With Thanksgiving here, Catholics take the opportunity to meditate on how much we have to be grateful for, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

Father Kenneth Walker’s First Mass:

The Year and Our Children, Mary Reed Newland

Men have not only prayed in thanksgiving, but have offered in thanksgiving: something that was a sign of themselves, to show they were thankful for life, were sorry for their sins against the Giver of life, would give their lives in return, if they might, to the One they owe so much.

They made offerings in thanks for the things that sustain life, for the preservation of life. “Abel also offered of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat.”

“So Noah went out, he and his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons – all living things went out of the ark. And Noah built an altar unto the Lord: and taking of all cattle and fowl that were clean, offered holocausts upon the altar….”

They made bloody offerings, because the offering is a symbol of the offerer, and blood is the essence of life. Blood is life.

There were other offerings: “Melchizedek, the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God, blessed him and said, `Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth.'”

“‘ .. Because bread maintains life, and wine enhances life. God told them what to sacrifice and how to sacrifice; but especially He told them to make the sacrifice of the Pasch, because it was a memorial to their freedom and their protection, a memorial of thanksgiving to the God who loved them: ”

. . . and it shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, one year … and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening.” . . . ”

And this day shall be a memorial unto you: and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord … for with a strong hand the Lord hath brought you out of this place.”

He brought them through water, led them by fire, fed them with manna, and when they sinned against Him, He chastised them and accepted their sacrifices of expiation. He made it part of their Law, their Covenant, that they were to offer sacrifice: of reparation, of petition, of praise, of thanksgiving.

Then Christ came. When it was time for the thing to happen for which He came, He said to the Apostles, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this, in remembrance of me.” And He said: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which shall be shed for you.”

This was the new covenant, the new Pasch … “in my blood,” He said. From that moment on, they were to make sacrifice “in my blood.”

The offering is a symbol of the offerer. Blood is the essence of life. This is our gift to offer: His Body and Blood, every day.

Think of all the things the Redemption accomplished, and do not forget this last: to put into our hands the perfect Gift, the pure Victim – “holy and spotless, the holy bread of everlasting life and the chalice of everlasting salvation.”

THE VALUE OF THE MASS 

  • At the hour of death the Holy Masses you have heard devoutly will be your greatest consolation.
  • Every Mass will go with you to Judgment and will plead pardon for you.
  • By every Mass you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins, more or less, according to your fervor.
  • By devoutly assisting at Holy Mass you render the greatest homage possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.
  • Through the Holy Sacrifice, Our Lord Jesus Christ supplies for many of your negligences and omissions.
  • He forgives you all the venial sins which you are determined to avoid. He forgives you all your unknown sins which you never confessed. The Power of Satan over you is diminished.
  • By piously hearing Holy Mass you afford the Souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief.
  • One Holy Mass heard during your life will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death.
  • Through the Holy Mass you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes which would otherwise have befallen you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass.
  • During Holy Mass you kneel amid a multitude of holy Angels, who are present at the Adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.
  • Through Holy Mass you are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.
  • When you hear Holy Mass devoutly, offering it to Almighty God in honor of any particular Saint or Angel thanking God for the favors bestowed on him, you afford that Saint or Angel a new degree of honor, joy and happiness, and draw his special love and protection for yourself.
  • Every time you assist at Holy Mass, besides other intentions, you should offer it in honor of the Saint of the day.

The history books will tell you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Protestant pilgrims of Massachusetts in 1621. Not so. There was the Catholic Thanksgiving of 1565 in Florida and another Catholic Thanksgiving of 1589 in Texas….

Read more here.

Advent Chaplet (Hail and Blessed, St. Andrew Novena) and Prayer Card!

This St. Andrew Novena Chaplet consists of 15 beads that make up the 15 prayers for the novena throughout the Advent Season up to Christmas Eve. The chaplet is wire wrapped with Vintaj square brass wire and will last for many Advents to come! Also included is a laminated prayer card that has the novena prayer printed on it.

Review: “Quality materials and workmanship. There will be no losing beads because the wire is beautifully woven in and around each bead itself. The box it came in had a handmade flower glued on it, inside a little ribboned gift bag with the prayer card. It could have been gifted as is. Shipped quickly.

An aside: This chaplet was quickly and accidentally adopted by my four year old because “It’s pretty so its prayers will be pretty.” Well, that isn’t quite the point but I love how little kids’ minds make connections. We prayed 15 Glory Be prayers that day, and the next day 15 little Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity.”

Available here.

Beginning with the first day of Advent and continuing through the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, these selections from the immortal pen of Fulton J. Sheen encourage readers to explore the essence and promise of the season. Those looking to grow in their prayer life and become more attuned to the joy of Advent and Christmas will find a wonderful guide in this spiritual companion….

You are about to make the season of Advent more meaningful than you ever have! This Advent journal is for busy moms who need a little help making this season special within the home. It will help you stay on track and be consistent with the customs you have decided to incorporate within your four walls. I have broken it down into bite-sized tidbits that, when laid out for you, will be easy to accomplish. As you check each item off you will get a sense of fulfillment knowing you are getting done what is truly important in this expectant season! The other things will get done….but first things first! At midnight, on Christmas Eve, when Baby Jesus arrives, you and your family will look back upon your Advent and sigh with satisfaction, knowing you truly have celebrated with the Church, that you have put your best foot forward in making this a spiritual, enchanting, holy time for all! The first few pages of this book will have a run-down of the special Advent customs and activities that will be on your checklist each day. They are simple, they are doable. I hope this Advent is more special than ever as we walk hand-in-hand making the Liturgy come alive in our homes!

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