, and therefore he adds, to show that this promise was fulfilled, For mine eyes have seen your salvation.

GREG. NYSS. Blessed are the eyes, both of your soul and your body. For the one visibly embrace God, but the others not considering those things which are seen, but enlightened by the brightness of the Spirit of the Lord, acknowledge the Word made flesh. For the salvation which you have perceived with your eyes is Jesus Himself, by which name salvation is declared.

CYRIL; But Christ was the mystery which has been revealed in the last times of the world, having been prepared before the foundation of the world. Hence it follows, which you have prepared before the face of all men.

ATHAN. That is to say, the salvation wrought by Christ for the whole world. How then was it said above that he was watching for the consolation of Israel, but because he truly perceived in the spirit that consolation would be to Israel at that time when salvation was prepared for all people.

GREEK EX. Mark the wisdom of the good and venerable old man, who before that he was thought worthy of the blessed vision, was waiting for the consolation of Israel, but when he obtained that which he was looking for, exclaims that he saw the salvation of all people. So enlightened was he by the unspeakable radiance of the Child, that the perceived at a glance things that were to happen a long time after.

THEOPHYL. By these words, Before the face, he signifies that our Lord's incarnation would be visible to all men. And this salvation he says is to be the light of the Gentiles and the glory of Israel, as it follows, A light to lighten the Gentiles.

ATHAN. For the Gentiles before the coming of Christ were lying in the deepest darkness, being without the knowledge of God.

CYRIL; But Christ coming was made a light to them that sat in darkness, being sore oppressed by the power of the devil but they were called by God the Father to the knowledge of His Son, Who is the true light.

GREG. NYSS. Israel was enlightened though dimly by the law, so he says not that light came to them, but his words are, to be the glory of your people Israel. Calling to mind the ancient history that as of old Moses after speaking with God returned with his face glorious, so they also coming to the divine light of His human nature, casting away their old veil, might be transformed into the same image from glory to glory. For although some of them were disobedient, yet a remnant were saved and came through Christ to glory, of which the Apostles were first-fruits, whose brightness illumines the whole world. For Christ was in a peculiar manner the glory of Israel, because according to the flesh He came forth from Israel, although as God He was over all blessed for ever.

GREG. NYSS, He said therefore, of your people, signifying that not only was He adored by them, but moreover of them was He born according to the flesh.

THEOPHYL; And well is the enlightening of the Gentiles put before the glory of Israel, because when the fullness of the Gentiles shall have come in, then shall Israel be safe.

33. And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.
34. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

GREEK EX. The knowledge of supernatural things, as often as it is brought to the recollection, renews the miracle in the mind, and hence it is said, His father and mother marveled at those things which were said of him.

ORIGEN; Both by the angel and the multitude of the heavenly host, by the shepherds also, and Simeon.

THEOPHYL; Joseph is called the father of the Savior, not because he was (as the Photinians say) His real father, but because from regard to the reputation of Mary, all men considered him so.

AUG. He however might be called His father in that light in which, he is rightly regarded as the husband of Mary, that is, not from any carnal connection, but by reason of the very bond of wedlock, a far closer relationship than that of adoption. For that Joseph was not to be called Christ's father was not, because he had not begotten Him by cohabitation, since in truth he might be a father to one whom he had not begotten from his wife, but had adopted from another.

ORIGEN; But they who look deeper into the matter may say, that since the genealogy is deduced from David to Joseph, therefore lest Joseph should seem to be mentioned for no purpose, as not being the father of the Savior, he was called His father, that the genealogy might maintain sup. its place.

GREEK EX. Having given praise to God, Simeon now turns to bless them that brought the Child, as it follows, And Simeon blessed them. He gave to each a blessing, but his presage of hidden things he imparts only to the mother, in order that in the common blessing He might not deprive Joseph of the likeness of a father, but in what he says to the mother apart from Joseph he might proclaim her to be the true mother.

AMBROSE; Behold what abundant grace is extended to all men by the birth of the Lord, and how prophecy is withheld from the unbelievers, not from the righteous. Simeon also prophesies that Christ Jesus has come for the fall and rising again of many.

ORIGEN; They who explain this simply, may say that He came for the fall of unbelievers, and the rising again of believers.

CHRYS. As the light though it may annoy weak eyes, is still light; in like manner the Savior endures, though many fall away, for His office is not to destroy; but their way is madness. Wherefore not only by the salvation of the good but by the scattering of the wicked, is His power shown. For the sun the brighter it shines, is the more trying to the weak sight.

GREG. NYSS. Mark the nice distinction here observed. Salvation is said to be prepared before the face of all people, but the falling and raising is of many; for the Divine purpose was the salvation and sanctification of every one whereas the falling and lifting up stands in the will of many believers and unbelievers. But that those who were lying in unbelief should be raised up again is not unreasonable

ORIGEN; The careful interpreter will say, that no one falls who was not before standing. Tell me then, who were they who stood, for whose fall Christ came?

GREG. NYSS. But by this he signifies a fall to the very lowest, as if the punishment before the mystery of the incarnation, fell far short of that after the giving and preaching of the Gospel dispensation And those spoken of are chiefly of Israel, who must of necessity forfeit their ancient privileges, and pay a heavier penalty than any other nation, because they were so unwilling to receive Him Who had long been prophesied among them, had been worshipped, and had come forth from them. In a most especial manner then he threatens them with not only a fall from spiritual freedom, but also the destruction of their city, and of those who dwelt among them. But a resurrection is promised to believers, partly indeed as subject to the law, and about to be delivered from its bondage, but partly as buried together with Christ, and rising with Him.

GREG. NYSS. Now from these words, you may perceive through the agreement of men's minds on the word of prophecy, that one and the same God and lawgiver has spoken both in the Prophets and the New Testament. For the language of prophecy declared that there shall be a stone of falling, and a rock of offense, that they who believe on Him should not be confounded. The fall therefore is to them who are offended with the meanness of His coming in the flesh; the rising again to those who acknowledge the steadfastness of the Divine purpose.

ORIGEN; There is also a deeper meaning aimed against those who raise their voices against their Creator, saying, Behold the God of the Law and the Prophets of what sort He is! He says, I kill, and I make alive. If God then is a bloody judge and a cruel master, it is most plain that Jesus is His Son, since the same things here are written of Him, namely, that He comes for the fall and rising again of many.

AMBROSE; That is, to distinguish the merits of the just and the unjust, and according to the quality of our deeds, as a true and just Judge, to decree punishment or rewards.

ORIGEN; But we must take care lest by chance the Savior should not come to some equally for the fall and rising again; for when I stood in sin, it was first good for me to fall, and die to sin. Lastly, Prophets and Saints when they were designing some great thing, used to fall on their faces, that by their fall their sins should be the more fully blotted out. This it is that the Savior first grants to you. You were a sinner, let that which is sin fall in you, that you may thence rise again, and say, If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.

CHRYS. The resurrection is a new life and conversation. For when the sensual man becomes chaste, the covetous merciful, the cruel man gentle, a resurrection takes place. Sin being dead, righteousness rises again. It follows, And for a sign which shall be spoken against.

BASIL; The sign which is spoken against is called in Scripture, the cross. For Moses, it says, made a brazen serpent, and placed it for a sign.

GREG. NYSS. He has joined together honor and dishonor. For to us Christians this sign is a token of honor, but it is a sign of contradiction, inasmuch by some indeed it is received as absurd and monstrous, by others with the greatest veneration. Or perhaps Christ Himself is termed a sign, as having a supernatural existence, and as the author of signs.

BASIL; For a sign betokens something marvelous and mysterious, which is seen indeed by the simple minded.

ORIGEN; But all the things which history relates of Christ are spoken against, not that those who believe on Him speak against Him, (for we know that all the things which are written of Him are true,) but that every thing which has been written of Him is with the unbelievers a sign which is spoken against.

GREG. NYSS. Though these things are said of the Son, yet they have reference also to His mother, who takes each thing to herself, whether it be of danger or glory. He announces to her not only her prosperity, but her sorrows; for it follows, And a sword shall pierce through your own heart.

THEOPHYL; No history tells us that Mary departed this life by being slain with the sword, therefore since not the soul but the body is killed with iron, we are left to understand that sword which is mentioned, And a sword in their lips, that is, grief because of our Lord's passion passed through her soul, who although she saw Christ the very Son of God die a voluntary death, and doubted not that He who was begotten of her flesh would overcome death, could not without grief see Him crucified.

AMBROSE; Or it shows the wisdom of Mary, that she was not ignorant of the heavenly Majesty For the word of God is living and strong, and sharper than the sharpest sword

AUG. Or by this is signified that Mary also, through whom was performed the mystery of the incarnation, looked with doubt and astonishment at the death of her Lord, seeing the Son of God so humbled as to come down even to death. And as a sword passing close by a man causes fear, though it does not strike him; so doubt also causes sorrow, yet does not kill; for it is not fastened to the mind, but passes through it as through a shadow.

