Thursday, December 6, 2018

Saint December 7 : St. Ambrose : Patron of Candle makers, #Pets, Students : Bishop and Doctor of the Church


BISHOP, CONFESSOR, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH Born:

between 337 and 340 A.D., Trier, Germany Died:
397 A.D.
Major Shrine:
Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, Milan, Italy where he is buried
Patron of:
Bee keepers, bees, candle makers, domestic animals, French Commissariat, learning, Milan, Italy, students, wax refiners

St. Ambrose was a small man with pale yellow hair like a nimbus. In the violence and confusion of his time, he stood out courageously resisting evil, strengthening the Church, and administering it with extraordinary ability. His learning gained for him the title of Doctor of the Church.

When Ambrose had governed at Milan for two years, the bishop died, and the city was torn by strife over the election of a successor. When he stood up to protest a voice suddenly called out, "Ambrose, bishop! On December 7, 374, he was consecrated. The new bishop now gave his possessions to the poor and his lands to the Church, reserving only a small income for the use of his sister Marcellina.

Conscious of his ignorance of theology, Ambrose began to study the Scriptures and the works of religious writers, particularly Origen and Basil.

When Augustine of Hippo came to live at Milan, he called on the bishop, and in time the two became great friends. Augustine went often to hear Ambrose preach, and was at last baptized by him. One of Ambrose's topics was the blessing and virtue of virginity, when chosen for God's sake. At the request of Marcellina, he made a popular manual of his sermons on this subject.

When Ambrose fell sick, he foretold his own death, saying he would live only until Easter. He busied himself writing a treatise called 'The Goodness of Death', and with an interpretation of the Forty-third Psalm.

On Good Friday, 397, he partook of the Last Sacrament, and died soon after. He was then about fifty-seven and had been bishop for twenty-two years. His remains now rest under the high altar of his basilica, where they were placed in 835.

Ambrose's varied writings influenced the development of the Church. He was the first of the Fathers to use Latin effectively, and as the Roman Empire declined in the West he helped to keep this great language alive by starting it on its new course in the service of Christianity. He enriched Church music, and seven of the hymns he wrote are still a part of the liturgy. His personality combined firmness where God's law was concerned with warmth, moderation, and generosity in all else. Trusted by sovereigns, loved by the people, Ambrose was-to quote Augustine's words after their first meeting—"a man affectionate and kind."
SOURCE : EWTN

Wow Actor Kirk Cameron defends Santa Claus and Catholic #Traditional History of #SaintNicholas - SHARE

Kirk Cameron, known for his role as Mike Seaver on the 80’s TV show“Growing Pains” and films. Is promoting his new film defending Christmas. In a video clip released last week “Do You Love Santa Claus” Cameron shows the history of Saint Nicolas. Santa Claus, was actually the Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas of Myra, Turkey under Pope Sylvester I. St. Nicholas, as painted on the Kizhi monastery in Russia. “He was a devout Christian,” Cameron explains. "was left with a large sum of money when his parents died, and be became famous for his kindness toward the poor and his generous giving of gifts to children.”

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 “He was there at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, one of the most important events in Church history,” he continues, referring to the first ecumenical conference under Constantine. “The Council of Nicaea ended up producing what is known today as the Nicene Creed, a profession of faith used by churches all around the world. The creed affirmed the deity of Christ and the three persons of the trinity.” According to the St. Nicholas Center, Roman Catholics believe that after Nicholas was put into prison for striking another man during the council, “Jesus with His mother Mary appeared to Nicholas: Jesus bringing the book of the Gospels, and Mary, the bishop’s stole which had been taken from him. In this way, Nicholas was reinstated.” During a recent speech before hundreds of students at Liberty University, Cameron also made defended St. Nicholas as being a Christian. “They even ‘sainted’ him—that’s why we call him St. Nicholas,” he said. “He became legendary in his time and beyond his time. He became larger than life and reached mythic proportions.” “So the guy that many of us think is distracting from the birth of the Christ child, is really the defender of the faith you and I want to be,” he explained. “So now that you know who the real Santa Claus is, you want to take a picture with him at the mall this Christmas? I do.” December 6th is the Roman Catholic “Feast of Saint Nicholas,”

#BreakingNews President of Philippines Attacks Catholics saying to public "Your bishops, kill them...." -

The Bishops’ Conference will not be provoked. "We do not want to add fuel to the fire," said Fr Jerome Seciliano, executive secretary of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs. Duterte has publicly and vehemently criticised the Church on several occasions using vulgar language. His utterances have outraged a large part of the population, including Catholics and Protestants.
Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) –
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte once again lashed out at the leaders of the Catholic Church, describing them as "useless" for criticising his administration. He also called on the faithful to kill them. " Your bishops, kill them. These b******s serve no purpose. All they do is criticize,” Duterte said in a speech at a ceremony for the best Overseas Filipino Worker (OFWs). In his address, the president said that the Catholic Church was the most hypocritical institution, and that most clergymen were gay. "Most of the priests there are homosexuals. Almost 90 per cent of you. So, do not postulate on me morality," he said.
 As in previous occasions, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) decided not to respond to Duterte’s provocations. Instead, the bishops have repeatedly called for Church and the State to work together on social development for the good of the country. "We do not want to add fuel to the fire. Our comments may just exacerbate the matter," said today Fr Jerome Seciliano, Executive Secretary of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs. Duterte has often vehemently criticised the Church using vulgar language. Since his election, bishops and priests have condemned some government policies, like the war on drugs, which has officially caused about 5,000 deaths, and the imposition of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao. Most Filipinos have reacted with outrage to the president's words, which have earned him charges of blasphemy from Catholics as well as Protestants over his tirades against God and the Church.
 The Philippines is Asia’s most Catholic country. Christians represent about 90 per cent of the population. Out of almost 105 million people, 83.6 million are in communion with Rome, 10 million are Protestant and about 820,000 belong to other Christian denominations.
Full Text Release by Asia News IT

Novena to St. Nicholas + Chaplet - #Caminata de los Tres Lunes - #StNicholas #Novena Prayers to SHARE

Novena to St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas, Glorious Confessor of Christ, assist us in thy loving kindness. Glorious St. Nicholas, my special Patron from thy throne in glory, thou dost enjoy the presence of God, turn thine eyes in pity upon me and attain for me from our Lord the graces and help that I need in my spiritual and temporal necessities (and especially this favor ______________________________________ provided that it be profitable to my salvation). Be mindful likewise, O Glorious and Saintly Bishop, of our Sovereign Pontiff of our Holy Church and of all Christian people. Bring back to the right way of salvation all those who are living steeped in sin, blinded by darkness of ignorance, error and heresy. Comfort the afflicted, provide the needy. Strengthen the fearful, defend the oppressed, give health to the infirm. Cause all [people] to experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with the supreme giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen. 
 Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be to the Father. 
 Pray for us, Oh Blessed Nicholas, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us Pray, O God who has glorified Blessed St. Nicholas, thine illustrious Confessor and Bishop, by means of countless signs and wonder, and who does not cease daily so to glorify him , grant we beseech thee, that we, being assisted by his merits and prayers, be delivered from the fires of hell and from all dangers through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Chaplet of Saint Nicholas 

• Gracious God,On the cross, pray
hear my prayers for mercy,
and by the help of Saint Nicholas
keep me safe from all danger,
and guide me on the way of salvation.
Grant this through our Lord Jeus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
Amen.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the first triad,
continuing on the three beads
  Holy Nicholas, hear me,
• Holy Nicholas, hear me,
• Holy Nicholas, hear me.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the second triad, continuing on the three beads
  Holy Nicholas, guide me,
• Holy Nicholas, guide me,
• Holy Nicholas, guide me.
• Offer petitions on the first bead of the third triad, continuing on the three beads
Holy Nicholas, help me,
• Holy Nicholas, help me,
• Holy Nicholas, help me.

On the medal, pray
• Glorious Holy Nicholas,
humble and virtuous Archbishop of Myra,
it is true that you hear those who come to you
in their trials and tribulations.
I trust in you, I hope in you,
and I ask you to intercede with our holy God
so that I may receive grace
in the things for which I have sought.
Be my guide, be my defense, cleanse my soul.
Amen.
Caminata de los Tres Lunes (Spanish)
(Mondays one walks to a Saint Nicholas statue dedicated to Nicholas)

I know you will not betray my trust,Invocation

Full of sweet hope I come to you today, my Holy One,
for I am confident that in your goodness
I will be blessed.
my desperate cries will be heard
and my troubled spirit will be calmed.
Psalm and Scripture Reading
FIRST MONDAY Psalm 60, Romans 12.1–2
SECOND MONDAY Psalm 30, James 2.14–17
THIRD MONDAY Psalm 24, Matthew 22.36–40
Prayer
Holy Father Nicholas,
through the precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
that was spilled on the way of bitterness,
for the crown of thorns that they put on his holy head,
for the slap across his holy face,
for the spear thrust into his holy side,
O Divine Love! for the lashings he endured,
for the pain his Holy Mother felt
as she watched him walk the way of affliction,
when she saw him fall,
the cross heavy with the weight of our sins;
for all he suffered during his holy Passion
and for all the blood that was spilled,
I beg you, holy Father Nicholas,
that you would know my needs and my distress
and that you would provide answers to my fervent prayers.
First Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me,
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me,
Holy Father Nicholas, hear me.
Second Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me,
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me,
Holy Father Nicholas, guide me.
Third Monday
Offer petitions, closing with:
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition,
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition,
Holy Father Nicholas, receive my petition.
The Our Father
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
[For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.]
Prayer
Glorious Holy Nicholas,
humble and virtuous Archbishop Of Myra,
it is true that you hear those who come to you
in their trials and tribulations.
I trust in you,
I hope in you,
and I ask you to intercede with our holy God
so that I may receive grace
in the things for which I have sought.
Be my guide, be my defense, cleanse my soul.
Amen.
Hymn
From this perilous sea,
O Holy Father Nicholas,
Lead us to the safe port
Of our heavenly home.
From the struggles of this life
And fatal storms,
Save us by your favor
And singular virtue.
You always come to help
Everyone who cries to you—
The sick, sailors,
Rich or poor—all who call upon you.
By your holiness
And powerful intercession,
Keep us on the way
To our heavenly home.
To those who faithfully
Carried your tradition,
They've earned the glory
and love of us all. Amen.
Prayer
We beseech you, O Lord,
and plead for your mercy,
by the intercession of Holy Bishop Nicholas,
who protects us from all dangers,
show us the way of salvation.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Burned with Acid by Woman while hearing Confession in Cathedral

In Nicaragua  a woman gravely injured a priest by throwing sulfuric acid on him as he heard her confession in the Cathedral of Managua.  59-year-old Rev. Mario Guevara was in "delicate" condition following the attack, which caused burns on various parts of his body. There were burns on his arms, neck, and face, involving one cheek and one eye; his condition is stable. Police took her into custody. There are tensions between the church and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. Ortega has accused the church's bishops of involvement in what he called a coup
Please Pray for his healing, and for peace in Nicaragua.
 “Lamento profundamente y con gran tristeza la grave agresión cometida hoy contra el Padre Mario Guevara en la Catedral de Managua. Lo acompaño con mi cariño de hermano y ofrezco mis oraciones por su total recuperación. ¡Jesús y su Madre Santísima protejan a nuestros sacerdotes!”—Bishop Silvio José Baez

Pope Francis asks “Am I a Christian of words, or of deeds?” in #Advent #Homily at #Vatican


Pope at Mass: the Lord is the rock on which to build our lives
Speaking and acting. Sand and rock. High and low. Pope Francis based his homily at the daily Mass on these three contrasts.
By Vatican News

Pope Francis in his homily on Thursday focused on three pairs of words, drawn from the day’s Scripture readings: speaking and acting; sand and rock; high and low.

Speaking and acting
The first pair, “to say and to do,” distinguishes two contrasting approaches to the Christian life:

Speaking is a way of believing, but very superficial, a halfway journey: I say that I am a Christian but I don’t act like a Christian. To put it simply, it’s a little bit like dressing up as a Christian: only saying the words is a kind of deception, speaking without doing. Jesus’ proposal is concrete, always concrete. When someone drew near and asked for advice, [He always suggested] concrete things. The works of mercy are concrete.

Sand and rock
The second pair of words are also expressed as direct opposites. Sand is “not solid,” it is a consequence of speaking” but not acting; of dressing up like a Christian. But it is a life constructed without foundations.

The rock, on the other hand, is the Lord:

He is the strength. But many times, those who trust in the Lord are not seen, do not have success, they are hidden… but they are steady. He doesn’t place his hope in speaking, in vanity, in pride, in the ephemeral powers of life, [but] in the Lord, the rock. The concreteness of the Christian life makes us go forward and build on the rock that is God, that is Jesus; on the solid ground of the divinity. Not on appearances or vanities, pride, recommendations… No. [On] the truth.

High and low
The Pope then turns to the third pair of terms, high and low, which contrasts the path of the proud and the vain, on the one hand, with the footsteps of the humble on the other. Quoting the reading from the Prophet Isaiah, Pope Francis noted that the Lord, “humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down; He tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor.”

This passage from the Prophet Isaiah has the air of the Magnificat, the song of our Lady: The Lord raises the humble, those who are in the concreteness of every day, and beats down the proud, those who build their lives on vanity, pride… these things do not last.

Questions for Advent
In this period of Advent, the Pope said, it would be helpful to ask ourselves certain crucial questions: “Am I a Christian of words, or of deeds?” “Am I building my life on the rock of God, or on the sand of worldliness, of vanity?” “Am I humble, always trying to go along the lowly path, without pride, so as to serve the Lord?”
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican News va

#BreakingNews another Church Refugee Camp Attacked in Central African Republic with Children Injured - Please Pray

Attack of another camp run by the local Church
Wednesday, 5 December 2018
 Attack of another camp run by the local Church Bangui
(Agenzia Fides) – Another displaced persons camp run by the local Church in Ippy south east Central African Republic, was attacked yesterday 4 December by men of the UPC ( Unité pour la Paix en Centrafrique) led by Ali Darassa, the same group responsible for the massacre perpetrated on 15 November in Alindao, which left 60 people dead, including two priests (see Fides 17/11/2018). The details were sent to Fides. The attack started at about 10am, In Ippy (some 100 km from Bambari displaced men, women and children gathered for safety around the church of Saint Xavier) were forced seek shelter in the bush under fire by UPC combatants. "The UPC rebels started shooting and the people ran in all directions” said an eyewitness who watched the attack from his hiding place. “The UN peacekeepers are present but do nothing to stop the aggressors from committing abuses” said the angry local source. The President of the peace committee in the town of Ippy, Fr. Roger Stanislas Djamawa, denounced that the CentralAfricans were left to their plight. At present the number of the victims is not known. According to a local source three people among them two children were seriously injured. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 5/12/2018)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. December 6, 2018 - #Eucharist


Thursday of the First Week of Advent
Lectionary: 178

Reading 1IS 26:1-6

On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:

"A strong city have we;
he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
Open up the gates
to let in a nation that is just,
one that keeps faith.
A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust in you."

Trust in the LORD forever!
For the LORD is an eternal Rock.
He humbles those in high places,
and the lofty city he brings down;
He tumbles it to the ground,
levels it with the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the needy,
by the footsteps of the poor.

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1 AND 8-9, 19-21, 25-27A

R. (26a) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Open to me the gates of justice;
I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
This gate is the LORD's;
the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaIS 55:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call him while he is near.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 7:21, 24-27

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

St. Nicholas Day Recipe - German #Klauskerl #Bread - #StNicholas #Recipe

ST. NICHOLAS BREAD Klauskerl (German St. Nicholas Doughman)
 For the Feast of St. Nicholas
 1 package active dry, or cake, yeast ½ cup lukewarm water 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour 2 eggs, divided 2 tablespoons sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt ½ cup soft butter 1 cup warm milk
ONE Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in ½ cup flour; mix thoroughly. Let rise in covered bowl.
 TWO Sift 2 ½ cups flour into bowl; make "well" in center; put dough in it. Add 1 egg, sugar, salt, butter, milk. Knead until dough starts to blister. Dust dough with flour; cover; let rise to double thickness.
 THREE Punch to ¼-inch thickness and cut pieces in shape of body, head, arms, legs. Assemble to form "St. Nicholas doughman;" cover; let rise.
 FOUR
Make face, using raisins, slivers of almond, currants, etc. Brush with milk, beaten egg.
Bake at 375º F. until golden brown. Yield, 1 St. Nicholas Doughman
 From The Catholic Cook Book: Traditional Feast and Fast Day Recipes by William I. Kaufman. The Citadel Press, 1965.