DAY 35 - MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS, PRAY FOR US
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" (1 Cor 9:24-27).
"And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat. I don't say these things because I believe in the 'brute' nature of men or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour - his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear - is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Glorious Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Sorrowful Mysteries
Third (Gaudete) Sunday Of Advent
Feast of Saint Lucy-Candle lighting Day
John, Chapter 19, Verse 26
When Jesus saw his
and the disciple there whom he LOVED, he said to his mother, “Woman,
behold, your son.”
Christ’s desire that we should all be a family; a family united in love.
This is why our Lord submitted to His mother showing that now she was the
mother and mediatrix of all mankind.
I would like to focus on the word desire. I like to hike and pray. One day I was hiking in the Fay Canyon area of Sedona, Arizona and I was reflecting on the seven deadly sins and the opposing virtues of our Lord sermon on the mount. As I was hiking and musing over the words that are associated with the deadly sin of lust: such words as long for, hanker for, hunger for, yearn, crave, and desire. In my mind I repeated desire, desire, desire, and I asked our Lord what do you want me to desire? As I asked that question, I looked up at the canyon and spied a rock formation in the shape of a chalice. Yes Lord, I exclaimed. I shall desire to receive you in the Holy Mass. Lust is just a corrupted form of love that takes yet our desire should be to give love and receive with a grateful heart.
would be a good day to rest in the Lord and go to Mass and receive His body and
blood. As we receive realize that He has
heard our cry’s and has saved us. Such
is the love of our God!
Third Sunday of Advent
THE nearer the coming of the Lord the more earnestly the Church calls upon us to rejoice; and to-day, therefore, at the Introit of the Mass, she sings in the words of St. Paul: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous, but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God.” (Phil. iv. 4-6.) “Lord, thou hast blessed Thy land; Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob”.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, mercifully incline Thine ear unto our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy heavenly visitation.
Phil. iv. 4-7.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What does it mean to rejoice in the Lord? It means to be glad in remembering the grace by which God called us to the true faith, and gave us the hope of eternal salvation, and to rejoice even in all our tribulations and adversities for the Lord’s sake, as St. Paul did (n. Cor. vii. 4). It also admonishes us to give a good example by modesty and an edifying life, and to fix our desires on God, Who will never fail us if we make our wants known to Him by prayer and supplication, and give Him thanks for benefits received.
does the peace of God consist?
consists in a good conscience, such as St. Paul enjoyed. It is this peace, this
tranquility of the soul, which sustained the holy martyrs in their agonies, and
consoled others under persecution for Christ s sake (St. Matt. v. 11, 12).
O Lord grant that Thy peace, which Thou hast given us, and which the world knows not, may keep our hearts and minds in Thee. O wisdom! proceeding from the mouth of the Highest, and reaching to the ends of the world, who governest with power and grace, come and direct us all, that we may walk in the path of wisdom and of the peace which surpasseth all understanding. Amen.
THE BEST REMEDY
IN THE HOUR OF SORROW.
In need, sorrow, and dejection the best means to
relieve our distressed hearts is humble and confiding prayer, in which we can
pour out our hearts before God, and give ourselves up to His love and mercy, as
did Anna, the sorrowful mother of Samuel the prophet, Josaphat in painful
uncertainty, Susanna falsely accused and condemned to death, and innumerable
other servants of God. These all prayed to God and were delivered from their
afflictions, receiving help and consolation. St. James therefore admonishes us,
“Is any one of you sad? let him pray” (James v. 13); and St. Paul, in the
epistle for this Sunday, encourages us not to be solicitous about anything, but
in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, to let our
requests be known to God. Are you, then, sad and discouraged? Lift up your soul
to God, and say with David, “Give joy to the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee,
O Lord, I have lifted up my soul” (Ps. Ixxxv. 4).
GOSPEL. John i. 19-28.
Why did the Jews send messengers to John to ask him who he was? Because his baptizing and preaching, with his life of austerity and penance, made such an impression that the people took him not for an ordinary prophet, but for the Messias Himself.
Why did the messengers ask John whether he was Elias or the prophet?
The Jews believed that either Elias or another of the prophets would return to earth to prepare the way for the coming of Christ; and from St. John’s denying that he was the Christ they concluded that he was either Elias or that prophet.
Why did St. John say that he was not that prophet, but only the voice of one crying in the wilderness?
He said so out of humility; but he uttered no untruth, since he was not the prophet predicted by Moses (Deut. xviii. 15), but only the voice of one crying in the wilderness,” Make straight the way of the Lord”, as the prophet Isaias said (Is. Ix. 3).
How do we make straight the way of the Lord?
By sincere penance, which consists not merely in going to confession, and making hollow resolutions, but in bringing forth fruits worthy of penance (Matt. iii. 8; Luke iii. 8).
How do we bring forth fruits worthy of penance?
If we wish to bring forth fruits worthy of penance, we must endeavor to make amends for what is past, and use all possible means to avoid in future those sins to which we have been most given; we must love and serve God as much as and more than we before loved and served the world.
What was the baptism of John, and what was the effect of it?
It was a baptism of penance, for the forgiveness of sins; thus, it was a
preparation for the Baptism of Christ, through which sins are actually
forgiven, and the Holy Ghost received (Mark i. 4, 5).
What are we further taught by this gospel?
We are taught to always speak the truth, like St. John; not to desire to appear more, or better, than we are; and, in particular, to make a good and sincere confession. We should, therefore, before confession often ask ourselves, Who am I? How do I live? How do I stand before God? How do I deal with my neighbor?
We learn also from St. John to confess our sins without reserve, neither concealing nor excusing them; above all, we learn to be humble, for although he might have passed for the Messiah had he chosen to, he refused that honor, and held himself unworthy to loose the latchet of Christ’s shoe.
O Lord banish from my heart envy, self-love, and pride; give me grace so to know Thee and myself that, in contemplation of Thy majesty, omnipotence, love and wisdom, and other perfections, I may love Thee above all things, and in regarding my own nothingness, misery, and sins may always humble myself before Thee, and be little in my own eyes. Grant also that I may judge my neighbor with justness and tenderness, and love him as myself.
A joyful warning comes from the Lord's
heralds. "Rejoice: The Lord is nigh." As Christmas
draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over
all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is
to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead
them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of
Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the
Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New
Testament. Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the
first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are
worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose
candle on our Advent wreath.
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 <lux>, the Latin word for light. The first church writer to give an account of St. Lucy from her <Acts> 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” 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.
Things to Do
· 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.
Perhaps today would be a good day to put up some Christmas lights and drink Hot Cocoa
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.
Worldwide Candle lighting Day
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.
Hot Cocoa Day
” 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.
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
· Today is the Day of the Horse-take a ride; bet on the ponies or watch a movie about horses. My grandson’s name is Philip which means, lover of horses.
· Jesse Tree ornament: Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28 Symbols: scales of justice, temple, two babies and sword
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.