By Mary Sayad
DECEMBER - 2009
When we think of the month of December, Christmas celebration immediately comes to mind. However, there are a number of feasts that are deserving of our spiritual attention. December is a busy month of spiritual celebration, joy and peace.
Some of the special days are:
December 8 - the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Our Blessed Mother is conceived without original sin. **“On December 8, 1854 Pope Pius XI defined the Immaculate Conception as an article of faith and truth contained in the original teachings of the Apostles.’ ’ …….The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, by the singular grace and privilege by the omnipotent God…….’ ‘Mary’s birth should not be confused with Christ’s Virgin Birth. That is, the actions of her parents caused her body to be formed. It is God, however, Who breathe the rational soul (Jesus) into man.”
For Roman Catholics this is a Holy Day of Obligation.
**The New American Bible 1997 - 1998 Edition
December 9 - the feast of St. Juan Diego. Our Blessed Mother appeared to this humble man, a converted Catholic in Guadalupe, Mexico on December 9, 10 and 12, 1530.
December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe - she encouraged St. Juan Diego to go to the Bishop and request a church to be built on the hill of her apparition. Today, a beautiful Basilica stands on the place of her apparition; and Juan Diego’s tilma with Our Lady’s miraculous image, which has been miraculously preserved, may be viewed at the Basilica.
December 14 - St. John of the Cross - born June 24, 1542 in Hontoveros, Old Castilein, Spain and died December 14, 1591. He is known for his spiritual writings and poetry. He was a Carmalite priest and friar and a Spanish Mystic. He is one of the twenty-three doctors of the church and was canonized as a saint in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII.
December 25 - Christmas Day, the birth of Our Lord, Jesus, a Holy Day of Obligation
December 27 - The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
December 28 - The Holy Innocents - the slaughter of the infant boys of Bethlehem by Herod
Our world and the world’s values are quickly changing with a significant long term impact. Lofty ideals cease to exist and like a tsunami, various liberal media groups create a ripple effect that seeks to destroy the Christian heritage of our country. For self-serving purposes, along with various other groups, the media twists, conceals and denies the truth.
With diverse opposing viewpoints, our country is facing problems of epic proportions. It is critically important to understand the dynamics between good and evil. The legalization of same sex marriage, abortion, partial birth abortion and euthanasia create the stormy waters of human society for they deteriorate humanity’s common good. They are far more radical than the faithful heart and mind can bear.
Suddenly, I realize the meaning of desperate times calling for desperate measures. Now more than ever, people of faith are encouraged to consecrate their souls and imaginations to truth by daily dedicating ourselves to the Will of God. We need to consistently reject unholy situations as well as defend our Church. It may at times be a daunting challenge, however, with Jesus and Mary on our lips and in our hearts, we have the vantage point of strength and courage in remaining steadfast in the love of our Christian teachings, morals and strengths.
Reach out and touch someone! As Christians, we are blessed and fortunate to have the conviction of our sound faith, reason and intellect. Like saints of heroic virtue, we need the courage to reach out to a discouraged and embattled person, for when we are conscientious, and unwavering, the Holy Spirit will always guide us to gently assist our fallen brethren in restoring his/her faith.
Our prayers for our military and their families must be unceasing. Daily recital of the Rosary is more compelling than ever. Always remember to pray for their safety. Thank you.
Your companion in prayer,