Dominica IV Adventus

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Dominica IV Adventus

Evangelium

Luc 3:1-6

Anno quintodécimo impérii Tibérii Caesaris, procuránte Póntio Piláto Iudaeam, tetrárcha autem Galilaeæ Heróde, Philíppo autem fratre eius tetrárcha Ituraeæ et Trachonítidis regionis, et Lysánia Abilínæ tetrárcha, sub princípibus sacerdotum Anna et Cáipha: factum est verbum Domini super Ioannem, Zacharíæ filium, in deserto. Et venit in omnem regiónem Iordánis, praedicans baptísmum pæniténtiæ in remissiónem peccatórum, sicut scriptum est in libro sermónum Isaíæ Prophétæ: Vox clamántis in desérto: Paráte viam Dómini: rectas fácite sémitas eius: omnis vallis implébitur: et omnis mons et collis humiliábitur: et erunt prava in dirécta, et áspera in vias planas: et vidébit omnis caro salutáre Dei.

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea, and Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of the district of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, The voice of one crying in the desert, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make straight His paths. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked ways shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth; and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.’

Introit for 4th Sunday of Advent

Dominica IV Adventus

Introitus

Isa 45:8

Rorate, coeli, désuper, et nubes pluant iustum: aperiátur terra, et gérminet Salvatórem

Let the Just One descend, O heavens, like dew from above, like gentle rain let the skies drop Him down. Let the earth open and a Savior bud forth.

Ps 18:2

Coeli enárrant glóriam Dei: et ópera mánuum eius annúntiat firmaméntum.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Rorate, coeli, désuper, et nubes pluant iustum: aperiátur terra, et gérminet Salvatórem

Let the Just One descend, O heavens, like dew from above, like gentle rain let the skies drop Him down. Let the earth open and a Savior bud forth.

St. Begga

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St. Begga

Widow and Abbess
(615 – 693)

THIS saint was daughter of Pepin of Landen, eldest sister to St. Gertrude of Nivelle, and married Ansegise, son to St. Arnoul, who was some time mayor of the palace, and afterwards bishop of Metz. Her husband being killed in hunting, she dedicated herself to a penitential state of retirement, and, after performing a pilgrimage to Rome, built seven chapels at Anden on the Meuse, in imitation of the seven principal churches at Rome.

There she also founded a great nunnery in imitation of that which her sister governed at Nivelle, from which she was furnished with a little colony who laid the foundation of this monastery, and lived under her direction. Many holy virgins were trained up by them in the perfect practice of piety. The rich monastery of Anden was afterwards converted into a collegiate church of thirty-two canonesses of noble families, with ten canons to officiate at the altar. It is situate in the forest of Ardenne, in the diocess of Namur. St. Begga departed to our Lord in the year 698, and is named in the Roman Martyrology. See Miræus, in Fastis Belgicis, and G. Ryckel, Vita S. Beggæ. Beguinarum et Beguardorum Fundatricis. Lovani, 1631, in 4to

Note 1. Many ascribe to St. Begga the institution of the Beguines, very numerous at Mechlin, Ghent, and other places in Brabant, the Flemish Flanders, and some neighbouring provinces of the Low Countries. They devote themselves to the divine service under simple vows of chastity, and certain pious rules, which only oblige so long as they remain in that state. But Ægidius Aureæ Vallis, and other historians inform us, that the Beguines were instituted by Lambert le Begue or Balbus, a pious priest of Liege, in 1170, and derived from him their name. See Ægidius Aureæ Vallis, in Gestis Episcoporum Leodiens. Cheapville, t. 2, p. 126. Miræus in Chron. Cisterc. p. 199. Sanderus et Foppens in Bibl. Belg. t. 2, p 796. Also, Disquisitio Historica de Origine Beghinarum, Autore P. Coens. Leodii, 1629: and Lettre sur l’Origine et Progrès des Béguines.

The God-Man

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MY CATHOLIC FAITH

XXVIII. The God-Man

Throughout the centuries God sent prophets to predict different events and facts concerning the promised Saviour. Among the most important prophets were Jeremias, Isaias, Daniel, and Ezechiel. Daniel predicted the exact time of the birth of the Redeemer. He said His kingdom would have no end, and would embrace all kingdoms. Isaias prophesied that the Messias would be born of a virgin, would be both God and Man, and would die patiently and willingly like a lamb for our sins.

What is the chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ? –The chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ is that He is God made man.

Christ Himself said that He is God. The Jews understood His claim literally, and He was condemned to death for blasphemy, for making Himself the Son of God.

Christ said: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). “And the high priest said to him, ‘I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said to him, ‘Thou hast said it'” (Matt. 26:63). “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

Christ proved His claims by wonderful miracles, by prophecies, by His knowledge of all things, and by the holiness of His life.
These miracles Christ worked in His own name, not as His followers did, who worked in the name of God. He simply said: “I will, be thou made clean” (Matt. 8:3)

Christ Himself appealed to His miracles as a testimony of the truth of His doctrines and divinity, saying: “If you are not willing to believe me, believe the works” (John 10:38) . Christ foretold future events. Among other things, He predicted His passion, death, and resurrection, the treason of Judas and the perpetuity of His Church.

The Apostles, the followers of Christ Himself, plainly taught that Christ is God, and died in testimony of their faith.
St. John says: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made Flesh.” St. Paul writes: “In him (Christ) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). St. Thomas openly professed the divinity of Christ when he said: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). St. Peter said: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

The Church teaches that Jesus Christ is God. Its teachings have spread throughout all nations, in spite of untold obstacles.
The Church has grown by the simplest of means, its spread ever accompanied by wonderful miracles, by which God designs to show forth the truth of the Church. The doctrine of the divinity of Christ is the foundation of the Christian religion.

Even the enemies of the Catholic Church have admitted their belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Napoleon, about to die, said: “I know men, but Jesus Christ was more than man. My men deserted me in the field when I was there leading them. Christ’s army has been faithful for centuries. A Leader who has an army which functions though He is dead is not man.”

Why is Jesus Christ God? –Jesus Christ is God because He is the only Son of God, having the same divine nature as His Father.

“And they all said, ‘Art thou, then, the Son of God?’ He answered, ‘You yourselves say that I am’ ‘ And they said, ‘What further need have we of witness? For we have heard it ourselves from his own mouth'” (Luke 22:70-71)

Man after the Fall was unable to regain of himself his former holiness. He became like a sick man who could not arise from bed. He needed Someone to raise him up. Since the sin he had committed had been an offense against an Infinite God, the atonement needed had to be by an Infinite One, the Son of God Himself.

“God so loved the world that he gave his onlybegotten Son” (John 3:16). “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

Christ is called the “Word”. Just as the thought in our minds finds expression in a word, so the Son of God dwelling in the bosom of His Father was shown to the world when the Word became man.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1: 1,14).

Why is Jesus Christ man? –Jesus Christ is man, because He is the Son of the Blessed Virgin, and has a body and soul like ours.

The birth of Jesus Christ is a fact of history. He was born of Mary, who was espoused to a carpenter named Joseph, who lived in Nazareth of Galilee.

The archangel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God.”

Jesus Christ is true man, because He has a body and soul like ours. He derived His human nature from His mother.

History tells us of Jesus Christ, Who preached in and about Jerusalem over nineteen hundred years ago. Many records tell of His appearance, of His words, of His actions, of His teachings. Nobody doubted that Jesus Christ was a Man, for He could be seen and touched like other men. He lived and died Just as men of all times live and die.

How can we prove that the religion God has revealed through Christ is worthy of belief? –We can prove that the religion God has revealed through Christ is worthy of belief, because:

Jesus Christ, announcing Himself as the true Son of God, whose coming was foretold by the prophets, preached doctrines which He said all must believe.

If Christ is God, then the religion He established is true, and the Church He founded is the true Church. We can believe everything He says, even without understanding it, because God cannot err.

If Jesus Christ were not God, then Christianity would be a farce, and the sooner it were done away with the better. If Christ were not God, then He were an impostor who, by claiming divinity, had led billions into error for almost 2,000 years.

Christ worked wonderful miracles, which showed that the God of truth approved His teachings.

Christ worked so many miracles publicly that all flocked to Him to be cured. “But when John had heard in prison of the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples to say to him, ‘Art thou he who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ And Jesus answering said to them, ‘Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them'” (Matt. 11:2-5)

Christ performed miracles on inanimate objects, as when He changed water to wine, calmed the storm, multiplied loaves.
He healed in an instant the sick, the blind, the lame. He expelled devils.

He raised the dead to life; as the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Naim and Lazarus. Even His enemies acknowledged His miracles. The Pharisees planned to kill Lazarus, because the Jews believed in Jesus as a result of the miracle.
He worked miracles on His own Person, as in the Transfiguration, Resurrection, and Ascension.

St. Lazarus of Bethany

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St. Lazarus of Bethany

First Bishop of Marseilles,
(† 1st century)

According to a tradition, or rather a series of traditions combined at different epochs, the members of the family at Bethany, the friends of Christ, together with some holy women and others of His disciples, were put out to sea by the Jews hostile to Christianity in a vessel without sails, oars, or helm, and after a miraculous voyage landed in Provence at a place called today the Saintes-Maries. It is related that they separated there to go and preach the Gospel in different parts of the southeast of Gaul. Lazarus, of whom alone we have to treat here, went to Marseilles, and, having converted a number of its inhabitants to Christianity, became their first pastor. During the first persecution under Nero he hid himself in a crypt, over which the celebrated Abbey of St.-Victor was constructed in the fifth century. In this same crypt he was interred, when he shed his blood for the faith. During the new persecution of Domitian he was cast into prison and beheaded in a spot which is believed to be identical with a cave beneath the prison Saint-Lazare. His body was later translated to Autun, and buried in the cathedral of that town. But the inhabitants of Marseilles claim to be in possession of his head which they still venerate.

Like the other legends concerning the saints of the Palestinian group, this tradition, which was believed for several centuries and which still finds some advocates, has no solid foundation. It is in a writing, contained in an eleventh century manuscript, with some other documents relating to St. Magdalen of Vézelay, that we first read of Lazarus in connection with the voyage that brought Magdalen to Gaul. Before the middle of the eleventh century there does not seem to be the slightest trace of the tradition according to which the Palestinian saints came to Provence. At the beginning of the twelfth century, perhaps through a confusion of names, it was believed at Autun that the tomb of St. Lazarus was to be found in the cathedral dedicated to St. Nazarius. A search was made and remains were discovered, which were solemnly translated and were considered to be those of him whom Christ raised from the dead, but it was not thought necessary to inquire why they should be found in France.

The question, however, deserved to be examined with care, seeing that, according to a tradition of the Greek Church, the body of St. Lazarus had been brought to Constantinople, just as all the other saints of the Palestinian group were said to have died in the Orient, and to have been buried, translated, and honoured there. It is only in the thirteenth century that the belief that Lazarus had come to Gaul with his two sisters and had been Bishop of Marseilles spread in Provence. It is true that a letter is cited (its origin is uncertain), written in 1040 by Pope Benedict IX on the occasion of the consecration of the new church of St.-Victor in which Lazarus is mentioned. But in this text the pope speaks only of relics of St. Lazarus, merely calling him the saint who was raised again to life. He does not speak of him as having lived in Provence, or as having been Bishop of Marseilles.

The most ancient Provençal text alluding to the episcopacy of St. Lazarus is a passage in the “Otia imperialia” of Gervase of Tillbury (1212). Thus the belief in his Provençal apostolate is of very late date, and its supporters must produce more ancient and reliable documentary evidence. In the crypt of St.-Victor at Marseilles an epitaph of the of the fifth century has been discovered, which informs us that a bishop named Lazarus was buried there. In the opinion of the most competent archæologists, however, this personage is Lazarus, Bishop of Aix, who was consecrated at Marseilles about 407, and who, having had to abandon his see in 411, passed some time in Palestine, whence he returned to end his days in Marseilles. It is more than likely that it is the name of this bishop and his return from Palestine, that gave rise to the legend of the coming of the Biblical Lazarus to Provence, and his apostolate in the city of Marseilles.

Sources

CHEVALIER, Gallia christ. noviss., II (Paris, 1899), 1-6; Analect. Bolland., VI (Brussels, 1887), 88-92; BOUCHE, Vindicœ fidei et pietatis Provinciœ pro cflitibus illius tutelaribus restituendis (Aix, 1644); DE CHANTELOUP, L’apttre de la Provence ou la vie du glorieux S. Lazare, premier ivjque de Marseille (Marseilles, 1864); FAILLON, Mon. inid. sur l’apostolat de Ste. Marie Madeleine en Provence et sur les autres apttres de cette contrie (Paris, 1848); DE LAUNOY, De commentitio Lazari et Maximini Magdalenœ et Marthœ in Provinciam appulsu dissertatio (Paris, 1641); DE MAZENOD, Preuves de la mission de S. Lazare ‘ Marseille in Annales de philos. Chrit., XIII (Paris, 1846), 338-50; TILLEMONT, Mem. pour servir ‘ l’hist. ecclis., II (Paris, 1694); 32-4; L. DUCHESNE, Fastes ipisc. de l’anc. Gaule, I (Paris, 1894), 324-5, 341-4; MORIN, S. Lazare et S. Maximin, donnies nouvelles sur plusieurs personnages de la tradition de Provence in Mim. de la Soc. des ant. de France, F, VI (Paris, 1897) 27-51.

APA citation. Clugnet, L. (1910). St. Lazarus of Bethany. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. MLA citation. Clugnet, Léon. “St. Lazarus of Bethany.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 16 Dec. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09097a.htm>.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.