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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 02-26-12, First Sunday of Lent
USCCB.org.RNAB ^ | 02-26-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 02/25/2012 9:11:49 PM PST by Salvation

February 26, 2012

First Sunday of Lent

 

Reading 1 Gn 9:8-15

God said to Noah and to his sons with him:
"See, I am now establishing my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
and with every living creature that was with you:
all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals
that were with you and came out of the ark.
I will establish my covenant with you,
that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed
by the waters of a flood;
there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth."
God added:
"This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come,
of the covenant between me and you
and every living creature with you:
I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.
When I bring clouds over the earth,
and the bow appears in the clouds,
I will recall the covenant I have made
between me and you and all living beings,
so that the waters shall never again become a flood
to destroy all mortal beings."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9.

R. (cf. 10) Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Good and upright is the LORD,
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and he teaches the humble his way.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.

Reading 2 1 Pt 3:18-22

Beloved:
Christ suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison,
who had once been disobedient
while God patiently waited in the days of Noah
during the building of the ark,
in which a few persons, eight in all,
were saved through water.
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
It is not a removal of dirt from the body
but an appeal to God for a clear conscience,
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God,
with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Gospel Mk 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."


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

1 posted on 02/25/2012 9:12:02 PM PST by Salvation
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To: All

Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory Ping!

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2 posted on 02/25/2012 9:12:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Let's try this again.

Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory Ping!

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3 posted on 02/25/2012 9:15:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 9:8-15

God’s Covenant with Noah (Continuation)


[8] Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, [9] “Behold, I establish my
covenant with you and. your descendants after you, [10] and with every living
creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with
you, as many as came out of the ark. [11] I establish my covenant with you, that
never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall
there be a flood to destroy the earth.” [12] And God said, “This is the sign of the
covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with
you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of
the covenant between me and the earth. [14] When I bring clouds over the earth
and the bow is seen in the clouds, [15] I will remember my covenant which is be-
tween me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never
again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”

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

9:8-17. To show that he was pleased by Noah’s sacrifice, God promised that he
would never again flood the earth (cf. 8:20-22); now he renews that promise in the
context of a covenant that covers all creation and which is ratified by a sign—the
rainbow.

This marks the start of a series of covenants which God will freely establish
with men. The first covenant (with Noah) takes in all creation, now purified and
renewed by the flood. Later there will be the covenant with Abraham, which will
affect only himself and his descendants (cf. chap. 17). Finally, under Moses, he
will establish the covenant of Sinai (cf. Ex 19), also confined to the people of Is-
rael. But because man proved unable to keep these successive covenants, God
promised, through the prophets, to establish a new covenant in the messianic
age: “I will put my law within them and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will
be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer 31:33). This promise found its
fulfillment in Christ, as he himself said when he instituted the eucharistic sa-
crifice of his body. and blood: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new
covenant in my blood” (Lk 22:20).

The Fathers and ecclesiastical writers saw this rainbow as the first proclamation
of this new covenant. Rupert of Deutz, for example, writes: “In it God established
a covenant with men through his son Jesus Christ; by the death (of Christ) on the
cross God reconciled us to himself, cleansing us of our sins in his blood, and he
gave us through (Christ) the Holy Spirit of his love, instituting the baptism of water
and the Holy Spirit by which we are reborn. Therefore, that rainbow which appears
in the clouds is a sign of the Son of God. [...] It is the sign that God will never a-
gain destroy all flesh by the waters of the flood; the Son of God himself, who was
taken out of sight by a cloud, and who is lifted up beyond the clouds, above all
the heavens, is forever a sign which reminds God the Father; he is an eternal me-
morial of our peace: now that he in his flesh has destroyed the old enmity, friend-
ship between God and men is secure: men are no longer servants but friends and
children of God” (”Commentarium in Genesim”, 4,36).

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

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


4 posted on 02/25/2012 9:17:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Christ’s Suffering and Glorification


[18] For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous,
that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in
the spirit; [19] in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, [20] who
formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during
the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through
water. [21] Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal
of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ, [22] who has gone into heaven and is at the right
hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

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

18-22. This passage may include parts of a Creed used in early Christian baptis-
mal instruction. It very clearly expresses the essence of faith in Jesus Christ, as
preached from the beginning by the Apostles (cf. Acts 2:14-36; 1 Cor 15:1ff) and
as articulated in the Apostles’ Creed: “He was crucified, died and was buried. He
descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended
into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.”

Jesus Christ, who suffers for the sins of mankind—”the righteous for the unrigh-
teous”—and then is glorified, gives meaning to the sufferings of Christians. “Oh,
how great thanks am I bound to return to You for having shown me and all the
faithful the right and good way to Your everlasting Kingdom! For Your life is our
life; and by holy patience we walk on to You, who are our crown. If You had not
gone before and taught us, who would care to follow? Alas, how many would
have stayed afar off and a great way behind if they had not had before their eyes
your wonderful example!” (”Imitation of Christ”, 3, 18).

18. “Christ has died for sins once for all”: our Lord’s sacrifice is unrepeatable (cf.
Heb 9:12-28; 10-10) and superabundantly sufficiently to obtain the remission of
all sins. The fruits of the Cross are applied to man, in a special way, by means
of the sacraments, particularly by taking part in the Mass, the unbloody renewal
of the sacrifice of Calvary.

“Being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit”: there is disagree-
ment among commentators as to what “flesh” and “spirit” mean here. Some iden-
tify them with our concepts of body and soul—”dead as regards the body, alive as
regards the soul”. Others see them as equivalent to the humanity-divinity of our
Lord: “dead as far as His human nature is concerned, alive (continuous to live)
as far as His divinity is concerned”. Finally, having regard to the meaning these
terms have in the Old Testament, the phrase may refer to the earthly consolation
of our Lord compared with the glorious condition He had after His resurrection; in
which case it would be an early form of words used to convey the idea that Jesus
Christ, on dying, left His mortal condition behind for ever in order to move into His
glorious, immortal state through His Resurrection (cf. 1 Cor 15:35-49).

19-20. “In which”, that is, in the spirit. The ambiguity of the original text (referred
to in the previous note) continues, so it is possible to understand the “in which”
in the three ways outlined. Some take it as meaning that Christ went to preach
to the spirits in prison “with his soul”, separated from his body; for some he went
“in his glorious condition”, which is not incompatible with the resurrection in the
strict sense happening afterwards.

In any event, these verses are one of the clear references in the New Testament
to our Lord descending into hell (cf. also Mt 12:38-41; Acts 2:24-36; Rom 10:6-7;
Eph 4:8-9; Rev 1:18). After dying on the cross, Jesus Christ went to bring his
message of salvation “to the spirits in prison”: many Fathers and commentators
are inclined to the view that this is a reference to the just of the Old Testament
who, not being able to enter heaven until the Redemption took place, were kept
in the bosom of Abraham, which is also called the “limbo” of the just (cf. “St
Pius V Catechism”, I, 6, 1-6).

The reference to the contemporaries of Noah is probably explained by the fact
that, for the Jews of the time, those people (along with the people of Sodom and
Gomorrah: cf. Mt 24:36-39; Lk 17:26-30) were the classic inveterate sinners. By
bringing in this reference St Peter is teaching that the Redemption embraces all
men: even the contemporaries of Noah, if they repented, could have attained sal-
vation through the merits of Christ.

21-22. The waters of the Flood are a figure of Baptism: in the same way as Noah
and his family were saved by being in the Ark, now men are saved through Bap-
tism, which makes them members of Christ’s Church.

“As an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus
Christ”: the obvious meaning of this is that the Christian asks for perseverance in
the good way of life he entered into at Baptism. However, the Greek word trans-
lated as “appeal”, a rarely used one, contains the idea of “commitment”. It is
possible that this may be a reference to a part of the baptismal rite—for example,
the profession of faith the neophyte made, and his promise to stay true to it. Or
it may refer to a permanent effect of Baptism whereby the Christian is given a
share in “the resurrection of Christ”: it would not be surprising if St Peter were
referring to what later came to be known as the baptismal “character”. In fact,
the context suggests something permanent and indelible: just as Noah’s salva-
tion was a lasting one and there was never again a flood, so too the condition
of the Christian is something permanent; now that he has risen Jesus can never
die again (cf. Rom 6:3) and neither can the baptized return to their former sinful
condition.

Verse 22, possibly taken from a baptismal hymn, is a very concise account of
the glorification of Christ. After descending into hell, he arose and ascended into
heaven, where he is seated “at the right hand of God”: this phrase, already com-
mon in early Christian catechesis (cf., e.g., Mt 22:41-46; Mk 16:19; Acts 2:33)
means that our Lord, who is equal to the Father in his divinity, also, as man,
occupies at his side the place of honor over all other created beings. This uni-
versal lordship of Christ is further emphasized by the statement that all heavenly
beings are subject to him (cf. Phil 2:10; Eph 1:21); three degrees of angels are
mentioned, that is, all the angels, because the number three symbolizes totality.

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

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


5 posted on 02/25/2012 9:19:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Mark 1:12-15

The Tempting of Jesus


[12] The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. [13] And he was
in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts;
and the angels ministered to him.

Jesus Begins to Preach and Calls His First Disciples


[14] Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel
of God, [15] and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;
repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

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

13. St Matthew (4: 1-11) and St Luke (4: 1-13) relate the temptations of Jesus
in more detail. By submitting to temptation, Jesus wanted to show us that we
should not be afraid of temptations: on the contrary, they give us an opportunity
to progress in the interior life.

“Yet the Lord sometimes permits that souls, which are dear to him, should be
tempted with some violence, in order that they may better understand their own
weakness, and the necessity of grace to prevent them from falling [...]; God per-
mits us to be tempted, that we may be more detached from the things of earth,
and conceive a more ardent desire to behold him in heaven [...]; God also per-
mits us to be tempted, in order to increase our merits. [...] When it is disturbed
by temptation, and sees itself in danger of committing sin, the soul has recourse
to the Lord and to his divine Mother; it renews its determination to die rather than
offend God; it humbles itself and takes refuge in the arms of divine mercy. By
this means, as is proved by experience, it acquires more strength and is united
more closely to God” (St Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, “The Love of our Lord Jesus
Christ Reduced to Practice”, chap. 17).

Besides, as in our Lord’s own case, we will always have God’s help to overcome
temptation: “Jesus has stood up to the test. And it was a real test [...]. The devil,
with twisted intention, quoted the Old Testament: ‘God will send his angels to pro-
tect the just man wherever he goes’ (Ps 91:11). But Jesus refuses to tempt his
Father; he restores true meaning to this passage from the Bible. And, as a reward
for his fidelity, when the time comes, ministers of God the Father appear and wait
upon him [...]. We have to fill ourselves with courage, for the grace of God will not
fail us. God will be at our side and will send his angels to be our traveling compa-
nions, our prudent advisers along the way, our cooperators in all that we take on”
(St J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 63).

14-15. “The gospel of God”: this expression is found in St Paul (Rom 1:1; 2 Cor
11:7; etc.) where it means the same as “the gospel of Jesus Christ” (2 Thess 1:
8; etc.), thereby implying the divinity of Jesus Christ. The imminence of the King-
dom requires a genuine conversion of man to God (Mt 4:17; Mk 6:12; etc.). The
prophets had already spoken of the need for conversion and for Israel to abandon
its evil ways (Jer 3:22; Is 30:15; Os 14:2; etc.).

Both John the Baptist and Jesus and his Apostles insist on the need for conver-
sion, the need to change one’s attitude and conduct as a prerequisite for receiving
the Kingdom of God. Bl. John Paul II underlines the importance of conversion for
entry into the Kingdom of God: “Therefore, the Church professes and proclaims
conversion. Conversion to God always consists in discovering his mercy, that is,
in discovering that love which is patient and kind (cf. 1 Cor 13:4) as only the Cre-
ator and Father can be; the love to which the ‘God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ’ (2 Cor 1:3) is faithful to the uttermost consequences in the history of his
covenant with man: even to the Cross and to the death and resurrection of the
Son. Conversion to God is always the fruit of the ‘rediscovery’ of this Father, who
is rich in mercy.

“Authentic knowledge of the God of mercy, the God of tender love, is a constant
and inexhaustible source of conversion, not only as a momentary interior act but
also as a permanent attitude, as a state of mind. Those who come to know God
in this way, who ‘see’ him in this way, can live only in a state of being continually
converted to him. They live, therefore, “in statu conversionis” and it is this state
of conversion which marks out the most profound element of the pilgrimage of
every man and woman on earth “in statu viatoris” (Bl. John Paul II, “Dives In Mi-
sericordia”, 13).

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

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


6 posted on 02/25/2012 9:20:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Genesis 9:8-15 ©
God spoke to Noah and his sons, ‘See, I establish my Covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; also with every living creature to be found with you, birds, cattle and every wild beast with you: everything that came out of the ark, everything that lives on the earth. I establish my Covenant with you: no thing of flesh shall be swept away again by the waters of the flood. There shall be no flood to destroy the earth again.’
  God said, ‘Here is the sign of the Covenant I make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all generations: I set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the Covenant between myself and you and every living creature of every kind. And so the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all things of flesh.’

Psalm Psalm 24:4-6,7-9 ©
Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.
Lord, make me know your ways.
  Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
  for you are God my saviour.
Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.
Remember your mercy, Lord,
  and the love you have shown from of old.
In your love remember me.
  because of your goodness, O Lord.
Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.
The Lord is good and upright.
  He shows the path to those who stray,
He guides the humble in the right path,
  He teaches his way to the poor.
Your ways, Lord, are faithfulness and love for those who keep your covenant.

Second reading 1 Peter 3:18-22 ©
Christ himself, innocent though he was, had died once for sins, died for the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. Now it was long ago, when Noah was still building that ark which saved only a small group of eight people ‘by water’, and when God was still waiting patiently, that these spirits refused to believe. That water is a type of the baptism which saves you now, and which is not the washing off of physical dirt but a pledge made to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has entered heaven and is at God’s right hand, now that he has made the angels and Dominations and Powers his subjects.

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:4
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel Mark 1:12-15 ©
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.
  After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’

7 posted on 02/25/2012 9:25:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
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Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

8 posted on 02/25/2012 9:30:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Welcome to 40 Days for Life: 40 Days for Life kicks off February 22 in 258 locations!
9 posted on 02/25/2012 9:40:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 02/25/2012 9:42:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
11 posted on 02/25/2012 9:44:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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


12 posted on 02/25/2012 9:50:07 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. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

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

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

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

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

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

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

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

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

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

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


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

or

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. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence 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 Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


13 posted on 02/25/2012 9:51:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

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

14 posted on 02/25/2012 9:52:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

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.


15 posted on 02/25/2012 9:54:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Image Detail
 

February Devotion: The Holy Family

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of February has been primarily asociated with the Holy Family, probably due to the feast of Our Lord's presentation at the temple, celebrated on February 2. At the very outset of Christ's work on earth, God showed the world a family in which, as Pope Leo XIII teaches, "all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness." The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterized this holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.

INVOCATION
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph most kind, Bless us now and in death's agony.

FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwellings: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY FAMILY
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou defend us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace, and concord in Christian love: in order that, by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Thy family, we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by thy kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, three times.

IN HONOR OF THE HOLY FAMILY
O God, heavenly Father, it was part of Thine eternal decree that Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. 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

Holy Family Chaplet

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, be with me in my last hour.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul
in peace with you.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Amen.

Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary's, and 3 Glory be's.

 

The Holy Family Icon by Nicholas Markell

PRAYER TO
THE HOLY FAMILY
=====================================================================================

GOD our Heavenly Father, You call all peoples to be united as one family in worshipping You as the one and true God. You willed that Your Son become man, giving Him a virgin mother and a foster father to form the Holy Family of Nazareth.

WE pray: may the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, image and model of every human family unit walk in the spirit of Nazareth and grow in the understanding of its particular mission in society and the Church. May our families be living cells of love, faithfulness and unity, thus reflecting God's covenant with humanity and Christ's redeeming love for His Church.

JESUS, Mary and Joseph protect our families from all evil; keep us, who are away from home, one in love with our dear ones.

The Holy Family


 
"The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist ( the Doni tondo )" by Michelangelo c.1506, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Parent's Prayer

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, and Son of Mary, I thank you for the gift of life you have entrusted to my care. Help me be a parent both tender and wise, both loving and forgiving.

Mary, Holy Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our Motherly Queen of Heaven, nourish our family with your heavenly grace. Help us to remain faithful to The Most Holy Trinity, in all our sorrows and joys.

Joseph, Earthly father to our Lord God, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.

Holy Family of Nazareth, help our family to walk in your footsteps. May we be peace-loving and peace-giving.
Amen.
 
On Prayer in the Life of the Holy Family
The Holy Family - held together by Love through all their problems [Ecumenical]
Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family (Dom Guéranger OSB)
The Feast of the Holy Family
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican creche to place Holy Family in Joseph's carpentry workshop
The Redemption and Protection of the Family [Feast of the Holy Family]
Study Backs Tradition of Loreto House - Stones in Altar Match Those in Nazareth, It Says
Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Gaudi’s Church of the Holy Family to be ready for worship in 2008
Imitating the Holy Family; Four Traits that Make It Possible
Lots of Graphics: Post your favorite image of the St. Mary and Child, the Holy Family...

16 posted on 02/25/2012 9:56:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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February 2012

Pope's intentions

General Intention: Access to Water.
That all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life.

Missionary Intention: Health Workers.
That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world's poorest regions.


17 posted on 02/25/2012 9:58:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY MK: 1:12-15
Repent?
By Fr. Jerome Magat

Most Christians would disagree about what was the primary and central message of Jesus’ preaching. Some might say, “Love one another.” Others may assert, “Come, and follow me.” Some may submit, “Love your enemies and do good to those you persecute you.” While it is true that Jesus did say all of the above, the central dictate in His preaching is found in this week’s Gospel passage. It was simply, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Interestingly, this is among the most overlooked and ignored directives issued by Our Lord.

This primary and central message of Christ’s preaching is often overlooked and/or dismissed altogether because most persons neither recognize their personal sinfulness nor their need for repentance. While we may conjecture that most persons may admit of their need for deeper faith (i.e., belief in the Gospel), the idea of repentance is less attractive. After all, popular psychology books warn us sternly not to focus on such “negative” issues such as sin for fear that such thoughts may lower our self-esteem or cause us to wallow in misery. The Catholic understanding, meanwhile, is dramatically different. Catholics understand sin in terms of the meritorious redemption of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Sin is never understood in isolation. Rather, sin is always placed subordinate to what Jesus accomplished for us at Calvary, where sin and death were conquered.

And yet, it is not enough to recognize what Jesus accomplished through His passion, death and resurrection. We must participate in its merits by the lives we lead. It is not enough to make claims on the merits of Jesus, without any conversion and repentance on our part. Repentance is always preceded by an acknowledgement of sinfulness and this acknowledgement is always preceded by the virtue of humility to recognize that we are in need of God’s mercy. The inability to perceive these realities is one of the most serious spiritual malaises. Pride; the rationalization of one’s sins; infrequent sacramental confession and the lack of a daily examination of conscience only exacerbate a very serious spiritual problem.

Repentance forces the penitent to engage the reality of who they are as God sees them. While it is true that God loves us the way we are, He loves us too much to allow us to remain there. He desires us to be perfect. The admission of guilt is never easy for anyone but it is among the most liberating experiences imaginable. After all, it is not as if God doesn’t already know our sins. We never fool our omniscient Creator. Repentance seeks to free us from the bondage of pride and the facades we build to convince ourselves that we do not offend God by our sinfulness. Rather than lead us to despair or despondency, repentance frees us to receive God’s graces and to engage the reality of our lives. When we are less full of ourselves and more filled with His light and truth, we begin to experience the freedom and glory of living as God’s children. This is what Jesus desires for each of us. May the spirit of repentance free us to love God as we ought.

Fr. Magat is parochial vicar of St. William of York Parish in Stafford.


18 posted on 02/25/2012 10:05:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

Jesus was tempted by Satan Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year B

 -  First Sunday of Lent

Jesus was tempted by Satan

Jesus was tempted by Satan Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Mark 1:12-15

12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

First Sunday of Lent - Jesus was tempted by Satan The spirit is totally different and distant from the flesh, even though it dwells in the body, it only reveals itself to those who accept it and live by its instructions. It was because of the action of the Holy Spirit which descended upon me in a very special way during my Baptism in the Jordan, that I was prepared for my mission of salvation.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit I was tempted by Satan, but defeated him by choosing good instead of evil. Now Satan can only be seen or felt in the spirit, and here comes my teaching to you.

The spiritual world is very real, God is spirit and He is the father of all spirits. Satan was thrown from heaven with all his followers, those who questioned the authority and will of the Most High. His kingdom of darkness is located here in the world, not to be seen physically of course, because it is spiritual. But being here, Satan is allowed to influence human beings in order to put them to the test.

Everyone is tested, and everyone fails, but not all the time thanks to the help of the spirit. As a human being I was also put to the test, but making use of the perfections of my humanity I overcame the evil one, in order to teach you that it is possible to defeat Satan. In fact, it is necessary to be very alert spiritually, so that by living in a state of grace you may keep the enemy away.

When you live by the desires of the flesh, your spirit is annihilated, you surrender to your passions and give yourself to Satan, you become his property.

In the spirit you are tempted, but because you don’t accept that subtle encounter with your spirit, you dismiss it too quickly and do not discern the inner voice that helps you. You are then convinced by the devil to do his will, not the will of God.

Once you get caught up in your sinfulness you only have one option in order to save yourself: renounce Satan, renounce his evil ways, listen to the voice of your spirit, repent and come to the light again.

In Baptism every person is clothed with my light, in that new state the divine influence defends the soul against the attacks of the evil one, but is powerless if the person consents to sin. By prayer and by a life in accordance to the teachings of my gospels every person regains the power that was lost and the soul becomes strong against the evil one.

My little soul, do not listen to the evil one who wants to destroy you. Listen to my voice, listen to the gentle persuasions of the spirit. Do what is good, reject what is evil, follow me and you will share my eternal kingdom.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


19 posted on 02/25/2012 10:13:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

On the first Sunday of Lent the readings turn to a very baptismal theme. It makes sense, for it is common on this Sunday in many places that the catechumens report to the Bishop for the Rite of Election wherein he recognizes them as elect (chosen) of God in these final weeks before their baptism.

In today’s readings there are many themes that form the kind of “spokes” of a wagon wheel, and baptism is the central hub around which they turn. And arching over it all is the great image of the rainbow in the sky, the great sign of God’s love and mercy upon us all. Even in Lent as we take heed of our sins, we can never forget that though we have been unrighteous, unholy, unkind, undisciplined and even at time unreachable, we have never been unloved. Yes, God put a rainbow in the sky.

More of this in a moment. But for now lets look at the baptismal theme of these readings from two perspectives.

I. The PORTRAIT of Baptism -It will be noted that both the first and second readings make mention of Noah and the Ark in which they were delivered from the flood. The second reading says, God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark,  in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now (1 Peter 3:19-20).

Note however, while we quickly think of water as a symbol for baptism, the image is really a double image of WOOD and WATER. For if it were not for the wood of the ark, the waters would have overwhelmed Noah’s family. And thus for us too, the waters of our baptism are rendered effective by Jesus on the wood of the cross.

