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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-12-12, Feast, Our Lady of Guadalupe
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-12-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/11/2012 8:58:57 PM PST by Salvation

December 12, 2012

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Reading 1 Zec 2:14-17

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.

or Ps 1:1Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

God's temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed."

Responsorial Psalm Jdt 13:18bcde, 19

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

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

or Lk 1:39-47

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."

And Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior."


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

1 posted on 12/11/2012 8:59:13 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
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2 posted on 12/11/2012 9:03:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

3 posted on 12/11/2012 9:07:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Zechariah 2:14-17

Third vision: the measurer


[10] Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the
midst of you, says the Lord. [11] And many nations shall join themselves to the
Lord in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and
you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. [12] And the Lord will
inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”

[13] Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for he has roused himself from his holy
dwelling.

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

2:1-13. What the prophet now sees and hears concerns the city of Jerusalem. It
is going to be remodeled as an open city, without walls; its defence will be provi-
ded by God himself and therefore more people will be able to live there. The man
with the measuring line is an angel, as are the other two figures mentioned. The
idea of measuring the city in order to rebuild it is also found in Ezekiel 40-42 and
Jeremiah 21:38-40 and, later, Revelation 11:1.

The vision is followed by an oracle (vv. 6-10) in which the Lord speaks through
the angel. He invites the Jews to leave Babylon and return to the holy land. This
is a call that is also found in Isaiah and Jeremiah (cf. Is 48:20; Jer 50:8; 51:6). It
could be that some were reluctant to move. God promises that in Judah they will
be safe from other nations because they are his beloved people, the “apple of his
eye” (v. 8), and his angel will defend them. Moreover, he will settle there, and ma-
ny nations will become his people (vv. 10-11).

Presence of the Lord, security against enemies and a way for the nations to be-
come people of God – these are the features that Judah and Jerusalem will have
following the return from exile. In this sense, they prefigure the Church. Commen-
ting on v. 4, St Jerome points out: “Reading in a spiritual sense, all of these things
are to be found in the Church, which is ‘without walls’, or, as the Septuagint puts
it, ‘katakarpos’; that is, filled with an abundance of fruit and a great multitude of
men and asses […]. The men and the asses [cattle, animals] stand for the two
people, the Jews and the Gentiles; those who came to faith in Christ through the
fulfillment of the Law are called men; we, however, who were idolatrous and lived
as though in a wilderness, being far from the Law, and alone, because of our dis-
tance from the prophets who suffered, are the asses […]. But these animals hear
the voice of the good shepherd, and know him, and they follow him” (”Commenta-
rii in Zachariam”, 2, 4).

2:10. This call for rejoicing, similar to that made by the prophet Zephaniah (cf.
Zeph 3:14) and one made later (9:9), is repeated in the angel Gabriel’s greeting
to the Blessed Virgin when he tells her that she is to conceive the Messiah (cf.
Lk 1:28). That event will truly bring about what is said here, for Mary is “the mo-
ther of him in whom ‘the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily’ (Col 2:9)” (”Cate-
chism of the Catholic Church”, 722). Bl. John Paul II sees Mary, the Mother of
the Redeemer, prefigured in the title “daughter of Zion” found here: “Her presence
in the midst of Israel — a presence so discreet as to pass almost unnoticed by
the eyes of her contemporaries — shone very clearly before the Eternal One, who
had associated this hidden ‘daughter of Sion’ (cf. Zeph. 3:14; Zeph. 2:10) with the
plan of salvation embracing the whole history of humanity” (”Redemptoris Mater”,
3).

2:13. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 2143, interprets the silence as
one “of loving adoration”. This is the attitude that all will have when they see what
God will do for Judah and Jerusalem; for Christians, it is the attitude they will have
towards the incarnation, passion, death and resurrection of our Lord and towards
what God does for his Church.

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/11/2012 9:10:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

The Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet


[19] Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was
seen within his temple.

The Woman Fleeing from the Dragon


[1] And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with
the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; [2] she was
with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. [3] And
another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads
and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. [4] His tail swept down a third
of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before
the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when
she brought it forth; [5] she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the
nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
[6] and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by
God.

[10] And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come.

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

19. The seer introduces the heavenly temple (the location par excellence of God’s
presence), paralleling the earlier mention of the temple of Jerusalem (cf. 11:1-2).
The opening of the temple and the sight of the Ark of the Covenant show that the
messianic era has come to an end and God’s work of salvation has been comple-
ted. The ark was the symbol of Israel’s election and salvation and of God’s pre-
sence in the midst of his people. According to a Jewish tradition, reported in 2
Maccabees 2:4-8, Jeremiah placed the ark in a secret hiding place prior to the
destruction of Jerusalem, and it would be seen again when the Messiah came.
The author of the Apocalypse uses this to assure us that God has not forgotten
his covenant: he has sealed it definitively in heaven, where the ark is located.

Many early commentators interpreted the ark as a reference to Christ’s sacred
humanity, and St Bede explains that just as the manna was kept in the original
ark, so Christ’s divinity lies hidden in his sacred body (cf. “Explanatio Apocalyp-
sis”, 11, 19).

The heavenly covenant is the new and eternal one made by Jesus Christ (cf. Mt
26:26-29 and par.) which will be revealed to all at his second coming when the
Church will triumph, as the Apocalypse goes on to describe. The presence of
the ark in the heavenly temple symbolizes the sublimity of the messianic king-
dom, which exceeds anything man could create. “The vigilant and active expec-
tation of the coming of the Kingdom is also the expectation of a finally perfect
justice for the living and the dead, for people of all times and places, a justice
which Jesus Christ, installed as supreme Judge, will establish (cf. Mt 24:29-44,
46; Acts 10:42; 2 Cor 5:10). This promise, which surpasses all human possibi-
lities, directly concerns our life in this world. For true justice must include every-
one; it must explain the immense load of suffering borne by all generations. In
fact, without the resurrection of the dead and the Lord’s judgment, there is no
justice in the full sense of the term. The promise of the resurrection is freely
made to meet the desire for true justice dwelling in the human heart” (SCDF,
“Libertatis Conscientia”, 60).

The thunder and lightning which accompany the appearance of the ark are remi-
niscent of the way God made his presence felt on Sinai; they reveal God’s migh-
ty intervention (cf. Rev 4:5; 8:5) which is now accompanied by the chastisement
of the wicked, symbolized by the earthquake and hailstones (cf. Ex 9:13-35).

1-17. We are now introduced to the contenders in the eschatological battles
which mark the final confrontation between God and his adversary, the devil. The
author uses three portents to describe the leading figures involved, and the war it-
self. The first is the woman and her offspring, including the Messiah (12:1-2); the
second is the dragon, who will later transfer his power to the beasts (12:3); the
third, the seven angels with the seven bowls (15:1).

Three successive confrontations with the dragon are described—1) that of the Mes-
siah to whom the woman gives birth (12:1-6); 2) that of St Michael and his angels
(12:7-12); and 3) that of the woman and the rest of her offspring (12:13-17). These
confrontations should not be seen as being in chronological order. They are more
like three distinct pictures placed side by side because they are closely connec-
ted: in each the same enemy, the devil, does battle with God’s plans and with
those whom God uses to carry them out.

1-2. The mysterious figure of the woman has been interpreted ever since the time
of the Fathers of the Church as referring to the ancient people of Israel, or the
Church of Jesus Christ, or the Blessed Virgin. The text supports all of these inter-
pretations but in none do all the details fit. The woman can stand for the people
of Israel, for it is from that people that the Messiah comes, and Isaiah compares
Israel to “a woman with child, who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she
is near her time” (Is 26:17).

She can also stand for the Church, whose children strive to overcome evil and to
bear witness to Jesus Christ (cf. v. 17). Following this interpretation St Gregory
wrote: “The sun stands for the light of truth, and the moon for the transitoriness
of temporal things; the holy Church is clothed like the sun because she is pro-
tected by the splendor of supernatural truth, and she has the moon under her
feet because she is above all earthly things” (”Moralia”, 34, 12).

