Sunday, December 4, 2016

Top Advent Songs of All Time - SHARE - Beautiful #Advent #Music to Prepare for Christmas

Advent is a season in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming". This is a translation of the Greek word parousia, referring to the Second Coming of Christ.
Some of the most beautiful music has been composed for this season. The following are some of the most popular of all time...
1."O come, O come, Emmanuel" is a hymn for Advent. The original Latin is "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel."  The hymn is a metrical paraphrase of the O Antiphons, a series of plainchant antiphons attached to the Magnificat at Vespers over the final days before Christmas. The verses, correspond to the seven standard O Antiphons, in the following order: "Veni, veni Emmanuel!" = "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" "Veni, O Jesse Virgula" = "O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse" "Veni, veni, O Oriens" = "O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high" "Veni, clavis Davidica" = "O come, Thou Key of David, come" "Veni, veni, Adonai" = "O come, Adonai, Lord of might"
 2. "Gabriel's Message" or "The angel Gabriel from heaven came" (Basque: Birjina gaztetto bat zegoen) is a Basque Christmas folk carol about the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the archangel Gabriel. It uses the biblical account of that event (Luke, Chapter 1, verses 26-38) and Mary's Magnificat (Luke 1.46-55) with the opening lines. It was collected by Charles Bordes and then paraphrased into English by Sabine Baring-Gould. 3. O COME, DIVINE MESSIAH! Words: Abbé Simon J. Pellegrin, 1663-1745 English Translation of French Carol Venez Divin Messie Translator: Sister Mary of St. Philip, SND 4. The Advent of our God: Music: 16th Century French Carol MIDI / Noteworthy Composer Meter: 78.76.888 Often played as a processional during Advent Words: Charles Coffin, Paris Breviary, 1736 (Instantis adventum Dei); translated from Latin to English by John Chandler, Hymns of the Primitive Church, 1837. Music: Doncaster Samuel Wesley, in Psalms and Hymns for the Service of the Church, 1837 . Alternate tunes: Franconia (König), Harmonischer Liederschatz, 1738  St. Thomas (Williams), Aaron Williams, 1770 
5. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62. Bible text Revelation 3:20 Chorale Nun komm, der  (Now come, Savior of the heathens) is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Weimar for the first Sunday in Advent and first performed it on 2 December 1714.
 6. "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" (Awake, the voice is calling) is a Lutheran hymn written in German by Philipp Nicolai, first published in 1599 together with "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern". It appears in German hymnals and in several English hymnals in translations such as "Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying". 

Touching #Christmas Commercial from Poland goes Viral - SHARE it might make you cry!

This Shows you are never too Old to Learn and Love. Touching #Christmas Commercial from Poland goes Viral - SHARE it might make you cry!

#PopeFrancis "Let us prepare the way of the Lord and straighten His paths, when we examine our conscience..." #Angelus in Advent - FULL TEXT

Before the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In this second Sunday of Advent’s Gospel reading, we hear echoed the invitation of John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 3,2). With these same words, Jesus will start his mission in Galilee (cf. Mt 4:17); and this will also be an announcement that will bring the disciples on their first missionary experience (cf. Mt 10,7). The Evangelist Matthew greatly wishes to present John as one who prepares the way for Christ’s coming, and the disciples, as continuing Jesus’ preaching. This is the same joyful proclamation: come, the kingdom of God is at hand … indeed, it is in our midst! This is very important: “The kingdom of God is among you,” says Jesus. And John announces that Jesus will say later: “The kingdom of God has come, has arrived, is in your midst.” This is the central message of all Christian mission. When a missionary goes, a Christian goes to proclaim Jesus, he does not go to proselytize, as if he were a fan seeking his team more closely. No, just announcing: “The kingdom of God is among you!,” the missionary prepares the way for Jesus, Who meets His people.
But what is this Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven? They are synonyms. We think now to something about the afterlife, eternal life. Of course, this is true, God’s Kingdom will extend endlessly beyond earthly life, but the good news that Jesus leads – and that John anticipates – is that in this Kingdom of God, we do not need to wait for Him in the future: He approached, [and], in some way, is already present. We can experience right now this spiritual power. “The kingdom of God is among you!,” says Jesus. God comes to establish His dominion in our history, in the ‘today’ of every day of our lives; and where it is accepted with faith and humility, love, joy and peace flourish.
The condition to become part of this Kingdom, is to make a change in our lives, that is, convert, convert ourselves every day, one step forward every day … [It] is to leave the convenient but misleading streets, the idols of this world: success at all costs, the power at the expense of the weak, the thirst for wealth, pleasure at any price. And instead open the way for the Lord Who comes. He does not take away our freedom, but gives us true happiness. With the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, it is God Himself Who has come to dwell among us, to free us from selfishness, sin and corruption, as these attitudes are of the devil: looking for success at all costs; seeking power at the expense of the weakest; having the thirst for wealth and seeking pleasure at any price.
Christmas is a day of great joy, also exterior, but is primarily a religious event for which spiritual preparation is needed. In this Advent season, let us be guided by the exhortation of John the Baptist: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” (v. 3). Let us prepare the way of the Lord and straighten His paths, when we examine our conscience, when we watch our attitudes, to chase away these sinful attitudes that I mentioned, which are not of God: the success at all costs; the power at the expense of the weakest; the thirst for riches; the pleasure at any price.
May the Virgin Mary prepare the encounter with this always greater love, which is what Jesus brings, and Who on Christmas, was made small, like a seed fallen into the earth. And Jesus is this seed: the seed of the Kingdom of God.
[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I extend my greetings to all of you, Romans and pilgrims!
I particularly greet the faithful who have come from Córdoba, Jaén and Valencia, Spain; from Split and Makarska, Croatia; the parishes of Santa Maria and the Oration of the Body and Blood of Christ in Rome.
I wish you all a good Sunday and a good Advent journey, this paving the way for the Lord, converting ourselves every day.
See you Thursday for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We pray together, asking her maternal intercession for the conversion of hearts and the gift of peace.
And please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch. See you Thursday!
[Original Text: Italian] [ZENIT:Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

Novena to St. Barbara and Prayers - #Patron of #Architects, #Builders, #Miners, and Sudden Death


St. Barbara is the patroness of architects, builders, miners and artillery men, and she is invoked against lightning, fire and sudden death.
Prayer of the Church
O GOD, Who among the wonders of Thy might didst grant the victory of Martyrdom also to the weaker sex, graciously grant us that we, by recalling the memory of Thy blessed Virgin and Martyr Barbara, through her example may be led to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Novena in Honor of St. Barbara
Preparatory Prayer
For Each  Novena to a Holy Helper
ALMIGHTY and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy Divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.
Prayer in Honor of St. Barbara
O GOD, Who didst adorn Thy holy Virgin and Martyr Barbara with extraordinary fortitude in the confession of the Faith, and didst console her in the most atrocious torments; grant us through her intercession perseverance in the fulfillment of Thy law and the grace of being fortified before our end with the holy Sacraments, and of a happy death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. Barbara  
 INTREPID Virgin and Martyr, St. Barbara, through thy intercession come to my aid in all needs of my soul. Obtain for me the grace to be preserved from a sudden and unprovided death; assist me in my agony, when my senses are benumbed and I am in the throes of death. Then, O powerful patroness of the dying, come to my aid! Repel from me all the assaults and temptations of the evil one, and obtain for me the grace to receive before death the holy Sacraments, that I breathe forth my soul confirmed in faith, hope, and charity, and be worthy to enter eternal glory. Amen.
St. Barbara, at my last end
  Obtain for me the Sacrament;
Assist one in that direst need
  When I my God and Judge must meet:
That robed in sanctifying grace
  My soul may stand before His face.
Prayer
My Lord and God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.
Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.
SOURCE:
THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M.
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, 1995; with Imprimatur, Imprimi Potest and Nihil Obstat.

#PopeFrancis "..see the human face of those you earnestly seek to help. " to #Fortune500 and #Time100 Leaders - FULL TEXT


Pope Francis on Saturday greeted participants of the Fortune-Time Global Forum
. The Forum brings together Fortune 500 and Time 100 leaders 
The full text of Pope Francis’ speech is below
Greeting of His Holiness
 Pope Francis
to Participants of the Fortune-Time Global Forum
Saturday, 3 December 2016
Dear Friends,
I am very pleased to welcome all of you who are participating in the Fortune-Time Global Forum, and I express my appreciation for your work these past two days.  I thank Mrs Nancy Gibbs and Mr Alan Murray for their kind words.  The theme you have chosen, “The 21st-Century Challenge: Forging a New Social Compact”, is very opportune and points to the urgent need for more inclusive and equitable economic models.  Your time together has allowed for a substantive exchange of ideas and sharing of information.  Important as this is, what is required now is not a new social compact in the abstract, but concrete ideas and decisive action which will benefit all people and which will begin to respond to the pressing issues of our day.
I would like to offer a particular word of thanks for all that you are doing to promote the centrality and dignity of the human person within our institutions and economic models, and to draw attention to the plight of the poor and refugees, who are so often forgotten by society.  When we ignore the cries of so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, we not only deny them their God-given rights and worth, but we also reject their wisdom and prevent them from offering their talents, traditions and cultures to the world.  In so doing, the poor and marginalized are made to suffer even more, and we ourselves grow impoverished, not only materially, but morally and spiritually.  
Our world today is marked by great unrest.  Inequality between peoples continues to rise, and many communities are impacted directly by war and poverty, or the migration and displacement which flow from them.  People want to make their voices heard and express their concerns and fears.  They want to make their rightful contribution to their local communities and broader society, and to benefit from the resources and development too often reserved for the few.  While this may create conflict and lay bare the many sorrows of our world, it also makes us realize that we are living in a moment of hope.  For when we finally recognize the evil in our midst, we can seek healing by applying the remedy.  Your very presence here today is a sign of such hope, because it shows that you recognize the issues before us and the imperative to act decisively.  This strategy of renewal and hope calls for institutional and personal conversion; a change of heart that attaches primacy to the deepest expressions of our common humanity, our cultures, our religious beliefs and our traditions. 
This fundamental renewal does not have to do simply with market economics, figures to be balanced, the development of raw materials and improvements made to infrastructures.  No, what we are speaking about is the common good of humanity, of the right of each person to share in the resources of this world and to have the same opportunities to realize his or her potential, a potential that is ultimately based on the dignity of the children of God, created in his image and likeness.             
Our great challenge is to respond to global levels of injustice by promoting a local and even personal sense of responsibility so that no one is excluded from participating in society.  Thus, the question before us is how best to encourage one another and our respective communities to respond to the suffering and needs we see, both from afar and in our midst.  The renewal, purification and strengthening of solid economic models depends on our own personal conversion and generosity to those in need.
I encourage you to continue the work you have begun at this Forum, and to seek ever more creative ways to transform our institutions and economic structures so that they may be able to respond to the needs of our day and be in service of the human person, especially those marginalized and discarded.  I pray too that you may involve in your efforts those whom you seek to help; give them a voice, listen to their stories, learn from their experiences and understand their needs.  See in them a brother and a sister, a son and a daughter, a mother and a father.  Amid the challenges of our day, see the human face of those you earnestly seek to help. 
I assure you of my prayer that your efforts will bear fruit, and of the Catholic Church’s commitment to be a voice for those who otherwise are silenced.  Upon you, your families and all your colleagues, I invoke the divine blessings of wisdom, strength and peace. Thank you.

Free Catholic Movie : The Bells of St. Mary's : Stars Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman


The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) 126 min - Drama | Family - 21 February 1946 (Sweden) At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building. Director: Leo McCarey Writers: Dudley Nichols (screenplay), Leo McCarey (story) Stars: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers | 

Sunday Mass Online : Sunday December 4, 2016 - Readings and Video - 2nd of #Advent - Year A


Second Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 4

Reading 1IS 11:1-10

On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
but he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.
On that day, the root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
the Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial PsalmPS 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17

R. (cf. 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
he shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Reading 2ROM 15:4-9

Brothers and sisters:
Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction,
that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to think in harmony with one another,
in keeping with Christ Jesus,
that with one accord you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you,
for the glory of God.
For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised
to show God’s truthfulness,
to confirm the promises to the patriarchs,
but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
As it is written:
Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
and sing praises to your name.

AlleluiaLK 3:4, 6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn, 
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Saint December 4 : St. John Damascene : Doctor of the Church

Born:
676, Damascus
Died:
December 4, 749, Mar Saba, Jerusalem
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH This Doctor of the Church was born in Damascus, Syria, and his father was a government official under both the Byzantine emperor and the Muslim rulers of Damascus. Receiving an excellent classical education, and fluent in Arabic as well as Greek, St. John Damascene worked in the Muslim court until the hostility of the caliph toward Christianity caused him to resign his position, about the year 700.
He migrated to Jerusalem and became a monk at Mar Sabas monastery near Jerusalem. He taught in the monastery, preached many of his luminous sermons in Jerusalem, and began to compose his theological treatises.
It was about this time that the iconoclast controversy shook the Churches of the East, when the Byzantine emperor ordered the destruction of images in Christian churches. John fought the heresy, bringing down upon himself the wrath of the emperor and the hatred of the iconoclast party.
He has left a rich legacy of writings, including his principal dogmatic work, , which was a , a refutation of heresy, an exposition of the Orthodox faith, and a study of contemporary religious issues. His writings on Mary constitute a true theology of the Mother of God, and his sermons of the saints, the liturgical feasts, and the Gospels show not only vast learning but also give us information about local customs and contemporary happenings.
Since he lived in the midst of political and theological turmoil, John wrote much to clarify true doctrine and to do his part in spreading the Gospel. The fact that he lived and worked in Jerusalem itself gives his sermons, delivered at many of the holy places, a special appeal.
He died at a very old age, some say one hundred four, in the midst of his labors, beloved by his fellow monks and revered by the people. He was buried at the monastery of Mar Sabas and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1890.
source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saint December 4 : St. Barbara : Patron of Mathematicians, Miners, Military engineers, lightning, Sudden death

St. Barbara
VIRGIN AND MARTYR
Feast: December 4


Information:
Feast Day:December 4
Patron of:Artillery gunners, masons, mathematicians, miners, military engineers, stonecutters, against lightning, anyone who works at risk of sudden and violent death
There is no reference to St. Barbara contained in the authentic early historical authorities for Christian antiquity, neither does her name appear in the original recension of St. Jerome's martyrology. Veneration of the saint was common, however, from the seventh century. At about this date there were in existence legendary Acts of her martyrdom which were inserted in the collection of Symeon Metaphrastes and were used as well by the authors (Ado, Usuard, etc.) of the enlarged martyrologies composed during the ninth century in Western Europe. According to these narratives, which are essentially the same, Barbara was the daughter of a rich heathen named Dioscorus. She was carefully guarded by her father who kept her shut up in a tower in order to preserve her from the outside world. An offer of marriage which was received through him she rejected. Before going on a journey her father commanded that a bath-house be erected for her use near her dwelling, and during his absence Barbara had three windows put in it, as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, instead of the two originally intended. When her father returned she acknowledged herself to be a Christian; upon this she was ill-treated by him and dragged before the prefect of the province, Martinianus, who had her cruelly tortured and finally condemned her to death by beheading. The father himself carried out the death-sentence, but in punishment for this he was struck by lightning on the way home and his body consumed. Another Christian named Juliana suffered the death of a martyr along with Barbara. A pious man called Valentinus buried the bodies of the saints; at this grave the sick were healed and the pilgrims who came to pray received aid and consolation. The emperor in whose reign the martyrdom is placed is sometimes called Maximinus and sometimes Maximianus; owing to the purely legendary character of the accounts of the martyrdom, there is no good basis for the investigations made at an earlier date in order to ascertain whether Maximinus Thrax (235-238) or Maximinus Daza (of the Diocletian persecutions), is meant.
The traditions vary as to the place of martyrdom, two different opinions being expressed: Symeon Metaphrastes and the Latin legend given by Mombritius makes Heliopolis in Egypt the site of the martyrdom, while other accounts, to which Baronius ascribes more weight, give Nicomedia. In the "Martyrologium Romanum parvum" (about 700), the oldest martyrology of the Latin Church in which her name occurs, it is said: "In Tuscia Barbarae virginis et martyris", a statement repeated by Ado and others, while later additions of the martyrologies of St. Jerome and Bede say "Romae Barbarae virginis" or "apud Antiochiam passio S. Barbarae virg.". These various statements prove, however, only the local adaptation of the veneration of the saintly martyr concerning whom there is no genuine historical tradition. It is certain that before the ninth century she was publicly venerated both in the East and in the West, and that she was very popular with the Christian populace. The legend that her father was struck by lightning caused her, probably, to be regarded by the common people as the patron saint in time of danger from thunder-storms and fire, and later by analogy, as the protector of artillerymen and miners. She was also called upon as intercessor to assure the receiving of the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist at the hour of death. An occurrence of the year 1448 did much to further the spread of the veneration of the saint. A man named Henry Kock was nearly burnt to death in a fire at Gorkum; he called on St. Barbara, to whom he had always shown great devotion. She aided him to escape from the burning house and kept him alive until he could receive the last sacraments. A similar circumstance is related in an addition to the "Legenda aurea". In the Greek and present Roman calendars the feast of St. Barbara falls on 4 December, while the martyrologies of the ninth century, with the exception of Rabanus Maurus, place it on 16 December. St. Barbara has often been depicted in art; she is represented standing in a tower with three windows, carrying the palm of a martyr in her hand; often also she holds a chalice and sacramental wafer; sometimes cannon are displayed near her.
SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia