Tuesday, December 24, 2019

LIVE Vigil Christmas Eve Mass from the Vatican presided by Pope Francis for the Birth of the Lord Jesus



From St. Peter’s Basilica,
Holy Mass on the Night of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, 24.12.2019

At 21.30 this evening, in the Vatican Basilica, the Holy Father Francis presided at the Holy Mass on the Night of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord 2019.
During the Eucharistic celebration, after the proclamation of the Holy Gospel, the Pope delivered the following homily:
FULL TEXT Homily below.
 
“Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Is 9:1). The prophecy we heard in the first reading was fulfilled in the Gospel: as shepherds kept watch over their flocks by night, “the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Lk 2:9). In the midst of our earthly night, a light appeared from heaven. What is the meaning of this light that shone in the darkness? Saint Paul tells us: “The grace of God has appeared”. The grace of God, “bringing salvation to all” (Tit 2:11), has shone on our world this night.
But what is this grace? It is divine love, the love that changes lives, renews history, liberates from evil, fills hearts with with peace and joy. Tonight the love of God has been revealed to us: it is Jesus. In Jesus, the Most High made himself tiny, so that we might love him. But we can still ask ourselves: why does Saint Paul describe the coming of God into our world as “grace”? To tell us that it is utterly free. Whereas on earth everything seems to be about giving in order to get, God comes down freely. His love is non-negotiable: we did nothing to deserve it and we will never be able to repay it.
The grace of God has appeared. Tonight we realize that, when we failed to measure up, God became small for our sake; while we were going about our own business, he came into our midst. Christmas reminds us that God continues to love us all, even the worst of us. To me, to you, to each of us, he says today: “I love you and I will always love you, for you are precious in my eyes”.
God does not love you because you think and act the right way. He loves you, plain and simple. His love is unconditional; it does not depend on you. You may have mistaken ideas, you may have made a complete mess of things, but the Lord continues to love you. How often do we think that God is good if we are good and punishes us if we are bad. Yet that is not how he is. For all our sins, he continues to love us. His love does not change. It is not fickle; it is faithful. It is patient. This is the gift we find at Christmas. We discover to our amazement that the Lord is absolute gratuity, absolute tender love. His glory does not overwhelm us; his presence does not terrify us. He is born in utter poverty in order to win our hearts by the wealth of his love.
The grace of God has appeared. Grace is a synonym of beauty. Tonight, in the beauty of God’s love, we also discover our own beauty, for we are beloved of God. For better or worse, in sickness and in health, whether happy or sad, in his eyes we are beautiful, not for what we do but for what we are. Deep within us, there is an indelible and intangible beauty, an irrepressible beauty, which is the core of our being. Today God reminds us of this. He lovingly takes upon himself our humanity and makes it his own, “espousing” it forever.
The “great joy” proclaimed tonight to the shepherds is indeed “for all the people”. We too, with all our weaknesses and failures, are among those shepherds, who were certainly not saints. And just as God called the shepherds, so too he calls us, for he loves us. In the dark night of life, he says to us as he did to them, “Be not afraid!” (Lk 2:10). Take courage, do not lose confidence, do not lose hope, do not think that to love is a waste of time! Tonight love has conquered fear, new hope has arrived, God’s kindly light has overcome the darkness of human arrogance. Mankind, God loves you; for your sake he became man. You are no longer alone!
Dear brothers and sisters, what are we to do with this grace? Only one thing: accept the gift. Before we go out to seek God, let us allow ourselves to be sought by him. He always seeks us first. Let us not begin with our own abilities but with his grace, for he, Jesus, is the Saviour. Let us contemplate the Child and let ourselves be caught up in his tender love. Then we have no further excuse for not letting ourselves be loved by him. Whatever goes wrong in our lives, whatever doesn’t work in the Church, whatever problems there are in the world, will no longer serve as an excuse. It will become secondary, for faced with Jesus’ extravagant love, a love of utter meekness and closeness, we have no excuse. At Christmas, the question is this: “Do I allow myself to be loved by God? Do I abandon myself to his love that comes to save me?”
So great a gift deserves immense gratitude. To accept this grace means being ready to give thanks in return. Often we live our lives with such little gratitude. Today is the right day to draw near to the tabernacle, the crèche, the manger, and to say thank you. Let us receive the gift that is Jesus, in order then to become gift like Jesus. To become gift is to give meaning to life. And it is the best way to change the world: we change, the Church changes, history changes, once we stop trying to change others but try to change ourselves and to make of our life a gift.
Jesus shows this to us tonight. He did not change history by pressuring anyone or by a flood of words, but by the gift of his life. He did not wait until we were good before he loved us, but gave himself freely to us. May we not wait for our neighbours to be good before we do good to them, for the Church to be perfect before we love her, for others to respect us before we serve them. Let us begin with ourselves. This is what it means freely to accept the gift of grace. And holiness is nothing other than preserving this freedom.
A charming legend relates that at the birth of Jesus the shepherds hurried to the stable with different gifts. Each brought what he had; some brought the fruits of their labour, others some precious item. But as they were all presenting their gifts, there was one shepherd who had nothing to give. He was extremely poor; he had no gift to present. As the others were competing to offer their gifts, he stood apart, embarrassed. At a certain point, Saint Joseph and Our Lady found it hard to receive all those gifts, especially Mary, who had to hold the baby. Seeing that shepherd with empty hands, she asked him to draw near. And she put the baby Jesus in his arms. That shepherd, in accepting him, became aware of having received what he did not deserve, of holding in his arms the greatest gift of all time. He looked at his hands, those hands that seemed to him always empty; they had become the cradle of God. He felt himself loved and, overcoming his embarrassment, began to show Jesus to the others, for he could not keep for himself the gift of gifts.
Dear brother, dear sister, if your hands seem empty, if you think your heart is poor in love, this night is for you. The grace of God has appeared, to shine forth in your life. Accept it and the light of Christmas will shine forth in you.