Indeed, by God’s plan we might be so bold as to say: “Wood and Water Work Wonders!” And note, there are numerous places in the Scriptures where where wood and water, not just water alone, manifest God’s saving love. Note five incidents:

  1. Cleansing Flood- We begin with today’s image and one of the most terrifying stories of the ancient world, the flood. The world had grown so wicked and sin so multiplied that God concluded he must literally wash it clean. And you think its bad now! God went to a man named Noah and told him that He was going to trouble the waters and that Noah had to be ready. Build an Ark of Gopher wood  Noah! Now this was not a small project. The Ark was the length of one and a half football fields (150 yards), it was 75 feet wide and 45 feet tall. Now you have to really trust God to do all that work. And then gather the animals two pairs of unclean animals, 7 pairs of clean animals. More trust more time and lots of wood. But then God troubled the waters and the waters of the flood made an end of wickedness and a new beginning of goodness. From troubled waters came a blessing. But first Noah had to wade on in. Through the wood of the ark and water God worked wonders!  (cf Gen 6-9)
  2. Trouble at the Red Sea- Many Centuries later, Pharaoh had relented and the people were leaving Egypt after 400 years of slavery. But fickle Pharaoh has once again changed  his mind and pursues them. With the Red Sea before them and Pharaoh behind them the people were struck with fear. But God would win through for them. How? By troubling the waters: God told Moses to take up the wooden staff and to trouble the waters with these words: And you lift up your staff and with hand outstretched over the sea, split the sea in two… So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (Ex 14:16, 21) Now you and I know the end of the story but the people that day did not. With water like two walls on either side they had to go forth, they had to wade, if you will, in the waters. They had to trust God that the waters would hold. And God brought them through and they went out of slavery and into freedom. Are you noticing a pattern?  With God, Wood and water work wonders. The wooden staff and troubled waters bring forth freedom.
  3. Trouble in the Desert – It is a fine thing to be free but thirst has a way of making itself known. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet (Ex 15:23) So once again, with God, wood and water work wonders. The wood of the tree and the troubled waters of that spring brought the blessing of survival.
  4. More Trouble in the Desert! But yet again as they journeyed further, more thirst. And God said to Moses: Go over in front of the people holding in your hand as you go the staff with which you struck the sea, …Strike the rock and the water will flow from it for the people to drink. (Ex 17:5-6).  From troubled waters came forth blessing. With God, wood and water work wonders. The wood of the staff troubled those waters and they came forth with the blessing that  preserved life in the desert.
  5. At the River Jordan- After forty years of wandering in the desert the Israelites are finally ready to enter the promised land. But the Jordan is in flood stage, impossible to cross. But once again God had a plan and was going to trouble those waters. He instructed Joshua to have the priests place the ark on their shoulders  and wade in the water. Now the Ark was a box made of Acacia wood and covered in gold. In it were the tables of the Law, the staff of Aaron and a ciborium of the manna. They also knew and believed that the very presence of God was carried in that ancient wooden box, even as in our tabernacles today. And the text says: And when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap far off people passed over opposite Jericho (Joshua 3:15) So again, with God, Wood and water work wonders! The wooden box of the ark troubled the waters and they parted bringing the blessing of the promised land.

And these Old Testament prefigurements bring us to the wood of the true cross. And on that wooden cross, the waters of our baptism come forth from the side of Christ. With Jesus our Lord and God, wood and water work the wonder of eternal salvation. We’re not just being freed from an army, or from thirst or a flood, we’re being freed from sin and offered eternal salvation. The waters of our baptism are given the power to save by our Lord Jesus and what he did on the wood of the cross. You might as well say it, With God Wood and Water Work Wonders!

II. The POWER of Baptism – Here we encounter more of the spokes of the wagon wheel radiating out from the hub which is baptism. And we largely collect these spokes of teaching form the second reading (1 Peter 3:17-22). The spokes speak of the power and gifts that radiate from baptism. Let’s look at them.

A. Salvation - the text says, baptism…saves you now. The Greek word translated here as “saves” is σώζει (sozei) and means to be delivered from present danger. Yes we have been snatched from the raging flood waters of this sin-soaked world and from Satan who seeks to devour us.

The Book of Psalms says, If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped (Psalm 124).

St. Paul says, of Jesus, he rescued us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father (Gal 1:4).

And old Gospel hymn says, I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore. Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. But the master of the sea heard my despairing cry, and from the waters lifted me, now safe am I. Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, love lifted me!

Yes, through baptism, and the faith it confers, we have been saved by the outstretched arm of our God.  And if we hold to God’s unchanging hand, heaven will be ours.

B. Sonship – The text says, Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God.  Yes, Jesus has opened the way to the Father. He has reconciled us to God the Father by his precious blood.

In baptism we become the children of God. Isaiah says, For we like sheep had gone astray, every one to his own way (Is 53:6).

And we were angry and fearful of God, unable to endure his presence and his love. But Jesus, as a Good Shepherd has gathered us and restored us to grace.

One of the great gifts baptism gives us is the grace to experience a tender affection for God the Father and experience him as Abba (cf Gal 4:6, Rom 8).  And as we grow in the grace of our baptism, so does our tender love and affection for the Father.

Jesus, through baptism and the indwelling Holy Spirit, causes us to experience increasing trust of the Father and to obey him out of deep love rather than servile fear.

C. Serenity – The text says baptism….is not a removal of dirt from the body  but an appeal to God for a clear conscience. Baptism, while it touches the body, has for its current goal the soul, the inner man or woman. In effect this text speaks to us of the new mind and heart that Jesus, through baptism, confers on us.

In the Gospel today, Jesus refers to this new mind when he says “Repent!” The Greek word translated as “repent” is μετανοεῖτε (metanoeite) which means more literally “to come to a change of mind.”

Yes, the Lord offers us a new mind and heart. A whole new way of thinking; new priorities, new visions, new understandings, goals and vision.

So much of the battle we face involves our mind. “Mind” here does not mean “brain” per se, but rather, that deepest inner part of us where we “live,” where we deliberate and are alone with our self and our God. And through baptism the Lord begins a process that renews this inner self, day by day.

And as our mind gets clearer and our heart grows purer, our whole life is gradually transformed. This leads to inner peace, to a serene conscience, confident and loving before God.

D. Spirit! – The text says of Jesus, Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit. As God, Jesus did not need or acquire the Holy Spirit, He was always one with the Holy Spirit. But as man he does acquire the Holy Spirit for us.

And who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the very life of God, the love of God, the joy of God, the holiness of God! To receive the Holy Spirit is to come to a totally new and transformed life.

When Jesus rose, it was not merely that his corpse was resuscitated. It was truly his body that rose, but he took up a wholly transformed human life and offers this to us.

In baptism we die with him and rise to this new life. If we are faithful to our baptismal commitments, we become ever more fully alive; sins are put to death, and innumerable graces come forth. Yes, new life, Life in the Spirit comes to those who are baptized and remain faithful to their baptismal  life.

Do you see what God has Done? He has put a rainbow in the sky! When we were spiritually dead in our sins, hostile to God, God would never forsake us. He remembered the rainbow he promised Noah. With you I can say that I have been, unworthy, unrighteous, unmerciful and unreachable. I have been unteachable, unwilling, undesirable, unwise, undone, and unsure. But I can say, because of you O Lord, I have never been unloved.  I’ve been unamended, uneasy, unapproachable, unemotional, unexceptional, undecided, unqualified, unaware, unfair and unfit. But even I can see, the sacrifice God made for me, to show that I have never been unloved.

Yes, when it looked like the sun wasn’t gonna shine no more, God put a rainbow in the sky.

And do you know what a rainbow is? It is a combination of fire and water. Yes, there it is: the water of our baptism, and the fire of God’s loving Spirit shining through that very water: the rainbow in the sky. The sign of God’s fiery love and the water of our salvation.

God put a rainbow in the sky!


20 posted on 02/25/2012 10:20:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

1st Sunday of Lent
March 9, 2003
Reading I:
Genesis 9:8-15 II: 1Peter 3:18-22
Gospel
Mark 1:12-15

12 At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert,
13 and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.
14 After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
15 "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."


Interesting Details
  • (vv.12-13) Mark discussed the temptation only briefly. For Mark, the "wrestling match" between Jesus and Satan, between good and evil, hardly appears a struggle at all.
  • The "forty days" in the gospel should not be taken literally. It was used often, such as with Moses (Exod 24, 18) and Elija (1 Kgs 19, 8), to mean "a considerable time."
  • Satan means "adversary," opponent or against the goodness of man, in Hebrew.
  • The wild beasts could be:
    + Desperation.
    + People who do not know God.
    + People who are not listening to Jesus.
    + People who oppose Jesus.
    + People who Jesus would be killed by.
    These all mean Jesus was conscious of tremendous threats.
  • (v.14) "After John had been arrested" indicates the work of John the Baptizer had been concluded and Jesus' ministry has begun. John the Baptizer being "handed over" refers to Jesus' death and passion. It's occurrence here makes John the Baptizer's fate foreshadow Jesus' fate.
  • (v.15) "This is the time of fulfillment" meaning the nature of God's ministry was preaching and accepting the good news. The good news consists of: truth, hope, peace, promise, immortality, and salvation.
  • Real repentance is "not to be sorry for the consequences of sin but to hate sin itself."
  • "The kingdom of God" referred primarily to God's future display of power and judgment, to the future establishment of God's rule over creation.
  • "Believe in the gospel" is to believe in Jesus (the bearer of the message) and His words.

One Main Point

Jesus began his ministry with the message that the very power of God is available to those who open themselves to Jesus and to His gospel and His way of loving service.


Reflections
  1. What Gospel, or good news, do I hear in Jesus' message?
  2. When we are engrossed in our ministries, do we spend the time to sanctify ourselves?
  3. What are the temptations in my daily life, and where do I sin?
  4. What do I need to do to "repent" and be free of my sins?
  5. In daily temptations, do I recognize aid from the Holy Spirit?

21 posted on 02/25/2012 10:25:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, February 26, 2012
First Sunday of Lent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15

Frequent and daily Communion is greatly desired by our Lord and the Church.

-- Pope St. Pius X


22 posted on 02/25/2012 10:30:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

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

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


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

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


23 posted on 02/25/2012 10:31:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Feb 26, Invitatory for Sunday of the 1st week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Antiphon: 1043
Psalm: 1044

Christian Prayer:
Antiphon: 687
Psalm: 688

Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him,
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship,
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people,
the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me,
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.
So I swore in my anger,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be fore ever, Amen

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

24 posted on 02/26/2012 1:51:17 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Feb 26, Office of Readings for Sunday of the 1st week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1045
Proper of Seasons: 84
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 1081

Office of Readings for the First Sunday of Lent

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

If ye love me,
keep my commandments,
and I will pray the Father,
and he shall give you another comforter,
2X(that he may abide with you forever,
e’en the spirit of truth.)

“If Ye Love Me” by The Choir of St Edmundsbury Cathedral; Composer: Thomas Tallis; Communion Antiphon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter. Text from the Bible, John 14:15–17.
“If Ye Love Me” by The Choir of St Edmundsbury Cathedral is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 See how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life.

Psalm 1
There are two ways a man may take

They are happy who, putting all their trust in the cross, have plunged into the water of life (from an author of the second century).

Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night.

He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper.
Not so are the wicked, not so!

For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
When the wicked are judged they shall not stand,
nor find room among those who are just;
for the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord, you are the fullness of life, of holiness and of joy. Fill our days and nights with the love of your wisdom, that we may bear fruit in the beauty of holiness, like a tree watered by running streams.

Ant. See how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life.

Ant. 2 Here is a king of my own choosing who will rule on Mt. Zion.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and conqueror

The rulers of the earth joined forces to overthrow Jesus, your anointed Son (Acts 4:27).

Why this tumult among nations,
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth,
princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
“Come let us break their fetters,
come, let us cast off their yoke.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
Then he will speak in his anger,
his rage will strike them with terror.
“It is I who have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will announce the decree of the Lord:
The Lord said to me: “You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations,
put the ends of the earth in your possession.
With a rod of iron you will break them,
shatter them like a potter’s jar.”

Now, O kings, understand,
take warning, rulers of the earth;
serve the Lord with awe
and trembling, pay him your homage
lest he be angry and you perish;
for suddenly his anger will blaze.

Blessed are they who put their trust in God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord God, you gave the peoples of the world as the inheritance of your only Son; you crowned him as King of Zion, your holy city, and gave him your Church to be his Bride. As he proclaims the law of your eternal kingdom, may we serve him faithfully, and so share his royal power for ever.

Ant. Here is a king of my own choosing who will rule on Mt. Zion.

Ant. 3 Lord, you are my protector; you have raised me up in glory.

Psalm 3
I am safe in the Lord’s keeping

Christ fell asleep in death, but he rose from the dead, for God was his deliverer (Saint Irenaeus).

How many are my foes, O Lord!
How many are rising up against me!
How many are saying about me:
“There is no help for him in God.”

But you, Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, who lift up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord.
He answers from his holy mountain.

I lie down to rest and I sleep.
I wake, for the Lord upholds me.
I will not fear even thousands of people
who are ranged on every side against me.

Arise, Lord; save me, my God,
you who strike all my foes on the mouth,
you who break the teeth of the wicked!
O Lord of salvation, bless your people!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord God, you heard the cry of your Son when he was oppressed and saved him from the sleep of death. Arise, Lord, help your Church. Be its shield so that it may hold up its head and radiate the glory of the resurrection.

Ant. Lord, you are my protector; you have raised me up in glory.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

Man cannot live on bread alone.
But by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

READINGS

First reading
From the book of Exodus
5:1—6:1
The oppression of the people

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Let my people go, that they may celebrate a feast to me in the desert.” Pharaoh answered, “Who is the Lord, that I should heed his plea to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord; even if I did, I would not let Israel go.” They replied, “The God of the Hebrews has sent us word. Let us go a three days’ journey in the desert, that we may offer sacrifice to the Lord, our God; otherwise he will punish us with pestilence or the sword.”

The king of Egypt answered them, “What do you mean, Moses and Aaron, by taking the people away from their work? Off to your labor! Look how numerous the people of the land are already,” continued Pharaoh, “and yet you would give them rest from their labor!”

That very day Pharaoh gave the taskmasters and foremen of the people this order: “You shall no longer supply the people with straw for their brickmaking as you have previously done. Let them go and gather straw themselves! Yet you shall levy upon them the same quota of bricks as they have previously made. Do not reduce it. They are lazy; that is why they are crying, ‘Let us go to offer sacrifice to our God.’ Increase the work for the men, so that they keep their mind on it and pay no attention to lying words.”

So the taskmasters and foremen of the people went out and told them, “Thus says Pharaoh: I will not provide you with straw. Go and gather the straw yourselves, wherever you can find it. Yet there must not be the slightest reduction in your work.” The people, then, scattered throughout the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw, while the taskmasters kept driving them on, saying, “Finish your work, the same daily amount as when your straw was supplied.”

The foremen of the Israelites, whom the taskmasters of Pharaoh had placed over them, were beaten, and were asked, “Why have you not completed your prescribed amount of bricks yesterday and today, as before?”

Then the Israelite foremen came and made this appeal to Pharaoh: “Why do you treat your servants in this manner? No straw is supplied to your servants, and still we are told to make bricks. Look how your servants are beaten! It is you who are at fault.” Pharaoh answered, “It is just because you are lazy that you keep saying, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to the Lord.’ Off to work, then! Straw shall not be provided for you, but you must still deliver your quota of bricks.”

The Israelite foremen knew they were in a sorry plight, having been told not to reduce the daily amount of bricks. When, therefore, they left Pharaoh and came upon Moses and Aaron, who were waiting to meet them, they said to them, “The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his servants and have put a sword in their hands to slay us.”

Moses again had recourse to the Lord and said, “Lord, why do you treat this people so badly? And why did you send me on such a mission? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has maltreated this people of yours, and you have done nothing to rescue them.”

Then the Lord answered Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. Forced by my mighty hand, he will send them away; compelled by my outstretched arm, he will drive them from his land.”

RESPONSORY Exodus 5:1, 3

Moses stood before the Pharaoh and said: These are the words of the Lord God of Israel:
Let my people go, so that they may keep a feast in my honor in the wilderness.

The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you with this message:
Let my people go, so that they may keep a feast in my honor in the wilderness.

Second reading
From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
In Christ we suffered temptation, and in him we overcame the devil

Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer. Who is speaking? An individual, it seems. See if it is an individual: I cried to you from the ends of the earth while my heart was in anguish. Now it is no longer one person; rather, it is one in the sense that Christ is one, and we are all his members. What single individual can cry from the ends of the earth? The one who cries from the ends of the earth is none other than the Son’s inheritance. It was said to him: Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations as your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as your possession. This possession of Christ, this inheritance of Christ, this body of Christ, this one Church of Christ, this unity that we are, cries from the ends of the earth. What does it cry? What I said before: Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer; I cried out to you from the ends of the earth. That is, I made this cry to you from the ends of the earth; that is, on all sides.

Why did I make this cry? While my heart was in anguish. The speaker shows that he is present among all the nations of the earth in a condition, not of exalted glory but of severe trial.

Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.

The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish, but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are his body, by means of his body, in which he has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of his body may hope to follow where their head has gone before. He made us one with him when he chose to be tempted by Satan.

We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received his flesh from your nature, but by his own power gained life for you; he suffered insults in your nature, but by his own power gained glory for you; therefore, he suffered temptation in your nature, but by his own power gained victory for you.

If in Christ we have been tempted, in him we overcame the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in him, and see yourself as victorious in him. He could have kept the devil from himself; but if he were not tempted he could not teach you how to triumph over temptation.

RESPONSORY Jeremiah 1:19; 39:18

They will fight against you, but shall not defeat you,
for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.

You shall not fall by the sword; I will keep you safe.
For I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Grant, almighty God,
through the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.
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.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

25 posted on 02/26/2012 1:51:21 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Feb 26, Morning Prayer for Sunday of the 1st week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1049
Proper of Seasons: 89
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 1086

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 689
Proper of Seasons: 268
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 706

Morning Prayer for the First Sunday of Lent

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

According to Thy gracious word,
In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord,
I will remember Thee.

Thy body, broken for my sake,
My bread from Heaven shall be;
The testamental cup I take,
And thus remember Thee.

Gethsemane can I forget?
Or there Thy conflict see,
Thine agony, and bloody sweat,
And not remember Thee?

When to the cross I turn mine eyes,
And rest on Calvary,
O Lamb of God, my sacrifice,
I must remember Thee;

Remember Thee, and all Thy pains
And all Thy love to me;
Yea, while a breath, a pulse remains,
Will I remember Thee.

And when these failing lips grow dumb
And mind and memory flee,
When Thou shalt in Thy kingdom come,
Jesus, remember me.

“According to thy gracious word” by the Newcastle Cathedral Choir; Words: James Montgomery

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 I will praise you all my life, O Lord; in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Father, creator of unfailing light, give that same light to those who call to you. May our lips praise you; our lives proclaim your goodness; our work give you honor, and our voices celebrate you for ever.

Ant. I will praise you all my life, O Lord; in your name I will lift up my hands.

Ant. 2 Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all for ever.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.

Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. Sing a hymn of praise to our God; praise him above all for ever.

Ant. 3 The Lord delights in his people; he honors the humble with victory.

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people.

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Let Israel rejoice in you, Lord, and acknowledge you as creator and redeemer. We put our trust in your faithfulness and proclaim the wonderful truths of salvation. May your loving kindness embrace us now and for ever.

Ant. The Lord delights in his people; he honors the humble with victory.

READING See Nehemiah 8:9, 10

Today is holy to the Lord your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep; for today is holy to our Lord. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!

Sacred Silence(indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.

You were wounded for our offenses,
have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil; and when he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Luke 1:68 – 79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil; and when he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who gained for us this season of grace, and pray to him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Christ, our life, through baptism we were buried with you and rose to life with you,
may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Lord, you have brought blessings to all mankind,
bring us to share your concern for the good of all.
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

May we work together to build up the earthly city,
with our eyes fixed on the city that lasts for ever.
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness of our spirit,
so that we may grow in holiness through your constant care.
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

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.

Concluding Prayer

Grant, almighty God,
through the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.
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.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

26 posted on 02/26/2012 1:51:27 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Feb 26, Midday Prayer for Sunday of the 1st week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1054
Proper of Seasons: 91 (Midday)
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 1092

Midday Prayer for the First Sunday of Lent, using the Current Psalmody

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

”How Great Thou Art” by Melinda Kirigin-Voss; Originally this was a Swedish folk melody, “O Store Gud” by Carl Boberg (1859-1940) and was translated by Stuart K. Hine in 1899.

PSALMODY

Ant. As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the sinner to die but to turn back to me and live.

Psalm 118
Song of joy for salvation

This Jesus is the stone which, rejected by you builders, has become the chief stone supporting all the rest (Acts 4:11).

I

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his love endures for ever.

Let the sons of Israel say:
“His love endures for ever.”
Let the sons of Aaron say:
“His love endures for ever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say:
“His love endures for ever.”

I called to the Lord in my distress;
he answered and freed me.
The Lord is at my side; I do not fear.
What can man do against me?
The Lord is at my side as my helper:
I shall look down on my foes.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in men:
it is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

II

The nations all encompassed me;
in the Lord’s name I crushed them.
They compassed me, compassed me about;
in the Lord’s name I crushed them.
They compassed me about like bees;
they blazed like a fire among thorns.
In the Lord’s name I crushed them.

I was hard-pressed and was falling
but the Lord came to help me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he is my savior.
There are shouts of joy and victory
in the tents of the just.

The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
his right hand raised me.
The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount his deeds.
I was punished, I was punished by the Lord,
but not doomed to die.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

III

Open to me the gates of holiness:
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord’s own gate
where the just may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered
and you are my savior.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.

Go forward in procession with branches
even to the altar.
You are my God, I thank you.
My God, I praise you.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his love endures for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord God, you have given us the great day of rejoicing: Jesus Christ, the stone rejected by the builders, has become the cornerstone of the Church, our spiritual home. Shed upon your Church the rays of your glory, that it may be seen as the gate of salvation open to all nations. Let cries of joy and exultation ring out from its tents, to celebrate the wounder of Christ’s resurrection.

Ant. As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the sinner to die but to turn back to me and live.

READING Isaiah 30:15, 18

Thus said the Lord God,
the Holy One of Israel:
By waiting and by calm you shall be saved,
in quiet and in trust your strength lies.
Yet the Lord is waiting to show you favor,
and he rises to pity you;
For the Lord is a God of justice:
blessed are all who wait for him!

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

Turn your face away from my sins.
Blot out all my guilt.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Grant, almighty God,
through the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.
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.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

27 posted on 02/26/2012 1:51:32 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Feb 26, Evening Prayer for Sunday of the 1st week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1064
Proper of Seasons: 92
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 1095

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 694
Proper of Seasons: 251
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 712

Evening Prayer II for the First Sunday of Lent

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

Lord, for thy tender mercy’s sake,
lay not our sins to our charge,
but forgive that is past,
and give us grace to amend our sinful lives.
To decline from sin and incline to virtue,
that we may walk in a perfect heart before thee,
now and evermore.
Amen.

Title: Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies Sake; Artist: Wells Cathedral
“Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies Sake” by Wells Cathedral is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Worship your Lord and God; serve him alone.

Psalm 110:1-5, 7
The Messiah, king and priest

Christ’s reign will last until all his enemies are made subject to him (1 Corinthians 15:25).

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
“Sit on my right:
your foes I will put beneath your feet.”

The Lord will wield from Zion
your scepter of power:
rule in the midst of all your foes.

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
“You are a priest for ever,
a priest like Melchizedek of old.”

The Master standing at your right hand
will shatter kings in the day of his great wrath.
He shall drink from the stream by the wayside
and therefore he shall lift up his head.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Father, we ask you to give us victory and peace. In Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, we are already seated at your right hand. We look forward to praising you in the fellowship of all your saints in our heavenly homeland.

Ant. Worship your Lord and God; serve him alone.

Ant. 2 This is the time when you can win God’s favor; the day when you can be saved.

Psalm 114
The Israelites are delivered from the bondage of Egypt

You too left Egypt when, at baptism, you renounced that world which is at enmity with God (Saint Augustine).

When Israel came forth from Egypt,
Jacob’s sons from an alien people,
Judah became the Lord’s temple,
Israel became his kingdom.

The sea fled at the sight:
the Jordan turned back on its course,
the mountains leapt like rams
and the hills like yearling sheep.

Why was it, sea, that you fled,
that you turned back, Jordan, on your course?
Mountains, that you leapt like rams,
hills, like yearling sheep?

Tremble, O earth, before the Lord,
in the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock into a pool
and flint into a spring of water.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Almighty God, ever-living mystery of unity and Trinity, you gave life to the new Israel by birth from water and the Spirit, and made it a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a people set apart as your eternal possession. May all those you have called to walk in the splendor of the new light render you fitting service and adoration.

Ant. This is the time when you can win God’s favor; the day when you can be saved.

Ant. 3 Now we must go up to Jerusalem where all that has been written about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.

Canticle — 1 Peter 2:21-24
The willing acceptance of his passion by Christ, the servant of God

Christ suffered for you,
and left you an example
to have you follow in his footsteps.

He did no wrong;
no deceit was found in his mouth.
When he was insulted,
he returned no insult.

When he was made to suffer,
he did not counter with threats.
Instead he delivered himself up
to the One who judges justly.

In his own body
he brought your sins to the cross,
so that all of us,dead to sin,
could live in accord with God’s will.

By his wounds you were healed.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Now we must go up to Jerusalem where all that has been written about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.

READING 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

While all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, the award goes to one man. In that case, run so as to win! Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable.
The audio for this hour uses a longer reading taken from the single volume Christian Prayer, while this abbreviated text is from the 4 volume Liturgy of the Hours.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

Listen to us, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against you.
Listen to us, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against you.

Christ Jesus, hear our humble petitions,
for we have sinned against you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Listen to us, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against you.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Watch over us, eternal Savior; do not let the cunning tempter seize us. We place all our trust in your unfailing help.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Watch over us, eternal Savior; do not let the cunning tempter seize us. We place all our trust in your unfailing help.

INTERCESSIONS

All praise to God the Father who brought his chosen people to rebirth from imperishable seed through his eternal Word.
Let us ask him as his children:
Lord, be gracious to your people.

God of mercy, hear the prayers we offer for all your people,
may they hunger for your word more than for bodily food.
Lord, be gracious to your people.

Give us a sincere and active love for our own nation and for all mankind,
may we work always to build a world of peace and goodness.
Lord, be gracious to your people.

Look with love on all to be reborn in baptism,
that they may be living stones in your temple of the Spirit.
Lord, be gracious to your people.

You moved Nineveh to repentance by the preaching of Jonah,
in your mercy touch the hearts of sinners by the preaching of your word.
Lord, be gracious to your people.

May the dying go in hope to meet Christ their judge,
may they rejoice for ever in the vision of your glory.
Lord, be gracious to your people.

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.

Concluding Prayer

Grant, almighty God,
through the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.
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.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

28 posted on 02/26/2012 1:51:41 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Feb 26, Night Prayer for Sunday of the 1st week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol II:
Page 1628

Christian Prayer:
Page 1037

Night Prayer after Evening Prayer II in Lent

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Examination of conscience:

We are called to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and to ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask for His strength to do better.

Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie, eléison

Christé, eléison
Christé, eléison

Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie, eléison

HYMN

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

“Abide With Me” by Norwich Cathedral Choir; Text: Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847; Music: W.H. Monk, 1823-1889; Tune: EVENTIDE, Meter: 10 10.10 10

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under God’s wings.

Psalm 91
Safe in God’s sheltering care

I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: “My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!”

It is he who will free you from the snare
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions
and under his wings you will find refuge.

You will not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the plague that prowls in the darkness
nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand fall at your right,
you, it will never approach;
his faithfulness is buckler and shield.

Your eyes have only to look
to see how the wicked are repaid,
you who have said: “Lord, my refuge!”
and have made the Most High your dwelling.

Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways.

They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion and the dragon.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: “I am with you,”
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

With length of life I will content him;
I shall let him see my saving power.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under God’s wings.

READING Revelation 22:4-5

They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more. They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever.

RESPONSORY

Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

GOSPEL CANTICLE

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32
Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Concluding Prayer

Lord,
we have celebrated today
the mystery of the rising of Christ to new life.
May we now rest in your peace,
safe from all that could harm us,
and rise again refreshed and joyful,
to praise you throughout another day.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Blessing

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.
Amen.

Antiphon or song in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

AVE maris stella,
Dei Mater alma,
atque semper Virgo,
felix caeli porta.
HAIL, O Star of the ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav’nly rest.
Sumens illud Ave
Gabrielis ore,
funda nos in pace,
mutans Hevae nomen.
Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve’s name.
Solve vincula reis,
profer lumen caecis
mala nostra pelle,
bona cuncta posce.
Break the sinners’ fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.
Monstra te esse matrem:
sumat per te preces,
qui pro nobis natus,
tulit esse tuus.
Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.
Virgo singularis,
inter omnes mites,
nos culpis solutos,
mites fac et castos.
Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.
Vitam praesta puram,
iter para tutum:
ut videntes Iesum
semper collaetemur.
Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.
Sit laus Deo Patri,
summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto,
tribus honor unus. Amen.
Praise to God the Father,
honor to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one. Amen.

29 posted on 02/26/2012 1:51:54 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: All


Information: St. Porphyrius
Feast Day: February 26
Born:

347, Thessalonica, Greece

Died: February 26, 420, Gaza, Palestine



30 posted on 02/26/2012 8:15:33 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Porphyry

Feast Day: February 26
Born: (around)360 : : Died: 420


Porphyry was born at Thessalonica, in Greece to wealthy, noble parents. He left his family when he was twenty-five and went to Egypt to enter a monastery as a Hermit, in the desert of Skete. After five years, he made a trip to Jerusalem. He wanted to visit the places where Jesus had actually been while he was on earth.

Porphyry was very fascinated by the Holy Land. His love for Jesus made him more deeply aware of the sufferings of the poor. At home in Thessalonica he had never known what it was like to be poor. Now he still owned all the property and wealth that his parents had left him, but not for long.

He asked his friend Mark to go to Thessalonica and sell everything for him. After three months, Mark returned with the money. This, Porphyry gave away to those who really needed it. He then lived for a while as a Hermit in Palestine on the banks of the river Jordan.

At the age of forty he became a priest and was given care of the relics (remains) of the true cross of Jesus. Porphyry was then made bishop of Gaza in Palestine. He worked generously to lead the people to believe in Jesus and to accept the faith.

But it was hard and slow work that required a great amount of patience. Most of people who lived there at that time were pagans who worshiped false gods and had wrong ideas. Although Porphyry was able to stop many of these pagan practices, he had enemies who made him suffer much.

Others who were Christians loved and admired him very much. They prayed and made sacrifices for him begging God to protect him. Bishop Porphyry spent many years strengthening the Christian community, teaching and preaching about all that Christianity stood for. He died in 420.

Have I trusted God in all my undertakings, believing that he watches over me? Are there some parts of my life still controlled by fear?


31 posted on 02/26/2012 8:21:20 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Mark
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Mark 1
12 And immediately the Spirit drove him out into the desert. Et statim Spiritus expulit eum in desertum. και ευθυς το πνευμα αυτον εκβαλλει εις την ερημον
13 And he was in the desert forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan; and he was with beasts, and the angels ministered to him. Et erat in deserto quadraginta diebus, et quadraginta noctibus : et tentabatur a Satana : eratque cum bestiis, et angeli ministrabant illi. και ην εκει εν τη ερημω ημερας τεσσαρακοντα πειραζομενος υπο του σατανα και ην μετα των θηριων και οι αγγελοι διηκονουν αυτω
14 And after that John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, Postquam autem traditus est Joannes, venit Jesus in Galilæam, prædicans Evangelium regni Dei, μετα δε το παραδοθηναι τον ιωαννην ηλθεν ο ιησους εις την γαλιλαιαν κηρυσσων το ευαγγελιον της βασιλειας του θεου
15 And saying: The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel. et dicens : Quoniam impletum est tempus, et appropinquavit regnum Dei : pœnitemini, et credite Evangelio. και λεγων οτι πεπληρωται ο καιρος και ηγγικεν η βασιλεια του θεου μετανοειτε και πιστευετε εν τω ευαγγελιω

32 posted on 02/26/2012 11:59:47 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
12. And immediately the spirit drives him into the wilderness.
13. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.

CHRYS. Because all that Christ did and suffered was for our teaching, He began after His baptism to dwell in the wilderness, and fought against the devil, that every baptized person might patiently sustain greater temptations after His baptism, nor be troubled, as if this which happened to Him was contrary to His expectation, but might bear up against all things, and come off conqueror. For although Goth allows that we should be tempted for many other reasons, yet for this cause also He allows it, that we may know, that man when tempted is placed in a station of greater honor. For the Devil approaches not save where he has beheld one set in a place of greater honor; and therefore it is said, And immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness. And the reason why he does not simply say, that He went into the wilderness, but was driven, is, that you may understand that it was done according to the word of Divine Providence. By which also he shows, that no man should thrust himself into temptation, but that those who from some other state are as it were driven into temptation, remain conquerors.

BEDE; And that no one might doubt, by what spirit he said that Christ was driven into the wilderness, Luke has on purpose premised, that Jesus being full of the Spirit returned from Jordan, and then has added, and was led by the Spirit in to the wilderness; lest the evil spirit should he thought to have any power over Him, who, being full of the Holy Spirit, departed whither He was willing to go, and did what He was willing to do.

CHRYS. But the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness, because He designed to provoke the devil to tempt Him, and thus gave Him an opportunity not only by hunger, but also by the place. For then most of all does the devil thrust himself in, when he sees men remaining solitary.

BEDE; But He retires into the desert that He may teach us that, leaving the allurements of the world, and the company of the wicked, we should in all things obey the Divine commands. He is left alone and tempted by the devil, that He might teach us, that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution; whence it follows, And he was in the wilderness forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan. But He was tempted forty days and forty nights, that He might show us, that as long as we live here and serve God, whether prosperity smile upon us, which is meant by the day, or adversity smite us, which agrees with the figure of night, at all times our adversary is at hand, who ceases not to trouble our way by temptations. For the forty days and forty nights imply the whole time of this world, for the globe in which we are serving God is divided into four quarters. Again, there are Ten Commandments, by observing which we fight against our enemy, but four times ten are forty.

There follows, and he was with the wild beasts.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. But He says this to show of what nature was the wilderness, for it was impassable by man and full of wild beasts. It goes on; and angels ministered to him. For after temptation, and a victory against the devil, He worked the salvation of man. And thus the Apostle says, Angels are sent to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. We must also observe, that to those who conquer in temptation angels stand near and minister.

BEDE; Consider also that Christ dwells among the wild beasts as man, but, as God, uses the ministry of Angels. Thus, when in the solitude of a holy life we hear with unpolluted mind the bestial manners of men, we merit to have the ministry of Angels, by whom, when freed from the body, we shall be transferred to everlasting happiness.

PSEUDO-JEROME; Or, then the beasts dwell with us in peace, as in the ark clean animals with the unclean, when the flesh lusts not against the spirit. After this, ministering Angels are sent to us, that they may give answers and comforts to hearts that watch.

14. Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God,
15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the Gospel.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The Evangelist Mark follows Matthew in his order, and therefore after having said that Angels minister, he subjoins, But after that John was put into prison, Jesus came, &c. After the temptation and the ministry of Angels, He goes back into Galilee, teaching us not to resist the violence of evil men.

THEOPHYL. And to show us that in persecutions we ought to retire, and not to await them; but when we fall into them, we must sustain them.

PSEUD-CHRYS. He retired also that He might keep Himself for teaching and for healing, before He suffered, and after fulfilling all these things, might become obedient unto death.

BEDE; John being put in prison, fitly does the Lord begin to preach: wherefore there follows, Preaching the Gospel, &c. For when the Law Ceases, the Gospel arises in its steps.

PSEUDO-JEROME; When the shadow ceases, the truth comes on; first, John in prison, the Law in Judea; then, Jesus in Galilee, Paul among the Gentiles preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. For to an earthly kingdom succeeds poverty, to the poverty of Christians is given an everlasting kingdom; but earthly honor is like the foam of water, or smoke, or sleep.

BEDE; Let no one, however, suppose that the putting of John in prison took place immediately after the forty days' temptation and the fast of the Lord; for whoever reads the Gospel of John will find, that the Lord taught many things before the putting of John in prison, and also did many miracles; for you have in his Gospel, This beginning of miracles did Jesus; and afterwards, for John was not yet cast into prison. Now it is said, that when John read the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, he approved indeed the text of the history, and affirmed that they had spoken truth, but said that they had composed the history of only one year after John was cast into prison, in which year also he suffered. Passing over then the year of which the transactions had been published by the three others, he related the events of the former period, before John was cast into prison. When therefore Mark had said that Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, he subjoins, saying, Since the time is fulfilled, &c.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Since then the time was fulfilled, when the fullness of time was come, and God sent His Son, it was fitting that the race of man should obtain the last dispensation of God. And therefore he says, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. But the kingdom of God is essentially the same as the kingdom of heaven, though they differ in idea. For by the kingdom of God is to be understood that in which God reigns; and this in truth is in the region of the living, where, seeing God face to face, they will abide in the good things now promised to them; whether by this region one chooses to understand Love, or some other confirmation of those who put on the likeness of things above, which are signified by the heavens. For it is clear enough that the kingdom of God is confined neither by place nor by time.

THEOPHYL. Or else, the Lord means that the time of the Law is completed; as if He said, Up to this time the Law was at work; from this time the kingdom of God will work, that is, a conversation according to the Gospel, which is with reason likened to the kingdom of heaven. For when you see a man clothed in flesh living according to the Gospel, do you not say that he has the kingdom of heaven, which is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost?

The next word is, Repent.

PSEUDO-JEROME; For he must repent, who would keep close to eternal good, that is, to the kingdom of God. For he who would have the kernel, breaks the shell; the sweetness of the apple makes up for the bitterness of its root; the hope of gain makes the dangers of the sea pleasant; the hope of health takes away from the painfulness of medicine. They are able worthily to proclaim the preaching of Christ who have deserved to attain to the reward of forgiveness; and therefore after he has said, Repent, He subjoins, and believe the Gospel. For unless you have believed, you shall not understand.

BEDE; Repent, therefore, and believe; that is, renounce dead works; for of what use is believing without good works? The merit of good works does not, however, bring to faith, but faith begins, that good works may follow.

Catena Aurea Mark 1
33 posted on 02/26/2012 12:00:23 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


Temptation on the Mount

Duccio di Buoninsegna

1308-11
Tempera on wood, 43 x 46 cm
Frick Collection, New York

34 posted on 02/26/2012 12:01:08 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, February 26

Liturgical Color: Violet


Today the Church recalls St. Paula of Saint Joseph of Calasanz. In 1847, she founded the Daughters of Mary, which operated several schools in Spain. The goal of the order was to provide a good education while maintaining devotion to God.


35 posted on 02/26/2012 2:49:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: February 26, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. 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.

Lent: February 26th

  First Sunday of Lent Old Calendar: First Sunday of Lent

The scene of the temptation, which opens the public life of Jesus, declares in the Gospels in a very forceful manner the great change in our lives that He introduces into the world by His work of redemption. Where Adam fell, Christ, the new Head of humanity, triumphs over the power of Satan: at the time of His passion "the prince of this world" will be cast out. The Gospel of the temptation heralds Christ's victory.

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

Stational Church


Sunday Readings
The first reading is from the Book of Genesis 9:8-15 and is about the covenant between God and Noah not to destroy the world again by water.

The second reading is from the first letter of St. Peter 3:18-22. In this passage St. Peter is exhorting the newly converted Christians to live according to the Christian faith, no matter what trials they may have to endure because of it.

The Gospel is from St. Mark 1:12-15. The very thought of our divine Lord's suffering hunger, loneliness, and humiliation at the hands of his enemy—and that all this was for us—should make us feel ashamed at the little bits of suffering and humiliation we are willing to suffer for our own selves. He had no sin to atone for. He was making atonement for us and for our sins. He was the Son of God and his home was heaven, but he left it for a while to assume human nature, so that he could through his humiliations and sufferings bring us to share his eternal home with him. What is the thanks he gets from us? Ingratitude, forgetfulness, and even worse: insults and disobedience.

While the Church has eased the strict fastings and penances of Lent, we are still expected to do some private fasting and penance. It need not be fasting from food, but we can all do some daily penance which will help to keep our unruly minds and bodies in check while at the same time it will show that we are grateful to our loving Savior for all that he suffered for us. A few extra prayers each day, control of our temper in the home, less talk and especially less uncharitable talk among our neighbors, a little helping hand to a neighbor in need, a fervent prayer and where we can spare it (perhaps by doing without some luxury) a donation toward helping the starving millions in other lands. The sincere Christian will find a hundred such ways in which to thank and honor Christ during this holy season of Lent. We can all keep the last verse of today's reading before our minds with great profit. "Repent and believe in the gospel." This is the essence, the marrow, of Christ's teaching. Turn away from sin and come back to God. Anyone who believes in the gospel, who believes that there is an everlasting life after death prepared by God for all those who do his will while on earth, should not find it hard to give up offending that loving God who thinks so much of him. This life is only a passing shadow, every step we take, every breath we breathe is bringing us nearer to our earthly end and to the grave. But the believing Christian knows the grave is not the end. Rather, is it the beginning of the true life—provided we use this passing shadow, these few years, properly.

Now is the time to take these words of Christ to heart. He is asking each one of us today, to repent and to believe the gospel, that is, to act according to its teaching. Christ, in his mercy, will make this appeal to men again and again, but will we be here to hear it? If we answer his appeal now and start living our Christian faith in all sincerity, we need not care when death calls us. It will find us ready to pass over to the future, happy, unending life.

— Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.

Things to Do:

  • Begin praying the prayer for the first week of Lent.

  • Make Pease Porridge (Split Pea Soup) for supper, a traditional dish for Sundays during Lent. Add some diced ham for more flavor and substance.

  • Today's Gospel speaks of the temptation of Jesus after his forty days' fast in the desert. After you go to Mass, discuss this reading with your children, emphasizing that temptation itself is not a sin, but we must use the Word of God to combat it, as Christ did. Read the Catholic Encyclopedia's explanation of the Temptation of Christ.

The Station today is at St. John Lateran. The Lateran is comprised of the Basilica, the Pontifical Palace and the Baptistry. The church is dedicated to the Christ the Savior. In the fifth century the titles of St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist were added. The Papal altar contains the wooden altar on which St. Peter is said to have celebrated Mass. This basilica is the mother of all churches and is the only church which has the title of Archbasilica.


36 posted on 02/26/2012 4:17:44 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 Peter 3:18-22

“It is … an appeal to God for a clear conscience.” (1 Peter 3:21)

While St. Peter is describing the Sacrament of Baptism here, he could just as easily be talking about Reconciliation. For what could pos­sibly be a better way to experience a clean conscience than going to con­fession? When we confess our sins, we are forgiven—completely!

But as we all know, the real chal­lenge is keeping our consciences clear after we have received abso­lution. It’s one thing to experience God’s forgiveness, but what will change us so that we don’t end up confessing the same things over and over again?

You may be surprised to find that the answer lies—again—in confes­sion! This sacrament doesn’t just empty us of the past; it also fills us with God’s grace for the future. That’s because in confession we meet the One who came to pardon our sins and to transform us so that we can be holy as he is holy. In con­fession, Jesus lifts the weight of our past sins from our shoulders so that we can go out into the world free from guilt, inspired by grace to say an even firmer no to sin than before.

Of course, we all face temptation, just as Jesus did in today’s Gospel. The good news is that because Jesus triumphed in the wilderness, we can find victory as well. How? First, by trusting that we are never alone. Jesus is with us in every sit­uation. Second, by knowing that he has given us the grace of confes­sion not only to forgive us but also to strengthen us against temptation. He is always teaching us, urging us on, and inspiring us with his grace.

So make sure you celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Lent. And when you do, know that the grace of this sacrament is there both to cleanse you and to fill you with divine power. It is an ongo­ing grace that brings you closer to Jesus and strengthens you against temptation.

“Thank you, Lord, for all the grace that comes with confession! Give me more confidence in your mercy and love.”


Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Genesis 9:8-15; Psalm 25:4-9; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15)

1. In the first reading, the story of God’s covenant promises to Noah reminds us that during Lent we celebrate the new Covenant that God has made with each of us through the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. What are some parallels between God’s covenant with Noah and his New Covenant with us? What are some differences?

2. In the responsorial psalm, the psalmist reminds us of God’s compassion, love, kindness, and goodness. Why are these characteristics of God so important to keep in mind during this grace-filled season of Lent?

3. The second reading reminds us that Lent is a period of confidence and trust in God. We should be encouraged by the thought that “Jesus Christ has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God.” Everything we have comes from him, including our talents, and even our strength to persevere no matter what the circumstances. How often do you turn to the Lord during the day when faced with difficulties? What steps can you take to turn to the Lord more often each day during Lent?

4. The Gospel scene is the temptation in the desert, which opens the public life of Jesus. This reading in Mark declares, in a very understated manner, the great change in our lives that Christ introduced into the world. Unlike Adam, who fell, Christ triumphs over the power of Satan. This Gospel also heralds the possibility of our victory over Satan and temptation. Do you believe that in Christ, you too have the power to resist and/or overcome temptation? Why or why not? What concrete steps can you take during the day to help you in resisting and/or overcoming temptation?

5. The meditation ends with these words regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation: “know that the grace of this sacrament is there both to cleanse you and to fill you with divine power. It is an ongoing grace that brings you closer to Jesus and strengthens you against temptation.” In what ways, through this sacrament, have you experienced not only forgiveness, but also the strengthening of your relationship with Jesus and the grace and power to overcome temptations and sin patterns in your life?

6. Take some time now to pray that you would experience all the graces Jesus wants to pour out on you through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


37 posted on 02/26/2012 5:21:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

JESUS LOVES US SO MUCH THAT HE WILL NEVER ABANDON US

(A biblical refection on THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, 26 February 2012)

Gospel Reading: Mark 1:12-15 

First Reading: Gen 9:8-15; Psalms: Ps 25:4-9; Second Reading: 1Pet 3:18-22

The Scripture Text

The Spirit immediately drove Him out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk 1:12-15 RSV) 

Before the world began, God knew us, loved us, and called us to know and to love Him. The Old Testament describes a number of covenants God made with His people to prepare them to receive His life more fully. Time and again, however, God’s people failed to uphold His covenants, and as a consequence they separated themselves from His love and protection.

Yet God loved the world so much that in the fullness of time He sent His only begotten Son to teach, to heal, and ultimately to die, establishing a new, unending covenant in His blood. This is the new covenant that God promised through the prophet Ezekiel: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezek 36:26-27).

We enter into this new covenant at baptism, and by lives of faith we allow the Spirit to unite us with Jesus more fully each day. We become a new creation in Christ. Having died with Him, it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us (see Gal 2:20).

This miracle of baptism into a new covenant is prefigured in many ways in the Old Testament, but there is none more colorful than the story of Noah (Gen 6-9). From its earliest days, the Church has seen in the flood a type of the water of baptism, which washes away the sins of the flesh and gives humanity a new beginning.

Our new beginning in baptism is a participation in Jesus’ life. Just as He was tested in the wilderness for forty days, we too will experience times of testing and growth. God gives us these seasons to teach us to surrender ourselves to Him more fully and to show us how utterly faithful He is to His promises. He loves us so much that He will never abandon us. All He asks is that we trust Him – just as Noah and his family did – to see us through the storms.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, during this season of Lent, speak Your words of covenant love to us. By Your Spirit, help us to trust more fully in You so that, like Your Son Jesus, we would be heralds of Your Kingdom on earth. Amen.


38 posted on 02/26/2012 5:30:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Sorry for the double ping, but if you are in this area -- heads up note!

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers is giving a four day Mission at my local church.  If you want driving directions to hear this EWTN-renowned speaker, send me a FReepmail.
 
He preached at the English Masses this weekend, and oh, what a preacher he is!

39 posted on 02/26/2012 5:37:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for February 26, 2012:

“Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:15) Husband and wife are bound to emotionally hurt each other at times. It may be a careless word or wanting your way. Don’t be too proud to repent. “I’m sorry” is the first step. Making amends is the next.


40 posted on 02/26/2012 5:46:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

First Sunday of Lent - Cycle B

February 26, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Genesis 9:8-15

Psalm: 25:4-9

Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Gospel Reading: Mark 1:12-15

  • This Sunday’s Gospel reading takes place right after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (verses 9-11). Somewhat more detailed accounts of this event are given in the other synoptic gospels of Matthew (4:1-11) and Luke (4:1-13)
  • In the same way that Adam was tempted in the garden “among wild beasts” and the children of Israel were tempted in the wilderness, Jesus undergoes a very real temptation by Satan, whose name means “adversary” (1 Peter 5:8, RSV-CE) or “accuser” (Revelation 12:10). Jesus, however, out of love for his Father (Mk 1:11), succeeds where Adam and Israel failed.
  • The arrest of John (verse 14; Matthew 14:1-12) is a key event in the gospels, marking a shift in Jesus’ ministry from Judea, in the south, to the Galilee region of the north. John’s arrest also foreshadows Jesus’ own arrest leading to his trial and crucifixion.
  • “The kingdom of God” refers to God’s sovereign rule over all the nations through Jesus. It is idealized by the Old Testament Davidic kingdom at its height which ruled not only over the twelve tribes of Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-5; Matthew 19:28) but exercised control and influence over gentile (non-Jewish) nations (1 Kings 4:20-21; Matthew 28:18-20). The kingdom that Jesus announces will, through his death on the cross, turn this ideal into a spiritual reality (Ephesians 2:11-22).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • In the 2nd reading, what inference does St. Peter draw about baptism from the story of Noah? By what power does he say this is accomplished?
  • What is the significance of the number “forty” in Mark 1:13? What other great events in salvation history revolve around this number (Genesis 7:11-12; Exodus 25:15-18; Numbers 15:26-35; 1 Kings 19:1-8)?
  • What is the common preaching theme of John the Baptist (Mark 1:2-4), Jesus (verse 15), and the first disciples (Acts 2:37-38)? What does it mean to “repent”?
  • Why do you think it is important for us to hear about Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness? What benefit is it for us to undergo our own temptations (Hebrews 12:3-11; James 1:2-4)?
  • Besides Satan, where do temptations come from (1 John 2:15-17; Romans 7:15-25a)?
  • After his temptation, Jesus was ministered to by angels (verse 13). When we have successfully resisted temptation, are we able to see how God sustains and rewards us? How?
  • Both John the Baptist (Mark 1:6) and Jesus followed practices of self-discipline for religious reasons. What self-disciplining practices do you use for religious reasons? How have they influenced your own “change of heart” (repentance)?
 

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 362, 374-79, 396-411, 538-40, 1427-39, 2043, 2846-49

 

It is necessary that temptations should happen; for who shall be crowned but he that shall lawfully have fought, and how shall a man fight if there be none to attack him?           -St. Bernard


41 posted on 02/26/2012 5:58:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Jesus, Asleep in My Boat
Pastor’s Column
1st Sunday of Lent
February 26, 2012
 
“A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.”
                                                Mark 44:37-38
 
          In my chapel at home I have an icon of Jesus, asleep in the back of a boat. I pull it out whenever it seems there is more water going into my boat than I can bail out! In this gospel story, the disciples have gone off with Jesus in a boat after an exhausting day. Then, while in the middle of the lake, far from shore, a huge storm arises and nearly sinks the boat. And what is Jesus doing through all this? He is asleep on a cushion! This amazing story ends with Jesus being woken by the disciples, calming the storm with a word and telling them they didn’t have enough faith!
         
          Frankly, I am amazed that they waited as long as they did to wake Jesus! How often these sudden storms come into our lives and suddenly threaten to sink us. It often seems that the Lord does a disappearing act at about the same time. So we are comforted knowing that these events are a part of God’s plan for our lives.
 
Jesus doesn’t wake up until the last minute. God’s timing is not our own. We would prefer to be “rescued” sooner when storms hit, but the Lord sees our trials as purifying learning experiences. He frequently, though not always, comes at the last minute. This is even true when we have a difficult period of prayer; the Lord will have blessings if we persevere till the end. It really is true that if we should happen to hit the bottom of the well or our boat is nearly sunk, we will usually find the Lord waiting in precisely that most desperate moment to aid us. This is the Lord’s usual way of acting!
 
No matter how swamped our boat gets, no matter how absent the Lord may seem at times to be, he remains in the back of the boat. The Lord  continues to remain in our boat even if he appears to be absent. In all our trials, he never leaves us, but only appears to be missing. It is necessary for our spiritual growth that we not always experience the Lord in a tangible way.
 
Jesus tests the disciples to their absolute limits. We have only this present life in which to grow in faith, so our Lord wants to make the most of this opportunity. If we stop growing, we start dying! Jesus does frequently push his disciples to their limits, but that is what will make us into the people of the future that he desires us to be in heaven.
                                                                   Father Gary 

42 posted on 02/26/2012 6:13:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Lent First Sunday -- Jesus ponders and prepares


Ivan Kramskoy - Jesus in the desert


Gen 9: 8-15
1 Pt 3: 18-22
Mk 1: 12-15

In preparing the readings for this First Sunday of Lent, I came across a stirring painting from an artist by the name of Ivan Kramskoy.  The painting was that of Jesus as he sat in a vast and rocky desert alone.  As he sat on a large rock, it was obvious that his head was lowered, his face was dark and heavy as his eyes were cast down, his shoulders were slumped, his hands clasped together as he leaned forward slightly.  Jesus looked tired, beaten and very hungry because around him amid the rocks as far as you could see, there was clearly no food or water.  The sun was bright and likely very hot. 
I found the image so powerful that at first I couldn’t take my eyes off of it and wondered to myself what Jesus must be thinking.  The Gospel from Mark today, refers to Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the desert.  In Matthew, those three temptations are spelled out and that pivotal event at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry is given more attention than Mark’s mere mention of it. 
In that painting there is no devil pictured, no tempter lurking in the background.  So, you wonder if this is Jesus in prayer, about to be tempted or just recovering after his battle with the evil one.  But, he is a solitary figure and it may tell us something about not only Our Lord but also about our own individual struggles to resist temptation and to live as more genuine disciples of Christ.
This Lent, as always, we take time to do a personal evaluation in some form. We walk into the desert with Jesus and maybe sit by his side.  What would you say to him? What might he say to you?
Jesus’ public mission to the world begins, after the lush waters of baptism, in the dry and rocky desert.  In a lifeless place with “wild beasts.” Here he is called upon by his own Father to face the full force of his adversary, Satan himself.  Here Satan tempts him to abandon that mission which would lead to the Cross; to put aside his own willingness to humble himself for our sakes and to use and abuse the divine power he has for his own glory. 
But, God had a much more powerful plan and despite the barrenness of the desert, Jesus was not alone for the angels were with him.  In Jesus’ resistance, in effect his declaration of war upon evil and the evil one himself, he reverses the devastation of isolation and division caused not in a desert but in a Garden – one called Eden by our first parents.  So, Jesus appears as the new Adam who will now obey rather than disobey.  And he goes into the battle scene, aka the desert place of isolation, and gives new life and hope to the world as he directly confronts his nemesis. 
It is interesting that our first reading this weekend from Genesis 9: 8-15 makes reference to the “bow in the clouds,” as the sign of the Covenant between God and his people, “. . . that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood . . .” Once water was used to destroy, now through Christ Jesus, the waters of baptism do not destroy us, but sin, and bring his life to us. From the Garden to a River to the Desert and now to a new re-creation in Christ Jesus through his Cross.  Powerful, isn’t it indeed!
As we continue our desert journey this Lent, I think we can all come to see the stark reality of our lives.  The vast majority of us are certainly not evil people.  We’re trying to do our best but “our best” often falls short because we rationalize and minimize. The experience of Jesus in the desert, I believe, is a stark reminder of the seriousness of sin and the price that needed to be paid on our behalf.
The beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation is a moment of confrontation with that reality of sin my life. Once we name our sin out loud, and own it with full responsibility, then we can be healed – reconciled to God. In the painting I mentioned earlier, Jesus clearly ponders and appears to carry a heavy weight on his shoulders.  Sometime, our own sin or just our own indifference about things important is a moment to reconcile and lift that burden from us.
Let’s take some time this Lent to examine what I can do without.  Create a kind of desert in your life not just for the sake of being hungry or going without but for the purpose of inviting Christ to journey with you.  Pray more, read spiritual reading and the Scripture, extend forgiveness to someone, offer a listening ear, be more attentive to your spouse/children/co-workers.  Volunteer for something at the parish you’ve always thought about but never come forward.  Pay more attention at Mass. 
In the desert we have time for many more things with less distraction. 
Fr. Tim

43 posted on 02/26/2012 6:31:16 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Insight Scoop

Deluges and Deserts, Sin and Salvation

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, February 26, 2012, the First Sunday of Lent | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
Gn 9:8-15
Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
1 Pt 3:18-22
Mk 1:12-15

Lent is a season of challenges and extremes, a dramatic confluence of opposites. As evidence, I offer Exhibit A: today’s readings, which contain stories about deluges and deserts, sin and salvation, and water that destroys—and saves. All of it is heady stuff, certainly, but it is aimed at the heart, meant to help us embrace more tightly and cherish more deeply the eternal purpose of our lives.

