Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 12-16-12, Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-16-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/15/2012 9:45:15 PM PST by Salvation

December 16, 2012

 

Third Sunday of Advent

 

Reading 1 Zep 3:14-18a

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you
he has turned away your enemies;
the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
he will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

Responsorial Psalm Is 12:2-3, 4, 5-6.

R. (6) Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Reading 2 Phil 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Gospel Lk 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,
"What should we do?"
He said to them in reply,
"Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise."
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
"Teacher, what should we do?"
He answered them,
"Stop collecting more than what is prescribed."
Soldiers also asked him,
"And what is it that we should do?"
He told them,
"Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages."

Now the people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
"I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
Exhorting them in many other ways,
he preached good news to the people.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: advent; catholic; prayer
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 12/15/2012 9:45:24 PM PST by Salvation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

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 12/15/2012 9:48:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: gorush

This Religion Forum thread is labeled “Catholic Caucus” meaning if you are not currently, actively Catholic then do not post on this thread.


4 posted on 12/15/2012 10:01:30 PM PST by Religion Moderator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: All

6 posted on 12/15/2012 10:03:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Your powers of censorship are admirable.


7 posted on 12/15/2012 10:05:18 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Zephaniah 3:14-18a

Psalms of Joy in Zion


[14] Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all
your heart, 0 daughter of Jerusalem! [15] The LORD has taken away the judg-
ments against you, he has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD,
is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more. [16] 0n that day it shall be said to
Jerusalem: “Do not fear, 0 Zion; let not your hands grow weak. [17] The LORD,
your God, is in your midst, warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with
gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing
[18] as on a day of festival.”

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

3:14-18a. Now the promise becomes a song of jubilation. The Lord, the Savior,
sees to it that all is joy (v. 14), and there is no room for fear (v. 16). The Christian,
in reading these verses, cannot but be reminded of the scene of the Annunciation:
Mary, too, the humble Virgin (Lk 1:48), is invited to rejoice (Lk 1:28) and not to
fear (Lk 1:20), because the Lord is with her (Lk 1:28). And indeed, with the Incar-
nation of the Word, the Lord did come to dwell among his people,and the salva-
tion that was promised came to pass.

******************************************************************************************
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.


8 posted on 12/15/2012 10:14:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Philippians 4:4-7

Exhortation to Perseverance and Joy (Continuation)


[4] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. [5] Let all men know
your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. [6] Have no anxiety about anything, but
in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be
made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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

4. What St Paul says here is particularly impressive if one bears in mind that he
is writing this letter from prison. In order to have joy it does not matter if we are
living in difficult conditions. “For a Christian, joy is a treasure. Only by offending
God do we lose it, because sin is the fruit of selfishness, and selfishness is the
root of sadness. Even then, a bit of joy survives under the debris of our soul—the
knowledge that neither God nor his (Christ’s) Mother forgets us. If we repent, if
an act of sorrow springs from our heart, if we purify ourselves in the holy sacra-
ment of penance, God comes out to meet and forgive us. Then there can be no
sadness whatsoever” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 178).

The kind of profound joy that fills the soul with peace does not derive from the sa-
tisfaction of physical or material needs but from faithfulness to God and his com-
mandments by embracing the Cross. “This is the difference between us and
those who do not know God,” St Cyprian says: “they complain in adversity; but
difficulties do not draw us away from virtue or from the true faith. On the contrary,
our virtue and faith are reinforced in affliction” (”De Mortalitate”, 13).

In the Old Testament, God, speaking through Nehemiah, said, “Do not be grieved,
for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh 8:10). Joy, in fact, is a powerful ally
in the struggle to achieve victory (cf. 1 Mac 3:2ff), to conquer evil with good, for it
is something closely connected with grace. “The true worth of what a Christian
does is determined by the active presence of God’s grace in him and his deeds.
In a Christian’s heart, therefore, peace is inseparable from joy [...]. when the joy
that is in a Christian heart is poured out on others, it gives them hope and opti-
mism; it spurs them to be generous in their daily toil and infects the entire so-
ciety. My children, only if you have in you this divine grace which is joy and
peace, will you be able to do anything useful for others” (John Paul II, “Address”,
10 April 1979).

5-7. “The Lord is at hand”: the Apostle reminds the faithful of the nearness of our
Lord; he wants to encourage them to rejoice and to be understanding towards
one another. These words must surely have brought to their minds the exclama-
tion “Marana tha” (Come, Lord), which was often in the lips at liturgical celebra-
tions (cf. note on 1 Cor 16:21-24). In the sort of hostile environment that many of
them lived in, they needed to put their hope in their Savior, Jesus Christ, who will
come from heaven to judge the living and the dead (cf. Phil 3:20; 1 Thess 4:16ff;
2 Thess 1:5). St Paul does not mean to specify when the “Parousia” or second
coming of Christ will take place (cf. “Introduction to St Paul’s Epistles to the
Thessalonians” in “The Navarre Bible: Thessalonians; EB”, 414-461; note on Mt
24:36). Like the first Christians, we should make sure it does not catch us un-
prepared.

Besides, the Lord is always near us, always caring for us in his providence (cf.
Ps 119:151). There is no reason for us to feel ill at ease. He is our Father, he is
near to all who call on him (cf. Ps 145:18); he listens to our prayers, ever ready
to instruct us and to give us whatever we need to overcome difficulties that arise.
All that he asks is that we trustingly tell him our situation, speaking to him with
the simplicity of a child.

Constant dialogue with God in prayer is, as St Paul suggests, a good way to
prevent anything robbing us of peace of soul, for prayer “regulates our affections”,
St Bernard teaches, “directs our actions, corrects our faults, guides our conduct,
beautifies and orders our life; it brings with it knowledge of things divine and
things human also. It determines what we ought to do and reflects on what we
have done, in such a way that our heart never becomes wanton or in need of dis-
cipline” (”Book of Consideration”, I, 7).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


9 posted on 12/15/2012 10:15:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Religion Moderator

Ya wohl!


10 posted on 12/15/2012 10:18:05 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Luke 3:10-18

The Preaching of John the Baptist (Continuation)


[10] And the multitudes asked him (St. John the Baptist), “What then shall we
do?” [11] And he answered them, “He who has two coats, let him share with him
who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” [12] Tax collectors al-
so came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” [13] And
he said to them, “Collect no more than is appointed you.” [14] Soldiers also
asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Rob no one by
violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

[15] As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts
concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, [16] John answered them
all, “I baptize you with water; but He who is mightier than I is coming, the thong
of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit
and with fire. [17] His winnowing fork is in His hand, to clear the threshing floor,
and to gather the wheat into His granary, but the chaff He will burn with unquen-
chable fire.”

[18] So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.

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

12-13. With honesty and courage St. John the Baptist lays bare each person’s
fault. The chief sin of tax collectors lay in their using their privileged position as
collaborators of the Roman authorities to acquire personal wealth at the expense
of the Jewish people: Rome specified how much Israel as a whole should yield
by way of taxes; the tax collectors abused their position by extorting more than
was necessary. Take the case of Zacchaeus, for example, who, after his conver-
sion, admits that he acquired wealth unjustly and, under the influence of grace,
promises our Lord to make generous restitution (cf. Luke 19:1-10).

The Baptist’s preaching contains a norm of natural justice which the Church al-
so preaches. Public position should be regarded, above all, as an opportunity to
serve society, not to obtain personal gain at the expense of the common good
and of that justice which people holding such positions are supposed to admini-
ster. Certainly, anyone who has fallen into the temptation of unjustly appropria-
ting what belongs to another must not only confess his sin in the Sacrament of
Penance if he is to obtain pardon; he must also resolve to give back what is not
his.

14. The Baptist requires of everyone—Pharisees, tax collectors, soldiers—a deep
spiritual renewal in the very exercise of their job; they have to act justly and ho-
norably. God asks all of us to sanctify ourselves in our work and in the circum-
stances in which we find ourselves: “Any honest and worthwhile work can be
converted into a divine occupation. In God’s service there are no second-class
jobs; all of them are important” (St. J. Escriva, “Conversations”, 55).

