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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings,01-02-14, M,Sts. Basil/Great, Gregory Nazianzen, Doctors/Church
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 01-02-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 01/01/2014 9:55:14 PM PST by Salvation

January 2, 2014

 

Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church

 

 

Reading 1 1 Jn 2:22-28

Beloved:
Who is the liar?
Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father,
but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.

Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you.
If what you heard from the beginning remains in you,
then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.
I write you these things about those who would deceive you.
As for you,
the anointing that you received from him remains in you,
so that you do not need anyone to teach you.
But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false;
just as it taught you, remain in him.

And now, children, remain in him,
so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Gospel Jn 1:19-28

This is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,
“I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’

as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.



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

1 posted on 01/01/2014 9:55:15 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

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2 posted on 01/01/2014 9:59:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 John 2:22-28

Not Listening to Heretics (Continuation)


[22] Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the anti-
christ, he who denies the Father and the Son. [23] No one who denies the Son
has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. [24] Let what
you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning
abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. [25] And this is
what he has promised us, eternal life.

[26] I write this to you about those who would deceive you; [27] but the anointing
which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one
should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true,
and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.

[28] And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have
confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

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

22. “Jesus is the Christ”: this is a basic truth of Christian faith. As in most of St
John’s writings, this wording means not only that Jesus is the Messiah but also
that he is the Son of God (cf. Jn 20:31). From the earliest days of Christianity
faith in Jesus, which included both his messiahship and his divinity, could be ex-
pressed by applying to him the titles of “Messiah” and “Son of God”, or simply
one or other of those titles. Over the course of the centuries the Church has been
developing and deepening its understanding of revealed truths about Christ — part-
ly in reaction to heresies attacking that truth. In recent years also the Magiste-
rium has taken issue with erroneous ideas: “The opinions according to which it
has not been revealed and made known to us that the Son of God subsists from
all eternity in the mystery of the Godhead, distinct from the Father and the Holy
Spirit, are in open conflict with this belief likewise the opinions according to
which the notion is to be abandoned of the one person of Jesus Christ begotten
in his divinity of the Father before all the ages and begotten in his humanity of the
Virgin Mary in time; and lastly the assertion that the humanity of Christ existed
not as being assumed into the eternal person of the Son of God but existed ra-
ther of itself as a person, and therefore that the mystery of Jesus Christ consists
only in the fact that God, in revealing himself, was present in the highest degree
in the human person Jesus.

“Those who think in this way are far removed from the true belief in Christ, even
when they maintain that the special presence of God in Jesus results in his
being the supreme and final expression of divine Revelation. Nor do they come
back to the true belief in the divinity of Christ by adding that Jesus can be called
God by reason of the fact that in what they call his human person God is su-
premely present” (SCDF, “Mysterium Filii Dei”, 3).

23. “Has the Father”: a very graphic way of referring to union with God (cf. 2 Jn
9). St John, who has other ways of saying the same thing—for example, “knowing
him” (1 Jn 2:3f; Jn 14:7); “seeing him” (Jn 14:7, 9) —may have had in mind the er-
rors of the Gnostics, who held that union with God was attained through a special
kind of knowledge (gnosis), available only to initiates of their sect. The Apostle re-
peats the teaching given in his Gospel: only through Christ, through faith in him,
can one attain union with and knowledge of the Father (cf. Jn 1:18; 14:9-10); Je-
sus and the Father are one, only God (Jn 14:11). So, faith in Christ is insepara-
ble from faith in the Blessed Trinity; so, too, denial of the Son’s divinity involves re-
jection of the Father. “Once the mystery of the divine and eternal person of Christ
the Son of God is abandoned, the truth respecting the Most Holy Trinity is also
undermined” (SCDF, “Mysterium Filii Dei”, 4).

27. The anointing (cf. note on 2:20) refers to the Holy Spirit, who acts on the
faithful by instructing them “about everything”. Our Lord had said this would be
so: “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he
will teach you all things” (Jn 14:26).

The Apostle does not mean that the faithful have no need of the Magisterium of
the Church (the very fact that he is writing to them shows otherwise); what he
wants to make quite clear is that their true teacher is the Holy Spirit (he it is who
guides the Magisterium in its teaching, and he also acts in the soul of the Chris-
tian, helping him or her to accept that teaching). “If his anointing teaches you eve-
rything, it seems that we [pastors] are toiling to no purpose; why so much shou-
ting on our part [...]? This is the marvelous thing. The sound of our words is stri-
king your ears, but the Master is within. Do not think that it is a question of some-
body learning from a man; we can attract your attention by the power of our voice,
but if he who does the teaching is not within, all our sermons will be in vain” (St
Augustine, “In Epist. Ioann. Ad Parthos”, 3, 13).

28-29. These two verses sum up what has gone before and also act as an intro-
duction to a passage on divine filiation. The central idea which St John has been
repeating—”abide in him”—now opens out on to the prospect of the Last Judg-
ment: Jesus Christ, who will be our Judge, is the same person as gave us reve-
lation and life. This is one of the foundations of Christian hope.

“We may have confidence”: the sacred writer changes to the plural, to include
himself: we all have to give an account of our actions and we should have confi-
dence in Christ our Judge. The word translated as “confidence” is much richer in
Greek than in English; it is the equivalent of freedom, frankness, confident auda-
city. “It will be a great thing at the hour of death”, St Teresa of Avila writes, “to
realize that we shall be judged by One whom we have loved above all things [...].
Once our debts have been paid we shall be able to walk in safety. We shall not
be going into a foreign land, but into our own country, for it belongs to him whom
we have loved so truly and who himself loves us” (”Way of Perfection”, 40, 8).

*********************************************************************************************
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 01/01/2014 10:02:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 1:19-28

The Witness of John


[19] And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites
from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” [20] He confessed, he did not deny,
but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” [21] And they asked him, “What then? Are
you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
[22] They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who
sent us. What do you say about yourself?” [23] He said, “I am the voice of one
crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet
Isaiah said.”

[24] Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. [25] They asked him, “Then
why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”
[26] John answered, “I baptize with water; but among you stands One whom
you do not know, [27] even He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal
I am not worthy to untie.” [28] This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

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

19-34. This passage forms a unity, beginning and ending with reference to the
Baptist’s “testimony”: it thereby emphasizes the mission given him by God to
bear witness, by his life and preaching, to Jesus as the Messiah and Son of
God. The Precursor exhorts people to do penance and he practices the auste-
rity he preaches; he points Jesus out as the Lamb of God who takes away the
sin of the world; and he proclaims him boldly in the face of the Jewish authori-
ties. He is an example to us of the fortitude with which we should confess Christ:
“All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of the word, wherever
they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which the put on in Bap-
tism” (Vatican II, “Ad Gentes”, 11).

19-24. In this setting of intense expectation of the imminent coming of the Mes-
siah, the Baptist is a personality with enormous prestige, as is shown by the
fact that the Jewish authorities send qualified people (priests and Levites from
Jerusalem) to ask him if he is the Messiah.

John’s great humility should be noted: he is quick to tell his questioners: “I am
not the Christ”. He sees himself as someone insignificant compared with our
Lord: “I am not worthy to untie the thong of His sandal” (verse 27). He places all
his prestige at the service of his mission as precursor of the Messiah and, lea-
ving himself completely to one side, he asserts that “He must increase, but I
must decrease” (John 3:30).

25-26. “Baptize”: this originally meant to submerge in water, to bathe. For the
Jews the rite of immersion meant legal purification of those who had contracted
some impurity under the Law. Baptism was also used as a rite for the incorpora-
tion of Gentile proselytes into the Jewish people. In the Dead Sea Scrolls there
is mention of a baptism as a rite of initiation and purification into the Jewish
Qumran community, which existed in our Lord’s time.

John’s baptism laid marked stress on interior conversion. His words of exhorta-
tion and the person’s humble recognition of his sins prepared people to receive
Christ’s grace: it was a very efficacious rite of penance, preparing the people for
the coming of the Messiah, and it fulfilled the prophecies that spoke precisely
of a cleansing by water prior to the coming of the Kingdom of God in the mes-
sianic times (cf. Zechariah 13:1; Ezekiel 36:25; 37-23; Jeremiah 4:14). John’s
baptism, however, had no power to cleanse the soul of sins, as Christian Bap-
tism does (cf. Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:4).

