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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-06-12, OM, St. Nicholas, Bishop
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-06-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/05/2012 8:15:00 PM PST by Salvation

December 6, 2012

Thursday of the First Week of Advent

 

Reading 1 Is 26:1-6

On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:

"A strong city have we;
he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
Open up the gates
to let in a nation that is just,
one that keeps faith.
A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust in you."

Trust in the LORD forever!
For the LORD is an eternal Rock.
He humbles those in high places,
and the lofty city he brings down;
He tumbles it to the ground,
levels it with the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the needy,
by the footsteps of the poor.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a

R. (26a) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Open to me the gates of justice;
I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
This gate is the LORD's;
the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Mt 7:21, 24-27

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined."


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


1 posted on 12/05/2012 8:15:10 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, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 12/05/2012 8:24:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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3 posted on 12/05/2012 8:24:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Isaiah 26:1-6

Songs of Salvation (Continuation)


[1] In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city;
he sets up salvation
as walls and bulwarks.
[2] Open the gates,
that the righteous nation which keeps faith
may enter in.
[3] Thou dost keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee,
because he trusts in thee.
[4] Trust in the Lord for ever,
for the Lord God
is an everlasting rock.
[5] For he has brought low
the inhabitants of the height,
the lofty city.
He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
casts it to the dust.
[6] The foot tramples it,
the feet of the poor,
the steps of the needy.”

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

25:9-26:6. After the celebration of the banquet prepared by God, two hymns are
intoned that will be sung “on that day”. The first praises the Lord he is faithful
those who put their hope of salvation in him will never be disappointed, whereas
Moab will be laid low on account of its pride (25:9-12). The second hymn returns
(cf. 25:1-5) to the theme of praise of the Lord for giving refuge to the poor and
needy (26:1-6).

26:7-19. Now comes a personal dialogue with God in the form of a prayer or sa-
piential psalm (vv. 7-10). Here the greatness of the Lord is not being described to
third parties nor are his works being praised: the prophet is addressing him direct-
ly, to tell him that he trusts in Him (vv. 7-8), to express his innermost feelings (v.
9a; cf. Ps 42), to ask him to reveal his righteousness (vv. 9b-10) and intervene (v.
11) and bring peace (v. 12), and to celebrate enduring fidelity to the Lord (vv. 13-
19). Verse 19 is a ray of hope in personal resurrection, although here, as in 25:8,
it refers to the resurgence of the nation, as in the vision of the bones restored to
life in the book of Ezekiel (cf. Ezek 37:1-14). Daniel 12:1-3 clearly predicts the re-
surrection of people from the dead. Commenting on v. 10, St Bernard addresses
God, saying: “Father of mercies, may your anger be roused against me — the an-
ger that chastens a soul who has lost his way, not the wrath by which you seal
off the path of righteousness” (”In Cantica Canticorum”, 42, 4).

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/05/2012 8:26:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Doing the Will of God


(Jesus said to His disciples,) [21] “Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who
is in Heaven.

Building on Rock


[24] “Every one then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like
a wise man who built his house upon the rock; [25] and the rain fell, and the floods
came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it
had been founded on the rock. [26] And every one who hears these words of Mine
and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand;
[27] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and winds blew and beat against that
house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

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

21-23. To be genuine, prayer must be accompanied by a persevering effort to do
God’s will. Similarly, in order to do His will it is not enough to speak about the
things of God: there must be consistency between what one preaches — what
one says — and what one does: “The Kingdom of God does not consist in talk
but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20); “Be doers of the word, not hearers only, de-
ceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).

Christians, “holding loyally to the Gospel, enriched by its resources, and joining
forces with all who love and practise justice, have shouldered a weighty task on
earth and they must render an account of it to Him who will judge all men on the
last day. Not every one who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven,
but those who do the will of the Father, and who manfully put their hands to the
work” (Vatican II, “Gaudium Et Spes”, 93).

To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, to be holy, it is not enough, then, to speak elo-
quently about holiness. One has to practise what one preaches, to produce fruit
which accords with one’s words. Fray Luis de Leon puts it very graphically: “No-
tice that to be a good Christian it is not enough just to pray and fast and hear
Mass; God must find you faithful, like another Job or Abraham, in times of tribu-
lation” (”Guide for Sinners”, Book 1, Part 2, Chapter 21).

Even if a person exercises an ecclesiastical ministry that does not assure his ho-
liness; he needs to practice the virtues he preaches. Besides, we know from ex-
perience that any Christian (clerical, religious or lay) who does not strive to act in
accordance with the demands of the faith he professes, begins to weaken in his
faith and eventually parts company also with the teaching of the Church. Anyone
who does not live in accordance with what he says, ends up saying things which
are contrary to faith.

The authority with which Jesus speaks in these verses reveals Him as sovereign
Judge of the living and the dead. No Old Testament prophet ever spoke with this
authority.

22. “That day”: a technical formula in biblical language meaning the day of the
Judgment of the Lord or the Last Judgment.

23. This passage refers to the Judgment where Jesus will be the Judge. The sa-
cred text uses a verb which means the public proclamation of a truth. Since in
this case Jesus Christ is the Judge who makes the declaration, it takes the form
of a judicial sentence.

24-27. These verses constitute the positive side of the previous passage. A per-
son who tries to put Christ’s teaching into practice, even if he experiences per-
sonal difficulties or lives during times of upheaval in the life of the Church or is
surrounded by error, will stay firm in the faith, like the wise man who builds his
house on rock.

Also, if we are to stay strong in times of difficulty, we need, when things are
calm and peaceful, to accept little contradictions with a good grace, to be very
refined in our relationship with God and with others, and to perform the duties of
our state in life in a spirit of loyalty and abnegation. By acting in this way we are
laying down a good foundation, maintaining the edifice of our spiritual life and re-
pairing any cracks which make their appearance.

