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The Promise is fulfilled.

‘The days are coming’, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made…’ Jeremiah 33:14

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Commentary:

A promise, kept or broken, is a very important piece in the mosaic of relationships.

It evokes expectation in the heart of the one who receives it, because a promise is grounded in trust.

Trust, hope, expectancy, are the foundation and bedrock of the lives of a pilgrim people. In setting out on our journey to the Kingdom, we commit ourselves to a lifetime Advent, for on the way, we will meet our own hungers and thirst…our own deserts. We will come face-to-face with desire and disappointment. But, with promise in our ‘travel bag’, we have the courage to strain forward toward fulfilment, the Journey’s end.

Jeremiah is a man of promise. He is an instrument of hope and fulfilment. Reluctant to speak the name of the Lord, it was his trust in the promise of God that enabled him to loosen his grasp on self-concern and become the utterance of God.

We too, can trust in the Promise – the faithful love of God. We too, can become prophets and instruments of love, hope and justice in the world. The days are here. The time is now. The promise is fulfilled.

(Commentary is from an unknown source. This reflection was part of an Advent service we attended)

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Keeping vigil.

vigil, from the Latin vigilia meaning wakefulness (Greek: pannychis,[1] παννυχίς or agrypnia[2] ἀγρυπνία),[3] is a period of purposeful sleeplessness, an occasion for devotional watching, or an observance. ( Wikipedia) 

Keeping vigil has always been a spiritual practice in Catholicism. This is what we are essentially doing by attending any “Vigil” mass, we wait in joyful hope for the coming of the Saviour.

There is also a Biblical reference here that can be included. The Shepherds in Luke’s infancy narratives in his Gospel were keeping watch over their sheep on the nightly vigil. In a sense, we are the same shepherds today and we are entrusted to keep watch over one another. While we wait for God during Advent, it’s also important to note that God also keeps Vigil for us. Many people “come home” at Christmas and find God welcoming them back home once again. We pray that they find our church to be a welcoming place and that we show them the love that God always offers to us. In doing so, we have the opportunity to continually welcome them home each week and pray that they will be part of our community regularly.

Christmas 2013 037

Christmas 2013 038

The Sanctuary is ready and the first of the Holy Masses for Christmas may begin.

An introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:Do you know why there is a Catechism?

I came across this video here. The CCC is such an important document, that all Catholics should own one. This comprehensive video gives you the reasons why it’s a good idea and is explicit in its content with regard to why and how it was put together.

The Catholic Faith is explained in detail in the CCC, and warrants further discussion within a parish group context.

 

 

Significant 7

This one’s for 8kidsandabusiness, as I received a super award from her 10 days ago. So, today I am fulfilling the rules on acceptance of this accolade! The great tenet of this award is the fact that I have had to consider which 7 Bible passages are my favourite. This has left me the opportunity  to reconsider the Word of God and left me with much  food for thought myself. Thanks for this opportunity 8kidsandabusiness!

Citizen Tom created the Food For Thought Award.  Here is his explanation:“What’s The Food for Thought Award? How can we combine The Super Sweet Blogger Award with The Thought Provoking Blog Award? Well, when a Christian blog offers visitors wisdom from the Word of God, isn’t that blog providing its visitors food for thought? Ah ha! Thus was born a new award.”  

Here are the rules:

  1. Post the award on your blog.
  2. Thank the one who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  3. Share seven of your favourite Bible passages. For extra points (Perhaps our Father in heaven will award them.), explain why each of these seven passages is a favourite.
  4. Nominate seven other bloggers you admire and enjoy! Why seven? In the Bible, seven symbolizes completeness.
  5. Inform each person that you have nominated them.

My seven favourite Bible passages: I have used the website Biblia to find the passages. I love this site as you have numerous translations to choose from . I am using the Revised Standard Edition. 

  1. Psalm 139:  This was the first passage I read that revealed God the Father to me. HE knew me before anyone else. Anyone else! It makes me feel cherished. This Psalm made me tingle from head to toe. A message just for me, at the right time of my life.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.

 

2. Proverbs 3: v5-6: That God is the One , True and Only Way to fulfilment in life frees me from many stresses. It has helped me to come to terms with my human frailty.

5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

 

3. Psalm 51:10,11,12:  For meperfect prayer before Confession

10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

11  Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

 

4. John 6:35: My hunger to be close to the Lord is satisfied in this, The Bread of Life. I receive Him in the form of bread as often as possible and every time I do I feel His peace and I think about when next I will be so close to Him.

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst”.

5. Psalm 34:8  I love this quote because of the truth in it. Related to the quote above.

8  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

 

6. Matthew 5:44: In Confession, my parish priest told me to pray for the person who was making my life a misery. I  looked up the bible quote and it’s one that I keep close to my heart. It took many attempts to pray for someone who made me so unhappy, I simply couldn’t get passed my feelings of anger and frustration, but I pray easily now because this prayer has changed my view of the persecutor.

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

6.  1Peter 5:8,9  My discernment of temptation  is heightened in these two verses and through my experiences in life. My parish priest says, ‘If the devil leaves you alone, you know you’re in trouble!!’.

8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil  prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 

7. Matthew 6:9 One of my favourite, most complete prayers ever:

9  Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

10  Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

11  Give us this day our daily bread,

12  and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13  And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

 

 

 

Blogathon!

I include an illustration of what my desk usually/can/sometimes looks like, to emphasize that I am certainly not one to wing-it. I have taken a while to respond to the BILTRIX nudging from afar. I needed time to digest this notion of a blogAthon, being careful to include all the necessary components meticulously.

Last week 1catholicsalmon was tagged by the Catholic blogging champion BILTRIX  (THANK YOU!),  and was thereby convinced to take part in this blogaThon: All in the interest of spreading the Faith! How could I refuse to participate?

I am attempting to carry on this honour by participating in said ‘blogAthon.’ The rules (which are not obligatory, by any stretch of the imagination…in other words, please don’t feel obligated to do this if you have been tagged here) are as follows:

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the “tagger” has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers and tag them in their post.
5. These “lucky” bloggers must then be told.
6. No tag backs.

So here goes:

11 things about myself:

  1. For the first few days on holiday I usually sleep.
  2. My first thought every day is to make it to Mass.
  3. I make conscious Christian choices during the day.
  4. I treasure the Sacrament of Confession. I have learned much through it.
  5. I wear a crucifix as a statement of my faith  and also to show my devotion to the Lord.
  6. I am aware of my responsibilities as a ‘wearer of the Cross’.
  7. I try to hear the Lord through all my dealings with others throughout the day.
  8. I have a brand new daily Missal. Everything’s in there. Everything!
  9. I have downloaded loads of Catholic books onto my Kindle.
  10. Spending an afternoon browsing around the St. Paul’s bookshop in London is my idea of a great afternoon.
  11. I am keen  to ponder the fruits of this year of Faith in a few years time.

Here are the questions for Me to answer:

  1. Have you ever read a dialogue by Plato? I have read some quotes and touched on Greek history at Uni.
  2. Do you know any foreign languages? YES!- Afrikaans and  Portuguese
  3. How good are you at math? Better than I was 5 years ago.
  4. Are you a convert? No, I’m a cradle-Catholic, and I’m still discovering the beauty and depth of the Faith.
  5. Would you like to renew your baptismal promises? Yes
  6. Do you reject Satan? Yes!
  7. And all his works? Yes!
  8. And all his empty promises? Yes!
  9. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth? Yes!
  10. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Yes!
  11. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? Yes!

If your name is mentioned below, that means I TAGGED you (that means YOU’RE IT, get it?).

AND THE 6  BLOGGERS I TAG ARE:

  1. Conversion Diary : A Catholic convert share’s her life.
  2. Gracie’s Quest : Good Christian reading here.
  3. Catholic1 : Just one in a billion!
  4. Daniel Undum : Author of a new book called, ‘The offensive Catholic’. 
  5. My Hope Box : Friendly Catholic blogging, including good Catechesis.
  6. Transformed in Christ : A Catechist from London.

Now… If your name is one of the names listed above, you got TAGGED, and you may be asking yourself Why did I get tagged? So that you can tag someone else. C’mon! Spread the faith!

Here are the 11 questions the tagged bloggers are to answer about themselves:

  1. What’s the first memory about Church?
  2. Are you invited to speak to your priest as you would speak to a friend?. (Do you know him well enough to feel relaxed in his company?)
  3. Have you ever imagined something funny happening up on the Altar during Mass?
  4. Which character trait makes your parish priest human?
  5. What stays with you after Mass and into the week?
  6. Please recommend a good Christian movie:
  7. Which do you prefer: Gregorian Chant or singing from the hymn book?
  8. Have you experienced a pilgrimage?
  9. Which is your favoured character in the Bible?
  10. Has Confession changed the way you think about your actions?
  11. Which is your chosen Mass time on Sunday: 9:30 am, 11:30 am  or 5:30pm, or do you attend the 6:00 on Saturday evenings?

100 Catholic books to read during the Year of Faith.

I came across this list of books via Luke Coppen (editor of the Catholic Herald) on Twitter. Some excellent reading methinks.

1. The Bible (Revised Standard Version translation)                                                 
2. The Lord. Romano Guardini
3. To Know Christ Jesus. Frank Sheed
4. The Life of Christ. Fulton Sheen
5. Jesus of Nazareth. Joseph Ratzinger
6. The Four Cardinal Virtues. Josef Pieper
7. What Happens at Mass. Jeremy Driscoll
8. The Confessions. Augustine
9. Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word. Erasmo Leiva Merikakis (2 Volumes)
10. Fundamentals of the Faith. Peter Kreeft
11. Mere Christianity. C.S. Lewis
12. The Screwtape Letters. C.S. Lewis
13. The Essential Pope Benedict. John Thornton and Susan Varenne, eds
14. The Theology of the Body. Pope John Paul II
15. The Fulfillment of All Desire. Ralph Martin
16. A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist. Abbot Vonier
17. I Believe in Love. D’Elbee
18. Heart of the World. Hans Urs von Balthasar
19. The Birth of the Church: John: Volume IV. Adrienne von Speyr
20. Crossing the Threshold of Hope. Pope John Paul II
21. Life on the Lordship of Christ. Raniero Cantalamessa
22. The Eucharist: Our Sanctification. Raniero Cantalamessa
23. On Being Catholic. Thomas Howard
24. By What Authority? Mark Shea
25. Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic. David Currie
26. Crossing the Tiber: Stephen Ray
27. The Handbook of Christian Apologetics. Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli.
28. The Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien
29. The Cost of Discipleship. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
30. Where We Got the Bible. Henry Graham
31. Called to Communion. Joseph Ratzinger
32. The Spirit of the Liturgy. Joseph Ratzinger
33. The Seven Storey Mountain. Thomas Merton
34. The Dialogues. Catherine of Siena
35. The Lamb’s Supper. Scott Hahn
36. The Handmaid of the Lord. Adrienne von Speyr
37. The World’s First Love. Fulton Sheen
38. Love and Responsibility. Karol Wojtyla
39. The Splendor of Love. Walter Schu
40. Witness to Hope: George Weigel
41. The Feminist Question. Francis Martin
42. Healing the Original Wound. Benedict Groeschel
43. A Refutation of Moral Relativism. Peter Kreeft
44. In Search of Wisdom. Leon Kass45. The Problem of Pain. C.S. Lewis
46. The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis
47. Making Sense Out of Suffering. Peter Kreeft
48. God Is Near Us. Joseph Ratzinger
49. Confession. Adrienne von Speyr
50. Parochial and Plain Sermons. John Henry Newman
51. Triumph. David Crocker III
52. The Evidential Power of Beauty. Thomas Dubay
53. The Lord’s Prayer. Romano Guardini
54. Saints for Sinners. Alban Goodier
55. Love’s Sacred Order. Erasmo Leiva Merikakis
56. The Four Loves. C.S. Lewis
57. The Weight of Glory. C.S. Lewis
58. Flannery O’Connor. Collected Works
59. The Return of the Prodigal Son. Henri Nouwen
60. The Ecumenical Jihad. Peter Kreeft
61. The Unseriousness of Human Affairs. Lames Schall
62. Evangelium Vitae. Pope John Paul II
63. Fides et Ratio. Pope John Paul II
64. Woman in the Church. Louis Bouyer, ed
65. Catholic Bio-Ethics and the Gift of Human life. William E. May
66. Marriage: The Bedrock on Which Civilization Is Built. William E. May
67. The Clash of Orthodoxies. Robert George
68. Letters to a Young Catholic. George Weigel
69. Death on a Friday Afternoon. Richard John Neuhaus
70. Why Humanae Vitae Was Right. Janet Smith, ed
71. 20thCentury Martyrs. Robert Royal
72. Testimony to Hope. Xavier Nguyen
73. The Divine Comedy. Dante (Sayers translation)
74. Arise From This Darkness. Benedict Groeschel
75. Orthodoxy. G.K. Chesterton
76. Thomas Aquinas. G.K. Chesterton
77. Saint Francis. G.K. Chesterton
78. Edmund Campion. Evelyn Waugh
79. Brideshead Revisited. Evelyn Waugh
80. A Simple Path. Mother Teresa
81. The Rise of Christianity. Rodney Stark
82. The Manuel of Prayer
83. Fire Within. Thomas Dubay
84. Architects of the Culture of Death. Donald Demarco and Benjamin Wiker
85. Transformation in Christ. Dietrich von Hildebrand
86. The Hidden Manna. James O’Connor
87. Introduction to the Devout Life. Francis DeSales
88. Perelandra. C.S. Lewis
89. The Chronicles of Narnia. C.S. Lewis
90. Back to Virtue. Peter Kreeft91. The Crisis of Islam. Bernard Lewis
91. What Went Wrong? Bernard Lewis
92. The Bible and the Quran. Jacques Jomier
93. What Difference Does Jesus Make? Frank Sheed

Essential Catholic Reference Books:

1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
2. The Documents of Vatican II
3. The Faith of the Early Fathers. William Jurgens, ed (3 Volumes)
4. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
5. Butler’s Lives of the Saints (4 Volumes)
6. United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
7. The Encyclicals of Pope John Paul II