Second Sunday of Advent
Loretto (Mary’s House) human rights day
9 Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of good news! Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Cry out, do not FEAR! Say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God!
Today would be a good day to sing Christmas Carols and if you can go as a group onto a high mountain and sing your hearts out. It has been said that singing is praying twice.
The season of advent is all about recognizing that our God has come as a gentle child on Christmas day and his delight is in us. One of my favorite representations of the Lords delight with us is a statue of Joseph and the baby Jesus. Jesus and Joseph are playing. Joseph is slightly bent with the baby Jesus giggling crawling over the back of Joseph and peeking over his shoulder looking at his face in peek a boo fashion and delight is all over both of their faces. How can we fear when we have a God who loves us so! In times of tribulation when we feel courage being drained from our souls let us remember the courage of blessed Saint Joseph reflecting on his courage, strength and of course gentleness with our Lord Jesus. In times of trouble let us call on the aid of St. Joseph reflecting on this portion of the litany of Saint Joseph.
”St. Joseph, Renowned offspring of David, Light of Patriarchs, Spouse of the Mother of God, Chaste guardian of the Virgin, Foster father of the Son of God, Diligent protector of Christ, Head of the Holy Family, Joseph most just, Joseph most chaste, Joseph most prudent, Joseph most strong, Joseph most obedient, Joseph most faithful, Mirror of patience, Lover of poverty, Model of artisans, Glory of home life, Guardian of virgins, Pillar of families, Solace of the wretched, Hope of the sick, Patron of the dying, Terror of demons, Protector of Holy Church. Pray for Us!”
ON KEEPING THE
LORD'S DAY HOLY
Celebration of the Creator's Work
blessed the seventh day and made it holy" (Gn 2:3)
The Sabbath precept, which in the first Covenant prepares for the Sunday of the
new and eternal Covenant, is therefore rooted in the depths of God's plan. This
is why, unlike many other precepts, it is set not within the context of
strictly cultic stipulations but within the Decalogue, the "ten
words" which represent the very pillars of the moral life inscribed on the
human heart. In setting this commandment within the context of the basic
structure of ethics, Israel and then the Church declare that they consider it
not just a matter of community religious discipline but a defining and
indelible expression of our relationship with God, announced and expounded
by biblical revelation. This is the perspective within which Christians need to
rediscover this precept today. Although the precept may merge naturally with
the human need for rest, it is faith alone which gives access to its deeper
meaning and ensures that it will not become banal and trivialized.
Second Sunday of Advent
voices of Isaiah and John the Baptist tell us to prepare.
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,
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
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.”
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.
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.
are we to learn by this epistle?
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.
do the Holy Scriptures profit us?
They teach, correct, and instruct us in justice, that we may serve God
faithfully, and be ever ready for good works.
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.
is God called the God of patience, comfort, and hope?
Because He looks with patience and long-suffering upon our sinful lives.
Because He gives us grace to carry our cross with patience and joy and removes
our despair by spiritual consolation.
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
GOSPEL. Matt. xi. 2-10.
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.
was St. John cast into prison?
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
Why did St. John
send his disciples to Jesus?
John sent his disciples to Christ so that they, too, might be convinced that He
was the Messiah.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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”?
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?
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
can and should console us in adversity?
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.
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,
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.)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
1263, when the Muslims overpowered the crusaders, the basilica was again
destroyed but, once more, the Holy House was found intact.
the crusaders were completely driven out of the Holy Land in 1291, the Holy
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.
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.
to contrary circumstances, twice again the house was moved, finally coming to
rest in the town of Loreto, Italy, its present location.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
out the connection the University of Notre Dame has with Our Lady of Loreto.
the website of Sanctuary
of the Holy House of Loreto.
is further reading about the Basilica of the Holy House (Basilica della Santa Casa)
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.
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
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
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.
Candle lighting Day
For hundreds of years, lighting a candle has been a way to show respect for those that have died. This beautiful gesture shows that although someone may be gone from this world, their memory will endure, and the light of their flame will continue to inspire and guide others. Worldwide Candle Lighting Day is a celebration of solidarity and memory. It’s a day on which people around the world gather to light candles for children who have died and to show that they will always be loved and never forgotten. The candles are lit at the same time in every time zone, meaning that a consistent warm glow passes around the planet for a full 24-hour day.
The History of Worldwide Candle Lighting Day
Worldwide Candle Lighting Day was a
gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friend. The
Compassionate Friend’s Worldwide Candle Lighting Day started in the United
States in 1997 as a small internet observance in honor of children who lived
tragically short lives for any number of reasons, from sickness, to accidents,
to war, but has since spread throughout the world. Nowadays, hundreds of formal
candle lighting events are held in many different countries and thousands of
informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet
remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten. many
organizations join in to observe this holiday, some f which are local
bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children’s
gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers, and remembrance services
have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand over the years
since the creation of this special day. All of this just goes to show how necessary
it was to set this day aside for this purpose.
How to Celebrate World Candle Lighting Day
As mentioned before, this day is
celebrated with a quiet elegance: at 7 p.m. local time, people light candles
for one hour to remember their loved ones. It is a moving occasion that
bypasses geographical and cultural divides. As everyone lights their candles at
seven pm local time, far-flung parts of the world get illuminated in turn, so
that eventually the light has moved all around the globe. If you have
experienced the loss of a child in your lifetime, this is a good moment to
honor his or her memory by taking part in the candle lighting. You could also
invite some close family members to spend this time with you and light their
own candles for the late child.
This doesn’t only have to be a sad
occasion, however. Children’s lives are mostly filled with fun and laughter, so
reminiscing about all of the things the child you are honoring managed to enjoy
before he or she passed may should serve to lighten the atmosphere up a little
bit. Of course, nothing will ever make up for the loss of a child, but there is
some solace to be taken in the fact that the child’s life was a good one,
however short. No matter whether you’ll be lighting a candle at home or joining
a gathering Worldwide Candle Lighting Day it is a way to show love and
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,
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:
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:
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE
ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
Article 2-OUR VOCATION TO BEATITUDE
Beatitudes take up and fulfill God's promises from Abraham on by ordering them
to the Kingdom of heaven. They respond to the desire for happiness that God has
placed in the human heart.
Beatitudes teach us the final end to which God calls us: the Kingdom, the
vision of God, participation in the divine nature, eternal life, filiation,
rest in God.
beatitude of eternal life is a gratuitous gift of God. It is supernatural, as
is the grace that leads us there.
Beatitudes confront us with decisive choices concerning earthly goods; they
purify our hearts in order to teach us to love God above all things.
beatitude of heaven sets the standards for discernment in the use of earthly
goods in keeping with the law of God.
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
Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them
in fasting: Today's Fast: Restoring the Constitution.
Finding your Voice