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NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Sunday, January 7, 2024

 Epiphany Sunday

Psalm 53, Verse 6

They are going to FEAR his name with great fear, though they had not feared it before. For God will scatter the bones of those encamped against you. They will surely be put to shame, for God has rejected them. 

The foolish say in their hearts there is no God. They are like defiant children who believe that they by their tantrums will get want they want. The time is drawing near, and the Cross of Christ will triumph over unbelievers and the ultimate truth will be revealed. The restoration of Israel was in the cross of Christ. 

Seek the kingdom of God and its justice. 

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[1]

CHAPTER I

DIES DOMINI

The Celebration of the Creator's Work

To "keep holy" by "remembering"

17. The connection between Sabbath rest and the theme of "remembering" God's wonders is found also in the Book of Deuteronomy (5:12-15), where the precept is grounded less in the work of creation than in the work of liberation accomplished by God in the Exodus: "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with mighty hand and outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day" (Dt 5:15).

This formulation complements the one we have already seen; and taken together, the two reveal the meaning of "the Lord's Day" within a single theological vision which fuses creation and salvation. Therefore, the main point of the precept is not just any kind of interruption of work, but the celebration of the marvels which God has wrought.

Insofar as this "remembrance" is alive, full of thanksgiving and of the praise of God, human rest on the Lord's Day takes on its full meaning. It is then that man enters the depths of God's "rest" and can experience a tremor of the Creator's joy when, after the creation, he saw that all he had made "was very good" (Gn 1:31).

Epiphany Sunday

WHAT mystery does the Church celebrate to-day?

She celebrates to-day a threefold mystery:

1. The arrival in Bethlehem of the Wise Men from the East to adore the new-born, Savior.

2. The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.

3. The first miracle of Jesus at the wedding in Cana.

Why is this festival called Epiphany, or the manifestation?

 

Because in the three events just mentioned Jesus manifested Himself not only to the Jews, but also to the gentiles, as the expected Messiah, the Redeemer of the world, and the beloved of His heavenly Father. The Church sings to-day with joy at the Introit, “Behold the Lord, the Ruler, is come, and a kingdom in his hand, and power and dominion” (Mai. iii. 1). “Give to the king Thy judgment, O God, and to the king’s son Thy justice” (Ps. Ixxi. 2).

Prayer.

O God, Who didst on this day reveal Thy only-begotten Son to the gentiles by the guidance of a star, grant in Thy mercy that we, who know Thee now by faith, may be brought to be hold the beauty of Thy majesty.

 

EPISTLE. Is. Ix. 1-6.

Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee: and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about and see all these- are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord.

Of what does the prophet here speak?

 

He foretells the future manifestation of the light of the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem, which was a type of the Church, and that by that light the gentiles should enter into the one Church of Christ.

Prayer.

Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice, O earth; ye mountains, give praise with jubilation, because the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His poor ones (Is. xlix. 13).

GOSPEL. Matt. ii. 1-12.

When Jesus, therefore, was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King Herod, behold, there came Wise Men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His Star in the East and are come to adore Him. And King Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him, In Bethlehem of Juda: for so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem, the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the Captain that shall rule My people Israel. Then Herod, privately calling the Wise Men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them: and sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child: and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him. Who having heard the king, went their way: and behold, the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary, His Mother, and falling down, they adored Him: and opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.

Why did the Wise Men come from afar to seek the Savior in Jerusalem?

They lived in Arabia, and had acquired some information of the prophecies of Israel, particularly of the noted prophecy of Balaam, “A star shall rise out of Jacob, and a scepter shall spring up from Israel” (Num. xxiv. IT), which was the more significant to them because they were, as their name denotes, skilled in astronomy. But to these human considerations must be added the light of divine inspiration, as St. Leo says, “The star shone also in their hearts a beautiful example for us to follow, without delay, the inspirations of divine grace, and to do the will of God without fear of men”.

What was the significance of the presents which the Wise Men offered to the Savior?

In offering gold, the Wise Men honored the infant Jesus as King; in frankincense, as God; in myrrh, as suffering Man.

How can we offer to Jesus similar gifts?

We can present Him with gold by giving up to Him what we value most, our will; also, by giving alms in His name to the poor. We can present Him incense in fervent and devout prayers ascending to heaven; and myrrh, by preserving purity of body and soul.

Prayer.

Give to me, O my divine Savior, the faith of these Wise Men; enlighten my understanding with the light which enlightened them; but move my heart also, that I may follow that light, and sincerely seek Thee, and Thee only, Who didst first seek me. Grant that I may find and adore Thee, with the Wise Men, in spirit and in truth, offering to Thee, like them, gold in my obedience and alms, incense in my prayers, myrrh in my penances and mortifications, that, after having brought Thee the offerings of my faith on earth, I may adore Thee in Thy eternal glory. Amen.

Time after Epiphany[2]


The central theme of Advent and Christmastide, the manifestation, or epiphany, of Jesus Christ, also dominates the Weeks after Epiphany. That manifestation began selectively, first to Mary (Ember Wednesday, Annunciation), then to Elizabeth and John the Baptist (Ember Friday, Visitation), and then to Joseph (Vigil of Christmas). Next it grew stronger with the adoration of the Shepherds (Christmas), the Magi at the Manger (Epiphany), Simeon, Anna, and the Doctors in the Temple (Sunday after Christmas, and Holy Family), and even to John the Baptist's disciples (Octave of Epiphany).

But the epiphanies of Jesus Christ did not end with these events. On the contrary, everything that our Lord did and said during His public ministry was designed to manifest His divine nature. It is the Time after Epiphany that corresponds to this period of our Lord's life. The Epistle selections, mostly from Paul's letter to the Romans, stress the calling of both Jew and Gentile to the new revelations, while the Gospel selections narrate the words and deeds of our Lord during His adult ministry in Galilee, the northern region of Israel that was the scene of most of His public life. All of these readings give witness to the astonishing fact that this itinerant preacher was the coeternal Word of God, the Word who spoke as only God can speak and who worked miracles that only the God of heaven and earth can work.

Thus, even though these weeks, with their green vestments and annum (what is called "Ordinary Time" in the new rite), they are more properly seen as continuing the Christmas cycle's focus on "theophany". By helping us to heed the words of Christ and understand the significance of His miracles, the Time after Epiphany deepens our meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation.

St. Raymond of Penafort - Day Fourteen[3]


 

St. Raymond devoted much of his life to helping the poor. The famous incident which is recounted in the story of Raymond's life took place when he went with King James to Majorca. The King dismissed Raymond's request to return home. Relying on his faith and love of God, Raymond walked on the waves to his ship, spread his cloak to make a sail, made the sign of the cross then sailed to the distant harbor of Barcelona.

 

For St. Raymond's feast we should remember that "caroling and storytelling belong to the whole Christmas season. Hospitality and giving to others also must continue if true Christmas joy is to remain. An outing to which friends are invited or a party that includes a round of caroling become perhaps even more appropriate with the approach of Epiphany." — Excerpted from The Twelve Days of Christmas

 

·         Day Fourteen activity (Legend of the Little Girl)



·         Day Fourteen recipe (Christstollen)


Orthodox Christmas[1]

 

Well, if you have not got enough of the Christmas Season you can always celebrate with the Orthodox Catholics.

 

Some Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but others mark the birth of Jesus on a variety of dates including January 7th and January 19th. It depends on which calendar the particular church follows - while western Christendom has adopted the Gregorian calendar, some Orthodox churches use the older Julian calendar to calculate the dates for holy feast days. December 25th on the original Julian calendar falls on January 7th of our calendar. Most Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on this date; however, some churches, including Armenian orthodox Christians use the revised Julian calendar and their Christmas falls on January 19th of our calendar. While Christmas is a very important religious celebration for Orthodox Christians, it falls second to Easter which they consider to be the most important date in the religious calendar. 

Religious Observance of Orthodox Christmas 

Most believers in the Eastern Orthodox Church prepare for Christmas with 40 days of fasting, continuing right up until late on Christmas Eve Jan 6th.

 

·         Traditionally, when the first star appears on Christmas Eve Eastern Orthodox Christians will break their fast with a celebratory meal.

·         Also, on Christmas Eve, traditionally Orthodox Christians will cut a branch from a tree and bring it into their home, as a symbol that Jesus is entering their house and their hearts.

·         A prayer and blessing will be said before the Christmas Eve feast begins, and the head of the family will greet each person present with the traditional Christmas greeting of 'Christ is born' to which the response is 'Glorify him!'. Then the bread will be torn by hand and shared with all present. Some families will have straw scattered around the table, as a reminder of Jesus's birth in the manger.

·         On Christmas Day, Orthodox Christians will attend Divine Liturgy, which will usually be a little longer than usual due to being an exceptional religious holiday. It is traditional to light candles in honor of Jesus, as light of the world.

·         Afterwards people walk in procession to a sea, lake or river. The water will be blessed as part of an outdoor ceremony, and some people will take the blessed water back to their homes.

Orthodox Christmas Top Events and Things to Do[2]

·         Attend an Orthodox Christmas service.  Orthodox Christianity is popular in Greek and Slavic-language communities, including Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Macedonian communities.

·         Go on a fast or diet leading up to Orthodox Christmas.  Try eliminating meat and animal foods from your diet.

·         Go for dinner at the Russian or Greek Restaurant.  Many will serve specials to commemorate this holiday.

Distaff Day[3], also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after the traditional feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff's Day, one of the many unofficial holidays in Catholic nations. The distaff, or rock, used in spinning was the medieval symbol of women's work. In many European cultural traditions, women resumed their household work after the twelve days of Christmas. Women of all classes would spend their evenings spinning on the wheel. During the day, they would carry a drop spindle with them. Spinning was the only means of turning raw wool, cotton or flax into thread, which could then be woven into cloth. Men have their own way of celebrating this occasion; this is done through Plough Monday. It is the first Monday after Epiphany where men are supposed to get back to work. Every few years, Distaff Day and Plough Monday falls on the same day. Often the men and women would play pranks on each other during this celebration, as was written by Robert Herrick in his poem "Saint Distaff’s day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day" which appears in his Hesperides.

[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distaff_Day


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 8-SIN

IV. The Gravity of Sin: Mortal and Venial Sin

1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture, became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.

1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.
Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.

1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:

When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery.... But when the sinner's will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother." The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

1862 One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.

1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God; it does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness."

While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call "light": if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, confession.

1864 "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin." There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.

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.

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

·         Carnival Time begins in Catholic Countries.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

·         Plan winter fun:

o   Soak in hot springs

o   Hit the snow slopes

o   Ride a snowmobile

o   Go for a dog sled ride

o   Ride a hot air balloon



Council of Trent



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