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Tuesday, first week of Advent

December 1, 2015


Blessed Tuesday!

Isaiah 11:1-10 (the gifts of the Holy Spirit bring peace and security)
Psalm 72: 1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17 “Justice shall flourish in His time, and fullness of peace forever”
Luke 10: 21-24 (God reveals to little ones what He hides from the clever)

The Word comes
with the candor of a child,

confounding serpent-tongued
and predatory men.

It is the childlike
who prosper
under Him.

What deceptions and ambitions hide God’s revelations from me?
O Lord, deliver me from them!

St. Andrew’s Day

November 30, 2015


Blessed St. Andrew’s Day!

You can find his story here

The St. Andrew’s Christmas “novena” starts today,
(to use the word “novena” very loosely–this is a lot more than nine days!).

The following prayer is prayed 15 times per day from the feast of St. Andrew until Christmas:

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 prayer and grant my desires,
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

I made a set of 15 violet beads
–strung like sacrifice beads but with a simple square knot at the end–
to help us keep track.
I found that praying 15 times a day for days on end for the same intention
has a way of purifying one’s motivation.
It feels awfully silly (or selfish, as the case may be) to pester God that often for something
if what I’m praying for really isn’t all that eternally important!

Romans 10: 9-18 (The Apostles were sent to preach, that we might believe and be saved)
Psalm 19:8-11 “Lord, You have the words of everlasting life”
+Matthew 4:18-22 (“I will make you fishers of men”)

What do you do?
Do it for souls!

The need is great.
The stakes are high:
eternal life…
or death.

The Lord
will be my guide,
but I must leave behind
my props
and follow Him.

Lord, how do You want me
to use the skills and gifts You’ve given me
for the good of souls?

Sunday, first week of Advent

November 29, 2015


Blessed New Year!

And Blessed “Stir up Sunday!”
This is a good day to “stir up” a plum pudding or fruitcake to age for Christmas.
Let each family member give it a good stir,
symbolizing the need to stir up our hearts
to prepare a celebration worthy of the coming of so great a King.

Jeremiah 33:14-16 (the Lord will raise up a just shoot for David)
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14 “To You, O Lord, I lift my soul”
I Thessalonians 3:12-4:2 (may God strengthen you to make even greater progress)
+ Luke 21:25-28, 34-36 (be on the watch for the last day)

The King who comes
with justice
must condemn
the evil
that He finds in me.

The cleverness
with which I cloak
my failings
from myself
won’t blind
His penetrating eye.

He knows.

And only He
can save me
from myself.

If I set aside my excuses and take an honest look at myself, what would justice need to condemn?

Good God,
I can only stand secure before Your Justice

when I am truly pure.
O purify my soul!

Advent Vigil

November 28, 2015


Blessed Vigil of the Holy Season of Advent!

Here are some Advent customs for the home
for you to consider for the threshold of this new Church Year.

Tomorrow is “Stir up Sunday” (do you have all the ingredients for a cake?).

You might also want to take a peek at the “Christmas treasure hunt”
as a way to find Jesus
hidden in the midst of even the most secular trappings around you.

May God bless your preparations for this season of anticipation!

Time to Celebrate!

April 5, 2015


Blessed Easter!

Easter is not just a day–first we have a week of Solemnities (the same rank as a Sunday),
beginning 50 days of the season of Easter.
Here are some ideas to make the most of the celebration.


Easter Sunday

April 5, 2015


Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

H E   I S   R I S E N ! ! !

A L L E L U I A !   A L L E L U I A !   A L L E L U I A !

Entrance Antiphon:
I have risen, and I AM with you still, alleluia.
You have laid your hand upon me, alleluia.
Too wonderful for me, this knowledge, alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
To Him be glory and power for all the ages of eternity, alleluia, alleluia

O God, who on this day,
through Your Only Begotten Son,
have conquered death
and unlocked for us the path to eternity,
grant, we pray, that we who keep
the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection
may, through the renewal brought by Your Spirit,
rise up in the light of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Acts 10: 34, 37-43 (St. Peter proclaims Jesus’ death and resurrection)
Psalm 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad”
Colossians 3:1-4 (set your heart on things above)
OR I Corinthians 5:6-8 (celebrate, not with corruption, but with sincerity and truth)
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems: Christ,
Who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, Who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, Who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
Bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen”
To Galilee He goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.
+John 20:1-9 (At Mary Magdalene’s word, Peter and John run to the empty tomb)

I’ve heard the news–
but has it
given fleetness
to my feet
in casting off
the fermentation
of my sins
and flying forward
in sincerity and truth,
my gaze on high,
my heart embedded
in the things
that are above?

Do I now celebrate
not just Christ’s resurrection,
but my own?

Holy Saturday

April 4, 2015


Blessed Holy Saturday!


the Church is, as it were, at the Lord’s tomb,
meditating on His Passion and death,
and on His descent into hell,
and awaiting His Resurrection with prayer and fasting
~Paschalis Solemnitatis, paragraph 73


Easter Vigil

Dear brethren,
on this most sacred night,
in which our Lord Jesus Christ
passed over from death to life,
the Church calls upon Her sons and daughters,
scattered throughout the world,
to come together to watch and pray.
If we keep the memorial
of the Lord’s paschal solemnity in this way,
listening to His Word and celebrating His mysteries,
then we shall have the sure hope
of sharing His triumph over death
and living with Him in God.

Genesis 1:1-2:2 (Creation)
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35 “Lord, send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth”
or Psalm 33:4-7, 12-13, 20-22 “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord”
Genesis 22:1-18 (Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac–foreshadowing of Jesus’ crucifixion)
Psalm16:5, 8-11 “Keep me safe O God; You are my hope”
Exodus 14:15-15:1 (the parting of the Red Sea–foreshadowing of Baptism)
Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18 “Let us sing to the Lord; He has covered Himself in glory”
Isaiah 54:5-14 (God, our Bridegroom, will take us back, and love us)
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13 “I will praise You, Lord, for You have rescued me”
Isaiah 55:1-11 (God offers us food and water without cost from His abundance)
Isaiah 12:2-6 “You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation”
Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4 (we are in need because we have forsaken God, the Source of everything)
Psalm 19:8-11 “Lord, You have the words of everlasting life”
Ezekiel 36:16-28 (God will forgive and renew us for His own sake)
Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4 “Like a deer that long for running streams, my soul longs for You, my God”
or Is 12:2-6 “You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation”
or Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19 “Create a clean heart in me, O God”
Romans 6:3-11 (because we have been baptized into Jesus’ death, death has no more power over us)
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
+Mark 16:1-7 (the women meet an angel at the empty tomb)

Christ’s sacred Body
is His Bride,*

cast off, forsaken
for a time,
in consequence of sin.

He won’t go far.
He hovers near,
to the depths
with Her,
and protecting Her
while darkest night
wears on.

As faintest hint
of light appears,
He eagerly embraces Her.

The two become one.

And mankind rises
in the Son.

Am I caught up in this divine embrace?
Do I pursue oneness with Jesus?

*see Ephesians 5:25-32


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