What does the story of the flood and Noah’s ark have to do with Jesus being tempted in the desert? The first connection is sin. The flood was necessary because “In the eyes of God the earth was corrupt and full of lawlessness” (Gen 6:11). Seeing the corruption and depravity of man, God told Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all mortals on earth; the earth is full of lawlessness because of them. So I will destroy them and all life on earth” (Gen 6:13). Although Jesus was sinless, he saw and felt the effects of sin. After being baptized, he went into the desert to directly confront the temptations of Satan, the Evil One responsible for bringing sin and death into the world.

This brings us to the second connection, which is a time of trial. The destruction of wickedness on earth, God told Noah, would require forty days and nights of rain (Gen 7:4, 12). That number, in both the Old and New Testaments, is closely connected with times of trial, hardship, and punishment, including the forty years the Israelites spent in the wilderness after the Exodus, made necessary by their sin and rebellion (Num 14:26-35).

The forty days spent by Jesus in the desert was a reenactment of those forty years. But while the people had failed to obey the word of God, Jesus obeyed completely. Whereas they had continually complained, Jesus complied with humility. And while Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God.

The third connection is covenant. Following the flood, as we hear in today’s Old Testament reading, God told Noah that he was establishing a covenant “between me and you” and “between me and the earth.” This was one of several covenants, each of them an invitation from the loving Creator for man to enter into “intimate communion” with him (Catechism of the Catholic Church, pars 54-73). The new and everlasting covenant, the perfect culmination of this plan of salvation, was established by the life, death, and resurrection of the God-man.

Finally, there is the connection of water and baptism. In the time of Noah, sinful men were destroyed by water even while the righteous man (and his family) was saved by that same water. In baptism, as today’s epistle explains, the flesh—that is, the old man—is put to death, while a new man emerges from the sacramental waters. “For Christ, being the first-born of every creature,” wrote Justin Martyr in his Dialogue with Trypho, “became again the chief of another race regenerated by Himself through water, and faith, and wood, containing the mystery of the cross; even as Noah was saved by wood when he rode over the waters with his household.”

Jesus, after being baptized—and thus preparing the waters of the world for our baptisms—faced the Tempter and then announced the Kingdom of God. In doing so, he proclaimed, in word and deed, that sin and wickedness would be dealt a fatal blow, which was soon delivered through his own suffering, death, and triumphant emergence from the tomb.

During his time in the desert, Jesus prayed and fasted. Pope Benedict XVI, in his [2009] message for Lent, reminded us that the true fast is “directed to eating the ‘true food’, which is to do the Father’s will (cf. Jn 4:34).” Noah was saved because he chose holiness over earthly pleasures. Jesus brought salvation by choosing the Father’s will over the devil’s lies. The challenge of Lent is to choose holiness and hunger for the true food.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the March 1, 2009, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


44 posted on 02/26/2012 6:49:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Regnum Christi

Temptation’s Hour
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY

February 26, 2012

First Sunday of Lent

Father Robert Presutti, LC

 

 

Mark 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for 40 days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you are leading me and that when I go astray it’s because I take my eyes off you and cease to follow you. I know that you will never abandon me. Thank you for your unconditional and restoring love. I place all my trust in you, and I long to love you in return with all my mind, heart soul and strength.

Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to be steadfast in moments of temptation.

1. The Role of Temptation Jesus’ public life begins by a duel with Satan: Before working any miracles, before speaking any parables, before gathering any disciples, the Lord makes clear what his life and mission are to be about: they are to destroy the works of the devil and establish the kingdom of grace. To do this, Jesus confronts Satan’s greatest weapon against the human person: temptation. Satan seduces the human spirit into a life of sin, which involves focusing on oneself. Jesus meets the devil on his own terrain and — in the face of mysterious temptation — remains focused on the Father and his will. Temptation plays an important role in the plan of redemption. It helps us define ourselves: directing our lives either toward God by embracing grace or toward sin by turning in on oneself.

2. Wild Beasts and Angels: We bear within ourselves the potential to become either saints or sinners.  No one’s fate is predetermined. Even the angels had to make a free choice of good or evil and, by this choice, forge their personal destinies. The love and dedication of the angels that chose the good made them faithful instruments of God’s will and plan. The vicious self-centeredness of the demons made them into ravenous beasts endlessly looking for someone to devour. Our person and our most intimate, most secret choices are part of this ongoing and cosmic struggle between good and evil. The hour of temptation is the hour of both choice and decision. The stronger the temptation, the stronger the decision must be. A repeated choice for a good decision makes a habit of good. Many good habits build a good character. A good character, open to God’s grace, is holiness.

3. We need to Take a Position: Here and Now Christ’s appearance in Galilee was marked by a call to decision. No one remains indifferent before Jesus Christ; no one hears his message without some sort of subsequent decision. Jesus calls all men and women to his kingdom, and this call constantly brings people to choose either to draw ever closer to him, or to pull further away. The best time to choose is always now, and the best place is always here. If not now, when? If not here, then where?

The Church therefore understands her Lent as a special challenge to fight against evil, at its very roots. Temptation is not only an occasion of sin, but it is also a root of sin. Man is not only attracted by evil, but at times he is also surrounded by it. Christ makes man aware of all this right from the very beginning of that path which is Lent. At the same time he makes each one of us aware of the saving power of the Gospel (Homily of Pope John Paul II, Feb 24, 1985).

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I want always to choose you, but I know that I am weak. Please give me strength in my hour of temptation. Please keep me steady, and inflame my heart with love so that I choose you and your ways even though it’s costly. May the temptations I overcome become the stepping-stones to a holy life.

Resolution: I will be attentive today to the subtle ways in which I am tempted to center my life around myself. When these temptations come, I firmly commit to following Christ instead of my own selfish path.


45 posted on 02/26/2012 7:01:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Meditation on Jesus’ Temptations

 

First Reading: Gn 9:8-15
Psalm: Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 1 Pt 3:18-22
Gospel: Mk 1:12-15

Where do we find sources of information that provide us with fresh
visions of life without making us feel that we’ll never fully
measure up to it? It is embodied in a simple message from Jesus
that we hear today, “Believe in the good news.”

What is this good news? We know that it is ultimately the fact that
Jesus himself, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity has come to
be one of us to redeem all of God’s creation. It is God’s ultimate
promise that has already been fulfilled in Jesus’ death and
resurrection. It presents us with an ideal of happiness, which is
both true and attainable. It does so by presenting us with who we
really are, and ought to become. It is available to all who are
ready to partake in his community of discipleship.

And what is the image of who we truly are to become? It is really
becoming like Jesus himself. Jesus is the word of God. He himself
is the way to the Father – the way, the truth, and the life. So,
how do we partake in his life, his way? Today’s Gospel gives us
some hints.

Jesus was announced by his cousin John. John’s sole purpose was to
prepare the way for Jesus; John rejected any glory for himself. He
preached a conversion in preparation for Jesus. And he preached
humility; of him it could be said, “Like a bridegroom’s friend, who
wants all eyes focused on the bridegroom.” As disciples, we fix our
attention on Jesus.

But after his baptism by John, Jesus had to face temptations. The
longer accounts in Luke and Matthew tell us that he was tempted in
three ways. First, to ignore spiritual longing by feeding only his
bodily hunger. Second, to take on the power for its own sake, to be
independent from God and honored by others. Third, to be freed from
all vulnerability, symbolized by having the angels support him as he
fell from the parapet of the temple.

In refusing to give in to these temptations, Jesus reveals what our
true humanity is. We are to look beyond the present need to act for
the greater good.

The call to resist temptation goes hand in hand with our Lenten call
to penance. On Ash Wednesday we heard Jesus’ instruction on the
penitential practices of prayer and fasting. But in some ways it’s
not clear why we should do penance. Why would we want to deny
ourselves good things that contribute to our well-being? Things
that we rightfully enjoy without going to excess?

Our meditation on Jesus’ temptations can help us to see that penance
is not denial for denial’s sake, but a kind of discipline. Penance
makes us more open to God’s word. By disciplining our bodies and
spirits, we can draw in God’s power to transform us in new ways
beyond the ordinary.

The purpose of Lenten practices, ultimately, is to deepen our belief
in the good news. It often seems that the command to “believe in
the good news” is easy to follow. Anyone can simply believe in
something. It is often thought that the “good works” part of our
faith is more difficult. But in many ways, belief is the more
difficult challenge.

What concretely do we have to believe in order to believe in the
good news? St. Augustine tells us that our God can bring good out
of any evil we might face. He can bring good even out of the
most “ordinary forms of evil,” such as our tendency to give up on
our spiritual goals, to strive only for wealth and worldly success,
or to despair that God is not with us as we feel the bodily and
spiritual weakness of aging or sickness. To believe in the good news
is to believe that God is Father to every person – and that he
created each person in his image and likeness. To believe in the
good news is to believe that we have an eternal destiny.

But we must always realize that this radical capacity to believe is
itself a gift. We can pray for it, but ultimately, it is God’s
gift. We can rejoice in it, because as God’s gift it reveals much
of who he is. And it reveals his love for us. We share in God’s
life, then, when we share in the many grace-filled gifts he bestows
upon us: our life, our commitments, our marriages, our families, our
jobs, and our friendships. All of these small communities of human
love mirror God’s love for us.

This Lent we take up the penance by which we can both appreciate and
deepen the good news even more. And we can begin or continue that
transformation of ourselves and of others that has Jesus as its
model.


46 posted on 02/26/2012 7:10:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Sunday, February 26, 2012 >> First Sunday of Lent
Saint of the Day
 
Genesis 9:8-15
1 Peter 3:18-22

View Readings
Psalm 25:4-9
Mark 1:12-15

 

WHY LENT?

 
"You are now saved by a baptismal bath." —1 Peter 3:21
 

By far the greatest day of your life was the day of your Baptism. On that day, you became a new creation (Gal 6:15), "begotten from above" (Jn 3:3), born again "of water and Spirit" (Jn 3:5). Because of your new nature, you became adoptable into God's family. You became a son or daughter of God (Jn 1:12), a member of Christ's Body (1 Cor 12:12), and a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). The Lord made a covenant of love with you (see Gn 9:9). You made a pledge "of an irreproachable conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 3:21). Original sin was washed away.

However, for many Christians, Baptism does not seem the greatest day of their lives, the event at which they received the power to transform the world. This is because Christians are not living their Baptisms. This tragedy is the basis of almost all other tragedies. Therefore, the Church has developed a most ambitious, international program for the renewal of our Baptisms. On Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, in every Catholic Church in the entire world, all Catholic Christians will be asked to renew their baptismal promises. In order for this to be a true renewal, we prepare for it by forty days of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Observe Lent. Then at Easter Mass, commit yourself totally to the Lord. Love Him more deeply than ever before. Renew your baptismal promises and change the world.

 
Prayer: Father, may I never be the same after this Lent. Give me a new springtime in the Holy Spirit.
Promise: "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!" —Mk 1:15
Praise: Praise and honor to You, Lord Jesus! You take us to the desert to speak to our hearts (Hos 2:16). We offer you our lives as a sacrifice of praise (Ps 50:23).

47 posted on 02/26/2012 7:29:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Something for everyone to think about!
 
 
"A country which kills its own children has no future." -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
 

48 posted on 02/26/2012 7:32:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

This was just a warm-up for our four day Mission. If you can ever get him, he is fabulous! (Homily)

http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2012-02-26-Homily%20Deacon%20Harold%20Burke-Sivers.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily

What did you think of the story about the two guys? I just gasped when he said the line........


49 posted on 03/04/2012 5:43:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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