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/05/2012 8:27:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading Isaiah 26:1-6 ©
That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
to guard us he has set
wall and rampart about us.
Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in,
she, the faithful one
whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace,
because she trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord for ever,
for the Lord is the everlasting Rock;
he has brought low those who lived high up
in the steep citadel;
he brings it down, brings it down to the ground,
flings it down in the dust:
the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor
trample on it.

Psalm Psalm 117:1,8-9,19-21,25-27 ©
Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.
or
Alleluia.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
  for his love has no end.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
  than to trust in men;
it is better to take refuge in the Lord
  than to trust in princes.
Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.
or
Alleluia.
Open to me the gates of holiness:
  I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord’s own gate
  where the just may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered
  and you are my saviour.
Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.
or
Alleluia.
O Lord, grant us salvation;
  O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
  is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
  the Lord God is our light.
Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.
or
Alleluia.

Gospel Acclamation Is40:9-10
Alleluia, alleluia!
Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem.
Here is the Lord God coming with power.
Alleluia!
Or Is55:6
Alleluia, alleluia!
Seek the Lord while he is still to be found,
call to him while he is still near.
Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 7:21,24-27 ©
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. ‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’

6 posted on 12/05/2012 8:30:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

7 posted on 12/05/2012 8:32:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Cloistered Benedictines top charts with Advent album
Advent: Jesus is Coming!
Why Do Catholics Celebrate Advent? The Call to Begin Again (Ecumenical Caucus)
Resources for Liturgy and Prayer for the Seasons of Advent and Christmas [Catholic Caucus]
New prayers for Advent season [Catholic Caucus[ (Read and Rejoice!)
Father Cantalamessa's 3rd Advent Homily, "The Christian Response to Rationalism"

Father Cantalamessa's 2nd Advent Sermon, "The Christian Response to Secularism"
Evangelization Needs Belief in Eternity, Says Preacher, Father Cantalamessa Gives Advent Sermon to Pope and Curia
Father Corapi: How Do We Prepare Well for the Coming of the Lord
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon: "The Christian Answer to Atheist Scientism"
A Simple Way to Pray around the Advent Wreath: Prayers for Every Day During Advent
Advent 2010 -- Day by Day
History, Customs and Folklore of Advent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ready or Not: Here Advent Comes
The Journey To Bethlehem is Not Comfortable! (Last week of Advent)
Humble Praise and Joyful Anticipation: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Celebrating Advent in a Culture of Fear
Grave of the Craving (Do We Embrace our Dependence on God during Advent?)
Advent -- A Season of Hope
A New Holiday Tradition -- Construct a Jesse Tree with your family during Advent
Pope on Advent: With Jesus, there is no life without meaning
Advent: Awaiting God's Justice -- Pope Benedict XVI
St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
Advent Reflections for 2008
Bringing our fallen-away relations back to Church during Advent
History and Symbolism of the Advent Wreath

Rediscovering Advent in the (St.) Nick of Time
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas
Mary's Gift of Self Points the Way, "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 1 of 4
The Perfect Faith of the Blessed Virgin "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 2 of 4
Theotokos sums up all that Mary is: "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 3 of 4
Reclaiming the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of Advent
Renewing the Mystery of Advent, Part Two: The Witness of John the Baptist
Why “Gaudete?”, Part Three (Third Sunday of Advent)
Sunday before Nativity
Holy Mary and the Death of Sin - "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 4 of 4

Catholic Liturgy - Rose-Colored Vestments on Gaudete Sunday
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Advent 2007 -- Day by Day
Making Advent a Reality (the seasons are out of whack)
The Advent Workshop -- lots of information and activities
Jesse Trees (genealogy of Jesus activity for families)
Advent Wreath & Candles (Prayers for the Family)
Advent Overview
Reclaiming the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of Advent

Celebrating Christ’s Advent [Archbishop Raymond Burke]
Praying through Advent -- 2006
The Paradox of Advent
Experience the Joy of Advent
Advent: the Reason for the Season
The Advent Wreath
Advent Activity - The Jesse Tree
That incredible shrinking Advent-Christmas season (Christmas should start, not end, Dec. 25)
Advent Thoughts: Some of the Church Fathers on the Divinity of Christ
The Relationship Between Advent and the Change in the Seasons (Dom Guéranger)

8 posted on 12/05/2012 8:33:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 12/05/2012 8:38:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
10 posted on 12/05/2012 8:38:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.


11 posted on 12/05/2012 8:39:45 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, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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]

12 posted on 12/05/2012 8:46:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #13 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
+

14 posted on 12/05/2012 8:54:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
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"

   

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.


15 posted on 12/05/2012 8:55:02 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.

The Immaculate Conception from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

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

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

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

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

 

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


Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us God the Holy Spirit, ...
Holy Trinity, one God, ...

Holy Mary, pray for us
Holy Mother of God, pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of Divine Grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of good counsel, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent, ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ...
Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ...
Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ...
Tower of David, ...
Tower of ivory, ...
House of gold, ...
Ark of the covenant, ...
Gate of heaven, ...
Morning star, ...
Health of the sick, ...
Refuge of sinners, ...
Comforter of the afflicted, ...
Help of Christians, ...
Queen of Angels, ...
Queen of Patriarchs, ...
Queen of Prophets, ...
Queen of Apostles, ...
Queen of Martyrs, ...
Queen of Confessors, ...
Queen of Virgins, ...
Queen of all Saints, ...
Queen conceived without original sin, ...
Queen assumed into heaven, ...
Queen of the most holy Rosary, ...
Queen of Peace, ...

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God, 
that we, Thy servants,  may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body:  and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin,  be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness. 
Through Christ, our Lord. 

Amen.


 

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION NOVENA [Prayer]
Essays for Lent: The Immaculate Conception
"I Am The Immaculate Conception"
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]

16 posted on 12/05/2012 8:57:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

December 2012

Pope's intentions

General Intention: That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.

Missionary Intention: Christ, light for all humanity. That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.


17 posted on 12/05/2012 8:58:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Thursday, December 06, 2012
St. Nicholas, Bishop (Optional Memorial)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Let my soul live as if separated from my body.

