Thursday, December 29, 2016

Into his arms

Full of Gratitude Oh Jesus, I am full of gratitude that you have taught me about your real presence and the joy that comes from spending time with yo

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Full of Gratitude

Oh Jesus, I am full of gratitude that you have taught me about your real presence and the joy that comes from spending time with you. Give me the grace to be faithful, because the most important thing in my life is to surrender to you and know you better. Teach me to serve others—to give my time and resources to those in need. Let me lose myself and find you.

-from A Eucharistic Christmas

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†"The human soul has so much likeness to God its creator that I surely know of no other way by which one can more easily mount to a knowledge of God than from reflection on one's own soul."
— St. Robert Bellarmine


"Since we are all one in Christ, we must maintain fraternal charity, which binds us together in peace, and work in harmony for the common good. We are all members of Christ, reborn in baptism by the grace of the Holy Spirit, redeemed by the Passion of Christ, cleansed by the blood of Christ, and nourished by the body of Christ. Furthermore, we are instructed by the words of Christ, confirmed by the miracles of Christ, and guided by the examples of Christ. My brothers, why then would you wish to hurt one another? Whoever injures another, by word or deed, also offends Christ, who will avenge and punish the evil done unless the guilty one quickly amends his ways."
— Thomas à Kempis, p. 64
Bountiful Goodness


Franciscan Media


Saint Thomas Becket
Saint of the Day for December 29
(December 21, 1118 – December 29, 1170)

Saint Thomas Becket's Story

A strong man who wavered for a moment, but then learned one cannot come to terms with evil and so became a strong churchman, a martyr and a saint—that was Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in his cathedral on December 29, 1170.

His career had been a stormy one. While archdeacon of Canterbury, he was made chancellor of England at the age of 36 by his friend King Henry II. When Henry felt it advantageous to make his chancellor the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas gave him fair warning: he might not accept all of Henry's intrusions into Church affairs. Nevertheless, he was made archbishop (1162), resigned his chancellorship, and reformed his whole way of life!

Troubles began. Henry insisted upon usurping Church rights. At one time, supposing some conciliatory action possible, Thomas came close to compromise. He momentarily approved the Constitutions of Clarendon, which would have denied the clergy the right of trial by a Church court and prevented them from making direct appeal to Rome. But Thomas rejected the Constitutions, fled to France for safety and remained in exile for seven years. When he returned to England, he suspected it would mean certain death. Because Thomas refused to remit censures he had placed upon bishops favored by the king, Henry cried out in a rage, "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!" Four knights, taking his words as his wish, slew Thomas in the Canterbury cathedral.

Thomas Becket remains a hero-saint down to our own times.

No one becomes a saint without struggle, especially with himself. Thomas knew he must stand firm in defense of truth and right, even at the cost of his life. We also must take a stand in the face of pressures—against dishonesty, deceit, destruction of life—at the cost of popularity, convenience, promotion and even greater goods.
Saint Thomas Becket is the Patron Saint of:

Roman Catholic Secular Clergy


Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2016-12-29


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of Your Presence.


Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.


Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life?
By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.
If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
readings in audio

Reading 1 1 Jn 2:3-11

The way we may be sure that we know Jesus
is to keep his commandments.
Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:
whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you
but an old commandment that you had from the beginning.
The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
And yet I do write a new commandment to you,
which holds true in him and among you,
for the darkness is passing away,
and the true light is already shining.
Whoever says he is in the light,
yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness.
Whoever loves his brother remains in the light,
and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.
Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;
he walks in darkness
and does not know where he is going
because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6
R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty go before him;
praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary.

R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Alleluia Lk 2:32
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A light of revelation to the Gentiles
and glory for your people Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 2:22-35

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

"Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel."

The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
(and you yourself a sword will pierce)
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

The Scripture readings in the season of Christmas often emphasise how the coming of Jesus was the end point of all the initiatives which God ever took in the interests of the people he had chosen. And today we're reminded that much of this held for the whole non-Jewish world as well.
But we are warned not to be complacent. Jesus is not going to force himself on anybody. There will always be the choice – to accept him or to reject him.
That spirit of God who all along (according to Simeon) was master of events, has finally in our own day been sent even more directly into the world by the ascended Jesus.
In our prayer, we should rely on this Spirit to help us in our choices – and so to bring us to our true destiny.


Conversation requires talking and listening.
As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.
I picture the gentleness in His eyes
and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.
I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.
I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.
I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care,
to abandon myself to Him,
knowing that He always wants what is best for me.


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.

5th Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

Sing to the Lord a new song. (Psalm 96:1)

While the old familiar Christmas carols are still echoing, today's Responsorial Psalm encourages us to sing a "new song" to the Lord. A new song, made possible by the Incarnation of Jesus. A new song to the One who became God in the flesh and who makes all things new. A new song that revels in the Father's love for us. A new song that makes our hearts leap with joy at the promise of the gospel.

So sing a new song, flowing from the relationship you can now experience with God. Join the angels in singing "Glory to God in the highest," because you see signs of his glory everywhere you go (Luke 2:14). Sing in imitation of Mary, who magnified the Lord and rejoiced in God her savior. Sing of the joy of knowing you have been redeemed by a loving God. Sing, knowing the next time you fall to sin, forgiveness and grace await you.

But don't sing just because God has made you happy. Sing because it makes him happy too! Sing a song that proclaims the wonders he has done. Sing a song that declares who you know him to be. Your Father rejoices when you praise him, not because he craves your attention, but because he knows how praise lifts your spirit, strengthens you against temptation, and fills you with a desire to share his good news.

So sing out his praises! If you have a hard time finding the words, use today's psalm—and so many others—instead. And if you don't like to sing, speaking it out is just as good.

If you don't regularly spend time with God, now is a good time to start. A new start is in itself a new song. If you are uncomfortable with this kind of prayer, your new song might be simply telling him that you don't know him in that way yet, but you want to experience something new: "Lord, let me feel your Spirit moving in me. Let your truths light a new fire in my heart."

Whatever you do, sing a new song today, and bless his name!

"Lord, put a new song in my heart today. Stir your Spirit in me, and teach me to sing to you!"

1 John 2:3-11
Luke 2:22-35


my2cents audio


"This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:
whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked." Last night I led a funeral rosary and vigil with a couple of songs. At one point I read a scripture that said "you know the way" and then we read Jesus is the truth and the way. Or do you know "the Way" which is Jesus? Because, "Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.", there must not be duplicity, two faces, one of niceness in front and one of wretchedness in the back, as if an angel carrying a devil. It is an oxymoron that cancels itself out. Nobody knows God except Jesus, and we can get to know God if we get to know Jesus, our connection to Heaven, to the Father, and the connection to Jesus is the Holy Spirit. At another point I said "we must realize the Holy Spirit in our lives trying to connect the dots in our faith for salvation".

We prayed today " Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! Announce his salvation, day after day." It always bothers me to hear someone say "I did this (and that) for the Lord" as if, doing things once was enough...NO! It must be DAY AFTER DAY. You don't do something and earn something, like grace and salvation, it is a continuous opening of oneself like a sunflower that points to the light, and the flowers look sad and down when there is no Son, they point down.

In the Holy Gospel, Simeon becomes the embodiment of the whole of Israel and the temple of God. Bishop Barren says of today's Gospel "...The glory of Yahweh is returning to his favorite dwelling. And this is precisely what Simeon sees. The old seer is a symbol of ancient Israel, watching and waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Simeon knew all of the old prophecies; he embodied the expectation of the nation, and the Holy Spirit had given him the revelation that he would not die until he had laid eyes on his Savior." The Glory would return, and it was Jesus who broke the temple wide open, opened the gates of Heaven so not only Jews would be availed Heaven but everyone else who would seek the Truth...JESUS. The JEw-who'S-with-Us never against us. The only person against you is the accuser, the darkness, the one carried around whom you've cared to touch and it latches on like a parasite and can only be removed surgically through the healer who is God, who sends Jesus, who sends the Holy Spirit. 3 times availed in a force that is unexplainable, a mind, a spirit, a soul. Just like me and you. We must carry the Holy Spirit. Mary and Joseph carry the Lord to the temple and He is presented. There He is annointed and brought in to fulfill the prophecies of the Messiah. To this day there are Jews who are still waiting for the Messiah. Just like today, there are still believers waiting for Jesus, waiting, and waiting a lifetime when He has already come and we simply are to seek Him and be with Him and let Him reign in our lives, living the Truth and the Way. Simeon says to Mary that her soul would be pierced with a sword. And so intimately is she tied with Jesus that her soul feels Him like twins can feel what the other twin is going through. It is a knitting in the womb, a design of the Father, and such is a pain that you can not explain, because if a sword goes through your body, you can feel coldness and pain, but if it crosses your soul, you step into the realms of GOD. And this anguish brings about cataclysmic portions of God's grace as an antibody heals and strengthens the wounds. Jesus comes in.

This powerful grace is availed to you and me now. This is why we can pray to Mary to bestow on us grace...JESUS. I am not writing lies, I am with the Truth although I do not fully know the truth until I die. And this death is the revelation of truth. I must no longer live...but CHRIST