Return to | Sign Up For FREE Newsletter

Copyright © 2012, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - December, 2012 [Plain text version]

Why not have newsletters delivered free to your inbox? Click here

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + Newsletter - December, 2012

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of December: Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception

* Advent / Christmas Resources

* A Few Reflections on the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

* Liturgical Feasts in December

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - How Can One Believe in the Real Presence When it is Not Perceptible to the Eye?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear Friend,

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel." (Isa. 7:14)

During this time when the world seems bent on distorting - or at least distracting us from - the real meaning of Christmas, we hope Catholics will make a special effort to keep a holy Advent (which begins this year on December 2nd), always bearing in mind the real, true meaning of Christmas -- Our Lord's birth -- the very Son of God becoming incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and being born on earth in order to save His beloved creatures from the yoke of Satan and eternal hellfire & to unite us to Himself. We know that St. John the Baptist tells us to prepare the way for Him by repentance. Why not make an extra special effort this year to reject 'Christmas consumerism' and draw closer to Christ? Our Lord is the best gift any of us could ever have, and the most joyous & fulfilling treasure our hearts could ever hope for...and one that we will never tire of for all eternity.

We wish you a blessed preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Lord and hope that this will be your holiest Advent ever.

Your Friends at

+ + +

"Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son; that through His coming we may attain to serve Thee with purified minds. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee..." (Collect)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

MCS News & Notes

* New Reflections: We have updated the Catholic Seniors reflections to include a couple of recent quotes from Pope Benedict XVI regarding the elderly. To view, please visit

* News Update: Pope Benedict XVI has established the Pontifical Academy for Latin. The VIS announcement has been added to our news page and blog. To view, please visit or [Reminder: Latin is the Church's official language. For Latin language resources on our site (incl. benefits of Latin language, Latin facts & pronunciation tips, definitions, prayers, etc.), please visit ]

* Changes to Search Pages: For security reasons, we have had to restrict the use of special characters on search pages. Excluded characters may include the following: <>"'%;)(&+-. Should this change cause you any difficulty, please let us know. In your correspondence, please include the URL of the search page(s) and also your desired keywords (including all special symbols). Thank you.

* New URL Shortcut: We have added a URL shortcut to access in support of The new 'easy to remember' URL shortcut, , redirects to the site. [Reminder: We are not responsible for the content / policies / etc. of third party sites, even if they are accessed using our URL shortcuts] 

* New Books in Lending Library / Special Offer: Two new books have been donated to our lending library. The new titles are: 'With God in Russia' [by Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J. (Ignatius Press)] and 'Saint John of the Cross for Every Day' (Paulist Press). If you are interested in reading either of these books, you can request them at no charge here - . Although our lending library normally requires the borrower to include a deposit & SASE, we will waive these requirements for these two titles this December and ship them at our expense*. The borrower will still need to return the books back to us in good condition, on time, and at their own expense. If you are interested in reading either of these books, please request them today at . [*Note: This special offer is limited to the above two titles ONLY, and is limited to shipments we make by December 31, 2012. Lending of these titles is on a first come-first serve basis. Offer is limited to newsletter subscribers over age 18, where permitted by law. Offer available to U.S. residents only. Note that we do not recommend any book(s), author(s), publisher(s), etc.]

* Subscriber Feedback Page Change: We have added an optional e-mail field to our subscriber feedback page at . We felt this change was necessary because we have received a number of comments that require a response, but no e-mail address was provided. We hope the extra field, although optional, will prevent this from occurring in the future.

* Reminder: For your free 2013 liturgical calendar-flier (Jan.-Dec.), go to and click your choice of "fliers" links [Note: Fliers are based on the traditional calendar]

* Have friends or family that might benefit from our newsletter? Please invite them to subscribe at

* We love to hear from you! Please submit comments at

- - - - - App News...

* Catholic apps are great for sharing! Why not purchase these Catholic apps both for yourself and for your loved ones...

