Monday Night at the Movies
Xavier Beauvois, Of Gods and Men, 2010
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
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'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
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.
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
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)
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
Feast of the Expectancy
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
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
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.
Come and redeem us with
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
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
Catechism of the
THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
CHAPTER ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS
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.
Tree ornament: Jesus is Lord: Ex. 3:2; 20:1 Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets.
waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
Monday: Litany of Humility
Bake Cookies Day