Welcome to Couples for Christ - Foundation for Family and Life East Contra Costa
The CFC Foundation for Family & Life is a gathering of concerned CFC brethren looking to the restoration, preservation and strengthening of the authentic Couples for Christ charism, focused on evangelization and family life renewal.
Monday, 22 December 2008 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1,46-56.
And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11,11-15
Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.
Vatican City, Dec 8, 2008 (CNA).- In celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Pope Benedict XVI presided over the angelus prayer today at noon. The Pontiff said that this feast is a chance to "contemplate the reflection of the Beauty who saves the world: the beauty of God that shines on the face of Christ."
Thousands of pilgrims poured into St. Peter's Square today to pray the angelus with the Holy Father and hear his teaching on the Virgin Mary. Pope Benedict described her, saying, "this beauty is totally pure, humble, free from arrogance and presumption." This is how the Virgin appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, where she told the saint, "I am the Immaculate Conception," he reminded the faithful.
The Pope explained that the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary recalls two truths of the faith: the existence of original sin, and especially the victory of Christ over evil, a victory that shines so sublimely in the form of the Virgin Mary.
"The existence of what the Church calls ‘original sin’ is unfortunately overwhelmingly evident, if only we look around us and within ourselves. The experience of evil is so consistent that it arouses in us the question: where did it come from?" This question becomes an "even more profound one" for the believer, the Pope noted. "If God, who is absolute Kindness, has created everything, where does evil come from?" he asked.
Benedict XVI explained that the answer is clear from the first pages of the Bible, which tell the story of creation and the fall of the first parents.
"God created all that exists, in particular he has created human beings in his own image, he did not cause death, but it entered the world through the envy of the devil (Wisdom 1:13-14; 2,23-24), who rebelled against God, and also deceived men, causing them to rebel."
"It's the drama of the freedom that God picks us up out of love, pledging instead to be a son of a woman who crushed the head of the ancient serpent," he said, adding that "the woman predestined to be Mother of the Redeemer, the mother of the One who has been humiliated to bring us back to our original dignity."
"This Woman, in the eyes of God, has always had a face and a name: "full of grace," as she was called by the Angel visitors to Nazareth. She is the new Eve, the wife of Adam, made to be the mother of all redeemed," Pope Benedict said. He also quoted from Saint Andrew of Crete who said: "Mary Theotokos, the common refuge of all Christians, was the first to be released by early fall of our forefathers."
The Holy Father also pointed to today's liturgy, which says that God has "prepared a worthy dwelling for his son and, in anticipation of the death of him, has preserved from every stain of sin."
In keeping with tradition, Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Spanish Steps in Rome this afternoon, where he will pay homage to the image of the Immaculate Conception.
Vatican City, Nov 30, 2008 (CNA).- Having returned from his pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Lawrence Outside-the-Walls, Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Sunday Angelus with 15,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. In his words to the faithful, the Pope challenged them to be mindful of how the Lord comes into their lives and to make room for him.
Before the praying the Angelus, he noted the beginning, with the First Sunday of Advent, of a new liturgical year. "All of us say that 'we don't have time' because the rhythm of daily life has become, for us, frantic...God gives us his time. We have always little time; especially for the Lord we do not know or, sometimes, do not want to find. Well, God has time for us! This is the first thing that the beginning of the liturgical year makes us rediscover with always new marvel.”
Pope Benedict then explained that God gives us his time “because he entered into history with his word and his works of salvation to open it to the eternal, to make it become part of the history of the covenant. Time is already in itself a sign of God's love: a gift that like every other thing, man is in a position to value or, to spoil; to understand, or to neglect with obtuse superficiality."
The Pontiff suggested three great "hinges" of time, which scan the history of salvation: at the beginning, Creation; at the middle, the Incarnation-Redemption and at the end, "parusia," the final coming that also includes universal judgment.
"These three moments," he continued, "are not understood simply in chronological succession. In fact, creation is at the origin of all, but it also continues and is carried throughout the entire cosmos, until the end of time. So too the Incarnation-Redemption, which occurred at a given historical moment, the period of Jesus' passage on earth, still extends its radius to all time, before and after. And at their time, the final coming and last judgment, which on the Cross of Christ had a decisive advance, exercise their influence over the conduct of men of every age."
The liturgical season of Advent celebrates the coming of God in two moments, the Holy Father explained."First it invites us to reawaken the expectation of the glorious return of Christ; then, as Christmas approaches, it calls upon us to welcome the Word made flesh for our salvation.
“But the Lord comes into our lives all the time,” Pope Benedict reminded the faithful.
Turning to today’s Gospel reading, he said, “Jesus' appeal therefore comes very much at the right time and in this first Sunday it is again proposed with force: 'Be watchful!' Jesus directed these words to his disciples, but also to 'everybody else' because each one will be called to answer for his existence at a time known only to God. This entails the right detachment from earthly things, sincere repentance for one's own errors, active charity towards one's fellow man and especially a humble and trusting faith in the hands of God, our tender and merciful Father."
Benedict XVI concluded, "The icon of Advent is the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. We invoke her to help also us to become a prolongation of humanity for the Lord who comes."