15-17. Using excessive imagery, John announces Christian Baptism, proclaiming
that he is not the Messiah; He, who is on His way, will come with the authority
of supreme Judge that belongs to God, and with the dignity of the Messiah, who
has no human equal.

*********************************************************************************************
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.


11 posted on 12/15/2012 10:18:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

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 Zephaniah 3:14-18 ©
Shout for joy, daughter of Zion,
Israel, shout aloud!
Rejoice, exult with all your heart,
daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has repealed your sentence;
he has driven your enemies away.
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;
you have no more evil to fear.
When that day comes, word will come to Jerusalem:
Zion, have no fear,
do not let your hands fall limp.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a victorious warrior.
He will exult with joy over you,
he will renew you by his love;
he will dance with shouts of joy for you
as on a day of festival.

Canticle Isaiah 12 ©
The rejoicing of a redeemed people
Sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Truly, God is my salvation,
  I trust, I shall not fear.
For the Lord is my strength, my song,
  he became my saviour.
With joy you will draw water
  from the wells of salvation.
Sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name!
  Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples!
  Declare the greatness of his name.
Sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Sing a psalm to the Lord
  for he has done glorious deeds;
  make them known to all the earth!
People of Zion, sing and shout for joy,
  for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Second reading Philippians 4:4-7 ©
I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness. Let your tolerance be evident to everyone: the Lord is very near.
  There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus.

Gospel Acclamation Is61:1(Lk4:18)
Alleluia, alleluia!
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 3:10-18 ©
When all the people asked John, ‘What must we do?’ he answered, ‘If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.’ There were tax collectors too who came for baptism, and these said to him, ‘Master, what must we do?’ He said to them, ‘Exact no more than your rate.’ Some soldiers asked him in their turn, ‘What about us? What must we do?’ He said to them, ‘No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!’
  A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’ As well as this, there were many other things he said to exhort the people and to announce the Good News to them.

12 posted on 12/15/2012 10:22:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: gorush


13 posted on 12/15/2012 10:23:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: All

On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
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

14 posted on 12/15/2012 10:25:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

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)

15 posted on 12/15/2012 10:26:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: All
Catholic Word of the Day: GAUDETE SUNDAY, 11-27-12
John the Baptist Teaches Us To Rejoice in Hope-3rd Sunday in Advent--Gaudete Sunday
Gaudete Sunday! Rejoice because the Lord is near!
Third Sunday of Advent: Gaudete Sunday, December 13
Why “Gaudete?”
Catholic Liturgy Rose-Colored Vestments on Gaudete Sunday
Pink!?! [The Newbie encounters Gaudete, or Rose, Sunday]
16 posted on 12/15/2012 10:26:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Thanks, I’ll look into that. In exchange, check out...ah nevermind. I don’t care what you believe...I just wish you’d reciprocate.


17 posted on 12/15/2012 10:27:47 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

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

18 posted on 12/15/2012 10:27:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
19 posted on 12/15/2012 10:29:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
20 posted on 12/15/2012 10:31:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Religion Moderator

Is Salvation the religion moderator? Just curious. I think she should be if she’s not.


21 posted on 12/15/2012 10:34:04 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: All
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]


22 posted on 12/15/2012 10:37:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: All



~ PRAYER ~

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

23 posted on 12/15/2012 10:39:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: All

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.


24 posted on 12/15/2012 10:40:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: All
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]

25 posted on 12/15/2012 10:41:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: All

December 2012

Pope's intentions

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

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


26 posted on 12/15/2012 10:42:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

Two waitings
Fr. Paul Scalia

There are two kinds of waiting. There is passive waiting — nothing more than sitting around, tapping your feet, twiddling your thumbs, drumming your fingers, looking at your watch. It suggests a lack of hope and love. It fails to prompt us to action because the object of waiting does not seem worth it. Then there is the kind of waiting full of expectation — the kind that makes us resist any distractions or other loves. This waiting is anything but passive. It is full of energy and action, fueled by anticipation of what we love. We tend to slouch into the first kind of waiting. We need to stir ourselves to the second.

When we come to the feast of the Epiphany (to fast forward a bit), we will find an example of the first, passive form of waiting. The Magi catch the chief priests and scribes flat-footed, not knowing that the Messiah had been born. The leaders of Israel had fallen into that passive waiting — a sleepy, sluggish sitting around. They had forgotten that the Messiah’s coming required constant vigilance. More to the point, they had lost their desire to greet the Messiah … and failed to prepare … and were caught unaware.

The second, active kind of waiting characterizes the crowds that went out to John the Baptist. They “were filled with expectation” (Lk 3:15). Their desire to see and receive the Messiah — “the one who is to come” (Lk 7:19) — stirred them into action, out of the comfort of their homes, into the wilderness to see John the Baptist. This hopeful expectation requires something of us personally. The crowds sensed as much and asked John, “What should we do?” (Lk 3:10) They intuited that they should be active while awaiting the Messiah — preparing themselves, making changes to their lives in anticipation.

And this kind of waiting is practical. John the Baptist does not deal in vague advice or pious generalities. He has specific instructions for all who ask. To the crowds: “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise” (Lk 3:11). To the tax collectors: “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed” (Lk 3:13). And to the soldiers: “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages” (Lk 3:14). The coming of the Messiah, in short, cannot be something we passively await. We must prepare ourselves to receive and greet Him.

The church exhorts us, as John did the crowds, to this active waiting. She gives us Advent not just to sit around and wait for the Savior but to stir up a desire to see Him and to reform our lives in light of His coming. We are to shake the sleepiness from us and renew the love we first had.

As John the Baptist’s preaching implies, there is a penitential character to Advent. But it is somewhat different from Lent’s. In Lent we consider Our Lord’s suffering for our sins, and we therefore repent. In Advent we look forward to receiving Jesus at His birth — and for that reason we cleanse ourselves of sin. Like the crowds in the wilderness, our expectation should prompt us to reform our lives, to that renewal that comes especially from the sacrament of penance.

There is a blessed inconvenience that comes from this waiting. It disrupts our comfort and calls us to prepare. In so doing it calls us back to that childlike joy of anticipation that we once knew — and which the Father desires His children to know again, more deeply.

Fr. Scalia is pastor of St. John the Beloved Parish in McLean.


27 posted on 12/15/2012 10:55:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: All
The Work of God

He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and Fire. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  Third Sunday of Advent

He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and Fire.

He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and Fire. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 3:10-18

10 And the people asked him, saying: What then shall we do?
11 And he answering, said to them: He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do in like manner.
12 And the publicans also came to be baptised, and said to him: Master, what shall we do?
13 But he said to them: Do nothing more than that which is appointed you.
14 And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; do not calumniate any man, and be content with your pay.
15 And as the people were of opinion, and all were thinking in their hearts of John, that perhaps he might be the Christ;
16 John answered, saying to them: I indeed baptise you with water; but there shall come one mightier that I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose: he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
18 And many other things exhorting, did he preach to the people.

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

Third Sunday of Advent - He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and Fire. The privilege of the prophets is to make people open their hearts to the word of God. I touch the heart that is open awaiting my coming, in the same way that the sun touches with its stimulating rays, warmth and life the flower that opens before his presence.

The word of God must be transmitted by human beings, since God has revealed it to his prophets. Because this is divine word, it carries the anointment of the Holy Spirit and the power to touch the heart.

The objective of the Divine Word is to change the erroneous ideologies that impede the closeness to God; this is why it is revealed first to the prophets, who have left their testimony in the Holy Scriptures. I have come to perfect the testimony of the prophets with my own words contained in the Gospels.

The Holy Spirit has come also to give His Testimony, in order to ratify the Testimony of God the Father through the prophets, my Testimony as the Incarnate Word of God, and to establish this Word in every heart. If today you hear the Word of God, harden not your heart.

