Wednesday, December 14, 2022
St. john of the cross-roast chestnuts day
1 Corinthians, Chapter 2, Verse 9-10
9 But as it is written: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who LOVE him,” 10 this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
The world can never recognize the wisdom of the cross. The other day while sitting in my church for mass it was revealed to me the wisdom of the cross. As the Eucharistic celebration was being conducted, I was admiring our church and as I gazed on the altar, I notice we had the cross which represented Christ dead for our sins. Behind the cross lit up with the sun waning was the stained glass of Christ ascending to the Father. I asked interiorly where the representation of Christ resurrected is? Then almost immediately an interior voice stated, “You are the representation of Christ resurrected.” At first, I withdrew from the idea, sinner that I am. Then I knew that this was the divine wisdom that we physically and spiritually become the resurrected Christ to our families, neighbors, our friends and even dare I say our enemies. May God’s will and wisdom be done!
Ember Wednesday Commemoration of the Annunciation
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Gaudete Sunday (3rd Sunday of Advent) are known as "Advent Embertide," and they come near the beginning of the Season of Winter (December, January, February). Liturgically, the readings for the days' Masses follow along with the general themes of Advent, opening up with Wednesday's Introit of Isaias 45: 8 and Psalm 18:2:
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior. The heavens show forth the glory of God: and the firmament declareth the work of His hands. Wednesday's and Saturday's Masses will include one and four Lessons, respectively, with all of them concerning the words of the Prophet Isaias except for the last lesson on Saturday, which comes from Daniel and recounts how Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago are saved from King Nabuchodonosor's fiery furnace by an angel. This account, which is followed by a glorious hymn, is common to all Embertide Saturdays but for Whit Embertide. The Gospel readings for the three days concern, respectively, the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-28), Visitation (Luke 1:37-47), and St. John the Baptist's exhorting us to "prepare the way of the Lord and make straight His paths" (Luke 3:1-6).
Associations and Symbols of the Advent Ember Days
· Winter is characterized by "wet and cold," and is associated with the golden years of old age; remember them this season. Get your children to think of what changes atmospherically and astronomically during this season. Why is it so cold? How does the cold affect the earth's air and waters?
· Remember that lore says that the weather conditions of each of the three days of an Embertide foretell the weather of the next three months, so the weather seen on Wednesday of Advent Embertide predicts the weather of the coming January, Friday's weather foretells the weather of February, and Saturday's weather foretells the weather of March. Make a note of the weather on those three days and see if the old tales are true! What stars can be seen during the Winter months? Do your children know the traditional names for this season's full Moons?
· Ask your children to consider how the seasonal changes of Winter affect the plants and animals. How have the trees changed? What are the animals doing now? Which are hibernating? Which are gone, having migrated? What do the animals that aren't hibernating or gone eat now? Have any stored-up food to eat during the cold months? Which have fur that has grown thicker to protect them? Do any have fur that has changed color to match the snow?
· Ask them to consider how the seasonal changes affect (or traditionally affected) the activities of man. What can we do now that we couldn't do at other times of the year? What can't we do? How do modern conveniences affect the answers to those questions?
· Ask them how they would ensure they had shelter, food, and water if they were put into the middle of the woods right now, with the season as it is. What plants and animals would be available to eat? How would they keep themselves dry and warm and protected from the winds? In the Middle Ages, the months are almost always uniformly depicted by showing the "Labors of Man" throughout the seasons. In stained glass windows, in illuminated manuscripts, one sees over and over the same human activities used to portray the months.
· In addition to these things, now is the time to make snow angels, build snowmen and snowforts and ice sculptures, sled, ski, skate, ice fish, sit around hearths and tell tales, make crafts indoors, watch for and feed the Winter birds, and, most of all, praise God for His artistry and providence... Get to it! -- and know that just when you tire of this season, Spring will be here!
Today's Mass was historically called the "golden Mass" and celebrated with special solemnity, because it focuses on the role of Mary in the Incarnation. The first reading is the famous prophecy from Isaiah about the virgin who will conceive and bear a son. The Gospel is the Annunciation account. Mary is a special Advent figure. The expectant mother is a sign to us of what our Advent waiting is all about: the coming of Christ, our Savior. Today's first reading from Isaiah is Ahaz, the king, had entered into political alliances in an attempt to save Israel from her enemies. But the prophet Isaiah was telling him not to trust in politics, but in God. Only God could deliver Israel. In refusing to ask for a sign, Ahaz was not being humble, but tricky. He was keeping his options open, so to speak, by refusing to trust the Lord. Mary, instead, was completely committed to doing God's will. By her "yes" to the angel Gabriel, Mary totally surrendered to what God was asking of her. She didn't know exactly what would happen. It was very risky--in those days a woman in an irregular pregnancy could suffer severe penalties. What would Joseph think? Mary turned all those worries over to God. And God made it all work out. Whatever problems we face, God will help us also to work them out, if we turn to him in trust.
The Mystery of Man's Reconciliation with God
Lowliness is assured by majesty, weakness by power, mortality by eternity. To pay the debt of our sinful state, a nature that was incapable of suffering was joined to one that could suffer. Thus, in keeping with the healing that we needed, one and the same mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, was able to die in one nature, and unable to die in the other.
He who is true God was therefore born in the complete and perfect nature of a true man, whole in his own nature, whole in ours. By our nature we mean what the Creator had fashioned in us from the beginning and took to himself in order to restore it.
For in the Savior there was no trace of what the deceiver introduced and man, being misled, allowed to enter. It does not follow that because he submitted to sharing in our human weakness he therefore shared in our sins.
He took the nature of a servant without stain of sin, enlarging our humanity without diminishing his divinity. He emptied himself; though invisible he made himself invisible, though Creator and Lord of all things he chose to be one of us mortal men. Yet this was the condescension of compassion, not the loss of omnipotence. So he who in the nature of God had created man, became in the nature of a servant, man himself.
Thus, the Son of God enters this lowly world. He comes down from the throne of heaven yet does not separate himself from the Father's glory. He is born in a new condition, by a new birth.
He was born in a new condition, for, invisible in his own nature, he became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time. Lord of the universe, he hid his infinite glory and took the nature of a servant. Incapable of suffering as God, he did not refuse to be a man, capable of suffering. Immortal, he chose to be subject to the laws of death.
He who is true God is also true man. There is no falsehood in this unity as long as the lowliness of man and the preeminence of God coexist in mutual relationship.
As God does not change by his condescension, so man is not swallowed up by being exalted. Each nature exercises its own activity, in communion with the other. The Word does what is proper to the Word, the flesh fulfills what is proper to the flesh.
One nature is resplendent with miracles, the other falls victim to injuries. As the Word does not lose equality with the Father's glory, so the flesh does not leave behind the nature of our race.
One and the same person - this must be said over and over again - is truly the Son of God and truly the son of man. He is God in virtue of the fact that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is man in virtue of the fact that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Receive, O Virgin Mary, the word
which the Lord has made known to you
by the message of the angel:
You will conceive and give birth to a son,
both God and man,
--and you will be called blessed among women (alleluia).
A virgin, you will indeed bear a son;
ever chaste and holy, you will be
the mother of our Savior.
--And you will...
God our Father,
your Word became man and was born of the Virgin Mary.
May we become more like Jesus Christ,
whom we acknowledge as our redeemer, God and man.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
St. John of the Cross-Advent Calendar
Read: St. John of the Cross, who we honor today, was known for his deep spirituality and compassion.
Reflect: "We must dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides." —St. John of the Cross
Pray: Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy today.
Act: Brainstorm ideas for how you can live out your call to "imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel" as an active citizen. For ideas, visit the Faithful Citizenship website.
Roast Chestnuts Day
In the chill of December, there’s one warming treat that is especially popular across the world to keep the cold away. Roasted chestnuts are often seen this time of year being cooked by street vendors, and the earthy, spicy scent is more than enough to get anyone into the Christmas spirit. On the 14th of December, it’s time to honor the humble chestnut. Or specifically, mark the time-honored tradition of roasting chestnuts round about the season of good cheer. Roast Chestnut’s Day is a relatively new day in the calendar, but the practice of roasting chestnuts has been around for donkey’s years. Although it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when they started to become so popular, historians pencil the 16th century in as being a turning point, when the nuts would be sold by street vendors to anyone wanting a quick and warming snack. It has also long been a tradition in Portugal to eat them roasted on Saint Martin’s Day, and in Tuscany on Saint Simon’s Day. When chestnuts are carefully roasted, the natural sweetness of the nut is revealed. This makes them an ideal snack if you want something to stave off a sweet tooth that also happens to be quite nutritious, chestnuts being comparatively low in calories and being a good source of fibre. They are also very rich in vitamin C, which may come as a surprise to you. Although they are technically nuts, they taste very unlike other nuts – the sweet, earthy taste is certainly worth a try if you’ve never had one before – and Roast Chestnuts Day is the perfect time to try that first one. Chestnuts are often roasted on a grill, which helps to remove their bitter, shiny skins, but you can make them at home using your conventional kitchen oven. All you need to do is cut a cross into each nut, put them on a roasting tin and bake them until the skins open. They are eaten after peeling away that tough, shiny skin.
How to Celebrate Roast Chestnuts Day
· It’s so, so easy to make roast chestnuts, so why not roast up a batch for yourself on the 14th December? Have them as a snack on their own, add them to stuffing or pair them with roasted beef.
· And you’ll be able to find them in most supermarkets during the festive season, so you won’t have to go foraging for them in the woods!
From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the "halcyon days," when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successful.
Today reflect on seven successes or happy times of the year then pick one to thank Our Lord for and offer to Our Lord an appropriate gift for it for his birth!
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.
· 4th day, December 14th: THE ROOF—Self-denial Today we must practice self-denial in everything great or small. We must therefore do the very things from which nature shrinks, and if opportunity permits, abstain from some amusement in whatever way it presents itself. No TV today
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
I. Moral Life and the Magisterium of the Church
2032 The Church, the "pillar and bulwark of the truth," "has received this solemn command of Christ from the apostles to announce the saving truth." "To the Church belongs the right always and everywhere to announce moral principles, including those pertaining to the social order, and to make judgments on any human affairs to the extent that they are required by the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls."
2033 The Magisterium of the Pastors of the Church in moral matters is ordinarily exercised in catechesis and preaching, with the help of the works of theologians and spiritual authors. Thus from generation to generation, under the aegis and vigilance of the pastors, the "deposit" of Christian moral teaching has been handed on, a deposit composed of a characteristic body of rules, commandments, and virtues proceeding from faith in Christ and animated by charity. Alongside the Creed and the Our Father, the basis for this catechesis has traditionally been the Decalogue which sets out the principles of moral life valid for all men.
2034 The Roman Pontiff and the bishops are "authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people entrusted to them, the faith to be believed and put into practice." The ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him teach the faithful the truth to believe, the charity to practice, the beatitude to hope for.
2035 The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is ensured by the charism of infallibility. This infallibility extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, or observed.
2036 The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation. In recalling the prescriptions of the natural law, the Magisterium of the Church exercises an essential part of its prophetic office of proclaiming to men what they truly are and reminding them of what they should be before God.
2037 The law of God entrusted to the Church is taught to the faithful as the way of life and truth. the faithful therefore have the right to be instructed in the divine saving precepts that purify judgment and, with grace, heal wounded human reason. They have the duty of observing the constitutions and decrees conveyed by the legitimate authority of the Church. Even if they concern disciplinary matters, these determinations call for docility in charity.
2038 In the work of teaching and applying Christian morality, the Church needs the dedication of pastors, the knowledge of theologians, and the contribution of all Christians and men of good will. Faith and the practice of the Gospel provide each person with an experience of life "in Christ," who enlightens him and makes him able to evaluate the divine and human realities according to the Spirit of God. Thus the Holy Spirit can use the humblest to enlighten the learned and those in the highest positions.
2039 Ministries should be exercised in a spirit of fraternal service and dedication to the Church, in the name of the Lord. At the same time the conscience of each person should avoid confining itself to individualistic considerations in its moral judgments of the person's own acts. As far as possible conscience should take account of the good of all, as expressed in the moral law, natural and revealed, and consequently in the law of the Church and in the authoritative teaching of the Magisterium on moral questions. Personal conscience and reason should not be set in opposition to the moral law or the Magisterium of the Church.
2040 Thus a true filial spirit toward the Church can develop among Christians. It is the normal flowering of the baptismal grace which has begotten us in the womb of the Church and made us members of the Body of Christ. In her motherly care, the Church grants us the mercy of God which prevails over all our sins and is especially at work in the sacrament of reconciliation. With a mother's foresight, she also lavishes on us day after day in her liturgy the nourishment of the Word and Eucharist of the Lord.
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.
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: Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25 Symbols: hammer, saw, chisel, angle