Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 12-23-12, Fourth Sunday of Advent
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-23-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/22/2012 8:13:44 PM PST by Salvation

December 23, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent

 

Reading 1 Mi 5:1-4a

Thus says the LORD:
You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah
too small to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel;
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient times.
Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
when she who is to give birth has borne,
and the rest of his kindred shall return
to the children of Israel.
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
by the strength of the LORD,
in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
and they shall remain, for now his greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth;
he shall be peace.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19.

R. (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

Reading 2 Heb 10:5-10

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came into the world, he said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, 'As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'"

First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in."
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, "Behold, I come to do your will."
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this "will," we have been consecrated
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Lk 1:39-45

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


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 12/22/2012 8:13:55 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 12/22/2012 8:20:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All


3 posted on 12/22/2012 8:22:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Micah 5:2-5a (NAB - Micah 5:1-4a)

The Messiah, the saviour who will be born in Bethlehem


[2] But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
[3] Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in travail has brought forth;
then the rest of his brethren shall return
to the people of Israel.
[4] And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.

Assyria repulsed


[5] And this shall be peace,
when the Assyrian comes into our land
and treads upon our soil.

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

5:2-4. The scenario, darkened for a moment in the previous three verses (4:9-5:
1), becomes bright again with the announcement of a “ruler” or governor in Israel,
who will be born (”come forth from” O Bethlehem, the city of David, a city in the
region of “Ephrath” (Gen 35:16). The region is often distinguished from its leading
city (cf. 1 Sam 17:12), but in some passages the region and the city are treated
as one and the same (Gen 35:19).

There are many contrasts here, a typical feature of salvation oracles: the future
king will have humble origins, for he will be born in a small town (”you … who are
little” in v. 2 could also be translated as “you … who are least”); still, Bethlehem
is not without honour, for it was the birthplace of David and is therefore the place
that guaranteed one’s belonging to the line of David; this ruler comes from an an-
cient line, but to perceive his presence one must wait until “she who is in travail
has brought forth” (v. 3); all he will do is tend his flock, yet the benefits of his rule
will extend to the ends of the earth (v. 4). No contemporary king could match this
description; the prophet is referring to the future Messiah-king. There are many
elements in this passage that link it to the messianic passages in Isaiah (Is 7:
14; 9:5-6; 11:1-4) and to passages about the future offspring of David (2 Sam 7:
12-16; Ps 89:3).

Jewish tradition read this passage as a messianic prophecy, as can be seen
from passages in the Talmud (Pesahim, 51, 1 and Nedarim, 39, 2). The New
Testament contains clear references to it: for example, the verses in the Gospel
of St John that report the opinion of Jesus’ contemporaries as to where the Mes-
siah would come from: “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the scripture
said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the
village where David was? (Jn 7:40-42); but Matthew 2:4-6 is the main text that
applies the prophecy to Jesus: the evangelist subtly ennobles the city of David
(he says: “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah are by no means least
among the rulers of Judah”, instead of Micah’s “who are little” or “least” — in or-
der to enhance the figure of Jesus, the Messiah).

Going along with this interpretation in St Matthew, Christian tradition has seen
the Micah passage as an announcement of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The Fa-
thers developed many arguments to try to convince Jews that Jesus was the
expected Messiah. For example, Tertullian wrote: “Since the children of Israel
accuse us of grave error because we believe in Christ, who has come, let us
show them from the Scriptures that the Christ who was foretold has come […].
He was born in Bethlehem in Judah, as the prophet foretold: But you, O Beth-
lehem, are by no means least . . . (v. 2)” (”Adversus Iudaeos”, 13). And St Ire-
naeus said: “In his day, the prophet Micah told us of the place where the Christ
would be born: Bethlehem, in Judah. O Bethlehem . . . , who are little to be a-
mong the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth from me one who is to be
ruler of Israel. Bethlehem is also in the homeland of David, and Christ comes
from the line of David, not only because he was born of the Virgin, but because
he was born in Bethlehem” (”Demonstratio praedicationis apostolicae”, 63).

5:5-6. “This [the Messiah who will be born in Bethlehem] shall be peace” (v. 5).
In the same way as “Egypt” was synonymous with “bondage”, now Assyria has
come to symbolize the oppressive nation. This oracle, then, comes prior to the
appearance of Babylon on the horizon of the chosen people. A Christian reading
of the passage sees in it a description of any crisis experienced by the people
of God or by a sincere believer, who looks to his Lord for peace. Ephesians 2:
13-14 echoes 5:4: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been
brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both
one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility.”

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

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


4 posted on 12/22/2012 8:23:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Hebrews 10:5-10

Christ’s Offering of Himself Has Infinite Value


[5] Consequently, when Christ came into the world, He said,

“Sacrifices and offerings Thou hast not desired,
but a body hast Thou prepared for Me;
[6] in burnt offerings and sin offerings Thou hast taken no pleasure.
[7] Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O God,’
as it is written of Me in the roll of the book.”

[8] When He said above, “Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sa-
crifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered ac-
cording to the law), [9] then He added, “Lo, I have come to do Thy will.” He aboli-
shes the first in order to establish the second. [10] And by that will we have been
sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

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

5-10. This passage carries a quotation from Psalm 40:7-8, but one taken from
the Greek translation, the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew. Where the Hebrew
says, “Thou hast opened My ears”, the Greek reads, “a body Thou hast prepared
for Me”. The difference is not substantial, because the Hebrew expression points
to the docility and obedience of the speaker, who is the Messiah Himself. The
Greek translation gives the sentence a more general meaning: God has not only
opened the ears of the Messiah; He has given Him life as a man (cf. Philippians
2:7). The words of this Psalm “allow us as it were to sound the unfathomable
depths of this self-abasement of the Word, His humiliation of Himself for love of
men even to death on the Cross [...]. Why this obedience, this self-abasement,
this suffering? The Creed gives us the answer: ‘for us men and for our salvation’
Jesus came down from Heaven so as to give man full entitlement to ascend (to
Heaven) and by becoming a son in the Son to regain the dignity he lost through
sin [...]. Let us welcome Him. Let us say to Him, ‘Here I am; I have come to
do Your will’” ([Pope] John Paul II, “General Audience”, 25 March 1981).

The author of the letter, elaborating on the text of the psalm, asserts that the
Messiah’s sacrifice is greater than the sacrifices of the Old Law, unbloody as
well as bloody, sin-offerings as well as burnt offerings as they were called in the
liturgy (cf. Leviticus 5;6; 7:27). The sacrifice of Christ, who has “come into the
world”, has replaced both kinds of ancient sacrifice. It consisted in perfectly do-
ing the will of His Father (cf. John 4:34; 6:38; 8:29; 14:31), even though He was
required to give His life to the point of dying on Calvary (Matthew 26:42; John
10:18; Hebrews 5:7-9). Christ “came into the world” to offer Himself up to suf-
fering and death for the redemption of the world. “He knew that all the sacrifices
of goats and bulls offered to God in ancient times were incapable of making sa-
tisfaction for the sins of men; He knew that a divine person was needed to do
that [...]. My Father (Jesus Christ said), all the victims offered You up to this are
not enough and never will be enough to satisfy Your justice; You gave Me a body
capable of experiencing suffering, so that You might be placated by the shedding
of My blood, and men thereby saved; ‘ecce venio, here I am, ready’; I accept
everything and in all things do I submit to Your will. The lower part of His human
nature naturally felt repugnance and reacted against living and dying in so much
pain and opprobium, but its rational part, which was fully subject to the Father’s
will, had the upper hand; it accepted everything, and therefore Jesus Christ began
to suffer, from that point onwards, all the anguish and pain which He would under-
go in the course of His life. That is how our Divine Redeemer acted from the very
first moments of His coming into the world. So, how should we behave towards
Jesus when, come to the use of reason, we begin to know the sacred mysteries
of Redemption through the light of faith?” (St. Alphonsus, “Advent Meditations”,
II, 5).

The Psalm speaks of “the roll of the book”: this may refer to a specific book or
else to the Old Testament in general (cf. Luke 24:27; John 5;39, 46, 47).

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

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


5 posted on 12/22/2012 8:24:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Luke 1:39-45

The Visitation


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


6 posted on 12/22/2012 8:25:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | 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 Micah 5:1-4 ©
The Lord says this:
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
the least of the clans of Judah,
out of you will be born for me
the one who is to rule over Israel;
his origin goes back to the distant past,
to the days of old.
The Lord is therefore going to abandon them
till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth.
Then the remnant of his brothers will come back
to the sons of Israel.
He will stand and feed his flock
with the power of the Lord,
with the majesty of the name of his God.
They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power
to the ends of the land.
He himself will be peace.

Psalm Psalm 79:2-3,15-16,18-19 ©
Lord of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
  shine forth from your cherubim throne.
O Lord, rouse up your might,
  O Lord, come to our help.
Lord of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
God of hosts, turn again, we implore,
  look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it,
  the vine your right hand has planted.
Lord of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
May your hand be on the man you have chosen,
  the man you have given your strength.
And we shall never forsake you again;
  give us life that we may call upon your name.
Lord of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.

Second reading Hebrews 10:5-10 ©
This is what Christ said, on coming into the world:
You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,
prepared a body for me.
You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin;
then I said,
just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book,
‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’
Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation Lk1:38
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the handmaid of the Lord:
let what you have said be done to me.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 1:39-44 ©
Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

7 posted on 12/22/2012 8:35:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: All

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
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

8 posted on 12/22/2012 8:50:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: All
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
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)

9 posted on 12/22/2012 8:51:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | 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

10 posted on 12/22/2012 8:54:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 12/22/2012 8:55:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
12 posted on 12/22/2012 8:55:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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


13 posted on 12/22/2012 8:57:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | 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]


14 posted on 12/22/2012 8:58:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | 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
+

15 posted on 12/22/2012 8:59:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | 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.


16 posted on 12/22/2012 9:02:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | 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]

17 posted on 12/22/2012 9:04:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 1:39-45
Destined for destruction
Fr. Jerry J. Pokorsky

Standing as a monument to the ravages of war in downtown Berlin are the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (in German: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, but mostly just known as Gedächtniskirche). In World War II, on the night of Nov. 23, 1943, the church was irreparably damaged in an air raid. The symbolism is ambivalent. The church structure survived the evil of war, suggesting the triumph of religious worship; but the structure remains badly damaged, a reminder — if not of the triumph of war — of the troublesome and long-lasting effects of evil. In truth all things made by human hands, including great temples and cathedrals, are destined for destruction.

The Temple of Jerusalem, perhaps the most significant temple in history, also was destined for destruction. Solomon built the temple in 957 B.C. and the new temple became the sole place of Jewish sacrifice, the summit of Jewish worship. The Babylonians destroyed the temple in 586 B.C. when they captured Jerusalem and led the Israelites off to captivity. The history up to the time of Christ includes several other desecrations and rededications. After the revolt of Maccabaeus, the temple was rededicated in 164 B.C. The temple was desecrated again in 54 B.C. by Crassus. Around 20 B.C., the building began to be renovated by Herod the Great, and became known as Herod's Temple.

The destruction of the temple — fulfilling the prophecy of Christ — in A.D. 70 by Roman legions under the command of Titus is one of the most important events in the history of the Jewish people. The Western Wall or the famous Wailing Wall is all that remains of the temple. Engraving on the Arch of Titus, still standing today near the Roman Forum, depicts the victory parade of Roman legions as they celebrated the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and the destruction of the Jewish Temple. But the Jews, as with every religious and cultural group, have long memories. On the night of May 14, 1948, when Israel was declared a state, the Jews of Rome had a triumphant parade and marched for the first time under the despised Arch of Titus. Their message: “Rome is gone and we are still around. Victory is ours.”

The historic defiance of the Jews in the face of the destruction of the temple points to a poignant and enduring reality. There are some temples that are not built by human hands and cannot be destroyed. One such temple, referred to by Wordsworth as “tainted nature's solitary boast,” began to be built around the same time as Herod’s Temple in 20 B.C. A child is conceived and by God’s intervention, in what the liturgy of the church calls God’s “prevenient grace,” the unborn child participates in the saving action of Christ even before it actually took place in history. In her Immaculate Conception the child Mary was being formed by God to be another kind of enduring temple, a sinless temple for the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Throughout history there are great men, natural marvels and wonderful inventions, mighty and historic events and natural disasters. Yet the evangelist Luke spends valuable scroll time on what first appears to be a rather inconsequential event. In this Sunday’s Gospel Mary, with child, visits her cousin Elizabeth. The elderly Elizabeth, also with child, reports that her child leaps with joy as the two cousins meet. Hence, the unborn child John the Baptist is the first to witness the divinity of the unborn child Jesus, in the temple of Mary’s womb. The significance is plain. The joy of man’s redemption and the defining event of all of history are revealed in an everyday encounter between two maternal “temples” carrying unborn babies.

Temples and churches and basilicas are made by human hands. But the temples of our souls are God’s handiwork and are indestructible. We are first of all temples made in the image of God, an image that can only be defaced, not destroyed. The sands of time cannot ruin the temple of our souls; sin can. Some of us — most of us — are badly damaged temples, like Gedächtniskirche, because of our sins. Perhaps all that remains is a mere remnant of a once great temple, an inner secret “wailing wall,” hidden from view but an open spiritual wound nonetheless. If so, we need to enkindle a fire of holy defiance in the face of the destruction to rebuild, with God’s grace, a renewed and glorious temple of the Holy Spirit. With God’s grace, our temples can be cleansed and restored to magnificent basilicas — if we, like Mary, but choose to accept God’s grace.

This Sunday we recall that Mary is the “Temple of the Most Holy Trinity” and the mother of God. In this, we rejoice because Mary becomes our exemplar, the perfect example in responding to God and becoming His temple. Hence it is up to us to choose the type of temple we will be: True temples of the Holy Spirit in imitation of Mary, or temples of sin and sons of perdition. The temples of the world may be expended and return to dust. But by the love of God, we must remember: We are God’s handiwork, not destined for destruction but destined for eternal life — if we so choose Him.

While we breathe, it is never too late for confession and the sacrament of penance.

Fr. Pokorsky is pastor of St. Michael Parish in Annandale.


19 posted on 12/22/2012 9:18:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
The Work of God

 Blessed are Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb - Jesus Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  Fourth Sunday of Advent

Blessed are Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb - Jesus

Blessed are Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb - Jesus Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 1:39-44

39 And Mary rising up in those days went into the hill country with haste into a city of Judah.
40 And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

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

Fourth Sunday of Advent - Blessed are Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb - Jesus My mother is the special woman to which Genesis 3:15 refers. She is the one with the power to crush the head of the serpent, she, whose descendants are humble and strong leads the opposition against the devil and his followers.

From the moment of the Incarnation, She was espoused with the Holy Spirit, who filled her with graces and gifts never before received. I, the Son of God and the fruit of the blessed womb of Mary, came to the world to do my work as Saviour of the world. Because of this, She was filled with Grace, exalted and blessed among all women.

Blessed are those who receive the Holy Spirit; just as Elizabeth, they acknowledge the dignity of Mary. Their spirits rejoice when they enter into the Presence of the Mother of the Creator, the Queen of Heaven, the perfect daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

God exalts the humble and crushes the proud, Mary is the humblest of all creatures and for this reason has been exalted for her highest dignity, acknowledged and granted by the Holy Trinity.

Everyone who honours my Mother honours the Holy Trinity, who has honoured this Most Blessed Virgin with such exalted ministries. My Father rejoices for being the creator of this temple of perfections. In her womb He destined to place His Holy Word in the person of His only begotten Son. I rejoice as the Word of God who found a perfect dwelling, in which I took my body and blood, from the beginning destined to be the Salvation of men. The Holy Spirit rejoices for having had this hypostatic union between God and humanity through the most worthy of creatures.

Elizabeth asked herself, who am I, that the Mother of God honours me with her visitation?

For the Glory of God, my mother visits all the sons of God who in the order of Grace are her own children. She is the sweet humble way that takes souls to the knowledge of their Saviour, every soul is to her as a flower that she takes care of and beautifies in the Garden of Her Immaculate Heart. Her voice is sweet and only aspires one thing, to give Glory to God through the Grace that She has been filled with, her words for every soul are the same ones that were heard in the passage of the Wedding of Canna, “Do whatever He tells you”

For this reason, all those who accept my Mother as their own mother and receive Her with love in their hearts and give Glory to God with their devotion to Her, are predestined souls who enjoy the same love that I have for my Mother.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


20 posted on 12/22/2012 9:33:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

A Summary of our Salvation – A Meditation on the Readings from the 4th Sunday of Advent

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

Here on the 4th Sunday of Advent, we are but a day away, practically speaking, from the unfolding of the great mystery of the Word made flesh. It is possible for us to look right past this 4th Sunday of Advent, but we do well to pause and ponder what is taught to us today about the salvation that is to unfold. One significant way we can do this is by pondering the first reading today from the prophet Micah. In four short verses we behold a kind of summary of our salvation, a snapshot of what ails us and how God heals us. Let’s look and see what the Lord, and the Church have to teach us.

I. Our Humility–The text begins: And you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel.

Of all the towns and villages in the land of Judah, one of the lowliest was Bethlehem. Though not far from the great city of Jerusalem, a matter of a few miles, the town was little more than a rundown frontier village, with little to recommend itself. It was a place by which one passed quickly, on their way to nearby Jerusalem.

Even today, after all that happened there, Bethlehem remains a troubled, and rundown little city, impoverished and crowded. It’s steep, hilly streets feature little that is pleasant on the eyes. There is a great sorrow that hangs over the city. It is hemmed in by walls, covered with razor wire, and guard towers. These are signs of a great standoff between Israel and the Palestinians. Largely isolated economically, the city shows forth great poverty and unemployment.

The ancient Church of the Nativity at the top of the hill looks every bit of its 1500 years in age. It is dingy covered in smoky soot, and largely in poor repair, due to a standoff among the Orthodox factions which oversee the building in different corners of the church. The tensions are palpable as one enters the church, and nervous tour guides engage in delicate negotiations, to ensure a quick visit to the cave of the Nativity beneath the altar.

Yes, Bethlehem remains lowly, troubled, and very humble. And yet it is here that our Savior chooses to be born, among the humble, among the troubled. He does not choose nearby Jerusalem, or the distant city of Rome, or any great and Imperial city. Not in a palace he is born, but in a cave. And even in this humble and lowly city, one has to get mighty low to find the place where Christ was born. One descends down steep and narrow steps into a cave. And even in this cave, one must stoop lower still, even kneel on the floor, to touch the place where Christ was born.

A lowly place, in a lowly village. Here is where Christ is born. See how the Lord is esteems humility. God hates pride, he just can’t stand it. Pride is our greatest enemy, it is at the root of every sin we commit. And thus it is the Lord teaches us that humility is one of our greatest gifts.

The story also reminds us of something that took place in Bethlehem 1000 years before. The prophet Samuel was sent to anoint a new King to replace Saul. Having been sent to lowly Bethlehem, Samuel surveys the sons of Jesse. Samuel is impressed by the strong young men he sees before him, but none of these seven were the king he was sent to anoint. There was other one son, so young and insignificant, that Jesse had not even thought to include him. It was little David, out in the field tending the sheep. Yes, the lowliest one, he’s the one whom God chose. Humility won the day. (cf 1 Sam 16)

And so it is, that Bethlehem shows forth the humility, the lowliness that alone opens the door to God. Bethlehem, a name which means “house of bread,” not house of caviar, not house a fine wine, rather, the house of ordinary bread. Humility ushers in our God.

II. Our Hardship–The text goes on to speak of our condition, prior to the coming of Jesus: Therefore, the Lord will give them up, until the time when she will is to give birth has borne.

For indeed, our condition without Christ is grave. We are given up, given over to sin and to our own fruitless and self-destructive tendencies. And thus we learn of the gravity of our condition, that we cannot save ourselves. The prophet Isaiah had cried out,  Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! …All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins. (Is 64:1,6-7)

Yes, our condition apart from Christ is hard and quite hopeless. In the age of the Law and the prophets,  we learned the hard way that, strive though we might, we cannot save ourselves. Our wounds too deep, our pride too tall, our hearts too dull, in our minds too dark. We are lost without God. How often have deluded men sought to create utopia only to discover ruins. We have only to consider the utopian notions of the last bloody century.

Yes, the age of the Law and the Prophets in the Old Testament, shouts to us that we cannot save ourselves. We must rely on God we must turn to him. We don’t just need an Angel, we need a savior. And until she who was to give birth has borne the son, the only way to describe the human family is just the way this text form Micah does, we had been given up, that is, given over to our own sins so as to discover humility and our need for a Savior.

Isaiah wrote, All we like sheep have gone astray, every one to his own way (Is 53:6) St. Paul would later write of the time before Christ,  we were dead in our sins (Eph 2:1), given over to our transgressions and iniquity.

So here is our hardship, wandering, lost and in need of a Savior.

III. Our Head – the text goes on to speak of our Savior, our shepherd, our ruler and head. Speaking of him:  Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord,  in the majestic name of the Lord, his God.

And thus we see that our Savior will be both God and man. He is God, for his origin is from of old, from ancient times (cf also Hebrews 7:3). He also saves us by the strength of the Lord. And yet, he is also one of us, for the text speaks of him as acting in the name of the Lord, his God.

He must be God, to have the power to save us, and yet he must also be one of us, in order to speak and act on our behalf. As God, he cannot obey God, for there is only one divine will. But as man, having a human will, he is able to obey the Father. Thus it makes sense that our Savior must be God, and man.

It is said that he will shepherd his flock. Shepherds feed, lead and protect their flocks. And all this, the Lord does for us. It is a trait of sheep to be wayward animals, sheep tend to stray. They need the watchful care of a shepherd. And thus, even after saving us from our sins, the Lord must continue to feed us, lead us, and protect us. Lest having been snatched from the wolf, we run into a bear, or having been saved from the edge of a cliff, we wander into a thicket.

Thus, Christ our shepherd and head must go before us, showing us and opening the way. He must walk behind us, to guard us and observe our every action. And he was walk beside us to keep our paths straight. We need a Savior, not just on Good Friday, we need him every hour, every day.

IV. Our Healing – The text goes on to say and the rest of his kindred shall return to the children of Israel and they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.

And thus we see that the essential task of Jesus in healing us, is not simply a personal healing for me alone, or you alone. But it is also healing that removes the division’s within and among us. One of the chief sources of our suffering in this world are our divisions. Nation is divided against nation, races and ethnic groups in competition, conflict and crushing hatred.

At the time of Jesus, Jews and Gentiles, (largely Romans and Greeks) were in major conflict. The Jews of Jesus time were taught to love their neighbor and fellow Jews, but hate their enemy. Jesus taught that we must love and forgive our enemies, and he began the process of establishing a universal, a Catholic Church. He gave the apostles standing orders to preach the gospel to every nation, and to unite everyone under the common title of disciple, of Christian. The dignity of baptism and of being a child of God was to be offered to all and, as this text of Micah prophesies, the Lord’s salvation and greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth.

The text goes on to say, He shall be our peace. Not that this shall be a slogan-like peace as in “can we all just get along” but that “He” shall be our peace. That is to say the Lord Jesus Christ, and the truth he proclaims are to be the source of our unity. In sending the apostles forth to proclaim the gospel to every nation Jesus says that they should teach them to observe everything he has commanded, and draw them into the life of the church through baptism (cf Matt 28:19). He is our peace, Jesus and his teachings are what are meant to unite us. Every other form of peace is not a true peace or lasting peace.

Thus Jesus initiated a process that was not meant to politically conquer the world, but rather, he initiated a process whereby his truth and his grace would be proclaimed, and that men and women accepting these gifts, would be able to come to greater and more lasting peace.

This peace must begin in the heart and mind of every individual believer, who by the grace of Jesus Christ, experiences and inner healing of the many conflicts and destructive drives caused by sin. Then, by drawing others to that same healing through evangelization to a  life-changing transformative relationship with Jesus Christ, that peace is meant to spread throughout the world, putting an end to divisions, bringing together the children of God, and showing forth God’s greatness and truth, his salvation and peace, to the ends of the earth.

He is our peace, Jesus is our healing.

Here, just prior to the in-breaking of the Christmas reality, we are thus given a summary of iur salvation. It is a summary that extols our need for humility, describes our hardship, announces our Head a Shepherd, and sets for the basis for our healing. In a Word, the Word made flesh: Jesus.

This song says,

We need to hear from you
We need a word from you
If we don’t hear from you
What will we do
Wanting you more each day
Show us your perfect way
There is no other way
That we can live.

Destruction is now is now in view
Seems the world has forgotten all about you
Children are crying and people are dying
They’re lost without you, so lost without you
But you said if we seek
Lord if we seek your face
And turn from our wicked, our wicked ways
You promised to heal our land
Father you can


21 posted on 12/22/2012 9:35:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Sunday Gospel Reflections

4th Sunday of Advent
Reading I:
Mic 5:1-4 II: Heb 10:5-10


Gospel
Luke 1:39-45

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


Interesting Details

  • This passage is the story of visitation, which is preceded by two annunciations: the annunciation to Zechariah of the birth of John the Baptist by the aged Elizabeth and the annunciation of the birth of Jesus to Mary a virgin mother.
  • (v.39) The trip from Galilee where Mary lived to a village in Judea where her relative Elizabeth lived would take four days of traveling. If a fourteen-year-old Jewish virgin girl like Mary made that trip alone in the male dominated society, she would be subject to charges of shameful intentions and misconduct.
  • Luke possibly did not intent to present Mary as a model of charity because in v.56 Mary departed from Elizabeth at the moment of her greatest need, the childbirth.
  • Luke's intent is literary and theological, he brings together two mothers-to-be to show how both recognize and praise the God who is active in their lives.
  • (v.41) The "leaping" of John in Elizabeth's womb alludes to the leaping of Esau and Jacob in Rebekah's womb (Gen 25:22), which foretold their later destinies.
  • (v.43) Even before his birth, Jesus is first identified as "Lord," which is properly used as a resurrection title.


One Main Point

Mary is the first Christian in the New Testament because she believed in the promises that God made to her, she has total trust in God. Like Mary, blessed are those who believe in God's promises.


Reflections

  • Recall a moment of joy and happiness when God is part of your life. Compare this moment to the joy and pride of a mother-to-be when she experiences baby kicks in her womb. Can you feel the exultation of Mary and Elizabeth?
  • Slowly recite the "Hail Mary" word by word, and imagine that you were Elizabeth and you are greeting young Mary. What do you see in her face, in her gesture? What will you say?
  • Many people in this world are lonely; they need someone to talk to. Do you ever visit those in hospital, in nursing home or in prison? If you do visit a friend or a relative, what is your intention?

22 posted on 12/22/2012 9:41:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Fourth Sunday of Advent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Micah 5:1-4
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45

Necessity urges us to pray for ourselves. Fraternal Charity obliges us to pray for others. God finds the prayer motivated by charity to be more meritorious than the prayer motivated by necessity.

-- St. John Chrysostom


23 posted on 12/22/2012 9:44:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | 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.

24 posted on 12/22/2012 9:45:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | 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. 


25 posted on 12/22/2012 9:47:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: All
Saint John of Kanty, Priest

Saint John of Kanty, Priest
Optional Memorial
December 23rd


unknown artist

 

(1390-1473) Also known as St. John Cantius, he was born at Kanty in Cracow, Poland. For most of his life he taught Scripture at the University of Cracow. He is noted for his piety, and especially for the humble and unassuming spirit of charity which pervaded his professional life.

 

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

 

Collect:
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that by the example of the Priest Saint John of Kanty
we may advance in the knowledge of holy things
and, by showing compassion to all,
may gain forgiveness in your sight.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen

First Reading: James 2:14-17
What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

Gospel Reading: Luke 6:27-38
"But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back."


26 posted on 12/23/2012 7:01:46 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: All
A Saint's Day is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

St. John of Kanty [St. John of Cantius], Patron of Teachers, Students, Priests, Pilgrims
Saint John of Kenty

27 posted on 12/23/2012 7:03:15 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: All


Information:
St. John of Kanty
Feast Day: December 23
Born: 23 June 1390, Kęty, Oświęcim, Poland
Died: 24 December 1473, Kraków Academy
Canonized: 1767 by Pope Clement XIII



28 posted on 12/23/2012 7:08:32 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. John of Kanty

 
Feast Day: December 23
Born:1390 :: Died:1473

John was born at Kanty in Poland and was the son of good country folk. Seeing how intelligent their son was, they sent him to the University of Krakow. He was a brilliant student who became a priest, a teacher, and a preacher.

He was also well-known for his great love of the poor. Once he was eating in the university dining hall. At the beginning of the meal, he happened to see a beggar passing by the window. Immediately, he jumped up and gave the man his dinner.

Some people became very jealous of St. John's success as a teacher and preacher. His enemies finally told lies about him and managed to have him sent to a parish as a pastor. Here, he put his whole heart into the new life.

At first, however, things did not go well at all. The people did not like St. John much, because John was terribly afraid of the responsibility, although he tried to do his best.

But he did not give up, and he finally won the hearts of his parishioners. He was a serious man, and humble but all the poor knew him well because of his kindness. By the time he was called back to the university, the people of his parish loved him dearly. They went part of the way with him.

In fact, they were so sad to see him go that he had to tell them: "This sadness does not please God. If I have done any good for you in all these years, sing a song of joy."

Back in Krakow, St. John taught Bible classes and again became a very popular teacher. He was invited to the homes of rich nobles. Still, however, he gave everything he had to the poor and dressed very poorly himself.

Once he wore an old black habit, called a cassock, to a banquet. The servants refused to let him in. St. John went home and changed into a new one. During the dinner, someone spilled a dish of food on the new cassock. "Never mind," said the saint with good humor, "my cassock deserves some food, anyway, because without it, I wouldn't have been here at all."

St. John lived to be eighty-three. Again and again during all those years he cleaned out everything he owned to help the poor. He slept little and that too on the floor. He did not eat any meat and ate only just enough to live.

When people burst into tears on hearing that he was dying, he said, "Don't worry about this prison which is decaying. Think of the soul that is going to leave it." He died in 1473.

29 posted on 12/23/2012 7:13:46 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. Exsurgens autem Maria in diebus illis, abiit in montana cum festinatione, in civitatem Juda : αναστασα δε μαριαμ εν ταις ημεραις ταυταις επορευθη εις την ορεινην μετα σπουδης εις πολιν ιουδα
40 And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. et intravit in domum Zachariæ, et salutavit Elisabeth. και εισηλθεν εις τον οικον ζαχαριου και ησπασατο την ελισαβετ
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: Et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariæ Elisabeth, exsultavit infans in utero ejus : et repleta est Spiritu Sancto Elisabeth : και εγενετο ως ηκουσεν η ελισαβετ τον ασπασμον της μαριας εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν τη κοιλια αυτης και επλησθη πνευματος αγιου η ελισαβετ
42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. et exclamavit voce magna, et dixit : Benedicta tu inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui. και ανεφωνησεν φωνη μεγαλη και ειπεν ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν και ευλογημενος ο καρπος της κοιλιας σου
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Et unde hoc mihi, ut veniat mater Domini mei ad me ? και ποθεν μοι τουτο ινα ελθη η μητηρ του κυριου μου προς με
44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Ecce enim ut facta est vox salutationis tuæ in auribus meis, exsultavit in gaudio infans in utero meo. ιδου γαρ ως εγενετο η φωνη του ασπασμου σου εις τα ωτα μου εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν αγαλλιασει εν τη κοιλια μου
45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. Et beata, quæ credidisti, quoniam perficientur ea, quæ dicta sunt tibi a Domino. και μακαρια η πιστευσασα οτι εσται τελειωσις τοις λελαλημενοις αυτη παρα κυριου

30 posted on 12/23/2012 11:37:13 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. Exsurgens autem Maria in diebus illis, abiit in montana cum festinatione, in civitatem Juda : αναστασα δε μαριαμ εν ταις ημεραις ταυταις επορευθη εις την ορεινην μετα σπουδης εις πολιν ιουδα
40 And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. et intravit in domum Zachariæ, et salutavit Elisabeth. και εισηλθεν εις τον οικον ζαχαριου και ησπασατο την ελισαβετ
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: Et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariæ Elisabeth, exsultavit infans in utero ejus : et repleta est Spiritu Sancto Elisabeth : και εγενετο ως ηκουσεν η ελισαβετ τον ασπασμον της μαριας εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν τη κοιλια αυτης και επλησθη πνευματος αγιου η ελισαβετ
42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. et exclamavit voce magna, et dixit : Benedicta tu inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui. και ανεφωνησεν φωνη μεγαλη και ειπεν ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν και ευλογημενος ο καρπος της κοιλιας σου
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Et unde hoc mihi, ut veniat mater Domini mei ad me ? και ποθεν μοι τουτο ινα ελθη η μητηρ του κυριου μου προς με
44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Ecce enim ut facta est vox salutationis tuæ in auribus meis, exsultavit in gaudio infans in utero meo. ιδου γαρ ως εγενετο η φωνη του ασπασμου σου εις τα ωτα μου εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν αγαλλιασει εν τη κοιλια μου
45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. Et beata, quæ credidisti, quoniam perficientur ea, quæ dicta sunt tibi a Domino. και μακαρια η πιστευσασα οτι εσται τελειωσις τοις λελαλημενοις αυτη παρα κυριου

31 posted on 12/23/2012 11:38:00 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: annalex
39. And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40. And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42. And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44. For, lo, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catena Aurea Luke 1
32 posted on 12/23/2012 11:38:41 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: annalex


Madonna of the Magnificat (Madonna del Magnificat)

Sandro Botticelli

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

33 posted on 12/23/2012 11:40:13 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: annalex


The Visitation

Ubaldo Gandolfi

c. 1767
Oil on canvas, 137 x 101 cm
Private collection

34 posted on 12/23/2012 11:41:16 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: annalex


The Baby Jesus and Saint John the Baptist

William Bouguereau (1825 – 1905)

35 posted on 12/23/2012 11:46:43 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, December 23

Liturgical Color: Violet


Today is the optional memorial of St. John Kanty, priest. St. John had a great love for the poor. He led a simple life, giving away all his possessions. St. John was named the patron saint of Poland and Lithuania in 1737.


36 posted on 12/23/2012 12:49:45 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

Daily Readings for: December 23, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Advent: December 23rd

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Old Calendar: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Today the Church celebrates the Fourth Sunday of Advent. We light the last candle on our Advent wreath and our preparation for Christmas is almost finished. We also reach the culmination of the O Antiphons. In previous antiphons our cry was directed to the Messiah as He manifested Himself to the Chosen People, to the Gentiles, and in nature; now He is addressed in person and asked to remain with us as Emmanuel.

Reading this final antiphon gives the feeling that a climax has indeed come. The very term Emmanuel, God with us, reveals the kindly, human heart of Jesus — He wants to be one of us, a Child of man, with all our human weakness and suffering; He wants to experience how hard it is to be man. He wants to remain with us to the end of time, He wants to dwell within us, He wants to make us share His nature.

O Antiphons ~ Emmanuel

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


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Prophecy of Micah 5:1-4. In today's reading we hear words of hope that focus on one who is to be born in Bethlehem and who will bring in the day of peace when all nations will look to Jerusalem.

The second reading is taken from Hebrews 10:5-10. The perfect offering of Christ restores us to oneness with God. Jesus came to do the will of God perfectly. He overcame the power of evil that separates us from God and became our bridge back to God when we fall into evil. David prefigures Christ's sacrifice. The Psalm is now seen from the perspective of Christ.

The Gospel of this Sunday, Luke 1:38-45 recounts the visit of Mary to St. Elizabeth. An ancient title of Mary is Ark of the Covenant. The Church Fathers saw the parallels between the Old Testament wooden chest containing the divine presence and the Virgin about to give birth to Jesus. This theme is developed in a tape series by Tim Staples. Tim brings out the similarities between today's Gospel and the ascent of the Ark to Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:1-15).

1. As the ark is brought to Jerusalem, King David is overcome with awe saying, "How can the ark of the Lord come to me?" (v. 9)

2. The ark remains three months in the hill country near Jerusalem, bringing great blessings to the house of Obed-edom. (v.11)

3. King David leaps for joy -- dancing before the ark. (v. 13) (Tim Staples, All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed)

In today's Gospel, Elizabeth says to Mary, "Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" She tells how the babe (John the Baptist) leaped in her womb as she became filled with the Holy Spirit. Finally Mary remains three months with her kinswoman before returning to her home. This Sunday, so close to Christmas, the Church invites us to focus our attention on Mary, round-wombed because of the God-child. As we say in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin: "Ark of the Covenant, pray for us."

Excerpted from Fr. Phil Bloom


O Emmanuel
Thou art He "who didst appear to Moses in the burning bush." "I have seen the affliction of My people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of the rigor of them that are over the works. And knowing their sorrow, I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land into a good and spacious land, into a land that floweth with milk and honey" (Exod. 3:7 f.). Thus spoke the Lord to Moses from the bush which burned but was not consumed, which is a figure of God's condescension to assume the weakness of human nature. The human nature of Christ is united to the burning divine nature, and yet it is not consumed.

As Moses approached the burning bush, so we approach the divine Savior in the form of a child in the crib, or in the form of the consecrated host, and falling down we adore Him. "Put off the shoes from thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. . . . I am who am" (Exod. 3:5, 14).

O Adonai, almighty God! Mighty in the weakness of a child, and in the helplessness of the Crucified! Thou, almighty God, mighty in the wonders that Thou hast worked! Mighty in guiding, sustaining, and developing Thy Church! "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).

"Come with an outstretched arm to redeem us." This is the cry of the Church for the second coming of Christ on the last day. The return of the Savior brings us plentiful redemption. "Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you" (Matt. 25-34).

Excerpted from The Light of the World by Benedict Baur, O.S.B.


   

7th O Antiphon:
Our King and law-giver,
The awaited of the peoples,
And their Savior,

COME
To save us,
O Lord our God.


Today is Day Eight of the Christmas Novena.

37 posted on 12/23/2012 1:48:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: All

O EMMANUEL
December 23

Symbols: Manger

Come to save us, O Lord our God.

O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: Come to save us, O Lord our God.

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, expectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

The manger reminds us of the simplicity and poverty surrounding the birth of Jesus and is representative of His life of humility.

Recommended Readings: Isaias 9:2-7


38 posted on 12/23/2012 1:52:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 1:39-45

4th Sunday of Advent

“Blessed are you who believed!” (Luke 1:45)

When something exciting hap­pens, you can’t contain yourself; you simply have to share the news with someone else. This is what hap­pened with Mary and Elizabeth. They had both experienced some­thing miraculous, and they couldn’t wait to talk with each other about it.

When Mary appeared, Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit” and cried out words of blessing (Luke 1:41-42). Mary, in reply, offered a prayer of worship to the Lord for all he was doing in her (1:46-55).

Try to imagine the conversa­tion these two women must have had. You can picture them, in their excitement, jumping from the highly spiritual (“Why would God choose me?” “I wonder what this new king­dom is going to be like?”) to very practical (“I’m going to need new clothes!” “Do you know the name of a good midwife?”) and back to the spiritual again. It’s only natural: nothing is more exciting than grace in action!

As natural as it might have been for Mary and Elizabeth, sometimes we have to make the decision to move the conversation to the Lord. But when we do, we’ll find the Spirit opening our eyes and filling us with more of his grace. We’ll find our­selves more excited and energized about our prayer, our works of ser­vice, and our love for the Lord.

The church is about evangelizing and growing in holiness. It’s about everyday people responding to the Spirit and working together in love to achieve these ends. Surely Mary and Elizabeth’s time together strength­ened both of them for the work that lay ahead. The same can happen for us as we share with each other about the things that God is showing us. It doesn’t have to be deep or profound. We just have to try, and the Holy Spirit will fill us.

“Lord, open our hearts to your work, and open our lips to share your wonders.”

Micah 5:1-4; Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19; Hebrews 10:5-10

 

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. The time for the Messianic prophecies to be fulfilled in unassuming Bethlehem has come. A city that the first reading calls “too small” among the great clans of Judah! How sharply our ideas of greatness and God’s ideas of greatness contrast. What “small” steps can you take to make sure that the Lord is at the center of your plans and activities for Christmas?

2. In the Responsorial Psalm, we pray that the Lord would let us “see” his face. In all the activities, and hustle of these last few days before Christmas, what practical steps can you take to spend time with the Lord and “see” his face?

3. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews puts these words in the mouth of Christ addressed to his Father: “Behold, I come to do your will.” Sometimes it is difficult to discern the will of the Lord. In spite of this, how can we make these words of Jesus become more of a reality in our own lives?

4. The Gospel tells us that Mary is “blessed” because she believed and trusted in God and his words to her. This belief is based on the unshakeable conviction that God is to be trusted, not because we understand, but simply become he is worthy to be trusted. What a great model Mary is. What are the obstacles in your life that can keep you from having a deeper faith and trust in Jesus and from believing in his great love for you and plan for your life? Do you believe that God’s grace is sufficient for you to overcome these obstacles? Why or why not?

5. The meditation ends with these words, “Surely Mary and Elizabeth’s time together strength¬ened both of them for the work that lay ahead. The same can happen for us as we share with each other about the things that God is showing us. It doesn’t have to be deep or profound. We just have to try, and the Holy Spirit will fill us.” What additional steps can you take during the Advent and Christmas season to share your faith with family members and others?

6. Take some time now to pray for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit and a new boldness in sharing your faith with others. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


39 posted on 12/23/2012 6:28:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

WILL WE IMITATE ELIZABETH AND JOYFULLY WELCOME JESUS?

(A biblical refection on the FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT [Year C] – 23 December 2012) 

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-45 

First Reading: Mic 5:1-4; Psalms: Ps 80:2-3,15-16,18-19; Second Reading: Heb 10:5-10 

VISITASI - MARIA MENGUNJUNGI ELISABET - 1

The Scripture Text

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Lk 1:39-45 RSV)

We are all familiar with the scene that Luke paints: “When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb” (Lk 1:41). Generations of artists have attempted to capture this visitation, seeking to convey the overwhelming, joyful hope evoked when Elizabeth voiced humanity’s ageless cry to the Virgin: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Lk 1:42).

At this very important meeting, law gives way to promise, ancient prophecy meets divine fulfillment, and the old bows to the new. Barren Elizabeth, incapable of producing life, was loved and blessed by God. And, loving Him in return, she lived in anticipation, ever open to the Life-Giver. Hence, she was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Lk 1:41) and recognized Mary as the vessel of God’s salvation. Not with bitterness or envy, but with rejoicing, she acceded the higher place to Mary, “the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43). Content to be eclipsed, like the shadow of the old covenant by the good things of the new, she blessed Mary and all people of faith: “Blessed is she who believed ……what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Lk 1:45).

The quiet, youthful Mary went to the aging, faithful Elizabeth to share the new thing God had done. Her arrival affirmed the prayerful vigilance of YHWH’s faithful servants. In coming to celebrate her cousin’s good fortune, she brought grace and abounding joy. Mary humbly accepted the honor given to her by Elizabeth and turned it immediately to the Lord whom her soul magnified.

Every Advent, we are invited to witness this dramatic moment. We come with the wounds and sins of a long year. Will we refrain from embracing the new, afraid of disappointment and frustration? Or will we imitate Elizabeth and joyfully welcome the Savior Jesus who has come among us?

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, we lay down all of our fear and sorrow and sin. We welcome the new life you have to offer us. “Restore us, O God; let Thy face shine,  that we may be saved!” (Psalm 80:3). Amen.


40 posted on 12/23/2012 7:09:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

ONE DAY IN AIN KARIM: SHE CAME TO SERVE

(A biblical refection on the FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT (YEAR C) – 23 December 2012) 

First Reading: Mic 5:1-4; Psalms: Ps 80:4-5,15-16,18-19; Second Reading: Heb 10:5-10; Gospel Reading: Lk 1:39-45 

VISITASI - MARIA BERTEMU DENGAN ELISABET - CURHAT

A man told me once that he stopped sending Christmas cards, going to holiday parties, and buying gifts. It was becoming too expensive and didn’t make sense anymore. We can all appreciate this feeling, when we’re stuck in pre-holiday mall traffic, or are crowding to the checkout counters and see the cash register totalling up large figures. But the expenses and inconveniences are soon forgotten in the hope of making someone happy with a gift purchased just for them.

Gift giving, card sending and visits are obviously things we don’t have to do. But these kind and thoughtful deeds strengthen our ties of family and friendship. The Scrooges may seen to be more happy since they don’t spend money on others or try to be friendly, but most likely they’re very sad and lonely people. The tragedy is that this is their own doing. They don’t realize that there’s more joy in giving than receiving.

We have an excellent example of the true spirit of Christmas in today’s Gospel, in the kindly deed of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She, being pregnant, could have easily chosen not to visit her cousin Elizabeth. But precisely because she was pregnant with Jesus, she could not remain aloof.

It was “with haste” that she climbed the long steep hill to her cousin’s home in Ain Karim, to willingly assist her. Her greeting was so divinely inspired and powerful, that it moved Elizabeth to spontaneous prayer and uplifted the spirit of her unborn child John.

When we visit friends and family we should carry with us that same joy-filled attitude, which in itself is a tremendous gift to offer another. Using Mary as our model, we might try to worry less about being entertained and concentrate more on helping and uplifting. Jesus told the world that He came to serve, not be served. I wonder if He learned that from His mother.

Happiness can be found in the most unusual places. Mary discovered it in the hill country, in the stable and even in exile, for Jesus was with her. Since He promised to be with us, our finest gift to others is to live and give His love.

Note: Taken from Fr. Jame McKarns, GO TELL EVERYONE, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1985, pages 194-195. 


41 posted on 12/23/2012 7:15:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Fourth Sunday of Advent - Cycle C

December 23, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Micah 5:1-4a

Psalm: 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

Second Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-45

  • In this Sunday’s Gospel (which is also the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the Visitation), Mary, having just learned from the angel Gabriel that she is to be the mother of the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38), sets out to visit her kinswoman, Elizabeth, who is 6 months pregnant with John the Baptist (Luke 1:1-25).
  • Mary journeyed to what is now believed to be the village of Ain Karim, in the mountains of southern Judea. It was about a 120-mile journey from Nazareth where Mary lived, down the length of the Jordan Valley, and would have taken about four days.
  • Along with Luke 1:28, Elizabeth’s exclamation of verses 42 and 43 form the basis for our prayer, “the Hail Mary.” It also recalls similar songs of joy and honor found in Judges 5:24 and Judith 13:18, which celebrated the victory of Old Testament women over the enemies or their people. Mary, who gave her humble consent to God’s plan (Luke 1:38), was instrumental in winning the victory over the greatest enemy of all—that of sin, death, and the devil (Gen 3:15).
  • Whereas the last three weeks Gospel readings have emphasized the importance of John’s role as precursor to the Messiah, on this occasion we are able to see from the reactions of all involved (including the unborn John!) just who it is that “is to be ruler in Israel; whose origin is of old” and whose “greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth” (Micah 5:1, 3, from the first reading)

 

QUESTIONS:

  • From the 2nd Reading, why was it necessary for Christ—the eternal Second Person of the Blessed Trinity—to come among men in human flesh?
  • What do we know about Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah (verse 40)? What kind of people were they (Luke 1:5-7)? How were their prayers answered (Luke 1:24-25)? What was their relation to Mary and Jesus (Luke 1:36-37)? Who would their child be (Luke 1:57-66, 80; 3:1-4)?
  • What reason (or reasons) did Mary “go in haste” to visit Elizabeth? Who else would “go in haste (Luke 2:16)? How long would Mary stay with Elizabeth (verse 56)?
  • The Church has long referred to Mary as “the Ark of the New Covenant.” Why? Compare this reading with 2 Samuel 6, where there are at least four parallels. How many can you find?
  • What was the unborn John’s reaction to the approach of Mary as she brought Jesus into his presence (verses 41, 44)? What is our reaction? What should it be?
  • How have I “set out in haste” this past Advent to share the Good News of Jesus with others? How can I continue to do so this Christmas-time, and beyond?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 64, 148, 448, 495, 523, 717, 2676-2677

 

Let us live as temples of God, so that it may be evident to all that God dwells in us.  –St. Cyprian


42 posted on 12/23/2012 7:20:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

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

Daily Marriage Tip for December 23, 2012:

“Mary set out and traveled to the hill country.” (Lk 1: 39) During the upcoming Christmas season many travel to be with family. If you’re traveling or receiving visitors this Christmas, let the children lift your hearts with joy. It’s not just about presents but their presence to you.


43 posted on 12/23/2012 7:24:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: All
Where Was God?
Pastor’s Column
Christmas, 2012
 
          Where was God? As I write these words one week before Christmas Day, many of us are troubled still by the events at Clackamas Town Center and most especially the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Where was Jesus in all this? We can find some answers in Christmas Day.
 
          God lived within each child and adult that died, for he both creates and sustains each person on earth. At the same time, in a very real sense, he died alongside and within each one who perished. He feels our pain; he knows our struggles; he is with us through it all.
 
          We have a God who, in this present world, comes to us always in one disguise or another. Whenever you visit or care for a sick or dying person, the Lord assures us it is actually him. Did you buy a gift for a needy child from the giving tree or do any one act of charity this season? Jesus was the recipient. Were you kind -- or unkind-- to someone? Again, it is always Christ, for this entire lifetime we are given is for this purpose only: to give us an opportunity to love God, to choose or reject the opportunities to choose and love him in his many disguises.
 
          Though Jesus came among us as a small child, he was not welcomed by many in his day! First, the innkeepers of Bethlehem turned him away, because others arriving for the census had more money and rooms were in high demand. Then King Herod massacred the children of Bethlehem in a misguided attempt to destroy him. Even today, many find no use for this infant! He is seen by some as some kind of threat or another, when in fact he brings the gift of fellowship with God forever, and the freedom that comes with doing what God asks of us! We reach the height of our humanity in our empathy and outreach to those who are suffering, because, again, they always represent Christ in disguise.
 
          Our Jesus, who came disguised in the humility of a baby at Christmas, is also present especially in the sufferings we have to endure, the difficulties we must face, and yes, in the questions, like Sandy Hook, that we cannot yet answer. Jesus had to suffer and die, though completely innocent; therefore no deaths, especially the deaths of the innocent, are ever without eternal meaning, for Christ’s own death has eternal meaning.
 
          Our lives might be compared to a Christmas tree, with many shiny packages underneath. Attractive though they may be, what gives meaning to our lives are not the presents we receive but the ones we give to others. Amid these distracting packages is our God of disguises, wrapped in swaddling clothes and covered with humility. We find him still in our daily lives, especially in our sufferings and the presents, and presence, and prayers, we give to others.
                                                                                   
   Father Gary

44 posted on 12/23/2012 7:40:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: All
St. Paul Center Blog

A Mother’s Greeting: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 4th Sunday in Advent

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 12.20.12 |


Mary Mother of Christ

On this last Sunday before Christmas, the Church’s Liturgy reveals the true identity of our Redeemer:
He is, as today’s First Reading says, the “ruler…whose origin is from…ancient times.” He will come from Bethlehem, where David was born of Jesse the Ephrathite and anointed king (see Ruth 4:11-17; 1 Samuel 16:1-13; 17:1; Matthew 2:6).

God promised that an heir of David would reign on his throne forever (see 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Psalm 89; Psalm 132:11-12).

Jesus is that heir, the One the prophets promised would restore the scattered tribes of Israel into a new kingdom (see Isaiah 9:5-6; Ezekiel 34:23-25,30; 37:35). He is “the shepherd of Israel,” sung of in today’s Psalm. From His throne in heaven, He has “come to save us.”

Readings:
Micah 5:1-4
Psalm 80:2-3,15-16,18-19
Hebrews 5:5-10
Luke 1:39-45

Today’s Epistle tells us that He is both the Son of David and the only “begotten” Son of God, come “in the flesh” (see also Psalm 2:7). He is also our “high priest,” from the mold of the mysterious Melchisedek, “priest of God Most High,” who blessed Abraham at the dawn of salvation history (see Psalm 110:4; Genesis 14:18-20).

All this is recognized by John when he leaps for joy in his mother’s womb. Elizabeth, too, is filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. She recognizes that in Mary “the mother of my Lord” has come to her. We hear in her words another echo of the Psalm quoted in today’s Epistle (see Psalm 2:7). Elizabeth blesses Mary for her faith that God’s Word would be fulfilled in her.

Mary marks the fulfillment not only of the angel’s promise to her, but of all God’s promises down through history. Mary is the one they await in today’s First Reading - “she who is to give birth.” She will give birth this week, at Christmas. And the fruit of her womb should bring us joy - she is the mother of our Lord.


45 posted on 12/23/2012 8:01:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: All
Insight Scoop

“Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” On the Fourth Sunday of Advent

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for December 23, 2012, the Fourth Sunday of Advent | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Mi 5:1-4a
• Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
• Heb 10:5-10
• Lk 1:39-45

St. Augustine, in his treatise, “On Holy Virginity,” made this profound, even startling, statement: “Thus also her nearness as a Mother would have been of no profit to Mary, had she not borne Christ in her heart after a more blessed manner than in her flesh.”

In that single line, the great Doctor anticipated the objections voiced by many Protestants while also explaining the honor and love shown by Catholics (and Eastern Orthodox) for the Theotokos, the Mother of God. I heard and repeated, while growing up in a Protestant home of Fundamentalist persuasion, many of those objections: “Mary was just an ordinary woman,” “Mary was not sinless,” and, of course, “Catholics worship Mary!” People would sometimes go to extremes to avoid any appearance of praise for Mary. A close relative once told me that Mary had merely been a “biological vessel” for the baby Jesus!

Two things changed my mind: reading actual Catholic teaching about Mary and re-reading Scripture. The first came from a sense of fairness toward what I didn’t know; the second came from a growing (and hardly characteristic) humility about what I thought I knew. Sure, I had read the opening chapters of the Gospel of Luke many times. But I must have read it dozens of times before I began to slowly comprehend the astonishment of the Annunciation, the wonder of Elizabeth’s ecstatic greeting, the magnitude of the Magnificat.

Today’s Gospel reading follows the Annunciation and immediately precedes the Canticle of Mary. The young Mary, told by Gabriel that she had found favor with God and would bear a son, eventually sets out to see Elizabeth, also pregnant with a son. Having already been confirmed by a heavenly messenger of God, Mary was then confirmed by her own flesh and blood in words heard and repeated by countless faithful through the centuries: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

To be blessed is to have found favor with God, to be filled with the grace—the supernatural life—of God. It is to possess the kingdom by belonging to the King (cf. Matt 5:3, 10). As mother of the King of kings, Mary bore the kingdom within her. As mother of the Messiah, she is also the mother of the Church. Pope John Paul II, in Redemptoris Mater (1987), wrote that “in her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church” (par. 47).

Mary and Elizabeth, bearing their sons—one a prophet, the other the Son of God—prefigure the Church that would later be born from the side of the crucified Lord and made manifest on Pentecost (see CCC 766, 1076). Blessed by the Father, impregnated by the power of the Holy Spirit, and filled with the Son, the Virgin brings joy and gladness into the dark, silent womb of man’s deepest longing.

Like St. Augustine, John Paul II provided a profound reflection on the belief and faith of Mary. In the expression “Blessed are you who believed,” he wrote, “we can therefore rightly find a kind of ‘key’ which unlocks for us the innermost reality of Mary, whom the angel hailed as ‘full of grace.’ If as ‘full of grace’ she has been eternally present in the mystery of Christ, through faith she became a sharer in that mystery in every extension of her earthly journey” (par. 19). The miracle of Mary’s pregnancy and Virgin birth go hand in hand with the mystery of faith.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Christ child while recognizing that Christ always remains in the heart of Mary. Having given birth to the Savior at one particular moment in time, Mary has continued to give the Savior to the world ever since. It is her one desire, her unending gift of joy and life to each of us. “And how does this happen to me,” we ask ourselves, “that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the December 20, 2009, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


46 posted on 12/23/2012 8:34:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: All
Vultus Christi

Ave, Maria, gratia plena

 on December 23, 2012 6:45 AM |
Annunciazione-2.jpg
As Mary was, so is the Church today, virgin and handmaid; at the beginning of the year's liturgy, she waits for everything from the Lord's grace. Those who would receive Christ and bring Him forth must become like her . . . her soul was virginal, so well cut loose from everything of earth, so humble before God, that He could wholly fill her. (D. Aemiliana Löhr, The Mass Through the Year)

Sunday of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Advent

The Fourth Sunday of Advent belongs to Our Blessed Lady. Venerable Pope Paul VI, influenced, no doubt, by the ancient practice of the venerable Church of Milan, desired that the Fourth Sunday of Advent should become a veritable festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As he intimates in Marialis Cultus, Pope Paul VI wanted to envelop the Christmas mystery in the gentle presence of the Virgin Mother.

By dedicating the Fourth Sunday of Advent to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and by restoring to January 1st, the feast of the Circumcision, its ancient title of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Venerable Pope Paul VI sought to give us the Infant Christ, the Redeemer of the world, circled round by the tenderness of the Blessed Virgin.

Our Lady: Indispensable to the Advent of Christ

The sacred liturgy celebrates the Virgin Mother before Christmas Day and again eight days after it. This is Mother Church's way of teaching us that the Blessed Virgin Mary is indispensable to every advent of Christ.

If you would welcome Christ, welcome Mary.
If you would receive Christ, seek Mary.
If you would know Christ, know Mary.
If you would love Christ, love Mary.

Dew From Above

The Blessed Virgin is present, not only in the Gospel today, but in every part of today's Mass. The Introit, Rorate, for example, is Our Lady's song before it is ours. It can only be our prayer because it was first the prayer of her Immaculate Heart. "Send down dew from above, you heavens, and let the skies pour down upon us the rain we long for, Him, the Just One: may He, the Saviour, spring from the closed womb of the earth" (Is 45:8). There is no prayer that does not begin in an intense longing for the dew from above. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill" (Mt 5:6).

Similarly, the magnificent Offertory Antiphon, Ave Maria, gratia plena (Lk 1:28) and the Communion Antiphon, Ecce, virgo concipiet (Is 7:14) invite us to conversation with the Virgin Mother of the Lord, to a contemplative admiration of her beauty, and to the imitation of her "Fiat". "Be it done to me according to thy word" (Lk 1:38).

Thy Grace Into Our Hearts

Today's Collect in the reformed Missal is familiar and worn like a thing much loved because it is the prayer that, three times each day, concludes the Little Office of the Incarnation that we call the Angelus.

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.

This prayer sums up the whole economy of our salvation: the message of an angel to the Virgin; the immensity of her "Yes"; the bitter Passion and the Blood outpoured; the Cross, the Tomb, and the triumph of the Prince of Life.

Portress of the Mysteries of Christ

Of all these mysteries, Mary is the Mystical Portress and the Keeper of the Gate. This is why the saints teach that true devotion to Mary is a sure sign of predestination. Understand this aphorism as the saints did: one who loves Mary is destined to imitate her "Yes"; and to follow her through the Passion and Cross of her Son into the glory of His Resurrection.


47 posted on 12/23/2012 8:47:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: All
Vultus Christi

23 December, O EMMANUEL

 on December 23, 2012 7:20 AM |
 
308muril.jpg

Murillo's painting of the Infant Christ distributing bread to pilgrims is an invitation to consider the mystery of the Eucharist, God-With-Us, the Child of Bethlehem, the House of Bread. An Angel assists the Infant Christ. Behind Him (not visible in this detail) is His Mother, her body forming a kind of Eucharistic throne, a variation on the Sedes Sapientiae motif. Perhaps the sequence of the Mass of Corpus Christi provided a subtext for this painting:

Ecce, panis Angelorum,
Factus cibus viatorum:
Vere panis filiorum.

Behold, the Bread of Angels sent
For pilgrims in their banishment,
The Bread for God's true children meant.

O Emmanuel (Is 7:14; 8:8),
our King and Lawgiver (Is 33:22),
the expectation of the nations and their Saviour (Gen 49:10):
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

The Last of the O Antiphons

At Vespers on December 23rd we sing the last of the Great O Antiphons. We are accustomed to seven, but, in other times and places, and even now, there are nine or even as many as twelve.

O Virgo Virginum

O Virgo Virginum, the last of the Great O Antiphons in the old English liturgy of Sarum , occurs on December 23rd. Its structure is quite different from all the other Great O Antiphons. The first part is a question addressed to the Virgin Mary; in the second part she replies with another question, and then, gives her answer.

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be? For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me? That which ye behold is a divine mystery.

Here, at Silverstream Priory, since the beginning of Advent, we have been singing O Virgo Virginum each morning as the Marian Antiphon at the end of Lauds.

oemmanuel.jpg

O Emmanuel

Like the six Great O Antiphons that preceded it, O Emmanuel is addressed to our Lord Jesus Christ. It seems to me that, with each succeeding day, the O of our invocation, and the Veni of our supplication has grown more confident, more intense and, in a sense, more urgent.

Afraid Never Again

Writing in 1964, Mother Marie des Douleurs Wrotnowska, the foundress of the Benedictines of Jesus Crucified, offers us a somewhat anguished meditation on the Great Antiphon O Emmanuel. It appears to come out of an experience of weakness, fear, and uncertainty. Some would dismiss it as deeply pessimistic and too gloomy for Advent. I sense something else in it: the prayer of woman wrestling with her inner demons, as we all do, and confident nonetheless in the mystery of God-with-us. This is what she wrote:

Emmanuel. Could we have found a name more sweet? God-with-us. That is to say that nothing in our difficulties, our misunderstandings, our sorrows, even in our agony, will find us alone. We will always have Someone with us, Someone present in our very heart to give the strength and light necessary in those moments.
Also, at the same time, our Beloved is always before us. He is the All-Powerful and He wants that we should be saints, all of us. Therefore, we never again need to be afraid. We can be certain that, should it be called for, even heroism is within our reach because our Companion on the road, our daily Food, is always there. We know that He is in us and we know what He asks of us. We know to what degree of detachment and to what gift of self He calls us. We know to what point we must be found holy at the moment of our death.

Pax Benedictina

The tone is sobering. One senses Mother Wrotnowska's Benedictine soul. "To keep death daily before one's eyes" is the 47th instrument of good works. For all of this, she fights against the fear that troubles the soul in its depths. She knows that peace is the characteristic of the Benedictine soul. She goes on to say:

In what peace, in what serenity, in what an outpouring of joy should we live, just recalling this name of the Lord? What bad thing can befall us, or even what lesser good, since all is known by Him, all is willed, all is allowed by Him who has prepared our eternal happiness. He knows what He allows.

The Love That Casts Out Fear

Again, one hears the echo of Saint Benedict in Chapter Four of the Rule: "To rest one's hope in God (RB 4:41), and never to despair of God's mercy" (RB 4:74). Mother Marie des Douleurs goes on to castigate fear. Fear is the real enemy. Fear is what imprisons the soul. Fear offends the Lord Jesus because one who gives in to fear has not begun "to believe in Love." The fearful person seeks to control every thing, whereas the person who has come to believe in Love Incarnate knows that behind everything is the hand of Love, a hand moved by a Heart that is all Love. And so she concludes:

What a lack of awareness it is and what a hurt for the Heart of Jesus that we should have the slightest fear! Let us strive to be cured of this terrible ill by repeating often "God-with-us." Even now He can, and wills to triumph over all the hell within us.

God With Us, God For Us

"The hell within us" -- I almost hesitated before translating this. But no one goes very far in the interior life before confronting the hell within, the dark place inhabited by fears, sinful passions, selfish impulses, and torments that defy explanation. But Mother Marie des Douleurs is in touch with her own reality and with ours. "If God is for us, who is against us?" (Rom 8:31). The God who is "for us" is "God-with-us." This is truth that delivers from fear. "O Emmanuel . . . veni, veni."


48 posted on 12/23/2012 8:51:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: All
Vultus Christi

One must burn with love

| 

Madre_Mectilde_5072-1.jpg

Image of Mother Mectilde: detail of a painting attributed to Philippe de Champaigne, Monastery of Mas-Grenier.

I am continuing my translation of Mother Mectilde's conference for the Vigil of Christmas 1694. She emphasizes that the Incarnation is God's gratuitous expression of love for each and every human being. Christus natus est pro nobis. The pro nobis (for us) that the liturgy sings must be brought to bear upon each one. One who hasn't grasped that the Word became flesh for me cannot rightly understand what the Church means when she sings that Christ is born for us.

God Did for Me Alone What He Did for All

As I have told you, God, having within Himself everything that could make Him happy, had no need of His creatures, and these can add nothing to His felicity. He could not have given us a greater sign of His love, as Saint John says, "God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son." (John 3:16) And it can be said that in giving us His Son, He gave us all that what dearest and most precious to Him.

Let us, then, immerse ourselves in profound sentiments of gratitude towards the Eternal Father for the grand gift He offers us today. But, so as to penetrate better into the grace of the mystery and enter into a true gratitude, it is necessary, dear sisters, that each one of you make it your own and strive, with all her capacity, to think of the goodness of a God who, by His birth, comes to give Himself to us. Say then to yourselves: -- God did for me alone what He did for all. Be persuaded of this, because it is really true. In making the mystery your own in this way, it will make much more of an impression on your spirit and will dilate your heart to love God, inflaming it with love of Him. Is it, in effect, ever possible to believe without being set all ablaze with love for a God who is so good, who has done all these things for us> How? God loves me, and shall I not love Him? It is impossible. One must burn with love.

When One Feels Nothing

Somebody may say to me: -- But one does not always have so much ardour, nor a love that is felt --. This is true, but we must not fall into sadness if we are not feeling a sensible love. just as we must not refuse it when God grants it. Believe me, go to God with naturalness, in all simplicity, just as little children go to their papa, without scruple; don't be so fearful. Take what is given to you: if there are sensible feelings of love for Our Lord, so much the better: you shall be set all aflame by the desire to love Him. Receive everything and refuse nothing, not to satisfy your self-love or permit it to claim such sentiments by living them too sentimentally, but only to receive them from Our Lord so that they may produce in us the effect that He wants.

Desiring Nothing but the Reign of His Good Pleasure Within You

At the same time, when He makes you suffer a more painful disposition, darkness, dryness, incapacity, etc., receive it all equally and be indifferent to whatever state [you find yourself in], content with what God gives you, refusing nothing, and desiring nothing but the reign of His good pleasure within you, which reign will not be established except by your own destruction.

Things So Prodigious and Incomprehensible to the Human Mind

De Condren, noting that on the loveliest feasts and in the celebration of great mysteries, one often finds oneself in darkness and in interior dryness, asks why this is so. He responds, observing that our human reason wants to penetrate into the mystery in order to understand it, but because the mystery surpasses the capacities of reason, it does not succeed in going there. This is what produces our darknesses. We never, therefore, enter into the mysteries except by pure faith. Let us leave aside our reasoning and our own mind: they are not worthy, they are too material to conceive what is above the sensible; let us not even heed them. Follow with simplicity the spirit of faith that illumines and makes us believe things so prodigious and incomprehensible to the human mind.


49 posted on 12/23/2012 8:54:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: All
Regnum Christi

From Beggar to Benefactor
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Fourth Sunday of Advent



Father Barry O’Toole, LC

Luke 1: 39-45

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary´s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you know the reality of my life and how much I need your grace. I believe that you love me and desire the best for me. I, too, want to respond to your love, and thus, with humility, I ask for your sanctifying grace. As I contemplate the wonders you worked in Mary’s and Elizabeth’s lives, I desire to imitate their attitudes and convictions, so that you will be able to transform my life.

Petition: Lord, make me an instrument of your grace and peace.

1. Right to the Doorstep: After receiving God’s messenger into her life, Mary then becomes God’s messenger to her cousin Elizabeth. In such a short time Mary has learned so much from her Son. She delivers Christ right to Elizabeth’s doorstep and knocks. Without Elizabeth’s consent, Mary can go no farther. Elizabeth comprehends in an instant that this is more than a courtesy visit. Her child, John the Baptist, helps her to understand as he leaps for joy upon hearing Mary’s voice and perceiving Christ’s presence. Elizabeth allows them to enter her house, and Mary and Jesus begin to transform this family’s life. John and Elizabeth are filled with the Holy Spirit, and Elizabeth immediately becomes an apostle and prophet of God.

2. The Cooperation of Man and God: Mary is always willing to help because she is so humble. Despite the fact that she is also pregnant, she doesn’t hesitate to perform small acts of charity and help with the ordinary chores around the house. However, Mary was also an instrument of the Holy Spirit as she went about her work, and, as with Elizabeth, the Holy Spirit was able to touch the hearts of others and to bring about their transformation by instilling sanctifying grace. Have I achieved a degree of holiness that I might also become an effective instrument of God for those around me?

3. The Spontaneous Magnificat: The presence of God in Mary’s and Elizabeth’s souls can be seen in two ways. First, they both glorify God for the marvelous things he is doing in their lives: Elizabeth praises Mary for having brought the Savior into her life and for filling her child with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. Mary, in turn, praises God in the beautiful prayer of the Magnificat. Second, both Elizabeth and Mary become the first witnesses of the arrival of the Messiah. Every true encounter with Christ necessarily leads us to become his apostles. Have I, too, encountered Christ through prayer, the sacraments and service to my neighbor? Have I helped others to experience God’s loving presence in their lives?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, during this time of prayer, I want to enter into a deeper relationship with you. I want to experience your loving presence in the daily activities of my life. As Christmas Day approaches, I want to grow in my love for you. I want to share this love with others by imitating your meekness and humility. Please, do not pass by me this Christmas without granting me at least this grace. Transform this plea, the supplication of this beggar, into the treasure of a benefactor for others.

Resolution: Today, I will strive to share my experience of God with at least one person I meet.


50 posted on 12/23/2012 9:04:15 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