Saturday, December 31, 2016

TODAY'S GOSPEL

Your daily Advent reflection...
Saturday, December 31, 2016
THE SEVENTH DAY IN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS, YEAR I
JOHN 1:1-18
Friends, today we reprise the prologue of St. John’s Gospel, which we read on Christmas. The Word became flesh “and we saw his glory.” All the ways that the Old Testament spoke of God’s involvement with the world come together in this description of Jesus Christ. He is the powerful Word that will not return without accomplishing his purpose.

Now what is his purpose? Look to the prophet Isaiah. “The Lord has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.” Saying that Yahweh has bared his holy arm means that Yahweh is rolling up his sleeves to get on with the work.

Now take a look now at the manger at Bethlehem. Perhaps we see a tiny arm reaching out at random from the manger. “The Lord has made bare his holy arm.” And this anticipates another baring of that holy arm, when it is stretched out on the wood of the cross, revealed to all nations, just as Isaiah said. God’s power would be revealed in the powerlessness of love unto death. This is what became flesh on Christmas day.

~*~
Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Just a short note to let you know that I shall be heading home this coming Tuesday. It has been a lovely and heartwarming visit with mom and dad, but I am anxious to get home and sleep in my own bed. This, because my back and bursitis are giving me a fit. I hate to leave my folks, but they have their heels dug in about moving. I don't pressure, I just ask if they are ready to move and the answer this time has not changed: NO!

So I leave them in God's hands and go on letting nature take its course.

I have missed you all, for you are engrained in my heart forever, like s child and A parent.  I wish you all a joyful New Year, and if you must make s resolution, then resolve to embrace your faith, seize the word that became flesh, and make  faith ever stronger through prayer and reading of the scriptures daily. Know that God is near and He I'd on your side as I'd The Son and our Holy Mother and all the Saints.

God bless and keep you! 

Lovingly,
ABBEY 💞



Friday, December 23, 2016

CARDINAL NEWMAN SOCIETY - IMPORTANT

December 23, 2016
    
Dear Friend,

Sometimes change isn’t good. The new iteration of a pro-abortion organization of law school students is worse than the previous version.

Law Students for Reproductive Justice expanded its mission and changed its name this year to If/When/How—as in, everyone should be allowed “to decide if, when, and how to create and sustain families.” You may recall our report last month, when this same group co-sponsored a pro-abortion conference at Georgetown.

In fact, student chapters exist at more than a dozen Catholic law schools. These students are being trained to reject the concept of justice for the unborn. Read and share our report on this terrible situation here.

Please also read and share these new reports on our website:


  • In stark contrast to the universities embracing pro-abortion advocacy, the Newman Guide-recommended University of Mary was selected to lead the 2017 March for Life. Read about the importance of this “huge honor” for the campus community here.
     
  • In his “Report Card” columnthis week, Matt Archbold highlights Dr. Dan Guernsey’s comments in the National Catholic Register about Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary, along with an essay by Ave Maria President Jim Towey celebrating the end of President Obama’s “sustained assault on religious liberty.” Hear, hear!.
     
All of us at The Cardinal Newman Society hope that you have a very merry and holy Christmas celebration this weekend! Thank you so much for your support of faithful Catholic education. God bless you!

 In Christ,

Saturday, December 17, 2016

FROM NAZARETH TO BETHLEHEM

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Saturday, 8 days before the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were most likely making preparations to leave tomorrow or the next day to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The distance between the two is approximatel 70 miles. In those days, the rich would have traveled by chariot. The poor, like Joseph and Mary, would either walk or travel by donkey. Ceaser Augustus had declared a census, so it was imperative that they go to Bethlehem. Mary was in the very late stages of her pregnancy with our Savior, but she could not avoid having to make the commanded census by Ceaser Augustus.

Instead of taking the shortest route of 70 miles through Samaria, Joseph decided to go 20 miles out of their way because the terrain of Samaria was very rugged and would have proved much more difficult for Mary. Who knows? If she had traveled that way, she might have birthed Jesus someplace between Nazarene and Bethlehem. Additionally, they could possible run into hostile Samaritans, so taking a southern route that was 20 miles further was not only more comfortable (if you ladies can imagine being comfortable a week before giving birth - no way!) and they would avoid any difficulaties with the Samaritans. Also, being very poor, it was highly unlikely that they would find a place to stay the night.

Even traveling a different and longer route, it was still fairly rough terrain to walk. It is unknown for sure that Mary rode the donkey. Perhaps she walked some and rode some. But bottom line, it was a trip that was between 4 and 7 FULL DAYS of walking, which we know Joseph walked the entire way.

Friends,, I have this journey on my mind and I am certain that I am going to think of Mary and Joseph's trek to Bethlehem all week, up until our Savior is born on Christmas Day. My heart aches for Mary's discomfort. They both may have been shoeless or at the most, crude, handmade sandals which did nothing but to keep the sharp rock from cutting their feet. They had to stay 4-6 nights along their travels because they were to travel about 90 miles all total.

Image result for mary and joseph travel to bethlehem

Certainly, God was with them. He was watching over his only Son who would be born very soon and I'm certain that God would not allow any ill circumstances to confront the couple.

This week, put the very pregnant Mary and her husband, Joseph, into your prayers and thoughts. They were so brave. But then, that was all they knew so to them, that was how it was done in that time of history.

We sometimes, or many times, take for granted those wonderful epidurals that women receive when birthing a child. They still have to "push", but there is no pain. Then compare our Blessed Mother's experience. Walking and riding a donkey for 90 miles! Think of a place 90 miles from where you live and imagine yourself walking the entire distance!

We are so fortunate to have our Blessed Mother seated at the right hand of her Son, Jesus Christ, in heaven. She went through so very much to birth this baby and was extremely protective of him as he was growing up. She knew he was the Son of God, but I don't think even she realized what his demise would be.

But we are thinking and praising happiness that we have a Savior who died for our sins and secured our Salvation! Remember, you will not get to heaven without going through Jesus, so therefore, he will be the first to judge you! And you might find yourself asking the Blessed Mother about her journey to the census where she also birthed our Savior. What a beautiful, joyful thought! And one day, we will share in praise of God and Jesus when we get to heaven.

Be good, be kind, be happy, be nice, avoid obvious sinning, just live a life for Jesus and there will be no question that you will live eternally in the place that God created for all of us - it is PARADISE!

Lovingly in Jesus,
ABBEY

Friday, December 16, 2016

CHRISTMAS NOVENA

Good morning dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am posting Day 1 of the Christmas Novena for you. You will find the link to this Novena from the publishers at the bottom of this post so that you may use it to go through the next 8 days of the Novena. You can also follow the link to have Pray More Novenas add you to their mailing list and receive the daily Novena all through the year! God bless you and Merry Christmas!

ABBEY

~*~

Peace be with you!
Thank you for joining us in praying the Christmas Novena! 

This novena will be dedicated to praying for an end to abortion, and for greater respect for the dignity of all human life! 
 
When contemplating the birth of our Savior and preparing for Christmas, it is a great time to pray for an end to abortion. After all, Christ came to us as a humble and vulnerable pre-born child. 

You can also post your own intentions here, and we invite you to click through to also see and pray for others' intentions: 

http://www.praymorenovenas.com/christmas-novena/#respond

Here are the prayers for today: 
Day 1 - The Christmas Novena 
(Audio/Video Version)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 
O Lord, Word of God, You, whose glory is complete, came to us in perfect humility as a child in the womb. Your love for us and humility is unsurpassed and brings us to our knees in prayer and worship.
Your incarnation forever changed the world.
All Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be, world without end.
Amen.
O Lord, infant Jesus, fill us with Joy! The birth of any child is a cause for joy and so much more is the birth of You our Savior. We pray in union with Mary, Your mother, for a greater joy this Christmas.
We pray also for these intentions… (State your intentions here)
May Your Holy Will be done in my life and with these intentions.
We pray that the work of salvation that Your first coming began will reach fulfillment in each of us.
All Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 
Thank you for praying with us!
 
Don't forget to click here to let everyone know what you're praying for so we can pray for you too!

We are praying for you!

God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com
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Saturday, December 10, 2016

SOMETHING ABOUT FAITH

The Healing of a Boy with a Demon.*14h When they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before him,15and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic* and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water.16I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”17i Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse* generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me.”18Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,* and from that hour the boy was cured.19Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”20* j He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Image result for hEALING THE BOY WITH THE DEMON

~*~

This is not the first, nor the last foretelling of Jesus. In reading Matthew, I found that Jesus was quite patient with his disciples. It reminds me of the most favorite teacher in my school. Everybody hoped that they would get this teacher for English and I scored by being put into one period of English a Day with him.

But I was like the disciples we read about in this passage from Matthew. Is there complete truth in what he is trying to show them THREE TIMES? Why would you not believe Him if he had shown you through his gentle way that he was, in fact the Son of God, Son of Man.

We feel we all have enough faith, but do we?  We should, for we are healed in things we are unawares every day!

If we had the faith to fill a mustard seed, we would never worry about anything from day to day. I feel some shame when I pray, and I apologize that I continue to ask God for something that I  have already given to him. I have no patience, just as the disciples had no patience. This could lead to your own self-destruction because you have not the patience to wait for God to work out everything leading up to the fulfillment of your prayers.

I have been known to cry a river and beg "please, please, please Jesus. "Please [answer this intention].  Yes, I felt a whole lot better once I released and cried sufficiently, but did I really change anything? Nope! This prayer will not be answered until God is ready, I just wish he'd hurry it up!

Many of you probably feel and experience the same thing. God understands, Jesus understands. But we simple MUST get a good grip on our FAITH! Like most people, I like to think I have a lot of faith, but it still isn't enough. I long to have such a close relationship with the Father and the Son that I will never second guess another thing. You cannot worry about tomorrow because God has already planned it today. If you just have faith in that one sentence, it should carry you through anything that worries you.

We KNOW that Jesus and God love us! And we KNOW we are so in love with these unseen beings and all that has been promised. It it were not true, The Holy Bible would hover have been written. I can guarantee you that if you pick up your Bible and turn to Isaiah, Job, or anything in the New Testament, you will find something that seems as though it were speaking directly to you and what you are experiencing.  That always amazes me, how I can read anything and it's almost as if Jesus is speaking directly to me. That's when I run to my prayer place and pray and talk with God. Sometimes it is quite emotional; other times, its just full of love and friendship.

JESUS LOVES YOU! GOD LOVES YOU! Reach out and commit those six words to your mind and heart. It is the truest of all things heavenly. And I no longer fear death because I know meeting Jesus at the gate is going to be so, so exhilarating! What a beautiful day that will be!

Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

Thursday, December 08, 2016

FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

1. "Hail Mary, full of grace!"
Immaculate Virgin, here I am at your feet once again,
full of devotion and gratitude.
I return to this historic Piazza di Spagna
on the solemn day of your feast
to pray for the beloved city of Rome,
for the Church, for the whole world.
In you, "humble and highest of creatures",
divine grace had the full victory over evil.
You are for us, pilgrims on the paths of the world,
the bright model of evangelical fidelity
and the ever-living pledge of sure hope.

2. Virgin Mother, "Salvation of the Roman People!"
Watch over, I pray you, the beloved Diocese of Rome:
over pastors and faithful, parishes and religious communities.
Watch over families especially:
may love sealed by the Sacrament ever reign between spouses,
may children walk on the paths of goodness and true freedom,
may the elderly feel surrounded by attention and affection.
Inspire, Mary, in so many young hearts,
generous replies to the "call for the mission",
a subject on which the diocese has
been reflecting over the years.
Thanks to an intense pastoral program for vocations,
may Rome be enriched by new young forces,
dedicated with enthusiasm to proclaiming the Gospel
in the city and in the world.


3. Blessed Virgin, Queen of Apostles!
Assist those who through study
and prayer are preparing to labor
on the many frontiers of the new evangelization.
Today I entrust to you, in a special way,
the community of the Pontifical Urban College,
whose historic headquarters are located in front of this pillar.
May this wonderful institution founded 375 years ago
by Pope Urban VIII for the formation of missionaries,
be able to continue effectively its ecclesial service.
May those it gathers, seminarians and priests,
men and women religious and laity,
be ready to put their energies at the disposition
of Christ in service of the Gospel to the far corners of the globe.

