Jesus is Born in Bethlehem

December 21st, 2014
The angels announced the birth of the Savior as “good news of great joy.”  In taking on our human nature, God the Son poured himself out for us, and from this we learn that joy comes from the giving of self.  Another message of the angels is that joy comes from personal acceptance of Jesus as our Savior.  The proud can never experience this joy, for they refuse to admit their need for salvation; or they pursue a futile quest for joy in pleasures and possessions. We give thanks that the Son of God came to save us.Our Father
1. [While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem for the census,] the time came for her delivery.
Hail Mary
2. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes.
Hail Mary
3. She laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
Hail Mary
4. There were shepherds in the same region, living in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Hail Mary
5. And behold, an angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of God shone round about them, and they were very much afraid.
Hail Mary
6. The angel said to them: “Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people.
Hail Mary
7. “Today in the town of David there has been born to you a Savior who is Christ the Lord;
Hail Mary
8. “And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
Hail Mary
9.  Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God,
Hail Mary
10. And saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will.”
Hail Mary
Glory be
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Reference: Luke 2:1-14

The Seven Day Bible Rosary

Every year we use the Nativity decade above from The Seven Day Bible Rosary for the week of Christmas.  Here are some comments John received this year for this book.

The Seven Day Bible Rosary has brought such freshness and insight to my life.

The Scripture references that are applied to each station have been ideal for meditation and even useful in apologetics.

I lead the rosary at weekly Mass and The Seven Day Bible Rosary provides an incredible dynamic when reciting the Rosary, by painting a clear picture of the highlights of each mystery.

We have been praying The Seven Day Bible Rosary daily.  We love it! And it has transformed my life!

I enjoy using this book.  Most times I had problems with meditation until now.  Thank you.

The Seven Day Bible Rosary by John F. Kippley is available for $5; 3 for $12; 5 for $15 including shipping.  It is a great little gift and can be easily included in a card envelope for birthdays, confirmation, hospitality, ordinations, a special thanks, etc.

 

6. Natural Family Planning: The Diocese of XYZ Now and 20 Years from Now

December 14th, 2014

Vision Now + 20 describes a plan that can be applied to one diocese and/or the entire country.  It may not be the best plan; it may not be the only plan; but at least it is a plan that invites the Ordinary and his priests to look forward and envision what they would like the diocese to look like 20 years from now.

There are no overnight, one-year, or five-year plans to accomplish the needed changes, although anything might be better than nothing.  The first few years may be slow.  Priests will have to become convinced that it is an act of true love on their part to require engaged couples to learn about ecological breastfeeding.  They will need to learn how great are the benefits of breastfeeding to mothers as well as to their babies, and they will need to understand that it truly is possible for mothers and babies to have this experience today.  They need to become convinced of the value of letting couples learn the options among the signs of fertility so that they can make well informed choices.

A network of Teaching Couples will take some years to develop.  In urban areas, one TC per deanery may be the first goal, and in rural areas it may take a few years to reach the goal of one TC per county.  It is possible that in the early years more couples will learn via the NFPI Home Study Course than in face-to-face classes.  Regardless, in each case, the parish priest can evangelize by using the NFPI manual to teach Catholic doctrine about love, marriage, sexuality and the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit that directs these teachings.

In 2014, the Church throughout the world and in every diocese is now at Humanae Vitae + 46 years.  In many dioceses and parishes the situation of marital chastity leaves much to be desired.  This proposal is to make each diocese and parish more fully Catholic in 20 years.

The sought-for goal is not the perfection of 100% faithful practice of marital chastity in every parish.  Rather, it is the more modest goal of seeking that 66% level of marital chastity that marked Catholic life prior to the Pill-induced confusion of the early Sixties and the dissent following the promulgation of Humanae Vitae in 1968.

That goal is attainable with God’s grace, but it also requires the sort of organized effort herein proposed.  The grace of God has not been absent for these past 46 years, but the sort of cooperation between the hierarchy and the laity called for by Vatican II and this proposal needs to be refreshed.

The result will be dioceses and parishes that more fully radiate the love and care and inherent attraction of the Lord Jesus.

NFP International seeks the participation of those who share this vision.

