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Monday of the Third Week in Advent

FEAST OF THE EXPECTENCY 

Job, Chapter 39, Verse 16

She cruelly disowns her young and her labor is useless; she has no FEAR.

Job is now being confronted by He that Is.

“The wings of the ostrich flap away; her plumage is lacking in feathers. When she abandons her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand, she forgets that a foot may crush them, that the wild beasts may trample them; she cruelly disowns her young and her labor is useless; she has no fear. For God has withheld wisdom from her and given her no share in understanding. Yet when she spreads her wings high, she laughs at a horse and rider.

Discourse of God[1]

·         Enter God. He comes down in a whirlwind and poses a number of rhetorical questions to Job, all of which are designed to show Job how small he is in relation to the universe...which, by the way, God created. 

·         God's wisdom isn't like human wisdom. After all, God is concerned with making waves flow and the architecture of the heavens.

·         This doesn't mean that human affairs don't concern him; they're just one part of a vast, unknowable whole. 

·         Basically, Job's question is answered with a bunch of equally unanswerable questions. He is completely and totally out of his league on this one. 

·         God talks of natural things in human terms so that Job can understand them. By doing so, he illustrates how the mortal and the immortal are so far apart even though they are physically close together (38:28).

Has the rain a father? Who has begotten the drops of dew?

Humility at its source is knowing that all goodness comes from the Spirit, even in the mist of our crosses.

This prayer by Saint Francis de Sales is a great consolation for those who do not understand the crosses which God has entrusted to them.[2]

Prayer

The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, alms of the all-merciful love of God.

Monday of the Third Week in Advent[3] 

Read: "Saint Francis of Assisi began the custom of the nativity scenes when he celebrated Christmas with his brothers at Greccio in 1223 with a Bethlehem scene which included live animals. This tradition quickly spread, and people began to construct their own nativity scenes in their homes. Children take great joy in helping to set up a nativity scene. The crèche may be made from various materials. Simplicity and beauty go often hand in hand. You may set up your entire scene at the beginning of Advent, leaving the crib empty for the Christ Child to arrive on Christmas Eve. Or you may set up the scene slowly, day by day . . . Mary and Joseph can also 'travel' to Bethlehem, as they move slowly across your room every day until they reach the cave." (excerpted from "Celebrating Advent as a Family" foryourmarriage.org) 

Reflect: "While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:6-7) 

Pray: Add this "O Antiphon" to your daily or meal-time prayer today: "O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power." (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition, 76) 

Act: Take time to bless the family creche in preparation for the coming of Jesus. (Based on your family's tradition, you may choose to hide the baby Jesus until Christmas morning.)

Feast of the Expectancy[4]

This feast, which in recent times has been kept not only throughout the whole of Spain, but also in many other parts of the Catholic world, owes its origin to the bishops of the 10th Council of Toledo, in 656. These prelates thought that there was an incongruity in the ancient practice of celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation on the 25th of March, inasmuch as this joyful solemnity frequently occurs at the time when the Church is intent upon the Passion of Our Lord, so that it is sometimes obliged to be transferred into Easter time, with which it is out of harmony for another reason. They therefore decreed that, henceforth, in the Church of Spain there should be kept, eight days before Christmas, a solemn Feast with an octave, in honor of the Annunciation, and as a preparation for the great solemnity of Our Lord's Nativity.

In the course of time, however, the Church of Spain saw the necessity of returning to the practice of the Church of Rome and of the whole world, which solemnize the 25th of March as the day of Our Lady's Annunciation and the Incarnation of the Son of God. But such had been, for ages, the devotion of the people for the Feast of the 18th of December, that it was considered requisite to maintain some vestige of it. They discontinued, therefore, to celebrate the Annunciation on this day; but the faithful were requested to consider, with devotion, what must have been the sentiments of the Holy Mother of God during the days immediately preceding Her giving Him birth. A new Feast was instituted, under the name of "the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin's Delivery."

This Feast, which sometimes goes under the name of Our Lady of O, or the Feast of O, on account of the great antiphons which are sung during these days, and, in a special manner, of that which begins O Virgo virginum (which is still used in the Vespers of the Expectation—together with the O Adonai, the antiphon of the Advent Office), was kept with great devotion in Spain. A High Mass was sung at a very early hour each morning during the octave, at which all who were with child, whether rich or poor, considered it a duty to assist, that they might thus honor Our Lady's Maternity, and beg Her blessing upon themselves.

It is no wonder that the Holy See approved of this pious practice being introduced into almost every other country. We find that the Church of Milan, Whose Advent fast lasted 40 days, long before Rome conceded this Feast to the various dioceses of Christendom, celebrated the Office of Our Lady's Annunciation on the sixth and last Sunday of Advent, and called the whole week following the Hebdomada de Exceptato (for thus the popular expression had corrupted the word Expectato). But it, too, has given way to the Feast of Our Lady's Expectation, which the Church has established and sanctioned as a means of exciting the attention of the faithful during these last days of Advent.

Most just indeed it is, O Holy Mother of God, that we should unite in that ardent desire Thou hadst to see Him, Who had been concealed for nine months in Thy chaste womb; to know the features of this Son of the Heavenly Father, Who is also Thine; to come to that blissful hour of His birth, which will give glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men of good will. Yes, dearest Mother, the time is fast approaching, though not fast enough to satisfy Thy desires and ours. Make us redouble our attention to the great mystery; complete our preparation by Thy powerful prayers for us, that when the solemn hour has come, our Jesus may find no obstacle to His entrance into our hearts.

O Virgin of virgins! How shall this be? For never was there one like Thee, nor will there ever be. Ye daughters of Jerusalem, why look ye wondering at Me? What you behold is a divine mystery.

Spiritual Crib[5] 

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. 

·         8th day, December 18th THE MULE—Patience To practice this virtue, we must complain of no one or nothing. No shade of impatience should be seen on our countenance, nor an impatient word heard. Be brave. The Infant Jesus suffered much more for you. 

Today’s Antiphon

Come and redeem us with outstretched arm.

O Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with outstretched arm.

 

·         As Moses approached the burning bush, so we approach the divine Savior in the form of a child in the crib, or in the form of the consecrated host, and falling down we adore Him. "Put off the shoes from thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground . . . I am who am." "Come with an outstretched arm to redeem us." This is the cry of the Church for the second coming of Christ on the last day. The return of the Savior brings us plentiful redemption.[6]

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

                        CHAPTER ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

Article 4-THE MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS

IN BRIEF

1757 The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the three "sources" of the morality of human acts.

1758 The object chosen morally specifies the act of willing accordingly as reason recognizes and judges it good or evil.

1759 "An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention" (cf St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. 6). the end does not justify the means.

1760 A morally good act requires the goodness of its object, of its end, and of its circumstances together.

1761 There are concrete acts that it is always wrong to choose, because their choice entails a disorder of the will, i.e., a moral evil. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Absent Fathers (Physically & Spiritually)

·         Jesse Tree ornament: Jesus is Lord: Ex. 3:2; 20:1 Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets.

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Religion in the home: Preschool for December

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Bake Cookies Day

·         Rosary

 




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