The Second Week of Advent

Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.

from the Prophet Isaias

Her time is near at hand, and her days shall not be prolonged. For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose out of Israel, and will make them rest upon their own ground: and the stranger shall be joined with them, and shall adhere to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them into their place: the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall make them captives that had taken them, and shall subdue their oppressors. And it shall come to pass in that day, that when God shall give you rest from your labor, and from your vexation, and from the hard bondage, wherewith you didst serve before, you shall take up this parable against the King of Babylon, and shall say: “How is the oppressor come to nothing, the tribute hath ceased? The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of the rulers, that struck the people in wrath with an incurable wound, that brought nations under in fury, that persecuted in a cruel manner. How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? How are you fallen to the earth, that did wound the nations: and you said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the North: I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. But yet you shall be brought down to hell into the depth of the pit.”

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Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on December 25?

Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on December 25?

By Larry Plachno

Larry-150x1 blueNon-Christians frequently bring up the question of why Christmas is celebrated on December 25. It is a known fact that Jesus Christ was probably born in the summer and they suggest that Christians took advantage of existing harvest festivals, the date of the winter solstice, or the date honoring the sun god of the ancients. However, there is strong evidence that the day the “star” stood still over Bethlehem and the visit of the Magi with their gifts took place on December 25. Hence, there is ample justification for the celebration of Christmas and the exchange of gifts on December 25. If you give me a few minutes of your time I will try to provide the background on all of this and give you some interesting history as well as information on stars.

Today, when we talk about stars most people think about movie stars or rock stars. It was not always this way. When Christ was born people spent more time looking at the stars in the heavens. There was less pollution in the cities to block the view and the people did not have television, newspapers and cell phones to divert their interest. In those days prior to air conditioning it was not uncommon for people to sleep on their rooftops to get some fresh air and fall asleep watching the stars. Hence, it is not unexpected that stars are mentioned so prominently in the Bible.

Early work on tracking the movement of the stars was done by Tycho Brahe, a Danish astronomer, who is memorialized by having a crater on the moon named after him. His successor was Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), a German who became the Imperial Mathematician and Astronomer in Prague. By the early 1600s he had developed the laws of Planetary Motion that we still use today. Kepler did try to recreate the sky at the time of the birth of Christ but was not successful. One reason was he was looking at the wrong dates due to mistaken ideas on the dates for the birth of Christ and the death of King Herod. A second reason was that figuring out the mathematics of planetary motion had to be done manually at that time and was very time consuming.

It was Dionysius Exiguus (470-544), a monk from the area we now call Romania and Bulgaria, who had originally developed the method of numbering years that we still use today. He is remembered for doing substantial translations from Greek to Latin and he also wrote on elementary mathematics. In those days, there was not a calendar in every kitchen and numbering years was very informal. Some countries based years on dynasties or when a leader came to power. The only serious system used by some scholars was called AUC or Ab Urbe Condita (from the founding of the city), based on the founding year of Rome. But, since the Roman civilization was in decline while Christianity was on the rise, Dionysius Exiguus figured out how to start dating years with the birth of Christ. He was not that far off. Continue reading

The First Week of Advent

The First Week of Advent

Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come. from the Prophet Isaias

Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes: cease to do perversely, learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow. And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord. If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow; and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.

The Savior, who is so soon to be with us and to save us, warns us not only to prepare ourselves to appear before him, but also to purify our souls. “It is most just,” says Saint Bernard, “that the soul, which was the first to fall, should be the first to rise. Let us therefore defer caring for the body, until the day when Jesus Christ will come and reform it by the Resurrection; for, in the first Coming, the Precursor says to us: Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. Observe, he says not the maladies of the body, nor the miseries of the flesh; he says sins, which are the malady of the soul and the corruption of the spirit. Take heed then, thou my Body, and wait for thy turn and time. Thou canst hinder the salvation of the soul, and thine own safety is not within thy reach. Let the soul labor for herself, and strive thou too to help her, for if thou sharest in her sufferings, thou wilt share in her glory. Retard her perfection, and thou retardest thine own. Thou wilt not be regenerated until God sees his own Image restored in the soul.” Let us, then, purify our souls. Let us do the works of the spirit, not the deeds of the flesh. Our Saviour’s promise is most clear; he will turn the deep dye of our iniquities into the purest whiteness. He asks but one thing of us: that we sin no more. He says to us: Cease to do perversely, and then come and accuse me, come and complain against me if I do not cleanse you. O Jesus! we will not defer a single day of this holy season, we accept, from this moment, the conditions thou offerest us. We sincerely desire to make our peace with thee; to bring the flesh into subjection to our spirit, to make good all the injustice we have committed against our neighbor, and to hush, by the sighs of our heart-felt compunction, that voice of our sins which has so long cried to thee for vengeance.

Marriage, Annulments and Guidance

Marriage, Annulments and Guidance

By Larry Plachno

Larry-150x1 blue       Anyone watching what is going on in the Vatican is well aware that there have been some discussions recently over marriage and annulments. For the most part, both sides base their positions on the importance of marriage to our society, the sanctity of marriage in Christianity and the positive impact of marriage on children. Some of this is spilling over into other areas of Christianity and is increasingly becoming more public.

Some people will suggest that the starting point was “Amoris Laetitia,” Latin for “The Joy of Love,” from Pope Francis in early 2016. It was described as a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation and was directed to both the clergy and the laity. While numerous items were covered, it mentioned simplifying the annulment process, bringing divorced and remarried Catholics back into the church and helping families. There was even some later comments of allowing bishops to handle annulments in a simple manner. Several members of the clergy and laity expressed concern over maintaining the sanctity of marriage.

Unfortunately, the situation can be complicated by people trying to drag in political correctness. I can try to explain what is going on but will step lightly through those areas where some people say that God and statistics are sexist. I will try my best not to take sides but to explain how modern reports and statistics are stressing the importance of marriage on both society and children. Continue reading

Is Jesus a Hypocrite?

Is Jesus a Hypocrite?

“And call no man on earth your father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”

In her recent book entitled, Hope Will Find You, Rabbi Naomi Levy writes about the preaching course she took in rabbinical school. It was taught by an elderly rabbi, wise and learned, who became a beloved friend and mentor to the young rab­binical student.

At their last meeting before her graduation, Naomi asked: “Rabbi, what words of wisdom do you have for me as I be­come a rabbi?”

The eminent rabbi sat in silence for a few moments. And then he spoke these words:

Never … wear .. brown.”

That was it. That’s all Naomi got. Never wear brown? Was he kidding?

But as her life as a rabbi and spouse and parent unfolded, Naomi came to understand exactly what the rabbi meant. Naomi writes:

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October 13th Fatima Story School

October 13th Fatima Story School

“Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to three shepherd children (near the town of Fatima, Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917, 100 years ago. Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn apart and divided by war and bloody violence, She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed.

Our Lady of Fatima explained to the children that war is a punishment for sin and warned that God would further discipline the world for its disobedience to His Will by means of war, hunger and the persecution of the Church, the Holy Father and the Catholic Faithful. God’s Mother prophesied that Russia would be God’s chosen “instrument of discipline,” spreading the “errors” of atheism, moral relativism, and materialism across the earth, fomenting wars and persecuting the Catholic Faithful everywhere. Continue reading

Be Not Nice – Be Good Instead!

Be Not Nice – Be Good Instead!

            This weekend is Respect Life Weekend!

ProLifeCorner-   And Western Civilization is dying!  The Constitutional Republic of the United States of America is dying! And Orthodox Christianity is dying!

These things are not simply dying as in natural old age. Just a few decades ago it could have been argued that each of these things were in their prime. But now, just a few short years later all three institutions are, it appears, near possible death. These institutions, Western Civilization, the United States of America and Orthodox Christianity are being murdered. Each of these three has been placed upon a Satanic altar and stabbed repeatedly and all three are now bleeding out quickly and proficiently. There is precious little time remaining to tend to these wounds.

What is the instrument that is being used to murder western civilization, the United States and Orthodox Christianity? I know you’re probably thinking I’m going to say abortion or contraception, right? But the most effective instrument of murder is being “nice.” Yes, that’s right, being nice, or rather, “nice-ness.” The last fifty years has seen the Satanic Marxist/Socialist/progressive/liberal infiltration of every aspect of our lives and now we are seeing the hyper-infiltration of Radical Islam, which is a political system very similar to Marxism in its ends.  You see, Satan is highly flexible, he uses atheistic systems such as Marxism and he uses religious systems such as Radical Islam. He doesn’t care what the means are to our destruction. All that matters to him is that as many souls as possible end up separating from God, which is to say in Hell. Continue reading

2017 Life Chain This Sunday!

  2017 Life Chain This Sunday!

Freeport, IL – (ProLifeCorner.com) – by Staff –

LC picCome to the Life Chain on October 1 from 12:00 to 1:00 PM this Sunday!  The location is at the corner of Stephenson and West.  

The Aquin High School Pro-life group, PAWS, will sponsor a Life Chain in Freeport, IL.  A dedicated group of Christians gathered at the intersection of Stephenson and West Streets to pray for an end to abortion.

This event is a non-denominational Christ centered effort to bring attention, in our local communities, to the plight of the unborn.  Ask your pastor to encourage everyone to participate in this simple but worthwhile effort to help save babies.

 

 

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Life’s Agonies And Love’s Triumphs

Life’s Agonies And Love’s Triumphs

ProLifeCorner-   9-25-2017 – We’re sure most of our readers are familiar with the wonderful articles submitted by Mark Pickup.  We’re showing you a special article today with a speech delivered by his wife, LaRee at a prayer breakfast in Baltimore, MD some time ago.  If anyone has had a loved one who has or is still suffering, this will give you strength and courage to continue fighting the battle with that loved one.

The opening paragraph is by Mark and is on his home page most of the time.  We feel it shows the need for all Christians to work and pray together to bring our world back to Jesus.

Following his article is the speech given by LaRee, with comments by Mark.

LaRee and Mark are, indeed, a wonderful example of faith, hope, and love.  May God bless them abundantly for all they do to serve Him. Continue reading

Things Could Always Be Worse

Things Could Always Be Worse

“Friend, I am not cheating you! Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?”

You’ve been working for this landscaper for five summers now. You’re going back to school in a few weeks and you’ve asked for extra hours. The owner assures you he will do what he can. But one day a new guy shows up and starts work — and the pos­sibility of your working extra hours is out. “Guy’s wife just got laid off,” your boss says, introducing him. “I’m trying to help him and his family by taking him on for a few hours a week.” So much for loyalty, you think.

The task of taking care of your elderly parent falls pretty much on you. Your brothers and sisters live a distance away. They all call from time to time to see how Mom is doing and express their concern, but none of them are in any position to provide the necessary day-to-day help. “They all have problems of their own,” Mom says, “I just thank God for you.” Then mom dies and they all show up, grieving as if they’ve been there all along. And of course, Mom’s estate is divided equally “because I love all my children just the same— even though it’s your life that’s been turned upside down and you’ve borne the costs of caring for her. Though you would never say it, you seethe: It’s not fair. And you’re right. Continue reading