Friday, December 22, 2017

All Generations Will Call Me ♥

AdventCover Week3

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

At Christmas we don't wish each other perfect lives but only "comfort and joy." This is what I look for: not an end to struggle, but a level of understanding and adjustment so that we can say to each other, "Merry Christmas."

But understand how important it is and how central to the Christmas message, to be merry, to have a hopeful, positive, and optimistic attitude, even if your health is bad or if life is not at its best. The infant Jesus is lying in a barnyard crib, and yet the emotional atmosphere is glorious and full of hope. What a lesson for us living in a time of worldwide conflict and personal challenges.

—from the book The Soul of Christmas by Thomas Moore


✞ ""The sacred heart of Christ is an inexhaustible fountain, and its sole desire is to pour itself out into the hearts of the humble so as to free them and prepare them to lead lives according to his good pleasure."
— St. Margaret Mary

"The life of our flesh is the delight of sensuality; its death is to take from it all sensible delight. The life of our judgment and our will is to dispose of ourselves and what is ours, according to our own views and wishes; their death, then, is to submit ourselves in all things to the judgment and will of others. The life of the desire for esteem and respect is to be well thought of by everyone; its death, therefore, is to hide ourselves so as not to be known, by means of continual acts of humility and self-abasement. Until one succeeds in dying in this manner, he will never be a servant of God, nor will God ever perfectly live in him."
—St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, p. 126
Cultivating Virtue: Self-Mastery With the Saints

"Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective."
James 5:16


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Blessed Jacopone da Todi

Saint of the Day for December 22
(c. 1230 – December 25, 1306)

Blessed Jacopone da Todi's Story
Jacomo or James, was born a noble member of the Benedetti family in the northern Italian city of Todi. He became a successful lawyer and married a pious, generous lady named Vanna.

His young wife took it upon herself to do penance for the worldly excesses of her husband. One day Vanna, at the insistence of Jacomo, attended a public tournament. She was sitting in the stands with the other noble ladies when the stands collapsed. Vanna was killed. Her shaken husband was even more disturbed when he realized that the penitential girdle she wore was for his sinfulness. On the spot, he vowed to radically change his life.

Jacomo divided his possessions among the poor and entered the Secular Franciscan Order. Often dressed in penitential rags, he was mocked as a fool and called Jacopone, or "Crazy Jim," by his former associates. The name became dear to him.

After 10 years of such humiliation, Jacopone asked to be received into the Order of Friars Minor. Because of his reputation, his request was initially refused. He composed a beautiful poem on the vanities of the world, an act that eventually led to his admission into the Order in 1278. He continued to lead a life of strict penance, declining to be ordained a priest. Meanwhile, he was writing popular hymns in the vernacular.

Jacopone suddenly found himself a leader in a disturbing religious movement among the Franciscans. The Spirituals, as they were called, wanted a return to the strict poverty of Francis. They had on their side two cardinals of the Church and Pope Celestine V. These two cardinals though, opposed Celestine's successor, Boniface VIII. At the age of 68, Jacopone was excommunicated and imprisoned. Although he acknowledged his mistake, Jacopone was not absolved and released until Benedict XI became pope five years later. He had accepted his imprisonment as penance. He spent the final three years of his life more spiritual than ever, weeping "because Love is not loved." During this time he wrote the famous Latin hymn, Stabat Mater.

On Christmas Eve in 1306 Jacopone felt that his end was near. He was in a convent of the Poor Clares with his friend, Blessed John of La Verna. Like Francis, Jacopone welcomed "Sister Death" with one of his favorite songs. It is said that he finished the song and died as the priest intoned the "Gloria" from the midnight Mass at Christmas. From the time of his death, Brother Jacopone has been venerated as a saint.

His contemporaries called Jacopone, "Crazy Jim." We might well echo their taunt, for what else can you say about a man who broke into song in the midst of all his troubles? We still sing Jacopone's saddest song, the Stabat Mater, but we Christians claim another song as our own, even when the daily headlines resound with discordant notes. Jacopone's whole life rang out our song: "Alleluia!" May he inspire us to keep singing.


Friday of the Third Week of Advent

Reading 1 1 Sm 1:24-28

In those days,
Hannah brought Samuel with her,
along with a three-year-old bull,
an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine,
and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh.
After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull,
Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said:
"Pardon, my lord!
As you live, my lord,
I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD.
I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD."
She left Samuel there.

Responsorial Psalm 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd
R. (see 1a) My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"The LORD puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world;
he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich,
he humbles, he also exalts."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"He raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 1:46-56

Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever."

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months
and then returned to her home.


Meditation: Luke 1:46-56
3rd Week of Advent

He has filled the hungry with good things. (Luke 1:53)

As Christmas draws near, many of us are busy "filling" packages, envelopes, and stockings with good things. We hope to surprise and delight the people in our lives. We want them to know we love and value them, that we think of them, and that we will go to no end of trouble for them. And whether we realize it or not, we are doing this in imitation of our heavenly Father, who also delights in filling his children with good things. We are always on his mind. We are always the object of his affection. He is a good, good God, and his love for us is steadfast and unfailing.

What are some of the "good things" that God has filled us with? First and most important, he satisfied Israel's longing for a Messiah and the human race's need for a Savior. And on a personal level, he knows what you truly need and want. He knows what will delight and satisfy you, even better than you know it yourself. He knows how hungry you are for his grace, his guidance, and his presence, and he delights to give these good things to you. You are always welcome in his presence, and he will always respond to the hunger hidden deeply in your heart.

Jesus expressed God's generosity when he spoke about the crowds who flocked to him: "My heart is moved with pity. . . . I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way" (Matthew 15:32). Your Father knows the weariness and the hunger you experience. He wants to fill you, lest you stumble and fall. He knows the fears and anxieties that wear you down, and he wants to fill you with courage and confidence in his provision for you. He knows the joys and triumphs you experience in life, and he wants to celebrate them with you and fill you with his joy.

Your Father is generous—beyond belief! So don't hesitate to ask him to fill you with all that you need. At the same time, be sure to look for ways that God is already filling you. Then, like Mary, you can proclaim the greatness of the Lord.

"Thank you, Father, for filling me with so many good things!"

1 Samuel 1:24-28
(Psalm) 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8



The Holy Word said in the Old Testament: ""Pardon, my lord!
As you live, my lord,I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD." She remembered her promise. And the promise became a prophecy, Samuel. And Samuel also is encompassed in the life of Jesus. Which calls to mind the "Choose Life" scripture in Deuteronomy 30:20: "I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, obeying his voice, and holding fast to him. For that will mean life for you..." Mary is foreshadowed by Hannah, in this same life offering, love offering...the only child, and even that...for God.

Let us pray: "My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior. The LORD puts to death and gives life; he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again. The LORD makes poor and makes rich, he humbles, he also exalts." These words were impregnated into the heart of our Blessed Mother. Her life was the Word, and her life today is the Word...Jesus.

She exclaims beautifully to Saint Elizabeth: ""My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant." There are many things to take into consideration here. First, she says a reality pronounced from Heaven as she was created to be the Mother of God: My SOUL Proclaims the greatness of the Lord". Think about the ramifications this has in every life created from the Creator. You too are created in His image. Your souls was created to serve God, and proclaim the Lord's greatness. She goes on: My Spirit, first SOUL now Spirit, rejoices in God my SAVIOR. She has already proclaimed the MESSIAH. Every night I'm asking the different classrooms that attend the Posadas "What does Jesus mean?" Most say "Savior", yes, it is "He Who Saves". Mary gave the words of the Archangel to the world, This is the Messiah! AMEN!? She rejoiced to see the day the prophets of old only spoke and dreamed about. She goes on "For He has looked upon his lowly servant". She rejoiced at answered prayers to be a part of this saving and sacrificial work. The other day, a newly elected youth leader said she could not sleep and asked why this internal excitement and joy, and she recounted that she had prayed that if God would see her fit to help His kingdom she would be so honored to serve. I did not personally believe she would be elected, seeing others as more experienced and involved that had applied. But this is how God chooses, King David, and Mother Mary, the "forgotten" if you will, the "unfit". And the Church is full of misfits. The other night, a person was getting kind of worked up about the kids not singing at Posadas, I just smiled and said "aren't they new? They don't know, let us show them and join them". It is not the sheep's fault is it? Point the finger and the rest point back! We are to lead the way of joy and love of Christ! Amen?

I only write my2cents daily for this: To show you that faith is alive. To show you that this Kingdom thing is happening and it is real, right before your eyes. An interrupting past worker comes in this morning shaking everyone's hand. No he is not looking for work as other times, his health will not allow it (has had heart surgeries). So why is he interrupting our daily work and thoughts and imposing his presence among us? It is Jesus. What's more, these passing souls I have noticed are quickly fading into the next life. I am honored. Don't know what to say in our awkward silences in conversation. But I give what he asks for. He wants a hat, or a jacket, stuff that means ....warmth. That's what Jesus wants, your hearts' warmth. That is what kept Him warm in that cold manger/stable when He was born. Love carries us through the bitter cold. Doesn't it? I have a brother in law suffering of what everyone, doctors and friends are saying are "anxiety attacks". There is hardly any consolation to him right now, and has been in the hospitals and ER rooms various times this week. I went to visit him. Prayed. And I remember vividly grabbing him, embracing him on his couch, shaking him up "Come on now, snap out of it" I am right here for you. Our part...the heart. The warmth that will carry us through, showing the love of Christ that is among us...the Kingdom.

I was so happy last night, the donkey decided to come the closest he's ever come to the front door of a house that I took out my phone and snapped a photo. To me, the donkey has much to do with the story of the Nativity. Especially since reading "The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary" From The Visions Of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. The donkey was in and out of the scene. The recent hollywood movie on the "The Star" made me internally think of the adventures of the donkey. The lowly figure that brought Mary and then the same figure that brought in Jesus triumphant into Jerusalem. People didn't know they were living what Heaven was living...a day of rejoicing because what was being processed....Victory over death and sin. Holiness would now be spread throughout the world...the light. The world with all its stallions in armies and chariots would be halted by one travelling donkey. Funny, in old Mexico, people like to take the paths that donkey's make through mountains, because it is the best way through. Whether it is true or not, it is noticeable.

This guy doesn't really have a name. He is usually alone with the cattle we have, because they say donkeys are good to ward off coyotes. All year he is wondering in his own adventures and then when needed, this one time of year, he is saddled up, and he does not put up a fight. He knows "it is time". It is now the time to serve the Lord. So humble, he will not come to the door steps, always wants to stand on the street when asking for an inn. So gentle, he does not kick or scare off easily. So obedient, he does not put up a fight to get in the trailer to go. Unlike other donkeys we've had. And this one is white (holiness), unlike the black ones we've had. What am I saying? We need to be a donkey now? LOL
You don't have to be or do anything you don't want.
That is the beauty of God's love for us.
But for those that Mother Mary...
God is exulted. God is cherished. God's love is manifested.
And this coming of two loves into one becomes a formidable force of light.
The kind that dispels the darkness, the very reason Christmas was chosen this time of year. Here comes the light...
The Love of GOD!



It is my birthday on the 25th. This year, a couple weeks ago,on the day of the Immaculate Conception I posted my new CD I will be handing out as gifts. To you online, see it and download at my website
Many songs are in spanish, some in english.
All with one focus....loving God and the love of God.
And please be the Merry, the Joy of Christ'sMass
that will be my gift and your gift to me. I will be there in Spirit with you on the day of Our Lord's Birth we celebrate!


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