Thursday, December 8, 2022

† "..May It Be Done To . .. . "

immaculate day of obligation

†Saint Quote
"Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the great praise we lavish on the Mother; for the more she is honored, the greater is the glory of her Son. There can be no doubt that whatever we say in praise of the Mother gives equal praise to the Son."
–St. Bernard of Clairvaux

†Today's Meditation
"But as great as was St. Paul's devotion to our Lord, much greater was that of the Blessed Virgin: because she was his mother, and because she had him and all his sufferings actually before her eyes, and because she had the long intimacy of thirty years with him, and because she was from her special sanctity so unspeakably near him in spirit. When, then, he was mocked, bruised, scourged, and nailed to the Cross, she felt as keenly as if every indignity and torture inflicted on him was struck at herself. She could have cried out in agony at every pang of his. This is called her compassion, or her suffering with her Son, and it arose from this that she was the 'Vessel of Devotion' unlike any other."
—Bl. John Henry Newman, p. 155

An Excerpt From
A Year with Mary

†Daily Verse
"Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." Rather, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good."
–Romans 12:19-21

immaculate conception

The Immaculate Conception

of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the infallibly defined dogma of the Catholic Church that "God freely chose Mary from all eternity to be the Mother of his Son. In order to carry out her mission she herself was conceived immaculate. This means that, thanks to the grace of God and in anticipation of the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary was preserved from original sin from the first instant of her conception" (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church). Chosen by God to be the Mother of the Savior and the "New Eve," Mary Immaculate is a type of the Church and the perfect model of holiness for all Christians. Mary under this title is the patroness of the United States of America, and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation.


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St. Patapios

St. Patapios (4th c.) was born in Thebes, Egypt. His parents were prominent Christians, and his father was the governor of the region. Patapios was well-educated by the best tutors, and his learning awakened in him a desire to shun the world and its materialism and seek a life of asceticism. Inspired by the manner of life of the Church Fathers, Patapios became a desert hermit upon his father's death. He later moved away to live in a cave near Corinth, and then sailed to Constantinople to live as a simple monk in the Monastery of Blachernae. There he fasted, prayed, and performed miracles until his death at the age of 83. In the early 20th century, a local priest planning renovations discovered his relics after the saint appeared to him in a dream and informed him where they were located. His relics were found the next day holding a large wooden cross on his chest and a parchment scroll bearing his name. St. Patapios' feast day is December 8th.


Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reading I Gn 3:9-15, 20

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself."
Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!"
The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it."
The LORD God then asked the woman,
"Why did you do such a thing?"
The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it."
Then the LORD God said to the serpent:

"Because you have done this, you shall be banned

from all the animals

and from all the wild creatures;

on your belly shall you crawl,

and dirt shall you eat

all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

he will strike at your head,

while you strike at his heel."
The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

Responsorial Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R. (1) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
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. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
The LORD has made his salvation known:

in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness

toward the house of Israel.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
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. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

Reading II Eph 1:3-6, 11-12

Brothers and sisters:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.

Alleluia See Lk 1:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

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.


Daily Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

Hail, full of grace! (Luke 1:28)

What kind of greeting was that? The angel Gabriel didn't call Mary by name—at least not at first. Instead, he called her "full of grace," kecharitomene in Greek. And this unusual title left Mary troubled.

By addressing Mary this way, the angel revealed how God saw her: as one who has been filled with his grace. Of course God had given special grace to certain people throughout history: Moses, Ruth, and Abraham, for example. But this was different. For here, the angel is describing Mary as someone who has received a supreme gift, a gift whose benefits began at her conception and stayed with her throughout her life.

The only other time we see this word in the Bible is in today's second reading, when St. Paul talks about God's "grace that he granted us in the beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). This gift of adoption as his children comes to us after Jesus' death and resurrection, while God gave this grace to Mary at the moment of her conception. As Pope Francis explained, "If [Mary] is entirely inhabited by God, there is no room within her for sin. . . . She is . . . created immaculate so as to fully welcome, with her 'yes,' God who came into the world" (Angelus, December 8, 2017).

Mary was the first to experience the fruits that Jesus' sacrifice would make available to each and every one of us. Yes, she who walked this road before us is our Blessed Mother, but she's also like an older sister in faith because she shows us what a redeemed life looks like. Even though she was full of grace, she was not immune to the pain and suffering of life. Instead, she let God's grace guide how she responded to her circumstances and trusted in him.

On this feast of the Immaculate Conception, consider Mary, who received this free gift of grace from God. Think about how that grace prepared her to say yes to his invitation to be the mother of Jesus and how it affected everything she thought or did. And then thank the Lord that he has given you a share in that very same grace!

"Jesus, fill me with your grace so that sin will have no room in me."

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12

immaculate obligation with quote

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living."

It is said that our Lord Jesus is the "new Adam" and how He would be the new to speak, of spiritual children, and who is the wife? This is where it gets incomprehensible, but we are the bride. And the Mother of our Lord is the new Eve, who gave birth to the new Adam, who has given us life eternal. If you do the calculations, you will reason...that our Mother is supremely all humanity...a true Mother in all senses of the word...and she is the Mother of the Word Incarnate.

"...for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In him we were also chosen..."


We pray today;
"The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds."

Did our Lord come to the house of Israel? Yes, through Mary, and even St. Joseph. Through them He has a direct lineage, one of blood, and the other of the priesthood. Our Lord has come to fulfill every last word until the sun ceases to exist.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."

These words always remind me of the Lord's passion, begun in the garden of Gethsemane, where He prayed and blood came out of His pores, knowing the bitter death He was facing, but even more, the tremendous amount of need He saw in His lost flock. Who knows what all He said in His prayers to Our Father, but we do know how His prayer ended "Thy Will Be Done!", right?
And we too pray this constantly in the Lord's prayer, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done".
At the end of the day...everything ends in God's will.

How can we wrestle with that? My tragic losses always have to be faced with faith. We all do this. There's nothing you can do but trust that God knows best.
And today, we must trust in the Immaculate Conception of Mary as God's will.
What does this mean for us?
Her immaculate conception allows for the proper distribution of God's grace.
And grace means more than we will ever know.
Every day now, I pray in the mornings, asking Mother Mary for this grace.
And I fast all morning, for hours until I write to you. I need grace to live in the life of God's will...the life of Christ.
Because of her immaculate state, and thus the incarnation of our Lord in her womb, we are now physically and spiritually capable of being God's children.

The new Adam has made this possible through HIS blood and water...from the cross, our very Eucharist, our very soul being, one with Him.

This metaphysical and spiritual phenomenon is beyond human comprehension, but not so much that we can't have a proper faith.
And this is why I write to you.
my child, faith is real, and it makes the impossible come to being. Where there is hope, there is Christ, and we are called to this life of light in Christ our Lord.

Mother Mary, Immaculate Conception, conceived without sin, pray for us sinners who have recourse to thee.



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Random Bible Verse 1
Hebrews 13:1–2

[Hebrews 13]
Sacrifices Pleasing to God

Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.


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