ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
Matthew, Chapter 1, verse 19-20:
19 Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
Even righteous people become afraid at times but Mark Shea a catholic writer points out that Joseph being a devote Jew may have had Holy fear as the basis of his being afraid.
”Modernity assumes it was because he thought her guilty of adultery, but the typical view in antiquity understood the text to mean he was afraid of her sanctity — as a pious Jew would be afraid to touch the Ark of the Covenant. After all, think of what Mary told him about the angel's words: "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."
We should follow the example of Joseph and be not afraid to take Mary into our home!
I know one small way I have taken Mary in my home is to silently say a Hail Mary when I wash my hands to eat-thinking Mary help me not to wash your son’s blood from my hands as Pilot did. Help me to have no innocent blood on my hands. Let me not wash off responsibility for others.
Read: St. John of the Cross, who we honor today, was known for his deep spirituality and compassion.
Reflect: "We must dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides." —St. John of the Cross
Pray: Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy today.
Act: Brainstorm ideas for how you can live out your call to "imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel" as an active citizen. For ideas, visit the Faithful Citizenship website.
From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the "halcyon days," when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successful.
Today reflect on seven successes or happy times of the year then pick one to thank Our Lord for and offer to Our Lord an appropriate gift for it for his birth!
49 Godly Character Traits
During this Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:
Enthusiasm vs. Apathy
Expressing with my soul the joy of my spirit (I Thessalonians 5:16, 19)
2004 Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and of the ministries within the Church:
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
2094 One can sin against God's love in various ways:
· Indifference neglects or refuses to reflect on divine charity; it fails to consider its prevenient goodness and denies its power.
· Ingratitude fails or refuses to acknowledge divine charity and to return him love for love.
· Lukewarmness is hesitation or negligence in responding to divine love; it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity.
· Acedia or spiritual sloth goes so far as to refuse the joy that comes from God and to be repelled by divine goodness.
· Hatred of God comes from pride. It is contrary to love of God, whose goodness it denies, and whom it presumes to curse as the one who forbids sins and inflicts punishments.
2750 By entering into the holy name of the Lord Jesus we can accept, from within, the prayer he teaches us: "Our Father!" His priestly prayer fulfills, from within, the great petitions of the Lord's Prayer: concern for the Father's name; passionate zeal for his kingdom (glory); the accomplishment of the will of the Father, of his plan of salvation; and deliverance from evil.
· Please pray for me and this ministry