Monday, December 11, 2017

Mary of Guadalupe

Feast:  December 12th

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a beautiful feast appropriately celebrated during Advent.  Just as the message of Guadalupe was a message of light piercing through the darkness, so is the message of Advent that of Light dawning upon mankind.  The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is beautiful in that it once again shows us the tenderness of Mary as mother, appearing to a humble native named Juan Diego on the hills of Tepeyac, to offer consolation and hope to a world wrapped in ignorance and darkness.  She appeared heavy with child, anticipating the beautiful event we are to celebrate Christmas night, when the Child to be born of her comes to save His people.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Advent Prayer For Everyday

"Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayers and grant my desires, through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen."

From Carmelite Prayer Book

To My Little King

As I feel the air gets cooler

And watch the sun sets sooner,

Trees once full of colors,

Now bare, stripped of power.

It reminds me well that Fall is over,

And Christmas is just around the corner.

The bright lights all around me

Cast their spell on many.

Christmas trees decked with beauty,

Wreaths of holly, Rudolph, Frosty,

Are now on your TV!

Gifts and letters, thoughts of family,

Friendly smiles and love around me,

They all herald one reality...

That Little Child born of Mary.

Jesus-Child, Word of the Father,

You are mystery from all eternity.

Now conceived and made Incarnate,

Born in our time from the womb

of the Immaculate.

Long expected Hope of many,

Child-Redeemer, Relief of the needy.

You were thought to come in royal majesty,

But instead, revealed in utter poverty,

On that stable poor and filthy,

With those animals attending thee.

O silent night! When the world was busy,

Isaiah's prophecy came to be.

O what joy the world has known,

At last, God's Promise has been shown!

What more for us to long for?

Except heaven itself promised to the simple.

Infant King, you humbled yourself,

For the love of me you left your majesty.

Accept this offering made in poverty,

Child-Jesus, myself, only for thee,

In life and death to give you glory,

Aided by your holy Mother Mary.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Advent- Be vigilant in Love!

With Mother Nature having transformed herself into the colorful trees and that cold wintry air, the Church's liturgical year turns its page to a new season- the Season of Advent- which begins this Sunday.  We traditionally celebrate our New Year on the 1st of January, but our church calendar actually starts its new year in the evening hour of the last Saturday of the 34th week in Ordinary Time.  Prior to this, the reading at Masses were pointed towards the "end times." The readings were ominous in character, apocalyptic, and speak of the end of the world as we know it and the final coming of Jesus as Judge of the living and the dead.  Advent also speaks of another coming.  It is the season of vigilant waiting.  There is a penitential spirit implicit in our celebrating Advent.  The penitential color of purple vestment worn by the priest at Mass reminds one of the same color vestment worn during Lent.  But when one pays close attention to the readings used at the liturgical celebration, one would notice, aside from the reminders of preparedness, a loving expectation of something beautiful to come or someone wonderful to come.  We are encouraged during Advent to lay aside cares and avoid distractions which may come in the way of our interior vigilance and waiting for the Lord.  Advent is really a spiritual preparation for the birthday of Jesus.  There is a tendency in everyone to be so taken up with the many activities connected with Christmas.  There's the shopping to be done, cards to be written and sent, parties to plan, etc.  Unfortunately, these have become part and parcel of the days leading up to Christmas.  I used to think that it is impossible to fully appreciate the season of Advent because of these demands.  Even when one is living in the convent like I do, there are demands and responsibilities the Sisters find themselves responding to.  But I found that it is possible to take the time to be quiet, to lay aside concerns, and to plan one's activities so as to make room for the spiritual.

There is beauty in Advent and Christmas none of the other liturgical feasts have.  Although Easter is theologically larger in significance, Christmas speaks to the heart.  It is my favorite season.  The idea of God coming to us as a Child, in total dependence, awakens in everyone a sentiment too deep for words.  It brings out the best in everyone.  We find ourselves more loving, more giving and forgiving, at Christmas.  Let us enter into the Advent Season with determination to be open to whatever the Spirit of God brings and to listen attentively to the prophecies read in Scriptures during Mass.  Let us imitate Mary in her loving vigilance, waiting for the coming of the Lord, as a Child.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

This picture by the famous Norman Rockwell says it all!  The blessings of family, friends and being together, a wonderful Thanksgiving moment!  Blessings everyone!