4. "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!"
Pray, O Mother, for all of us.
Pray for humanity for those who suffers poverty and injustice,
violence and hatred, terror and war.
Help us to contemplate with the rosary
the mysteries of Him who "is our peace",
so that we will all feel involved
in a persevering dedication of service to peace.
Look with special attention
upon the land in which you gave birth to Jesus,
a land that you loved together with Him,
and that is still so sorely tried today.
Pray for us, Mother of hope!
"Give us days of peace, watch over our way.
Let us see your Son as we rejoice in heaven". Amen!


Prayer by Pope John Paul II on the Second Sunday of Advent, 8 December 2002 . Given at Piazza di Spagna


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

STORY OF THE LOST SHEEP


Matthew 18:12-14 NIV
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 
13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 

14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

~*~
I am forever in awe of the way that Jesus can weave a parable into a lesson of a Christian way of life.

As Bishop Barron from Daily Gospel Reflections says, "These are souls who are like lost sheep. Spiritually compromised, unable fundamentally to help themselves, they are at least aware that they are in a mess. They are like people who commence the AA process by admitting that they have hit bottom and are out of control. They bleat and they cry for help." And there are those who are so lost, they have no HOPE of ever being found or their lives made right again.

As Christians, we are obligated, and hopefully encouraged, to hold out a hand or open our arms wide to possible strangers who are lonely, possibly addicted to drugs or alcohol or both, and they are there because they have hit rock bottom and they have lost all HOPE.

Dear Ones, where would we be without HOPE. We have the HOPE that this problem can be fixed. But they need help! How many of you walk by a homeless individual and do not stop and ask if they are hungry and you take them to the fast-food store and buy them something good to eat. Perhaps that leads to conversation and you may know of a place that might take them in.

What I am saying is that if your heart can hold the HOPE of God and Jesus, then it can give some of that hope to others. It doesn't cost anything unless you'd like to buy a meal. People these days take the wide berth around the lost and forgotten. It is in these cold days and nights of winter that I see in my mind's eye the homeless underneath the interstate, pulling apart cardboard boxes for warm and a sheath against the wind.

This Christmas, share your HOPE with someone, or better yet, with many. Most churches have a grocery sack program where you fill it with non-perishable items and return it to the church, where it is taken to local food kitchens and safe houses for the lonely and lost. You could probably afford to fill two bags! 

God has his eye on a person who has lost all HOPE, and he has designated this person for you, whether you meet them or not. The thing is, in giving generously, one or more people may have a Happy Christmas. As I just wrote that, the thought came that just a sack of food, one grocery sack, would make their Christmas so wonderful, and I don't think you'd ever miss the money.

Be generous. Share your HOPE with everyone you meet.

Happy Christmas of the birth of our Savior.
ABBEY

Friday, December 02, 2016

BUILD YOUR HOUSE ON THE ROCK

Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house. 
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. 
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house. 
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”



~*~

Does this scripture sound a little familiar? It reminds me of the three little pigs building their houses to get away from the big, bad wolf!

On the serious side, Jesus is telling each of us to build our faith on a foundation that is strong and cannot be moved by even the strongest storm in our lives. Pity those who do not know Jesus and build their hopes on false promises, selfishness, and everything that goes against God's commandments. They will be struck down and will not pass Jesus and meet the Father.

Remember what he says, "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock." Of course, this is a strong metaphor, but it drives home the point Jesus is making.

It is not enough to say "I believe" or "I have faith" ...... NO! You must act on what is God's words; YOU MUST LIVE IT. Conduct yourselves in a Christian-like manner. Practice living a life that reflects Jesus in you. Live a life that peope will remember "he is a true Christian". Pity those who do not believe. I talk of Jesus in some crowds and everyone just looks at me! I cannot quite find the words as to how I feel when this happens. I'm not going to preach to them. If they do not see Jesus living in me with The Holy Spirit, and they choose to ignore it or snicker about it our of my hearing, I do pity them. And I almost become angry, but Jesus stops the anger. You can take a horse to water, but you cannot ever make him drink.

Set your faith on a strong rock high up on the mountain so that when Jesus comes for His people and the skies fill with smoke and the days the skies are full of fire, He will protect you from harm, and eventually, you will be among the blessed to be taken by Jesus, himself, up into the heavens to me His Father, GOD.

The song "Beautiful Savior" comes to mind. See below. Jesus is named in Merriman-Webster's Dictionary:

Definition of savior

  1. 1:  one that saves from danger or destruction
  2. 2:  one who brings salvation; specifically capitalized :  jesus 1

A short story: A friend of mine's husband whose sister is an alcoholic. She used to live with her elderly mother who has alzheimer's and now lives with the son and his wife. She has not tried in two years to get a job. Rather, she spent her money on rent and alcohol. Now she is completely destitute. I need to say that she ran up her elderly mother's credit cards when she lived with her. The son has told her that she has to pay back the tens of thousands she has taken. He is Power of Attorney and his mother said "don't give her any more money". She called them two nights ago saying she needed money for food. The son, in spite of his anger at her for her past transgressions wants to go and buy her some groceries and not give her money so she can buy liquor. The wife says he should obey his mother's wishes to not give her any money. HOWEVER, the elderly woman suffering from alsheimers makes you wonder if she meant what she said, if she knew her daughter's situation.

It is a family situation that must be decided by the son. But I had to tell them what I felt about this situation. I said, "It is Christmas, a season of giving without expecting anything in return. What would Jesus do? I believe he would ask her to make out a grocery list and I would go buy her groceries and take them to her, thereby avoiding giving her money to buy liquor. On the other hand, his wife feels if he starts this, it will never stop. I am praying for them in this difficult choice. I believe I know which avenue the son will choose. He is a Godly man and he'll do what is right. Would you help your sister who was destitute but had taken thousands of dollars from her mother without the mother realizing it before she was diagnosed with Alzheimers?

I cannot help how I feel and I feel that this is right: Jesus would help the poor and tell them to sin no more.

Lovingly in Christ this Advent Season,
ABBEY

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

INTENDED OR COINCIDENCE?

As a Dollywood employee was cleaning up in Pigeon Forge after the fire, they happened upon this small page from a Bible. It is, to me, VERY ironic. Do you believe in irony or perhaps it was left as a message. It is a passage from Joel 1:19-20.  You make your own decision. I am only the messenger.

Dollywood employee finds lone Bible page while cleaning up after fire

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION NOVENA - DAY 2

Image result for IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Peace be with you!
Today, we would like to pray for the intentions of the Pray More Novenas community.

There are more than 290,000 people praying with us!

To post your own intentions, and to pray for everyone else's intentions, click here:

http://www.praymorenovenas.com/immaculate-conception-novena/#respond

We're praying for you!

Here are the prayers for today: 
Day 2 - The Immaculate Conception Novena 
(Audio/Video Version)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O most pure Virgin Mary conceived without sin, from the very first instant, you were entirely immaculate.  O glorious Mary full of grace, you are the mother of my God – the Queen of Angels and of men. I humbly venerate you as the chosen mother of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords chose you for the singular grace and honor of being His beloved mother. By the power of His Cross, He preserved you from all sin. Therefore, by His power and love, I have hope and bold confidence in your prayers for my holiness and salvation.
I pray that your prayers will bring me to imitate your holiness and submission to Jesus and the Divine Will.
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.
Now, Queen of Heaven, I beg you to beg my Savior to grant me these requests…
(Mention your intentions)
My holy Mother, I know that you were obedient to the will of God. In making this petition, I know that God’s will is more perfect than mine. So, grant that I may receive God’s grace with humility like you.

As my final request, I ask that you pray for me to increase in faith in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in hope in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in love for the risen Jesus!
Amen.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Thank you for praying with us!

Don't forget to click here to let everyone know what you're praying for so we can pray for you too!

We are praying for you!

God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com
Copyright © 2016 Deddens Media, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
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