Monday, December 4, 2017

Saint December 5 : St. Sabbas : Hermit : Died 532

St. Sabbas HERMIT Feast: December 5
Information: =
Feast Day:
December 5
Born:
439 at Motalala, Cappadocia
Died:
532
Hermit, born at Mutalaska near Caesarea in Cappadocia, 439; died in his laura 5 December, 532. He entered a Basilian monastery aat the age of eight, came to Jerusalem in 456, lived five years in a cavern as a disciple of St. Euthymius, and, after spending some time in various monasteries, founded (483) the Laura Mar Sabe (restored in 1840) in the gorges of the Cedron, southeast of Jerusalem. Because some of his monks opposed his rule and demanded a priest as their abbot, Patriarch Salustius of Jerusalem ordained him in 491 and appointed archimandrite of all the monasteries in Palestine in 494. The opposition continued and he withdrew to the new laura which he had built near Thekoa. A strenuous opponent of the Monophysites and the Origenists he tried to influence the emperors against them by calling personally on Emperor Anastasius at Constantinople in 511 and on Justinian in 531. His authorship of "Typicon S. Sabæ" (Venice, 1545), a regulation for Divine worship throughout the year as well as his authorship of a monastic rule bearing the same title (Kurtz in "Byzant, Zeitschrift", III, Leipzig, 1894, 167-70), is doubtful. After him was named the Basilica of St. Sabas with its former monastery on the Aventine at Rome. His feast is on 5 December.
source The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis Prayer Intention "Let us keep in mind our elders, so that sustained by families...." for December - FULL TEXT + Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for the month of December, which this month is “For the elderly.”
"Let us keep in mind our elders, so that sustained by families and institutions, may with their wisdom and experience collaborate in the education of new generations."
It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his new prayer intention each month.
The monthly videos are promoted by the “Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer,” an organisation dedicated to spreading the Pope’s prayer intentions concerning the challenges facing humanity.
Watch the video here:
The full text of the message is below:
12 DECEMBER 2017 – For the elderly
A people that does not take care of grandparents, that does not treat them well has no future.
The elderly have wisdom.
They are entrusted with a great responsibility: to transmit their life experience, their family history, the history of a community, of a people.
Let us keep in mind our elders, so that sustained by families and institutions, may with their wisdom and experience collaborate in the education of new generations.
The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed "The Pope Video" initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.

    #BreakingNews over 30,000 Pray Rosary around Ireland for #ProLife Cause and Faith

    Over 300 people gathered to pray the Rosary at Laytown Beach, Co. Meath.
    Prayers offered for the protection of life
    About 30,000 people gathered at almost 300 locations for last weekend’s ‘Rosary on the Coast’ initiative, organisers believe.
    Based on figures from groups around the country, it looks like the event was a huge success, according to pro-life campaigner and former MEP Kathy Sinnott. “Between a quarter and a third of locations sent in their estimated figures, and extrapolated from that our estimate for Ireland would be 30,000 people,” she told The Irish Catholic, explaining that Irish groups met at 295 points around the country for the pro-life prayer rally, with some locations such as nursing homes being ‘hidden locations’.
    Groups
    The 30,000 who gathered in Ireland were joined in prayer, she said, by individuals praying in their homes all over Ireland and by individuals and groups from around the world. She has heard, she said, of groups praying at England’s Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, of parishes praying in Britain, and of seminarians praying in Rome’s Irish College and North American College.
    Spiritual support also came from Poland, she said, where Radio Maria almost daily reminded people to join in Ireland’s coastal Rosary, and from places as far afield as Japan, Nigeria, and Peru. At least six bishops were involved in the event, she said, while others gave it their blessing by allowing their cathedrals be used as locations for it. Priests around the island also participated and led groups, although it was a lay-led initiative.
    Asked what the event was intended to achieve, she said: “Miracles – we were asking for miracles. We are asking for the protection of life.”
    Describing the situation in the North as “incredibly threatening”, she said while pro-life campaigners in the North should be praised for their work, things have reached a point where only a miracle can stave off the introduction of a British-style abortion regime in the region. Pointing to the threat to the Eighth Amendment in the Republic, she also said that the prospect of euthanasia being introduced is looming in the background. She said this was “an acute problem”, as compared to the “chronic problem we’ve seen over the past 40-50 years of the fall away from practice and even adherence to the Faith”, “You don’t get miracles without asking for them,” she said.
    Shared from IrishCatholic

    #PopeFrancis "Vocation is today! The Christian mission is now! Each one of us is called" #Vocations Message FULL TEXT

    Pope Francis released his message for the 2018 World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
    The 55th Day for Vocations will be on 22 April 2018.
    Please find below the official English translation of the Pope’s message:
    Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 2018 World Day of Vocations
    Dear Brothers and Sisters.
    Next October, the Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will meet to discuss the theme of young people and in particular the relationship between young people, faith and vocation.  There we will have a chance to consider more deeply how, at the centre of our life, is the call to joy that God addresses to us and how this is “God’s plan for men and women in every age” (SYNOD OF BISHOPS, XV ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY, Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment, Introduction).
    The Fifty-fifth World Day of Prayer for Vocations once again proclaims this good news to us, and in a decisive manner.  We are not victims of chance or swept up in a series of unconnected events; on the contrary, our life and our presence in this world are the fruit of a divine vocation!
    Even amid these troubled times, the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God continually comes to encounter us.  He is God-with-us, who walks along the often dusty paths of our lives.  He knows our anxious longing for love and he calls us to joy.  In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness.
    These three aspects – listening, discerning and living – were also present at beginning of Jesus’ own mission, when, after his time of prayer and struggle in the desert, he visited his synagogue of Nazareth.  There, he listened to the word, discerned the content of the mission entrusted to him by the Father, and proclaimed that he came to accomplish it “today” (Lk 4:16-21).
    Listening
    The Lord’s call – let it be said at the outset – is not as clear-cut as any of those things we can hear, see or touch in our daily experience.  God comes silently and discreetly, without imposing on our freedom.  Thus it can happen that his voice is drowned out by the many worries and concerns that fill our minds and hearts.
    We need, then, to learn how to listen carefully to his word and the story of his life, but also to be attentive to the details of our own daily lives, in order to learn how to view things with the eyes of faith, and to keep ourselves open to the surprises of the Spirit.
    We will never discover the special, personal calling that God has in mind for us if we remain enclosed in ourselves, in our usual way of doing things, in the apathy of those who fritter away their lives in their own little world.  We would lose the chance to dream big and to play our part in the unique and original story that God wants to write with us.
    Jesus too, was called and sent.  That is why he needed to recollect himself in silence.  He listened to and read the word in the synagogue, and with the light and strength of the Holy Spirit he revealed its full meaning, with reference to his own person and the history of the people of Israel.
    Nowadays listening is becoming more and more difficult, immersed as we are in a society full of noise, overstimulated and bombarded by information.  The outer noise that sometimes prevails in our cities and our neighbourhoods is often accompanied by our interior dispersion and confusion.  This prevents us from pausing and enjoying the taste of contemplation, reflecting serenely on the events of our lives, going about our work with confidence in God’s loving plan, and making a fruitful discernment.
    Yet, as we know, the kingdom of God comes quietly and unobtrusively (cf. Lk 17:21), and we can only gather its seeds when, like the prophet Elijah, we enter into the depths of our soul and are open to the imperceptible whisper of the divine breeze (cf. 1 Kg 19:11-13).
    Discerning
    When Jesus, in the synagogue of Nazareth, reads the passage of the prophet Isaiah, he discerns the content of the mission for which he was sent, and presents it to those who awaited the Messiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Lk 4:18-19).
    In the same way, each of us can discover his or her own vocation only through spiritual discernment.  This is “a process by which a person makes fundamental choices, in dialogue with the Lord and listening to the voice of the Spirit, starting with the choice of one’s state in life” (SYNOD OF BISHOPS, XV ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY, Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment, II, 2).
    Thus we come to discover that Christian vocation always has a prophetic dimension.  The Scriptures tell us that the prophets were sent to the people in situations of great material insecurity and of spiritual and moral crisis, in order to address in God’s name a message of conversion, hope and consolation.  Like a whirlwind, the prophet unsettles the false tranquility of consciences that have forgotten the word of the Lord.  He discerns events in the light of God’s promise and enables people to glimpse the signs of dawn amid the dark shadows of history.
    Today too, we have great need of discernment and of prophecy.  We have to resist the temptations of ideology and negativity, and to discover, in our relationship with the Lord, the places, the means and situations through which he calls us.  Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission.
    Living
    Lastly, Jesus announces the newness of the present hour, which will enthuse many and harden the heart of others.  The fullness of time has come, and he is the Messiah proclaimed by Isaiah and anointed to liberate prisoners, to restore sight to the blind and to proclaim the merciful love of God to every creature.  Indeed, Jesus says that “today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21).
    The joy of the Gospel, which makes us open to encountering God and our brothers and sisters, does not abide our slowness and our sloth.  It will not fill our hearts if we keep standing by the window with the excuse of waiting for the right time, without accepting this very day the risk of making a decision.  Vocation is today!  The Christian mission is now!  Each one of us is called – whether to the lay life in marriage, to the priestly life in the ordained ministry, or to a life of special consecration – in order to become a witness of the Lord, here and now.
    This “today” that Jesus proclaimed assures us that God continues to “come down” to save our human family and to make us sharers in his mission.  The Lord continues to call others to live with him and to follow him in a relationship of particular closeness.  He continues to call others to serve him directly.  If he lets us realize that he is calling us to consecrate ourselves totally to his kingdom, then we should have no fear!  It is beautiful – and a great grace – to be completely and forever consecrated to God and the service of our brothers and sisters.
    Today the Lord continues to call others to follow him.  We should not wait to be perfect in order to respond with our generous “yes”, nor be fearful of our limitations and sins, but instead open our hearts to the voice of the Lord.  To listen to that voice, to discern our personal mission in the Church and the world, and at last to live it in the today that God gives us.
    May Mary Most Holy, who as a young woman living in obscurity heard, accepted and experienced the Word of God made flesh, protect us and accompany us always on our journey.
    From the Vatican, 3 December 2017
    First Sunday of Advent    

    Novena to St. Barbara and Prayers - #Patron of #Architects, #Builders, #Miners, and Sudden Death


    St. Barbara is the patroness of architects, builders, miners and artillery men, and she is invoked against lightning, fire and sudden death.
    Prayer of the Church
    O GOD, Who among the wonders of Thy might didst grant the victory of Martyrdom also to the weaker sex, graciously grant us that we, by recalling the memory of Thy blessed Virgin and Martyr Barbara, through her example may be led to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
    Novena in Honor of St. Barbara
    Preparatory Prayer
    For Each  Novena to a Holy Helper
    ALMIGHTY and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy Divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
    Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.
    Prayer in Honor of St. Barbara
    O GOD, Who didst adorn Thy holy Virgin and Martyr Barbara with extraordinary fortitude in the confession of the Faith, and didst console her in the most atrocious torments; grant us through her intercession perseverance in the fulfillment of Thy law and the grace of being fortified before our end with the holy Sacraments, and of a happy death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
    Invocation of St. Barbara  
     INTREPID Virgin and Martyr, St. Barbara, through thy intercession come to my aid in all needs of my soul. Obtain for me the grace to be preserved from a sudden and unprovided death; assist me in my agony, when my senses are benumbed and I am in the throes of death. Then, O powerful patroness of the dying, come to my aid! Repel from me all the assaults and temptations of the evil one, and obtain for me the grace to receive before death the holy Sacraments, that I breathe forth my soul confirmed in faith, hope, and charity, and be worthy to enter eternal glory. Amen.
    St. Barbara, at my last end
      Obtain for me the Sacrament;
    Assist one in that direst need
      When I my God and Judge must meet:
    That robed in sanctifying grace
      My soul may stand before His face.
    Prayer
    My Lord and God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.
    Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.
    SOURCE:
    THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M.
    TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, 1995; with Imprimatur, Imprimi Potest and Nihil Obstat.

    Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. December 4, 2017 - #Eucharist


    Monday of the First Week of Advent
    Lectionary: 175


    Reading 1IS 2:1-5

    This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
    saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

    In days to come,
    The mountain of the LORD's house
    shall be established as the highest mountain
    and raised above the hills.
    All nations shall stream toward it;
    many peoples shall come and say:
    "Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain,
    to the house of the God of Jacob,
    That he may instruct us in his ways,
    and we may walk in his paths."
    For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
    He shall judge between the nations,
    and impose terms on many peoples.
    They shall beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
    One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
    nor shall they train for war again.

    O house of Jacob, come,
    let us walk in the light of the LORD!

    Responsorial PsalmPS 122:1-2, 3-4B, 4CD-5, 6-7, 8-9

    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    I rejoiced because they said to me,
    "We will go up to the house of the LORD."
    And now we have set foot
    within your gates, O Jerusalem.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Jerusalem, built as a city
    with compact unity.
    To it the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the LORD.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    According to the decree for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
    In it are set up judgment seats,
    seats for the house of David.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
    May those who love you prosper!
    May peace be within your walls,
    prosperity in your buildings.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
    Because of my relatives and friends
    I will say, "Peace be within you!"
    Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
    I will pray for your good.
    R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

    AlleluiaSEE PS 80:4

    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Come and save us, LORD our God;
    Let your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    GospelMT 8:5-11

    When Jesus entered Capernaum,
    a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
    "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully."
    He said to him, "I will come and cure him."
    The centurion said in reply,
    "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
    only say the word and my servant will be healed.
    For I too am a man subject to authority,
    with soldiers subject to me.
    And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
    and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
    and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
    When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
    "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
    I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
    and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
    at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."

    Saint December 4 : St. John Damascene : Doctor of the Church

    Born:
    676, Damascus
    Died:
    December 4, 749, Mar Saba, Jerusalem
    DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH This Doctor of the Church was born in Damascus, Syria, and his father was a government official under both the Byzantine emperor and the Muslim rulers of Damascus. Receiving an excellent classical education, and fluent in Arabic as well as Greek, St. John Damascene worked in the Muslim court until the hostility of the caliph toward Christianity caused him to resign his position, about the year 700.
    He migrated to Jerusalem and became a monk at Mar Sabas monastery near Jerusalem. He taught in the monastery, preached many of his luminous sermons in Jerusalem, and began to compose his theological treatises.
    It was about this time that the iconoclast controversy shook the Churches of the East, when the Byzantine emperor ordered the destruction of images in Christian churches. John fought the heresy, bringing down upon himself the wrath of the emperor and the hatred of the iconoclast party.
    He has left a rich legacy of writings, including his principal dogmatic work, , which was a , a refutation of heresy, an exposition of the Orthodox faith, and a study of contemporary religious issues. His writings on Mary constitute a true theology of the Mother of God, and his sermons of the saints, the liturgical feasts, and the Gospels show not only vast learning but also give us information about local customs and contemporary happenings.
    Since he lived in the midst of political and theological turmoil, John wrote much to clarify true doctrine and to do his part in spreading the Gospel. The fact that he lived and worked in Jerusalem itself gives his sermons, delivered at many of the holy places, a special appeal.
    He died at a very old age, some say one hundred four, in the midst of his labors, beloved by his fellow monks and revered by the people. He was buried at the monastery of Mar Sabas and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1890.
    source: The Catholic Encyclopedia