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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Prayer: Pope Francis

The Virgin Mary teaches us what it means to live in the Holy Spirit and what it means to accept the news of God in our life. She conceived Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit, and every Christian, each one of us, is called to accept the Word of God, to accept Jesus inside of us and then to bring him to everyone. Mary invoked the Holy Spirit with the Apostles in the Upper Room: we too, every time that we come together in prayer, are sustained by the spiritual presence of the Mother of Jesus, in order to receive the gift of the Spirit and to have the strength to witness to Jesus Risen. May Mary help you to be attentive to what the Lord asks of you, and to live and walk forever with the Holy Spirit!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Prayer: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free rein to the desires of the flesh (taking care of course to keep within the limits of what seems permissible to the world), we shall find it hard to train for the service of Christ. When the flesh is satisfied it is hard to pray with cheerfulness or to devote oneself to a life of service which calls for much self-renunciation.

Prayer: E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Prayer: Henry David Thoreau

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite - only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Let us go rejoicing: The First Sunday in Advent

  Let us go rejoicing:
The First Sunday in Advent
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December 1, 2019
Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44

As we begin the new liturgical year, the church invites us to remain vigilant and to take our salvation seriously. We expect a joyful, hope-filled beginning to Advent and the Gospel hits us with some strong images that we know too well are hard realities in life. If we think back to our Thanksgiving gathering a few days ago, we realize how different siblings can be from one another despite having a similar familial formation. Just mention politics and once-close siblings cannot speak with one another anymore, and we realize our fundamental worldviews are different. The Gospel rings true: two men working in a field, two women grinding at a mill; one will be taken, the other will be left. We can only be responsible for our own selves. Our journey to the Lord is individual and we have to work out our salvation on our own.

The journey to Jerusalem as a mountain climb is a helpful image for us to begin Advent. Our ascent is uphill, and it can be tiring. We will need breathers and pauses and we take Eucharistic nourishment to regain energy, but we have to face forward and take one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other to keep us on the right track. Just move forward. The journey is the destination; onward and upward is our mantra, setting our gaze upon our Jerusalem where we will experience redemption.  

Where do we start? Exactly where you are. If you want to know God’s will, look right in front of you, not off the side, not far in front of you, not in a week from now, today. God’s will is operative through your good desires. Stay focused on those actions for which you alone are responsible. What are those actions? Be kind, patient, and generate peace by settling disputes and being compassionate.

Atop this holy mountain of salvation, we will encounter the Lord who will bring about peace, give us calmness, and will instruct us in those complicated situations we encounter. We will get a glimpse of life as it can and will be, a place of harmony and joy, of quiet contentment because our needs are met, a place of positive regard for one another. It is the mountaintop of right relations with God, with family and loved ones, and our neighbors. It is a place where all is reconciled – where siblings speak to one another again because they leave their tightly-held principles behind to understand each other’s suffering and then embrace each other in compassion. It is the place where people take time to listen to and hear one another, not just the words, but the unexpressed meanings and underlying feelings. It is a place of understanding – where betrayed friends apologize and make amends to restore a cherished, sacred friendship, where lawsuits and misunderstandings are settled without need of the courts. It is the mountain of the common good, a land of welcome and acceptance, of spiritual prosperity and well-being, of all-around good health, free from distracting voices, a place of grace and courage, a place of simple resounding truths that echoes throughout our souls. It is the world as we know it can be; because of God’s grace, it is a world that already exists.

This Advent let us go to this place of peace. Our journey is like a mountain climb, but the destination is within us because God’s presence guides our soul. Let us go within to discover how our God is magnifying in our lives, bringing us peace, nudging us towards delight, and protecting us from harm. Let us give thanks and just take one more step on the journey, for our God will be with us every step of the way, and he has given us as gift to one another. For the gift of each other, for the presence of God, we go forward, onward and upward, in thanksgiving.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Isaiah 4) On that day, The branch of the LORD will be luster and glory, and the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor for the survivors of Israel. He who remains in Zion and he who is left in Jerusalem Will be called holy.

Tuesday: (Isaiah 11) A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A Spirit of counsel and of strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord.

Wednesday: (Isaiah 25) On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples.

Thursday: (Isaiah 26) "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."

Friday (Isaiah 29) But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see.

Saturday (Isaiah 30) O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you. The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst.

Monday: (Matthew 8) 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."  

Tuesday: (Luke 10) Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.

Wednesday (Matthew 15) Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.

Thursday (Matthew 7) 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.

Friday (Matthew 9) As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,
"Son of David, have pity on us!" When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do this?" "Yes, Lord," they said to him.

Saturday (Matthew 9) Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned.

Saints of the Week

December 1: Edmund Campion, S.J., (1540- 1581), Robert Southwell, S.J., (1561-1595) martyrs, were English natives and Jesuit priests at a time when Catholics were persecuted in the country. Both men acknowledge Queen Elizabeth as monarch, but they refused to renounce their Catholic faith. They are among the 40 martyrs of England and Wales. Campion was killed in 1581 and Southwell’s death was 1595.

December 3: Francis Xavier, S.J., priest (1506-1552) was a founding members of the Jesuit Order who was sent to the East Indies and Japan as a missionary. His preaching converted hundreds of thousands of converts to the faith. He died before reaching China. Xavier was a classmate of Peter Faber and Ignatius of Loyola at the University of Paris.

December 6: Nicholas, bishop (d. 350), lived in southwest Turkey and was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution. He attended the Council of Nicaea in 324. Since there are many stories of his good deeds, generous charity, and remarkable pastoral care, his character became the foundation for the image of Santa Claus.

December 7: Ambrose, bishop and doctor (339-397) was a Roman governor who fairly mediated an episcopal election in Milan. He was then acclaimed their bishop even though he was not baptized. He baptized Augustine in 386 and is doctor of the church because of his preaching, teaching and influential ways of being a pastor.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Dec. 1, 1581: At Tyburn in London, Edmund Campion and Alexander Briant were martyred.
·      Dec. 2, 1552: On the island of Sancian off the coast of China, Francis Xavier died.
·      Dec. 3, 1563: At the Council of Trent, the Institute of the Society was approved.
·      Dec. 4, 1870: The Roman College, appropriated by the Piedmontese government, was reopened as a Lyceum. The monogram of the Society over the main entrance was effaced.
·      Dec. 5, 1584: By his bull Omnipotentis Dei, Pope Gregory XIII gave the title of Primaria to Our Lady's Sodality established in the Roman College in 1564, and empowered it to aggregate other similar sodalities.
·      Dec. 6, 1618: In Naples, the Jesuits were blamed for proposing to the Viceroy that a solemn feast should be held in honor of the Immaculate Conception and that priests should make a public pledge defend the doctrine. This was regarded as a novelty not to be encouraged.
Dec. 7, 1649: Charles Garnier was martyred in Etarita, Canada, as a missionary to the Petun Indians, among whom he died during an Iroquois attack.

Vamos alegres: El primer domingo de adviento

Vamos alegres:
El primer domingo de adviento
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1 de diciembre de 2019
Isaías 2: 1-5; Salmo 122; Romanos 13: 11-14; Mateo 24: 37-44

Al comenzar el nuevo año litúrgico, la iglesia nos invita a permanecer vigilantes y a tomar nuestra salvación en serio. Esperamos un comienzo alegre y lleno de esperanza para el Adviento y el Evangelio nos golpea con algunas imágenes fuertes que sabemos muy bien que son realidades difíciles en la vida. Si pensamos en nuestra reunión de Acción de Gracias hace unos días, nos damos cuenta de cuán diferentes pueden ser los hermanos unos de otros a pesar de tener una formación familiar similar. Solo mencione la política y los hermanos que una vez estuvieron cerca ya no pueden hablar entre sí, y nos damos cuenta de que nuestras visiones fundamentales del mundo son diferentes. El Evangelio suena a verdad: dos hombres trabajando en un campo, dos mujeres moliendo en un molino; uno será tomado, el otro será dejado. Solo podemos ser responsables de nosotros mismos. Nuestro viaje al Señor es individual y tenemos que resolver nuestra salvación por nuestra cuenta.

El viaje a Jerusalén como una escalada de montaña es una imagen útil para comenzar el Adviento. Nuestro ascenso es cuesta arriba y puede ser agotador. Necesitaremos respiros y pausas y tomaremos alimento eucarístico para recuperar energía, pero tenemos que mirar hacia adelante y dar un paso a la vez, colocando un pie delante del otro para mantenernos en el camino correcto. Solo sigue adelante. El viaje es el destino; hacia adelante y hacia arriba es nuestro mantra, fijando nuestra mirada en nuestra Jerusalén donde experimentaremos la redención.

¿Donde empezamos? Exactamente donde estás. Si desea conocer la voluntad de Dios, mire directamente frente a usted, no a un lado, no muy lejos de usted, ni dentro de una semana a partir de hoy, hoy. La voluntad de Dios es operativa a través de tus buenos deseos. Manténgase enfocado en aquellas acciones de las cuales usted es el único responsable. ¿Cuáles son esas acciones? Sé amable, paciente y genera paz resolviendo disputas y siendo compasivo.

En la cima de esta montaña sagrada de salvación, nos encontraremos con el Señor, que traerá la paz, nos dará calma y nos instruirá en las situaciones complicadas que enfrentamos. Echaremos un vistazo a la vida como puede ser y será, un lugar de armonía y alegría, de satisfacción tranquila porque nuestras necesidades se satisfacen, un lugar de respeto mutuo. Es la cima de la montaña de las relaciones correctas con Dios, con la familia y los seres queridos, y con nuestros vecinos. Es un lugar donde todo se reconcilia, donde los hermanos vuelven a hablar entre sí porque dejan atrás sus principios firmemente arraigados para comprender el sufrimiento del otro y luego se abrazan con compasión. Es el lugar donde las personas se toman el tiempo para escucharse y escucharse unas a otras, no solo las palabras, sino también los significados no expresados ​​y los sentimientos subyacentes. Es un lugar de comprensión, donde los amigos traicionados se disculpan y hacen las paces para restaurar una amistad sagrada y apreciada, donde las demandas y los malentendidos se resuelven sin necesidad de los tribunales. Es la montaña del bien común, una tierra de bienvenida y aceptación, de prosperidad espiritual y bienestar, de buena salud general, libre de voces que distraen, un lugar de gracia y coraje, un lugar de simples verdades resonantes que resuena en nuestras almas. Es el mundo como sabemos que puede ser; debido a la gracia de Dios, es un mundo que ya existe.

Este Adviento nos dejó ir a este lugar de paz. Nuestro viaje es como una escalada de montaña, pero el destino está dentro de nosotros porque la presencia de Dios guía nuestra alma. Vamos adentro para descubrir cómo nuestro Dios está magnificando nuestras vidas, trayendo paz, empujándonos hacia el deleite y protegiéndonos del daño. Demos gracias y demos un paso más en el viaje, porque nuestro Dios estará con nosotros en cada paso del camino, y nos ha regalado el uno al otro. Por el don de cada uno, por la presencia de Dios, vamos hacia adelante, hacia adelante y hacia arriba, en acción de gracias.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Isaías 4) En ese día, la rama de Jehová será lustre y gloria, y el fruto de la tierra será honor y esplendor para los sobrevivientes de Israel. El que permanece en Sión y el que queda en Jerusalén será llamado santo.

Martes: (Isaías 11) Brotará un brote del tronco de Jesé, y de sus raíces florecerá un capullo. El Espíritu del Señor descansará sobre él: un Espíritu de sabiduría y de entendimiento, Un espíritu de consejo y de fortaleza, un Espíritu de conocimiento y de temor del Señor.

Miércoles: (Isaías 25) En esta montaña, el SEÑOR de los ejércitos proveerá a todos los pueblos Una fiesta de comida rica y vinos selectos, jugosa, comida rica y vinos puros y selectos. En esta montaña destruirá el velo que cubre a todos los pueblos.

Jueves: (Isaías 26) "Tenemos una ciudad fuerte; él levanta muros y murallas para protegernos. Abre las puertas para dejar entrar una nación que es justa, una que mantiene la fe. Una nación de firme propósito que mantienes en paz "en paz, por su confianza en ti".

Viernes (Isaías 29) ¡Pero muy poco tiempo, y el Líbano será transformado en un huerto, y el huerto será considerado como un bosque! En ese día los sordos oirán las palabras de un libro; Y desde la penumbra y la oscuridad, los ojos de los ciegos verán.

Sábado (Isaías 30) Oh pueblo de Sion, que moras en Jerusalén, no llorarás más; Él será amable contigo cuando grites, tan pronto como escuche te responderá. El Señor te dará el pan que necesitas y el agua por la que tienes sed.

Lunes: (Mateo 8) Cuando Jesús entró en Capernaum, un centurión se le acercó y le hizo un llamamiento, diciéndole: "Señor, mi criado yace en casa paralítico, sufriendo terriblemente". Él le dijo: "Vendré y lo curaré".

Martes: (Lucas 10) Jesús se regocijó en el Espíritu Santo y dijo: "Te alabo, Padre, Señor del cielo y de la tierra, porque aunque has ocultado estas cosas a los sabios y sabios, las has revelado a los niños.

Miércoles (Mateo 15) Jesús caminó junto al mar de Galilea, subió a la montaña y se sentó allí. Grandes multitudes acudieron a él, llevando consigo cojos, ciegos, deformados, mudos y muchos otros. Los colocaron a sus pies y él los curó.

Jueves (Mateo 7) Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: "No todos los que me dicen 'Señor, Señor' entrarán en el Reino de los cielos, sino solo el que hace la voluntad de mi Padre que está en los cielos.

Viernes (Mateo 9) Cuando Jesús pasó, dos ciegos lo siguieron, gritando:
"Hijo de David, ten piedad de nosotros!" Cuando entró en la casa, los ciegos se le acercaron y Jesús les dijo: "¿Crees que puedo hacer esto?" "Sí, Señor", le dijeron.

Sábado (Mateo 9) Jesús recorrió todas las ciudades y pueblos, enseñando en sus sinagogas, proclamando el Evangelio del Reino y curando todas las enfermedades y dolencias. Al ver a las multitudes, su corazón se conmovió por ellas porque estaban preocupadas y abandonadas.

Santos de la semana

1 de diciembre: Edmund Campion, S.J., (1540-1581), Robert Southwell, S.J., (1561-1595) mártires, eran nativos ingleses y sacerdotes jesuitas en un momento en que los católicos eran perseguidos en el país. Ambos hombres reconocen a la reina Isabel como monarca, pero se negaron a renunciar a su fe católica. Se encuentran entre los 40 mártires de Inglaterra y Gales. Campion fue asesinado en 1581 y la muerte de Southwell fue en 1595.

3 de diciembre: Francis Xavier, S.J., sacerdote (1506-1552) fue uno de los miembros fundadores de la Orden de los Jesuitas que fue enviado a las Indias Orientales y a Japón como misionero. Su predicación convirtió a cientos de miles de conversos a la fe. Murió antes de llegar a China. Xavier fue compañero de clase de Peter Faber e Ignacio de Loyola en la Universidad de París.

6 de diciembre: Nicholas, obispo (muerto en 350), vivió en el suroeste de Turquía y fue encarcelado durante la persecución de Diocleciano. Asistió al Consejo de Nicea en 324. Dado que hay muchas historias de sus buenas obras, generosa caridad y notable cuidado pastoral, su personaje se convirtió en la base de la imagen de Santa Claus.

7 de diciembre: Ambrosio, obispo y médico (339-397) fue un gobernador romano que medió bastante en una elección episcopal en Milán. Luego fue aclamado por su obispo a pesar de que no fue bautizado. Bautizó a Agustín en 386 y es médico de la iglesia debido a su predicación, enseñanza y formas influyentes de ser pastor.

Esta semana en la historia jesuita

• 1 de diciembre de 1581: en Tyburn en Londres, Edmund Campion y Alexander Briant fueron martirizados.
• 2 de diciembre de 1552: en la isla de Sancian, en la costa de China, murió Francis Xavier.
• 3 de diciembre de 1563: en el Concilio de Trento, se aprobó el Instituto de la Sociedad.
• 4 de diciembre de 1870: el Colegio Romano, apropiado por el gobierno piamontés, fue reabierto como Liceo. El monograma de la Sociedad sobre la entrada principal fue borrado.
• 5 de diciembre de 1584: por su toro Omnipotentis Dei, el papa Gregorio XIII le dio el título de Primaria a la Sodalidad de Nuestra Señora establecida en el Colegio Romano en 1564, y le otorgó el poder de agregar otras sodalidades similares.
• 6 de diciembre de 1618: en Nápoles, los jesuitas fueron acusados ​​de proponer al virrey que se celebrara una fiesta solemne en honor de la Inmaculada Concepción y que los sacerdotes hicieran una promesa pública de defender la doctrina. Esto fue considerado como una novedad que no debe fomentarse.
• 7 de diciembre de 1649: Charles Garnier fue martirizado en Etarita, Canadá, como misionero de los indios Petun, entre los cuales murió durante un ataque iroquesa.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Spirituality: Henri Nouwen

This nation is affluent and has more than it needs. The realization that what we have is a free gift an deepen our desire to share this gift with others who cry out for help. When we bless the fruits of the harvest, let us at least realize that blessed fruits need to be shared.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Prayer: Joseph Cardinal Bernardin

Active waiting for the Lord means not allowing ourselves to be lulled into purely private interests in our homes, but donating our attentions, time, and talents. It implies sharing our strengths and accepting our weaknesses in our parishes, schools, community work, and in society.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Spirituality: “We Are Trying to Make People Happy” by Dorothy Day

A Few years ago I had to call in a woman doctor, an exile, who had been in a concentration camp in Germany for refusing to sterilize epileptic children. She was taking care of one of the women in the house. As she left she said, recognizing the apparent hopelessness of our work for the most destitute, “The only thing you can do for these sick and aged ones is to make them happy.” I have often thought of that since, when people have asked us about the work, what we were trying to do; it seemed very simple to say, “We are trying to make people happy.” Father Faber has three conferences in one of his published volumes on kindness.

Kindness seems a simple enough virtue, little of the heroic about it, and rather naïve and fatuous, not very much to the point these days when righteousness, wrath, and grim fortitude seem to be more in order. But these conferences make good spiritual reading.

We want to be happy, we want to make others happy, we want to see some of this joy of life which children have, we want to see people intoxicated with God, or just filled with the good steady joy of knowing that Christ is King and that we are His flock and He has prepared for us a kingdom, and that God loves us as a father loves his children, as a bridegroom loves his bride, and that eye hath not seen nor ear heard what God has prepared for us!

Source: Robert Ellsberg, ed., Dorothy Day: Selected Writings, as found in Michael Leach, et al., eds., The Way of Kindness: Readings for a Graceful Life, pp. 211-212.

The reference is to Father Frederick Willian Faber (1814-1863), British; Anglican theologian and spiritual writer and convert to Catholicism.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Spirituality: The Four Winds Society

Give others the gift of seeing the beauty within themselves and within every situation. Speak words of beauty, including the words “Thank you.” Bring flowers home. Say a gracious word to a colleague. Uplift a friend. You will experience greater happiness and wellbeing while transforming the world by bringing beauty and healing where there is ugliness, alleviating the suffering of others, and creating peace where there is conflict.

The sages discovered that creation is not complete, that on the seventh day the Great Spirit was not finished, and said, “I have created the butterflies and the whales and the eagles. Aren’t they beautiful? Now you keep at it.” By perceiving only beauty you are dreaming beauty into creation.