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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-28-12, F, Holy Innocents, 4th Day/Octave of Christmas
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-28-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/27/2012 7:48:58 PM PST by Salvation

December 28, 2012

Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs

 

Reading 1 1 Jn 1:5-2:2

Beloved:
This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ
and proclaim to you:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
If we say, "We have fellowship with him,"
while we continue to walk in darkness,
we lie and do not act in truth.
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light,
then we have fellowship with one another,
and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
If we say, "We are without sin,"
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 124:2-3, 4-5, 7cd-8

R. (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Had not the LORD been with us?
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.

Gospel Mt 2:13-18

When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
"Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him."
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.


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

1 posted on 12/27/2012 7:49:13 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 12/27/2012 7:55:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Adoration of the Shepherds, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1650-5
 

3 posted on 12/27/2012 7:55:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 John 1:5-2:2

God Is Light


[5] This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God
is light and in him is no darkness at all.

Walking in the Light. Rejecting Sin


[6] If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and
do not live according to the truth; [7] but if we walk in the light, as he is in the
light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son clean-
ses us from all sin. [8] If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive
our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we say we have not
sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

[1] My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any
one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
[2] and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins
of the whole world.

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

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-
ral section.

5. “God is light”: the imagery of light/darkness was much employed in ancient
times — sometimes to promote the notion that the world had two principles, one
good and the other evil. In St John the image clearly has a different meaning,
one connected with biblical teaching on light. When God reveals himself to men,
in one way or another light usually plays a part: examples range from the burning
bush (cf. Ex 3:1ff) to the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of fire (cf.
Acts 2:1ff). This imagery is used to show God’s sublimity — as we find also in St
Paul: “the Lord of Lords,...who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has
ever seen or can see” (1 Tim 6:15-16).

The image of light also helps to show what revelation involves: God has made
himself known to us, enlightening our hearts (cf. 2 Cor 4:6). Thus, we can say
that God is light, Jesus Christ has made him known to us, and Christian revela-
tion is the splendor of that light. In St John’s Gospel the idea of Christ as the
light which enlightens the world occurs very often (cf., e.g., Jn 1:4, 9; 8:12; 9:5).
St Thomas Aquinas explains, in this connection, that philosophers prior to Christ
had a certain light which allowed them to attain some knowledge of God through
reason; the people of Israel had much more light, through divine revelation in the
Old Testament; angels and saints, because they have greater knowledge of God
by virtue of grace have divine light to a special degree; but only the Word of God
is the true light, because he is by his very essence the light which enlightens (cf.
“Commentary on St John”, 1, 9).

The expression “God is light” has also a moral dimension: in God there is no
darkness because there is no sin; he is sovereign good and all perfection. The
light/darkness imagery, therefore, helps to underline the gravity of sin: “the light
has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their
deeds were evil” (Jn 3:19). Those who lead a holy life are called children of light
(Jn 12:36; Lk 16:8; Eph 5:8; 1 Thess 5:5); whereas those who do evil live in dark-
ness (1 Thess 5:4), which is the symbol of sin (Lk 22:53).

St John uses the statement that “God is light” to encourage Christians to live in
an upright way; as does St Augustine, who comments that we must be united to
God and “darkness should be cast away from us so as to allow light to enter, be-
cause darkness is incompatible with light” (”In Epist. Joann. ad Parthos”, 1, 5).

6-10. The clause “if we say” introduces three suppositions — very probably
claims made by some early heretics, especially Gnostics (who boasted of having
attained fullness of knowledge and thought they were incapable of sinning).

St John is using the literary technique of parallelism, much employed by Semitic
writers: the first sentence states an idea which is repeated and filled out in the
later ones. Here, the first statement (”we lie”) is later extended to “we deceive
ourselves” (v. 8)..., and then to “we make him [God] a liar” (v. 10). This literary
device shows that the author of the letter was familiar with this style of writing,
very common in the Old Testament.

6-7. Walking in darkness/walking in the light — a graphic description of sinful con-
duct and upright conduct. St John insists that one cannot justify a life of sin by
claiming to have communion with God: “mere confession of faith is in no sense
sufficient”, St Bede declares, “if that faith is not confirmed by good works” (”In
I Epist. S. Ioannis, ad loc.”).

“Fellowship with one another”: If there were an exact parallelism between the
parts of the passage, we would expect it to read “fellowship with him”, which is
how some Fathers read it. If the text reads differently, it is because mutual com-
munion, the fellowship with the Church to which St John is referring, is a pledge
and sign of fellowship with God: “the Church, in Christ, is in the nature of a sa-
crament — a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity
among all men” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 1).

“The blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin”: this idea is often found in
the Book of Revelation when it says that the blood of Christ sets us free (cf. Rev
1:5), cleanses souls and makes them white (cf. Rev 7:14), ransoms them for
God (cf. Rev 5:9) and defeats the enemies of salvation (cf. Rev 12:11). It is made
quite clear that the blood of Christ purifies all types of sin, past and present, mor-
tal and venial. (On the blood of Christ as atonement for all sins, see the notes on
Heb 9:12, 14.)

8. “If we say we have no sin”: the Old Testament often says that all men are sin-
ners (cf. 7:70; Job 9:2; 14:4; 15:14; 25:4; Prov 20:9; Ps 14:1-4; 51; etc.) and this
is also clear from the New Testament (cf. especially Rom 3:10-18). The Council
of Trent condemns anyone who says “that a man once justified cannot sin again
and cannot lose grace” (”De Iustificatione”, can. 23).

Loss of the sense of sin is a danger that threatens man in all epochs. The Apos-
tle’s warning (to his contemporaries in the first instance) has particular relevance
in our own time.” “Deceived by the loss of the sense of sin,” Bl. John Paul II re-
minds us, “and at times by an illusion of sinlessness which is not at all Chris-
tian, the people of today also need to listen again to St John’s admonition, as
addressed to each one of them personally: ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us’, and indeed ‘the whole world is in the power
of the evil one’ (1 Jn 5:19). Every individual therefore is invited by the voice of di-
vine truth to examine realistically his or her conscience, and to confess that he
or she has been brought forth in iniquity, as we say in the “Miserere” Psalm (cf.
Ps 51:7)” (”Reconciliatio Et Paenitentia”, 22).

9-10. “If we confess our sins”: the Council of Trent quotes this text (without inten-
ding to define its exact meaning) when it teaches that confession of sins is of di-
vine institution: ‘The Catholic Church has always understood that integral confes-
sion of sins was also instituted by the Lord (Jas 5:16; 1 Jn 1:9; Lk 17:14) and is
by divine law necessary for all falls after Baptism” (”De Sacramento Paenitentia”,
chap. 5).

The sacred writer puts emphasis on the interior disposition of the Christian: he
should humbly admit that he is a sinner; and St Augustine explains: “If you con-
fess yourself to be a sinner, the truth is in you: the truth is light. Your life does
not yet shine as brightly as it might, because there are sins in you; but now you
are beginning to be enlightened, because you confess your iniquities” (”In Epist.
Joann. Ad Parthos”, 1, 6).

“Faithful and just”: a translation of two Hebrew words which literally have to do
with love and faithfulness. The Old Testament uses this expression to stress
that God’s faithful love is always ready to forgive.

1-2. In order to make sure that no one makes a wrong appeal to divine mercy so
as to justify their continuing to sin, St John exhorts all to avoid sin. It is one thing
to acknowledge that we are sinners and to be conscious of our frailty; it is a very
different matter to become completely passive or pessimistic, as if it were not
possible to avoid offending God. “Jesus understands our weakness and draws
us to himself on an inclined plane,” St. Escriva explains. “He wants us to make
an effort to climb a little each day. He seeks us out, just as he did the disciples
of Emmaus, whom he went out to meet. He sought Thomas, showed himself to
him and made him touch with his fingers the open wounds in his hands and side.
Jesus Christ is always waiting for us to return to him; he knows our weakness”
(”Christ Is Passing By”, 75).

“My little children”: it is difficult to translate this and other similar expressions in
St John, charged as they are with tenderness and a sense of pastoral responsi-
bility. They express a deep, strong love, like that of Jesus at the Last Supper (cf.
Jn 13:33). This same Greek term appears six more times in this letter (2:12, 28;
3:7, 18; 4:4; 5: 21); at other times he uses words equivalent to our “my little ones”
(cf. 2:14, 18) or “dearly beloved” (2:7; 3:2, 21; 4:1, 7, 11; 3 Jn 2, 5, 11). All these
expressions reflect how very close St John was to the faithful.

“We have an advocate with the Father”: Jesus Christ, who is the only Mediator
(cf. 1 Tim 2:5), intercedes for us. He, who has died for our sins (he is “the expia-
tion”), presents his infinite merits to God the Father, by virtue of which the Father
pardons us always. The Holy Spirit is also called Paraclete or Advocate insofar
as he accompanies, consoles and guides each Christian, and the whole Church,
on its earthly pilgrimage (cf. note on Jn 14:16-17).

“St John the Apostle exhorts us to avoid sin”, St Alphonsus says, “but because
he is afraid we will lose heart when we remember our past faults, he encourages
us to hope for forgiveness provided we are firmly resolved not to fall again; he tells
us that we have to put our affairs in order with Christ, who died not only to forgive
us but also (after dying) to become our advocate with the heavenly father” (”Re-
flections on the Passion”, Chap. 9, 2).

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/27/2012 7:57:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 2:13-18

The Flight Into Egypt


[13] Now when they (the Magi) had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord ap-
peared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the Child and His mother,
and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search
for the Child, to destroy Him.” [14] And he rose and took the Child and His mo-
ther by night, and departed to Egypt, [15] and remained there until the death
of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of
Egypt have I called My Son.”

The Massacre of the Innocents


[16] Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was
in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and
in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which
he had ascertained from the wise men. [17] Then was fulfilled what was spoken
by the prophet Jeremiah: [18] “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud
lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, be-
cause they were no more.”

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

14. St. John Chrysostom, commenting on this passage, draws a particular at-
tention to Joseph’s faithfulness and obedience: “On hearing this, Joseph was
not scandalized, nor did he say, ‘This is hard to understand. You yourself told
me not long ago that He would save His people, and not He is not able to save
even Himself. Indeed, we have to flee and undertake a journey and be away for
a long time...’. But he does not say any of these things, because Joseph is a
faithful man. Neither does he ask when they will be coming back, even though
the angel had left it open when he said ‘and remain there till I tell you.’ This
does not hold him back: on the contrary, he obeys, believes and endures all
trials with joy” (”Hom. on St. Matthew”, 8).

It is worth noting also how God’s way of dealing with His chosen ones contains
light and shade: they have to put up with intense sufferings side by side with
great joy: “It can be clearly seen that God, who is full of love for man, mixes
pleasant things with unpleasant ones, as He did with all the Saints. He gives
us neither dangers nor consolations in a continual way, but rather He makes
the lives of the just a mixture of both. This was what He did with Joseph”
(”ibid”.).

15. The text of Hosea 11:1 speaks of a child who comes out of Egypt and is
a son of God. This refers in the first place to the people of Israel whom God
brought out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership. But this event was a symbol or
prefiguration of Jesus, the Head of the Church, the New People of God. It is in
Him that this prophecy is principally fulfilled. The sacred text gives a quotation
from the Old Testament in the light of its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The Old
Testament achieves its full meaning in Christ, and, in the words of St. Paul, to
read it without keeping in mind Jesus is to have one’s face covered by a veil (cf.
2 Corinthians 3:12-18).

18. Ramah was the city in which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, concentra-
ted the Israelites he had taken prisoner. Since Ramah was in the land of Benja-
min, Jeremiah puts this lament for the children of Israel in the mouth of Rachel,
the mother of Benjamin and Joseph. So great was the misfortune of those exi-
led to Babylon that Jeremiah says poetically that Rachel’s sorrow is too great
to allow for consolation.

“Rachel was buried in the race course near Bethlehem. Since her grave was
nearby and the property belonged to her son, Benjamin (Rachel was of the tribe
of Benjamin), the children beheaded in Bethlehem could reasonably be called
Rachel’s children” (St John Chrysostom, “Hom. on St Matthew”, 9).

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/27/2012 8:00:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading 1 John 1:5-2:2 ©
This is what we have heard from Jesus Christ,
and the message that we are announcing to you:
God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.
If we say that we are in union with God
while we are living in darkness,
we are lying because we are not living the truth.
But if we live our lives in the light,
as he is in the light,
we are in union with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.
If we say we have no sin in us;
we are deceiving ourselves
and refusing to admit the truth;
but if we acknowledge our sins,
then God who is faithful and just
will forgive our sins and purify us
from everything that is wrong.
To say that we have never sinned
is to call God a liar
and to show that his word is not in us.
I am writing this, my children,
to stop you sinning;
but if anyone should sin,
we have our advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ, who is just;
he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away,
and not only ours,
but the whole world’s.

Psalm Psalm 123:2-5,7-8 ©
Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.
If the Lord had not been on our side
  when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive
  when their anger was kindled.
Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.
Then would the waters have engulfed us,
  the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept
  the raging waters.
Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.
Indeed the snare has been broken
  and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
  who made heaven and earth.
Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Te Deum
Alleluia, alleluia!
We praise you, O God,
we acknowledge you to be the Lord;
the noble army of martyrs praise you, O Lord.
Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 2:13-18 ©
After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:
I called my son out of Egypt.
Herod was furious when he realised that he had been outwitted by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. It was then that the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loudly lamenting:
it was Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted because they were no more.

6 posted on 12/27/2012 8:13:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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7 posted on 12/27/2012 8:17:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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8 posted on 12/27/2012 8:18:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

  PRAYERS AFTER
HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

Vernacular

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Prayer Before the Crucifix

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

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

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

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

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

Prayer for Vocations

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

9 posted on 12/27/2012 8:20:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

A Prayer To The Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents, you died before you were old enough to know what life means, pray for all children who die young that God may gather them into His loving arms.

Holy Innocents, you were killed because one man was filled with hatred, pray for those who hate that God may touch their hearts and fill them with love.

Holy Innocents, you experienced a violent death, pray for all who are affected by violence that they may find peace and love.

Holy Innocents, your parents grieved for you with deep and lasting sorrow, pray for all parents who have lost young children that God may wrap a warm blanket of comfort around them.

Holy Innocents, those around you certainly felt helpless to prevent your deaths, pray for all who feel helpless in their circumstances that they may cling to God for courage and hope.

Holy Innocents, you who are now in Heaven, pray for all of us that one day we may join you there to bask in God's love forever.

Amen.


10 posted on 12/27/2012 8:29:55 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: fidelis

Beautiful. Thanks so much.


11 posted on 12/27/2012 8:33:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: fidelis

And with the palm branches too. Many people don’t realize that the palm branches represent martyrdom. I think I have that right.


12 posted on 12/27/2012 8:34:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
13 posted on 12/27/2012 8:35:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
14 posted on 12/27/2012 8:35:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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


15 posted on 12/27/2012 8:37:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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:  II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

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

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


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

16 posted on 12/27/2012 8:38:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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
+

17 posted on 12/27/2012 8:39:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.


18 posted on 12/27/2012 8:40:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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]

19 posted on 12/27/2012 8:41:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

December 2012

Pope's intentions

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

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


20 posted on 12/27/2012 8:42:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

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 Church’s 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 Church’s 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 Christ’s 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 world’s 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 victor’s crown. (Rev 2:10) Yes, Lord, the Spirit and the Bride say, Amen.

Did I wish you a merry Christmas?


21 posted on 12/27/2012 8:44:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Friday, December 28, 2012
The Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Feast)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
1 John 1:5 -- 2:2
Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8
Matthew 2:13-18

You people of Vitebsk want to put me to death. You make ambushes for me everywhere, in the streets, on the bridges, on the highways, and in the marketplace. I am here among you as a shepherd and you ought to know that I should be happy to give my life for you. I am ready to die for the holy union, for the supremacy of St. Peter and of his successor the Supreme Pontiff.

-- St Josaphat


22 posted on 12/27/2012 8:47:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

23 posted on 12/27/2012 8:49:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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. 


24 posted on 12/27/2012 8:51:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
And with the palm branches too. Many people don’t realize that the palm branches represent martyrdom. I think I have that right.

You're partially right. In the ancient world palm leaves were a sign of victory (which is why the crowds on Palm Sunday greeted Jesus with palms, as they assumed he was entering Jerusalem as a conquering Messiah). So martyrs are shown holding palms because they have achieved victory over death and the world.

25 posted on 12/27/2012 8:57:13 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: fidelis

Thanks, I didn’t realize the victory part.


26 posted on 12/28/2012 7:48:16 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
Feast Day
December 28th


Giotto di Bondone
No. 21 Scenes from the Life of Christ
Massacre of the Innocents
1304-06 -- Fresco
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
 

Collect:
O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed
and proclaimed on this day,
not by speaking but by dying,
grant, we pray,
that the faith in you which we confess with our lips,
may also speak through our manner of life.
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.

Readings for Mass:
RSV-CE translation

First Reading: 1 John 1:5-2:2

Beloved; This is the message we have heard from Him [Jesus Christ], and proclaim to you, that God is light; and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we say that we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin in us, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 124:2-3, 4-5, 7cd-8

R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side,
when men rose up against us,
then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us.

R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.

Then the flood would have swept us away,
the torrent would have gone over us;
then over us would have gone the raging waters.

R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.

The snare is broken, and we have escaped!
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler's snare.

Gospel Reading - Matthew 2:13-18

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you: for Herod is about to search for the Child, to destroy Him." And he rose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called My Son."

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

"A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation: Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled because they were no more."

From the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

The Feast of the Holy Innocent

113. Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod's rage against Christ (cf. Mt 2:16-17). Liturgical tradition refers to them as the "Holy Innocents" and regards them as martyrs. Throughout the centuries Christian art, poetry and popular piety have enfolded the memory of the "tender flock of lambs"(125) with sentiments of tenderness and sympathy. These sentiments are also accompanied by a note of indignation against the violence with which they were taken from their mothers' arms and killed.

In our own times, children suffer innumerable forms of violence which threaten their lives, dignity and right to education. On this day, it is appropriate to recall the vast host of children not yet born who have been killed under the cover of laws permitting abortion, which is an abominable crime. Mindful of these specific problems, popular piety in many places has inspired acts of worship as well as displays of charity which provide assistance to pregnant mothers, encourage adoption and the promotion of the education of children.

As recorded in the gospel of Matthew (below), after the visit of the Magi, Herod, in rage and jealousy, slaughtered all the baby boys in Bethlehem and surrounding countryside in an attempt to destroy his perceived rival, the infant Messiah. These "innocents" are honored by the Church as martyrs.

In countries where our own innocents are daily being slaughtered by abortion, this feast day is a special time to remember the unborn, to pray for their cause, and perhaps to picket or pray at facilities where unborn babies are killed through abortion.

This would be a good day to begin a Novena for the Unborn.(Click here for Spanish Version)

The collect for the Holy Innocents may be said just before the blessing of the evening meal (see Christmas mealtime blessings), or at night prayers.

The ancient Coventry Carol is a mournful lullaby to the Holy Innocents. The words are printed below.

Family observances of this feast day have traditionally included serving baby food (oatmeal or pureed fruits), especially to the youngest member of the family. Another custom is eating a light-colored pudding with a red strawberry or raspberry sauce as a reminder of the blood of the tiny infant martyrs. While some adults may find this rather gory, many children appreciate this symbolism without the squeamishness their parents may feel.

Parents may also want to begin a nightly blessing of their children. Simply trace the sign of the cross on their foreheads while saying "May God bless you in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit".

The Coventry Carol

This beautiful English lullaby carol originated in the Coventry Corpus Christi Mystery Plays performed in the 15th century. In a play called The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors, the women of Bethlehem sing this song just before Herod's soldiers come to slaughter their children. It tells the story of the murder of the Holy Innocents, and is sung on December 28, the feast of those tiny martyrs.

Lully, Lullay, thou little tiny child.
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay thou little tiny child
Bye, bye, lully, lullay

O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing
Bye, bye lully, lullay

Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

Then woe is me, poor child, for thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye lully, lullay.


Theory and Consequences -The Case against Premature Induction Deliveries of Babies with Anencephaly and Other "Anomalies Incompatible with Life -- by Nancy Valko, RN (Vol. XIX, No. 2 Pentecost Season 2004)
For more pro-life articles
Go to
Medical Morality or Go to Article Index

Novena for the Protection of the Unborn


27 posted on 12/28/2012 7:49:42 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Word of the Day: CHILDERMAS DAY, 07-12-12
The Role of Fear in Abortion – A Meditation on the Feast of the Holy Innocents
Killing the Holy Innocents: Governments that Fund Abortion are the New Herods
Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas)
Coventry Carol (In Honor of the Holy Innocents, the First Martyrs for Christ)
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]

Holy Innocents (also known as Childermas or Children’s Mass)
The Holy Innocents
King Herod Revisited
THE HOLY INNOCENTS Feast: December 28
Feast of the Holy Innocents - December 28 - 1928 BCP
We remember today the Holy Innocents, First Martyrs
Orthodox Feast of the Holy Innocents, December 29
December 28 - Feast of the Holy Innocents
Ending the Holocaust of the Innocents
Dec. 28 - Feast of The Holy Innocents

28 posted on 12/28/2012 7:51:52 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information:
Holy Innocents
Feast Day: December 28

29 posted on 12/28/2012 8:09:00 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Feast of the Holy Innocents
Feast Day: December 28
Born/Died: (when Jesus was born)

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Wise Men (or Magi) came from the east to worship him. Some say they were kings, others astrologers. They went to Herod, the king, looking for the newborn king of the Jews, the Savior.

Herod was a cruel and clever bully. When he heard that these Wise Men were looking for a newborn king, he began to worry about losing his throne.

But he did not let the Wise Men know what he was thinking. He called in his chief priests and asked them where the Bible says the Messiah was to be born. They answered: Bethlehem.

"Go and find out about this child," the wicked king said to the Wise Men. "When you have found out where he is, come and tell me. Then I, too, will go and worship him."

The Wise Men agreed and continued on their way, following the star. They found Jesus the Messiah, with Mary and Joseph. They adored him and offered their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

But in their sleep an angel warned them not to go back to Herod. Then an angel asked St. Joseph to take Mary and Baby Jesus into Egypt. In this way, God spoiled Herod's plans to harm little Baby Jesus.

When Herod realized that the Wise Men had not come back to him, he became very angry. He was an evil, horrible man, and now the fear of losing his throne made him worse.

He sent his soldiers to kill all the little baby boys of Bethlehem in the hope of killing Jesus too. The soldiers had to obey his order. There was great sorrow in the little town of Bethlehem, as mothers wept when their beloved babies were killed.

These little children are honored today by the Church as martyrs. They are called the Holy Innocents.

30 posted on 12/28/2012 8:12:39 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: fidelis

Thank-you for this wonderful prayer. This prayer is not just only a prayer, but a teaching lesson for me, two weeks after my home state, CT, suffered from a horrible shooting incident this prayer is a blessing. God Bless.


31 posted on 12/28/2012 9:59:25 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl

You’re welcome, Biggirl. God bless.


32 posted on 12/28/2012 11:01:38 AM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 2
13 And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. Qui cum recessissent, ecce angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens : Surge, et accipe puerum, et matrem ejus, et fuge in Ægyptum, et esto ibi usque dum dicam tibi. Futurum est enim ut Herodes quærat puerum ad perdendum eum. αναχωρησαντων δε αυτων ιδου αγγελος κυριου φαινεται κατ οναρ τω ιωσηφ λεγων εγερθεις παραλαβε το παιδιον και την μητερα αυτου και φευγε εις αιγυπτον και ισθι εκει εως αν ειπω σοι μελλει γαρ ηρωδης ζητειν το παιδιον του απολεσαι αυτο
14 Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: Qui consurgens accepit puerum et matrem ejus nocte, et secessit in Ægyptum : ο δε εγερθεις παρελαβεν το παιδιον και την μητερα αυτου νυκτος και ανεχωρησεν εις αιγυπτον
15 That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son. et erat ibi usque ad obitum Herodis : ut adimpleretur quod dictum est a Domino per prophetam dicentem : Ex Ægypto vocavi filium meum. και ην εκει εως της τελευτης ηρωδου ινα πληρωθη το ρηθεν υπο του κυριου δια του προφητου λεγοντος εξ αιγυπτου εκαλεσα τον υιον μου
16 Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Tunc Herodes videns quoniam illusus esset a magis, iratus est valde, et mittens occidit omnes pueros, qui erant in Bethlehem, et in omnibus finibus ejus, a bimatu et infra secundum tempus, quod exquisierat a magis. τοτε ηρωδης ιδων οτι ενεπαιχθη υπο των μαγων εθυμωθη λιαν και αποστειλας ανειλεν παντας τους παιδας τους εν βηθλεεμ και εν πασιν τοις οριοις αυτης απο διετους και κατωτερω κατα τον χρονον ον ηκριβωσεν παρα των μαγων
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: Tunc adimpletum est quod dictum est per Jeremiam prophetam dicentem : τοτε επληρωθη το ρηθεν υπο ιερεμιου του προφητου λεγοντος
18 A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. Vox in Rama audita est ploratus, et ululatus multus : Rachel plorans filios suos, et noluit consolari, quia non sunt. φωνη εν ραμα ηκουσθη θρηνος και κλαυθμος και οδυρμος πολυς ραχηλ κλαιουσα τα τεκνα αυτης και ουκ ηθελεν παρακληθηναι οτι ουκ εισιν

33 posted on 12/28/2012 6:48:09 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
13. And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.
14. When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt
15. And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son.

RABANUS. Here Matthew omits the clay of purification when the first-born must be presented in the Temple with a lamb or a pair of turtle doves or pigeons. Their fear of Herod did not make them bold to transgress the Law, that they should not present the Child in the temple. As soon then as the rumor concerning the Child begins to be spread abroad, the Angel is sent to bid Joseph carry Him into Egypt.

REMIG. By this that the Angel appears always to Joseph in sleep, is mystically signified that they who rest from mundane cares and secular pursuits, deserve angelic visitations.

HILARY; The first time when he would teach Joseph that she was lawfully espoused, the Angel called the Virgin his espoused

wife; but after the birth she is only spoken of as the Mother of Jesus. As wedlock was rightfully imputed to her in her virginity, so virginity is esteemed venerable in her as the mother of Jesus.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. He says not, 'the Mother and her young Child'; but, the young Child and His mother; for the Child was not born for the mother, but the mother prepared for the Child. How is this that the Son of God flies from the face of man? or who shall deliver from the enemy's hand, if He Himself fears His enemies? First, He ought to observe, even in this, the law of that human nature which He took on Him; and human nature and infancy must flee before threatening power. Next, that Christians when persecution makes it necessary should not be ashamed to fly. But why into Egypt? The Lord, who keeps not His anger forever, remembered time woes He had brought upon Egypt, and therefore sent His Son there, and gives it this sign of great reconciliation, that with this one remedy He might heal the ten plagues of Egypt, and the nation that had been the persecutor of this first-born people, might be the guardian of His first-born Son. As formerly they had cruelly tyrannized, now they might devoutly serve; nor go to the Red Sea to be drowned, but be called to the waters of baptism to receive life.

AUG. Hear the sacrament of a great mystery. Moses before had shut up the light of day from the traitors the Egyptians; Christ by going down thither brought back light to them that sat in darkness. He fled that He might enlighten them, not that he might escape his foes.

ID. The miserable tyrant supposed that by the Savior's coming he should be thrust from his royal throne. But it was not so; Christ came not to hurt others dignity, but to bestow His own on others.

HILARY; Egypt full of idols; for after this inquiry for Him among the Jews, Christ leaving Judea goes to be cherished among nations given to the vainest superstitions.

JEROME; When he takes the Child and His mother to go into Egypt, it is in the night and darkness, when to return into Judea, the Gospel speaks of no light, no darkness.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The straightness of every persecution may be called night - relief from it in like manner, day.

RABANUS; For when the true light withdraws, they who hate the light are in darkness; when it returns they are again enlightened.

CHRYS. See how immediately on His birth the tyrant is furious against Him, and the mother with her Child is driven into foreign lands. So should you in the beginning of your spiritual career seem to have tribulation, you need not to be discouraged, but bear all things manfully, having this example.

BEDE. The flight into Egypt signifies that the elect are often by the wickedness of the bad driven from their homes, or sentenced to banishment. Thus He, who, we shall see below, gave the command to His own, When they shall persecute you in one city, flee to another, first practiced what He enjoined, as a man flying before the face of man on earth. He whom but a little before a star had proclaimed to the Magi to be worshipped as from heaven.

REMIG. Isaiah had foretold this flight into Egypt Lo! the Lord shall ascend on a light cloud, and shall come into Egypt, and shall scatter the idols of Egypt (Is 19:1). It is the practice of this Evangelist to confirm all he says; and that because he is writing to the Jews, therefore he adds, that it might be fulfilled, &c.

JEROME. This is not in the LXX, but in Osee according to the genuine Hebrew text we read: Israel is my child, and I have loved him, and from Egypt have I called my Son; where the LXX render, Israel is my child, and I have loved him and called my sons out of Egypt. ID. The Evangelist cites this text, because it refers to Christ typically. For it is to be observed that in this Prophet and in others, the coming of Christ and the call of the Gentiles are foreshown in such a manner, that the thread of history is never broken.

CHRYS. It is a law of prophecy, that in a thousand places many things are said of some and fulfilled of others. As it is said of Simeon and Levi, I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel (Gen 49:7); which was fulfilled not in themselves, but in their descendants. So here Christ is by nature the Son of God, and so the prophecy is fulfilled in Him.

JEROME; Let those who deny the authenticity of the Hebrew copies, show us this passage in the LXX, and when they have failed to find it, we will show it them in the Hebrew. We may also explain it in another way, by considering it as quoted from Numbers, God brought him out of Egypt; his glory is as it were that of a unicorn (Num 23:22).

REMIG. In Joseph is figured the order of preachers, in Mary Holy Scripture; by the Child the knowledge of the Savior; by the cruelty of Herod the persecution which the Church suffered in Jerusalem; by Joseph's flight into Egypt the passing of the preachers to the unbelieving Gentiles (for Egypt signifies darkness); by the time that he abode in Egypt the space of time between the ascension of the Lord and the coming of Anti-Christ; by Herod's death the extinction of jealousy in the hearts of the Jews.

16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. When the infant Jesus had subdued the Magi, not by the might of His flesh, but the grace of His Spirit, Herod was exceeding wroth, that they whom he, sitting on his throne, had no power to move, were obedient to an Infant lying in a manger. Then by their contempt of him the Magi gave further cause of wrath. For when kings' wrath is stirred by fear for their crowns, it is a great and inextinguishable wrath. But what did he do? He sent and slew all the children. As a wounded beast rends whatever meets it as if the cause of its smart, so he mocked by the Magi spent his fury on children. He said to himself in his fury, 'Surely the Magi have found the child whom they said should be King'; for a king in fear for his crown fears all things, suspects all. Then he sent and slew all those infants, that he might secure one among so many.

AUG. And while he thus persecutes Christ, he furnished an army (of martyrs) clothed in white robes of the same age as the Lord.

ID. Behold how this unrighteous enemy never could have so much profited these infants by his love as he did by his hate; for as much as iniquity abounded against them, so much did the grace of blessing abound on them.

ID. O blessed infants! He only will doubt of your crown in this your passion for Christ, who doubts that the baptism of Christ has a benefit for infants. He who at His birth had Angels to proclaim Him, the heavens to testify, and Magi to worship Him, could surely have prevented that these should not have died for Him, had He not known that they died not in that death, but rather lived in higher bliss. Far be the thought that Christ who came to set men free did nothing to reward those who died in His behalf, when hanging on the cross He prayed for those who put Him to death.

RABANUS. He is not satisfied with the massacre at Bethlehem, but extends it to the adjacent villages, sparing no age from the child of one night old to that of two years.

AUG. The Magi had seen this unknown star in the heavens, not a few days, but two years before, as they had informed Herod when he enquired. This caused him to fix two years old and under, as it follows, according to the time he had inquired of the Magi.

ID. Or because he feared that the Child to whom even stars ministered, might transform His appearance to greater or under that of His own age, or might conceal all those of that age; hence it seems to be that he slew all from one day to two years old.

AUG. Or, disturbed by pressure of still more imminent dangers, Herod's thoughts are drawn to other thoughts than the slaughter of children, he might suppose that the Magi, unable to find Him whom they had supposed born, were ashamed to return to him. So the days of purification being accomplished, they might go up in safety to Jerusalem. And who does not see that that one day they may have escaped the attention of a King occupied with so many cares, and that afterwards when the things done in time Temple came to be spread abroad, then Herod discovered that he had been deceived by the Magi, and then sent and slew the children.

BEDE.In this death of the children the precious death of all Christ's martyrs is figured; that they were infants signifies that by the merit of humility alone can we come to the glory of martyrdom; that they were slain in Bethlehem and the coasts thereof, that the persecution shall be both in Jerusalem whence the Church originated, and throughout the world; in those of two years old are figured the perfect in doctrine and works, those under that age the neophytes; that they were slain while Christ escaped, signifies that the bodies of the martyrs may be destroyed by the wicked, but that Christ cannot be taken from them.

17. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
18. In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

CHRYS. The Evangelist by this history of so bloody a massacre, having filled the reader with horror, now again soothes his feelings, showing that these things were not done because God could not hinder, or knew not of them; but as the Prophet had foretold.

JEROME; This passage of Jeremiah has been quoted by Matthew neither according to the Hebrew nor the LXX version. This shows that the Evangelists and Apostles did not follow anyone's translation, but according to the Hebrew manner expressed in their own words what they had read in Hebrew.

ID. By Ramah we need not suppose that the town of that name near Gibeah is meant; but take it as signifying 'high.' A voice was heard 'aloft,' that is, spread far and wide.'

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Or, it was heard on high, because uttered for the death of the innocent, according to that, The voice of the poor enters into the heavens (Sirach 35:21). The 'weeping' means the cries of the children; 'lamentation,' refers to the mothers. In the infants themselves, their death ends their cries, in the mothers it is continually renewed by the remembrance of their loss.

JEROME; Rachel's son was Benjamin, in which tribe Bethlehem is not situated. How then does Rachel weep for the children of Judah as if they were her own? We answer briefly. She was buried near Bethlehem in Ephrata, and was regarded as the mother, because her body was there entertained. Or, as the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin were contiguous, and Herod's command extended to the coasts of Bethlehem as well as to the town itself; we may suppose that many were slain in Benjamin.

PSEUDO-AUG. Or, the sons of Benjamin, who were akin to Rachel, were formerly cut off by the other tribes, and so extinct both then and ever after. Then therefore Rachel began to mourn her sons, when she saw those of her sister cut off in such a cause, that they should be heirs of eternal life; for he who has experienced any misfortune, is made more sensible of his losses by the good fortune of a neighbor.

REMIG. The sacred Evangelist adds, to show the greatness of the mourning, that even the dead Rachel was roused to mourn her sons, and would not be comforted because they were not.

JEROME; This may be understood in two ways; either she thought them dead for all eternity, so that no consolation could comfort her; or, she desired not to receive any comfort for those who she knew had gone into life eternal.

HILARY; It could not be that they were not who seemed now dead, but by glorious martyrdom they were advanced to eternal life; and consolation is for those who have suffered loss, not for those who have reaped again. Rachel affords a type of the Church long barren now at length fruitful. She is heard weeping for her children, not because she mourned them dead, but because they were slaughtered by those whom she would have retained as her first-born sons.

RABANUS; Or, the Church weeps the removal of the saints from this earth, but wishes not to be comforted as though they should return again to the struggles of life, for they are not to be recalled into life.

GLOSS. She will not be comforted in this present life, for that they are not, but transfers all her hope and comfort to the life to come.

RABANUS; Rachel is well set for a type of the Church, as the word signifies 'a sheep' or 'seeing,' her whole thought being to fix her eye in contemplation of God; and she is the hundredth sheep that the shepherd lays on his shoulder.

Catena Aurea Matthew 2
34 posted on 12/28/2012 6:49:08 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Massacre of the Innocents

Fra Angelico

1451-52
Tempera on wood, 38,5 x 37 cm
Museo di San Marco, Florence

35 posted on 12/28/2012 6:50:40 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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Catholic
Almanac:

Friday, December 28

Liturgical Color: Red


Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. When the 3 Wise Men did not return to Herod with information on the location of Jesus, he had all the male children under age 2, killed. Relics of these children are preserved at St. Paul Outside the Walls.


36 posted on 12/28/2012 7:18:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: December 28, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed and proclaimed on this day, not by speaking but by dying, grant, we pray, that the faith in your which we confess with our lips may also speak through our manner of life. 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. 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.

Christmas: December 28th

Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

Old Calendar: The Holy Innocents

During this octave of Christmas the Church celebrates the memory of the small children of the neighborhood of Bethlehem put to death by Herod. Sacrificed by a wicked monarch, these innocent lives bear witness to Christ who was persecuted from the time of His birth by a world which would not receive Him. It is Christ Himself who is at stake in this mass-murder of the children; already the choice, for or against Him, is put clearly before men. But the persecutors are powerless, for Christ came to perform a work of salvation that nothing can prevent; when He fell into the hands of His enemies at the time chosen by God it was to redeem the world by His own Blood.

Our Christmas joy is tempered today by a feeling of sadness. But the Church looks principally to the glory of the children, of these innocent victims, whom she shows us in heaven following the Lamb wherever He goes.

The Fourth Day of Christmas


The Holy Innocents
Today, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king, Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the fruitful mother of so many heavenly champions and of such glorious virtues. Never, in fact, would that impious tyrant have been able to benefit these children by the sweetest kindness as much as he has done by his hatred. For as today's feast reveals, in the measure with which malice in all its fury was poured out upon the holy children, did heaven's blessing stream down upon them.

"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.

— St. Augustine

Things to Do:


37 posted on 12/28/2012 7:30:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 2:13-18

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

“… Rachel weeping for her children.” (Matthew 2:18)

The flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and Herod’s massacre of innocent children is a dramatic illustration of the battle between darkness and light. Yet even though Jesus’ whole life was lived under the sign of persecution, no powers— human or demonic—could undo the work he came to accomplish. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

Why was Herod afraid of this little baby? He didn’t know that Jesus had come to conquer hearts and souls, not lands and thrones. Herod’s fear was so great that to destroy one child, he commanded the deaths of many. He destroyed weak and defenseless children because fear had destroyed his heart. To prolong his own life, he tried to kill Life itself.

Even though Herod used force and cruelty to further his purposes, Jesus turned the tragedy into tri­umph. The Holy Innocents bear witness to God’s grace. They died for Christ, though they did not know it. While they could not yet speak, Jesus made them perfect witnesses to himself. They could not wield any weapons, yet they bore the palm of victory. Jesus freed their souls from captivity to the devil and made them adopted children of God. They now share his glory and reign with him in triumph.

St. Paul reminds us that we too share in Jesus’ victory, even when we feel defeated: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28). Setbacks, failures, adversity—nothing we may have to face in this life need separate us from Christ. His love can triumph over all, both in our individual lives and in the world as a whole.

Today, we face an evil far worse than Herod’s massacre: the slaughter of countless innocent unborn chil­dren. What can reverse this culture of death? God’s love can and will tri­umph, even here! Yes, a great evil is occurring. Yes, we must pray against it and seek to change the trends in our culture. But let us never do so out of a sense of desperation or hatred of those opposed to us. Remember: Nothing can snuff out the light of Christ.

“Heavenly Father, comfort all the children lost to abortion. Bring them right up to your throne!”

1 John 1:5–2:2; Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8


38 posted on 12/28/2012 7:38:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

THE HOLY INNOCENTS OF BETHLEHEM

(A biblical reflection on THE FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS, Martyrs – Friday, 28 December 2012) 

Gospel Reading: Mt 2:13-18 

First Reading: 1Jn 1:5-2:2; Psalms: Ps 124:2-5,7-8

Giotto-innocents

The Scripture Text

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the Child, to destroy Him.” And he rose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called My son.”

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men, then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.” (Mt 2:13-18 RSV) 

THE flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and Herod’s massacre of innocent children is a dramatic illustration of the battle between darkness and light. Yet even though Jesus’ whole life, from Bethlehem to Calvary, was lived under the sign of persecution, no powers, whether human or demonic, could undo the work He came to accomplish. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5).

Why did King Herod fear this little baby? He did not know that Jesus had come to conquer hearts and souls, not lands and thrones. To destroy one child, Herod did not hesitate to command the deaths of many innocent children. He destroyed weak and defenceless children because fear has destroyed his own heart, … his conscience. To prolong his own life, he tried to kill Life itself (see Jn 14:6).

Even though Herod used force and cruelty to further his evil purposes, Jesus turned this tragedy into triumph for the Kingdom of God. The Holy Innocents bear witness to the power of God’s grace. They died for Christ, though they did not know it. While they could not yet speak, Jesus made them fit witnesses to Himself. They could not wield any weapons, yet they bore the palm of victory. Jesus freed their souls from captivity to the devil and made them adopted children of God. They share His glory and reign with Him in triumph.

Saint Paul reminds us that we too share in Jesus’ victory, even when we feel defeated: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him” (Rom 8:28). Setbacks, failures, adversity – nothing we may have to face in this life need separate us from Christ (see Rom 8:35). His love can triumph over all, both in our individual lives and in the world as whole (Rom 8:37-39).

Today we face an evil far worse than Herod’s massacre: the slaughter of countless innocent unborn children. What can reverse this culture of death? God’s love can and will triumph, even here! Yes, a great evil is occurring. Yes, we must pray against it and seek to change the trends on our cultures in the most parts the world, …… in the Americas, Europe, even in Asia. But let us never do so out of a sense of frustration, desperation, or hatred of those opposed to us. Remember: Nothing can snuff out the light of Christ.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, comfort all the children lost to abortion. Bring them right up to Your throne. Thank You, Father. Amen.


39 posted on 12/28/2012 8:41:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 28, 2012:

“On the 4th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 4 Calling Birds.” What do you call each other? Can each of you think of four loving pet names you could call each other? Ask which one your honey likes best.


40 posted on 12/28/2012 8:47:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

The Mystery of Suffering Innocence

 on December 28, 2012 9:37 AM |
pre_f_i2.jpg

The Child in Egypt

The name Egypt occurs three times in today's gospel. "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt" (Mt 2:13). "And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt" (Mt 2:14). And finally, Saint Matthew cites the prophet Hosea: "Out of Egypt have I called my son" (Mt 2:15; Hos 11:1). As with so many proper names of persons and places in Sacred Scripture, Egypt enfolds and discloses a deeper mystery.

Egypt is a name and a place charged with ambivalence. On the one hand, it is the land of abundance, a refuge in time of famine (Gen 12:10; 42:1-3), a safe place for the political refugee (1 K 11:40; Jr 26:21). On the other hand, Egypt symbolizes the servitude and genocide out of which the Lord delivered his people. Hear the words of the Lord, speaking to Moses out of the burning bush: "I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey" (Ex 3:7-8).

The descent of the Infant Christ into Egypt and his return is a fundamental point of correspondence between the Old Testament and the New. The Infant Christ is the new Joseph in Egypt. In Christ, the words spoken concerning Joseph are fulfilled: "The Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had, in house and field" (Gen 39:5). Like the innocent Joseph, the innocent Christ is a guest in Egypt, receiving Egyptian hospitality, finding in Egypt a place of safety, a refuge from the murderous threats born of jealousy.

The Blood of Jesus

Christ is the new Moses and Christ is the Paschal Lamb in Egypt slain. His blood marks the souls of the faithful as once the blood of the immolated lamb marked the doorposts and lintels of the houses of the Jews in Egypt (cf. Ex 12:7). This is the very blood of which Saint John speaks, saying, "The Blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin" (1 Jn 1:7).

Behold, I am With You

Christ is the true and definitive Israel, "the head of the body, the Church" (Col 1:18) called out of Egypt into the desert wilderness, there to face the struggles and temptations of the Evil One in fasting and in prayer. Christ, having come out of Egypt, having vanquished the temptations of Satan in the desert, emerges victorious into the land of the living. This is the spiritual geography of the whole Christian life: out of Egypt, through the desert, into the Promised Land. Herein lies the whole of baptismal, Eucharistic, and monastic spirituality.

Egypt always evokes the dramas of exile and of flight. Jacob twice knew exile. The first exile was due to the hatred of his brother Esau; Jacob fled eastward to Haran and there, in a mysterious dream, he heard the word of the Lord, saying to him, "Behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go" (Gen 28:15). Then again, as a very old man, Jacob, again in a dream, heard the familiar voice saying to him, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation; I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again" (Gen 46:3). The going down to Egypt and the coming up from Egypt are intrinsic to the plan of God not only in the Bible, but in your life and mine.

Where Salvation Begins

Israel's sojourn in Egypt -- all 430 years of it -- is essential to the unfolding of God's plan. Joseph says to his brothers, "I am your brother Joseph . . . . It was not you who sent me here, but God. . . . God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry" (Gen 45:8-9). We are, at times, tempted to think of the Egypt years of our own lives as somehow expendable and unimportant: an embarrassment to be forgotten and consigned to the memory's darkest and deepest archives. Such thinking is flawed. Salvation begins precisely in Egypt. Israel went down to Egypt; the Infant Christ went down to Egypt; every Christian and, in a dramatic way, every monastic goes down to Egypt to await there, groaning in bondage (Ex 2:23) the hour of deliverance.

Where We Learn to Pray

Egypt is where we learn to pray, not with pious phrasing and elegantly fashioned sentiments, but with groans, and cries, and tears. "And the people of Israel groaned under their bondage, and cried out for help, and their cry under bondage came up to God. And God heard their groaning . . ." (Ex 2:23). How closely this corresponds to the prayer of Christ himself, described in the Letter to the Hebrews. "In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear" (Heb 5:7). This is the reality echoed by Saint Paul: "We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Rom 8:23).

A Paschal Mystery

Given all of this, what is the meaning of the exile of the Infant Christ in Egypt? The new-born Christ is, by divine design, carried in his mother's arms to the point of departure of salvation history. The Infant Christ goes down to Egypt to signify that his saving work will be, for all who believe in him, a flight from Egypt, a passover in the night, an exodus by far more glorious than the first. The flight into Egypt of the Innocent Christ, and his return is a paschal mystery; it is already a foreshadowing of cross, tomb, and resurrection.

The Passion of the Infant Christ

I can never celebrate this feast of the Holy Innocents without returning to a book written many years ago by Caryll Houselander: The Passion of the Infant Christ. Writing in London during the Second World War -- literally "under the bombs" -- she was inspired to speak of the Passion of the Infant Christ. Seeing the sufferings of her own life and of those she loved with the pure vision of one become a child in Christ, she recognized in both cradle and cross wood hewn from the same tree.

The Cradle of Christ

"The way to begin the healing of the wounds of the world," she wrote, "is to treasure the Infant Christ in us; to be not the castle but the cradle of Christ, and in rocking that cradle to the rhythm of love, to swing the whole world back into the beat of the Music of Eternal Life. It is true that the span of an Infant's arms is absurdly short; but if they are the arms of the Divine Child, they are as wide as the reach of the arms on the cross; they embrace and support the whole world; their shadow is the noonday shade for its suffering people; they are the spread wings under which the whole world shall find shelter and rest" (Caryll Houselander, The Passion of the Infant Christ).

The Wood of Cradle and of Cross

Houselander understood that nothing of the paschal mystery of Christ is locked in an irretrievable past. The liturgy is the passion of the Infant Christ made present to us and for us, here and now, in all its fullness. Are you in Egypt, "groaning under bondage" (Ex 2:23), learning to pray in suffering? Are you wandering in a desert waste, tortured by hunger and thirst, a prey to temptations and terrors of the night? Have you crossed over into that good and broad land where milk and honey flow? Through the Most Holy Eucharist, the Infant Christ is with you, his prayer in yours, and yours in His: a prayer that says "Yes" to the wood of the cradle, to the wood of the Cross, and to everything that lies in between.

The Divine Infancy

Caryll Houselander, a woman of our own times, a woman "acquainted with grief" (Is 53:3) can, I think, help us understand something of the mystery of the Innocent Christ, something of the mystery of suffering innocence in each of us. "The Divine Infancy in us," she wrote, "is the logical answer to the peculiar sufferings of our age and the only solution to its problems. If the Infant Christ is fostered in us, no life is trivial. No life is impotent before suffering, no suffering is too trifling to heal the world, too little to redeem, to be the point at which the world's healing begins."


41 posted on 12/28/2012 9:15:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

The Innocence of Childhood Restored

 on December 28, 2012 5:17 PM |
 
IMG_1098.jpg

For the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Those for whom I wrote and prayed this prayer today, on the feast of the Holy Innocents, will understand that it was written and prayed for them. Many suffer well into adulthood, and even into old age, from things suffered in childhood, and often kept secret. The innocence that was robbed can be recovered, as can the joy of a pure childhood. The King of Love, being King of every year, month, day, and hour of time, can restore what was taken, and what He restores is brighter than what was lost.

O Divine Lover of Innocence,
Thou restorest innocence to those,
who, having lost it, turn to Thee in their sorrow and shame.
Thine it is, O Jesus, King of Love,
to restore the purity and joy of a holy childhood
to men and women of all ages
robbed of both purity and joy
by acts of cruelty, perversion, or lust.

The innocence that Thou restorest,
in Thy merciful goodness,
surpassses in brightness the innocence that was never tainted,
because it is marked by the diamonds of Thy tears,
and because Thou givest it,
washed clean in Thy Most Precious Blood,
as a free gift to those who ask it of Thee.

To all who ask for it today
restore the priceless grace of a holy childhood.
Protect Thou the little ones everywhere,
lest souls be damaged and destroyed by sin,
and lest any of those whom Thou hast destined for glory in Thy Kingdom
be lost along the way. Amen.


42 posted on 12/28/2012 9:17:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

O Thou, Innocent Lamb of God

 on December 28, 2012 8:16 PM |
 
Bérulle Enf Jésus132.jpg

Over the centuries, souls have been drawn irresistibly to the mystery of the Infant Christ. Among these was the great Pierre Cardinal de Bérulle, the "Apostle of the Incarnate Word." The image I chose to illustrate this prayer of mine was originally designed to inspire devotion in souls, who, following the teaching of Cardinal de Bérulle, would offer themselves to the Infant Jesus. The prayer that I was moved to make today, as a kind of amende honorable to Jesus in His adorable innocence in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, is one, I think, that Pierre de Bérulle would have understood and made his own.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Thou, innocent Lamb of God;
Thou, pure Victim, Holy Victim, Immaculate Victim,
I adore Thee who art present here
with all the love of my heart,
and I thank Thee that, from this altar, even now,
Thou art offering Thyself to the Father
as the sacrifice of propitiation
that destroys the sin of the world
and restores poor sinners to friendship with God,
not by changing Thy Father's Heart,
but by opening the hearts of poor sinners
to receive His pardon, His mercy, and His grace.

Do Thou open hearts long closed by sin.
Do Thou deliver souls languishing in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Do Thou set free souls bound in the fetters and chains
forged by Satan and his hateful allies.
Do Thou give sight to the blind,
movement to the paralyzed,
hearing to the deaf,
and tenderness to the stony-hearted.

Unite me to Thyself,
and, by Thy Virgin Mother's prayers,
so make me one sacrifice with Thee,
that I may appear before the Father,
consumed in the flames of Thy holocaust,
and made pure in the fire of love
that ever burns in Thy Eucharistic Heart. Amen.


43 posted on 12/28/2012 9:20:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

Angel Wings
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

Matthew 2:13-18

When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child, to destroy him." Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed for Egypt, and stayed there until the death of Herod, so that what he had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time that he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.”

Introductory Prayer: Father, I come into your holy presence this day aware that you guide my life with love. I believe that nothing happens to me unless you will it. I renew my faith in your promise of heaven, where every tear will be wiped away. Thank you for getting involved in our cruel world in order to heal it with your love.

Petition: Lord, may my presence today be a help to those in need.

1. Angels: We want to cry with these women who have had their children stolen from them in the most defenseless time of their lives. Human cruelty reaches so deep that it desires to maintain power by snuffing out the lives of others! Yet these children silently remind us of another reality. They remind us that there is a place where tyranny does not reign. There is a King who rules by love and whose kingdom cannot be defeated by cruelty. These children are messengers of that kingdom. They have been called to give a brief but powerful witness of the fight that this King will wage for love. They have gone ahead of him, and their mothers will find them and hold them forever one day in the presence of their King.

2. Prophets: Thy Kingdom Come! This is the cry of these children. One day this new King will reign, but it will happen through a terrible fight with death and cruelty. These children are powerful prophets of the struggle of this King. They are prophets of the drama of human history where everything is at stake. Their cries are powerful prayers that will be heard by the Father, and their cries begin to stir in that special Child the desire to give his life as a ransom for souls. He will reign by pouring out his life as a gift for these children and for many souls.

3. Children:The Church has declared these children martyrs. The first saints of Christ are infants. Infants speak to us at Christmas, and their witness does not go unnoticed. These children inspire the Church and pray for her. A child speaks to us of goodness and innocence. A child reminds us of the attitude we should have before God. Christ always lives with a heart of a child, a heart that trusts completely in his Father. He shows special predilection for children. He knows that often they are his most powerful apostles, inviting others to God’s house by the simplicity and intimacy of their love for him. How many parents have been converted or discovered a deeper relationship with Christ through the example of their children!

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, it saddens me so much to see how these children were taken from their mothers and killed. It tears my heart apart to see how today so many children are never given the chance to know their mother’s love because of the evil of abortion. I want to be a consolation to your heart, Lord. I want to give the very best of myself to you today in order to offer you some of the love that these children wanted to give. Let my life be a witness of unselfish love. Let me be like you.

Resolution: I will find some way of encouraging a mother of a young child


44 posted on 12/28/2012 9:31:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

For Power

 

by Food For Thought on December 28, 2012 · 

Herod didn’t want the newborn King of the Jews to live beyond infancy, at least not as long as Herod was in power.  His solution was to immediately destroy anyone who poses a threat to his power, pleasure, wealth, ease or comfort.

It’s amazing to think to what extent Herod would go to assure his undiminished power.  He would slaughter all the male infants below two years of age in Bethlehem.  Bethlehem was a small town.  Scholars determined that there may have been as many as forty male infants in the city which were under the age of two.  Our imaginations refuse to dwell on the suffering, the ruthless pain that these children must have experienced at the moment of their deaths and the crushing pain that devastated the hearts of their parents.

Yet each age in history has its own Herod, individuals who would not stop at any extreme to safeguard their own personal kingdoms.  If one cannot vanquish Christ and Christian values in a free and open intellectual or spiritual confrontation, then they would use any means available to attain their end no matter how immoral it may be.  Amoral tyrants substitute their own good for the common good.  The life of their country centers about their own personal needs.

In our own country during the last thirty years of the twentieth century, the roster of Christian martyrs grew quite long.  Catholic priests and religious, Protestant pastors, laity of different Christian churches lost their lives, were deprived of their liberty and had to flee into exile. These people suffered because they refuse to give up their Christian values.

Today, even if martyrdom is not a threat to Christians, there are values Christians must live by, but living out these values can be painful.  These values include integrity, honesty, incorruptibility, concern for others and service to others. These values can put heavy demands on Christians.

When we think of the Holy Innocents, while we wonder at the lives of our modern martyrs and at their painful sacrifices accepted by these heroic victims, we should reflect at our own lifestyles and at the Christian values by which we should be living.

PRAYER
“Lord, you gave your life for my sake, to redeem me from slavery to sin and death. Help me to carry my cross with joy that I may willingly do your will and not shrink back out of fear or cowardice  when trouble besets me.”


45 posted on 12/28/2012 9:36:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 

<< Friday, December 28, 2012 >> Holy Innocents
 
1 John 1:5—2:2
View Readings
Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8 Matthew 2:13-18
 

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

 
"God is Light; in Him there is no darkness." —1 John 1:5
 

By two revelations, the Lord defeated Herod in His plan to kill Jesus. The wise men "received a message in a dream not to return to Herod" (Mt 2:12). "After they had left, the angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph with the command: 'Get up, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt' " (Mt 2:13). Both these revelations were necessary to protect Jesus from Herod. If the wise men had reported to Herod, God's revelation to Joseph would have been too late to save Jesus' life. In addition, if Joseph had not heard the Lord, God's revelation to the wise men would have been useless.

We defeat the darkness by the light of divine revelation. We need to hear everything the Lord wants to tell us as soon as He tells us. "A people living in darkness has seen a great light. On those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen" (Mt 4:16). Consequently, we must be encouraged to daily seek God's face by praying, reading God's word, celebrating the sacraments, and living in Christian community. We want to receive the fullness of divine revelation. Then we must accept responsibility to share the light of Christ. "Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears His glory. Nations shall walk by Your light, and kings by Your shining radiance" (Is 60:1-3).

Defeat Herod. Protect children from death. Bring down the culture of death. Receive and share immediately and repeatedly "the light of life" (Jn 8:12).

 
Prayer: Father, "with You is the fountain of life, and in Your light we see light" (Ps 36:10).
Promise: "We have, in the presence of the Father, Jesus Christ, an Intercessor Who is just. He is an Offering for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world." —1 Jn 2:1-2
Praise: The Holy Innocents now number hundreds of millions. They pray for us to repent.

46 posted on 12/28/2012 9:42:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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December 28, Feast of the Holy Innocents

The Holy Innocents saved the Child Jesus from death by King Herod by the shedding of their own blood. The Holy Innocents are the special patrons of small children, who can please the Christ Child by being obedient and helpful to parents, and by sharing their toys and loving their siblings and playmates.

The feast of the Holy Innocents is an excellent time for parents to inaugurate the custom of blessing their children. From the Ritual comes the form which we use on solemn occasions, such as First Communion. But parents can simply sign a cross on the child's forehead with the right thumb dipped in holy water and say: May God bless you, and may He be the Guardian of your heart and mind—the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.


47 posted on 12/28/2012 9:44:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
For every mother-to-be or father-to-be approaching the doors of the abortion clinic -- here is a prayer for you.
 
 
"Mary, Mother of Jesus be a mother to be now, make me better."
 
--prayer from Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

48 posted on 12/28/2012 9:51:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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