†Saint Quote "When we serve the poor and the sick we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus." –St. Rose of Lima
†Today's Meditation "If you would suffer with patience the adversities and miseries of this life, be a man of prayer. If you would obtain courage and strength to conquer the temptations of the enemy, be a man of prayer. If you would mortify your own will with all its inclinations and appetites, be a man of prayer. If you would know the wiles of Satan and unmask his deceits, be a man of prayer. If you would live in joy and walk pleasantly in the ways of penance, be a man of prayer. If you would banish from you soul the troublesome flies of vain thoughts and cares, be a man of prayer. If you would nourish your soul with the very sap of devotion, and keep it always full of good thoughts and good desires, be a man of prayer. If you would strengthen and keep up your courage in the ways of God, be a man of prayer. In fine, if you would uproot all vices from your soul and plant all virtues in their place, be a man of prayer. It is in prayer that we receive the unction and grace of the Holy Ghost, who teaches all things." — St. Bonaventure, p. 25-26
An Excerpt From The Ways of Mental Prayer
†Daily Verse "No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel." –Hebrews 12:22-24
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Saint Anysia of Salonika
St. Anysia of Salonika (d. c. 298 A.D.), also known as St. Anysia of Thessalonica, was born to wealthy and pious Christian parents near Thessalonica, Greece. After the death of her parents, while she was still a young lady, Anysia dedicated her life completely to Christ. She made private vows of chastity and poverty, spent her days in fasting and prayer, and gave her wealth to the poor. She lived under the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Maximian, who declared that anyone who met a Christian could kill them without trial. One Sunday while on her way to church, St. Anysia was harassed by a Roman soldier. In one account he attempted to force her to make sacrifice to the pagan sun god. Anysia refused, declared her commitment to Christ, and spat in the soldier's face. Enraged, the soldier ran her through with his sword, winning Anysia the crowns of virginity and martyrdom. Her feast day is December 30.
The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Reading I 1 Jn 2:12-17
I am writing to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven for his name's sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have conquered the Evil One. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the Evil One. Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.
Responsorial Psalm 96:7-8a, 8b-9, 10 R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name! R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! Bring gifts, and enter his courts;
worship the LORD in holy attire. Tremble before him, all the earth. R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! Say among the nations: The LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity. R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations, and adore the Lord. Today a great light has come upon the earth. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 2:36-40
There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Daily Meditation: 1 John 2:12-17
Do not love the world. (1 John 2:15)
How curious that, during the season of Christmas, we read through the first letter of John! It's curious because it is not directly connected with the images and story of Jesus' birth. Yet the more we ponder it, the more we can recognize the connections. This letter is a sort of sermon to the earliest Christians about what life "after Christ" should look like. Now that God has been born among us, John seems to say, each of us faces a personal decision, a fundamental choice between light and darkness. Which will we love?
God invites us into his light, but we must accept the invitation. We must choose between accepting this gift of light and life from God and continuing to live in the dark by loving the world (1 John 2:15). John doesn't mean that we should not love God's natural, created world. Rather, he urges us not to love the dominion of the evil one, which opposes God's values of love, service, and mercy. He exhorts us not to love the glitter and fleeting satisfaction of money, pleasure, and power. Instead, he tells us to love God's ways and Jesus, the One who used his power to become a helpless baby and then who laid down his life on the cross to save us.
John reminds us that if we want to love the world less and love God more each day, our hearts need to change. It can be hard to let go of selfish ways of thinking and acting. It can be hard to change behaviors that reflect the values of the world. But God always gives us the grace to step into his light. He always gives us the grace to begin to make small but concrete acts of love for him and his people.
In this moment, when the beautiful sentiments of Christmas—the Mass at night, the carols, the peaceful crèche—are still fresh, spend some quiet time with this letter. Let John's words help you ponder the birth of Jesus, Son of God. Let the Spirit move you to choose the light, to love the One who sent his Son to make you his own son or daughter. Then give glory to God for coming to dwell among us!
"All praise to you, Jesus, for shining your light in the darkness of the world!"
Psalm 96:7-10 Luke 2:36-40
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the Evil One." Yesterday I was trying to rest and recover my sinus infection with my boy who tested positive for Covid, and among the many YouTube videos we watched, we saw one about an atheist who had a life and death experience, I believe his name is Jose Hernandez. He eventually dies and believes he saw heaven after he was being stripped through tunnels, he flies through picturesque mountains, and eventually sees his earthly father holding hands of other kids, and he says, "it is not your time" and later in conversation says "when it is time, I will come for you". Now why do I bring up this story? Because, the story is about a Father. An atheist experienced a father he only wished he had on earth. Now I've heard of Christians near death experience, and they say it was our Lord Jesus saying "I'll come back for you". Can you begin to see the true father?
We pray in Psalms: "Bring gifts, and enter his courts; worship the LORD in holy attire. Tremble before him, all the earth. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!"
What gift can you bring to the temple? Mother Mary and Saint Joseph brought the child Jesus.
For obedience. To God. For consecration. To bless God, and in return, be blessed.
We heard in the Gospel today: "And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem." This from the prophetess, Anna. All are called to be prophets, especially through our baptism. There is something to be deduced from yesterday's readings and today's. See that Simeon and Anna were faithful and always at the temple, basically, as if living there. About Anna we heard: "she never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." Who does that? Who worships day and night with fasting and prayer? We are all called to worship day and night with fasting and prayer. I fast for you, before writing, I'm fasting, no food or drink can enter my mouth, sometimes for hours, until I finish writing to you. I get up and pray, but I can pray more. But how hard it is to pray when your mind is out of it, maybe because of illness, which by the way, I ask for prayers for my dad has covid. How can we reach for grace in faith in the darkest of moments? As hard as it is, think of Jesus. Reach with the most inmost part of your soul.
And to reach Him and see Him, pray much, fast much, be at the temple much. These are things that are much needed today.
Let's Pray: Lord, Father God, Our Lord was presented to the temple. You Lord were presented to be announced on earth as it is in Heaven. The first binding authority before all peoples.
I pray that with this authority, that we follow and obey, we may better honor and serve You, become consecrated...totally Yours, forever and ever...
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
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