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Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

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Today, we mark the nativity of Saint John the Baptist. So great is John’s contribution to salvation history that Holy Mother Church does not celebrate anyone else’s birth as a solemnity—except that of Jesus. John the Baptist recalls Isaac, Eli, Samson and their mothers whose births came about because nothing is impossible for God. He is the one leaping and dancing for joy before the Lord, at the sound of the Blessed Mother’s... Read More

The Resurrection of the Lord

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Presence of God – O risen Jesus, make me worthy to share in the joy of Your Resurrection. MEDITATION “This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice therein” (Roman Breviary). This is the most excellent day, the happiest day in the whole year, because it is the day when “Christ, our Pasch, has been sacrificed.” Christmas, too, is a joyous feast, but whereas Christmas vibrates with a characteristic... Read More

The Victory of the Cross

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Holy Saturday ✞ Presence of God – O Jesus, crucified for love of me, show me the victory won by Your death. MEDITATION As soon as Jesus expired, “the veil of the Temple was torn in two … the earth quaked, the rocks were rent. And the graves were opened; and many bodies … arose,” so that those who were present were seized with a great fear and said: “Indeed this was the Son of God” (Mt 27:51-54). Jesus willed to... Read More

The Mystery of the Cross

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Good Friday ✞ Presence of God – O Jesus, permit me to penetrate with You into the depths of the mystery of the Cross. MEDITATION Good Friday is the day which invites us more than any other to “enter into the thicket of the trials and pains … of the Son of God” (John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle first redaction, 35,9), and not only with the abstract consideration of the mind, but also with the practical disposition... Read More

Solemnity of Joseph, Husband of Mary

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Presence of God – O glorious St. Joseph, under your patronage may my interior life grow and develop. MEDITATION Today the Church presents St. Joseph, the great Patriarch, to whose care God willed to entrust the most chosen portion of His flock, Mary and Jesus. Because Joseph was selected by God to be the guardian of the family of Nazareth, the nucleus of the great Christian family, the Church recognizes in him the Guardian and... Read More

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

February 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Feast Days, Liz Estler, Praying Through Art

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Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle “I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.”[1] The Church has celebrated this Feast of the Chair of Peter, in Rome, since the 4th century, as a sign of the unity of the Church founded upon Saint Peter, the Apostle, when Jesus said, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will... Read More

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

February 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Feast Days, Liz Estler, Praying Through Art

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“Suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek.”[1] Today’s feast commemorates Jesus’ presentation in the temple by Mary and Joseph, the first time He enters the temple, 40 days after His birth. “Who is this king of glory?  The Lord of hosts,”[2] a light to the nations and the glory of Israel.[3] To celebrate this event fittingly, the Church today blesses candles in this feast... Read More

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

January 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Feast Days, Liz Estler, Praying Through Art

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This feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a milestone in the life of Christ and our Christian story. As an adult, Jesus lost none of that child-like trust in the Father.  He who was like us in all things but sin, having taken on himself the weight of human sin, humbled Himself to be baptized.  He did not need to do this, but, like everything else He did and does, He did it out of love for us and for the Father. Humility draws... Read More

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

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“Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the Lord” (Isaiah 60:6). “A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17). “Epiphany or Theophany, means the Manifestation of God; today it is realized in Jesus who manifests Himself as God and Lord of... Read More

Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

January 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Liz Estler, Praying Through Art, Solemnity

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“At the beginning, at the center of the event of the Incarnation stands Mary, the perfect handmaid, who consents to become physically and spiritually the mother of her Son as well as of his work” (The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church, Hans Urs Von Balthasar, 2007, Ignatius Press, San Francisco).  It is no surprise, then, that our Blessed Mother, the New Eve, is so prominently featured in the Christmas... Read More

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