The Testimony of the Holy Spirit is that fire of faith that burns in the heart, moving the soul to live according to the Holy Word of God. For this reason, the Spirit is that force that moves the soul to listen, it is the same Power of God in action, changing and purifying with the Divine Wisdom.

Happy and blessed are those who take my words to their hearts and decide to live by them, their way is full of my light, their journey receives my support, their works are sanctified by their trust in me and their testimonies are an echo to my Word.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


28 posted on 12/15/2012 10:59:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

Given recent circumstances and events, having Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday is a bit inconvenient this year. And yet the Liturgical calendar transcends time and current contexts and summons us beyond the merely present to the eternal realities of God.

Nevertheless I must say that I changed my approach to this Sunday based on the current violence and murder in Connecticut. St. Paul’s second reading has moved to the forefront ahead of the Gospel and I would like to focus attention here. For St. Paul does not just say “rejoice,” he says how.

We tend in modern times to link our notions of happiness and inner well-being to external circumstances and happenstance. And thus happiness will be found when the things of this world are arranged in the way and quantity we like. If we just get enough money and creature comforts, we will be happy and have a better sense of mental well being.

And yet, it remains true that many can endure difficult external circumstances and yet remain inwardly content, happy and optimistic. Further, many who have much are still not content and are beset with great mental anguish, anxiety and unhappiness. Ultimately happiness is not about happenstance or circumstances, it is an inside job.

St. Paul says,

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Phil 4:11-12)

Interesting, Paul wrote theses words, and the words of today’s Second reading from Jail. So its not a bunch of slogans.

In today’s second reading he tells us the “secret” to this contentedness, to joy and mental well-being whatever the circumstances. He gives a kind of five point plan, that, if we work it, will set the stage for a deeper, inner peace, a sense of mental well-being and contentedness not easily affected by external circumstances. Let’s review what St. Paul has to say as a kind of five-point plan. (I am indebted to Rev. Adrian Rogers for the alliterated list, though the substance is my own reflection).

Here is the text of St. Paul’s five point plan for better mental health. And then we look to each point.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your moderateness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:4-9)

Note that the final verse is not in today’s liturgical proclamation, but it seems well to include it in these reflections, so I do.

Step I. Rejoice in the Presence of the Lord - The text says, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your moderateness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Of supreme importance in the Christian life is to request, receive and cultivate the gift of the presence of the Lord. We are too easily turned inward and forgetful of God’s presence. To become more consciously and stably aware of God’s presence is to be filled with joy and peace.

As an aside, note that the text mentions joy, (χαίρω – Chairoo) but it also mentions moderateness. The Greek word here is ἐπιεικὲς (epieikes) which means to be gentle, mild, forbearing, fair, reasonable, or moderate. Epieíkeia relaxes unnecessary strictness in favor of gentleness whenever possible. Such an attitude is common when one is joyful and unafraid. By contrast, an unbending and unyielding attitude often bespeaks fear.

There are of course times to insist on precision and to not easily give way. But often there is room for some leeway and the assumption of good will. A serene mind and spirit which are the gift of the presence of God can often allow for some leeway and presume good will. There is an increasing ability to allow things to unfold rather than to control and manipulate conversations and outcomes and to win on every point.

But the central point is, as we become more aware of God’s presence and thus serene and less conflicted within, we no longer need to shout or win in every moment and on every point. We insist on what is true, but are able to express ourselves more moderately and serenely. We are able to stay in the conversation and are content to sow seeds rather than insist on reaping every harvest of victory.

Cultivating a joyful sense of the presence of God and the serenity and moderateness that are its fruits are a first step toward and sure sign of greater mental health and contentment.

Step II. Rely on the Power of the Lord – The text says – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition…present your requests to God.

There are very few things as destructive to our mental health as worry. Worry is like sand in a machine. It not only hinders the working of the machine, it damages it. But simply being told not to worry isn’t very helpful. In this case St. Paul is not simply saying “Don’t worry.”

Paul has already laid a groundwork for the diminishment of worry in telling us to cultivate a sense of the presence of God. Some years ago when I was a little boy, my Father left for the Vietnam war. For the year he was away, I spent many anxious nights worrying about a lot of things. But when my Father returned my fears went away. Daddy was home, everything is alright.

And for all of us, to the degree that we really experience that God is near, so many of our fear just go away. My own experience is that as my awareness of God’s presence has grown, my anxieties have significantly diminished.

Paul also says, that the power of God is only a prayer away. Here too, I and many can testify that God has a way of working things out. He may not always come when you want him, or handle things exactly as you want, but when I look back over my life, and I think things over, I can truly say that God has made a way for me. And whatever my struggles and disappointments, none of them has ever destroyed me. If anything, they strengthened me.

Whatever it is, take it to the Lord in prayer. And ponder deeply how he has delivered you in the past, made a way out of no way, and drew straight with crooked lines.

Let the Holy Spirit anoint your memory to make you aware of God’s saving power in your life and recall how God has delivered you. These memories give us serenity when we consider how prayer is both effective and an every present source of power.

Antidote - So much worry, which is a kind of mental illness just goes away to the degree that we experience God is both present and that his power is only one prayer away.

And here is the second step to greater mental health, knowing by experience that God can and that God will make a way.

Step III. Remember the Provision of the Lord - The text says, with thanksgiving,

Thanksgiving is a way of disciplining the mind to count our blessings. Why is this important? Because too easily we become negative. Every day ten trillion things go right, and about a half a dozen things go wrong. But what do we tend to focus on? You bet, the half a dozen things that go wrong. This is a form of mental illness that feeds our anxiety and comes from our fallen nature.

But gratitude disciplines our mind to count our blessings. As we do this, we begin to become men and women of hope, and of confidence. Why? Because what you feed grows. If you feed the negative it will grow. If you feed the positive it will grow. And the fact is, God richly blesses us everyday if we will but open our eyes to see it.

Step three is disciplining our fallen minds to see the wider reality of our rich blessings. This heals and gives us us great peace and serene minds.

Step IV. Rest in the Peace of the Lord - And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As we begin to undertake these steps our mental outlook and health improves. Gradually, serenity becomes a deeper and more stable reality for us. The text here says that this serenity will not only be present, it will “guard” or as some translations say “keep” our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In other words as this serenity grows it screens out the negativity of this world and the demons of discouragement. Having this peace allows us to see the Lord, and seeing the Lord deepens that peace… and the cycle grows and continues!

It has been my experience that the profound anxiety and anger that beset my early years has not only gone away, but also the serenity I now increasingly enjoy makes all that anxiety unlikely to return. I am guarded and protected increasingly by the serenity God gives.

Step V. Reflect on the Plan of the Lord - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.

Maintenance plan – And as this serenity, this sense of well being, this mental health, comes to us, St. Paul finally advises a kind of maintenance plan wherein we intentionally and actively focus our thoughts and attention on what is Godly, true, good and beautiful.

What you feed grows - While it may be true that we need to stay up with the news of the world, be careful of too steady a diet of the 24/7 news cycle. They focus on the bad news, on what is controversial and adversarial. If it bleeds it leads. Too much of that and you’re unsettled before you know it. Limit your portions of this and focus on the greater, better and lasting things of God. Ponder his plan, his truth, his glory, his priorities.

And old song says, More about Jesus would I know, more of his saving mercy show, More of his saving fulness see, more of his love who died for me.

Yes, more about Jesus, less of this world. How can we expect to keep our mental health and serenity on a steady dose of insanity, stinking thinking, wrongful priorities, endless adversity, darkness, chaos and foolishness?

Do you want peace? Reflect on the plan of the Lord for you.

So then, here are some steps to better mental health. It all begins with the practice of the presence of the Lord, calling on his power and being grateful for his providence, savoring his peace which inevitably comes and turning our attention more to the things of God and less to the things of this world.

Here’s to good mental health for us all! In times like these we need to balance our sorrow with the capacity to rejoice in God’s ability to draw good even fro the worst of circumstances.


