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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-28-13, FEAST, The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-28-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/27/2013 9:46:56 PM PST by Salvation

December 28, 2013

 

Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs

 

 

Reading 1 1 Jn 1:5—2:2

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

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

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

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

Gospel Mt 2:13-18

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

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

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



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

1 posted on 12/27/2013 9:46:57 PM PST by Salvation
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Alleluia Ping

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2 posted on 12/27/2013 9:48:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 John 1:5-2:2

God Is Light


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

Walking in the Light. Rejecting Sin


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

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

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

1:5-2:29. This section describes what communion with God is, and the demands
it makes on us. We can say there are two parts in the section: the first (1:5-2:
11) teaches that communion with God means walking in the light and, therefore,
rejecting sin and keeping the commandments. The second (2:12-19) warns the
readers to guard against worldly concupiscence and not trust false teachers.

St John is writing as a pastor of souls who has lived the life of the Lord and reflec-
ted deeply upon it. His teaching interweaves truths of faith with moral and asceti-
cal demands because he wants Christians to live in a way consistent with their
faith. Therefore, the text does not really divide into a doctrinal section and a mo-
ral section.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3 posted on 12/27/2013 9:50:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 2:13-18

The Flight Into Egypt


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

The Massacre of the Innocents


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


4 posted on 12/27/2013 9:52:52 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

1 John 1:5-2:2 ©

This is what we have heard from Jesus Christ,

and the message that we are announcing to you:

God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.

If we say that we are in union with God

while we are living in darkness,

we are lying because we are not living the truth.

But if we live our lives in the light,

as he is in the light,

we are in union with one another,

and the blood of Jesus, his Son,

purifies us from all sin.

If we say we have no sin in us,

we are deceiving ourselves

and refusing to admit the truth;

but if we acknowledge our sins,

then God who is faithful and just

will forgive our sins and purify us

from everything that is wrong.

To say that we have never sinned

is to call God a liar

and to show that his word is not in us.

I am writing this, my children,

to stop you sinning;

but if anyone should sin,

we have our advocate with the Father,

Jesus Christ, who is just;

he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away,

and not only ours,

but the whole world’s.


Psalm

Psalm 123:2-5,7-8 ©

Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.

If the Lord had not been on our side

  when men rose up against us,

then would they have swallowed us alive

  when their anger was kindled.

Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.

Then would the waters have engulfed us,

  the torrent gone over us;

over our head would have swept

  the raging waters.

Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.

Indeed the snare has been broken

  and we have escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,

  who made heaven and earth.

Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Te Deum

Alleluia, alleluia!

We praise you, O God,

we acknowledge you to be the Lord;

the noble army of martyrs praise you, O Lord.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Matthew 2:13-18 ©

After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

I called my son out of Egypt.

Herod was furious when he realised that he had been outwitted by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. It was then that the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled:

A voice was heard in Ramah,

sobbing and loudly lamenting:

it was Rachel weeping for her children,

refusing to be comforted because they were no more.

 


5 posted on 12/27/2013 9:55:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Savior Has Been Born !


6 posted on 12/27/2013 9:56:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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7 posted on 12/27/2013 9:58:05 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 12/27/2013 10:00:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 12/27/2013 10:00:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 12/27/2013 10:01:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 12/27/2013 10:02:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ 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 12/27/2013 10:03:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 12/27/2013 10:04:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 12/27/2013 10:04:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 12/27/2013 10:18:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

The Holy Innocents, martyrs - Feast

Commentary of the day
Saint Cyprian (c.200-258), Bishop of Carthage and martyr
Letter 55

“The servant is not greater than his lord” (Jn 15,20)

The Apostle John said: “Whoever says he abides in Christ, ought to walk even as Christ walked” (1Jn 2,6). Moreover, the blessed Apostle Paul exhorts and teaches us, saying: “We are God's children; but if children, then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him that we may also be glorified together” (Rm 8,16f.)... Let us, beloved brethren, imitate righteous Abel, who initiated martyrdom, he being the first to be slain for righteousness' sake (Gn 4,8)...; let us imitate the three children Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, who...  overcame the king by the power of faith (Dn 3)... What of the prophets whom the Holy Spirit quickened to a foreknowledge of future events? What of the apostles whom the Lord chose? Since these righteous men were slain for righteousness' sake, have they not taught us also to die?

The nativity of Christ at once witnessed the martyrdom of infants, so that they who were two years old and under were slain for his name's sake. An age not yet fitted for the battle appeared fit for the crown. That it might be manifest that they who are slain for Christ's sake are innocent, innocent infancy was put to death for his name's sake... How grave is the case of a Christian, if he, a servant, is unwilling to suffer when his Master first suffered...! The Son of God suffered that he might make us sons of God, and the son of man will not suffer that he may continue to be a son of God!... The Maker and Lord of the world also warns us, saying: “If the world hate you, remember that it hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world... remember the word that I said to you: “The servant is not greater than his lord” (Jn 15,18-20).


16 posted on 12/27/2013 10:32:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saturday, December 28, 2013
The Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Feast)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
1 John 1:5 -- 2:2
Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8
Matthew 2:13-18

But the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever: the thoughts of his heart to all generations. To deliver their souls from death; and feed them in famine.

-- Ps. xxxii. 11,19


17 posted on 12/27/2013 10:36:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

18 posted on 12/27/2013 10:50:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 12/27/2013 10:50:31 PM 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 2
13 And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. Qui cum recessissent, ecce angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens : Surge, et accipe puerum, et matrem ejus, et fuge in Ægyptum, et esto ibi usque dum dicam tibi. Futurum est enim ut Herodes quærat puerum ad perdendum eum. αναχωρησαντων δε αυτων ιδου αγγελος κυριου φαινεται κατ οναρ τω ιωσηφ λεγων εγερθεις παραλαβε το παιδιον και την μητερα αυτου και φευγε εις αιγυπτον και ισθι εκει εως αν ειπω σοι μελλει γαρ ηρωδης ζητειν το παιδιον του απολεσαι αυτο
14 Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: Qui consurgens accepit puerum et matrem ejus nocte, et secessit in Ægyptum : ο δε εγερθεις παρελαβεν το παιδιον και την μητερα αυτου νυκτος και ανεχωρησεν εις αιγυπτον
15 That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son. et erat ibi usque ad obitum Herodis : ut adimpleretur quod dictum est a Domino per prophetam dicentem : Ex Ægypto vocavi filium meum. και ην εκει εως της τελευτης ηρωδου ινα πληρωθη το ρηθεν υπο του κυριου δια του προφητου λεγοντος εξ αιγυπτου εκαλεσα τον υιον μου
16 Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Tunc Herodes videns quoniam illusus esset a magis, iratus est valde, et mittens occidit omnes pueros, qui erant in Bethlehem, et in omnibus finibus ejus, a bimatu et infra secundum tempus, quod exquisierat a magis. τοτε ηρωδης ιδων οτι ενεπαιχθη υπο των μαγων εθυμωθη λιαν και αποστειλας ανειλεν παντας τους παιδας τους εν βηθλεεμ και εν πασιν τοις οριοις αυτης απο διετους και κατωτερω κατα τον χρονον ον ηκριβωσεν παρα των μαγων
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: Tunc adimpletum est quod dictum est per Jeremiam prophetam dicentem : τοτε επληρωθη το ρηθεν υπο ιερεμιου του προφητου λεγοντος
18 A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. Vox in Rama audita est ploratus, et ululatus multus : Rachel plorans filios suos, et noluit consolari, quia non sunt. φωνη εν ραμα ηκουσθη θρηνος και κλαυθμος και οδυρμος πολυς ραχηλ κλαιουσα τα τεκνα αυτης και ουκ ηθελεν παρακληθηναι οτι ουκ εισιν

20 posted on 12/28/2013 9:06:50 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
13. And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.
14. When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt
15. And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catena Aurea Matthew 2
21 posted on 12/28/2013 9:07:17 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Massacre of the Holy Innocents

Alexey Pismenny
2008

22 posted on 12/28/2013 9:10:30 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
A Prayer To The Holy Innocents

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen.


23 posted on 12/28/2013 9:24:50 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
Feast Day
December 28th


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

Collect:
O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed
and proclaimed on this day,
not by speaking but by dying,
grant, we pray,
that the faith in you which we confess with our lips,
may also speak through our manner of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

Readings for Mass:
RSV-CE translation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gospel Reading - Matthew 2:13-18

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

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

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

From the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

The Feast of the Holy Innocent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Coventry Carol

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Go to Medical Morality or Go to Article Index

Novena for the Protection of the Unborn


24 posted on 12/28/2013 9:36:14 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Blood of the Young Innocents
Catholic Word of the Day: CHILDERMAS DAY, 07-12-12
The Role of Fear in Abortion – A Meditation on the Feast of the Holy Innocents
Killing the Holy Innocents: Governments that Fund Abortion are the New Herods
Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas)
Coventry Carol (In Honor of the Holy Innocents, the First Martyrs for Christ)
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]

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

25 posted on 12/28/2013 9:44:34 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: Holy Innocents

Feast Day: December 28

26 posted on 12/28/2013 9:50:30 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Feast of the Holy Innocents


Feast Day: December 28
Born/Died: (when Jesus was born)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


27 posted on 12/28/2013 9:54:22 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Saturday, December 28

Liturgical Color: Red

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

28 posted on 12/28/2013 12:56:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:December 28, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed and proclaimed on this day, not by speaking but by dying, grant, we pray, that the faith in your which we confess with our lips may also speak through our manner of life. Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Almond and Honey Ring

o    Blanc Mange

o    Innocents' Pabulum

o    Oven-Baked Rice Pudding

o    Christ’s Diapers

ACTIVITIES

o    Celebrating the Holy Innocents

o    Christmas Play

o    Day Four ~ Celebrating the Feast of the Holy Innocents

o    Feast of the Holy Innocents -- The Youngest's Day

PRAYERS

o    Blessing of Children

o    Blessing of Children on Holy Innocents

o    Christmas Morning Prayers

o    Christmas Evening Prayers

o    Holy Innocents or Childermas Day: Parental Blessing of Children

o    Roman Ritual: Blessing of Children

o    Parental Blessing

LIBRARY

o    Bring Back the Creche! | John Phillips

o    The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized | International Theological Commission

·         Christmas: December 28th

·         Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

Old Calendar: The Holy Innocents

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

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

The Fourth Day of Christmas

 

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

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

— St. Augustine

Things to Do:


29 posted on 12/28/2013 1:07:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: 1 John 1:5–2:2

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

It was a dark day when Herod’s men swept though Bethlehem, slaughtering innocent children. How the devil must have exulted to see the light of so many lives snuffed out through one man’s fury! How he must have rejoiced when tragedy darkened so many lives! Even today, he cackles with unholy glee at every event or heartbreak that overshadows our lives. Darkness remains one of the tools Satan uses to try to separate us from the Lord (1 Peter 2:25).

And yet, St. John reminds us that “God is light” (1 John 1:5), that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). No matter what we’ve seen or done or experienced, this statement remains true: darkness cannot overcome the light. In the face of the nightmares of abortion, poverty, genocide, and homelessness, despite the shadows cast by unrestrained greed, lust, and warmongering, the word of God remains true. And so we can declare, “Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy… when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me” (Micah 7:8).

Each of us knows in some way the darkness of sin or tragedy. We have either known or have ourselves been victims of abuse, financial failure, slander. To all of us, Jesus calls, “Come out!” (Isaiah 49:9). “Don’t let the darkness overwhelm you. I’m still here, and I want to help you.”

Jesus doesn’t want any of us to remain in darkness. Rather, he calls us into his light. We have only to cry out for his consolation, wisdom, and healing, and he will answer. Where we have brought our tragedies on ourselves, we have only to confess our sins, and he will forgive us. No matter what we are facing, we can live in hope because Jesus, the light of the world, has come and has promised “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Luke 1:79). There are no exceptions!

“Jesus, be my light! Shine your glory and your mercy into every corner and dark place in me. Be with me, Lord! Help me! Strengthen me! Forgive me! Then send me out to be a light in this world.”

1 John 1:5–2:2; Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8


30 posted on 12/28/2013 1:18:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

GOD HAD OTHER PLANS

(A biblical reflection on THE FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS, Martyrs – Saturday, 28 December 2013) 

holy-innocents-14

Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:13-18 

First Reading: 1John 1:5-2:2; Psalms: Psalm 124:2-5,7-8; 

The Scripture Text

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

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

PROTOMARTIR DI BETLEHEM

For the sake of his crown, Herod was willing to kill anyone who might be a threat – even hundreds of innocent children. Shocking as Herod’s behavior was, it’s not so alien to us that we cannot understand it. While we do not go around killing children, we all have a tendency to preserve ourselves at others’ expense. To protect our reputations, we skirt problems that need to be addressed. We hurt others to get our way. We blame someone else for our sin and failure. Like Herod, we can be bent on preserving ourselves at all costs.

Have you noticed how difficult it can be to forgo self-centeredness and let the Lord rule over you? Have you ever noticed, also, how quickly the battle can be won when you confess your sin and emptiness and turn to the Lord for help? By His grace, all of us can become aware of our selfish urgings and o something about them. No pattern of sin is completely insurmountable. Jesus wants to help us in our weakness. Indeed, it is in our weakness that we are made strong through Jesus.

Herod thought he had won by killing the children. But God had other plans. God had destined from all eternity that His Son would die on a cross to atone for our sin. Imagine: God was so committed to us that He preserved His Son from death as a child so that He might endure a far more humiliating and painful death for our sake on the cross.

As we confess our need to the Lord, we can be confident that our sin will be peeled away, layer by layer, until the glory of Jesus shines through. Just as Jesus was protected from Herod, so will we be protected from the devil. We can know the freedom from sin that Jesus came to give us. Let us never give in to frustration or despair, not even when we see a deeper, darker layer of sin within us. As each layer is removed, we will discover increasing depths of love from our heavenly Father.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for the freedom You gave me. Thank You for suffering for my redemption. You have freed me from bondage to sin. Come, Lord Jesus, and remove everything in me that is opposed to You. I want to be filled with Your love. Amen.

31 posted on 12/28/2013 1:56:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 28, 2013:

“On the 4th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 4 Calling Birds.” What do you call each other? Honey? Babe? Darlin’? What pet name would you like your beloved to call you? When do you call each other? On trips? From work? On a cell phone?

32 posted on 12/28/2013 2:02:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

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

Matthew 2:13-18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


33 posted on 12/28/2013 3:12:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One Bread One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 1

<< Saturday, December 28, 2013 >> Holy Innocents
 
1 John 1:5—2:2
View Readings
Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8 Matthew 2:13-18
Similar Reflections
 

EXHAUSTIVE COMMITMENT

 
"He is an Offering for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world." —1 John 2:2
 

Today is the feast day of the Holy Innocents, the infants King Herod ordered slaughtered within two years following the appearance of the star to the Wise Men (Mt 2:16). The Church holds in the highest regard these innocent children, these martyrs. "They died not only for Christ, but in his stead" (St. Augustine, "Sermon 10 on holiness").

Are there innocent babies being aborted today, dying because of what we had done or maybe because of what we have not done? (see 1 Jn 1:8, 10; Mt 2:18)

Once I saw a photo of a statue of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and a donkey lying in a big heap, depicting their complete exhaustion in the effort to protect Jesus from being slain (cf Mt 2:13). The statue, which can be seen at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, is entitled, "The Holy Family Resting — The Flight into Egypt." According to the description, "this sculpture represents Jesus, Mary and Joseph struggling, against great obstacles, to foster family life and preserve their faith in a loving and merciful God."

Every one of us can certainly identify with the exhaustion of the Holy Family. Let us commit ourselves, with an eternal focus, to work to exhaustion to protect and proclaim the Gospel of Life.

 
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to work until exhaustion for You.
Promise: "If we say, 'We have never sinned,' we make Him a liar and His word finds no place in us." —1 Jn 1:10
Praise: The Holy Innocents were the first of countless witnesses to the only Holy One. They are a sign of hope for all those little ones who have died in the state of innocence.

34 posted on 12/28/2013 3:16:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Video about Trig Palin
35 posted on 12/28/2013 3:19:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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