GREG. NYSS. But it is not meant that she alone was concerned in that passion, for it is added, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. The word that marks the non event; it is not used causatively; for when all these events took place, there followed the discovery of many men's intentions. For some confessed God on the cross, others even then ceased not from their blasphemies and revilings. Or this was said, meaning that at the time of the passion the thoughts of men's hearts should be laid open, and be corrected by the resurrection. For doubts are quickly superseded by certainty. Or perhaps by revealing may be meant, the enlightening of the thoughts, as it is often used in Scripture.

THEOPHYL; But now even down to the close of the present time, the sword of the severest tribulation ceases not to go through the soul of the Church, when with bitter sorrow she experiences the evil speaking against the sign of faith, when hearing the word of God that many are raised with Christ, she finds still more falling from the faith, when at the revealing of the thoughts of many hearts, in which the good seed of the Gospel has been sown, she beholds the tares of vice overshooting it, spreading beyond it, or growing alone.

ORIGEN; But the evil thoughts of men were revealed, that He Who died for us might slay them; for while they were hidden, it was impossible to utterly destroy them. Hence also when we have sinned we ought to say, Mine iniquity have I not hid. For if we make known our sins not only to God, but to whoever can heal our wounds, our sins will be blotted out.

Catena Aurea Luke 2
29 posted on 12/29/2011 9:10:55 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ


30 posted on 12/29/2011 9:12:04 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All


Information:
St. Thomas Becket
Feast Day: December 29
Born: 21 December 1118 at London, England
Died: 29 December 1170 in the Cathedral at Canterbury, England
Canonized: 21 February 1173 by Pope Alexander III
Patron of: clergy


31 posted on 12/29/2011 9:16:21 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Thomas Becket

St. Thomas Becket
Feast Day: December 29
Born:1118 :: Died:1170

Thomas Becket was born in London, England. After his parents died, he worked in an office. He loved hunting and other sports. When Thomas was about twenty-four, he went to work in the house of the archbishop of Canterbury and then began to study to become a priest.

He was handsome, very intelligent and pleasant to talk with. Soon he became a great favorite of King Henry II himself. People said that the king and Thomas were such close friends that they had only one heart and one mind.

When Thomas was thirty-six, King Henry made him his chancellor. As chancellor of England, Thomas had a large household and lived in grand style. Yet he was also very good to the poor.

Although Thomas was proud and quick-tempered, he did many hidden acts of penance. He prayed long hours, often until late at night.

When the archbishop of Canterbury died, the king wanted the pope to give Thomas this position. It would just mean that Thomas would have to be made a priest. But Thomas said that he did not want to be the archbishop of Canterbury.

Thomas knew that, as archbishop, he would have to defend the Church from the king and that would mean trouble. "Your affection for me would turn into hatred," he warned Henry.

The king paid no attention and Thomas was made a priest and a bishop in 1162. At first, things were fine. But soon, the king began to demand money from the Church, which Thomas felt was not right.

The king grew more and more angry with his friend. Finally, he began to treat Thomas very unkindly. For a while, Thomas was tempted to give in to the king. Then he began to realize just how much Henry hoped to control the Church.

Thomas was very sorry that he had even thought of giving in to the king. He did penance for his weakness, and ever after held firm and only did what was right.

One day, the king was very angry. "Will no one rid me of this archbishop?" Some of his knights took him seriously and went off to murder the archbishop.

They attacked him in his own cathedral. Thomas died, saying, "For the name of Jesus and in defense of the Church, I am willing to die." It was December 29, 1170.

The entire Christian world was horrified at such a crime. Pope Alexander III held the king personally responsible for the murder.

Soon miracles began to happen at Thomas' tomb and he was proclaimed a saint by the same pope in 1173.


32 posted on 12/29/2011 9:19:45 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic
Almanac:
Thursday, December 29
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the optional memorial of St. Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr. St. Thomas devoted his life to serving and defending the Church during a time of persecution in England. He was killed by order of King Henry II in 1170.

33 posted on 12/29/2011 5:19:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Murder of Thomas Becket, 1170-Today in History

Becket's Lesson Beckons [Catholic Caucus]
BBC: St. Thomas Becket "Worst Briton of 12th Century" (!!)
Our Anglican Roots: St. Thomas Becket
St Thomas of Canterbury(1118-1170) [St Thomas a Becket]
The Murder of Thomas Becket, 1170

34 posted on 12/29/2011 5:23:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: December 29, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who gave the Martyr Saint Thomas Becket the courage to give up his life for the sake of justice, grant, through his intercession, that, renouncing our life for the sake of Christ in this world, we may find it in heaven. 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.