29 posted on 12/15/2012 11:25:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

3rd Sunday of Advent
Reading I:
Zep 3:14-18 II: Phil 4:4-7


Gospel
Luke 3:10-18

10 And the multitudes asked him, "What then shall we do?"
11 And he answered them, "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise."
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?"
13 And he said to them, "Collect no more than is appointed you."
14 Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."
15 As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ,
16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
18 So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.


Interesting Details

  • When John the Baptizer first appeared, he did so proclaiming "a baptism of repentance" (3:3). When he speaks, he demands "good fruits as evidence of repentance" (3:8). Here various groups approach Jesus demanding to know precisely what "good fruits" they are to bear.
  • It was a common cultural belief in those days that if someone has more of something, someone else automatically has less. Also in this culture to have more than one need is greed.
  • In the Roman Empire a chief collector was usually a native who bid for the right to collect tolls but had to pay the assessment to Rome immediately upon winning the bid. It was then his task to recoup this sum and make a profit if possible.
  • The soldiers are best understood as Judean men enlisted in the service of Herod Antipas. These soldiers were despised because they worked for Rome's puppet king and strove to enforce the will of Rome, the occupying power.
  • "Loosen the thongs" This task was reserved to servants, never performed by children of the household. A rabbi's disciples were forbidden to untie his sandals and so John disclaims the role of disciple. He is, simply, a servant and less than a servant.


One Main Point

It is not the religious leaders who are willing to repent, but the ordinary people and those who are on the fringes of Jewish society: toll collectors, soldiers. These are the same people who respond positively to Jesus' teachings.


Reflections

  • Are greed, selfishness and abuse of power and position still my weaknesses?
  • Who is the modern voice crying in the wilderness for me at this time? Am I invited to be this voice?

30 posted on 12/15/2012 11:31:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Third Sunday of Advent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:10-18

Burning the candle at both ends for God's sake may be foolishness to the world, but it is a profitable Christian exercise-for so much better the light. Only one thing in life matters. Being found worthy of the Light of the World in the hour of His visitation. We need have no undue fear for our health if we work hard for the kingdom of God; God will take care of our health if we take care of His cause. In any case it is better to burn out than to rust out.

-- Bishop Fulton Sheen


31 posted on 12/15/2012 11:36:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

32 posted on 12/15/2012 11:37:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: All



The Angelus 

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

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

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

Hail Mary . . . 

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

Hail Mary . . . 


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

Let us pray: 

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

Amen. 


33 posted on 12/15/2012 11:38:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: All


Information:
St. Haggai the Prophet
Feast Day: December 16

34 posted on 12/16/2012 11:04:21 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Adelaide

 
Feast Day: December 16
Born: 931 :: Died: 999

St. Adelaide was born at Burgundy in France. She was the daughter of King Rudolf II of Upper Burgundy. When she was two years old she was promised in an arranged marriage as part of a peace agreement between Rudolf and Huge of Provence.

At the age of sixteen, this Burgundian princess was married to King Lothair of Italy. Then three years later, her husband died. His successor Berengarius poisoned him so he could be king.

To strengthen his position he tried to get Adelaide to be his wife but she absolutely refused. In anger, he treated her with great cruelty. He even locked her up in a castle on a lake.

Adelaide was saved when King Otto the Great of Germany defeated Berengarius. Although she was twenty years younger than he, Otto married the lovely Adelaide on Christmas Day.

When he took his new queen back home, the German people loved her at once. She was as gentle and gracious as she was pretty. God sent five children to the royal couple. They lived happily for twenty-two years.

When Otto died, Adelaide's oldest son became the ruler. This son, Otto the Second, was good, but acted too quickly without thinking. He turned against his own mother and she left the palace.

In her great sorrow, she went to the abbot, St. Majolus for help. He advised Otto of his mistake and Otto felt sorry for what he had done.

Adelaide met her son in Italy and the king begged her forgiveness. She in turn prayed for her son, sending offerings to the great shrine of St. Martin of Tours.

In her old age, St. Adelaide was asked to rule the country while her grandson Otto III was still a child.

Although she never became a nun, she started many monasteries and convents and worked to convert the Slavic people. All her life, this saintly empress had obeyed the advice of holy people.

She was always willing to forgive those who had hurt her. St. Addle of Cluny called her a "marvel of beauty and grace."

When Otto III was old enough, Adelaide retired to the convent of Selta near Cologne where she spent the rest of her days in prayer. She died on December 16, 999.

35 posted on 12/16/2012 11:10:01 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, December 16

Liturgical Color: Violet


On this day in 1910, Pope Pius X introduced the scapular medal. It could be substituted for a cloth scapular with all its benefits provided that the wearer was enrolled and the medal blessed according to established norms.


36 posted on 12/16/2012 5:59:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: All
Catholic Culture

Advent: December 16th

Third Sunday of Advent

Daily Readings for: December 16, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord's Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. 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.

 

Old Calendar: Third Sunday of Advent; Gaudete Sunday

"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.

Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath.

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

Jesse Tree ~ Jonah



Christ Even Now on the Way to Bethlehem
Evidently, in the mind of holy Church, neither the prophecy concerning Bethlehem Ephrata nor its fulfillment in the day of Caesar Augustus is to be considered merely a glorious divine disposition and achievement. No, the prophecy of Micheus is still being verified every day, but predominantly during the annual Advent season; for the selfsame incarnate eternal Son of God who journeyed to Bethlehem to be born there physically, now to the end of time comes to human souls as to spiritual Bethlehems, there to be born anew, again and again.

But be sure to picture these merciful spiritual journeyings of Christ to the Bethlehem of souls as all too often sadly realistic spiritual repetitions of His first long journey over the rugged road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Meditate long on the wanton and malicious opposition He encounters on His way to them from souls that leave their senses and heart and mind to be ruled by earthly vanities, and their whole selves to be willing victims of the sensual and selfish illusions and witcheries of the seven capital vices.

Can you still fail to see why Isaias and the Baptist compare the hardships of the way of the world's Messiah-King to souls with a rough, crooked, and almost impassable road up steep hills and down precipitous valleys and through dangerous mountain passes? Do you wonder that these prophets of His coming insist so strongly that merely sentimental longings and routine prayers, however multiplied, cannot prepare us worthily for the entrance He must expect and the welcome He craves?

Pray very honestly, therefore, that you may begin to see the practical reasons for the Church's crying out in the desert world, and even into your own interior soul and heart:

"Prepare ye the way of the Lord: Make straight in the wilderness His paths; Every valley shall be exalted; Every mountain and hill shall be made low; And the crooked shall be made straight; And the rough ways plain" (Is. 40:3, 4). Then shall you see the salvation of God!

Excerpted from Our Way to the Father by Rev. Leo M. Krenz, S.J.


37 posted on 12/16/2012 6:05:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Philippians 4:4-7

3rd Sunday of Advent

“The peace of God … will guard your hearts.” (Philippians 4:7)

There was once a little town that was being harassed and pillaged by marauders. Good families were not able to defend themselves. All the people wanted was peace, but the town was filled with fear.

The king was shocked when he learned about the problem. “How can this happen to my own citi­zens?” he asked. He immediately dispatched soldiers to set up com­mand posts at every entry point to the town. In short order, the raids came to an end, and peace was restored.

This little story can help us grasp what St. Paul meant about the peace of God “guarding” our hearts. Paul says that if we “make our requests known to God,” “with thanksgiv­ing,” our hearts will be guarded. We will know peace (Philippians 4:6).

How often do you bring your needs to the Lord in prayer?

Probably quite a bit—especially the bigger concerns in your life. But Paul is asking us to bring everything to the Lord in a spirit of thanksgiving. He is reminding us that our heav­enly Father, who has counted every hair on our heads, knows us deeply and has nothing but good in mind for us. This is why Paul urges us to be thankful.

Not everything in life goes our way. There is no lack of injustice and pain and anxiety in this world. But none of this comes from our Father—and we should keep none of it to ourselves. Rather, God is inviting us to bring it all to him, no matter how big or small, so that he can give us his guidance and his comfort. He wants us to be grateful that he is with us, no matter what paths we are on. This is how our hearts can be guarded and protected. This is how we can hold onto our peace in good days and bad.

We may not learn this overnight, but our wise and loving God can teach us—as we bring everything to him with gratitude and trust.

“Father, I trust in your love. Teach me the way of surrender, the way of peace.”

Zephaniah 3:14-18; (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6; Luke 3:10-18

 

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy that should be in our hearts given all that the birth of our Savior means for us. In the first reading, Zephaniah tells us to “shout for joy”! What are some of the reasons he describes for doing this? What are some of the reasons for you to “shout for joy”?

2. The Responsorial Psalm tells us that our “strength” and “courage” is the Lord. Our joy, our confidence, our strength, and our courage in the Lord should be a witness to others. In what ways do you allow the joy you find in Christ to be an example to others? What steps can you take to do better?

3. St. Paul in the second reading calls us to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” During Advent, we should rejoice not only in the coming of our Lord as a baby at Bethlehem, but his coming into our hearts as well. The assurance of the fullness of salvation in Christ’s second coming should also cause us to rejoice. How well are you able to “Rejoice in the Lord” when faced with the difficulties of the current world situation? If you find it difficult to do so, what steps can you take to interject a new expectancy and joy in your attitude about the world situation?

4. In the Gospel, John the Baptist reminds us of our responsibility to share with others in need. How can you use your time, your talent, and your treasure to help the needy during Advent? John the Baptist also used his preaching as an opportunity for revealing Christ to the crowds. If you were arrested and charged as a “Christian,” would there be enough evidence to convict you? Why or why not?

5. In the meditation, we hear these words: “Not everything in life goes our way. There is no lack of injustice and pain and anxiety in this world. But none of this comes from our Father—and we should keep none of it to ourselves. Rather, God is inviting us to bring it all to him, no matter how big or small, so that he can give us his guidance and his comfort.” How well are you at bringing your struggles, both big and small, to God the Father in prayer? What happens when you do bring your struggles to Him?

6. Take some time now to pray for the grace to surrender all your cares to your loving Father in Heaven—especially during this grace—filled Advent and Christmas Season. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


38 posted on 12/16/2012 6:13:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

A LIFE THAT BEARS FRUIT IN KEEPING WITH REPENTANCE

(A biblical refection on the THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT [Year C] – 16 December 2012) 

Gospel Reading: Luke 3:10-18 

First Reading: Zeph 3:14-18; Psalms: Is 12:2-6; Second Reading: Phil 4:4-7 

YOHANES PEMBAPTIS MEWARTAKAN PERTOBATAN

The Scripture Text

And the multitudes asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” and he said to them, “Collect no more than is appointed you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” and he said to them, “Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, “I baptize you with water; but He who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, to clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His granary, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people. (Lk 3:10-18 RSV) 

Zephaniah exhorted God’s people to exult with all their hearts because God would soon bring His plan of salvation to fulfillment (Zeph 3:14). As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, we rejoice because God, through the first coming of His son, has begun to fulfill his promises. In Christ, God has taken away the judgments against us which (by our sins) we deserve (Zeph 3:15). In Christ, God has come to live in our midst, renewing us in His love, taking away our fears and delivering us from all evil (Zeph 3:16-18).

John the Baptist, announcing the imminent fulfillment of God’s promises, told the crowds to “bear fruits that befit repentance” (Lk 3:8). When asked, “What then shall we do?” (Luk 3:10), he told them to help the needy and be just with each other. If they wanted to enter the Kingdom of God, they had to reform their lives.

YOHANES PEMBAPTIS - 51

If we desire Christ’s life and salvation, we too must change our lives. Not only must we accept Jesus as Savior, we must also – by the conversion of our lives – obey Him as Lord. God asks us to act justly toward one another: He has showed you. O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic 6:8). Therefore, in all our relationships we should act according to God’s commandments, treating one another fairly, neither exploiting nor taking advantage of each other. At work we should act justly by doing an honest day’s work (Lk 3:13-14).

Furthermore, we should try to be conscious of others’ needs, helping them whenever we can. “If any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1Jn 3:17). Our love for Jesus is shown to be genuine by loving one another.

We can be joyful because God is fulfilling His plan of salvation. Our joy will not be lasting, however, unless we respond to Jesus’ first coming by reforming our lives. Christ’s peace grows in us only as we repent of our sins and approach God “with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb 10:22). Then we will be filled with an abiding, unchanging joy and “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, I commit myself to living a life that bears fruit in keeping with repentance. Fill me, dear Lord Jesus, with Your Holy Spirit, and give me the grace and strength to be faithful to you. May those I meet today see Christ in me, so that they too will be led to ask: “What must I do to be saved?” Amen.


39 posted on 12/16/2012 6:17:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 16, 2012:

“Rejoice in the Lord always.” (Phil 4:4) These words of rejoicing from Gaudete Sunday remind us to be joyful. Why? Because, as John the Baptist reminds us, we are blest if we have enough food and clothing to share. Give a coat to one who has none.


40 posted on 12/16/2012 6:21:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Third Sunday of Advent - Cycle C

December 16, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-18a

Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-6

Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-7

Gospel Reading: Luke 3:10-18

  • This Sunday’s gospel is a continuation of last Sunday’s where we met John the Baptist as he is baptizing and preparing people for the coming Messiah.
  • Between that reading and this Sunday’s, we see John warning the crowds that they must “bear good fruits” that show their repentance (Luke 3:7-9). They are not to rely on their status as God’s Chosen People, the Jews.
  • In our opening verse, we see various people asking John: If they cannot rely on these things “What then should we do?”
  • Note: this is a common question in Luke’s gospel (Luke 3:10, 12, 14; 10:25, 18:18). In Luke’s other inspired work, the Acts of the Apostles, the answer to this question always includes sacramental baptism (Acts 2:37; 16:30; 22:10-16).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • In the 1st Reading, what are the reasons that the people are called upon to rejoice? Who is also rejoicing and why?
  • In the 2nd Reading, Why does Paul—and Jesus, for that matter (read Matthew 6:25–34; Luke 10:41; 12:25–29)—forbid anxiety? What kinds of anxiety do you experience in everyday life? How might you do more to follow Paul’s advice in verse 4?
  • What do the wheat and chaff in verse 17 of the Gospel Reading signify (see Isaiah 29:5-6, 41:16, Jeremiah 15:7; Malachi 3:2-3)? What does John say will happen on the day of judgment to those who are like chaff, rather than wheat (Psalm 1:4-6; Matthew 13:24-30)?
  • In light of John’s rugged lifestyle and seemingly uncompromising nature (Matthew 3:1-10), how would you rate the severity of his requirements for those who are seeking to know the way of repentance (verses 10-14)?
  • In terms of your personal experience, what does it mean to be baptized with the holy Spirit and fire (verse 16)? How has that Spirit and fire touched your life?
  • Who have been the John the Baptists in your life—people who have shown you the way, led you to Christ, and encouraged you?
  • If you asked John the Baptist, “What then should we do?” how would he answer?
  • In keeping with the penitential tone of Advent, what one action will you take this week to produce fruit in your life?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 535, 696, 2447

 

Think well. Speak well. Do well. These three things, through the mercy of God, will make a man go to Heaven.    -St. Camillus de Lellis


41 posted on 12/16/2012 6:25:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: All
St. Paul Center Blog

What Do We Do? Scott Hahn Reflects on the 3rd Sunday in Advent

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 12.13.12 |


John the Baptist

The people in today’s Gospel are “filled with expectation.” They believe John the Baptist might be the Messiah they’ve been waiting for. Three times we hear their question: “What then should we do?”
The Messiah’s coming requires every man and woman to choose - to “repent” or not. That’s John’s message and it will be Jesus’ too (see Luke 3:3; 5:32; 24:47).

“Repentance” translates a Greek word, metanoia (literally, “change of mind”). In the Scriptures, repentance is presented as a two-fold “turning” - away from sin (see Ezekiel 3:19; 18:30) and toward God (see Sirach 17:20-21; Hosea 6:1).

This “turning” is more than attitude adjustment. It means a radical life-change. It requires “good fruits as evidence of your repentance” (see Luke 3:8). That’s why John tells the crowds, soldiers and tax collectors they must prove their faith through works of charity, honesty and social justice.

Readings:
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:10-18

In today’s Liturgy, each of us is being called to stand in that crowd and hear the “good news” of John’s call to repentance. We should examine our lives, ask from our hearts as they did: “What should we do?” Our repentance should spring, not from our fear of coming wrath (see Luke 3:7-9), but from a joyful sense of the nearness of our saving God.

This theme resounds through today’s readings: “Rejoice!...The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all,” we hear in today’s Epistle. In today’s Responsorial, we hear again the call to be joyful, unafraid at the Lord’s coming among us.

In today’s First Reading, we hear echoes of the angel’s Annunciation to Mary. The prophet’s words are very close to the angel’s greeting (compare Luke 1:28-31). Mary is the Daughter Zion - the favored one of God, told not to fear but to rejoice that the Lord is with her, “a mighty Savior.”

She is the cause of our joy. For in her draws near the Messiah, as John had promised: “One mightier than I is coming.”


42 posted on 12/16/2012 6:52:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: All

 

Why again?  Some thoughts on this past week:

 
This has been a very tough week for all of us in this Country.  At both coasts of this land we have heard of senseless tragedies: Oregon and Connecticut. Two young men, deranged shooters, with apparently free access to firearms, chose to inflict chaos upon innocent bystanders.  While both incidents disturb us deeply, yesterday’s incident at a grade school with very young children is especially disturbing.  So many innocents lost and so near the Christmas season of hope and joy.  Words fail us but anger and revenge may overtake us distorting our own necessary clear thinking. 

There is a popular phrase often used in such cases:  “Guns don’t kill people – people kill people.”  Yes, a human being chooses to use the firearm for lethal purposes. Yes, a human being picks up and loads the gun.  But, if there is no gun, no one dies.  So, “Guns do kill people and people choose to use them.”

While the proper use of firearms for appropriate recreation is fine, there is a deeper sense that we need to address the anger and violence in society. The moral framework of religion and a supportive faith community as a regular part of our lives goes a long way towards creating an atmosphere of balance in one’s life.  It’s very hard to know where to begin but a faith-centered respect for human life must be a foundation upon which we stand. 

We have lost respect for human life in this culture and the shock affect of threats against the child in the womb cries out for justice. The great evil of abortion and its tentacles that have touched the mindset of so many throughout society are now bearing painful fruit. Is our legalization of abortion here the reason for this shooting?  Not directly of course but mall shootings and school shootings are a violence which we can see.  The violence of abortion we do not see but its results in the woman and in society are undeniable. Is there a painful lesson we are being taught? It may be good to reflect on this and words from a past Pope.

Our late Holy Father Pope Paul VI, a true voice in the wilderness of his time, still speaks to us 34 yrs after his death. His voice has been called prophetic by some and I do agree. The fallout from his watershed Encyclical, Humane Vitae, warned us of the growth of a pervasive mentality. Four things were named but I think most pertinent in the tragic events of this week, is the first of his list - Infidelity and moral decline.

Paul VI recognized the reality of a contraceptive mentality that would lead to "conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality." Only those with their head in the sand of denial would not admit that marriage, family life, violence, and disrespect for human life, along with a fight for individual free choice at the expense of the common good sound like prophecies fulfilled. We have today a clear "anti-child" policy that is affecting marriages and reproduction particularly in third world countries ruled by dictators who have no regard for their people.

Mental and spiritual health is hard to judge and psychology is not an exact science for we human beings are indeed complex. There is no absolute guarantee that such violence will suddenly stop.  But, I think we need to address the pervasive selfishness in society and a morality that is judged by what’s good for me rather than what’s right for the common good.  We can and must create a culture of life and stop with this pervasive violence in movies and media.  Yes, it does create a culture that violence sells and that in the end, violence is the solution.  Have you seen movie trailers recently?

So we begin with prayer, seeking divine guidance from our God who weeps with us but seems, to our puzzlement at times, to permit such free choice that creates such pain.  Was this senseless shooting God’s will?  Absolutely not! 

Christmas is still on the way.  The Savior came into a world of violence, greed, selfishness, disrespect to be a light shining in darkness.  He has shown us a better way – the higher moral plane which to choose.  God is with us in this time.

For the children:

O God, who know that our hearts
are weighed down by grief
at the death of these young children,
grant that, while we weep for them,
who have departed this life so soon,
we may have faith that they have gained
an eternal home in heaven.

(Roman Missal)
 
Fr. Tim

43 posted on 12/16/2012 7:13:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: All
Insight Scoop

Joy! Anticipation! Fire?

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for December 16, 2012, the Third Sunday of Advent | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Zep 3:14-18a
• Is 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
• Phil 4:4-7
• Lk 3:10-18

“Great joy,” wrote G. K. Chesterton, “has in it the sense of immortality…” Joy, like love, hope, and goodness, cannot be adequately or convincingly explained through material processes or properties. Joy is a gift pointing to a transcendent giver. And that giver is the Lord, the giver of both natural and supernatural life.

Gaudette Sunday is a day of joy and rejoicing (the Latin word for “rejoice” is gaudere), and the readings reflect this theme. The reading from the prophet Zephaniah contains an exultant call for Israel to shout and sing for joy. Why? Because the Lord had staved off judgment, rebuffed Israel’s enemies, and stood as King and Savior in the midst of the chosen people.

The responsorial Psalm, from the prophet Isaiah, echoes the same: “Cry out with joy and gladness, for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.” And the Epistle, from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, has a hymnic, even rhapsodic, quality: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” The reason, again, is due to the immediacy of God’s intimate, life-giving presence: “The Lord is near.”

The Gospel reading does not directly refer to joy, but instead anticipates and points, through the words of John the Baptist, toward the source of joy. The anticipation has two different but connected qualities. The first is external and focuses on the natural moral virtues; it is drawn out through the question asked by the crowds, the tax collectors, and the soldiers: “What should we do?” John’s response, in essence, is that they should act justly toward their neighbors and those in their communities.

Treating others with respect and acting with justice are, of course, moral and virtuous actions. However, they are lacking to the degree they are solely human. The need for something more is hinted at in the raised expectations of the people, who “were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.” Having recognized the need for natural goodness, they now hunger for supernatural goodness, that is, for the Christ. Having tasted the joy that comes from seeking the good for others, they wish to receive the joy that comes from the good given by God (cf. CCC 1804).

The distinction and relationship between the human and supernatural virtues is highlighted further in comparing the baptism of John the Bapist to the baptism of the Messiah. The first is an external sign, a washing of water symbolizing the need for purity and the desire for holiness. The second is an efficacious sign, a sacrament, which accomplishes what it signifies. “By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit,” explains the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sacraments “make present efficaciously the grace that they signify” (par 1084).

What about the fire mentioned by John? While water symbolizes birth and life, “fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions” (CCC, 696). Both water and fire can destroy, but both are also necessary for life. And in the case of baptism, this life is supernatural, divine, Trinitarian. In baptism, original sin is destroyed, the chasm between God and man is closed, and the soul is ignited with divine fire. Joined in the death of the Son (cf., Rom. 6), those who are baptized are transformed by the Holy Spirit into sons of God, made anew for the glory of the Father, and prepared for life in the new heavens and new earth.

Here, then, is the source and heart of our Advent joy. The season anticipates the celebration of Christ’s birth, but it also illuminates the purpose of the Incarnation: to remove judgment, to destroy sin and death, and to grant intimate, life-giving communion with God. “All seek joy,” said St. John Chrysostom, “but it is not found on earth.” It is found instead in the Son, who comes from heaven to earth—to the crowds, tax collectors, soldiers, and us. Great joy flows from immortality. Rejoice!

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the December 13, 2009, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


44 posted on 12/16/2012 7:28:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: All
Vultus Christi

Gaudete in Domino semper!

 on December 16, 2012 8:00 AM |
100657.jpg

The image of Saint John's vision in the Apocalypse (1360-1390) is by Jacobello Alberegno. I chose it because the Eternal Father is vested in a lovely rosy pink garment. Gaudete Sunday in heaven?

Third Sunday of Advent
A Homily on the Introit

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God (Phil 4:4-6).

Rejoice in the Lord Always

We began Advent on the crest of a surging wave, an immense welling up of hope that lifted us out of ourselves and carried us Godward: "All my heart goes out to Thee, my God; I trust in Thee" (Ps 24:1). Last Sunday, the Introit did not address God at all; it was a clarion call, a trumpet blast to wake us up, to shake us up, a summons to open our hearts to the joy of the glorious voice of the Lord (Is 30:30). Next Sunday, the Introit will again become pure prayer, a cry wrenched from the depths of human experience, a plea for the dew from heaven, the dew that refreshes and makes fruitful. "Send down dew from above ye heavens, and let the skies pour down upon us the rain we long for, Him, the Just One" (Is 45:8).

Today's Introit is one of the few drawn from the Epistles of Saint Paul. It is an exhortation to joy, but its mood is quiet and reflective. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God" (Phil 4:4-6).

in_gaudete_in_domino.gif

Grace, and Loveliness, and Joy

What the Latin gives as, "gaudete" and the English as "rejoice," is astonishingly rich in Saint Paul's Greek. Any one translation would be inadequate. Paul says, "chaírete." It is the very same word used by the angel Gabriel to greet the Virgin of Nazareth. "Chaire, kecharitoménè!" "Joy to you, O full of grace!"(Lk 1:28). The word is untranslatable. Just when we think we have seized its meaning once and for all, another door opens inside it. "Chaírete" was the ordinary greeting of the Greeks. It embraces health, salvation, loveliness, grace, and joy, all at once. In the mouth and in the ear of Christians, the taste of the word is indescribable. "Grace to you, and loveliness, and joy in the Lord; again I wish you grace, and loveliness, and joy" (Phil 4:4). Saint Paul's greeting is not so much an imperative -- a command to be joyful -- as it is the imparting of a gift in the Lord. "What I wish for you, what I send you, what I offer you in the Lord is grace, and loveliness, and joy."

The Lord is at Hand

The second sentence becomes more intelligible in the light of the first. Paul says, "Let your gentleness -- or your modesty, your courtesy, your forbearance, your serenity, your meekness -- be known to everyone" (Phil 4:5). In other words, give evidence around you of the gift you have received: grace, and loveliness, and joy in the Lord. Show each other faces that are serene and peaceful, radiant with joy, faces that reflect the loveliness of God. And he adds, "the Lord is at hand" (Phil 4:5). This is the great central affirmation of the liturgy today, and every day. "The Lord is at hand" (Phil 4:5).

No Anxiety

He who is to come is already here, near to us, close at hand. God is present, and from his presence streams all grace, all loveliness, all joy. Saint Paul draws a very practical conclusion from this: "Have no anxiety about anything"(Phil 4:6). Were God absent, had God not yet come in His Christ and in the gift of the Holy Ghost, we might have reason to worry, reason for anxiety, and for fear. Worry and anxiety are an affront to the graciousness of God, a denial of his nearness to us, a turning from Him who has turned His Face towards us. Saint Paul is categorical: "Have no anxiety about anything" (Phil 4:6). You will recall the words of Saint Teresa of Jesus: "Let nothing frighten you. All things are passing. God alone is changeless. He who has patience wants for nothing. He who has God has all things. God alone suffices."

A thousand reasons not to follow Saint Paul's mandate come to mind. "But I have this, and he has that. This thing is lacking, and of another thing there is too much." This kind of thinking leaves us wide open to an attack of the "what ifs." "What if this happens, and what if that?" It is easy to listen to the voices of our fears, our insecurities, our need to arrange, rearrange, and attempt to control even things beyond our control. The Apostle says, "Have no anxiety about anything," but we hold ourselves excused, saying, "Is not a little anxiety, just a little bit of worry reasonable and right?" Saint Paul is not moved by our rationalizations. "Have no anxiety about anything" (Phil 4:6).

Behold!

The Epistle repeated, word for word, the text of the Introit. And the Communion Antiphon will deliver the same message: "Say to those who are of a fearful heart, be ye comforted and have no fear; behold, our God will come and save us" (Is 35:4). Again, the marvelous pedagogy of the Church! She knows that during the Introit, the Epistle we may have been distracted for a moment or inattentive. She wants us to hear the message nonetheless, and so she repeats it again and again at Communion: "Say to those who are of a fearful heart, be ye comforted and have no fear; behold, our God will come and save us" (Is 35:4).

The "Behold" of the Communion Antiphon echoes the "Behold" of the invitation to Communion: "Behold, the Lamb of God; behold, our God will come and save us!" And so, he comes. The Lamb comes in the adorable mysteries of His Body and Blood; He comes in His Eucharistic advent to comfort us and deliver us from every fear.

Prayer

Saint Paul gives us the key to a worry-free life, the means to stop grumbling, fretting, and trying to manage and control everything. "In everything," he says, "by prayer let your requests be made known to God" (Phil 4:6). Saint Paul sends us to prayer because in prayer God accomplishes the things that of ourselves, and by ourselves, we are unable to do. In prayer we wait, all of us -- the weak, the poor, the misshapen, the broken, and the wounded-- for God's gifts of grace, and loveliness, and joy.

God Silent in His Love

It is in prayer, especially in adoring silence before the Blessed Sacrament, that we experience the truth of what the Prophet Zephaniah declares: "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, He will save; He will rejoice over thee with gladness, He will be silent in His love, He will be joyful over thee in praise" (Zeph 3:17). How I treasure that one mysterious phrase in Zephaniah's prophecy: "He will be silent in His love" (Zeph 3:17). Silebit in dilectione sua. The silence of Christ, loving us in the mystery of His Eucharistic advent, is the wellspring of all our joy. Join Him in His silence and He will give you the joy of His dilectio, the love by which He singles you out, cherishes you, and reveals Himself as the Bridegroom of the soul.

The Sacrament of Our Joy

Today's Introit, you see, is a blessed imperative and a gracious gift. It prepared us to hear the Word of God and, in a few moments the remembrance of it will send us to the altar, to the place of Christ's Sacrifice to the Father. To us who "know not how to pray as we ought" (Rom 8:26), the Holy Ghost communicates the perfect and all sufficient prayer of Christ Himself. The Most Holy Eucharist is the sacrament of our joy. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the inbreaking of divine joy. "Joy to you in the Lord at all times; once again I wish you joy" (Phil 4:4). Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!


45 posted on 12/16/2012 7:53:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: All
Regnum Christi

Charity for All
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Third Sunday of Advent



Father Edward McIlmail, LC

Luke 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist, "What then should we do?" He said to them in reply, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He answered them, "Stop collecting more than what is prescribed." Soldiers also asked him, "And what is it that we should do?" He told them, "Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages." Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.

Introductory Prayer: As Christmas draws near, I desire to learn more deeply your example of humility by coming among us as an infant. I pray that this season rekindles my sense of hope in your providence.

Petition: Jesus, grant me the grace to grow in the virtue I need to cultivate most.

1. Within Reach: Charity demands justice, at the very least. According to the Compendium of the Catechism (no. 381), justice consists in the firm and constant will to give to others their due. In this passage Saint John the Baptist points out two levels of justice toward neighbor. In the first level, he tells the tax collectors and soldiers to be content with the money that comes their way rightfully. The second level goes further. It demands that we share our surplus with those in genuine need. That surplus could be all around us: in our closet, our pantry, our checkbook. What could I share with the poor? A saintly maxim says: Live simply, so that others can simply live.

2. Open to All: People of all sorts approach John the Baptist for advice. He responds to them all. They hunger for meaning. They want to repent. Those same people are with us today. Maybe they are fallen-away Catholics, or Evangelicals, or Jews, or Muslims, or even atheists. They too seek meaning in their lives. All of them, whether or not they realize it, seek Christ, who "fully reveals man to man himself" (Gaudium et Spes, 22). Have I been willing to share that "secret" with others? Are there areas of my life where I shy away from talking about religion? The office? The mall? The dinner table? John the Baptist wouldn’t exclude anyone. Would I?

3. Groundwork: By calling for charity and justice John wants to prepare the people for the arrival of the Messiah. Without hearts open to others, they would not be able to accept the robust message of Christ. Charity prepares the heart for the seed of the Gospel. If ever my relationship with Christ grows cold, I should ask, “How is my charity? The key to finding myself demands that I look first to serve God and others.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, for you, charity is the highest value. You even spoke about it the night before your death. "I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you, so you also should love one another" (John 13:34). Christmas should enkindle charity in my heart. Let me see you in every person I meet today.

Resolution: I will perform a special act of charity today for someone at home, work or school.


46 posted on 12/16/2012 8:14:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: All
Third Sunday of Advent: Joy and the Baptist

Third Sunday of Advent: Joy and the Baptist

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. on December 14, 2012 · 

Wait a minute.  What’s that stark, strident saint of the desert doing here, on “Rejoice Sunday”?  His stern call to repentance does not seem to fit.

Believe it or not, John the Baptist is the patron saint of spiritual joy.  After all, he leapt for joy in his mother’s womb at the presence of Jesus and Mary (Luke 1:44).  And it says that he rejoices to hear the bridegrooms voice (John 3:29-30).

Now this is very interesting.  Crowds were coming to hear John from all over Israel before anyone even heard a peep out of the carpenter from Nazareth.  In fact, John even baptized his cousin.  This launched the Lord’s public ministry, heralding the demise of John’s career.

Most of us would not appreciate the competition.  The Pharisees and Sadducees certainly didn’t. They felt threatened by Jesus’ popularity.  But John actually encouraged his disciples to leave him for Jesus, the Lamb of God.  When people came, ready to honor John as the messiah, he set them straight.  He insisted that he was not the star of the show, only the best supporting actor.  John may have been center-stage for a while, but now that the star had shown up, he knew it was time for him to slip quietly off to the dressing room.

Or to use John’s own example, he was like the best man at a wedding.  It certainly is an honor to be chosen as “best man.”  But the best man does not get the bride.  According to Jewish custom, the best man’s role was to bring the bride to the bridegroom, and then make a tactful exit.  And John found joy in this.  “My joy is now full.  He must increase and I must decrease.”

The Baptist was joyful because he was humble.  In fact, he shows us the true nature of this virtue.  Humility is not beating up on yourself, denying that you have any gifts, talents, or importance.  John knew he had an important role which he played aggressively, with authority and confidence.  The humble man does not sheepishly look down on himself.  Actually, he does not look at himself at all.  He looks away from himself to the Lord.

Most human beings, at one time or another, battle a nagging sense inadequacy.  Pride is sin’s approach to dealing with this.  Proud people are preoccupied with self, seeing all others as competitors.  The proud have to perpetually exalt themselves over others in hope that this will provide a sense of worth and inner peace.  Of course, it doesn’t.  Human history has proven that point time and time again.  Even the pagan Greek storytellers knew that hubris or pride was the root of tragedy.  Pride always comes before the fall, as it did in the Garden of Eden.

Humility brings freedom from this frantic bondage.  Trying at every turn to affirm, exalt, and protect oneself is an exhausting enterprise. Receiving one’s dignity and self-worth as a gift from God relieves us from this stressful burden.  Freed from the blinding compulsion to dominate, we can recognize the presence of God and feel a sense of satisfaction when others recognize that God is God and honor him as such.  We can even be free to recognize godliness in someone else and rejoice when others notice and honor this person.

But what about John’s stark call to repentance?  How this be Good News?  Because repentance is all about humility and humility is all about freedom.  And freedom leads to inner peace and joy, joy in the presence of the Bridegroom.


47 posted on 12/16/2012 8:24:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: All

Gaudete

 

by Food For Thought on December 16, 2012 · 

But the feeling of rejoicing is not sufficient in our preparation for the coming of Jesus. Rather, the Gospel presents the question of various people as to how they could truly prepare. With the question, “What should we do?” John then challenges their generosity and sense of fairness so that others may have reason to rejoice. Give bread to those who are hungry and clothes to those who have none. When the tax collectors inquire as to what they are to do, John tells them to maintain the going rate without over taxing people in order to take advantage. People are already suffering and thus feel burdened enough. Be just. To the soldiers who accompany tax collectors to protect them and give support to their requests, John tells these people not to use their position as a weapon for their own reward. Be content with one’s pay and stop stealing from the poor and the weak. John exhorts them to be happy in doing what is fair and just.

In summary, we are enjoined to do works of charity and justice. We are being asked for some renewal. What are the ways by which we can respond to these challenges of John?

It is clear that the question raised is collective in that the word used is “we” and thus pertains to a community. However, before our community can bring about this change of heart, there must be a profound transformation of one’s way of life, a repentance in oneself. Let us not be deceived that one may change one’s community without changing oneself. A community is a unity of individuals and different persons after the heart of Jesus. It is not only a question of “What ought we to do?” but also “What ought I to do?” in the community?

There is a story from the book of Anthony de Mello, an Indian Jesuit: A great Indian mystic says this about himself:

“I was a revolutionary when I was young, and all my prayer to God was: `Lord, give me the energy to change the world.’

As I approached middle age and realized that half my life was gone without changing a single soul. I changed my prayer to: `Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come into contact with me. Just my family and friends, and I shall be satisfied.’”

Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. My one prayer now is: Lord, give me the grace to change myself. If I had prayed for this right from the start, I would not have wasted my life.

Rejoice and at the same time, be fair and just, which is brought about by one’s personal conversion — this is the right combination as our waiting during this Advent season becomes meaningful. Let us allow Jesus to be more real and present in our lives this Christmas.


48 posted on 12/16/2012 8:26:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Sunday, December 16, 2012 >> Third Sunday of Advent
 
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Philippians 4:4-7

View Readings
Isaiah 12:2-6
Luke 3:10-18

 

MORE JOY IN SUFFERINGTHAN IN ENJOYMENTS

 
"With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation." —Isaiah 12:3
 

As we near Christ's coming this Christmas, the Lord commands us to "shout for joy" and to "sing joyfully" (Zep 3:14). In doing this, we are joining our heavenly Father, Who is singing joyfully because of us (Zep 3:17).

The Lord commands us not only to rejoice sometimes, but to rejoice always (Phil 4:4). This does not mean we rejoice over all things, but that we rejoice in the Lord under all circumstances. Because the Lord is our Joy and the circumstances are not, we can rejoice in the midst of "the distress of many trials" (1 Pt 1:6). By God's grace and our faith in the Lord, sufferings do not rob us of our joy. In fact, we rejoice in the measure that we share Christ's sufferings (1 Pt 4:13). This miraculous joy is the joy of Jesus and therefore complete joy (Jn 15:11). It is divine joy, "inexpressible joy" (1 Pt 1:8), Marian joy (see Lk 1:47), and the true joy of Christmas.

Therefore, "rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice!" (Phil 4:4)

 
Prayer: Father, on this Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday, give me a deeper faith and a spirit of unselfishness (see Phil 4:5) so as to produce in my life the fruit of the Spirit called joy (Gal 5:22).
Promise: "He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire." —Lk 3:16
Praise: "I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul" (Is 61:10).

49 posted on 12/16/2012 8:31:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: All


GOD IS PRO-LIFE!!!

Pray for the end of Abortion, Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, Infanticide, and for the defeat of the Culture of Death!!!



PRAYER TO ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

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.

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 Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

Pope Leo XIII







50 posted on 12/16/2012 8:33:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson