I Thirst for You

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Mother Teresa_Thirst

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20

The following is a meditation by St. Teresa of Calcutta on the above passage from the book of Revelation. May you encounter the living God, come down from heaven, Jesus Christ, in her words. He is the lover of your soul.

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Manifestation of the Lord

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'ADORATION OF THE MAGI'

Adoration of the Magi

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Conception Abbey, Conception, Missouri

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.”…and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11 (emphasis added)

“The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 528). The joy of the Magi upon seeing the Child is the joy of the Gospel. It is “the joy of one whose heart has received a ray of God’s light and who can now see that his hope has been realized—the joy of one who has found what he sought, and has himself been found” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, 106). The Magi find “crying in a manger, the one they have followed as he shone in the sky…in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars” (St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 150).

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The Most Holy Name of Jesus

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Name of Jesus_Bernadine of Siena

Today the Church commemorates the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. In his letter to the Church at Philippi, St. Paul wrote of the supremacy of the name of Jesus Christ: “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name” (Phil 2:9) and “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10-11).

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The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

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The-Two-Trinities-MURILLO-Bartolomé-Esteban

The Two Trinities, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, c. 1675-82

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. Through the Incarnation, the Divine Word assumed a human body, entering into every aspect of human life, including family life, sanctifying it and making it a path to holiness.

Teacher and author Scott Hahn says,

The family is the key to Christmas. The family is the key to Christianity…When God came to save us, he made salvation inseparable from family life, manifest in family life. Since the family is the ordinary setting of human life, he came to share it, redeem it and perfect it. He made it an image and sacrament of a divine mystery. Salvation itself finds meaning only in familial relations.[1]

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The Nativity of the Lord

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Adoration of the Shepherds

Adoration of the Shepherds – Gerard van Honthorst (1590 – 1656)

Our family has a great affinity for Nativity scenes. We collect them, display them and enjoy looking at Nativity scenes from countries around the world. The variety of styles are fascinating and intriguing, yet their message is the same, “a savior has been born…who is Messiah and Lord” (Lk 2:11). It has been our custom that the manger remains empty until the dark hours of Christmas Eve. Our family gathers around the manger as Jesus is placed lovingly in the manger with reverence and awe. Traditionally, Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus is then read (Lk 2:1-20) or the birth of Emmanuel (Is 7:10-14), followed by a prayer of blessing such as this:

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The Lord Is Coming!

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The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Isaiah 35:1-2

On this the fourth Sunday of Advent and the Eve of the Nativity of the Lord, our prayer is that you realize the awesome gift God has given you through the birth of His Son. God loved you so much that He did not want sin to separate you from Him. He sent His beloved Son to die in your place so that you could spend eternity with Him. Spend time today contemplating all the Lord has done for you through this gift. May your heart be filled with joy at the coming of the Christ Child!

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O Come Emmanuel

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o-antiphons

We are all familiar with the hymn O come, O come, Emmanuel. This is a paraphrase of the “O Antiphons” which can be traced back to eighth century Christendom. These antiphons use biblical imagery drawn from the messianic promises of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming of the Christ. Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of His attributes mentioned in Scripture. The repeated use of “Come!” expresses the longing of all hearts for the Divine Messiah.

In these final days before Christmas, we suggest that you pray and meditate on these promises of the coming of the Christ Child. Set aside all the busyness of this season. Focus on Christ and be filled with hope that God is with you, both now and forever.

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Receive Great Joy

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advent-wreath-03

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. Did you notice that the color of the third candle of the Advent wreath lit today was rose? The rose candle is a combination of the purple of the liturgical season mixed with white, which symbolizes joy. At the midpoint of the season of Advent, the Church pauses to celebrate and rejoice with joy at the coming of Christ.

Joy? JOY?! How can we have joy? Our life is a whirlwind of activity: the bills are past due, there are presents still to buy, we are behind on making costumes and set scenery for the kid’s Christmas pageant, the house still needs to be decorated, there are cookies to be baked…and Christmas is right around the corner! We are so glad that Christmas only comes once a year!

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Praise God for the Gift of Marriage

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Today we are celebrating 15 years of marriage. In honor of this blessed day, we would like to share with you the story of how God worked mightily in our lives – even in the midst of hardships, trials, and grief – to bring us together.


It was late in the summer of 2000. Dennis sat there in heavy traffic hoping that he would not be late. He was on the way to the hospital to meet with a group of doctors who were caring for his wife. What was supposed to be a four-day hospital stay had turned into four months. Dennis suspected that this special meeting with the doctors could only mean that his wife’s condition was becoming grave.

During that sad four months, God had reassured him with scripture after scripture that He was going to heal his wife of her illness. They prayed for a miracle, they prayed for healing. Dennis found comfort in God Word’s and he believed that God would grant his wife the miracle of healing.

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More Precious than Silver or Gold

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Today is the second Sunday in Advent. In a society that has lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas, many are already suffering burnout from all the pre-Christmas activities. The secular “Holiday” season kicks into gear earlier and earlier with each passing year. The reality of the materialistic Christmas is that people have forgotten the Christ Child. Christmas is not about buying the latest high tech gifts or winning the subdivision’s “Holiday Lights” competition. The four weeks leading up to Christmas are called Advent – from the Latin word Adventus – which means “coming.” This is a time not for the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and office parties, but is a period of waiting in joyful expectation for the coming of the Messiah. Christmas has been hijacked by commercialism and the secular society; we have forgotten to wait in darkness for the coming of the Light into the world.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. John 1:1-5, 14

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