Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Those who have dedicated their lives in celibacy to the coming of God's Kingdom... Mary the Mother of God, Hallel...

These two little cousin/girls, Evangeline and Josephine, were having their first CCC (Cross Christmas Camp) together!  They got continuous snuggles and were held by many great Aunts, Godfathers and grandparents and cousins!  They are 6 months apart, and next year will be waddling around together herded by the older ones.  I am sure that Therese and Mary will be watching over them next year along with Mary's new baby sister due at the end of March.  Each year brings wave after wave of the new arrivals - this year my parents welcomed 7 new great-grands by Christmas with 5 more on the way!  Talk about a explosion of new life!  Many prayers each day for all the new life in the womb!
Grandpa is most comfortable when he can hold a new grandchild!  He is my champion for LIFE!

Today the Gospel is the Annunciation from St Luke!  LOVE!  Having a daughter, who has also said "yes" to a call to celibacy in order to be the Spouse of Christ Jesus and to bringing the Coming of the Kingdom!  The story of the Virgin Mary is especially powerful for me!
"Christ was born of an espoused Virgin in order that her childbearing might be concealed from the devil, so that he thought that Christ was not born of a Virgin, but of a wife."  St Chromatius
"Since Christ wished to be born of a virgin, why did he wish his Mother to be espoused?  So that his birth would be hidden from the devil, lest he should impede Christ's Passion and the fruit of our redemption if he knew."  St Thomas Aquinas
This food for thought is so rich and Spiritually interesting and nourishing to us! 
Evangeline joining the prayer circle as young and old share the rosary each morning at our family camp!  Dominic holds onto his dad's rosary with him next to our patriarch, Deacon Robert!  My dad introduces each decade with the amazing virtues given it by St Padre Pio!
1. The Annunciation- Wisdom
2. The Visitation- Fraternal Charity
3. The Birth of Christ- Poverty of Spirit (Detachment)
4. The Presentation in the Temple- Spirit of Self-Sacrifice (Renunciation)
5. The Finding in the Temple- Obedience

1. The Agony in the Garden- Courage (Fortitude)
2. The Scourging at the Pillar- Temperance & Purity
3. The Crowning with Thorns- Humility
4. The Carrying of the Cross- Patience and Perseverance
5. The Crucifixion- Contrition for Sins

1. The Resurrection- Faith
2. The Ascension- Hope
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost- Charity (Love of God)
4. The Assumption- Devotion to Mary
5. The Coronation (Crowning) of Mary- Final Perseverance (death in the state of grace)

Such powerful words to describe each mystery!  It really makes you dig deep into how each one effects our journey!
"The Rosary is THE Weapon"- Padre Pio
Two girls in pink at CCC... it is so fun to have a little girl that looks like my girls did!

How Mary had to trust in The Lord as she in her young age became pregnant with the Son of God and gave birth to him in stable and laid him in a manger filled with hay for the animals all around them.  Heaping more challenges upon the normal ones, and calling upon the giving up of all control and relying on God to watch over them.  Maybe someone came to help her through childbirth, but we know they were watched over and helped in their weak and tired state.  St Joseph did his best to find them shelter and tend to the needs of his wife in labor.  Then the caring for the child with feeding and tending to his every need - born a helpless infant depending totally for all from his earthly parents!  How can any situation we face be any more challenging than this?  We are called to trust and realize that God is in control!
Josephine with grandma!

Those that hear that we have a daughter, who is a nun, feel that it is a huge sacrifice to her and to us in her inability to have her own family and children.  We receive many stories from Hallel and her Community of the Lamb - how they reach out in sharing The Kingdom with all those in need around them.  They spend great times throughout each day in prayer and receiving Christ through The Eucharist, and in Adoration and prayer to their Beloved Savior!  This is what fills them with Christ and they represent Him as they knock on the doors of the poor begging for their food?!? 

Most recently, when we were with The Community for Thanksgiving we went into the home of a 7 year old girl dying from brain cancer and prayed around her bed with her family and 2 Little Sisters... When John poured Lourdes water on her head her beautiful eyes opened wide for the first time, but otherwise she was in a deep sleep, and died a few weeks later holding a rosary given her by Fr Craig when he and John prayed over her about a year and a half ago.  Can you see how their vow of celibacy has allowed them to bring many into The Kingdom in a day to day way?  If they were busy with their own families this would be sharply hampered or not possible.  Our family has been expanded by hundreds to have her in The Family of The Lamb!
John loves having special time to hold his Goddaughter, Josie, and she seems to be peaceful and to know him more and more.  There is now talk of our going to KC for Christmas in a few days!  Lots of traveling involved to pursue Family time!

As Catholics we believe that Mary is forever a Virgin also!
Mary - "ever-virgin"

499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. 154 In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it." 155 And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos , the "Ever-virgin". 156

500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. 157 The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary". 158 They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression. 159

501 Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother's love." 160

Mary's virginal motherhood in God's plan

502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.

503 Mary's virginity manifests God's absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. "He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed. . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures." 161

504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary's womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: "The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven." 162 From his conception, Christ's humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God "gives him the Spirit without measure." 163 From "his fullness" as the head of redeemed humanity "we have all received, grace upon grace." 164

505 By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. "How can this be?" 165 Participation in the divine life arises "not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God". 166 The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit's gift to man. The spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God 167 is fulfilled perfectly in Mary's virginal motherhood.

506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith "unadulterated by any doubt", and of her undivided gift of herself to God's will. 168 It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Savior: "Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ." 169

507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: "the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word

of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse." 170
A whole lot from the wisdom of The Church to give weight to this Truth we believe in!  It truly is a great reason for religious to take that vow of celibacy as they go forth to be his spouse and say "yes" in loving and serving without counting the cost!  A powerful way to die to self and humbly serve Jesus and His Church and bring the Kingdom down to earth!
I longed to do a live nativity with Little Em as the Baby Jesus this year, but this is as close as I got to it... I just have to give up my wishes with so many to try to corral.  Going through all my pictures now - I realize that I need to give up more and more of those wishes and ideas!
Josephine making the two 4 year olds giggle with toe tickles!

Jesus, there is so much we are given each day of our journey following after you if only we trust and avail ourselves of the wisdom and beauty and meat and potatoes we are given by The Church each day... the Word, the Sacraments, Our Lady and her Rosary, The Saints and the devotions... our day can be filled when we can take the time throughout the day.  I am overjoyed to be filled with Jesus, Mary and the Saints on this journey down the narrow path carrying/dragging my most Cherished Cross... Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah

Rose and Bernadette saying goodbye until next time.... they really got along well this time with no real fights - they are maturing into close friends!
The 3 four year olds - Nancy just sent me a text saying that Dominic wants to wear his CCC shirt day and night and doesn't want to take it off ever!  Such a wonderful new tradition has begun!
Soon I will have Ruth's pictures as she is stopping in today... I am excited to have hers - most especially her ones of our family... I know that it is late, but I was waiting for that to make into our Christmas Card after adding Susan/Little Sister Hallel, of course.  The picture of what it true in our heart, mind and soul!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
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"Friends, in today’s Gospel of Luke, we find the annunciation to Mary. Here is what Gabriel said to the Virgin: “Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus…the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

No first century Israelite would have miss...ed the meaning here: this child shall be the fulfillment of the promise made to King David.

And this means that the child is, in fact, the king of the world, the one who would bring unity and peace to the nations. The conviction grew upon Israel that this mysterious descendent of David would be king, not just for a time and not just in an earthly sense, but would rule forever and for all nations. This definitive king of the Jews would be king of the world. He would be our king, as well."

Fr Robert Barron

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The O Antiphons refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.

O Sapientia: O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation. Isaiah had prophesied, 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 fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2-3), and Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom. (Isaiah 28:29).
O Adonai: O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free. Isaiah had prophesied, But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the lands afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. (Isaiah 11:4-5); and Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us. (Isaiah 33:22).
O Radix Jesse: O Flower of Jesse's stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid. Isaiah had prophesied, But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. (Isaiah 11:1), and A On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:10). Remember also that Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in Davids city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).
O Clavis David: O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom. Isaiah had prophesied, AI will place the Key of the House of David on His shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open. (Isaiah 22:22), and His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from Davids throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. (Isaiah 9:6).
O Oriens: O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. Isaiah had prophesied, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown. (Isaiah 9:1).
O Rex Gentium: O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust. Isaiah had prophesied, For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:5), and 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. (Isaiah 2:4) .
O Emmanuel: O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God. Isaiah had prophesied, The Lord himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.
(Isaiah 7:14). Remember Emmanuel means God is with us.

So much today!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Church!!!!
O Adonia Gregorian chant
O Sapientia Gregorian chant
O root of Jessie
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