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

Posted on 12/07/2012 9:49:19 PM PST by Salvation

December 8, 2012

 

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Reading 1 Gn 3:9-15, 20

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

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

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

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

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

Reading 2 Eph 1:3-6, 11-12

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

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

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

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


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: advent; blessedvirginmary; catholic; jesuschrist
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1 posted on 12/07/2012 9:49:31 PM PST by Salvation
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2 posted on 12/07/2012 9:52:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 3:9-15, 20

Temptation and the First Sin (Continuation)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3 posted on 12/07/2012 9:59:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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

Hymn of Praise


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


4 posted on 12/07/2012 10:00:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation and Incarnation of the Son of God


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


5 posted on 12/07/2012 10:02:21 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 Genesis 3:9-15,20 ©
After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
  Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,
‘Be accursed beyond all cattle,
all wild beasts.
You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust
every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other:
you and the woman,
your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head
and you will strike its heel.’
The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

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

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

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

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

6 posted on 12/07/2012 10:04:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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7 posted on 12/07/2012 10:07:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

On the Beauty of God's Plan of 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

8 posted on 12/07/2012 10:09:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Awkwardness of Advent
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)

9 posted on 12/07/2012 10:11:16 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception
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]

10 posted on 12/07/2012 10:15:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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  PRAYERS AFTER
HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION

 


Leonine Prayers
    Following are the Prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia. Below the normal Leonine Prayers is the longer version of the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by His Excellency Pope Leo XIII to defend against The Great Apostasy.
Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructis ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

    Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus gementes et fientes in hac lacrymarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    Oremus. Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, populum ad te clamantem propitius respice; et intercedente gloriosa, et immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, ejus Sponso, ac beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversione peccatorum, pro libertate et exaltatione sanctae Matris Ecclesiae, preces effundimus, misericors et benignus exaudi. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.

Vernacular

   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 at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

   Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this 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.

   Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

   Saint 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, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.


Complete Prayer to Saint Michael
    The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

    V: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
    R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
    V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
    R: As we have hoped in Thee.
    V: O Lord hear my prayer.
    R: And let my cry come unto Thee.

    V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.


Prayer Before the Crucifix

   Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Indulgence of ten years; a plenary indulgence if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, Raccolta 201)

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee, that with
Thy saints I may praise Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Indulgence of 300 days; if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, seven years Raccolta 131)

Prayer for Vocations

   O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst take to Thyself a body and soul like ours, to teach us the glory of self-sacrifice and service, mercifully deign to instill in other hearts the desire to dedicate their lives to Thee. Give us PRIESTS to stand before Thine Altar and to preach the words of Thy Gospel; BROTHERS to assist the priests and to reproduce in themselves Thy humility; SISTERS to teach the young and nurse the sick and to minister Thy charity to all; LAY PEOPLE to imitate Thee in their homes and families. Amen

11 posted on 12/07/2012 10:31:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 12/07/2012 10:32:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
13 posted on 12/07/2012 10:33:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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


14 posted on 12/07/2012 10:35:14 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 Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

15 posted on 12/07/2012 10:37:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ 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
+

16 posted on 12/07/2012 10:38:49 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.


17 posted on 12/07/2012 10:40:32 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.


 

Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception

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]

18 posted on 12/07/2012 11:05:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.


19 posted on 12/07/2012 11:06:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Five First Saturdays Devotion [Catholic Caucus]
Saturdays and the Immaculate Heart of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic Devotions: First Saturday Devotion to Our Lady [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Meditations: First Saturday
Remembering the Forgotten First Saturdays

20 posted on 12/07/2012 11:07:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saturday, December 08, 2012
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

When our hands have touched spices, they give fragrance to all they handle. Let us make our prayers pass through the hands of the Blessed Virgin. She will make them fragrant.

-- St. John Vianney


21 posted on 12/07/2012 11:13:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.

22 posted on 12/07/2012 11:14:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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. 


23 posted on 12/07/2012 11:16:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

May Mary through her Immaculate Conception protect the Unitied States during these chaotic times.


24 posted on 12/08/2012 8:39:03 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, [Patronal Feastday of the United States of America]

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


Jean Bellegambe
Saint Anne conceiving the Virgin Mary

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

 

History

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

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

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

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

491. Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1844:

"The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854.)

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

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

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


Pope Benedict XVI - address 12/08/2009
VATICAN

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

Here is Benedict XVI’s full address:

Dear brothers and sisters!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Readings for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Antiphon

I rejoice heartily in the Lord,
in my God is the joy of my soul;
for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation,
and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
like a bride adorned with her jewels.

Collect

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

Scripture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end.