Christmas: December 29th

  Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas; Optional Memorial of St. Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr Old Calendar: St. Thomas of Canterbury

Today is the fifth day in the octave of Christmas. The Church celebrates the optional memorial of St. Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr. He was born in London and after studying in Paris, he first became chancellor to the king and then in 1162 was chosen Archbishop of Canterbury. He went from being "a patron of play-actors and a follower of hounds" to being a "shepherd of souls." He absorbed himself in the duties of his new office, defending the rights of the Church against Henry II. This prompted the king to exile him to France for six years. After returning to his homeland he endured many trials and was murdered by agents of the king.

The Fifth Day of Christmas


St. Thomas Becket (also known as St. Thomas of Canterbury)

Thomas Becket was born in 1118 of a merchant family. He studied in London and Paris, entered the service of Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury, became Lord Chancellor under King Henry II in 1155, and in 1162 Archbishop of Canterbury. Till then a submissive courtier, he now initiated a fearless struggle against the king for the freedom of the Church and the inviolability of ecclesiastical property, occasioning his imprisonment, exile, and finally martyrdom (December 29, 1170). Canonization came quickly (1173); in 1539 King Henry VIII ordered his remains burned.

Formerly the Breviary included this summary of the saint's last days: "Calumniators informed the king that the bishop was agitating against him and the peace of the realm; and the king retorted that with one such priest he could not live in peace. Hearing the royal displeasure, several godless courtiers agreed to do their sovereign a favor by assassinating Thomas. Secretly they traveled to Canterbury and fell upon the bishop while he was attending Vespers. His priests rushed to his aid and tried to bar the church door; Thomas opened it himself with these words: The house of God may not be defended like a fortress. I gladly face death for the Church of God. Then to the soldiers: I command it in the Name of God: No harm may be done to any of mine. Thereupon he cast himself on his knees, commended his flock and himself to God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to St. Denis and other holy patrons of his church, and with the same heroic courage with which he had withstood the king's laws, he bowed his holy head to the sacrilegious sword on December 29, 1170."

With all the strength that is given us for the defense of God's rights, we must resist those who seek to subject the Church to their power, even if they are those to whom on other grounds we owe service. In St. Thomas of Canterbury the Church celebrates one of her great bishops; by applying to him the Gospel of the Good Shepherd she venerates in him the true pastor of Christ's flock who gave his life for his sheep.

Patron: Clergy; secular clergy; Exeter College Oxford; Portsmouth, England.

Symbols: Sword through a mitre; pallium and archbishop's cross; battle axe and crosier; red chasuble; altar and sword.
Often Portrayed As: Archbishop with a wounded head; archbishop holding an inverted sword; archbishop kneeling before his murderers; archbishop being murdered in church.

Things to Do:

  • Read more about this historical event. For some web sources see The Murder of Thomas Becket, 1170, and more information on Henry II. Take an e-tour of Canterbury Cathedral, also this unofficial tour.

  • Some wonderful literature is based on this saint. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1342 - 1400) follows a group of 30 pilgrims traveling to the Canterbury Cathedral, the pilgrimage spot of St. Thomas Becket. T. S. Eliot wrote a play called Murder in the Cathedral based on St. Thomas' murder.

35 posted on 12/29/2011 5:33:01 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 2:22-35

“The Holy Spirit was upon him.” (Luke 2:25)

Does the way God works ever surprise you? If not, read this pas­sage more closely. No doubt, Simeon was surprised when he came to the Temple that day, saw Jesus, and was filled with the Holy Spirit. It was the unexpected fulfill­ment of a long-awaited prophecy that he would not die until he saw the Messiah. We might be a bit sur­prised too if we realize that Simeon became a “Spirit-filled” believer while Jesus was still an infant, well before the Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles at Pentecost.

Simeon certainly wasn’t the only figure in the New Testament who was touched by the Spirit outside of normal channels. Cornelius, a centurion from Rome, was an up­right and God-fearing man who had not been baptized nor heard the complete gospel, yet the Spirit fell on him and he began to praise God and speak in tongues (Acts 10:44-46)! There are dozens of Old Testament figures as well whom the Spirit used powerfully: Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samson, David, and Daniel, not to mention the prophets—all before the Spirit was poured out on Pentecost!

God is not bound by our lim­ited expectations or by our opinion of how he should act. It can be easy to fall into a trap of thinking that he works only in certain ways, or only for those who are spiritually “ma­ture.” Often, however, he is waiting for us to admit our weakness and to cry out: “I can’t do it, Lord!” before he will move. Humility is the key, for it is only when we are weak that we are open to his strength. It is only when we see our need that we are able to surrender to his Spirit.

