29 December 2010

Saint Thomas Becket

29 DECEMBER. Today on the fifth day in the Octave of Christmas, the Church remembers Saint Thomas Becket, a twelfth century martyr and Archbishop of Canterbury.


O God,
for the sake of Whose Church the glorious Bishop Thomas
fell by the sword of ungodly men:
grant, we beseech Thee, that all who implore his aid
may obtain the good fruit of his petition.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, forever and ever.


26 December 2010

Feast of the Holy Family

26 DECEMBER 2010. Today, the second in the Octave of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family--where the divine will first truly dwelt on earth. There in the little backwater of Bethlehem, crowed with travelers who have come for the census, huddled in a cave - a mere niche in the rock for the protection of livestock - is Christ our saviour, our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her most chaste and faithful spouse Saint Joseph. He who created the world and is beyond all space and time was contained within the immaculate womb of the Virgin. Together they are the family living in accord with the Divine Will, the will of God the Father who has bestowed on the world his only Son as a gift for all humanity.

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

25 DECEMBER 2010.

Rejoice, the Christ child is born!
Not of lofty or rich estate, by human standards
but, God's only Son sent to us.

We praise God the Father and rejoice in Christ the Son,
Holy Emmanuel, come among us to save us from our sin.

23 December 2010

Saint John of Kanty

23 DECEMBER 2010. Today, just two days before the Church celebrates the blessed nativity of our Lord, the Church commemorates Saint John of Kanty, a renowned Polish priest, scholastic, and theologian.

Among the many traits of Saint John that speak of his sainthood, one was the love he showed as a priest. When rivals at the university were jealous of Saint John's popularity among his students, and set false charges against him. As a result of these falsehoods, Saint John for a time was assigned as pastor of a country church in Olkusz in Bohemia. The people of Olkusz were skeptical of their new pastor, thinking that their country church was being used as a dumping ground for a disgraced academic. But, Saint John worked diligently to show his love for his new flock, though nervous about his responsibility, in all that he did. When Saint John was finally exonerated of all the false charges against him, and invited back to the university, the people of Olkusz are reported to have followed for several miles down the road in an effort to persuade him to stay.

After returning to the university, Saint John was given the position of Professor of Sacred Scriptures, a position he then held until his death. Saint John was so well liked that he was very often invited to dinner by nobility.Once, he was turned away at the door by a servant who thought his cassock was too frayed. Not arguing, Saint John went home and changed into a new cassock. However, during the meal a servant spilled a dish on Saint John's new cassock, to which he replied: "No matter. My clothes deserve some dinner, too. If it hadn't been for them I wouldn't be here at all."

Saint John was constantly mindful of the needs of others too. Once, Saint John saw a beggar walk by outside his window as he ate dinner. He immediately jumped up from his dinner and filled the beggar's bowl with food. He asked no questions of the beggar, he made no demands. He simply saw someone in need and reacted with love.

Saint John repeated taught his students this: "Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause."


Almighty Father,
through the example of John of Kanty
may we grow in the wisdom of the saints.
As we show understanding and kindness to others,
may we receive your forgiveness.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


08 December 2010

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

8 DECEMBER 2010. Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Macula is Latin for "stain." This day the Church celebrates the conception of our Blessed Mother without the stain of sin.

First recognized in Church teaching (in the Eastern Churches) as early as the fifth century, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was not formally promulgated by the Church until 8 December 1854 by Blessed Pope Pius IX. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception, one of the four Marian dogmas of the Church, holds that Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, Saint Ann, and kept free for her entire life, from its very first moment, without the stain of sin.

Christ, the Word, who is beyond all time and space and physical limitation, was contained in the womb of Mary, our Immaculate Mother. As the angel greeted her "full of grace," we believe that she was indeed preserved by God our savior, her Son, from the stain of sin to fulfill her unique and indispensable role in salvation history--to carry Christ in her womb, the initiate His public ministry at a wedding in Cana, to follow Him to the point of the  foot of the cross, and to join our Lord bodily though her assumption into heaven.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Holy Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is the exemplar for all Christian faithful in living a true life of Christian love, dedicated to Christ and truly open to the love and works of God. Pray to our Lady for her assistance in each of our life journeys to Christ.

Dominican Saints and Blessed for December

December 1:
Blessed John of Vercelli

December 8:
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)

December 16:
Blessed Sebastian Maggi

December 25:
The Nativity of the Lord (Solemnity)

December 27:
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph