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The reason this blog is called "Iceman for Christ" is I was a member of Navel Mobile Construction Battalion that complete construction of the South Pole Station in 1974. At that time there was only one priest in Antarctica and I was asked by him to give the eucharistic to my fellow Catholics at a protestant service celebrated by the Battalion Chaplin on Sundays. At that time only priestly consecrated hands could give the eucharist. There were not eucharist ministers at that time. I was given permission by a letter from the bishop to handled our Lord. Years later I was reading the bible and read "and you shall take me to the ends of the earth." I reflected on it for a second and thought Yes, been there done that. Be not afraid and serve Christ King. Greater is HE; than he who is in the world.

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 Third Sunday of Advent



Third Sunday of Advent

O ANTIPHONS 

Job, Chapter 37, Verse 24

Therefore, people FEAR him; none can see him, however wise their hearts. 

We cannot see God, but we can see His justice which condemns self-righteousness and is good to all; both the evil and the virtuous. Elihu proclaims God’s majesty is revealed in the entire universe and due to this majesty men are fearful. 

Who has seen God[1]

The First Letter of John begins: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.” “No one has ever seen God”? Wait . . . we definitely believe Jesus is God, and lots of people saw Jesus during his lifetime; doesn’t that count? What’s going on? Also John 1:18 (“No one has ever seen God. The only son God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.”) and 1 Timothy 6:16 (“. . . the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see”).

Not even Moses saw God; although he talked to the LORD “face to face” (Deuteronomy 34:10) – meaning in a conversational manner – the Scripture is clear that he didn’t really see God’s face (see Exodus 33:18-23). In addition it took a few centuries for mortal minds to fully wrap around the idea of the Trinity, even though it’s clearly in the Gospels (see, for example, Matthew 28:19). So, it’s understandable that they say things that seem a bit askew to modern ears. And yet . . . is there more wisdom to be gleaned here? In Mark we see how Jesus walked on water after the miracle of feeding the five thousand. “But at once he spoke with them, ‘Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!’ He got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” Christ’s answer of “It is I” is literally translated as “I am,” which points to the divine revelation found – among other places – in Exodus 3:14 (“God replied, ‘I am who am,’ Then he added, ‘This is what you shall tell the Israelites: IAM sent me to you.'”). Look at the last two sentences from Mark: “They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” What did they not understand? Why were their hearts hardened? Simply put, they didn’t understand the signs of Christ’s divinity. Their hearts were hardened to the truth that was before them: That Jesus was God. If you were walking along the street two thousand years ago and saw Jesus, you would not immediately know he was God. You would not “see” him. Similarly, if a nonbeliever saw the Eucharist, he would not “see” Christ, even though we know Scripture and Tradition clearly indicate he is physically there with us during that Sacrament. And even if we believe we are practicing Catholics, in our hearts, are we sure we are “seeing” Christ? About half of American Catholics don’t believe that – during Communion – the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. (I can’t find statistics worldwide, but I suspect there are a large number of Catholics across the globe who don’t understand or accept the doctrine of transubstantiation.) In the Gospel of Mark, we learn of those who saw the truth but didn’t believe, and their hearts were hardened. Let us remain ever vigilant that – through Sacraments, Scripture, prayer, and more – we have ample opportunity to know God. If we fail to do so, the fault is with us.

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

 

1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity. 

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[2]

CHAPTER I

DIES DOMINI

The Celebration of the Creator's Work

"God blessed the seventh day and made it holy" (Gn 2:3)

14. In the first place, therefore, Sunday is the day of rest because it is the day "blessed" by God and "made holy" by him, set apart from the other days to be, among all of them, "the Lord's Day".

In order to grasp fully what the first of the biblical creation accounts means by keeping the Sabbath "holy", we need to consider the whole story, which shows clearly how every reality, without exception, must be referred back to God. Time and space belong to him. He is not the God of one day alone, but the God of all the days of humanity.

Therefore, if God "sanctifies" the seventh day with a special blessing and makes it "his day" par excellence, this must be understood within the deep dynamic of the dialogue of the Covenant, indeed the dialogue of "marriage". This is the dialogue of love which knows no interruption, yet is never monotonous. In fact, it employs the different registers of love, from the ordinary and indirect to those more intense, which the words of Scripture and the witness of so many mystics do not hesitate to describe in imagery drawn from the experience of married love.

Third Sunday of Advent[3] 

THE nearer the coming of the Lord the more earnestly the Church calls upon us to rejoice; and to-day, therefore, at the Introit of the Mass, she sings in the words of St. Paul: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous, but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God.” (Phil. iv. 4-6.) “Lord, thou hast blessed Thy land; Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob”. 

Prayer. 

We beseech Thee, O Lord, mercifully incline Thine ear unto our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy heavenly visitation. 

EPISTLE. Phil. iv. 4-7. 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

What does it mean to rejoice in the Lord? 

It means to be glad in remembering the grace by which God called us to the true faith, and gave us the hope of eternal salvation, and to rejoice even in all our tribulations and adversities for the Lord’s sake, as St. Paul did (n. Cor. vii. 4). It also admonishes us to give a good example by modesty and an edifying life, and to fix our desires on God, Who will never fail us if we make our wants known to Him by prayer and supplication, and give Him thanks for benefits received. 

In what does the peace of God consist? 

It consists in a good conscience, such as St. Paul enjoyed. It is this peace, this tranquility of the soul, which sustained the holy martyrs in their agonies, and consoled others under persecution for Christ’s sake (St. Matt. v. 11, 12). 

Aspiration. 

O Lord grant that Thy peace, which Thou hast given us, and which the world knows not, may keep our hearts and minds in Thee. O wisdom! proceeding from the mouth of the Highest, and reaching to the ends of the world, who governest with power and grace, come and direct us all, that we may walk in the path of wisdom and of the peace which surpasseth all understanding. Amen. 

THE BEST REMEDY IN THE HOUR OF SORROW. 

In need, sorrow, and dejection the best means to relieve our distressed hearts is humble and confiding prayer, in which we can pour out our hearts before God, and give ourselves up to His love and mercy, as did Anna, the sorrowful mother of Samuel the prophet, Josaphat in painful uncertainty, Susanna falsely accused and condemned to death, and innumerable other servants of God. These all prayed to God and were delivered from their afflictions, receiving help and consolation. St. James therefore admonishes us, “Is any one of you sad? let him pray” (James v. 13); and St. Paul, in the epistle for this Sunday, encourages us not to be solicitous about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, to let our requests be known to God. Are you, then, sad and discouraged? Lift up your soul to God, and say with David, “Give joy to the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul” (Ps. Ixxxv. 4). 

GOSPEL. John i. 19-28. 

At that time: The Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to John to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed and did not deny and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered: No. They said, therefore, unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? what sayest thou of thyself? He said: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. And they that were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? John answered them, saying: I baptize with water; but there hath stood One in the midst of you, Whom you know not. The same is He that shall come after me, Who is preferred before me: the latchet of Whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 

Why did the Jews send messengers to John to ask him who he was? 

Because his baptizing and preaching, with his life of austerity and penance, made such an impression that the people took him not for an ordinary prophet, but for the Messias Himself. 

Why did the messengers ask John whether he was Elias or the prophet? 

The Jews believed that either Elias or another of the prophets would return to earth to prepare the way for the coming of Christ; and from St. John’s denying that he was the Christ they concluded that he was either Elias or that prophet. 

Why did St. John say that he was not that prophet, but only the voice of one crying in the wilderness? 

He said so out of humility; but he uttered no untruth, since he was not the prophet predicted by Moses (Deut. xviii. 15), but only the voice of one crying in the wilderness,” Make straight the way of the Lord”, as the prophet Isaias said (Is. Ix. 3). 

How do we make straight the way of the Lord? 

By sincere penance, which consists not merely in going to confession, and making hollow resolutions, but in bringing forth fruits worthy of penance (Matt. iii. 8; Luke iii. 8). 

How do we bring forth fruits worthy of penance? 

If we wish to bring forth fruits worthy of penance, we must endeavor to make amends for what is past and use all possible means to avoid in future those sins to which we have been most given; we must love and serve God as much as and more than we before loved and served the world. 

What was the baptism of John, and what was the effect of it? 

It was a baptism of penance, for the forgiveness of sins; thus, it was a preparation for the Baptism of Christ, through which sins are actually forgiven, and the Holy Ghost received (Mark i. 4, 5). 

What are we further taught by this gospel? 

We are taught to always speak the truth, like St. John; not to desire to appear more, or better, than we are; and, in particular, to make a good and sincere confession. We should, therefore, before confession often ask ourselves, Who am I? How do I live? How do I stand before God? How do I deal with my neighbor? 

We learn also from St. John to confess our sins without reserve, neither concealing nor excusing them; above all, we learn to be humble, for although he might have passed for the Messiah had he chosen to, he refused that honor, and held himself unworthy to loose the latchet of Christ’s shoe. 

Prayer. 

O Lord banish from my heart envy, self-love, and pride; give me grace so to know Thee and myself that, in contemplation of Thy majesty, omnipotence, love and wisdom, and other perfections, I may love Thee above all things, and in regarding my own nothingness, misery, and sins may always humble myself before Thee, and be little in my own eyes. Grant also that I may judge my neighbor with justness and tenderness, and love him as myself. 

Gaudete Sunday[4] 

A joyful warning comes from the Lord's heralds. "Rejoice: The Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament. Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath. 

Advent Calendar[5] 

Read Explore the benefits of going to confession during Advent

Reflect "If we say that we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 Jn 1:10). 

Pray Add this "O Antiphon" to your daily or meal-time prayer today: "O Key of David, opening the gates of God's eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness." (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition, 76) 

Act Make going to confession a priority before Christmas.

Christ’s Seven Messianic Titles[6]

December 17 marks the beginning of the O Antiphons, the seven jewels of our liturgy, dating back to the fourth century, one for each day until Christmas Eve. These antiphons address Christ with seven magnificent Messianic titles, based on the Old Testament prophecies and types of Christ. The Church in this seven Golden Nights travels through the centuries recalling the longing for the Redeemer.

For more information on the O Antiphons, see

O Antiphons[7] The "Octave" Before Christmas and/or the Golden Nights 

Today also marks the beginning of the O Antiphons, the seven jewels of our liturgy in preparation of Christ. With each new Sunday heightening our sense of anticipation and with every Advent custom doing the same, it is little wonder that the eight days before Christmas became a semi-official octave of impatient expectation. This is expressed liturgically in the Divine Office's special Magnificat antiphons for this period. Beginning on the evening of December 17 during Vespers, a "Greater" or "O" antiphon (so named for its opening vocative) is said which explicitly invokes the Son of God under various titles and begs Him to come. The Gregorian chant for these antiphons is exquisite, as are the antiphons themselves, which call attention to the Word's different manifestations to man in the Old Testament and to several of His divine attributes. The antiphons are also noteworthy for their "code." 

The titles for Christ from each antiphon form an acrostic which, when read backwards, spells, "ERO CRAS" -- "I will be [there] tomorrow!" It is as if Christ were answering our prayers through the prayers themselves. Finally, the Greater antiphons are the inspiration of the beautiful medieval hymn, Veni, Veni Emmanuel. Each stanza of this famous song is a poetic rendering of an antiphon, which is why the hymn is traditionally sung only during the eight days prior to Christmas. In many places, however, the octave of preparation was extended over nine days, making a Novena. By special permission, the "Golden Mass" of Ember Wednesday was sometimes offered in the pre-dawn hours for nine consecutive days prior to Christmas. Central Europe observed the "Golden Nights," a festive season honoring the Blessed Virgin, the expectant Mother of God; in fact, December 18 was once the Feast of the Expectancy in Spain. 

In the Alps, schoolchildren observed the custom of Josephstragen -- "carrying St. Joseph." Each night, a group of boys would carry a statue of St. Joseph to another boy's home. The night after the visit, the boy who had been visited would join the procession, making the number of carriers grow progressively larger. On Christmas Eve all the boys, accompanied by schoolgirls dressed in white, would process the statue through the town to the church, where it would be placed near the manger. 

In Latin America, on the other hand, a Novena to the Holy Child (La Novena del Niño) was held in which prayers would be said and lively carols sung in front of the church's empty manger. 

Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly, Come, and teach us the way of prudence. 

Lazarus 

Today, according to the Roman Martyrology, is the feast of St Lazarus known as the brother of St Martha and St Mary of Bethany. He was the man whom Jesus raised from the dead after having been dead and in his tomb for four days. The Bible does not trace his history after the miracle, but tradition says he became a missionary to Gaul, the first bishop of Marseilles, France, and a martyr in the persecutions of Domitian. 

Things to do 

·         Read this account of St. Lazarus of Bethany at the The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus website.

·         Read about Bethany, where Jesus raised St. Lazarus from the dead.

·         Read about the Agios Lazaros Church in Cyprus.

·         Read about the translation of the relics of St. Lazarus. 

The Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem[8]


 

The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the orders of chivalry to survive the downfall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the attempts by the Crusader knights to win control of the Holy Land from the forces of Islam.

 

In theory the Order remained a military one, but with the exception of a brief period in the 17th century it played no military role after 1291. The Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the most ancient of the European orders of chivalry. At the very least it dates back to the time of the Crusader knights. From its foundation in the 12th century, the members of the Order were dedicated to two ideals: aid to those suffering from the dreadful disease of leprosy and the defense of the Christian faith.

 

Today the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is an international self-governing and independent body, having its own Constitution; it may be compared with a kind of electoral kingdom. According to the said Constitution the Order is nonpolitical, oecumenical or nondenominational, as its membership is open to all men and women being practicing members of the Christian faith in good standing within their particular denomination. Its international membership consists of Roman-catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox, United, Old Catholic, New Apostolic and other Christians, upholding with their lives, fortunes and honor the principles of Christianity.

 

Traditionally it is organized as a Christian Chivalric Order. The Order is registered in London in accordance with the laws in England. It is both a Military Order of Mercy and a Hospitaller Order dedicated to the care and assistance of the poor and the sick. Its aim is to preserve and defend the Christian faith, to guard, assist succor and help the poor, the sick and dying, to promote and maintain the principles of Christian chivalry and to follow the teachings of Christ and His Holy Church in all its works. With the exception of the present Teutonic Order ("Deutscher Orden") the Order of Saint Lazarus is today the smallest of the orders of Christian chivalry. It is made up of approximately five thousand members in the five continents. The Order sees itself as an oecumenical Christian order whose genesis goes back to the Holy Land, to the crusades and to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. 

Spiritual Crib[9] 

A special devotion that can be performed during Advent to prepare for the coming of the Infant Savior. It can be adapted for adults and/or children and applied as is appropriate to your state in life.

·         THE CRIB—Confidence-Build the little Crib by an unbounded confidence in God. Give no way to sadness in adversity. Also think not too much of our past sins and faults, making many acts of hope in God's mercy instead. Reflect a little each hour on the great love of God, who becomes Man for us.


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 4-THE MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS

II. Good Acts and Evil Acts

1755 A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances together. An evil end corrupts the action, even if the object is good in itself (such as praying and fasting "in order to be seen by men").
The object of the choice can by itself vitiate an act in its entirety. There are some concrete acts - such as fornication - that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil.

1756 It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.

 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.

·         JESSE TREE: Jesus is Wisdom: Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus in old Bibles) 24:2; Wisdom 8:1 Symbols: oil lamp, open book

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Individuals with Mental Illness

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

[9]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=1249







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