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.

Politics Cannot Save

Politics Cannot Save

ProLifeCorner- Annarae- After all the tension, frustration and emotion that the recent election caused so many people, Father Timothy Barr brings everything into proper perspective. That is that Jesus is our true King and Savior, not the government or political leaders.  This video is only 6 min. long and well worth viewing.

Speaking out for Tolerance and Respect

Speaking out for Tolerance and Respect

ProLifeCorner- Let’s give Donald Trump a chance to take the office of president of the United States, and hear from his own lips his plans for America .In the video below this young man did a awesome job in speaking out for tolerance and respect for other people’s opinions.

The note below was published by the creator of this video:

Let’s treat people like they are PEOPLE, people! There’s a lot of disagreeing going on in the world right now. So, it’s time to teach us kids how to disagree with people without making everybody feel terrible. Here is Kid President’s 6 Steps to learning how to disagree with people. Remember, just because we disagree about which is better, dogs or cats, doesn’t mean I can’t be a good friend and listen to all the reasons why you like cats.

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What Could Possibly Make The Angels Cry?

What Could Possibly Make The Angels Cry?

ProLifeCorner – Nashville, Tennessee- Frank J. Munda- It’s been over 30 years that we at the ProLifeCorner have been fighting the culture of death. One thing I’ve learned is that there is no right way or wrong way to approach this horrific and scandalous stain on the fabric of a once great nation. Of course I am referring to the decriminalization of abortion. How do we fight this heinous crime against mankind? If I had 10 pro-life advocates with me now I might have 10 different answers. That explains why we have so many wonderful pro-life groups with slightly different approaches. If each one of us would surrender our hearts and our minds to our Lord He will lead us.

I received a wonderful note from a gentleman by the name of Jeremy Robin. He was inspired to write and produce a video entitled “What could possibly make the angles cry?” This video, in my opinion, is very well done and speaks to the heart. The music, imagery, and editing is of the highest caliber.

It is a privilege for me to share with you Jeremy’s note below and his video. May our Lord richly bless and inspire Jeremy in all of his musical endeavors especially in how it pertains to promoting the culture of life. Continue reading

The New Atheism

The New Atheism

ProLifeCorner-  Editor-    A friend recently sent a link to the video below. I had the opportunity to watch it this morning and I found it very revealing. The gentleman who presented this video on the new atheism was originally from India, and in my opinion did an excellent job in his presentation. If you have a son or daughter in college or planning to go to college, I strongly suggest that you watch this video together as a family in order to prepare them for the attacks they will receive on their faith, not only in school but in all aspects of society.

As adults we, too, must be educated to the ways of the new atheism. The wisdom and sophistication of the attacks on Christianity are straight from the lips of Satan.

During this Christmas season do not allow Satan to steal your joy. May the love and joy of our Lord Jesus be with you and your families.

If you find this video interesting please leave a comment below.

How Do I Know God Exists Dinesh D’Souza

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Mary Fest 2015 Freeport Illinois

Mary Fest 2015 Freeport Illinois

ProLifeCorner-  Mary Fest 2015 – Join the Fun – Save the Date  Aug 16  Drop in for a Taste of Freeport Illinois.

Sunday, August 16, 2015 starts with International Mass at Noon and a Festival to follow at 1:00.

 Open to public with free admission. 

 Variety of food booths with flavors representing local ethnic groups:

Irish corned beef stew, Italian Beef, egg rolls from Philippine recipe, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Ribs, German brats and sauerkraut, Hispanic favorites – gorditas, tacos, enchiladas — and good ol’ hamburgers & hot dogs with yummy desserts of homemade cakes, pies, and ice cream sundaes. 

Live music (The Way) and our own local Youth Group band, Hispanic dancers, music and song from Nigeria, and more! Facepainting (very popular for all ages), balloon sculptures, games with prizes – we’re closing the street to traffic, so come to our mid-summer block party held around the grounds of St. Mary Church, 704 S State Street,  Freeport Illinois   Continue reading