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

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

Devotional Reading

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

Family celebration of the Immaculate Conception

Mary's Candle

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

Rose for Mary

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

Special Prayers

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

See also WFF's Family Sourcebook for Advent and Christmas


25 posted on 12/08/2012 8:41:02 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: Immaculate Conception

Feast Day: December 8

26 posted on 12/08/2012 8:47:22 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Immaculate Conception of Mary

Immaculate Conception of Mary
Feast Day: December 08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27 posted on 12/08/2012 8:51:10 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, In mense autem sexto, missus est angelus Gabriel a Deo in civitatem Galilææ, cui nomen Nazareth, εν δε τω μηνι τω εκτω απεσταλη ο αγγελος γαβριηλ υπο του θεου εις πολιν της γαλιλαιας η ονομα ναζαρετ
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. ad virginem desponsatam viro, cui nomen erat Joseph, de domo David : et nomen virginis Maria. προς παρθενον μεμνηστευμενην ανδρι ω ονομα ιωσηφ εξ οικου δαυιδ και το ονομα της παρθενου μαριαμ
28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit : Ave gratia plena : Dominus tecum : benedicta tu in mulieribus. και εισελθων ο αγγελος προς αυτην ειπεν χαιρε κεχαριτωμενη ο κυριος μετα σου ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν
29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. Quæ cum audisset, turbata est in sermone ejus, et cogitabat qualis esset ista salutatio. η δε ιδουσα διεταραχθη επι τω λογω αυτου και διελογιζετο ποταπος ειη ο ασπασμος ουτος
30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Et ait angelus ei : Ne timeas, Maria : invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum. και ειπεν ο αγγελος αυτη μη φοβου μαριαμ ευρες γαρ χαριν παρα τω θεω
31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. Ecce concipies in utero, et paries filium, et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum : και ιδου συλληψη εν γαστρι και τεξη υιον και καλεσεις το ονομα αυτου ιησουν
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. hic erit magnus, et Filius Altissimi vocabitur, et dabit illi Dominus Deus sedem David patris ejus : et regnabit in domo Jacob in æternum, ουτος εσται μεγας και υιος υψιστου κληθησεται και δωσει αυτω κυριος ο θεος τον θρονον δαυιδ του πατρος αυτου
33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end. et regni ejus non erit finis. και βασιλευσει επι τον οικον ιακωβ εις τους αιωνας και της βασιλειας αυτου ουκ εσται τελος
34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? Dixit autem Maria ad angelum : Quomodo fiet istud, quoniam virum non cognosco ? ειπεν δε μαριαμ προς τον αγγελον πως εσται τουτο επει ανδρα ου γινωσκω
35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Et respondens angelus dixit ei : Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te, et virtus Altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Ideoque et quod nascetur ex te sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei. και αποκριθεις ο αγγελος ειπεν αυτη πνευμα αγιον επελευσεται επι σε και δυναμις υψιστου επισκιασει σοι διο και το γεννωμενον αγιον κληθησεται υιος θεου
36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Et ecce Elisabeth cognata tua, et ipsa concepit filium in senectute sua : et hic mensis sextus est illi, quæ vocatur sterilis : και ιδου ελισαβετ η συγγενης σου και αυτη συνειληφυια υιον εν γηρει αυτης και ουτος μην εκτος εστιν αυτη τη καλουμενη στειρα
37 Because no word shall be impossible with God. quia non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. οτι ουκ αδυνατησει παρα τω θεω παν ρημα
38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Dixit autem Maria : Ecce ancilla Domini : fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. Et discessit ab illa angelus. ειπεν δε μαριαμ ιδου η δουλη κυριου γενοιτο μοι κατα το ρημα σου και απηλθεν απ αυτης ο αγγελος

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

28 posted on 12/08/2012 12:56:28 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
26. And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THEOPHYL; Jesus is interpreted Savior, or Healing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CYRIL; Not however from Joseph proceeded the most pure descent of Christ. For from one and the same line of connection had sprung both Joseph and the Virgin, and from this the only-begotten had taken the form of man.

BASIL; Our Lord sat not on the earthly throne of David, the Jewish kingdom having been transferred to Herod. The seat of David is that on which our Lord reestablished His spiritual kingdom which should never be destroyed. Hence it follows, And he shall reign over the house of Jacob.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ATHAN. For we confess that which then was taken up from Mary to be of the nature of man and a most real body, the very same also according to nature with our own body. For Mary is our sister, seeing we have all descended from Adam.

BASIL; Hence also, St. Paul says, God sent forth his Son, born not (by a woman) but of a woman. For the words by a woman might convey only a mere passing expression of birth, but when it is said, of a woman, there is openly declared a communion of nature between the son and the parent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catena Aurea Luke 1
29 posted on 12/08/2012 12:57:03 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Apse mosaic, window level: 1. Annunciation

Jacopo Torriti

1296 (completed)
Mosaic
Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

30 posted on 12/08/2012 12:57:45 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Annunciation

Duccio di Buoninsegna

1308-11
Tempera on wood, 43 x 44 cm
National Gallery, London

31 posted on 12/08/2012 12:58:43 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Annunciation

Andrea della Robbia

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

32 posted on 12/08/2012 1:00:38 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Encounter of Sts Joachim and Anna

33 posted on 12/08/2012 1:02:46 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Saint Anna holding Mary and Jesus

Cathedral of Burgos, Spain

34 posted on 12/08/2012 1:06:11 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple

the Master of Budapest

c.1500
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

35 posted on 12/08/2012 1:09:02 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

What a fantastic art gallery! Thank you so much!


