your eyes open!...
Week of December 8, 2013
(Rev 12:1) And
a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the
moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
ADVENT RESOURCE: God Still Comes: A Meditative Journey Through Advent by Rev. Johann G. Roten, SM
TERRA SANTA NEWS: Christians in the Holy Land and the Church
ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. CAP.: A listening heart and ‘The Joy of the Gospel’
RON ROLHEISER, OMI: The God Who Is Revealed In Christmas
RON ROLHEISER, OMI: Awakening the Christ-child
POPE FRANCIS: "The Immaculate Conception was inscribed in God’s plan; it was the fruit of God’s love whereby the world was saved".
PAPAL ENCYCLICALS: THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Ineffabilis Deus Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854
"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that
the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a
singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the
merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was preserved immaculate
from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore
should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful...."
CNA ARCHIVE EXCERPT: Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception
French historian and professor Louis Baunard said that while gazing
upon the Mediterranean from the city, “the Pope mediated on remarks
made to him by Cardinal Luigi Lambruschini: Holy Father, you will not
be able to heal the world unless you proclaim the dogma of the
Immaculate Conception. Only this dogmatic definition will reestablish
the meaning of the Christian truths and bring minds back from the paths
of naturalism upon which they have become lost.”
According to Guglietta, naturalism, which rejected all supernatural
truth, could be considered the “backdrop” for the Pope’s proclamation
of the dogma. “The affirmation of the Immaculate Conception of the
Virgin laid a strong foundation for affirming and strengthening the
certainty of the primacy of grace and the work of Providence in the
lives of men.”
GUADALUPE: Our Lady of Guadalupe 'completely beyond' scientific explanation
MORE: Science Sees What Mary Saw From Juan Diego’s Tilma
Engineer José Aste Tonsmann of the Mexican Center of Guadalupan Studies
began his study in 1979. He magnified the iris of the Virgin's eyes
2,500 times and, through mathematical and optical procedures, was able
to identify all the people imprinted in the eyes.
The eyes reflect the witnesses of the Guadalupan miracle the moment
Juan Diego unfurled his tilma before the bishop, according to Tonsmann.
In the eyes, Tonsmann believes, it is possible to discern a seated
Indian, who is looking up to the heavens; the profile of a balding,
elderly man with a white beard, much like the portrait of Bishop
Zumárraga painted by Miguel Cabrera to depict the miracle; and a
younger man, in all probability interpreter Juan González.
Also present is an Indian, likely Juan Diego, of striking features with
a beard and mustache, who unfolds his own tilma before the bishop; a
woman of dark complexion, possibly a Negro slave who was in the
bishop's service; and a man with Spanish features who looks on
pensively, stroking his beard with his hand.
In summary, the Virgin's eyes bear a kind of instant picture of what
occurred at the moment the image was unveiled in front of the bishop,
Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control
51. He also said, 'It is better to eat meat and drink wine than to eat the flesh of the brothers by disparaging them.'
Week of December 1, 2013
(Rom 13:11-14) And
that, knowing the season, that it is now the hour for us to rise from
sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night
is passed And the day is at hand. Let us, therefore cast off the works
of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in
the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and
impurities, not in contention and envy. But put ye on the Lord Jesus
Christ: and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.
Unlike Lent, the four weeks preceding the great feasts of Christ’s
birth and Epiphany are not times of great penance. We are asked to
prepare ourselves to welcome these feasts, but more in prayerful
anticipation and silent prayer, it is the season for wakefulness, being
attentive to the call of God right in our daily lives. It is also a
reminder that we anticipate not only the festivals of light and joy but
look beyond the limits of our world into that dark winter sky and see
in the twinkling of those so far distant stars a hint of the glory and
majesty of Christ our God who one day will come again.
Perhaps in our security of life we
might feel that this is a long way off, we have another Christmas to
get through, plenty to do, friends to contact, relations to visit. It
is a season of giving! And yet, the insistent voice of scripture tells
us that we have been promised that the Son of Man will come. Matthew in
his direct way prepares us for that second coming, reminding us to
stand ready and be prepared. That is very much the message of Advent;
that He will come again as surely as He came into the world as a little
child. This is why Isaiah tells us to walk in the light of the Lord,
why Paul tells us that the night is nearly over and the day is at hand!
RON ROLHEISER, OMI: Advent - A Time To Learn How To Wait
EXCEPT ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. CAP.: The Gift of Thanksgiving and the Advent Season
This weekend, on December 1, we also celebrate the First
Sunday of Advent, which opens the new Church year. It’s a chance
to begin again; a time to examine our hearts in the light of the
Gospel, repent of our sins and look for the coming of our Savior.
We can’t really experience or understand Christmas unless we first
conform our hearts to the longing of Advent. Advent calls us all
to refocus our lives on God’s promise of deliverance and the
flesh-and-blood reality of Jesus Christ, our Deliverer – who came to us
first in Bethlehem, comes to us today in the Eucharist, and will come
again at the end of time.
As the Church reminds us throughout our lives, our Catholic faith, if
it’s genuine, must have consequences – first in our private choices and
conduct, but also in our public witness. If we really believe in
the coming of a Messiah, our lives will reflect that in the way we
treat our families, our friends and business colleagues, the poor, the
homeless and the suffering.
Real faith will drive us to live our lives in a spirit of humility,
hope and courage, as Mary of Nazareth did. It will also guide us
to press our elected leaders – of both political parties — for laws and
social policies that respect the dignity of the human person, from
conception to natural death.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph knew the reality of poverty firsthand.
They knew the fear of being without shelter; of being hunted by enemies
and being “strangers in a strange land” as refugees in Egypt.
This week might be a good time to remember that millions of immigrants
in our own country – many of them undocumented; men and women who in
many ways underpin our economy – feel that same uncertainty and
vulnerability. That’s why continuing efforts at immigration
reform are so urgently necessary and so in need of Catholic involvement.
But immigration is only one of a dozen pressing issues like defending
the unborn child, religious liberty, strengthening marriage and the
family, and support for the elderly and disabled, which now face our
country and cry out for prayer and action by Christians. All
genuinely Catholic action begins and ends in the worship of Jesus
Christ. If we want to change the world, we begin by saying “yes”
to God, as Mary did. We begin with our own obedience to God, using Mary
as our model.
The Thanksgiving holiday and the season of Advent give us a chance to
start over; to begin the new Church year with a longing for God that
leads to Bethlehem, to our own renewal, and to the conversion of the
The Christmas Scale
10 Advent Songs to Cure the Christmas Craziness
New Film Puts Christ Back into Christmas
Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Self-Control
50. He also said, 'Do not let your mouth speak an evil word: the vine does not bear thorns.'
Dr. Zambrano Home
2000: Bringing the World to Jesus
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