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Posted on 12/26/2012 8:57:21 PM PST by Salvation
From: 1 John 1:1-4
1-4. Since the time of the Fathers, these verses have been described as the pro-
logue”, like the prologue of the Fourth Gospel (Jn 1:1-18). In fact, there are many
similarities in doctrine, style and even language between the two.
Both passages sing the praises of the mystery of the Incarnation: the Word of
God who existed from all eternity, “from the beginning”, became man (has been
seen, heard, looked upon and touched) so that men might partake of divine life
— might have “fellowship”, communion, with the Father and the Son. Like the Go-
spel prologue, this one is written in a rhythmical way — “That which was..., which
we have heard..., which we have seen...”. And many of the ideas are the same —
for example, the reference to “the beginning” (cf. Jn 1:1); the term “the Word” to
refer to the second Person of the Blessed Trinity; the reference to “life” (cf. Jn 1:
As St Bede points out, “from the very start of the epistle we are being taught the
divinity and, at the same time, the humanity of our God and Lord Jesus Christ”
(”In I Epist. S. Ioannis, ad loc.”).
1. “That which was from the beginning”: although the pronoun used is neuter —
as if to indicate the ineffable character of the mystery of Christ — the whole
phrase refers not to a thing or an abstract teaching, but to the divine Person of
the Son, who in the fullness of time was made manifest (v. 2), assuming a hu-
man nature. In other words, St John, as in his Gospel, is teaching that Jesus,
a historical person (the Apostles have lived with him, have seen him, have heard
him speak) is the eternal Word of God (cf. Jn 1:1 and note).
“That which we have heard,...seen...”: all those references to perception by the
senses show the Apostle’s desire to make it clear that God really did become
man. This may be because certain heretics were denying the Incarnation, or it
may simply be that he thought it necessary to spell out this fundamental truth
of our faith. He did so in the Gospel (cf., e.g., Jn 20:30-31); and in this letter we
frequently find phrases like “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh” (4:2); “Jesus
is the Christ” (2:22; cf. 5:1); “Jesus is the Son of God” (4:15; cf.5:1, 12,20).
We have recently been reminded that “the Church reverently preserved the mys-
tery of the Son of God, who was made man, and in the course of the ages and
of the centuries has propounded it for belief in a more explicit way”; moreover,
what the Church teaches “concerning the one and the same Christ the Son of
God, begotten before the ages in his divine nature and in time in his human na-
ture, and also concerning the eternal persons of the Most Holy Trinity, belongs
to the immutable truth of the Catholic faith” (SCDF, “Mysterium Filii Dei”, 2 and
2. St John introduces this verse by way of parenthesis to explain what he means
by “the word of life”. In the Gospel he had written, “In him [the Word] was life” (Jn
1:4) and elsewhere he records Jesus’ statement, “I am the bread of life” (Jn 6:35,
48). These expressions declare that the Son of God has life in all its fullness, that
is, divine life, the source of all life, natural and supernatural. Jesus in fact identi-
fied himself with Life (cf. Jn 11:25; 14:6). By the Incarnation, the Word of God ma-
nifests true life and at the same time makes it possible for that life to be commu-
nicated to men — imperfectly, by means of grace, while they are in this world,
and perfectly in heaven, by means of the beatific vision (cf. 1 Jn 5: 12).
“And we testify to it”: the testimony of the Apostles is something unique in the
history of the Church, because (unlike those who succeed them) they know our
Lord personally, they have been “witnesses” of his life, death and resurrection
(cf. Lk 24:48; Acts 1:8).
“With the Father”: the Greek implies closeness, difference, and the mutual rela-
tionship between Father and Son, so providing a glimpse of the mystery of the
Blessed Trinity (cf. note on Jn 1:1).
3-4. This testimony about Christ is designed to lead to fellowship and complete
joy. Fellowship with the Apostles (the Greek word is “koinonia”) means, firstly,
having the same faith as those who lived with Jesus: “They saw our Lord in the
body,” St Augustine reminds us, “and they heard words from his lips and have
proclaimed them to us; we also have heard them, but we have not seen him [...].
They saw him, we do not see him, and yet we have fellowship with them, be-
cause we have the same faith” (”In Epist. Ioann. ad Parthos”, 1, 3).
To have fellowship with the Father and the Son we need to have the same faith
as the Apostles: “St John openly teaches that those who desire to partake of
union with God must first partake of union with the Church, learn the same faith
and benefit from the same sacraments as the Apostles received from the full-
ness of Truth made flesh” (St Bede, “In I Epist. S. Ioannis, ad loc.”). The Church,
the Second Vatican Council teaches, is not simply a collection of people who
think the same way; it is the people of God “whom Christ established as a com-
munion of life, love and truth” (”Lumen Gentium”, 9).
Fellowship, communion, with the Apostles, with the Church, has as its purpose
to bring about union with God (”with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ”);
this is a subject St John develops over the course of this letter, as he previously
did in his Gospel (cf., e.g., Jn 17:20ff). Here he uses expressions such as “to
have the Son”, and, in respect of the Son, “to have the Father” (2:23; 5:11ff); “to
be in God” (2:5; 5:20); “to abide in God” (2:6, 24; 3:24; 4:13, 15, 16). This deep,
intimate communion means that, without losing his personality, man shares in
a wonderful and real way in the life of God himself. If Sacred Scripture uses ma-
ny different expressions in this connection, it is due to the fact that the human
mind, because it is so limited, cannot fully grasp the marvelous truth of commu-
nion with God.
Complete joy is the outcome of this communion. Most manuscripts say “our
joy”; others, including the Vulgate, say “your joy”. The difference is not impor-
tant, because “our” involves the Apostles and the faithful, particularly in view of
the mutual fellowship previously mentioned (cf. Jn 15:11; 17:13). This joy, which
will reach its fullness in the next life, is already in this life in some sense com-
plete, insofar as knowledge of Jesus is the only thing that can satisfy man’s
1:5-2:29. This section describes what communion with God is, and the demands
it makes on us. We can say there are two parts in the section: the first (1:5 - 2:
11) teaches that communion with God means walking in the light and, therefore,
rejecting sin and keeping the commandments. The second (2:12-19) warns the
readers to guard against worldly concupiscence and not trust false teachers.
St John is writing as a pastor of souls who has lived the life of the Lord and reflec-
ted deeply upon it. His teaching interweaves truths of faith with moral and asceti-
cal demands because he wants Christians to live in a way consistent with their
faith. Therefore, the text does not really divide into a doctrinal section and a mo-
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.
From: John 20:1a, 2-8
The Empty Tomb
1-2. All four Gospels report the first testimonies of the holy women and the dis-
ciples regarding Christ’s glorious resurrection, beginning with the fact of the emp-
ty tomb (cf. Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1ff; Luke 24:1-12) and then telling of the
various appearances of the risen Jesus.
Mary Magdalene was one of the women who provided for our Lord during His jour-
neys (Luke 8:1-3); along with the Virgin Mary she bravely stayed with Him right
up to His final moments (John 19:25), and she saw where His body was laid
(Luke 23:55). Now, after the obligatory Sabbath rest, she goes to visit the tomb.
The Gospel points out that she went “early, when it was still dark”: her love and
veneration led her to go without delay, to be with our Lord’s body.
4. The Fourth Gospel makes it clear that, although the women, and specifically
Mary Magdalene, were the first to reach the tomb, the Apostles were the first
to enter it and see the evidence that Christ had risen (the empty tomb, the linen
clothes “lying” and the napkin in a place by itself). Bearing witness to this will be
an essential factor in the mission which Christ will entrust to them: “You shall be
My witnesses in Jerusalem ... and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8; cf. Acts 2:
John, who reached the tomb first (perhaps because he was the younger), did not
go in, out of deference to Peter. This is an indication that Peter was already re-
garded as leader of the Apostles.
5-7. The words the Evangelist uses to describe what Peter and he saw in the
empty tomb convey with vivid realism the impression it made on them, etching on
their memory details which at first sight seem irrelevant. The whole scene inside
the tomb in some way caused them to intuit that the Lord had risen. Some of the
words contained in the account need further explanation, so terse is the transla-
“The linen clothes lying there”: the Greek participle translated as “lying there”
seems to indicate that the clothes were flattened, deflated, as if they were em-
ptied when the body of Jesus rose and disappeared — as if it had come out of the
clothes and bandages without their being unrolled, passing right through them
(just as later He entered the Cenacle when the doors were shut). This would ex-
plain the clothes being “fallen”, “flat” “lying”, which is how the Greek literally tran-
slates, after Jesus’ body — which had filled them — left them. One can readily un-
derstand how this would amaze a witness, how unforgettable the scene
“The napkin...rolled up in a place by itself”: the first point to note is that the nap-
kin, which had been wrapped round the head, was not on top of the clothes, but
placed on one side. The second, even more surprising thing is that, like the
clothes, it was still rolled up but, unlike the clothes, it still had a certain volume,
like a container, possibly due to the stiffness given it by the ointments: this is
what the Greek participle, here translated as “rolled”, seems to indicate.
From these details concerning the empty tomb one deduces that Jesus’ body
must have risen in a heavenly manner, that is, in a way which transcended the
laws of nature. It was not only a matter of the body being reanimated as hap-
pened, for example, in the case of Lazarus, who had to be unbound before he
could walk (cf. John 11:44).
8-10. As Mary Magdalene had told them, the Lord was not in the tomb; but the
two Apostles realized that there was no question of any robbery, which was what
she thought had happened, because they saw the special way the clothes and
napkin were; they know began to understand what the Master had so often told
them about His death and resurrection (cf. Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke
9:22; etc.; cf. also the notes on Mt. 12:39-40 and Lk 18:31-40).
The empty tomb and the other facts were perceptible to the senses; but the re-
surrection, even though it had effects that could be tested by experience, re-
quires faith if it is to be accepted. Christ’s resurrection is a real, historic fact: His
body and soul were reunited. But since His was a glorious resurrection unlike La-
zarus’, far beyond our capacity in this life to understand what happened, and out-
side the scope of sense experience, a special gift of God is required — the gift of
faith — to know and accept as a certainty this fact which, while it is historical, is
also supernatural. Therefore, St. Thomas Aquinas can say that “the individual ar-
guments taken alone are not sufficient proof of Christ’s resurrection, but taken to-
gether, in a cumulative way, they manifest it perfectly. Particularly important in
this regard are the spiritual proofs (cf. specially Luke 24:25-27), the angelic testi-
mony (cf. Luke 24:4-7) and Christ’s own post-resurrection word confirmed by mi-
racles (cf. John 3:13; Matthew 16:21; 17:22; 20:18)” (St. Thomas Aquinas, “Sum-
ma Theologiae”, III, q. 55, a. 6 ad 1).
In addition to Christ’s predictions about His passion, death and resurrection (cf.
John 2:19; Matthew 16:21; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:22), the Old Testament also fore-
tells the glorious victory of the Messiah and, in some way, His resurrection (cf.
Psalm 16:9; Isaiah 52:13; Hosea 6:2). The Apostles begin to grasp the true mea-
ning of Sacred Scripture after the resurrection, particularly once they receive the
Holy Spirit, who fully enlightens their minds to understand the content of the
Word of God. It is easy to imagine the surprise and elation they all feel when
Peter and John tell them what they have seen in the tomb.
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.
|First reading||1 John 1:1-4 ©|
|Psalm||Psalm 96:1-2,5-6,11-12 ©|
|Gospel Acclamation||cf.Te Deum|
|Gospel||John 20:2-8 ©|
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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.
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.
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."
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
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 priestsThis 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.
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.
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
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
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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.
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 Gods 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.
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 Churchs 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 Marys 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]
General Intention: That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.
Missionary Intention: Christ, light for all humanity. That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.
