Friday, January 3, 2020

⛪ . . Come Down And Remain .. .⛪

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At Home or on the Road, God Is with Us

No matter how much we try to extend the holiday with traveling and vacation time and a last party or two, there comes a time when we need to return to our daily activities and responsibilities. School starts up again, work beckons, and we have to bid farewell to Christmas once again. It can be refreshing to reclaim the space that was filled with the Christmas tree and other decorations. We forsake the Christmas cookies and boxes of candy for healthier food choices in the new year. If we've traveled to visit family, we return home, put away the suitcases, finish vacation laundry, and settle into our lives. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus traveled a great deal during the first years after the birth—back and forth to Jerusalem, a sojourn in Egypt, a return to their home in Nazareth. In later years, Luke's Gospel tells us, they traveled on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where Jesus was separated from his parents and found conversing with holy teachers in the temple. Whether we're traveling or at home, the one thing we know is that God is with us.

—from the book The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections with Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek


Saint Quote
"It is better to be a child of God than king of the whole world!"
— St. Aloysius Gonzaga

"It is necessary to have an absolutely sure intention in all our actions, so that the generous fulfillment of our daily duties may be directed toward the highest supernatural ideal. Thus, our life, apart from moments of prayer, will be a prayerful life. It is clear that the habit of giving an upward glance to God at the moment of action is a great assistance in aiding us to behave always with a pure intention and in freeing us from our natural impulses and fancies, so, that, retaining our self-mastery, or rather, God becoming the sole Master, all our movements become dependent upon the Holy Spirit. We see in the Gospel that whenever our Lord was about to undertake some important step, He always paused for a moment to raise His eyes to Heaven, and only after this moment of recollection did He take up the work He had to do. 'He lifted up His eyes to Heaven' is a phrase that recurs with significant frequency. And doubtless, when there was no outward sign of this prayer, there was the inward offering. The ideal is the same for us. The constant subjection of self to the guidance of the Holy Spirit is made easier from the fact of His presence in the soul, where He is asked explicitly to preside over all our doings . . . We shall not submit wholeheartedly to the invisible Guest unless He is kept in close proximity to us."
— Raoul Plus, S.J., p. 37-8
How to Pray Always


The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is historically associated with the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus. According to Jewish law, on the 8th day after his birth, a male child was circumcised and received his name, thus becoming a full member of God's covenant people. The name 'Jesus' means 'God Saves' and is the name that St. Joseph was instructed by an angel to name the Divine Child, the sacred name before which "every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10-11). Devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus was popularized by St. Bernardine of Siena in the 15th century, often symbolized by the monogram IHS (denoting the first three letters of the Greek spelling of Jesus' name). Today the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is celebrated on January 3rd.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14


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St. Genevieve (c.422-512 A.D.) was born to a respectable family in a small village outside Paris, France. When she was seven years old a famous bishop, St. Germain, spotted her in a crowd and prophesied to her parents about her future sanctity. At his invitation, St. Genevieve expressed her desire to live in a state of perpetual virginity and made her vows under him, after which St. Germain gave her a brass medal engraved with a cross as a reminder of her consecration to Christ. In her teens she received the religious veil under the Bishop of Paris and lived a devout life of prayer, charity, and austerity. She was especially known for her gifts of prophecy and reading consciences. When her parents died she lived with her grandmother in Paris, often visiting other cities where she would perform miracles. This led to her persecution, with a plot against her life, but when St. Germain came to her defense she was afterwards greatly revered by the people. St. Genevieve became venerated as the patron saint of Paris after she helped avert an attack against the city by Attila the Hun, and for saving the city from famine during a siege, when a boatload of grain overcame a military blockade due to her intercession. St. Genevieve is also the patron saint against fever, plague, and disasters. Her feast day is January 3rd.


Most Holy Name of Jesus

Saint of the Day for January 3

Although Saint Paul might claim credit for promoting devotion to the Holy Name because Paul wrote in Philippians that God the Father gave Christ Jesus "that name that is above every name" (see 2:9), this devotion became popular because of 12th-century Cistercian monks and nuns but especially through the preaching of Saint Bernardine of Siena, a 15th-century Franciscan.

Bernardine used devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus as a way of overcoming bitter and often bloody class struggles and family rivalries or vendettas in Italian city-states. The devotion grew, partly because of Franciscan and Dominican preachers. It spread even more widely after the Jesuits began promoting it in the 16th century.

In 1530, Pope Clement V approved an Office of the Holy Name for the Franciscans. In 1721, Pope Innocent XIII extended this feast to the entire Church.

Jesus died and rose for the sake of all people. No one can trademark or copyright Jesus' name. Jesus is the Son of God and son of Mary. Everything that exists was created in and through the Son of God (see Colossians 1:15-20). The name of Jesus is debased if any Christian uses it as justification for berating non-Christians. Jesus reminds us that because we are all related to him we are, therefore, all related to one another.


Christmas Weekday
Lectionary: 206
Reading 1

1 JN 2:29–3:6

If you consider that God is righteous,
you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness
is begotten by him.
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness,
for sin is lawlessness.
You know that he was revealed to take away sins,
and in him there is no sin.
No one who remains in him sins;
no one who sins has seen him or known him.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 98:1, 3CD-4, 5-6

R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.


JN 1:14A, 12A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.
To those who accepted him
he gave power to become the children of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


JN 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.'
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel."
John testified further, saying,
"I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.


Meditation: John 1:29-34

The Most Holy Name of Jesus (Optional Memorial)

The one who sent me . . . told me . . . (John 1:33)

John the Baptist recognized Jesus immediately as the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). He had not known Jesus in this way previously, but God told him what to look for: "On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit" (1:33). John faced the same perplexity any of us might: did that thought really come from God? Was that dove really the Holy Spirit? And he used the same means to answer his questions that we can use as well: he spoke to God and listened for him to answer.

John probably told God what was on his heart, and listened for God to share what was on his. And he did this not once, not only in a moment of need, but regularly. John also was careful to test those "words" he heard from God—the senses he got as he prayed and listened. He tried responding to these words, which is one of the best ways to distinguish between what comes from God and what comes from ourselves. There were probably times when he "went for it," even when "it" seemed ridiculous or foolish or incomprehensible. And sometimes, he might have ended up looking silly or impossible to understand. But through his successes, and especially his failures, John learned how to recognize God's voice.

This new year, decide to spend time every day listening to what God wants to say to you. Become familiar with how he speaks to you: in thoughts or pictures that come to your mind; in a Scripture passage or a homily; in a stirring, pounding, or yearning of your heart; in tears or a sense of joy. Write it down in a journal. At the end of each week, review what you have written. Revisit the senses and impressions you felt in prayer. Over time, you may find yourself learning more about God's goodness, his mercy, or his plans for you. Make this a year of listening and testing out what you hear.

"Father, I want to know you more. Teach me to recognize your voice as I go through my day."

1 John 2:29–3:6
Psalm 98:1, 3-6



Jesus Christ transformed death from within by an extraordinary act of divine and human love. In the celebration of the Eucharist, this love is given to us anew again and again. The inconceivable transformation of the gifts of bread and wine into his Body and Blood aims at the transformation of the faithful into the Body of Christ.
—Helmut Hoping
from My Body Given For You


"Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed." Make yourself pure. Is this possible? Scripture said today "Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure." This is an odd message, in a world that loves impurities. Impurities cause maladies. Maladies cause a disease. Now we are speaking of metaphysical phenomenon. We could even be talking Sacramentos. We could be speaking of purification. For that, we need a purificator. Did you know that a priest uses a purificator in Mass? It is a small piece of white linen, marked with a cross in the center, used by the priest in the celebration of Mass. It is folded in three layers and used by the priest to purify his fingers and the chalice and paten after Holy Communion. The cross becomes the center of the purificator. It is by Christ that we are purified. Through His blood we are made clean. We must then, bathe ourselves with His blood. It sounds horrible, but what if that is the only remedy in the world for the atrociousness of the disease of...sin?


Let us pray: " All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God. Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm." The right hand of God, at the right hand is Jesus Christ. We pray in the Apostle's Creed: "He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. "


In the Holy Gospel, we have the time of Saint John the Baptist, baptizing with water. He is said to have been a pure man, of those chaste men in the desert, the Essenes (St. Joseph was said to be an Essene). A special Holy, really holy group of Jews. John spoke with power and truth and flocks came to him to be baptized in repentance and to turn their lives to God. But baptism changes when Christ is baptized and when we are baptized with Christ. Not only are we baptized with water of repentance and new life, but we are baptized with fire, with courage to be humble, and an eternal life to suit this kind of life. Whereas evil worldly views of power are of brute strength, God works with the humble and meek. To this day, until this day, He comes to the meek and lowly. A prime example is how our Blessed Mother appears to children most often, or a peasant. The lowliest of the low. Jesus though, appears to whomever He wishes! Whether a crazy zealot like SAUL, or a wayward girl that He wants for Himself....SISTER FAUSTINA, and she falls for Him...and dies for Him in obedience, dies at age 33 just like Him. For what? Mercy. All for Mercy. Jesus comes to show us proud, the way to humility. To knock us off our high horses, and be humble and compassionate with one another. To berid us of sin and even death. To encourage us with His power...of grace.

And for grace, His special agent of grace, Blessed Mother Mary. Grace to be like her so we can be even more like Him. Grace in Baptism and all the other Sacramentos. Grace upon grace. His blood dripped and the wind hit His blessed Mother's face. The pure Virgin God wanted for Himself to do His will through purity. Purity, something looked down upon. Purity, so beautiful in God's eyes. Purity, to purify the dirty world. Purity, where there is white to show the dark that comes off of us. Purity, to offer Himself to cleanse us, even on His knees. Whatever it takes to make us pure and purely His. Why? Because, Love is pure. And God is Love.
If God asked you today: "my child, would you purify yourself before coming into my rest?" would you? Of course you would! You would do anything He asked right? Can we bring purgation into the realms of purification? We must consider the purgative way. The way of the cross. The way of obedience. These are deep theological thoughts and truths. Yes. That's because purification costs something. Protestants don't like the thought of purgatory, or redemptive suffering, or having to give up anything at all, because they say Jesus paid for everything. Now, you'll have some that say they agree, but their fundamentals do not. I digress. Purification costs something. When the blood drops hit Mary's face, something happened. Blood from herself hit her face. Her only Son, the son of a virgin pure creature, an offering to God, bathed her in His Baptism. The warm blood changed her metaphysically. She fell even more in love with Jesus than ever thought possible. Nothing in the world could affect her now. She was totally His. The new Eve, the new Dawn, the new creation was created in this extraordinary feat. Christ becomes one with us totally.

No other gods in the world can come close to this feat. Christ's heart burst open for the entire world. The soldier that pierced open his heart is all of us who dare touch his heart. When you touch His heart, it bursts open with water...and fire.

God has me writing to you and He cannot say things with words, for they do not suffice, the language of love is not written by human hands.
The communication is from heart to heart. From the Sacred Heart, to yours, His child.

"My Child, my life is yours, and yours I wish to be".

Randomly opening the book Imitation of Christ, the Lord speaks:

"Oh, that you were worthy to suffer something for the NAME OF JESUS!

What Glory would await you, what great rejoicing among all the Saints, and, moreover, what great edification to your neighbor!"


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Random Bible Verse 1

2 Timothy 1:7
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Thank You Lord

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