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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Feast of Saint Lucy


Genesis, Chapter 32, Verse 12
Save me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau! Otherwise I fear that he will come and strike me down and the mothers with the children.

Jacob here was afraid of his brother whom he cheated. What’s interesting is that Jacob was Esau’s twin brother. Twins often think a feel alike so one wonders was Jacob’s fear generated because he assumed Esau would do what He himself would have done. Here is where God takes two imperfect humans and makes them better. God intercedes softening both Esau and Jacob’s heart.

Have you ever been so angry; livid at someone or something and then discovered the reason for your anger was directly correlated to a defect in yourself that you had buried and chose to ignore? We all have and then realized that we are not as perfect as we pretend to be. Let us reflect on Paul’s advice to the Ephesians, “Brothers and sisters: I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; that is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth. (Eph 4:17-20) By the renewal of our minds we through Christ’s grace check our feelings, moods and prejudices or preferences and strive to maintain the right intensions.

Lord, Grant that I may follow Your words in my daily life. Let Your truth teach me, guide me, and protect me and may it deliver me from all evil desires and foolish love. Let me esteem nothing as great, or valuable, or wonderful, except insofar as it makes me better and more pleasing in your eyes. In this way I shall never be a slave of this earth but shall walk daily towards Heaven in Holy Fear.[1]

Saint Lucy[2]


The traditional story of St. Lucy tells us that she was of noble Greek parentage, born in Syracuse, Sicily, and brought up as a Christian by her mother, Eutychia. Although Lucy, like Cecilia, wished to dedicate herself to God, Eutychia arranged for her a marriage with a young pagan. The mother, who suffered from hemorrhage, was persuaded to make a pilgrimage to Catania, to offer prayers at the tomb of St. Agatha. Lucy accompanied her mother, and their prayers for a cure were answered. Then Lucy made known to Eutychia her desire to give her own share of their fortune to the poor and devote herself to God's service. Eutychia, in gratitude for her cure, gave permission. This so angered the young man to whom Lucy had been unwillingly betrothed that he denounced her as a Christian to the governor, Paschius. The persecutions instituted by the Emperor Diocletian were then at their height, and when Lucy steadfastly clung to her faith, she was sentenced to prostitution in a brothel. God rendered her immovable and the officers were not able to carry her off to the place of evil. An attempt was then made to burn her, but boiling oil and pitch had no power to hurt her or break her strong spirit. At last she was put to death by the sword. At Rome in the sixth century Lucy was honored among the other virgin martyrs, and her name was inserted in the Canon of the Mass. A reference to her sanctity occurs in a letter written by Pope Gregory the Great. In the Middle Ages, she was invoked by persons suffering from eye trouble, perhaps because Lucy (in Italian, Lucia) derives from , the Latin word for light. The first church writer to give an account of St. Lucy from her was the English bishop St. Aldhelm of Sherborne at the end of the seventh century. This saint's relics are venerated at Venice and at Bourges, in France. She is patroness of Syracuse; her emblems are a cord and eyes.

Father Kenelm Digby Best knew her example of fearlessness when he penned in his book “A Priest’s Poems”[3] on St. Lucy:

Flames might not harm her: Saint Lucy stood fearless, still as a statue's the neck which they smote: Scarcely another save, Lucy, was tearless. When the sharp dagger was plunged in her throat.

The customs surrounding the Feast of St. Lucy also illuminate the themes of Advent and Christmas. Lucy, whose name means light and whose association with light has made her the patron saint of the "light of the body" (the eyes), once had her feast fall on the shortest day of the year. (Before the Gregorian calendar was reformed in the Middle Ages, December 13 was the day of the winter solstice.) For all of these reasons, St. Lucy is honored with a number of customs involving fire. Lucy candles were once lit in the home and Lucy fires burned outside. In Sweden and Norway, a girl dressed in white and wearing an evergreen wreath on her head with lit candles would awaken the family and offer them coffee and cakes. She was called the Lussibrud (Lucy bride) and her pastry the Lussekattor.

The Feast of St. Lucy comes at a propitious time during the observance of Advent. Reminding us of the importance of light, the light of St. Lucy foreshadows the coming of the Light of the World at Christmas like a spark foreshadows the sun.[4]

Things to Do[5]

·         Choose one of the customs for St. Lucy's feast and try it with your family. See Celebrating for the Feast of St. Lucy, Swedish Lucia Feast, and St. Lucia Devotions.
·         Select one of the recipes for this feast to prepare. Here is a recipe for cuccia, an Italian dish. This is another version.
·         Say a prayer to St. Lucy for those who are physically and spiritually blind.
·         Read the Life of St. Lucy taken from Ælfric’s Lives of the Saints written in the 10th century.
·         For St. Lucia Swedish resources, see Hemslöjd. Especially recommended are the St. Lucia's Crowns, either plastic to wear or brass for display, the books and Lucia Morning in Sweden.

Perhaps today would be a good day to put up some Christmas lights and drink Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa Day[6]


” The superiority of chocolate (hot chocolate), both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.”
~ Thomas Jefferson

We’re sad to say that President Jefferson didn’t quite hit the mark on this one, but we can all agree that he should have. Perhaps he should have included it in the American constitution to ensure that his good sense got passed on to the country he formed. It’s not too late to make this statement become true! Hot Cocoa Day reminds you that your options go far beyond “Tea or Coffee” when it comes to your morning hot beverage. Chocolate’s history goes far back into history, far longer than most people are aware. It first was found by European explorers in South America, where it had been being enjoyed for hundreds of years prior to their arrival. We have reason to believe that the reason the America’s didn’t make contact with Europe sooner is they didn’t want to share this delightful beverage with the rest of the world. The first origins of cocoa can be traced back to 500BC, but many archaeologists believe that this is only as early as we can trace it, and that coffee consumption predates even that august culture. Of course, the chocolate of those days was much different than that which we consume now, as sugar was not something that had found its way to the America’s. Instead, the beverage was flavored with vanilla and often with chili and was served at all temperatures dependent on the recipe being used. The Spaniards first found the flavor unpleasant and one an individual had to acquire. It would not be until it was introduced to Europe and had spent some time there as a luxury drink of the wealthy that it would be sweetened, and milk chocolate invented. It took until 1828 for a powdered chocolate to be made, and in that glorious moment of culinary history, both the chocolate bar and instant hot cocoa came into existence.

How to Celebrate Hot Cocoa Day

We think the best way to celebrate Hot Cocoa Day is to try every variety you can think of. Form a gathering of friends and have everyone bring their favorite recipe and all their favorite varieties. White and Dark, Milk and Bittersweet, there are as many different Hot Cocoa recipes as there are individuals! Our personal favorite is to make Hot Cocoa with 50/50 Milk and Sweetened Condensed milk and Dark Powdered Chocolate, followed by a sprinkling of cinnamon and shavings of dark chocolate on top. Rich and flavorful, it’s not for the timid.

Spiritual Crib[7]

A special devotion that can be performed during Advent to prepare for the coming of the Infant Savior. It can be adapted for adults and/or children and applied as is appropriate to your state in life.

·         3rd day, December 13th: THE WALLS—Charity Today we must erect the Walls of our little stable by showing great love and kindness towards others, in spite of our feelings for them. Always to excuse their faults, and if that is not possible, at least the intention. Take no offence at anything and show great kindness to such as put your patience to the test. Pray much for the Poor Souls and for poor sinners. Visit the tabernacle.


49 Godly Character Traits[8]

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:

Endurance vs. Giving up

The inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best (Galatians 6:9)

1435 Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.

2826 By prayer we can discern "what is the will of God" and obtain the endurance to do it. Jesus teaches us that one enters the kingdom of heaven not by speaking words, but by doing "the will of my Father in heaven."

The Way[9] Heart

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

'If only I had broken it off at the start!' you said. — Let us hope you haven't to repeat that tardy complaint.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan



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