“One whom you do not know”: Jesus had not yet publicly revealed Himself as
Messiah and Son of God; although some people did know as a man, St. John
the Baptist could assert that really they did not know Him.

27. The Baptist declares Christ’s importance by comparing himself to a slave
undoing the laces of his master’s sandals. If we want to approach Christ, whom
St. John heralds, we need to imitate the Baptist. As St. Augustine says: “He
who imitates the humility of the Precursor will understand these words. [...]
John’s greatest merit, my brethren, is this act of humility” (”In Ioann. Evang.”,
4, 7).

28. This is a reference to the town of Bethany which was situated on the eastern
bank of the Jordan, across from Jericho—different from the Bethany where Laza-
rus and his family lived, near Jerusalem (cf. John 11:18).

*********************************************************************************************
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 01/01/2014 10:03:38 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 2:22-28 ©

The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ –

he is the liar,

he is Antichrist;

and he is denying the Father as well as the Son,

because no one who has the Father can deny the Son,

and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.

Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning:

as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you,

you will live in the Son

and in the Father;

and what is promised to you by his own promise

is eternal life.

This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.

But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you,

and you do not need anyone to teach you;

the anointing he gave teaches you everything;

you are anointed with truth, not with a lie,

and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.

Live in Christ, then, my children,

so that if he appears, we may have full confidence,

and not turn from him in shame

at his coming.


Psalm

Psalm 97:1-4 ©

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Sing a new song to the Lord

  for he has worked wonders.

His right hand and his holy arm

  have brought salvation.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

The Lord has made known his salvation;

  has shown his justice to the nations.

He has remembered his truth and love

  for the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

All the ends of the earth have seen

  the salvation of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth,

  ring out your joy.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


Gospel Acclamation

Jn1:14,12

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.

To all who received him he gave power to become children of God.

Alleluia!

Or

Heb1:1-2

Alleluia, alleluia!

At various times in the past

and in various different ways,

God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;

but in our own time, the last days,

he has spoken to us through his Son.

Alleluia!

Or

Alleluia, alleluia!

A hallowed day has dawned upon us.

Come, you nations, worship the Lord,

for today a great light has shone down upon the earth.

Alleluia!


Gospel

John 1:19-28 ©

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

a voice that cries in the wilderness:

Make a straight way for the Lord.’

Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.


5 posted on 01/01/2014 10:07:42 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 01/01/2014 10:12:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Was Jesus Born on Christmas Day?
The Heart of a Shepherd
The Christmas Carol For the Christian Right
Pope Francis' Christmas Homily-2013
December 25 - Christmas Day
Pope Francis: Urbi et Orbi Message
The Humility that Heals – A Homily for Christmas
Yes, Mary DOES Know
Jesus is 'meaning of life, history,' Pope preaches on Christmas
Christmas Midnight Mass: Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness
Dominican carolers bring joy of Christmas to downtown DC
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on the meaning of Christmas
Christmas message from Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
The Promise and Fulfillment of Christmas
Why is Christmas Celebrated Mainly at Night?

The Angels in Bethlehem
The Irrepressible Joy of Christmas
Favorite Christmas Movies! What's Yours?
Far From Happy Christmas for Christians in the Holy Land
Why December 25?
Pope’s Christmas message warns gender theory is a denial of God and the Bible
Jerusalem (Latin Rite) patriarch's Christmas message surveys Middle East situation
5 Ways to Keep the Christmas Spirit Alive in Your Heart
Pope Says Denying God No Path to Peace in Christmas Eve Mass
Pope: Christmas Urbi et Orbi Message (full text)
Pope Benedict’s Midnight Mass Homily
The Old Testament Foretold that Mary Would Give Birth Without Pain (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas -- for Families
Is Christmas Pagan? No! It's time to learn some real history....
Pope's childhood letter to Baby Jesus shows his faith
In rare article, Pope asks Christians to reassess priorities at Christmas
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On Christmas
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve with Pope Benedict XVI

Christmas, Pagan Romans and Frodo Baggins
Midnight Masses Canceled in Iraq Because of Growing Security Concerns
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The Tradition of Midnight Mass: History
Which Christmas Mass are you attending? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
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The Many Meanings of Christmas
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A Meditation On the “Bloody Octave” of Christmas [Catholic Caucus]
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Father Corapi: What Really Matters [at Christmas]?
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St. Francis and the Christmas Creche
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Top 10 Christmas Carols (What is your favorite Christmas Carol?)
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Fr. Corapi: In Reality, Sadness Has No Place At Christmas Time Or Any Time…
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Saint Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation
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The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper
St. Francis and the Christmas crib.
Away in a Manger [St. Francis of Assisi and the first Nativity scene]

Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace [Family]
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[Christmas] Customs from Various Countries and Cultures
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Pope Wishes the World a Merry Christmas
On this night, a comforting message(Merry Christmas!)
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The Origin of Nativity Scenes

Various Orthodox Texts for the Feast of the Nativity
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7 posted on 01/01/2014 10:14:09 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 01/01/2014 10:14:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 01/01/2014 10:15:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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

10 posted on 01/01/2014 10:18:17 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 Luminous Mysteries or Mysteries of Light
(Thursdays) see Rosarium Virginis Mariae
1. Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan (II Corinthians 5:21, Matthew 3:17 and parallels) [Spiritual fruit - Gratitude for the gift of Faith]
2. Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana (John 2:1- 12) [Spiritual fruit - Fidelity]
3. Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with His call to conversion (Mark 1:15, Mark 2:3-13; Luke 7:47- 48, John 20:22-23) [Spiritual fruit - Desire for Holiness]
4. Jesus' Transfiguration (Luke 9:35 and parallels) [Spiritual fruit - Spiritual Courage]
5. Jesus' institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery. (Luke 24:13-35 and parallels, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25) [Spiritual fruit - Love of our Eucharistic Lord]

11 posted on 01/01/2014 10:29:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

12 posted on 01/01/2014 10:30:38 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 01/01/2014 10:31:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Feast of
the Holy Name of Jesus


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

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

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

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

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

 

Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus without end!

 

January Devotion: The Holy Name of Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

---Roman Breviary

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Phil:2:10-11

 


 

 

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

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

14 posted on 01/01/2014 10:31:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
January 2014

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That all may promote authentic economic development that respects the dignity of all peoples.

For Evangelization: That Christians of diverse denominations may walk toward the unity desired by Christ.

15 posted on 01/01/2014 10:32:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Thursday before Epiphany

Commentary of the day
Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot
5th sermon of Advent ; SC 166 (©Cistercian Fathers series)

"I am 'the voice of one crying out in the desert, "Make straight the way of the Lord,"'

“Prepare a way for the Lord.” Brethren, however far you journey along it... from the very nature of goodness there is no limit to the way along which you travel. And so... the wise and indefatigable traveler... can say to himself each day: “Now I begin”... And how many “go astray in the wilderness”... None of them can yet say: “Now I begin.”

For “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.” If the beginning of wisdom, then surely it is also the beginning of the way of goodness... It is this that encourages praise...; it also moves the proud to penance, so that they hear the voice of him crying in the wilderness,ordering the preparation of the way and thus showing how to begin it: “Do penance for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”...

If you are on the way then fear only one thing: lest you leave it, lest you offend the Lord who leads you along it so that he would abandon you to “wander in the way of your own heart”... If you feel that the way is too narrow look forward to the end to which it leads you. If you were to see how everything is to be attained, then you would say without hesitation: "Broad indeed is your command!" If you cannot see so far, believe Isaiah who could...: "Behold," he says, "the redeemed shall walk by this way and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Sion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain also joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Those who dwell sufficiently on this end I think will not only make the way easier for himself but also grow wings so that he no longer walks but flies... May he who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winners lead and guide you along it: he, Christ Jesus

(Biblical references : Ps 77[76],11 Vg; 107[106],4; Pr 1,7; Ps 110[109],10; Mt 3,2; 4,17; Is 57,17; Mt 7,14; Ps 119[118],96; Is 35,10)


16 posted on 01/01/2014 10:37:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Thursday, January 02, 2014
Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors (Memorial)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
1 John 2:22-28
Psalm 98:1-4
John 1:19-28

God does not command us to live in hair shirts and chains, or to chastise our flesh with scourges, but to love Him above all things and our neighbor as ourselves.

-- St Charles of Sezze


17 posted on 01/01/2014 10:40:54 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 01/01/2014 10:42:18 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 01/01/2014 10:43:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saints Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops& Doctors of the Church

Saints Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen,
Bishops& Doctors of the Church
Memorial
January 2nd

Unknown Artist
Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus,
Byzantine fresco

St. Basil (329-379) was a brilliant student born of a Christian family in Caesarea, Cappadocia (Turkey). For some years, he followed the monastic way of life. He vigorously fought the arian heresy. He become Archbishop of Caesarea in 370. Monks of the Eastern Church today still follow the monastic rules which he se down.

St. Gregory (329-389) was also from Cappadocia. A friend of St. Basil, he too followed the monastic way of life for some years. In 381 he became Archbishop of Constantinople. It was during this period the Arian heresy was at it height. He was called "The Theologian" because of his great learning and talent for oratory.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 

Collect:
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church
by the example and teaching
of the Bishops Saints Basil and Gregory,
grant, we pray,
that in humility we may learn your truth
and practice it faithfully in charity.
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.

First Reading: Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 23:8-12
But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


Related links on the Vatican Website: Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, July 4, 2007, Saint Basil (part 1) | Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, August 1, 2007, Saint Basil (part 2) | Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, August 8, 2007, Saint Gregory Nazianzen (part 1) | Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, August 22, 2007, Gregory Nazianzen (part 2)

Related links on the New Advent Website:

St. Basil's Writings:

- De Spiritu Sancto
- Nine Homilies of Hexaemeron
- Letters

St. Gregory Nazianzen's Writings
- Orations
- Letters


20 posted on 01/02/2014 7:57:55 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Basil the Great on "Ad Orientem"
ST BASIL THE GREAT, CONFESSOR, ARCHBISHOP OF CAESAREA—329-379 A.D.
St. Basil On St. Basil
Synaxis of The Three Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, & John Chrysostom, Jan.30
THE EARLY CHURCH AND ABORTION: THE WITNESS OF BASIL OF CAESAREA
St Basil The Great (329-379)
Saint Basil the Great "Orator of Orthodoxy"
21 posted on 01/02/2014 8:08:56 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One God, Three Equal Persons: St. Gregory of Nazianzus {Ecumenical Thread}
ST GREGORY NAZIANZEN, B. C., DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH 328- 389 A D.
ST GREGORY NAZIANZEN, B. C., DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH—328-389 A D.
Doctors of the Church - St. Gregory of Nazianzen
St. Gregory Nazianzen, [Nazianzus] 330-390. Doctor of Theologians
St. Gregory Nazianzen on the Incarnation
22 posted on 01/02/2014 8:11:31 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. Basil the Great

Feast Day: January 2

Born: 329 at Caesarea, Asia Minor (modern Turkey)

Died: 14 June 379

Patron of: Cappadocia, Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, Education, Exorcism, Liturgists

23 posted on 01/02/2014 8:16:59 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. Gregory Nazianzen

Feast Day: January 2

Born: 325, Arianzum, Cappadocia

Died: January 25, 389, Arianzum, Cappadocia

Major Shrine: Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George in the Fanar

24 posted on 01/02/2014 8:17:39 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Basil and St. Gregorian Nazianen


Feast Day: January 02
Born:330 :: Died: 379 & 390

Basil was born at Caesarea and Gregory was born at Cappadocia in Asia Minor which is now called Turkey.

Basil came from a rich and noble family. His grandmother St. Macrina the Elder, his father, mother, two brothers and St. Macrina his sister are all saints.

Gregory also came from a saintly family. His parents are St. Nonna and St. Gregory the Elder and his brothers are St. Caesar Nazianzen and St. Gorgonius.

Basil and Gregory met and became great friends at school in Athens, Greece. They became everything to each other, lived together, ate together and shared the same goal of growing together in truth, wisdom and knowledge. And their love for each other grew warmer and deeper each day.

Even as a teenager Basil used to help organise famine relief and used to work in the kitches himself. This was very unusual for a young nobleman. After he completed his education in Athens, he ran a school of public speaking and law in Caesarea and became a well-known teacher. He was so successful that he was often tempted by pride.

Fearing that his pride would overtake his holiness, his sister, St. Macrina, suggested that he become a monk. He took her advice, sold everything he had, gave away all his money and moved to the wilderness where he started his first monastery. The rules he created for monks living in the dessert were very wise and are followed by monasteries in the East even today.

Both Basil and Gregory became priests and then bishops. They preached bravely against the Arian heresy (untruth) that was confusing people which denied that Jesus is God.

As bishop of Constantinople, Gregory converted many people with his wonderful preaching especially about the Holy Trinity. This nearly cost him his life. A young man planned to murder him. He repented at the last moment and begged Gregory's forgiveness. Gregory did forgive him and won him with his gentle goodness.

But he was always in conflict with the Arian emperor, Valens. When Valens died, Gregory worked hard to bring the Arians back to the Christian faith. For his trouble, he was abused, insulted and beaten up.

Forty-four of Gregory's speeches, 243 letters and many poems were published. His writings are still important today. Many writers have modeled their works on his writings.

Gregory's friend Basil had a very kind and generous heart. He always found time to help the poor. He even invited people who were poor themselves to help those worse off. "Give your last loaf to the beggar at your door," he urged, "and trust in God's goodness." He opened a soup kitchen where he could often be seen wearing an apron and feeding the hungry.

Basil died in 379 at the age of forty-nine. Gregory died in 390 at the age of sixty. He is buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

We will never be sorry for using our education, time and talents to help the people around us come closer to God


25 posted on 01/02/2014 8:20:58 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Thursday, January 2

Liturgical Color: White

St. Therese of Lisieux was born on this day
in 1873. Known as the Little Flower, she had
total love and devotion to the Child Jesus
and demonstrated how small acts
of everyday life could be offered to Him.

26 posted on 01/02/2014 5:32:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

 

 

Daily Readings for:January 02, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by the example and teaching of the Bishops Saints Basil and Gregory, grant, we pray, that in humility we may learn your truth and practice it faithfully in charity. 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    Basilopitta

o    Candied Orange Peel

o    Candy Cream Apricots

o    Cherries Jubilee

o    Glaceed Fruits

o    Glow Wine

o    Jiffy On-Fire Dessert

o    New Year's Cake

o    Nut-Topped Dates

o    Snowballs on Fire

o    Stuffed Prunes

o    Sugarplums

o    Vasilopita I

o    Vasilopita II

o    Vasilopitta

ACTIVITIES

o    Christmas and the Eucharist

o    Christmas Play

o    Day Nine ~ Activities for the Feast of St. Basil and St. Gregory

o    Namedays

o    Origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas

o    Teaching About Selfishness

o    What is a Nameday?

PRAYERS

o    Christmas Morning Prayers

o    Christmas Evening Prayers

o    Christmas Table Blessing 1

o    Christmas Table Blessing 2

o    Christmas Table Blessing 3

o    Christmas Table Blessing 4

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Christmas Season (2nd Plan)

o    Blessing of the Vasilopita or Bread of Saint Basil

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Christmas (1st Plan)

LIBRARY

o    Saint Basil | Pope Benedict XVI

o    St. Basil - Part 2 | Pope Benedict XVI

o    St. Basil The Great | Eric J. Scheske

·         Christmas: January 2nd

·         Memorials of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors

Old Calendar: Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors. This is the ninth day of the Christmas season.

St. Basil was a brilliant student born of a Christian family in Caesarea, Cappadocia (Turkey). For some years, he followed the monastic way of life. He vigorously fought the Arian heresy. He became Bishop of Caesarea in 370. The monks of the Eastern Church today still follow the monastic rules which he set down.

St. Gregory was also from Cappadocia. A friend of Basil, he too followed the monastic way of life for some years. He was ordained priest and in 381 became Bishop of Constantinople. It was during this period when the Arian heresy was at its height. He was called "The Theologian" because of his great learning and talent for oratory.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite St. Basil is celebrated on June 14 and St. Gregory on May 9. Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus which is celebrated on January 3 in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The Ninth Day of Christmas

St. Basil
St. Basil was born about 330, the oldest of four sons; three of his brothers became bishops, one of whom was St. Gregory of Nyssa. His pious grandmother Macrina exercised a great influence upon his religious education: "Never shall I forget the deep impression that the words and example of this venerable woman made upon my soul." Between St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nazianzen an intimate friendship existed from youth to old age. Of Western monasticism St. Benedict was the father and founder, of Eastern monasticism, St. Basil.

