Friday, December 8, 2023

 

Friday in the First week of Advent

immaculate conception (Holy Day of Obligation)

 

Job, Chapter 19, Verse 29

Be AFRAID of the sword for yourselves, for your anger is a crime deserving the sword; that you may know that there is a judgment.

 

Jobs friends are judging him through their own faults. Job is warning them what Christ reiterated. “Those who use the sword shall perish by the sword. Anger is a crime.


 

Anger disorders are a product of long-term anger mismanagement. They are a pathological misdirection of normal aggressive feelings. Anger is, at its essence, a part of the basic biological reaction to danger, the fight or flight response. The physiological shift makes us stop thinking and mobilize for immediate action, as though our life depends on it. It is a primitive response, and very powerful. Anger prepares us to stand our ground and fight. It helped our ancestors survive, but in today’s complex technological world, it is often more hindrance than help. The angrier you feel, the less clearly you can think, and therefore the less able you are to negotiate, take a new perspective, or effectively handle a provocation. Uncontrolled anger has become our No. 1 mental health issue. Though we have the understanding and the skills to treat the anger epidemic in this country, as a culture, we have been unwilling to accept the violence problem as one that belongs to each and every one of us. We have sought scapegoats in minority cultures, racial groups, and now the mentally ill. When we are ready to accept that the demon is within us all, we can begin to treat the cycle of anger and suffering.[1]

 

Enslavement to our wounds[2]

 


 

Job Issues His Reply to His Amigos[3]

·         Now that he knows all his friends are kind of jerks, he talks back. After all, he says, he's their equal and, well, they're not being very nice.

·         He knows that God is almighty, sure. But he still thinks he deserves an explanation for why God is shredding his life to pieces.

·         He's mortal. His time is short. He wants some answers.

Eliphaz Retorts

·         Eliphaz is back on the scene. He says that that Job is undermining God by questioning his ways, which are both unknowable and infinitely powerful. 

·         We feel like we've heard that one before….

·         He continues to say that the sinful are doomed for destruction. And you know who falls into that sinful category?

·         That's right: Job.

·         And here comes one of the most famous phrases in the Bible: "Your own lips testify against you" (15:6).

Job Demands a Hearing

·         In case we didn't get the picture already, Job reiterates how uncool his friends are. Then he—yep, again—confirms that he has done nothing worthy of this punishment. 

·         Why shouldn't he, a penitent man, get a fair hearing?

Bildad Up to Bat…Again

·         Bildad's back.

·         Guess what he's saying this time? That's right: God punishes the wicked. 

·         This time, though, he adds (in a possible reference to Canaanite lore) that the Firstborn of Death will visit the evil.

·         Um…gulp?

I Will Be Redeemed

·         Apparently, no one is listening, so Job reaffirms his desire to plead his case before God. 

·         He's so worked up about it, he wants to etch his complaint in something more permanent than his mortal voice. Maybe on a rock or—surprise, surprise—in a book.

 

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception[4]


 

This is the plan of the Fathers salvation of man. The spiritual blessings we have received through Christ are the call to holiness; the gift of divine adoption establishing a unique spiritual relationship with God the Father through Christ; liberation from sin through Christ’s sacrificial death; revelation of God’s plan of salvation in Christ; the gift of election and faith in Christ bestowed upon Jewish Christians; and finally, the same gift granted to Gentiles. In the Christ-centered faith and existence of the Christian communities the apostle sees the predetermined plan of God to bring all creation under the final rule of Christ being made known and carried through, to God’s glory.  

Darkest Hour[5]

Mary as the new Eve is an essential part of God’s redemptive plan bringing light to a dark world.

 

The season of Advent is about preparing to celebrate the birth of our redeemer. God in his love has chosen us, predestined us to be his children and then in the fullness of time, redeemed us.

