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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-14-12, M, St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor/Church
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-14-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/13/2012 8:40:12 PM PST by Salvation

December 14, 2012

 

Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church

 

Reading 1 Is 48:17-19

Thus says the LORD, your redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel:
I, the LORD, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.
If you would hearken to my commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
Your descendants would be like the sand,
and those born of your stock like its grains,
Their name never cut off
or blotted out from my presence.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (see John 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.

Gospel Mt 11:16-19

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare this generation?
It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said,
'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by her works."


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

1 posted on 12/13/2012 8:40:22 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 12/13/2012 8:43:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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3 posted on 12/13/2012 8:47:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Isaiah 48:17-19

A Lesson About History


[17] Thus says the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.
[18] O that you had hearkened to my commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
[19] your offspring would have been like the sand,
and your descendants like its grains;
their name would never be cut off
or destroyed from before me.”

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

48:17-19. Now, by way of conclusion, the text deals with a theme closely con-
nected with listening to the Lord’s message (cf. 48:16). It is the theme of divine
instruction: the Lord “teaches you to profit,” that is, for your benefit, and “leads
you in the way you should go” (v. 17) — words reminiscent of Deuteronomy 8:2.
Divine “teaching” is not something purely abstract: it is based on real-life expe-
rience, on salvific events in the history of the chosen people, especially from the
exodus from Egypt onwards. Just as liberation from Egypt carries a message
for Israel, so too does this new exodus from Babylon.

The passage goes on to warn Judah that its punishment was due to its having
closed its ears to the Lord (vv. 18-19). Leaving aside the historical context of the
exile, this oracle is a “teaching” that applies in every age, and is valid for all na-
tions and every individual: everyone must be converted and follow the way of the
Lord.

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/13/2012 8:48:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Matthew 11:16-19

Jesus Reproaches People for their Unbelief


(Jesus spoke to the crowds), [16] “But to what shall I compare this generation?
It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates.
[17] ‘We piped to you, and you did not dance,
we wailed and you did not mourn.’
[18] For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’;
[19] the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton
and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified
by her deeds.”

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

16-19. Making reference to a popular song or a child’s game of His time, Jesus
reproaches those who offer groundless excuses for not recognizing Him. From
the beginning of human history the Lord has striven to attract all men to Himself:
“What more was there to do for My vineyard, that I have not done in it?” (Isaiah
5:4), and often He has been rejected: “When I looked for it to yield grapes, why
did it yield wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:4).

Our Lord also condemns calumny: some people do try to justify their own beha-
vior by seeing sin where there is only virtue. “When they find something which
is quite obviously good,” St. Gregory the Great says, “they pry into it to see if
there is not also some badness hidden in it” (”Moralia”, 6, 22). The Baptist’s fas-
ting they interpret as the work of the devil; whereas they accuse Jesus of being
a glutton. The evangelist has to report these calumnies and accusations spoken
against our Lord; otherwise, we would have no notion of the extent of the malice
of those who show such furious opposition to Him who went about doing good
(Acts 10:38). On other occasions Jesus warned His disciples that they would
be treated the same as He was (cf. John 15:20).

The works of Jesus and John the Baptist, each in their own way, lead to the ac-
complishment of God’s plan for man’s salvation: the fact that some people do
not recognize Him does not prevent God’s plan being carried into effect.

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/13/2012 8:49:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading Isaiah 48:17-19 ©
Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is good for you,
I lead you in the way that you must go.
If only you had been alert to my commandments,
your happiness would have been like a river,
your integrity like the waves of the sea.
Your children would have been numbered like the sand,
your descendants as many as its grains.
Never would your name have been cut off or blotted out before me.