-- Saints4U - Use this handy app to quickly locate patron saints (by name, patronage or category), male or female saint names, feasts falling on particular days, liturgical feasts, and more. It features over 6,400 listings, including 1,000+ patronages. It's a great aid for finding baptismal names & confirmation names, and it's also handy for locating feast days & patron saints. Get it today at . For more information & screen shots, please visit

-- Catholic Bible References - This 'must-have' app can help Catholics discuss, defend, and even better understand certain elements of the Catholic faith. The app features hundreds of key scripture references concerning Catholic beliefs, 100+ tips for locating related passages (including those related to defending the Catholic faith among 'Jehovah's Witnesses' & Mormons), modern / traditional scripture translations, convenient index, an easy / quick / comprehensive search, selectable text, an Old Testament / New Testament indicator, a quick, easy-to-use interface, and in-app help. Topics Include: Ashes, Blessed Virgin Mary, Celibacy, Devil, Divinity of Christ, Faith / Works (Sola Fide/Faith Alone), Hell, Hierarchy, Incense, Indulgences, Infallibility, Intercession, Lord's Day / Sunday, Mass, Morality, Oral Tradition (Sola Scriptura/Bible Alone), Original Sin, Papacy, Prayer (Repeating Prayer, Praying for the Dead, Praying to Saints), Priest / Priesthood, Purgatory, Relics, Sacraments (Anointing of the Sick, Baptism, Confession, Confirmation, Eucharist, Holy Orders, Marriage), Saints, Salvation, Scripture, Trinity, Unity, and More... Download it today at . For more information & screen shots, please visit

-- iStations -This app is a convenient devotional aid for privately praying the Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross). It features beautiful images, two traditional methods, a handy audio option with optional auto-advance, selected prayers in English & Latin, easy navigation, and in-app help. It's great for Fridays, Lent, penitential times, family devotions, and daily meditation - any time you can't make it to your parish. Users of the app (both platforms) have called it "penetrating and profound", "excellent", "great", "simply beautiful", "wonderful", and "beautifully sublime". Three reviewers have referred to a version of the app as the "best" stations app. Download it today at . For more information & screen shots, please visit . Note: For more information, download links and screen shots for the Android version of this app, please visit

* Android Apps Status Update: We have already released iStations for Android & Just Checkin' In for Android. As indicated previously, we are still working on Android versions of our other apps. Unfortunately, development of Android apps has been delayed as we are spread thin on other items we must address. We are also balancing development of Android apps with development of apps to be sold via iTunes. We have found that developing for the Android platform is far more challenging and we are not presently able to devote much as much time as we would like to developing on this platform at this time. We unfortunately do not have any estimated completion dates for Android apps, but we are still accepting requests to be notified of their release. To be notified when Android apps are ready, please visit

* Reviews: If you've purchased any of our apps, we encourage you to please leave a review at your place of purchase. They really help us out! To view selected reviews, please visit

* For more information concerning currently available apps, please visit (shortcut: )

Note: Any prices included herein are in U.S. dollars, excluding any applicable tax.

- - - - -

* Please see our Notices page at for dates of anticipated service delays through January 2013

* Help keep us online! You can donate from $1 using PayPal at [note that we do NOT sell donor information to third parties and we do NOT contact you about your donation unless it is necessary (e.g. processing problems)]. Thank you for your much needed support!

* To shop at in support of, please use this link: (shortcut ). You can shop here for books, household & office products, Catholic items, electronics, and much more. Already shop at It doesn't cost any extra to shop at Amazon using this link, yet we can benefit from your purchases. Thank you for your support!

* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail address in your 'trusted senders' list - or use other applicable options your e-mail provider may offer to let them know that our e-mail is wanted. Thank you.

* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Month of December: Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception

+ + +

"O Virgin undefiled, undefiled is your birth." (St. Andrew of Crete, a. 740 A.D.)

"Thou, O Lord, and thy Mother are the only ones who are perfectly beautiful in every respect, for in thee, O Lord, there is no blemish, and in thy Mother there is no stain." (St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church)

+ + +

Related Resources...

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) -

* Immaculate Conception / Sinlessness Reflections (quotes from popes & saints) -

* Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception -

* Some Reasons to Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary -

* Some Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary -

* Marian Facts -

* Marian Prayers -

* Popular Marian Devotions -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Reflections) -

* Marian Scriptural References -

* Marian Encyclicals (click link: "The Blessed Virgin Mary") -

* Marian Apologetics -

* Mary, Our Mother Section -

* Marian Coloring Pages -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

+ + +

"For nothing is worthy to receive God unless it be pure, according to Psalm 93:5: 'Holiness becometh Thy House, O Lord.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The commemoration of the mystery of the Most Holy Virgin, conceived immaculate and immune from all stain of original sin, should, in the first place, urge us to that innocence and integrity of life which flees from and abhors even the slightest stain of sin." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953 A.D.)

"It was fitting that Jesus Christ should have such a mother as would be worthy of Him as far as possible; and she would not have been worthy, if, contaminated by the hereditary stain even for the first moment only of her conception, she had been subject to the abominable power of Satan." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953 A.D.)

"[The Church] did not hesitate to present for the public devotion and veneration of the faithful the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin. By this most significant fact, the Church made it clear indeed that the conception of Mary is to be venerated as something extraordinary, wonderful, eminently holy, and different from the conception of all other human beings" (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854 A.D.)

"From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so love her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854 A.D.)

"[T]he Fathers proclaimed with particular and definite statements that when one treats of sin, the holy Virgin Mary is not even to be mentioned; for to her more grace was given than was necessary to conquer sin completely. They also declared that the most glorious Virgin was Reparatrix of the first parents, the giver of life to posterity; that she was chosen before the ages, prepared for himself by the Most High, foretold by God when he said to the serpent, 'I will put enmities between you and the woman.' - unmistakable evidence that she has crushed the poisonous head of [Satan]. And hence they affirmed that the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light; and that, therefore, she was entirely a fit habitation for Christ, not because of the state of her body, but because of her original grace." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854 A.D.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Advent / Christmas Resources

+ + +

"The name Advent [from the Latin word 'Adventus', a coming] is applied, in the Latin Church, to that period of the year, during which the Church requires the faithful to prepare for the celebration of the feast of Christmas, the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ." (Dom Gueranger)

"The Child that is born of Mary and is couched in the Crib at Bethlehem, raises his feeble voice to the Eternal Father, and calls him, My Father! He turns towards us and calls us My Brethren! We, consequently, when we speak to his Father, may call him Our Father! This is the mystery of adoption, revealed to us by the great event [of Christmas]. All things are changed, both heaven and on earth: God has not only one Son, he has many sons; henceforth we stand before this our God, not merely creatures drawn out of nothing by his power, but children that he fondly loves. Heaven is now not only the throne of his sovereign Majesty; it has become our inheritance in which we are joint-heirs with our brother Jesus, the Son of Mary, Son of Eve, Son of Adam, according to his Human Nature, and (in the unity of Person) Son of God according to his Divine Nature. Let us turn our wondering and loving thoughts first to this sweet Babe, that has brought us all these blessings, and then to the blessings themselves, to the dear inheritance made ours by him. Let your mind be seized with astonishment at creatures having such a destiny! And then let our heart pour out its thanks for the incomprehensible gift!" (Dom Gueranger)

+ + +


* Advent (Topic Page) -

* Christmas (Topic Page) -

* Make Your Own Advent Calendar -

* Advent / Christmas Prayers -

* Advent / Christmas Practices (See 'Traditional Practices', 'Advent / Christmas') [Page also contains fasting / abstinence info.] -

* Advent / Christmas Activities (See 'Holiday Activities') -

* Incarnation / Nativity Reflections -

* Incarnation / Birth of Jesus Reflections -

* Bible Prophecies: Coming of Christ / Supremacy & Facts About Upcoming Messiah -

* Scripture References (Marian Scriptural References) -

* Biblical References / Divinity of Christ / Etc. (Non-Catholics Section, apologetics) -

* Definitions (Advent, Christmas, Christmastide, Etc.) -

* O Antiphons (12/17-12/23) -

* Coloring Pages (Christmas Bells, Christmas Candles, Christmas Card, Nativity, Etc.) -

* 'Spiritual Bouquet' Card - "a great Christmas gift" (See 'Other') -

* Word Search (Christmas) -

* Catholic Travel: Collages (Incl. Bethlehem) -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

- - -

Reminder: Don't forget to check the MCS Daily Digest each day. During Advent, the MCS Daily Digest may contain various items to help prepare for Christmas. Visit the MCS Daily Digest at

- - -

Advent Prayer: "I adore Thee, O incarnate Word, the true Son of God from all eternity, and the true Son of Mary in the fullness of time. As I adore Thy divine Person and the sacred Humanity thereto united, I feel myself drawn to venerate likewise the poor Crib that welcomed Thee, when Thou wast a little Child, and which was, in very truth, the first throne of Thy love. Would that I could fall prostrate before it with the simplicity of the shepherds, with the faith of Joseph, and the love of Mary! Would that I too could bend low to venerate this precious memorial of our salvation with the spirit of mortification, poverty and humility, with which Thou, the Lord of heaven and earth, didst choose a manger to be the resting place of Thy dear limbs! And do Thou, O Lord, who didst deign in Thine infancy to be laid in this manger, pour into my heart a drop of that joy which must have been experienced at the sight of Thy lovely infancy and of the wonders that accompanied Thy birth; by virtue of this Thy holy birth, I implore Thee to give peace and good-will to all the world, and, in the name of all mankind, to render perfect thanksgiving and infinite glory to Thine eternal Father, with whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Thou livest and reignest one God, world without end. Amen." (Raccolta)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Few Reflections on the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

+ + +

The following reflections are taken from Thomas à Kempis' writings which appear in a 20th century publication. The publication bears an imprimatur. [Note: We have made various changes to the text below (e.g. shortening, combining paragraphs, changed formatting, capitalization & punctuation)]

+ + +

Of the Birth and Poverty of the Lord Jesus

Bless, and give thanks to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten of the Father, born before all worlds, Who, of Thy unspeakable condescension, didst vouchsafe to be born in a filthy stable, and for love of holy poverty, to be laid in a narrow manger. I praise Thee, most loving Jesus, for Thy illustrious origin; for Thy glorious birth of the pure Virgin Mary; for Thy poverty; and for Thy humility in lying in so poor and mean a crib. Who can meditate as he should on the thought of the most High God, so demeaning Himself for our sake? O what thanks does not the human race owe to Thee, Who, for its redemption, didst choose to lie in a narrow manger! O boundless tenderness, O wondrous sweetness, O sweetest love - God born a helpless babe, wrapped in mean swaddling clothes, laid in a narrow manger, with brute beasts surrounding Him! O humility passing human thought, that the Lord of all lords should deign to become the fellow servant of His own servants! But, O my Lord, and my God, it seemed to Thee too small a thing, that Thou Who art my Creator shouldst also be my Father; Thou didst even stoop to become my Brother, and to be made flesh of my flesh, taking in very truth my nature upon Thee, sin only excepted...I thank Thee, for Thy self-chosen and glorious Nativity, O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, by Whom we have access to that Grace in which we stand, and trust in the hope restored to us from above of the glory of the sons of God. Thou art the pledge of our redemption: Thou art the everlasting hope of all men; to Thee do we sinners humbly fly for refuge - to Thee, Who didst come to seek us, when as yet we knew Thee not. O sweet and holy Infancy, from which alone true innocency comes to human hearts; by which, however old a man may be, he may go back to blessed infancy, and may be made like to Thee, not by the shrinking of his limbs, but by the lowliness of his mind, and the holiness of his life! O most gentle Jesus, Who, that Thou mightest give to all men an example of a holy life, and the means of everlasting salvation, didst will to be born of Mary the Virgin, at the hour of midnight, grant that I may tread in the sacred footsteps of Thy humility and poverty! Grant that I may join, in giving praise and thanks to Thee, the Angels and the whole company of the heavenly host, whom Thou didst cause to be the joyful heralds of Thy Nativity!

Of the Hardships and Want of Jesus in His Low Estate

Bless Thee, and give thanks to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for that, as soon as Thou hadst taken upon Thee our flesh, Thou didst, for love of us, endure many hardships, and didst make trial, in all its bitterness, of the stress of utter poverty. For when Thou, very God, wast born into the world, Thou didst choose for the hour of Thy birth the secrecy of the night, and for its ease and comfort the winter cold: Thou didst not seek, as a home for Thy sovereign Majesty, the grandeur of a stately palace, but didst find instead, in a little crib, a shelter for Thy infant helplessness... O holy poverty of the Son of God, more precious than all earthly wealth, poverty in which scarce one of us can follow Thee! For which of us has come into the world in straits such as Thine! In what language, in what story, shall we find examples of any of Thy Saints born under conditions so mean and so poor? To Thee, then, O my Jesus, mighty King, Infant worthy of all love; to Thee do I offer from the bottom of my heart the tribute of all the gratitude of which my heart is capable, beseeching Thee that, of Thy love, Thou wouldest grant me lovingly to cherish the joys of holy poverty, and by the help of Thy grace to bear its hardships patiently. Thou didst leave Thy Throne on high that Thou mightest commend the state of poverty to our love: to Thy riches, as God, no limits can be set; but as man, for our sakes, Thou madest Thyself poor. I praise and magnify Thee, for taking upon Thyself our poverty and weakness; and for holding us so dear, that laying aside Thy royal diadem, Thou didst vouchsafe to be numbered among the sons of men, and as if Thou hadst been one of them, to share the frailty of our nature, yet without any spot of sin.

Of the Crying of the Infant Jesus

Bless Thee, and give thanks to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, Joy of Angels, Comforter of the sad at heart, for Thy infant crying and tears, wherewith Thou didst sorrowfully mourn over the sins of the sons of Adam. O thing of wonder, O surpassing condescension, that He Who is very God should cry in a cradle as a helpless babe; that He, to Whom in Heaven Angels sing praise, should, as one subject to death...that He Who sustains and gives food to all flesh, Who makes the clouds to thunder, and the rain to water the earth, should be held by the hand, and be carried about as a helpless child! How is that which is highest joined with that which is lowest, that which is of man with that which is of God! It was to wash me from my iniquity that, as an Infant, Thou didst weep; it was over my sins that Thy tears were shed. Therefore, O my Lord and my God, I owe Thee more for the sorrows, by which Thou didst redeem me, than for that mighty working by which Thou didst create me. How ought I not to bewail my sins, since Thou, O Lord, didst weep so constantly over them! How grievous must have been the wounds of my soul, when the tears which Thou didst shed over them were so many! And yet there is nothing strange or wondrous in the thought that Thou, Who camest down from heaven to shed Thy precious Blood to wash us from our sins, shouldst shed tears of pity for them. I praise Thee, therefore, my beloved Jesus, and I will never cease to praise Thee, for the love and for the pity Thou hast shown to me, a miserable sinner.

+ + +

"For what greater thing is there than that God should become man?" (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"...not simply flesh and blood...but rather Lord and God clothed in our likeness" (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church)

"[I]n spite of all our wretchedness and sin, [He] humbled Himself so low as to become one of us, on order that He might exalt us even to union with Himself." (Dom Gueranger)

"'And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.' Such powerful words! They express the deepest reality of the greatest event to ever take place in human history." (Pope John Paul II)

"The greatness of God was not cast off, but the slightness of human nature was put on." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

+ + +

For more reflections, please visit

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Liturgical Feasts in December

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for December as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

+ + +

December 2 - St. Bibiana (T)

December 3 - St. Francis Xavier (T)

December 3 - St. Francis Xavier (N)

December 4 - St. Barbara (T)

December 4 - St. Peter Chrysologus (T)

December 4 - St. John Damascene (N)

December 5 - St. Sabbas (T)

December 6 - St. Nicholas of Myra (or Bari) (T)

December 6 - St. Nicholas of Myra (or Bari) (N)

December 7 - St. Ambrose (T)

December 7 - Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (T)

December 7 - St. Ambrose (N)

December 8 - The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T) *

December 8 - The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N) *

December 9 - St. Juan Diego (N)

December 10 - St. Melchiades, pope (T)

December 11 - St. Damasus I, pope (T)

December 11 - St. Damasus I, pope (N)

December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe (T)

December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe (N)

December 13 - St. Lucy of Syracuse (T)

December 13 - St. Lucy (N)

December 14 - St. John of the Cross (N)

December 16 - St. Eusebius of Vercelli (T)

December 21 - St. Thomas, apostle (T)

December 21 - St. Peter Canisius (N)

December 22 - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (T)

December 23 - St. John of Kanty (John Cantius) (N)

December 24 - Vigil of the Nativity (Christmas Eve) (T)

December 25 - Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas) (T) *

December 25 - St. Anastasia (T)

December 25 - The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) (N) *

December 26 - St. Stephen the First Martyr (T)

December 26 - St. Stephen, First Martyr (N)

December 27 - St. John, apostle & evangelist (T)

December 27 - St. John, apostle & evangelist (N)

December 28 - The Holy Innocents (T)

December 28 - The Holy Innocents (N)

December 29 - St. Thomas of Canterbury (T)

December 29 - St. Thomas Becket (N)

December 31 - St. Sylvester I, pope (T)

December 31 - St. Sylvester I, pope (N)

* Holy Day of Obligation

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below and try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at


12/2/12 - First Sunday in Advent

12/9/12 - Second Sunday in Advent

12/16/12 - Third Sunday in Advent (Gaudete Sunday)

12/19/12 - Ember Wednesday in Advent (T)

12/21/12 - Ember Friday in Advent (T)

12/22/12 - Ember Saturday in Advent (T)

12/23/12 - Fourth Sunday in Advent

12/30/12 - Feast of the Holy Family (N)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

'Catholic Trivia'

1. Advent begins about four weeks before Christmas and marks the beginning of what? [Hint: Liturgically speaking]

2. What is the name for the traditional season of the Church that goes from December 24 (12/24) to January 13 (1/13)?

3. Where does this passage appear...? "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel."

4. According to tradition, what are the names of the magi?

5. What traditional days of fasting / abstinence occur in December?

6. In what encyclical was the Immaculate Conception formally proclaimed?

7. What did the heavenly host say at the Nativity?

8. What is the meaning of Emmanuel?

9. Fill in the blanks: "And in the ___ month, the angel ___ was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called ___"

10. What is the meaning of Hierosolyma (or Hierosólyma)?



1. A new Church year

2. Christmastide

3. Isaias 7:14

4. St. Caspar, St. Melchior & St. Balthasar

5. Ember Days, Vigil of the Immaculate Conception, Vigil of Christmas (Christmas Eve)

6. Ineffabilis Deus (Pope Pius IX, Dec. 8, 1854 A.D.)

7. "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will." (Lk. 2:13-14)

8. "Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Mt. 1:23)

9. "And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth" (Lk. 1:26)

10. Latin for Jerusalem


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - How Can One Believe in the Real Presence When it is Not Perceptible to the Eye?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

- - -

Note: Text below is taken from  

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: How Can One Believe in the Real Presence When it is Not Perceptible to the Eye? [Note: Topic is directed at Protestants]


* Just as Christ's divinity not perceptible to the human eye, the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist is also not perceptible to the human eye. Instead, we are called to look "through the eyes of faith." Remember that belief in the Real Presence is ESSENTIAL to salvation. As Scripture says, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 6:53) and "anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself" (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:29)

* We must have faith in this doctrine because we are told that it is true by God Himself. And, we know that God cannot lie.

* We must believe in many things even though we cannot see them (e.g. oxygen, love, that we have a soul, etc.). The fact that something cannot be seen does not mean that it is not true.

Note: Next month we'll cover the related topic "Do You Reject Transubstantiation or That the Eucharist is Truly Christ's Flesh and Blood Under the Mere Appearance of Bread & Wine?"

- - -

"Let us [St. Chrysostom] says, obey, not contradict God, although what He says may seem contrary to our reason and our sight. His works cannot deceive, our senses are easily deceived." (Catechism of the Council of Trent) 

"What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice the Blood of Christ." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.)

"St. Ambrose says: Although the species of bread and wine are visible, yet we must believe that after consecration, the body and blood of Christ are alone there. Explaining the same doctrine almost in the same words, St. Hilary says that although externally it appear bread and wine, yet in reality it is the body and blood of the Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Consider therefore the Bread and the Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for even though sense suggest this to thee, yet let faith establish thee. Judge not the matter from the taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that the Body and Blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to thee." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.) 

- - -

For more apologetics resources, please visit

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In Closing...

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Mt. 3:2) [DR Trans: "Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."]

"The unchangeable Image of the Father, the type of his eternity, assumes the form of a servant, and is born of a Virgin-Mother; yet he suffers not any change: for that which he was he continues to be - the true God; but that which he was not he now becomes, being made Man for the love of man. Let us cry out to him: O thou that art born of the Virgin! Have mercy on us." [Liturgy, Christmas Day (Liturgical Year)]

"Lord Jesus Christ, who, being made subject to Mary and Joseph, didst consecrate domestic life by Thine ineffable virtues; grant that we, with the assistance of both, may be taught by the example of Thy Holy Family and may attain to its everlasting fellowship. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen." (Roman Missal)

"If then God has such a horror of sin as to have willed to keep free the future Mother of His Son not only from stains which are voluntarily contracted but, by a special favor and in prevision of the merits of Jesus Christ, from that other stain of which the sad sign is transmitted to all us sons of Adam by a sort of hapless heritage: who can doubt that it is a duty for everyone who seeks by his homage to gain the heart of Mary to correct his vicious and depraved habits and to subdue the passions which incite him to evil?" (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904 A.D.)

"The Divine goodness, dearly beloved, has indeed always taken thought for mankind in divers manners, and in many portions, and of His mercy has imparted many gifts of His providence to the ages of old; but in these last times has exceeded all the abundance of His usual kindness, when in Christ the very Mercy has descended to sinners, the very Truth to those that are astray, the very Life to those that are dead: so that Word, which is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father, might take our humble nature into union with His Godhead, and, being born God of God, might also be born Man of man." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail, Mary... Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Hail, Mary... And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt among us. Hail, Mary... Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen." (Angelus)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We sincerely welcome feedback regarding our newsletters. Please visit our newsletter feedback page at to share your comments.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Thank You For Being a Subscriber to the E-Mail List.

We Wish You God's Blessings.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Note: Please do not reply to this e-mail address. If you are not a subscriber to this newsletter and you wish to join or if you are a subscriber and wish to unsubscribe, please go to . To contact us regarding other matters, please visit our feedback page at

Use of site / newsletter is subject to our terms of use. For terms information, visit is a division of B.F.S. Our mailing address is: Attn.:, B.F.S., P.O. Box 4292, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729-4292

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Please support quality Catholic content & help us maintain our non-commercial appearance...

* Invite a friend to - please visit

* Pray for us

* Link to us in blogs, newsgroups, etc.

* Donate $1.00 or more - please visit 

* Purchase our apps - please visit

* For more free & low-cost methods, please visit

We appreciate your support!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -