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SAINT MOTHER THEODORE GUERIN 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 18 They were not so much concerned about wives and children, or family an...

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018


Fourth Sunday Of Advent


Genesis, Chapter 50, Verse 21
So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and for your children.” By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.

Again, Joseph is a precursor of Christ is an example of love and forgiveness of God; therefore, mirroring the message of Paul,

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.


1) Go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother

2) If he does not listen; take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses’ and

3) If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church and

4) if he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. (Mt. 18:14-17)

One wonders what it means to treat someone as a gentile or tax collector. So, exactly how did Jesus treat Gentiles and tax collectors?  Jesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman. He eats with sinners and tax collectors. He heals the Centurion’s servant. He calls a tax collector to be his disciple. Jesus repeatedly invited tax collectors and Gentiles into the kingdom of God. To “let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” doesn’t mean wash our hands of them. It means we need to continue to reach out to those with whom we have a conflict.  We must continue inviting them into the fellowship of the kingdom of God.[1]

Spiritual Crib[2]

A special devotion that can be performed during Advent to prepare for the coming of the Infant Savior. It can be adapted for adults and/or children and applied as is appropriate to your state in life.

·         13th day, December 23rd: THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY—Chastity Pray much today for the virtue of holy purity. Guard your eyes, ears, tongue, and. heart. Pray fervently: 

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.


 God’s Handiwork

Every Christmas although the same in many ways is always new for each Christmas expresses a hope learned from a lifetime of praising God. For every Christmas if we open our eyes to truth we will see the handiwork of God; the rock of our salvation. Perhaps in these final days of anticipation it would do us well to reflect on the virtues of Mary Christ’s very own mother and in these final days in some way reflect them in our own lives.

Temperance the power of the soul

The virtue of temperance is necessary to the Christian who would live according to the law of God. When this virtue is wanting, the spirit becomes the slave of the flesh. It can no longer relish things divine; for, says St. Paul, "the sensual man perceiveth not the things that are of the Spirit of God." (1 Cor. ii, 14.) In fact, gluttony and gross living naturally tend to the obscuring of the intellect and to the quenching of spiritual light. It is vain, therefore, to look for wisdom among those that live in luxury and abundance: "Wisdom is not found in the land of them that live in delight." (Job, xxviii, 18.) Moreover intemperance, by exciting a wild gaiety, often provokes bickering’s and dissensions, and it is a known fact that gluttony takes a greater toll of human lives than does disease. But what is still worse, intemperance excites in man all kinds of impure thoughts, which find vent in words, gestures and actions contrary to holy modesty; it hardens the heart and prepares the way to eternal perdition.
THE Church teaches us that the Christian must all submit in expiation of our sins. Our divine Redeemer Himself impressed upon us this great truth when He said: "Unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish." (Luke xiii. 3.) The object of penance is, in the first place, to lead us to refrain ourselves, in so far as reason and faith demand, from the inordinate desire of sensual pleasure, to which our fallen nature is inclined. So strong is this inclination, that we are ever in danger of falling into the slough of vice. How many Christians, alas, by following their unbridled imagination, lose both soul and body together! Wherefore, Holy Church imposes upon us the obligation of fasting, putting us in mind of the advantages which accrue from this salutary penance to which we practice. Fasting, in effect, "represses vices, raises our thoughts heavenward, makes easy the practice of virtue, and is a constant source of merit." (Preface for Lent.) As Mary was not tainted with original sin, she did not experience in herself this disorderly proneness to the pleasures of sense, the baneful consequence of the sin of our first parents. Being full of grace, she maintained always the just balance of the powers of her soul. She performed all her actions with ease and delight, not having to use violence with herself, in order to preserve that even poise of the faculties, which reason arid the law of God demand. Nevertheless, Mary subjected herself willingly to the law of penance and mortification, denying herself those. Her life was one long series of privations and self-denials. Her fasting and abstinence was continual. She only allowed herself what was necessary to maintain life. She mortified all her senses, so that it were hard to say in what particular kind of mortification she excelled, in modesty of the eyes, in lowliness of demeanor, in the sparingness of her words or in the dignity of her gestures. It was natural, then, that her Heavenly Bridegroom should find in her all His delight. And as the fruit of this temperance, Mary acquired an extraordinary facility in conversing familiarly with her Well-Beloved, a heavenly joy which was depicted on her countenance, a virginal beauty which radiated from her whole presence, a something so indescribably sweet and majestic, that it gave to her an aspect rather divine than human: "How beautiful art thou my love, how beautiful art thou! Thine eyes are as doves' eyes, besides what is hid within!" (Cant. iv, 1.)



Advent Calendar

Read: Have you blessed your Christmas tree yet? Prepare to do so before Advent is over.

Reflect: "To be fully a disciple of Jesus means not only accepting and believing his message, but also taking up and participating in the mission of encountering and inviting others to join our pilgrim journey to his heavenly kingdom." —His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington 

Pray: Add this "O Antiphon" to your daily or meal-time prayer today: "O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!" (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition, 77)

Act: Pope Francis said of evangelization: "It is not the mission of only a few, but it is mine, yours and our mission." Carry the lessons learned about evangelization into the Christmas season and beyond.


 49 Godly Character Traits[3]

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:

Initiative vs. Unresponsiveness

Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it (Romans 12:21)

899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:

Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.

2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man. Grace responds to the deepest yearnings of human freedom, calls freedom to cooperate with it, and perfects freedom.
  
The Way[4] Mortification

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

No ideal becomes a reality without sacrifice. Deny yourself. It's so beautiful to be a victim

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan




[1] https://conversationinfaith.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/treat-them-like-gentiles-and-tax-collectors/
[3]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/
[4]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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