Psalm Psalm 1:1-4,6 ©
Anyone who follows you, O Lord, will have the light of life.
Happy indeed is the man
  who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
  nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
  and who ponders his law day and night.
Anyone who follows you, O Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree that is planted
  beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
  and whose leaves shall never fade;
  and all that he does shall prosper.
Anyone who follows you, O Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they like winnowed chaff
  shall be driven away by the wind.
for the Lord guards the way of the just
  but the way of the wicked leads to doom.
Anyone who follows you, O Lord, will have the light of life.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
See, the king, the Lord of the world, will come.
He will free us from the yoke of our bondage.
Alleluia!
Or
Alleluia, alleluia!
The Lord will come, go out to meet him.
Great is his beginning and his reign will have no end.
Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 11:16-19 ©
Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘What description can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the market place:
“We played the pipes for you,
and you wouldn’t dance;
we sang dirges,
and you wouldn’t be mourners.”
‘For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet wisdom has been proved right by her actions.’

6 posted on 12/13/2012 8:58:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
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On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
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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
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Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

7 posted on 12/13/2012 9:00:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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)

8 posted on 12/13/2012 9:01:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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  PRAYERS AFTER
HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

Vernacular

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

   Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Prayer Before the Crucifix

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

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

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

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

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

Prayer for Vocations

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

9 posted on 12/13/2012 9:02:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 12/13/2012 9:06:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
11 posted on 12/13/2012 9:09:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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


12 posted on 12/13/2012 9:10:35 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:  II 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 Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

13 posted on 12/13/2012 9:11:46 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
+

14 posted on 12/13/2012 9:12:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

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


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


15 posted on 12/13/2012 9:13:12 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]

16 posted on 12/13/2012 9:13:58 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.


17 posted on 12/13/2012 9:14:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Friday, December 14, 2012
St. John of the Cross, Priest, Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Isaiah 48:17-19
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Matthew 11:16-19

God gave Himself to you: give yourself to God.

-- Blessed Robert Southwell


18 posted on 12/13/2012 9:34:05 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.

19 posted on 12/13/2012 9:34:51 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. 


20 posted on 12/13/2012 9:36:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint John of the Cross, Priest & Doctor of the Church

Saint John of the Cross,
Priest & Doctor of the Church
Memorial
December 14th

Unknown artist

(1542-1591) Born in a town near Avila, Spain, he joined the Carmelitees in 1563. He was persuaded by St. Teresa of Avila to join her in reforming the Carmelites, and as a result he suffered many tribulations, including imprisonment. During his captivity he wrote the Dark Night of the Soul, a complex and profound work of mysticism. He is a doctor of the Church.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 

Collect:
O God, who gave the Priest Saint John
an outstanding dedication to perfect self-denial
and love of the Cross,
grant that, by imitating him closely at all times,
we may come to contemplate eternally your glory.
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: 1 Corinthians 2:1-10a
When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him," God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33
Now great multitudes accompanied Him; and He turned and said to them, "If any one comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish". Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple.


Pope Benedict XVI
GENERAL AUDIENCE
Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Saint John of the Cross

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In today’s catechesis, we discuss the sixteenth-century Spanish Carmelite mystic, Saint John of the Cross. John was born into a poor family. As a young man he entered the Carmelites and was ordained priest. Soon afterwards, he met Teresa of Avila in what was a decisive encounter for them both, as they discerned plans for reforming the Carmelite Order. He became confessor at Teresa’s monastery, and together they developed a rich articulation of the workings of the Lord upon the soul in the spiritual life. Despite persecution and misunderstanding from within his own Order, John produced some of the most illuminating and insightful treatises in all of Western spirituality. His four major writings are The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night of the Soul, The Spiritual Canticle, and The Living Flame of Love. One of the themes much developed by John was that of the purification of the soul: by means of created things, we can discover traces of the living God in this world. Faith, however, is the unique means by which we can come to know God as he is in himself. The demanding process of purification, at times active and at others passive, requires our determined effort, but it is God who is the real centre; all man can do is dispose himself and humble himself before the loving work of God in the soul. In this sense, John is for us a model of humble dedication and of faithful perseverance on the road to spiritual maturity.

© Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

***

Pope John Paul II, who had written his doctoral dissertation on St. John of the Cross, wrote an apostolic letter observing the 400th anniversary of the saint's death. An English translation of this letter is accessible here: http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jpmaster.htm

The processional cross used by Pope John Paul II was closely based on a drawing of the crucifixion by St. John of the Cross.


