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Saturday, December 26, 2020

Sunday, December 27, 2020

 

DAY 49 - MARY, QUEEN OF PEACE, PRAY FOR US

LIVE A SUPERNATURAL LIFE
Surveys by Gallup, the National Opinion Research Center, and the Pew Organization conclude that spiritually committed people are twice as likely to report being "very happy" than the least religiously committed people. Secular analysts seem to be doing back flips trying to explain away the simple reality that there is no other authentic and fulfilling way to live other than a supernatural life.

St. Paul writes, "The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor 2:14). This is the person who acts only by using his or her human faculties (intelligence and will) and who therefore can be wise only in the things of the world. He remains superficial and worldly. This is a heart that has hardened to the presence of God. The prophet Jeremiah writes "Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt land and empty earth" (Jer 17:5-6).

However, throughout the Bible (e.g., Ps 1, Jer 17, Rev 22) we are told that the blessed ones are those who trust God and his ordinances; they are like trees planted beside streams of water. These trees are full of life (their leaves stay green) and they fulfill their purpose (produce fruit) even in the face of life's challenges. The commentary on 1 Corinthians in the Navarre Bible states, "The spiritual man is the Christian reborn by the grace of God; grace elevates his faculties to enable him to perform actions which have a supernatural value - acts of faith, hope, and charity. A person who is in the state of grace is able to perceive the things of God, because he carries with him the Spirit in his soul in grace, and he has Christ's mind, Christ's attitude. 'We have no alternative,' St. Josemaria Escriva teaches, 'there are only two possible ways of living on this earth: either we live a supernatural life, or we live an animal life. And you and I can only live the life of God, a supernatural life' (Friends of God)." (Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual).
PRAY A ROSARY
Choose either:
  1. Rosary of the Day: Glorious Mysteries
  2. Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Joyful Mysteries
PRAYERS FOR TRADITIONAL 54 DAY NOVENA

THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Prayer before the recitation: Sign of the cross. Hail Mary.

In petition (first 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I humbly kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses, snow white buds to remind thee of thy joys, each bud recalling to thee a holy mystery, each 10 bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, dispenser of God's graces, and Mother of all who invoke thee, thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my petition; from thy bounty thou wilt give me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly seek. I despair of nothing that I ask of thee. Show thyself my Mother!

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I gratefully kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses snow white buds to remind thee of thy joys, each bud recalling to thee a holy mystery; each 10 bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, Dispenser of God's graces. and Mother of all who invoke thee! Thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my thanksgiving; from thy bounty thou hast given me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly sought. I despaired not of what I asked of thee, and thou hast truly shown thyself my Mother.

Say: The Apostles' Creed, Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

The Annunciation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of humility and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Visitation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of charity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Nativity - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of detachment from the world and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Presentation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of purity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of obedience to the will of God and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

Say: The Hail Holy Queen.

Spiritual Communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

In petition (first 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this spiritual communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow. O my Mother! Look with favor upon my gift, and in thy love obtain for me (specify request, see below). Hail Mary ...

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this Spiritual Communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow in thanksgiving for (specify request, see below) which thou in thy love hast obtained for me. Hail, Mary, etc.

PETITION: May truth be revealed, and may America and the Catholic Church become strong in God's power. - Ephesians 6:10
 
Please consider adding these prayers, until the election is called (more information HERE):

Fr. Ripperger's Recommended Prayers for
Breaking Oppression and Sending Back Evil
Until the Election is Called

Consecration of One's Exterior Goods to the Blessed Virgin Mary

(This prayer is particularly useful for breaking various forms of oppression. By relinquishing what belongs to us into the hands of the Blessed Virgin, Satan cannot touch them. This is a strong prayer of protection on you and yours):

I; (Name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose thee, O Mary, this day for my Mother and Mistress. Knowing that I have received rights over all my exterior goods by the promulgation of the Natural Law by the Divine Author, I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, all of my exterior goods, past, present and future; I relinquish into thy hands, my Heavenly Mother, all rights over my exterior goods, including our President, the fairness, honesty and accuracy of the outcome of the election, and our country and I retain for myself no right of disposing the goods that come to me but leave to thee the entire and full right of disposing of all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity. As I now interiorly relinquish what belongs to me exteriorly into thy hands, I entrust to thee the protection of those exterior goods against the evil one, so that, knowing that they now belong to thee, he cannot touch them. Receive, O good and pious Virgin, this little offering of what little is, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to Thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of You have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. Trusting in the providential care of God the Father and thy maternal care, I have full confidence that thou wilst take care of me as to the necessities of this life and will not leave me forsaken. God the Father, increase my trust in Thy Son's Mother; Our Lady of Fair Love, give me perfect confidence in the providence of Thy Son. Amen.

Sending Evil Back

(Fr. Chad Ripperger comments that the following prayer may appear harsh, in that it seems to seek evil befall on another, yet it is meant to expose evil and to teach that evil does not win. And, in fact, choosing evil will, eventually, lead to bad repercussions)

Jesus and Mary, I ask that if it be Your Holy Will, that any curses or evil sent against the President or the election process be sent back from whence they came.

 
All of the daily Novena Prayers and Reflections are also posted at usgraceforce.com

Spanish language Novena prayers and reflections are available at https://rosarycoasttocoast.com/nfon-espanol/.

Those who would like to pray with others via The Telephone Rosary, call 1-951-799-9866 daily at 6 pm Eastern.


First Sunday After Christmas

THE HOLY FAMILY--FEAST OF ST. JOHN 

Genesis, Chapter 15, Verse 6

Abram put his FAITH in the LORD, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness. 

Abraham’s act of faith in God’s promises was regarded as an act of righteousness. St. Paul makes Abraham’s faith a model for Christians:[1] 

·         Abraham’s life was an exercise in acting upon faith unseen. Abraham’s faith was not simply intellectual. It was a response of his whole being and the bedrock of all his major decisions in life.

·         Abraham only knew that there was one God who desired him to do right, shun evil, and follow his calling. The works of Abraham were works of faithfulness—living in response to the promises of God not yet realized.

·         Abraham teaches us that faith demands a relationship with God in faithfulness. It requires going back to what God commands even after losing one’s way. It requires attentiveness to God’s calling despite not seeing its ultimate benefits, because, as we read in the Letter to the Hebrews, “faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” 

Sunday after Christmas[2] 

Introit of the Mass. 

WHILE all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Thy almighty Word, O Lord, leapt down from heaven, from Thy royal throne (Wis. xviii. 14, 15). “The Lord has reigned; He is clothed with beauty; the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded Himself” (Ps. xcii. 1). 

Prayer. 

Almighty and eternal God direct our actions so as to be pleasing to Thee, that, in the name of Thy beloved Son, we may deserve to abound in good works. 

EPISTLE. Gal. iv. 1-7. 

Brethren: As long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all: but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the father: so we also, when we were children, were serving under the elements of the world. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that He might redeem them who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Therefore, now he is not a servant, but a son. And if a son, an heir also, through God. 

How are we to understand the words, “God sent His Son, made under the law, that He might redeem them who were under the law?” 

St. Paul here speaks to such Christians among the Galatians as were formerly Jews, and who supposed themselves yet bound to keep the observances of the Law of Moses; he shows them that by His death on the cross He dispensed with the Law, abolished its types and ceremonies, and redeemed the Jews from the curse and bondage to which it subjected them, delivering them thereby from sin and eternal death. We have received still greater favors than the Jews, because in our ancestors we were converted from Paganism to Christianity, and from children of the devil were made by faith heirs of God. Let us show how we value such blessings by living as children of God, in faith, love, confidence, patience, and innocence, shunning sin as the only real evil; unless we would forfeit our name and privileges as Christians, and voluntarily become a second time the slaves of the devil. 

GOSPEL. Luke ii. 33-40. 

At that time Joseph and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His Mother: Be hold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts’ thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was far advanced in years, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years, who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she at the same hour coming in, confessed to the Lord; and spoke of Him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom: and the grace of God was in Him. 

Why did Mary and Joseph wonder at these things? 

They were filled with joyous wonder that Simeon was enabled by divine inspiration to recognize the child Jesus as the promised Messiah, and to say such great things of Him. 

What does it mean to bless? 

To give or wish something good to anyone; in the first of these senses God alone blesses, because all goods of soul or body which we have, or wish to have, come from Him; in the second sense, angels and men may bless us, in wishing us whatever is good, and in praying for it to God. 

Have we examples of blessing in Scripture? 

Yes, an angel blessed Jacob (Gen. xxxii. 29); Jacob, when dying, blessed his children and grandchildren (Gen. xlviii. 15); Melchisedech blessed Abraham (Gen. xiv. 19); Rebecca was blessed by her brother (Gen. xxiv. 60); and the priests blessed the people. Our Savior also blessed His disciples with up lifted hands. 

Is it good for parents to bless their children? 

Yes, for God fulfils blessings of good parents, as He did those, for example, of the patriarchs Isaac and Jacob. “The father’s blessing establisheth the houses of the children, but the mother s curse rooteth up the foundations”; (Eccles. iii. 11). 

What virtue is there in the priest’s blessing? 

Very great virtue: because it is given in the name of the Church, through the merits of Jesus Christ, and comes from God Himself, whose ministers and stewards the priests are. Parents should see that their children are blessed by the priests who may come to visit them, as the children were brought to Our Savior, that He might lay His hands on them, and bless them (Matt. xix. 13). 

How is Christ the fall and resurrection of many in Israel? 

He is the fall, that is, the damnation, of those who do not receive Him, though they know Him to be the Savior of the world; and of those also who believe in Him, and receive His holy teaching, but do not live according to it. “If Christ had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin”; (St. John xv. 22). He is the resurrection or salvation of those who believe in Him, receive His doctrine, and live according to it. 

What is the meaning of, “He is a sign which shall be contradicted?” 

This was a prophecy that Jesus Christ, His life, works, teaching, and institutions should be the object of continual contradiction on the part of sensual and worldly wisdom. It was fulfilled in the blasphemies and persecutions of the Jews and gentiles, and is confirmed by infidels of all ages, as well as by those Christians who, as St. Bernard says, contradict His humility by their pride, His poverty by their avarice, His fasting by their intemperance, His purity by their impurity, His zeal by their sloth; thus, confessing Him with their lips, but denying Him by their deeds. They are not faithful and sincere towards Jesus, and do not love Him, for they do not obey His holy will; they are Christians only in name, of whom Christ is not the resurrection, but the fall, for they are yet the slaves of sin. 

What is meant by those words, “thy own soul a sword shall pierce?” 

That Mary would have to suffer inexpressible pains and sorrows that would pierce her heart as with a sword. 

Time made this plain; for how often was not her beloved Son pursued and persecuted? 

Yet the greatest grief she felt must have been when she saw her Son in His sufferings and death, hanging, like a malefactor, on the cross. 

What else is to be learned from this gospel? 

First, widows may learn from Anna, who departed not from the temple, how to serve God, by fasting and prayer, “for the widow that liveth in pleasures is dead while she is living (i. Tim. v. 6). Secondly, parents may learn to be careful that their children increase not only in skill and wealth, but rather in the grace of God, by living pious, edifying, and peaceable lives before God and men. 

Exhortation 

Today is the last Sunday in the year. Ponder with care on the truths and doctrines which the holy Church has laid before thee in the epistles and gospels; thank God with thy whole heart for the great favors and benefits which thou hast received in the incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ; examine thyself also whether thy faith is living and efficient, that thou mayest have the hope of being a child and heir of God; ask thyself whether, during the past year, Christ has been thy fall or thy resurrection? hast thou confessed Him in heart and deed, or hast thou been a Christian only in name? With such exercises and examinations occupy thy mind until the New Year, that thou mayest be prepared to begin it worthily. 

Feast of the Holy Family[3]


According to the Mosaic Law, a Hebrew boy was not part of the family until he was circumcised eight days after his birth; only then was he given his name, i.e., his identity as an individual and as a son of Abraham. But there is a deeper reason as well. Paradoxically, it is only after we have contemplated the various revelations of the Light to both Jew and Gentile that we can appreciate the period of Jesus' life that is shrouded in obscurity. It is because we now know who the boy Jesus truly is that we can understand the importance of His family and the excellence of His so-called hidden life. Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, we now recognize Him as the Messiah for whom the Jews yearned; like the Magi, whose gifts bespoke their convictions, we now recognize Him as a King worthy of gold, as God worthy of frankincense, and as the Suffering Servant to be one day buried with myrrh. And like the Blessed Virgin, who -- as we learn from the Gospel on this feast-- kept all these things in her heart, we are now in a position to appreciate the unique role of His Holy Family in the economy of our salvation. The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph holds up the domestic life of Jesus, his mother, and foster father as the perfect model for all Catholic households. As Pope Leo XIII explains, there is a lesson in this family for everyone: for fathers, for mothers, for children; for nobility (the Holy Family was from the royal house of David), for the poor (they gave up their possessions in fleeing to Egypt), and so on. There are no prescribed or uniform customs for the feast, but that does not mean no observances were made. The following is an account from Father Weiser of Holy Family Sundays at our own parish, Holy Trinity German Church, in the 1940s.

The annual Holy Childhood procession, on the feast of the Holy Family, is one of the most attractive ceremonies. In former years this procession was called the "Shepherds' Procession" as the children marched through the church dressed as shepherds and shepherdesses -- a lovely relic of popular medieval piety (Holy Trinity Parish, 1844-1944, p. 37).

This feast is also an ideal time to pray any of the devotions to the Holy Family that are given in the Raccolta, the Church's old official list of indulgences. The fact that many of these prayers are no longer indulgenced does not make them any less meaningful or worthy of use. Let us reflect that the Holy family was holy because of how they interacted with each other and the world. 

A good practice during the twelve nights of Christmas would be to turn off the TV and to rest and have joyful prayer with the family.  It is good to remember that Christ’s primary teachers in the faith were Joseph and Mary.  We also should remember to not rely on schools to bring up our children in devotion to the Lord and that we are the primary teachers of Faith, Hope and Love in our families (Especially in light of COVID 19)

Things to Do[4]

·         Let us imitate the Holy Family in our Christian families, and our family will be a stronghold and a prefiguration of the heavenly family. Say a prayer dedicating your family to the Holy Family. Also pray for all families and for our country to uphold the sanctity of the marriage bond which is under attack.

·         Read more about Pope Leo XIII who instituted the Feast of the Holy Family and read his encyclical On Christian Marriage. You can also check out the Vatican's page of Papal documents on the Family.

·         Read the explanation of Jesus' knowledge in the activities section. Read Pope Pius X's Syllabus of Errors which condemns the modernist assertion that Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.

·         Have the whole family participate in cooking dinner. You might try a Lebanese meal. Some suggestions: stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage rolls, lentils and rice, spinach and meat pies, chicken and dumplings, hummus, Lebanese bread, tabbouleh — a Lebanese salad and kibbi, a traditional Lebanese dish of specially ground meat mixed with spices and cracked wheat. This is the same kind of food that Mary served Jesus and St. Joseph. It's healthy and delicious.

Christmas Calendar[5] 

Read: Today, we honor the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Take time to read Pope Francis's homily on the Feast of the Holy Family in 2014. The ideas and messages he presented are still relevant today. 

Reflect: "Christmas celebrates the fruit of Mary and Joseph's trust in God. The long-awaited Messiah, sent to save us from our sins and win back the eternal blessedness lost by Adam's sin, is born. The Son of God is like us in all things but sin. We learn from the Incarnation that our success is in God's hands. Without the Father's love, we would be lost for all eternity. Mary and Joseph sacrificed greatly to make the arduous journey to Bethlehem, to obey God's directive to flee into Egypt, and to go to Nazareth to raise Jesus. Ambiguity, uncertainty, and brokenness touched the Holy Family. Their lives teach us that we cannot understand God's designs. This wonderful lesson urges parents to put their families in God's hands and trust that their efforts will bear fruit. Faithful parents are examples for us, single or married. We, too, are to put ourselves in God's hands. In so doing, God's grace helps us realize better the depths of who we are and what we are called to become." 

Pray: Pray for families

Act: "A few minutes can be found each day to come together before the living God, to tell him our worries, to ask for the needs of our family, to pray for someone experiencing difficulty, to ask for help in showing love, to give thanks for life and for its blessings, and to ask Our Lady to protect us beneath her maternal mantle." —Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, no. 318 

At the start of this New Year, make a commitment to pray together as a family every day. 

Feast of St. John, the Apostle[6] 

DECEMBER 27. 

JOHN, the brother of St. James the Greater, was a son of Zebedee, a fisherman of Galilee, and of Salome, a cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Matt. iv. 21). He was the youngest of the apostles, and, with Peter and James, was the most trusted of the disciples of Jesus, by Whom he was most tenderly loved, on which account he is called the Disciple of Love. Of this Jesus gave the most convincing evidence when, at the Last Supper, He allowed that disciple to lean upon His breast, and when, from the cross, He committed to the care of John His own Mother. After the ascension John preached the Gospel in Palestine; afterwards went to Asia Minor, fixed his residence in Ephesus, and established many churches there. He was, with the other apostles, taken prisoner and scourged by the Jews, and in the year 95, under the Emperor Domitian, before the Latin Gate, at Rome, was thrown into a vessel of boiling oil. Having endured this torture without injury, he was then banished to the island of Patmos, where, by command of the Lord, he wrote the Apocalypse, or Revelation, concerning the fortunes of the Church. On returning from his banishment, he again governed the churches of Asia Minor as chief pastor, as he had done before, and, at the age of nearly one hundred years, died at Ephesus a peaceful arid natural death. 

The Introit of the Mass reads: “In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth, and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and clothed him with a robe of glory. It is good to give praise to the Lord, and to sing to Thy name, O Most High.” 

Prayer. 

Mercifully illustrate Thy Church, O Lord, that, enlightened by the doctrines of Thy blessed apostle and evangelist St. John, she may arrive at gifts everlasting. 

ON PURITY. 

“He that loves wisdom,” saith the Holy Ghost, “will obtain it, for it will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins” (Wis. i. 4). St. John was from his childhood an angel of purity, on which account he was particularly be loved by Jesus, and endowed by the Holy Ghost with such wisdom and knowledge that, as St. Augustine has remarked, he begins his gospel in a manner more lofty and sublime than the other three evangelists. For while they walk with the God-man upon earth, speaking comparatively little of His divinity, St. John, as if despising the world, soars beyond the vault of heaven, above the hosts of angels, and comes to Him by Whom all things are made, saying, “In the beginning was the Word.” At the Last Supper he was permitted to lean on the bosom of Jesus, but what he there drank in secretly he imparted openly. Apply thyself, therefore, to purity of heart, and thou shalt be like St. John, a beloved disciple of Jesus, and shalt be filled with heavenly wisdom. 

Feast of St John[7] 

The Feast of St. John the Apostle commemorates his life.  He was one of Jesus' 12 disciples.  He was one of the three disciples, which included Peter and James, who were involved in some of the most important events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, including Jesus' crucifixion and transfiguration.  

St John Facts

 

·         John was a fisherman before he began following Christ.  He was the brother of St. James the Greater.  Jesus gave the brothers the name, sons of thunder. (Mark 3:17)

·         When Jesus was dying on the cross, he asked John to take care of his mother (John 19:25-27).

·         In the Gospel of John, he frequently refers to the most beloved disciple. Some theologians believe he is referring to himself, while others believe the reference is used for the reader to insert himself into the role.

·         Besides Paul, John was the most prolific writer in the New Testament.  His body of work includes 'The Revelation of John' and three epistles.

·         The Feast Day for St. John the Apostle is held in the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations on December 27, the third day of Christmas.  In the Orthodox Church, it is called the Feast of the Holy and Glorious Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, which is held September 26.  This feast shouldn't be confused with the Feast of St. John the Baptist, which is held in both faith traditions on June 24. 

