Wednesday of the Second Week in Advent Feast of Saint Lucy
Job, Chapter 31, Verse 34
Because I FEARED the great multitude and the scorn of the clans terrified
me—then I should have remained silent, and not come out of doors!
present protest is made, not despite hidden sins which he had been unwilling to
disclose, but out of genuine innocence. He is claiming that his only fear was
that of the Lord and that all his life he has followed the law of God in the
nine areas of moral concern.
To practice righteousness in the
areas of moral concern we must strive for humility and its source in knowing
that all goodness comes from the Spirit.
of the land.
of servants (We are all made in the image of God)
toward the poor and needy.
Social injustice is the reverse side of idolatry.
of enemies. Don’t curse. Repay evil with good.
In ancient society, without police you had a duty to protect and help.
Integrity between mind, body, and actions.
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” 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.
Things to Do
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.
Perhaps today would be a good day to put up some Christmas lights and drink Hot Cocoa
Hot Cocoa Day
” 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 come 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 depending 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 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.
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
ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
Article 3-MAN'S FREEDOM
II. Human Freedom in the Economy of Salvation
1739 Freedom and sin. Man's freedom
is limited and fallible. In fact, man failed. He freely sinned. By refusing
God's plan of love, he deceived himself and became a slave to sin. This first
alienation engendered a multitude of others. From its outset, human history
attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human heart in consequence
of the abuse of freedom.
1740 Threats to freedom. The
exercise of freedom does not imply a right to say or do everything. It is false
to maintain that man, "the subject of this freedom," is "an
individual who is fully self-sufficient and whose finality is the satisfaction
of his own interests in the enjoyment of earthly goods." Moreover,
the economic, social, political, and cultural conditions that are needed for a
just exercise of freedom are too often disregarded or violated. Such situations
of blindness and injustice injure the moral life and involve the strong as well
as the weak in the temptation to sin against charity. By deviating from the
moral law man violates his own freedom, becomes imprisoned within himself,
disrupts neighborly fellowship, and rebels against divine truth.
1741 Liberation and salvation. By
his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from
the sin that held them in bondage. "For freedom Christ has set us
free." In him we have communion with the "truth that makes us
free." The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle
teaches, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." Already
we glory in the "liberty of the children of God."
1742 Freedom and grace. the grace
of Christ is not in the slightest way a rival of our freedom when this freedom
accords with the sense of the true and the good that God has put in the human
heart. On the contrary, as Christian experience attests especially in prayer,
the more docile we are to the promptings of grace, the more we grow in inner
freedom and confidence during trials, such as those we face in the pressures
and constraints of the outer world. By the working of grace the Holy Spirit
educates us in spiritual freedom in order to make us free collaborators in his
work in the Church and in the world:
Almighty and merciful God,
in your goodness take away from us
all that is harmful,
so that, made ready both in mind
we may freely accomplish your will.
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.
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.
Jesse Tree ornament: Solomon: 1 Kings
3:5-14, 16-28 Symbols: scales of justice, temple, two babies and sword
The Collegeville Bible Commentary,