Saturday, December 27, 2008

For Unto Us, a Child Is Born

A priest recently said to me: "Our Lord comes as a baby at Christmas so that we might find it easier to love him". One has but to watch the enchanting effect that a tiny baby has on everyone within reach to know how true this is. A few times recently when I've had the opportunity to hold a near-newborn while in a group of people, I've noticed anew how magnetic and powerful that tiny person is. Children approach and gaze wide-eyed, young girls and ladies caress and marvel, and even grown men step near to look and smile. A baby — in all his fragile, helpless beauty — has the power to reach even the most distant and hardened of hearts. Facades come down, and an indescribable tenderness overcomes us as we behold this tiny miracle of creation.

A Christmas message sent us from an area pregnancy care center held a quote (credited to this newsletter) which I found stirringly beautiful, summing wondrously this mysterious power of each new life...

"When God wants an important thing done in this world or a wrong righted, He goes about it in a very singular way. He doesn't release thunderbolts or stir up earthquakes. God simply has a tiny baby born, perhaps of a very humble home, perhaps of a very humble mother. And God puts the idea or purpose into the mother's heart. And she puts it in the baby's mind, and then...God waits.

The great events of this world are not battles and elections and earthquakes and thunderbolts. The great events are babies, for each child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged with humanity, but is still expecting goodwill to become incarnate in each human life."

Among the great events of babies, and the accompanying divine message of hope, the Birth which the whole world now celebrates shines as the greatest of all. In the supreme act of goodwill incarnated, the Father sends His own Son in the flesh: not as an imposing warrior in armor or a commanding king seated on a thone, but as a baby. As one of us. Regardless of the chaos, brokenness, or corruption that may be raging around the world, each Christmas reminds us that the Father is not finished with humanity. He reaches down, and places Eternal Light into a darkened world. Let heaven and nature sing!

"For unto us, a child is born;
unto us, a son is given.
And the government
shall be upon his shoulders,
nd his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
-Isaiah 9:6

Just a Note...

Dear Kathryn, the new profile picture is for you! :)
Blessed Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Advent Day 14: Saint Lucy

Hear us, O God, our salvation, as we rejoice on the feast of Saint Lucy, Thy virgin and Martyr, and grant us to learn the spirit of pious devotion.
Fr. Kubicki on St. Lucy's memorial:

Swedish girls in a "St. Lucia" tradition...I'm not sure what the song is, but it's lovely!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Advent Day 13: Our Lady of Guadalupe

“Am I not here, I who am your Mother?
Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Am I not the source of your joy?
Are you not in the hollow of my mantle,
in the crossing of my arms?
Do you need anything more?
Let nothing else worry or disturb you.”

(celebrated today)

Our Lady of Guadalupe explained by Fr. James Kubicki, SJ
(National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer):

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Advent Day 12

“The arrangement of the names of Christ, however, is manifold…
Sun, because He is the illuminator…
Vine, because we are redeemed by His blood…
Lion, because he is king…
Rock, because He is firm…
Prophet, because He has revealed what is to come.”

~Pope St. Damasus I (celebrated today)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Advent Day 11

Peace begins with a smile.”
~Mother Teresa
We are in the Advent week of Peace...have you smiled today?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Advent Day 10: Memorial of Saint Juan Diego

"What was Juan Diego like? Why did God look upon him? The Book of Sirach, as we have heard, teaches us that God alone 'is mighty; he is glorified by the humble' (cf. Sir 3:20). Saint Paul's words, also proclaimed at this celebration, shed light on the divine way of bringing about salvation: 'God chose what is low and despised in the world ... so that no human being might boast in the presence of God' (1 Cor 1:28,29).

It is moving to read the accounts of Guadalupe, sensitively written and steeped in tenderness. In them the Virgin Mary, the handmaid 'who glorified the Lord' (Lk 1:46), reveals herself to Juan Diego as the Mother of the true God. As a sign, she gives him precious roses, and as he shows them to the Bishop, he discovers the blessed image of Our Lady imprinted on his tilma."

Monday, December 08, 2008

Advent Day 9: The Immaculate Conception

“What a great gift to have Mary Immaculate as mother! A mother resplendent with beauty, the transparency of God's love. I am thinking of today's young people, who grow up in an environment saturated with messages that propose false models of happiness. These young men and women risk losing hope because they often seem orphans of true love, which fills life with true meaning and joy. This was a theme dear to my Venerable Predecessor John Paul II, who so often proposed Mary to the youth of our time as the ‘Mother of Fair Love’… How sad it is when youth lose the wonder, the enchantment of the most beautiful sentiments, the value of respect for the body, the manifestation of the person and his unfathomable mystery! Mary Immaculate, whom we contemplate in all her beauty and holiness, reminds us of all this.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus Address, December 8, 2007

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Second Sunday of Advent

“A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!”

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Advent Day 7

God of joy and cheer,
we thank you for your servant,
the good bishop Nicholas.
In loving the poor,
he showed us your kindness;
in caring for your children,
he revealed your love.
Make us thoughtful
without need of reward
so that we, too, may be
good followers of Jesus.

Happy St. Nicholas Day! If you haven't been to yet, there's no better time! Both the beautiful picture and prayer are from there.

May the generous spirit of this saint inspire us today and the whole year through.

God bless!

Advent Day 6

Lord, we believe that You can make us see.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Advent Day 5

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father...”

~Matthew 7 (today’s gospel)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Advent Day 4

"It is not the actual pysical exertion
that counts towards a man's progress,
nor the nature of the task,
but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken."

~St. Francis Xavier, celebrated today

Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent Day 2

“Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.”

~Psalm 122 (Today's Responsorial Psalm)