The passage can also refer to the Virgin Mary because it was she who truly and
historically gave birth to the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord (cf. v. 5). St Bernard
comments: “The sun contains permanent color and splendor; whereas the moon’s
brightness is unpredictable and changeable, for it never stays the same. It is quite
right, then, for Mary to be depicted as clothed with the sun, for she entered the
profundity of divine wisdom much further than one can possibly conceive” (”De
B. Virgine”, 2).

In his account of the Annunciation, St Luke sees Mary as representing the faithful
remnant of Israel; the angel greets her with the greeting given in Zephaniah 3:15 to
the daughter of Zion (cf. notes on Lk 1:26-31). St Paul in Galatians 4:4 sees a wo-
man as the symbol of the Church, our mother; and non-canonical Jewish literature
contemporary with the Book of Revelation quite often personifies the community
as a woman. So, the inspired text of the Apocalypse is open to interpreting this
woman as a direct reference to the Blessed Virgin who, as mother, shares in the
pain of Calvary (cf. Lk 2:35) and who was earlier prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 as a
“sign” (cf. Mt 1:22-23). At the same time the woman can be interpreted as stan-
ding for the people of God, the Church, whom the figure of Mary represents.

The Second Vatican Council has solemnly taught that Mary is a “type” or sym-
bol of the Church, for “in the mystery of the Church, which is itself rightly called
mother and virgin, the Blessed Virgin stands out in eminent and singular fashion
as exemplar both of virgin and mother. Through her faith and obedience she gave
birth on earth to the very Son of the Father, not through the knowledge of man
but by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, in the manner of a new Eve who
placed her faith, not in the serpent of old but in God’s messenger, without wave-
ring in doubt. The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the
first-born among many brethren (cf. Rom 8:29), that is, the faithful, in whose ge-
neration and formation she cooperates with a mother’s love” (Vatican II, “Lumen
Gentium”, 63).

The description of the woman indicates her heavenly glory, and the twelve stars
of her victorious crown symbolize the people of God—the twelve patriarchs (cf.
Gen 37:9) and the twelve apostles. And so, independently of the chronological
aspects of the text, the Church sees in this heavenly woman the Blessed Virgin,
“taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and
exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully
conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rev 19:16) and conqueror of sin and
death” (”Lumen Gentium”, 59). The Blessed Virgin is indeed the great sign, for,
as St Bonaventure says, “God could have made none greater. He could have
made a greater world and a greater heaven; but not a woman greater than his
own mother” (”Speculum”, 8).

3-4. In his description of the devil (cf. v. 9), St John uses symbols taken from the
Old Testament. The dragon or serpent comes from Genesis 3:1-24, a passage
which underlies all the latter half of this book. Its red color and seven heads with
seven diadems show that it is bringing its full force to bear to wage this war. The
ten horns in Daniel 7:7 stand for the kings who are Israel’s enemies; in Daniel a
horn is also mentioned to refer to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, of whom Daniel also
says (to emphasize the greatness of Antiochus’ victories) that it cast stars down
from heaven onto the earth (cf. Dan 8:10). Satan drags other angels along with
him, as the text later recounts (Rev 12:9). All these symbols, then, are designed
to convey the enormous power of Satan. “The devil is described as a serpent”,
St Cyprian writes, “because he moves silently and seems peaceable and comes
by easy ways and is so astute and so deceptive [...] that he tries to have night
taken for day, poison taken for medicine. So, by deceptions of this kind, he tries
to destroy truth by cunning. That is why he passes himself off as an angel of
light” (”De Unitate Ecclesiae”, I-III).

After the fall of our first parents war broke out between the serpent and his seed
and the woman and hers: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, be-
tween your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise
his heel” (Gen 3:15). Jesus Christ is the woman’s descendant who will obtain vic-
tory over the devil (cf. Mk 1:23-26; Lk 4:31-37; etc.). That is why the power of evil
concentrates all his energy on destroying Christ (cf. Mt 2:13-18) or to deflecting
him from his mission (cf. Mt 4:1-11 and par.). By relating this enmity to the be-
ginnings of the human race St. John paints a very vivid picture.

5. The birth of Jesus Christ brings into operation the divine plan announced by
the prophets (cf. Is 66:7) and by the Psalms (cf. Ps 2:9), and marks the first step
in ultimate victory over the devil. Jesus’ life on earth, culminating in his passion,
resurrection and ascension into heaven, was the key factor in achieving this victo-
ry. St John emphasizes the triumph of Christ as victor, who, as the Church con-
fesses, “sits at the right hand of the Father” (”Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed”).

6. The figure of the woman reminds us of the Church, the people of God. Israel
took refuge in the wilderness to escape from Pharaoh, and the Church does the
same after the victory of Christ. The wilderness stands for solitude and intimate
union with God. In the wilderness God took personal care of his people, setting
them free from their enemies (cf. Ex 17:8-16) and nourishing them with quail and
manna (cf. Ex 16:1-36). The Church is given similar protection against the powers
of hell (cf. Mt 16:18) and Christ nourishes it with his body and his word all the
while it makes its pilgrimage through the ages; it has a hard time (like Israel in
the wilderness) but there will be an end to it: it will take one thousand two hun-
dred and sixty days (cf. notes on 11:3).

Although the woman, in this verse, seems to refer directly to the Church, she
also in some way stands for the particular woman who gave birth to the Messiah,
the Blessed Virgin. As no other creature has done, Mary has enjoyed a very
unique type of union with God and very special protection from the powers of evil,
death included. Thus, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, “in the meantime
[while the Church makes its pilgrim way on earth], the Mother of Jesus in the glo-
ry which she possesses in body and soul in heaven is the image and beginning
of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines
forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Pet 3:10), a sign of
certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim people of God” (”Lumen Gentium”, 68).

10-12. With the ascension of Christ into heaven the Kingdom of God is estab-
lished and so all those who dwell in heaven break out into a song of joy. The
devil has been deprived of his power over man in the sense that the redemptive
action of Christ and man’s faith enable man to escape from the world of sin. The
text expresses this joyful truth by saying that there is now no place for the accu-
ser, Satan whose name means and whom the Old Testament teaches to be the
accuser of men before God: cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:1-10). Given what God meant crea-
tion to be, Satan could claim as his victory anyone who, through sinning, disfi-
gured the image and likeness of God that was in him. However, once the Re-
demption has taken place, Satan no longer has power to do this, for, as St John
writes, “if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also
for the sins of the whole world” (Jn 2:1-2). Also, on ascending into heaven, Christ
sent us the Holy Spirit as “Intercessor and Advocate, especially when man, that
is, mankind, find themselves before the judgment of condemnation by that ‘accu-
ser’ about whom the Book of Revelation says that ‘he accuses them day and
night before our God”’ (Bl. John Paul II, “Dominum Et Vivificantem”, 67).

Although Satan has lost this power to act in the world, he still has time left, be-
tween the resurrection of our Lord and the end of history, to put obstacles in
man’s way and frustrate Christ’s action. And so he works ever more frenetically,
as he sees time run out, in his effort to distance everyone and society itself from
the plans and commandments of God.

The author of the Book of Revelation uses this celestial chant to warn the Church
of the onset of danger as the End approaches.

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/11/2012 9:11:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation and Incarnation of the Son of God


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


6 posted on 12/11/2012 9:14:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:39-47

The Visitation


[39] In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a ci-
ty of Judah, [40] and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
[41] And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit [42] and she exclaimed with a loud
cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! [43]
And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [44]
For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my
womb leaped for joy. [45] And blessed is she who believed that there would be
a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

The Magnificat


[46] And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
[47] and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

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

39-56. We contemplate this episode of our Lady’s visit to her cousin St. Eliza-
beth in the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: “Joyfully keep Joseph and Ma-
ry company ... and you will hear the traditions of the House of David.... We walk
in haste towards the mountains, to a town of the tribe of Judah (Luke 1:39).

“We arrive. It is the house where John the Baptist is to be born. Elizabeth grate-
fully hails the Mother of her Redeemer: Blessed are you among women, and
blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the
mother of my Lord? (Luke 1:42-43).

“The unborn Baptist quivers...(Luke 1:41). Mary’s humility pours forth in the “Mag-
nificat”.... And you and I, who are proud—who were proud—promise to be humble”
(St. J. Escriva, “Holy Rosary”).

39. On learning from the angel that her cousin St. Elizabeth is soon to give birth
and is in need of support, our Lady in her charity hastens to her aid. She has no
regard for the difficulties this involves. Although we do not know where exactly
Elizabeth was living (it is now thought to be Ain Karim), it certainly meant a jour-
ney into the hill country which at that time would have taken four days.

From Mary’s visit to Elizabeth Christians should learn to be caring people. “If we
have this filial contact with Mary, we won’t be able to think just about ourselves
and our problems. Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind” (St.
J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By,” 145)

42. St. Bede comments that Elizabeth blesses Mary using the same words as
the archangel “to show that she should be honored by angels and by men and
why she should indeed be revered above all other women” (”In Lucae Evangelium
Expositio, in loc.”).

When we say the “Hail Mary” we repeat these divine greetings, “rejoicing with
Mary at her dignity as Mother of God and praising the Lord, thanking Him for ha-
ving given us Jesus Christ through Mary” (”St. Pius X Catechism”, 333).

43. Elizabeth is moved by the Holy Spirit to call Mary “the mother of my Lord”,
thereby showing that Mary is the Mother of God.

44. Although he was conceived in sin—original sin—like other men, St. John the
Baptist was born sinless because he was sanctified in his mother’s womb by the
presence of Jesus Christ (then in Mary’s womb) and of the Blessed Virgin. On
receiving this grace of God St. John rejoices by leaping with joy in his mother’s
womb — thereby fulfilling the archangel’s prophecy (cf. Luke 1:15).

St. John Chrysostom comments on this scene of the Gospel: “See how new
and how wonderful this mystery is. He has not yet left the womb but he speaks
by leaping; he is not yet allowed to cry out but he makes himself heard by his ac-
tions [...]; he has not yet seen the light but he points out the Sun; he has not yet
been born and he is keen to act as Precursor. The Lord is present, so he cannot
contain himself or wait for nature to run its course: he wants to break out of the
prison of his Mother’s womb and he makes sure he witnesses to the fact that the
Savior is about to come” (”Sermo Apud Metaphr., Mense Julio”).

45. Joining the chorus of all future generations, Elizabeth, moved by the Holy
Spirit, declares the Lord’s Mother to be blessed and praises her faith. No one
ever had faith to compare with Mary’s; she is the model of the attitude a creature
should have towards its Creator—complete submission, total attachment. Through
her faith, Mary is the instrument chosen by God to bring about the Redemption;
as Mediatrix of all graces, she is associated with the redemptive work of her Son:
“This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest
from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to His death; first when Mary, ari-
sing in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her
belief in the promise of salvation and the Precursor leaps with joy in the womb of
his mother [...]. The Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and faith-
fully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood (cf.
John 19:25), in keeping with the Divine Plan, enduring with her only-begotten Son
the intensity of His suffering, associating herself with His sacrifice in her mother’s
heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which was born of
her” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 57f).

The new Latin text gives a literal rendering of the original Greek when it says
“quae credidit” (RSV “she who has believed”) as opposed to the Vulgate “quae
credidisti” (”you who have believed”) which gave more of the sense than a literal
rendering.

46-55. Mary’s “Magnificat” canticle is a poem of singular beauty. It evokes cer-
tain passages of the Old Testament with which she would have been very fami-
liar (especially 1 Samuel 2:1-10).

Three stanzas may be distinguished in the canticle: in the first (verses 46-50)
Mary glorifies God for making her the Mother of the Savior, which is why future
generations will call her blessed; she shows that the Incarnation is a mysterious
expression of God’s power and holiness and mercy. In the second (verses 51-53)
she teaches us that the Lord has always had a preference for the humble, resis-
ting the proud and boastful. In the third (verses 54-55) she proclaims that God, in
keeping with His promise, has always taken care of His chosen people — and
now does them the greatest honor of all by becoming a Jew (cf. Romans 1:3).

“Our prayer can accompany and imitate this prayer of Mary. Like her, we feel
the desire to sing, to acclaim the wonders of God, so that all mankind and all
creation may share our joy” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 144).

46-47. “The first fruits of the Holy Spirit are peace and joy. And the Blessed Vir-
gin had received within herself all the grace of the Holy Spirit” (St. Basil, “In Psal-
mos Homilae”, on Psalm 32). Mary’s soul overflows in the words of the Magnificat.
God’s favors cause every humble soul to feel joy and gratitude. In the case of the
Blessed Virgin, God has bestowed more on her than on any other creature. “Vir-
gin Mother of God, He whom the heavens cannot contain, on becoming man, en-
closed Himself within your womb” (”Roman Missal”, Antiphon of the Common of
the Mass for Feasts of Our Lady). The humble Virgin of Nazareth is going to be
the Mother of God; the Creator’s omnipotence has never before manifested itself
in as complete a way as this.

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

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


7 posted on 12/11/2012 9:15:37 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 Isaiah 40:25-31 ©
‘To whom could you liken me
and who could be my equal?’ says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look.
Who made these stars
if not he who drills them like an army,
calling each one by name?
So mighty is his power, so great his strength,
that not one fails to answer.
How can you say, Jacob,
how can you insist, Israel,
‘My destiny is hidden from the Lord,
my rights are ignored by my God’?
Did you not know?
Had you not heard?
The Lord is an everlasting God,
he created the boundaries of the earth.
He does not grow tired or weary,
his understanding is beyond fathoming.
He gives strength to the wearied,
he strengthens the powerless.
Young men may grow tired and weary,
youths may stumble,
but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength,
they put out wings like eagles.
They run and do not grow weary,
walk and never tire.

Psalm Psalm 102:1-4,8,10 ©
My soul, give thanks to the Lord.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  and never forget all his blessings.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord.
It is he who forgives all your guilt,
  who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
  who crowns you with love and compassion.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord.
The Lord is compassion and love,
  slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins
  nor repay us according to our faults.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Behold, our Lord will come with power
and will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
Alleluia!
Or
Alleluia, alleluia!
Look, the Lord will come to save his people.
Blessed those who are ready to meet him.
Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 11:28-30 ©
Jesus exclaimed, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

8 posted on 12/11/2012 9:23:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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

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

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

9 posted on 12/11/2012 9:35:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Following the Truth: Avoiding Advent Pitfalls
The Awkwardness of Advent
Cloistered Benedictines top charts with Advent album
Advent: Jesus is Coming!
Why Do Catholics Celebrate Advent? The Call to Begin Again (Ecumenical Caucus)
Resources for Liturgy and Prayer for the Seasons of Advent and Christmas [Catholic Caucus]
New prayers for Advent season [Catholic Caucus[ (Read and Rejoice!)
Father Cantalamessa's 3rd Advent Homily, "The Christian Response to Rationalism"

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

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

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

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

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

10 posted on 12/11/2012 9:36:46 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

11 posted on 12/11/2012 9:37:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 12/11/2012 9:38:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
13 posted on 12/11/2012 9:39:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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


14 posted on 12/11/2012 9:40:24 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]


15 posted on 12/11/2012 9:41:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

16 posted on 12/11/2012 9:42:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


17 posted on 12/11/2012 9:42:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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immaculate_conception.jpg (155743 bytes)
 
December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

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

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

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

The Immaculate Conception from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

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

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

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

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

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

 

PRAYER OF POPE PIUS XII
This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954


Litany of the Blessed Virgin

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

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

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

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

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

Amen.