Christmas Day may have passed, but God still wants to bless us— maybe even surprise us with an unexpected outpouring of the Holy Spirit. What do you really need? Maybe you know someone with a serious illness who needs healing. Maybe you’ve been praying for years that a relative would give his or her heart to the Lord. Or maybe you are hoping for victory over a sinful area that keeps tripping you up. Don’t box God in. Instead, expect the un­expected—just as Simeon did.

“Holy Spirit, thank you for showing me your love. I give you my whole heart, and I believe that you can move any mountain in my life!”

1 John 2:3-11; Psalm 96:1-3,5-6


36 posted on 12/29/2011 6:03:56 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 29, 2011:

“On the 5th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 5 gold rings.” Really only one is necessary and that’s the wedding band. But gold is a precious metal and reminds us of the precious love we share. Which of you cares more about jewelry? Both? Neither?


37 posted on 12/29/2011 7:03:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Holiness Through Adoration

 on December 28, 2011 8:14 PM |
 
Subiaco Cena.jpg

The practice of adoration is not difficult.
It is a gentle abiding in My presence,
a resting in the radiance of My Eucharistic Face,
a closeness to My Eucharistic Heart.

Words, though sometimes helpful, are not necessary,
nor are thoughts.
What I seek from one who would adore Me in spirit and in truth
is a heart aflame with love,
a heart content to abide in my presence,
silent and still,
engaged only in the act of loving Me
and of receiving My love.

Though this is not difficult,
it is, all the same,
my own gift
to the soul who asks for it.
Ask, then, for the gift of adoration.

Adoration is an austere prayer
because it rests upon faith alone.
Out of faith there rises the pure flame of hope,
and out of the flame of hope,
I enkindle in the soul a great conflagration of charity;
that is, a communication to the soul
of the fire that blazes in My Eucharistic Heart.

The fire of Divine Love does not destroy what I created:
a soul fashioned in My image and likeness.
It purifies that soul
and burns away only what is incompatible with My infinite holiness,
and with the purity of My Essence.
The soul, however, is not annihilated.
The soul remains,
even in the midst of the purifying flames of Divine Love,
fully capable of believing, of hoping, and of loving Me.

Adoration is a furnace and a forge.
The soul called to a life of adoration
must expect to suffer the intensity of the fiery furnace,
and the reshaping of all that is misshapen in her
in the forge of My Divine Will.
For this to happen,
it is enough that the soul offer herself to My love,
and remain humble, peaceful, and quiet
as I purify and transform her in My presence.

If only souls knew the power to purify and to transform
that emanates from My tabernacles!
If only My priests knew this
they would hasten into My presence
and remain there,
waiting for Me to do in them
what, of themselves, they cannot do.

It is the simple prayer of adoration
that renders a priest fit for the sacred ministry
by giving him a pure heart
and by correcting all that is incompatible with My Divine Holiness
and with My Priestly Love in his life.
This way of holiness through adoration
is a secret revealed to My saints in ages past,
and it is a gift that I am offering My priests
in these times of impurity, persecution, and darkness.

For impurity,
I will give them a shining purity
that will blaze before the eyes of the world
as a testimony to Divine Love.
For persecution
I will give them a manly strength and a resoluteness of purpose
that will confound those who plot their downfall.
For darkness
I will give them a clear light by which to order their steps
and see what choices are pleasing to My Heart.

Time spent in My presence is not time wasted.
It is the ground and support
of every word spoken by My priests in the exercise of their ministry;
it is the secret of a priestly action that is supernaturally fruitful,
bearing fruit that will last.

If this is true of the priests whom I have chosen
to labour in the vineyard of My Church,
how much more must it be true of [those]
whom I have chosen and set apart
to live cloistered in the Cenacle
with My Most Holy Mother and with Saint John, My Beloved Disciple.

John was most at home in My Eucharistic presence
and in the company of My Mother.
John understood better
and more than the other Apostles
the mysteries that I instituted in the Cenacle
on the night before I suffered.
John was the first of a long line of Eucharistic priests
called to love Me and abide in My Eucharistic presence,
close to My Heart, and in the radiance of My Face.
This is the particular grace that Saint John would share
with those who, responding to My call,
will find their way to the Cenacle of adoration
that I am bringing to birth
as a living organism within My Church,
enlivened by the Holy Spirit
and formed in the Heart of My Immaculate Mother.

From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest


38 posted on 12/29/2011 7:39:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

In the Spirit
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
The Fifth Day in Octave of Christmas (December 29, 2011).

