Tuesday, December 25, 2012

THIS DAY'S ...

 

    
    
This Day's Thought


 
Jesus...
He came not to a throne,
but to a manger.
He lived not as a king,
but as a servant.
He chose not an earthly kingdom,
but a cross.
He gave not just a little,
but everything.
  
~Holley Gerth
This Day's Verse
 
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.  When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:  "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,  and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
  
~Matthew 1:18-25
The English Standard Version

HOLY LOVE


Holy Love

December 24, 2012
Public


Blessed Mother says:  "Praise be to Jesus."

"I invite you to understand that Satan is always the one who opposes the grace of My Heart.  It is also the evil one who encourages others to do so.  My Grace is always what challenges Satan's kingdom in the world."

"Satan's favorite attack is to make good appear as evil, and evil as good.  Dear children, you must pray for discernment before you make choices, and before you take any certain direction. Not to do so is unwise."

"Always search out the Truth in every interaction with anyone.  Do not choose a course of action merely because others do so."

"Discern what is appropriate - what is being sanctioned - and if it follows the Truth of Holy Love.  Ask for My help."

-------------------------

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Monday, December 24, 2012

READ THE CATECHISM: DAY 75

   

Read the Catechism in a Year

 
 

Read the Catechism: Day 75

Part1:The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)
Section2:The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)
Chapter2:I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God (422 - 682)
Article3:"He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary" (456 - 570)
Paragraph2:"Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary" (484 - 511)
IN BRIEF

508     
From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. "Full of grace", Mary is "the most excellent fruit of redemption" (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.

509     
Mary is truly "Mother of God" since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself.

510     
Mary "remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin" (St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999): with her whole being she is "the handmaid of the Lord" (Lk 1:38).

511     
The Virgin Mary "cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation" (LG 56). She uttered her yes "in the name of all human nature" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

READ THE CATECHISM - DAY 74

   

Read the Catechism in a Year

 
 

Read the Catechism: Day 74

Part1:The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)
Section2:The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)
Chapter2:I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God (422 - 682)
Article3:"He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary" (456 - 570)
Paragraph2:"Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary" (484 - 511)
II. ... BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

Mary — "ever-virgin"
499     The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it." And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin".

500     
Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary". They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.

501     
Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother's love."

Mary's virginal motherhood in God's plan
502     The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.

503     
Mary's virginity manifests God's absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. "He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed... He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures."

504     
Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary's womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: "The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven." From his conception, Christ's humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God "gives him the Spirit without measure." From "his fullness" as the head of redeemed humanity "we have all received, grace upon grace."

505     
By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. "How can this be?" Participation in the divine life arises "not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God". The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit's gift to man. The spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God is fulfilled perfectly in Mary's virginal motherhood.

506     
Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith "unadulterated by any doubt", and of her undivided gift of herself to God's will. It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Savior: "Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ."

507     
At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: "the Church indeed... by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse."

Dig deeper: Scriptural and other references for today's section here. 

With deepest affection,
Abbey

THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF DEEPAK CHOPRA

While not based on Catholicism, Mr. Chopra does have some very solid ideas, to me, more about living a successful life, one which is also pleasing to God.



