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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-16-13
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-16-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/15/2013 8:08:44 PM PST by Salvation

December 16, 2013

 

Monday of the Third Week of Advent

 

 

Reading 1 Nm 24:2-7, 15-17a

When Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe,
the spirit of God came upon him,
and he gave voice to his oracle:

The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor,
the utterance of a man whose eye is true,
The utterance of one who hears what God says,
and knows what the Most High knows,
Of one who sees what the Almighty sees,
enraptured, and with eyes unveiled:
How goodly are your tents, O Jacob;
your encampments, O Israel!
They are like gardens beside a stream,
like the cedars planted by the LORD.
His wells shall yield free-flowing waters,
he shall have the sea within reach;
His king shall rise higher,
and his royalty shall be exalted.

Then Balaam gave voice to his oracle:

The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor,
the utterance of the man whose eye is true,
The utterance of one who hears what God says,
and knows what the Most High knows,
Of one who sees what the Almighty sees,
enraptured, and with eyes unveiled.
I see him, though not now;
I behold him, though not near:
A star shall advance from Jacob,
and a staff shall rise from Israel.

Responsorial Psalm PS 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9

R. (4) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Gospel Mt 21:23-27

When Jesus had come into the temple area,
the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him
as he was teaching and said,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
And who gave you this authority?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me,
then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things.
Where was John’s baptism from?
Was it of heavenly or of human origin?”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd,
for they all regard John as a prophet.”
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
He himself said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”



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

1 posted on 12/15/2013 8:08:44 PM PST by Salvation
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Alleluia Ping

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2 posted on 12/15/2013 8:20:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17a

Balaam’s Third Oracle (Continuation)


[2] And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and saw Israel encamping tribe by tribe.
And the Spirit of God came upon him, [3] and he took up his discourse, and
said,

“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
[4] the oracle of him who bears the words of God,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down, but having his eyes uncovered:
[5] how fair are your tents, O Jacob,
your encampments, O Israel!
[6] Like valleys that stretch afar,
like gardens beside a river,
like aloes that the Lord has planted,
like cedar trees beside the waters.
[7] Water shall flow from his buckets,
and his seed shall be in many waters,
his king shall be higher than Agag,
and his kingdom shall be exalted.”

Balaam’s fourth oracle


[15] And he took up his discourse, and said,

“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
[16] the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
and knows the knowledge of the Most High,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down, but having his eyes uncovered:
[17] I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not nigh:
a star shall come forth out of Jacob,
and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.”

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

24:3-9. This third oracle consists not so much in words placed by God on Ba-
laam’s lips, as in the vision given to him, which shows the splendor of Israel (ex-
pressed in images of luxuriant scenery); it also alludes to a victorious king and
recalls, once more, deliverance from Egypt.

24:15-24. The three blessings are followed by four oracles about nations — Israel,
Amalek, the Kainites and Asshur. The first tells about the coming of a king sym-
bolized by a star and a scepter (v. 17). In the ancient East stars were considered
to be gods and goddesses. This passage of Numbers may contain a reference
to David and his star: in fact, from very early on this text was given a messianic
interpretation; Jewish traditions link the coming of the Messiah with the appea-
ring of a star — cf. some Aramaic translations (”targumin”) of this text. In St Mat-
thew’s Gospel there is mention of a star in the episode of the Magi who came to
adore Jesus (cf. Mt 2:1-12). And in the second Jewish revolt against Rome (132-
135 AD), a famous Jewish teacher, Rabbi Akiha, changed the name of the Je-
wish leader of the rebellion from Ben Kosheba, to Bar Kokheba, that is, “son of
the star” — another indication of the connection between the star and the expec-
ted Messiah.

The Fathers interpreted the star that Balaam speaks about, as being the one the
Magi saw. From this they went on deduce that the Wise Men came from Meso-
potamia, which was where Balaam came from.

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


3 posted on 12/15/2013 8:22:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

From: Matthew 21:23-27

The Authority of Jesus is Questioned


[23] And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the
people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you
doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” [24] Jesus answered them,
“I also will ask you a question; and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell
you by what authority I do these things. [25] The baptism of John, whence was
it? From heaven or from men?” And they argued with one another, “If we say,
‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ [26] But if
we say, ‘From men,’ we are afraid of the multitude; for all hold that John was a
prophet.” [27] So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them,
“Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

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

23-27. When the chief priests and elders ask “By what authority are you doing
these things?” they are referring both to his teaching and to his self-assure pub-
lic actions — throwing the traders out of the Temple, entering Jerusalem in tri-
umph, allowing the children to acclaim him, curing the sick, etc. What they want
him to do is to prove that he has authority to act in this way or to admit openly
that he is the Messiah.

However, Jesus knows that they are not well-intentioned and he declines to give
them a direct answer; he prefers to put a question to them that forces them to
make their own attitude clear. He seeks to provoke them into examining their
consciences and changing their whole approach.

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

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


4 posted on 12/15/2013 8:23:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Jerusalem Bible published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Numbers 24:2-7,15-17 ©

Raising his eyes Balaam saw Israel, encamped by tribes; the spirit of God came on him and he declaimed his poem. He said:

‘The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,

the oracle of the man with far-seeing eyes,

the oracle of one who hears the word of God.

He sees what Shaddai makes him see,

receives the divine answer, and his eyes are opened.

How fair are your tents, O Jacob!

How fair your dwellings, Israel!

Like valleys that stretch afar,

like gardens by the banks of a river,

like aloes planted by the Lord,

like cedars beside the waters!

A hero arises from their stock,

he reigns over countless peoples.

His king is greater than Agag,

his majesty is exalted.’

Then Balaam declaimed his poem again. He said:

‘The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,

the oracle of the man with far-seeing eyes,

the oracle of one who hears the word of God,

of one who knows the knowledge of the Most High.

He sees what Shaddai makes him see,

receives the divine answer, and his eyes are opened.

I see him – but not in the present,

I behold him – but not close at hand:

a star from Jacob takes the leadership,

a sceptre arises from Israel.’


Psalm

Psalm 24:4-6,7-9 ©

Lord, make me know your ways.

Lord, make me know your ways.

  Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:

  for you are God my saviour.

Lord, make me know your ways.

In you I hope all day long

  because of your goodness, O Lord.

Remember your mercy, Lord,

  and the love you have shown from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth.

  In your love remember me.

Lord, make me know your ways.

The Lord is good and upright.

  He shows the path to those who stray,

He guides the humble in the right path,

  He teaches his way to the poor.

Lord, make me know your ways.


Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Lord will come, go out to meet him.

Great is his beginning and his reign will have no end.

Alleluia!

Or

Ps84:8

Alleluia, alleluia!

Let us see, O Lord, your mercy

and give us your saving help.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Matthew 21:23-27 ©

Jesus had gone into the Temple and was teaching, when the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him and said, ‘What authority have you for acting like this? And who gave you this authority?’ ‘And I’ replied Jesus ‘will ask you a question, only one; if you tell me the answer to it, I will then tell you my authority for acting like this. John’s baptism: where did it come from: heaven or man?’ And they argued it out this way among themselves, ‘If we say from heaven, he will retort, “Then why did you refuse to believe him?”; but if we say from man, we have the people to fear, for they all hold that John was a prophet.’ So their reply to Jesus was, ‘We do not know.’ And he retorted, ‘Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this.’


5 posted on 12/15/2013 8:56:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

6 posted on 12/15/2013 9:02:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Advent Series: A Look at the Infancy Narratives of Matthew and Luke [Ecumenical]
7 posted on 12/15/2013 9:02:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 12/15/2013 9:32:17 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)
9 posted on 12/15/2013 9:32:49 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.

10 posted on 12/15/2013 9:37:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

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

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

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

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


The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

11 posted on 12/15/2013 9:38:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation



~ 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
+

12 posted on 12/15/2013 9:40:17 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.


