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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Second Sunday of Advent
solemnity of the immaculate conception

Proverbs, Chapter 1, Verse 28-29
28 Then they will call me, but I will not answer; they will seek me, but will not find me, 29 because they hated knowledge, and the fear of the LORD they did not choose.

Wisdom is personified in this proverb; and she proclaims the moral order, threatening to leave to their own devices those who disregard her invitation. Wisdom comes to those who make their hearts ready.

The Beginning of Knowledge[1]

·         The Book of Proverbs begins with a short mission statement. It says that it's here to instruct people in—wisdom.
·         But it'll also take time to drop some knowledge about justice, equity, shrewdness, and stuff like that. It's targeting this wisdom at an audience including the young and the simple—people who really need it—as well as the wise, so they can kick their wisdom up to Dragon Ball Z levels of firepower.
·         It states that wisdom begins by fearing (and revering) God.

Shun Evil Counsel (Media?!)

·         As the actual dispensing of wisdom begins, the author speaks like a parent urging a son to obey his mother and father, since they've got good advice to give.
·         If sinners try to get you to go and ambush innocent people and kill them and steal all their stuff, the author says you should walk away and avoid them.
·         These evil robber-murderers are actually going to kill themselves (because their sins will come back to get them). They are like hunters setting a net while the bird they're trying to catch is watching them (kind of like Wile E. Coyote stalking the Roadrunner).
·         This is what happens to people who are greedy—they lose their lives.

The Call of Wisdom

·         The author imagines Wisdom as being a person—specifically, a woman—who walks through the streets calling out to the ignorant and simple people, asking them how long they'll remain without wisdom.
·         She says that she'll pour out her insights to anyone who pays attention to her. But she'll mock the people who refuse to listen, and who bring disasters and panic on themselves by their willful stupidity.
·         They'll try to find her once they've fallen into calamity, but they won't be able to, because they failed to fear God and heed wisdom's advice earlier. It'll be too late.
·         So, Wisdom says, if you pay heed now, you'll be fine.

Decision Making[2]

Wisdom is the true goal of good leadership, rather self or leading a group. Without leadership and wisdom everything stops; kinda like congress. Wisdom eludes the selfish and Godless. True wisdom is an act of faith. John Maxwell gives us the following guidelines as outlined in this proverb.

1.      The foundation of every decision is to honor and revere God (v.7).
2.      We must build of our heritage and conscience: what values are we to embrace? (v. 8-9) (Life, Liberty, Legacy)
3.      We must avoid the counsel of the ungodly (v. 10-19) (cnn?)
4.      We must pursue wisdom. What are the facts? What are the options? (v.20-13)
5.      We must move toward inward peace (v. 32-33).

Second Sunday of Advent

The voices of Isaiah and John the Baptist tell us to prepare.

“As the journey of Advent continues, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ, John the Baptist's calls us to conversion and sounds out in our communities. It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and to welcome the Son of God Who comes among us to make divine judgement manifest. The Father, writes St. John the Evangelist, does not judge anyone, but has entrusted the power of judgement to the Son, because He is the Son of man. “And it is today, in the present, that we decide our future destiny. It is with our concrete everyday behavior in this life that we determine our eternal fate. At the end of our days on earth, at the moment of death, we will be evaluated on the basis of our likeness or otherwise to the Baby Who is about to be born in the poor grotto of Bethlehem, because He is the measure God has given humanity. “Through the Gospel John the Baptist continues to speak down the centuries to each generation. His hard-clear words bring health to us, the men and women of this day in which even the experience and perception of Christmas often, unfortunately, reflects materialist attitudes. The 'voice' of the great prophet asks us to prepare the way for the coming Lord in the deserts of today, internal and external deserts, thirsting for the water of life which is Christ.” — Benedict XVI[3]

Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

HAVING taught us on the first Sunday of Advent to sigh with the prophets for the redemption through Christ, the Church on this day reminds us, in the holy sacrifice of the Mass, of the joyful promises of God for the salvation of the gentiles, and of Jesus Christ s actual coming, in order to quicken our desire for it, and to produce in us an alacrity in making ready our hearts by penance and love.
For this reason, she says in the Introit of the Mass: “People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations, and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard in the joy of your heart.” “Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.”


Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the ways of Thine only begotten Son, that by His coming we may be worthy to serve Thee with purified minds.

EPISTLE. Rom. xv. 4-13.

Brethren: What things so ever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: that with one mind, and with one mouth, you may glorify God and the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honor of God. For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. But that the gentiles are to glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: Therefore, will I confess to Thee, O Lord, among the gentiles, and will sing to Thy name. And again, He saith: Rejoice, ye gentiles, with His people. And again: Praise the Lord, all ye gentiles; and magnify Him, all ye peoples. And again, Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse; and He that shall rise up to rule the gentiles, in Him the gentiles shall hope. Now the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.

What are we to learn by this epistle?
To be grateful to God for having called us, by His grace, to the true faith, and for having received us into the bosom of His holy Church. Again, we are taught that by envy, discord, pride, and hatred we lose our salvation. Finally, St. Paul refers us to the Scriptures for instruction.

Why do the Holy Scriptures profit us?
1. They teach, correct, and instruct us in justice, that we may serve God faithfully, and be ever ready for good works.
2. They sustain our patience in suffering, and our hope of eternal life, by many promises, and by the example of Jesus Christ and His saints.

Why is God called the God of patience, comfort, and hope?
1. Because He looks with patience and long-suffering upon our sinful lives.
2. Because He gives us grace to carry our cross with patience and joy, and removes our despair by spiritual consolation.
3. Because He gives us hope that after this life, we shall possess Him, the object of our desire.


O God of patience, comfort, and hope fill our hearts with joy and peace, and grant that we may become perfect in all good works by faith, hope, and charity, and that we may attain the promised salvation.

GOSPEL. Matt. xi. 2-10.

At that time: When John had heard in prison the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to Him: Art Thou He that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus making answer said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the Gospel preached to them: And blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me. And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold, they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? a prophet? Yea, I tell you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send My angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.

Why was St. John cast into prison?
Because he rebuked King Herod, who was living in adultery with the wife of his stepbrother. This teaches us that we should not be deterred from our duty, though great suffering and misfortune should thereby befall us. Is it not nobler and more profitable to our salvation to be a martyr for truth, as St. John was, rather than to gain favor with the world by timidly looking on, or by deceitful flattery?

Why did St. John send his disciples to Jesus?
St. John sent his disciples to Christ so that they, too, might be convinced that He was the Messiah.
Superiors and parents should learn from this to see that their dependents and children are well instructed in the faith.

Why did Christ merely say to the disciples of St. John: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk?

Because they ought to have been convinced from the miracles He wrought, which were the fulfilment of the prophecies, that He was the promised messiah.

What was the object of the question, “What went you out to see?” which Our Savior asked?

1. To praise the constancy of St. John, who was not to be deterred from exercising his sacred functions either by the com mands of Herod or through fear of imprisonment and death.

2. To approve the austere life of St. John, that we should thereby be encouraged to crucify the flesh and to do penance.

Why did Our Savior say that St. John was more than a prophet?
Because he was destined to see the messiah, to preach to men, and declare Him to be the Savior of the world. And as he was a messenger of God, to announce the coming of Christ and prepare His way, he was called an angel (Malachi. iii. T).

Why did Jesus add, “Blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me”?
On account of those who would be scandalized, at His humility, His poverty, His ignominious suffering and death upon the cross, and who would, accordingly, despise and reject Him; although the more He humbled Himself for them the more they ought rather to love and honor Him.

Why does the Church set before us this gospel?
In order that we, like the disciples of St. John, may, by His works, recognize Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and that we may make ourselves worthy of the grace of redemption by doing penance earnestly and firmly, thus preparing the way of the Lord in our hearts.

Consolation in Adversities and Afflictions

What can and should console us in adversity?

1. A firm belief that everything is ordered by God’s wise providence, and that no evil can befall us except by His permission, who never allows us to suffer more than is for our good.

2. That if we call upon Him in adversity God will help us, whenever it is expedient for our salvation. Thus, to encourage us He says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee” (Ps. xlix. 15); and, “If God be for us, who is against us?” (Rom. viii. 31); and “Can a woman forget her infant so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? and if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee: behold, I have graven thee in My hands” (Isaias xlix. 15, 16).

3. That it is useless to resist Divine Providence, for all who have done so have been filled with shame and ignominy, “Who hath resisted Him and hath had peace?” (Job ix. 4.)

4. That our sufferings when borne with patience and submission lose their sharpness and bring us merit and reward. “For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us, above measure exceedingly, an eternal weight of glory” (n. Cor. iv.17).

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception[4]

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception has been moved to tomorrow-the Iceman will make a spiritual celebration in the evening and observe a spiritual octave after.

Mary who was conceived without sin on the Feast day of the Immaculate Conception is our example of courage in the presence of God and His angels.  Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.  (Luke 1:30-31)

ON this and the following eight days the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men. The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very remarkable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times. Pope Pius IX., forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally, on December 8, 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin. It is, therefore, now no longer, as formerly, a pious belief, but an article of the faith, that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin.

Immaculate Conception Facts[5]

·         God gave Mary a pure soul incapable of sinning when she was received.  It prepared her to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  This teaching does not appear in Scripture.  It was decreed by Pope Pious IX on December 8, 1854.
·         Our Holy Lady Immaculately Conceived is the patroness for the United States - as decreed by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
·         Our Mother Mary is full of beauty because she is full of grace. - Pope Francis via twitter on Dec 30, 2013.
·         The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. - Catechism of the Catholic Church

Immaculate Conception Top Events and Things to Do

·         Go to Mass.  It is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholic in the United States.
·         Study the Immaculate Conception in art.  One famous painting, The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception was completed by Spanish artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo in the 17th century.  It hangs in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
·         Watch the movie, Mary of Nazareth (2013)

More Things to Do[6]

·         The dogma of the Immaculate Conception lends itself to fruitful meditation and should be taught to children. The doctrine of original sin, the sin of Adam and its effects on the human race, is a good beginning for study. For the best explanation of the teachings of the Church on this, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, numbers 386-412. Also you might read Pope Piux IX's bull, Ubi Primum (On The Immaculate Conception) proclaiming the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of Faith. Other reading from the Catholic Culture Library:

o    Immaculate Conception Defined by Pius IX by Pope John Paul II;
o    John Duns Scotus: Champion of the Immaculate Conception by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.;
o    The Message of the Virgin of Lourdes by Bishop Donald Montrose, D.D.;
o    The Immaculate Conception by Abbot Gueranger

·         Mary as the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States. Visit or take a virtual tour of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, America's patronal church.
·         This day would also be appropriate for parents to plan their approach on family sex education, as it is the privilege and duty of parents to teach their own children in this area.
·         Make a Mary candle for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. See Celebrating for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception for details and other ideas.
·         Prepare an all white meal for dinner and then discuss with your children the dogma of the Immaculate Conception with the visual aids of dinner showing the purity and the stainlessness of Mary's soul. Read Teaching the Immaculate Conception and Advent and the Immaculate Conception for discussion ideas.

Ideas for dinner:

Appetizers: Rice crackers and white cheeses;
Soups: cream soups, such as clam chowder, pototo soup, cream of celery;
Main Course: chicken breasts, pasta with alfredo sauce;
Side Dishes: mashed potatoes, white rice, cauliflower with (or without) white cheese sauce, white bread (with crusts removed), white corn;
Dessert: White cake with white icing, meringue kisses, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, white chocolate.

·         The special treat for this feast is Moravian Spritz, or gingerbread cookies, loaded with fine, aromatic spices. These are mixed on the vigil, December 7. Or make your favorite gingerbread cookie. Perhaps for this solemnity the family could make a gingerbread house or Gingerbread Bowls.
·         Today, plant an Immaculate Conception Rose Bush. During this winter season, it is also a good time to plan a Mary Garden. Flower Theology by John Stokes, the website Mary's Gardens and the book Mary's Flowers, Gardens, Legends and Meditations by Mary's Gardens Associate, Vincenzina Krymow, are good beginnings for planning your garden.
·         No room for a garden? No time to nurture nature? Read Flowers for the Fairest by Daniel Foley to read about flowers appropriate for Our Lady, and purchase a small bouquet or a few flowers...real or silk to display for feasts of Mary.

Darkess Hour[7]

Mary as the new Eve is an essential part of God’s redemptive plan bringing light to a dark world.

The season of Advent is about preparing to celebrate the birth of our redeemer. God in his love has chosen us, predestined us to be his children and then in the fullness of time, redeemed us.

These are our darkest afternoons. But, surprise! For most of us, December 8, will bring the turnaround. It’s a major winter milestone: the day of our earliest sunset. This puzzles people, but in fact it’s a reliable yearly sequence. First comes earliest sunset, this week. Then there’s the solstice half a month later, the day with the fewest minutes of daylight. Finally, another two weeks later, in early January, we get our murkiest morning—the latest sunrise. So we’re now slam bang at the low point of afternoon sunshine. And since far more people are awake and aware of things at 4:30 PM than they are at 6 in the morning, in a very real sense you can forget about the solstice and the “official” shortest day of the year. So far as what most folks actually experience, NOW is the darkest time of the year.

Why Is the Octave of the Immaculate Conception No Longer Observed?[8]

On this octave day of the Immaculate Conception, it occurred to me that it was in 1956, six years before the Missal of 1962 was promulgated by Pope John XXIII, that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception lost its octave and became a feast celebrated in the course of one day.
A similar simplification occurred in 1955, when Pope Pius XII accepted the suggestions of Fr. Annibale Bugnini concerning the reform of Holy Week. Seven years later, Pope John XXIII himself would accept the suggestions of the same Fr. Bugnini to simplify Catholic pious devotions and remove the octaves from the Church calendar.

Why did John XXIII agree to Bugnini’s proposition to reform this feast of the Immaculate Conception?

Several answers can be given to this question. Here I want to stress just one point that I present as a hypothesis. The answer seems related to the fact that John XXIII also failed to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart even though he knew he should do so. That was in 1960 after the Pope read the Third Secret and decided that “it was not for our time,” even though Our Lady had explicitly asked the Pope to make it known at that time. There is more that could be said but others have addressed the issue of Fatima in great detail, so I will not repeat what they have already written.

I think that when we disobey the will of God, we receive a curse from God rather than a blessing. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that when a person receives such a curse, God allows increased demonic activity and influence in his life, or if it happens to be a Pope in question, that demonic power would extend to the Church and the world.

At La Salette, Our Lady told Melanie that in the 1840s Satan and some of the other most powerful devils were released from Hell to punish mankind for sins committed.

Bugnini, proposed the octave be eliminated; John XXIII agreed: This fact was confirmed in a revelation received by Pope Leo XIII more than a half century later. After Mass one day, he had a vision of the confrontation between Jesus and Satan. The latter boasted that he could destroy Christ's Church if he were only given more time, which was granted to him. Shortly after this vision, the Holy Pontiff composed the St. Michael prayer [click here] as well as wrote several encyclicals on the Rosary. He also ordered that the St. Michael prayer, in addition to three Hail Marys, the Hail Holy Queen, and a prayer for the Church should be prayed at the end of every Mass for the conversion of sinners. These prayers were made optional in 1962, and abolished in 1965.

Where disobedience increases, degeneration increases, and as Fr. Patrick Perez pointed out in a recent talk in Indianapolis for the Catholic Family News Conference, this corrosion of the liturgy did not begin in 1969 with the New Mass. It did not begin even with the 1962 Missal. It began much earlier.

Why did it happen?
In 1929, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucy in Tuy, Spain, requesting the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. She wanted the Consecration made not only to bring about millions of conversions to the Catholic Faith, but also so that those who adhered in substance to the Catholic Faith would be more faithful and zealous.
By failing to honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary and fulfill the requests that would establish devotion to her Heart throughout the world, as Our Lord desires, the last Popes in succession became guilty of greater and greater disobedience to the Divine Will.

Our Lady of Fatima

The Popes disregarded Our Lady's command to consecrate Russia
Just as a disease that is not cured spreads, so it happens with a malady in the Church. The internal crisis in the Church becomes worse and worse so long as the right remedy is not applied to it.

As the power and influence of Satan and his minions increase, the temptations to sin become greater and it becomes more difficult to resist, although it is never impossible. We must always keep before us the horror of all sin, especially mortal sin, in order to keep up our resistance to the evil of our times. Wherever we go, we should consign Jesus and Mary to go with us. They witness our every action.

Now, if we further reflect that the season of Advent commemorates that time when Our Lady was preparing to give birth to the Redeemer, then we realize we should ask her protection in the name of the great love she had for her Son.

By honoring today, the octave of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception, we prove to her and to Almighty God that we will not accept any rebellion against the will of God, not even the trial balloon of the 1962 Missal. For already at that point in the game, Progressivism was preparing its great assault on the Church, which was Vatican II.

It is this kind of firm resistance to errors and concessions toward Progressivism that will help us to also resist temptation to mortal sin in our personal life, obtaining for us the graces necessary to remain firmly planted in the footsteps of Our Lady and Our Lord, far from Satan’s wicked instruments. The decree Maxima Redemptionis, which introduced the new rite in 1955, changed the times of the ceremonies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday to evenings.

    It also suppressed the Last Gospel for the Masses of Holy Week, the psalm Judica me for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, initiated the practice of the priest facing the people in certain places, diminished the role of the priest in the readings, changed the Prayer for the Conversion of Heretics to the Prayer for Church Unity, introduced the vernacular in places, and many other such innovations.

Worldwide Candle lighting Day[9]

For hundreds of years, lighting a candle has been a way to show respect for those that have died. This beautiful gesture shows that although someone may be gone from this world, their memory will endure, and the light of their flame will continue to inspire and guide others. Worldwide Candle Lighting Day is a celebration of solidarity and memory. It’s a day on which people around the world gather to light candles for children who have died and to show that they will always be loved and never forgotten. The candles are lit at the same time in every time zone, meaning that a consistent warm glow passes around the planet for a full 24-hour day.

The History of Worldwide Candle Lighting Day

Worldwide Candle Lighting Day was a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friend. The Compassionate Friend’s Worldwide Candle Lighting Day started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance in honor of children who lived tragically short lives for any number of reasons, from sickness, to accidents, to war, but has since spread throughout the world. Nowadays, hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held in many different countries and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten. many organizations join in to observe this holiday, some f which are local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children’s gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers, and remembrance services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand over the years since the creation of this special day. All of this just goes to show how necessary it was to set this day aside for this purpose.

How to Celebrate World Candle Lighting Day

As mentioned before, this day is celebrated with a quiet elegance: at 7 p.m. local time, people light candles for one hour to remember their loved ones. It is a moving occasion that bypasses geographical and cultural divides. As everyone lights their candles at seven pm local time, far-flung parts of the world get illuminated in turn, so that eventually the light has moved all around the globe. If you have experienced the loss of a child in your lifetime, this is a good moment to honor his or her memory by taking part in the candle lighting. You could also invite some close family members to spend this time with you and light their own candles for the late child.

This doesn’t only have to be a sad occasion, however. Children’s lives are mostly filled with fun and laughter, so reminiscing about all of the things the child you are honoring managed to enjoy before he or she passed may should serve to lighten the atmosphere up a little bit. Of course, nothing will ever make up for the loss of a child, but there is some solace to be taken in the fact that the child’s life was a good one, however short. No matter whether you’ll be lighting a candle at home or joining a gathering Worldwide Candle Lighting Day it is a way to show love and community.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         54 Day Rosary day 38
·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after SUNSET ON SATURDAY till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.