Monday, February 20, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fr. Barron: The Advent Revolution



Michael W. Smith - Christmastime




Ring Christmas bells
Ring them loud with the message bringing
Peace on the earth
Tidings of good cheer
Come carolers
Come and join with the angels singing
Joy to the world
Christmas time is here again

Children gather around and listen
You'll hear the sound
Of angels filling the sky
Telling everyone
Christmas time is here

Ring Christmas bells
Ring them loud with the message bringing
Peace on the earth
Tidings of good cheer
Come carolers
Come and join with the angels singing
Joy to the world
Christmas time is here again

Loved ones close to our hearts
And strangers in lands afar
Together share in the joy
Emmanuel
To tell the world
He has come to dwell
The time is near
With one voice
Let the world rejoice

Christmas time is here

Ring Christmas bells
Ring them loud with the message bringing
Peace on the earth
Tidings of good cheer
Come carolers
Come and join with the angels singing
Joy to the world
Christmas time is here again

Children gather around and listen
You'll hear the sound
Of angels filling the sky
It's Christmas time is here again

Songwriters: SMITH, MICHAEL W. / CARLSON, JOANNA

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent - Cherubic Hymn, He will give to all the Faithful His own Self for Heavenly Food



Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!



"Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" is derived from the "Prayer of the Cherubic Hymn" from the Litany of St. James, written during the 4th century. The Cherubic Hymn is to be used at the presentation of the bread and wine at the Offertory. It was incorporated into the Holy Week celebration of the Constantineopolitan Church at some point after the 8th century. It is used on St. James Day, October 23. Orthodox Christians in Jerusalem recite it on the Sunday after Christmas, or as part of the Christmas Eve service. The Greek original is also found in the Liturgy of St. Basil as the Troparion for Holy Saturday morning.


Devotional:

Although the hymn can be used as a communion hymn any time of the year, it is a beautiful advent hymn, pointing us to stand in awe as the King of kings and Lord of lords descends to earth to vanquish the powers of hell.

"Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" first appeared in Lyra Eucharistica and The English Hymnal in 1906, with the tune PICARDY, arranged by Ralph Vaughn Williams.
See Less

The reason the Son of God appeared
was to destroy the devil’s work.
1 John 3:8

Speaking of Jesus' arrival, St. John wrote: The true light that enlightens every man was coming in to the world.
John 1:9

After His arrival, Jesus boldly announced: I am the light of the world. John 8:12

And our ancient hymn writer embraces the same theme: The Light of light descendeth
from the realms of endless day
that the powers of hell may vanish
as the darkness clears away.

We are fascinated with light: astronomers study it; poets sing of it; inventors find new ways to capture and share it; children love to play with it. And light became one of the earliest and most common metaphors for God.

Light illumines: no person can see anything in total darkness. So Jesus Christ illumines our minds about the person of God, about what we are, about how we can be reconciled to Him and how we are to live in His light.

Light also brings life: no plant will grow, no flower will bloom and no fruit will ripen if there is no light. So, Jesus came to bring the light which produces abundant and eternal life.

Light cheers. We often hear in Church that real joy does not depend on the weather. That's true, but sunlight does bring joy to a dark day. And so Christ came to bring us joy, even when life is anything but joyful. After five terrible beatings and two horrific stonings, this most jubilant Apostle got up and dusted off the opposition with the shout:

Rejoice in the Lord always. St. Paul speaking in Philippians 4

And light purifies. Mildew exposed to light is destroyed. A stain on my shirt can be bleached away when it hangs in the sun. So Christ came to destroy the evil deeds the devil continually entices us to commit.

A singer in New York City once lamented, "It's been a long time since I liked myself." Perhaps you feel the same way today. But there is good news for him and for you: Jesus the Light of the world, forgives - He washes you totally clean of your sin. And Jesus the Light, will destroy the devil's work.

Jesus tells us that one day there will be a "new heaven and a new earth." God's new creation will be filled only with righteousness - only that which is pure and perfect. But, He can fill you with righteousness right now, if you let Him. For if a scientist can make penicillin out of mold, God can make something good of the singer - and you!

- Center for Church Music

Bing Crosby & David Bowie - Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy 1977



Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy is a Christmas song with an added counterpoint performed by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. "Little Drummer Boy" is a Christmas song written in 1957, while the "Peace on Earth" tune and lyrics were added to the song especially for Bowie and Crosby's recording.

The song was recorded on 11 September for Crosby's 1977 television special, Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas. The pair exchanged dialogue about what they do for Christmas before singing "Little Drummer Boy" with a new counterpoint with original lyrics written for the special, "Peace on Earth". Bowie's appearance has been described as a "surreal" event, undertaken at a time that he was "actively trying to normalise his career" Crosby died on October 14, just over a month after recording the special. In the U.S., the show aired on 30 November 1977 on CBS.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mother Dawn: Press conference at the Carmelite monastery in Tamuning on Tuesday, Nov. 15

A Prayer for Times of Darkness by St. Ignatius

O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness

and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of Your presence, Your love, and Your strength.

Help us to have perfect trust

in Your protecting love

and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.


By Saint Ignatius of Loyola




via padres Steve

Sunday, October 30, 2016

All Hallows Day: to ask for God's Blessing and Protection from Evil in the World


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Many Catholics will be attending Mass tonight at St. Paul's Cathedral, in celebration of All Saints' Eve.

Going to church on Halloween? That's right.

Everybody knows the secular holiday of Halloween. But not everybody knows it derives from a holy day, All Saints' Day on Nov. 1, which is followed by All Souls' day on Nov. 2.

The root word of Halloween - ''hallow'' - means ''holy.'' The suffix "een" is an abbreviation of "evening." It refers to the Eve of All Hallows, the night before the Christian holy day that honors saintly people of the past. "All Saints is a celebration of the communion of saints, those people we believe are in heaven, through good works and God's grace," said the Rev. Richard Donohoe, vicar of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Birmingham.

All Souls' Day is a day to pray for all souls. Among Catholics, prayers are offered for those in purgatory, waiting to get into heaven. On All Souls' Day, Catholic churches have a Book of the Dead, in which parishioners have an opportunity to write the names of relatives to be remembered. "That's placed near the altar," Donohoe said. "That's done all through November. It's an All Souls' tradition."

Most Episcopal churches will observe All Saints' Day on Sunday. Churches often read the names of those who have died in the last year.

More than a thousand years ago in Ireland and Britain, a common custom of Christians was to come together on the eve of the feast of All Hallows Day to ask for God's blessing and protection from evil in the world. Often, they would dress in costumes of saints or evil spirits and act out the battle between good and evil around bonfires. That's the source of the modern observance of Halloween.

The Christian concept of the importance of the individual soul underlies All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, which are observed worldwide primarily in the Catholic and Anglican traditions. The ''Dia de los Muertos,'' or ''day of the dead,'' in Latin countries keeps alive some of the tradition of honoring souls of the dead. "All Hallows was considered a time when evil could manifest itself," Donohoe said. "We do believe in the visible and the invisible. There is good and there is evil. There is invisible evil and invisible good. It's an acknowledgement of that existence."

In the Catholic Church, Nov. 1 is normally a holy day of obligation, when all Catholics are expected to attend Mass. This year, that's not the case, since it falls on a Saturday. Sunday is a day of obligation and the church does not require attending Mass on a Saturday. Every Catholic church will have a Mass either tonight or during the day on Saturday. "Every church will have an All Saints' Mass," Donohoe said.

At St. Paul's Cathedral downtown, in addition to the morning and 12:10 p.m. Mass, there is a Mass set for 6:30 p.m. that is an All Saints' Mass. Another will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m.

"All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day are related, but they are two separate celebrations," Donohoe said. "On All Saints' Day there's a call to live as saints, to remind us how we're supposed to live. On All Souls' Day, we're talking about all souls and asking God's mercy for them. We're talking about those people who have died before us, and their process of getting to heaven, through Christ."

All Saints' Day emanates from early Christian celebrations of martyrs in the Eastern Church, Donohoe said. "It has its roots all the way back to the fourth century," he said.

The True Meaning of Halloween

St. Luke: The Living Word of God



It is believed that Luke was born a Greek and a Gentile. In Colossians 10-14 speaks of those friends who are with him. He first mentions all those "of the circumcision" -- in other words, Jews -- and he does not include Luke in this group. Luke's gospel shows special sensitivity to evangelizing Gentiles. It is only in his gospel that we hear the parable of the Good Samaritan, that we hear Jesus praising the faith of Gentiles such as the widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian (Lk.4:25-27), and that we hear the story of the one grateful leper who is a Samaritan (Lk.17:11-19). According to the early Church historian Eusebius Lukewas born at Antioch in Syria.
In our day, it would be easy to assume that someone who was a doctor was rich, but scholars have argued that Luke might have been born a slave. It was not uncommon for families to educate slaves in medicine so that they would have a resident family physician. Not only do we have Paul's word, but Eusebius, SaintJerome, Saint Irenaeus and Caius, a second-century writer, all refer to Luke as a physician.
We have to go to Acts to follow the trail of Luke'sChristian ministry. We know nothing about hisconversion but looking at the language of Acts we can see where he joined Saint Paul. The story of the Acts is written in the third person, as an historian recording facts, up until the sixteenth chapter. In Acts 16:8-9 we hear of Paul's company "So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' " Then suddenly in 16:10 "they" becomes "we": "When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them."
So Luke first joined Paul's company at Troas at about the year 51 and accompanied him into Macedonia where they traveled first to Samothrace, Neapolis, and finally Philippi. Luke then switches back to the third person which seems to indicate he was not thrown into prison with Paul and that when Paul left Philippi Luke stayed behind to encourage the Church there. Seven years passed before Paul returned to the area on his third missionary journey. In Acts 20:5, the switch to "we" tells us thatLuke has left Philippi to rejoin Paul in Troas in 58 where they first met up. They traveled together through Miletus, Tyre, Caesarea, to Jerusalem.
Luke is the loyal comrade who stays with Paul when he is imprisoned in Rome about the year 61: "Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers" (Philemon 24). And after everyone else deserts Paul in his final imprisonment and sufferings, it is Luke who remains with Paul to the end: "Only Luke is with me" (2 Timothy 4:11).
Luke's inspiration and information for his Gospel and Acts came from his close association with Paul and his companions as he explains in his introduction to the Gospel: "Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus" (Luke 1:1-3).
Luke's unique perspective on Jesus can be seen in the six miracles and eighteen parables not found in the other gospels. Luke's is the gospel of the poor and of social justice. He is the one who tells the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man who ignored him. Luke is the one who uses "Blessed are the poor" instead of "Blessed are the poor in spirit" in the beatitudes. Only in Luke's gospel do we hear Mary 's Magnificat where she proclaims that God "has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty" (Luke 1:52-53).
Luke also has a special connection with the women in Jesus' life, especially Mary. It is only in Luke's gospel that we hear the story of the Annunciation, Mary's visit to Elizabeth including the Magnificat, the Presentation, and the story of Jesus' disappearance in Jerusalem. It is Luke that we have to thank for the Scriptural parts of the Hail Mary: "Hail Mary full of grace" spoken at the Annunciation and "Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus" spoken by her cousin Elizabeth.
Forgiveness and God's mercy to sinners is also of first importance to Luke. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the Prodigal Son welcomed back by the overjoyed father. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the forgiven woman disrupting the feast by washing Jesus' feet with her tears. Throughout Luke's gospel, Jesus takes the side of the sinner who wants to return to God's mercy.
Reading Luke's gospel gives a good idea of his character as one who loved the poor, who wanted the door to God's kingdom opened to all, who respected women, and who saw hope in God's mercy for everyone.
The reports of Luke's life after Paul's death are conflicting. Some early writers claim he was martyred, others say he lived a long life. Some say he preached in Greece, others in Gaul. The earliest tradition we have says that he died at 84 Boeotia after settling in Greece to write his Gospel.
A tradition that Luke was a painter seems to have no basis in fact. Several images of Mary appeared in later centuries claiming him as a painter but these claims were proved false. Because of this tradition, however, he is considered a patron of painters of pictures and is often portrayed as painting pictures of Mary.
He is often shown with an ox or a calf because these are the symbols of sacrifice -- the sacrifice Jesusmade for all the world.
Luke is the patron of physicians and surgeons.


Catholic.org site

Pope Francis: 2016.10.31 Pope Francis in Sweden - Official welcome ceremony

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pope Francis: General Audience



Every Wednesday the Holy Father holds a General Audience where he greets the pilgrims present and delivers a catechesis.

How to Deal with Past Sins


How do we look back on past sins not as sins committed, but as sins confessed and forgiven? Fr. Damian Ference explains today using Peter as an example, showing how although he knew he was a great sinner, he also knew that Jesus loved him completely, as he was – a sinner.

We all know that Peter was the first pope. What we often forget is that Peter was also a terrible sinner. I can think of at least five times in the Gospels where Peter messed up, but the time that he denied Jesus was the absolute worst.

Saint Matthew tells us that it was a maid that first approached Peter in the courtyard – a maid, by the way, should not be able to intimidate a man that the Lord called “The Rock.” The maid recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus, but Peter denied knowing him. Second, another girl – not a woman, but a girl – saw Peter and said, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” Again, Peter denied it. The third time St. Matthew tells us that it was a bystander who recognized Peter as a friend of Jesus by his speech. And once more, Peter denied knowing Jesus.

That’s about as bad as it gets. Just when your best friend needs you most, you deny even knowing him. And it’s not as if those questioning him were all that intimidating – a maid, a girl, and a random bystander – three people who wouldn’t seem to be much of a threat to a future pope. And Peter knew it. Saint Matthew tells us that upon the cock’s crow, “Peter went out and began to weep bitterly.” If I was him, I probably would have puked too.

Earlier that night Peter promised Jesus that his faith would never be shaken, but there it was, a crumbled mess. And there he was, the one that Jesus had handpicked to be the fearless leader of the apostles, off in the corner weeping like a baby. How pathetic.

Of course we know that there is more to the story. After Jesus suffers, dies, and rises from the dead he has another encounter with Peter. This time it’s on the beach where St. John tells us that Jesus invites the disciples to breakfast. It’s also the place where Jesus asks Peter if he loves him – three times. Three times Peter responds that he loves Jesus, and in doing so, Peter experiences Jesus’ love, forgiveness, healing and mercy. Jesus makes all things new, and in that moment, he makes Peter new too.

But a question remains. How in the world can Peter ever forget that terrible moment in the courtyard when he committed the worst of sins by denying that he even knew Jesus? Surely if we know about his terrible and cowardly act two thousand years later, people also knew well about it back then. And I’m sure that some even reminded him of it from time to time, saying, “Come on man, you’re the coward who denied even knowing Jesus, and now you’re telling me that I should believe in him? Please.” How in the world did Peter ever forget his terrible sin and move forward?

Here’s the truth: Peter never forgot the fact that he denied Jesus. That cowardly act was something that he could never take back. What’s done is done once it’s done. Peter couldn’t go back in time and make things right again. So what happened? How did Peter do it? How did the worst coward turn into one of the most courageous men in Christianity, eventually requesting to be crucified upside down because he thought himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord Jesus?

What happened to Peter was that although he knew he was a great sinner, he also knew that Jesus loved him completely, as he was – a sinner. To paraphrase St. John Vianney, Peter knew that his sins were but a grain of sand in the ocean of God’s great mercy. It was the merciful love of Jesus that recreated Peter and that made him new. Peter couldn’t do anything about his sins other than confess them, but Jesus could. And he did. Peter denied Jesus three times, so in his love, Jesus offered Peter and opportunity to tell Jesus that he loved him – three times. And with that Peter was forgiven and made new. From that point on, whenever Peter thought back about the time he denied Jesus, he didn’t think about it as sin committed, but sin confessed and forgiven.

Via Padre Steve