13 posted on 12/15/2013 9:41:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of December is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first moment of her conception, by a singular privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior and hers, was preserved from all stain of original sin. This age-old belief of the Church was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854 as an article of revealed truth.

Mary was in need of redemption and she was indeed redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The manner of Mary's redemption, however, was unique. Instead of being freed from original sin after having contracted it, she was preserved from contracting it. This was a most fitting favor for the Mother of the Redeemer.

INVOCATION
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

The Immaculate Conception from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”  The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”. The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.

The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.  By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

 

PRAYER OF POPE PIUS XII
This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us God the Holy Spirit, ...
Holy Trinity, one God, ...

Holy Mary, pray for us
Holy Mother of God, pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of Divine Grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of good counsel, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent, ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ...
Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ...
Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ...
Tower of David, ...
Tower of ivory, ...
House of gold, ...
Ark of the covenant, ...
Gate of heaven, ...
Morning star, ...
Health of the sick, ...
Refuge of sinners, ...
Comforter of the afflicted, ...
Help of Christians, ...
Queen of Angels, ...
Queen of Patriarchs, ...
Queen of Prophets, ...
Queen of Apostles, ...
Queen of Martyrs, ...
Queen of Confessors, ...
Queen of Virgins, ...
Queen of all Saints, ...
Queen conceived without original sin, ...
Queen assumed into heaven, ...
Queen of the most holy Rosary, ...
Queen of Peace, ...

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God, 
that we, Thy servants,  may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body:  and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin,  be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness. 
Through Christ, our Lord. 

Amen

 

Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION NOVENA [Prayer]
Essays for Lent: The Immaculate Conception
"I Am The Immaculate Conception"
The Corona of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer Thread
New chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon at National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos December 9th
On the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Mary: "Trust Jesus, he will save you" (Catholic Caucus)
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception

LAND OF MARY IMMACULATE [Ecumenical]
Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant [Catholic Caucus]
THE LIFE OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Defender of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
An Unfathomable Marian Richness [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
History of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 [Catholic Caucus]
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Father Marquette's Devotion to the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)

St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
And It Was Night. The Real Story of Original Sin [Ecumenical]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Ark of the new covenant
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud

Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s ... The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us
U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Sermon from 1934)

My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

14 posted on 12/15/2013 9:45:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Holy Father's Intentions: December 2013

Victimized Children That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.

Prepare the Savior's Coming That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.

15 posted on 12/15/2013 9:46:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Daily Gospel Commentary

Monday of the Third week of Advent

Commentary of the day
Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 110[109]

"We do not know"

In truth, brethren, what God promised seemed humanly unbelievable: that starting from this mortal state in which people are corruptible, despicable, weak, dust and ashes, they would become equal to God's angels! That is why God wasn't satisfied with making a scriptural covenant for them to believe but put forward a mediator as proof of his faith: no prince, no angel or archangel, but his only Son. In this way he would point out and bestow through his own Son the way by which he would lead us to the end promised to us. Yet for God it was too small a thing that his Son should show us the way: he made of him the way (cf. Jn 14,6) by which you would go under his direction, the way you would follow...

How far we were from him!
He who is so high and we so low! We were sick, with no hope of healing. A doctor was sent but the patient did not recognize him, “for if they had known him they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1Cor 2,8). But the death of the doctor has been the cure of the patient; the doctor came to visit him and died to heal him. He made those who believed in him understand he was God and man: God who created us, man who recreated us. The one was visible in him, the other hidden, and that which was hidden far exceeded what was seen... The patient has been healed by what was visible that later he might be able to see in full. God postponed this final vision by concealing it, he did not refuse it.


16 posted on 12/15/2013 9:53:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Monday, December 16, 2013
Advent Weekday
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
Psalm 25:4-9
Matthew 21:23-27

I ought to imagine to myself that there are no others in the world but God and myself.

-- St. Alphonsus Liguori


17 posted on 12/15/2013 10:01:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

18 posted on 12/15/2013 10:04:38 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. 


19 posted on 12/15/2013 10:05:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Haggai the Prophet

Feast Day: December 16

20 posted on 12/16/2013 8:03:40 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Interactive Saints for kids

St. Adelaide


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


21 posted on 12/16/2013 8:09:53 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 21
23 And when he was come into the temple, there came to him, as he was teaching, the chief priests and ancients of the people, saying: By what authority dost thou these things? and who hath given thee this authority? Et cum venisset in templum, accesserunt ad eum docentem principes sacerdotum, et seniores populi, dicentes : In qua potestate hæc facis ? et quis tibi dedit hanc potestatem ? και ελθοντι αυτω εις το ιερον προσηλθον αυτω διδασκοντι οι αρχιερεις και οι πρεσβυτεροι του λαου λεγοντες εν ποια εξουσια ταυτα ποιεις και τις σοι εδωκεν την εξουσιαν ταυτην
24 Jesus answering, said to them: I also will ask you one word, which if you shall tell me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Respondens Jesus dixit eis : Interrogabo vos et ego unum sermonem : quem si dixeritis mihi, et ego vobis dicam in qua potestate hæc facio. αποκριθεις δε ο ιησους ειπεν αυτοις ερωτησω υμας καγω λογον ενα ον εαν ειπητε μοι καγω υμιν ερω εν ποια εξουσια ταυτα ποιω
25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? But they thought within themselves, saying: Baptismus Joannis unde erat ? e cælo, an ex hominibus ? At illi cogitabant inter se, dicentes : το βαπτισμα ιωαννου ποθεν ην εξ ουρανου η εξ ανθρωπων οι δε διελογιζοντο παρ εαυτοις λεγοντες εαν ειπωμεν εξ ουρανου ερει ημιν δια τι ουν ουκ επιστευσατε αυτω
26 If we shall say, from heaven, he will say to us: Why then did you not believe him? But if we shall say, from men, we are afraid of the multitude: for all held John as a prophet. Si dixerimus, e cælo, dicet nobis : Quare ergo non credidistis illi ? Si autem dixerimus, ex hominibus, timemus turbam : omnes enim habebant Joannem sicut prophetam. εαν δε ειπωμεν εξ ανθρωπων φοβουμεθα τον οχλον παντες γαρ εχουσιν τον ιωαννην ως προφητην
27 And answering Jesus, they said: We know not. He also said to them: Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. Et respondentes Jesu, dixerunt : Nescimus. Ait illis et ipse : Nec ego dico vobis in qua potestate hæc facio. και αποκριθεντες τω ιησου ειπον ουκ οιδαμεν εφη αυτοις και αυτος ουδε εγω λεγω υμιν εν ποια εξουσια ταυτα ποιω

"εαν ειπωμεν εξ ουρανου ερει ημιν δια τι ουν ουκ επιστευσατε αυτω" begins verse 27 in the translations.

22 posted on 12/16/2013 5:26:47 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
23. And when he was come into the temple, the Chief Priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority do you these things? and who gave you this authority?
24. And Jesus answered and said to them, I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
25. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say to us, Why did you not then believe him?
26. But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.
27. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said to them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; The Priests were tormented with jealousy, because they had seen Christ entering the Temple in great glory. And not being able to master the fire of jealousy which burnt in their breasts, they break forth in speech.

CHRYS; Forasmuch as they could not detract from His miracles, they bring matter of blame from His forbidding to sell in the Temple. As though they had said, Have you assumed the seat of authority? Have you been anointed Priest, that you exert this power?

PSEUDO-CHRYS; By that they add, Or who gave you this authority? they show that there be many persons who give power to men, whether corporal or spiritual! as though they had said, you art not come of a priestly family; the Senate has not conferred on you this power, neither has Caesar granted it. But had they believed that all power is from God, they would never have asked, Who gave you this authority? For every man judges of others by himself. The fornicator thinks that none are chaste; the chaste does not readily suspect any of fornication; he who is not a Priest of God, thinks no man's Priesthood to be of God.

JEROME; Or in these words they urge the same cavil as above, when they said, He casts out demons through Beelzebub the Prince of the demons. For when they say, By what authority do you these things? they doubt concerning the power of God, and would have it understood that the things He does are of the Devil. But when they add, Who gave you this authority? they most clearly deny the Son of God whom they suppose to work miracles, not by His own, but by others' strength. The Lord could have confuted the calumny of His tempters by a simple answer, but He put a question to them of such skillful contrivance, that they must be condemned either by their silence or their knowledge; Jesus answered and said to them, I also will ask you one question.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; Not that they should answer it, and thereupon hear of Christ the answer to their question, but that being puzzled they should ask Him no farther; according to that precept He had given above, Give not that which is holy to the dogs. For even if He had told them, it would have profited nothing, because the darkened will cannot perceive the things that are of the light. For him that inquires we ought to instruct, but him that tempts, to overthrow by a stroke of reasoning, but not to publish to him the power of the mystery. The Lord thus sets before them in His question a dilemma; and that they might not escape Him, says, Which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. His question is this; The baptism of John whence was it? from heaven, or of men?

AUG; John received his authority to baptize from Him, whom he afterwards baptized; and that baptism which was committed to him is here called the baptism of John. He alone received such a gift; no righteous man before or after him was entrusted with a baptism to be called from himself. For John came to baptize in the water of repentance, to prepare the way for the Lord, not to give inward cleansing, which mere man cannot do.

JEROME; What the Priests revolved in their malice is shown when he adds, But they reasoned with themselves. For had they replied that it was from heaven, the question was inevitable, Why then were you not baptized by John? But should they reply that it was an invention of human device, and had in it nothing divine, they feared a tumult among the people.

For all the assembled multitudes had received John's baptism, and held him accordingly for a Prophet. This godless party therefore make answer, and by a seeming humility of speech confessing that they know not, turned to hide their insidious designs. And they answered Jesus, and said, We know not. In saying that they knew not, they lied; and it might have followed upon their answering thus, that the Lord also should say, I know not; but truth cannot lie, and therefore it follows, And he said to them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. This shows that they knew, but would not answer, and that He also knew, but would not answer, because they would not speak what they knew.

ORIGEN; But some one will say in opposition to this, that it was absurd to ask by what authority Jesus did these things. For that it could not be that He would answer, that He did these by the Devil's authority; and He would not tell them as it truly was, that He did them by His own power. If it should be said, that the rulers put this question to Him in order to deter Him from His proceedings; as when we say to one who is dealing with what is ours in a way which we do not like, we say to him, Who bade you do this? meaning to deter him from what he is so doing; - if it is to be taken so, what means Christ's answer, Do you tell Me this, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Perhaps therefore, the place should be understood as follows.

There are in the general two opposite powers, one on the side of God, the other on the side of the Devil; but of particular powers there are many; for it was not one and the same power that wrought in all the Prophets to enable them to do miracles, but one in these, another in those; and, it may be, for lesser things a lesser power, for greater things a greater power. The Chief Priests had seen Jesus working many miracles, whereupon they desired to know the special degree and properties of that power which wrought in Him. For others who have wrought miracles wrought them at first in one power, and afterwards when more advanced in another and greater power; but the Savior wrought all in one power, that which He received of the Father. But because they were not worthy to hear such mysteries, therefore He gives them no answer, but on the contrary put a question to them.

RABAN; There are two reasons why the knowledge of truth should be kept back from those who ask; either when he who asks is unfit to receive, or from his hatred or contempt of the truth is unworthy to have that which he asks opened to him.

Catena Aurea Matthew 21
23 posted on 12/16/2013 5:27:25 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


St. John the Baptist
Ukrainian Catholic Church

Riverhead, New York

24 posted on 12/16/2013 5:28:07 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Monday, December 16

Liturgical Color: Violet

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

25 posted on 12/16/2013 6:06:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

Daily Readings for:December 16, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Incline a merciful ear to our cry, we pray, O Lord, and, casting light on the darkness of our hearts, visit us with the grace of your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Chiresaye (Cherry Pudding Decorated with Flowers)

ACTIVITIES

o    Advent and the Year of the Eucharist

o    Christmas Plays, Los Pastores and Las Posadas

o    Las Posadas II

o    O Antiphon Days

o    Posters for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

PRAYERS

o    Advent Wreath Prayers I

o    Christmas Novena

o    Advent Wreath Prayers II

o    Novena to the Infant Jesus

o    Roman Ritual Blessing Before and After Meals: Advent (2nd Plan)

o    Christmas Novena - December 16 - 24

o    Christmas Anticipation Prayer

·         Advent: December 16th

·         Monday of the Third Week of Advent

Old Calendar: St. Eusebius, bishop and martyr; St. Adelaide, queen of Italy (Hist)

We are the blind offspring of the children of pitiful Eve
Bringing with us the shadows born of an age-old error.
But when God deigned to assume the mortal form
Of a human nature, then came forth from the Virgin
A world of salvation.... Carmen 4, Sedulius

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Eusebius which is celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite on August 2. Historically it is also the feast of St. Adelaide, daughter of the king of Burgundy. Throughout her life she received strong suport from the abbots of Cluny, with whom she was on terms of close friendship.

Jesse Tree ~ John the Baptist


St. Adelaide
St. Adelaide was a truly remarkable woman. She was the daughter of the king of Burgundy, and was married to the son of the ruler of Provence as a means of ending a feud. When her husband was murdered by a rival prince, she was shut up in captivity until freed by Otto I, who became Holy Roman Emperor and Adelaide, his Empress. She ruled with her husband until his death, at which time her jealous daughter-in-law had her banished from the court twice! Yet she remained steadfast and faithful, known for her liberality in giving and her piety; and eventually she was restored to court as the regent for her grandson Otto III. She was active in the reforms of the great abbey at Cluny, and reposed in 999. Despite her exalted status, she was a wife and mother, and lived both hard times and good, always faithful to her Lord, and always ready to give generously to those in need. She never took revenge on her political enemies once she gained the regency and it was said that her court was much like a monastery itself in its piety. She is a reminder to me that regardless of how much or how little I may have, my work remains the same.

Excerpted from Panagia Icons

Patron:

Things to Do:


Today is Day One of the Christmas Novena


26 posted on 12/16/2013 6:26:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 21:23-27

3rd Week of Advent

Who gave you this authority? (Matthew 21:23)

Have you ever seen people wearing dark glasses when there is no bright sunlight? It makes you wonder about their motivation. Perhaps they want to be able to look into other people’s eyes without being seen themselves. Or perhaps they think it’s “cool.” In any case, they surely can’t be seeing what you’re seeing. Because they see only a bland version of reality, they are missing out on much of the beauty in God’s creation.

Those unfortunate people are like the Pharisees who asked Jesus, “By what authority are you doing these things?” (Matthew 21:22). They just couldn’t seem to see God at work in him. He wasn’t one of the “established” teachers, and he talked too much about loving the poor. He made outrageous claims about God being merciful to everyone and expected the people to be just as forgiving. So although Jesus’ question about John’s baptism challenged them, they weren’t about to lose any credibility in front of this upstart!

There are times when we can become blinded to Jesus’ authority—and to the authority he has given us. We don’t necessarily question his awesome power. We’re just not sure he’ll use us to demonstrate it. We may have an “inner Pharisee” who tells us, “Keep your faith to yourself” or “You’re too sinful to be a good example.” But if we focus too much on ourselves or what others think about us, we will become reluctant to step out and take a risk.

But Jesus needs our witness. The world needs the living testimony of people who go about “doing the stuff” of Christianity with joy, peace, and confidence. It may be hard to believe, but you can become one of those people. It may not happen overnight, but it can happen over time.

