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  • Thy Will Be Done

  • USCCB REFLECTION

  • PREGNANT FOR CHRISTMAS

    “He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season.” —Psalm 1:3

    The Lord wants to teach us what is good for us. He desires to lead us on the way we should go this Christmas (Is 48:17). If we hearken to His commandments, this Christmas we will be “like a river,…the waves of the sea,” and the sand of the seashore (Is 48:18-19). We will be full of life and extremely fruitful. If we obey the Lord, this Christmas we will fulfill in an exceptional way the Lord’s first recorded words to the newly created human race: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gn 1:28, RSV-CE).
    This Christmas, the Lord may fulfill as never before in our lives His promise: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10, RSV-CE). In our contraceptive, abortifacient culture of death, we will be spiritually pregnant. What better way to enter into the celebration of Christ’s birth! “God is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Lk 20:38). This Christmas, “choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding His voice, and holding fast to Him. For that will mean life for you” (Dt 30:19-20).

    Prayer: Father, use my life to build a civilization of love and l…[Read more]

  • Recognising the mystery hidden within Christ Jesus

    From a Spiritual Canticle
    of
    St John of the Cross
    [ 1542 – 1591 A.D. ]

    Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still remains to be unfolded by them, and even to be understood by them.
    We must then dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides.
    For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ: In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labours, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training.
    All these are lesser things, disposing the soul for the lofty sanctuary of the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ: this is the highest wisdom attainable in this life.
    Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket…[Read more]

  • Saint John of the Cross

    Saint John of the Cross

  • “…is life greater than ideas (i.e., interpretations, explanations, etc.) in the sense that there is a chasm between thinking and reality, theory and practice?…It would mean that moral precepts do not adequately align with concrete acts and situations, and that one can accept them on a general level, without recognizing the necessity to submit to them in real life…individuality is what matters, differences need to be respected, and discernment brings one closer to real life…after every discernment we are left with what we tried to avoid: general terms…denying the objectivity of general terms ultimately leads to a rejection of the possibility of achieving true knowledge, and therefore to #relativism …general terms with their definitions—which can be applied to specific cases and statements whose truth-value can be assessed—set the boundaries of reliable human knowledge. The ability to understand ideas has been given to us in order to recognize the truth, and, by following it in our lives, come closer to the source of Truth, the Creator of Life…”

    [Read more]

  • “…Why, though, do the bees employ the regular hexagon and not some other shape in the making of their honeycombs? The reason is because, out of the unlimited number of different kinds of plane figures, the regular hexagon alone enables the bees to store the largest amount of honey, in the least amount of space, while using the least amount of wax…if a master geometer were tasked with designing a wax structure to store the largest amount of honey, in the least amount of space, while using the least amount of wax, he could not do any better in his design than the bees do in theirs…
    it is this share in God’s eternal wisdom which the bees, in turn, manifest to those of us who would take the time to watch and wonder about the acts of these humble creatures of God…”

  • How to Refute #Moral #Relativism

  • A reason for hope: #HighSchool Choir Sings Two Pontifical Liturgies in One Day “In what might be a new world record, or perhaps simply a first of its kind choral accomplishment, the fifty-five voice Lyceum Choir sang back to back liturgies – one in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (aka Traditional #Latin Mass), celebrated by Cardinal Raymond #Burke , and the other in a Hierarchical Liturgy of the #Byzantine Rite, celebrated by Bishop Milan Lach, S.J.!…The #young are especially adapted for making such swift transitions without blinking!…” #youth

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 1 day ago

    St. Lucy

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 1 day ago

    USCCB REFLECTION

  • VIOLENCE AND THE KINGDOM

    “The kingdom of God has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” —Matthew 11:12

    Halfway through Advent, the Lord brings up the subject of violence in relation to His kingdom. Jesus tells us that His kingdom has suffered violence, and the violent are taking it by force (Mt 11:12). This could have several meanings.
    Satan has forcibly stolen people and resources that rightfully belong to God. We must engage in spiritual warfare using the spiritual weapons of prayer and fasting to bring down Satan, destroy his strongholds, and return the stolen property to God (see 2 Cor 10:3-5; Gospel of Life, 100).
    We are “more than conquerors” in Christ (Rm 8:37). The gates of hell cannot prevail against us (Mt 16:18, JB). Such modern-day Goliaths as abortion, secular humanism, pornography, poverty, and racism would have no chance against us in battles if we would only step out in faith and fight them with “the sword of the Spirit, the word of God” (Eph 6:17).
    The violent of this world seem to get what they want. This implies that we, the Church, would get Jesus what He wants if we were more militant and less passive. We must do violence to our own fleshly tendency to apathy (Gal 2:19; 6:14). We are the “Church Militant,” not the …[Read more]

  • You light up your grace of body with the radiance of your mind

    A book on virginity,
    by
    St Ambrose
    [ 340 – 397 A.D. ]

    You are one of God’s people, of God’s family, a virgin among virgins; you light up your grace of body with your splendour of soul. More than others you can be compared to the Church. When you are in your room, then, at night, think always on Christ, and wait for his coming at every moment.
    This is the person Christ has loved in loving you, the person he has chosen in choosing you. He enters by the open door; he has promised to come in, and he cannot deceive. Embrace him, the one you have sought; turn to him, and be enlightened; hold him fast, ask him not to go in haste, beg him not to leave you. The Word of God moves swiftly; he is not won by the lukewarm, nor held fast by the negligent. Let your soul be attentive to his word; follow carefully the path God tells you to take, for he is swift in his passing.
    What does his bride say? I sought him, and did not find him; I called him, and he did not hear me. Do not imagine that you are displeasing to him despite having called him, asked him in, and opened the door to him; and that this is the reason why he has gone so quickly – no, for he allows us to be constantly tested. When the crowds pressed him t…[Read more]

  • Saint Lucy

    Saint Lucy

  • “…It is the single most studied artifact in all of human history…the 1988 carbon dating study that supposedly showed that the shroud was a painting from the Middle Ages, sometime between 1200 and 1350.However, further science showed that the carbon dating had been compromised, taken from an area of the shroud that was known to be a medieval side strip… We have information on newer studies of textiles, which show that the shroud is similar to cloths from the first century Masada [an ancient Jewish fortress in Israel around the time of Christ], having a similar weave to those of the Masada. We have information on pollen studies, which show traces on the shroud of plants which would have been found in Jerusalem at Christ’s time…while many in our generation believe that science and faith are contradictory, they, in fact, are not. Science points to faith…Young people come to us looking for answers…Many are rejecting faith because of the false belief that science has disproven faith. But seeing and experiencing the shroud is something that can really open their eyes..”

    [Read more]

  • “…Meister #Eckhart , a 14th-century Dominican friar famous for his popular sermons on the direct experience of God…The creative power that people address as “God,” he explained, is already present within each individual and is best understood as the very force that infuses all living things. He believed this divinity to be genderless and completely “other” from humans, accessible not through images or words but through a direct encounter within each person…Eckhart embraced meditation and what is now called mindfulness…Richard #Rohr , a friar from the Franciscan order and a contemporary spirituality writer, views Eckhart’s teachings as part of a long and ancient Christian contemplative tradition… Eckhart did not preach an individualistic, isolated kind of personal enlightenment, nor did he reject as much of his own faith tradition as many modern spiritual but not religious are wont to do. The truly enlightened person, Eckhart argued, naturally lives an active life of neighborly love, not isolation – an important social dimension sometimes lost today…”

    [Read more]

