Tuesday, December 13, 2022

 

Tuesday of the Third Week in Advent

Feast of Saint Lucy 

John, Chapter 15, Verse 9-13

9 As the Father LOVES me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 12 This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

Your prayers are answered in accordance with your love. This is the natural law of God. For love begins with the Fathers love of Christ and moves on to Jesus’ love for his friends which is reciprocated in the disciples’ loving obedience to Christ and radiates out through their love for one another. It is this love that will be the source of their joy and the essential condition of their intimate friendship with the Lord. The model of love for all true discipleship is extreme, and limitless. Yet, it is precisely for love like this that Jesus has chosen them. They will bring forth enduring fruit; their prayers will be answered to the extent that they love one another.[1] We see this natural law of love in the world today. If our church has love and even sacrificial love, it will be safe no matter how poor of a church it is but if it has no love than no matter how rich a church it is; it bears no fruit. Such is the law of love. We can see the same in our own families where there is love the family is rich even if it has no money and where there is no love there is not a family. We also see this truth in our country which is now being ran by Godless unloving people. We do not need climate change but a change of heart and start loving as Christ does beginning in our homes and going out from there. 

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 <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”[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. 


Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

CHAPTER THREE-GOD'S SALVATION: LAW AND GRACE

Article 3 THE CHURCH, MOTHER AND TEACHER

2030 It is in the Church, in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation. From the Church he receives the Word of God containing the teachings of "the law of Christ." From the Church he receives the grace of the sacraments that sustains him on the "way." From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary; he discerns it in the authentic witness of those who live it; he discovers it in the spiritual tradition and long history of the saints who have gone before him and whom the liturgy celebrates in the rhythms of the sanctoral cycle.

2031 The moral life is spiritual worship. We "present (our) bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God," within the Body of Christ that we form and in communion with the offering of his Eucharist. In the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments, prayer and teaching are conjoined with the grace of Christ to enlighten and nourish Christian activity. As does the whole of the Christian life, the moral life finds its source and summit in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

Daily Devotions 

·       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.


·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Victims of clergy sexual abuse

·       Jesse Tree ornament: Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28 Symbols: scales of justice, temple, two babies and sword 

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·       Pray Day 4 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·       Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·       Religion in the home: Preschool for December

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Light a candle for a loved one

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary 



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