Wednesday in the Fourth week of Advent
Wisdom, Chapter 8, Verse 14-15
14 I shall govern peoples, and nations will be my subject’s 15 tyrannical princes, hearing of me, will be AFRAID; in the assembly I shall appear noble, and in war courageous.
Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his Theology of the Covenant that we are a people of many faiths with one covenant with God. Therefore, it is reasonable that strong people will honor us in our faith as we have the same covenant with the living God although we may worship in a different way.
What are some of the traits we and our cousins in the covenant may have as strong people? According to the daily elite-the voice of generation Y there are 20 things that strong people DON’T do
1. Dwell on the past.
2. Stay in their comfort zone
3. Refuse to listen to the opinion of others
4. Avoid change
5. Keep a closed mind and are open to new ideas
6. Let others make decisions for them
7. Get jealous of/over the success of others
8. Dwell on the possibility of failure they keep a positive perspective
9. Feel sorry for themselves
10. Focus on their weaknesses
11. Try to please people
12. Blame themselves for things outside their control
13. Be impatient and quit easily
14. Let misunderstandings continue
15. Feel they are entitled or privileged
16. Repeat mistakes
17. Give into their fears
18. Act without using prudence
19. Refuse to help
However, on the other hand, we must realize that ruthless nations will fear a covenant people because ruthless nations are made up of ruthless people and ruthless people fear what they cannot control.
There are 6 traits of the ruthless according to Askmen.com.
1. Emotion is to be avoided in all decision making (It’s Science)
2. No tolerance for incompetence
3. Never forgive
4. Punish quickly and brutally
5. Instill fear in others
6. Stay focused and determined
be a people of the covenant we must
remember the urgings of Christ that “This is the time of
fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the
Gospel.” (Mark 1:15).
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.
Mary carried Jesus in her womb with great patience. As a child I remember Christmas was always a great strain on my patience. Can you imagine the strain on this poor young girl from Nazareth? She of course could not have done this without first having the virtues of humility, generosity, and a chase heart which led her to have great patience.
Patience the courage of a serene soul
This world being a place of merit is rightly called a valley of tears; for we are all placed in it to suffer, that we may, by patience, gain our own souls unto life eternal, as our Lord Himself says, in your patience you shall possess your souls. [Luke 21 19] God gave us the Blessed Virgin Mary as a model of all virtues, but more especially as an example of patience. St. Francis de Sales, amongst other things, remarks, that it was precisely for this reason that at the marriage-feast of Cana Jesus Christ gave the Blessed Virgin an answer, by which He seemed to value her prayers but little: Woman, what is that to thee and to Me? [John 2:4]
And He did this that He might give us the example of the patience of His most holy Mother. But what need have we to seek for instances of this virtue? Mary's whole life was a continual exercise of her patience; for, as the Angel revealed to St. Bridget, "as a rose grows up amongst thorns, so did the Blessed Virgin grow up amongst tribulations." Compassion alone for the Redeemer's sufferings sufficed to make her a martyr of patience. Hence St. Bonaventure says, "that a crucified Mother conceived a crucified Son." In speaking of her dolor’s, we have already considered how much she suffered, both in her journey to Egypt, and during her residence there, as also during the time she lived with her Son in the house at Nazareth. What Mary endured when present at the death of Jesus on Calvary is alone sufficient to show us how constant and sublime was her patience: There stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother.
Then it was that precisely by the merit of her patience, as Blessed Albert the Great says, she brought us forth to the life of grace." If we, then, wish to be the children of Mary, we must endeavor to imitate her in her patience: "For what," says St. Cyprian, "can enrich us with greater merit in this life, and greater glory in the next, than the patient enduring of sufferings?" God said, by the prophet Osee, I will hedge up thy way with thorns. [2:6] To this St. Gregory adds, that "the way of the elect is hedged with thorns." As a hedge of thorns protects a vineyard, so does God protect His servants from the danger of attaching themselves to the earth, by encompassing them with tribulations.
Therefore St. Cyprian concludes that it
is patience that delivers us from sin and from Hell. It is also patience that
makes Saints: Patience hath a
perfect work, [James 1:4] bearing in peace, not only the crosses which come
immediately from God, such as sickness, poverty, but also those which come from
men---persecutions, injuries, and the rest. St. John saw all the Saints bearing
palm branches---the emblem of martyrdom---in their hands; After this I saw a
great multitude, and palms were in their hands; [Apoc. 7:9] thereby denoting
that all adults who are saved must be martyrs, either by shedding their blood
for Christ or by patience.
Happiness is being patient with yourself
Happiness is a choice; just as love is a choice. We either decide to be happy or we do not. No amount of money or material things will bring us joy, no amount of pleasure or power either. Mary knew that true happiness comes from God’s mercy.
That is a choice too. God’s mercy is given to those who fear Him and then in turn honor the gift of love. We in order to accept the gift of mercy must be open to receive. We make a choice. It is funny Mary’s whose name means bitterness was just the opposite. She emptied herself to be filled to the brim with God’s love and within three days we commemorate that she gave birth to Christ our redeemer. I imagine she pondered on this day ages ago as she felt His movement within her that his mercy is overpowering. Let us empty ourselves of all our bitterness and resentments asking Mary to pray for us as we do. Let us in these remaining days before Christmas do all we can to prepare for our Lord Jesus. Let us receive God’s mercy through the sacraments which He has established through His Apostle’s down through the ages to us today.
If you have not gone to confession-do. Receive His mercy. Receive the Eucharist be made whole and prepare for his birth. Give mercy in return to any you have offended, pray and do-good works toward those who have offended you. In this way we emulate our God whose power is perfected in mercy.
Be at peace.
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.
· 12th day, December 22nd: ST. JOSEPH—Obedience Today you must try to please the Divine Infant by cheerful, and very prompt obedience. Be obedient for the love of Jesus in great and little things or in easy ones. Do nothing without permission.
O King of the Gentiles and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one; Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Jesse Tree ornament: Jesus is King of the Gentiles: Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20 Symbols: crown, scepter
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus