Thursday, 19 October 2017

 

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Những tài liệu này thuộc quyền sở hữu của Trường Thánh Tôma Thiện. Khi sử dụng, quý vị đồng ý chỉ sử dụng trong việc giáo dục, không sử dụng cho việc kinh doanh dưới bất cứ hình thức nào. Quý vị cũng đồng ý sẽ không sao chép, thay đổi nội dung hoặc phân phối nếu chưa có sự chấp thuận của trường.

Nếu quý vị thấy tài liệu này hữu ích trong công việc giáo dục các em, xin giúp chúng tôi trang trải chi phí cho việc biên soạn để chúng tôi có thể tiếp tục cung cấp các tài liệu miễn phí trong tương lai. Xin chân thành cảm ơn quý vị.

JANUARY 1 - MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Remember on Christmas morning how we found our way to the stable? It may have been the stable on the mantle shelf or under the Christmas tree or in our parish church. We gazed at the baby in the manger just like the shepherds had done so long ago. Jesus was there with Mary and Joseph.

Today we begin our new year at the Eucharistic Celebration of the Holy Mass. We thank God for Mary, Jesus’ mother, who brought the Savior into the world. Because she is the mother of Jesus, God’s Son, she truly is the Mother of God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, baby Jesus was born of Mary. Joseph was Jesus’ loving foster-father.

God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son. She was a teenager and her parents were Joachim and Anne. Mary loved God and her Jewish religion. Her neighbors thought she was an ordinary young girl just like other girls.

It was God’s work in her that made her so special, so blessed. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to Mary’s town of Nazareth. The angel told her about God’s wonderful plan - wonderful for her and for all of us. Mary wanted to please God and although she was confused she accepted the plan.

She became Jesus’ mother. Mary and her husband, Joseph, tried to raise Jesus the best way they could and with great love. Jesus spent many happy, quiet years with Mary and Joseph in Nazareth.

When Jesus was about thirty years old, he began his preaching and healing ministry. This is called his public life, which started a few years before Joseph died. Jesus could not now stay just in the little home and carpenter shop at Nazareth.

Mary often went with her friends to be near her Son. Mary attended a marriage celebration in Cana. Jesus and his disciples came too. When the wine was over, Mary asked Jesus to do something to help.

She wanted him to save the couple from being embarrassed in front of their guests. He worked the miracle and turned plain water into delicious wine. Mary loved Jesus and believed in him.

She was there when he was nailed to the cross and stayed right beneath the cross until she received his dead body into her arms.

After the resurrection, Mary waited with Jesus’ apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The apostles loved her. They knew they needed more courage to be real followers of Jesus.

Mary prayed for them and encouraged them. She taught them how to be disciples of her Son. Mary’s feast days are special events that happen throughout the year. Today’s feast honors her as God’s Mother. She wants to be our mother, too and we can ask for her help to make us strong in faith so we can be saved.

JANUARY 3 - ST. GENEVIEVE

Genevieve was born in Nanterre, a small village four miles from Paris in France. When she was seven years old, Genevieve met Saint Germanus of Auxerre on his way to England.

Her holy face caught his attention when he was preaching and after his sermon he spoke with her and found that she wanted very much to live her life for Jesus. He blessed her, gave her a gold medal and asked her to keep it as a reminder of that day and of God, to whom her life belonged.

Germanus then talked with Genevieve’s parents and told them how special their daughter was. After her parents died, Genevieve went to live with her godmother. She spent time praying every day.

Soon she and two other young women took their vows to become nuns before the bishop of Paris and were given their veils. She became very close to Jesus and wanted to bring his goodness to people. Genevieve was a kind, generous person. She went out of her way to do good things for others.

The people of Paris were going to run away from a terrible army coming to attack them. Genevieve stepped forward and encouraged the people to trust in God. She said that if they did penance, they would be spared. The people did what she said, and the fierce army of Attila the Hun suddenly turned back. They did not attack the city at all.

St. Genevieve practiced charity and obedience to God’s will every day of her life, not just in times of need. She never gave up trying to do as much good as possible. Faithfulness to Jesus and courage are the special gifts of witness she leaves for us.

One of the best ways for us to help our country is to pray for our leaders. We should ask God to guide them for the good of us all.

JANUARY 2 - ST. BASIL AND ST. GREGORIAN NAZIANEN

Basil was born at Caesarea and Gregory was born at Cappadocia in Asia Minor which is now called Turkey.

Basil came from a rich and noble family. His grandmother St. Macrina the Elder, his father, mother, two brothers and St. Macrina his sister are all saints.

Gregory also came from a saintly family. His parents are St. Nonna and St. Gregory the Elder and his brothers are St. Caesar Nazianzen and St. Gorgonius.

Basil and Gregory met and became great friends at school in Athens, Greece. They became everything to each other, lived together, ate together and shared the same goal of growing together in truth, wisdom and knowledge. And their love for each other grew warmer and deeper each day.

Even as a teenager Basil used to help organise famine relief and used to work in the kitches himself. This was very unusual for a young nobleman. After he completed his education in Athens, he ran a school of public speaking and law in Caesarea and became a well-known teacher. He was so successful that he was often tempted by pride.

Fearing that his pride would overtake his holiness, his sister, St. Macrina, suggested that he become a monk. He took her advice, sold everything he had, gave away all his money and moved to the wilderness where he started his first monastery. The rules he created for monks living in the dessert were very wise and are followed by monasteries in the East even today.

Both Basil and Gregory became priests and then bishops. They preached bravely against the Arian heresy (untruth) that was confusing people which denied that Jesus is God.

As bishop of Constantinople, Gregory converted many people with his wonderful preaching especially about the Holy Trinity. This nearly cost him his life. A young man planned to murder him. He repented at the last moment and begged Gregory’s forgiveness. Gregory did forgive him and won him with his gentle goodness.

But he was always in conflict with the Arian emperor, Valens. When Valens died, Gregory worked hard to bring the Arians back to the Christian faith. For his trouble, he was abused, insulted and beaten up.

Forty-four of Gregory’s speeches, 243 letters and many poems were published. His writings are still important today. Many writers have modeled their works on his writings.

Gregory’s friend Basil had a very kind and generous heart. He always found time to help the poor. He even invited people who were poor themselves to help those worse off. “Give your last loaf to the beggar at your door,” he urged, “and trust in God’s goodness.” He opened a soup kitchen where he could often be seen wearing an apron and feeding the hungry.

Basil died in 379 at the age of forty-nine. Gregory died in 390 at the age of sixty. He is buried in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

We will never be sorry for using our education, time and talents to help the people around us come closer to God.

JANUARY 4 - ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON

Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born in New York City, USA. They were not Catholics but Episcopalian. Her father, Richard Bayley, was a well-known doctor and her mother, Catherine, died when Elizabeth was just three years old.

As a teenager, she did many things to help poor people. When Elizabeth was nineteen she married William Magee Seton, a rich merchant who owned a fleet of ships. Elizabeth, William and their five children had a happy life together.

But ten years later, William lost his fortune and his good health within a short time. His wife heard that the weather in Italy might help him get better. Elizabeth, William and their oldest daughter, Anna, traveled there by ship. But William did not get better and finally died of tuberculosis.

Elizabeth and Anna remained in Italy as guests of the Filicchi family. The Filicchis were very kind and tried to make Elizabeth and Anna’s sorrow easier by sharing their own deep love for the Catholic faith. Elizabeth began to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

When she returned home to New York she decided to become a Catholic. Her family and friends did not understand. They were very upset, but she went ahead with courage. Elizabeth joined the Church on March 4, 1805.

To support her family and make sure her children received a proper education, Elizabeth opened a school in Boston and ran it like a religious community. A few years later, the archbishop invited Elizabeth to come and open a girls’ school in Baltimore.

It was there that Elizabeth decided to live as a sister. Many women came to join her, including her sister, sister-in-law and her own daughters, Anna and Catherine. They became the American Sisters of Charity and Elizabeth was given the title “Mother Seton.”

She started many Catholic schools and a few orphanages. She made plans for a hospital, which was opened after her death. Elizabeth loved to write, and she also translated some textbooks from French to English. But Elizabeth was loved most for her care of the poor and the sick. Mother Seton died on January 4, 1821, in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

If something should happen that changes our lives from happy to difficult, let us turn to God as Mother Seton did and ask for His help. God can help bring out our hidden talents and we are then able to do things we never dreamed possible.


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