-- St. John of the Cross


18 posted on 12/05/2012 9:00:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

19 posted on 12/05/2012 9:03:12 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. 


20 posted on 12/05/2012 9:04:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

It strikes me that in many ways, this is the “nut” of the business; the core to understanding what we are to be about here. And.........its a pretty high bar!

Thanks for this.


21 posted on 12/06/2012 6:06:06 AM PST by Rich21IE
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To: All
Saint Nicholas, Bishop

Saint Nicholas, Bishop
Optional Memorial

December 6th

Saint Nicholas Saving Seafarers (December 6)
From the Belles Heures of Jean, duke of Berry, fol. 168r
The Limbourg Brothers, France (Paris), active ca. 1400-1416
Tempera and gold on vellum
The Cloisters Collection, 1954
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York

Saint Nicholas

Early in the Advent season celebrate a feast that has been popular for centuries in Christian countries, especially in Northern Europe. In our over-commercialized society, this holiday gives us a good "teaching moment" to remind children that Jolly Santa Claus, is, in fact, Saint Nicholas, a fourth century bishop of the city of Myra in what is now Turkey.

Saint Nicholas was renowned for his great kindness and his generous aid to those in distress. Among the kind and miraculous acts attributed to him are saving three young girls from prostitution by secretly providing them with dowries, raising three murdered boys from the dead, and saving sailors caught in stormy seas. For these reasons, he is considered the patron saint of children, unmarried girls, and sailors, among others.

Traditional celebrations of Saint Nicholas Day in Northern Europe included gifts left in children's shoes (the origin of our American Christmas stockings). Good children receive treats - candies, cookies, apples and nuts, while naughty children receive switches or lumps of coal. Sometimes coins were left in the shoes, reminiscent of the the life-saving doweries the saint provided. Today - especially in families of German extraction - children still put a shoe outside their bedroom doors on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, and expect to find candy and coins or small gifts in their shoe on December 6th.

In some households the father of the family may dress up as Saint Nicholas on the eve of his feast. He comes in, sometimes with his sidekick, Krampus or Black Peter, and helps each child examine his conscience. He admonishes the bad and rewards the good. If your family enjoys theatrics, this is a wonderful opportunity early in Advent to inspire children to amend their ways in preparation for the coming King. (Your family might get together with other families with young children and celebrate together.)

*****

Prayers and Scripture Readings for Saint Nicholas Day

Collect for the Feast of Saint Nicholas
We humbly implore your mercy, Lord:
protect us in all dangers
through the prayers of the Bishop Saint Nicholas,
that the way of salvation may lie open before us.
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: Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two He covered His face, and with two He covered His feet, and with two He flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory." And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of Him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"

Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven." And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

Gospel reading: Luke 10:1-9
After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come. And He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'


Saint Nicholas Day Baking Project

The following recipe, for "speculaas" (speculations) ginger cookies are served especially on Saint Nicholas Day. The recipe is from A Continual Feast, by Evelyn Birge Vitz (Ignatius Press), and is traditional in the Low Countries. (In America these cookies are called "windmills", usually embellished with almonds, and can be brought at the grocery store.)

This cookie dough may be cut into the shape of Saint Nicholas, following our pattern here, which can also be used for coloring. When cool, the cookies can be decorated with icing "paint" -- thinned icing colored with food coloring -- and applied with brushes.

This delicious ginger cookie might also be cut into other shapes, recalling other aspects of the kindly bishop's legendary life and work: such as the three young girls to whom he threw the three bags of gold for their doweries, or the three little boys whom he brought back to life, or the sailors whom he saved from the storm.

Speculaas cookies

1 Cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, at room temperature
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Optional: powdered sugar for decorative icing

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, blending thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the lemon rind.

Sift the spices and salt with the flour and baking powder, and stir gradually into the butter mixture. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight. (If you are in a hurry, start the chilling process in the freezer: leave the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes.)

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch, or for larger figures to about 1/4 inch. Cut out with cookie cutters, or trace around a heavy paper pattern with a sharp knife. This dough can also be used with a cookie mold, or can be molded by hand.

Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned. If you like you cookies soft, remove them from the oven when they are just set -- the longer the baking time, the crisper the cookie.

Optional: Paint when cool. These cookies ­ especially when baked in the form of Saint Nicholas ­ are fun to paint with colored icing.

Icing "paint"

In little pots or plastic containers, mix powdered sugar with a little bit of water (or lightly beaten egg white, or lemon juice) and a few drops of food coloring, to produce the desired shades and the desired consistency for painting. Apply with small paintbrushes.

Yield:: approximately 3 dozen cookies or fewer large figures.

See also WFF's Family Sourcebook for Advent and Christmas


22 posted on 12/06/2012 7:50:45 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
In Service Bold as a Lion (Meet the REAL Saint Nicholas)
Who Was St. Nicholas? The True Story Of Santa Claus

Better than Santa Claus, Meet St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real St. Nicholas – How Did a Cantankerous but Holy Bishop Become Jolly Ole St. Nick?
The "Claus" Clause [in honor of St. Nick's feast day]
The Santa Question
The "Claus" Clause
Celebrating Nikolaus in Germany
Church celebrates feast of St. Nicholas, the 'original' Santa Claus
Who is St. Nicholas?
Finally a mass in the church of Saint Nicholas in Myra (+ life of St. Nicholas)
An "Anglican World" Christmas Special: St. Nicholas, a Saint For Today

Saint Nicholas of Myra, By Ilya Repin
How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus: One Theory
An Orthodox priest at Bari; the story of St. Nicholas' bones
Turkish Town Exchanges St. Nick for Santa (Former Myra, hometown of St. Nicholas)
The Real St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas belongs in any reclamation of Christmas
Don't forget: St. Nicholas' Day is tomorrow [today] (get your shoes out!)
The Russian legend of St. Nicolas and St. Cassian(Soloviev's Application)
Life of Saint Nicholas the Bishop, from The Golden Legend compiled by Jacobus de Voragine
Yes, There Really is a St. Nicholas !

23 posted on 12/06/2012 7:51:50 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Rich21IE

Yes, we need to build our houses on the rock of the Word of Christ and the Church.


24 posted on 12/06/2012 7:52:56 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Rich21IE

Yes, we need to build our houses on the rock of the Word of Christ and the Church.

And the Sacraments — how could I forget them?


25 posted on 12/06/2012 7:53:12 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Rich21IE

Yes, we need to build our houses on the rock of the Word of Christ and the Church.

And the Sacraments — how could I forget them?


26 posted on 12/06/2012 7:53:28 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
St. Nicholas
Feast Day: December 6
Born: 270, Patara, Lycia
Died: 6 December 343, Myra, Lycia
Major Shrine: Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Italy.
Patron of: Children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, pawnbrokers, prostitutes, repentant thieves, many cities.



27 posted on 12/06/2012 8:06:18 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas
Feast Day: December 06
Born: (around) 270 :: Died: (around) 340

St. Nicholas or Santa Clause is loved by children all over the world and he is especially well known for Christmas giving. This famous saint was born in Asia Minor, which today is called Turkey. After his parents died, he gave all his money to charity.

There are many stories told about kind St. Nicholas.

Once a poor man was about to leave his daughters to a life of evil and sin because he did not have the money to get them married. Nicholas heard about his problem. He went to the man's house at night and tossed a little pouch of gold through a window. This was for the oldest daughter.

He did the same thing for the second daughter and the grateful father kept watch to find out who was being so good to them.

When St. Nicholas came a third time, the man recognized him. He thanked Nicholas over and over again.

St. Nicholas also prayed and brought back to life three young boys who had been killed.

Later St. Nicholas became bishop. He loved justice. It is said that once he saved three men who had been wrongly condemned to death. He then got their accuser to confess that he had been given money to tell lies about the three men and get them into trouble.

He even got thieves to return the goods they had stolen from people.

St. Nicholas died in Myra, and a great basilica was built over his tomb. Many churches were dedicated in his name.

When his remains were brought to Bari, in Italy, this city became a famous shrine for pilgrims from all over Europe.

Nicholas is the patron of sailors and prisoners. Along with St. Andrew, he is also the patron of Russia.


28 posted on 12/06/2012 8:11:05 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

Today (Dec 6) is the Feast of St. Nicholas. The real St. Nicholas was nothing close to the St. Nick (Santa Claus) of the modern age. He was a thin curmudgeonly man with a zeal for the Lord that caused flairs of anger. Compromise was unknown to him. The slow transformation of him into “Jolly ole’ Saint Nicholas is a remarkable recasting of him centuries in the making. Some years ago the Washington Post featured an article entitled Poles Apart: Nicholas of Myra; How a 4th-Century Bishop Achieved Fame 1,500 Years Later, With a Whole New Attitude.

On this feast of St Nicholas, I thought I might take a break from yesterday’s rather heavy topic,  and present lighter excerpts from the article that details the real St. Nicholas of Myra. It is a very engaging look at the cantankerous Saint who lived through some very tough times.

I am aware that hagiography (the study of the Saints) is sometimes more art than science. I cannot vouch for every detail in the article and would be interested if some of you intrepid hagiographers what to clarify, correct or add to the details given.

The Full Article (which details, somewhat thoroughly, St. Nicholas’ transition to Santa) can be read here: Poles Apart. I have also placed a PDF of the whole article which is more easily printed here: PDF – Poles Apart Nicholas and Nick

Enjoy this excerpt on the real St. Nicholas of Myra (aka Santa):

The year is 325. The place is Nicaea, a small town near the Black Sea in what is now Turkey. Thousands of priests, 318 bishops, two papal lieutenants and the Roman emperor Constantine are gathered to face a looming church crisis…..

One of the churchmen rises to speak. Arius, from the Egyptian city of Alexandria, tells the gathering that Jesus was not divine. He was just a prophet. Suddenly, a second man is on his feet, an obscure, cantankerous bishop named Nicholas. He approaches Arius, fist raised menacingly. There are gasps. Would he dare? He would. Fist strikes face. Arius goes down. He will have a shiner. Nick, meanwhile, is set upon by holy men. His robes are torn off. He is thrown into a dungeon.

Peer down through the bars. Behold the simmering zealot sitting there, scowling, defiant, imprisoned for his uncompromising piety. Recognize his sallow face? No? Well, no reason you should. But he knows you. He’s been to your house many times….

[O]n this holiday we examine the puzzling paradox of Santa Claus. On the one hand, we have the modern Santa, a porcine, jolly man who resides at the North Pole with a woman known only as Mrs. Claus. …

On the other hand, we have the ancient Santa. Saint Nicholas. Paintings show a thin man. He was spare of frame, flinty of eye, pugnacious of spirit. In the Middle Ages, he was known as a brawling saint. He had no particular sense of humor that we know of. He could be vengeful, wrathful, an embittered ex- con….No doubt, Saint Nick was a good man. A noble man. But a hard man.

Nicholas was born in Patara, a small town on the Mediterranean coast, 280 years after the birth of Christ. He became bishop of a small town in Asia Minor called Myra. Beyond that, details of his life are more legend than fact….He became a priest at 19, and bishop in his twenties….Diocletian ruled the Roman Empire; it was the early 300s, and…began the “Great Persecution.”…. Nicholas kept preaching Christianity, and was arrested and tortured for disobeying the new laws. He spent more than a decade in jail. Among his punishments, according to Saint Simeon’s 10th-century history, were starvation and thirst. That is how Santa got skinny…. Twelve years later, AD 312, ….Constantine triumphed. Across the empire, bishops and priests returned to work and Nicholas got out of jail. He tended to local business. He was not pleasant about it. At the time, Myra was a hotbed of Artemis-worship…Nicholas prayed for vengeance, and his prayers were answered. Artemis’s temple crumbled. ” …The priests who lived in Artemis’s temple ran in tears to the bishop. They appealed to his Christian mercy. They wanted their temple restored.….Nicholas was not moved. Prison had left him in no mood for compromise. “Go to Hell’s fire,” he is said to have said, “which has been lit for you by the Devil.”

The Time of Nick In his lifetime, Nicholas crusaded against official corruption and injustice, seeing both as an affront to God. Supposedly, his intervention — through fire-and-brimstone denunciations of corrupt officials — saved at least a half-dozen innocent men from the gallows or the chopping block. He was forgiven for punching Arius and rescued from the dungeon. In the end, his views on the Trinity were vindicated by the adoption of the Nicene Creed, which declares Christ divine. Saint Nick died on Dec. 6. The year could be 326 or 343 or 352, depending whose account you rely on. Why we know the day of the year, but not the year itself, will be explained forthwith…..

……Nicholas of Myra might not seem like the kind of person who relates to kids, and few acts attributed to him involve children. There are two, though neither is exactly the stuff of sugar plums and Christmas stockings. In one tale, widely told, Nicholas secretly delivers three bags of gold to a penniless father. The debtor dad uses the loot as dowries so his three girls do not have to become prostitutes….The second anecdote tells of the time a tavern owner robbed, murdered three children, hiding their remains in pickle barrels. …Fortunately, Saint Nicholas happened to walk through the tavern-keeper’s door….Soon, all three boys, were back home, reeking of pickle juice. What became of the shopkeeper is unrecorded…. By the Middle Ages, Nick had become the patron saint of children, and he had a new gig: gift-giving. Throughout Europe, the legend spread: He delivered trinkets to good kids and twigs to naughty ones. It was an uneasy transition — from curmudgeon to cuddle-bear. ….

:-) As said above you can click on those links to read the full story of how St. Nicholas of Myra morphed into Santa Claus.

Here’s a Medieval Version of “Jolly old St. Nicholas.” The text is the Introit for the feast of St. Nicholas (Statuit ei Dominus) and translated says: The Lord made unto him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince, that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him forever.


29 posted on 12/06/2012 4:04:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Thursday, December 6

Liturgical Color: Violet


Today is the optional memorial of St. Nicholas, bishop. St. Nicholas was a 4th century bishop in what is now modern-day Turkey. Because of his many acts of charity, he eventually became associated with the legend of Santa Claus.


30 posted on 12/06/2012 5:08:51 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 06, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: We humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Saint Nicholas, that the way of salvation may lie open before us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Advent: December 6th

Optional Memorial of St. Nicholas, bishop

Old Calendar: St. Nicholas, bishop and confessor

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

Jesse Tree ~ Abraham


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things to Do:

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

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

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

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

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

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

31 posted on 12/06/2012 5:21:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Saint Nicholas, Bishop

“It did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.” (Matthew 7:25)

All builders know the importance of a firm foundation. Before they begin putting up walls or windows or doors, they make sure that they have dug down far enough to set the house on solid ground. Over time, however, the weight of the home or erosion of the soil can cause the foundation to shift, allowing cracks to form in the walls. These cracks act as a warning, telling the home­owner to fix the damage before things get worse. When the warning comes, the best solution is to attach sturdy steel piers to the foundation and bore deeper into the soil, set­ting the home on more solid rock.

Many of us would say that our spiritual homes are pretty well built. We believe in the Lord, we try to pray at Mass, and we seek to live out Jesus’ command to love one another. Even so, we can all proba­bly identify a couple of areas where cracks are beginning to show. Especially now, with the holidays approaching, family relationships can show the greatest signs of stress.

Don’t let the warnings go unheeded! Is there someone in your family whom you are strug­gling to love or forgive? Try to set the relationship on a firmer foun­dation—the foundation of Jesus’ teachings on love and mercy. Ideally, this may involve asking that person for forgiveness, or offer­ing forgiveness yourself. But it may also mean simply making a con­scious decision to treat that person with respect and continue to pray for healing and resolution in your relationship. Or it may mean just asking the Lord to keep the situa­tion from driving you crazy!

Whatever the situation, don’t feel as if you have to resolve everything by Christmas—although it would be wonderful if you could! If you could take just one more step in setting your own house on a more solid foundation, you will make sig­nificant progress. You can’t control how other people will respond to you, but you can set yourself on a foundation that will support what­ever stress may still be involved in the relationship.

“Jesus, help me to stand on solid rock in all my relationships this Advent. Guide me as I try to resolve any unsettled issues with my loved ones. Lord, I want my home to reflect your love, mercy, and peace.”

Isaiah 26:1-6; Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27


32 posted on 12/06/2012 5:46:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 7
21 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Non omnis qui dicit mihi, Domine, Domine, intrabit in regnum cælorum : sed qui facit voluntatem Patris mei, qui in cælis est, ipse intrabit in regnum cælorum. ου πας ο λεγων μοι κυριε κυριε εισελευσεται εις την βασιλειαν των ουρανων αλλ ο ποιων το θελημα του πατρος μου του εν ουρανοις
[...]
24 Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, Omnis ergo qui audit verba mea hæc, et facit ea, assimilabitur viro sapienti, qui ædificavit domum suam supra petram, πας ουν οστις ακουει μου τους λογους τουτους και ποιει αυτους ομοιωσω αυτον ανδρι φρονιμω οστις ωκοδομησεν την οικιαν αυτου επι την πετραν
25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock. et descendit pluvia, et venerunt flumina, et flaverunt venti, et irruerunt in domum illam, et non cecidit : fundata enim erat super petram. και κατεβη η βροχη και ηλθον οι ποταμοι και επνευσαν οι ανεμοι και προσεπεσον τη οικια εκεινη και ουκ επεσεν τεθεμελιωτο γαρ επι την πετραν
26 And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, Et omnis qui audit verba mea hæc, et non facit ea, similis erit viro stulto, qui ædificavit domum suam super arenam : και πας ο ακουων μου τους λογους τουτους και μη ποιων αυτους ομοιωθησεται ανδρι μωρω οστις ωκοδομησεν την οικιαν αυτου επι την αμμον
27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. et descendit pluvia, et venerunt flumina, et flaverunt venti, et irruerunt in domum illam, et cecidit, et fuit ruina illius magna. και κατεβη η βροχη και ηλθον οι ποταμοι και επνευσαν οι ανεμοι και προσεκοψαν τη οικια εκεινη και επεσεν και ην η πτωσις αυτης μεγαλη

33 posted on 12/06/2012 5:51:56 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
21. Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.


JEROME; As He had said above that those who have the robe of a good life are yet not to be received because of the impiety of their doctrines; so now on the other hand, He forbids is to participate the faith with those who while they are strong in sound doctrine, destroy it with civil works for it is necessary that the servants of God that both their work should be approved by their teaching and their teaching by their works. And therefore He says, Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, enters into the kingdom of heaven.

CHRYS. Wherein He seems to touch the Jews chiefly who placed everything in dogmas; as Paul accuses then, If you are called a Jew, and rest in the Law.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Otherwise; having taught that the false prophets and the true are to be discerned by their fruits, He now goes on to teach more plainly what are the fruits by which we are to discern the godly from the ungodly teachers.

AUG. For even in the very name of Christ we must be on our guard against heretics, and all that understand amiss and love this world, that we may not be deceived, and therefore He says, Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord. But it may fairly create a difficulty how this is to he reconciled with of the Apostle, No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. For we cannot say that those who are not to enter into the kingdom of heaven have the Holy Spirit. But the Apostle uses the word 'say,' to express the will and understanding of him that says it. He only properly says a thing, who by the sound of his voice depresses his will and purpose. But the Lord uses the word in its ordinary sense, for he seems to say who neither wishes nor understands what he says.

JEROME; For Scripture uses to take words for deeds; according to which the Apostle declares, They make confession that they know God, but in works deny him.

AMBROSIASTER; For all truth by whomsoever uttered is from the Holy Spirit.

AUG. Let us not therefore think that this belongs to those fruits of which He had spoken above, when one says to our Lord, Lord, Lord; and thence seems to us to be a good tree; the true fruit spoken of is to do the will of God; whence it follows, But who does the will of my Father which is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

HILARY; For obeying God's will and not calling on His name, shall find the way to the heavenly kingdom.

24. Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

CHRYS. Because there would be some who would admire the things that were said by the Lord, but would not add that showing forth of them which is in action, He threatens them before, saying, Every man that hears these words of mine, and does them, shall be likened to a wise man.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. He said not, I will account him that hears and does, as wise; but, He shall be likened to a wise man. He then that is likened is a man; but to whom is he likened? To Christ; but Christ is the wise man who has built His house, that is, the Church, upon a rock, that is, upon the strength of the faith. The foolish man is the Devil, who has built his house, that is, all the ungodly, upon the sand, that is, the insecurity of unbelief, or upon the carnal, who are called the sand on account of their barrenness; both because they do not cleave together, but are scattered through the diversity of their opinions, and because they are innumerable. The rain is the doctrine that waters a man, the clouds are those from which the rain falls. Some are raised by the Holy Spirit, as the Apostles and Prophets, and some by the spirit of the Devil, as are the heretics. The good winds are the spirits of the different virtues, or the Angels who work invisibly in the senses of men, and lead them to good. The bad winds are the unclean spirits. The good floods are the Evangelists amid teachers of the people; the evil floods are men full of an unclean spirit, and overflowing with many words; such are philosophers and the other professors of worldly wisdom, out of whose belly come rivers of dead water. The Church then which Christ has founded, neither the rain of false doctrine shall sap, nor the blast of the Devil overturn, nor the rush of mighty floods remove. Nor does it contradict this, that certain of the Church do fall; for not all that are called Christians, are Christ's, but, The Lord knows them that are his. But against .that house that the Devil has built comes down the rain of true doctrine, the winds, that is, the graces of the Spirit, or the Angels; the floods, that is, the four Evangelists and the rest of the wise; and so the house falls, that is, the Gentile world, that Christ may rise; and the ruin of that house was great, its errors broken up, its falsehoods laid open, its idols through out the whole world broken down. He then is like to Christ, who hears Christ's words, and does them; for He builds on a rock, that is, upon Christ, who is all good, so that on whatsoever kind of good any one should build, he may seem to have built upon Christ. But as the Church built by Christ cannot be thrown down, so any such Christian who has built himself upon Christ, no adversity can overthrow, according to that, who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Like to the Devil is he that hears the words of Christ, and does them not. For words that are heard, amid are not done, are likened to sand, they are dispersed and shed abroad. For the sand signifies all evil, or even worldly goods. For as the Devil's house is overthrown, so such as are built upon the sand are destroyed and fall. And great is that ruin if he have suffered anything to fail of the foundation of faith; but not if he have committed fornication, or homicide, because he has whence he may arise through penitence, as David.

RABAN. Or the great ruin is to be understood that with which the Lord will say to them that hear and do not, Go you into everlasting fire.

JEROME; Or otherwise; On sand which is loose and cannot be bound into one mass, all the doctrine of heretics is built so as to fall.

HILARY; Otherwise; By the showers He signifies the allurements of smooth and gently invading pleasures, with which the faith is at first watered as with spreading rills, afterwards Comes down the rush of torrent floods, that is, the motions of fiercer desire, and lastly, the whole force of the driving tempests rages against it, that is, the universal spirits of the Devil's reign attack it.

AUG. Otherwise; Rain, when it is put to denote any evil, is understood as the darkness of superstition; rumors of men are compared to winds; the flood signifies the lust of the flesh, as it were flowing over the land, and because what is brought on by prosperity is broken off by adversity. None of these things does he fear who has his house founded upon a rock, that is, who not only hears the command of the Lord, but who also does it. And in all these He submits himself to danger, who hears and does not. For no man confirms in himself what the Lord commands, or himself hears, but by doing it. But it should He noted, that when He said, He that hears these words of mine, He shows plainly enough that this sermon is made complete by all those precepts by which the Christian life is formed, so that with good reason they that desire to live according to them, may be compared to one that builds on a rock.

Catena Aurea Matthew 7
34 posted on 12/06/2012 5:52:32 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Asturias, Spain

35 posted on 12/06/2012 5:53:06 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex



36 posted on 12/06/2012 5:53:32 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 6, 2012:

St. Nicholas (the precursor of Santa Claus), whose feast is celebrated today, is not only a saint for children. He was known as a secret gift-giver. Send your beloved on a treasure hunt today. Hide something precious or silly and give clues till it’s found.


37 posted on 12/06/2012 5:55:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Insight Scoop

You Better Watch Out—St. Nicholas is Coming to Town

You Better Watch Out—St. Nicholas is Coming to Town | Christopher B. Warner | Catholic World Report

The seldom-told stories of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.

Everyone loves jolly ol’ Saint Nicholas. There is something romantic and cozy about telling Santa stories around the crackling fire. He is an icon of the Christmas season. But not everyone agrees about the real Santa Claus.  Some like to picture Santa as the early-19th century, pipe-smoking elf with a bucket full of coal for naughty boys who don’t eat their cauliflower. Others prefer Santa as an emasculated, overweight consumer who gets bossed around by Mrs. Claus and thus flees the North Pole once a year to relive the glory days. Then there is the wiry bishop who pulled Arius’ beard and punched him in the face for teaching heresy. Maybe they’re all the same guy. A 1,700-year-old hero can’t be expected to fit into just one old Santa suit. Our images of St. Nicholas seem to evolve or deteriorate based on the values of contemporary culture in different times and places.

In 1809, Washington Irving wrote Knickerbocker’s History of New York, a work of imaginative fiction that included several tales about a jolly, elfin Dutchman scampering down chimneys to bring gifts to children. The American image of Santa Claus was solidified during this time period. “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” a poem by Clement Clarke Moore published in 1823 and better known as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” introduced the enduring image of Santa’s reindeer and sleigh and fixed the date of his visit to Christmas Eve. These are fun stories that make up an important part of our literary tradition and culture in America. However, stuffing chimney-hung stockings is an ancient tradition that pre-dates the American elf lore as well as the Dutch, who fill their children’s wooden clogs with gifts the night before St. Nicholas Day (December 6). Chucking gold into people’s wet socks is a custom started by a young man named Nicholas who lived in Asia Minor around 300 AD.

There are hundreds of stories about St. Nicholas of Myra. He was born in Lycia on the southwest coast of modern Turkey. His wealthy, pious parents, Theophanes and Nonna, read to him the Holy Scriptures and faithfully taught him his prayers, but apparently died while he was still young. His uncle, Bishop Nicholas of Patara, ordained young Nicholas and made him his personal assistant. The zealous youth proved himself an inspiring catechist in the Christian community and an obedient servant to his uncle. During these dutiful years he showed great kind-heartedness and generosity by distributing his inheritance to the poor.

During this time, the three grown daughters of a formerly rich inhabitant were in danger of being sold into slavery because of their father’s pennilessness. Hearing of this, young Nicholas secretly visited the man’s house at night and threw gold in at the window to provide a dowry for one of the girls. The eldest daughter was soon married, and Nicholas again made clandestine donations for the other two daughters, with equally felicitous results. Modern children who awake to an orange or to gold-foiled chocolates in their stockings reenact this story because, by all accounts, one of Nicholas’ gifts landed in a sock that was hanging by the fire to dry.

The young Nicholas was blessed with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During the voyage, a storm came up that terribly frightened the crew but, through the prayers of the saint, the waves of the sea were becalmed and the passengers saved. According to Palestinian Christians, Mar Nkoula (St. Nicholas) lived in a cave as a hermit for three years after visiting the holy places. In a vision Nicholas was told to return to Lycia. Years later an Orthodox Church was built over the hermit’s abandoned cave at Beit Jala, and Palestinians still commemorate this saint by giving gifts to children on December 19.

Not long after his return to Asia Minor, Nicholas was made archbishop of Myra.

Continue reading on the CWR site.


38 posted on 12/06/2012 6:15:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

A Lourdes: une prière sous la pluie

 on December 6, 2012 8:00 PM |
 
DSCF0035.jpg

A Holy Priest

December 7th is the 22nd anniversary of the death of Père Louis Croset. Born at Annecy-le-Vieux in 1914, Monsieur le Chanoine Louis François CROSET was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Annecy on 7 June 1941. He exercised the sacred ministry in the diocese of Annecy from 1941 until 1952, and in the diocese of Bayonne from 1952-1990. He died on the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 7 December 1990.

A Father to Many Souls

Père Croset's priestly life was marked by great suffering, by an extraordinary love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, and by a wonderful spiritual fruitfulness. I was privileged to be numbered among the many souls touched by his priesthood. At the end of his life Père Croset lived in a residence for elderly priests in Pau, not far from Lourdes.

At Lourdes

A number of years ago he drove me to Lourdes where, together in the February rain, we stood before the grotto and prayed this Act of Abandonment to the Blessed Virgin. Père Croset composed it sixty years ago in 1952, in a moment of intense moral suffering and darkness.

Père Croset's Act of Abandonment

O Marie, ma Reine et ma Mère,
reçois en tes mains mon Acte d'Abandon
à la volonté du Père de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ,
afin qu'à l'exemple de son Fils bien aimé
et par le secours de ta Tendresse,
je laisse conduire ma vie par l'Esprit-Saint
selon les mysterieux desseins de la Trinité.

O Mary, my Queen and my Mother,
receive into thy hands
my Act of Abandonment
to the will of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
so that, following the example of His beloved Son
and with the help of thy tenderness,
I may let my life be directed by the Holy Spirit
according to the mysterious designs of the Trinity.

Aide-moi à livrer sans réserve tout mon être à Dieu
dans la clarté obscure de la foi,
l'élan austère de l'Espérance
et l'étreinte crucifiante de l'Amour.

Help me to surrender without reserve
my whole being to God
in the dark brightness of Faith,
the austere élan of Hope,
and the crucifying embrace of Love.

Je veux m'enfoncer en ton Coeur Immaculé
pour y devenir l'hostie que tu donneras à Jésus,
afin qu'en son sacrifice
Il me consacre à la gloire de son Père
et à la fécondité de l'Eglise son Épouse.
Amen.

I want to hide myself within thy Immaculate Heart
to become there the host
that thou wilt give to Jesus,
so that He may consecrate me in His sacrifice
to the glory of His Father
and to the fruitfulness of His Spouse the Church.
Amen.


39 posted on 12/06/2012 6:29:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Flood-Proof
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Thursday of the First Week of Advent



Father Edward McIlmail, LC

 

Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come before you in humility and with a spirit of hope. You no doubt have something to tell me. I approach you in prayer, confident of your love and trustful of your grace to enable me to carry out whatever you ask. I offer this prayer for those in my family who might be far away from you.

Petition: Lord, help me deepen my life of faith and charity, to better prepare for the trials ahead.

1. The Façade: It is easy to address Jesus as "Lord, Lord." After all, we know by faith that he is the Son of God. His miracles and the endurance of his Church attest to his divine nature. Yet, our recognition of his divinity isn’t enough. Our admission that "Jesus is my savior" won’t guarantee us a place in heaven. Faith in Christ can’t just remain on our lips; it must penetrate our hearts and minds as well. Faith, then, implies doing the will of God the Father – in thoughts, words and deeds. How does my faith in Christ translate into acts? Am I satisfied with saying a few prayers, and little else?

2. Out of Sight: Christ exhorts his disciples to build their faith on rock, not on sentimentality. To dig a solid foundation of faith takes hard work. It demands constancy in prayer, charity and generosity. It also requires humility and purity of intention, since the work of preparing a foundation is not glamorous. There’s nothing particularly beautiful about a big hole in the ground at a construction site. So it is in the spiritual life, too; digging a foundation forces us to go deep, to remove our worst faults. The process isn’t pretty. It forces us to face our vices honestly and to rip away the mask we might wear in front of others. Without this step we risk building our lives on sand. How well am I digging my foundation?

3. Too Late: Foundations seem firm when all is calm. Fair weather doesn’t test the strength of a building. The real test comes when the climate turns nasty. The same occurs in the spiritual life. When serenity reigns around us, peace blossoms effortlessly. But when a crisis befalls us – a rejection, an illness, a bit of opposition over a moral matter – that’s when we learn the sturdiness of our faith. Peter, who boasted that he would stand by Our Lord "though all may have their faith in you shaken" (Matthew 26:33), learned the hard way that his courage wasn’t what he thought it was. He abandoned Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, as did all the apostles. How well do I face ordinary temptations and setbacks? How well could I face a serious crisis?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I fear sometimes that I’m not much better than Peter, who bragged that he would stand by you, but then fled when the guards arrested you on Holy Thursday night. I want to be a true Christian witness in the world, but I need your help to overcome my human respect and laziness.

Resolution: I will do one external act of witness to the faith.


40 posted on 12/06/2012 6:35:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Rock vs. Sand

 

by Food For Thought on December 6, 2012 · 0 Comments

The first reading is a hymn Isaiah wrote for choral groups, for communities, for nations to sing. In it he peers into the future; he gazes into the Messianic age and there envisions the population of Jerusalem joyously acclaiming the protective strength of the city’s walls and ramparts. Impregnable walls are they and invulnerable ramparts, able to repel the fiercest assaults. Impregnable and invulnerable, because it is the Lord God who has built them. The Lord God is an “everlasting rock.”

In the Gospel reading Jesus is bringing the Sermon on the Mount to a close. In the Sermon he has talked about his values, how they bring us beyond the spirituality of the Old Testament, and how they contradict the values of the world in which we live.

Before he closes his Sermon, Christ brings us down and sets our feet firmly on the ground with his parable of the house built on sandy soil and the house built on rock. Singing the praises of Jesus’ teaching, admiring its beauty and at the insights it provides us, in itself is building on sandy soil. We hit hard rock when we live his teachings in everything we do each day.

Advent is a time for us to prepare ourselves to meet the Lord on Christmas, to look; therefore, at our values and our value systems, to ask ourselves is there need of reorganizing our priorities. We need to also to ask ourselves if Christ’s values are evident to others in every act we perform each day.

God and Christ and their values are the rock on which we build our Christian lives.


41 posted on 12/06/2012 6:42:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 

<< Thursday, December 6, 2012 >> St. Nicholas
 
Isaiah 26:1-6
View Readings
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27 Matthew 7:21; 24-27
 

IN GOD WE TRUST?

 
"Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock." —Isaiah 26:4
 

Whoever thought of putting the phrase "In God we trust" on our money was very smart because "a nation of firm purpose" God keeps "in peace; in peace, for its trust" in Him (Is 26:3). A nation which trusts in God is promised peace if it is a nation of firm purpose, that is, if it is "a nation that is just, one that keeps faith" (Is 26:2).

Will the United States ever be ravaged in a military war or other kind of conflict? Will we ever be tumbled "to the ground" and leveled "with the dust"? (Is 26:5) The United States has a bright future if the words on our money are truth rather than hypocrisy. Otherwise, our country, like hundreds of other nations in history, will collapse and be "completely ruined" (Mt 7:27).

Why does the Church bring this up as we begin Advent? As Advent goes, so goes Christmas. As Christmas goes, so goes the new year. As years go, so go our lives. As our lives go, so go our nations and the world. After we have prepared the way of the Lord this Advent, we can meet the Christ of Christmas. Our love for Him and trust in Him will change our lives, families, countries, and the world. This Advent will either be a great opportunity or one that is missed. Prepare the way of the Lord! (Lk 3:4)

 
Prayer: Father, depose "the mighty from their thrones" and raise "the lowly to high places" (Lk 1:52).
Promise: "Anyone who hears My words and puts them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on rock." —Mt 7:24
Praise: John was healed of back pain on St. Nicholas Day.

42 posted on 12/06/2012 6:47:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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43 posted on 12/06/2012 6:48:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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