Second Sunday of Advent
saint Nicholas eve
FEAR of others becomes a snare, but the one who trusts in the LORD is safe.
Fear of others the political correctness of the bible. With this fear we are apprehensive of what others may think of us over a concern of what God thinks of us. We all fall into the trap of wishing for as many likes as we can get on our facebook page. We cater to the approval of others often letting our Lord take the back seat.
God’s Laws Do Not Depend on Popular Votes of Approval
Since the French Revolution, revolting from God’s ways has been the norm for governments and people. Before the French Revolution, Emperors and Empresses, Kings and Queens received from God, via the Catholic Church, authority to rule. They were bound to rule by obeying God’s Rules. There were good Catholic popes, bishops’ emperors and kings. There were also bad popes, bishops, emperors, and kings who abused the authority God had given them to rule. But each one of them, at death, have had to give a detailed account of how they had used the divine authority they had been given to rule.
In fact, everyone has some sort of authority, and we will have to give a strict account to God as to how we used His authority for the good or the bad. I as a priest will have to give an account of how I used my priestly authority over the parishioners under my care. I will have to give an account of all the money, buildings and programs that I have had under my care while I was an associate pastor and as pastor. Each one of you, bishops, religious and priests reading this, will also have to give an account of how you used your God given authority over God’s flock. For us who have been vigilant in guiding God’s flock to heaven, there will be a reward. For each one of us who have been lazy, there will be punishment. But each one of us who has abused our God given authority to persecute holy priests and people or mislead our people by telling them not to worry about sin, the devil and eternal damnation, it will be one horrible awakening into eternal chastisement. The road to Hell is paved with skulls of bishops and priests”.
Each husband will give an account of how he ruled over his wife and children. Each parent will have to give an account of the way they have raised their children. Each teacher, each principal, each government leader; each Emperor, King, Empress, Queen, and those under their orders, will also be rewarded or terribly chastised for how they did or did not implement God’s rules on their subjects. They will also have to give a detailed account on how they spent God’s money and treated God’s people placed under their care.
I am totally in favor of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. He is the head of the pope, cardinals, bishops, priests and religious. The Church is head of the Emperors and Kings and those subject to their authority. Under this system, when the Holy Roman Empire existed, there was all sorts of great Christian growth as well as cultural growth: the great cathedrals, universities, hospitals, buildings, art, all over the world, was created in this divinely ordered society where God was the center of government and society. His divinely revealed laws were the laws that men lived by even though people broke them. This didn’t just start under the great Catholic Emperor Constantine. We can see it under the rule of the Judges of the Old Testament, who ruled by God’s authority, inforced His laws and guided by His wisdom. Under this divine system these judges/prophets were able to guide the Jewish people into a flourishing society. Under King David we see the great development and peace of Israel. When King Solomon ruled on the throne of his father King David, he did not ask for riches or a long life, but for divine wisdom. When he was faithful to The True God and lived by His wisdom, he built the great Temple and palace and had wealth unknown before his time. But when he became overcome by his lust and all his wives, he succumbed to allowing his wives to bring into God’s kingdom the abomination of worshipping of devil gods. From then on the kingdom of Israel went down and was eventually divided. And so his-story (King Saul, King Solomon and all the other Kings who abused God’s authority) goes on through out time.
Jesus, when He showed his Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1671, gave an important message to King Louis XIV of France. He was told to consecrate France to Jesus’ Sacred Heart and there would be great success in all his battles and in France. He was also instructed to put the Sacred Heart on the flag of France to remind everyone that France belongs to God, not the king. King Louis XIV never did what Jesus asked. King Louis XV also failed to comply with what Jesus asked for. When King Louis XVI came to rule, again, he did not obey Jesus’ request. After France financed the American Revolt against Britain, they ended up deep in debt. So, to try to resolve the problem, King Louis XVI called together the Estate General. From there, the other Estates were formed to try to solve the financial crisis. The 1st. Estate consisted of clergy. The 2nd consisted of Nobles. The 3rd. consisted of mostly bourgeois lawyers and other representatives. This is when democracy took power away from the king. No longer was it God, from above, who was giving authority through the His Church, to the kings and queens. Now, through democratic voting, authority was given to the leaders from below. What ever was the desire of the people who had the most power became law and Man became god.
From this democracy came the “Reign of Terror” in France where thousands and thousands of bishops, priests, religious and lay people were put to death by the guillotine. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette lost their kingdom and heads. Blood flowed so profusely in Paris that people could not stand the stench. It literally saturated the soil and would squish up when walking on the soil around where they were daily killed. So when we think of voting on what is or is not moral, sanctioning what is or is not popular, we are giving into the authority of people and not the Divine Revealed Laws of God. The consequences of this are evident every time you watch the news filled with murders, raping, stealing and wars. And yet everyone, Catholics and non alike, want to judge what is and what is not moral by democratic decision. When will we wake up to the reality we are selfish.
· We want pleasure.
· We are greedy.
· We will steal and kill to get our drugs.
· We will use and then discard our sex partners.
· We will kill unborn babies, up to 9 months, because it is lawful and convenient.
· People say it is good to blow up innocent people for political reasons.
· Cartoon child pornography is ok because of freedom of speech.
Wake up, open your closed mind, society is leading itself into self destruction. It is not too late to humbly recognize what simple common sense is telling us: the world is going to hell. Now let us admit that popular opinion has led us to where we are; wars, drugs, violence, crime and broken families everywhere.
God created us. Jesus died for us. Let us humbly submit to His divine loving laws while we still have somewhat of a chance to survive. Let us give Jesus His due and obey Him as our King and resubmit society under Him and His laws. It is so good to be a traditional Catholic and believe in the Kingdom of Christ the King. And Mary is our Queen too.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed.
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
A joyful celebration in song
50. Given the nature of Sunday Mass and its
importance in the lives of the faithful, it must be prepared with special care.
In ways dictated by pastoral experience and local custom in keeping with
liturgical norms, efforts must be made to ensure that the celebration has the
festive character appropriate to the day commemorating the Lord's Resurrection.
To this end, it is important to devote attention to the songs used by the
assembly, since singing is a particularly apt way to express a joyful heart,
accentuating the solemnity of the celebration and fostering the sense of a
common faith and a shared love. Care must be taken to ensure the quality, both
of the texts and of the melodies, so that what is proposed today as new and
creative will conform to liturgical requirements and be worthy of the Church's
tradition which, in the field of sacred music, boasts a priceless heritage.
Second Sunday of Advent
The voices of Isaiah and John the Baptist tell us to prepare.
“As the journey of Advent continues, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ, John the Baptist's calls us to conversion and sounds out in our communities. It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and to welcome the Son of God Who comes among us to make divine judgement manifest. The Father, writes St. John the Evangelist, does not judge anyone, but has entrusted the power of judgement to the Son, because He is the Son of man. “And it is today, in the present, that we decide our future destiny. It is with our concrete everyday behavior in this life that we determine our eternal fate. At the end of our days on earth, at the moment of death, we will be evaluated on the basis of our likeness or otherwise to the Baby Who is about to be born in the poor grotto of Bethlehem, because He is the measure God has given humanity. “Through the Gospel John the Baptist continues to speak down the centuries to each generation. His hard-clear words bring health to us, the men and women of this day in which even the experience and perception of Christmas often, unfortunately, reflects materialist attitudes. The 'voice' of the great prophet asks us to prepare the way for the coming Lord in the deserts of today, internal and external deserts, thirsting for the water of life which is Christ.” — Benedict XVI
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
HAVING taught us on the first Sunday of Advent to sigh with the prophets for the redemption through Christ, the Church on this day reminds us, in the holy sacrifice of the Mass, of the joyful promises of God for the salvation of the gentiles, and of Jesus Christ s actual coming, in order to quicken our desire for it, and to produce in us an alacrity in making ready our hearts by penance and love.
For this reason, she says in the Introit of the Mass: “People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations, and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard in the joy of your heart.” “Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.”
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the ways of Thine only begotten Son, that by His coming we may be worthy to serve Thee with purified minds.
EPISTLE. Rom. xv. 4-13.
Brethren: What things so ever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: that with one mind, and with one mouth, you may glorify God and the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honor of God. For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. But that the gentiles are to glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: Therefore, will I confess to Thee, O Lord, among the gentiles, and will sing to Thy name. And again, He saith: Rejoice, ye gentiles, with His people. And again: Praise the Lord, all ye gentiles; and magnify Him, all ye peoples. And again, Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse; and He that shall rise up to rule the gentiles, in Him the gentiles shall hope. Now the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.
