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Until Lent…

December 26, 2017


Blessed Second Day of Christmas!

Also known as St. Stephen’s Day 🙂

This blog will be quiet until the Lenten season.

Until then, may you make yourself at home
with the Holy Family
of Jesus, Mary and Joseph!


Christmas Day

December 25, 2017


Merry Christmas!!!

The Christmas Proclamation (a traditional version)
* The twenty-fifth day of December.
* In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world
from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
* the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
* the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
* the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses
and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
* the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;
* in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
* in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
* the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
* the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
* the whole world being at peace,
* in the sixth age of the world,
* Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and nine months having passed since his conception,
* was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary,
being made flesh.
* The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Readings (Mass during the night):
Isaiah 9:1-6 (the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light)
Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13 “Today is born our Savior, Christ, the Lord”
Titus 2:11-14 (God’s grace trains us to reject sin while we anticipate Jesus’ Second Coming)
+ Luke 2:1-14 (the nativity and announcement to the shepherds)

I’ve seen the Light!
and He is Personal,
the warmth
of welcome
in His eyes,
against the
bitter cold
of darkness
in the long,
long reign
of sin.

He draws
me in
to an exalted
realm of life
beyond my fondest,
wildest dreams.

How much Light to I allow Jesus to shine into the depths of my soul?
Does my celebration of Christmas raise me to a new level of life?

Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 24, 2017


Blessed Sunday!

As we enter the season of Christmas
(beginning at sundown today & continuing through the Baptism of the Lord, January 8th–
as the rest of the world is moving on to New Years’ parties & Valentine’s Day),
here are some Christmas Customs for the home to make the most of these holy days.

Today we get to celebrate the Golden Mass!
Once celebrated on Advent’s Ember Wednesday,
it now only comes around every third year,
on the fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle B.

This Mass celebrates the golden mystery of our faith:
the Incarnation,
when Heaven was first wedded to earth
in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In medieval times, the first letters of this Mass were written in gold
–sometimes the entire Mass–
and golden vestments were worn.

This ancient liturgy was also the origin of the Angelus,
the prayer of the Annunciation prayed morning, noon and night:

The Angelus

V: The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
R: And she conceived by the Holy Spirit
Hail Mary…

V: Behold the handmaid of the Lord
R: Be it done unto me according to Thy word
Hail Mary…

V: And the Word became flesh
R: And dwelt among us
Hail Mary…

V: Pray for us, O holy Mother of God
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee O Lord, thy grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ thy Son
was made known by the message of an angel
may, by His Passion and Cross,
come to share in the glory of His resurrection.
Through this same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Come, let us worship!

II Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 (God will establish David’s kingdom forever)
Psalm 89 “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”
Romans 16:25-27 (Jesus is the mystery hidden for many ages, but now revealed to us)
+ Luke 1:26-38 (the Annunciation)

It’s not
what I can do
for God
that counts,
but what He wants
do to
through me–
will I enlarge
my heart
to hold
His dream
for me?

Saturday, Third week of Advent (O Emmanuel, St. John of Kanty)

December 23, 2017


Blessed Ember Saturday!

..and blessed St. John of Kanty’s Day!

You can find his story here.

O Emmanuel,
Our King and Lawgiver,
The Awaited one of the peoples
And their Savior
Come to save us, O Lord, our God

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son
and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
(see also Matthew 1:22)

Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24 (My messenger will purify the sons of Levi)
Psalm 25: 4-5, 8-10, 14 “Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand”
+Luke 1:57-66 (birth of St. John the Baptist)

Those who take
the Word
to heart
will find
it burns
to purify
and cleanse
from sin;
refining them
until they have
a heart of gold.

Do I let the Word burn away all that tarnishes me?
Do I look forward to being wholly holy?

Friday, Third week of Advent (O King of the Gentiles)

December 22, 2017


Blessed Ember Friday!

O King of the Gentiles
And their desired One
Cornerstone who binds two into one
Come and save man
Whom You fashioned from the slime of the earth

Isaiah 2:4:
And he shall judge the Gentiles,
and rebuke many people
(see also Psalm 2:7-8, Ephesians 2:11-13, 20-21, Genesis 2:7)

I Samuel 1:24-28 (Hannah brings Samuel to the temple to return him to God)
I Samuel 2:1, 4-8 (Hannah’s song) “My heart rejoices in the Lord, my Savior”
+ Luke 1:46-56 (Mary’s Magnificat)

Any good you see
in me
points to
the Lord,

and His love
for humility
to make His power

Does my soul proclaim the greatness of the Lord?
When I am impressed by something on earth, do I look all the way through to its origin in Heaven?

Thursday, Third Week of Advent (St. Peter Canisius, O Rising Dawn)

December 21, 2017


Blessed St. Peter Canisius’ Day!

You can find his story here.

O Rising Dawn,
Splendor of eternal light
And Sun of justice
Come to give light to those sitting in darkness
And in the shadow of death

Revelation 22:16:
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things concerning the churches.
I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”
(see also Isaiah 9:1, John 8:12 & 12:46, Psalm 19:6-7)

Song of Songs: 2:8-14 (Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!)
OR Zephaniah 3:14-18 (The Lord, will rejoice over you with gladness)
Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21 “Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to Him a new song.”
+ Luke 1:39-45 (The Visitation)

I take delight
in Your delight
in me,
Dear Lord!

How can it be
that You
should have
stars in Your eyes,
and butterflies,
for me?!

Am I as eager for God as He is for me?
Do I let His affection warm my cold heart?

Wednesday, Third week of Advent (O Key of David)

December 20, 2017


Blessed Ember Wednesday!
The traditional Mass for Advent’s Ember Wednesday is also called the “Golden Mass”.
In medieval times, the first letters of this Mass were written in gold
-sometimes the entire Mass–
and golden vestments were worn,
because the focus was on the golden mystery of our faith:
the Annunciation, when God first became Man in Mary’s womb.
The Golden Mass was held in early morning darkness,
lit by the golden glow of candlelight,
as we celebrated the entrance of the Light of the World into our darkness.
When the lectionary was revised,
this Gospel was transferred to the 4th Sunday of Advent for Year B–this year!
Today’s first reading, however, does hearken back to the Introit of the Golden Mass.

May your prayer and sacrifices during these Ember Days
bless and sanctify the winter season for you and for the whole world.

O Key of David
And Scepter of the house of Israel
What You open, no one shuts
What You shut, no one opens
Come, deliver from the chains of prison
Those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death

Isaiah 22:22:
And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder:
and he shall open, and none shall shut:
and he shall shut, and none shall open.
(see also Isaiah 9:6, 42:7, Revelation 3:7)

Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14 (a virgin shall bear a son and name him Emmanuel)
Psalm 24:1-6 “Let the Lord enter; He is King of Glory”
+ Luke 1:26-38 (the Annunciation

More mighty
than King Ahaz
is the maid
who drew down power
from the Lord
with her consent.

Do I rely on my own power, or on God’s?
Do I appreciate the power of my vulnerability?