Start today. Look for one situation where you can inject a sense of hope. Even if all you do is tell someone in a rough situation that you will pray for him or her, you are opening a door for the Lord to work. Step by step, you’ll gain more confidence in God’s grace—and in his ability to work wonders through you.

“Lord, open my eyes to authority you’ve given me as your child: authority to speak and act boldly in your name. Give me the courage to proclaim your truth and love.”

Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17; Psalm 25:4-9


27 posted on 12/16/2013 6:35:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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

Daily Marriage Tip for December 16, 2013:

For no particular reason make tonight’s dinner special: Light candles, sip a glass of wine, turn on soft music. Relax and enjoy each other’s company.

28 posted on 12/16/2013 7:05:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Sic in sancto apparui tibi

Monday, 16 December 2013 20:59

0 Comments

Silence of the Sacred Host, pervade me.

Hiddenness of the Sacred Host, envelop me.

Humility of the Sacred Host, shield me.

Poverty of the Sacred Host, be all to me.

Purity of the Sacred Host, cleanse me.

Radiance of the Sacred Host, illumine me.

Countenance hidden in the Sacred Host, reveal thyself to me.

O Sacred Host, living Flesh and Blood of the Immolated Lamb,
I adore Thee.

O Sacred Host, living Flesh and Blood of the Immolated Lamb,
I offer Thee to the Father.

O Sacred Host, living Flesh and Blood of the Immolated Lamb,
I beseech Thee to unite me to Thyself now and at the hour.


29 posted on 12/16/2013 7:40:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Vultus Christi

 

Vita vestra est abscondita cum Christo in Deo

Monday, 16 December 2013 21:29

 

Some are called not to much speaking,
nor to conversations about the Church,
but, rather, to a deep silence
and to a life hidden in the heart of the Church,
far from wrangling tongues, from speculations, and discord.

These souls Our Lord calls to be silent
so as to be like Him in the Sacrament of His Love.
These He calls to hide themselves
even as He is hidden in His tabernacles.

This is the essence of a Eucharistic monastic life:
not to be seen, but to remain hidden;
not to speak much, but to enter into the silence of the Host.

It is enough that He sees such souls.
It is enough that they can converse with Him at any time, freely and spontaneously pouring their hearts into His Heart.

Seeking silence, such souls will find the Word.
Seeking hiddenness, they will shine with the splendour of His Face.


30 posted on 12/16/2013 7:48:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Regnum Christi

My Present for Jesus? A Heart Filled with Love
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Monday of the Third Week of Advent

Father James Swanson, LC

 

Matthew 21:23-27

When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you, but not just with the assent of my mind. Since I believe in you, I commit my whole life into your loving hands. I know that you cannot deceive me or let me down, because you are goodness and mercy itself. I humbly offer you my love. Though I know it is so weak, I am certain, nevertheless, that my desire to love you more is pleasing to you.

Petition: Lord, help me to grow in my faith.

1. A Faith That Manifests Itself in Deeds: We are preparing for the coming of Jesus. Where does he come from? What is his origin? Like the Pharisees, many people today try to dodge this uncomfortable question. If we asked them right out, “Do you believe?” They might very well say, “Yes.” But their lives tell another story. They don’t do anything, or at best, they do the minimum to follow Jesus. If Jesus were only a human being, it would be fine to follow him half-heartedly, accommodating what he taught in order to make it more suitable to ourselves. But if he is really sent by God, then none of us has the authority to change or water down anything he taught. Our lives should be a clear reflection of everything Jesus taught, insofar as we know his teachings and are capable of putting them into practice. Is that what my life shows? Does it clearly witness to my belief that Jesus is from heaven—that he was sent by God?

2. A Faith That Comes From the Heart: The way the Pharisees followed the Law seemed to be faultless, or at least it seemed much closer to being faultless than the lives of the other Jews. The Pharisees even went so far as to add many rules of their own to make sure they never even came close to breaking the rules God gave the Jewish People. It would seem that their lives did give testimony to their firm belief in the Messiah. Yet, when the Messiah appeared, they missed out. They didn’t recognize him. What happened? While their lives gave testimony to their beliefs, their hearts were not filled with the necessary love for God. They were unable to recognize the Messiah; rather, they were filled with self-love. They did the right things for the wrong reasons — selfishness, or seeking the esteem of others. In short, they had the wrong attitude. Is this my kind of Christianity? Do I act “correctly,” but out of selfishness or some other unworthy motive?

