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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe-Hanukkah

 
Luke, Chapter 1, verse 30:
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Mary had no fear of the world or man, yet, when the angel appeared she was immersed in holy fear. Let us follow Mary’s example and bravely face the day saying YES to God.

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Listen to Mary’s words of encouragement as she appeared to Saint Juan Diego.

"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."

One wonders if Mary thought of these same affirmations during the angel’s visit of God the Father. Are you not happily within my fold! Are you not under my protection!

Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego just 12 years after the defeat of the Aztec empire by Hernan Cortes. Documents from that period indicate that the Aztec leadership was hatching a plot to reestablish themselves and renew the taking of human hearts as a sacrifice to their gods. Our Lady stopped that with her appearance to Juan Diego. In the space of 10 years after her appearance over 9 million Aztecs converted to the faith.[1]

Things to Do[2]

·         Start a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
·         If you live close to La Crosse, WI visit the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe; if not make a virtual visit.
·         Read more about this title of Our Lady.
·         Make a sacrifice, say a prayer or visit the Blessed Sacrament for an end to abortion.
·         If your parish is having a pro-life Mass or holy hour try to attend.
·         Have a party, which includes a procession and a special Mexican dinner to celebrate the feast.
·         See Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe for ideas.



Hope of the Aztecs[3]


In 1910 Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of Latin America, and in 1945 Pope Pius XII declared Her to be the Empress of all the Americas. "Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.

The End of bloody human sacrifice[4]

Our Lady came to offer faith, hope and consolation to the oppressed natives of Mexico and to reconcile them with their Spanish rulers. She put an end to the bloody human sacrifice of the Aztecs and converted ten million natives in the next 10 years! After the conquest, the Spanish rule of the natives was so severe that a bloody revolt was imminent. Bishop Zummaraga prayed for Our Lady to intervene to prevent an uprising, to reconcile the Spanish and the natives and to bring peace. He asked that he would receive roses native to his homeland of Castile Spain as a sign that his prayer would be answered. On December 9, 1531, Our Lady appeared to Blessed Juan Diego who was a recently converted Aztec. She asked him to go to the Bishop and request him to build a church for her on the barren hill of Tepeyac which is now part of Mexico City. Our Lady wanted to show her merciful love to all of her children. The prudent Bishop asked Juan to ask the Lady for a sign. Juan did so and Our Lady promised to give him the sign. On December 12, Our Lady again appeared to Juan on Tepeyac Hill and told him to pick the Castilian roses which miraculously appeared there and bring them to the Bishop as a sign for him to believe her request. Juan gathered the roses into his tilma and brought them to the Bishop. He opened the tilma to show them and, to everyone's astonishment, the Image of Our Lady appeared on it. The Bishop then built the church as Our Lady had requested and ten million natives were converted and baptized to the one, true faith within the next 10 years. Human sacrifice ended in Mexico forever. Our Lady of Guadalupe, which means Crusher of the serpent's head, brought the light of the true faith, crushed the false gods of Mexico, and established an era of peace.
The Image as Pictograph