Many are shocked to walk into daily Mass on December 26 and instead of hearing more of the Baby Jesus we are confronted with Martyrdom, The Feast of Stephen is ancient on the Churchs calendar. More ancient than the Christmas cycle and hence it was not removed to another time.
Bu the martyrdom does not stop there. We are in the midst of the Christmas Octave, an Octave filled with blood as we shall see.
What is an Octave? But first, there may be some of you who wonder what is meant by and Octave. An Octave is a period of eight days wherein a feast of the Church is celebrated for that whole period as though it were all the same day. In the modern liturgical calendar we only observe two octaves explicitly: Christmas and Easter.
During the week following Christmas many of the prayers speak of each day as though it were still Christmas. For example some of the prayers and antiphons say, Today is born our savior, Christ the Lord. A purist might say, but it is NOT today that he is born, it was back on Saturday the 25th that he was born. But, in certain sense this IS still Christmas day. Christmas Day is one long day of eight days from Saturday the 25th to Saturday January 1st.
It is the same with Easter where for one whole week we announce: This is the day the Lord has made
Why eight days? Some say it is a reference to the eighth day on which Christ rose. I know, you thought it was the third day. But it was also the eighth day! For God made the world in seven days, resting on the seventh (Sabbath or Saturday). But Christ rose on the 8th day (Sunday). So resurrection morning is both the third day AND the eighth day! Others say the practice of the octave goes to Jewish times where some of the feasts (e.g. Dedication and Tabernacles (Booths)) were celebrated over 8 days.
In the old calendar there were more Octaves such as: Epiphany, Pentecost, All Saints, Immaculate Conception, Ascension Sacred Heart and others). Not all of these were privileged Octaves in which no other feasts could be celebrated. Easter and Pentecost were really the only two that blocked out all other feasts entirely. Others, like the Christmas Octave, allowed the celebration of other feasts but still referred to the feast of the octave as well.
So here we are in the Christmas Octave and, in a strong sense it is thus still Christmas Day. TODAY is born our savior Christ the Lord. This feast is so important that we stretch its observance a completed week and into the eighth day.
Bloody Octave But one of the striking things about the Christmas octave is its bloodiness. It is one of the bloodiest weeks of the Churchs years. Thus, on December 26th, when we have hardly digested our Christmas dinner, we celebrate the Feast of St. Stephen, the Martyr who was stoned to death. On December 28th we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the young and infant boys who were murdered by Herod seeking to kill Christ. On December 29th we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas Becket who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. Even St. (King) Wenceslaus of whom we happily sing on the Feast of Stephen was brutally killed by his brother.
Why all this blood, why this martyrdom? It is almost as though the red poinsettias that we put out in festive Christmas spirit look back to us in testimony. For it is clear that Jesus came to this world, ultimately to die. His crib (likely of wood) in which he was laid, arms and feet bound by swaddling clothes, points inevitably to the wood of his cross where, once again, his arms and legs were bound by nails and, after dying, he was wrapped tightly in a linen shroud.
The blood of the Christmas octave also reminds us that many of us too will share in Christs lot. This world hated Christ and had no room for him. Neither does this world have room for true Christians and the blood of martyrs stretches down through the centuries in testimony to the worlds hatred for authentic disciples of Christ and the truth they propose.
From this bloody octave the words of Christ ring out: If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you (Jn 15:19). The martyrs of the Christmas Octave say, Amen.
And even St. John the Apostle, whose feast also occurs in the Octave (Dec 27), also says Amen. For, though he did not suffer martyrdom he proclaimed his Amen also from his prison cell on Patmos: I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus (Rev 1:9).
Victory But all these martyrs and sufferers (St. Stephen, St. John, the Holy Innocents, St. Thomas Becket, and St Wenceslaus) proclaim too the victory that is theirs with Jesus Christ who also said, In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (Jn 16:33). And again, Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victors crown. (Rev 2:10) Yes, Lord, the Spirit and the Bride say, Amen.
Did I wish you a merry Christmas?
|Thursday, December 27, 2012
St. John, Apostle, Evangelist (Feast)