The Law of Pure Potentiality
Take time to be silent, to just BE. Meditate for 30 minutes twice a day. Silently witness the intelligence within every living thing. Practice non-judgment. We have unlimited pure potentiality all around us. We need to be open and ready do not lock you into one thing. The universe is gives us the ability to manifest and do what we like we just have to know how to get it. There is unlimited pure potential.
 The Law of Giving and Receiving 
Today bring whoever you encounter a gift: a compliment or flower. Gratefully receive gifts. Keeps wealth circulating by giving and receiving care, affection, appreciation and love? We have to have the ability to receive. When a person gives us something and we say no that is creating an imbalance. It is important to give every day: give thanks, gratitude, support, love freedom, what you can afford, time.  All that you give you will receive back bigger and better than ever.
The Law of Karma
Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. Choosing actions that bring happiness and success to others ensures the flow of happiness and success to you. Everything you do has choices and generates that energy that will be returned to you. Before you do something .you can check to see if it is the highest and good for you and all. You will know if it is good if you feel good. If it feels like a knot in your belly after a choice that may not have been the highest and best. But each choice is a learning experience.The Law of Least Effort
Accept people, situations, and events as they occur. Take responsibility for your situation and for all events seen as problems. Relinquish the need to defend your point of view. This one goes ageist what we have learned set a goal and work hard, spend a lot of time, you need work hard to get things...Wrong. The universe and nature finds the path of least resistance which is the least effort. We need to work smart and listen to the signs that the universe is giving us that are the path of least effort. When in a chaos do not get caught up in it and let it get to you take time and breath. Then just flow in the situation the outcome will be turn out better then you can imagine
The Law of Intention and Desire
Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment. Make a list of desires. Trust that when things don’t seem to go your way, there is a reason. Set you intentions and desires and then let them be. You may really want one outcome and think that is the best but if it does not happen that is because there is something better for you. If you force it you may get it but you will not be happy or be what you thought it was.  Set your intentions and desires for the highest and best for you.
The Law of Detachment
Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are. Do not force solutions—allow solutions to spontaneously emerge. Uncertainty is essential, and your path to freedom. This is also in the same vain as the law of least effort where you set your intentions and desires and the let them be.  Do not force it and keep working at it you will be missing the real opportunities for that intention.  Also as the law of intentions and desired do not be attached to one outcome becomes that may not be in the highest and best for you. So you will get something better if you pay attention to the signs.
The Law of Dharma
Seek your higher Self. Discover your unique talents. Ask yourself how you are best suited to serve humanity. Using your unique talents and serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance. When you live your life that everything you do is for the highest and best for you and all. You will be the happiest and all of the other laws are working for you. You know you are in this when you do little efforts and accomplish many things.

CHRISTMAS CONTRASTS

Christmas Contrasts
 By Melvin Newland  
Luke 2:7-20 
  
It is a time of great rejoicing in the palace, for a prince has just been born. Near the throne there is a lively discussion going on as the king's advisers are making their suggestions concerning the best way to announce to the wonderful news. They have suggested some elaborate ways to publicize & celebrate this great event.
   
All but one have expressed their opinions, & now the king turns to him & asks, "How about you? Do you have any ideas? What do you suggest?" "Well," came the reply, "I think that we should send a messenger out at night into the fields to tell some shepherds about it."
 
What a ridiculous idea! And yet, that was God's way of announcing Jesus' birth. God's ways are certainly not our ways, are they?
 
Listen as I read those very familiar words in the 2nd chapter of Luke, beginning with vs. 8. (READ Luke 2:8-15)
 
Somehow, when we hear about shepherds coming to the manger & seeing the Christ-child it makes us feel warm inside. If shepherds are important to God, then we are important, too. God loves the common people, & God loves us!
  
Now turn to another very familiar passage in Matthew 2, beginning with
vs. 1. (READ Matt 2:1-12)
   
The story of the wise men is also a story of love & worship & adoration. They represent the aristocracy of the time - the rich, the educated, the learned. And they are valuable to God too.
   
Whenever we think of the shepherds & the wise men, we invariably see scenes of love & joy & worship.
   
But when we think of King Herod we see darkness & hatred & death. In verse 16 we read this terrible statement, "When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, & he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem & its vicinity, who were two years old & under."
  
Why do people react like Herod did? Why are some people filled with love & happiness, while others are filled with darkness & despair?
   
I think we can learn something about that as we look again at what these Scriptures tell us about the shepherds & the wise men & Herod. Maybe through it all Christmas will mean even more to us.
   
I. GOD CAN WORK WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE PREPARED TO RECEIVE HIS MESSAGE
   
First of all, I think that God chose to announce to the shepherds & the wise men the wonderful news of the coming of Jesus because they were prepared for that event. Somehow the soil of their souls had been plowed & made ready for the planting of that glorious news.
   
Who understood the idea of sacrifice better than shepherds? Do you realize how close Bethlehem is to Jerusalem? They are just a few miles apart, separated only by some hills on which shepherds raised their sheep.
   
History tells us that many of the sheep raised on those hills between Jerusalem & Bethlehem were raised specifically to be used as sacrifices in the Temple at Jerusalem. You see, once a year every Jewish family was supposed to come to Jerusalem & offer sacrifices in the Temple for their sins. And the animal that they sacrificed was generally a lamb.
  
They didn't bring a sacrificial lamb along on the long journey from their homes to Jerusalem. Instead, they waited until they got to Jerusalem & then bought a lamb there to use as a sacrifice.
   
So these shepherds knew about sacrifice. They spent their lives on the hills outside of Bethlehem watching little lambs born. Watching them grow to maturity & realizing that someday a priest would come & buy them & take them back to the temple to offer as sacrifices for the sins of the people.
   
They realized that sin was so awful in God's sight that it required the shedding of blood & the giving of life. So how appropriate that these shepherds should be the first to hear about the "lamb of God" who would be "the Savior, Christ the Lord."
    
They were ready for that. Their minds were uncomplicated. They were not great theologians. They didn't think of reasons not to believe. They just believed. Their hearts & their souls were ready & when God spoke through angels they listened & accepted the news with great joy.
  
The wise men were also prepared. Evidently they had studied the great prophets of Israel. Undoubtedly they came from the area where Daniel, the prophet, had had such great influence & power. Did they have some of the prophecies of Daniel that we don't know anything about today? I don't know.
  
But somehow, they were waiting & hoping. And when they saw that bright light, that star shining, they knew it meant something special. They recalled all of the things they had learned & they were ready to make their journey, because they knew the star meant that somewhere a king had been born & they wanted to worship Him. They were prepared & ready for Christmas.
  
But King Herod wasn't ready. Have you ever wondered why Herod didn't see the star? If it was bright enough for wise men to see it in far countries, it was bright enough for Herod to see it too.
   
Why didn't Herod hear the announcement of the angels? Why didn't he see the heavens lit up on that first Christmas night? He could have seen. He could have heard. But he didn't have eyes to see or ears to hear.
Christmas came to Herod as surely as it came to wise men & shepherds. But Herod didn't know it because Herod was not prepared.
   
You see, if we resist Him; if we ignore what God has done through Jesus Christ, then Christmas will come on Dec. 25, as it always does, but it will mean almost nothing to us because our hearts are cold & insensitive to what God is trying to do in our lives.
   
Christmas is almost here. Are you prepared? Is your heart soft? Are your ears sensitive? Can you hear God telling you of His love for you?
   
II. THEY WERE WILLING TO TAKE A JOURNEY OF FAITH TO SEE JESUS
  
Secondly, when they heard the message the wise men & the shepherds were willing to step out & take a journey of faith, but not Herod.
  
I love the words of the shepherds. Shortly after the angels went back into heaven they said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem & see this thing that has happened."
   
They didn't say, "Let's go to Bethlehem & see if this thing is really true." They didn't question the message of God. They didn't question the announcement of the angels. They didn't sit around & think about all the impossibilities & how humanly speaking it didn't make sense. No, they just rushed to Bethlehem to see the baby. It was a journey of faith for them.
  
How about those wise men? Have you ever put yourself in their place? Can't you see them standing out in their front yards getting their camels ready for the long journey? They are loading up their saddlebags with food & clothing, gold, frankincense & myrrh.
   
Just then some neighbors walk by & ask, "What are you doing?" The wise men reply, "We are getting ready to take a trip." "Where are you going?" "Well, we're not sure." "Do you have a map?" "No, we are going to follow a star."
   
"Oh! What are you going to find when you get there?" "We are going to find a king." "What's the king's name?" "We don't know. All we know is that we have seen His star & we are going to follow it until it leads us to Him, & then we're going to worship Him."
   
It was a journey of faith, you see. And faith doesn't makes sense to people who don't know the message & who don't share the faith. It was a journey of faith, & faith can only be explained by a heart that understands what faith is all about.
  
But for Herod there was no faith. He heard the message from the wise men. The wise men came to Herod's palace & asked, "Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east, & have come to worship Him."
  
When Herod heard this he was troubled. "Where? Where is a king? I haven't heard of any king." Quickly he called together the chief priests & they told him that the prophets had foretold that the Messiah, the Christ, would be born in Bethlehem.
  
You know the story. Herod sent the wise men on. He had an opportunity to learn about the new king. But he didn't have eyes of faith or a heart that believed. So while the king was born only a few miles away, he was not ready to receive Him because there was no faith in his heart.
  
That is a problem, isn't it? There is a whole lot that can't be explained. You can't explain a virgin birth. You can't explain the heavens lighting up & angels announcing the birth of a king. You can't explain a mysterious star shining above. You can't explain all of the drama & glory & wonder. It's divine. It can only be understood with a heart & a mind of faith.
  
Before Christmas will ever be real to us, our journey must be a journey of faith too. We must realize that we will never completely understand the wonder of God's love, but in faith we must be ready to accept it.
  
III. THEY WERE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE & MAKE THE SACRIFICE
  
Finally, the wise men & the shepherds were willing to pay the price & to make the sacrifice.
  
Think about the shepherds. When they said, "Let us go to Bethlehem & see this thing which is come to pass," that was a major decision for them. When they went to Bethlehem they had to leave their sheep. Everything they owned was wrapped up in their sheep. It was at night, when wolves could come & attack & kill their sheep.
  
So it took faith. They had to say, "We will leave behind all that we have to seek the Lamb of God, & we will trust our flock to the Good Shepherd who will take care of them."
  
I have always hoped that when they came back they found all of their lambs safe & sound, & that from then on God prospered them in ways they never even dreamed, because they were willing to place everything in His hands.
  
The wise men paid a price, too. They left behind families & businesses, & all that was familiar & dear to them. They left it all to follow a star - to travel a strange & possibly dangerous journey - just to pay homage to the new king, & to give Him their gifts of gold, frankincense & myrrh.
  
But not Herod. Herod learns about a king & quickly rushes to his throne & puts his arms around it, saying, "Where is He?" He wants to cling to all that is his - his silver & gold, his power & prestige. He was afraid that he was going to lose it all.
  
Christmas means surrender. It means that the sovereign God of heaven looked down & saw us dying in our sins & said, "I can't let this go on. I must do something about it."
  
He surrendered His glory & His power. He became a baby. He walked among us. He breathed our dust. He let us persecute Him & spit on Him & drive nails into His hands & His feet. That's surrender.
  
Christmas means giving. Not just brightly wrapped gifts to people that we love but giving ourselves.
  
So here we are. Some of us may be like the shepherds. We don't have much, & we may not know a lot that the world considers important. But we are ready to listen to what God has to say.
  
Others may be more like the wise men, searching for the truth, asking questions, knowing His promise that if we will seek the truth with our whole heart that we will find Him.
  
Unfortunately, there are many like Herod who are antagonistic towards God - who hate Him rather than love Him & will not receive what God wants to give.
  
And every year, at Christmas time, this great line is drawn. Here are people who are like shepherds & wise men coming to Jesus to worship Him. And there are people like Herod who stand hard & cold, resisting all that God is trying to do in their lives.
  
Into which category do you fall? Who best represents you?
  
God wants to take all the Herods & make them into shepherds & wise men. But that can only happen when you are willing for it to happen. When you are prepared to receive His message. When you are willing to make the journey of faith. When you are willing to surrender to Him.
  
The invitation is extended this morning & God invites you to come to His manger, to come to His throne, to come to His cross, & to know His love.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

WHY SO SAD?

When I awoke this morning, I knew it, this was going to be a difficult morning. I had that deep, empty pit in the bottom of my belly, the well of tears behind my eyes that wanted to come out, but only if I were to summon them.  I thought of Christmas and asked myself over and over again "what is wrong with me?" I take my medicine every day, and hey, I went to the weigh-in yesterday and I have lost four pounds since last week! To me, it was pretty great, but nobody else thought all that much about it, it disappointed me, I was proud of myself.  Yesterday is gone and I'm struggling to deal with today, so I cannot think about tomorrow.  But my blogger friend "Being Catholic ... Really" posted this on Facebook and I had to borrow it, for it sums up things fairly neat and tidy, and it served to put things into perspective again.  I needed this little bit of help, and I believe it truly is is Divine Intervention that we are given "what we need" and I needed to read this!

God bless you,
Abbey



HOLY LOVE, DECEMBER 21, 2012

I don't know why I am receive these one day late, but nevertheless, I want to put them out there for the readers who are interested.

Holy Love

December 21, 2012
Friday Service - For all those falsely accused within society, governments and within Church circles;  that all calumnies are exposed by Truth


Jesus is here with His Heart exposed.  He says:  "I am your Jesus, born Incarnate."

"This Christmas season, as this special day of My Nativity approaches, surrender to Me all your ill feelings towards others.  Forgive everyone, and My gift to you will be peace in your heart."

"Tonight I am blessing you with My Blessing of Divine Love."
 

READ THE CATECHISM: DAY 73


Read the Catechism in a Year

Read the Catechism: Day 73

Part1:The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)
Section2:The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)
Chapter2:I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God (422 - 682)
Article3:"He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary" (456 - 570)
Paragraph2:"Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary" (484 - 511)

II. ... BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

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

491     
Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

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


492     
The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son". The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".

493     
The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature". By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

"Let it be done to me according to your word..."

494     
At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word." Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:

As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert...: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith." Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."


Mary's divine motherhood

495     
Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus", Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord". In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).

Mary's virginity

496     
From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived "by the Holy Spirit without human seed". The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own. Thus St. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says:

You are firmly convinced about our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin,... he was truly nailed to a tree for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate... he truly suffered, as he is also truly risen.


497     
The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee. The Church sees here the fulfillment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son."

498     
People are sometimes troubled by the silence of St. Mark's Gospel and the New Testament Epistles about Jesus' virginal conception. Some might wonder if we were merely dealing with legends or theological constructs not claiming to be history. To this we must respond: Faith in the virginal conception of Jesus met with the lively opposition, mockery or incomprehension of non-believers, Jews and pagans alike; so it could hardly have been motivated by pagan mythology or by some adaptation to the ideas of the age. The meaning of this event is accessible only to faith, which understands in it the "connection of these mysteries with one another" in the totality of Christ's mysteries, from his Incarnation to his Passover. St. Ignatius of Antioch already bears witness to this connection: "Mary's virginity and giving birth, and even the Lord's death escaped the notice of the prince of this world: these three mysteries worthy of proclamation were accomplished in God's silence."

Dig deeper: Scriptural and other references for today's section here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

READ THE CATECHISM: DAY 72

   

Read the Catechism in a Year

 
 

Read the Catechism: Day 72

Part1:The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)
Section2:The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)
Chapter2:I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God (422 - 682)
Article3:"He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary" (456 - 570)
Paragraph2:"Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary" (484 - 511)
I. CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT...

484     
The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates "the fullness of time", the time of the fulfillment of God's promises and preparations. Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the "whole fullness of deity" would dwell "bodily". The divine response to her question, "How can this be, since I know not man?", was given by the power of the Spirit: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you."

485     
The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son. The Holy Spirit, "the Lord, the giver of Life", is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it, causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own.

486     
The Father's only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is "Christ", that is to say, anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples. Thus the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power."

II. ... BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

487     
What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.

Mary's predestination

488     
"God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary":

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.


489     
Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living. By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age. Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women. Mary "stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established."

THIS DAY'S . . .

This Day's Thought
You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father's face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift.
  
John Rice
This Day's Verse
 
A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived.  She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth.  At the sound of Mary's greeting, Elizabeth's child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, "God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.  Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?  When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.  You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said."
  
Luke 1:39-45
The New Living Translation
This Day's Smile
 
At Christmas, man is almost what God sent him here to be.

Edgar Guest

WISHING YOU A BLESSED CHRISTMAS

I want to wish all who come here and are welcome in this place a very Blessed Christmas. And I thought the Eight Beatitudes of Jesus was a good way to say, "I wish all of this for you!"

THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

Thursday, December 20, 2012

HOLY LOVE

Holy Love

December 18, 2012
Public


St. Catherine of Siena says:  "Praise be to Jesus."

"These days people spend fortunes and a multitude of present moments on trying to find the perfect happiness here on earth.  This is all foolishness and of no account before the Throne of God."

"Holy Love has come into the world as the way of perfection.  The Chambers of the Gracious United Hearts are a roadmap to perfection.  The entire spiritual journey is clothed in Truth.  People cannot be saved outside of Truth;  nor can they be saved if they do not love God above all else and neighbor as self - the maxim of Holy Love."

"The world will always be in conflict with this concept - this Holy Commandment.  To try to find happiness in the world is futile.  Inner peace and joy come through the embrace of Holy Love." *

*Read Luke's account of Jesus' - 'Sermon on the Mount' - and the beatitudes with their opposites - Luke 6: 20-26.

-------------------------

December 19, 2012
Public


"I am your Jesus, born Incarnate."

