8 December: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX officially declared the Immaculate Conception a dogma of the Church, which means that all Christians are bound to accept it as true. As the Holy Father wrote in the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.
This should not be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, but rather refers to the Blessed Virgin’s preservation from the stain of original sin in the first instant of her conception in the womb of her mother. Her soul was never stained by original sin, nor by the depraved emotions, passions, and weaknesses consequent on that sin, but created in a state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice. She had at least the graces of the first Eve before the Fall and more. This privilege was befitting the one who was to be mother of the Redeemer.
In many Catholic countries and here in the Philippines, this Solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation . Every Catholic is required to attend Mass. 

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Joyful in Waiting

Lord, I will wait.
I will patiently wait. I will not chase nor run after it because I know that if God wants me to have it, He will give it to me in His perfect timing. 
I will patiently wait because I know that waiting is part of a process of becoming what God wants me to be.
I will patiently wait and will not worry. Prayer is my weapon against it. It’s definitely a P.U.S.H. (Pray until something happen)!
I will patiently wait because I know that anything worth having is worth waiting. 

FEAST OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THE KING

Christ the King Sunday celebrates the all-embracing authority of Christ as King and Lord of all things. Officially called “The Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King,” it is celebrated on the final Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Sunday before Advent.

Pope Pius XI instituted The Feast of Christ the King in 1925 for the universal church in his encyclical Quas Primas. He connected the increasing denial of Christ as king to the rise of secularism throughout Europe. At the time of Quas Primas, many Christians (including Catholics) began to doubt Christ’s authority and existence, as well as the Church’s power to continue Christ’s authority.

Pius hoped the institution of the feast would have various effects. They were:

1. That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (Quas Primas, 32).

2. That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (Quas Primas, 31).

3. That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (Quas Primas, 33).

When we celebrate Christ as King, we are not celebrating an oppressive ruler, but one willing to die for humanity and whose “loving-kindness endures forever.” Christ is the king that gives us true freedom, freedom in Him. Thus we must never forget that Christ radically redefined and transformed the concept of kingship.