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
The Celebration of the Creator's
To "keep holy" by
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).
mystery does the Church celebrate to-day?
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
3. The first miracle of
Jesus at the wedding in Cana.
is this festival called Epiphany, or the manifestation?
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).
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
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.
what does the prophet here speak?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
St. Raymond of Penafort - Day Fourteen
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.
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)
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.
when the first star appears on Christmas Eve Eastern Orthodox Christians will
break their fast with a celebratory meal.
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.
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
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
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
an Orthodox Christmas service. Orthodox Christianity is popular in Greek
and Slavic-language communities, including Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian,
on a fast or diet leading up to Orthodox Christmas. Try eliminating meat
and animal foods from your diet.
for dinner at the Russian or Greek Restaurant. Many will serve specials
to commemorate this holiday.
Distaff Day, 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.
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE
ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
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
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
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
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.
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.
Council of Trent