Sunday, December 16, 2012

MONDAY MORNING MISSION MEDITATION for the week of December 16, 2012

Catholic Charities. Providing Help. Creating Hope. 

VISION: Believing in the presence of God in our midst, we proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the Church. To this end, Catholic Charities works with individuals, families, and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society.

MISSION: Rooted in the Mission of the Diocese of Youngstown "to minister to the people in the six counties of northeastern Ohio . . .(and) to the world community", we are called to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same.

GOALS: Catholic Charities is devoted to helping meet basic human needs, strengthening families, building communities and empowering low-income people. Working to reduce poverty in half by 2020.

KEY VALUE: Hospitality

WHAT WE DO: Organizing Love. "As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community" (Deus Caritas Est, par. 20)

On Sunday, (Third Sunday in Advent, )   we read from the Gospel of Luke about the prescriptions given by St. John the Baptist:  Followers asked:  “what should we do?”  St John the Baptist tells them “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none.  And whoever has food should do likewise.”  Besides this call for charity, the Baptist also challenged those he baptized to “not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages....stop collecting more that what is prescribed.”  St John then again reminds his followers that another One is coming, and continues to preach the Good News.  St John the Baptist models also the attitude we are to have in Christ:  “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I shall say it again: rejoice!”  This is the attitude we are all called to share with each other:  joy.  God Is Among Us.

Catholic Charities  works to bring joy into the lives of everyone we encounter; we rejoice knowing that our donors and volunteers continue to work with us to provide help and create hope.  As the organized ministry of the Church, Catholic Charities promotes the corporal works of mercy through both charity and justice.  Like St. John the Baptist, we point to the fact that our services and ministries live out the challenge of Jesus to proclaim Good News that each person is loved by God.  That is something to rejoice about!

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

ZE12121006 - 2012-12-10

Addresses Thousands During Sunday Angelus

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 10, 2012 ( During his weekly Sunday Angelus address, Pope Benedict XVI commented on the figure of St. John the Baptist in announcing the coming of Christ. The Holy Father delivered his address at the window of the Vatican Apostolic Palace to thousands of faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
Recalled the gospel of the second Sunday of Advent, Pope Benedict said that John the Baptist was not only the last of the prophets by also represented the priesthood of the Old Covenant and "prepares mankind  for the spiritual worship of the New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus."
"John the Baptist is defined as the 'voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths'. The voice proclaims the word, but in this case the Word of God precedes as it comes to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness," the Holy Father said.
The Holy Father reiterated that while John plays an important role, it is always in relation to Christ. "'John is the voice that passes away, Christ is the eternal Word,'" the Pope said quoting St. Augustine.
Our task today is to listen to that voice, to give space to Jesus and to welcome Him, the Word that saves us, into our hearts. In this time of Advent, let us prepare to see, through the eyes of faith, God's salvation in the humble stable in Bethlehem.
Concluding the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI invited the faithful and the pilgrims gathered to follow the example of St. John the Baptist, who invites us to live in "an essential way."
"In our consumerist society, where we seek joy in material things, the Baptist teaches us to live in an essential way, so that Christmas is not only experienced externally as a superficial holiday, but rather as the feast of the Son of God who came to bring peace, life and true joy to mankind," the Holy Father said.

Some important date(s) this week:

See website for biographies of Saints and Blessed celebrated this week.
MONDAY DECEMBER 17.  St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

Hildegard was a most remarkable woman, and one of the greatest figures of the 12th century. This German mystic was a poet and a prophet, a physician and a moralist. She fearlessly rebuked popes and bishops, princes and lay people.

Becoming a nun at 15, Hildegard led an uneventful life for the next 17 years. But more and more she found herself foretelling the future in her conversations. After she became prioress of her community she felt the need to begin writing down the visions and revelations that were coming to her. The archbishop of Mainz examined her writings and declared, “These visions come from God.” Encouraged, she began her greatest work, 26 visions dealing with God and man, creation, redemption and the Church. Full of apocalyptic language, warnings and prophesies, the writing took 10 years to complete. Pope Eugenius III examined the results and cautiously told Hildegard to continue to write whatever the Holy Spirit told her to publish.
With the blessing of the pope, Hildegard, overcoming much opposition, built a larger monastery for her nuns in a place that had been revealed to her in a vision. The new monastery had such things as running water for the 50 women religious who resided there. And Hildegard was able to entertain the community with hymns and canticles for which she wrote both the music and the words. She composed a sacred cantata and wrote 50 allegorical homilies to be used for community reading.
Her more than 300 letters, written to popes and kings, to clergy and abbesses, are full of warnings and prophecies. As was to be expected, she was widely criticized by some, including her own nuns, while others valued her counsel. Despite sickness, she continued to write. One book was on natural history, another on medicine. Some of her ideas on blood circulation and mental illness were far ahead of her time.

On October 7, 2012 Pope Benedict named Hildegard of Bingen a Doctor of the Church, having in early May extended her cult to the universal Church to remove all doubt about her status as a saint. Doctors of the Church are saints whose sanctity and doctrine have benefited the Church to great advantage.


Thinking about Christmas presents?  Consider connecting justice with a gift for your loved one.  Catholic Relief Services, FAIR TRADE Products.

Special Thanks:  
Up A Creek Tavern raised over $5,000.00 on December 8 for the Catholic Charities Regional Agency.  MUCH THANKS!!
PAPAL INTENTIONS:   December 2012

General Intention: That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.

Missionary Intention: Christ, light for all humanity. That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.

Corporal Works of Mercy:  The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the homeless
  5. Visit the sick
  6. Visit those in prison
  7. Bury the dead

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