3. A Faith That Grows Stronger at Mary’s Side: To prepare well for Christ’s coming I would do well to ask Mary for her help. She prepared herself for nine months for the first coming of Jesus, and she did an excellent job. She can help me. If I haven’t asked her for her help yet this Advent, there is still time to do so.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I am sorry for the poor way I put my faith into practice. I am even sorrier that when I do act in accordance with your teachings, all too often my attitude is wrong. I don’t practice your teachings according to love for you, but according to my selfishness, concern for the approval of others or comfort. Help me to correct my attitude; help me to live with more love each day; help me to imitate more closely the way of life you taught me by your words and example.

Resolution: I will examine my attitudes to see if my actions really do speak of love for Christ, or if my own interests are ruling my life. Then, during the day I will choose something that is hard for me and try to do it well and out of love for Jesus Christ


31 posted on 12/16/2013 8:01:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

May we not be swayed

by Food For Thought on December 16, 2013 ·

At first glance, it may seem that Jesus managed to give a non-reply to the query of the chief priests. There seems to be some debate as to whether John the Baptist’s authority came from heaven or was merely a human act. The teachers of the law found themselves in a quandary.

They couldn’t agree if John’s mission was divine or if he was just another aspiring messiah. They didn’t know which to believe. That’s why Jesus was not obliged to answer them because they couldn’t come to a final answer for themselves.

Sometimes, it’s more convenient to take the stance of the learned. We fail to see the blessings from above. Or we don’t notice the nobility in serving one another. We’d rather not determine for ourselves which is which.

Choosing a final answer means we have to decide. If what Jesus does for us is sourced from heaven itself, we should journey onwards with more hope and fervour in our hearts. If his actions are just of a human nature, how can we not imitate these examples of caring and concern for others? Yes, we are challenged to stand by our answers.

Let us continue to pray for guidance and direction. May we not be swayed to sit on the fence, rather we must believe in the answers we give. As long as we look towards heaven, our earthly service will have a deeper meaning for all of us concerned.


32 posted on 12/16/2013 8:09:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
One Bread One Body

One Bread, One Body

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All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 1

<< Monday, December 16, 2013 >>
 
Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
View Readings
Psalm 25:4-9 Matthew 21:23-27
Similar Reflections
 

THE $64,000 QUESTION

 
"Jesus answered: 'I too will ask a question. If you answer it for Me, then I will tell you on what authority I do the things I do. What was the origin of John's baptism?' " —Matthew 21:24-25
 

The religious leaders of Jesus' time refused to accept John the Baptizer's invitation to repent. About three years later, Jesus challenged them. He would not answer their question until they answered His question about John's baptism.

Perhaps three (or thirty-three) Christmases ago, we may have refused the invitation to repent. We thought Jesus would eventually go on to another subject, but He didn't. We can try to change the subject, but it won't do any good. Jesus insists we repent. He does not want us to live in sin and go to hell. He does not want His blood shed in vain.

Repent. Go to Confession. If we don't do it now, Jesus will bring it up again and again, even on our deathbeds. If we answer His question on repentance, then Jesus will answer our questions. We'll experience His authority and power (Mt 21:23). We'll enter a new dimension of faith and life. If we only knew what we were missing by not repenting...

 
Prayer: Jesus, may I make one of the best confessions of my life in the next few days.
Promise: "A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel." —Nm 24:17
Praise: Anna's doctor said she couldn't have children. She prayed through each pregnancy and has three healthy children.

33 posted on 12/16/2013 8:12:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Stand Up Girl

PS. Read some of these heart-warming stories about girls who kept their babies!

34 posted on 12/16/2013 8:21:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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