Saturday, June 24, 2017

Nativity of John the Baptist

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Today we celebrate the birthday of John the Baptist!

The church only celebrates three birthdays- Jesus, Mary (September 8) and today John the Baptist! According to St.  Augustine, John the Baptist was baptized in his mother's womb, and so was also born without original sin.

As a representative of the past, he is born of aged parents; as herald of the new, he is declared to be a prophet while still in his mother’s womb. For when yet unborn, he leapt in his mother’s womb at the arrival of blessed Mary. In that womb he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was born; it was revealed that he was to be Christ’s precursor, before they ever saw one another. These are divine happenings, going beyond the limits of our human fraility. Eventually he is born, he receives his name, his father’s tongue is loosened. See how these events reflect reality
The Baptiser
Father Lawrence Lew, OP, via Flickr, licensed cc


It was the firm belief among the faithful that John was freed from original sin at the moment when his mother met the Blessed Virgin (Luke 1, 45). Saint Augustine mentioned this belief as a general tradition in the ancient Church. In any case, it is certain that he was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb" (Luke 1, 15) and, therefore, born without original sin. Accordingly, the Church celebrates his natural birth by a festival of his "nativity," assigned exactly six months before the nativity of Christ, since John was six months older than the Lord. As soon as the Feast of Christmas was established on December 25 (in the fifth century) the date of the Baptist's birth was assigned to June 24.

Another interesting observation is that Jesus's birthday is right after the winter solstice when the days are getting longer. John the Baptist is born right after the summer solstice and days will start to shorten. Bringing to mind the bible verse John 3:30: 30 "He must become greater; I must become less.”

Ideas for celebration:
Bon fires are traditional in Ireland on the feast of John the Baptist.

For The Year and Our Children:

Since his birthday comes in the middle of summer, it is an ancient custom to celebrate it that night with a great bonfire. Granny Newland remembers such bonfires in Ireland, from which coals were always taken to lay in each of a man's fields. The significance of the bonfire was taken from Zachary's canticle, where he sang out in praise of John that he would "enlighten them that sat in darkness." A cook-out is inevitable with a bonfire; and although it's hard to think of any use for grasshoppers on the menu (which is too bad when they are so plentiful), a comb of honey would be fitting. There is an interesting connection between the bonfire and St. John as the last of the prophets of the Old Law. To celebrate the end of the Old Law, people used to burn in the bonfires all the things they had been trying to get rid of (carted off to the dump) all year. This is an idea for people who are short of fuel for bonfires.








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Friday, June 23, 2017

7-quick Takes

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Join the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum.

1. Big changes are underway here at My Domestic Church.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate change?  I accept change. I know that the opposite of change is stagnation and I do enjoy changing things up a little bit. But I'm not overly fond of the huge life changing events. I would prefer to be the frog in the pot on the burner - I like gradual change!

2.  So the first life changer was BAM!  The company my son was working for has been having some financial issues and they had to let their entire support staff go. This is good and bad. Good because he'll be able to find something that pays more and I think he'll be open to seeing that he has more skills than he realizes - bad because it's never fun to lose a job. It's also bad because it's probably going to affect the summer schedule I had set up for Miss C.


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3.  Another life changer  - Miss C's mommy and daddy now live in two different homes. I know first hand what that's like. So I'm trying to give her freedom to have some control over some things around here - like what she eats and what to watch on t.v. and what activities to do, because it's hard when you're a little kid and you don't have any control over what the grownups do.

On the other hand, I don't want her to be spoiled either - this is going to require some balancing on all of our parts.

4.  So another life changer this week - BAM!   the electronic medical record has finally caught up with me and my last medical transcription client told me today that as of July 1, my services will no longer be needed. To be fair, he's not happy about it and he's been trying to put them off as long as possible but he doesn't have a choice any longer. We talked about other possibilities - typing his memoirs if he ever does that, or being his medical scribe if he decides to go that route.  

Medical transcriptionists are very similar to buggy whip makers - obsolete and not in high demand. 

5.  The biggest change though is that my lovely daughter Izzy turned 18. I now have five children who are legal adults.

Isadora's senior pictures

Izzy is truly a blessing to me. She's my little girl, my friend, my confidant. She is smart, pretty, kind and humble, gentle and sweet. Today is also the Feast of the Sacred Heart and I noticed in the prayers and readings an emphasis on Jesus having a "humble heart" and I think Izzy successfully emulates that in her own life. I admire that.
sacred heart statue
6.  Here's an example of how this girl dazzles me. We were talking about the shooting last week in Washington.  I mentioned to her that I saw an experiment carried out by ABC. The purpose was to prove that folks who have concealed carry weapons aren't really effective in an active shooter situation.

In this experiment, several participants were given firearm instruction for several hours. Then they went to sit in a lecture hall with other participants. Suddenly the doors flew open and an active shooter burst in firing his weapon at the classroom. Of course, everyone is wearing white suits and shooting paint guns.

 Izzy thought about this and then said, "Mom, the producers probably told the shooters which participants to take out first!"

That hadn't even occurred to me!

7.  Maybe this job disintegration is going to be a good thing. I got the music for the John Sutter, Antique Suite to prepare for my April 15 performance. This is not going to be easy!




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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sacred Heart of Jesus

sacred heart of Jesus

History of the Sacred Heart from Catholic Culture:

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus falls 19 days after Pentecost, which is seven weeks after Easter.

The heart of Jesus has been cherished and discussed since the early church:


  • St. Justin Martyr (d. 165), in his Dialogue with the Jew Trypho said, "We the Christians are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His heart as from a rock." 
  • St. Iraneaus of Lyons (d. 202) said, "The Church is the fountain of the living water that flows to us from the Heart of Christ" (Adversus Haereses). 
  • Paulinus of Nola (d. 431):"John, who rested blissfully on the breast of our Lord, was inebriated with the Holy Spirit, from the Heart of all creating Wisdom he quaffed an understanding which transcends that of any creature." 


In 1353 Pope Innocent VI instituted a Mass honoring the mystery of the Sacred Heart.

sacred heart statue



On December 27, 1673, our Lord revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90)
 "My Divine Heart is so passionately inflamed with love... that, not being able any longer to contain within Itself the flames of Its ardent charity, It must let them spread abroad through your means, and manifest Itself to man, that they may be enriched with Its precious treasures which I unfold to you, and which contain the sanctifying and salutary graces that are necessary to hold them back from the abyss of ruin."

This was the beginning of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which includes the feast day, and the practice of attending Mass and receiving holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays of a month.

The 12 Promises of Our Lord for Souls Devoted to His Sacred Heart
as told to St. Margaret Mary

1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their houses.
3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death.
5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all of their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened of hearts.
11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their sole refuge in this last moment.




Litany of the Sacred Heart

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mother's womb, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united to the Word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, keeper of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, where dwells the fullness of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in Whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in Whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced by a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in You, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Yours.

Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Your beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction which He offers You in the name of sinners. In Your goodness, grant all people pardon when they seek Your Mercy, in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You forever and ever. Amen.


Delicious Links for the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

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