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Wednesday, December 20, 2023

†.."How Can This Be...

 
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†Quote of the Day
"If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in sweetness, patience, humility and charity."
–St. Philip Neri

†Today's Meditation
"Advent is like the final hour before the breaking of the dawn. Our prayer…is simple: "Grant, we pray, that we may look forward in joy to the glorious Nativity of Christ." Constantly, the season reminds us to think about where we are directing our attention and invites us to lift our gaze toward those first streaks of light on the horizon. The coming birth of Christ is both the answer to our longing and the fulfillment of the promises of God woven throughout scripture."
—Fr. John Burns, p.41

An Excerpt From
Adore: A Guided Advent Journal for Prayer and Meditation

†Daily Verse
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water 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 forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
–Isaiah 55:9-11

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St. Dominic of Silos

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.

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Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

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.

Alleluia
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.

Gospel 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.


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ablue

Daily Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)

This was the most important moment in Mary's life. It was the moment she said yes to the angel Gabriel and agreed to be the Mother of God. We can only imagine how she must have felt. What amazement must have been in her heart as she heard Gabriel's announcement. What a tremendous sense of joy—and awe—she must have experienced as she answered, "May it be done to me" (Luke 1:38).

But consider the other times Mary said yes—for example, when Joseph asked for her hand in marriage. Or when there was no room for them in the inn at Bethlehem, and she had to give birth in a stable. Or when Joseph told her that they would have to flee to Egypt. Or when Jesus left to do his public ministry. Or, last but not least, when she saw him hanging on the cross. In all these examples, Mary embraced and welcomed God's will.

And what about us? You might find it hard to compare yourself to Mary. You may think your decisions are not as significant as her assent to become the Mother of God, but they are still very important to God. You might have said a big yes to Jesus at one time: perhaps when you were confirmed or when your faith was awakened as a young adult. Maybe your yes happened when you got married or became a priest or entered religious life.

But don't just think about these big momentous decisions. Think also about all the other times you surrendered to the Lord's will, either before or after those pivotal moments. These smaller decisions both prepared the way and helped you stay true to your calling. They opened your heart to the Lord even wider and enabled you to follow him more fully. Like Mary, with every yes, you participated in God's plan to make Jesus present in the world.

As Christmas approaches, spend some time praising God for every step of faith you can recall. Thank him for the grace he gave you to say yes. And thank him for all the good that came every time you surrendered to him!

"Lord, help me to welcome your will in every moment. May each yes bring me closer to your heart and bring you more fully into the world."

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

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Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"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...." end of verse.

The world tries to portray Mary as a non-virgin. They trey to stain her with their sin. Literally. They've desecrated images, they ridicule Catholic doctrine on purity and virginity. They even have magazines to counter everything about purity. And it could be magazines of pictures for men, or sensual stories for women, and other magazines combine all these sinful things with witchcraft and idols. I was once shown a pamphlet by a young man I saw at a nursing home that was tempted to pray with us, but was of an anti-catholic denomination. His pamphlet showed in the end how Mary was of the dark side it seemed, as if we did idol worshiping! How twisted have things gotten these days.

But alas, the truth persists. We cannot get rid of the truth as we've always tried in our dark world, since Christ walked the earth. And let us not blame certain religions. Our youth is confused on religion. They don't know what to believe. It is not even a religion that has caused so much hate and division! It is evil that has entered our lives! How can we let darkness inside? Why do we let darkness inside? Let me tell you a truth an exorcist said in a conference this year: evil rides along with emotions. Very subtly. And all of a sudden, your emotions "get the best of you", and they find a place to settle. The demons of lust, anger, resentment, pride, embarrassment, laziness in spirit or even in physical senses. Almost all feelings can be associated with evil. So what? Are we supposed to be non-emotional robots? How can one feel God? Ahh, now we are getting somewhere. Feel love from Heaven. How? Humility. That's the only emotion you should desire from earth with God. The kind of love that you would die for. Mother Mary was created for love. She was created for True Love. The True God. The God that would reside in her, and until this day, He remains in her forever. A pure vessel of light.

psalms

We pray today:
" 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.
Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory......."
end of psalm.

