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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-30-11, Feast, Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph ^ | 12-30-11 | RevisedNewAmericanBible

Posted on 12/29/2011 9:33:49 PM PST by Salvation

December 30, 2011

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph


Reading 1 Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying:
"Fear not, Abram!"
I am your shield;
I will make your reward very great."
But Abram said,
"O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be,
if I keep on being childless
and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?"
Abram continued,
"See, you have given me no offspring,
and so one of my servants will be my heir."

Then the word of the LORD came to him:
"No, that one shall not be your heir;
your own issue shall be your heir."
The Lord took Abram outside and said,
"Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
Just so," he added, "shall your descendants be."
Abram put his faith in the LORD,
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

The LORD took note of Sarah and had said he would;
he did for her as he had promised.
Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age,
at the set time that God had stated.
Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son of his
whom Sarah bore him.

Or Heb 11:8,  11-12, 17-19

Brothers and sisters:
By faithful Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place
that he was to receive as an inheritance;
he went out, not knowing where he was to go.
By faith he received power to generate,
even though he was past the normal age
and Sarah herself was sterile
for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.
So it was that there came forth from one man,
himself as good as dead,
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky
as countless as the sands on the seashore.

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises was ready to offer
his only son,
of whom it was said,
"Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name."
He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead,
and received Isaac back as a symbol.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (cf. 1)Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R.Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Or Ps 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10

R. (cf. 5a)Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
Happy they who dwell in your house!
Continually they praise you.
Happy the men whose strength you are!
Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
O LORD of hosts, hear our prayer;
hearken, O God of Jacob!
O God, behold our shield,
and look upon the face of your anointed.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

Gospel Lk 2:22-40

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,
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:
"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."
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

Or Lk 2:22, 39-40

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.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; christmas; holyfamily; prayer
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1 posted on 12/29/2011 9:33:54 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
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2 posted on 12/29/2011 9:38:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3

God’s Covenant with Abram

[1] After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Fear not,
Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” [2] But Abram said,
“0 Lord God, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my
house is Eliezer of Damascus?” [3] And Abram said, “Behold, thou hast given
me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.” [4] And behold,
the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own
son shall be your heir.” [5] And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward
heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said
to him, “So shall your descendants be.” [6] And he believed the Lord; and he\
reckoned it to him as righteousness.

The Birth and Circumcision of Isaac

[1] The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did Sarah as he had
promised. And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the
time of which God had spoken to him. [3] Abraham called the name of his son
who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.


15:1-21. God rewards Abraham for his generosity towards Mechizedek and for
his renouncing of the riches offered him by the king of Sodom. He appears to
him in a vision and promises his help, many descendants and the land of Ca-
naan. Here all that is required of Abraham is that he believe in the promise that
God himself, through a rite of covenant, undertakes to fulfill. This passage em-
phasizes the gravity of God’s promise and speaks of the faithfulness of God,
who will keep his word.

15:2-3. Abraham does not understand how God can keep the promise he made
to him in Haran (cf. chap. 12). The fact that he has no children is a severe test
of his faith; and anything else God may give him means little by comparison.
This is the first time Abraham speaks to God, and their conversation shows the
deep intimacy between them. He makes his concerns known to God: because
Lot has left him and Abraham has no son of his own, he needs to appoint an
heir who will take over leadership of the clan in return for serving Abraham in his
lifetime. This is the first friendly dialogue the Bible records between God and a
man since the dialogue God had with Adam in paradise (cf. 3:9-1.2). It is a con-
versation between friends and the first example, therefore, of a prayer of friend-
ship and filiation, for to pray is to speak to God.

“Of Damascus”: this is the translation most frequently given for a word which is
very unclear (the original text is unrecoverably corrupt). It does not seem to mean
that Eliezer was a native of Damascus, for he was a slave or servant born in Abra-
ham’s house (v. 3); therefore, it must be some other sort of title whose meaning
escapes us.

15:4-6. Once more Abraham is asked to make an act of faith in the word of God,
and he does so. This pleases God and is reckoned righteous. This makes Abra-
ham the father of all those who believe in God and his saving word.

In the light of this passage St Paul sees Abraham as the model of how a person
becomes righteous in God’s eyes—through faith in his word, the definitive word
being the announcement that God saves us through the death and resurrection
of Jesus. In this way, Abraham not only becomes the father of the Jewish people
according to the flesh, but also the father of those who without being Jews have
become members of the new people of God through faith in Jesus: “We say that
faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it reckoned to
him? Was it before or after he was circumcised? It was not after, but before he
was circumcised. He received circumcision as a sign or seal of the righteous-
ness which he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was
to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus
have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the father of the circumcised
who are not merely circumcised but also follow the example of the faith which
our father Abraham had before he was circumcised” (Rom 4:9-12).

Abraham’s faith revealed itself in his obedience to God when he left his homeland
(cf. 12:4), and later on when he was ready to sacrifice his son (cf 22:1-4). This is
the aspect of Abraham’s obedience which is given special emphasis in the Letter
of St James, inviting Christians to prove the genuineness of their faith with obe-
dience to God and good works: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works,
when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along
with his works, and faith was completed by works, and scripture was fulfilled
which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteous-
ness’; and he was called the friend of God” (Jas 2:21-23).

21:1-7. The promise recounted in 15:18 and 17:19-21 now begins to be fulfilled,
The patriarch’s age serves to show the special intervention by God in the birth of
Isaac; as does the etymological explanation of the child’s name, “she began to
laugh”, which is now interpreted as “God has made laughter for me”, that is, has
made me happy (cf. 18:15). And Abraham’s obedience is very clear: he strictly
fulfills the commandment of circumcision.

This is perhaps the most joyful moment in the patriarch’s life: up to now it has
been very much marked by trials and tribulations. With the birth of Isaac Abra-
ham’s trust in God grows, as can be seen now by his prompt obedience to his
Law. The Lord is strengthening the patriarch for the final test which he will make
him undergo later. This event in Abraham’s life helps us to see that in moments
of darkness in the course of our life we need to put our trust in God: “The time
has come to cry to him, Remember, Lord, the promises you made, filling me
with hope; they console me in my nothingness and fill my life with strength (Ps
119:49-50). Our Lord wants us to rely on him for everything: it is now glaringly
evident to us that without him we can do nothing (cf. Jn 15:5), whereas with him
we can do all things (cf. Phil 4:13). We confirm our decision to walk always in
his presence (cf. Ps 119:168)” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 305).

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 12/29/2011 9:46:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
From: Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19

The Good Example of the Patriarchs
[8] By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he
was to receive as an inheritance and he went out, not knowing where he was to

11] By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past
the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. [12] Therefore from
one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the
stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

[17] By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had re-
ceived the promises was ready to offer up his only son, [18] of whom it was said,
"Through Isaac shall your descendants be named." [19] He considered that God
was able to raise men even from the dead; hence he did receive him back, and
this was a symbol.


8. Abraham, "our father in faith", is the greatest example, in the Old Testament,
of faith in God (cf. Gen 12:1-4; Rom 4:1ff; Gal 3:6-9; Heb 6:13ff). It is not surpri-
sing that the author pauses to dwell on the faithful life of the father of the chosen
people. Putting all his trust in the divine word, Abraham gave up all the security
and comfort of his native land in Ur of the Chaldeans, to set out for a distant and
unknown place, the land of Canaan, which God had promised to give his descen-
dants. "Neither the love for his homeland nor the pleasure of his neighbors' com-
pany nor the comforts of his father's home were able to weaken his resolve. He
set out courageously and ardently to where God willed to lead him. What self-
abasement and abandonment! One cannot love God perfectly unless one renoun-
ces all attachment to perishable things" (St. Francis de Sales, "Treatise on the
Love of God", book 10). Abraham symbolizes the need for detachment if one is
to obtain redemption and to be a good servant of God and of others.

"Never forget that Christ cannot be reached without sacrifice. You have to get rid
of everything that gets in the way [...]. You have to do the same in this battle for
the glory of God, in this struggle of love and peace by which we are trying to
spread Christ's kingdom. In order to serve the Church, the Pope and all souls,
you must be ready to give up everything superfluous" (St. J. Escriva, "Friends
of God", 196).

11-12. Sarah, like Abraham, was very elderly when God announced that she was
going to have a child. At first she was puzzled and even sarcastically skeptical
(cf. Gen 18:9f), but soon her attitude changed into a faith which God rewarded by
her conceiving Isaac. The faith of Sarah and her husband can be said to exceed
that of the earlier patriarchs because what God promised could come true only
by means of a miracle, since Abraham, like his wife, was old and incapable of
begetting children. That is why it says that from one man "and him as good as
dead" innumerable descendants were born. God is generous in rewarding man's
faith. "'Si habueritis fidem, sicut granum sinapis"! -- If your faith were the size of
a mustard seed!...'

"What promises are contained in this exclamation of the Master!" (St.. J. Escriva,
"The Way", 585).

The conception of Isaac is also a "type" of that of Christ. "All the miraculous con-
ceptions which occurred in the Old Testament were prefigurements of the grea-
test of all miracles, the Incarnation of the Word. It was fitting that his birth from
a Virgin should be prefigured by other births so as to prepare people's minds for
faith. But there is this difference: God miraculously enabled Sarah to conceive by
means of human seed, whereas the blessed Virgin conceived without it" (St. Tho-
mas Aquinas, "Commentary on Heb.", 11, 3).

17-19. It is very difficult for us to imagine what Abraham thought when God asked
him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of the promise, his only son, in the mountains of
Moriah (cf. Gen 22:2). The Old Testament shows how resolute Abraham was, his
absolute docility, his serenity even in the midst of suffering his trust in God (cf.
Gen 22:1-18). This is revealed in the touching conversation between the Patriarch
and his son, when Isaac asks him where is the lamb for the offering and Abraham
replies, "God will provide himself with the lamb for a burnt offering, my son". In St.
Paul's epistles generally Abraham's faith is proposed as an example (cf. Gal 3:7;
Rom 4:3, 11-12; 4:17-22); but that was in the context of his faith in God's promise
that he would have a multitude of descendants. Here, however, the Patriarch's
faith is to be seen in the way he approaches a commandment which seems to
negate that promise: how could God possibly ask him to sacrifice his only son?
The answer lies in the fact that God knew that Abraham had faith in his ability to
bring the dead back to life.

Abraham's obedience to God in this episode is the most striking proof of his faith.
Here most of all the Patriarch "believed against hope [...]; he grew strong in his
faith as he gave glory to God" (Rom 4:18, 21). "The Patriarch hears words which
deny the promise; he hears the very author of the promise contradict himself, but
he is not dismayed; he is going to obey as if everything were completely consis-
tent. And in fact the two things were compatible: the two things God said were
contradictory as far as human logic was concerned; but faith brought them into
agreement [...].

"God tested Abraham's faith. Did he not know the strength and integrity of that
great man? Undoubtedly he did, very well. Why, then, did he put them to the
test? He did not do it to prove to himself the Patriarch's virtue; he did it to show
the world how excellent Abraham was. The Apostle, moreover, shows the He-
brews one of the causes of our temptations, so that anyone who is afflicted
should not think that God has abandoned him" ("Hom. on Heb.", 25). we know,
moreover, that precisely on account of Abraham's generosity and faith, God re-
newed his promise to him, now ratifying it with an oath (cf. Gen 22:16; Heb 6:

19. "Hence he did receive him back, and this was a symbol": after offering Isaac,
Abraham was given him back, because God stepped in before Isaac was sacri-
ficed (Gen 22:11-12). And he received him as "a symbol" (literally, as "a para-
ble"). Tradition has always seen the sacrifice of Isaac, the only Son, as a sym-
bol of the redemptive sacrifice of Christ; and, particularly, it has seen God's inter-
vention on Mount Moriah as a symbol of the Resurrection. "He saw it as a sym-
bol," Theodoret comments, "that is, as a prefigurement of the Resurrection. (I-
saac) was brought to death by his father's will, and then brought back to life by
the voice which prevented his death. All this amounts to a prefiguring of the pas-
sion of the Savior, and that is why the Lord told the Jews, 'Your father Abraham
rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad' (Jn 8:56)" ("Inter-
pretatio Ep. ad Haebreos, ad loc.").

Origen, a writer of Christian antiquity, reflects this tradition very beautifully when
he says that the sacrifice of Isaac helps us to understand the mystery of Re-
demption. "Isaac carrying the wood for the burnt offering is a symbol of Christ,
who carried his (own) cross. But it is also the function of the priest to carry the
wood for the burnt offering [...]. Christ is the Word of God, but the Word made
flesh. Therefore, there is in Christ an element which comes from above and a-
nother which comes from human nature, which he took on in the womb of the
Virgin. This is why Christ experiences suffering: he suffers in the flesh, and he
dies, but what suffers death is the flesh, and the ram is a figure of this, as St.
John said, 'Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world' (Jn
1:29) [...]. Christ is at one and the same time victim and high priest. Thus, ac-
cording to the spirit he offers the victim to his father, according to his flesh, he
himself is offered on the altar of the cross" ("Homilies on Genesis", 8, 6 and 9).

