Sunday, December 31, 2017
Saturday, December 30, 2017
New Year’s Resolutions, Confession, and the Mother of God:
"New Year’s Day always struck me as something of an odd holiday. Why do we humans find it necessary to set aside a day to mark yet another full trip around the sun? Different cultures have celebrated the new year at different times: the Jewish people celebrate the new year in their liturgy on Rosh …"
Scripture Speaks: The Feast of the Holy Family:
"Today, the Church gives us an episode from Jesus’ early family life to ponder. Why? Gospel (Read Lk 2:22-40) St. Luke tells us that after the wonder of Jesus’ remarkable birth, announced by angels and praised by shepherds, His parents did what all devout Jews did in that day after the birth of a firstborn …"
Humanity & Holiness with the Holy Family:
"The Feast of the Holy Family challenges us to grow in the virtues of piety, honor, patience, and forbearance. And to learn to laugh together...."
(Friends can become Family...family is not always only mother, father, sister, brother .
Those Jesus traveled with became his earthly family, though the Holy Family will always be
Jesus, Mary, Joseph)
Friday, December 29, 2017
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
The Twelve Days of Emmanuel:
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (which means, God with us) (Mt 1:23) The joy of Christmas is the joy of Emmanuel. Our God is not distant from us: he is in our very midst. Nor is his presence some abstract proposition. His closeness is …"
What the Magi Can Teach Us:
"The Magi, who came in search of the Child-King Jesus from the East, are sometimes called the Wisemen. Their travelling was difficult — no comfortable cars with music, air-conditioning, nor luxurious motels and restaurants along the way. There travelling was long — many long arduous and grueling miles. Physically, their travelling would have been very stressful; if …"
St. John the Apostle:
"St. John was probably the youngest of the Apostles of Jesus Christ and the one who is referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” He was the only Apostle who was at the foot of the Cross, along with the Blessed Mother, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. The others had abandoned …"
Blessed Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist!
A reading from the first letter of John:
“Beloved: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life — for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us — what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.”
~ 1 John 1:1-4
St. John, pray for us!
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
The Deeper Meaning of Christmas:
"In the days of Caesar Augustus, an era of peace was established in the Mediterranean world after centuries of strife. But this peace was forged by the proud ambition of emperors and the edge of their armies’ swords. Upon this stage appears a baby acclaimed as king by eastern dignitaries. Neither Caesar nor Herod will …"
Mary & John the Baptist: Two Ways of Being Christian:
"There are two fundamental ways of encountering the word of God. The first way is to receive it. The second is to share it. Mary exemplifies the first; John the Baptist the second. During Advent and into Christmas, the Church places these two figures before us as focal points of contemplation. We come to faith …"
Sts. Wenceslaus & Stephen: Two Saints for Christmas Time:
The day after Christmas is the feast of St. Stephen, deacon and martyr, and an important day for us, as we have a boy named for him. Mass and Holy Communion are the perfect way to celebrate every day, but when this is not possible, the Mass prayers honoring a child’s saint are a …"
Monday, December 25, 2017
Sunday, December 24, 2017
When God Became Small: A Christmas Meditation:
"The advent of Christmas is one of the busiest and noisiest times of year—a season of getting and spending in which we lay waste our credit cards. It should be a holy time, but it has become an orgy of consumerism in the temples of commerce. It is not peaceful, and it is certainly not …"
Saturday, December 23, 2017
Scripture Speaks: Last Sunday in Advent:
"On this last Sunday in Advent, an angel startles a young woman in Nazareth. What was old, and what was new in his message to her? Gospel (Read Lk 1:26-38) How many times have we heard this Scripture read? If it is very familiar to us, we should make the effort to hear it now …"
During this joyous Christmas season, which is often filled with family and friends, let us not forget those who feel forgotten or unloved during this time of year. We may not be able to physically help these individuals, but we are able to pray for them. Click here for a Christmas prayer for the forgotten.
A Christmas Prayer for the Forgotten
Friday, December 22, 2017
The Crown, Christmas, and the Ordinary Little People:
"Our God is so great, that he exults in littleness and humility. He is so great that even when he appears as lowly and humble as possible, kings still come from the east to adore him..."
Wrestling With Grief At Christmas:
"Losing someone is tough. Losing someone close is tougher. Facing the holidays for the first time without them is the worst. This past month, the thought of the upcoming holidays has brought many tears and anxious nights lying awake, wishing I could just fast forward to June. How can I be happy for Christmas? How …"
Thursday, December 21, 2017
"At Christmas in 1252, her last on earth, Clare was not well enough to go to Midnight Mass at the Church of St. Francis with her sisters and the friars. She became very lonely and began to cry. Then realizing that her lonely cell was better lodging than had Mary and Joseph, she began to meditate on the Christmas Mystery. Suddenly her cell burst into light, her cell walls were shaken by the sound of a great organ and she was able to see the Church of St. Francis ablaze with candles. She watched the Celebrant ascend the Altar and participated at Mass listening to the beautiful chants. She had been unable to go to Church and God in His loving tenderness had brought Church to her."
O Rex Gentium
Prince of Peace
O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.
The Love of the Holy Family in Bethlehem:
"Such trials God prepares for holy souls! When Joseph thought himself obliged to abandon as faithless the one whom he had chosen as the purest of virgins, he was about to do what would be fatal both to the mother’s purity and the child’s life. He could not be unaware that the Blessed Virgin was …"
If We Truly Believe in the Mass, It Should Change Everything:
"The Ark of the Covenant was covered with precious gold. Our Lord is far greater than the Ark that was the 'house' of the Ten Commandments. Our Catholic churches house our Lord!..."
Christmas: The Light in the Darkness:
"The real gift we receive each Christmas is the light of God in celebrating the birth of Our Lord and Savior. It is up to us to rely on God to keep that light burning bright throughout our entire lives..."
The O Antiphons, also known as The great Os are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. They are also used as the alleluia verses on the same days in the Catholic Mass.
They are referred to as the "O Antiphons" because the title of each one begins with the interjection "O". Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are:
December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
December 23: O Emmanuel (O With Us is God)