Saints of the Day
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The greatest dogma of the Christian faith is the mystery of the Holy Trinity. (Mystery, in this connection, means a supernatural fact revealed by God which in itself transcends the natural power of human reasoning.) During the first thousand years of Christianity there was no special feast celebrated in honor of this mystery, but, as Pope Alexander II (1073) declared, every day of the liturgical year was devoted to the honor and adoration of the Sacred Trinity.
However, to counteract the Arian heresy, which denied the fullness of divinity to the Son, a special Mass text in honor of the Holy Trinity was introduced and incorporated in the Roman liturgical books. This Mass was not assigned for a definite day but could be used on certain Sundays according to the private devotion of each priest. (Such Mass texts which are not prescribed but open to choice on certain days are now known as “votive Masses.”) From the ninth century on, various bishops of the Frankish kingdoms promoted in their own dioceses a special feast of the Holy Trinity, usually on the Sunday after Pentecost. They used a Mass text that Abbot Alcuin (804) is said to have composed.
Thus the custom of observing a special feast in honor of the Trinity became increasingly popular in the northern countries of Europe. Several synods prescribed it for their respective territories in France, Germany, England, and The Netherlands. In the thirteenth century the orders of the Benedictines and Cistercians adopted the annual celebration of the feast. It was kept on different Sundays in different places, until in 1334 Pope John XXII accepted the festival into the official calendar of the Western Church and ordered that henceforth it should be held everywhere on the Sunday after Pentecost.
A new Mass text was written and published. It is interesting to note that the beautiful Preface of the Trinity as read today is the same one that appeared in the first text of the Sacramentary of Saint Gregory the Great.5 Most of the other prayers are of later origin. The Divine Office in its present form was arranged under Pope Saint Pius V (1572). It is one of the most sublime offices of the breviary.
The Feast of the Holy Trinity now belongs among the great annual festivals of Christianity. Although it is not observed with additional liturgical services outside the Mass, its celebration quickly took root in the hearts and minds of the faithful, and in all countries of Europe popular traditions are closely associated with this feast.
Prayer for Migrants
MERCIFUL AND LOVING FATHER, We beseech you, open our hearts so that we may provide hospitality and refuge to migrants who are lonely, afraid, and far from their homes. Give us the courage to welcome every stranger as Christ in our midst, to invite them into our communities as a demonstration of Christ’s love for us. We pray that when we encounter the other, we see in her the face of your Son, when we meet a stranger, that we take his hand in welcome. Help us to live in solidarity with one another, to seek justice for those who are persecuted and comfort for those who are suffering. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. — United States Council of Catholic Bishops prayer card
Prayer for the New Year, 2017
My brothers and sisters, every year is a beautiful gift from God!
God’s gift is this time of our lives. We have this precious time to love and to do good; to make peace; to build his Kingdom, the city of love and truth and justice. This year, let us truly be a people who make time for God – with our hearts open to our Father’s love for us; with our hands always open and ready to serve our brothers and sisters in love. Let us make the most of our time, to really live as children of God.
So let us ask Mary, our Blessed Mother, the Queen of Peace, to intercede for us that we will use our time wisely in this New Year – to grow in our spiritual life and in our practice of our faith; so that we can be good children of God and share God’s peace and joy with others.
I pray that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, may grant each one of you and your families – and everyone in our city and in the whole world – a real and lasting peace and a truly happy New Year.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us! —Pope Benedict, World Day of Peace 2011
An Advent Prayer – Henri Nouwen