21 posted on 12/14/2012 8:06:40 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Love for Which He Suffered. A Meditation on the Poem of St. John the Cross: Un Pastorcico [Ecumen]
Ten Steps of Love through the Dark Night -- St. John of the Cross [Catholic Caucus]
On St. John of the Cross
DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL, St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church
Church to celebrate feast of saint who wrote about the 'long dark night of the soul'[Saint John of the Cross]
Counting All Else as Lost: The Poetic Life of St. John of the Cross [Catholic Caucus]
Free St. John of the Cross Program [free mp3 audio files series by Fr. Thomas Dubay from EWTN]
St. John of the Cross
22 posted on 12/14/2012 8:11:05 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information:
St. John of the Cross
Feast Day: December 14
Born:

24 June 1542, Fontiveros, Spain

Died: December 14, 1591, Ubeda, Andalusia, Spain
Canonized: 27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Major Shrine: Tomb of Saint John of the Cross, Segovia, Spain
Patron of: contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets



23 posted on 12/14/2012 8:12:06 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross
Feast Day: December 14
Born: 1542 :: Died: 1591

John was born at Fontiveros, in Spain and was the son of a weaver. He went to a school for poor children and became a servant to the director of the hospital at Medina. For seven years, John cared for the poor in the hospital while also studying at a Jesuit college.

Even as a youth, he liked to do penance as he understood the value of offering up sufferings for the love of Jesus. Because of this great love of God John joined the Lay Carmelite order as a brother when he was twenty-one.

With St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross was chosen by God to bring a new spirit of eagerness among religious. But his life was full of tests and trials.

Although he opened new monasteries where people followed his holy way of life, they found fault with him and thought that some of his ideas were too strict.

He was even thrown into prison and made to suffer terribly. At one time, when he had fierce temptations, God seemed to have left him alone and he suffered greatly.

Yet when these storms of trouble passed, the Lord rewarded his faithful servant. He gave him deep peace and joy of heart and John was very close to his God. In fact, Mother Mary herself showed John how to escape from his prison cell.

St. John had a wonderful way with sinners. Once a beautiful but sinful woman tried to make him do wrong. He talked to her and decided to change her life.

Another lady had such a bad temper that she was nicknamed "the terrible." Yet St. John was easily able to calm her down by his kind manners.

John asked God to let him suffer every day for love of Jesus. And to reward him, Jesus showed himself to St. John in a special way.

This saint is famous for his spiritual books, which show us how to grow close to God. He died on December 14, 1591 and John is now known as a Doctor of the Church.

24 posted on 12/14/2012 8:15:53 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic
Almanac:
Friday, December 14
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and Doctor of the Church. Together with St. Teresa of Avila, St. John founded the Discalced Carmelite Order in 1568. This order returned to the original stricter rules of the Carmelites.

25 posted on 12/14/2012 7:16:16 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: December 14, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who gave the Priest Saint John an outstanding dedication to perfect self-denial and love of the Cross, grant that, by imitating him closely at all times, we may come to contemplate eternally your glory. 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 14th

Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and doctor

St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) was born and died in Spain. His parents were poor and could not give him training in any trade. Hence he became the servant of the sick in the hospital of Medina. In 1563 he offered himself as a lay brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, perceiving his unusual talents, had him ordained a priest. When he was about to join the more severe Order of the Carthusians, the saintly Teresa persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of the Carmelite Order. This reform of his order caused him such sufferings and brought him many trials. But his sufferings served only to detach him from creatures. He had a great devotion to Our Lord's Passion and voluntarily sought out humiliations. When Our Lord asked him what reward he would ask for his labors, John answered: "To suffer and to be despised for Thee." He died of a cruel disease, embracing the crucifix. Because of his profound treatises on mystical theology Pope Pius XI proclaimed him Doctor of the Church. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite St. John of Cross' feast is celebrated on November 24.

Jesse Tree ~ King David


St. John of the Cross
Juan de Yepes was the Castilian son of a poor silk weaver of Fontiberos, Toledo, Spain and was born in 1542. His father was of noble birth; he had married much beneath him, and for that offense had been entirely cut off by his family. He had taken to silk weaving as a means of livelihood, but had never been able to make much of it. Soon after the birth of Juan he died, worn out with the effort to keep his wife and three children. The family was left in direst poverty; the children grew up always underfed, so that to the end of his life Juan remained dwarfed in stature.

Unable to learn a trade, he became the servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa of Avila, with the instinct of a saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order.

Thus he became the first prior of the Discalced (meaning "barefoot") Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months' suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.

St. John was a great contemplative and spiritual writer. He was proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI on August 24, 1926. He is the patron of contemplative life, mystical theology, mystics, and Spanish poets.

Excerpted from Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints © 1878 and Saints for Sinners by Alban Goodier, S.J.


"With what procrastinations do you wait, since from this very moment you can love God in your heart?"

Excerpted from Prayer of a Soul Taken with Love — St. John of the Cross


Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage your self in something less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father's table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.

Excerpted from Sayings of Light and Love, 26-27 — St. John of the Cross

Patron: Contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets

Things to Do:


26 posted on 12/14/2012 7:26:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Doctors of the Catholic Church




Saint John of the Cross is the mystical doctor. His writings on the soul united with God in prayer reveal the most profound mystical expressions, experiences and insights ever imagined. They are for those precise reasons often misunderstood or misinterpreted unless one has a wise spiritual director who is experienced in contemplative prayer and well versed in mystical and ascetical theology. This Carmelite saint writings are the most profound, literary masterpieces both in his gorgeous prose and poetry. "As a poet St. John of the Cross ranks with the greatest. Many literary critics consider him Spain's greatest lyric poet. He was a supremely great artist, endowed with a full measure of natural skill." (E. Allison Peers, The Tablet, July 4, 1942, p 6.) (Taken from Rengers-see below)

John has no peers when it comes to explaining and guiding others to a complete and total union with God in prayer through the mystical and contemplative life.

Juan de Yepes writings, example and witness to the gospels are extraordinary. He understood the mystery of God in Jesus Christ as far as it is humanly possible, lived it in intimate union with God and his Mother and wrote that mystery as it pertains to prayer life and the expression of God's charity in word and actions toward others.


St John of the Cross, 1542-1591. The Doctor of Mystical Theology, Feast Dec 14th.


27 posted on 12/14/2012 7:32:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 11
16 But whereunto shall I esteem this generation to be like? It is like to children sitting in the market place. Cui autem similem æstimabo generationem istam ? Similis est pueris sedentibus in foro : qui clamantes coæqualibus τινι δε ομοιωσω την γενεαν ταυτην ομοια εστιν παιδιοις εν αγοραις καθημενοις και προσφωνουσιν τοις εταιροις αυτων
17 Who crying to their companions say: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have lamented, and you have not mourned. dicunt : Cecinimus vobis, et non saltastis : lamentavimus, et non planxistis. και λεγουσιν ηυλησαμεν υμιν και ουκ ωρχησασθε εθρηνησαμεν υμιν και ουκ εκοψασθε
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking; and they say: He hath a devil. Venit enim Joannes neque manducans, neque bibens, et dicunt : Dæmonium habet. ηλθεν γαρ ιωαννης μητε εσθιων μητε πινων και λεγουσιν δαιμονιον εχει
19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by her children. Venit Filius hominis manducans, et bibens, et dicunt : Ecce homo vorax, et potator vini, publicanorum et peccatorum amicus. Et justificata est sapientia a filiis suis. ηλθεν ο υιος του ανθρωπου εσθιων και πινων και λεγουσιν ιδου ανθρωπος φαγος και οινοποτης τελωνων φιλος και αμαρτωλων και εδικαιωθη η σοφια απο των τεκνων αυτης

(*) "a devil". δαιμονιον, I think, is more like "the devils"

28 posted on 12/14/2012 7:41:15 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
16. But to whom shall I liken this generation? It is like to children sitting in the markets, and calling to their fellows,
17. And saying, We have piped to you, and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and you have not lamented.
18. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a devil.
19. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of Publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

HILARY; The whole of this speech is a reproach of unbelief, and arises out of the foregoing complaint; that the stiff-necked people had not learned by two different modes of teaching.

CHRYS; Whence He puts this question, showing that nothing had been omitted that ought to be done for their salvation, saying, To whom shall I liken this generation?

GLOSS: By this generation He means the Jews together with Himself and John. As though He had said; John is thus great; but you would believe neither him nor Me, and therefore to whom shall I liken you?

REMIG; And straightway He answers Himself, saying, It is like to children sitting in the market-place, crying to their fellows, and saying, We have played music to you, and you have not danced; we have mourned, and you have not lamented.

HILARY; By the children are meant the Prophets, who preached as children in singleness of meaning, and in the midst of the synagogue, that is in the market-place, reprove them, that when they played to those to whom they had devoted the service of their body, they had not obeyed their words, as the movement of the dancers are regulated by the measures of the music. For the Prophets invited them to make confession ;by song to God, as it is contained in the song of Moses, of Isaiah, or of David.

JEROME; They say therefore, We have played music to you, and you have not danced; i.e. We have called on you to work good works to our songs, and you would not. We have lamented and called you to repentance, and this you would not, rejecting both preaching, as well of exhortation to virtue, as of repentance for sin.

REMIG; What is that He says, To their fellows? Were the unbelieving Jews then fellows of the Prophets? He speaks thus only because they were sprung of one stock.

JEROME; The children are they of whom Isaiah speaks, Behold I, and the children whom the Lord has given me. These children then sit in the market-place, where are many things for sale, and say,

CHRYS; We have played music to you, and you have not danced; that is, I have showed you an unrestricted life, and you are not convinced; We have mourned to you and you have not lamented; that is, John lived a hard life, and you heeded him not. Yet does not he speak one thing, and I another, but both speak the same thing, because both have one and the same object. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon. The Son of man came &c.

AUG; I would that the Manichaeans would tell me what Christ ate and drank, who here speaks of Himself as eating and drinking in comparison of John, who did neither. Not indeed that John drank nothing at all, but that he drank neither wine nor strong drink - but water only. Not that he dispensed altogether with food, but that he ate only locusts and wild honey. Whence then is it said of him that he came neither eating nor drinking, except that he used not that food which the Jews used? Unless therefore the Lord had used this food, He would not have been said to have been, in comparison of John, eating and drinking. It would be strange that he who ate locusts and honey, should be said to come neither eating nor drinking, and that he who ate only bread and herbs, should be said to come eating and drinking.

CHRYS; He says therefore, Jesus came, as much as to say, I and John came opposite ways, to do the same thing; as two hunters chasing the same animal from opposite sides, so that it might fall into the hands of one of them But all mankind admire fasting and severity of life; and for this reason it was ordained from his infancy that John should be so brought up, that the things that he should say should receive credit. The Lord also walked in this way when He fasted forty days; but He had other means of teaching me to have confidence in Him; for it was a much greater thing that John who had walked in this way should bear witness to Him, than that He Himself should walk in that way. Again John had nothing to show besides his life, and his righteousness; whereas Christ had also the witness of His miracles Leaving therefore to John the representation of fasting, He Himself walked in a contrary way, entering to the table of the publicans, and eating and drinking with them.

JEROME; If then pleases you, why were you not satisfied with John? If fullness, why not with the Son of man? Yet one of these you said had a demon, the other you called a gluttonous man and drunkard.

CHRYS; What excuse then shall be given for them? Therefore He adds, And wisdom is justified of her children; that is, though you were not convinced, yet have you nothing whereof to accuse me, as also of the Father the Prophet speaks, That you might be justified in your sayings. For though nothing be effected in you by that goodness which is extended to you, yet He fulfills all His part that you may not have the shadow of excuse for your ungrateful doubt.

JEROME; Wisdom is justified of her children, i.e. The dispensation or doctrine of God, or Christ Himself who is the power and wisdom of God, is proved by the Apostles, who are His children, to have done righteously.

HILARY; He is wisdom itself not by His acts, but by His nature. Many indeed evade that saying of the Apostle's, Christ is the wisdom and power of God, by saying, that truly in creating Him of a Virgin the Wisdom and Power of God were shown mightily. Therefore that this might not be so explained, He calls Himself the Wisdom of God, showing that it was verily He, and not the deeds relating to Him, of whom this was meant. For the power itself, and the effect of that power, are not the same thing; the efficient is known from the act.

AUG; Or, Wisdom is justified of her children, because the holy Apostles understood that the kingdom of God was not in meat and drink, but in patient enduring; such persons neither does abundance lift up, nor want cast down, but as Paul spoke, I know how to abound, and to suffer want.

JEROME; Some copies read, Wisdom is justified of her works, for wisdom does not seek the witness of words, but of works.

CHRYS; You should not be surprised at His using trite instances, such as that respecting the children; for He spoke to the weakness of His hearers; as Ezekiel spoke many things adapted to the Jews, but unworthy of the greatness of God.

HILARY; Mystically; Neither did the preaching of John bend the Jews, to whom the law seemed burdensome in prescribing meats and drinks difficult and grievous, having in it sin which He calls having a demon - for from the difficulty of keeping it they must sin under the Law. Nor again did the preaching of the Gospel with freedom of life in Christ please them - by which the hardships and burdens of the Law were remitted, and publicans and sinners only believed in it. Thus, then, so many and so great warnings of all kinds having been offered them in vain, they are neither justified by the Law, and they are cast off from grace; Wisdom, therefore, is justified of her children, by those, that is, who seize the kingdom of heaven by the justification of faith, confessing the work of wisdom to be just, that it has transferred its gift from the rebellious to the faithful.

Catena Aurea Matthew 11
29 posted on 12/14/2012 7:42:10 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Christ the Sophia the Divine Wisdom

St. Michael the Archangel Temple, Puschino, Russia

30 posted on 12/14/2012 7:42:45 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Salvation
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 11:16-19

Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church

“If you would hearken to my commandments…” (Isaiah 48:18)

We can see the same kind of wishful sadness in Jesus’ descrip­tion of the way people reacted to John the Baptist and himself. Like children who find an excuse to stand back from any game their playmates propose, many of the people of Israel refused to mourn with John the Baptist or feast with Jesus. It seems that many had adopted John’s austerity as a way of atoning for their sins—a legiti­mate and praiseworthy response to God’s call. But then some of them got stuck there and began criticiz­ing Jesus for his apparent disregard for penance. Because of their inflex­ibility, they ended up turning a deaf ear to Jesus’ message of mercy and freedom.

The Holy Spirit may have prom­ised to lead us, but he never promised to lead us in the same way all the time. No wonder Jesus compared the Spirit to a wind that blows where it wills (John 3:8)! It can be easy, then, to miss the new thing God is doing today because we are so impressed with what he did yesterday. I loved teaching small children; how could I step out of my comfort zone and work with adults searching for faith? Corporate worship used to be so powerful; how can he be nudging me now to spend time in silent prayer?

A good dance partner must make many accommodations. Sometimes the music speeds up or slows down, and she must follow her escort’s lead into a different step. Sometimes the dance floor gets crowded, and he must maneuver his partner out of a tight spot. Sometimes he will sur­prise her with a dip or turn, or guide her toward the punch bowl for some refreshment. It’s never the exact same dance twice in a row.

On the dance floor of life, there are times for us to settle down and get serious—and there are times when we should lighten up and take a break. There are times for spon­taneity and times for discipline and fidelity to routines. There are times to savor the moment and times to move on to something new. How blessed we are to have such a cre­ative, fluid, and loving partner to lead us—the Holy Spirit himself!

“Holy Spirit, I surrender my desire to lead. Open my heart and eyes so that I can dance at your pace.”

Isaiah 48:17-19; Psalm 1:1-4,6


31 posted on 12/14/2012 8:05:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

A Lesson about the Heart
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church

Matthew 11: 16-19

Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in the marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge, but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said. ‘Look he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for this new day and all the graces you will bless me with. I believe in you and your love for me. I wish to show my love for you by staying focused on what is most important during this time of prayer: you and your most holy will.

Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to see your actions and the actions of others with the eyes of faith.

1. Eyes of Faith: God comes to us in many and various ways each day. Sometimes he reveals his goodness to us when he allows us to succeed in life. Other times he permits trials in our life so that we can cling more surely to him. The proper response to God’s constant action in our lives will only be possible if we are able to discern that it is indeed God who is acting –– that it is God who is “playing the flute for us” or “singing a dirge for us”. We need the eyes of faith. A habitual interior attitude of faith and trust in God allows us to live with great peace and purpose.

2. Worldly Standards of Judgment: Jesus complains when the crowds use worldly standards to size him up. They are caught up in their opinions and all too easily pass judgment on him. They accuse Jesus of being possessed by a demon, a drunkard, and so on. How easy is it for me to judge others by accepting or rejecting them for mere external things? What are my internal attitudes towards others? Lord, help me to be detached from all worldly standards of judging and to embrace each soul, loving them as you do, and to leave the judging to you.

3. But Wisdom is Vindicated by Her Works: Despite the rejection and harsh judgments of many, Jesus went about doing good. This is what he meant by saying that “wisdom is vindicated by her works”. In the same vein he also taught that you can recognize a tree by its fruits. Knowing how easy it is to misjudge others, I cannot permit myself to worry about what others may say or think of me. Rather I need to be busy like Jesus, going about doing good. Good actions speak for themselves, even if it may take a while for others to perceive or appreciate them. When we trustfully follow along to the flute or the dirge Our Lord is playing for us, and we do so for his sake and for the sake of spreading his message, we can rest in the certainty that God is blessing us and will bring his good works to fruition through us.

Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity to spend time with you in prayer. Let it be my motivation for the day and bring me to live a greater spirit of faith in you and the mission you have entrusted me. How much it would help me to consider my actions, the actions of others and your actions under the light of your love and good will. I do believe that you permit everything that happens in my life for the sake of bringing about a greater good, but Lord, increase my faith.

Resolution: I will strive to interpret the actions of others in a positive way, excusing any defects I may perceive.


32 posted on 12/14/2012 8:21:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 14, 2012:

Take a break from the holiday rush. Make popcorn and hot chocolate and snuggle together with a classic Christmas movie.


33 posted on 12/14/2012 8:35:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

To Reveal, Not to Prove

 

by Food For Thought on December 14, 2012 · 

 

We need to remind ourselves that God never said that we live in the center of the universe or that we were exclusive from evolution. God didn’t appear to the prophets or to the apostles in the form of an epic drama. Neither did He appear to us in a form that would satisfy any standards of scientific scrutiny. God never came to prove himself but to reveal himself to us.

It’s when we have faith that we may realize He has always been with us. God manifests himself to us through various means. He shows himself through the daily wonders of sunrise and sunset, through inspirational works by many tireless missionaries and lay volunteers. He also shows himself through the simple smiles of our neighbors and children.

It is up to us to do our share in allowing God into our hearts and developing our spiritual lives. It starts with a little faith and when we make the time and the effort to listen to him.

PRAYER
“Lord, open my ears to hear the good news of your kingdom and set my heart free to love and serve you joyfully. May nothing keep me from following you wholeheartedly.”


34 posted on 12/14/2012 8:43:58 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

 


<< Friday, December 14, 2012 >> St. John of the Cross
 
Isaiah 48:17-19
View Readings
Psalm 1:1-4, 6 Matthew 11:16-19
 

REPENT OF NOT REPENTING

 
"They are like children squatting in the town squares." —Matthew 11:16
 

Jesus compares us to children who don't want anyone to tell them what to do. When the Lord sends us someone like John the Baptizer to tell us to repent, we may try to justify ignoring his command by discrediting him as someone who is mad (Mt 11:18). Even when God Himself commands us to repent, we may also dismiss His words by trying to discredit Him (see Mt 11:19). The Lord has sent person after person into our lives to tell us to repent. We may have ignored this command hundreds of times by saying God's messengers were too old or young, too Protestant or Catholic, black or brown instead of white, or male instead of female or vice versa. We have learned to focus on the messenger so as to ignore the message.

We must repent of not repenting. Otherwise, we deprive ourselves of Christmas and eternal life. We must repent to prepare the way of the Lord this Christmas and this life (Mt 3:3). Without an Advent Confession of sin, there is little hope that we will be open to Christ's Christmas coming. "Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand!" (Mt 3:2; 4:17, our transl.) Repent! Christ's coming is at hand! Repent! Christmas is at hand! Repent of making excuses for not repenting. Repent now!

 
Prayer: Father, may I bring joy to heaven by going to Confession as soon as possible (Lk 15:7, 10).
Promise: "I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to My commandments, your prosperity would be like a river." —Is 48:17-18
Praise: St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila worked together for years to build up the Carmelite order. Both saints are Doctors of the Church.

35 posted on 12/14/2012 8:49:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Something for everyone to think about!
 
 
"A country which kills its own children has no future."
-Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
 

36 posted on 12/14/2012 8:50:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
St. Paul Center Blog

The Dark Night Rises

Posted by Matthew Leonard on 12.14.12 |

St. john of the cross

St. John of the Cross is about as hard-core as they come. He leaves no wiggle room when it comes to seeking sanctity. In fact, this 16th century Spanish saint is called the “Mystical Doctor” because of the heights of holiness he achieved. His one goal was union with God.

For a long time my only real knowledge of John was in reference to his mysterious description of the “dark night of the soul” - the feeling of total abandonment by God that many Christians experience as they reach the highest levels of prayer and union with God in this life. It’s a phase of the spiritual life where God is teaching a soul to seek Him no matter what. It’s a phase where God is working on the soul, purifying it from all attachments to this world. It’s a phase that scared the dickens out of me, so I kept my distance. I’m no rocket scientist, but I could tell this guy would demand a lot from me, maybe more than I was willing to give. I hate it when I’m right.

Part of what makes John of the Cross so great (and scary) is that he doesn’t just encourage us to stop sinning. That’s not enough. He wants us to get rid of even our sinful desires, to mortify our bad appetites. (I told you he’s demanding.) He’s insistent on this point because he compares these sinful desires to remora fish which attach themselves to the bottom of boats and greatly inhibit progress even though they’re small fish. He finds it regrettable that some souls who have been given so much by God make little real progress because they won’t let go of little attachments.

Of course, we can’t get rid of our general inclination to sin as fallen humans, but we all know that weeds grow back if you don’t pull them up at the roots. That should be the goal, he says, because a person that is encumbered by anything other than God, “will not possess the freedom, solitude, and purity requisite for divine transformation” (The Ascent of Mount Carmel Bk 1 Ch 11 no. 6).

A man saturated in scripture, John uses the Israelites as an example of the threat that undestroyed desire for sin poses. In Judges chapter two the angel of the Lord tells the Israelites that because they didn’t destroy all of their enemies as God commanded – instead leaving some of them to live in their midst – those enemies would become an “occasion of their fall and perdition” (Ibid no. 7). We often do the same thing. Even though God has slain our giants (i.e. sins), we sometimes continue to “fraternize” with our imperfections and stay too friendly with them. We have to realize that sinful attachments and desires will continue to plague us if we don’t get rid of them. All it takes is one worm (or should I say “serpent”) to destroy the apple.

Right about now you’re probably wondering how this is even possible. (I’m wondering that again, myself.) How can we scrape off the remora that slow us down? I can’t really summarize the depth and beauty of John of the Cross’ plan of action in a few words, but it boils down to this: God must be number one in your life…period. There are no “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” about it. Enjoy the gifts of this world God generously gives, but realize that anything that actually distracts you from him has to go. Sounds difficult, but it is possible. Saints like John of the Cross are proof.

Detachment can happen through a sacramental life rooted in deep prayer. You draw close to God and he draws close to you. (James 4:8) And when you’re close to God, his desires become your desires. You want what he wants. His grace combined with your active desire for Him is a Molotov cocktail against sin and recipe for eternal life.

If you’re discouraged by your sinful attachments, take heart. Don’t forget that God wants all of this to happen even more than we do and he knows we’re powerless to do it on our own. That’s why he is constantly showering us with grace upon grace so that we can become saints. I wouldn’t dare to even think about following John of the Cross’ sage wisdom on my own, but I know that “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). May God continue to bless you in this Advent season, and St. John of the Cross – pray for us…a lot!

Matthew Leonard


37 posted on 12/16/2012 6:57:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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