Friday, December 20, 2019

⛪ . He Will Be Great.. .⛪

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We Are Not Alone in the Dark

Darkness is necessary. All life germinates in the dark and we spend fully one half of our lives in that state. Without pervasive darkness there would be no need for light, and still there are places and realities that light cannot illumine. Lightlessness also bears different aspects. It is the impenetrable cloak of mystery that hides the Holy and shades our lives with the nuance of not-knowing. Such darkness can both isolate and integrate us under its shadow. When plunged into blackness, our first instinct is to reach out for one another. Should we turn our headlights off, linger long enough in unknowing, and let our eyes adjust to the dimness, we might discover that most especially in dark times we are not alone.

—from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant


† Saint Quote

"If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in sweetness, patience, humility and charity."
— St. Philip Neri

"Augustine drew out the meaning of the manger using an idea that at first seems almost shocking, but on closer examination contains a profound truth. The manger is the place where animals find their food. But now, lying in the manger, is he who called himself the true bread come down from heaven, the true nourishment that we need in order to be fully ourselves. This is the food that gives us true life, eternal life. Thus the manger becomes a reference to the table of God, to which we are invited so as to receive the bread of God. From the poverty of Jesus' birth emerges the miracle in which man's redemption is mysteriously accomplished."
— Pope Benedict XVI, p. 68
Jesus of Nazareth Infancy

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
Isaiah 55:9-11


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St. Dominic of Silos (1000–1073 A.D.) was born in Navarre, Spain, to a peasant family. He grew up herding his father's sheep in the Pyrenees mountains. This work endeared in him a love of solitude, leading him to enter the local Benedictine monastery in Navarre. He eventually became its prior, but was driven out when the King of Navarre seized its lands. Dominic then fled to another monastery under the protection of King Ferdinand I of Leon. Though the monastery was dilapidated, he became abbot and restored it both materially and spiritually, turning it into a significant center of scholarship and charity to the poor. The funds of the monastery were used to ransom Christian captives who were enslaved by Muslims. St. Dominic of Silos was known during his life and after death as a miracle worker, making him a popular Spanish saint. The Spanish mother of St. Dominic de Guzm├ín, founder of the Dominican Order, prayed for a son at St. Dominic of Silos' shrine; when she conceived, she named her son after him. St. Dominic of Silos' special patronage became connected with pregnancy, and until 1931 his crozier was used to bless the queens of Spain, and was placed beside their beds when they were in labor. St. Dominic of Silos is also the patron of prisoners and shepherds. His feast day is December 20.


Friday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 196
Reading 1

Is 7:10-14

The LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
"I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary men,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

R.(see 7c and 10b) Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God's eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Lk 1:26-38

In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."

But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

3rd Week of Advent

Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)

Christmas Day is often the culmination of weeks of preparation and anticipation. The festivities—liturgical celebrations, gift exchanges, special meals, and family visits—may even linger on through New Year's Day.

But then it's over. A feeling of flatness sets in as life returns to normal. Do you think Mary experienced something like that? After the angel Gabriel appeared and made his astounding invitation, St. Luke says simply, he "departed from her" (Luke 1:38). Maybe a sense of awe lingered for a time, but then Mary had to return to normal. That must have been quite a feat, knowing what she knew while she cooked and cleaned, drew water from the village well, and washed clothes. God had done something remarkable in her, but the mundane beckoned.

Yes, the angel may have departed from Mary, but she didn't forget his message. No doubt, she continued to ponder the significance of "full of grace" and what the "power of the Most High" overshadowing her might mean (Luke 1:28, 35). Surely she turned her thoughts to bearing a child destined to be "called holy, the Son of God" (1:35). She had accepted God's words, and now it was time to let those words grow and take shape in her heart, even as the child grew and took shape in her womb.

What a model! For nearly four weeks now, you have prepared for Christmas. Maybe God has spoken to you or moved your heart in some way. Perhaps his word has grown in you. And he's not done yet. There are still four more days of Advent—followed by the whole Christmas season!

And then what? Life will return to normal. But like Mary, you can hold on to these things and continue to ponder them. Maybe start writing down some of the ways you have seen God working—perhaps the time you felt more at peace in Mass or when you were able to say no to a persistent temptation. You can write out a Scripture verse from Mass that struck you or a prayer intention that you want to keep offering. Then, when the "normal days" come, you can keep pondering these words and let Jesus grow in you.

"Holy Spirit, help me to hold on tightly to the things you have been saying this Advent."

Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24:1-6



God showed me, 'You're not always gonna know why I do what I do. Just trust and that's it.'
—Fr. Bob Lombardo, CFR
Excerpt from Restored, Episode 3: Mission of Our Lady of Angels


"...the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel." A virgin gave birth to a son. A feat always to be remembered. Untouched, betrothed first to God as legend says. Sister Anne Emmerich said Mother Mary was given as a promise to God, and was raised in a temple, and she was pure, and Holy. She said she was an Essene, a different kind of Jew that we hardly hear about, like St. John the Baptist, not a Pharisee, not a Sauducee, but an Essene, those that often set themselves apart, and were said to be in the black sea scrolls, a people living out in what would be considered, the desert, and had many pools of purification in their village, and devoted themselves totally to God. Husbands and wives did not marry like we do. They married for God. And IF they created children, that was it, the husband and wife would meet just for that, under the same roof. Other than that, it wasn't about being with each other, and some speculate, Joseph married (betrothed) Mary to protect her virginity. Now, these are things you typically would not hear in the world, much less the protestant world. But they are things like millions of things, not written in the bible, alone.


"He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory." Sister Anne Emmerich said that Mary was praying solemnly in her room, asking to be a part of God's salvific plan, when suddenly the Archangel Appeared. She said Mary would hardly look up to the angel, very humble, with a certain disposition to the whole event. She was seeking to do God's will...completely and she knew her prayers were being answered.


The angel exclaimed to Mary: ""Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be."

If we only understood everything in the terms of those days and what Mary knew. All of what we are hearing was life changing news, not just for her....but for the whole world. Now, the true fear entered Mary. This meant the whole world to her. She had consecrated her virginity to God, and now she would be pregnant, something she never planned on.

Now trust comes in. Now she is told to not be afraid.
Do not be afraid my child.

An angel will appear and will help you.
An angel has been assigned to announce to you God's will.
Jesus will come into your life, and things will never be the same for you, or the whole world.
This was the prophecy at the presentation in the temple. Nothing is going to be as it was. God enters and life happens.
They asked me yesterday "are you ready for Christmas"?
I said "materially with presents, no, spiritually making room for God? Yes".

Christ's Mass is coming too fast. His coming is coming faster than I thought.
I am preparing. Reconciling, praying more, and giving more.

More and more until there is nothing else to give...but my whole heart....


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Random Bible Verse 1

Psalm 99:9

Exalt the LORD our God,

and worship at his holy mountain;

for the LORD our God is holy!

Thank You Lord

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