 

These are our darkest afternoons. But surprise! For most of us, December 8, will bring the turnaround. It’s a major winter milestone: the day of our earliest sunset. This puzzles people, but in fact it’s a reliable yearly sequence. First comes earliest sunset, this week. Then there’s the solstice half a month later, the day with the fewest minutes of daylight. Finally, another two weeks later, in early January, we get our murkiest morning—the latest sunrise. So, we’re now slam bang at the low point of afternoon sunshine. And since far more people are awake and aware of things at 4:30 PM than they are at 6 in the morning, in a very real sense you can forget about the solstice and the “official” shortest day of the year. So far as what most folks actually experience, NOW is the darkest time of the year.

 

Mary who was conceived without sin on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception is our example of courage in the presence of God and His angels.  Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.  (Luke 1:30-31)

 

ON this and the following eight days the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men. The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very remarkable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times. Pope Pius IX., forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally, on December 8, 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin. It is, therefore, now no longer, as formerly, a pious belief, but an article of faith, that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin.

DECEMBER 8. ON this and the following eight days the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men. The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very remarkable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times. Pope Pius IX., forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally, on December 8, 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin. It is, therefore, now no longer, as formerly, a pious belief, but an article of the faith, that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “Hail, holy parent, who as a happy mother brought forth the King Who rules heaven and earth from eternity to eternity.” “My heart hath uttered a good, I speak my works to the King.”

Prayer.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, to bestow on Thy servants the gift of heavenly grace, that, for those to whom the Blessed Virgin’s maternity was the beginning of salvation, the votive solemnity of her immaculate conception may procure increase of peace. Amen.

EPISTLE. Prov. viii. 22-35.

The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His ways, before lie made anything from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived, neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: the mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass He enclosed the depths: when He established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters: when He compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when He balanced the foundations of the earth, I was with Him forming all things ; and was delighted every day, playing before Him at all times; playing in the world, and My delights were to be with the children of men. Now, therefore, ye children, hear Me: Blessed are they that keep My ways. Hear instruction and be wise and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth Me, and that watcheth daily at My gates, and waiteth at the posts of My doors. He that shall find Me shall find life and shall have salvation from the Lord.

Explanation.

This lesson is, in the literal sense, a eulogy on the divine and uncreated wisdom, which before all things was in God; through which all things were made, disposed, and preserved; which rejoices in its works, and calls upon all its creatures, especially on men, to render to it love and obedience. Most of what is here said is also to be applied to Mary, of whom it may with truth be said that, as the holiest and most admirable of all creatures, she occupies the first place in the heart of God.

Therefore, the Church also refers to her those words of the wise man: “I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first born of all creatures.”

GOSPEL. Luke i. 26-28.


And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Immaculate Conception Facts[6]

 

·         God gave Mary a pure soul incapable of sinning when she was received.  It prepared her to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  This teaching does not appear in Scripture.  It was decreed by Pope Pious IX on December 8, 1854.

·         Our Holy Lady Immaculately Conceived is the patroness for the United States - as decreed by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

·         Our Mother Mary is full of beauty because she is full of grace. - Pope Francis via twitter on Dec 30, 2013.

·         The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. - Catechism of the Catholic Church

 

Immaculate Conception Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Go to Mass.  It is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in the United States.

·         Study the Immaculate Conception in art.  One famous painting, The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception was completed by Spanish artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo in the 17th century.  It hangs in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

·         Watch the movie, Mary of Nazareth (2013)

More Things to Do[7]

·         The dogma of the Immaculate Conception lends itself to fruitful meditation and should be taught to children. The doctrine of original sin, the sin of Adam and its effects on the human race, is a good beginning for study. For the best explanation of the teachings of the Church on this, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, numbers 386-412. Also you might read Pope Piux IX's bull, Ubi Primum (On The Immaculate Conception) proclaiming the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of Faith. Other reading from the Catholic Culture Library:

o    Apostolic Constitution The Immaculate Conception (Ineffabilis Deus) by Pius IX;

o    Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum (On The Immaculate Conception) by Pius X;

o    Fulgens Corona (Proclaiming A Marian Year To Commemorate The Centenary Of The Definition Of The Dogma Of The Immaculate Conception) by Pope Pius XII;

o    On Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Marialis Cultus) by Pope Paul VI;

o    Immaculate Conception Defined by Pius IX by Pope John Paul II;

o    John Duns Scotus: Champion of the Immaculate Conception by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.;

o    The Message of the Virgin of Lourdes by Bishop Donald Montrose, D.D.;

o    The Immaculate Conception by Abbot Gueranger

·         Mary as the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States. Visit or take a virtual tour of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, America's patronal church.

·         This day would also be appropriate for parents to plan their approach on family sex education, as it is the privilege and duty of parents to teach their own children in this area.

·         Make a Mary candle for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. See Celebrating for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception for details and other ideas.

·         Prepare an all-white meal for dinner and then discuss with your children the dogma of the Immaculate Conception with the visual aids of dinner showing the purity and the stainlessness of Mary's soul. Read Teaching the Immaculate Conception and Advent and the Immaculate Conception for discussion ideas.

Ideas for dinner:

Appetizers: Rice crackers and white cheeses;
Soups: cream soups, such as clam chowder, potato soup, cream of celery;
Main Course: chicken breasts, pasta with alfredo sauce;
Side Dishes: mashed potatoes, white rice, cauliflower with (or without) white cheese sauce, white bread (with crusts removed), white corn;
Dessert: White cake with white icing, meringue kisses, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, white chocolate.

·         The special treat for this feast is Moravian Spritz, or gingerbread cookies, loaded with fine, aromatic spices. These are mixed on the vigil, December 7. Or make your favorite gingerbread cookie. Perhaps for this solemnity the family could make a gingerbread house or Gingerbread Bowls.

·         Today, plant an Immaculate Conception Rose Bush. During this winter season, it is also a good time to plan a Mary Garden. Flower Theology by John Stokes, the website Mary's Gardens and the book Mary's Flowers, Gardens, Legends and Meditations by Mary's Gardens Associate, Vincenzina Krymow, are good beginnings for planning your garden.

·         No room for a garden? No time to nurture nature? Read Flowers for the Fairest by Daniel Foley to read about flowers appropriate for Our Lady, and purchase a small bouquet or a few flowers...real or silk to display for feasts of Mary.

Why Is the Octave of the Immaculate Conception No Longer Observed?[8] 

On this octave day of the Immaculate Conception, it occurred to me that it was in 1956, six years before the Missal of 1962 was promulgated by Pope John XXIII, that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception lost its octave and became a feast celebrated in the course of one day. 

A similar simplification occurred in 1955, when Pope Pius XII accepted the suggestions of Fr. Annibale Bugnini concerning the reform of Holy Week. Seven years later, Pope John XXIII himself would accept the suggestions of the same Fr. Bugnini to simplify Catholic pious devotions and remove the octaves from the Church calendar. 

Why did John XXIII agree to Bugnini’s proposition to reform this feast of the Immaculate Conception? 

Several answers can be given to this question. Here I want to stress just one point that I present as a hypothesis. The answer seems related to the fact that John XXIII also failed to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart even though he knew he should do so. That was in 1960 after the Pope read the Third Secret and decided that “it was not for our time,” even though Our Lady had explicitly asked the Pope to make it known at that time. There is more that could be said but others have addressed the issue of Fatima in great detail, so I will not repeat what they have already written. 

I think that when we disobey the will of God, we receive a curse from God rather than a blessing. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that when a person receives such a curse, God allows increased demonic activity and influence in his life, or if it happens to be a Pope in question, that demonic power would extend to the Church and the world. 

At La Salette, Our Lady told Melanie that in the 1840s Satan and some of the other most powerful devils were released from Hell to punish mankind for sins committed. 

Bugnini, proposed the octave be eliminated; John XXIII agreed: This fact was confirmed in a revelation received by Pope Leo XIII more than a half century later. After Mass one day, he had a vision of the confrontation between Jesus and Satan. The latter boasted that he could destroy Christ's Church if he were only given more time, which was granted to him. Shortly after this vision, the Holy Pontiff composed the St. Michael prayer [click here] as well as wrote several encyclicals on the Rosary. He also ordered that the St. Michael prayer, in addition to three Hail Mary’s, the Hail Holy Queen, and a prayer for the Church should be prayed at the end of every Mass for the conversion of sinners. These prayers were made optional in 1962 and abolished in 1965. 

Where disobedience increases, degeneration increases, and as Fr. Patrick Perez pointed out in a recent talk in Indianapolis for the Catholic Family News Conference, this corrosion of the liturgy did not begin in 1969 with the New Mass. It did not begin even with the 1962 Missal. It began much earlier. 

Why did it happen? 

In 1929, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucy in Tuy, Spain, requesting the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. She wanted the Consecration made not only to bring about millions of conversions to the Catholic Faith, but also so that those who adhered in substance to the Catholic Faith would be more faithful and zealous. 

By failing to honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary and fulfill the requests that would establish devotion to her Heart throughout the world, as Our Lord desires, the last Popes in succession became guilty of greater and greater disobedience to the Divine Will. 

Our Lady of Fatima 

The Popes disregarded Our Lady's command to consecrate Russia. 

Just as a disease that is not cured spreads, so it happens with a malady in the Church. The internal crisis in the Church becomes worse and worse so long as the right remedy is not applied to it. 

As the power and influence of Satan and his minions increase, the temptations to sin become greater and it becomes more difficult to resist, although it is never impossible. We must always keep before us the horror of all sin, especially mortal sin, in order to keep up our resistance to the evil of our times. Wherever we go, we should consign Jesus and Mary to go with us. They witness our every action. 

Now, if we further reflect that the season of Advent commemorates that time when Our Lady was preparing to give birth to the Redeemer, then we realize we should ask for her protection in the name of the great love she had for her Son. 

By honoring today, the octave of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception, we prove to her and to Almighty God that we will not accept any rebellion against the will of God, not even the trial balloon of the 1962 Missal. For already at that point in the game, Progressivism was preparing its great assault on the Church, which was Vatican II. 

It is this kind of firm resistance to errors and concessions toward Progressivism that will help us to also resist temptation to mortal sin in our personal life, obtaining for us the graces necessary to remain firmly planted in the footsteps of Our Lady and Our Lord, far from Satan’s wicked instruments. The decree Maxima Redemptionis, which introduced the new rite in 1955, changed the times of the ceremonies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday to evenings. 

    It also suppressed the Last Gospel for the Masses of Holy Week, the psalm Judica me for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, initiated the practice of the priest facing the people in certain places, diminished the role of the priest in the readings, changed the Prayer for the Conversion of Heretics to the Prayer for Church Unity, introduced the vernacular in places, and many other such innovations.

 

Jesse Tree[9]

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

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

                        CHAPTER ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

Article 2-OUR VOCATION TO BEATITUDE

II. The Desire for Happiness

1718 The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it:

We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.

How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you.

God alone satisfies.

1719 The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith.

Fitness Friday-Aztec Fitness 

On Tuesday we celebrated Mary’s appearance to the Aztec’s where she told them God does not demand blood sacrifice and converted 9 million Aztecs. The Aztecs were great warriors and had incredible fitness.

Aztec Jaguar Warriors


Due to the foremost importance of military conquests in the Aztec Empire, the elite warriors were among the most respected members of society. They were granted lands by the emperor and their status was on par with landed nobility. Becoming a warrior of distinction was also one of the surest ways of upward social mobility for the common people. The Order of the Aztec Jaguar Warriors was the order of the elite warriors and rigorous training was required for a male member of Aztec society to become a Jaguar Warrior. 

If men would go to such lengths to be a Jaguar warrior, we as Christ’s redeemed must ardently strive for: 

THE VIRTUES OF A SOLDIER OF CHRIST 

Daily Devotions

·         Today's Fast: Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Protection of Traditional Marriages.

·         Today is Lost and found day pray for the lost that they may be found.

·         Religion in the home: Preschool for December

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary


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