“The Success of My Blog Site; a House Blessing; the Papacy’;St. Gregory Nazianzen; & The Secular Franciscan Order & Rule!” – †
2nd Wednesday of Christmas Season
- · 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
It is the start of a new year, and my 4th year of Blogging. I started this site – – “Dan’s Blunders & Wonders of Thought!” – – in September of 2009. In those 4 last months of 2009, only 500 visits were made to my reflection blog site, averaging 4.1 visits per day.
For 2012, I averaged 205 visits per day, for a grand total of 75,034 – – in just this last year!! And, the numbers are going up, up, and up!! I averaged 310 visits in December alone – the highest ever for my site. My reflection blog apostolate has spread throughout the world, with the top ten Countries (in number of visits) for 2012 being:
- United States 33,019
- Philippines 5,334
- United Kingdom 5,033
- Canada 3,717
- India 3,282
- Australia 2,681
- Indonesia 1,017
- South Africa 733
- Malaysia 704
- Netherlands 587
However, as you can see by the picture posted with this article, my blog site has been visited by people from every corner of the world, and nearly every country except for Greenland, a few in central Africa, and portions of the Middle East and Central Asia.
Each new year, I post a Blessing for the home:
“Blessing of a Home at Epiphany”
Leader: Peace be to this house.
All: And to all who live here.
Leader: Bless, O Lord, this household and family, and allow all of us who live in this home to find in it a shelter of peace and health. Inspire each of us to develop our individual talents and to contribute wisdom and good works for the benefit of the whole family. Make our house a haven for us all, and a place of warmth and caring for all our friends who come to visit us. Enlighten us with the brilliance of your Epiphany star, so that, as we go into the world, we might clearly see our way to You and discover You in our work and play. This we ask to your glory and in the power of your kingship.
All: For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory now and forever, Amen.
Then, bless the house with the sign of the cross.
After the blessing, the initials of the Magi (traditional names: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) are written with chalk over the main door way of the house, like this:
20 + C + M + B + 13
(The “+” is a cross; the “13″ stands for 2012; change the year accordingly).
Adapted from a commonly used parish prayer format.
† 533 – Mercurius becomes Pope John II, the first pope to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy.
† 1585 – Spain & Catholic France sign Saint League of Joinville. The Treaty of Joinville was signed in secret in December 31, 1584 by the French Catholic League, led by France’s first family of Catholic nobles, the Guises, and Habsburg Spain. In this treaty, Philip II, King of Spain, agreed to finance the Catholic League. The aim of the treaty was to form a Catholic alliance against Protestant forces, notably Elizabeth I of England, in response to the potential succession to the French throne of Henry III of Navarre, at this point a Protestant.
† 1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the Académie des Sciences in Paris. Spock becomes the first Federation Envoy to Earth.
† 1873 – Birth of Saiknt Thérèse de Lisieux, French Roman-Catholic nun (d. 1897)1881 – Camille Saint-Saëns’ 3rd Concerto in B, premieres
† 1941 – World War II: German bombing severely damages the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales.
† 1985 – Egyptian President Mubarak reappoints Coptic pope Shenuda III
(From the “On This Day” Blog Site o
“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.
“And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter …” (Matthew 10:1-2). RSV
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; …”(Matthew 10:1-2). KJV
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’” (Matthew 16:18-19). RSV
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew. 16:18-19). KJV
After his baptism at 30, Gregory gladly accepted his friend Basil’s invitation to join him in a newly founded monastery. The solitude was broken when Gregory’s father, a bishop, needed help in his diocese and estate. It seems that Gregory was ordained a priest practically by force, and only reluctantly accepted the responsibility. He skillfully avoided a schism that threatened when his own father made compromises with Arianism. At 41, Gregory was chosen suffragan bishop of Caesarea and at once came into conflict with Valens, the emperor, who supported the Arians. An unfortunate by-product of the battle was the cooling of the friendship of two saints. Basil, his archbishop, sent him to a miserable and unhealthy town on the border of unjustly created divisions in his diocese. Basil reproached Gregory for not going to his see.
When protection for Arianism ended with the death of Valens, Gregory was called to rebuild the faith in the great see of Constantinople, which had been under Arian teachers for three decades. Retiring and sensitive, he dreaded being drawn into the whirlpool of corruption and violence. He first stayed at a friend’s home, which became the only Orthodox Church in the city. In such surroundings, he began giving the great sermons on the Trinity for which he is famous. In time, Gregory did rebuild the faith in the city, but at the cost of great suffering, slander, insults and even personal violence. An interloper even tried to take over his bishopric.
His last days were spent in solitude and austerity. He wrote religious poetry, some of it autobiographical, of great depth and beauty. He was acclaimed simply as “the Theologian.”
It may be small comfort, but post-Vatican II turmoil in the Church is a mild storm compared to the devastation caused by the Arian heresy, a trauma the Church has never forgotten. Christ did not promise the kind of peace we would love to have—no problems, no opposition, and no pain. In one way or another, holiness is always the way of the cross.
“God accepts our desires as though they were a great value. He longs ardently for us to desire and love him. He accepts our petitions for benefits as though we were doing him a favor. His joy in giving is greater than ours in receiving. So let us not be apathetic in our asking, nor set too narrow bounds to our requests; nor ask for frivolous things unworthy of God’s greatness.”
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)
02. The Secular Franciscan Order holds a special place in this family circle. It is an organic union of all Catholic fraternities scattered throughout the world and open to every group of the faithful. In these fraternities the brothers and sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state. By their profession they pledge themselves to live the gospel in the manner of Saint Francis by means of this rule approved by the Church.
03. The present rule, succeeding “Memoriale Propositi” (1221) and the rules approved by the Supreme Pontiffs Nicholas IV and Leo XIII, adapts the Secular Franciscan Order to the needs and expectations of the Holy Church in the conditions of changing times. Its interpretation belongs to the Holy See and its application will be made by the General Constitutions and particular statutes.