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In the Gospel today we heard:
"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......."
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

Last night, after Posadas, traveling the dark cold night with parish families and youth dressed as angels, shepherds, Joseph and Blessed Mother Mary, I got home and asked the our children if they'd like me to read them a story about the Annunciation instead of our nightly family rosary? They didn't know how to decide, and since it was very late, I said, "sit down, let me read to you the story of the Annunciation according to Blessed Sister Anne Emmerich". The children listened attentively, as I expressed every sentence with a real reading of truth unveiled in that most fateful moment of human history. Why the most fateful? Because, as it was said it was done. Let me share with you these mesmorizing words from Sister Anne:
"s Mary uttered the words: "May it be done unto me according to thy word!" I saw an apparition of the Holy Ghost. The countenance was human and the whole apparition environed by dazzling splendor, as if surrounded by wings. From the breast and hands, I saw issuing three streams of light. They penetrated the right side of the Blessed Virgin and united into one under her heart. At that instant Mary became perfectly transparent and luminous. It was as if opacity disappeared like darkness before that flood of light.
While the angel and with him the streams of glory vanished, I saw down the path of light that led up to Heaven, showers of half-blown roses and tiny green leaves falling upon Mary. She, entirely absorbed in self, saw in herself the Incarnate Son of God, a tiny, human form of light with all the members, even to the little fingers perfect. It was about midnight that I saw this mystery." end quote.
She said Mary was a little over 14 years old at the moment.

She had been led to her upper room to pray with two other virgins, and her mother was in the same temple or house. Other readings I've discovered place Mary as part of the Essenes. The Essenes were a mystic Jewish sect during the Second Temple period that flourished from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD. These were the more true to purity people of all the Jewish people. They lived apart and were all about purity. They had many wash basins. Men always were apart from women, and if the married couple met, it was to procreate. But there were also men that would marry a virgin to preserve her purity and virginity. Such was said of Joseph. Joseph was about 45 years old, and the bible said he was a righteous man of God.

The Gospel continues today; "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." end of verse.

Do you want to know what Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich said of St. John the Baptist? LOL. There's so much more!

Just know what I read, reveals important things.
That he was filled with the Holy Spirit and the spirit of Elijah.
He was raised in the desert by the Holy Spirit.
He lost his elderly father at a very young age.
Then he would lose his mother who was also older.
He was an only child then and on his own from an early age.
He grew up to be a strong man of faith and fervor for God.

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

Can I tell you something, in a vision I had when caught up in ecstacy as if in a trance in my music studio at home where I used to record for the Lord, because I place myself in the Holy Spirit, I was swept up by Mother Mary. I saw what love means in Mass. It means everything. It means the world, and light for the world. But what I cannot forget was how little I felt, like a fetus, compared to how great in size Mother Mary was, just a being of beautiful grace, like the garment of Guadalupe but in a starry world outiside the universe. What I cannot forget then was this amazing transluscent veil. Through it she hid me. Through it, I could see, as if with secret permission the amazement of the glory before the throne of the Lord, the nucleus of where Heaven meets the earth. Gifts of love from earth, ushered by myriads of angels.

I'm telling you this because the whole truth of God resides on the message of the Cross.

"May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed...

Pray with me:
Lord, as I dive more and more into Your Word, everything becomes more and more amazing. The darker the world gets, the brighter your light becomes. But you know my prayers of intercession for the world. The people are coming around and responding better. Your people are trying to open their eyes. I want to help them see! To see Your beautiful face, and oh what a beautiful Mother we have! Because You keep nothing from us, not even Your Amazing Mother in Heaven! Help us with grace to serve love forever.

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Random Bible Verse 1
Isaiah 50:7

7 But the Lord GOD helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like a flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

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God Bless You! Peace

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