On the Eleventh Day of Christmas…


January 4, Solemnity of the EpiphanyEpiphany is a large celebration, especially in Spanish speaking countries. Things look different around the household: the infant Jesus in the manger now has a small gold crown and is wearing regal robes. The figures of the wise men have reached Bethlehem, completing the nativity scene. 

The Church extends itself on Epiphany to the homes of the faithful. The custom of blessing the home on this day probably originated from these words in the Gospel, “And entering into the house, they found the Child with Mary, His Mother, and falling down they adored Him.” The priest blesses the house if he can be present, but if not, the father of the family may do so.

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/Christmas_days_epiphany.cfm

On the Tenth Day of Christmas…


January 3, Most Holy Name of JesusThe name of Jesus is a name of gladness, a name of hope and a name of love. A name of gladness, because if the remembrance of past transgressions afflicts us, this name comforts us, reminding us that the Son of God became man for this purpose, to make himself our Savior.

A name of hope, because he that prays to the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus may hope for every grace he asks for: If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you.

A name of love. For the name of Jesus brings to our remembrance all the sufferings which Jesus has endured for us in his life and at his death. — Excerpted from St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Incarnation Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/christmas_days10.cfm

On the Ninth Day of Christmas…


January 2, St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory NazianzenIn celebrating the feasts of St. Basil of Caesarea and St. Gregory Nazianzen on the same day, the Church extols a virtue which she has always esteemed, friendship. The friendship between Basil and Gregory was admirable. Born in Cappadocia around 330, they studied together in Athens and then returned to their homeland where they led a monastic life for several years. Their temperaments were very different. While Basil had the qualities of a leader and a gift for organization that made him a legislator for monks in the East, Gregory was a contemplative and a poet.

The Orthodox Church has placed Basil and Gregory with John Chrysostom in the first rank of ecumenical doctors. They are “the three Hierarchs.” — Excerpted from Magnificat, PO Box 91, Spencerville, MD © 2001

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/christmas_days9.cfm

On the Eighth Day of Christmas…


January 1, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Although New Year’s Day is not celebrated by the Church, this day has been observed as a holy day of obligation since early times due to the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Each family and country has different traditional foods to eat on New Year’s Day, with lentils being the main superstition: ill luck befalling those who do not eat lentils at the beginning of the year.

New Year’s is a day of traditional hospitality, visiting and good cheer, mostly with a secular view, but there is no reason that this day, too, could not be sanctified in Christ.

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/christmas_days8.cfm

Happy New Year

May God bless and keep you in 2015.

A quick reflection about my own year in 2014 makes me wonder where has the year gone? To be clear, my year has not gone to the way of waste and non-productiveness, but the opposite. So much has been done that it can be a difficult task to remember them all. And the reflection of that busyness? I am seeing change for 2015. And I pray that it is what God continually wants of me.

Also that the things I have done last year would have built and strengthen my resolve to work harder for the people I hold dear and love. This morning I will go to New Year’s Mass at Santa Teresita Catholic Church in an hour or so and offer my prayers and thanksgiving to God for keeping me and loved ones safe and present. I will pray for you too, the reader of my blog.

God bless you now and always.

On the Seventh Day of Christmas…


December 31, Seventh Day in the Octave of ChristmasThe last day of the year is also the feast of St. Sylvester — bishop of Rome in 314. Constantine gave him the Lateran Palace, which became the cathedral church of Rome. Many legends exist about Sylvester. He supposedly cured Constantine from leprosy and later baptized him on his deathbed.

New Year’s Eve, along with its innocent gaiety, is really a day for serious reflection. On the eve of the civil New Year the children may join their parents in a holy hour, in prayer and thanksgiving for the gifts and benefits which God has given them in the past year, and to pray for necessary graces in the forthcoming civil year.

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/christmas_days7.cfm

On the Sixth Day of Christmas…


December 30, Sixth Day in the Octave of ChristmasGod is your beatitude. The things of time are toys. You are eternity’s child and your eternity has already begun! There is a compelling urgency to every day and every hour of the day. In it we are to witness to the truth — that God greeted and gifted us at Christmas. 

If you know what witness means, you understand why God brings St. Stephen, St. John, and the Holy Innocents to the crib in the cave as soon as Christ is born liturgically. To be a witness is to be a martyr. Holy Mother Church wishes us to realize that we were born in baptism to become Christ — He who was the world’s outstanding Martyr. — Love Does Such Things, by Rev. M. Raymond, O.C.S.O.

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/christmas_days6.cfm

On the Fifth Day of Christmas…


December 29, Fifth Day in the Octave of ChristmasGiven the tempo of the liturgical season with its feasts it is easy to overlook that one saint who for many centuries was, after Mary and Joseph, the most venerated person in European Christendom.

St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury was assassinated in his cathedral on December 29, 1170 because of his opposition to his former friend, King Henry II of England, who was encroaching on the liberties of the English Church.

Devotion to him spread like wildfire. He was enshrined in the hearts of men, and in their arts. In statues and stained glass, in song and story this good bishop was everywhere to be found: France, Italy, Spain, Sweden. Many miracles were attributed to his heavenly advocacy. — Excerpted from Days of the Lord

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/christmas_days5.cfm

On the Fourth Day of Christmas…


December 28, Feast of the Holy FamilyToday is the feast day of the Holy Family, but also every family’s feast day, since the Holy Family is the patron and model of all Christian families. Today should be a huge family feast, since it is devoted entirely to the Holy Family as a model for the Christian family life. As Rev. Edward Sutfin states: 

“The children must learn to see in their father the foster-father St. Joseph, and the Blessed Mother as the perfect model for their own mother. The lesson to be learned is both practical and theoretical, in that the children must learn how to obey and to love their parents in thought, word and action, just as Christ was obedient to Mary and Joseph. Helping mother in the kitchen and in the house work, and helping father in his odd jobs about the home thus take on a new significance by being performed in a Christ-like spirit.” (True Christmas Spirit, ©1955, St. Meinrad Archabbey, Inc.)

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/Christmas_days_family.cfm

On the Third Day of Christmas…


December 27, Feast of Saint JohnSt. John was born in Bethsaida, and like his brother James, was a fisherman. He was called while mending his nets to follow Jesus. He became the beloved disciple of Jesus. He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Apocalypse. His passages on the pre-existence of the Word, who by His Incarnation became the light of the world and life of our souls, are among the finest of the New Testament. 

He is the evangelist of the divinity of Christ and His fraternal love. With James, his brother and Simon Peter, he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration. At the Last Supper, he leans on the Master’s breast. At the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusts His Mother to his care. John’s pure life kept him very close to Jesus and Mary. In years to come John was exiled to the island of Patmos under Emperor Domitian, but lived to an old age. — From the Daily Roman Missal

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/christmas/christmas_days3.cfm

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