 

Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION NOVENA [Prayer]
Essays for Lent: The Immaculate Conception
"I Am The Immaculate Conception"
The Corona of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer Thread
New chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon at National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos December 9th
On the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Mary: "Trust Jesus, he will save you" (Catholic Caucus)
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception

LAND OF MARY IMMACULATE [Ecumenical]
Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant [Catholic Caucus]
THE LIFE OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Defender of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
An Unfathomable Marian Richness [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
History of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 [Catholic Caucus]
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Father Marquette's Devotion to the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)

St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
And It Was Night. The Real Story of Original Sin [Ecumenical]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Ark of the new covenant
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud

Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s Enemies Hate The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us
U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Sermon from 1934)

My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

18 posted on 12/11/2012 9:44:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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December 2012

Pope's intentions

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

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


19 posted on 12/11/2012 9:45:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Feast)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Zechariah 2:14-17 or Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10
Judith 13:18-19
Luke 1:26-38 or
1:39-47

It is never true that we have no time to meditate; the less one thinks of God, the less time there will always be for Him. The time one has for anything depends on how much we value it. Thinking determines the use of time; time does not rule over thinking! The problem of spirituality is never, then, a question of time; it is a problem of thought. For it does not require much time to make us saints; it requires only much love.

-- Bishop Fulton Sheen


20 posted on 12/11/2012 10:00:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

21 posted on 12/11/2012 10:01:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Angelus 

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

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

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Hail Mary . . . 


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

Let us pray: 

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

Amen. 


22 posted on 12/11/2012 10:02:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Excellence

*


23 posted on 12/12/2012 7:21:05 AM PST by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Feast Day
December 12th
[In the dioceses of the United States]

Patroness of the Americas and Protector of the Unborn

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars
Revelation 12:1 (Entrance Antiphon for Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Prayers - Ave Maria (Spanish) - Family celebration

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Blessed Virgin Mary, by her title, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is the Patroness of Mexico and the Americas. On December 9, 1531, Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego, an Indian Christian, whom she sent to the bishop with the request to build a Church in her honor on the hill where she appeared. The bishop asked Juan Diego for a sign to prove that the Virgin had appeared to him. Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego again on December 12 and promised that his uncle would be healed. She directed Juan Diego to gather a bouquet of roses that miraculously appeared on a bush nearby (roses do not bloom at this time of the year) to present to the bishop. Juan Diego gathered the roses in his tilma (cloak). When he opened his tilma before the bishop, the roses felt to the floor, and the bishop was amazed to see the miraculous image of the Mother of God imprinted on the cloak. The image persuaded the bishop to believe what Juan Diego had told him, and the Church was built.

This image, which almost immediately inspired the conversion to Christianity of many thousands of Indians, may still be seen in the Cathedral in Mexico City. Many believe that the fact that the image remains intact on a coarse fabric woven of a cactus-like plant that ordinarily deteriorates within a few years is further indication of the miraculous nature of the image. The symbolic significance of the image include Mary's complexion, which is similar to that of the Indians who were native to the region, her pregnancy, the gold stars adorning her blue mantle that representing the heavens, the purple tassels of her sash signifying royalty.

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical rose, intercede for the Church, protect the Holy Father, help all who invoke you in their necessities. Since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy Son the Grace of a firm faith and sure hope amid the bitterness of life, as well as an ardent love and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen.

Collect
O God, Father of mercies,
who placed your people under the singular protection
of your Son's most holy Mother,
grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe,
may seek with ever more lively faith
the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen

First Reading: Zechariah 2:14-17 (2:10-13 in RSV)

Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem."

Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He has roused Himself from His holy dwelling.

Or Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a Child, that he might devour her Child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male Child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her Child was caught up to God and to His throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

Responsorial Psalm: Judith 13:18bcde, 19

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.

"O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, who created the heavens and the earth, who has guided you to strike the head of the leader of our enemies.

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.

Your hope will never depart from the hearts of men, as they remember the power of God.

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38

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

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Or Luke 1:39-47

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

Or any readings from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ave María (Hail Mary)

Dios te salve, María. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo.
Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús.
Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores,
ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

Family Celebration
of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

For the dinner on this Feast day it would be appropriate to have a Mexican menu. This can be very simple -- for example, "build-your-own" tacos, which most children enjoy. Start with purchased taco shells, and provide a bowl of meat filling (hamburger seasoned with onions and chili powder -- from mild to very spicy as your family likes it), a bowl of shredded cheese, another of shredded lettuce. Or have chili soup with taco chips or corn chips.

If possible, decorate the table with a small potted poinsettia (a flower native to Mexico), along with the Advent wreath.

At mealtime, say the Angelus (in English or Spanish)

For night prayers pray the prayer (above) for Our Lady of Guadalupe, and say the Ave Maria -- in Spanish or English.

Include the "Hail Mary" prayer with the children's bedtime prayers tonight.

To Our Lady Dark Yet Fair

O hail, thou Virgen de Guadalupe! Unfailing refuge, our solace in days of grief, Radiant Queen so kind, our Mother of sweet relief ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Lovely Maid, fairest star above the sea! Advocate e'er gracious of clemency and love, Deign to listen to our pleas, O mother above ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Yea, O Lady of Guadalupe; O meek and gentlest One, take heed to our groaning; For oft we stumble and raise to thee our moaning ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Golden gate of heav'n, thou radiant portal; Unstained by sin, blissful queen of heav'n and earth, Aid me that I may love Him whom you did give birth ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Daughter of God, thou queen of royalty, Ave Maria! With joyful hearts we hail thee! Look on us so kindly, O Blessed Virgin Mary! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Unfailing refuge and sweetest Mother; Pearl of grace so fair, fail not thine children to care, E'er our sweetest Advocate who did God once bear ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

-- Jeong-Bo Shim

Jeong-Bo is a thirteen year old boy who lives with his family in Corvallis, Oregon. He is home-schooled and enjoys writing poetry. Last year, he was the state winner of the Junior Catholic Daughters of America poetry contest. He also plays the violin and has been invited to play a solo meditation at the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Last year he won second place in the MTNA national competition. He enjoys playing soccer, basketball, tennis, and swimming as well as gardening. He received help on the first verse from Katheryn Atkinson of Tehachipi, California.


Related link: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe


24 posted on 12/12/2012 10:27:48 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Science & the Virgin of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]
Mary, Mother of Life: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic or Pro-Life Caucus)
Our Lady of Guadalupe - A Mother for us all
A WOMAN AND A DRAGON (Catholic Caucus)
The History of Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]
Guadalupe: A Living Image (EWTN - Sunday, Sep. 26 at 10 pm) [Catholic Caucus]

Remembering Our Lady of Guadalupe
Catholic Caucus: Our Lady of Guadalupe: She Who Smashes the Serpent
Infamous Hollywood Screenwriter to Pen Film on Our Lady of Guadalupe - Patroness of the Unborn
"Basic Instinct" scribe Eszterhas eyes virgin
Our Lady of Guadalupe ‘completely beyond' scientific explanation, says researcher
Knights of Columbus Congress, Festival for Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Caucus)
The (Miraculous) Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]
Remembering Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]
Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast: December 12 [Repost]
Brief History of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]

The History of Our Lady of Guadalupe [Ecumenical]
2 Questions related to Faith & Apologetics. A Feast day & Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]
The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe called 'Mother Without Borders' in Los Angeles (Catholic Caucus)
Hernándo Cortés and Our Lady
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Church Militant (Catholic Caucus)
Scientists certify Our Lady of Guadalupe tilma
STRANGE LIGHT CLAIMED IN GUADALUPE IMAGE AFTER MEXICO CITY OKAYED ABORTION
STRANGE LIGHT CLAIMED IN GUADALUPE IMAGE AFTER MEXICO CITY OKAYED ABORTION -- posted on News Forum
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Our Lady of Guadalupe: Protectress of the Unborn
Was Our Lady of Guadalupe Wrong?
METHODIST CHURCH DISPLAYS VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE
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Science Stunned by Virgin of Guadalupe´s Eyes

25 posted on 12/12/2012 10:29:00 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Excellence

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!


26 posted on 12/12/2012 10:29:56 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Feast Day: December 12

More on Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe



27 posted on 12/12/2012 10:34:38 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Feast Day: December 12

We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 9. Our Blessed Mother appeared to a fifty-five year old Indian, Juan Deigo on December 9, 1531.

Juan who had become a Catholic, was going to Mass early one morning when Our Lady stopped him as he was making his way down Tepyac Hill. Mary asked him to go to the bishop and tell him that she wanted a great church built on the very spot where she was standing.

The Indian was very troubled. He wanted with all his heart to do what the Lady commanded. But how could he approach the bishop? How could anyone believe such an unusual request?

