sT. eLIZABETH ANN SETON-11TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS
Sirach, Chapter 7, Verse 6
Do not seek to become a judge if you do not have the strength to root out crime, Lest you show fear in the presence of the prominent and mar your integrity.
Basically do not start something you cannot finish or you will damage your honor. Our Lord said something similar to this in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Lk. 9:62)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
II. THE VOCATION TO CHASTITY cont.
The various forms of chastity
2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has "put on Christ," the model for all chastity. All Christ's faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.
2349 "People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single." Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence: There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others. This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.
2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.
Read: Today we remember the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized as a saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Reflect: Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly [on the night of Christmas] entered into our night.
Pray: Pray one of these three prayers to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton today.
Act: Aim to put these practices of building a domestic Church into action.
Widow Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
This wife, mother and foundress of a religious congregation was born Elizabeth Ann Bayley on August 28, 1774 in New York City, the daughter of an eminent physician and professor at what is now Columbia University. Brought up as an Episcopalian, she received an excellent education, and from her early years she manifested an unusual concern for the poor. In 1794 Elizabeth married William Seton, with whom she had five children. The loss of their fortune so affected William's health that in 1803 Elizabeth and William went to stay with Catholic friends at Livorno, Italy. William died six weeks after their arrival, and when Elizabeth returned to New York City some six months later, she was already a convinced Catholic. She met with stern opposition from her Episcopalian friends but was received into full communion with the Catholic Church on March 4, 1805. Abandoned by her friends and relatives, Elizabeth was invited by the superior of the Sulpicians in Baltimore to found a school for girls in that city. The school prospered, and eventually the Sulpician superior, with the approval of Bishop Carroll, gave Elizabeth and her assistants a rule of life. They were also permitted to make religious profession and to wear a religious habit. In 1809 Elizabeth moved her young community to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she adopted as a rule of life an adaptation of the rule observed by the Sisters of Charity, founded by St. Vincent de Paul. Although she did not neglect the ministry to the poor, and especially to Negroes, she actually laid the foundation for what became the American parochial school system. She trained teachers and prepared textbooks for use in the schools; she also opened orphanages in Philadelphia and New York City. She died at Emmitsburg on January 4, 1821, was beatified by Pope John XXIII in 1963, and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1975.
11th day of Christmas the 11 pipers piping is a sign for the eleven faithful apostles. It is interesting to note that Judas’ sin was due to fear, greed, pride and envy. Today would be a good day to read about the remaining 11 pipers and their courage to create a Kingdom of God that changed the world.
49 Godly Character Traits
During this Christmas 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:
Responsibility vs. Unreliability
Knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting from me (Romans 14:12)
596 The religious authorities in Jerusalem were not unanimous about what stance to take towards Jesus. The Pharisees threatened to excommunicate his followers. To those who feared that "everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation", the high priest Caiaphas replied by prophesying: "It is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." The Sanhedrin, having declared Jesus deserving of death as a blasphemer but having lost the right to put anyone to death, hands him over to the Romans, accusing him of political revolt, a charge that puts him in the same category as Barabbas who had been accused of sedition. The chief priests also threatened Pilate politically so that he would condemn Jesus to death.
2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones." Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them:
He who loves his son will not spare the rod. . . . He who disciplines his son will profit by him.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
2431 The responsibility of the state. "Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly. . . . Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which make up society."
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