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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Catholic News World : Tuesday December 6, 2016 - SHARE

 2016

#PopeFrancis "...grace to sincerely recognize our sins as we await Christmas" #Homily #Advent

(Vatican Radio)  He who does not know the tenderness of God does not know the Christian doctrine.  This was the concept at the core of Pope Francis’ homily at morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, a homily focused largely on the figure of Judas.
Judas, an evangelical image of the lost sheep
Taking his cue from the Gospel reading of the day which recounts the Parable of the lost sheep, Pope Francis spoke of how the Lord never stops looking for us.
Describing the Lord as a kind of a judge, a judge who caresses and is full of tenderness, he said God does everything to save us.
“He does not come to condemn, but to save” the Pope said, and he loves each and every one of us personally. He knows us by name and loves us for what we are.
And speaking of the lost sheep Francis explained that it did not get lost because it didn’t have a compass but because it "had a sick heart" and was running away “to be distant from the Lord and was satiating an inner darkness”.
And pointing out that the Lord knows these things and never neglects to go out and look for the lost sheep, the Pope said the Lord’s attitude towards Judas is so symbolic:
“Judas is the most perfect lost sheep in the Gospel: a man with a bitter heart, someone who always had something to criticize in others, he was always ‘detached’.  He did not know the sweetness that comes of living without second ends with others. He was an unsatisfied man!” he said.
The Pope said that because of the darkness in his heart Judas was separated from the herd. He said – more in general - that darkness can lead to living a double life: “a double life that, perhaps painfully, many Christians, even priests and bishops lead...”  
Pointing out that Judas himself was one of the first bishops, the Pope recalled a beautiful sermon given by Father Mazzolari in which he described Judas as a lost sheep: “Brother Judas, he said, what was happening in your heart?”  Francis said we need to understand lost sheep: each and every one of us has something in us of the lost sheep.
The Repentance of Judas
The Pope went on to explain that is not so much a mistake but a disease of the heart that makes a sheep wander and he said it is something the devil exploits.
Just as it was with Judas whose heart was ‘divided’. And finally when Judas saw what harm his double life had wreaked in the community, when he saw the evil he had sown because of the darkness in his heart that caused him to run away, looking for a light that was not the light of the Lord, but artificial lights like Christmas decorations, he was thrown into despair:
The Pope said that the Bible tells us that “the Lord is good, he never stops looking for the lost sheep” and it tells us that when Judas hanged himself he had repented.
“I believe that the Lord will take that word [repentance] and bring it with Him” he said. And it tells us that right until the end God’s love was working in that soul. 
He said that this is the message, the good news that Christmas brings asking us to rejoice with a sincerity that brings with it a change of heart that leads us to take comfort in the Lord, and not in other ‘escapist’ consolations.
God's power is in His tenderness
When Jesus finds the lost sheep he does not insults it although it caused so much harm, the Pope said, and in the Garden of Olives He calls Judas with the appellative ‘friend’. These, he said, are God's caresses:
"He who does not know the caresses of the Lord does not know Christian doctrine! He who does not allow himself to be caressed by the Lord is lost!” he said.
Pope Francis concluded saying that the consolation that we seek is in God’s tenderness that saves us and brings us back to the fold of his Church.
“May the Lord give us the grace to sincerely recognize our sins as we await Christmas, as we wait for the power of God who comes to console us with the tenderness” he said

Free Christmas Movie : Miracle on 34th Street : Santa Claus is defended

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) 96 min - Comedy | Drama | Family - 2 May 1947 (USA) When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real  thing. Director: George Seaton Writers: George Seaton (written for the screen by), Valentine Davies (story) Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne |

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday December 6, 2016


Tuesday of the Second Week in Advent
Lectionary: 182


Reading 1IS 40:1-11

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

A voice says, “Cry out!”
I answer, “What shall I cry out?”
“All flesh is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it.
So then, the people is the grass.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
the word of our God stands forever.”

Go up onto a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
Cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
Here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
Carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Responsorial PsalmPS 96:1-2, 3 AND 10AC, 11-12, 13

R. (see Isaiah 40:10ab) The Lord our God comes with power.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.

Alleluia 

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The day of the Lord is near:
Behold, he comes to save us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”

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

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,”

Monday, December 5, 2016

Saint December 6 : Saint Nicholas : Patron of #Children, #Sailors, #Prostitutes, Thieves - Real #SantaClaus


St. Nicholas
BISHOP, PATRON OF CHILDREN

Feast: December 6 (Image source: Google)


Information:
Feast Day:December 6
Born:270, Patara, Lycia
Died:6 December 343, Myra, Lycia
Major Shrine:Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Italy.
Patron of:Children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, pawnbrokers, prostitutes, repentant thieves, many cities.
O blessed Saint, we honor you, 
 On this great festal day. Hail Nicholas the faithful say, Apostle of the Way.
As you helped those who round you came; 
May we your presence feel, As our commitment is the same Answering Love's appeal.
The father poor, the three young girls, 
Young men to life restored. Sailors can rest, the sea is blessed, Your miracles record.
In prison dark, your faith was strong; Help those who suffer wrong, We heed your words, the gospel call, To hail Christ, Lord of all.
As Bari's pilgrims make their way To sing of your great name, The wonder myrrh of Myra still Proclaims your loving fame.
Lead us dear saint, in joy and peace,
Your prayers we now implore, As we praise God, the Father, Son And Spirit blest adored. 
 Today, December 6, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (died 346), the inspiration for many of our current secular Christmas traditions. This great saint is the most frequently depicted saint in art (only Our Blessed Mother surpasses him), and the veneration and honor he is given throughout the world are testimonials to his holiness and of the glory which he enjoys with God.
Little is known about the life of Saint Nicholas. That which is most reliable comes from a monk, Saint Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who wrote a biography of Saint Nicholas approximately 500 years after his death. In his “life,” Saint Methodius tells us that that "Up to the present the life of this distinguished Shepard has been unknown to the majority of the faithful." He then describes the extraordinary events of the life of Saint Nicholas. The truth of many of these legends is unknown, but each speaks to a man of great faith.
From this and other works, we know with certainty that when the See of Myra lost it’s bishop, Nicholas was chosen to fill the vacancy. There, he was recognized for his extraordinary piety, apostolic zeal, and became famous for working astonishing miracles.
Nicholas was born at Patara in Lycia (Asia Minor), and demonstrated great piety and faith from an early age. For example, we are told that he fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays, taking only nourishment in the evenings. Per his biography, "He was exceedingly well brought up by his parents and trod piously in their footsteps. The child, watched over by the church enlightened his mind and encouraged his thirst for sincere and true religion".
Sadly, Nicholas’ parents died when he was still young, and taking his considerable inheritance, devoted himself to works of charity. One of his most “famous” charitable acts is thought to have inspired the giving of Christmas gifts: A citizen of Patara, where he lived, had lost all of his money. This honorable man had three daughters to support, and could not find suitable husbands because of their poverty. Upon hearing of this situation, Nicholas took a bag of gold, and in the night, threw the bag in the open window of the man’s house. (Some say that the gold—also sometimes referred to as gold balls, rather than bags, landed in the socks and shoes of the family, drying before the fire. This led to the tradition of hanging stockings to be filled.) The man, using the money as dowry, promptly found a suitable suitor for his eldest daughter, who was married. Nicholas repeated the act twice more, once for each remaining daughter. However, the man kept watch, and upon recognizing Nicholas, was overcome with gratitude and thanks. From this, we see Saint Nicholas as a holy man, charitable, and giving of himself to others.
Nicholas soon departed Patara, traveling to the city of Myra where his uncle was the Archbishop. There, he was ordained, and appointed the Superior of a monastery. Upon the death of his uncle, Nicholas was appointed the new bishop by the people, who were certain that he had been chosen by the Lord. Around that time, the Diocletian persecutions of Christians were beginning, and "As he was the chief priest of the Christians of this town and preached the truths of faith with a holy liberty, the divine Nicholas was seized by the magistrates, tortured, then chained and thrown into prison with many other Christians. But when the great and religious Constantine, chosen by God assumed the imperial diadem of the Romans, the prisoners were released from their bonds and with them the illustrious Nicholas, who when he was set at liberty returned to Myra." Saint Nicholas protected his flock against the heresies common in that time. He was likely present at the Council of Nicaea, where some legend tells of him striking Arius (the originator of the Arian heresy) and being imprisoned, only to be freed by visions of Jesus and Mary. Saint Nicholas also fought valiantly against paganism, destroying pagan temples throughout the region with “evil spirits fleeing, howling before him.” But Saint Nicholas did not limit himself to the spiritual affairs of his people. He served as protector and guardian, advocating for prisoners, and famously freeing three innocent men wrongly condemned to death by the governor, Eustathius. Upon freeing the men, Nicholas incessantly reproached the governor—in front of a large crowd—until he admitted his wrong-doing and became sincerely penitent. Saint Nicholas later miraculously freed three men from a distance, appearing to Emperor Constantine and demanding their release in a dream. The next morning, when the imprisoned men called upon the name of Saint Nicholas for intercession, the emperor freed them, sending them back to the great saint with a letter asking for no more threats, but for peace in the world. For this, Saint Nicholas is regarded as the patron of prisoners and captives. Additional miracles reported at the intercession of Saint Nicholas include the raising to life three young boys who were killed and hidden in pickling barrels to avoid detection (For this, he is the patron and protector of children), and the calming of stormy seas by his word upon voyages to the Holy Land. It is this latter miracle—during which he appeared to frightened sailors off the coast of Lycea, that led his patronage of sailors. Sailors in the Aegean and Ionian seas, following a common Eastern custom, had their "star of Saint Nicholas" and wished one another a good voyage in the phrase "May Saint Nicholas hold the tiller.”
Under the rule of Emperor Diocletian, Nicholas was imprisoned for his faith, but refused to recant, and was eventually freed upon the death of the Emperor. He is recorded as makinga "glorious confession" of the faith to his jailors, converting many.
Saint Nicholas died at Myra, and is buried there in the basilica named for him. At Myra "the venerable body of the bishop, embalmed as it was in the good ointments of virtue exuded a sweet smelling myrrh, which kept it from corruption and proved a health giving remedy against sickness to the glory of him who had glorified Jesus Christ, our true God." During the Saracen occupation, the relics of Saint Nicholas were translated to Bari, Italy. The translation of the relics did not interrupt this phenomenon, and the "manna of St. Nicholas" is said to flow to this day. This “manna”-- a unique relic which forms in his grave, is a liquid substance said to have healing powers. It was one of the great attractions which draws pilgrims to his tomb from all parts of Europe.
An anonymous Greek wrote in the tenth century that, "the West as well as the East acclaims and glorifies him. Wherever there are people, in the country and the town, in the villages, in the isles, in the furthest parts of the earth, his name is revered and churches are built in his honor. Images of him are set up, panegyrics preached and festivals celebrated. All Christians, young and old, men and women, boys and girls, reverence his memory and call upon his protection. And his favors, which know no limit of time and continue from age to age, are poured out over all the earth; the Scythians know them, as do the Indians and the barbarians, the Africans as well as the Italians."
As a bishop, Saint Nicholas, was first and foremost a shepherd of the people, caring for their needs. His active pursuit of justice for his people was demonstrated when he secured grain in time of famine, saved the lives of three men wrongly condemned, and secured lower taxes for Myra. He taught the Gospel simply, so ordinary people understood, and he lived out his faith and devotion to God in helping the poor and all in need. Regardless of the accuracy of the legends and miracles reported in his name, the life and deeds of Saint Nicholas, and the attitude with which he praised the Lord, make him an inspiration to us today. As we move through Advent, toward Christmas, let us emulate Saint Nicholas in our care and concern for the welfare of others.
O God, Who didst adorn blessed Nicholas,
the bishop, with miracles unnumbered, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and prayer we may be delivered from the fire of hell. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Text Shared from 365Rosaries Blog

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 375ยบ 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.