The Image of Our Lady is actually an Aztec Pictograph which was read and understood quickly by the Aztec Indians.
  1. THE LADY STOOD IN FRONT OF THE SUN - She was greater than their dreaded sun-god "Huitzilopochtli".
  2. HER FOOT RESTED ON THE CRESCENT MOON - She had clearly vanquished their foremost deity, the feather serpent "Quetzalcoatl".
  3. THE STARS STREWN ACROSS THE MANTLE - She was greater than the stars of heaven which they worshipped. She was a virgin and the Queen of the heavens for Virgo rests over her womb and the northern crown upon her head. She appeared on December 12, 1531, for the stars that she wore are the constellation of stars that appeared in the sky that day!
  4. THE BLUEâGREEN HUE OF HER MANTLE - She was a Queen for she wears the color of royalty.
  5. THE BLACK CROSS ON THE BROOCH AT HER NECK - Her God was that of the Spanish Missionaries, Jesus Christ her son.
  6. THE BLACK BELT - She was with child for she wore the Aztec Maternity Belt.
  7. THE FOUR-PETAL FLOWER OVER THE WOMB - She was the "Mother of God." The flower was a special symbol of life, movement and deity - the center of the universe.
  8. HER HANDS ARE JOINED IN PRAYER - She was not God but clearly there was one greater than Her and she pointed her finger to the cross on her brooch.
  9. THE DESIGN ON HER ROSE-COLORED GARMENT - She is the "Queen of the Earth," for she is wearing a map of Mexico telling the Indians exactly where the apparition took place.
The Image and Science
  1. The image to this date, cannot be explained by science.
  2. The image shows no sign of deterioration after 450 years! The tilma or cloak of Juan Diego on which the image of Our Lady has been imprinted, is a coarse fabric made from the threads of the maguey cactus. This fiber disintegrates within 20-60 years!
  3. There is no under-sketch, no sizing and no protective over-varnish on the image.
  4. Microscopic examination revealed that there were no brush strokes.
  5. The image seems to increase in size and change colors due to an unknown property of the surface and substance of which it is made.
  6. According to Kodak of Mexico, the image is smooth and feels like a modern-day photograph. (It was produced 300 years before the invention of photography.)
  7. The image has consistently defied exact reproduction, whether by brush or camera.
  8. Several images can be seen reflected in the eyes of the Virgin. It is believed to be the images of Juan Diego, Bishop Juan de Zummaraga, Juan Gonzales, the interpreter and others.
  9. The distortion and place of the images are identical to what is produced in the normal eye which is impossible to obtain on a flat surface.
  10. The stars on Our Lady's Mantle coincide with the constellation in the sky on December 12, 1531. All who have scientifically examined the image of Our Lady over the centuries confess that its properties are absolutely unique and so inexplicable in human terms that the image can only be supernatural!
It is interesting to note that our Lady Mary manifested herself to the new world on or around the traditional Jewish feast of Hanukkah which she must have celebrated with Joseph and her son Christ.

Hanukkah Begins[5]


Chanukah (Hebrew: חנוכה) is an eight day Jewish festival, also known as the festival of lights. On each day a Menorah (an eight branched candelabra) is lit with an ascending number of candles to match the day.  The reason for Chanukah is based on the story of the Maccabees battle with the Greeks.  It is told that one pure bottle of olive oil lasted for eight days in the Holy Temple.  It should have lasted only for the first day.
Hanukkah Facts

·         It is customary to eat fried foods on Chanukkah because of the significance of oil to the holiday.  Among Ashkenazic Jews, this usually includes latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) and doughnuts.
·         A popular game during Hanukkah is dreidel.  The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with one Hebrew letter inscribed on each face/side.  These letters are Nun (like N), Gimel (like G), Hei (Like H)  and Shin (like Sh).  These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, a great miracle happened there, referring to the miracle of the oil.
·         There is a special prayer called for the Miracles said during all prayer sessions and grace after meals.  In this prayer the Lord is thanked for allowing the Jewish minority to overcome their much larger and stronger enemies (a recurrent theme in Jewish survival).
·         Chanukkah is not one of the Biblical festivals and Jews are permitted to work on Chanukkah.
Hanukkah Top Events and Things to Do
·         An event that gathers much attention is the White House Hanukkah Party.  Watch it on TV (some parts are broadcast) or YouTube.
·         Play a dreidel game, which consists of spinning a special four-sided block with Hebrew letters. Once you're out of game pieces, you can either get a loan or you're out until one person collects all of the game pieces.
·         Make latkes and donuts at home.  Many recipes can be found online.
·         Listen to a special song is sung after the lighting of the candles, called Maoz Zur, 'the Rock of our Salvation'.  Many renditions of it can be found on YouTube.

49 Godly Character Traits[6]

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:

Discretion vs. Simplemindedness

The ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which  could result in undesirable consequences (Proverbs 22:3)

1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: "Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart." Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: "Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites." In the New Testament it is called "moderation" or "sobriety." We ought "to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world."

To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul and with all one's efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).

2533 Purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         30 Days with St. Joe
·         Catholic Christmas Calendar
·         Please pray for me and this ministry


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