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 2 days ago

    Our Lady of Guadalupe

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 2 days ago

    USCCB REFLECTION

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 2 days ago

    MARY’S EVANGELIZATION SEMINAR

    “Mary set out, proceeding in haste into the hill country.” —Luke 1:39

    Mary was the first and is the greatest evangelizer. As soon as she conceived Jesus in her womb, she shared Jesus with Elizabeth and John, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb (Lk 1:39ff). They both were filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41). After Mary, as Our Lady of Guadalupe, came to St. Juan Diego in Mexico, eight million people came to new life in Jesus over the next seven years. As Pope St. Paul VI taught, Mary is the star of evangelization (On Evangelization, 82).
    Mary, the greatest evangelizer, was pregnant. To effectively share the life of Jesus, we must respect, defend, and nurture life.
    Mary was poor. Jesus came to proclaim the good news to the poor (Lk 4:18).
    Mary was a healer. She was used by the Lord to heal Juan Diego’s uncle.
    Mary was a deliverer. Her Mexican name, Tecoatlaxope, means “Crusher of the serpent-god.”
    Our Lady of Guadalupe gives us a radical understanding of evangelization. Bringing others to Jesus involves not just programs and services, but choosing life in a culture of death and choosing poverty in the midst of out-of-control consumerism. Evangelization means announcing the kingdom of God as we “cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the l…[Read more]

  • Truly I, your Mother, am here

    The traditional narrative called “Nican Mopohua”
    (16th century)

    Very early one Saturday morning at the beginning of December of 1531, a poor but respected Indian called Juan Diego (born, it is said, in Cuauhtitlan and under the pastoral care of the religious community of Tlatelolco) was on his way to Tlaltelolco on a holy errand. When he reached the hill called Tepeyac dawn was breaking and he heard singing coming from above the hill. The singing stopped and was not heard again, but he heard a voice calling to him from the top of the hill. “Beloved Juan Diego,” it said. He responded at once, bravely climbing the hill towards the place where the voice was coming from.
    When he reached the top he saw a Lady standing there, who called him to herself. When he came close to her he was stunned with how beautiful she was: her clothes shone like the sun. Then the Virgin gave him her command: “Know, beloved son, that I am the immaculate ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who is the Origin of all life, who creates all things and keeps them in being, the Lord of Heaven and Earth. I greatly wish, I earnestly desire, that my house should be built in this very place. I will show him to you there and praise him as I show him, my Love and Compa…[Read more]

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe

    Our Lady of Guadalupe

  • “…it was a joy to spend a week at #ClearCreek Monastery in Oklahoma. It was a joy because I spent my week with a gang of guys who show us the positive and powerful face of #traditionalist Catholicism…they have fifty monks and the average age is, I’d guess, about 32…What I found at Clear Creek was (in my opinion) monasticism as it should be. The monks are dedicated to the life of contemplation and enclosure…Their monastic life is austere and while there is “nothing harsh, nothing burdensome” neither is there anything soft and easy. The diet is predominantly vegetarian. The schedule is rigorous. The work is hard…There were a couple of things distinctive about Clear Creek that struck me as genius. The first is that they have re-established the monastic tradition of “lay brothers” or as they call them “converse brothers”. These men are distinct from the “choir monks” who pursue further studies for the priesthood. Meanwhile the converse brothers are busy with the more manual labor of the monastery…”

    [Read more]

  • Christ’s face revealed at Shivta: an Early Byzantine wall painting in the desert of the Holy Land “…Based on iconography, we estimate that this scene was also painted in the sixth century AD…”

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 3 days ago

    This is my Son. Listen to Him.

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 3 days ago

    USCCB REFLECTION

  • TWICE AS NICE

    “Indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.” —Isaiah 40:2

    The prophet Isaiah addresses Jerusalem, the holy city of God. Jerusalem had turned its back on the Lord, despite all the great blessings He had showered upon it for centuries. Finally, in 587 B.C., Babylon invaded Jerusalem, conquered the city, razed it to the ground, and forced all its inhabitants into exile in Babylon (see 2 Chr 36:15-21). This is the “double” punishment which Isaiah refers to in today’s first eucharistic reading (Is 40:2).
    Yet now God speaks a word of “comfort” to the exiles through Isaiah (Is 40:1). Their time of punishment is over; their “guilt is expiated” (Is 40:2). They received a double punishment, but now God will return a double-blessing; “since their shame was double…they shall have a double inheritance in their land” (Is 61:7). The Lord tells the exiles: “This very day, I return you double for your exile” (Zec 9:12).
    God poured out “a double portion” of the Spirit upon the prophet Elisha (2 Kgs 2:9). He also pours out a double portion upon each of us at every Mass. Each time we attend Mass, we receive the double blessings of the Liturgy of the Word and also the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
    Jesus has come that we …[Read more]

  • The eschatological character of the pilgrim Church

    “Lumen gentium”, the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic constitution on the Church

    The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus and in which we acquire holiness through the grace of God, will reach its perfection only in the glory of heaven, when the time comes for the renewal of all things, and the whole world, which is intimately bound up with man and reaches its perfection through him, will, along with the human race, be perfectly restored in Christ.
    Lifted above the earth, Christ drew all things to himself. Rising from the dead, he sent his life-giving Spirit upon his disciples, and through the Spirit established his Body, which is the Church, as the universal sacrament of salvation. Seated at the right hand of the Father, he works unceasingly in the world, to draw men into the Church and through it to join them more closely to himself, nourishing them with his own body and blood, and so making them share in his life of glory.
    The promised renewal that we look for has already begun in Christ. It is continued in the mission of the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit it goes on developing in the Church: there we are taught by faith about the meaning also of our life on earth as we bring to fulfilment – w…[Read more]

  • Saint Damasus I

    Saint Damasus I

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 4 days ago

    Why the Son of God became Man

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 4 days ago

    USCCB REFLECTION

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 4 days ago

    “I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS”

    “Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing.” —Isaiah 35:10

    The Lord promised that the desert would bloom with abundant flowers (Is 35:1-2). The Lord was not referring to just any desert but to the desert separating the Israelites exiled in Babylon from their homeland. In other words, the Lord promised to remove obstacles separating us from our eternal, heavenly home with Him.
    A huge crowd separated a paralyzed man from Jesus, Who alone could heal him (Lk 5:19). Four of the man’s friends overcame this obstacle by carrying the paralytic up onto the roof and then, after dismantling another obstacle, part of the roof, lowering him to Jesus (Lk 5:19). The man came home to the Lord when he accepted the forgiveness of Jesus (Lk 5:20; see Lk 15:18).
    Every human being has a desire to go home, especially for Christmas. Many people have never had much of a home. They have been hurt, abused, used, broken, and manipulated. Between them and their true home, they have a vast desert of sin and pain, crowded with unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, resentment, and depression. We also need to get home to Jesus, but our sins separate us from Him. However, if we turn to Jesus, He will forgive and heal us. By going to the S…[Read more]

  • In Christ, God has spoken to us

    From The Ascent of Mount Carmel,
    by
    St John of the Cross
    [ 1542 – 1541 A.D. ]

    But now that the faith is founded in Christ, now that in this era of grace the law of the Gospel has been made manifest, there is no reason to enquire of God in that manner nor for him to speak to us or answer us as he did then. For, in giving us, as he did, his Son, who is his one and only Word, he spoke to us once and for all, in this single Word, and he has no occasion to speak further.The principal reason why the Old Law permitted us to ask questions of God, and why prophets and priests had to seek visions and revelations of God, was because at that time faith had no firm foundation and the law of the Gospel was not yet established; and thus it was necessary that men should enquire of God and that he should speak, whether by words or by visions and revelations or whether by figures and images or by many other ways of expressing His meaning. For all that he answered and revealed belonged to the mysteries of our faith and things touching it or leading to it.
    And this is the meaning of that passage with which the Letter to the Hebrews begins, trying to persuade the Hebrews that they should abandon those first ways of dealing and communicating with God…[Read more]

  • Blessed Adolph Kolping

    Blessed Adolph Kolping

  • Donald Graham Cree posted an update 5 days ago

    Prepare the Way of the Lord

  • USCCB REFLECTION

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