Wednesday, Second Day
in the Octave of Christmas
• Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations
• Today in Catholic History
• Catholic Apologetics
• A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day
• Reflection on article of the OFS Rule
Further thoughts on the Newtown Shooting, in light of this Friday’s “Feast of the Holy Innocents”:
For most of us, what should be a happy and joyous family time filled with hope and togetherness, was shattered by the horrific shootings of twenty elementary school children and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. Our prayers and thoughts go out to all those martyrs, their families and friends, the first responders, and the townsfolk of Newtown.
Like everyone else in this great country, I was truly horrified, frustrated, and saddened – – maybe even “angry”. I asked myself, “How could someone do this gross act, especially to these six and seven year old children?” Hopeless cannot even describe how I felt for our countries “future” when I first heard of the shootings; we are truly circling the drain of the moral and spiritual sink indeed. It seems all I can do is pray, but maybe – – No, I am SURE – – this is WHAT we ALL need to do, for this country’s future!!
As we all respond to the intentional and gruesome evil perpetrated in Newtown, we need to find solace and support in our faith, hope, and trust that those who lost their earthly lives have found eternal life in Jesus’ heavenly Father’s house, their Father’s heavenly house. Along with the grief and suffering of – – and for – – those most directly affected in shocking and sickening act, we enter more deeply, more fully, into the “mystery” of the “Feast of the Holy Innocents”, this Friday, December 28th. In the face of such rampant disregard for the sacredness of human life in our society, we can endeavor to live more lovingly, building a nation of moral and spiritual values instead of the contempt and insignificance found in today’s society.
† 268 – Death of Pope St Dionysius
† 418 – Death of Pope St Zosimus
† 795 – St Leo III begins his reign as Catholic Pope
† 1492 – First Spanish settlement in New World founded by Columbus (A Franciscan Tiertiary).
† 1751 – Birth of Clement Hofbauer, Austrian hermit and Redemptorist missionary and saint (d. 1820)
† 1862 – Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover are the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.
† 1948 – Venerable Cardinal Mindszenty, Archbishop of Esztergom in Hungary, is arrested and accused of treason and conspiracy.
† Feasts/Memorails: St. Stephen’s Day, a public holiday in Alsace, Austria, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Ireland; Synaxis of Theotokos and feast of St. Joseph, King and Prophet David and St. James the Just (Orthodox Christianity); The first of the twelve days of Christmas in Western Christianity; Abadiu of Antinoe is commemorated in the Coptic Church on this date; In Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden, the 26th is known as the Second day of Christmas.
(From the “On This Day” Blog Site
“Today in Catholic History”
My reason and purpose for this section on my blog is to provide “scriptural confirmation” for our beliefs and doctrines, not to cause dissention or opposition with my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, yet not in union with the Roman Catholic Church. Whether God speaks to us through the “Bible”, or through “Tradition”, it is the Holy Spirit who inspires the “Word” from which all authentic tradition flows.
Tradition can be separated into two aspects: oral and behavioral. Oral tradition includes written forms. After all, it ALL started with oral tradition. Behavioral tradition includes Baptism, Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, Laying on of hands for healing, Intercessory prayer, and Ordination.
All Scriptural verses are taken from both the Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible and the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
Real Presence in the Eucharist
“’For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant of my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). RSV
“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). KJV
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27). RSV
”Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:27). KJV
All we know of Stephen is found in Acts of the Apostles, chapters Six and Seven. It is enough to tell us what kind of man he was:
At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenist (Greek-speaking) Christians complained about the Hebrew-speaking Christians, saying that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit… (Acts 6:1-5).
Acts says that Stephen was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders among the people. Certain Jews, members of the Synagogue of Roman Freedmen, debated with Stephen but proved no match for the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke. They persuaded others to make the charge of blasphemy against him. He was seized and carried before the Sanhedrin.
In his speech, Stephen recalled God’s guidance through Israel’s history, as well as Israel’s idolatry and disobedience. He then claimed that his persecutors were showing this same spirit. “[Y]ou always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors” (Acts 7:51b).
His speech brought anger from the crowd. “But [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God….’ They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him…. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit…. Lord, do not hold this sin against them’” (Acts 7:55-56, 58a, 59, 60b).
Stephen died as Jesus did: falsely accused, brought to unjust condemnation because he spoke the truth fearlessly. He died with his eyes trustfully fixed on God, and with a prayer of forgiveness on his lips. A “happy” death is one that finds us in the same spirit, whether our dying is as quiet as Joseph’s or as violent as Stephen’s: dying with courage, total trust and forgiving love.
Patron Saint of: Bricklayers; Deacons; Hungary
Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.;
revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
(From http://www.americancatholic.org website)
25. Regarding expenses necessary for the life of the fraternity and the needs of worship, of the apostolate, and of charity, all the brothers and sisters should offer a contribution according to their means. Local fraternities should contribute toward the expenses of the higher fraternity councils.
26. As a concrete sign of communion and co- responsibility, the councils on various levels, in keeping with the constitutions, shall ask for suitable and well prepared religious for spiritual assistance. They should make this request to the superiors of the four religious Franciscan families, to whom the Secular Fraternity has been united for centuries.
To promote fidelity to the charism as well as observance of the rule and to receive greater support in the life of the fraternity, the minister or president, with the consent of the council, should take care to ask for a regular pastoral visit by the competent religious superiors as well as for a fraternal visit from those of the higher fraternities, according to the norm of the constitutions.