Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home: grant to your Church grace to live as one family, united in love and obedience, and at the last bring us all to our home in heaven; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Luke’s Gospel account of the Christmas event is full of activity…And yet, in the middle of the frenetic action, here is this woman wrapped in mystical silence…She demonstrates the necessity of a quiet place within ourselves at Christmastime—that place where we are most ourselves in relation to God.

"It is a place of silence, not because it is untouched by all the activity of our lives, but because it is capable of wonder. Every prayer begins with silent wonder before it turns to words. Our first response to God is dumbstruck awe at who he is and what he has done for us." ~William Frebuger

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dear brothers and sisters! Kindness and truth, justice and peace have met; they have become incarnate in the child born of Mary in Bethlehem. That child is the Son of God; he is God appearing in history. His birth is a flowering of new life for all humanity. May every land become a good earth which receives and brings forth kindness and truth, justice and peace. Happy Christmas to all of you! ~Pope Benedict XVI, Dec 26, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

There is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas. ~Henry Van Dyke

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2013

The Twenty-fifth Day of December, when ages beyond number had run their course from the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth, and formed man in his own likeness;

when century upon century had passed since the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after the Great Flood, as a sign of covenant and peace;

in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith, came out of Ur of the Chaldees;

in the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Moses in the Exodus from Egypt;

around the thousandth year since David was anointed King; in the sixty-fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; in the year seven hundred and fifty-two since the foundation of the City of Rome;

in the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus, the whole world being at peace, JESUS CHRIST, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and when nine months had passed since his conception, was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man:

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ's Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful. He will not find us asleep.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Genuine progress does not consist in wealth sought for personal comfort or for its own sake; rather it consists in an economic order designed for the welfare of the human person, where the daily bread that each person receives reflects the glow of love and the helping hand of God. ~Pope Paul VI

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously.” ~Blessed John Paul II

Friday, December 21, 2012

"It is within my power either to serve God or not to serve Him. Serving Him, I add to my own good and the good of the whole world. Not serving Him, I forfeit my own good and deprive the world of that good, which was in my power to create." ~Leo Tolstoy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

“There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most 'natural' men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerers have been; how gloriously different are the saints. But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away 'blindly' so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality; but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him...Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” ~C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Only the person who renounces self-importance, who no longer struggles to defend or assert himself, can be large enough for God's boundless action." ~Saint Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear young friends, 

What does it mean to be a missionary? Above all, it means being a disciple of Christ. It means listening ever anew to the invitation to follow him and look to him: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart” (Mt 11:29). A disciple is a person attentive to Jesus’ word (cf. Lk 10:39), someone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Teacher who has loved us so much that he gave his life for us. Each one of you, therefore, should let yourself be shaped by God’s word every day. This will make you friends of the Lord Jesus and enable you to lead other young people to friendship with him. ~Pope Benedict XVI, Message for World Youth Day 2013

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Advent is the spiritual season of hope par excellence, and in this season the whole Church is called to be hope, for itself and for the world. The whole spiritual organism of the mystical body assumes, as it were, the 'color' of hope." ~Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him." ~A. W. Tozer

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"To become authentic peacemakers, it is fundamental to keep in mind our transcendent dimension and to enter into constant dialogue with God, the Father of mercy, whereby we implore the redemption achieved for us by His only-begotten Son. In this way mankind can overcome that progressive dimming and rejection of peace which is sin in all its forms: selfishness and violence, greed and the will to power and dominion, intolerance, hatred and unjust structures.

…[T]he Church is convinced of the urgency of a new proclamation of Jesus Christ, the first and fundamental factor of the integral development of peoples and also of peace. Jesus is indeed our peace, our justice and our reconciliation. The peacemaker, according to Jesus’ beatitude, is the one who seeks the good of the other, the fullness of good in body and soul, today and tomorrow.

The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions, personal, communitarian and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life.” ~Pope Benedict XVI, Dec 14, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent spirituality is not a time to meditate on the actual birth of Christ. According to tradition, we ought not to sing Christmas carols until Christmas itself, for Advent is not a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus in the manger but a time to long for the coming of the Savior. The appropriate sense of this season is captured in the pleading of “O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel." ~Robert Weber

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes... and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"For a stalk to grow or a flower to open there must be time that cannot be forced; nine months must go by for the birth of a human child; to write a book or compose music often years must be dedicated to patient research ...To find the mystery there must be patience, interior purification, silence, waiting...."
~Bl. Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Many young people today seriously question whether life is something good, and have a hard time finding their way. More generally, however, young people look at the difficulties of our world and ask themselves: is there anything I can do? The light of faith illumines this darkness. It helps us to understand that every human life is priceless because each of us is the fruit of God’s love. God loves everyone, even those who have fallen away from him or disregard him. God waits patiently. Indeed, God gave his Son to die and rise again in order to free us radically from evil. Christ sent his disciples forth to bring this joyful message of salvation and new life to all people everywhere. ~Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear young friends, Let yourselves be drawn to Christ! … Accept Christ’s love and you will be the witnesses so needed by our world. … I am happy that you too, dear young people, are involved in [the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith], this missionary outreach on the part of the whole Church. To make Christ known is the most precious gift that you can give others.” ~Benedict XVI, Message for World Youth Day, Nov 16, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (see Eph. 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature "(n. 2). God not only says something, He communicates with us, draws us into the divine nature, so that we are involved in the divine nature, deified. God reveals His great plan of love engaging with man approaching him to the point of becoming himself is a man. ~Benedict XVI, Dec 5, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

“God freely chose Mary from all eternity to be the Mother of his Son. In order to carry out her mission she herself was conceived immaculate. This means that, thanks to the grace of God and in anticipation of the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary was preserved from original sin from the first instant of her conception.” ~ Compendium of the CCC

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"What good does it do me if Christ was born in Bethlehem once if he is not born again in my heart through faith?" ~Origen

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"For a stalk to grow or a flower to open there must be time that cannot be forced; nine months must go by for the birth of a human child; to write a book or compose music often years must be dedicated to patient research ...To find the mystery there must be patience, interior purification, silence, waiting...." ~Bi. Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

“Where there is too much, something is missing.” - Jewish saying

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time." ~Edward Hays

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope." ~Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which Is Above, 1986

Saturday, December 1, 2012

In keeping with the Church's desire that Catholics use social media to advance the New Evangelization, and in celebration of the Year of Faith the hermitage has created a Facebook page. Please visit, "Like" what you see, then follow along as we share spiritual reflections, theological ramblings, the occasional rant, and Godly ruminations---our own and those of others---about things visible and invisible.
We must love God in the way that pleases him, and not just in a way that suits ourselves. God wishes people to empty themselves of everything and to be filled with his divine love. ~St. Alphonsus Liguori