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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 01-01-13, SOL, Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 01-01-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/31/2012 8:05:12 PM PST by Salvation

January 1, 2013

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God  

The Octave Day of Christmas

 

Reading 1 Nm 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. May God bless us in his mercy.

Reading 2 Gal 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

Gospel Lk 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: blessedvirginmary; catholic; christmas; prayer
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1 posted on 12/31/2012 8:05:20 PM PST by Salvation
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: GeronL

This is a Catholic Caucus thread.


3 posted on 12/31/2012 8:08:11 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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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.

4 posted on 12/31/2012 8:08:42 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
 

5 posted on 12/31/2012 8:09:40 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

From: Numbers 6:22-27

Blessing by Priests


[22] The LORD said to Moses, [23] “Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall
bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
[24] The LORD bless you and keep you:
[25] The LORD make his face to shine
upon you, and be gracious to you:
[26] The LORD lift up his countenance
upon you, and give you peace.
[27] “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

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

6:23-27. This is one of the earliest blessing formulae that the Bible has con-
served for us. It is referred to in some psalms (cf. Ps 31:17; 67:2; etc.) and it was
used by priests in the temple liturgy. It consists of three petitions, each beginning
with the name of the Lord. Some ancient authors saw in this triple invocation an
advance announcement of the Blessed Trinity. It goes on to pray for protection,
grace and peace—three gifts which sum up man’s aspirations and which God
alone can provide in all their fullness.

The Church carries on the tradition of blessing the faithful during liturgical cere-
monies, especially at the end of the eucharistic celebration, beseeching God to
show them his favor. The Roman Missal includes this text as one of the optional
blessings the priest can use at the end of Mass.

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

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


6 posted on 12/31/2012 8:11:05 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

From: Galatians 4:4-7

Divine Sonship (Continuation)


[4] But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman,
born under the law, [5] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we
might receive adoption as sons. [6] And because you are sons, God has sent
the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” [7] So through God
you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

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

6. Abba is an Aramaic word which has come down to us with its translation “Fa-
ther”. As can be deduced from Mt 14:36 (cf. note on Lk 11:1), this is the same
word as our Lord used in his personal prayer. However, it is not a word ever used
by Jews to address God, probably because it contains the kind of trust and ten-
derness that small children have in their dealings with their father. Jesus, however,
did not hesitate to use it and to encourage his followers to use it. In this way he
invites us to relate to God with the trust and tenderness of a child towards its fa-
ther — as well he might, because by redeeming us Christ not only freed us from
the yoke of the Law but enabled us to have a new relationship to God, to be God’s
sons and daughters. St Paul echoes this teaching (cf. also Rom 8:16-17) and at-
tributes to the Holy Spirit that movement in man’s heart which impels him to cry
out, full of love and hope, “Abba! Father!”

This all means that “if we have a constant relationship with the Holy Spirit, we
shall become spiritual ourselves, we shall realize that we are Christ’s brothers
and children of God, and we shall not hesitate to call upon our Father [...]. Words
cannot go so far as the heart, which is moved by God’s goodness. He says to us,
‘You are my son.’ Not a stranger, not a well-treated servant, not a friend — that
would be a lot already. A son! He gives us free access to treat him as sons, with
a son’s piety and I would even say with the boldness and daring of a son whose
Father cannot deny him anything” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 136
and 185).

In this verse we can see the roles of the three Divine Persons in man’s super-
natural life. The Father sends the Holy Spirit, here called “the Spirit of his Son”,
to help us activate our gift of divine sonship.

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


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

From: Luke 2:16-21

The Adoration of the Shepherds (Continuation)


[16] And they (the shepherds) went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and
the babe lying in a manger. [17] And when they saw it they made known the sa-
ying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it won-
dered at what the shepherds told them. [19] But Mary kept all these things, pon-
dering them in her heart. [20] And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising
God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The Circumcision of Jesus


[21] And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Je-
sus, the name given by the angels before he was conceived in the womb.

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

15-18. The birth of the Savior Messiah is the key event in the history of mankind,
but God wanted it to take place so quietly that the world went about its business
as if nothing had happened. The only people he tells about it are a few shepherds.
It was also to a shepherd, Abraham, that God gave his promise to save mankind.

The shepherds make their way to Bethlehem propelled by the sign they have re-
ceived. And when they verify it they tell what they heard from the angel and about
seeing the heavenly host. They are the first witnesses of the birth of the Messiah.
“The shepherds were not content with believing in the happy event which the an-
gel proclaimed to them and which, full of wonder, they saw for a fact; they mani-
fested their joy not only to Mary and Joseph but to everyone and, what is more,
they tried to engrave it on their memory. ‘And all who heard it wondered at what
the shepherds told them.’ And why would they not have wondered, seeing on
earth him who is in heaven, and earth and heaven reconciled; seeing that ineffa-
ble Child who joined what was heavenly — divinity — and what was earthly — hu-
manity — creating a wonderful covenant through this union. Not only were they
in awe at the mystery of the Incarnation, but also at the great testimony born by
the shepherds, who could not have invented something they had not heard and
who publish the truth with a simple eloquence” (Photius, “Ad Amphilochium”,
155).

16. The shepherds hasten because they are full of joy and eager to see the
Savior. St Ambrose comments: “No one seeks Christ halfheartedly” (”Expositio
Evangelii Sec. Lucam., in loc.”). Earlier on, the evangelist observed that our La-
dy, after the Annunciation, “went in haste” to see St Elizabeth (Lk 1:39). A soul
who has given God entry rejoices that God has visited him and his life acquires
new energy.

19. In very few words this verse tells us a great deal about our Lady. We see the
serenity with which she contemplates the wonderful things that are coming true
with the birth of her divine Son. She studies them, ponders them and stores them
in the silence of her heart. She is a true teacher of prayer. If we imitate her, if we
guard and ponder in our hearts what Jesus says to us and what he does in us,
we are well on the way to Christian holiness and we shall never lack his doctrine
and his grace. Also, by meditating in this way on the teaching Jesus has given
us, we shall obtain a deeper understanding of the mystery of Christ, which is how
“the Tradition that comes from the Apostles makes progress in the Church, with
the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words
that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through
the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts.
It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And
it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of
succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”,
8).

21. On the meaning and rite of circumcision, see the note on Lk 1:59. “Jesus”
means “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation”, that is, Savior. This name was
given the Child not as the result of any human decision but in keeping with the
commandment of God which the angel communicated to the Blessed Virgin and
to St Joseph (cf. Lk 1:31; Mk 1:21).

The Son of God became incarnate in order to redeem and save all men; so it is
very fitting that he be called Jesus, Savior. We confess this in the Creed: “For us
men and for our salvation he came down from heaven.” “There were indeed many
who were called by this name [...]. But how much more appropriate it is to call
by this name our Savior, who brought light, liberty and salvation, not to one peo-
ple only, but to all men, of all ages — to men oppressed, not by famine, or Egyp-
tian or Babylonian bondage, but sitting in the shadow of death and fettered by
the galling chains of sin and of the devil” (”St Pius V Catechism”, I, 36).

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

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


8 posted on 12/31/2012 8:12:56 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 Numbers 6:22-27 ©
The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”
This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’

Psalm Psalm 66:2-3,5,6,8 ©
O God, be gracious and bless us.
O God, be gracious and bless us
  and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
  and all nations learn your saving help.
O God, be gracious and bless us.
Let the nations be glad and exult
  for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
  you guide the nations on earth.
O God, be gracious and bless us.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
  let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
  till the ends of the earth revere him.
O God, be gracious and bless us.

Second reading Galatians 4:4-7 ©
When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave any more; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.

Gospel Acclamation Heb1:1-2
Alleluia, alleluia!
At various times in the past
and in various different ways,
God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
but in our own time, the last days,
he has spoken to us through his Son.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:16-21 ©
The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.
  When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.

9 posted on 12/31/2012 8:20:19 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
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On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
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A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
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Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
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Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
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Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

10 posted on 12/31/2012 8:24:03 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Benedict XVI’s Mass for Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Catholic Caucus) [Graphics]
Catholic Word of the Day: MOTHER OF GOD, 09-22-11
What need would the "immaculate" "Mother of God" have for a Savior?
CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS: Russian Icon of the Mother of God of Fatima
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How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary “Mother of God” Tells Us Who Jesus Is
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests

Mary: Holy Mother
Mary: Mother of Divine Life: Model of Pro-life Apostles [Catholic Caucus]
The Mother of God [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Mother of God calls us to be 'Bearers of God'
HE INCREASES AND SHE DECREASES [Mary, Mother of God]
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - Mary, Full of Grace
Happy Mother's Day to Mary - the Mother of God
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Mary, Mother of God
The Early Church Fathers on The Mother of God - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

Mary, Mother of God
Mary in Feminist Theology: Mother of God or Domesticated Goddess?
Mary: True Mother of God
Feast of Mary, Mother of God (not a Holy Day of Obligation this year)
MARIAN DEVOTION - Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God
Mother of God
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A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
The Mother of the Son: The Case for Marian Devotion
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11 posted on 12/31/2012 8:25:34 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

12 posted on 12/31/2012 8:29:51 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 12/31/2012 8:31:26 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 12/31/2012 8:32:23 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]

15 posted on 12/31/2012 8:34:18 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
+

16 posted on 12/31/2012 8:35:37 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.


17 posted on 12/31/2012 8:46:31 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 12/31/2012 8:48:17 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

Feast of
the Holy Name of Jesus


Luke 2:21 "...Et vocatum est Nomen eius IESUS"
("And His Name was called JESUS")

Psalm 90:14 "Because he hoped in me I will deliver him:
I will protect him because he hath known My Name."

Zacharias 10:12 "I will strengthen them in the Lord,
and they shall walk in His Name, saith the Lord."

Apocalypse 3:8 "I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied My Name."

Apocalypse 15:4 "Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and magnify Thy Name?..."

 

Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus without end!



January Devotion: The Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. This feast is also celebrated on January 3. Here is an explanation of the devotion.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has associated entire months to special devotions. The devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus has been traditionally associated with the month of January, due to its celebration on January 3. The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God's command (Luke 1:31). The Holy Name is all-powerful because of the Person who bears it; we honor it because of the command of Christ, that we should pray in His Name and because it reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. Hence St. Paul was able to write to the Philippians: ". . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. 2:10). By means of this devotion we also make amends for improper use of the Holy Name.

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

Prayer/Hymn in Honor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - Iesu, Dulcis Memoria

Iesu, Dulcis Memoria is a celebrated 12th century hymn attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Doctor Mellifluus. The entire hymn has some 42 to 53 stanzas depending upon the manuscript. Parts of this hymn were used for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which was formerly celebrated on the Sunday between the Circumcision and Epiphany, or failing such a Sunday, on January 2. The part below was used at Vespers. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was deleted, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial on January 3.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity. Amen.

---Roman Breviary

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

O Divine Jesus, Thou hast promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in Thy name shall be granted.

O Eternal Father. In the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfillment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, Thy Divine Son. 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


That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Phil:2:10-11
 

 
 

Litany Of The Holy Name of Jesus
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Jesus, The Name above all Names
Devotion to the Holy Name (of Jesus) [Catholic Caucus]
Lessons In Iconography : The Chi Rho - Christ
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Excerpt from a Sermon) (Catholic Caucus)
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

St. Bernard on the Most Holy Name of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Saving the day in His Holy Name: St. Genevieve gets a reprieve [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Name of Jesus [San Bernadino of Siena] Ecumenical
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name [of Jesus]
The Name of Jesus: Its Power in Our Lives
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus

19 posted on 12/31/2012 8:49:32 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

JANUARY, 2013, Intentions of the Holy Father

The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.

Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.


20 posted on 12/31/2012 8:51:41 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Octave Day of Christmas: Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Numbers 6:22-27
Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:16-21

Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God.

-- St Vincent Ferrer


21 posted on 12/31/2012 8:55:32 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
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?


22 posted on 12/31/2012 8:57:17 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

A Four-Point Plan for the New Year from St. Paul

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

On the Day known as New Years Day in the secular world, there is a veritable feast of identities for this day on the Church’s calendar. It is the octave of Christmas, the Feast of Mary Mother God, the Feast that commemorates the Holy Name of Jesus and also of the Circumcision. Quite a lot to ponder actually!

In previous years I have commented on all these liturgical aspects, and even on the mystery of time.

But this year it strikes me to preach out of a text of St. Paul from the 3rd chapter of the Letter to the Philippians. The text recommends itself to a New Year’s theme, because Paul speaks and meditates on “what is behind, and what is before” him. And in his meditation he sets forth a kind of plan for a Christian to follow, a Christian who prayerfully reflects on the year that is passed, and the year that is about to unfold. Here then is the text from St. Paul, and a kind of four-point plan that follows.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, …I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things….Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Phil 3:7-16)

I. Consider your Profit–in the text St. Paul says, But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him. …I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

At the end of one year the beginning of another, we do well to consider what it is that we truly value. Now we need to be careful when we make this consideration. For it often happens that we make answer the question, “What do I most value” in a way that speaks more to how we should answer the question, than what is really true. Most of us who are believers, know that we should value God, the Lord Jesus, above all things. But honestly, that is not always so.

So we ought to reflect, at the end of the year, what, or who, do we really value most. What, or who, is our greatest prize? Perhaps it is the Lord, but often other things compete for this title. Many idolize money, creature comforts, political outcomes, sports victories, career advancement, and many other things more than God, and the things of God.

Why is this consideration so important? Because, frankly, where our treasure is, our heart will also be (cf Luke 12:34). Thus, we do well at the beginning of the new year to ask the Lord to give us hearts that are more sure, more undivided, more single-hearted in our love for him.

But in order for us to receive this gift, we must also ask for new minds that become powerfully aware of just how great it is to know and love the Lord, and how comparatively passing the gifts and trinkets of this world are. Somehow, it has to get through our thick skulls that the things of this world don’t amount to much. They are but passing pleasures, mere trinkets upon which rust, decay and boredom soon descend. They are as St. Paul says, nothing but “rubbish,” compared to the glory of knowing God, and the glories he has waiting for us. Thus St. Paul says that he “wants to know Christ.”

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Well I have news for you, we’re all going to lose weight, a lot more than we think. These bodies of ours, when death has had its way, along with decay, will weigh little less than 5 pounds of dust and ashes. All our good looks, our big hair and youthful ruddiness will pass. We get worked up about secondary things. Perhaps losing weight is good, but knowing the Lord and valuing him is far more important. WHy not resolve to pray for a greater love and desire for God instead of just praying for less desire for food?

So, step one in the four-point plan is to get this through our thick skulls: the glories of this world are passing away, they last but a moment. Our only true and lasting treasure is the Lord and the things he helps the store up in heaven. Step one, in our four-point plan is to consider our profit, to consider what is truly valuable, truly lasting in our life.

II. Chase your prize–St. Paul goes on to say, Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect,but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus

Having considered our true treasure, and asking and experiencing  that our heart be supernaturally directed to what we most value, it becomes easier by God’s grace to walk a clear path in the new year ahead. There may be things in our past that we regret, mistakes that have caused us setbacks. But with hearts renewed in what is truly valuable we are enabled increasingly, to forget what is behind and to press forward to what is ahead, the great glory of heaven, union with God, and all the saints.

The Greek word here is διώκω (dioko) which means to aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch,or a runner seeking a prize. Do you get the picture? The Christian life is not to be a tepid and boring, reluctant slouching towards God and heaven. It is to be a joyful, focused, earnest pursuit of God, and his kingdom. It is to be an eager pursuit of his will, his Word, and his Sacraments, like a starving man who sees food in the distance and runs with joy and zeal to devour with zesty delight every morsel he can claim!

It is clear, that we will only vigorously pursue things which we value highly. That is why step one in the four-point plan is so critical. Consider the kinds of sacrifices that people make for careers, for things like the “American dream.” People spend many years, and vast amounts of money pursuing the dream that lasts less than 80 years, maximum. But they make this pursuit, with zeal, even with joy, because they value the large home, the creature comforts, and the prestige of having “made it.”

To the degree, that we value Jesus and his kingdom this way we too will pursue it with joy, and be willing to make any number of sacrifices. Thus, having considered what truly profits us, would truly is our treasure, we will naturally chase our prize with joy and zeal.

III. Confirm your Priority– the St. Paul says: But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Note the expression, “this one thing I do.” When something is truly our passion, and our focus it tends to order everything else in our life. Consider that a runner in a race does not stop to have idle discussions, or go to shopping malls and movie theaters when in the race. Rather, the runner in a race focuses on running, winning the race. Only those things that assist him in that task this year will he do. For example, a distance runner may reach out to receive a cup of cold water that is offered along the path, for that helps his goal.

If, to use another example, a person is driving from Washington DC, North to New York City, they will ignore signs that say South, Atlanta. If it is necessary to pull over and get gas, that makes sense, and they will do so. If directions or other provisions for the trip are necessary, they will do so. But the destination, New York City is the goal that determines everything else. ANd only those things that assist the goal make sense.

And so it must be for us. Our life must be increasingly about one thing, and one thing only:  knowing, and loving Jesus Christ and earnestly running to his kingdom. Anything that distracts from that one goal is to be discarded. And things that help us are embraced.

Thus note this, for our life to be ordered, and not confused and chaotic, we must have our one goal, always consciously in mind. Our priority is Jesus Christ and whatever hastens us to his kingdom.

IV. Claim what is promised–St. Paul says, All of us who are mature should take such a view of things….Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Here St Paul, in speaking about is living up to what we have already attained,  is essentially saying that we must live with Hope, that is, with confident expectation that what is promised is ours.

People only strive for what they can reasonably possess. And thus, the Theological Virtue of Hope, which defined is “the confident expectation of God’s help in attaining eternal life,” is an essential virtue for the Christian, both to have an cultivate.

When we know that what is promised is attainable by God’s grace we are all the more encouraged to strive eagerly for it, even if there are temporary setbacks and hardships involved. Thus, St. Paul says to us that we ought to live as those who have already attained, even though we are not yet at our goal.

In Christ our Head, we, the members of the Body, have already attained to the glory that is promised. And if we but run with him the race that is set before us, we will surely meet our goal. Thus as we enter this new year, we must renew our confidence in God’s providence, and in his grace.

The only ultimate obstacle, is our very self. We must neither surrender our confidence, nor conviction. Doubts and discouragement might cause us to veer from the path. Thus Paul counsels that we pray for vigorous Hope, a Hope that will strengthen our wills to endure, no matter the cost knowing that if we remain in Christ we will win.

Here then is a kind of four-point plan for the year ahead. We must consider what is truly our profit, what we value most. Chase our prize with a zeal that comes from that fact that it IS our prize, confirm our Priority by focusing like a laser on our Prize, Claim already what is our and live out of it.


23 posted on 12/31/2012 8:58:49 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: Salvation
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

24 posted on 12/31/2012 9:00:02 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. 


25 posted on 12/31/2012 9:02:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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East transcept window in the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver depicting the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD when the dogma of the title Mother of God was proclaimed by St. Cyril Bishop of Alexandria and the condemnation of the Nestorian heresy.

Located directly below the window above are the representations of eight Church Fathers who taught said dogma.

26 posted on 01/01/2013 5:25:01 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Absolutely beautiful. Thank you.


27 posted on 01/01/2013 9:41:48 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Blessed Virgin Mary, The Mother of God

The Blessed Virgin Mary,
The Mother of God
Solemnity

January 1st

drawing by Helen Hull Hitchcock

Mary is the Mother of Jesus, who is true God and true man.

Catechism of the Catholic Church --Directory on Popular Piety -- Hymns -- Readings for the Day -- More Marian Prayers

Mary, Mother of God - Catechism of the Catholic Church
495 Called in the Gospels "the Mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God".

(You can find the link to the Catechism on our link page)


From the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

The Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God

115. On New Year's Day, the octave day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God. The divine and virginal motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a singular salvific event: for Our Lady it was the foretaste and cause of her extraordinary glory; for us it is a source of grace and salvation because "through her we have received the Author of life"(127).

The solemnity of the 1 January, an eminently Marian feast, presents an excellent opportunity for liturgical piety to encounter popular piety: the first celebrates this event in a manner proper to it; the second, when duly catechised, lends joy and happiness to the various expressions of praise offered to Our Lady on the birth of her divine Son, to deepen our understanding of many prayers, beginning with that which says: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners".

116. In the West, 1 January is an inaugural day marking the beginning of the civil year. The faithful are also involved in the celebrations for the beginning of the new year and exchange "new year" greetings. However, they should try to lend a Christian understanding to this custom making of these greetings an expression of popular piety. The faithful, naturally, realize that the "new year" is placed under the patronage of the Lord, and in exchanging new year greetings they implicitly and explicitly place the New Year under the Lord's dominion, since to him belongs all time (cf. Ap 1, 8; 22,13)(128).

A connection between this consciousness and the popular custom of singing the Veni Creator Spiritus can easily be made so that on 1 January the faithful can pray that the Spirit may direct their thoughts and actions, and those of the community during the course of the year(129).

117. New year greetings also include an expression of hope for a peaceful New Year. This has profound biblical, Christological and incarnational origins. The "quality of peace" has always been invoked throughout history by all men, and especially during violent and destructive times of war.

The Holy See shares the profound aspirations of man for peace. Since 1967, 1 January has been designated "world day for peace".

Popular piety has not been oblivious to this initiative of the Holy See. In the light of the new born Prince of Peace, it reserves this day for intense prayer for peace, education towards peace and those value inextricably linked with it, such as liberty, fraternal solidarity, the dignity of the human person, respect for nature, the right to work, the sacredness of human life, and the denunciation of injustices which trouble the conscience of man and threaten peace.


Hymns

Following are a few traditional Marian hymns.

Ave Maria

The text is from Luke 1:28,42. The music is 13th century, plainchant.

Latin version
Ave María grátia pléna Dóminustécum, benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi,
Jésus. Sáncta María, Máter Déi, óra pro nóbis peccatóribus, nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. Amen.

English version
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.

Immaculate Mary

It is not known who originally wrote the words for Immaculate Mary, known as the "Lourdes Hymn". The music is a traditional French tune, with the refrain added. It has long been a favorite of English-speaking Catholics.

1 - Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing,
who reignest in splendor with Jesus our King.

Refrain: Ave, Ave, Ave Maria, Ave, Ave Maria.

2 - In heaven, the blessed thy glory proclaim;
On earth, we thy children invoke thy fair name.

3 - Thy name is our power, thy virtues our light,
Thy love is our comfort, thy pleading our might.

4 - We pray for our mother, the Church upon earth;
And bless, dearest Lady, the land of our birth.

Salve Regina

The text and music is attributed to Hermannus Contractus, 1013-1054.

Salve Regína, Mater Misericórdiae: Vita, dulcédo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamámus, éxsules, fílii Hevae. Ad te suspirámus, geméntes et flentes in hac lacrimárum valle. Eia ergo, Advocáta nostra, illos tuos misericórdes óculos ad nos convérte. Et Jesum, benedíctum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsílium osténde. O clemens; O pia; O dulcis Virgo María.

Hail, holy Queen

The "Hail, Holy Queen" is an English version of the Salve Regina

1 - Hail! holy Queen enthroned above, O Maria!
Hail! Mother of Mercy and of love, O Maria!

Refrain: Triumph, all ye cherubim, Sing with us, ye seraphim.
Heav'n and earth resound the hymn.
Salve, salve, salve Regina!

2 - Our life, our sweetness here below, O Maria!
Our hope in sorrow and in woe, O Maria!

3 - To thee we cry, poor sons of Eve, O Maria!
To thee we sigh, we mourn, we grieve, O Maria!

4 - This earth is but a vale of tears, O Maria!
A place of banishment, of fears, O Maria!

5 - Turn then, most gracious advocate, O Maria!
Toward us thine eyes compassionate, O Maria!

6 - When this our exile is complete, O Maria!
Show us thy, Son, Our Jesus sweet, O Maria!

7 - O clement, gracious, Mother sweet, O Maria!
O Virgin Mary, we entreat, O Maria!




Readings for the Day

Collect:
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race
the grace of eternal salvation,
grant, we pray,
that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy
to receive the author of life,
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading - Numbers 6:22-27
The Lord said to Moses, "Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Second Reading - Galatians 4:4-7
But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying "Abba! Father!" So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

Gospel Reading - Luke 2:16-21
And they[shepherds] went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this Child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of the eight days, when He was circumcised He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.


28 posted on 01/01/2013 10:00:15 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; Salvation

Nice.


29 posted on 01/01/2013 10:04:20 AM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: Salvation



Information: Mary, the Mother of God

Feast Day: January 1

30 posted on 01/01/2013 10:23:12 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Mary, Mother of God

Mary, Mother of God
Feast Day: January 01

Remember on Christmas morning how we found our way to the stable? It may have been the stable on the mantle shelf or under the Christmas tree or in our parish church. We gazed at the baby in the manger just like the shepherds had done so long ago. Jesus was there with Mary and Joseph.

Today we begin our new year at the Eucharistic Celebration of the Holy Mass. We thank God for Mary, Jesus' mother, who brought the Savior into the world. Because she is the mother of Jesus, God's Son, she truly is the Mother of God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, baby Jesus was born of Mary. Joseph was Jesus' loving foster-father.

God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son. She was a teenager and her parents were Joachim and Anne. Mary loved God and her Jewish religion. Her neighbors thought she was an ordinary young girl just like other girls.

It was God's work in her that made her so special, so blessed. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to Mary's town of Nazareth. The angel asked told her about God’s wonderful plan - wonderful for her and for all of us. Mary wanted to please God and although she was confused she accepted the plan.

She became Jesus' mother. Mary and her husband, Joseph, tried to raise Jesus the best way they could and with great love. Jesus spent many happy, quiet years with Mary and Joseph in Nazareth.

When Jesus was about thirty years old, he began his preaching and healing ministry. This is called his public life, which started a few years before Joseph died. Jesus could not now stay just in the little home and carpenter shop at Nazareth.

Mary often went with her friends to be near her Son. Mary attended a marriage celebration in Cana. Jesus and his disciples came too. When the wine was over, Mary asked Jesus to do something to help.

She wanted him to save the couple from being embarrassed in front of their guests. He worked the miracle and turned plain water into delicious wine. Mary loved Jesus and believed in him.

She was there when he was nailed to the cross and stayed right beneath the cross until she received his dead body into her arms.

After the resurrection, Mary waited with Jesus' apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The apostles loved her. They knew they needed more courage to be real followers of Jesus.

Mary prayed for them and encouraged them. She taught them how to be disciples of her Son. Mary's feast days are special events that happen throughout the year. Today's feast honors her as God's Mother. She wants to be our mother, too and we can ask for her help to make us strong in faith so we can be saved.

31 posted on 01/01/2013 10:29:29 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:
Tuesday, January 1
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. We honor Mary as the greatest of all God’s creatures. Devotion to her and asking for her intercession can be traced back at least to the year 150 A.D.

32 posted on 01/01/2013 1:45:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Tome of St. Leo the Great on the Two Natures of Christ
Benedict XVI’s Mass for Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Catholic Caucus) [Graphics]

Do a virgin birth and perfect knowledge make Jesus less human? Or Mary less a mother? [Ecumenical]
Catholic Word of the Day: MOTHER OF GOD, 09-22-11
What need would the "immaculate" "Mother of God" have for a Savior?
CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS: Russian Icon of the Mother of God of Fatima
Newman about Mary, Mother of God [Catholic Caucus]
How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary “Mother of God” Tells Us Who Jesus Is
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests

Mary: Holy Mother
Mary: Mother of Divine Life: Model of Pro-life Apostles [Catholic Caucus]
The Mother of God [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Mother of God calls us to be 'Bearers of God'
HE INCREASES AND SHE DECREASES [Mary, Mother of God]
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - Mary, Full of Grace
Happy Mother's Day to Mary - the Mother of God
Catholic beliefs about Mary, the Mother of God
Mary, Mother of God
The Early Church Fathers on The Mother of God - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

Mary, Mother of God
Mary in Feminist Theology: Mother of God or Domesticated Goddess?
Mary: True Mother of God
Feast of Mary, Mother of God (not a Holy Day of Obligation this year)
MARIAN DEVOTION - Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God
Mother of God
Virgin Mother of God
A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
The Mother of the Son: The Case for Marian Devotion
Mary: True Mother of God

33 posted on 01/01/2013 1:56:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: January 01, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, 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: January 1st

Octave of Christmas and Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Holy Day of Obligation USA)

Old Calendar: Octave Day of Christmas; Circumcision of Our Lord

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, our Lady's greatest title. This feast is the octave of Christmas. In the modern Roman Calendar only Christmas and Easter enjoy the privilege of an octave. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the Solemnity of Circumcision of Our Lord.

"Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church's Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the "Seat of Wisdom." — Catechism of the Catholic Church 721

A plenary indulgence may be gained by reciting or singing the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus on the first day of the year. This hymn is traditionally sung for beginnings of things, calling on the Holy Spirit before endeavoring something new.

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

The Eighth Day of Christmas

Mary the Mother of God
Like the Churches of the East, Rome wished to honor the Virgin Mother of God during the days after Christmas. As a result the Natale S. Mariae ("Anniversary of St. Mary") made its appearance on January 1 in the seventh century; it has accurately been called "the first Marian feast of the Roman liturgy." — The Church at Prayer

On New Year's Day, the octave day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God. The divine and virginal motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a singular salvific event: for Our Lady it was the foretaste and cause of her extraordinary glory; for us it is a source of grace and salvation because "through her we have received the Author of life" (127).

The solemnity of 1 January, an eminently Marian feast, presents an excellent opportunity for liturgical piety to encounter popular piety: the first celebrates this event in a manner proper to it; the second, when duly catechised, lends joy and happiness to the various expressions of praise offered to Our Lady on the birth of her divine Son, to deepen our understanding of many prayers, beginning with that which says: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners."

In the West, 1 January is an inaugural day marking the beginning of the civil year. The faithful are also involved in the celebrations for the beginning of the new year and exchange "new year" greetings. However, they should try to lend a Christian understanding to this custom making of these greetings an expression of popular piety. The faithful, naturally, realize that the "new year" is placed under the patronage of the Lord, and in exchanging new year greetings they implicitly and explicitly place the New Year under the Lord's dominion, since to him belongs all time (cf. Ap 1, 8; 22,13)(128).

A connection between this consciousness and the popular custom of singing the Veni Creator Spiritus can easily be made so that on 1 January the faithful can pray that the Spirit may direct their thoughts and actions, and those of the community during the course of the year (129).

New Year greetings also include an expression of hope for a peaceful New Year. This has profound biblical, Christological and incarnational origins. The "quality of peace" has always been invoked throughout history by all men, and especially during violent and destructive times of war.

The Holy See shares the profound aspirations of man for peace. Since 1967, 1 January has been designated "world day for peace."

Popular piety has not been oblivious to this initiative of the Holy See. In the light of the new born Prince of Peace, it reserves this day for intense prayer for peace, education towards peace and those values inextricably linked with it, such as liberty, fraternal solidarity, the dignity of the human person, respect for nature, the right to work, the sacredness of human life, and the denunciation of injustices which trouble the conscience of man and threaten peace.

Excerpted from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy.


The Circumcision of Our Lord
The old liturgy celebrated three feasts in one. The first was that which the old Roman sacramentaries called "the octave of the Lord," and indeed the greater part of the Mass was of the octave of Christmas with many extracts from the Masses of Christmas. Various portions of the Mass and Office celebrated the divine maternity of Mary. The third feast was that of the Circumcision which has been celebrated since the sixth century. Eight days after His birth Christ underwent, like all the Jews, this rite enjoined on Abraham by God as a pledge of his faith, and He received the name of Jesus.

When Our Lord submitted to the cut in His flesh at the Circumcision he began His work as Redeemer. He commenced that shedding of Blood which would reach its highest point of generosity in the Passion and Death.

In giving to Abraham the law of circumcision God bestowed on him his new name — Abraham. With the Jews henceforward the giving of a name had a spiritual significance; like circumcision it meant that the person belonged to the people of God. The bestowal of the name of Jesus has an even loftier significance: it is an assertion of His mission as Savior of the world.


34 posted on 01/01/2013 2:06:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

January 1, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Although New Year's Day is not celebrated by the Church, this day has been observed as a holy day of obligation since early times due to the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Each family and country has different traditional foods to eat on New Year's Day, with lentils being the main superstition: ill luck befalling those who do not eat lentils at the beginning of the year.

New Year's is a day of traditional hospitality, visiting and good cheer, mostly with a secular view, but there is no reason that this day, too, could not be sanctified in Christ.


35 posted on 01/01/2013 2:10:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 2:16-21

Mary, Mother of God

Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

Have you ever looked through an old photo album and found yourself reflecting on different ways God has worked in your life? There might be a picture of an old boyfriend who broke your heart. “Thank goodness we broke up. Otherwise I would have never met the person God really wanted me to marry.” Or you might now understand how that painful move across country brought you to a neighborhood filled with new friends and blessings.

Mary probably didn’t have a photo album, but we can be sure that she spent plenty of time pondering God’s work in her life—and not just the major events like the Annunciation or Christmas Day. She pondered the little things as well: the daily surprises Jesus gave her and Joseph, the occasional hints about his fate, the different ways her heart would be pierced with sorrow or longing for God’s plan to be fulfilled. Every event, every word, every gesture—none of them escaped her notice. They all became fuel for the fire of her love and devotion to the Lord.

Today we begin a new year, and we honor Mary as the Mother of God. What a perfect time to take up her prayerful, thoughtful way of life! New Year’s Day is often a quiet day of transition from the holiday season into a new year. So why not take advantage of the calm to do some reflection of your own? You may even want to look at pictures from the past year to spur your memory!

See if you can detect God’s presence, in the good times and the challenging times. Recognize his grace in the big and small areas of your life. Then, armed with the evidence of his tender care, you can begin this year with a new level of faith and a deeper readiness to trust in the Lord.

“Jesus, I want to start this year by seeing your hand at work in my life. Open my eyes, Lord, just as you did for Mary!”

Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 67:2-6, 8; Galatians 4:4-7


36 posted on 01/01/2013 3:22:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 2
16 And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. Et venerunt festinantes : et invenerunt Mariam, et Joseph, et infantem positum in præsepio. και ηλθον σπευσαντες και ανευρον την τε μαριαμ και τον ιωσηφ και το βρεφος κειμενον εν τη φατνη
17 And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. Videntes autem cognoverunt de verbo, quod dictum erat illis de puero hoc. ιδοντες δε διεγνωρισαν περι του ρηματος του λαληθεντος αυτοις περι του παιδιου τουτου
18 And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. Et omnes qui audierunt, mirati sunt : et de his quæ dicta erant a pastoribus ad ipsos. και παντες οι ακουσαντες εθαυμασαν περι των λαληθεντων υπο των ποιμενων προς αυτους
19 But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. Maria autem conservabat omnia verba hæc, conferens in corde suo. η δε μαριαμ παντα συνετηρει τα ρηματα ταυτα συμβαλλουσα εν τη καρδια αυτης
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. Et reversi sunt pastores glorificantes et laudantes Deum in omnibus quæ audierant et viderant, sicut dictum est ad illos. και υπεστρεψαν οι ποιμενες δοξαζοντες και αινουντες τον θεον επι πασιν οις ηκουσαν και ειδον καθως ελαληθη προς αυτους
21 And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb. Et postquam consummati sunt dies octo, ut circumcideretur puer, vocatum est nomen ejus Jesus, quod vocatum est ab angelo priusquam in utero conciperetur. και οτε επλησθησαν ημεραι οκτω του περιτεμειν αυτον και εκληθη το ονομα αυτου ιησους το κληθεν υπο του αγγελου προ του συλληφθηναι αυτον εν τη κοιλια

37 posted on 01/01/2013 3:27:38 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Honor the Mother

It honors the Son.

Honor the Mother

The title “Mother of God” is the Western church’s equivalent of the ancient Eastern title Theotokos, which means “God-bearer.” In 431, the Council of Ephesus sanctioned the title Theotokos for Mary as a way of declaring and protecting the divinity of Christ. The title declares the most important truth about Mary: She is the Mother of God.

When we celebrate this feast, we honor not only Mary but Jesus, true God and true man. We proclaim the glorious truth that in Mary’s womb the Second Person of the Trinity united himself completely with our humanity. “Taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to … death, he surrendered his body to death in place of all… . Through this union of the immortal Son of God with our human nature, all were clothed with incorruption” (St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation, 8,9).

In Mary, we see the portrait of one who knew God’s shining face upon her, filling her with grace (Numbers 6:25). Looking upon her with love and showering her with divine blessings, God prepared her to say yes to his plan that she bear his Son into this world. As Mary consented in faith, the Father gave her his peace (6:26), continually encouraging her to trust him as she saw his plan unfold. How deeply she must have needed this peace, as she faced dangerous and frightening circumstances such as giving birth in a faraway city in a cave, or fleeing to Egypt in the dead of night (Luke 2:4-7; Matthew 2:13-15). In each situation, Mary learned to trust more fully that God would bless her and keep her (Numbers 6:24).

Because the Son of God took flesh in Mary’s womb, we too can share in these glorious blessings. We have been baptized into Christ; we have a share in his humanity. We are heirs of the blessings that God gave to Israel and in a particular way to Mary, the beloved Daughter of Zion.

Like Mary, we can walk confidently in the blessing and peace of the Lord. The Son of God, who left his throne to become one like us, has conquered sin and death for all of us. Each day, we can freely receive the life of Jesus into our hearts simply by responding yes to the Lord’s call, just as Mary did. By Jesus’ sanctifying blood, we have been made vessels of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to cry out “Abba! Father!” as true sons and daughters of God (Galatians 4:6-7).

The Lord is not far off, but very near; indeed he dwells within us through his Holy Spirit. Let us turn to him and allow his blessing, grace, and mercy to shine upon us.


38 posted on 01/01/2013 3:28:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: annalex
16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.

GREEK EX. The shepherds were filled with astonishment at the things that they saw and heard, and so they left their sheepfolds, and set out by night to Bethlehem, seeking for the light of the Savior; and therefore it is said, They spoke one to another, &c.

THEOPHYL; As men who were truly watching, they said not, Let us see (the child; but) the word which has come to pass, i.e. the Word which was from the beginning, let us see how it has been made flesh for us, since this very Word is the Lord. For it follows, Which the Lord has made, and has shown to us; i.e. Let us see how the Lord has made Himself, and has shown His flesh to us.

AMBROSE; How remarkably Scripture weighs the import of each word. For when we behold the flesh of the Lord, we behold the Word, which is the Son. Let not this seem to you a slight example of faith, because of the humble character of the shepherds. For simplicity is sought for, not pride. It follows, And they came in haste. For no one indolently seeks after Christ.

ORIGEN; But because they came in haste, and not with loitering steps, it follows, They found Mary, (i.e. her who had brought Jesus into the world,) and Joseph, (i.e. the guardian of our Lord's birth,) and the babe lying in the manger, (i.e. the Savior Himself.)

THEOPHYL; It seems to succeed in due order, that after having rightly celebrated the incarnation of the Word, we should at length come to behold the actual glory of that Word. Hence it follows: But when they saw it, they made known the word which had been spoken to them.

GREEK EX. Beholding with hidden faith indeed the happy events which had been told them, and not content with marveling at the reality of those things which at the very first they saw and embraced when the Angel told them, they began to relate them not only to Mary and Joseph, but to the others also (and what is more they impressed them on their minds,) as it follows, And all who heard it marveled. For how could it be otherwise, at the sight of one of the heavenly host upon earth, and earth in peace reconciled to heaven; and that ineffable Child binding together in one, by His divinity, heavenly things, by His humanity, earthly things, and by this conjunction of Himself ejecting a wonderful union!

GLOSS. Not only do they marvel at the mystery of the incarnation, but also at so wonderful an attestation of the shepherds, men who could not have devised these unheard of things, but were with simple eloquence proclaiming the truth.

AMBROSE; Esteem not the words of the shepherds as mean and despicable For from the shepherds Mary increases her faith, as it follows: Mary kept all these sayings, and pondered them in her heart. Let us learn the chastity of the sacred Virgin in all things, who no less chaste in her words than in her body, gathered up in her heart the materials of faith.

THEOPHYL; For keeping the laws of virgin modesty, she who had known the secrets of Christ would divulge them to no one, but comparing what she had read in prophecy with what she now acknowledged to have taken place, she did not utter them with the mouth, but preserved them shut up in her heart.

GREEK EX. Whatever the Angel had said to her, whatever she had heard from Zacharias, and Elisabeth, and the shepherds, she collected them all in her mind, and comparing them together, perceived in all one harmony. Truly, He was God who was born from her.

ATHANAS. But every one rejoiced in the nativity of Christ, not with human feelings, as men are wont to rejoice when a son is born, but at the presence of Christ and the luster of the Divine light. As it follows: And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for every thing they had heard, &c.

THEOPHYL; That is to say, from the Angels, and had seen, i.e. in Bethlehem, as it was told them, i.e. they glory in this, that when they came they found it even as it was told them, or as it was told them they give praise and glory to God. For this they were told by the Angels to do, not in very word commanding them, but setting before them the form of devotion when they sung glory to God in the highest.

THEOPHYL; To speak in a mystery, let the shepherds of spiritual flocks, (nay, all the faithful,) after the example of, these shepherds, go in thought even to Bethlehem, and celebrate the incarnation of Christ with due honors. Let us go indeed casting aside all fleshly lusts, with the whole desire of the mind even to the heavenly Bethlehem, (i.e. the house of the living bread,) that He whom they saw crying in the manger we may deserve to see reigning on the throne of His Father. And such bliss as this is not to be sought for with sloth and idleness, but with eagerness must we follow the footsteps of Christ. When they saw Him they knew Him; and let us haste to embrace in the fullness of our love those things which were spoken of our Savior, that when the time shall come that we shall see with perfect knowledge we may be able to comprehend them.

THEOPHYL; Again, the shepherds of the Lord's flock by contemplating the life of the fathers who went before them, (which preserved the bread of life,) enter as it were the gates of Bethlehem, and find therein none other than the virgin beauty of the Church, that is, Mary; the manly company of spiritual doctors, that is, Joseph; and the lowly coming of Christ contained in the pages of Holy Scripture, that is, the infant child Christ, laid in the manger.

ORIGEN; That was the manger which Israel knew not, according to those words of Isaiah, The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib.

THEOPHYL; The shepherds did not hide in silence what they knew, because to this end have the Shepherds of the Church been ordained, that what they have learned in the Scriptures they might explain to their hearers.

THEOPHYL; The masters of the spiritual flocks also, while others sleep, at one time by contemplation enter into the heavenly places, at another time pass around them by seeking the examples of the faithful, at another time by teaching return to the public duties of the pastoral office.

THEOPHYL; Every one of us, even he who is supposed to live as a private person, exercises the office of shepherd, if, keeping together a multitude of good actions and pure thoughts, he strive to rule them with due moderation, to feed them with the food of the Scriptures, and to preserve them against the snares of the devil.



21. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

THEOPHYL; Having related our Lord's nativity, the Evangelist adds, And after that eight days were accomplished for the circumcision of the child.

AMBROSE; Who is this Child, but He of whom it was said, Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given? For He was made under the law, that He might redeem them who were under the law.

EPIPH. Now the followers of Ebion and Cerinthus say, "It is enough for a disciple if he be as his Master. But Christ circumcised Himself. Be you therefore circumcised." But herein do they deceive themselves, destroying their own principles; for if Ebion should confess that Christ as God descended from heaven and was circumcised on the eighth day, it might then afford the ground of an argument for circumcision; but since he affirms Him to be mere man, surely as a boy he cannot be the cause of Himself being circumcised, as neither are infants the authors of their own circumcision. But we confess that it is God Himself who has descended from heaven, and that enclosed in a virgin's womb, He abode there the whole time necessary for her delivery, until He should perfectly form to Himself of the virgin's womb a human body; and that in this body He was not in appearance but truly circumcised on the eighth day, in order that the figures having come to this spiritual fulfillment, both by Himself and His disciples, might now be spread abroad no longer the figures but the reality.

ORIGEN; As we have died with Him at His death, and risen together with Him at His resurrection, so with Him have we been circumcised, and therefore need not now circumcision in the flesh.

EPIPHAN. Christ was circumcised for several reasons. First indeed to show the reality of His flesh, in opposition to Manichaus and those who say that He came forth in appearance only. Secondly, that He might prove that His body was not of the same substance with the Deity, according to Apollinaris, and that it descended not from heaven, as Valentinian said. Thirdly, to add a confirmation to circumcision which He had of old instituted to wait His coming. Lastly, to leave no excuse to the Jews. For had He not been circumcised, they might have objected that they could not receive Christ uncircumcised.

THEOPHYL; He was circumcised also that He might enjoin upon us by His example the virtue of obedience and might take compassion on them who being placed under the law, were unable to bear the burdens of the law, to the end that He who came in the likeness of sinful flesh might not reject the remedy with which sinful flesh was wont to be healed. For circumcision brought in the law the same assistance of a saving cure to the wound of original sin which Baptism does in the time of the grace of revelation, except that as yet the circumcised could not enter the gates of the heavenly kingdom, but comforted after death with a blessed rest in Abraham's bosom, they waited with a joyful hope for their entrance into eternal peace.

ATHAN. For circumcision expressed nothing else, but the stripping off of the old birth, seeing that part was circumcised which caused the birth of the body. And thus it was done at that time as a sign of the future baptism through Christ. Therefore as soon as that of which it was a sign came, the figure ceased. For since the whole of the old man Adam is taken away by baptism, there remains nothing which the cutting of a part prefigures.

CYRIL; It was the custom on the eighth day to perform the circumcision of the flesh. For on the eighth day Christ rose from the dead, and conveyed to us a spiritual circumcision, saying, Go and teach all nations, baptizing them.

THEOPHYL; Now in His resurrection was prefigured the resurrection of each of us both in the flesh and the Spirit, for Christ has taught us by being circumcised that our nature must both now in itself be purged from the stain of vice, and at the last day be restored from the plague of death. And as the Lord rose on the eighth day, i.e. the day after the seventh, (which is the Sabbath,) so we also after six ages of the world and after the seventh, which is the rest of souls, and is now carrying on in another life, shall rise as on the eighth day.

CYRIL; But according to the command of the law, on the same day He received the imposition of a name, as it follows, His name was called Jesus which is interpreted Savior. For He was brought forth for the salvation of the whole world, which by His circumcision He prefigured, as the Apostle says to the Colossians, "you are circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the stripping off of the body of the flesh, to wit, the circumcision of Christ."

THEOPHYL; That upon the day of His circumcision He also received the imposition of the name was likewise done in imitation of the old observances. For Abraham, who received the first sacrament of circumcision, was on the day of his circumcision thought worthy to be. blessed by the increase of his name.

ORIGEN; But the name of Jesus, a glorious name and worthy of all honor, a name which is above every other, ought not first to be uttered by men, nor by them be brought into the world. Therefore significantly the Evangelist adds, which was called of the Angel, &c.

THEOPHYL; Of this name the elect also in their spiritual circumcision rejoice to be partakers, that as from Christ they are called Christians, so also from the Savior they may be called saved, which title was given them of God not only before they were conceived through faith in the womb of the Church, but even before the world began.

Catena Aurea Luke 2
39 posted on 01/01/2013 3:28:43 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Annunciation to the Shepherds

Unknown Catalan master

c. 1180
Fresco
Panteón de los Reyes, Colegiata de San Isidoro, Léon

40 posted on 01/01/2013 3:35:42 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Adoration of the Shepherds

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

c. 1668
Oil on canvas, 147 x 218 cm
Wallace Collection, London

41 posted on 01/01/2013 3:36:25 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Nativity (Adoration of the Shepherds)

Antonio da Correggio

1529-1530
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

42 posted on 01/01/2013 3:37:29 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Coronation of the Virgin

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

1472-73
Tempera on wood, 337 x 200 cm
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

43 posted on 01/01/2013 3:40:18 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

IN MARY’S WOMB, HEAVEN AND EARTH WERE UNITED

(A biblical refection on THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – Tuesday, 1 January 2013)

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 

Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7 

First Reading: Num 6:22-27; Psalms: Ps 67:2-3,5-6,8; Gospel Reading: Lk 2:16-21 

www-St-Takla-org--Saint-Mary-Theotokos-Mother-of-God-117

The Scripture Text

But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir (Gal 4:4-7 RSV). 

“A light will shine on us this day, the Lord is born for us: He shall be called Wonderful God, Prince of peace, Father of the world to come; and His kingship will never end” (Entrance Antiphon I).

“Hail, holy Mother! The Child to whom you give birth is the King of heaven and earth for ever” (Entrance Antiphon II)

The Church speaks a word of hope in this first day of the new year. As we celebrate this new beginning, we are encouraged to submit our affairs to the King of heaven and earth who has come among us. The new year begins in the middle of the Christmas season and the Church would have us look at two people who play central roles during this season: Jesus and Mary.

Even as we look to Jesus, we honor Mary because through her “yes” (fiat), God’s plan to save His people moved decisively forward. God’s Son was “born of woman, born under the law …… so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4). This woman, Mary, is recognized by the Church as the “exalted Daughter of Zion” who “stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently await and receive salvation from Him” (Lumen Gentium, 55). As a faithful daughter of Zion, Mary cooperated with God and His plan was fulfilled through the fruit of her womb. She became the Mother of God and the first of the redeemed.

In Mary’s womb, heaven and earth were united so that the King of heaven and earth would come forth to redeem fallen man. She is the mother through whom the Son of God took on human flesh. The title Mother of God points to Jesus even as it speaks of Mary. On this day, we are reminded to be like Mary – to be instruments of God and allow Him to reign in our hearts.

The King of heaven and earth who came to us through her is the Prince of Peace announced by the prophet Isaiah (Is 9:6). Because her Son is the Prince of Peace, we know Mary as Queen of Peace. With this double association, the Church joins all of humanity today to pray for world peace. We ask Mary to intercede that the peace of God would reign in the hearts of all people everywhere.

Short Prayer: God our Father, we pray for peace. As we celebrate the first day of the new year, may the King of heaven and earth, who was born through Mary, the Mother of God and Queen of Peace, reign in our hearts and make us instruments of peace. Amen.


44 posted on 01/01/2013 3:47:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Something for which the heart has its reasons

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Reparation to the Mother of God

As I continue to study and pray over the the writings of Catherine-Mectilde de Bar (1614-1698), I am obliged to seek help from above so as to understand them rightly, translate them faithfully, and transmit their essential message humbly, that is, without allowing my own prejudices or presuppositions to interfere with the process. I could easily pass over certain expressions of devotion, or acquiesce to them, without sufficiently grasping their meaning and their value. One such practice would be that of making reparation to the Mother of God.

In her Constitutions on the Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 20, Mother Mectilde writes:

They shall make their Communions on Saturday in honour of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, and of all her mysteries, especially that of her Immaculate Conception, and of her Divine Maternity. The love for the Most Holy Sacrament, which the Holy Spirit imprints in the hearts of those who offer themselves in sacrifice with our Divine Saviour, will also enkindle in them a zeal for the honour of His Most Holy Mother. For this reason, they will also, each one in turn, make honorable amendment at Holy Mass on her feast days and on all the Saturdays of the year, as indicated in the Ceremonial.

The Object of Universal Honour and Grateful Affection

How are we to understand the notion of reparation to the Mother of God? What is the theology behind such a practice? I would say, first of all, that it is fitting that the Immaculate Heart of Mary, overflowing with a most tender charity for the souls redeemed by her Divine Son, should be the object of universal honour and grateful affection. Mary is the New Eve, the Mother of the Living, immaculate and full of every perfection in view of her Divine Motherhood. The maternal solicitude of her most pure Heart, created sinless for the Only-Begotten Son of God, and as a fit dwelling-place for the Holy Ghost, extends to the vast multitude of those redeemed by the Blood of Jesus, the blessed fruit of her womb.

There is no man who has lived, or who is living, or who is yet to be born, who does not owe the Virgin Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord, and the Mother of the Lamb, the filial honours of a grateful heart. To refuse Mary the unique place given her by God in his Holy Economy (the divine master-plan) is not only to scorn the priceless gift of a Virgin Mother; it is also to offend the munificent Creator and Giver of the gift. There is nothing sadder, nothing more tragic, even in purely human terms, than a mother by her children scorned.

I Want to Love You for All the Others

Consider a mother of many sons, utterly devoted to each one of them, who finds a response to her love only in the heart of her first-born. The last and littlest one of all, observing this, one day allows himself to be brought to the mother, having taken the hand of the eldest son. Inspired by love, and moved by a guileless candour, he says, "Mother, I want to love you for all the others, and I want to make up to you the love that my brothers refuse you or forget to give you."

Communion of Reparation

A matter of pious sentimentality? No -- a matter of the heart, and also of a humble submission to the plan of God, who wills that all generations should magnify the Mother of God, who, without loss to her virginity, gave birth to God the Word. Mother Mectilde understood the rightness of such an impulse of the heart towards the Heart of Mary, and she bequeathed to her spiritual progeny the practice of a communion of reparation, by which we, receiving the adorable mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ, present ourselves to His Virgin Mother, enriched with all that His Sacred Heart holds in her regard. Thus united to the First-Born, do we, the littlest of her sons, tell her that we would love her with such tenderness and gratitude as to make up for the indifference and ingratitude of our brothers. Thus would we console her maternal Heart that never stops loving the many who have for her not so much as a word, a glance, or even an affectionate thought.

The heart has its order, the mind its own, which uses principles and demonstrations. The heart has a different one. We do not prove that we ought to be loved by setting out in order the causes of love; that would be absurd. Jesus Christ and St Paul possess the order of charity, not the order of the mind, for they wished to humble, not to teach. (Pascal, Blaise. Pensées. Translated by A. J. Krailsheimer. New York: Penguin Books, 1995. Fragment 298, p. 94)

A Filial Affection, Childlike and Simple

Reparation to the Mother of God belongs to Pascal's order of charity. The little and the poor grasp the rightness of it intuitively, while the sophisticated, and those whose inflated reason blinds them to higher things, bristle at the thought of it. Let us, then, concede -- no, let us embrace the rightness of offering the Mother of God a filial affection so childlike and so simple that it will, in some way -- known ultimately to God alone, and to Mary's Immaculate Heart -- make up for the impiety of those who, in neglecting the Mother, or in dishonouring her privileges, offend Him who wills that all generations should call her blessed and full of grace.

In a World Waiting to Hear the Gospel of Christmas

We monks of Silverstream Priory have no reason to shrink from the 17th century practice of making reparation to the Sacred and Maternal Heart of Mary by receiving the adorable Body and Blood of her Son, and by offering her the filial sentiments of His most loving Heart, united sacramentally to our own. We understand that the practice of offering the Mother of God honourable amendment on Saturday and on her feasts, is authorized by those reasons of the heart, that the heart alone understands. In a world waiting to hear the Gospel of Christmas, there are many who deny the great things that the Almighty has done for the Virgin Mary; there are those who make light of her incomparable privileges and scorn her lowliness. Let there be, also, a few who, like the shepherds, approach the Virgin Mother and, in offering her homage of their simple manly hearts, bring to the grotto that gave shelter to her, to Saint Joseph, and to the Divine Child, the warmth of grateful love and affection .


45 posted on 01/01/2013 4:13:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Adoring the Silence of the Word

 on January 1, 2013 8:07 PM |
Masolino,_madonna_col_bambino_e_angeli,_1424_ca._2.JPG

Mother Mectilde de Bar (1614-1698) belongs to the family of great mystics who, like Saint John of the Cross, are content to remain in darkness, and cast themselves into an adoring silence. Here is my translation of a chapter talk she gave in 1661.

Silence in the Presence of the Word

Who would dare speak, and what can be said in the presence of the Eternal Word, who keeps so profound a silence and, all the same, with His silent language, makes Himself understood of souls who remain immersed in that sacred and most intimate silence that spreads peace abroad in the soul?

Stillness Within and Without

What could a creature, who is but darkness and deep ignorance, ever say concerning the Eternal Wisdom, the Divine Intelligence that contains in Itself all that is? We should be put to confusion were we to speak while He utters not a word and, by His silence, teaches us to be still within ourselves and without. The Angels are struck silent at the sight of the Divine Infant, seeing how He is become so little upon the straw, and how He has emptied Himself in the Host. What see we among these blessed Spirits except a holy amazement that casts them into an abyss of silence and respect?

Dum medium silentium

I find the words: Dum medium silentium admirable. The God of majesty is born amidst darkness and in silence. Oh . . . if only I could say something about the birth of Jesus Christ in a soul! He comes to birth in silence and darkness: silence within us and silence without, in our dealings with creatures. In darkness: not the obscurity caused by the soul's imperfections, but the godly darkness that hides from us the sacred mysteries that He works within us: mysteries that we must adore and honour, and this, without having knowledge of them.

Mother Mectilde de Bar


46 posted on 01/01/2013 4:16:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Benedict XVI: The Pope of the Face of God

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There is no doubt about it: Benedict XVI is the Pope of the Face of God, of the Human Face of God, the Face of Jesus Christ upon which shines the glory of the Father. Here, with my subtitles, is the homily given by the Holy Father on this New Year's Day.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

"May God bless us and make his face to shine upon us." We proclaimed these words from Psalm 66 after hearing in the first reading the ancient priestly blessing upon the people of the covenant. It is especially significant that at the start of every new year God sheds upon us, his people, the light of his Holy Name, the Name pronounced three times in the solemn form of biblical blessing. Nor is it less significant that to the Word of God - who "became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14) as "the true light that enlightens every man" (1:9) - is given, as today's Gospel tells us, the Name of Jesus eight days after his birth (cf. Lk 2:21). It is in this Name that we are gathered here today.

I cordially greet all present, beginning with the Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. I greet with affection Cardinal Bertone, my Secretary of State, and Cardinal Turkson, with all the officials of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; I am particularly grateful to them for their effort to spread the Message for the World Day of Peace, which this year has as its theme "Blessed are the Peacemakers".

Mankind's Innate Vocation to Peace

Although the world is sadly marked by "hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism," as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that "the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind's innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God's plan for mankind.

Both a Messianic Gift and the Fruit of Human Effort

Man is made for the peace which is God's gift. All of this led me to draw inspiration for this Message from the words of Jesus Christ: 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God' (Mt 5:9)" (Message, 1). This beatitude "tells us that peace is both a messianic gift and the fruit of human effort ... It is peace with God through a life lived according to his will. It is interior peace with oneself, and exterior peace with our neighbours and all creation" (ibid., 2, 3). Indeed, peace is the supreme good to ask as a gift from God and, at the same time, that which is to be built with our every effort.

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The Interior Peace of Mary

We may ask ourselves: what is the basis, the origin, the root of peace? How can we experience that peace within ourselves, in spite of problems, darkness and anxieties? The reply is given to us by the readings of today's liturgy. The biblical texts, especially the one just read from the Gospel of Luke, ask us to contemplate the interior peace of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. During the days in which "she gave birth to her first-born son" (Lk 2:7), many unexpected things occurred: not only the birth of the Son but, even before, the tiring journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, not finding room at the inn, the search for a chance place to stay for the night; then the song of the angels and the unexpected visit of the shepherds. In all this, however, Mary remains even tempered, she does not get agitated, she is not overcome by events greater than herself; in silence she considers what happens, keeping it in her mind and heart, and pondering it calmly and serenely. This is the interior peace which we ought to have amid the sometimes tumultuous and confusing events of history, events whose meaning we often do not grasp and which disconcert us.

Theotokos: Mother of God

The Gospel passage finishes with a mention of the circumcision of Jesus. According to the Law of Moses, eight days after birth, baby boys were to be circumcised and then given their name. Through his messenger, God himself had said to Mary - as well as to Joseph - that the Name to be given to the child was "Jesus" (cf. Mt 1:21; Lk 1:31); and so it came to be. The Name which God had already chosen, even before the child had been conceived, is now officially conferred upon him at the moment of circumcision. This also changes Mary's identity once and for all: she becomes "the mother of Jesus", that is the mother of the Saviour, of Christ, of the Lord. Jesus is not a man like any other, but the Word of God, one of the Divine Persons, the Son of God: therefore the Church has given Mary the title Theotokos or Mother of God.

The Splendour of the Face of God

The first reading reminds us that peace is a gift from God and is linked to the splendour of the face of God, according to the text from the Book of Numbers, which hands down the blessing used by the priests of the People of Israel in their liturgical assemblies. This blessing repeats three times the Holy Name of God, a Name not to be spoken, and each time it is linked to two words indicating an action in favour of man: "The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you: the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace" (6:24-26). So peace is the summit of these six actions of God in our favour, in which he turns towards us the splendour of his face.

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Contemplating the Face of God Is the Greatest Happiness

For sacred Scripture, contemplating the face of God is the greatest happiness: "You gladden him with the joy of your face" (Ps 21:7). From the contemplation of the face of God are born joy, security and peace. But what does it mean concretely to contemplate the face of the Lord, as understood in the New Testament? It means knowing him directly, in so far as is possible in this life, through Jesus Christ in whom he is revealed. To rejoice in the splendour of God's face means penetrating the mystery of his Name made known to us in Jesus, understanding something of his interior life and of his will, so that we can live according to his plan of love for humanity.

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The Hidden Face of the Father Revealed in the Visible Human Face of the Son

In the second reading, taken from the Letter to the Galatians (4:4-7), Saint Paul says as much as he describes the Spirit who, in our inmost hearts, cries: "Abba! Father!" It is the cry that rises from the contemplation of the true face of God, from the revelation of the mystery of his Name. Jesus declares, "I have manifested thy name to men" (Jn 17:6). God's Son made man has let us know the Father, he has let us know the hidden face of the Father through his visible human face; by the gift of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts, he has led us to understand that, in him, we too are children of God, as Saint Paul says in the passage we have just heard: "The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, 'Abba, Father'" (Gal 4:6).

Jesus Christ, the Splendour of the Face of God the Father

Here, dear brothers and sisters, is the foundation of our peace: the certainty of contemplating in Jesus Christ the splendour of the face of God the Father, of being sons in the Son, and thus of having, on life's journey, the same security that a child feels in the arms of a loving and all-powerful Father. The splendour of the face of God, shining upon us and granting us peace, is the manifestation of his fatherhood: the Lord turns his face to us, he reveals himself as our Father and grants us peace. Here is the principle of that profound peace - "peace with God" - which is firmly linked to faith and grace, as Saint Paul tells the Christians of Rome (cf. Rom 5:2). Nothing can take this peace from believers, not even the difficulties and sufferings of life. Indeed, sufferings, trials and darkness do not undermine but build up our hope, a hope which does not deceive because "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (5:5).

Contemplate the Face of Jesus, the Prince of Peace

May the Virgin Mary, whom today we venerate with the title of Mother of God, help us to contemplate the face of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. May she sustain us and accompany us in this New Year: and may she obtain for us and for the whole world the gift of peace. Amen!


47 posted on 01/01/2013 4:18:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Our Mother Knows the Song of the Angels
| SPIRITUAL LIFE
Solemnity of Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God

Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are my friend, my Father, and my protector. I come to you on this new day confident in your presence. I renew my love for you, trusting in your guiding hand.

Petition: Lord, I want to hear the angels sing. Help me learn to listen.

1. Sometimes We Need a Little Help: Would the shepherds have been impressed to find Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus if the angels had not explained what was happening? They would have just thought it was a poor, vagabond family—unimpressive and unassuming like their own lives as shepherds. Yet the angels opened them to a reality that they would never have imagined or perceived. In my life God has also sent me angels who help me discover him: the faith of a parent or grandparent, the sweet, innocent faith of a child, the good example of a friend, a teacher, a priest or a nun, the example of our Holy Father. Mary also teaches me to discover God in her Son. Do I thank God for these angels that he has sent me? Do I follow their advice and look for Christ in the simple, ordinary circumstances of my life?

2. Hints of a New Song: In a symphony, the first movement only hints at the central theme. Mary had first heard this theme from the angel Gabriel. Now the shepherds take up this theme—the hymn of the angels—and even though the shepherds play their part with great enthusiasm, it probably makes very little noise outside the little town of Bethlehem. Yet the song had begun, and it would grow to a crescendo as Christ lived out his mission. History unfolds God’s mysterious plan of salvation. I am part of that history, of that symphony. Do I do my best to continue Mary’s song, God’s song, by living my commitments and taking part in apostolate?

3. And His Name Shall Be “God Saves” Mary and Joseph take up the hymn. They know the secret: this child will save Israel and will save all mankind. They begin to explain to the world, using an ancient name, Joshua (Yeshua), a name that now becomes not just a promise but a person. This is God’s new name. This is Our God: God Saves. He is not merely a God who is the source of everything. Our God is intimately committed to us, and he puts himself “in the line of fire” to save us. Man had suspected that God was Creator, and the Jews had received the surprise of his friendship, but neither Gentile nor Jew dreamed that God was also this type of love. Do I dare to dream of God’s goodness? Do I let Christ give me peace and hope in the midst of this despairing world?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I have heard something new today. You remind me this Christmas that it is time for a new song, a song of confidence and hope. Mary teaches me this song, this good news. I want to bring this good news more deeply into my life. I know that you are helping me to discover you more each day. Help me also discover you to others.

Resolution: In Mary’s presence, I will strive to “sing this new song” (the Christian virtue I have determined to cultivate) today by making a special effort in one aspect of living this virtue.


48 posted on 01/01/2013 4:22:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Thankful for our Mother

by Food For Thought on January 1, 2013 · 

Today we celebrate newness as a new year begins. In particular, in our liturgy, we celebrate the role of Mary as the Mother of God incarnate, the mother of Jesus Christ, a woman chosen by God to help bring something very new into our world. When Mary said “yes” to the angel’s message from God that Mary was invited to give birth to a son, she really brought something extraordinary and new into our world. Certainly that is something for us to celebrate.

In a certain sense, when Mary gave birth to the Child Jesus a new era began, and for many in the world today that era is designated in our calendars in various ways. For many it is called the Christian Era. Often the years are called “Year of the Lord” with the initial ”A.D.” (Anno Domini) used to designate them as such. So, as we also celebrate the beginning of a New Year today, we can be thankful that Mary, the Mother of God, helped to us a certain newness of years. Mary is perhaps celebrating in heaven, in company with her Son, this New Year’s Day of 2013 A.D.

Our Gospel for this day brings us back to that day so many centuries ago when Mary’s child was just beginning to get used to the light of our world. The newborn baby, probably not yet aware of anything other than his baby hunger and thirst, was the center of wonder, not only of Mary and Joseph, but also of a group of adoring shepherds. The gospel tells us that these men rushed to the scene and on arriving they were so fascinated by the child. But did they have any insight into just who this Child was? Did they have even the least idea of how the mother gave birth to this baby, and just how special this baby was? They were lost in wonder, and although the gospel record tells us that they “understood what had been told them” by the angels, their understanding was probably not more than the fact that this child was somehow special.

But for the mother Mary together with Joseph, there was more to ponder. Following the usual custom of the time, on the eighth day (the first “octave of Christmas”) the child was circumcised and given the name Jesus, the name that the Lord’s messenger had told them to give the child. That name tells us not only who the child is but also what the child is, the one who is to save the people from their sins. As the name was being given to the child, Joseph must have remembered the dream he had when he was assured that Mary was graced by the Holy Spirit to be his wife and the mother of this special child, and that the name Jesus was to be the name of the Child. For so many of us today that name, that Holy Name, is so very special. This is the name that St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians says is “the name above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Devotion to this name is kept alive by the members of the Holy Name Society in many parts of the world. St. Ignatius of Loyola felt that it was a divine inspiration that confirmed his insistence that the religious order he founded would be called the Society of Jesus, over the objections of many at the time.

And so it is today that we celebrate the newness that Mary, the Mother of God, brought into our world when Jesus was born. We recall that day when the child was given the holy name given by the angel to indicate that this child, the son of Mary, was the one who, as its savior, would make the world new.

On this New Year’s Day of the year 2013 A.D. we can, together with Mary the Mother of God, treasure in our hearts so many signs of God’s gracious love for us.


49 posted on 01/01/2013 4:34:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 

<< Tuesday, January 1, 2013 >> Mary, Mother of God
 
Numbers 6:22-27
Galatians 4:4-7

View Readings
Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
Luke 2:16-21

 

"HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF GOD"

 
"They went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger; once they saw, they understood what had been told them concerning this Child." —Luke 2:16-17
 

For a moment, put aside the centuries of religious interpretation of the Nativity, and picture the scenario through the lens of 21st century Western culture. A modern couple denied civil conditions for birth might well be furious over this injustice. They would likely be planning a lawsuit against the "hospital" that sent them away (see Lk 2:7). The visitors at the manger might well be eager lawyers rather than humble shepherds!

Scripture tells us that Mary reflected in her heart about the injustices she, Joseph, and her Child were required to endure (Lk 2:19). Such reflection can sometimes lead people to self-pity, anger toward God, or bitterness. However, Mary embraced her situation and humbly "treasured" these events (Lk 2:19).

Mary's holiness led her to strive to see all things from God's perspective instead of a human one. Mary thereby proved herself a member of God's family, for God the Father also embraced His Son's lowly birth into the human condition (Gal 4:4).

Many crosses await us in 2013. Right now, make a New Year's resolution to "treasure" all the crosses that come into your life and see how the Lord will use them to transform your world.

 
Prayer: Father, look kindly on us and grant us peace (Nm 6:26).
Promise: "You are no longer a slave but a son!" —Gal 4:7
Praise: Alleluia! The Word became flesh in the womb of Mary! (Jn 1:14) Alleluia!
 

50 posted on 01/01/2013 4:39:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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