What are we to learn by this epistle?
To be grateful to God for having called us, by His grace, to the true faith, and for having received us into the bosom of His holy Church. Again, we are taught that by envy, discord, pride, and hatred we lose our salvation. Finally, St. Paul refers us to the Scriptures for instruction.
Why do the Holy Scriptures profit us?
1. They teach, correct, and instruct us in justice, that we may serve God faithfully, and be ever ready for good works.
2. They sustain our patience in suffering, and our hope of eternal life, by many promises, and by the example of Jesus Christ and His saints.
Why is God called the God of patience, comfort, and hope?
1. Because He looks with patience and long-suffering upon our sinful lives.
2. Because He gives us grace to carry our cross with patience and joy, and removes our despair by spiritual consolation.
3. Because He gives us hope that after this life, we shall possess Him, the object of our desire.
O God of patience, comfort, and hope fill our hearts with joy and peace, and grant that we may become perfect in all good works by faith, hope, and charity, and that we may attain the promised salvation.
GOSPEL. Matt. xi. 2-10.
At that time: When John had heard in prison the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to Him: Art Thou He that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus making answer said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the Gospel preached to them: And blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me. And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold, they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? a prophet? Yea, I tell you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send My angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.
Why was St. John cast into prison?
Because he rebuked King Herod, who was living in adultery with the wife of his stepbrother. This teaches us that we should not be deterred from our duty, though great suffering and misfortune should thereby befall us. Is it not nobler and more profitable to our salvation to be a martyr for truth, as St. John was, rather than to gain favor with the world by timidly looking on, or by deceitful flattery?
Why did St. John send his disciples to Jesus?
St. John sent his disciples to Christ so that they, too, might be convinced that He was the Messiah.
Superiors and parents should learn from this to see that their dependents and children are well instructed in the faith.
Why did Christ merely say to the disciples of St. John: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk?
Because they ought to have been convinced from the miracles He wrought, which were the fulfilment of the prophecies, that He was the promised messiah.
What was the object of the question, “What went you out to see?” which Our Savior asked?
1. To praise the constancy of St. John, who was not to be deterred from exercising his sacred functions either by the commands of Herod or through fear of imprisonment and death.
2. To approve the austere life of St. John, that we should thereby be encouraged to crucify the flesh and to do penance.
Why did Our Savior say that St. John was more than a prophet?
Because he was destined to see the messiah, to preach to men, and declare Him to be the Savior of the world. And as he was a messenger of God, to announce the coming of Christ and prepare His way, he was called an angel (Malachi. iii. T).
Why did Jesus add, “Blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me”?
On account of those who would be scandalized, at His humility, His poverty, His ignominious suffering and death upon the cross, and who would, accordingly, despise and reject Him; although the more He humbled Himself for them the more they ought rather to love and honor Him.
Why does the Church set before us this gospel?
In order that we, like the disciples of St. John, may, by His works, recognize Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and that we may make ourselves worthy of the grace of redemption by doing penance earnestly and firmly, thus preparing the way of the Lord in our hearts.
Consolation in Adversities and Afflictions
What can and should console us in adversity?
1. A firm belief that everything is ordered by God’s wise providence, and that no evil can befall us except by His permission, who never allows us to suffer more than is for our good.
2. That if we call upon Him in adversity God will help us, whenever it is expedient for our salvation. Thus, to encourage us He says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee” (Ps. xlix. 15); and, “If God be for us, who is against us?” (Rom. viii. 31); and “Can a woman forget her infant so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? and if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee: behold, I have graven thee in My hands” (Isaias xlix. 15, 16).
3. That it is useless to resist Divine Providence, for all who have done so have been filled with shame and ignominy, “Who hath resisted Him and hath had peace?” (Job ix. 4.)
4. That our sufferings when borne with patience and submission lose their sharpness and bring us merit and reward. “For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us, above measure exceedingly, an eternal weight of glory” (n. Cor. iv.17).
Today traditionally is the Eve of the Feast
of Saint Nicholas and is celebrated throughout much of Europe with sweets and
gifts to children. Legend tells us that Nicholas was a man of action and used
his abundance that the Lord provided him to give special protection to children
and unmarried young women. Let us find some way today to practice both the
spiritual and temporal works of mercy. Today would be a good day to do
something that helps children or young unmarried women from the abundance that
God has provided us. For those who cannot share it is suggested to fast twice
this week as was the practice of Saint Nicholas and give the cost of the food
you would normally spend to help those in need. From the store house of your
spiritual abundance your prayers can make a difference: pray especially for women who are enslaved in addictions and/or
the sex slave trade. Thousands of men from over 80 countries
consistently pray for women led by an online organization called “e5 men”.
Perhaps the Lord is calling you to this.
Nicholas, Santa Claus, and the Angels
As is well-known, "Santa Claus" comes from the Dutch rendering of Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop famous for giving gifts anonymously to children and the needy. However, as Father Francis Weiser argues in his Handbook of Christian Customs (p. 113), the various legends surrounding Santa Claus actually come from the god of Norse and Germanic mythology, Thor (after whom Thursday is named). Thor was portrayed as a large, jovial old man with a long white beard whose symbolic color was red (owing to his association with fire). Thunder was said to have been caused by the rolling of his chariot (drawn by two white goats) across the clouds, and his home was said to have been "Northland," somewhere among the icebergs. The fireplace was also considered sacred to Thor because it was through it that he came into his element, the fire. We owe this odd metamorphosis of a Christian saint into a pagan god to New York City. When the Dutch founded the city in the seventeenth century, they observed the Catholic custom of "Saint Nicholas' visit" on the saint's feast day (December 5). This the Dutch did even though they were Protestant. When English Protestants later commandeered the city, they were offended by the practice, but their children very much liked it. The compromise that was eventually made was to transfer the giving of gifts from the 5th of December to the 25th and to add so many pagan elements to the story that the figure of the saintly Catholic bishop (who, incidentally, was notoriously intolerant of heretics) would no longer be recognizable.
The older Christian custom is that on the night of December 5 (the vigil of Saint Nicholas Day), children write notes addressed to the Child Jesus and put them on their windowsill, whence St. Nicholas carries them to heaven. A variation of this custom, prevalent in South America, is to write notes sometime between December 16 to 24 and to put them in front of the crib, from which point Angels carry the requests to heaven. Though the value of bringing children up on these stories is open to debate, at least the older customs explicitly tie the reception of gifts to the advent of Christ and portray the other figures (Nicholas or the angels) as His assistants. There was also a charming custom of "St. Nicholas" (a man dressed as a bishop) bringing gifts to children in person on his feast day.
Tonight, candy for the kids and… for Mom & Dad?
Prohibition Repeal Day
If you like a drink, then Repeal Day is all about you. On the 5th of December, it’s time to raise a glass to all thing’s cocktails, beer and spirit, and celebrate your right to have a cheeky little (or large!) tipple now and then. Whether you enjoy a sip of sophistication with a swish cocktail or simple G and T, or even if you’re happy to sit back with a bottle of beer, this day celebrates kicking back with a drink or two whether at home, with friends or at the pub.
Between January 5th, 1919, and December 5th, 1933, America was dry. And we don’t mean it didn’t get much rainfall – during these years, the consumption of alcohol was banned. This was supposed to end drunkenness and put a stop to crime – but if anything, it just made problems with lawbreaking even worse.
Simply enough, even though it had been banned, there was still a demand for alcohol – and some shady characters made it their business to help America get a swig of the sweet stuff. Soon enough, organized crime would become a key driver of the liquor trade.
Bootlegging, or rum running as it might also be known, became of especial favor with crime lords. Sneaking liquor around the country became a big business in 1920s USA, and despite the best effort of authorities, the big wigs of the underworld were soon reveling in the money it brought them.
Realizing perhaps keeping beer away from the people was causing more trouble than it was worth, a number of repeal organizations were born and eventually, after much consideration, the 18th Amendment was lifted. And so, on the back of all that, we celebrate repeal day.
How to celebrate Repeal Day
This day is an easy one to celebrate, especially if you are partial to a cheeky drink or two. There’s no need to get dressed up – although if you choose to go to a posh wine bar, you could always pop on something sparkly; Celebrate repeal day by grabbing yourself a quick drink on the 5th, or perhaps you could make some swanky cocktails at home.
If you’re feeling sociable after a day at work, why not get the gang together and go down to your local pub for a few? And if you don’t drink alcohol, you can always get involved with alcohol-free beer, or some tasty virgin cocktails. Cheers!
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
· 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.
· Go to MASS