Free Catholic Movie : St. Charbel : Wonderworker - Drama - #Maronite

Charbel, The Movie is based on the life of a Lebanese saint who abandons everything in his life and dedicates his lifetime performing miracles and healing people. He was a monk that lived in the 19th century and is a well respected saint by both Christians and Muslims in Lebanon. The movie chronicles the entire life of the Saint, shown through a flashback after he climbs to the top of a mountain monastery, preparing for death. The movie has been praised by many critics for its gorgeous screenplay and important topic. It was produced by Ronald Eid, who admits that he feels his life has been changed by the saint. Production for the movie was started back in 2007 and required the help of Nabil Lebbos as director for the film.

For  Breaking News, INSPIRATIONAL STORIES AND FREE MOVIES LIKE http://facebook.com/catholicnewsworld 
 Throughout his journey, Saint Charbel turns his back on his worldly life and moves into the St. Maron Monastery. After receiving his ordination into priesthood, he moves on to live in seclusion in Mount Annaya. Devoting his time in prayer and all his time to Christ. It was through his time in seclusion and his constant dedication that he began to manifest miracles like the gift of healing and clairvoyance. If you are interested to know more about this remarkable saint, then this movie is one of the best introductions you can get.
More on LIFE of St. Charbel http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2014/07/saint-july-24-saint-charbel-makhlouf.html
Novena Prayer to St. Charbel http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2014/07/novena-to-st-charbel-miracle-prayer-to.html

#BreakingNews Terrorist Attack in front of Cathedral on Christmas Eve in the Philippines with 22 People Injured - Please Pray!

ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Terrorist violence on Christmas eve: attack in front of the Cathedral
Cotabato (Agenzia Fides) - Terrorist violence has bloodied the Southern Philippines on Christmas eve: yesterday, on the evening of December 22, during Sunday Mass, a bomb exploded outside Cotabato Cathedral, a city on the island of Mindanao in the south of the Philippines. 22 people were injured in the explosion. Among them there were 12 soldiers who were employed in the patrol of the church, one of the security measures adopted during the Christmas holidays. A second bomb attack occurred a short distance away, injuring a passer-by. "It is a cowardly act on the eve of the Christmas celebrations. The Church strongly condemns these attacks on people and churches", reports Father Zaldy Robles, a Catholic priest serving in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Cotabato, to Agenzia Fides. Father Robles tells Fides that the explosion occurred when Sunday mass was underway; people, in a panic, took refuge in the church. Despite the climate of tension and fear, church leaders urged the local population "not to be afraid to celebrate Christmas with joy and courage". In another province, Maguindanao, a bomb was detonated in the city of Upi, injuring two people. A bomb was then dropped at a local police station but did not explode. The army and police have stepped up their investigations to look for the perpetrators of these serial explosions. "Security measures have been strengthened", said the mayor of Cotabato, Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.

According to Major Arvin Encinas, spokesman for the Western Army Command in Mindanao, terrorist groups such as the "Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters" (BIFF) or linked to the self-styled "Islamic State" (Isis) may be behind the attacks.

The violent acts follow the attack carried out ten days ago, when two people were killed and 35 others wounded in Cotabato in the bomb attack on a shopping mall attributed to militants linked to Isis. In January 2019, 27 people were killed and 777 wounded when two bombs exploded during Sunday mass at the cathedral on Jolo Island, an area considered a stronghold of Islamist militants. The attack came just days after the referendum establishing a new autonomous region for the Muslim population, in an attempt to end a conflict that has left more than 150,000 people dead in 50 years. The Catholic faithful of Cotabato recall that in May 2009 a bomb exploded outside the Church of the Immaculate Conception, killing five people and injuring 45. At the time Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, who was celebrating Mass, called the act a "sacrilegious attack". (SD-PA) (Full Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 23/12/2019)

Traditional Christmas Novena : Official Prayer with Plenary Indulgence - 8


Opening Prayer:


V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without
end.Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Day 8 Prayers
The Flight into Egypt.
O most sweet infant Jesus, whom Herod tried to slay,
carried by St. Joseph with your Mother into Egypt, saved
from death by flight, and glorified by the blood of the
holy innocents. Have mercy on. us.
O Jesu! born of Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to thee
Praise to the Father infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally.
Christ is at hand. 0 come, let us worship him.
Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
Hail Mary...

 Amen.
FROM THE RACCOLTA OFFICIAL

NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

Top 5 Christmas Carols to SHARE - #Carols Video and History - Beautiful Music to Uplift your Soul!





A Christmas Carol is a song or hymn dedicated to Christmas. They originated in Rome around the 4th Century AD. Here is a little history of the top 5 Christmas Carols in history. 
Silent Night, originally "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht" in German, was written by the Catholic Priest Joseph Mohr and the melody composed by Franz Xaver Gruber. The tune was written in Austria in 1818. 
O Come, All Ye Faithful 
According to most sources the Adeste Fidelis  (O Come, All Ye Faithful in Latin) was composed there by John Reading about the year 1680. It is believed that the lyrics were written by Cistercian monks much earlier.
What Child is This was written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix. It was set to the traditional English Tune of Greensleeves which originated around 1580. 
Away in a Manger was published in Philadelphia in 1885. It is uncertain who wrote the lyrics. However, the tune was called St. Kilda and attributed to J. E. Clark. 
Joy To The World was written by Isaac Watts and based on Psalm 98. It was published in 1719 and was arranged to music in 1839 by Lowell Mason. 
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Powerful Novena to St. Charbel : a Special Prayer to the Saint known as the Wonderworker!

Day One :Oh. Miraculous Saint Charbel, from whose immaculate body, which overpowers corruption, radiates the scent of heaven, come to my rescue and grant me from God the grace which I am in need of ( name the grace). Amen.
Oh, Saint Charbel pray for me.
Oh Lord, who was bestowed on Saint Charbel the grace of faith, I plead to you to grant me through his intercession that divine grace to live according to your commandments and Bible.
The glory is yours till the end. Amen.

FOR  PRAYERS, INSPIRATIONAL STORIES AND FREE MOVIES

Day Two :Oh, Saint Charbel, Martyr of monastic life, who experienced suffering, and whom Lord Jesus made of you a bright beacon, I resort to you and ask through your intercession the grace (name the grace). I confide in you. Amen.
Oh, Saint Charbel, vase of perfume, intercede for me.Oh, God of complete benevolence, who honored Saint Charbel by giving him the grace to perform miracles, have mercy on me and grant me what I ask from you through his intercession.
The Glory is yours till the end. Amen.
(once) Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory to the father.
Day Three :
Oh, Saint Charbel, the amiable, who shines like a bright star in the church sky,brighten my way, and fortify my hope. From you I ask for the grace (name the grace). Ask for it from Jesus the crucified whom you perpetually worship. Amen.
Oh, Saint Charbel, the example of patience and silence, intercede for me.
Oh, Lord Jesus, who sanctified Saint Charbel and helped him to carry his cross, give me the courage to bear life's difficulties with patience and submission to your divine will through Saint Charbel's intercession, to you is gratefulness forever. Amen.
(Once) Our Father, Hail Mary, and glory be to the father.

 Day Four :
Oh Father, Saint Charbel, the affectionate, I resort to you. My confidence in you fills my heart. With the power of your intercession with God, I am waiting for the Grace which I ask from you (name the grace). Show me your affection once more.
Oh, Saint Charbel, garden of virtue, intercede for me.
Oh, God, you, who granted Saint Charbel the grace of your resemblance, grant me the help to grow in the Christian virtues and have mercy on me to be able to praise you till the end. Amen.
(Once) Our Father Hail Mary, and Glory to be the Father.
Day Five :
Oh, Saint Charbel, loved by God, enlighten me, help me and teach me how to please God. Hurry to my rescue. Oh affectionate Father; I beg of you to ask God for this grace (name the grace).
Oh, Saint Charbel, friend of the crucified, intercede for me.
Oh, God hear my demand through Saint Charbel's intercession. Save my poor heart and give me peace. Calm the troubles of my soul. Glory to you till the end.
(Once) Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father.

Day Six :Oh, Saint Charbel, all powerful intercessor, I ask you to fulfill the grace which I am in need of (name the grace). A single word from you to Jesus is enough to forgive me, to have mercy on me and to grant me my wish.
Oh, Saint Charbel, joy of heaven and earth, intercede for me.
Oh, God, who chose Saint Charbel to defend us before your divine power, grant me through his intercession this grace (name the grace) to glorify you with him till the end.
Amen.
(Once) Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father.
Day Seven : Oh, Saint Charbel, loved by everyone, helper of the needy; I have firm hope in your intercession before God. Fulfill this grace for me (name the grace).
Oh, Saint Charbel, a star that counsels the bewildered, intercede for me.
Oh, God, my numerous sins hinder your grace to reach me. Grant me the grace to repent. Answer me through Saint Charbel’s intercession. Return the joy to my sad heart and grant me my demand. You, the embodiment of graces, glory and gratefulness be to you.
(Once) Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father.
Day Eight :
Oh, Saint Charbel, whenever I see you kneeling down on the cane mat, fasting, abstaining and absorbed in calling God, my hope and my faith in you augment. I beg of you to help me to receive the grace that I am asking for (name the grace).
Oh, Saint Charbel, absorbed in God, intercede for me.
Oh, Jesus, the most peaceful, you who has raised your beloved Charbel to biblical perfection, I solemnly ask you to grant me the grace to spend the rest of my life according to your demand. I love you, oh God, my savior. Amen.
(Once) Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father.
Day Nine :
Oh, Father, Saint Charbel, here I am at the end of the Novena. My heart gets nourished when I speak to you. I have great hope that I will obtain from Jesus the grace I asked for through your intercession. I repent, and I promise that I will never ever fall into sin. I ask you to fulfill my demand (name the demand).
Oh, Saint Charbel, crowned with glory, intercede for me.
Oh, Lord, you listened to Saint Charbel’s prayers, and you fulfilled the grace of unison with you, have mercy on me in my moment of distress. Save me from malice which I cannot bear. Glory and gratefulness be to you till the end. Amen.
(Once) Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father.
More on LIFE of St. Charbel http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2014/07/saint-july-24-saint-charbel-makhlouf.html
Free Movie Drama on St. Charbel http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2014/07/free-catholic-movie-st-charbel.html

Today's Mass Reaadings and Video : Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - #Eucharist in Advent



Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Advent - 
Mass in the Morning
Lectionary: 200 
 Reading 12 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
"Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!"
Nathan answered the king,
"Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you."
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
"Go, tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?

"'It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'"

Responsorial PsalmPS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 AND 29

R.(2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.'
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 1:67-79

Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Image by: 
Bartolom Esteban Perez Murillo