For all these reasons, Eucharistic Prayer I links Christ's sacrifice with those of
Abel, Isaac and Melchizedek.

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

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

4 posted on 12/29/2011 9:47:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
From: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14

Duties Towards Parents
[2] For the Lord honored the father above the children,
     and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons.
[3] Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
[4] and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure.
[5] Whoever honors his father will he gladdened by his own children, and
     when he prays he will he heard.
[6] Whoever glorifies his father will have long life,
          and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother.

[12] O son, help your father in his old age,
            and do not grieve him as long as he lives;
[13] even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance;
            in all your strength do not despise him.
[14] For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
            and against your sins it will be credited to you.


3:1-16:23. Throughout the book each doctrinal passage is followed by a section
to do with practical applications, sapiential thoughts on moral conduct, eulogies
of virtues and sapiential advice on where to seek things that are truly good, etc.
This is the first such section. In it the reader will find an exhortation to prudence
in all its various forms.

3:1-16. Traditional wisdom encourages people to be observant and to reflect on
life in order to discover the best route to happiness. Here it focuses on the
relationship between children and their parents: honoring one's parents brings

However, Ben Sirach's viewpoint is primarily a religious one. "Whoever fears the
Lord will honor his father" (v. 7, RSV note m). The Decalogue laid this down very
clearly: "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded
you; that your day may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the
land ..." (Deut 5:16; cf. Ex 20:12), and these verses are a valuable commentary
that is generous in its praise of those who attend to that commandment. Very
appropriately, the Church uses these verses as the first reading on the feast of
the Holy Family, for God honors Mary and St Joseph by entrusting Jesus to
their care.

Finally (cf. vv. 12-26), the passage dwells on children's duties to their parents
when they can no longer look after themselves: The fourth commandment re-
minds grown children of their "responsibilities toward their parents". As much
as they can, they must give them material and moral support in old age and in
times of illness, loneliness or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude (cf.
Mk 7:10-12)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 2218).

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.

5 posted on 12/29/2011 9:48:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Colossians 3:12-21

Progress in the Spiritual Life

[12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness,
lowliness, meekness, and patience, [13] forbearing one another and, if one has a
complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so
you also must forgive. [14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything
together in perfect harmony. [15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to
which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. [16] Let the word
of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your
hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Morals in Family Life

[18] Wives, be subject to your husband as is fitting in the Lord. [19] Husbands,
love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. [20] Children, obey your parents
in everything, for this pleases the Lord. [21] Fathers, do not provoke your children,
lest they become discouraged.


12-13. Putting on the new nature is not just an external action, like putting on
different clothes. It is a transfiguration involving the whole person — soul and body,
mind and will. This interior change begins to operate when one makes a firm re-
solution to lead a fully Christian life; but it calls for an on-going effort, day in day
out, to practice all the virtues. “Conversion is something momentary; sanctifica-
tion is the work of a lifetime. The divine seed of charity, which God has sown in
our souls, wants to grow, to express itself in action, to yield results which con-
tinually coincide with what God wants. Therefore, we must be ready to begin
again, to find again — in new situations — the light and the stimulus of our first
conversion” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 58).

The virtues which the Apostle lists here as characteristic of the new man are all
expressions, in one way or another, of charity, which “binds everything together
in total harmony” (v. 14). Meekness, patience, forgiveness and gratefulness all
reflect an essential virtue — humility. Only a humble person can be forgiving and
truly appreciative, because only he realizes that everything he has comes from
God. This realization leads him to be understanding towards his neighbor, forgi-
ving him as often as needs be; by acting in this way he is proving the genuine-
ness of his faith and love.

See the note on Eph 4:20-24.

14. The comparison of the new nature to a new outfit is extended here by a furt-
her metaphor: charity is the belt which keeps everything together. Without it the
other virtues would fall apart: supernatural virtue could not survive (cf. 1 Cor 13:1-
3). St Francis de Sales uses simple examples to explain this truth: “Without ce-
ment and mortar, which knits the bricks together and strengthens the walls, the
entire building is bound to collapse; a human body would simply disintegrate un-
less it had nerves, muscles and tendons; and if charity were absent, virtues sim-
ply could not stay together” (St Francis de Sales, “Treatise on the Love of God”,
11, 9).

“Love, as the bond of perfection and fullness of the law (cf. Col 3:14; Rom 13:10),
governs, imbues, and perfects all the means of sanctification” (Vatican II, “Lumen
Gentium”, 42). Therefore, “if we want to achieve holiness — in spite of personal
shortcomings and miseries which will last as long as we live — we must make an
effort, with God’s grace, to practice charity, which is the fullness of the law and
the bond of perfection. Charity is not something abstract, it entails a real, com-
plete, self-giving to the service of God and all men — to the service of that God
who speaks to us in the silence of prayer and in the hubbub of the world and of
those people whose existence is interwoven with our own. By living charity —
Love — we live all the human and supernatural virtues required of a Christian” (St.
J. Escriva, “Conversations”, 62).

15. The “peace of Christ” is that which flows from the new order of grace which
he has established; grace gives man direct access to God and therefore to that
peace he so much yearns for. “Thou has made us for thyself and our hearts are
restless till they rest in thee” (St Augustine, “Confessions”, 1, 1). This is not a
peace the world can give (cf. Jn 14:27), because it is not a function of purely ma-
terial progress or well-being, nor does it derive from the sort of peace that should
obtain among nations. “Peace on earth, which men of every era have most eage-
rly yearned for, can be firmly established only if the order laid down by God is
dutifully observed” (Bl. John XXIII, “Pacem In Terris”, 1).

The peace of Christ, then, is “a peace that comes from knowing that our Father
God loves us, and that we are made one with Christ. It results from being under
the protection of the Virgin, our Lady, and assisted by St Joseph. This is the
great light that illuminates our lives. In the midst of difficulties and of our personal
failings, it encourages us to keep up our effort” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing
By”, 22).

16. “The word of Christ”: the whole corpus of our Lord’s teachings, of which the
Apostles are accredited witnesses. This should be ever-present to the Christian’s
soul and “dwell...richly” in him, imbuing everything he does: the word of Christ is
the best nourishment of one’s life of prayer and an inexhaustible source of practi-
cal teaching; and it is to be found in the first instance in the books of the New
Testament. St John Chrysostom says that these writings “are teachers which
never cease to instruct us [...]. Open these books. What a treasury of good re-
medies they contain! [...]. All you need do is look at the book, read it and re-
member well the wise teachings therein. The source of all our evils is our igno-
rance of the sacred books” (”Hom. on Col, ad loc.”).

St Paul also reminds us that our appreciation should lead us to glorify the Lord
with songs of joy and gratitude. We can use ready-made hymns for this purpose,
and also the Psalms, which the Church has always used in its liturgy to praise
God and to nourish the spiritual life. “Just as the mouth savors good food, so
does the heart savor the Psalms” (St Bernard, “Sermons on the Song of Songs”,
7, 5).

See the note on Eph 5:19.

17. All genuinely human things can and should be sanctified (cf. 1 Cor 10:31),
by being done perfectly and for love of God.

The Second Vatican Council has recalled this teaching: “Lay people [...], while
meeting their human obligations in the ordinary conditions of life, should not se-
parate their union with Christ from their ordinary life; through the very performance
of their tasks, which are God’s will for them, they actually promote the growth of
their union with him. This is the path along which lay people must advance, fer-
vently, joyfully” (”Apostolicam Actuositatem”, 4).

This teaching was very much part of the message and life of the founder of Opus
Dei: “I assure you, my children, that when a Christian carries out with love the
most insignificant everyday action, that action overflows with the transcendence
of God. That is why I have told you repeatedly, and hammered away once and
again on the idea, that the Christian vocation consists in making heroic verse
out of the prose of each day. Heaven and earth seem to merge, my children, on
the horizon. But where they really meet is in your hearts, when you sanctify your
everyday lives” (”Conversations”, 116).

The Second Vatican Council also sees in this passage of Colossians a basis for
ecumenical dialogue with non-Catholics: “And if in moral matters there are many
Christians who do not always understand the Gospel in the same way as Catho-
lics, and do not admit the same solutions for the more difficult problems of mo-
dern society, they nevertheless want to cling to Christ’s word as the source of
Christian virtue and to obey the command of the Apostle: [Col 3:17 follows]”
(”Unitatis Redintegratio”, 23).

18-19. In the period when this epistle was written, especially in the East, women
were regarded as inferior to men. St Paul does not make a direct attack on the
customs of his time, but the way he focuses the question of the role of women
provides the elements of an answer to it. He identifies what a woman’s role in the
family should be: it is true that the husband has an important part to play, but the
wife also has a role to perform and one which is non-transferable. The wife is not
the husband’s slave: she is his equal in dignity and must be treated by him with
respect and sincere love. It is taken for granted that the family needs a center
of authority, and that this authority belongs to the husband, in accordance with
God’s design (cf. 1 Cor 11:3, 12-14). “The place and task of the father in and for
the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance [...]. In revealing and in re-
living on earth the very fatherhood of God (cf. Eph 3:15), a man is called upon to
ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family”
(Bl. John Paul II, “Familiaris Consortio”, 25).

God gave Eve to Adam as his inseparable companion and complement (cf. Gen
2:18); she was therefore duty-bound to live in peace with him. Man and woman
have different, though complementary, roles in family life; they are equal in digni-
ty, by virtue of the fact that they are human persons: “The unity of marriage, dis-
tinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which
must be accorded to man and woman in mutual and unreserved affection” (Vati-
can II, “Gaudium Et Spes”, 49).

Therefore, a husband should make a special effort to love and respect his wife:
“You are not her master”, writes Saint Ambrose, “but her husband; she was not
given to you to be your slave, but your wife [...]. Reciprocate her attentiveness
to you and be grateful to her for her love” (”Exameron”, 5, 7, 19 quoted in “Fami-
liaris Consortio”, 25).

See the note on Eph 5:22-24 and 5:25-33.

20-21. Children should obey their parents in everything, as God has commanded
(cf. Ex 20:12; Sir 3:8ff) — a commandment which shows that this is something
which is part of human nature. Obviously for a child’s obedience to “please the
Lord” it must not involve doing anything that is opposed to God’s will, for Jesus
taught that “he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me”
(Mt 10:37).

For their part, parents must do everything they can to bring up their children well.
In every family there should be an “educational exchange between parents and
children (cf. Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:20f) in which each gives and receives. By means of
love, respect and obedience towards their parents, children offer their specific and
irreplaceable contribution to the construction of an authentically human and Chris-
tian family (cf. “Gaudium Et Spes”, 48). They will be aided in this if parents exer-
cise their unrenounceable authority as a true and proper ‘ministry’, that is, as a
service to the human and Christian well-being of their children, and in particular
as a service aimed at helping them acquire a truly responsible freedom” (”Fami-
liaris Consortio”, 21).

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

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

6 posted on 12/29/2011 9:49:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 2:22-40

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 re-
velation 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 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.”

Anna’s Prophecy

[36] And there was a prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of
Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from
her virginity, [37] and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from
the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day. [38] And coming
up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of Him to all who were
looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Childhood of Jesus

[39] And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. [40] And the child grew
and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.


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 presentation and then re-
demption or buying back of the first-born. According to Leviticus 12:2-8, a woman
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 ob-
ligation 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.
Escriva, “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 Consola-
tion 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 prophecies
(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
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 also 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 others. 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
Family 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.

7 posted on 12/29/2011 9:49:48 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 Ecclesiasticus 3:3-7,14-17 ©
The Lord honours the father in his children,
  and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,
  he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own,
  he shall be heard on the day when he prays.
Long life comes to him who honours his father,
  he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.
My son, support your father in his old age,
  do not grieve him during his life.
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy,
  do not despise him in your health and strength;
for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten
  but will serve as reparation for your sins.

First reading Genesis 15:1-6,21:1-3 ©
The word of the Lord was spoken to Abram in a vision, ‘Have no fear, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.’
  ‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘what do you intend to give me? I go childless...’ Then Abram said, ‘See, you have given me no descendants; some man of my household will be my heir.’ And then this word of the Lord was spoken to him, ‘He shall not be your heir; your heir shall be of your own flesh and blood.’ Then taking him outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified.
  The Lord dealt kindly with Sarah as he had said, and did what he had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the time God had promised. Abraham named the son born to him Isaac, the son to whom Sarah had given birth.

Psalm Psalm 127:1-5 ©
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord
  and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
  You will be happy and prosper.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
Your wife like a fruitful vine
  in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive,
  around your table.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
Indeed thus shall be blessed
  the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion
  all the days of your life!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!

Psalm Psalm 104:1-6,8-9 ©
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name,
  make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
  tell all his wonderful works!
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
Be proud of his holy name,
  let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Consider the Lord and his strength;
  constantly seek his face.
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
Remember the wonders he has done,
  his miracles, the judgements he spoke.
O children of Abraham, his servant,
  O sons of the Jacob he chose.
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers his covenant for ever,
  his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
  the oath he swore to Isaac.
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.

Gospel Acclamation Heb1:1-2
Alleluia, alleluia!
At various times in the past
and in various different ways,
God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
but in our own time, the last days,
he has spoken to us through his Son.

Gospel Luke 2:22-40 ©
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.’
  There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
  When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

Gospel Luke 2:22,39-40 ©
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.
  When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

8 posted on 12/29/2011 9:57:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve with Pope Benedict XVI

Christmas, Pagan Romans and Frodo Baggins
Midnight Masses Canceled in Iraq Because of Growing Security Concerns
Christmas Overview for All
The Tradition of Midnight Mass: History
Which Christmas Mass are you attending? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Christmas, Christians, and Christ
The Many Meanings of Christmas
Vocations Under the Christmas Tree? [Catholic Caucus]
A Meditation On the “Bloody Octave” of Christmas [Catholic Caucus]
"It (Theosis) can be a somewhat startling theme for western Christian ears..."
Archbishop Wenski brightens Christmas for Krome detainees
The Octave of Christmas: December 25 -- January 1 [Ecumenical]
Pope's Christmas Warning: 'The Future Of The World Is At Stake'
Father Corapi: What Really Matters [at Christmas]?
Papal Midnight Mass With No Communion in The Hand
Christmas Requiem for Iraq's Christian Community
Christmas story shows season’s beauty [nice surprise from the Chicago Sun Times]
Text Of Pope's Homily For Christmas Eve Mass
Merry Christmas: Love is born on Christmas Morn and the Whole World Begins Again
'Christmas is Evil': Muslim Group Launches Poster Campaign Against Festive Period [UK]

The Origin of Nativity Scenes
St. Francis and the Christmas Creche
Holy Day Vs. Holiday: Making Christmas Less Commercial
25 Ways We're Different this Christmas
On Christmas: Where Everything Began
Saved by Christmas
Christmas Midnight Mass Canceled in Iraq
Some Christmas History: The Aztec Christmas Flower
Top 10 Christmas Carols (What is your favorite Christmas Carol?)
Where’s the Human in Humanism? Humanist Ads Violate...Own Humanist Standards (Attacking Christmas]
Fr. Corapi: In Reality, Sadness Has No Place At Christmas Time Or Any Time…
Pope's battle to save Christmas: Don't let atheists crush your traditions, Benedict tells Britain
The Days of Christmastide -- more than twelve!
Saint Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation
"Transform Me. Renew Me. Change Me, Change Us All" (Pope's Midnight Mass Homily)
Christmas in Rome. The Pope's Tale of the Crèche
On the Feast of Christ's Birth [Benedict XVI]
The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper
St. Francis and the Christmas crib.
Away in a Manger [St. Francis of Assisi and the first Nativity scene]

Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace [Family]
Christmastide and Epiphany
A Christmas Message >From Fr. Corapi
Christmas and the Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Preface: Memories of Christmas
Christmas Overview
The Manger -- Nativity Scene -- Crêche
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Christmas Quiz; How Much Do You Really Know?
Christmas Prayers: Prayers and Collects for the Feast of the Nativity
[Christmas] Customs from Various Countries and Cultures
The 12 Days of Christmas and Christmastide: A Rich Catholic Tradition
The 12 Days of Christmas -- Activities, Customs, Prayers, Blessings, Hymns -- For the Family
Iraqis Crowd Churches for Christmas Mass
Pope Wishes the World a Merry Christmas
On this night, a comforting message(Merry Christmas!)
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Bethlehem beyond the Christmas calm
The Origin of Nativity Scenes

Various Orthodox Texts for the Feast of the Nativity
The Five Best Christmas Stories
What Are We Celebrating When We Celebrate Christmas?
Secular Christmas Celebration Pointless, Pope Says
The Wonder of Christmas - 1959
The Real Meaning of Christmas Lights
Top ten Carols and things you didn't know about them
The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Christmas Proclamation
Christmas gifts are a reminder of Jesus, the greatest gift given to mankind, Pope tells youth
The Senses of Christmas
Pope celebrates Christmas mass
Christmas: The Turning Point of History
The Original Christmas Story
Bringing Christmas to Life Again
Christmas: the beginning of our redemption
Christmas and the Eucharist
Catholic Caucus: The 16 Days of Christmas (Christmas to the Baptism of the Lord)
Origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas [An Underground Catechism]
Origin of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" [Underground Catechism]

9 posted on 12/29/2011 9:59:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 12/29/2011 10:00:29 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]
11 posted on 12/29/2011 10:01:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

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

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

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross


The Mysteries of the Rosary

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

The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

12 posted on 12/29/2011 10:03:40 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.

13 posted on 12/29/2011 10:04:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


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.

14 posted on 12/29/2011 10:07:24 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."


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.

15 posted on 12/29/2011 10:08:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
immaculate_conception.jpg (155743 bytes)

December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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]

16 posted on 12/29/2011 10:10:07 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.

17 posted on 12/29/2011 10:10:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Ioannes Paulus PP.II 16.X.1978 - 2.IV.2005

Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Karol Wojtyla
16.X.1978 - 2.IV.2005

The best, the surest , and the most effective way of establishing everlasting peace on the face of the earth is through the great power of perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament." -- Pope John Paul II


"Could you not watch one hour?" -- Mark 14:37

I am happy to testify that many young people are discovering the beauty of adoration, whether personal or in community. I invite priests to encourage youth groups in this, but also to accompany them to ensure that the forms of adoration are appropriate and dignified, with sufficient times for silence and listening to the word of God. In life today, which is often noisy and scattered, it is more important than ever to recover the capacity for interior silence and recollection: Eucharistic adoration permits one to do this not only within one's "I" but rather in the company of that "You" full of love who is Jesus Christ, "the God who is near us."
~Pope Benedict XVI

18 posted on 12/29/2011 10:12:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Reasons for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration(Catholic Caucus)
'We Are a Church On Fire': Eucharistic Adoration Transforms Acushnet Parish
Eucharistic Adoration [for college students nationwide]
Pray Unceasingly: Perpetual Adoration as a Necessary Antidote to Abortion

[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] There is water here (Eucharistic Adoration)
Eucharistic Adoration is Life Changing
Here is Christ! (Daily Holy Hour) [Catholic Caucus]
Letter to a Brother Priest [on Eucharistic adoration]
ND’s McBrien: Eucharistic Adoration “is a...spiritual step backward” (Catholic Caucus)
Adoration with no end: 24-hour Eucharistic ritual returns to Boston [Catholic Caucus]
Kansas parish opens adoration chapel
Perpetual adoration returns to Boston after 40 year absence [Catholic Caucus]
I Fall To My Knees (A Reflection on Eucharistic Adoration)
A Chinese Girl-True Story That Inspired Bishop Fulton Sheen- Eucharist Adoration (Catholic Caucus)

Eucharistic Adoration increases prayer, vocations in Uganda(Catholic Caucus)
Faithful Invited to Follow Pope, Adore Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Hour That Makes My Day | Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
A Shepherd Speaks (Eucharistic Adoration) -- Bishop Edward J. Slattery [Catholic Caucus]
Why Eucharistic Adoration?(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Core of Monasticism Is Adoration [Catholic Caucus](Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration: a Parish's Fuel
The History of Eucharistic Adoration Development of Doctrine in the Catholic Church
The Cease-Fire of Prayer and Fasting
Eucharistic Adoration: The Early Years

Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Holy Hour
Spend Some Time With Jesus Tonight...
The Eucharistic Mystery Calls For Our Response
Pope Backs Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
Eucharistic adoration is key, but also has drawbacks, bishops say
Eucharistic adoration: Intimacy with Christ
The Gaze [Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament]
St. Francis of Assisi and Eucharistic Adoration
Ancient Roman Catholic ritual making a comeback in Minnesota
Adoration for Vocations to be Promoted Worldwide

New Plenary Indulgence to Mark Year of the Eucharist
The Adoration of the Name of Jesus (El Greco)
Adoration Tally Presented to Pope by
In The Presence Of The Lord
2.2 Million hours of prayer, and counting
Eucharistic Adoration or Abortion?
Bishop Calls for Perpetual Adoration of Eucharist
What I learned From a Muslim about Eucharistic Adoration

19 posted on 12/29/2011 10:13:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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FIRST FRIDAY DEVOTION: Devotions to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The First Friday Devotion in the Catholic Church [Catholic Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
As a New Year Begins Chance to Start 2006 with 'First Friday' Devotions

20 posted on 12/29/2011 10:14:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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