Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cried Out In A LOUD Voice...

AdventCover Week3

Embrace the Calm of Christmas

Many people feel an underlying anxiety due to world events and the challenges of getting along in a complicated world. Christmas allows a break from that gray depression, an inner darkness reflected in the winter sky. Solstice offers symbolic hope that there may be a turn in the "weather." The turn could take us to more genuine peace, justice, and community—key values in the Jesus teachings and qualities we expect in a renewed life turning more toward the light than the dark.

—from the book The Soul of Christmas by Thomas Moore


✞ "If we do not risk anything for God we will never do anything great for Him."
— St. Louis De Montfort

"An excellent method of preserving interior silence is to keep exterior silence. . . even in the world, each one of us can make his own solitude, a boundary beyond which nothing can force its way unperceived. It is not noise in itself that is the difficulty, but noise that is pointless; it is not every conversation, but useless conversations; not all kinds of occupation, but aimless occupations. In point of fact, everything that does not serve some good purpose is harmful. It is foolish, nay, more, it is a betrayal to devote to a useless objective powers that can be given to what is essential. There are two ways of separating ourselves from almighty God, quite different from one another but both disastrous, although for different reasons: mortal sin and voluntary distractions—mortal sin, which objectively breaks off our union with God, and voluntary distractions, which subjectively interrupt or hinder our union from being as close as it ought to be. We should speak only when it is preferable not to keep silence. The Gospel does not say merely that we shall have to give an account of every evil word, but of every idle thought."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 44
Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori

"As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."
Colossians 3:12-13


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Saint Peter Canisius

Saint of the Day for December 21
(May 8, 1521 – December 21, 1597)

The energetic life of Peter Canisius should demolish any stereotypes we may have of the life of a saint as dull or routine. Peter lived his 76 years at a pace which must be considered heroic, even in our time of rapid change. A man blessed with many talents, Peter is an excellent example of the scriptural man who develops his talents for the sake of the Lord's work.

Peter was one of the most important figures in the Catholic Reformation in Germany. He played such a key role that he has often been called the "second apostle of Germany," in that his life parallels the earlier work of Boniface.

Although Peter once accused himself of idleness in his youth, he could not have been idle too long, for at the age of 19 he received a master's degree from the university at Cologne. Soon afterwards he met Peter Faber, the first disciple of Ignatius of Loyola, who influenced Peter so much that he joined the recently formed Society of Jesus.

At this early age Peter had already taken up a practice he continued throughout his life—a process of study, reflection, prayer, and writing. After his ordination in 1546, he became widely known for his editions of the writings of Saint Cyril of Alexandria and St. Leo the Great. Besides this reflective literary bent, Peter had a zeal for the apostolate. He could often be found visiting the sick or imprisoned, even when his assigned duties in other areas were more than enough to keep most people fully occupied.

In 1547, Peter attended several sessions of the Council of Trent, whose decrees he was later assigned to implement. After a brief teaching assignment at the Jesuit college at Messina, Peter was entrusted with the mission to Germany—from that point on his life's work. He taught in several universities and was instrumental in establishing many colleges and seminaries. He wrote a catechism that explained the Catholic faith in a way that common people could understand—a great need of that age.

Renowned as a popular preacher, Peter packed churches with those eager to hear his eloquent proclamation of the gospel. He had great diplomatic ability, often serving as a reconciler between disputing factions. In his letters–filling eight volumes–one finds words of wisdom and counsel to people in all walks of life. At times he wrote unprecedented letters of criticism to leaders of the Church—yet always in the context of a loving, sympathetic concern.

At 70, Peter suffered a paralytic seizure, but he continued to preach and write with the aid of a secretary, until his death in his hometown of Nijmegen, Netherlands, on December 21, 1597.

Peter's untiring efforts are an apt example for those involved in the renewal of the Church or the growth of moral consciousness in business or government. He is regarded as one of the creators of the Catholic press, and can easily be a model for the Christian author or journalist. Teachers can see in his life a passion for the transmission of truth. Whether we have much to give, as Peter Canisius did, or whether we have only a little to give, as did the poor widow in the Gospel of Luke (see Luke 21:1–4), the important thing is to give our all. It is in this way that Peter is so exemplary for Christians in an age of rapid change when we are called to be in the world but not of the world.

Saint Peter Canisius is the Patron Saint of:


Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

Reading 1 Sg 2:8-14

Hark! my lover–here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.
My lover speaks; he says to me,
"Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one,
and come!
"For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!

"O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely."

Or Zep 3:14-18a

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
R. (1a; 3a) Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 1:39-45

Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."


3rd Week of Advent

Let me see you, let me hear your voice. (Song of Songs 2:14)

It's amazing what people will do to attend a special event or to get something they really want. We see images on the news of people waiting all night outside a store just so that they can buy a new cell phone or get tickets to a new movie before they sell out.

Thank God we don't have to be like that when it comes to God's grace! Granted, there are countless stories about saints praying long into the night. But that wasn't because they were afraid God would leave them empty; it was because they knew how good he is. They knew there was no risk of his grace "selling out." They just wanted to receive all they could so that they had more to give away.

Scripture makes it clear that being in God's presence changes lives. The Song of Songs dramatizes the way that God's love reaches into our hearts and fills us in a way that no other love possibly can. The Book of Psalms is filled with proclamations of praise and heartfelt cries of gratitude for God's love and his blessings. And in today's Gospel, when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, arrives at Elizabeth's house, her cousin is overcome with awe and joy. Even Elizabeth's unborn child, John, leaps for joy in Jesus' presence! Again and again, we see how lives are transformed when they are in God's presence.

Jesus offers you the gift of his presence today. You don't have to wait in a long line or worry that he might disappear before you get to him. He is waiting for you; he is eager to welcome you. It doesn't matter how you come to him. You can find him whether you are dancing with praise music, chanting ancient hymns, kneeling in a chapel, or singing Christmas carols in your kitchen. You may experience him in a way different from your neighbor or even your spouse. But that doesn't matter. All that matters is that Jesus is with you, waiting to be found by you. There is no better place to be than in the presence of Jesus, your Redeemer and Friend!

"Lord Jesus, thank you for calling me to be with you. Thank you for the privilege of walking with you every day!"

Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Luke 1:39-45


"The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs". The mothers of the "Elijah" spirit and the HOLY SPIRIT join together in a world revolutionary moment...the fruits are about to reshape mankind.

Let us pray: " Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust. Exult you just..." The holy souls are rejoicing, vibrant and full of joy...Jesus.

The Holy Gospel exults in the Lord our Savior: "the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." The mother of my Lord came to me and you. A mother like non other. If you have a Father, you have a mother. This is the importance on earth for us parents to live like the Holy Father and Mother in Heaven. Full of grace. We can. Our roles are more important than we can ever imagine. They shape the future. Do you think the Gospel does not apply to life? It has EVERYTHING to do with life. From the moment you rise, those first thoughts, the break of dawn, the daily life and daily bread and evening sundown, and last thoughts...they are life, a whole life in one day. God is amazing giving us thousands of days, thousands of lives. Live it to the max.
Live it for God.

Thrive and give fruit.

And the fruit of the Spirit gives life.

And the Kingdom of God is alive, and active, and among us with our Holy Spirit, our Lord, our Savior. Be grateful and fall on your knees. Rejoice at what you have been blessed with...God's presence. They say "presence is the present" and that is what we can give to our Lord. I dare you to visit someone in need for Christmas, and let a gift be an excuse to visit and not the gift itself be the present. What will happen next is an impacting fills a void.

Be prepared and be aware. Much is vying for your attention, that's how marketing works. Sales, and traps. Distractions cost lives. The most important gift has already been given. Jesus in a manger. The love of God to the poor. The fullness of God to the Holy, the just. Let these gifts transform the world of darkness. Eyes are watching your every move, both physical and spiritual. Watching to see if you will lead or fall. And if you fall, to see if you will get back up. I am writing you to encourage you to love today more than yesterday. Because God gave us all the Love He had that would eternally grow. They say the universe is ever is God's love. They say there may be another universe, I say....there is more to be had and be glad, and rejoice. The world is changing, for the better and the worse, where light is more clear than dark, a clarification of His Holy Word is slowly being revealed. And the message sounds like this: I AM always.

I was at a parts counter yesterday, and I scribbled notes on their notepad as I was getting part numbers I needed, and as I waited I started drawing...first the face, then the body...of our crucified Lord, and I left the pad there for all to see with these words written for the next soul with a question to see the answer:
Because I Do



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