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Posts from the ‘Advent’ Category

O Adonai – O Lord

Probably this is as close as I'll ever come to a burning bush

Probably this is as close as I’ll ever come to a burning bush

O Adonai and Leader of the House of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

-source of translation unknown

O Lord, come!

O Lord, come!

The O Antiphons Are Coming

o_antiphon

If you have ever sung the Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” you have sung the O Antiphons. And while this song  has been sung, in recent years, throughout the Advent and Christmas season. Traditionally, these antiphons are chanted before the Magnificat during evening prayer – from December 17th thru the 23rd (a different antiphon each day). These “O” antiphons address the Christ who is coming to us with a different biblical title. Originally these were chanted in Latin, and the first letters of the titles, read in reverse order, form the acrostic (also in Latin) “Ero cras”, which means “I will be with you tomorrow”, in answer to our prayer for Christ to come to us.

This week, as we anticipate the coming of Christ . . . the dawning of the light . . . in our lives, OPreach will celebrate these O Antiphons each day.

May the Blessings of Emmanuel – God with us – rest upon each of us as we approach Christmas Day.

 

 

 

One of My Favorite Feasts

    This tiled image of La Virgincita de Guadalupe adorns the exterior of the convent of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at their retreat center in Los Gatos.

This tiled image of La Virgincita de Guadalupe adorns the exterior of the convent of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at their retreat center in Los Gatos.

Of the forty-five popes who have reigned since the creation of the miraculous portrait (of Our Lady of Guadalupe), twenty-five have issued decrees concerning it. The earliest recorded decree is that of Pop Gregory XIII, dated 1575, that extended the indulgences granted by his  predecessors. This implies that indulgences were granted shortly after the apparitions of 1531. Our Lady of Guadalupe was appointed National Patroness by Pope Benedict XIV in 1754. December 12 was set aside as a Day of Obligation, with an octave which could be celebrated with a special Mass and Office. The same pontiff wrote: “In the image everything is miraculous, an image emanating from flowers gathered on completely barren soil on which only prickly shrubs can grow…an image in no manner deteriorated, neither in her supreme loveliness nor in its sparkling color…God has not done likewise to any other nation.”

– Joan Carroll Cruz, Miraculous Images of Our Lady, P. 296

Let us pray: O God, of infinite compassion, you have revealed your most tender mercy in the consoling words spoken to your servant, Juan Diego, by our Lady of Guadalupe. Bless all the native peoples of the Americas and of every land and may we all come to realize that our true and lasting integrity is in Jesus, our loving Savior. Amen

Quote and prayer from Peoples Companion to the Breviary, published by the Carmelites of Indiana in 1997

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent

Today’s reading is from the beginning of the Gospel of Mark.

The beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:
    Look, I am going to send my messenger before you;
    he will prepare your way.
    A voice cries in the wilderness:
    Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.

This beautiful path may not feel like wilderness - but here is my friend Patty preparing, not the way, but lunch. :-)

This beautiful path may not feel like wilderness – but here is my friend Patty preparing, not the way, but lunch. 

Today is the First Sunday of Advent

Our Advent Journey begins with the Gospel reading from Mark 13:33-37

We all live in the shadow of both beauty and disaster. How attentive is our watching?

We all live in the shadow of both beauty and disaster. How attentive is our watching?

Jesus said to his disciples:”Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge,  each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.

What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”

What Do Calvary and Bethlehem Have in Common?

And on Christmas Eve, this simple thought:

I searched God’s lexicon to fathom “Bethlehem” and “Calvary.” It simply said: See “Love.”

– Gordon Gilsdorf

How does one spell love?

How does one spell love?

The Journey of the Magi

If, while on your journey, you came to a spot like this, it could feel like home.  But journey on.

If, while on your journey, you came to a spot like this, it could feel like home.
But journey on.

I love this poem by T.S. Elliot, and so I quote it in its entirety, even though it is a bit lengthy. This is the last of the poems from the Education of Justice website. I do hope you have enjoyed them!

The Journey of the Magi
by T.S. Elliot
A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
Source:Collected Poems 1909-1962, T.S. Elliot. London: Faber & Faber Ltd., 1974