Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day 2012 - Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - World Day of Prayer for Peace

Bonne et heureuse année!
Happy New Year!

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Mary, the Mother of God (Theotokos)


O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Pope Benedict speaks to, and challenges, youth:

Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication.
Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love!
Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm.
Realize that you yourselves are an example and an inspiration to adults, even more so to the extent that you seek to overcome injustice and corruption and strive to build a better future.
Be aware of your potential; never become self-centered but work for a brighter future for all. You are never alone.
The Church has confidence in you, follows you, encourages you and wishes to offer you the most precious gift she has: the opportunity to raise your eyes to God, to encounter Jesus Christ, who is himself justice and peace.
All you men and women throughout the world, who take to heart the cause of peace: peace is not a blessing already attained, but rather a goal to which each and all of us must aspire.
Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey; let us work together to give our world a more humane and fraternal face; and let us feel a common responsibility towards present and future generations, especially in the task of training them to be people of peace and builders of peace.

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My soul, there is a country,
Afar beyond the stars,
Where stands a wingèd sentry,
All skillful in the wars.

There, above noise and danger,
Sweet Peace sits crowned with smiles,
And One born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.

He is thy gracious Friend
And (O my soul, awake!)
Did in pure love descend,
To die here for thy sake.

If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flower of peace,
The rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress, and thy ease.

Leave, then, thy foolish ranges;
For none can thee secure
But One, who never changes,
Thy God, thy Life, thy Cure.

(Henry Vaughan, 1650)

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From Barry's Bay, Ann-Marie and Colin Kerr came to Ottawa for the Mass on the Feast of the Holy Family and a visit to get caught up on recent developments, including the birth of their youngest daughter, Lauren.

Despite the bitter cold, we walked up to Parliament Hill to see the illuminations and stopped in at the Chateau Laurier to see the decorations and to warm up. 

Some photos:

Isaiah holding Lauren, Sarah-Grace and Rebecca, Stephen

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