Friday, December 21, 2007

Ora Pro Nobis!

Ora Pro Nobis! Custom Designed and Personalized Holy Cards for All Your Special Days

This was just brought to my attention and I think it is an awesome idea.

Christ within others

Spirit Daily - Daily spiritual news from around the world:

"View others as you want God to view you, and you will break through to love. Receive the blessing of blessing others."

Today: Let us not only acknowledge that Christ is within us but that He is also within those that we come in contact with.

O Little Town Of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

Come to Bethlehem

Intercessors Of The Lamb

Bethlehem is a contemplative type of prayer. There are not any words really; it’s an experience. Anytime we go there, the experience will be different. So St. Ignatius says to try to just let go of the thinking process in these meditations this coming week and become totally immersed in the scene—be there. This is where we want to use all five senses. Try to see the scene and the persons. Try to hear. You’re going to hear Mary and Joseph speaking. Are you going to hear the angels singing? Are you going to hear a baby’s noises? Are you coming to hear the animals? See what you hear. Are you going to hear the wind at night? Try to smell. It had to be very odorous there. Try to smell the smells because it makes it real. You’re there then. Try to smell the hay in the manger. Try to taste the sweetness of the moment of the mystery, of this tremendous gift of God in flesh—not only in flesh, but in baby flesh. You might find that the Spirit’s going to let you to experience the tremendous poverty of this child. Jesus was extremely rich. He’s God. He had everything in Heaven. He left it all when He descended. The last sense to use is touch. Try to touch something in the mysteries that you’ll be gazing upon. Maybe touch the straw at Bethlehem. Maybe hold the Baby, maybe touch Mary’s hand, maybe experience how hard the ground that Mary and Joseph were on was.

To conclude, this whole scene might lead you to an awareness that this is actually taking place within me. There’s a new birthing now within me. The child Jesus is being born now within me. The beautiful mystery of the rosary, “Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple”, might be your experience as you find them deep within yourself. So the week will be one of quietness. It will be one of revelation. It will primarily be one of experience. Contemplation is an experience. It’s the experience of the truth. It might be the experience more of the Incarnation itself

Teresa of Avila said one of the greatest mystical graces a soul can receive is the experience of Incarnational spirituality—to really know that that Child now lives within me, that Child now has taken on my flesh. This is where it will ultimately lead me. That’s Incarnational spirituality: we become one with Jesus. He became one with me. The Word now has become enfleshed in me. So you want to have the experience. The Spirit will lead, and ultimately your prayer might end up just being lost in the mystery and wonderment because it’s so beyond the human mind. This is what contemplation ultimately comes to: being lost in the mystery, gazing at the beauty, and being lost in the goodness of God and that He has done this for me.

Excerpt from Mother Nadine’s “Heart- to-heart Listening: Experiencing Jesus Intimately,”March 13, 2000.

The Lord Magnified in us

Universalis: Office of Readings:

"Blessed are you,” said Elizabeth, “who believed”.
You too, my people, are blessed, you who have heard and who believe. Every soul that believes — that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognises his works.

Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, to rejoice in God. According to the flesh only one woman can be the mother of Christ but in the world of faith Christ is the fruit of all of us. For every soul can receive the Word of God if only it is pure and preserves itself in chastity and modesty.

The soul that has been able to reach this state proclaims the greatness of the Lord just as Mary did and rejoices in God its saviour just like her.
The Lord’s greatness is proclaimed, as you have read elsewhere, where it says Join me in magnifying the Lord. This does not mean that anything can be added to the Lord’s greatness by human words, but that he is magnified in us. Christ is the image of God and so any good or religious act that a soul performs magnifies that image of God in that soul, the God in whose likeness the soul itself was made. And thus the soul itself has some share in his greatness and is ennobled."

---from St Ambrose's commentary on St Luke's Gospel

Universalis: Office of Readings

Universalis: Office of Readings:
Isaiah 48:12 - 49:13

"Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is good for you,
I lead you in the way that you must go.
If only you had been alert to my commandments,
your happiness would have been like a river,
your integrity like the waves of the sea.
Your children would have been numbered like the sand,
your descendants as many as its grains.
Never would your name have been cut off or blotted out before me."

Blessed are you...

USCCB - (NAB) - December 21, 2007:

"Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”"

Prayer for Today: As soon as Mary Got the word that her cousin Elizabeth was with child, she believed and set out to go to her. May we too act on the word that we are receiving daily from You Lord. May we in turn reach out to others with great love and not only be a blessing to others but be blessed ourselves.