As bishop, Basil was a courageous and heroic champion of the Catholic faith against the Arian heresy. In 372 Emperor Valens sent Modestus, the prefect, to Cappadocia to introduce Arianism as the state religion. Modestus approached the holy bishop, upbraided him for his teaching, and threatened despoliation, exile, martyrdom, and death. To these words of the Byzantine despot, Basil replied with the peace of divine faith: "Is that all? Nothing of what you mentioned touches me. We possess nothing, we can be robbed of nothing. Exile will be impossible, since everywhere on God's earth I am at home. Torments cannot afflict me, for I have no body. And death is welcome, for it will bring me more quickly to God. To a great extent I am already dead; for a long time I have been hastening to the grave." Astonished, the prefect remarked: "Till today no one has ever spoken to me so courageously." "Perhaps," rejoined Basil, "you have never before met a bishop." Modestus hastened back to Valens. "Emperor," he said, "we are bested by this leader of the Church. He is too strong for threats, too firm for words, too clever for persuasion."

Basil was a strong character, a burning lamp during his time. But as the fire from this lamp illumined and warmed the world, it consumed itself; as the saint's spiritual stature grew, his body wasted away, and at the early age of forty-nine his appearance was that of an old man. In every phase of ecclesiastical activity he showed superior talent and zeal. He was a great theologian, a powerful preacher, a gifted writer, the author of two rules for monastic life, a reformer of the Oriental liturgy. He died in 379, hardly forty-nine years old, yet so emaciated that only skin and bones remained, as though he had stayed alive in soul alone.

Patron: Cappadocia; hospital administrators; reformers; Russia.

Symbols: Supernatural fire, often with a dove present.

St. Gregory Nazianzen

Gregory, surnamed the "Theologian" by the Greeks, was born at Nazianz in Cappadocia in 339. He was one of the "Three Lights of the Church from Cappadocia." To his mother, St. Nonna, is due the foundation for his saintly life as an adult. He was educated at the most famous schools of his time - Caesarea, Alexandria, Athens. At Athens he formed that storied bond of friendship with St. Basil which was still flaming with all the fervor of youthful enthusiasm when he delivered the funeral oration at the grave of his friend in 381.

Gregory was baptized in 360, and for a while lived the quiet life of a hermit. In 372 he was consecrated bishop by St. Basil. At the urgent wish of Gregory, his father and bishop of Nazianz, he assisted him in the care of souls. In 381 he accepted the see of Constantinople, but grieved by the constant controversies retired again to the quiet life he cherished so highly and dedicated himself entirely to contemplation.

During his life span the pendulum was continually swinging back and forth between contemplation and the active ministry. He longed for solitude, but the exigencies of the times called him repeatedly to do pastoral work and to participate in the ecclesiastical movements of the day. He was unquestionably one of the greatest orators of Christian antiquity; his many and great accomplishments were due in great measure to his exceptional eloquence. His writings have merited for him the title of "Doctor of the Church."

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.


27 posted on 01/02/2014 5:49:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Doctors of the Catholic Church

Saint Basil the Great


Also known as

Memorial

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Born to the nobility, his was a pious family – his mother, father, and four of his nine siblings were canonized, including Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Grandson of Saint Macrina the Elder. As a youth Basil was noted for organizing famine relief, and for working in the kitchens himself, quite unusual for a young noble.

He studied in Constantinople and Athens with his friend Saint Gregory Nazianus. Ran a school of oratory and law in Caesarea. Basil was so successful, so sought after as a speaker, that he was tempted by pride. Fearful that it would overtake his piety, he sold all that he had, gave away the money, and became a priest and monk.

Founded monasteries and drew up rules for monks living in the desert; he is considered as key to the founding of eastern monasticism as Saint Benedict of Nursia was to the west. Bishop and Archbishop of Caesarea. Conducted Mass and preached to the crowds twice each day. Fought Arianism. Greek Doctor of the Church. Father of the Church.

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O sinner, be not discouraged, but have recourse to Mary in all you necessities. Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine Will that she should help in every kind of necessity. - Saint Basil the Great

By the command of your only-begotten Son we communicate with the memory of your saints…by whose prayers and supplications have mercy upon us all, and deliver us for the sake of your holy name. - Liturgy of Saint Basil, 373AD

The bread which you use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit. - Saint Basil

Let us raise ourselves from our fall and not give up hope as long as we are free from sin. Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. ‘Come, let us adore and prostrate ourselves and weep before him’ (Psalm 95:6). The Word calls us to repentance, crying out: ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened and I will refresh you’ (Matthew 11:28). There is, then, a way to salvation if we are willing to follow it” - from a letter by Saint Basil the Great

Envy is a gnawing pain which springs from the success and prosperity of another; and this is the reason why the envious are never exempt from trouble and vexation. If an abundant harvest fills the granaries of a neighbor, if success crowns his efforts, the envious man is chagrined and sad. If one man can boast of prudence, talent, and eloquence; if another is rich, and is very liberal to the poor, if good works are praised by all around, the envious man is shocked and grieved. The envious, however, dare not speak; although envy makes them counterfeit gladness, their hearts are sore within. If you ask him what vexes him, he dare not tell the reason. It is not really the happiness of his friend that annoys him, neither is it his gaiety that makes him sad, nor is he sorry to see his friend prosper; but it is that he is persuaded that the prosperity of others is the cause of his misery. This is what the envious would be forced to acknowledge, if they spoke the truth sincerely; but because they dare not confess so shameful a sin, they, in secret, feed a sore which tortures them and eats away their rest. As the shadow ever accompanies the pedestrian when walking in the sun, so envy throws its shadow on those who are successful in the world. - Saint Basil, from “De Individia”

Thy fame has gone forth into all the earth, which has received thy word. Thereby thou hast taught the Faith; thou hast revealed the nature of created things; thou hast made a royal priesthood of the ordered life of men. Righteous Father Basil intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved. - troparion of Saint Basil the Great

Thou wast an unshaken foundation of the Church and didst give to all mortals an inviolate lordship which thou didst seal with thy doctrine, O righteous Basil, revealer of the mysteries of heaven. - kontakion of Saint Basil the Great


28 posted on 01/02/2014 5:59:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Doctors of the Catholic Church

Saint Gregory of Nazianzen

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Son of Saint Gregory of Nazianzen the Elder and Saint Nonna. Brother of Saint Caesar Nazianzen, and Saint Gorgonius. Spent an wandering youth in search of learning. Friend of and fellow student with Saint Basil the Great. Monk at Basil‘s desert monastery.

Reluctant priest; he believed that he was unworthy, and that the responsibility would test his faith. He assisted his bishop father to prevent an Arian schism in the diocese. He opposed Arianism, and brought its heretical followers back to the fold. Bishop of Caesarea c.370, which put him in conflict with the Arian emperor Valens. The disputes led his friend Basil the Great, then archbishop, to reassign him to a small, out of the way posting at the edge of the archbishopric.

Bishop of Constantinople from 381 to 390, following the death of Valens. He hated the city, despised the violence and slander involved in these disputes, and feared being drawn into politics and corruption, but he worked to bring the Arians back to the faith; for his trouble he was slandered, insulted, beaten up, and a rival “bishop” tried to take over his diocese. Noted preacher on the Trinity. When it seemed that orthodox Christianity had been restored in the city, Gregory retired to live the rest of his days as a hermit. He wrote theological discourses and poetry, some of it religious, some of it autobiographical. Father of the Church. Doctor of the Church.

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God accepts our desires as though they were of great value. He longs ardently for us to desire and love him. He accepts our petitions for benefits as though we were doing him a favor. His joy in giving is greater than ours in receiving. So let us not be apathetic in our asking, nor set too narrow bounds to our requests; nor ask for frivolous things unworthy of God’s greatness. - Saint Gregory Nazianzen

Let us not esteem worldly prosperity or adversity as things real or of any moment, but let us live elsewhere, and raise all our attention to Heaven; esteeming sin as the only true evil, and nothing truly good, but virtue which unites us to God. - Saint Gregory Nazianzen

Basil and I were both in Athens. We had come, like streams of a river, from the same source in our native land, had separated from each other in pursuit of learning, and were now united again as if by plan, for God so arranged it. When, in the course of time, we acknowledged our friendship and recognized that our ambition was a life of true wisdom, we became everything to each other; we shared the same lodging, the same table, the same desires, the same goal. Our love for each other grew daily warmer and deeper. The same hope inspired us: the pursuit of learning. We seemed to be two bodies with a single spirit. Our single object and ambition was virtue, and a life of hope in the blessings that are to come. We followed the guidance of God’s law and spurred each other on to virtue. If it is not too boastful to say, we found in each other a standard and rule for discerning right from wrong. Different men have different names, which they owe to their parents or to themselves, that is, to their own pursuits and achievements. But our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians, to be called Christians. - from a sermon by Saint Gregory Nazianzen

Today let us do honor to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received – though not in its fullness – a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. - from a sermon by Saint Gregory Nazianzen on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord


29 posted on 01/02/2014 6:11:08 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 2:22-28

Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church

Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you… . Then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. (1 John 2:24)

When an architect draws up the plans for a new building, he or she must calculate how deep to dig the foundation, based on the weight that the foundation must bear. So here’s a question: do you feel your foundation is strong enough to bear the weight of the challenges you are currently facing? If your foundation is Jesus, the answer is a resounding yes!

In today’s Gospel reading, we see how deep a foundation John the Baptist had. Boldly speaking against the sins and injustices of his day, John was not shaken in the least when Israel’s religious leaders came to question him. In the plainspoken manner that comes from humility, John simply answered, “I am not” when they asked if he was the Messiah or Elijah or the “Prophet” Moses had predicted (John 1:20, 21). Without fanfare or defensiveness, he pointed them to “the one

… whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie” (1:27).

It seems like a simple exchange, but these few words show how clear John was about his calling. They show that his foundation—his faith in God and in the mission he had received—was strong, deep, and more than able to support him.

How can we build the same foundation? By taking the words from the first reading to heart—the words at the top of this meditation. We can “remain” in Christ, unswayed and undisturbed, if we try to build our lives on the truths of the gospel. “Jesus, you are the Messiah. You died for all sin and rose again. You love me with an everlasting love. You have redeemed me and filled me with your Holy Spirit. Lord, I belong to you!”

Hold onto these truths. Proclaim them in your prayer time every day. Then, when your faith is challenged, you will stand. When struggles or difficulties arise, you will be able to lean on the Lord. When Satan tries to undermine your belief in God’s love, you won’t be fooled. Like John the Baptist, you will be able to stand in confidence, conviction, and joy!

“Jesus, teach me to stand on all the truths you have planted in my heart. Help me open my heart to receive more of your life.”

Psalm 98:1-4; John 1:19-28


30 posted on 01/02/2014 6:15:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 1
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to him, to ask him: Who art thou? Et hoc est testimonium Joannis, quando miserunt Judæi ab Jerosolymis sacerdotes et Levitas ad eum ut interrogarent eum : Tu quis es ? και αυτη εστιν η μαρτυρια του ιωαννου οτε απεστειλαν οι ιουδαιοι εξ ιεροσολυμων ιερεις και λευιτας ινα ερωτησωσιν αυτον συ τις ει
20 And he confessed, and did not deny: and he confessed: I am not the Christ. Et confessus est, et non negavit, et confessus est : Quia non sum ego Christus. και ωμολογησεν και ουκ ηρνησατο και ωμολογησεν οτι ουκ ειμι εγω ο χριστος
21 And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered: No. Et interrogaverunt eum : Quid ergo ? Elias es tu ? Et dixit : Non sum. Propheta es tu ? Et respondit : Non. και ηρωτησαν αυτον τι ουν ηλιας ει συ και λεγει ουκ ειμι ο προφητης ει συ και απεκριθη ου
22 They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? Dixerunt ergo ei : Quis es ut responsum demus his qui miserunt nos ? quid dicis de teipso ? ειπον ουν αυτω τις ει ινα αποκρισιν δωμεν τοις πεμψασιν ημας τι λεγεις περι σεαυτου
23 He said: I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. Ait : Ego vox clamantis in deserto : Dirigite viam Domini, sicut dixit Isaias propheta. εφη εγω φωνη βοωντος εν τη ερημω ευθυνατε την οδον κυριου καθως ειπεν ησαιας ο προφητης
24 And they that were sent, were of the Pharisees. Et qui missi fuerant, erant ex pharisæis. και οι απεσταλμενοι ησαν εκ των φαρισαιων
25 And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? Et interrogaverunt eum, et dixerunt ei : Quid ergo baptizas, si tu non es Christus, neque Elias, neque propheta ? και ηρωτησαν αυτον και ειπον αυτω τι ουν βαπτιζεις ει συ ουκ ει ο χριστος ουτε ηλιας ουτε ο προφητης
26 John answered them, saying: I baptize with water; but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not. Respondit eis Joannes, dicens : Ego baptizo in aqua : medius autem vestrum stetit, quem vos nescitis. απεκριθη αυτοις ο ιωαννης λεγων εγω βαπτιζω εν υδατι μεσος δε υμων εστηκεν ον υμεις ουκ οιδατε
27 The same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. Ipse est qui post me venturus est, qui ante me factus est : cujus ego non sum dignus ut solvam ejus corrigiam calceamenti. αυτος εστιν ο οπισω μου ερχομενος ος εμπροσθεν μου γεγονεν ου εγω ουκ ειμι αξιος ινα λυσω αυτου τον ιμαντα του υποδηματος
28 These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. Hæc in Bethania facta sunt trans Jordanem, ubi erat Joannes baptizans. ταυτα εν βηθανια εγενετο περαν του ιορδανου οπου ην ιωαννης βαπτιζων

31 posted on 01/02/2014 6:16:56 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
19. And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?
20. And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21. And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias? And he said, I am not. Are you that prophet? And he answered, No.
22. Then said they to him, Who are you? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What say you of yourself?
23. He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

ORIGEN; This is the second testimony of John the Baptist to Christ, the first began with, This is He of Whom I spoke; and ended with, He has declared Him.

THEOPHYL. Or, after the introduction above of John's testimony to Christ, is preferred before me, the Evangelist now adds when the above testimony was given, And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem.

ORIGEN; The Jews of Jerusalem, as being of kin to the Baptist, who was of the priestly stock, send Priests and Levites to ask him who he is; that is, men considered to hold a superior rank to the rest of their order, by God's election, and coming from that favored above all cities, Jerusalem. Such is the reverential way in which they interrogate John. We read of no such proceeding towards Christ: but what the Jews did to John, John in turn does to Christ, when he asks Him, through His disciples, Are you He that should come, or look we for another?

CHRYS. Such confidence had they in John, that they were ready to believe him on his own words: witness how it is said, To ask him, Who are you?

AUG. They would not have sent, unless they had been impressed by his lofty exercise of authority, in daring to baptize.

ORIGEN; John, as it appears, saw from the question, that the Priests and Levites had doubts whether it might not be the Christ, who was baptizing; which doubts however they were afraid to profess openly, for fear of incurring the charge of credulity. He wisely determines therefore first to correct their mistake, and then to proclaim the truth.

Accordingly, he first of all shows that he is not the Christ: And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. We may add here, that at this time the people had already begun to be impressed with the idea that Christ's advent was at hand, in consequence of the interpretations which the lawyers had collected out of the sacred writings to that effect. Thus Theudas had been enabled to collect together a considerable body, on the strength of his pretending to be the Christ; and after him Judas, in the days of the taxation, had done the same. Such being the strong expectation of Christ's advent then prevalent, the Jews send to John, intending by the question, Who are you? to extract from him whether he were the Christ.

GREG. He denied directly being what he was not, but he did not deny what he was: thus, by his speaking truth, becoming a true member of Him Whose name he had not dishonestly usurped.

CHRYS. Or take this explanation: The Jews were influenced by a kind of human sympathy for John, whom they were reluctant to see made subordinate to Christ, on account of the many marks of greatness about him; his illustrious descent in the first place, he being the son of a chief priest; in the next, his hard training, and his contempt of the world. Whereas in Christ the contrary were apparent; a humble birth, for which they reproach Him; Is not this the carpenter's son? an ordinary way of living; a dress such as every one else wore.

As John then was constantly sending to Christ, they send to him, with the view of having him for their master, and thinking to induce him, by blandishments, to confess himself Christ. They do not therefore send inferior persons to him, ministers and Herodians, as they did to Christ, but Priests and Levites; and not of these an indiscriminate party, but those of Jerusalem, i.e. the more honorable ones; but they send them with this question, to ask, Who are you? not from a wish to be informed, but in order to induce him to do what I have said. John replies then to their intention, not to their interrogation: And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

And observe the wisdom of the Evangelist: he repeats the same thing three times, to show John's virtue, and the malice and madness of the Jews. For it is the character of a devoted servant, not only to forbear taking to himself his lord's glory, but even, when numbers offer it to him, to reject it. The multitude indeed believed from ignorance that John was the Christ, but in these it was malice; and in this spirit they put the question to him, thinking, by their blandishments to bring him over to their wishes.

For unless this had been their design, when he replied, I am not the Christ, they would have said, We did not suspect this; we did not come to ask this. When caught, however, and discovered in their purpose, they proceed to another question: And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias?

AUG. For they knew that Elias was to preach Christ; the name of Christ not being unknown to any among the Jews; but they did not think that our Lord was the Christ: and yet did not altogether imagine that there was no Christ about to come. In this way, while looking forward to the future, they mistook at the present.

And he said, I am not.

GREG. These words gave rise to a very different question. In another place, our Lord, when asked by His disciples concerning the coming of Elias, replied, If you will receive it, this is Elias. But John says, I am not Elias. How is he then a preacher of the truth, if he agrees not with what that very Truth declares?

ORIGEN; Some one will say that John was ignorant that he was Elias; as those say, who maintain, from this passage the doctrine of a second incorporation, as though the soul took up a new body, after leaving its old one. For the Jews, it is said, asking John by the Levites and priests, whether he is Elias, suppose the doctrine of a second body to be already certain; as though it rested upon tradition, and were part of their secret system. To which question, however, John replies, I am not Elias: not being acquainted with his own prior existence. But how is it reasonable to imagine, if John were a prophet enlightened by the Spirit, and had revealed so much concerning the Father, and the Only-Begotten, that he could be so in the dark as to himself, as not to know that his own soul had once belonged to Elias?

GREG. But if we examine the truth accurately, that which sounds inconsistent, will be found not really so. The Angel told Zacharias concerning John, He shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias. As Elias then will preach the second advent of our Lord, so John preached His first; as the former will come as the precursor of the Judge, so the latter was made the precursor of the Redeemer. John was Elias in spirit, not in person: and what our Lord affirms of the spirit, John denies of the Person: there being a kind of propriety in this; viz. that our Lord to His disciples should speak spiritually of John, and that John, in answering the carnal multitude, should speak of his body, not of his spirit.

ORIGEN; He answers then the Levites and Priests, I am not, conjecturing what their question meant: for the purport of their examination was to discover, not whether the spirit in both was the same, but whether John was that very Elias, who was taken up, now appearing again, as the Jews expected, without another birth. But he whom we mentioned above as holding this doctrine of a reincorporation, will say that it is not consistent that the Priests and Levites should be ignorant of the birth of the son of so dignified a priest as Zacharias, who was born too in his father's old age, and contrary to all human probabilities: especially when Luke declares, that fear came on all that dwelt round about them.

But perhaps, since Elias was expected to appear before the coming of Christ near the end, they may seem to put the question figuratively, Are you he who announces the coming of Christ at the end of the world? to which he answers, I am not. But there is in fact nothing strange in supposing that John's birth might not have been known to all. For as in the case of our Savior many knew Him to be born of Mary, and yet some wrongly imagined that He was John the Baptist, or Elias, or one of the Prophets; so in the case of John, some were not unacquainted with the fact of his being son of Zacharias, and yet some may have been in doubt whether he were not the Elias who was expected.

Again, inasmuch as many prophets had arisen in Israel, but one was especially looked forward to, of whom Moses had prophesied The Lord your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, like to me; to Him shall you hearken: they ask him in the third place, not simply whether he is a prophet, but with the article prefixed, Are you that Prophet? For every one of the prophets in succession had signified to the people of Israel that he was not the one whom Moses had prophesied of; who, like Moses, was to stand in the midst between God and man, and deliver a testament, sent from God to His disciples. They did not however apply this name to Christ, but thought that He was to be a different person; whereas John knew that Christ was that Prophet, and therefore to this question, he answered, No.

AUG. Or because John was more than a prophet: for that the prophets announced Him afar off, but John pointed Him out actually present.

Then said they to him, Who are you? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What say you of yourself?

CHRYS. You see them here pressing him still more strongly with their questions, while he on the other hand quietly puts down their suspicions, where they are untrue, and establishes the truth in their place: saying, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.

AUG. So spoke Esaias: the prophecy was fulfilled in John the Baptist.

GREG. You know that the only-begotten Son is called the Word of the Father. Now we know, in the case of our own utterance, the voice first sounds, and then the word is heard. Thus John declares himself to be the voice, i.e. because he precedes the Word, and, through his ministry, the Word of the Father is heard by man.

ORIGEN; Heracleon, in his discussion on John and the Prophets, infers that because the Savior was the Word, and John the voice, therefore the whole of the prophetic order was only sound. To which we reply, that, if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle? If the voice of prophecy is nothing but sound, why does the Savior send us to it, saying, Search the Scriptures? But John calls himself the voice, not that cries, but of one that cries in the wilderness; viz. of Him Who stood and cried, If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He cries, in order that those at a distance may hear him, and understand from the loudness of the sound, the vastness of the thing spoken of.

THEOPHYL. Or because he declared the truth plainly, while all who were under the law spoke obscurely.

GREG. John cries in the wilderness, because it is to forsaken and destitute Judea that he bears the consolatory tidings of a Redeemer.

ORIGEN; There is need of the voice crying in the wilderness, that the soul, forsaken by God, may be recalled to making straight the way of the Lord, following no more the crooked paths of the serpent. This has reference both to the contemplative life, as enlightened by truth, without mixture of falsehood, and to the practical, as following up the correct perception by the suitable action. Wherefore he adds, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

GREG. The way of the Lord is made straight to the heart, when the word of truth is heard with humility; the way of the Lord is made straight to the heart, when the life is formed upon the precept.

24. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25. And they asked him, and said to him, Why baptize you then, if you be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26. John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there stands one among you, whom you know not;
27. He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

ORIGEN; The questions of the priests and Levites being answered, another mission comes from the Pharisees: And they that were sent were of the Pharisees. So far as it is allowable to form a conjecture from the discourse itself here, I should say that it was the third occasion of John's giving his witness. Observe the mildness of the former question, so befitting the priestly and levitical character, Who are you? There is nothing arrogant or disrespectful, but only what becomes true ministers of God.

The Pharisees however, being a sectarian body, as their name implies, address the Baptist in an importunate and contumelious way. And they said, Why baptize you then, if you be not that Christ, neither Elias, neither that Prophet? not caring about information, but only wishing to prevent him baptizing. Yet the very next thing they did, was to come to John's baptism. The solution of this is, that they came not in faith, but hypocritically, because they feared the people.

CHRYS. Or, those very same priests and Levies were of the Pharisees, and, because they could not undermine him by blandishments, began accusing, after they had compelled him to say what he was not. And they asked him, saying, Why baptize you then, if you are not the Christ, neither Elias, neither that Prophet? As if it were an act of audacity in him to baptize, when he was neither the Christ, nor His precursor, nor His proclaimer, i.e. that Prophet.

GREG. A saint, even when perversely questioned, is never diverted from the pursuit of goodness. Thus John to the words of envy opposes the words of life: John answered them, saying, I indeed baptize with water.

ORIGEN; For how would the question, Why then baptize you, be replied to in any other way, than by setting forth the carnal nature of his own baptism?

GREG. John baptizes not with the Spirit, but with water; not being able to remit sins, he washes the bodies of the baptized with water, but not their souls with pardon. Why then cloth he baptize, when he cloth not remit sins by' baptism? To maintain his character of forerunner. As his birth preceded our Lord's, so cloth his baptism precede our Lord's baptism. And he who was the forerunner of Christ in His preaching, is forerunner also in His baptism, which was the imitation of that Sacrament. And withal he announces the mystery of our redemption, saying that He, the Redeemer, is standing in the midst of men, and they know it not: There stands one among you, whom you know not: for our Lord, when He appeared in the flesh, was visible in body, but in majesty invisible.

CHRYS. One among you. It was fitting that Christ should mix with the people, and be one of the many, showing every where His humility. Whom you know not; i.e. not, in the most absolute and certain sense; not, who He is, and whence He is.

AUG. In His low estate He was not seen; and therefore the candle was; lighted.

THEOPHYL. Or it was, that our Lord was in the midst of the Pharisees; and they not knowing Him. For they thought that they knew the Scriptures, and therefore, inasmuch as our Lord was pointed out there, He was in the midst of them, i.e. in their hearts. But they knew Him not, inasmuch as they understood not the Scriptures. Or take another interpretation. He was in the midst of them, as mediator between God and man, wishing to bring them, the Pharisees, to God. But they knew Him not.

ORIGEN; Or thus; Having said, I indeed baptize with water,. in answer to the question, Why baptize you then? - to the next, If you be not Christ? he replies by declaring the preexistent substance of Christ; that it was of such virtue, that though His Godhead was invisible, He was present to every one, and pervaded the whole world; as is conveyed in the words; There stands one among you.

For He it is, Who has diffused Himself through the whole system of nature, insomuch that every thing which is created, is created by Him; All things were made by Him. Whence it is evident that even those who inquired of John, Why baptize you then? had Him among them. Or, the words, There stands one among you, are to be understood of mankind generally. For, from our character as rational beings, it follows that the word g exists in the center of us, because the heart, which is the spring of motion within us, is situated in the center of the body. Those then who carry the word within them, but are ignorant of its nature, and the source and beginning and the way in which it resides in them; these, hearing the word within them, know it not.

But John recognized Him, and reproached the Pharisees, saying, Whom you know now not. For, though expecting Christ's coming, the Pharisees had formed no lofty conception of Him, but supposed that He would only be a holy man: wherefore he briefly refutes their ignorance, and the false ideas that they had of His excellence. He said, stand; for as the Father stands, i.e. exists without variation or change, so stands the Word ever in the work of salvation, though It assume flesh, though It be in the midst of men, though It stand invisible.

Lest any one however should think that the invisible One Who comes to all men, and to the universal world, is different from Him Who was made man, and appeared on the earth, he adds, He that comes after me, i.e. Who will appear after me. The after however here has not the same meaning that it has, when Christ calls us after Him; for there we are told to follow after Him, that by treading in His steps, we may attain to the Father; but here the word is used to intimate what should follow upon John's teaching; for he came that all may believe, having by his ministry been fitted gradually by lesser things, for the reception of the perfect Word. Therefore he said, He it is Who comes after me.

CHRYS. As if he said, Do not think that every thing is contained in my baptism; for if my baptism were perfect, another would not come after me with another baptism. This baptism of mine is but an introduction to the other, and will soon pass away, like a shadow, or an image. There is One coming after me to establish the truth: and therefore this is not a perfect baptism; for, if it were, there would be no room for a second: and therefore he adds, Who is made before me: i.e. is more honorable, more lofty.

GREG. Made before me, i.e. preferred before me. He comes after me, that is, He is born after me; He is made before me, that is, He is preferred to me.

CHRYS. But lest you should think this to be the result of comparison, he immediately shows it to be a superiority beyond all comparison; Whose shoe latchet I am not worthy to unloose: as if He said, He is so much before me, that I am unworthy to be numbered among the lowest of His attendants: the unloosing of the sandal being the very lowest kind of service.

AUG. To have pronounced himself worthy even of unloosing His shoe's latchet, he would have been thinking too much of himself.

GREG. Or thus: It was a law of the old dispensation, that, if a man refused to take the woman, who of right came to him, to wife, he who by right of relationship came next to be the husband, should unloose his shoe. Now in what character did Christ appear in the world, but as Spouse of the Holy Church? John then very properly pronounced himself unworthy to unloose this shoe's latchet: as if he said, I cannot uncover the feet of the Redeemer, for I claim not the title of spouse, which I have no right to. Or the passage may be explained in another way. We know that shoes are made out of dead animals. Our Lord then, when He came in the flesh, put on, as it were, shoes; because in His Divinity He took the flesh of our corruption, wherein we had of ourselves perished. And the latchet of the shoe, is the seal upon the mystery. John is not able to unloose the shoe's latchet; i.e. even he cannot penetrate into the mystery of the Incarnation. So he seems to say: What wonder that He is preferred before me, Whom, being born after me, I contemplate, yet the mystery of Whose birth I comprehend not.

ORIG. The place has been understood not amiss thus by a certain person; I am not of such importance, as that for my sake He should descend from this high abode, and take flesh upon Him, as it were a shoe.

CHRYS. John having preached the thing concerning Christ publicly and With becoming liberty, the Evangelist mentions the place of His preaching: These things were done in Bethany beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. For it was in no house or corner that John preached Christ, but beyond Jordan, in the midst of a multitude, and in the presence of all whom He had baptized. Some copies read more correctly Bethabara: for Bethany was not beyond Jordan, or in the desert, but near Jerusalem.

GLOSS; Or we must suppose two Bethanies; one over Jordan, the other on this side, not far from Jerusalem, the Bethany where Lazarus was raised from the dead.

CHRYS. He mentions this too for another reason, viz. that as He was relating events which had only recently happened, He might, by a reference to the place, appeal to the testimony of those who were present and saw them.

ALCUIN. The meaning of Bethany is, house of obedience; by which it is intimated to us, that all must approach to baptism, through the obedience of faith.

ORIG. Bethabara means house of preparation; which agrees with the baptism of Him, who was making ready a people prepared for the Lord. Jordan, again, means, "their crescent." Now what is this river but our Savior, through Whom coming into this earth all must be cleansed, in that He came down not for His own sake, but for theirs. This river it is which separates the lots given by Moses, from those given by Jesus; its streams make glad the city of God. As the serpent lies hid in the Egyptian river, so does God in this; for the Father is in the Son. Wherefore whosoever go thither to wash themselves, lay aside the reproach of Egypt, are made meet to receive the inheritance, are cleansed form leprosy, are made capable of a double portion of grace, and ready to receive the Holy Spirit; nor does the spiritual dove light upon any other river. John again baptizes beyond Jordan, as the precursor of Him Who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Catena Aurea John 1
32 posted on 01/02/2014 6:17:29 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


St. John the Baptist

17c.

In the Russian iconographic tradition St. John the Baptist is sometimes shown winged, as an expression of his similarity to angels as a messenger and the forerunner of Christ.

33 posted on 01/02/2014 6:18:12 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

BASIL THE GREAT AND GREGORY NAZIANZEN, BISHOPS & DOCTORS OF THE  CHURCH

Feast day: 1 January 

stbasil2008web

Basil the Great [329-379]. Basil was on his way to becoming a famous teacher when he decided to begin a religious life of Gospel poverty. After studying various modes of religious life, he founded what was probably the first monastery in Asia Minor. He is to monks oif the East what St. Benedict is to the West, and his principles influence Eastern monasticism today.

He was ordained priest, assisted the Archbishop of Caesarea (now southeastern Turkey), and ultimately became archbishop himself, in spite of opposition from some of his suffragan bishops, probably because they foresaw coming reforms.

One of the most damaging heresies in the history of the Church, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ, was at its height. The Emperor Valens persecuted the orthodox, and put great pressure on Basil to remain silent and admit the heretics to communion. Basil remained firm, and Valens backed down. But trouble remained. When the great St. Athanasius died, the mantle of defender of the faith against Arianism fell upon Basil. He strove mightily to unite and really his fellow Catholics who were crushed by tyranny and torn by internal dissension. He was misunderstood, misrepresented,  accuse of heresy and ambition. Even appeals to the pope brought no response. “For my sins I seem to be unsuccessful in everything.”

He was tireless in pastoral care. He preached twice a day to huge crowds, built a hospital that was called a wonder of the world (as a youth he had organized famine relief and worked in a soup kitchen himself) and  fought the white slave market.

Basil was best known as an orator. His writings, though not recognized greatly in his lifetime, rightly place him among the great teachers of the Church. Seventy-two years after his death the Council of Chalcedon described him “the great Basil, minister of grace who has expounded the truth to the whole earth”.

COMMENT: As the French say, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Basil faced the same problems as modern Christians. Sainthood meant trying to preserve the spirit of Christ in such perplexing and painful problems as reform, organization, fighting for the poor, maintaining balance and peace in misunderstanding.

QUOTE: St. Basil said: “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit”.

gregory_of_nyssa

Gregory Nazianzen [329-390]. Gregory gladly accepted his friend Basil’s invitation to join him in a newly founded monastery after his baptism at 30. The solitude was broken when his father, a bishop, needed help in his diocese and estate. Gregory, it seems, was ordained priest practically by force, and only reluctantly accepted the responsibility. He was skillful in avoiding a schism that threatened because his own father made compromises with Arianism. At 41, he was chosen suffragan bishop of Caesarea and at once came into conflict with Valens, the emperor, who was supporting the Arians. An unfortunate by-product of the battle was the cooling of the friendship of two saints. Basil, his archbishop, sent him to a miserable and unhealthy town on the border of unjustly created divisions in his diocese. Basil reproached Gregory for not going to his see.

When protection for Ariasnism ended with the death of Valens, Gregory was called to rebuild the faith in the great see of Constantinople which had been under Arian teachers for three decades. Retiring and sensitive, he dreaded being drawn into the whirlpool of corruption and violence. He first stayed at a friend’s home, which became the only orthodox church in the city. In such surroundings, he began giving the great sermon on the Trinity for which he is famous. In time, he did rebuild the faith in the city, but at the cost of great suffering, slander, insults and even personal violence. An interloper even tried to take over his bishopric.

His last days were spent in solitude and austerity. He wrote religious poetry, some of it autobiographical, or great depth and beauty. He was a claimed simply as “the Theologian”.

COMMENT: It may be small comfort, but the present turmoil of change in the Church is a mild storm compared to the devastation caused by the Arian heresy, a trauma the Church has never forgotten. Christ did not promise the kind of peace we would love to have – no problems, no opposition, no pain. In one way or another, holiness is always the way of the cross.

QUOTE: “God accepts our desires as though they were a great value. He longs ardently for us to desire and love Him. He accepts our petitions for benefits as though we were doing Him a favor. His joy in giving is greater than ours in receiving. So let us not be apathetic in our asking, nor set too narrow bounds to our requests; not ask for frivolous things unworthy of God’s greatness”.

Note: Taken from Leonard Foley OFM (Editor), SAINT OF THE DAY – LIVES AND LESSONS FOR SAINTS AND FEASTS OF THE NEW MISSAL (Revised Edition), Cincinnati, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1990, pages 6-9.

34 posted on 01/02/2014 6:25:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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

Daily Marriage Tip for January 2, 2014:

(Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen) “On the 9th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 9 ladies dancing.” Dancing is not only for ladies or newlyweds. Try it. If you have children, include them. It needn’t be ballroom to be fun. Think Hokey Pokey? Or dance to your first dance […]

35 posted on 01/02/2014 6:30:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Aspiring to Humility
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors of the Church

John 1: 19-28

This is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, "Who are you?" He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, "I am not the Christ." So they asked him, "What are you then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No." So they said to him, "Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?" He said: "I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ´Make straight the way of the Lord,´ as Isaiah the prophet said." Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie." This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God who came into this world to save us because you love us. Your Incarnation fills me with hope. The only response I can give is to love you with all my heart, soul, strength and mind.

Petition: Jesus, help me to learn from St. John the Baptist how to bring others to you.

1. Making Jesus Known: The next few days have readings on John the Baptist. These lead up to this Sunday’s feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the manifestation of Jesus to the world. Tradition has linked several similar events to Epiphany. Although the first one is the coming of the Magi to Bethlehem, Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan is also a key moment of revelation — of epiphany — of Jesus’ mission and divinity. Thus, although the Baptism of the Lord has its own feast day a week after Epiphany, the two events have a common result: They make known the truth of Jesus. A first question we need to ask ourselves is: What am I, a believer in Christ, doing to make the truth of Jesus known to others?

2. The Power of Humility: In this reading, John the Baptist demonstrates the attitude fundamental to making Christ known: humility. John the Baptist had the chance to be considered the Messiah, the Christ. True, eventually the deception would become known, but for a while he could have had all of Israel at his feet. All too often today, people give in to temptation and compromise their principles to get glory and power for a day — think of businessmen who inflate their company’s profits, or scientists who fake their results. Their inevitable downfall is tragic. St. John the Baptist knows that the only way he can serve God and fulfill his mission in life is to direct all glory to God and none to himself, never presuming to be more than he is. We, too, can live as true Christians and make Jesus present to others only if we put aside our own pride and vanity.

3. Living Love: What really makes John the Baptist’s message effective is that he doesn’t just preach his message; he is his message. He preaches penance, but first he lives it, going out into the desert and living an ascetic life. He baptizes with water, but first he gets into the water. If we want to make Jesus known to others, we first have to know him ourselves. We cannot preach the essence of the Gospel, the message of love, if we don’t live love in our daily lives. We can’t criticize, judge others, and always “look out for number one” (where “one” is ourselves) and still hope to be an effective apostle of Christ. However, if with the help of God’s grace, we do our best to put love into action, then words will hardly be necessary. Our example alone will change people’s lives.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, when I look at myself and my life, I see that too often I have been selfish, focused on what I enjoy and on what I want. Help me to love you above all things. Help me want to make you known by living love, even at the cost of my own pride and comfort.

Resolution:I will make an extra effort today to show through my actions what it means to love Christ and one another.


36 posted on 01/02/2014 6:37:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 1

<< Thursday, January 2, 2014 >> St. Basil the Great
St. Gregory Nazianzen

 
1 John 2:22-28
View Readings
Psalm 98:1-4 John 1:19-28
Similar Reflections
 

ANOINTING, REMAINING, AND GROWING

 
"Remain in Him as that anointing taught you." —1 John 2:27
 

On the inside front cover of this booklet is the Rescript, the Catholic Church's Permission to Publish. Before One Bread, One Body is printed, the Church reviews this booklet to ensure it is free of doctrinal or moral error. When the booklet is error-free, "free from any lie" (1 Jn 2:27), the Church grants Permission to Publish. (Until recently, Permission to Publish was called the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.) At Presentation Ministries, remaining safely under Church authority is how we remain in Jesus as the anointing of the Holy Spirit taught us (1 Jn 2:27).

St. John says that if the anointing you received from Jesus remains in you, then "you have no need for anyone to teach you" (1 Jn 2:27). Then why read this booklet?

  • We are imperfect vessels and we leak (see Jer 2:13). We need to be constantly re-filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • We must devote ourselves to the teaching of the Church and study the Scriptures daily (Acts 2:42; 17:11), both of which help us grow (Acts 20:32).
  • Faith comes through hearing the Word of God (Rm 10:17). If we don't increase in faith, how can we be sure we will remain in Him? This booklet proclaims God's Word to increase our faith.
  • Like the early Church, we must be devoted to spreading God's Word (Acts 6:7) and feeding His sheep (Jn 21:17).

"Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133). If we're ignorant of Him, we cannot "remain in Him" (1 Jn 2:28). Read God's Word daily, and remain in Jesus.

 
Prayer: Jesus, keep me faithful to Your teaching and never let me be parted from You.
Promise: His "promise is no less than this: eternal life." —1 Jn 2:25
Praise: By the power of the Holy Spirit, St. Basil protected his diocese from heresy.

37 posted on 01/02/2014 6:44:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

May each father love his child as God has loved him.

38 posted on 01/02/2014 6:47:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Who Are You

by Food For Thought on January 2, 2014 ·

Many of us would be hard-pressed to answer the question, “Who are you?”. Yet John’s responses – to this and the other difficult questions that followed — are brief, straight to the point, given without hesitation. He even declares his life’s mission to “prepare a way for the Lord…”. Later in the chapter, John does another surprising thing – he points Jesus out to others and announces “Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”. How did John arrive at these conclusions? Was it his detachment from the mundane cultivated by a life in the desert? Was it Zachariah’s prophecy at John’s birth that predestined it, and was he simply expressing obedience to the prophecy? Did he know his cousin as Christ even before he pointed him out to the crowd? Detachment, obedience or insider knowledge – we can only speculate how John arrived at his answers. One thing is certain – John had one final decision to make on his own which was to challenge the established order by announcing Christ’s arrival to the world. This required great courage because he surely knew that he was laying his life on the line by doing so. How did John source this courage?

Holy Spirit, enlighten us. Grant us time with you so we can learn to attain sufficient detachment from the world to discover that we are indeed predestined children of God. Then give us courage to live out our destiny.


39 posted on 01/02/2014 6:58:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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