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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 12-09-12, Second Sunday of Advent
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-09-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/08/2012 8:46:24 PM PST by Salvation

December 9, 2012

Second Sunday of Advent

 

Reading 1 Bar 5:1-9

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
put on the splendor of glory from God forever:
wrapped in the cloak of justice from God,
bear on your head the mitre
that displays the glory of the eternal name.
For God will show all the earth your splendor:
you will be named by God forever
the peace of justice, the glory of God's worship.

Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights;
look to the east and see your children
gathered from the east and the west
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that they are remembered by God.
Led away on foot by their enemies they left you:
but God will bring them back to you
borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones.
For God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.
The forests and every fragrant kind of tree
have overshadowed Israel at God's command;
for God is leading Israel in joy
by the light of his glory,
with his mercy and justice for company.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6.

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2 Phil 1:4-6, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.

Gospel Lk 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."


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

1 posted on 12/08/2012 8:46:35 PM PST by Salvation
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2 posted on 12/08/2012 8:50:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Baruch 5:1-9

A summing up, by way of conclusion


[1] Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God.
[2] Put on the robe of the righteousness from God;
put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting.
[3] For God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.
[4] For your name will for ever be called by God,
“Peace of righteousness and glory of godliness.”

[5] Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height
and look toward the east,
and see your children gathered from west and east,
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that God has remembered them.
[6] For they went forth from you on foot,
led away by their enemies;
but God will bring them back to you,
carried in glory, as on a royal throne.
[7] For God has ordered that every high mountain
and the everlasting hills be made low
and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,
so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.
[8] The woods and every fragrant tree
have shaded Israel at God’s command.
[9] For God will lead Israel with joy,
in the light of his glory,
with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.

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

5:1-9. By way of recapitulation, the book ends with a new song of consolation,
the fourth in the book. It promises everlasting happiness, and the tone is escha-
tological. The new Jerusalem will be given a symbolic name that indicates not
only that she belongs to God but also her main features: she will be “peace of
righteousness” and “glory of godliness”, that is, just peace and glorious devotion.
Olympiodorus offers a spiritual interpretation: “Christ is our peace and our justice
and our glory, and the example of the piety with which we should live: we, too,
will receive those names from him” (”Fragmenta in Baruch”, 5, 4).

This passage has many parallels in the prophetical and Wisdom books — Is 40:
4-5; 49:18-22; 60:1-4; Jer 30:15-22; Ps 126; etc. But particularly intriguing is the
connexion between vv. 1-9 and the vision of the messianic Jerusalem in the Re-
velation to John 21:1-4, which St Irenaeus noticed in his “Adversus haereses”,
where he concludes: “No allegorical interpretation of this can be given: every-
thing is true and clear and defined, and God desires that it be so for the glory of
righteous men. God raises man from the dead and, when the Kingdom comes,
man will be brought to life with incorruptibility and made strong, and he will wel-
come in the glory of the Father. When everything has been renewed, he will tru-
ly live in the city of God” (5, 35, 2).

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/08/2012 8:51:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Philippians 1:3-6, 8-11

Thanksgiving and Prayer


[3] I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, [4] always in every prayer of
mine for you all making my prayer with joy, [5] thankful for your partnership in
the gospel from the first day until now. [6] And I am sure that he who began a
good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

[8] For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ
Jesus. [9] And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with
knowledge and all discernment, [10] so that you may approve what is excellent,
and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, [11] filled with the fruits of
righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

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

3-5. “Your partnership”: in the original this reads “your communion”. In the New
Testament this term has a wide meaning, mainly denoting closeness of thought,
action and lifestyle. It is sometimes used in connection with collections made in
favor of the needy (cf. Rom 15:26; 2 Cor 9:13).

Despite the fact that the faithful at Philippi were in general people of modest
means and were themselves experiencing hardship (cf. 2 Cor 8:2), they never
spared any effort when others were in need, and always did what they could to
help the spread of the Church, by both almsgiving (cf. 2 Cor 8:3-4) and personal
commitment (cf. 2 Cor 8:5), prayer and help to the ministers of the Gospel, as
the Apostle knew from personal experience (cf. Phil 4:14-16).

St Paul recognizes their difficulties are due to their generous response to the de-
mands of the faith — a gift from God (cf. v. 29); that is why he continually prays
that they may always have the grace they need.

4. “With joy”: the Apostle’s joy is one of the outstanding features of this epistle;
the good spirit of the Philippians makes him particularly happy: the very thought
of them brings him joy. Further on, in 3:1, he tells them to rejoice in the Lord;
and in 4:4 he twice repeats this exhortation to a joy that comes from closeness
to the Lord (cf. notes on Phil 4:4; 4:5-7).

The same exhortation to true joy is very often to be found in early Christian wri-
tings: “Clothe yourself with cheerfulness, which always finds favor with God and
is acceptable to him. Take all your delight in this, for every cheerful man does
good, has good thoughts, and despises melancholy” (”The Pastor of Hermas”,
X, 3, 1).

Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22) and a virtue intimately connected
with supernatural charity, from which it derives (cf. “Summa Theologiae”, II-II, q.
23, a. 4). It is a gift a soul in grace experiences, irrespective of its personal situa-
tion or circumstances. It comes from union with God and recognition of his loving
Providence towards all creation and especially towards his children. Joy gives
the Christian peace and objectivity in everything he does.

6. The Old Testament teaches that God is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6; Ps 119:137). His faith-
fulness means that he always is true to his word, always keeps the promises he
makes to his people (cf. Deut 34:4); therefore man can abandon himself into
God’s hand without fear, for there he will find a safe refuge (cf. Ps 31:5-6). God,
who initiated the work of salvation by giving Christians the gift of faith and filling
them with sanctifying grace, will continue to enrich them with his grace until they
at last encounter Christ in heaven (cf. 1 Cor 1:4-9).

On the basis of this verse of Scripture, the Church’s Magisterium, in reaction to
the Pelagian heresy, taught that the beginnings of faith, as also increase of faith
and the act of faith whereby we believe, are all the result of grace and man’s free
response to that gift (cf. Second Council of Orange, can. 5). Centuries later, the
Council of Trent repeated this teaching: just as God began this good work, he
will bring it to completion, if we for our part cooperate (cf. “De Iustificatione”,
chap. 13).

By reflecting on this truth, St. Francis de Sales tells us, we shall come to realize
how much we ought to trust in God: “Our Lord is ever watchful of the actions of
his children; he gets them to walk ahead of him and gives them a helping hand if
they meet up with difficulty. He said as much through Isaiah: ‘For I, the Lord your
God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, Fear not, I will help you” (Is 41:
13). So, in addition to having good morale, we should put all our trust in God and
in his help, for, provided we don’t lose the state of grace, he will complete in us
the good work of our salvation which he has already begun” (”Treatise on the
Love of God”, 3. 4).

To this trust in divine help must be added a personal effort to respond to grace,
for, in the words of St. Augustine, “God who created you without your coopera-
tion will not save you without your cooperation” (”Sermon 169”, 13).

“The day of Christ Jesus”: see the note on 1 Cor 1:8-9.

8. “With all the affection of Christ Jesus”: St Paul is so identified with our Lord
that he can say that he has the same sentiments towards them as Christ has.
This supernatural love is quite compatible with human affection, but it raises it
on to a higher level. This entire epistle is an excellent proof of how the two kinds
of love — human and divine — interweave. Charity “joins closely to God those in
whom it reigns”, Leo XIII teaches, “and causes them to receive from God the life
of the soul and to live with him and for him. Love of neighbor has to go hand in
hand with charity and love of God, for (we must recognize that) all mankind share
in God’s infinite goodness and are made in his image and likeness” (”Sapientiae
Christianae”, 51-52).

Helping others is the surest sign of true love, for, writes St Teresa of Avila, “we
cannot be sure if we are loving God, although we may have good reasons for be-
lieving that we are, but we can know quite well if we are loving our neighbor. And
be certain that, the farther advanced you find you are in this, the greater the love
you will have for God; for so dearly does His Majesty love us that He will reward
our love for our neighbor by increasing the love which we bear to himself, and
that in a thousand ways” (”Interior Castle”, 5, 3, 8).

This love is the basis of apostolic effectiveness: “A sign of love will be the con-
cern to give the truth and to bring people into unity. Another sign of love will be a
devotion to the proclamation of Jesus Christ, without reservation or turning back”
(Paul VI, “Evangelii Nuntiandi”, 79).

9-11. “Discernment”: a deeply Christian view of things, which enables one to see
the events of everyday life in a supernatural light and therefore understand them
properly — very much the same idea as conveyed by the “wisdom” so often refer-
red to in the Old Testament.

Up to this point St Paul’s prayers and exhortations have had to do with steady
growth in charity. Since charity is a supernatural virtue, “one needs to ask God
to increase it, since God alone can bring that about in us” (St Thomas Aquinas,
“Commentary on Phil, ad loc.”). Growth in charity means our attaining greater
“knowledge” of God. “The lover”, St Thomas says, “is not satisfied with superfi-
cial knowledge of the beloved, but strives to gain an intimate knowledge of every-
thing pertaining to him, so as to penetrate his very soul” (”Summa Theologiae”,
I-II, q. 28, a. 2). Eagerness to know God brings one closer and closer to Jesus
Christ, in an effort to absorb his teachings and put into practice the saving truths
they contain — to act “with discernment”, knowing what is the best thing to do in
every situation.

A personal relationship with God through prayer, identification with Christ by fre-
quent reception of the sacraments, and the action of the Holy Spirit indwelling in
the soul in grace, give the Christian a special insight that enables him to distin-
guish good from evil in the concrete situations that arise. The gift of wisdom “al-
lows us to know God and rejoice in his presence; it enables us to judge accu-
rately the situations and events of this life [...].

“Not that the Christian should neglect to see all that is good in humanity, appre-
ciate its healthy joys or participate in its enthusiasm and ideals. On the contrary,
a true Christian will vibrate in unison with all the good he finds in the world. And
he will live in the midst of it with a special concern, since he knows, better than
anyone, the depth and the richness of the human spirit.

“A Christian’s faith does not diminish his spirit or limit the noble impulses of his
soul: rather it makes them grow with the realization of their true and authentic
meaning” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 133).

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/08/2012 8:52:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 3:1-6

The Preaching of John the Baptist


[1] In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being go-
vernor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tet-
rarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
[2] in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John
the son of Zechariah in the wilderness; [3] and he went into all the region about
the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. [4] As
it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one cry-
ing in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. [5]
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and
the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
[6] and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

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

1. The Gospel identifies very precisely the time and place of the public appea-
rance of John the Baptist, the Precursor of Christ, “Tiberius Caesar” was the se-
cond emperor of Rome, and the fifteenth year of his reign corresponds to A.D. 27
or 29, depending on which of the two possible calculations is correct.

“Pontius Pilate” was governor or “praefectus” of Judea from A.D. 26 to 36. His
jurisdiction also extended to Samaria and Idumea.

The “Herod” referred to here is Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great, who suc-
ceeded to part of his father’s territory with the title of tetrarch, not king. “Tetrarch”
indicated that he exercised his power in subordination to Roman authority. It was
Herod Antipas, who died in A.D. 39, who had St John the Baptist beheaded. On
the identity of the four Herods in the New Testament, see the note on Mt 2:1.

“Philip”, another son of Herod the Great and stepbrother of Herod Antipas, was
tetrarch in the territory mentioned here up to the year 34 B.C. He married Hero-
dias, who is spoken about in Mk 6:17-19.

2. The high priest at the time was “Caiaphas”, who held the position from A.D.
18 to 36. Annas, his father-in-law, was still so influential that he was considered
as the “de facto” head of Jewish religious and political life. That is why, when
Christ was arrested, he was first interrogated before Annas (Jn 18:12-24). St
Luke therefore is perfectly justified in calling him the high priest.

2-3. Here St Luke formally introduces St John the Baptist, who appears in his
gospel a number of times. When Christ praises the Baptist (cf. Mt 11: 7-9) he re-
fers particularly to his strength of will and his commitment to his God-given mis-
sion. Humility, austerity, courage and a spirit of prayer figure strongly in John’s
personality. So faithful was he to his mission of preparing the way for the Mes-
siah that Christ praises him in a unique way: he is the greatest of those born of
woman (cf. Mt 11:11), “a burning and shining lamp” (Jn 5:35). He burned with
love, and shone by the witness he bore. Christ “was the light” (Jn 1:9); the Bap-
tist “came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe
through him” (Jn 1:7).

John the Baptist appears on the scene preaching the need for repentance. He
prepares “the way of the Lord”. He is the herald of salvation: but his mission
does not go beyond that; he simply announces that salvation is coming. “Among
you stands one...who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worth
to untie” (Jn 1:27). He points Christ out: “Behold, the Lamb of God” (Jn 1:29, 36),
behold “the Son of God” (Jn 1:34); and he rejoices to see his own disciples leave
him to follow Christ (Jn 1:37): “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn 3:30).

4-6. In the second part of the Book of Isaiah (chaps. 40-55), which is called the
“Book of the Consolation of Israel”, the Jewish people are told that they will once
again suffer exile and a new exodus in which their guide will be, not Moses, but
God himself; once again they will make their way through the desert to reach a
new promised land. St Luke sees the preaching of the Baptist, who announces
the arrival of the Messiah, as fulfilling this prophecy.

Because the Lord is imminent, people must prepare themselves spiritually, by
doing penance for their sins, to receive the special divine grace the Messiah is
bringing. This is what he means by levelling the mountains and making the Lord’s
path straight.

Every year in its Advent liturgy the Church proclaims the coming of Jesus Christ,
our Savior, exhorting every Christian to purify his or her soul by a new interior
conversion.

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/08/2012 8:53:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading Baruch 5:1-9 ©
Jerusalem, take off your dress of sorrow and distress,
put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever,
wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around you,
put the diadem of the glory of the Eternal on your head:
since God means to show your splendour to every nation under heaven,
since the name God gives you for ever will be,
‘Peace through integrity, and honour through devotedness.’
Arise, Jerusalem, stand on the heights
and turn your eyes to the east:
see your sons reassembled from west and east
at the command of the Holy One, jubilant that God has remembered them.
Though they left you on foot,
with enemies for an escort,
now God brings them back to you
like royal princes carried back in glory.
For God has decreed the flattening
of each high mountain, of the everlasting hills,
the filling of the valleys to make the ground level
so that Israel can walk in safety under the glory of God.
And the forests and every fragrant tree will provide shade
for Israel at the command of God;
for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory
with his mercy and integrity for escort.

Psalm Psalm 125:1-6 ©
What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.
When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,
  it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
  on our lips there were songs.
What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.
The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels
  the Lord worked for them!’
What marvels the Lord worked for us!
  Indeed we were glad.
What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.
Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
  as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
  will sing when they reap.
What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.
They go out, they go out, full of tears,
  carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song,
  carrying their sheaves.
What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

Second reading Philippians 1:4-6,8-11 ©
Every time I pray for all of you, I pray with joy, remembering how you have helped to spread the Good News from the day you first heard it right up to the present. I am quite certain that the One who began this good work in you will see that it is finished when the Day of Christ Jesus comes; and God knows how much I miss you all, loving you as Christ Jesus loves you. My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception so that you can always recognise what is best. This will help you to become pure and blameless, and prepare you for the Day of Christ, when you will reach the perfect goodness which Jesus Christ produces in us for the glory and praise of God.

Gospel Acclamation Lk3:4,6
Alleluia, alleluia!
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight,
and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 3:1-6 ©
In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrach of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

6 posted on 12/08/2012 8:57:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

7 posted on 12/08/2012 8:58:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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8 posted on 12/08/2012 9:00:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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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 12/08/2012 9:02:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

  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

10 posted on 12/08/2012 9:04:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 12/08/2012 9:07:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
12 posted on 12/08/2012 9:07:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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


13 posted on 12/08/2012 9:16:26 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 Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


14 posted on 12/08/2012 9:17:58 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
+

15 posted on 12/08/2012 9:18:53 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.


16 posted on 12/08/2012 9:20:26 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]

17 posted on 12/08/2012 9:21:16 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

December 2012

Pope's intentions

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

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


18 posted on 12/08/2012 9:22:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

A wildly successful ministry
Fr. Jack Peterson

Advent is a wonderful time of joyful expectation and faith-filled preparation for our celebration of the birth of our infant Savior. Three great figures are given to us each year by the church to assist us in this preparation: Isaiah the prophet, John the Baptist and Mary, the Mother of God. The readings this Sunday turn our attention to John the Baptist.

John is a fascinating figure in the life of Jesus. John marched to the beat of a different drum. He wore a camel-hair outfit and maintained a diet of honey and grasshoppers. He kept life very simple in order to give time and attention to what God wanted from him. He also prepared himself for his ministry by spending time in the desert. The harsh climate and stark living conditions of the desert have a way of stripping life of nonessentials and encouraging us to focus on what really matters. So, John had time to pray, be united with God and ponder God’s marvelous plan for him in service to God’s people. When John finally appears to announce the coming of Jesus, he is humble, focused, courageous and fully prepared to be a “herald’s voice in the desert, crying, make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path.”

We all know John’s simple message: “John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” In spite of having the daunting task of prophetically calling God’s chosen people to repent of their sins and to change their lives, John was wildly successful. People came in large numbers to listen to him and to be bathed in the Jordan. Even Herod was intrigued by John’s person and message.

People played close attention to John for a variety of reasons. First, he was hand-picked by God and called forth to preach this message. This was the work of God. Second, his mind and heart were prepared by God in the family with Elizabeth and Zechariah and in the desert with the Lord Himself. So, the example of his life and the authority of his words, flowing from a heart given completely over to God and attuned to the signs of the times, gave an authority and a power to his message.

Additionally, people listened to John because we all have a fundamental need to repent. The truth is that we are all sinners. “All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3: 23). We have inherited from our first parents a broken human nature. We have lost the original grace in which God first created us. Our nature is dented. We are not so inclined to follow the good and shun evil as before that first sin. In fact, we are quite easily drawn away from the Lord, from the path of truth and love, and from a life lived in union with God that leads to the generous gift of self to family and neighbor for which we were created.

If we do not accept this reality of our human condition, we are not true to ourselves, and we are not true to God. Then, we never grasp our profound need for God. The good news is that God loves us so much that He is patient with our stubbornness and sin; He calls us back to Himself through the most amazing gift of His only begotten Son who surrendered His life to reconcile us with our heavenly Father and pay the price for our sins. John was able to tap into this profound reality of our human condition and call people to prepare for Jesus’ humble yet powerful public ministry that transformed the world for all eternity.

Another reason that John’s ministry flourished is beautifully hinted at in the prophetic reference made of him in the words of Baruch: “For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, and that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground, that Israel may advance in the glory of God.” The work of God addressing our sinfulness not only shaves off and removes the mountains of our sin, but it also fills in the depths and gorges of our lives as well. God’s love poured over us becomes mercy and removes sin, but it also becomes healing. God’s love heals our brokenness and fills in the holes and hurts in our lives caused by wounds from others and compounded by our personal sins. God’s love repairs, strengthens and lifts us up.

For all of these reasons (and many more that lie within the wisdom of God), John’s prophetic ministry was wildly successful. Will you listen to John this Advent and go to confession?

Fr. Peterson is assistant chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington and director of the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.


19 posted on 12/08/2012 9:32:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

 Prepare the way for the Lord Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  Second Sunday of Advent

Prepare the way for the Lord

Prepare the way for the Lord Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 3:1-6

1 NOW in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea, and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina;
2 Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert.
3 And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins;
4 As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.
5 Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain;
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Second Sunday of Advent - Prepare the way for the Lord I sent all the prophets with the message of repentance. John the Baptist was sent with a very special mission; that of preparing the way for the Saviour. I was already in the world and my moment was approaching to begin my redemptive mission. John received the spirit of courage to speak to the crowds of that time and to exhort them to the baptism of conversion for the forgiveness of their sins.

As the last of the prophets, John’s work was very important, since he opened the way for my ministry by announcing the coming of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. His baptism was a baptism of repentance, which was very important before my coming to the Jewish people. That baptism found its perfection with the new one made in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Repentance is the door that opens, to allow my visit to any soul. I have my throne in the highest heaven, surrounded by majesty, glory and splendour, but my dwelling on earth is perfect in a humble and contrite heart.

In baptism, the soul is covered with my light and receives the forgiveness of its sins; it opens the door to my presence and gives in to cooperate with my law of love, which guarantees salvation.

Every person that receives the word of God is called a prophet, his mission is very similar to that of John the Baptist, which consists in preparing the way for my coming.

Blessed are those who work for my Kingdom, who by their instruction become instruments of my word opening the door for my coming. Those are my little prophets who struggle to destroy the darkness of the world by bringing my light. In the same way as the martyrs, these souls suffer because of my Kingdom and with their efforts obtain the repentance of those who need it, preparing thus the way for the Lord.

Everyone who is baptised has the duty to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven through his faith, example and words. Every human being is a temple of my Spirit. Many temples are still sealed, filled with cold and darkness; they must be open to allow my Salvation through the light and the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


20 posted on 12/08/2012 9:37:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

Principles for Preparation – A Reflection on the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

But who may abide the day of his coming and who shall stand when he appeareth? And this is the cry that goes up from the final pages of the Old Testament (Mal 3:2). And the Lord himself gives the answer:

See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; lest I come and strike the land with doom! (Mal 4:5-6)

And thus with these words the Old Testament ends.

And so the New Testament opens in the desert but near the banks of the River Jordan with John the Baptist, of whom Jesus says, “He is the Elijah who was to come.” (Mt 11:14). Yes, in John the Baptist is the fulfillment of the Elijah figure who was to come to prepare the hearts of the people for the great coming of the Messiah.

And all this leads us to today’s Gospel, with John the Baptist summoning the faithful to repentance so that when the Messiah arrived, they would be ready. And for those of us who would be ready, we too need to go in the wilderness and hear the message of John the Baptist: Prepare the Way of the Lord! And though only the Lord can finally get us ready, we for our part must be able to say to the Lord, I’m ready as I can be.

Let us look at this gospel in three stages, going in the wilderness with John as our Teacher:

I. Context – The context of this Gospel is meticulously set forth by Luke: In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.

OK, so what’s going on here, why all the specifics? It almost seems as if we are reading an Ancient Middle Eastern Phone book, or some list of “Who’s Who in the Eastern Mediterranean!” Yes, notice:

A. The Prestige - You might say there is a parade of the prestigious, a roll call of royalty, a list of leaders! We have an emperor – (i.e. the Federal Government), a local governor – (i.e. the State Governor), Three Tetrarchs – (state and local officials), two religious (and secular) leaders…you name it, all the “somebodies” are on the list. But it was not to any of the these glitterati that the Word of God came.

B. The Person – It was to John, the simple man in the dessert that the word went forth. Who? He was not on anyone’s list! John the who? And where do say he lives? Not in the palace or even in Jerusalem? Hmmm…. And yet recall:

1 Cor 1:27-29 But God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong,  God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

He hath lifted up the lowly, and the rich he has sent away empty. Yet to this simple man the Word of God came, and many went out to hear this unlettered man speak the Word of God in Wisdom.

C. The Place – Where is the word of God proclaimed and where is John the baptist fund and where will Jesus appear? In a palace? In the Ivy League Town of Jerusalem? No indeed, not in a palace, not in some air-conditioned controlled environment, not in a place of power, but in a place of vulnerability, where one experiences one’s limitations. In the desert neediness reaches out and grabs you. Yes, it is in a hot desert where the prophet was found. (Judean Desert upper right in photo)

Do you want to see Jesus? Go in the wilderness, leaning on the Lord. Jesus is a waiting to see you in the wilderness. Leaning on the Lord. There’s just something about experiencing our vulnerabilities that opens us to God. No palace with caviar here. A desert with locust and wild honey for food.

It is in this hostile climate that we go to hear the call and feel its power. Do you understand the context? The context is not be overlooked. The context is not found in the halls of power, it is found in the desert where thirst and and hunger hit rich and poor alike. It is hear that the Word of God is found and heard.

And this leads us to part two:

II. Call. The text says, John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the desert.

Now here notice two things:

1. WHAT is said - Here we have a basic Biblical call, “Repent and believe in the good news!” John said this but so did Jesus in his opening call: After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mk 1:14 -15)

There has to be a balance in preaching: Repent, and believe the good news! Modern thinking and practice has strayed from this kerygmatic balance REPENT! and BELIEVE the GOOD NEWS! Today many only want to hear or proclaim “Good News.” But the good news only makes sense if we understand the bad news and that we are in need of a divine physician. “Repent” sets the premise for the “Good news.”

Now as we have seen before, Metanoia (repent) means more than moral conversion. It means, more literally to have your thinking changed (meta = change, noia = thought) , to have your mind renewed, to think in a new way. Thus the basic message is to have our mind converted from worldly self satisfaction and self righteousness, and to be convicted of our need for forgiveness and our need for a savior. Yes, I am a sinner in need of a savior. I am bound for eternal death and destruction and cannot save myself. But there is Good News – the Savior is here, even at the door! And now I must arise and be ready to answer as soon as he knocks.

Our modern world, concerned more with comfort and relief, not real healing, needs to experience something of the desert where John was. There’s nothing like the desert to remind us our our frailty and neediness. In the Church today we have often stressed trying to make everyone feel comfortable. No talk of sin or controversial topics that might unsettle someone. Where’s the desert in that? John wasn’t found in some air conditioned marble palace. He was in the searing desert, with few creature comforts to be found. No padded pews here, no finely tune PA system, and no Air Conditioning, no pleasantries either. Just the call to come to a new mind, to surrender our stinking thinking, our misplaced priorities, our self-righteous, “I’m OK your OK, I’m basically a nice person” stuff and to accept that I am a frail sinner in need of a savior.

Now with the “bad news” established, the good news makes sense and really is good news, the savior is near at hand, even at the door. But for all this, we have to go into the desert and listen to a humble man, no the glitterati and the intelligentsia, John, clothed in camel hair and eating wild honey and locust.

And he does proclaim good news, but only if we’re ready. So on to part three.

III. Content - OK I’ve gotta repent, but what does that mean? John says, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Notice then elements of the content:

A. READY for God – The text says, Prepare the way of the Lord. This is a hectic season where we’re all getting ready for Christmas. But most of this involves social readiness (presents, parties, poinsettias). But will we be spiritually ready for Christmas? We know how to get ready for a lot of things, tax day – We’re on time for work — We know how to catch a plane — We know how to be on time for a movie or a sporting event — We spend years getting ready for careers. But why don’t we spend more time being ready for God? The one thing most certain is that we will die and stand before God. Are you ready? The text says, PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD! This world will pass away but the things of God remain. Advancing careers and promotion are not certain, but death and judgment are. Why do we get ready for worldly and uncertain things and not take spiritual things all that seriously?

B. RIGHT with God - The text says, make straight his paths.…The winding roads shall be made straight! A winding road is a symbol of shifting priorities, waywardness, and a heart that is not steadfast or straight. Too often we are all over the moral map, we are inconsistent and crooked. Scripture says,

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Prov 3:6)

Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Take heed to the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. (Prov 4:24-27)

Consider an example. If I am driving from Washington DC to New York, and I see a sign that says, “South -Richmond” I know that to follow such a path is foolish. We know how to set a direct course for worldly destinations, and how to avoid going the wrong way. But what about our course home to heaven? We might sing: I’m on my way to heaven and I’m so glad the world can’t do me no harm. But then we see the exit, “Sin City, Next Exit” And sure enough we take it. Why do we take it? And then so many are outraged to hear that they can’t go whatever way they please and still land in heaven. And then comes all the anger directed at the Church and the Bible and preacher and any one who might wish to remind us that we have to make straight the ways of the Lord. You can’t go down to get up. You can’t turn left or right and say it’s straight. Thus the text says, make straight the way of the Lord.

C. REVERENT with God – The text says, Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. Now the mountain is pride. Every sin is pride since it says my way is better than God’s way, I know better than God, I am a modern man, and the Scripture is old fashioned, the Church is out of touch etc. This is the mountain of pride, and it has to go. God hates pride, He just can’t stand it. There is nothing that excludes us more from heaven than pride, thinking we know better than God.

And the valley is low self-esteem and despair. Now it may not be obvious, but a LOT of sins come from low self esteem. For example, we gossip and denigrate others because we think if they are brought low, we will feel better about our self. We also give way to peer pressure since we can only feel better about our self if we “fit in” and are approved by others, and we’ll even sin to do it. Some young ladies fornicate for the price of a beer and pizza, selling their bodies for less than a prostitute would, because they fear they won’t be loved if they do. Young men pressure young women and disrespect them because they don’t think they’ll be “a man” (or a stud) if they don’t. Many youth join gangs, even drop out and commit crime all to “belong” and be cool. Low self esteem is an ugly business that leads us to lots of sins. These valleys have to be filled in.

The solution to both pride and low self esteem is to fear the Lord, is reverence. The fear of human beings and what they will think is at the root of a lot of sin. That is why the Scriptures admonish us to fear the Lord instead. When I fear the Lord I don’t have to fear any one else. And when I reverence the Lord, my pride is dissolved. Mountains are made low and valleys leveled when we have a reverential and loving fear for the Lord.

D. REJECT ROUGHNESS by the Lord - The text says, the rough ways shall be made smooth. Rough ways are filled with obstacles, stumbling blocks and pitfalls. What are some of the things that hinder our ways, are obstacles or pitfalls? Are they relationships, lifestyles, habits? What are the things that cause me to stumble? Are they habits, excesses, or unlawful pleasures? What are the things that make ME rough and difficult to live with? Am I unyielding, unforgiving, unmerciful or unkind? Am I lax, frivolous, nonspiritual, and unaccountable? What are the rough ways in me and in my path that need smoothing? What trips me up and what in me needs softening and smoothing?

E.RECOGNIZE REDEMPTION from God – The text says, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. The Greek word is ὁράω (horao) which while translated “see” involves an active receptivity, more in the sense “to look” than merely to have something overshadow us or cross our visual path. For the danger is that we can close our eyes. Thus we must remain active, receptive, and look for salvation and redemption, to seek it. It is a gift, but we must open our eyes and accustom ourselves to its light and to its ways.

It is very much like learning a language. Until we learn the meaning of the letters and the words and to make sense of a written language, its writings can look like gibberish. And for many today, the ways of faith are just that, gibberish. But for we who believe, having been made ready for God, making straight his paths, reverencing God and rejecting roughness, we are able to recognize our redemption. and to rejoice at its presence.


21 posted on 12/08/2012 9:45:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

2nd Sunday of Advent
Reading I:
Bar 5:1-9 II: Phil 1:4-6,8-11


Gospel
Luke 3:1-6

1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiber'i-us Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturae'a and Trachoni'tis, and Lysa'ni-as tetrarch of Abile'ne,
2 in the high-priesthood of Annas and Ca'iaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechari'ah in the wilderness;
3 and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."


Interesting Details

  • The 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar is about AD 28.
  • Luke announces the appearance of John the Baptizer in term reminiscent of the Old Testament prophets. By linking this event both to secular history and to Jewish religious history Luke paints a rather bleak picture: Several of these leaders will be involved in Jesus' death. It was a gloomy world into which the good news was proclaimed.
  • Luke mentions two priests, Anna and Caiphas, powerful figures within Judaism. But the use of their names has a deeper meaning. Anna lived when Jesus was born, Caiphas exercised his office when Jesus died. Luke therefore has these two names span the entire life of Jesus.
  • Luke begins with Rome, the world's central power. Then, with Judea as a starting point, Luke goes on to list other regions: Galilee, to Syria and to a region above Damascus. With each place we move further north into Gentile territory: Luke actually traces the route that the gospel message will take, ultimately reaching Rome itself.
  • Jordan: Though one needs water for baptism, this factor does not necessarily explain the selection of the Jordan river. Is there a historical tradition here that John's baptism was associated with a covenant renewal before people crossed over the Jordan into the "promised land"? (Jerome)
  • A general "baptist" movement existed in Palestine at that time. Many Judaic and Messianic groups practiced some kind of ritual washing, or baptism. The baptisms of these various groups took different forms and had diverse meanings attached to them. John's baptism, as explained by Luke, is one of "repentance for the forgiveness of sin". John the Baptizer were very well known. He made many converts and had many followers.
  • A comparison with the gospels of Mark and Matthew reveals that Luke quotes more of the passage from Isaiah than either Mark or Matthew in order to incorporate the promise of universal salvation, "all mankind shall see", that is so important to him and his Gentile readers. Thus Luke signals a major theme of his gospel, the universality of salvation.


One Main Point

John the Baptizer is urging his listeners to turn to God from their wicked ways.


Reflections

  • Why is the desert more important than other places listed? Has there been a "desert" in my life?
  • Living in today's modern society, what do we have to convert "from"?
  • How are we both like John and unlike him? Who have been John the Baptizers in my life?

22 posted on 12/08/2012 9:48:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Second Sunday of Advent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm 126:1-6
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Luke 3:1-6

Certainly nothing can so effectually humble us before the mercy of God as the multitude of his benefits. Nor can anything so much humble us before His justices as the enormity of our innumerable offences. Let us consider what He has done for us and what we have done against Him.

-- St. Francis de Sales


23 posted on 12/08/2012 9:51:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

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

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

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Hail Mary . . . 


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

Let us pray: 

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

Amen. 


24 posted on 12/08/2012 9:53:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 3
1 NOW in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea, and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina; Anno autem quintodecimo imperii Tiberii Cæsaris, procurante Pontio Pilato Judæam, tetrarcha autem Galiææ Herode, Philippo autem fratre ejus tetrarcha Iturææ, et Trachonitidis regionis, et Lysania Abilinæ tetrarcha, εν ετει δε πεντεκαιδεκατω της ηγεμονιας τιβεριου καισαρος ηγεμονευοντος ποντιου πιλατου της ιουδαιας και τετραρχουντος της γαλιλαιας ηρωδου φιλιππου δε του αδελφου αυτου τετραρχουντος της ιτουραιας και τραχωνιτιδος χωρας και λυσανιου της αβιληνης τετραρχουντος
2 Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. sub principibus sacerdotum Anna et Caipha : factum est verbum Domini super Joannem, Zachariæ filium, in deserto. επι αρχιερεως αννα και καιαφα εγενετο ρημα θεου επι ιωαννην τον ζαχαριου υιον εν τη ερημω
3 And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins; Et venit in omnem regionem Jordanis, prædicans baptismum pœnitentiæ in remissionem peccatorum, και ηλθεν εις πασαν την περιχωρον του ιορδανου κηρυσσων βαπτισμα μετανοιας εις αφεσιν αμαρτιων
4 As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. sicut scriptum est in libro sermonum Isaiæ prophetæ : Vox clamantis in deserto : Parate viam Domini ; rectas facite semitas ejus : ως γεγραπται εν βιβλω λογων ησαιου του προφητου λεγοντος φωνη βοωντος εν τη ερημω ετοιμασατε την οδον κυριου ευθειας ποιειτε τας τριβους αυτου
5 Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain; omnis vallis implebitur, et omnis mons, et collis humiliabitur : et erunt prava in directa, et aspera in vias planas : πασα φαραγξ πληρωθησεται και παν ορος και βουνος ταπεινωθησεται και εσται τα σκολια εις ευθειαν και αι τραχειαι εις οδους λειας
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. et videbit omnis caro salutare Dei. και οψεται πασα σαρξ το σωτηριον του θεου

25 posted on 12/09/2012 6:48:39 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
2. Annas and Caiaphas being the High Priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

GREG. The time at which the forerunner of the Savior received the word of preaching, is marked by the names of the Roman sovereign and of the princes of Judea, as it follows: Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, &c. For because John came to preach Him who was to redeem some from among the Jews, and many among the Gentiles, therefore the time of his preaching is marked out by making mention of the king of the Gentiles and the rulers of the Jews. But because all nations were to be gathered together in one, one man is described as ruling over the Roman state, as it is said, The reign of Tiberius Caesar.

GREEK EX. For the emperor Augustus being dead, from whom the Roman sovereigns obtained the name of "Augustus," Tiberius being his successor in the monarchy, was now in the 15th year of his receiving the reins of government.

ORIGEN; In the word of prophecy, spoken to the Jews alone, the Jewish kingdom only is mentioned, as, The vision of Esaias, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. But in the Gospel which was to be proclaimed to the whole world, the empire of Tiberius Caesar is mentioned, who seemed the lord of the whole world. But if the Gentiles only were to be saved, it were sufficient to make mention only of Tiberius, but because the Jews s also must believe, the Jewish kingdom therefore, or Tetrarchies, are also introduced, as it follows, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod tetrarch, &c.

GREG. Because the Jews were to be scattered for their crime of treachery, the Jewish kingdom was shut up into parts under several governors According to that saying, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation.

THEOPHYL; Pilate was sent in the twelfth year of Tiberius to take the government of the Jewish nation, and remained there for ten successive years, almost until the death of Tiberius. But Herod, and Philip, and Lysanias, were the sons of that Herod in whose reign our Lord was born. Between these and Herod himself Archelaus their brother reigned ten years. He was accused by the Jews before Augustus, and perished in exile at Vienne. But in order to reduce the Jewish kingdom to greater weakness, Augustus divided it into Tetrarchies.

GREG. Because John preached Him who was to be at the same time both King and Priest, Luke the Evangelist has marked the time of that preaching by the mention not only of Kings, but also of Priests. As it follows, Under the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas.

THEOPHYL; Both Annas and Caiaphas, when John began his preaching, were the High Priests, but Annas held the office that year, Caiaphas the same year in which our Lord suffered on the cross. Three others had held the office in the intervening time, but these two, as having particular reference to our Lord's Passion, are mentioned by the Evangelist. For at that time of violence and intrigue, the commands of the Law being no longer in force, the honor of the High Priest's office was never given to merit or high birth, but the whole affairs of the Priesthood were managed by the Roman power. For Josephus relates, that Valerius Gratus, when Annas was thrust out of the Priesthood, appointed Ismael High Priest, the son of Baphas; but not long after casting him off, he put in his place Eleazar the son of the High Priest Ananias. After the space of one year, he expelled him also from the office, and delivered the government of the High Priesthood to a certain Simon, son of Caiaphas, who holding it not longer than a year, had Joseph, whose name also was Caiaphas, for his successor; so that the whole time during which our Lord is related to have taught is included in the space of four years.

AMBROSE; The Son of God being about to gather together the Church, commences His work in His servant. And so it is well said, The word, of the Lord came to John, that the Church should begin not from man, but from the Word. But Luke, in order to declare that John was a prophet, rightly used these few words, The word of the Lord came to him. He adds nothing else, for they need not their own judgment who are filled with the Word of God. By saying this one thing, he has therefore declared all. But Matthew and Mark desired to show him to be a prophet, by his raiment, his girdle, and his food.

CHRYS. The word of God here mentioned was a commandment, for the son of Zacharias came not of himself, but God moved him.

THEOPHYL. Through the whole of the time until his showing himself he was hid in the wilderness, that no suspicion might arise in men's minds, that from his relation to Christ, and from his intercourse with Him from a child, he would testify such things of Him; and hence he said, He knew him not.

GREG. NYSS. Who also entered this life at once in the spirit and power of Elias, removed from the society of men, in uninterrupted contemplation of invisible things, that he might not, by becoming accustomed to the false notions forced upon us by our senses, fall into mistakes and errors in the discernment of good men. And to such a height of divine grace was he raised, that more favor was bestowed upon him than the Prophets, for from the beginning even to the end, he ever presented his heart before God pure and free from every natural passion.

AMBROSE; Again, the wilderness is the Church itself, for the barren has more children than she who has an husband. The word of the Lord came, that the earth which was before barren might bring forth fruit unto us.

3. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
4. As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
6. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

AMBROSE; The Word came, and the voice followed. For the Word first works inward, then follows the office of the voice, as it is said, And he went into all the country about Jordan.

ORIGEN; Jordan is the same as descending, for there descends from God a river of healing water. But what parts would John be traversing but the country lying about Jordan, that the penitent sinner might soon arrive at the flowing stream, humbling himself to receive the baptism of repentance. For it is added, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

GREG. It is plain to every reader that John not only preached the baptism of repentance, but to some also he gave it, yet his own baptism he could not give for the remission of sins.

CHRYS. For as the sacrifice had not yet been offered up, nor had the holy Spirit descended, how could remission of sins be given? What is it then that St. Luke means by the words, for the remission of sins, seeing the Jews were ignorant, and knew not the weight of their sins? Because this was the cause of their evils, in order that they might be convinced of their sins and seek a Redeemer, John came exhorting them to repentance, that being thereby made better and sorrowful for their sins, they might be ready to receive pardon. Rightly then after saying, that he came preaching the baptism of repentance, he adds, for the remission of sins. As if he should say, The reason by which he persuaded them to repent was, as, that thereby they would the more easily obtain despair. For the hill produces no fruit.

ORIGEN; Or you may understand the mountains and hills to be the hostile powers, which have been overthrown by the coming of Christ.

BASIL; But as the hills differ from mountains in respect of height, in other things are the same, so also the adverse powers agree indeed in purpose, but are distinguished from one another in the enormity of their offenses.

GREG. Or, the valley when filled increases, but the mountains and hills when brought low decrease, because the Gentiles by faith in Christ receive fullness of grace, but the Jews by their sin of treachery have lost that wherein they boasted. For the humble receive a gift because the hearts of the proud they keep afar off.

CHRYS. Or by these words he declares the difficulties of the law to be turned into the easiness of faith; as if he said, No more toils and labors await us, but grace and remission of sins make an easy way to salvation.

GREG. NYSS. Or, He orders the valleys to be filled, the mountains and hills to be cast down, to show that the rule of virtue neither fails from want of good, nor transgresses from excess.

GREG. But the crooked places are become straight, when the hearts of the wicked, perverted by a course of injustice, are directed to the rule of justice. But the rough ways are changed to smooth, when fierce and savage dispositions by the influence of Divine grace return to gentleness and meekness.

CHRYS. He then adds the cause of these things, saying, And all flesh shall see, &c. showing that the virtue and knowledge of the Gospel shall be extended even to the end of the world, turning mankind from savage manners and perverse wills to meekness and gentleness. Not only Jewish converts but all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

CYRIL; That is, of the Father, who sent His Son as our Savior. But the flesh is here taken for the whole man.

GREG. Or else, All flesh, i.e. Every man can not see the salvation of God in Christ in this life. The Prophet therefore stretches his eye beyond to the last day of judgment, when all men both the elect and the reprobate shall equally see Him.

Catena Aurea Luke 3
26 posted on 12/09/2012 6:49:07 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


St John the Baptist in the Desert

Jusepe de Ribera

1644-47
Oil on canvas, 184 x 198 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

27 posted on 12/09/2012 6:49:32 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, Hermit

Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, Hermit
Optional Memorial
December 9th


unknown artist

 

 St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548). Little is known about the life of Juan Diego before his conversion, but tradition and archaelogical and iconographical sources, along with the most important and oldest indigenous document on the event of Guadalupe, "El Nican Mopohua" (written in Náhuatl with Latin characters, 1556, by the Indigenous writer Antonio Valeriano), give some information on the life of the saint and the apparitions.

Juan Diego was born in 1474 with the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin" ("the talking eagle") in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City, Mexico. He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced groups living in the Anáhuac Valley.

When he was 50 years old he was baptized by a Franciscan priest, Fr Peter da Gand, one of the first Franciscan missionaries. On December 9, 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, the outskirts of what is now Mexico City. She asked him to go to the Bishop and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out her grace upon those who invoked her. The Bishop, who did not believe Juan Diego, asked for a sign to prove that the apparition was true. On 12 December, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac. Here, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find in bloom. He obeyed, and although it was winter time, he found roses flowering. He gathered the flowers and took them to Our Lady who carefully placed them in his mantle and told him to take them to the Bishop as "proof". When he opened his mantle, the flowers fell on the ground and there remained impressed, in place of the flowers, an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac.

With the Bishop's permission, Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration. Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus.

Much deeper than the "exterior grace" of having been "chosen" as Our Lady's "messenger", Juan Diego received the grace of interior enlightenment and from that moment, he began a life dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue and boundless love of God and neighbour. He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was beatified on May 6, 1990 by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, Mexico City.

The miraculous image, which is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows a woman with native features and dress. She is supported by an angel whose wings are reminiscent of one of the major gods of the traditional religion of that area. The moon is beneath her feet and her blue mantle is covered with gold stars. The black girdle about her waist signifies that she is pregnant. Thus, the image graphically depicts the fact that Christ is to be "born" again among the peoples of the New World, and is a message as relevant to the "New World" today as it was during the lifetime of Juan Diego.

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20020731_juan-diego_en.html

 

Collect:
O God, who by means of Saint Juan Diego showed
the love of the most holy Virgin Mary for your people,
grant, through his intercession,
that, by following the counsels our Mother gave at Guadalupe,
we may be ever constant in fulfilling your will.
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.

Readings from the Common of Holy Men and Women


28 posted on 12/09/2012 7:24:38 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint's days are superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

[Saint] Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin [Catholic Caucus]
Miracle that Brought Gospel to Millions of Mexicans
St. Juan Diego's tilma: "completely outside" science
Science Sees What Mary Saw From Juan Diego’s Tilma
Saint Juan Diego and Our Lady
Why Juan Diego is an American Saint
Pope Canonizes American Indian Saint
Blessed Juan Diego: A Model of Humility
Canonization of Juan Diego drawing Texans to Mexico City
Pope to Visit Mexico in July to Canonize Juan Diego.

29 posted on 12/09/2012 7:34:00 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
St. Juan Diego
Feast Day: December 9
Born: 1474, Tlayacac, Cuauhtitlan, Mexico
Died: May 30, 1548, Tenochtitlan, Mexico City, Mexico
Canonized: July 31, 2002, Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico City, Mexico by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine: Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico City, Mexico



30 posted on 12/09/2012 7:35:30 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Saint Juan Diego

Blessed Juan Diego
Feast Day: December 09
Born: 1474 :: Died: 1548

Juan Diego was born in Mexico and lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer and laborer. Juan was a member of the Chichimeca people (an Indian tribe). They called him the talking eagle. His Christian name was Juan Diego.

On December 9, 1531, Juan rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to Mexico City to attend daily Mass. As he passed Tepeyac Hill, he heard music and saw a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow. A woman's voice called him to the top of the hill.

There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said she was the Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God. She asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site, so she could be present to help and defend those were suffering and in pain.

After Juan's mission was completed, he became a hermit. He spent the rest of his life in prayer and penance.

His little hut was near the first chapel that was built on Tepeyac Hill. He was greatly respected and parents wished their children would grow up to be holy like Juan Diego.

Juan took care of the little church and met the pilgrims who began to come there to honor their Mother of Guadalupe. He would show them the miraculous tilma or cloak that preserves Mary's beautiful image.

The pope personally visited the magnificent church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and prayed there for all of the people of Mexico.

He prayed especially for those who were killed during the terrible persecution of the Church in the early part of this century. An he prayed for all the pilgrims who come to this beautiful church with such faith in the Mother of God

31 posted on 12/09/2012 7:39:05 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, December 9

Liturgical Color: Violet


Today is the optional memorial of St. Juan Diego. On this day in 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego, requesting a church be built at the site where Our Lady appeared.


32 posted on 12/09/2012 1:13:21 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 09, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heaven wisdom grain us admittance to his company. 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 9th

Second Sunday of Advent

Old Calendar: Second Sunday of Advent

“As the journey of Advent continues, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ, John the Baptist's call to conversion sounds out in our communities. It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and to welcome the Son of God Who comes among us to make divine judgement manifest. The Father, writes St. John the Evangelist, does not judge anyone, but has entrusted the power of judgement to the Son, because He is the Son of man.

“And it is today, in the present, that we decide our future destiny. It is with our concrete everyday behavior in this life that we determine our eternal fate. At the end of our days on earth, at the moment of death, we will be evaluated on the basis of our likeness or otherwise to the Baby Who is about to be born in the poor grotto of Bethlehem, because He is the measure God has given humanity.

“Through the Gospel John the Baptist continues to speak down the centuries to each generation. His hard clear words bring health to us, the men and women of this day in which even the experience and perception of Christmas often, unfortunately, reflects materialist attitudes. The 'voice' of the great prophet asks us to prepare the way for the coming Lord in the deserts of today, internal and external deserts, thirsting for the water of life which is Christ.” — Benedict XVI

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Jesse Tree ~ Jacob



Jerusalem
In Palestine Christians gather today in Jerusalem for the celebration of holy Mass. In Rome they proceed to the stational church "Holy Cross at Jerusalem" which serves to give the atmosphere of the Holy City.

Why "Jerusalem"? Excavations of ancient sites often reveal a number of strata. When enemies destroyed a city, a new one would rise on the same location, so that today there are several layers of remains, one city, as it were, above the other. Our Jerusalem likewise has four strata. The bottommost layer is the Jerusalem of the Jews, that venerable land where the Lord Jesus began His mission of redemption, where He suffered and died. This is the historical Jerusalem so dear to us Christians. Anyone making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land enters that ancient city with holy awe. That Jerusalem, however, lies buried deep.

For us another has been built upon it, the Jerusalem of Christians, God's kingdom on earth, the holy Church. This city still stands; it is the one which the divine King will enter at Christmas. Now we understand why we will hear so mach about Jerusalem during the coming week. We should now clean and adorn our city, improving its streets and avenues through which the Savior will make His entrance. As a motto we should take the words of the precursor, St. John the Baptist: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths; let every valley be filled, every hill be leveled." Holy Mother Church's message today is that the Savior is coming to the Jerusalem of the Christians, to the Church.

Above the second stratum there arises a third, the heavenly Jerusalem at the end of time. Already now the Church sings of this Jerusalem. For during Advent we await the Savior who will appear on the Last Day to take all into "the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven."

Finally, there may be recognized a fourth Jerusalem, our souls in sanctifying grace. This city too must be adorned and prepared, for the King will want to enter. That is our present task.

On Epiphany, the climax to the current season, the Church will cry out: "Arise, shine, O Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee." That is the goal. Today we must prepare for the great King's visit to our city. The whole coming week must be devoted to it. The Church prays: "Awaken our hearts to prepare the way for Your only-begotten Son that we may serve Him with purified hearts."

In the time of the Roman Empire, rulers rode from city to city for the purpose of official visitations. Their appearance, called epiphany or parousia, was a great event, one preceded by months of preparation. Something analogous takes place in the Jerusalem of our souls. From a high watchtower we see the Lord coming afar off. Suddenly John the Baptist appears; he hurries into the city to announce the King's approach. God condescends to manifest Himself to us in grace; but He demands the proper reception.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace by Pius Parsch


33 posted on 12/09/2012 1:23:46 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 3:1-6

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2nd Sunday of Advent

“A voice of one crying out in the desert.” (Luke 3:4)

Tiberius. Pilate. Herod. Philip. Lysanias. Annas. Caiaphas. These men ruled the secular and religious worlds at the time of Christ. Mighty Rome, led by Tiberius Caesar, held Judea in its grip, and Pilate exercised Rome’s power there. Herod, Philip, and Lysanias governed, with Caesar’s blessing, the rest of the kingdom. Caiaphas was the reigning high priest, and Annas, though retired, still held great sway.

But then came a voice, just one voice in the desert, heralding the coming of One who is above all powers and principalities. One sin­gle voice! God didn’t have to send a host of angels to herald the coming of his Son, Jesus—although he did send one, as a grand display of his joy. A single voice, residing not in the halls of power but in the wilder­ness of the desert, was all he needed. And the people flocked to that voice!

Such is the authority of the word of God—a word spoken by the lone voice of the prophet John and his mighty successor, Jesus. Their voices proclaimed a foolishness that is wiser than human wisdom and a weakness that surpasses our strength.

Even today, God’s voice has the power to silence all the other voices in our lives. The devil may accuse us. Our own flesh may croon words of self-indulgence and self-pity. Even the world may offer us an unremitting barrage of “wisdom” and woe and invitations to the next best thing. But God’s voice can still them all.

What is that voice saying to you today? Listen for it. Pay attention to it and treasure it. Know that every time you hear that voice, Jesus is drawing you a little bit closer. His promises become more real to you, and his power becomes more believ­able. Turn to that voice. Absorb its words of love and encouragement and hope. Follow its gentle leading. This still, small voice has the power to silence all others!

“Father, I want to hear your voice today. Open my ears, so that I can hear you; open my heart, so that I can embrace you.”

Baruch 5:1-9; Psalm 126:1-6; Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11

Luke 3:1-6
 
Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. In the first reading, we are encouraged to take off our “robe of mourning and misery”. What are the things in your life that weigh you down: Sinful habits? Family circumstances? Job situation? How do you believe God wants you to deal with these areas this Advent?

2. In the Responsorial Psalm, God promises that our sorrow will be turned into joy; and not just some temporary external “joy” but an inner joy. The psalmist goes on to say that our mouths will be “filled with laughter”. God wants you to experience his blessings and be filled with joy. Can you share a time when God’s actions brought a special joy into your life?

3. St. Paul’s beautiful prayer in the second reading speaks of his confidence that God will complete his “good work” in each of us (Philippians 1:6). Therefore, we ought not to be discouraged. Are you willing to make a commitment to pray this same prayer for certain family members and others during Advent? Why or why not? Advent is a special season of grace. Be expectant that God will answer these prayers.

4. Again St. Paul prays that our “love may increase even more” (Philippians (1:9). St. Alphonsus says that loving God is the greatest work we can do on earth, and since our ability to love God comes from God, we must ask him for the grace to love him. Have you ever asked God for that gift? How can your prayers during Advent allow your love to “increase even more,” especially for those you find hard to love?

5. In the Gospel, we are introduced to John the Baptist, whose words echo the prophecy from the first reading: mountains will be flattened and valleys filled in to make our path to him easier so we “shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6). During Advent, how can you be a witness to your family members and others so that they “shall see the salvation of God.”

6. In the meditation we hear these words: “Even today, God’s voice has the power to silence all the other voices in our lives. The devil may accuse us. Our own flesh may croon words of self-indulgence and self-pity. Even the world may offer us an unremitting barrage of “wisdom” and woe and invitations to the next best thing. But God’s voice can still them all.” What steps can you take during Advent to allow God’s words to you to deepen your faith and help you win the battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil?

7. Take some time now to pray that the Lord would open your heart and mind to hear more clearly his voice during this Advent Season. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


34 posted on 12/09/2012 1:32:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

GOD ACTS EACH AND EVERY DAY

(A biblical refection on the SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT [Year C] – 9 December 2012) 

Gospel Reading: Luke 3:1-6 

First Reading: Bar 5:1-9; Psalms: Ps 126:1-6; Second Reading: Phil 1:4-6,8-11 

YOHANES PEMBAPTIS

The Scripture Text

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and  his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness; and he went into all region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Lk 3:1-6 RSV) 

As he told the story of Jesus’ coming as a man, Luke took particular care to identify a specific point in history when these events unfolded. He noted who was in power, where they ruled, and when it all occurred. He also stated explicitly that the word of God came to one particular person – John – who preached a distinct message rooted in his people’s prophetic heritage.

By crafting his Gospel in this way, Luke emphasized a very important point: God speaks to His people, through His word, in the real world. He bridges the gap between heaven and earth, and as a result, lives are changed forever.

How easy it is to lose sight of the fact that God acts each and every day! Like the faithful Jewish believers of Jesus’ time, we may take scripture very seriously and still fail to recognize God when He reveals Himself. Hoping that God will act in the future, we look for the new heaven and new earth that will come at the end of time. But we should remember that the Jews – God’s own chose people – believed they too would recognize the Messiah, yet most did not. Even we Christians, by definition “believers in Christ,” can be skeptical when we hear of miraculous happenings throughout the world.

How can we recognize God’s action today? We can hold onto the things God has revealed already, and always remember that God wants to teach us even more with each new day. He is ever at work, advancing His plan toward its fulfillment. As it was in the days of John the Baptist, so it is in our day. Any work that brings down the mountains of sin and exalts the lowly and humble of heart is part of God’s plan to prepare His way. God loves us deeply; He is always seeking to bring us to Himself, smoothing out the “rough ways” in our hearts that keep us from advancing on the path to His love.

Short Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus, and “prepare the way” in us so that we can receive You more fully. Open our hearts to Your word, and show us, in specific, unmistakable ways, how You are at work today. Lord, show us Your salvation. Amen.


35 posted on 12/09/2012 1:43:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

GOD COMES TO US ON THE ROADS WE MAKE

(A biblical refection on the SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT (YEAR C) – 9 December 2012) 

First Reading: Bar 5:1-9; Psalms: Ps 126:1-6; Second Reading: Phil 1:4-6,8-11; Gospel Reading: Lk 3:1-6 

YOHANES PEMBAPTIS - 3

Bridge the valleys, cut through the mountains, straighten out the sharp curves and smooth the surface! American ingenuity has responded admirably to this advice of John the Baptist. Our country can display approximately 42,500 miles of four-lane National Interstate Highways, carrying 25% of the nation’s total traffic. The well planned cross-country network was eagerly promoted by President Eisenhower, basically for military purposes. The road system, identified by the familiar red, white and blue signs, can quickly deploy troops to any part of the country.

The primitive roads and nameless paths traveled by the Baptist were a great contrast – winding, rough and mountainous. John understands, like the present-day highway builders, that the more hazards removed, the better the road.

Poetically, John uses the image of the road to show how we can either encourage or impede God’s entrance into our lives. We have a duty to level off our sharp peaks of pride, selfishness and blind ambitions, which become mountain-sized obstacles between God and ourselves.

Valleys also slow the journey to our Savior. These are the low cold areas of depression, fear and despair. They obscure the warming sun and keep us wandering along the dark edge of night.

Advent is the “coming toward God” season, when each of us is challenged to examine his or her way to the Lord. If you are lost and going in circles, ask for advice or call a counselor to help lift reality.

John wants us to straighten out our dead ends and hairpin curves of double standards, lying, cheating and crookedness.

Our rough ways of acting and speaking can become more gentle; our former violence can be paved with compassion. The Herald of the Messiah continues to shout, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” With barriers removed, God is not far from us. If the obstacles remain on our way of life, we make contact or even communication with Him nearly impossible. God comes to us on the roads we make. If He doesn’t come, we have not prepared the way.

Note: Taken from Fr. Jame McKarns, GO TELL EVERYONE, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1985, pages 192-193.


36 posted on 12/09/2012 1:45:05 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 9, 2012:

“And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more.” (Phil 1:9) Although these are words from St. Paul to the Philippians, receive these words today as addressed directly to you from God. God wants your love to grow. Cooperate.


37 posted on 12/09/2012 3:43:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Second Sunday of Advent - Cycle C

December 9, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Baruch 5:1-9

Psalm: 126:1-6

Second Reading: Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11

Gospel Reading: Luke 3:1-6

  • This Sunday’s gospel for the Second Sunday in Advent takes place at the Jordan River where John the Baptist is preparing the people for the coming of the Messiah. Based on the historical data given us by Luke (verses 1-2), it is around A.D. 27-29.
  • John’s appearance and message (see also Matthew 3) brings to mind that of Elijah the prophet in the Old Testament (2 Kings 1:8). In fact, John is considered the last of the Old Testament prophets, predicted in Malachi (3:23-24) and later confirmed by Jesus (Matthew 17:10-13).
  • In applying the prophecy of Isaiah to himself (verses 4-6; Isaiah 40:3-5; John 1:23), John recalls to his listeners the promises of the Messianic Kingdom found in Isaiah chapters 40 to 45, and thus prepares them for the Messiah, Jesus, who is about to come into their midst.

 

QUESTIONS:

  • Luke is very careful to note the exact historical conditions surrounding the proclamation by John the Baptist of Jesus’ coming (verses 1-2). Why is this important? How does it show that God is active in history—then and now?
  • What was John proclaiming (verse 3)? What type of baptism is he preaching and how does it differ from sacramental baptism, established by Christ (see Luke 3:11; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:37-38, 19:3-5)? What does Christian baptism do?
  • In the context of your Christian relationships (such as family, neighbors, or parish), what does it mean to love “with knowledge and every kind of perception” (see 2nd Reading)? What are some of the “fruits of righteousness” you can expect to experience? (Hint: Look up Gal 5:22–23.)
  • What does it mean to “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” (verse 4)? What is the “way” and “path” of the Lord as he comes into your life—the valleys and the hills (verse 5)? How are they crooked and unlevel? Have we allowed mountains to rise up that block our path to God? Have we created mountains in our lives that keep God from reaching us? Do these mountains of ours block others from reaching God?
  • How can you prepare the Lord’s ways and paths in your life this Advent in preparation for Christmas?
  • What does John mean when he says “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (verse 6)? How has this been fulfilled in Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 2:11-20)?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 522-524, 678, 715-720

 

Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew.  –St. Francis de Sales


38 posted on 12/09/2012 4:02:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Paul Center Blog

The Road Home: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 2nd Sunday in Advent

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 12.07.12 |


Mount

Today’s Psalm paints a dream-like scene - a road filled with liberated captives heading home to Zion (Jerusalem), mouths filled with laughter, tongues rejoicing.

It’s a glorious picture from Israel’s past, a “new exodus,” the deliverance from exile in Babylon. It’s being recalled in a moment of obvious uncertainty and anxiety. But the psalmist isn’t waxing nostalgic.

Remembering “the Lord has done great things” in the past, he is making an act of faith and hope - that God will come to Israel in its present need, that He’ll do even greater things in the future.

Readings:
Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm 126:1-6
Philippians 1:4-6,8-11
Luke 3:1-6

This is what the Advent readings are all about: We recall God’s saving deeds - in the history of Israel and in the coming of Jesus. Our remembrance is meant to stir our faith, to fill us with confidence that, as today’s Epistle puts it, “the One who began a good work in [us] will continue to complete it” until He comes again in glory.

Each of us, the Liturgy teaches, is like Israel in her exile - led into captivity by our sinfulness, in need of restoration, conversion by the Word of the Holy One (see Baruch 5:5). The lessons of salvation history should teach us that, as God again and again delivered Israel, in His mercy He will free us from our attachments to sin, if we turn to Him in repentance.

That’s the message of John, introduced in today’s Gospel as the last of the great prophets (compare Jeremiah 1:1-4,11). But John is greater than the prophets (see Luke 7:27). He’s preparing the way, not only for a new redemption of Israel, but for the salvation of “all flesh” (see also Acts 28:28).

John quotes Isaiah (40:3) to tell us he’s come to build a road home for us, a way out of the wilderness of sin and alienation from God. It’s a road we’ll follow Jesus down, a journey we’ll make, as today’s First Reading puts it, “rejoicing that [we’re] remembered by God.”


39 posted on 12/09/2012 4:28:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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2nd Advent Sunday: Come Forward!

El Greco - John the Baptist

"Prepare the Way . . ."
 
Bar 5: 1-9
Ph 1” 4-6, 8-11
Lk 3: 1-6

A young husband and wife who felt they needed to return to some regular practice of their faith decided to visit their local Catholic Church one Sunday. Not being totally comfortable they sat in the very back pew. After a few weekends in the same spot, the whole surrounding became more comfortable so they decided to sit towards the front. They happened to sit next to a longtime parishioner who said to them, “Good to have you with us! Where are you from?”

 
They were both a bit taken by surprise so the wife mumbled, “From the back.”
 On this Advent journey, maybe it is good that we become more aware of who may be in the back.  In a recent study of Religion in America, the Pew Research Center (A Center not related to Church "pews" inspite of the joke above) reported that 20% of Americans now check “none” when asked about their religious affiliation. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of them are placed in the more liberal, left leaning strata of the social order. Many seem indifferent or angry about religion in general but do speak out negatively about the voice of religion’s longstanding influence on American society.  

What strikes me is the shocking uphill trend of these numbers. Back in 1957, a similar study was done. At that time only 3% of people claimed no religious affiliation. That’s about 1 in every 33 citizens. Today, with nearly 1/5 of Americans claiming“none,” it is 1 in every 5. According to the recent study, nearly 1/3 of the “nones” are under 30 yrs old. Are these our people in the back?


What this all means is a powerful influence on the culture of this Country and a great challenge for the voice of Faith which is often perceived more as the enemy than an ally. This obviously presents a great test to people of faith who may well feel as a voice crying in the wilderness.


This Sunday we hear an ancient wilderness voice which found himself up against similar tough resistance. Indeed, John the Baptist was a sign of contradiction but in a way that did not point a finger at only one particular segment of society. He called everyone to “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” and invited everyone to “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths . . .” (Lk 3: 1-6).


John the Baptist is a voice for moral change of heart and spirit. To face the force of evil in our souls and the poor choices we make at times and to seek forgiveness of sins. John’s image of making “straight the paths,” filling in valleys and leveling out the mountains could be seen as the sometimes hard work we need to do to cleanse our souls and get ready. To remove the obstacles and the blind spots that prevents us from seeing the Lord clearly.


God and his Word is our moral compass but we well know that our culture, as I stated above, would not agree. To change the culture of our time seems a pretty formidable task. Wringing our hands about the increasing number of “nones” among us might be an exercise in frustration since we need to begin in our own pew before we can invite those in the “back” to come forward.

Where does that leave us? What have Christians done in the past? Maybe we can learn from them.


We begin with ourselves; with our own change of heart and mind. Some may feel we need to go out on the battle field and fight the good fight. But, John the Baptist poses for us today the same message of hope and promise he announced in the desert of his time. That is, that God will step in to human history at any time. For our Christian ancestors, who found themselves up against the wall, John’s call to personal repentance gave them hope for they knew that God was about to step in for them.


Though his call was time and person specific - Jesus was about to appear on the scene in John’s day, his clarion call to conversion should be taken as a daily reminder that God is constantly present to us who seek for him. The way to change the culture around us is to change ourselves first. John stood out in the desert like a billboard. Why can’t we as well in the conviction of our Catholic faith? Doing all things in love we can become a sign of hope because the message of the Gospel is beyond politics and will transform the culture around us through our example.


But, more and more I’m beginning to think that being truly Catholic today has become an alternative lifestyle. That’s the concern for it all. We have many people in the back who need to come forward and sit with us. And we pray that in time more and more will be inspired and moved to reconsider coming home.


But, do we have hope for confidence in God’s promise? Is it time to experience the forgiveness of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Our gathering at the Eucharist is a moment to remind ourselves that God means what he says and his promise is always kept.


Our first reading this Sunday from Baruch 5: 1-9 catches the whole theme of this season: Up, Jerusalem! Stand upon the heights; look to the east and see your children . . . rejoicing they are remembered by God . .
 
Fr. Tim

40 posted on 12/09/2012 4:38:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

Living Between the First and Final Coming of Christ

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, December 9, 2012, Second Sunday of Advent | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Bar 5:1-9
• Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
• Phil 1:4-6, 8-11
• Lk 3:1-6

"There are three distinct comings of the Lord of which I know," wrote St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the great twelfth-century doctor of the Church, in one of his Advent sermons, "his coming to people, his coming into people, and his coming against people."

He added that Christ's "coming to people and his coming against people are too well known to need elucidation." Since, however, today's Gospel reading mentions both groups—those Christ comes to and those he comes against—a bit of elucidation is in order.

St. Luke took pains to situate the fact of the Incarnation within human history. He did so by providing the names of several different rulers, beginning with Caesar Augustus (Lk. 2:1), who reigned from 27 B.C. to A.D. 14, and who was ruler of the Roman Empire when Jesus was born. In today's Gospel, the Evangelist situates John the Baptist's bold announcement of Christ's coming in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius, the stepson of Augustus, reigned from A.D. 14 to 37. Pontius Pilate was appointed procurator of Judea by Tiberius in 26, and served in that post for ten years. Those men and the others mentioned by St. Luke—Herod, Philip, Lysanias, and the high priests Annas and Caiaphas—ruled the known world while the ruler of all creation walked the dusty roads of Palestine and announced the kingdom of God was at hand.

The Roman rulers were ruthless and often violent men who established rule and kept order through military might and political power. They did, in fact, establish and keep a sort of peace—the pax Romana—which lasted about two centuries (27 B.C. - c. A.D. 180). Yet that peace was both uneasy and fragile; it had been won by the sword and often relied on fear, intimidation, and persecution. St. Luke's mention of these rulers was, on one hand, meant to support the historical nature of his "orderly account," which was to be "a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us..." (see Lk. 1:1-4).

But it was also meant to establish a deliberate comparison and contrast between the rulers of this world and the ruler of nations, between the kings of earthly realms and the King of kings. The Roman rulers used force and relied upon fear, but the Incarnate Word came with humility and love. Emperors were announced and escorted by armed soldiers, but the birth of the Christ child was announced by heavenly hosts offering songs of praise, not swords or spears. "What the angel proposes to the shepherds is another kyrios [Lord]," notes Fr. Robert Barron in The Priority of Christ (Brazos, 2007), "the Messiah Jesus, whose rule will constitute a true justice because it is conditioned not by fear but by love and forgiveness..."

The Lord came against injustice, fear, violence, and death, and would himself experience each of those dreadful realities for the sake of all men. Such would be "the salvation of God" spoken of John the Baptist, who quoted from Isaiah's beautiful and moving hymn-like reflection on the glory and goodness of God (Isa. 40). John, like Isaiah, was pointing toward the comfort, peace, and joy that only God can give.

Yet the final rest and joy is not yet fully known. We live, St. Bernard explained, during the time of the "third coming" of Christ, between the Incarnation and the final coming, or advent, when all men will finally see the pierced but glorious Lord. "The intermediate coming is a hidden one; in it only the elect see the Lord within their own selves, and they are saved." Christ comes to us in spirit and in power; he most especially comes to us under the appearance of bread and wine.

"Because this coming lies between the other two," wrote St. Bernard, "it is like a road on which we travel from the first coming to the last." That winding road is the way of the Lord, the path of Advent.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the December 6, 2009, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


41 posted on 12/09/2012 5:43:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Adore te devote, latens Deitas

 on December 9, 2012 10:14 PM |
Ostensorio di notte.jpg

O hidden God,
I adore Thee.

O silent God,
I adore Thee.

O utterly humble God,
I adore Thee.

O ineffably obedient God,
I adore Thee.

O God, faithful and constant,
I adore Thee.

O piteously vulnerable God,
I adore Thee.

O God delivered into the hands of sinful men,
I adore Thee.

O God held lightly in the hands of Thy priests,
I adore Thee.

O God most fragile in appearance,
I adore Thee.

O God, offering Thyself to be broken and consumed,
I adore Thee.

O God, ready to descend into the souls and bodies of poor sinners,
I adore Thee.

O God, ignored by the multitudes,
I adore Thee.

O God, whose real presence heretics deny,
I adore Thee.

O God, grieved by the coldness, indifference, and irreverence
of too many of Thy priests,
I adore Thee.

O God, denied to little children who would long to receive Thee,
I adore Thee.

O God, excluded from the rooms of the dying,
I adore Thee.

O God, waiting to be carried to those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death,
I adore Thee.

O God, surrounded by routine and unbelief,
I adore Thee.

O God, waiting for the company of Thy priests,
I adore Thee.

O God, forsaken in Thy tabernacles,
I adore Thee.

O God, ignored in Thy churches,
I adore Thee.

O God, unacknowledged in Thy sanctuaries,
I adore Thee.

O God, forever adored by the Angelic Choirs,
I adore Thee.

O God, who art Love, and all Love, and forever Love,
I adore Thee.


42 posted on 12/09/2012 5:49:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Pure and Blameless

 

by Food For Thought on December 9, 2012 · 

This call to have a change of heart continues to serve as challenge to us particularly during this season of Advent. What areas of our life are we supposed to be more aware that need to be changed and to be touched by the power of God’s love and mercy? Can we recall our mission when we were baptized that we are to turn away from Satan and the allure of sin? It is obvious that this call to conversion is a lifelong project. What then are habits, attitudes, and relationships that remain unbaptized? What are our actions that continue to distance us from God? However, there is some problem at times in that we want God’s help and comfort but we are not prepared to change our ways, not prepared for a genuine conversion. For God to come to us, we also need to go to Him.

A significant detail then is the image of the desert which is important in Scripture. It is a holy place, a place where God is specially to be found. It is also a place of struggle. It was in the desert that the Israelites spent 40 years on their way to the Promised Land. It was in the desert that Jesus had his struggle with the Evil One. It was in the desert that Jesus often went to pray and in the desert that he fed the people.

In the same manner, there is a call for us to go and stay in the desert of our, hearts where we can communicate with God. In that seemingly lifeless and empty space, may we find inspiration in the beautiful prayer of Paul to the Philippians: that your love may increase ever more …. so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ filled with the fruit of righteousness…”

To be filled with righteousness becomes vital in the context of our preparation for Christmas and the coming of the Lord into, our own lives. Christmas is not simply the commemoration of a historic event, in the distant past. It is a time for reflection and personal renewal about the coming of Jesus into our life, into the life of our Christian communities and into our wider society.

If we find ourselves constantly in the company of our Lord, then we will be at peace in spite of storms raging around us. For us, the Day of the Lord holds no fears. For us, every day is Christmas and that is what makes Christmas so special to us. For us, ever y day is a Day of the Lord.

John is indeed a role model for us whose call of repentance is something that we can take as a challenge as we prepare for the coming of Jesus more deeply in our lives. John knew something about Christ and he was humble enough to point out to all of us the true and only Messiah.


43 posted on 12/09/2012 6:02:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Sunday, December 9, 2012 >> Second Sunday of Advent
 
Baruch 5:1-9
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11

View Readings
Psalm 126:1-6
Luke 3:1-6

 

"PREPARE YE"

 
"I am sure of this much: that He Who has begun the good work in you will carry it through to completion, right up to the day of Christ Jesus." —Philippians 1:6
 

The effects of Jesus' Christmas coming are inexpressible and unimaginable (see Eph 3:20; 1 Cor 2:9). Even the preparations for His coming are of colossal proportions. "Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be leveled. The windings shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth" (Lk 3:5). "For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, and that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground" (Bar 5:7). After such mountain-moving preliminaries, Jesus' Christmas coming will effect a heart-moving response, "and all mankind shall see the salvation of God" (Lk 3:6).

Do you believe that the Lord's coming this Christmas will be as life-changing and world-transforming as the Advent Scriptures seem to indicate? If you do, you should throw yourself into this Advent, fill in valleys by repentance, move mountains by faith (Mt 17:20), straighten the crooked ways by healing, and smooth the rough ways by forgiveness. "Make ready the way of the Lord, clear Him a straight path" (Lk 3:4).

 
Prayer: "My prayer is that your love may more and more abound, both in understanding and wealth of experience, so that with a clear conscience and blameless conduct you may learn to value the things that really matter, up to the very day of Christ" (Phil 1:9-10).
Promise: "Take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever." —Bar 5:1
Praise: Alleluia! Praise the risen Jesus, Who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit!

44 posted on 12/09/2012 6:17:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Indeed, let us pray to remove paying for the abortion of others from ANY healthcare coverage!


45 posted on 12/09/2012 6:22:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

Prepare the Way of the Lord!
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Second Sunday of Advent



Father Steven Reilly, LC

Luke 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. John went proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the desert: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you know the sincerity of my desire to spend this time with you. As I begin this meditation, I believe that you are here with me, that you never abandon me. Because I love you, my one wish is to please and console you in your solitude in the tabernacle. I hope in the boundless mercy that motivated your incarnation. May we one day meet again in your heavenly kingdom.

Petition: Give me the grace to renew my Advent preparation.

1. The Concrete History: Today’s Gospel contains a veritable roster of First Century Palestinian big-names, both religious and political. Why? St Luke wants to emphasize that God’s marvelous deeds do not happen in a vacuum, but in the concrete reality of history. The greatest of God’s interventions, the Incarnation — when the Word became flesh — happened at a concrete time and place. This should have great impact on our spiritual lives. Jesus’ coming among us cannot be just an abstract idea that I learned in CCD. Jesus came to this world for ME! This overwhelming love calls forth a grateful response, unless I try to keep it at a safe distance. Jesus came to our world. Will I let him into mine?

2. A Voice Crying Out in the Desert: The ministry of John the Baptist was an important part of God’s plan to prepare people for the coming of the Messiah. He was very successful and opened many hearts to repentance and eventual faith in Jesus. So it is somewhat ironic that the phrase "crying out in the desert" usually refers to a noble but futile effort. That, unfortunately, could be the case now, if I am allowing the Holy Spirit’s inspirations to die in the “desert” of my self-absorption. Am I so wrapped up in the material side of Christmas preparation that I am forgetting the spiritual preparation?

3. "Prepare the Way of the Lord!" The memory of the Incarnation and the continuous prompting of the Holy Spirit in our hearts add up to the great program of Advent "Prepare the way of the Lord." We are called as Christians to do precisely this. Society is starving for the message of Christ. All of our prayers and work should be done with the spirit of faith, so that we are indeed preparing the way of the Lord.  

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you came into our world, taking on our human condition. For too long, this has been just an idea for me. Let it sink into my heart and stir my will to action. You have loved me so much. I must return my love with concrete deeds. I recommit myself to fight for your Kingdom.

Resolution:  I will offer up three simple invocations spread throughout today, telling Jesus I love him and wish to prepare my heart to welcome him this Christmas.


46 posted on 12/10/2012 7:58:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Our Journey in the Desert
Pastor’s Column
2nd Sunday of Advent
December 9, 2012
 
 
“Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight and the rough ways made smooth,
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God!”
Luke 3:5-6
 
 
 
          The first and third readings today almost sound like a big construction project, and in a way they are: valleys being filled in, mountains leveled, roads straightened, rough roads paved. What in the world is being described here? These reading sounds either irrelevant or hopelessly idyllic, but wait a moment.... These are all METAPHORS. The speaker is John the Baptist calling out from the desert. Let’s explore these spiritual places of the heart.
 
The desert: a place of testing, a place of trial and deprivation, of hunger and stark beauty, life and death. God often speaks in the desert places of our lives, when we have been purified by suffering or have experienced a loss, or a hunger for God. 
 
Valleys and mountains: Highs and lows. On the mountain we see clearly; we are exhilarated; we have achieved something; our path seems clear; the road ahead joyous. A mountain also indicates that the road to the top may be arduous and steep, difficult to climb and full of dangers and difficulties.
 
A valley:  During such times as these we are often sliding downhill or seem to be. The view is limited; the way gets darker; the path is unknown; we may be in sin or depression or suffering.... The valley often means suffering in scripture. Yes, we have been here too. 
 
The winding road: What does this represent?  Many switchbacks, goals that must be altered, the way seems unsure; we seem to be making little progress, we may be getting discouraged, we must travel slower than we wanted, life has brought us confusion. We may not know where we are going or if we are even on the right road at all, yet we keep going.
 
The rough road. It speaks for itself! Our life is anything but smooth; it seems we are coming apart.
 
God’s light will cut through all of this.... All of these things are only a part of the journey. It is precisely in these kinds of difficulties: arduous climbs, depressing descents, confusing switchbacks in our progress, rough patches...... Desert Experiences.....that we find that God is most active. Our journey of life is not meant to be a freeway, so much as a hike; not easy, but challenging. We have the Holy Spirit as our guide and the Church, through whom he speaks, to lead us until we reach our home. Such is our Advent and our life’s journey.
 
                                                                                          Father Gary

47 posted on 12/13/2012 7:37:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2012-12-09-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


48 posted on 12/16/2012 7:59:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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