Juan Diego went to the bishop. The bishop of course, did not believe his story. He did not want to offend Juan and told him to ask the Lady for a sign the next time he met her.

Juan was caught in the middle. The Lady knew what she wanted; the bishop had the power to make her wish come true, but he wanted proof.

On December 12, early in the morning, Juan Diego was hurrying along the path. His uncle was dying and he was going to get the priest. Juan had no time to waste and did not want to meet the lady so he took another route.

But Mary appeared again to Juan and told him that his uncle was better. In fact, Juan found out a little later that Our Lady had for a moment appeared to his uncle and he was immediately cured.

The Lady asked Juan to go back to the bishop. She wanted him to build a church. Juan remembered the bishop's request and asked Mary for a sign. Mary sent Juan into the rocky area nearby and told him to gather the roses that were there.

Juan was confused. He knew there were no roses. It was winter, there was snow on the ground and the bushes were bare. But Juan did as he was told and there really were roses, beautiful roses. Excited, Juan picked them all and went to the bishop.

He carried them carefully in his tilma (cloak). Juan clutched his cloak and made his way into the room where the bishop was. Slowly he let down his cloak and the beautiful roses, fresh and wet with dew, fell to the floor.

Juan smiled but was shocked when the bishop and his attendants knelt down in front of him. He followed the bishop's eyes that were staring at his cloak. And then he saw her, the picture of his beautiful lady, glowing on his tilma.

Her image was life-size, exactly as she had appeared. The bishop had received his sign and Mary would have her church.

Today a great church, called a basilica, stands on the spot where Our Lady of Guadalupe came to her people. Our Lady of Guadalupe was named patroness of Mexico and is also patroness of Latin America and the Philippines.

28 posted on 12/12/2012 10:40:34 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:
Wednesday, December 12
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On this day in 1531 the Blessed Virgin imprinted her image on the cloak of St. Juan Diego as proof for the local bishop as to her identity. The cloak can still be seen in Guadalupe, Mexico.

29 posted on 12/12/2012 4:26:07 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 12, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, Father of mercies, who placed your people under the singular protection of your Son's most holy Mother, grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, may seek with ever more lively faith the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace. 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 12th

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Old Calendar: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Third Class, U.S.)

"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.

In 1910 Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of Latin America, and in 1945 Pope Pius XII declared Her to be the Empress of all the Americas. She appeared to an Indian convert named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Jesse Tree ~ Samuel



Our Lady of Guadalupe
"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."
— Our Lady to Juan Diego

In the winter of 1531, a poor, 57-year-old Aztec Indian living five miles outside of Mexico City encountered a miraculous happening on his way to morning Mass. First he heard strange music coming from Tepeyac Hill, and then he heard a woman's voice calling his name. Juan Diego climbed the hill and encountered a young woman, appearing to be of his own people in physical appearance and dress. The woman identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and told Juan Diego to ask the bishop of Mexico City to build a church on the hill to assist in the conversion of the nation and be a source of consolation to the people.

Juan Diego obeyed the request, but the bishop was skeptical regarding the message, even though he perceived that Juan was a humble, and well meaning Catholic. Juan reported the bishop's doubt to Our Lady at Tepeyac Hill, and she asked him to return to the bishop once again, bearing the same message. The bishop once again heard the story, and told Juan Diego to ask Our Lady for a sign that it was indeed herself that wished for the church to be built.

When he returned to the hill, Mary gave Juan Diego such a sign. Miraculously, roses appeared on the hill in the middle of winter, and Juan gathered them in his tilma, or cloak. Our Lady arranged the roses in his tilma with her own hands, and Juan returned to the bishop's presence. When Juan released the tilma, allowing the flowers to fall to the floor, it was revealed that a miraculous image of Our Lady had imprinted itself on his tilma (see above).

The bishop immediately fell to his knees, and came to believe in Juan Diego's message. A church was built on the spot of the apparition, as Mary had requested, and 8 million people converted to Catholicism in a short period of time upon hearing of or viewing the miraculous image of Our Lady.

The tilma of Juan Diego has been the subject of much modern research. The tilma, woven out of coarse cactus fiber, should have disintegrated after 20 years, but although over 500 years have passed the tilma is still in perfect condition. The pupils of Mary in the picture reflect the Indians and clergy present at the time of the first revelation of the image. No paint was used, and chemical analysis has not been able to identify the color imprint. Additionally, studies have revealed that the stars on Mary's mantle match exactly what a Mexican would have seen in the sky in December of 1531.

Patron: The Americas; pro-life movement.

Things to Do:

  • Start a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  • If you live close to La Crosse, WI visit the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe; if not make a virtual visit.

  • Read more about this title of Our Lady.

  • Make a sacrifice, say a prayer or visit the Blessed Sacrament for an end to abortion.

  • If your parish is having a pro-life Mass or holy hour try to attend.

  • Have a party, which includes a procession and a special Mexican dinner to celebrate the feast.

  • See Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe for ideas.

30 posted on 12/12/2012 4:37:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

Our Lady of Guadalupe

“I am the handmaid of the Lord.” (Luke 1:38)

Imagine how welcome a sight a single road sign can be if you’ve been traveling a lonely highway for hours. Maybe it points to a des­tination or tells you about a gas station or food store up ahead. That one sign reminds you that you are indeed headed somewhere and that you won’t be by yourself for long.

The Virgin Mary is just that kind of sign. She points us to God’s love and provision. She tells us about our heavenly destination. She even appears to people at different points in history, a shining sign of all that we have to look forward to in Christ.

One such appearance hap­pened in 1531 in a village near Mexico City. Mary appeared to a man named Juan Diego and asked him to help her spread the message of Christ to his people. Requesting that a chapel be built in her name, she saw to it that her message to Juan Diego would spread far and wide: “Am I not here with you who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?” She also told him: “I am the … Mother of the True God through whom everything lives, the Lord and Master of all things near and far, the Master of Heaven and Earth.”

In announcing herself in this way, she made it clear that she is but a reflection of the power and glory and love of our heavenly Father. Thus, Mary became a sign for all the peo­ples of North and South America, both the natives and the new arriv­als. And she is quite a powerful sign! Through the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the cha­pel built in her name, millions have embraced Christ and been received into the church.

What does your sign say? God wants you to be like Mary, pointing people to Jesus. He wants you to tell them what he has done for you and what he can do for them. So many people are traveling a lonely road. Imagine how comforting it would be if they saw Christ in you!

“Mary, pray for me! May all I say and do point people to your Son.”

Zechariah 2:14-17; (Psalm) Judith 13:18-19


31 posted on 12/12/2012 4:39:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

MEMORIA: 12 DECEMBER 

guadalupe_cuadro

Today we honor Mary under the title, “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” which, in the Aztec language, means “the one who crushed the serpent.” 

The memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe reminds us that God is Lord of history. Mary’s appearance in the Mexican town of Tepeyac lifted the Church over a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and radically changed the course of history in the Americas. 

By the 1400′s, God had enabled Christian Europe to advance in science and technology to the point where Europeans became the first people to travel around the world. God’s chief concern undoubtedly that they would spread the Gospel in humility and love. Many missionaries who followed the explorers did just that. However, many of the European traders, military men, and adventurers were much more interested in carving out colonial empires and gaining glory and gold than in serving God. Their scandalous violation of the Gospel message that they professed became an enormous barrier to evangelism. This was especially true in Mexico where, after Spain conquered the Aztecs, missionaries were only able to make very little headway. 

In 1492 Christopher Columbus and his crew sailed to the Americas with three ships. In 1519, Hernando Cortés conquered Mexico, ending the Aztecs’ empire. A proud and cultured people, the Aztecs resented their Spanish conquerors and were resistant to the Christianity they brought with them. 

In 1531, however, a devout peasant and a recent convert to Catholicism, named Juan Diego had a vision of the Virgin Mary. To convince the local bishop, Juan de Zumárraga, that the vision was real, Mary supplied Juan Diego with a bouquet of Castillian roses, which normally do not grow in December. Even more astonishing, a miraculous image of herself appeared on the inside of Juan Diego’s coat. Portraying Mary as a saintly girl crushing a serpent, the image was filled with symbolism that spoke powerfully to the Aztecs of God’s mercy. As news of this event spread, thousands of Indians came to believe in Jesus and accepted baptism. Likewise, there was a renewal of faith among thousands of the already baptized Spaniards. 

The message of the miraculous image in Juan Diego’s cloak is that God is alive and cares about each and every one of His people. Just as God used this extraordinary means to reach the people of the Americas, He is equally eager to deliver all of us from sin, to heal our broken hearts, to reconcile the estranged. God is so eager that He is even willing to bend the rules of nature at times to get our attention! 

God does not just want unbelievers to believe in Him; He wants those who do believe to know Him more deeply. That’s why He keeps sending us His word to remind us that He is with us. Every day He encourages us to keep fighting the fight of faith. He assures us that He loves us with an unchangeable love. 

What is your vision of God? Is He big enough to bring millions of people to Jesus in a very short time? Don’t limit Him. Pray! Intercede! Expect miracles! His desire – and His power – to bring all His children back to Him is as strong today as it was in 1531.


32 posted on 12/12/2012 4:44:12 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 1
26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, In mense autem sexto, missus est angelus Gabriel a Deo in civitatem Galilææ, cui nomen Nazareth, εν δε τω μηνι τω εκτω απεσταλη ο αγγελος γαβριηλ υπο του θεου εις πολιν της γαλιλαιας η ονομα ναζαρετ
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. ad virginem desponsatam viro, cui nomen erat Joseph, de domo David : et nomen virginis Maria. προς παρθενον μεμνηστευμενην ανδρι ω ονομα ιωσηφ εξ οικου δαυιδ και το ονομα της παρθενου μαριαμ
28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit : Ave gratia plena : Dominus tecum : benedicta tu in mulieribus. και εισελθων ο αγγελος προς αυτην ειπεν χαιρε κεχαριτωμενη ο κυριος μετα σου ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν
29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. Quæ cum audisset, turbata est in sermone ejus, et cogitabat qualis esset ista salutatio. η δε ιδουσα διεταραχθη επι τω λογω αυτου και διελογιζετο ποταπος ειη ο ασπασμος ουτος
30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Et ait angelus ei : Ne timeas, Maria : invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum. και ειπεν ο αγγελος αυτη μη φοβου μαριαμ ευρες γαρ χαριν παρα τω θεω
31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. Ecce concipies in utero, et paries filium, et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum : και ιδου συλληψη εν γαστρι και τεξη υιον και καλεσεις το ονομα αυτου ιησουν
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. hic erit magnus, et Filius Altissimi vocabitur, et dabit illi Dominus Deus sedem David patris ejus : et regnabit in domo Jacob in æternum, ουτος εσται μεγας και υιος υψιστου κληθησεται και δωσει αυτω κυριος ο θεος τον θρονον δαυιδ του πατρος αυτου
33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end. et regni ejus non erit finis. και βασιλευσει επι τον οικον ιακωβ εις τους αιωνας και της βασιλειας αυτου ουκ εσται τελος
34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? Dixit autem Maria ad angelum : Quomodo fiet istud, quoniam virum non cognosco ? ειπεν δε μαριαμ προς τον αγγελον πως εσται τουτο επει ανδρα ου γινωσκω
35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Et respondens angelus dixit ei : Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te, et virtus Altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Ideoque et quod nascetur ex te sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei. και αποκριθεις ο αγγελος ειπεν αυτη πνευμα αγιον επελευσεται επι σε και δυναμις υψιστου επισκιασει σοι διο και το γεννωμενον αγιον κληθησεται υιος θεου
36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Et ecce Elisabeth cognata tua, et ipsa concepit filium in senectute sua : et hic mensis sextus est illi, quæ vocatur sterilis : και ιδου ελισαβετ η συγγενης σου και αυτη συνειληφυια υιον εν γηρει αυτης και ουτος μην εκτος εστιν αυτη τη καλουμενη στειρα
37 Because no word shall be impossible with God. quia non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. οτι ουκ αδυνατησει παρα τω θεω παν ρημα
38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Dixit autem Maria : Ecce ancilla Domini : fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. Et discessit ab illa angelus. ειπεν δε μαριαμ ιδου η δουλη κυριου γενοιτο μοι κατα το ρημα σου και απηλθεν απ αυτης ο αγγελος

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

33 posted on 12/12/2012 6:15:16 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
26. And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THEOPHYL; Jesus is interpreted Savior, or Healing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catena Aurea Luke 1
34 posted on 12/12/2012 6:15:56 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Apse mosaic, window level: 1. Annunciation

Jacopo Torriti

1296 (completed)
Mosaic
Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

35 posted on 12/12/2012 6:16:21 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Annunciation

Embroidered bookbinding of a Psalter

a Victorian "restoration" of 16th century original
7¾ by 5¾ inches

36 posted on 12/12/2012 6:17:04 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Annunciation

Fra Filippo Lippi

1467-69
Fresco
Duomo, Spoleto

37 posted on 12/12/2012 6:17:40 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. Exsurgens autem Maria in diebus illis, abiit in montana cum festinatione, in civitatem Juda : αναστασα δε μαριαμ εν ταις ημεραις ταυταις επορευθη εις την ορεινην μετα σπουδης εις πολιν ιουδα
40 And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. et intravit in domum Zachariæ, et salutavit Elisabeth. και εισηλθεν εις τον οικον ζαχαριου και ησπασατο την ελισαβετ
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: Et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariæ Elisabeth, exsultavit infans in utero ejus : et repleta est Spiritu Sancto Elisabeth : και εγενετο ως ηκουσεν η ελισαβετ τον ασπασμον της μαριας εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν τη κοιλια αυτης και επλησθη πνευματος αγιου η ελισαβετ
42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. et exclamavit voce magna, et dixit : Benedicta tu inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui. και ανεφωνησεν φωνη μεγαλη και ειπεν ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν και ευλογημενος ο καρπος της κοιλιας σου
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Et unde hoc mihi, ut veniat mater Domini mei ad me ? και ποθεν μοι τουτο ινα ελθη η μητηρ του κυριου μου προς με
44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Ecce enim ut facta est vox salutationis tuæ in auribus meis, exsultavit in gaudio infans in utero meo. ιδου γαρ ως εγενετο η φωνη του ασπασμου σου εις τα ωτα μου εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν αγαλλιασει εν τη κοιλια μου
45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. Et beata, quæ credidisti, quoniam perficientur ea, quæ dicta sunt tibi a Domino. και μακαρια η πιστευσασα οτι εσται τελειωσις τοις λελαλημενοις αυτη παρα κυριου
46 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. Et ait Maria : Magnificat anima mea Dominum : και ειπεν μαριαμ μεγαλυνει η ψυχη μου τον κυριον
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo. και ηγαλλιασεν το πνευμα μου επι τω θεω τω σωτηρι μου

38 posted on 12/12/2012 6:19:46 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
39. And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40. And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42. And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44. For, lo, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

AMBROSE; The Angel, when he announced the hidden mysteries to the Virgin, that he might build up her faith by an example, related to her the conception of a barren woman. When Mary heard it, it was not that she disbelieved the oracle, or was uncertain about the messenger, or doubtful of the example, but rejoicing in the fulfillment of her wish, and conscientious in the observance of her duty, she gladly went forth into the hill country. For what could Mary now, filled with God, but ascend into the higher parts with haste!

ORIGEN; For Jesus who was in her womb hastened to sanctify John, still in the womb of his mother. Whence it follows, with haste.

AMBROSE; The grace of the Holy Spirit knows not of slow workings. Learn, you virgins, not to loiter in the streets, nor mix in public talk.

THEOPHYL. She went into the mountains, because Zacharias dwelt there. As it follows, To a city of Juda, and entered into the house of Zacharias. Learn, O holy women, the attention which you ought to show for your kinswomen with child. For Mary, who before dwelt alone in the secret of her chamber, neither virgin modesty caused to shrink from the public gaze, nor the rugged mountains from pursuing her purpose, nor the tediousness of the journey from performing her duty. Learn also, O virgins, the lowliness of Mary.

She came a kinswoman to her next of kin, the younger to the elder, nor did she merely come to her, but was the first to give her salutations; as it follows, And she saluted, Elisabeth. For the more chaste a virgin is, the more humble she should be, and ready to give way to her elders. Let her then be the mistress of humility, in whom is the profession of chastity. Mary is also a cause of piety, in that the higher went to the lower, that the lower might be assisted, Mary to Elisabeth, Christ to John.

CHRYS. Or else the Virgin kept to herself all those things which have been said, not revealing them to any one, for she did not believe that any credit would be given to her wonderful story; nay, she rather thought she would suffer reproach if she told it, as if wishing to screen her own guilt.

GREEK EX. But to Elisabeth alone she has recourse, as she was wont to do from their relationship, and other close bonds of union.

AMBROSE; But soon the blessed fruits of Mary's coming and our Lord's presence are made evident. For it follows, And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. Mark the distinction and propriety of each word. Elisabeth first heard the word, but John first experienced the grace. She heard by the order of nature, he leaped by reason of the mystery. She perceived the coming of Mary, he the coming of the Lord.

GREEK EX. For the Prophet sees and hears more acutely than his mother, and salutes the chief of Prophets; but as he could not do this in words, he leaps in the womb, which was the greatest token of his joy. Who ever heard of leaping at a time previous to birth? Grace introduced things to which nature was a stranger. Shut up in the womb, the soldier acknowledged his Lord and King soon to be born, the womb's covering being no obstacle to the mystical sight.

ORIGEN; He was not filled with the Spirit, until she stood near him who bore Christ in her womb. Then indeed he was both filled with the Spirit, and leaping imparted the grace to his mother; as it follows, And Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. But we cannot doubt that she who w as then filled with the Holy Spirit, was filled because of her son.

AMBROSE; She who had hid herself because she conceived a son, began to glory that she carried in her womb a prophet, and she who had before blushed, now gives her blessing; as it follows, And she spoke out with a loud voice, Blessed are you among women. With a loud voice she exclaimed when she perceived the Lord's coming, for she believed it to be a holy birth. But she says, Blessed are you among women. For none was ever partaker of such grace or could be, since of the one Divine seed, there is one only parent.

THEOPHYL; Mary is blessed by Elisabeth with the same words as before by Gabriel, to show that she was to be reverenced both by men and angels.

THEOPHYL. But because there have been other holy women who yet have borne sons stained with sin, she adds, And blessed is the fruit of your womb. Or another interpretation is, having said, Blessed are you among women, she then, as if some one inquired the cause, answers, And blessed is the fruit of your womb: as it is said, Blessed be he that comes in the name of the Lord. The Lord God, and he has shown us light; for the Holy Scriptures often use and, instead of because.

TIT. BOS. Now she rightly calls the Lord the fruit of the virgin's womb, because He proceeded not from man, but from Mary alone. For they who are sown by their fathers are the fruits of their fathers.

GREEK EX. This fruit alone then is blessed, because it is; produced without man, and without sin.

THEOPHYL; This is the fruit which is promised to David, Of the fruit of your body will I set upon your throne. From this place we derive the refutation of Eutyches, in that Christ is stated to be the fruit of the womb. For all fruit is of the same nature with the tree that bears it. It remains then that the virgin was also of the same nature with the second Adam, who takes away the sins of the world. But let those also who invent curious fictions concerning the flesh of Christ, blush when they hear of the real child-bearing of the mother of God. For the fruit itself proceeds from the very substance of the tree. Where too are those who say that Christ passed through the virgin as water through an aqueduct? Let these consider the words of Elisabeth who was filled with the Spirit, that Christ was the fruit of the womb. It follows, And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

AMBROSE; She says it not ignorantly, for she knew it was by the grace and operation of the Holy Spirit that the mother of the prophet should be saluted by the mother of his Lord, to the advancement and growth of her own pledge; but being aware that this was of no human deserving, but a gift of Divine grace, she therefore says, Whence is this to me, that is, By what right of mine, by what that I have done, for what good deeds?

ORIGEN; Now in saying this, she coincides with her son. For John also felt that he was unworthy of our Lord's coming to him. But she gives the name of "the mother of our Lord" to one still a virgin, thus forestalling the event by the words of prophecy. Divine foreknowledge brought Mary to Elisabeth, that the testimony of John might reach the Lord. For from that time Christ ordained John to be a prophet. Hence it follows, For, lo, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded, &c.

AUG. But in order to say this, as the Evangelist has premised, she was filled with the Holy Spirit, by whose revelation undoubtedly she knew what that leaping of the child meant; namely, that the mother of Him had come to her, whose forerunner and herald that child was to be. Such then might be the meaning of so great an event; to be known indeed by grown up persons, but not understood by a little child; for she said not, "The babe leaped in faith in my womb," but leaped for joy. Now we see not only children leaping for joy, but even the cattle; not surely from any faith or religious feeling, or any rational knowledge. But this joy was strange and unwonted, for it was in the womb; and at the coming of her who was to bring forth the Savior of the world. This joy, therefore, and as it were reciprocal salutation to the mother of the Lord, was caused (as miracles are) by Divine influences in the child, not in any human way by him. For even supposing the exercise of reason and the will had been so far advanced in that child, as that he should be able in the bowels of his mother to know, believe, and assent; yet surely that must be placed among the miracles of Divine power, not referred to human examples.

THEOPHYL. The mother of our Lord had come to see Elisabeth, as also the miraculous conception, from which the Angel had told her should result the belief of a far greater conception, to happen to herself; and to this belief the words of Elisabeth refer, And blessed are you who have believed, for there shall be a performance of those things which were told you from the Lord.

AMBROSE; You see that Mary doubted not but believed, and therefore the fruit of faith followed.

THEOPHYL; Nor is it to be wondered at, that our Lord, about to redeem the world, commenced His mighty works with His mother, that she, through whom the salvation of all men was prepared, should herself be the first to reap the fruit of salvation from her pledge.

AMBROSE; But happy are you also who have heard and believed, for whatever soul has believed, both conceives and brings forth the word of God, and knows His works.

THEOPHYL; But every soul which has conceived the word of God in the heart, straightway climbs the lofty summits of the virtues by the stairs of love, so as to be able to enter into the city of Juda, (into the citadel of prayer and praise, and abide as it were for three months in it,) to the perfection of faith, hope, and charity.

GREG. She was touched with the spirit of prophecy at once, both as to the past, present, and future. She knew that Mary had believed the promises of the Angel; she perceived when she gave her the name of mother, that Mary was carrying in her womb the Redeemer of mankind; and when she foretold that all things would be accomplished, she saw also what was as to follow in the future.

46. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.

AMBROSE; As evil came into the world by a woman, so also is good introduced by women; and so it seems not without meaning, that both Elisabeth prophesies before John, and Mary before the birth of the Lord. But it follows, that as Mary was the greater person, so she uttered the fuller prophecy.

BASIL; For the Virgin, with lofty thoughts and deep penetration, contemplates the boundless mystery, the further she advances, magnifying God; And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.

GREEK EX. As if she said, Marvelous things has the Lord declared that He will accomplish in my body, but neither shall my soul be unfruitful before God. It becomes me to offer Him the fruit also of my will, for inasmuch as I am obedient to a mighty miracle, am I bound to glorify Him who performs His mighty works in me.

ORIGEN; Now if the Lord could neither receive increase or decrease, what is this that Mary speaks of, My soul doth magnify the Lord? But if I consider that the Lord our Savior is the image of the invisible God, and that the soul is created according to His image, so as to be an image of an image, then I shall see plainly, that as after the manner of those who are accustomed to paint images, each one of us forming his soul after the image of Christ, makes it great or little, base or noble, after the likeness of the original so when I have made my soul great in thought, word, and deed, the image of God is made great, and the Lord Himself whose image it is, is magnified in my soul.

47. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

BASIL; The first-fruit of the Spirit is peace and joy. Because then the holy Virgin had drunk in all the graces of the Spirit, she rightly adds, And my spirit has leaped for joy. She means the same thing, soul and spirit. But the frequent mention of leaping for joy in the Scriptures implies a certain bright and cheerful state of mind in those who are worthy. Hence the Virgin exults in the Lord with an unspeakable springing (and bounding) of the heart for joy, and in the breaking forth into utterance of a noble affection It follows, in God my Savior.

THEOPHYL; Because the spirit of the Virgin rejoices in the eternal Godhead of the same Jesus (i.e. the Savior,) whose flesh is formed in the womb by a temporal conception.

AMBROSE; The soul of Mary therefore magnifies the Lord, and her spirit rejoiced in God, because with soul and spirit devoted to the Father and the Son, she worships with a pious affection the one God from whom are all things. But let every one have the spirit of Mary, so that he may rejoice in the Lord. If according to the flesh there is one mother of Christ, yet, according to faith, Christ is the fruit of all. For every soul receives the word of God if only he be unspotted and free from sin, and preserves it with unsullied purity.

THEOPHYL. But he magnifies God who worthily follows Christ, and now that he is called Christian, lessens not the glory of Christ by acting unworthily, but does great and heavenly things; and then the Spirit (that is, the anointing of the Spirit) shall rejoice, (i.e. make him to prosper,) and shall not be withdrawn, so to say, and put to death.

BASIL; But if at any time light shall have crept into his heart, and loving God and despising bodily things he shall have gained the perfect standing of the just, without any difficulty shall he obtain joy in the Lord.

ORIGEN; But the soul first magnifies the Lord, that it may afterwards rejoice in God; for unless we have first believed, we can not rejoice.

Catena Aurea Luke 1
39 posted on 12/12/2012 6:20:39 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Visitation Group (detail)

1211-25
Stone
The Reims Cathedral

40 posted on 12/12/2012 6:21:15 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Madonna of the Magnificat (Madonna del Magnificat)

Sandro Botticelli

1480-81
Tempera on panel, diameter 118 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

41 posted on 12/12/2012 6:21:43 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 12, 2012:

This feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is especially celebrated in Mexico. You don’t have to be Mexican, however, to appreciate that Mary appeared in the skin and dress of the common people. What image of Mary appeals to you? Your spouse?


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

“God Is with You”
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe



Father Robert DeCesare, LC

Luke 1:26-38

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

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,

has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I know by faith that these are some of the most important moments of my day. I freely open my mind, heart and will for you to do as you please, because I know you can desire and do only what is good for me. I know that you will give me the grace to do whatever you ask of me and that you will always accompany me. That is enough for me.

Petition: Lord, give me the grace to do your holy will.

1. Pleasing God through the Small, Daily Tasks: The angel Gabriel finds Mary doing nothing extraordinary, but rather doing ordinary tasks like washing clothes, sweeping, getting water, doing the same daily prayer as every devout Jew. But in doing the ordinary she is doing what is pleasing to God. Her example should be our guide. Work can be an ordinary means of holiness. Man, as Pope John Paul II said, “not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfillment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes ‘more a human being’” (Laborem Exercens, no. 9). We please God when we do our duties, fulfill our responsibilities, work to meet our basic needs. While we may not be doing something extraordinary at every moment, we still praise and glorify God when we undertake the ordinary with love. If an angel were to come looking for me, would he find me doing my daily tasks lovingly?

2. “Do Not Be Afraid!” Mary “was greatly troubled and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” When God presents us with his plan, we too might be afraid. We may not fully understand what he has in mind. It can seem that his plan is too great for us. But when God wants something from us, he shows us that it is not beyond our reach. As with Mary at the Incarnation, God will make it happen and will provide all the grace necessary for its completion.

3. “May It Be Done to Me According to Your Word” When Gabriel clarifies Mary’s mission and illustrates that with God all things are possible, Mary makes an act of faith. Her act of faith is what the Second Vatican Council terms the ‘obedience of faith’. The obedience of faith “is to be given to God who reveals, an obedience by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals, and freely assenting to the truth revealed by Him” (Dei Verbum, 5). God supplied Mary with his grace and did not abandon her; nor will he abandon us. When we do what God wants and cooperate with his plan, he will support us. He will accompany us as we carry out his will and bring his plan to fulfillment. God’s will is our holiness, and when we do his will we help God to make us saints.

Conversation with Mary: Mary, teach me how to do God’s will as you did, so that I can remain in his company. I want to do his will, even though at times I know that it may seem difficult or impossible. Ask your son for the grace of perseverance for me so that I, too, may cooperate with the Lord, whether he is asking something of me that is ordinary or extraordinary.

Resolution: In a difficult situation, I will pray a “Hail Mary,” asking Mary for help in being faithful.


43 posted on 12/12/2012 8:28:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

God Seeks

 

by Food For Thought on December 12, 2012 ·

One of the distinguishing traits of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition is: Jews and Christians need not seek God, it is God who seeks them. The opposite seems to be true in other religions. The efforts made to find God by devotees of non-Judeo-Christian religions, give the impression that they must make almost superhuman efforts to find him.

In the first reading Isaiah paints the marvelously joyful picture of Yahweh seeking out his people in exile and leading them back to their homeland.

In the Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the shepherd who leaves the rest of his flock to search for the lone stray-and the joy when he finds it! In the parable the shepherd is a God-figure, a metaphor for God, the Father. Furthermore Jesus in his own life on earth reflects his Father’s vision. The apostle John experienced the Father’s compassionate vision in his dealings with Jesus. This prompted John to write: “In this is love, not that we love God, but that he has first loved us.” In Advent we prepare our-selves to celebrate the feast of God’s love for us, which was so great that he sent his own Son to be God-with-us, to be God-in-pursuit of us.


44 posted on 12/12/2012 8:34:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Wednesday, December 12, 2012 >> Our Lady of Guadalupe
 
Zechariah 2:14-17
View Readings
Judith 13:18-19 Luke 1:39-47
 

THE STAR OF EVANGELIZATION

 
"Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day." —Zechariah 2:15
 

Pope Paul VI called Mary the "star of evangelization." Immediately after conceiving Jesus, she took Jesus to Elizabeth and the baby in her womb (Lk 1:39-41). Both Elizabeth and John accepted Jesus as their Lord and received the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41-42).

Throughout history, Mary has done whatever her Son has told her (see Jn 2:5) and made disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). Probably her most fruitful evangelization took place from 1531 to 1538 at the hill of Tepeyac, near what is now called Mexico City. During those seven years, Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, led eight million people to give their lives to Christ. Over three thousand people each day for seven years were baptized into Christ. In effect, Mary, who prayed in the upper room before the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 1:14; 2:1ff), was used by the Lord to bring about new Pentecosts each day for seven years.

Mary, the star of evangelization, will make us stars of evangelization. If we also are "docile to the action of the Holy Spirit" (Toward the Third Millennium, Pope John Paul II, 18), we will see a new springtime of Christian life. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

 
Prayer: Father, make these next two years the most fruitful years of my life.
Promise: "Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." —Lk 1:45
Praise: The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe contains many symbols, colors, and meanings that showed the Mexican Indians just how sovereign God was compared to their pagan gods. Many of them converted to the Catholic Church after merely looking at the image.

45 posted on 12/12/2012 8:41:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Parents' Prayer

Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, and Son of Mary, I thank you for the gift of life you have entrusted to my care. Help me be a parent both tender and wise, both loving and forgiving.
Mary, Holy Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Christ, and our Motherly Queen of Heaven, nourish our family with your heavenly grace. Help us to remain faithful to The Most Holy Trinity, in all our sorrows and joys. Joseph, Earthly father to our Lord God, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.
Holy Family of Nazareth, help our family to walk in your footsteps. May we be peace-loving and peace-giving.
Amen.


46 posted on 12/12/2012 8:44:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
First of all thank you for these threads. They are beautiful devotionals.

Not only does marriage equal one man and one woman but marriage creates a family out of them. What was two becomes one.

“Mary appeared in the skin and dress of the common people”

This isn't accurate. The Virgin of Guadalupe doesn't look or dress like any native peoples of Mexico. If you believe the tilma to have been actually painted by God then that has to be a true image of Mary.

47 posted on 12/13/2012 4:47:13 AM PST by Varda
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