December 29, 2011
The Fifth Day in Octave of Christmas

 

Luke 2:22-35
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord," and to offer the sacrifice of "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons," in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." The child´s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I long to abide in your presence. You refresh my soul and fill me with your light, although I don’t turn to you often enough or exercise enough faith when I do remember you. But here I am now, Lord, ready to spend a few precious moments with you in the room of my heart. I want to pick up more readily on the inspirations of your Spirit. I want to be a docile instrument in your hands to serve you and your Church.

Petition: Lord, teach me to be open to your Spirit.

1. Simeon, a Man of the Spirit:  Luke tells us three times in this short passage that Simeon was a man who was attentive to the Holy Spirit. The “Holy Spirit was upon him” since “it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.” Simeon was in conversation with the Spirit and learned to listen to his holy inspirations. Just as in Christ’s life we see him many times moved by the Spirit—for example, to come to be baptized by John and subsequently to be “driven by the Spirit” into the desert—so in Simeon’s life, he is not only inspired, but also powerfully moved by the Spirit. We should take a moment in our meditation to admire this man who lent himself totally to the movements of the Spirit.

2. Mary, Overshadowed by the Spirit: There is no one who demonstrates docility to the Spirit more than Mary Immaculate. She didn’t  put up any obstacles to the work of the Holy Spirit; as the Spirit expresses to us through the Gospel writer, “the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). As John Paul II describes it, Mary “responded with faithful obedience to every request of God, to every motion of the Holy Spirit.” As she stands here at the presentation of her firstborn son, she now hears words spoken to her through the Spirit’s instrument: “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Once more, Mary acquiesces to the Holy Spirit and accepts the foretold suffering far in advance.

3. Amazed by the Spirit: All of us have heard incredible stories of moments in which the Holy Spirit clearly intervened or directed a situation. Maybe we have experienced this in our own lives. Is there any reason why we shouldn’t? Are there any obstacles that the Holy Spirit would find in our lives? He should be the soul’s gentle guest. But how do we foster this friendship with the Holy Spirit? We have to bring silence into our hearts so as to distinguish his voice from the noise of so many worldly voices trying to drown out his word, and it also means we have to be docile and obedient once we have heard it.

Conversation with Christ:  Lord Jesus, there are so many lessons to be learned from your presentation in the Temple. I have taken one of them: the presence of your Holy Spirit so evident in this Gospel passage. In the Christmas season we celebrate your being among us as a tiny child. Yet, your whole life will show us how to be docile to the Holy Spirit. You have sent him so that we might not be alone. May he always accompany me in life, and may he always remind me of the many things you did and said, as you lead me to the Father’s house.

Resolution: I will spend the day attentive to the Holy Spirit and make this a particular point for my examination of conscience.


39 posted on 12/29/2011 7:57:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Meditation on Simeon

December 29th, 2011 by Food For Thought

 

First Reading: 1 John 2:3-11
Psalm: Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6
Gospel: Luke 2:22-35

Simeon, a just and pious man, is devoted to the Holy Spirit. The
Holy Spirit guided him; he was docile, obedient to the Spirit. He
had full trust in the Spirit, including the Spirit’s promise that he
would not die until he had seen the Messiah or Anointed of the Lord.
Many of us pray to the Blessed Mother or saints, instead of praying
to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Perhaps we need to learn to also
pray to the Holy Spirit to come into our lives to light and guide us
in our decisions. The Holy Spirit can grant us the following
gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety,
and fear of the Lord.
Simeon proclaimed Jesus as “the revealing light to the Gentiles.”
The “Gentiles” are all people who are not Jews. Simeon predicts
that Jesus will reveal Himself and His message to all peoples.
Jesus, before His Ascension into heaven, commanded His
disciples: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit.” From the time of the disciples to the present day and
until the end of the world, the Catholic Church through the Pope,
bishops and priests and lay helpers will give the good news to all
men. About five sixths of the world population is still non-
Catholic. The lay Catholics must do their important part in
bringing Christ’s message to non-Catholics, especially by their
lives, which are a living picture of the good news. Each Catholic
is like a television set, which broadcasts the picture of Jesus
Christ and His message.

PRAYER
“Lord, may I recognize your visitation and be prepared for your
action today, just as Simeon Anna were prepared and ready to respond
to your visitation and action in their day.”


40 posted on 12/29/2011 8:08:52 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 29, 2011 >> St. Thomas Becket
Saint of the Day
 
1 John 2:3-11
View Readings
Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6 Luke 2:22-35
 

CHRISTMAS AND DEATH

 
"It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not experience death until he had seen the Anointed of the Lord." —Luke 2:26
 

At Christmas we remember loved ones who have died. These memories may be painful, but we can't help remembering. At Christmas we can experience accelerated growth in our relationship with the Lord. Because of our love for Him, the sting of death can be taken out of our lives (1 Cor 15:55). We no longer dread the memories of past Christmases. We no longer even fear our own death because by the new depths in our relationship with Jesus we have cast out all fear (1 Jn 4:18).

We can welcome death as did Simeon: "Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word" (Lk 2:29). We can risk our lives as St. Thomas Becket did, and call death our sister as St. Francis of Assisi did. Because Jesus was conceived, born, and dwelt among us, we have a love stronger than death (Sg 8:6). Because of Jesus' birth-day, we can rejoice in our death-day. Because of Christmas Day, we can have confidence on Judgment Day (1 Jn 4:17). Because of our relationship with Jesus the Life (Jn 11:25; 14:6), death no longer has power over us (Rm 6:9).

 
Prayer: Father, turn our depression to exaltation in Your love.
Promise: "On second thought, the commandment that I write you is new, as it is realized in Him and you, for the darkness is over and the real light begins to shine." —1 Jn 2:8
Praise: St. Thomas faced his martyrdom by stating, "I am ready to die for the name of Jesus and the defense of the Church."

41 posted on 12/29/2011 8:27:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

December 29, Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Given the tempo of the liturgical season with its feasts it is easy to overlook that one saint who for many centuries was, after Mary and Joseph, the most venerated person in European Christendom.

St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury was assassinated in his cathedral on December 29, 1170 because of his opposition to his former friend, King Henry II of England, who was encroaching on the liberties of the English Church.

Devotion to him spread like wildfire. He was enshrined in the hearts of men, and in their arts. In statues and stained glass, in song and story this good bishop was everywhere to be found: France, Italy, Spain, Sweden. Many miracles were attributed to his heavenly advocacy. — Excerpted from Days of the Lord

 
 
A blessed Fifth Day of Christmas to all of you!

42 posted on 12/29/2011 8:36:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

PRAYER FOR THE UNBORN CHILD


Almighty God, our Father, you who have given us life and intended us to have it forever, grant us your blessings. 
Enlighten our minds to an awareness and to a renewed conviction that all human life is sacred because it is created 
in your image and likeness.  Help us to teach by word and the example of our lives that life occupies the first place, 
that human life is precious because it is the gift of God whose love is infinite.  Give us the strength to defend human life 
against every influence or action that threatens or weakens it, as well as the strength to make every life more human 
in all its aspects.  

Give us the grace...

When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority 
to destroy unborn life.

When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, to stand up 
and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God,  a gift of God with a right to a loving and united family.

When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary conditional arrangement 
that can easily be terminated, to stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.

When the value of the family is threatened because of social and economic pressure, to stand up and reaffirm that the family is necessary 
not only for the private good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state.

When freedom is used to dominate the weak, to squander natural resources and energy, to deny basic necessities to people, 
to stand up and affirm the demands of justice and social love.

Almighty Father, give us courage to proclaim the supreme dignity of all human life and to demand that society itself give its protection.  
We ask this in your name, through the redemptive act of your Son and in the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

(From Pope John Paul II's homily of October 7, 1979.)

43 posted on 12/29/2011 8:39:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

Mary and Child modern

At Christmas we celebrate the fact of the Word Becoming Flesh. God’s love for us is not just some theory or idea. It is a flesh and blood reality that can actually be seen, heard and touched.

But the challenge of the Christmas season is for us to allow the same thing to happen to our faith. The Word of God and our faith cannot simply remain on the pages of a book or the recesses of our intellect. They have to become flesh in our life. Our faith has to leap off the pages of the Bible and Catechism and become flesh in the very way we live our lives, the decisions we make, the very way we use our body, mind, intellect and will.

Consider the passage from the liturgy read today, as I write this, December 29, of the Christmas Octave. It is from the First Letter of John. I would like to produce an excerpt and then make a few comments.

The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked. (1 John 2:3ff)

I. Faith is incarnational - Note first of all what a practical man John is. Faith is not an abstraction, it is not about theories, abstractions, generalities or merely words on a page. It is not about slogans. It is about a transformed life, it is about the actual love of God and his Commandments. It is about the actual love of of my neighbor.

True faith is “incarnational,” in that it takes on flesh in my very “body-person.” Remember, we human beings are not pure spirit, we are not intellect and will only, we are also flesh and blood. Therefore our faith cannot remain merely immaterial. What we most are, must be reflected in our bodies, in what we actually, physically do as well.

Too many people often repeat the phrase, “I’ll be with you in spirit.” Perhaps an occasional absence is understandable, but after a while the phrase rings hollow. Actually showing up, and actually doing what we say, is an essential demonstration of our sincerity. We are body persons and our faith must have a physical, flesh and blood dimension. Our faith is to be reflected in our actual behavior and the physical conduct of our life.

II. A sure sign – John says that The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Now be careful of the logic here. The keeping of the commandments is not the cause of faith, it is the fruit of it. It is not the cause of love, it is the fruit of it.

Note this too, in the Scriptures, to “know” is usually more than a mere intellectual knowing. The verb used in this passage to denote “know” is γινώσκομεν (ginoskomen). This type of knowing means an experiential knowing as distinguished from a mere intellectual or “book” knowing, more commonly indicated by the Greek word “oida.” So the kind of knowing set forth in this passage (ginoskomen) means more fully, to have a deep intimate personal experience of the thing or person known. It is one thing to know about God, it is another thing to “know the Lord.”

So, what John is saying here is that to be sure we authentically have deep intimate personal experience of God is to observe the fact that this changes the way we live. An authentic faith, an authentic knowing of the Lord, will change our actual behavior in such a way that we keep the commandments as a fruit of that authentic faith and relationship with the Lord. It means that our faith becomes flesh in us. It changes the way we live and move and have our being.

For a human being who is a person with a bodily dimension, faith cannot be an abstraction. It has to become flesh and blood if it is authentic.

John also uses the image of walking: This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked. Now walking is a very physical thing. It is also a very symbolic thing. The very place we take our body is both physical and indicative of what we value, what we think.

III. Liar? - John goes on to say Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar. John uses strong language here. Either we believe and keep the commandments or we fail to keep the commandments and thus lie about knowing the Lord.

But all of us struggle to keep the commandments fully! John seems so “all or nothing.” True, but his math is clear. To know the Lord fully, is never to sin (cf 1 John 3:9). To know him imperfectly is still to experience sin. Hence, the more we know him (remember the definition of know from above!) the less we sin. If we still sin it is a sign that we do not know him enough.

It is not really John who speaks too absolutely. It is really we who do so. We say, “I have faith, I am a believer, I love the Lord, I know the the Lord!” We speak so absolutely. Perhaps we could better say, I am growing in faith, I am striving to be a better believer, I’m learning to love and know the Lord better and better. Otherwise we risk lying.

Faith is something we grow in. Many Protestants have a bad habit of reducing faith to an event such as answering an altar call, or accepting the Lord as “personal Lord and savior.” But we Catholics do it too. Many think all they have to do is be baptized but they never attend Mass faithfully later. Others claim to be “loyal” even “devout” Catholics but they dissent from important Church teachings.

Faith is about more than membership. It is about the way we walk, the decisions we actually make. Without this harmony between faith and our actual walk we live a lie. We lie to ourselves and to others. Bottom line: Come to know the Lord more an more perfectly and, if this knowing is real knowing, we will grow in holiness, keep the commandments be of the mind of Christ. We will walk just as Jesus walked.

IV. Is this salvation by works? Of course not. The keeping of the commandments is not the cause of saving and real faith it is the result of it. The keeping of the commandments is the necessary evidence of saving faith but it does not cause us to be saved. It only indicates that the Lord is saving us from sin and its effects.

But here too certain Protestants divide faith and works. The cry went up in the 16th Century by the Protestants that we are saved by faith “alone.” Careful. Faith is never alone. It always brings effects with it. Our big brains can get in the way here and we think that just because we can distinguish or divide something in our mind, we can divide it in reality. This is not necessarily so.

Consider for a moment a candle flame. Now the flame has two qualities: heat and light. In our mind we can separate the two but not in reality. I could never take a knife and divide the heat of the flame and the light. They are so together as to be one reality. Yes, heat and light in a candle flame are separate theoretically, but they are always together in reality.

This is how it is with faith and works. We are not saved by works but as John here teaches to know the Lord is always accompanied by the evidence of keeping the commandments and walking as Jesus did.

So, faith is real. It is “incarnational.” At Christmas we acknowledge that the Word, Jesus Christ, became flesh and dwelt among us, really and physically. So too our own faith must become flesh in us, really, physically in our actual behavior in our very body-person.

I put this video together with a song arranged by Richard Proulx (RIP) of an anonymously composed 15th Century Carol. The song is available at iTunes. The translation is as follows:

  • Verbum Caro Factum Est (The Word was made flesh)
  • Habitavit in Nobis (And dwelt among us)
  • Alleluia
  • Notum fecit Dominus (The Lord has made known)
  • Salutare suum (His Salvation)
  • Alleluia
  • Prope invocavit me: (Near is he who calls me: )
  • Frater meus est tu!”" (“You are my brother!”)
  • Alleluia

44 posted on 12/29/2011 10:23:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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