St John Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Read the Gospel of John.  It is different than the other three Gospels and was thought to be the last written of the four books in the New Testament.

·         Read the Revelation of John, thought to be written by the apostle.  The rich symbolism has been thought to foretell the end of the world, but many biblical scholars believe it was written to offer hope to Christians persecuted by Rome.

·         St John is the Patron Saint of Turkey.  Consider visiting this beautiful country - or take a virtual tour with Google Maps.

·         St. John answered the call to be an apostle of Jesus. Have you listened for Jesus's call in your life?

·         Pray today to know your own vocation.

·         Bless your wine for the new year. 

Blessing of the Wine[8] 

Traditionally wine is blessed on the Feast of St. John. Wine if used in moderation is a good thing. Yet sometimes it may cause an increase in our fears or make us fool hardy when speaking, giving us a false sense of courage. So, blessing our wine is a good idea to dedicate its use for our good and not our detriment. 

St. John's Day[9] (December 27) 

Saint John was the only Apostle who did not suffer martyrdom, though several attempts were made on his life. One of these involved giving him a glass of wine that had been poisoned. The saint, however, suffered no harm because he blessed it before he drank. It is in honor of this deliverance that the blessing and drinking of wine on St. John's Day was once a popular custom. People had a bottle of wine blessed after the Saint's Mass and then drank it at the family dinner (notice how easily this can still be done). The special blessing for this occasion from the Roman ritual sums up the meaning of this custom: 

%  Blessing for the 1st Cup


 

Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God! You willed that Your Son, equal to You in agelessness and substance should descend from heaven and in the fullness of time be born of the most holy Virgin Mary. Thus, He could seek the lost and wayward sheep and carry it on His shoulders to the sheepfold, and could cure the man fallen among robbers of his wounds by pouring in oil and wine. Deign now to bless and sanctify this wine which You produced for man's drink. Whoever drinks of it on this holy feast, grant him life in body and soul. By Your goodness, let it be to him strength to prosper him on the way, that his journey may come to a blessed end. Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

%  Blessing for the 2nd Cup



O Lord God deign to bless and consecrate with Thy right hand this cup of wine and of whatever drink: and grant that through the merits of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, all who believe in Thee and who drink from this cup may be blessed and protected. And as blessed John drank from the cup of poison and remained completely unharmed, may, through his merits, all who drink from the cup on this day in honor of blessed John be rescued from every sickness of poison and from every kind of harm; and, offering themselves up body and soul, may they be delivered from all fault. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

%  Blessing of the 3rd Cup 

Bless, O Lord, this creature of drink: that it may be a remedy of salvation for all who consume it: and grant through the invocation of Thy holy name that whoever will have tasted of it may, through Thy giving, experience health of the soul as well as of the body. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

%  Blessing of the 4th Cup 

Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit descend upon this creature of wine and of whatever drink and remain forever. Amen. 

Today, on the day honoring the disciple who lay closest to Christ the High Priest during the first Mass, was the festival for priests.

The wine drunk or blessed on this day is called "St. John's Love" (Johannesminne) or St. John's Wine. When the wine has been blessed by a priest, it becomes a sacramental, and is kept in the house throughout the year as a good thing for a newlywed couple to drink on their return from church, as an aid for travelers before a long trip, and as succor for the dying after they have received the sacraments. In the Catholic Cookbook, William Kaufman includes a recipe for St. John's Wine:

1-quart red wine

3 whole cloves

1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 two-inch cinnamon sticks

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar

Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Boil for 5 minutes (after which point the alcohol is virtually evaporated). (Serve hot. 8-10 servings).[10]

Three French Hens 

Today is traditionally the third day of Christmas and the Three French Hens from the song the 12 days of Christmas represent the three cardinal virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.  Let us talk to the Lord today and ask Him how we are doing in these three virtues and how we may improve in them.  


Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Family activity: Visit the Zoo

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary




[1]https://media.ascensionpress.com/2017/01/26/abraham-model-faithfulness/

[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[4]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-12-30

[8]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=46

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