Saturday, November 26, 2016

Four Full Weeks

It is here.

The beginning of a new liturgical year. The beginning of a new liturgical time. The beginning of our remembrance of the beginning of our salvation.

The advent of Advent.

While you are materially preparing for Christmas, you also need to spiritually prepare as well. This year we have all 28 days of the season, as the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord falls on a Sunday. While not as severe as Lent (despite the color reminders in both priestly vestments and Advent wreath candles), the penitential admonition of St. John the Baptist still hangs in the air.

So, how will you "prepare the way of the Lord" this time? Meditate on the daily Mass readings? Maybe assist at a weekday Mass more often than you do? Find time for the Rosary, perhaps focusing on the Joyful Mysteries? Take advantage of one of the myriad books that offer reflections about this season? The promptings of the Holy Spirit are limitless.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle, we need to be a little more like Mary while we work like Martha. The material side of Christmas eventually gets done. While the spiritual side can be never ending, at least we can work on it, whatever our widow's mite is in this regard.

And it will go by all too quickly, even thought we have all of it.

Make the most of it so you can make the most of Christmas.

"Veni, veni, Emmanuel."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016 Thanksgiving Day Card

May you "Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow". May you rejoice at all the benefits you have received. May the gathering of family and friends this day be one of festivity and warmth.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Producing Melody; Creating Harmony

For this year's tribute to the patron saint of music, St. Cecelia, I present to you a poem which shows how man, cooperating with the world over which he has dominion, creates beauty in the form of music.

      Before man came to blow it right
        The wind once blew itself untaught,
      And did its loudest day and night
        In any rough place where it caught.

      Man came to tell it what was wrong:
        It hadn't found the place to blow;
      It blew too hard - the aim was song.
        And listen - how it ought to go!

      He took a little in his mouth,
        And held it long enough for north
      To be converted into south,
        And then by measure blew it forth.

      By measure. It was word and note,
        The wind the wind had meant to be -
      A little through the lips and throat.
        The aim was song - the wind could see.

"The Aim Was Song" (from the collection New Hampshire, 1923)
Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Friday, November 18, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

There are two option; the second is for Cycles B and C.
Amen I say to you:  in as much as you have done it to one of the least these, my brethren, you have done it to me. Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.
Matthew 25:40, 34
This is the measure of how we are to love our neighbor so as to love God. The reward for this is the greatest--a place at the table of the Eternal Wedding Banquet.
The Lord will sit on his royal throne forever; the Lord will bless his people in peace.
Ps. 28: 10b, 11b
Christ is the victory, ruler, and commander of the world. He shall be peace.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

Ask of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance and the utmost parts of the earth as your possession.
Ps. 2:8
As we are adopted children of God, we also share the gifts He has bestowed. Through Jesus our Brother we must reign as He would.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PM: Alleluia Wednesdays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

His power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away; and his kingdom shall not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:14
The Kingdom of God has been established in both heaven and earth.By Christ's own word,"the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
V. All the kings of the earth shall adore him; all nations shall serve him.
Ps. 71:8; V. 11
The Magi in Matthew's accounting symbolize all the earth and those who dwell in it. They recognize the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; so should we.

Monday, November 14, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

The Lamb who has been slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honor; let glory and dominion be his for ever and ever.
V. Endow the King with your judgement. O God, and the King's son with your righteousness.
Rev. 5:12 and 1:6; V. Ps. 71
From manger to cross to empty tomb, Our Lord Jesus Christ reigns.Taking His seat at the right hand of the Father, the Son rules with all the gifts of diving majesty.

Friday, November 11, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

There are two options; the second is for Cycles B and C.
"Lord, you delivered five talents unto me; behold, I have gained five more."
"Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your Lord."
Matt. 25:20, 21
I may not have five talents, but I also pray I don't have only one. We must always cooperated with God's grace to increase what we do have of our selves and our lives.
Amen I say to you, whatever you ask in you prayers, believe that you shall receive it, and it shall be granted unto you.
Mark 11:24
A reminder that we always need to ask for "our daily bread" so it may be given to us. We are also reminded that our wills need to be aligned with God's for our prayers to be effective.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my prayer; out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord.
Ps. 129:1, 2
It is not just only our own individual prayer we offer here. It is the prayer which is ever before God--the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

PM: Alleluia Wednesdays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Ps. 129:1, 2
From the depths of our souls comes the groaning of our prayer which only the Holy Spirit can decipher. It is this deep longing for God which is the cornerstone of our communion with Him.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

You have delivered us, Lord, from those who afflict us; and you have put to shame those who hate us.
V. In God we shall take pride all day long; and we shall celebrate your name forever.
Ps.43:8: V. 9
God has fulfilled the final petition of the Lord's Prayer. The Cross is the sign that we have won the victory.

Monday, November 07, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

The Lord said, "I am pondering thoughts of peace and not of affliction; you shall call upon me, and I will hear you; and I will bring you back from all the land where you are held captive."
V. O Lord, you have blessed your land; you have put an end to Jacob's captivity.
Jeremiah 29:11, 12, 14; V. Ps. 84
God has set us free from whatever binds us, including sin. In this freedom to choose the good, we will find the peace He has promised.

Friday, November 04, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--32nd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

There are two options; the second is for Cycles B and C.
The five wise virgins took oil in flasks with their lamps; at midnight there was a cry; "Behold, the bridegroom is here; come out to meet Christ the Lord."
Matt. 25:4, 6
The Bridegroom, the Real Presence, has arrived. Let us worthily come and be in common union with Him.
The Lord is my shepherd and I shall want nothing; he has set me in a land of abundant pastures; he has lead me to life-renewing waters.
Ps. 22:1, 2
We lack nothing if we allow Christ to lead our lives. Do we, the sheep of His flock, listen to and for the voice of the Good Shepherd?

Thursday, November 03, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--32nd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Guide my footsteps, O Lord, according to your word, so that no iniquity may ever gain the upper hand, O Lord.
Ps. 118:133
To follow Christ means to walk the narrow path. He is our guide to heaven if we but heed His words.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

PM: Alleluia Wednesdays--32nd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

There are two options; the second is for Cycles B and C.
The five wise virgins took oil in flasks with their lamps; at midnight there was a cry; "Behold, the bridegroom is here; come out to meet Christ the Lord."
Matt. 25:4, 6
Death comes like a thief in the night. Are we prepared to meet our Triune God when that time comes?
He has established peace in your boundaries, and he fills you with the finest wheat.
Ps. 147:3
The "peace which surpasses all understanding" comes only from Christ. His own Body is the finest of wheat; the Bread of Life is most filling.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays-32nd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Let my prayer ascend like incense in your presence, O Lord.
V. May the lifting of my hands be an evening sacrifice.
Ps. 140:2
All our supplications rise to the eyes and ears of God. We hope they are found worthy of the praise and adoration due Him.

PM: Special Edition--Solemnity Of All Saints

"...and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and of the life of the world to come." We bring into focus the Communion of Saints.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate this feast day in honor of all the saints; it is a solemnity which causes the Angels to rejoice, and to praise together the Son of God.
V. Rejoice in the Lord, all you righteous; praise befits those who are upright.
V. Ps. 32
The Church Militant celebrates the Church Triumphant. Where they have gone, we hope to follow.
Revere the Lord, all you saints of his; for there is no want among those who fear him.
V. Those who seek the Lord shall lack no good thing.
Ps. 33:10; V. 11b
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." From this holy reverence comes all the gifts God will bestow on us.
Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will comfort you.
Matt. 11:28
Jesus removes the heavy burden of sin from us. His yoke, His Cross, while demanding, is still easier that the yoke of the Devil.
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no malicious torment will ever touch them; in the eyes of the unwise they seem to have died; but they are dwelling in peace, alleluia.
Wisdom 3:1, 2, 3
The comfort found in this verse is unmatched. As this is the opening of the First Reading of the first Mass of the Commemoration of All the Faithfully Departed (All Souls Day), go and meditate upon the whole thing.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God; blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 5:8, 9, 10
Recall all the rest of the Beatitudes as well. These are the marks of those who have been sanctified.

November 2016 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Universal Intention - Countries Receiving Refugees.  That the countries which take in a great number of displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts which show solidarity.
Evangelization Intention - Collaboration of Priests and Laity. That within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement.
Reflections for these intentions are found here.