DAY 32 - MARY, GATE OF HEAVEN, PRAY FOR US
STATE OF GRACE
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Luminous Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Sorrowful Mysteries
Loretto (Mary’s House) CHANUKAH Begins at Sunset human rights day
John, Chapter 15, Verse 17-19
17 This I command you: LOVE
one another. 18 “If the world hates you, realize
that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the
world would LOVE its own; but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
Rejoice if you love
and no one loves you in return; for He has chosen you! Yet, there is also the
danger that you may have so much love for yourself: that there is no room to
love anyone, but yourself, and people are avoiding you out of respect for the
love affair you have with yourself. Remember the story of the Grinch are you
more like the Grinch or Cindy Lou Who.
The model of love for all true discipleship is extreme, limitless life for your friends as Jesus modeled, the price of discipleship will be high. Just as Christ was hated so it will be for those of us who follow Him. You will be hated, persecuted, unaccepted. Yet, know that the deep-down crime is that the secular world, the culture of death, has seen the evidence and refused to believe. Jesus has spoken to them; he has performed works never done before and they really know nothing about the Father who sent Jesus and in hating Him they hate the Father also.
Who are hypocrites? Those who, in order to deceive their neighbors, show themselves outwardly pious, while within they are full of evil dispositions and malice; who have honey on the tongue, but gall in the heart; who, like scorpions, sting when one least expects it. Such men are cursed by God (Mai. i. 14). The Lord hateth a mouth with a double tongue (Prov. viii. 13). “Assumed sanctity, says St. Jerome, “is a double maliciousness.”
Sounds like career Politician’s to me. Yet, this too shall pass love endureth all things.
Amoris Lætitia Love in Marriage; Love endures all things (118-119)
Love bears every trial with a positive attitude. It stands firm in hostile surroundings. This “endurance” involves not only the ability to tolerate certain aggravations, but something greater: a constant readiness to confront any challenge. It is a love that never gives up, even in the darkest hour. It shows a certain dogged heroism, a power to resist every negative current, an irrepressible commitment to goodness. Here I think of the words of Martin Luther King, “The person who hates you most has some good in him; even the nation that hates you most has some good in it; even the race that hates you most has some good in it. And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him what religion calls ‘the image of God’, you begin to love him in spite of [everything]. No matter what he does, you see God’s image there. There is an element of goodness that he can never sluff off… Another way that you love your enemy is this: when the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it… When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system… Hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and so on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil… Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love”. In family life, we need to cultivate that strength of love which can help us fight every evil threatening it. Love does not yield to resentment, scorn for others or the desire to hurt or to gain some advantage. The Christian ideal, especially in families, is a love that never gives up. I am sometimes amazed to see men or women who have had to separate from their spouse for their own protection, yet, because of their enduring conjugal love, still try to help them, even by enlisting others, in their moments of illness, suffering or trial. Here too we see a love that never gives up.
Our Lady of Loretto
The shrine of Our Lady of Loreto is located on the Adriatic coast of Italy, three hours from Rome. It is the third-largest shrine to Mary in Europe, next to Lourdes and Fatima. The ministry of the shrine is the hospitality shown to pilgrims especially through the sacrament of penance.
· The title "Our Lady of Loreto" is associated with the Holy House of Loreto in Italy, the house of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, miraculously transported by the angels from Palestine to Europe.
· The house of the Holy Family in Nazareth has always been the object of Christian veneration. Shortly after 313, St. Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, built a basilica over this holy abode. The Saracens invaded the Holy Land in 1090, plundering and destroying Christian shrines, including Constantine’s basilica. Under the ruble, the Holy House was found intact.
· During the twelfth century, another basilica was built to protect the holy dwelling. In 1219 or 1220 St. Francis of Assisi visited the Holy House in Nazareth. So did King St. Louis IX of France, when he was leading a crusade to liberate the Holy Land.
· In 1263, when the Muslims overpowered the crusaders, the basilica was again destroyed but, once more, the Holy House was found intact.
· When the crusaders were completely driven out of the Holy Land in 1291, the Holy House disappeared.
· On May 10, 1291, a parish priest, Fr. Alexander Georgevich in the town of Tersatto, Dalmatia, (present-day Croatia) noticed the sudden appearance of a small building resting on a plot of land. Puzzled, he prayed about it, and in a dream saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, who explained that the structure was the house of the Holy Family, brought there by the power of God.
· In 1294, with the Moslem invasion of Albania, the house disappeared again. According to the testimony of shepherds, it was seen on December 10 of that year born aloft by angels over the Adriatic Sea. This time the Holy House came to rest in a wooded area four miles from Recanati, Italy. As the news spread fast, thousands flocked there, and many miracles took place at the site.
· Due to contrary circumstances, twice again the house was moved, finally coming to rest in the town of Loreto, Italy, its present location.
· As miracles continued to occur in connection with pilgrimages to the house, deputations were sent to Nazareth to determine its origins in 1292, in 1296, and in 1524. All three declared that the measurements of the house corresponded to the visible foundations of the house of Nazareth.
· In 1871 at the suggestion of Cardinal Bartolini, Professor Ratti of the University of Rome was given mortar and stones from the house at Loreto, and similar materials from houses in Nazareth. Ignorant of which was which, Prof. Ratti ascertained that the composition of the material from the house of Loreto while not original to Italy was identical to that of the material from Nazareth.
· Other striking facts about the house in Loreto are that it has no foundations. The walls rest on a plot that was part field and part road, a sure indication that it was not built there but placed there. The style of the house of Loreto is not Italian but Eastern. And the original door was on the long side of the house, indicating that it was a dwelling and not a church.
· Today a great basilica houses the dwelling of the holiest of families. From 1330, practically all the Popes have considered Loreto the greatest shrine of Christendom. Bulls in favor of the shrine were issued by Pope Sixtus IV in 1491 and by Julius II in 1507. While the miracle of the translation of the house is not a matter of faith, Innocent XII, in the seventeenth century, appointed a special Mass for the Feast of the Translation of the Holy House. Numerous saints have visited the house-relic.
· As pilgrims enter the small precinct, they read on the threshold, “Hic Verbum caro factum est” – “Here the Word became flesh”. Above the altar inside the holy house is an ancient statue of Our Lady holding the Infant Jesus, known as Our Lady of Loreto.
Things to Do
- Why is Our Lady of Loreto connected with aviation? Read these two articles, Did angels really carry the Holy House of Mary to Loreto, Italy? at Catholic News Agency and Our Lady of Loreto and Aviation from "All About Mary" at the University of Dayton.
- Find out the connection the University of Notre Dame has with Our Lady of Loreto.
- Visit the website of Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto.
- Here is further reading about the Basilica of the Holy House (Basilica della Santa Casa)
- The Litany of Loreto originated from this Shrine. Read about the Litany of Loreto in Context.
- See The Illustrated Litany of Loreto for visual meditation on the Litany of Loreto.
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.
· It is customary to eat fried foods on Chanukah 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).
· Chanukah is not one of the Biblical festivals and Jews are permitted to work on Chanukah.
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.
Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day commemorates the day on which the United Nations issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a document drafted by representatives from all regions of the world, which outlined fundamental human rights to be universally protected. The Declaration contains 30 articles that touch on rights to freedom, justice, peace, dignity, education and health care, amongst other rights. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations proclaimed the UDHR in an effort to help define equal rights that all humans on the planet deserve and can help the world achieve lasting freedom, justice and peace. Human Rights Day was officially declared by the United Nations in 1950. It is celebrated on December 10th each year and is marked by speeches and activities designed to bring attention to the issues surrounding the most pressing Human Rights issues worldwide.
Human Rights Day
Facts & Quotes
· The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights was one of their first declarations and came about after the atrocities perpetrated upon humans during World War II were brought to light.
· Over the past decade, armed conflict has killed 2 million children, disabled another 4-5 million, left 12 million homeless and orphaned another million.
· Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. - Abraham Lincoln
· America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense... human rights invented America. - Jimmy Carter
· I have cherished the ideal a democratic and free society... it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. - Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, who was imprisoned from 1964-1990.
Human Rights Day Top
Events and Things to Do
· Educate yourself on current human rights fights such as genocide by terrorist groups, slavery and trafficking and child labor around the world.
· Get involved with a local human rights organization.
· Watch a documentary about human rights issues and violations. Some recommendations: Invisible Children (2006), Girl Rising (2013) and Nefarious (2011).
· The U.S. is not the only country to recognize the importance of religious liberty. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights--a foundational document for international law, created by representatives from all over the world--recognizes this basic human right in Article 18: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”. Clearly, the framers of this document relied on human reason and saw the need for governments to recognize this civil right.
The Jesse Tree dates back to the middle ages and came from Europe. Even some ancient cathedrals have Jesse Tree designs in their stained-glass windows. The "tree" is usually a branch or sapling and is decorated with various symbols that remind us of the purpose and promises of God from Creation to the Birth of Jesus Christ. Jesse was the father of King David and God promised David that his Kingdom would last forever. Two centuries after the death of King David, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah and said: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:1-2) Each Jesse Tree ornament usually consists of a handmade symbol or drawing that represents one of the major stories of the Old Testament along with a brief verse of Scripture from that story.
Jesse Tree Ornaments
If you decide to use one symbol each day during December, there are 24 symbolic ornaments to make for your Jesse Tree, so each family member will need to make several. Making the ornaments is a good project for Sunday afternoons during Advent. To make an ornament, first read the Scripture verses for the day. Then pick out one or two short verses that give the main idea. Copy these verses on the back of the ornament. By this time, you will probably be thinking of various ways to illustrate your Scripture verses. Use lots of creativity in making your ornament! You can use pictures from magazines or old greeting cards. Or draw pictures or symbols yourself. Color them with crayons, pencils, markers or paint. Look around the house for bits and pieces that will make your design beautiful! If you prefer to have a pattern already made, Caryn Talty, at Organic Living for a Healthy Family, has created 26 excellent ornaments which she graciously offers free – both full color and black and white.
Jesse Tree Scriptures (The Symbols Are Only Suggestions)
December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth
December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols: tree, man, woman
December 3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbols: tree, serpent, apple with bite
December 4 Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22 Symbols: ark, animals, dove, rainbow
December 5 Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3 Symbols: torch, sword, mountain
December 6 Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14 Symbols: bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush
December 7 Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 Symbols: kettle, ladder
December 8 Joseph: Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15 Symbols: bucket, well, silver coins, tunic
December 9 Moses: Ex. 2:1-10 Symbols: baby in basket, river and rushes
December 10 Samuel: 1 Sam. 3:1-18 Symbols: lamp, temple
 The Collegeville Bible Commentary
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.