Monday, December 21, 2020

⛪. The Sound of Your Greeting ⛪


Dark Days and Dark Moods

Dark days can mean dark moods. This natural turn of the seasons helps explain the timing of Christmas. It is the festival of light, the return of the sun and longer periods of daylight. It's a time of renewal and hope, sentiments we feel as we watch the skies and see faint signs of the sun returning. What happens in December in the northern hemisphere is a natural symbol. You don't need a dictionary or an encyclopedia to know that the dark sky parallels your darkened heart. You feel it in your body and then in your emotions. The sky mirrors your feelings, and your pulse beats with the special rhythms of night and day. The turn of the sun on the day of solstice may well coincide with a turn in your spirits.

—from the book The Soul of Christmas
by Thomas Moore


†Saint Quote
"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

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do."
Colossians 3:12-13


click to read more



St. Peter Canisius (1521–1597) was born in Holland to a wealthy family. He was sent to the University of Cologne and met St. Peter Faber who influenced him to join the Jesuits. St. Peter Canisius became famous for his preaching and writing, and was one of the most influential Catholics of his time. He was instrumental in defending Catholicism against the Protestant revolt in Germany and surrounding countries. He famously wrote a popular-level catechism to counter the spreading heresies. The restoration of the Church in Germany is largely attributed to his catechetical work. He was adamant in promoting charity and courtesy towards Protestants in a time of great hostility. After the Council of Trent, he was chosen by the Vatican to help smuggle the documents of the Council into the hands of European bishops, avoiding the outposts of Protestant aggression, which was a difficult task at the time. For his brilliance in teaching Catholic doctrine, St. Peter Canisius was named a Doctor of the Church. His feast day is December 21st.


Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Lectionary: 197
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."


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.


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."


Daily Meditation: Luke 1:39-45

Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste. (Luke 1:39)

When you're watching a movie made by a skilled director, you can tell that there's an intelligent hand behind the scenes. The story seems to flow naturally. And if you're a cinema buff, sometimes you can tell who the director is just by watching certain scenes. Alfred Hitchcock's films will take you to the edge of your seat with suspense. Frank Capra's films, such as It's a Wonderful Life, will make you cheer for the underdog. Steven Spielberg's films will wow you with special effects.

If today's Gospel were made into a film, you would have to say that the director was the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit who prompted Mary to go on a long journey—nearly one hundred miles—to visit her aging cousin Elizabeth and help with her pregnancy. It was the Spirit who filled Elizabeth, revealing to her that Mary was carrying the baby Jesus. And it was the Spirit who anointed Elizabeth's child, John, for his mission to proclaim the Messiah.

The Holy Spirit is hoping to direct your life too. As Jesus told us, he helps us to know the truth and how we should act (John 16:13). He comforts, counsels, exhorts, and encourages us (14:26). When we are weak or don't know what to pray for, he prays with us and in us (Romans 8:26-27). Jesus himself was anointed with the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:16-21). He is the engine that drives our journey with the Lord. Why wouldn't we want him involved in every area of our life?

As Christmas draws near, don't forget about the Holy Spirit. He's the One who overshadowed Mary and brought Jesus into this world. He's the One who raised Jesus from the dead. And he's the One who lives in you. So pray often to the Holy Spirit and listen for his inspiration. He will gently guide you with his "still small voice" to help you discern how to respond (1 Kings 19:12, RSV). Even more, he will strengthen you for whatever task he gives you. Just as he guided Mary, each day he will direct your steps along "the path of peace," closer and closer to God (Luke 1:79).

"Holy Spirit, lead me and fill me with your power!"

Song of Songs 2:8-14
Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21



Christmas must mean more to us every year, and we must not be afraid of immersing ourselves in its joy.
— Mother Mary Francis
from Come, Lord Jesus


"Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one,
and come!"
Who do you think this verse is for? Is it a lover? Is it a lover of Christ? Is it Christ our Lover?

What is a lover? Ask the world and you'll get a twisted answer. But see in the eyes of purity, and see the truth. Did you ever wonder if it is Our Father calling you "my beautiful one"? If you take this to heart, you will indeed be beautiful.


We pray today: "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, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song." Rejoice and sing a new song. There are thousands upon thousands of songs we can sing. I just received a printed version of our church song book and it is several inches think, printed on both sides, about 1,000 songs. Today's Psalm moves me to sing new songs all the time, much to the disheartening of some that don't want to hear new songs. What does this mean? Get rid of old songs? NO! Some of the best have been around for decades and some even hundreds of years. But definitely, we need to prepare, for the new with the old to know the new. Do you understand? It is illuminating, and this is the light.


St. Elizabeth exclaims today:
"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? "
Scripture tells us that an Arch Angel from Heaven declares Mary as most favored, and St. Elizabeth declares her most blessed. And if you ask modern protestants and the wordly, they will declare the opposite; that Mary was just a tool, a slob like "one of us" as a song says. What matters then? The truth will always be, no matter how many lies you throw at it. Mary is highly favored and blessed. Her name in Heaven is then "Favored One". What does this mean?

It means everything, in the beginning, in the Eve, life began, temporal life, our life on earth, and in Mary began the ushering in of eternal life. What does this mean, that she would carry the Savior, the Christ? If you really want to know what it means to carry Christ and bring Him to your loved ones and to the whole world, then you will have to become a new Mary, a new song. Out with the old? Of course not. But we are of Mary, sons and daughters of Mary with Jesus. In a real sense, we are Marianites. We are those who can allow God's word to be made flesh in our lives, our souls, minds, and hearts. If only. If you want. If you ok. If you say yes. Then we can carry Christ to the world. But only if we have that spirit, that kind of spirit that is open, that kind that can accept, God's cross. Mary knew her whole life what would happen, a cross would cross her heart. And she'd bear the truth forever, and grace would begin to flow after her assumption. Again. What does mean? Someone full of grace is reaching to you right now. Bear it with much joy and acceptance and a will to live for Christ forever.

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, today's Gospel tells the marvelous story of the Visitation. At the Annunciation, the angel had told Mary that the child to be conceived in her would be the new David.
With that magnificent prophecy still ringing in her ears, Mary set out to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was married to Zechariah, a temple priest. No first-century Jew would have missed the significance of their residence being in the hill country of Judah.
That was precisely where David found the ark, the bearer of God's presence. To that same hill country now comes Mary, the definitive and final Ark of the Covenant.
Elizabeth is the first to proclaim the fullness of the Gospel: "How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"—the Lord, which is to say, the God of Israel. Mary brings God into the world, thus making it, at least in principle, a temple.
And then Elizabeth announces that at the sound of Mary's greeting, "the infant in my womb leaped for joy." This is the unborn John the Baptist doing his version of David's dance before the ark of the covenant, his great act of worship of the King.

Reflect: Can you feel the joy in this Gospel passage? When have you experienced such joy in your life of faith?


Random online bible verse:

Ps 119:105
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet

and a light to my path.


If one day you don't receive these, just visit
God Bless You! Peace

Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®