Holy Innocents

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As I ponder this day, I am reminded of the descent into hell. These innocent little ones, waited 33 years for the coming of the Lord to free them and open the gate to Heaven. A sentence of 33 years for simply being thought to be the King of Kings. The King of Kings, who served 33 years here in exile, for us.

Pray for us,  Holy Innocents.

From a sermon by Saint Quodvultdeus, bishop
(Sermo 2 de Symbolo: PL 40, 655)

They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ

A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace—so small, yet so great—who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the savior already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.

How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

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Jesus: God’s love story — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

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Please read the beautiful Homily by Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, which can be found at the link below.

 

via Jesus: God’s love story — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

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December 26, 2019 · 10:28 am

Merry Christmas

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Every day is Christmas, as our Lord, Himself,  is the ultimate gift.

May you open your hearts to receive this Gift

May your life become His

That you may give also.

To the glory of God

Amen

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Justice! Peace! Truth! Glory To God!

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From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 185: PL 38, 997-999)

Truth has arisen from the earth, and justice looked down from heaven

Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.

You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.

Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.

He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.

Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of a virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.

Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through our Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory,” but of God’s glory: for justice has not proceeded from us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.

For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ, were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become the son of God?

Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace.

 

Merry Christmas! May the Peace of our Lord fill you with all that you need. 

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Investigate

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What is it that we long for? Why do we wait? Wait for Who as Who is my Lord? When will He come to me in my misery? Where will this take place? How can this be? Investigate… Seek, knock and ask. Invest- I -Gate

When we are attracted to someone, the relationship is build on these three things. By simply seeking the love of the other, we find the love within. When the angel of the Lord appeared to the Shepherds, they were first struck with fear. What where they afraid of? Something out of the ordinary, something astounding had taken place. To hear the words  “Do not be afraid”, removes our cowardice. and replaces it with the strength of our Lord. The shoulders drop their pride, and one is able to carry the cross with our Lord. As the scripture says: When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” – What then were the Shepherds going to do? INVESTIGATE! They had been given the grace to move from cowardice and into bravery. They were given what they needed, what they were lacking. From tending sheep, to tending souls. They did not return to the sheep, they went at once to the town and told what they have seen, done and witnessed. Giving the glory to our Lord.

So what must we do in our faith? In all circumstances? Be not afraid to investigate the faith you profess and when you come to the Truth about Him and you, accept it, allow Him to wash you clean, repent of what you had and grasp what He has given to you. Be not afraid to share it. Invest I Gate – The Good Shepherd.

in·ves·ti·gate
/inˈvestəˌɡāt/
verb
  1. carry out a systematic or formal inquiry to discover and examine the facts of (an incident, allegation, etc.) so as to establish the truth.

From a treatise against the heresy of Noetus by Saint Hippolytus, priest and martyr
(Cap. 9-12: PG 10, 815-819)

The manifestation of the hidden mystery

There is only one God, brethren, and we learn about him only from sacred Scripture. It is therefore our duty to become acquainted with what Scripture proclaims and to investigate its teachings thoroughly. We should believe them in the sense that the Father wills, thinking of the Son in the way the Father wills, and accepting the teaching he wills to give us with regard to the Holy Spirit. Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way that he intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.

God was all alone and nothing existed but himself when he determined to create the world. He thought of it, willed it, spoke the word and so made it. It came into being instantaneously, exactly as he had willed. It is enough then for us to be aware of a single fact: nothing is coeternal with God. Apart from God there was simply nothing else. Yet although he was alone, he was manifold because he lacked neither reason, wisdom, power, nor counsel. All things were in him and he himself was all. At a moment of his own choosing and in a manner determined by himself, God manifested his Word, and through him he made the whole universe.

When the Word was hidden within God himself he was invisible to the created world, but God made him visible. First God gave utterance to his voice, engendering light from light, and then he sent his own mind into the world as its Lord. Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made him visible so that the world could be saved by seeing him. This mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God. All things came into being through him; but he alone is begotten by the Father.

The Son gave us the law and the prophets, and he filled the prophets with the Holy Spirit to compel them to speak out. Inspired by the Father’s power, they were to proclaim the Father’s purpose and his will.

So the Word was made manifest, as Saint John declares when, summing up all the sayings of the prophets, he announces that this is the Word through whom the whole universe was made. He says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things came into being; not one thing was created without him. And further on he adds: The world was made through him, and yet the world did not know him. He entered his own creation, and his own did not receive him.

 

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Perfect Marriage

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“The marriage with Joseph was planned so that Mary’s virginity might remain hidden from the prince of this world. For the external forms of marriage were adopted by the Virgin, almost as if to distract the Evil One, who has always preyed on virgins, ever since he heard the prophet announcing: ‘Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son’ (Isaiah 7:14). With this marriage, then, the tempter of virginity was deceived. For he knew that the coming of the Lord in the flesh would entail the destruction of his dominion.” – St. Basil of Caesarea (On the Holy Generation of Christ)

As the birth of our Lord is upon us, in the darkness and silence of these next few nights of winter, I have to ponder the beautiful silence of St. Joseph.  A good man does not have to say much, nor does a strong man. His actions speak for him. He listened for our Lord, who was yet to come. He held Him in his arms, when He did arrive and he protected Him until his time was done. He gave his life to Him.

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Forth Week Of Advent

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Now… The time is now and do not delay.  It can not be undone. It can not be stopped as it, already IS.  Before we hear, before we know, before we feel, before we love, He already IS. Now.

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When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary he gave her a sign to win her trust. He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman to show that God is able to do all that he wills.

When she hears this Mary sets out for the hill country. She does not disbelieve God’s word; she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign. She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.

Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights? The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, laborious efforts. Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear: as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice, but John is the first to be aware of grace. She hears with the ears of the body, but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence, but he is aware of the Lord’s: a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation. The women speak of the grace they have received while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.

The child leaps in the womb; the mother is filled with the Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit. John leaps for joy, and the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, but we know that though Mary’s spirit rejoices she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Her son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in his mother in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord. Elizabeth says: Blessed are you because you have believed.

You also are blessed because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges his works.

Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. In another place we read: Magnify the Lord with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of God, and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.

– Saint Ambrose.

Peace

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