John F. Kippley (September 2014)

5. Natural Family Planning: VISION NOW + 20

December 7th, 2014

Translating the Vision Goals into Reality

* At least two-thirds of couples who need baby spacing will be using chaste Natural Family Planning.
In the early 1960s, two-thirds of Catholics still accepted Catholic teaching on birth control, and they had, for the most part, only Calendar Rhythm as a form of NFP.         Preparation for marriage is a special time of grace.  We believe that the combination of a believing priest, an orthodox and readable text such as Marriage Is for Keeps, and the full NFPI course will yield good results.  (The Bishops’ Committee urged a full course, and we thoroughly agree.)  We believe that combination will yield good fruit: 25% of newlyweds will accept and follow Catholic teaching on marital love and responsible parenthood; another 25% by their fifth anniversary; another 16% by their tenth anniversary.  The contraceptive alternatives to NFP are not all that attractive, and many will not want the extra burden of the abortifacient potential of hormonal birth control.  In short, we believe that with the proper information, motivation, and the tools of modern NFP, the Church can achieve at least the level of belief and compliance witnessed in the early 1960s.

* At least two-thirds of Catholic mothers will nurse their babies well into the second year of life.
In 1941 Pope Pius XII urged every mother to breastfeed her baby if at all possible.  In 1995, Pope John Paul II repeated this exhortation and urged mothers to continue nursing well into the second year of life.  In 1997 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that breastfeeding should “continue for at least 12 months and thereafter for as long as mutually desired.”
NFP International is unique in its research-based advocacy of ecological breastfeeding that, on the average, delays the return of fertility for about 14 to 15 months postpartum.  The advantages of ecological breastfeeding are so many that it is a reasonable goal that two-thirds of mothers who learn well about this form of baby care will adopt it.

* At least two-thirds of Catholic newlyweds will wed as virgins.
If virtue-based chastity education is provided at every level of Catholic education, this is a reasonable goal.  Young people can understand that sexual intercourse is intended by God to be a renewal of the marriage covenant, and they can understand that the “marriage act” outside of marriage is dishonest.

* At least two-thirds of Catholic voters will vote pro-life.
If two-thirds of Catholics believe and live by the teaching of the Church regarding marital love and chastity and life, they will generally vote pro-life.

* Abortion will be illegal, and even illegal abortions will be few in number.
The pro-life vote of Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, and Orthodox Jews will elect sufficient pro-life representatives that eventually there will be a pro-life majority in the federal court system and on the U. S. Supreme Court. Roe v Wade will be overturned, and pro-life majorities will produce state laws against abortion.  The gradual rejection of the Sexual Revolution, on both moral and practical grounds, will greatly reduce the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

* At least 95% of married couples will stayed married “till death do they part.”
Informal studies indicate that the marital breakup NFP Teachers is only 1.5%.  While even this is tragic, it is miniscule compared to the 50% American divorce rate.  Since this is a special group, a higher rate can be estimated for a larger population.  A 5% divorce rate is more than three times what has been witnessed in this small group.

* These families will yield vocations to the priesthood at the rate of at least one ordination per year per 10,000 families.  Over 20 years, this yields a ratio of one priest for every 500 families.
The ordinary field for the harvest of vocations is the marriage of Catholics who believe and are generous in the service of life.  At an NFP conference, a Catholic deacon noted that among the 250 families at the conference, there were five vocations to the priesthood—one per 50 families.

* At least 95% of priests will be faithful to their vocation for life.
The practice of marital chastity and the covenant theology of human sexuality support celibate priests.  The practice of marital virtues helps to build up the body of Christ; priests have stated that the chaste NFP apostolate has been of great help to them as priests.

* A vision of Vatican II will be significantly realized—revitalized lay spirituality and cooperation between priests and laity.
The practice of NFP lets God be God over one’s sex life, and it frequently brings a deep and wide-ranging spirit of conversion.  Also, NFPI teachers know first-hand that their work cannot bear fruit without the cooperation of Catholic priests, and Humanae Vitae priests freely acknowledge their need of NFP Teaching Couples.

* The trickle of converts and reverts will become a river.
The teaching of Humanae Vitae is a stepping stone to some while being a stumbling block to others.  For a number of converts, the teaching of the Church regarding marriage and the family, including the demands of married love, has been a great attraction to the Church.  For some, the covenant theology of sexuality has been the first step on the road to the fullness of the Catholic Faith.  As the truth of Humanae Vitae becomes more widely known and practiced, more and more of our good-willed separated brethren will follow this path.

Next week: Participation by any diocese

John F. Kippley (September 2014)