36 posted on 12/08/2012 2:49:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thank you. Happy holiday!


37 posted on 12/08/2012 3:04:20 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:
Saturday, December 8
Liturgical Color: White

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

38 posted on 12/08/2012 3:15:06 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 08, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

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

Advent: December 8th

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Old Calendar: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the solemn dogma defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. As Our Lady Immaculately Conceived is the patroness of the United States of America, this is a holy day of obligation in the United States.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Blessed Pope Pius IX proclaimed on December 8, 1854: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." — Catechism of the Catholic Church

Jesse Tree ~ Mary



Immaculate Conception of Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This link between the privilege of Divine Maternity and Mary’s Immaculate Conception results also in her superiority with respect to us. She is a perfect image of the Church in heaven, the new triumphant Jerusalem, that won’t have any marks nor will there be pain and death. This is why today’s preface recites: '…she was to be a worthy mother of your Son, your sign of favour to the church at its beginning, and the promise of its perfection as the bride of Christ, radiant in beauty’. Also in heaven Mary is not and will never be only a disciple, but her Son’s most exalted. She is and will always be the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of the Angels and Saints. Therefore, the preface of the Mass adds: ‘…You chose her from all creatures to be our advocate with you and our pattern of holiness.’

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

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

From the Congregation for the Clergy

Patron: United States.

Symbols: crown and monogram; lily; enclosed garden; crown of stars; glass (symbol of purity) lily often placed in a vase of transparent glass; lily of the valley.

Things to Do:


39 posted on 12/08/2012 3:27:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)

With these few words, the angel calmed Mary’s fears and convinced her to accept God’s plan. Nothing is impossible for him, not even the idea of a virgin birth. When she heard these words, Mary embraced the angel’s message with no more questions, fear, or anxiety.

Pure of heart and immaculate of soul, Mary was free from the obsta­cles that can keep us from saying “yes” to the Lord. Suspicion, self­centeredness, cynicism, pride, and false humility—all these and more can cloud our reasoning and make it hard for us to surrender to the Lord and his plan.

Do you know why nothing is impossible for God? Because his love is without limits. It is so deep, so vast, so wide, that nothing can stand in his way. It was love that moved him to create a woman free of original sin, and it’s the same love that can cleanse us from all our sins. It was love that empowered Jesus to deliver the oppressed and give sight to the blind, and it’s the same love that can lift our burdens and open our eyes to the beauty all around us. It was love that moved Jesus to heal the sick and raise the dead—the same love that can heal our broken hearts and release us from our tombs of sadness, bitter­ness, or fear.

God loves you. He really does. Nothing is impossible for him. Nothing. You may think it is impos­sible for him to love you as deeply as he loved Mary, but all things are possible. Where you may see only your sins and failings, your Father sees your heart. He knows you’re not immaculate, but he also knows how much you want to love and be loved. He knows how much you want to do what is right. He knows all of your dreams, your needs, and your hopes. Nothing is impossible for him—not even giving you the deepest desires of your heart!

“Lord, I say ‘yes’ to you. Let everything be done to me according to your will. Nothing is impossible for you, not even my happiness!”

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


40 posted on 12/08/2012 3:56:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

MARY WAS DESTINED TO TAKE UP A PARTICULAR ROLE IN SALVATION HISTORY 

(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY – Saturday, 8 December 2012) 

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

First Reading: Gen 3:9-15,20; Psalms: Ps 98:1-4; Gospel Reading: Lk 1:26-38 

441px-La_Inmaculada_de_Soult,_1678,_Bartolomé_E._Murillo

The Scripture Text

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

In Him, according to the purpose of Him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of His glory. (Eph 1:3-6,11-12 RSV) 

From all eternity, God had a plan for His Son – that He would bring Him into the world through a woman whom He would preserve from original sin. The feast of the Immaculate Conception is actually a celebration of the Father’s perfect plan. It is a recognition that even Mary’s conception was carefully planned so she could become a perfect vessel for God the Son. How intricately God worked in Mary’s life so that she could play her part!

As with Mary, God has also planned every detail of our lives. Do you believe that God created you with as much care and love as He did Mary? He did! Everything about your life has been carefully attended to so that you could fulfil your destiny.

None of us is just a random occurrence. God has not left us here to evolve alone. We can learn more about and come to follow God’s plan, just as Mary did, by seeking guidance from Him. Parts of His plan are common to all of us. We know He wants us to be holy, full of love and praise for Him (Eph 1:4-6). But to explore our specific roles, we each need to remain vigilant and be responsive to God’s call in our lives.

Mary was destined to take up a particular role in salvation history. And it is no different for you. You were uniquely created to play a vital role in His Kingdom. Seek God in prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and selfless giving. As you do, He will show you what part He has called you to play. And don’t worry – what the Father intends for you to do with your life, He will empower you to do. Only you can fulfil your role, and He will provide the grace you need to carry out His plans. Seek Him and trust the Holy Spirit to help you accomplish all that God needs you to become.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, how mysterious and inscrutable are Your ways! I want to fulfil Your plan for my life. Lead me to trust more fully in You as You work through me to bring about Your Kingdom. Amen.

41 posted on 12/08/2012 7:22:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 8, 2012:

Immaculate Conception. “Rejoice, Mary…The Lord is with you…You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son.” (Luke 1:28-31) If you are a parent, ponder when you first learned that you were pregnant. Pray for women with difficult or unexpected pregnancies today.


42 posted on 12/08/2012 7:28:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Immaculata: Hope of Thy Children Scarred by Sin

 on December 7, 2012 11:26 AM |
 
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I wrote this prayer of consecration in 2007 while supplying for a fortnight as chaplain to the Benedictines of the Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament at the Monastery of Notre-Dame d'Orient in the Avéyron in France.

One may find this prayer of consecration suitable when one needs to entrust particular souls in difficulty to the Immaculate Conception. This consecration, especially when prayed by a priest before an image of the Immaculate Mother of God, is appropriate for the unbinding and healing of situations marked by sin and moral suffering. The Immaculate Virgin Mary is ever-ready to intervene in the lives of her children. She is the Mother of Mercy and the Mediatrix of All Graces. I thank the Mother of God for her interventions in the liives of those whom I have entrusted to her care, and magnify with her the Most Holy Trinity. Here is the prayer, first in my English translation,and then in the original French text.

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

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

Most holy Virgin Mary.
-- you whom the FATHER, from the first instant of your conception, preserved
from all evil and from the least shadow of sin,
-- you whom the Precious Blood of JESUS rendered immaculate and all-beautiful, even before that same Blood was formed in your virginal womb and poured out upon the altar of the Cross,
-- you whom the HOLY SPIRIT filled full with every grace in view of the glorious motherhood of the Son of God for which you were created,
-- you crush the head of the ancient serpent,
and you alone overcome the evil that is in us and around us.

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

You have only to open your immaculate hands over them,
and they are shot through with the rays of your purity.
Through you, enters the light to shine in the darkest places.
Through you, souls are washed in a downpour of graces.
Through you, the Holy Spirit gives succour to the weakest souls,
and to the sterile a wonderful fecundity.

You, O Mary, are the only hope of your children scarred by sin
and poisoned by its venom.
To those whom the enemy has led astray in bitterness and in fear,
you open the path of life and of beatitude.

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

Show yourself the Mother of mercy.
Show yourself our all-powerful Queen,
for there is nothing that resists your supplication
in the presence of Jesus, the King of Love.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


43 posted on 12/08/2012 8:03:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

We consecrate ourselves to your maternal Heart

|

Maternal Heart of Mary.jpg

This image of the Maternal Heart of Mary, now hanging in our monastic choir, was commissioned in Rome by the Venerable Servant of God Mother Mary Potter, foundress of the Little Company of Mary.

How Many Know?

In conversations with my brother priests, I am astonished to learn that very few of them have any knowledge of the Act of Entrustment and Consecration of Priests to the Maternal and Immaculate Heart of Mary that Pope Benedict XVI made in Fatima on 12 May 2010, and then renewed in Rome at the conclusion of the Year of the Priest.

Personally Ratified

In order for the Holy Father's Act of Consecration to be fruit in the lives of the priests of the Church it must, I think, be ratified in a personal way by each bishop and priest, and also corporately at the diocesan level by being renewed publicly by the bishop together with his priests.

Getting the Word Out

The fact that so few priests know of this solemn and significant act of the Holy Father on their behalf suggests that there is much work to be done in the field of communications. It is crucial that the teachings and acts of the Holy Father reach the desks of every bishop and priest; that they be read attentively, pondered, and taken to heart. In posting the Holy Father's Act of Consecration today, on this glorious feast of the Immaculate Conception, I pray that some priests will be moved to ratify it and make it their own.

Pope Benedict XVI's
Act of Entrustment and Consecration of Priests
to the Maternal and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculate Mother, in this place of grace, called together by the love of your Son Jesus the Eternal High Priest, we, sons in the Son and his priests, consecrate ourselves to your maternal Heart, in order to carry out faithfully the Father's Will.
We are mindful that, without Jesus, we can do nothing good (cf. Jn 15:5) and that only through him, with him and in him, will we be instruments of salvation for the world.
Bride of the Holy Spirit, obtain for us the inestimable gift of transformation in Christ. Through the same power of the Spirit that overshadowed you, making you the Mother of the Saviour, help us to bring Christ your Son to birth in ourselves too. May the Church be thus renewed by priests who are holy, priests transfigured by the grace of him who makes all things new.
Mother of Mercy, it was your Son Jesus who called us to become like him: light of the world and salt of the earth (cf. Mt 5:13-14).
Help us, through your powerful intercession, never to fall short of this sublime vocation, nor to give way to our selfishness, to the allurements of the world and to the wiles of the Evil One.
Preserve us with your purity, guard us with your humility and enfold us with your maternal love that is reflected in so many souls consecrated to you, who have become for us true spiritual mothers.
Mother of the Church, we priests want to be pastors who do not feed themselves but rather give themselves to God for their brethren, finding their happiness in this. Not only with words, but with our lives, we want to repeat humbly, day after day, Our "here I am".
Guided by you, we want to be Apostles of Divine Mercy, glad to celebrate every day the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar and to offer to those who request it the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Advocate and Mediatrix of grace, you who are fully immersed in the one universal mediation of Christ, invoke upon us, from God, a heart completely renewed that loves God with all its strength and serves mankind as you did.
Repeat to the Lord your efficacious word: "They have no wine" (Jn 2:3), so that the Father and the Son will send upon us a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Full of wonder and gratitude at your continuing presence in our midst, in the name of all priests I too want to cry out: "Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk 1:43).
Our Mother for all time, do not tire of "visiting us", consoling us, sustaining us. Come to our aid and deliver us from every danger that threatens us. With this act of entrustment and consecration, we wish to welcome you more deeply, more radically, for ever and totally into our human and priestly lives.
Let your presence cause new blooms to burst forth in the desert of our loneliness, let it cause the sun to shine on our darkness, let it restore calm after the tempest, so that all mankind shall see the salvation of the Lord, who has the name and the face of Jesus, who is reflected in our hearts, for ever united to yours! Amen!

44 posted on 12/08/2012 8:05:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Gaudens gaudebo in Domino

 on December 7, 2012 11:33 AM |
1208maria-eva.gif

A Meditation on the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Look at this extraordinary medieval painting that shows the Tree of Life with Mary on one side and Eve on the other. Eve, completely naked, is giving the bitter fruit of her sin to her own communicants in evil. From her side of the tree a skull looks out, grimacing in death. On the other side of the tree is Mary, crowned and clothed in grace and beauty. She takes pure white hosts from among the branches of the tree and, like a priest distributing Holy Communion, places them in the mouths of her own communicants in eternal life. In the branches of Mary's side of the tree there is a crucifix. The Face of the Crucified is turned toward those who partake of the fruit of the Cross.

A Song From the Womb

"Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God. He has clothed me with the garment of salvation, and with the robe of justice He has wrapped me about, as a bride adorned with her jewels" (Is 61:10). A song intoned from the womb! The Church takes the jubilant words of the prophet Isaiah and places them in the mouth of the Immaculate Conception, the Child full of grace just conceived in the womb of Saint Anne.

Prelude to the Magnificat

Gaudens, gaudebo in Domino. "Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord." If you would understand the text, you must sing it as the Church sings it on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The exegesis of the text is in its ravishing third mode melody composed by Dom Pothier (1835-1923), monk of Solesmes and later abbot of Saint-Wandrille. It soars pure as crystal in a kind of ecstatic cry of undiluted joy in God.

1208in_gaudens_gaudebo.gif

Mary herself intones the first chant of the Mass today: a kind of prelude to her Magnificat. Already -- just conceived -- the Child Mary begins to sing, and with her the whole Church. On no other feast of the year does the liturgy allow the Virgin Mary to open the Mass by singing in the first person singular. "Rejoicing, I will rejoice" (Is 61:10). Mary's message, from the first instant of her Immaculate Conception, is one of joy in God.

The Tree

The joy of the Immaculate Conception springs from the mystery of the Cross. The Collect says that Mary was "preserved from all stain" in foresight of the death of Christ on the Cross. Here enters the figure of the tree glimpsed in today's First Lesson from Genesis. The tree of Eve's mourning and weeping becomes for Mary the tree of "an unutterable and exalted joy" (1 P 1:8). Mary is the first to taste of the sweet fruit of the Tree of Life; Mary is the first to sing of the joy of the cross.

Holy and Immaculate Before the Father

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

Blessed the Clean of Heart

The Collect asks specifically that we, being made clean, may draw near to God. The connection with the beatitude of the clean of heart is not to be missed: "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God" (Mt 5:8). Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is the Mother of the pure in heart. By her intercession, she obtains from Christ, again and again, the application of "the blood of his Cross" (Col 1:20) to every heart darkened and defiled by sin. The Collect invites us to pray, specifically through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the poignant petition of King David: "A pure heart create for me, O God" (Ps 50:12).

Immaculate Mother of the Purest of Lambs

The Prayer Over the Offerings returns to the same petition, asking that "we may be freed from all our faults" by Mary's intercession. A culpis omnibus liberemur! What a stupendous petition! It leads directly into the Preface. There we praise the Father for His work in Mary, calling her "the purest of Virgins, she who was to bear your Son, the innocent Lamb who takes away our sins." We seem to hear already something of the sermon of Meliton of Sardis read in Holy Week: "He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe" (Paschal Homily).

O Dayspring

The Communion Antiphon opens on a phrase from Psalm 86, a song in praise of Zion, the city cherished by the Lord. The liturgy takes the verse, "Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God" (Ps 86:3), and in place of "city of God" says "Mary." "Glorious things are said of thee, O Mary." A key image from the prophet Malachi completes the Communion Antiphon: "for from thee has arisen the Sun of Justice, Christ our God" (cf. Mal 4:2). We see here a glimmer of the O Antiphon of December 21st: "O Dayspring, radiance of the light Eternal and sun of justice; come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death." In Malachi's prophecy the "sun of justice" rises "with health in His wings" (Mal 4:2). Mary, the Immaculate Mother of the clean of heart, is also the Mother of all those healed by the rays of Christ, the Sun of Justice.

Our Wounds Repaired

Today's Mass is artfully constructed of interlocking parts. It requires the closest attention of those who would benefit from its teachings and, through it, receive the sweet light of today's mystery. The Communion Antiphon leads directly into the Postcommunion Prayer and interprets it. "Lord our God, may the sacraments that we have received heal (or repair) within us the wounds of that fault from which you preserved the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in so wonderful a way." In every Holy Mass, "Christ, the Sun of Justice arisen from Mary" shines for each of us with "healing in His wings" (Mal 4:2). Unlike Mary, we were conceived bearing the wounds of Adam's ancient sin but, by the Eucharistic Face of Christ shining like the sun, we are healed of the wounds from which the Immaculate Conception was preserved.

The First and Last Word Given to Joy

In the end, for those who allow themselves to be illumined by the grace of the sacred liturgy today, there is a return to the song of the beginning. "Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God. He has clothed me with the garment of salvation, and with the robe of justice he has wrapped me about, as a bride adorned with her jewels" (Is 61:10). This is the song not only of the beginning of today's Mass; it is the song of Mary's beginning in her mother's womb. It is the song of every new beginning in grace. It is the song of every man and woman once paralyzed by fear, but now set free to stand unafraid in the sight of the Father. It is the song of every heart darkened and stained by sin, but now made bright and clean by grace. It is the song of every life wounded by sin, but healed by the Sun of Justice who, even now, will rise glorious above the altar "with healing in his wings" (Mal 4:2). The last word and the first belong to joy.


45 posted on 12/08/2012 8:09:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Gaudens gaudebo in Domino

| | Comments (0)

1208maria-eva.gif

A Meditation on the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Look at this extraordinary medieval painting that shows the Tree of Life with Mary on one side and Eve on the other. Eve, completely naked, is giving the bitter fruit of her sin to her own communicants in evil. From her side of the tree a skull looks out, grimacing in death. On the other side of the tree is Mary, crowned and clothed in grace and beauty. She takes pure white hosts from among the branches of the tree and, like a priest distributing Holy Communion, places them in the mouths of her own communicants in eternal life. In the branches of Mary's side of the tree there is a crucifix. The Face of the Crucified is turned toward those who partake of the fruit of the Cross.

A Song From the Womb

"Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God. He has clothed me with the garment of salvation, and with the robe of justice He has wrapped me about, as a bride adorned with her jewels" (Is 61:10). A song intoned from the womb! The Church takes the jubilant words of the prophet Isaiah and places them in the mouth of the Immaculate Conception, the Child full of grace just conceived in the womb of Saint Anne.

Prelude to the Magnificat

Gaudens, gaudebo in Domino. "Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord." If you would understand the text, you must sing it as the Church sings it on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The exegesis of the text is in its ravishing third mode melody composed by Dom Pothier (1835-1923), monk of Solesmes and later abbot of Saint-Wandrille. It soars pure as crystal in a kind of ecstatic cry of undiluted joy in God.

1208in_gaudens_gaudebo.gif

Mary herself intones the first chant of the Mass today: a kind of prelude to her Magnificat. Already -- just conceived -- the Child Mary begins to sing, and with her the whole Church. On no other feast of the year does the liturgy allow the Virgin Mary to open the Mass by singing in the first person singular. "Rejoicing, I will rejoice" (Is 61:10). Mary's message, from the first instant of her Immaculate Conception, is one of joy in God.

The Tree

The joy of the Immaculate Conception springs from the mystery of the Cross. The Collect says that Mary was "preserved from all stain" in foresight of the death of Christ on the Cross. Here enters the figure of the tree glimpsed in today's First Lesson from Genesis. The tree of Eve's mourning and weeping becomes for Mary the tree of "an unutterable and exalted joy" (1 P 1:8). Mary is the first to taste of the sweet fruit of the Tree of Life; Mary is the first to sing of the joy of the cross.

Holy and Immaculate Before the Father

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

Blessed the Clean of Heart

The Collect asks specifically that we, being made clean, may draw near to God. The connection with the beatitude of the clean of heart is not to be missed: "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God" (Mt 5:8). Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is the Mother of the pure in heart. By her intercession, she obtains from Christ, again and again, the application of "the blood of his Cross" (Col 1:20) to every heart darkened and defiled by sin. The Collect invites us to pray, specifically through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the poignant petition of King David: "A pure heart create for me, O God" (Ps 50:12).

Immaculate Mother of the Purest of Lambs

The Prayer Over the Offerings returns to the same petition, asking that "we may be freed from all our faults" by Mary's intercession. A culpis omnibus liberemur! What a stupendous petition! It leads directly into the Preface. There we praise the Father for His work in Mary, calling her "the purest of Virgins, she who was to bear your Son, the innocent Lamb who takes away our sins." We seem to hear already something of the sermon of Meliton of Sardis read in Holy Week: "He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe" (Paschal Homily).

O Dayspring

The Communion Antiphon opens on a phrase from Psalm 86, a song in praise of Zion, the city cherished by the Lord. The liturgy takes the verse, "Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God" (Ps 86:3), and in place of "city of God" says "Mary." "Glorious things are said of thee, O Mary." A key image from the prophet Malachi completes the Communion Antiphon: "for from thee has arisen the Sun of Justice, Christ our God" (cf. Mal 4:2). We see here a glimmer of the O Antiphon of December 21st: "O Dayspring, radiance of the light Eternal and sun of justice; come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death." In Malachi's prophecy the "sun of justice" rises "with health in His wings" (Mal 4:2). Mary, the Immaculate Mother of the clean of heart, is also the Mother of all those healed by the rays of Christ, the Sun of Justice.

Our Wounds Repaired

Today's Mass is artfully constructed of interlocking parts. It requires the closest attention of those who would benefit from its teachings and, through it, receive the sweet light of today's mystery. The Communion Antiphon leads directly into the Postcommunion Prayer and interprets it. "Lord our God, may the sacraments that we have received heal (or repair) within us the wounds of that fault from which you preserved the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in so wonderful a way." In every Holy Mass, "Christ, the Sun of Justice arisen from Mary" shines for each of us with "healing in His wings" (Mal 4:2). Unlike Mary, we were conceived bearing the wounds of Adam's ancient sin but, by the Eucharistic Face of Christ shining like the sun, we are healed of the wounds from which the Immaculate Conception was preserved.

The First and Last Word Given to Joy

In the end, for those who allow themselves to be illumined by the grace of the sacred liturgy today, there is a return to the song of the beginning. "Rejoicing, I will rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God. He has clothed me with the garment of salvation, and with the robe of justice he has wrapped me about, as a bride adorned with her jewels" (Is 61:10). This is the song not only of the beginning of today's Mass; it is the song of Mary's beginning in her mother's womb. It is the song of every new beginning in grace. It is the song of every man and woman once paralyzed by fear, but now set free to stand unafraid in the sight of the Father. It is the song of every heart darkened and stained by sin, but now made bright and clean by grace. It is the song of every life wounded by sin, but healed by the Sun of Justice who, even now, will rise glorious above the altar "with healing in his wings" (Mal 4:2). The last word and the first belong to joy.


46 posted on 12/08/2012 8:11:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

The Mother, the Child, and the Serpent

 on December 7, 2012 11:55 AM |
 
48palaf.jpg

The New Adam

Caravaggio's Madonna dei Palafrenieri, first exhibited in Saint Peter's Basilica in 1606, is wonderfully disturbing. While Grandmother Saint Anne looks on, the Virgin Mother Mary allows the Child Jesus to place His little foot on top of hers; together the Mother and the Child crush the head of the serpent under their feet. The nakedness of the Child Jesus suggests that He is indeed the New Adam who, by His innocence, inaugurates a new creation: the Kingdom of God where only little children are allowed to enter.

Sexual Abuse: The Dark Sin

The darkness of this painting, so typical of Caravaggio, and the sinister writhing of the serpent combine with the purity of the Infant Christ to speak poignantly to the tragic drama of the sexual abuse of children. Adults who were sexually abused as children never really recover from the serpent's venomous bite. The poison has a delayed release. Its effects are experienced over time, triggering emotional chaos, spiritual distress, and even chronic physical illness. The serpent, moreover, hides in the darkness, biding its time in anticipation of new attacks.

Therapy

While therapy or some form of counseling is certainly helpful in dealing with the long-term effects of the serpent's bite, it is not sufficient. Rarely is a complete healing possible through therapy alone. In my experience, most persons struggling with the effects of sexual abuse will suffer recurrent crises, although with time these may become less frequent and less debilitating. The benefit of therapy is in helping the individual to identify what things trigger crises, what things feed into the chaos, and what strategies are effective in countering recurrent difficulties.

Supernatural Means

Ultimately, one is obliged to confront the evil, in its origin and in its effects, on spiritual ground and with supernatural means. This is where the adult living with the effects of sexual abuse as a child finds it necessary to identify with the Infant Christ in entrusting himself entirely to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

48palaf-1.jpg

The Lord God said unto the serpent, I will put enmity between Thee and the Woman, and between thy seed and her Seed, which same shall bruise thy head, alleluia. (Antiphon at the Benedictus on December 8th, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception)

Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary leads one to place one's own foot on hers in total confidence. So long as the serpent's head remains under the foot of the Immaculate Virgin and one's own foot rests on hers, the effects of the abuse are held in check. The serpent may writhe and hiss, but ultimately the All-Holy Mother of God and her Seed, that is the Infant Christ and those who belong to Him, will crush its head.

The Immaculate Conception

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is of all days the most favourable to make or to renew a personal consecration to the Immaculate Mother of God, especially if one struggles with the long-term effects of sexual abuse. The renewal of one's consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary opens again and again the floodgates of the graces given her by God for distribution to the weakest and most wounded of her children.

The Rosary: Where Hope Flowers

One will also find in the humble prayer of the Rosary an indispensable protection and a source of inner healing. The mysteries of the infancy and childhood of Christ are supremely effective in countering the effects of a childhood marred by abuse. In the presence of the Immaculate Virgin and her Child there flowers the hope of a serene and fruitful life. "Give glory to the Lord for thy good things, and bless the God eternal, that He may rebuild His tabernacle in thee" (Tobias 13:12).


47 posted on 12/08/2012 8:13:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Vultus Christi

Beyond Compare More Glorious than the Seraphim

 on December 8, 2012 2:01 PM | 
 
 

1208expsicion-inmac-dogm-2004-RAFAES-98145614872.jpg

At the end of Holy Mass today, we renewed the devotional election of the Immaculate Virgin Mary as Abbess and Queen of our monastery, a practice well rooted in monastic history, and one that unites us in a particular way, not only to the daughters of Mother Mectilde de Bar, but also to the monks of Mount Athos who venerate the All-Holy Mother of God as Abbess of the Holy Mountain.

O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
all-lovely, and conceived without sin,
in the name of the community such as it is today,
and such as it shall be in time to come,
I solemnly reaffirm
that thou, the true Mother of God, more honorable than the cherubim,
and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim.
art forever elected, named, and recognized
as the ever-worthy, glorious,
and sovereign Lady and Abbess of this monastery,
that is, of all the monasteries dedicated to thee,
the most fragile and the most in need of the care and attention
of thy maternal Heart.

With profound humility and confidence,
I beg thee, in thy most tender pity
to take this struggling and vulnerable infant monastery
under thy singular care and special protection,
and to obtain for us
the incomparable grace of the Divine Friendship
of the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus,
in fidelity to the Rule of Saint Benedict
and to the mission of adoration, reparation, and charity for priests,
bestowed upon us by the Father of lights,
from whom descends every good gift.

I further offer to thy maternal Heart O sovereign Lady and Abbess
all who have assisted this little monastery
by their presence, their labour, their prayers,
and their material support,
asking thee to extend the veil of thy holy protection and perpetual help
over them and over their families, their loved ones,
their homes, and their places of work and business.

Receive us, then, all-holy and merciful Mother of Jesus Christ,
as thy servants and as sons of thine own household.
Make thou full use of thy rights and of thy power over us,
and over the temporal and spiritual affairs of this house,
lest thine own honour be mocked,
and thy house looked upon with scorn,
and thy sons derided.

We accept and avow that Thou art our sovereign Lady,
our Abbess, and our Queen,
and by this act renewed today in view of thy Divine Son,
of the choirs of angels,
of Saint Joseph, Saint John, our father Saint Benedict,
and of all the saints,
we bind ourselves to depend upon thee,
and look to thee for all things.

We renew into thy hands the sacred vows of our baptism,
and those of monastic profession,
asking thee to fashion us
into true adorers of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus,
and consolers of His Eucharistic Heart.

O Holy Mother of God,
we beseech thee with all the humility possible
to continue in the office to which we have elected thee,
and to rule over, protect, and provide for this house
and for those who dwell herein now
and will dwell herein in the days to come,
so that Jesus, the Lamb of God, immolated and forever living,
present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar,
may be forever praised and adored
in our hearts and in the sanctuary of this monastery which is all thine.
Amen.


48 posted on 12/08/2012 8:20:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Holiness Is Just a “Yes” Away!
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

 

Luke 1: 26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.



He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


49 posted on 12/08/2012 8:24:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

 


<< Saturday, December 8, 2012 >> Immaculate Conception
 
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12

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

 

IMMACULATELY RETRIEVED

 
"God chose us in Him before the world began, to be holy and blameless." —Ephesians 1:4
 

We must be made "perfect in holiness" and "irreproachable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thes 5:23). The Lord is returning to find "a glorious Church, holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle or anything of that sort" (Eph 5:27). If we are to see the Lord face to face in heaven (Heb 12:14), we must become immaculate and holy in every aspect of our conduct (1 Pt 1:15).

We become holy and immaculate by being baptized into Christ and receiving a new nature. When we sin after receiving a new life in Christ, we can become immaculately retrieved by repenting of our sins, confessing them, and accepting God's forgiveness. Through a life in Christ of resisting temptations, repenting of sins, and being purified, we become immaculate. If we have totally given our lives to Jesus but have not become immaculate by the time we die, we will be made immaculate in purgatory after death. If we are to see the Lord in heaven, we must be made immaculate by His grace (Heb 12:14).

Today's solemn feast day, the Immaculate Conception of Mary, shows us both the necessity and the hope of becoming immaculate. The Lord made Mary immaculate from her conception. This encourages us to believe that He will make us immaculate after our conceptions, throughout our lives, and before or, if necessary, after our deaths.

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

 
Prayer: Father, "thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me" (Ps 51:4).
Promise: "Let it be done to me as you say." —Lk 1:38
Praise: Praise Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Mary, immaculately conceived!

50 posted on 12/08/2012 8:29:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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