Awaiting the King of Glory

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 Advent is a time of reflection, of doing penance, of spiritual contemplation as we await “The King of Glory” It is a time of conversion.
The Litany of Conversion
United in the mystery of the Incarnation we pray for the grace of conversion in our own life: R. Lord, Give me the Grace of Conversion
Lord Jesus,
When I look at my life from the starting point of my own insufficiences, instead of from the fact of your compassion, grace, and love for me. R.
When I would prefer to live by my own thoughts and my own understanding instead of by your Truth which alone can set me free. R.
When I would rather brood over what annoys me than turn myself over to you always invite me to come to you. R.
When I obsess over self-absorption, complacency, and self-assertiveness. R.
When I get dejected about my sin, not because it offends you, but because it prevents me from being able to take delight in myself. R.

Whenever I live in a dualistic way, as if my faith and “my real life” are two separate things, R.
When I am deceived into thinking that my happiness depends on something in the future instead of what you give me in the present moment, R.
Composed by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P. editor Magnificat

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O Come, O Come Emmanuel

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Boundless Love & Humility

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   Today is the last day in ordinary time. While most of life is ordinary in a sense, there comes a time when news of a new family member to be, when word of a pregnancy and new baby child warms our heart. It is in that anticipation and joy that we prepare ourselves. I have four children, and I am fully cognizant of the spectrum of emotions that follow. I know the joy of gazing into the eyes of a newborn, of bringing he or she to mother to hold for the first time, to carry into our home a precious new life, to watch the glee and excitement of grandparents. There is no greater story than that of a pregnant wife with husband after a very long journey, looking for place to stay, and with no room in the inn, settling for a night in a stable, among the animals, and giving birth to the Creator of the Universe, with millions upon millions of angels singing. It is in a single moment, the culmination of everything in history that matters. A defenseless, tiny child, wrapped up so tight, and gazing gently into his mothers eyes, in act of boundless love and humility, born into a world much like ours today, full of sin and strife, with the powerful and the powerless. It is in that vein that we are constantly awaiting Him, today amidst the darkness, awaiting the Light from the new dawn to shine on us all. I cannot contain my excitement!

God Calls Man First

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” The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:4
Man is in search of God. In the act of creation, God calls every being from nothingness into existence. “Crowned with glory and honor,” man is, after the angels, capable of acknowledging “how majestic is the name of the Lord in all the earth.” Even after losing through his sin his likeness to God, man remains an image of his Creator, and retains the desire for the one who calls him into existence. All religions bear witness to men’s essential search for God. CCC 2566
God calls man first. Man may forget his Creator or hide far from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having abandoned him; yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. In prayer, the faithful God’s initiative of love always comes first; our own first step is always a response. As God gradually reveals himself and reveals man to himself, prayer appears as a reciprocal call, a covenant drama. Through words and actions, this drama engages the heart. It unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation. CCC2567
When Jesus prays he is already teaching us how to pray. His prayer to his Father is the theologal path (the path of faith, hope, and charity) of our prayer to God. But the Gospel also gives us Jesus’ explicit teaching on prayer. Like a wise teacher he takes hold of us where we are and leads us progressively toward the Father. Addressing the crowds following him, Jesus builds on what they already know of prayer from the Old Covenant and opens to them the newness of the coming Kingdom. Then he reveals this newness to them in parables. Finally, he will speak openly of the Father and the Holy Spirit to his disciples who will be the teachers of prayer in his Church.CCC2607
From the Sermon on the Mount onwards, Jesus insists on conversion of heart: reconciliation with one’s brother before presenting an offering on the altar, love of enemies, and prayer for persecutors, prayer to the Father in secret, not heaping up empty phrases, prayerful forgiveness from the depths of the heart, purity of heart, and seeking the Kingdom before all else. This filial conversion is entirely directed to the Father. CCC2608
Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to the Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving of the members of the Body participates in that of their Head.CCC2637

Christ the King

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Make no mistake that Jesus Christ is King. In modernity where God has been reduced and ignored, and Jesus has been reduced to a nice man with good ideas, it is not only extremely foolish to ignore Christ’s kingship, but it is flat out wrong not to acknowledge it.

 

Therefore  the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will  give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

“when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch,

a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. (Jeremiah 23:5)

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1,2).

 

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).

 

“Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.'” (Luke 9:60)

 

“And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14).

 

And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: how then shall his  kingdom stand? (Matthew 12:26)

 

Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered,” You say that  I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,  that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my  voice.”(John 18:37)

 

“The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)

 

Let Jesus be the Lord over your life and work daily for the Kingdom.

 

 

Doctrine is Important

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The Attributes of God

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One thing that I have discovered in teaching over the past couple of years is the misconceptions and misunderstanding of who God is. The better one understands God and his attributes the better one can discern their relationship to him.

Good

He is originally good, good of Himself, which nothing else is; for all creatures are good only by participation and communication from God. He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him. God is summum bonum, the chiefest good

God is faithful

God is faithful, totally trustworthy

Infinity of God

When we say that God is infinite, we mean that He is unlimited in every kind of perfection or that every conceivable perfection belongs to Him in the highest conceivable way. We must  admit, in conclusion, that our knowledge of the Infinite is inadequate, and necessarily so since our minds are only finite.

Unity or unicity of God

Obviously there can be only one infinite being, only one God. If several were to exist, none of them would really be infinite, for, to have plurality of natures at all, each should have some perfection not possessed by the others. This will be readily granted by every one who admits the infinity of God, and there is no need to delay in developing what is perfectly clear.

Self-Existent
God has life within Himself; His existence is not dependent on any other. Man is a contingent being, God is a necessary being

Simplicity of God

God is a simple being or substance excluding every kind of composition, physical or metaphysical. Physical or real composition is either substantial or accidental — substantial, if the being in question consists of two or more substantial principles, forming parts of a composite whole, as man for example, consists of body and soul; accidental, if the being in question, although simple in its substance (as is the human soul), is capable of possessing accidental perfections (like the actual thoughts and volition of man’s soul) not necessarily identical with its substance. Now it is clear that an infinite being cannot be substantially composite, for this would mean that infinity is made up of the union or addition of finite parts — a plain contradiction in terms. Nor can accidental composition be attributed to the infinite since even this would imply a capacity for increased perfection, which the very notion of the infinite excludes. There is not, therefore, and cannot be any physical or real composition in God.

Divine personality

When we say that God is a personal being we mean that He is intelligent and free and distinct from the created universe.

Eternity

By saying that God is eternal we mean that in essence, life, and action He is altogether beyond temporal limits and relations. He has neither beginning, nor end, nor duration by way of sequence or succession of moments. There is no past or future for God — but only an eternal present.

Immensity and ubiquity, or omnipresence

Space, like time, is one of the measures of the finite, and as by the attribute of eternity, we describe God’s transcendence of all temporal limitations, so by the attribute of immensity we express His transcendent relation to space.

Divine knowledge

That God is omniscient or possesses the most perfect knowledge of all things, follows from His infinite perfection. In the first place He knows and comprehends Himself fully and adequately, and in the next place He knows all created objects and comprehends their finite and contingent mode of being. Hence He knows them individually or singularly in their finite multiplicity, knows everything possible as well as actual; knows what is bad as well as what is good

Immutability

In God “there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. Changeableness implies the capacity for increase or diminution of perfection, that is, it implies finiteness and imperfection. But God is infinitely perfect and is necessarily what He is.

God is love
God’s very essence is love. God in a way doesn’t love but rather is Himself love.

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