"I have come to speak to you about gift giving - a topic most appropriate for this time of year.  The greatest gift a soul can give to Me is their free will.  This is the best sacrifice.  But, if the spirit of giving is not as generous as it should be, and the soul grumbles and questions the whys and wherefores of situations, it is as though he is unwrapping the gift before he presents it to Me.  I mean to say, the sacrifice is not as complete as it otherwise would be."

"Pray for a generous spirit so that every sacrifice is as perfect and complete as it should be."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SONG OF THE DAY - THE EAGLES

Just because . . . The Eagles were huge when I was living in L.A. in the 70s and I will always love their music, which I think I have posted before.  "Take It To The Limit" is one I like to sing with, and if I were to be brutally honest, it is akin to a few pages in my Book of Life.



CONFESSION - YES? NO? AND IF YOU DO .....

I am a convert.  That said, the one thing that I have never been able to reconcile within myself is the need to go to Confession.  I pray to my God directly and privately, so I do not make it a practice to go to confessions, however, I do recognize that some people (very few from what I've seen in my experience) of our huge parish ever go.  There has never been more than 10 people in the line for confession when I've been there.

HOWEVER, for those of you who do practice confession, here are Ten Tips of Making a Good Confession:

Fr. Z’s 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession o{]:¬)
We should…
1) …examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) …wait our turn in line patiently;
3) …come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) …speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) …state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
6) …confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) …listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) …confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) …carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) …use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) …never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;
12) …never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) …never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;
14) …never confess “tendencies” or “struggles”… just sins;
15) …never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) …memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) …answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) …ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) …keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
20) …remember that priests must go to confession too … they know what we are going through.

READ THE CATECHISM IN ONE YEAR - DAY 70


 

Read the Catechism in a Year

 
 

Read the Catechism: Day 70

Part1:The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)
Section2:The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)
Chapter2:I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God (422 - 682)
Article3:"He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary" (456 - 570)
Paragraph1:The Son of God Became Man (456 - 483)
IV. HOW IS THE SON OF GOD MAN?
470     Because "human nature was assumed, not absorbed", in the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ's human soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body. In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that Christ's human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it. Everything that Christ is and does in this nature derives from "one of the Trinity". The Son of God therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity:
The Son of God... worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin.
Christ's soul and his human knowledge
471     Apollinarius of Laodicaea asserted that in Christ the divine Word had replaced the soul or spirit. Against this error the Church confessed that the eternal Son also assumed a rational, human soul.
472     This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge. As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited: it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time. This is why the Son of God could, when he became man, "increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man", and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience. This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking "the form of a slave".
473     But at the same time, this truly human knowledge of God's Son expressed the divine life of his person. "The human nature of God's Son, not by itself but by its union with the Word, knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God." Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father. The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts.
474     By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal. What he admitted to not knowing in this area, he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal.
Christ's human will
475     Similarly, at the sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III in 681, the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations, divine and human. They are not opposed to each other, but cooperate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation. Christ's human will "does not resist or oppose but rather submits to his divine and almighty will."
Christ's true body
476     Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity, Christ's body was finite. Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed; at the seventh ecumenical council (Nicaea II in 787) the Church recognized its representation in holy images to be legitimate.
477     At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus "we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see." The individual characteristics of Christ's body express the divine person of God's Son. He has made the features of his human body his own, to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image, for the believer "who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted".
The heart of the Incarnate Word
478     Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: "The Son of God... loved me and gave himself for me." He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, "is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that... love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings" without exception.

Monday, December 17, 2012

HOLY LOVE MINISTRY

Holy Love

December 16, 2012
Public


"I am your Jesus born Incarnate."

"Today, once again, I have come to emphasize the importance of Holy Love in the world.  Holy Love is the embodiment - the embrace - of all the Commandments.  Therefore, to oppose Holy Love is to oppose the Ten Commandments.  Position in the world cannot change this Truth."

"Evil is encouraged in the world because Holy Love is not encouraged.  All sin arises from hearts which do not embrace Holy Love."

"If you cannot grasp these facts, then you cannot grasp the Truth."

"Holy Love is to love God above all else and your neighbor as yourself."

~*~

If you would like to view the Holy Love Ministry website and see the Holy Love messages for the entire year, you may find it HERE.