Luke, Chapter 1, verse 13:
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John.
To a Pious Jew and especially a Levi priest; there was the awareness that God is so holy that we dare not even say His name. Notice frequently in the bible the angels will use the term, “Do not be afraid”, and is because at times we knowing our own sinfulness, we may not feel worthy. Feeling unworthy is a tool the evil one often uses to discourage us from doing good works.
I have felt this fear of being unworthy often. In the mid-seventies while still a youth in my 20’s I was chosen to be a lay Eucharistic minister while working at the South Pole in Antarctica by the priest that had come 900 miles to bring our Lord to us catholic boys working I didn’t feel worthy; come on this is Richard you know; but the Priest convinced me that it was the only way and I did want to bring “Our Lord” to my fellow brothers in Christ.
We must remember that the evil one will sow fear in our hearts trying to convince us we are unworthy and if we listen we become like the man who out of fear buried his talent in the ground.
Every Christmas although the same in many ways is always new for each Christmas expresses a hope learned from a lifetime of praising God. For every Christmas if we open our eyes to truth we will see the handiwork of God; the rock of our salvation. Perhaps in these final days of anticipation it would do us well to reflect on the virtues of Mary Christ’s very own mother and in these final days in some way reflect them in our own lives.
Humility the first of Our Lady’s virtues
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“These are the few ways we can practice humility: To speak as little as possible of one's self; to mind one's own business, not to want to manage other people's affairs; to avoid curiosity, to accept contradictions and correction cheerfully; to pass over the mistakes of others, to accept insults and injuries; to accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked, to be kind and gentle even under provocation; never to stand on one's dignity, to choose always the hardest.” ― Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living
O Root of Jesse
"Come to deliver us and tarry not." The world cries out for Christ its King, who shall cast out the prince of this world (John 12:31). The prince of this world established his power over men as a result of original sin. Even after we had been delivered from the servitude of Satan through the death of Christ on the cross, the prince of this world attempts to exercise his power over us. "The devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet. 5:8). In these trying times, when faith in Christ and in God has largely disappeared, when the propaganda of a pagan culture is broadcast everywhere, and the forces of evil and falsehood rise up to cast God from His throne, who does not feel the power of the devil? Does it not appear that we are approaching that time when Satan will be released from the depths of hell to work his wonders and mislead, if possible, even the elect? (Apoc. 20:2; Matt. 24:24.)
"Come, tarry not." Observe how thoroughly the world of today has submitted to the reign of Satan. Mankind has abandoned the search for what is good and holy. Loyalty, justice, freedom, love, and mutual trust are no longer highly regarded. Establish, O God, Thy kingdom among us, a kingdom established upon truth, justice, and peace. "Come, tarry not." "Thy kingdom come."
Come to deliver us, and tarry not.
O Root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: Come to deliver us, and tarry not.
49 Godly Character Traits
During this Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:
Gentleness vs. Roughness
Showing personal care and concern in meeting the need of others (I Thessalonians 2:7)
1832 The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."
2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.
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