Sunday, November 30, 2008
Blessing for the Advent Wreath
O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth thy blessing upon this wreath and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the Coming of Christ, and may receive from thee abundant graces. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
First Sunday and Week of Advent
Light the first purple candle
Stir up thy power, O Lord, and come, that by thy protection we may be rescued
from the dangers that beset us through our sins; and be a Redeemer to deliver us; who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end. Amen.
O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ,
desire of every nation,
Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell among us.
(From Christmas Prayers, Victor Hoagland, C.P.)
Isaiah 63:16b-17: 19b; 64:2-7
I Cor. 1:3-9;
Psalm 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Scriptures for the First Week of Advent
(Is 2:1-5; Mt 8:5-11)
Dream a little. In a famous passage, Isaiah speaks of a time beyond war. How would a world at peace look to you? Spend a few minutes today quietly contemplating what it would take to achieve it. Then look for something small you can do to advance it in your corner of the world.
(Is 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24)
Let a child lead you. Today's readings remind us that our Savior came to us not as a powerful king, but as a helpless infant. Think of how we prepare for the arrival of a baby: buying clothes, setting up the nursery, poring over name books. We wait this Advent for the child who will lead us. Are you preparing for Jesus' birth with the care it deserves?
(Is 25:6-10a; Mt 15:29-37)
Make a spiritual resolution. New Year's Day is still a month away, but this week begins a new year in the Church. We begin January full of resolutions to lose weight or save money. During this first week of Advent, do the same thing for your faith.
(Is 26:1-6; Mt 7:21, 24-27)
Pray for patience. The next time you become impatient during a wait, perhaps in traffic or the grocery store, think of people in developing countries who wait all day for a bus that never comes, and return the next day to wait again. Spend the rest of your wait praying for that kind of patience.
(Is 19:17-24; Mt 9:27-31)
Open your eyes. Physical blindness in Scripture is a metaphor for the spiritual blindness that afflicts us all. We too often overlook or ignore the needs of those around us, whether it's a homeless person or an ill co-worker. Reach out today to fulfill a need that you've neglected to see before.
(Is 30:19-21, 23-26; Mt 9:35; 10:1, 6-8)
Let Advent into your home. It's not too late to start an Advent observance. Create or buy an Advent wreath, Advent calendar or Jesse tree today. Let your creation remind you daily that we are waiting for Christ to come.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Go to their website at: http://www.holyheroes.com/ and you will get an Advent Adventure every day for FREE. I signed up and already received a link for 3 coloring pages, a crossword, a word search, and a multiple choice quiz--all fun for kids. I can't wait to see what else they come up with for the kids. Happy Advent.
Preparation for Christmas is an important theme for Advent, but more is involved. Advent gives us a vision of our lives as Christians and shows us the possibilities of life.
The vision of life that Advent gives us is twofold; it looks back to the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem, and it looks to the future when Christ will come again. In the interval between these two events we find meaning for our life as a Christian.
First we celebrate Christ-become-human. We view his life and experience his presence as a human being in our history. Christ came to show us what life can and should be. He gave us true and valid principles by which we can live true and valid lives. But Jesus knew that the human heart could not live in isolation. He formed the Church around the concept of a people held together by love. In that community we discover unlimited possibilities and meaning. Alone we can do nothing. Together we find real meaning.
When Christ left this earth, he did not abandon us. He remains with us in his Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, the Scriptures and each other. He lives in community with us and keeps his vision of life before us.
When Christ comes again, his presence will no longer be hidden behind the signs and symbols of the liturgy or the words of the Scriptures. His presence among us will be revealed in all its fullness, a presence that will never end, a presence that will perfect and complete our community.
This is the "greater significance" of Advent. In these few short weeks we take in the sweeping panorama of time - from Christ's birth to his Second Coming. The season of Advent brings us the magnificent vision of life and hope for the future given to us by Christ.
Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ's Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful. He will not find us asleep.
© Liguori Publications Excerpt from Advent - A Quality Storecupboard The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Today's Gospel reading in Mass was Matthew 25:31-46. Fr. Fuller gave a wonderful homily on giving to those in need. This is the time of year when we think about giving the most.
In my first grade class, that spirit of giving was even incorporated in the "3 things we do at Advent" -- Pray, read the Bible, and give to those in need. In this way we welcome Jesus. I believe the Holy Spirit guided the Gospel and the 1st grade material to be on the same Sunday, the Sunday before Advent starts to remind us all that we need to give. We need to give back to Jesus Christ our King. We need to welcome Him by giving.
The Gospel [Matthew 25:31-46]:
Jesus said to His disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit upon His glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before Him.
And He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.
Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gvave Me drink, a stranger and you welcomed Me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for Me, in prison and you visited Me.'
Then the righteous will answer Him and say, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You ill or in prison and visit You?'
And the King will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'
Also in the Gospel of Luke:
Luke 3:11: [Jesus] said to them in reply, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise."
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Advent is coming too soon, again. It is one of my favorite times of the year. It can be hectic and it can be a lot of fun. I want to share some links for ideas on celebrating advent. These are the sites where I could find FREE stuff to do with your kids at home or in an RE class.
St. Nicholas Center for celebration of St. Nicholas Day, December 6th: http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=23
One of my FAVs online, Cathmom.com, has this page of resources: http://www.catholicmom.com/advent.htm
Catholic Home and Garden has tons of ideas for celebrating advent: http://www.catholichomeandgarden.com/advent.htm
Catholic Online has this page on Christmas & Advent 2008: http://www.catholic.org/advent/
American Catholic. org has Advent to Epiphany: http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Advent/default.asp
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.
My good friend "The Mom" sent me this award. I have never been so honored on the net. Thank you and I will come up with my own list of bloggers I enjoy that fit this category. Thanks, "The Mom."
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Sorry, folks, I was in mourning after that awful election day. I decided to share a treatise I wrote for a yahoo group to which I belong. Here it is, with the names changed "to protect the innocent".
I was wondering if you could explain what something means, in the Nicene creed. I say it at mass, every sunday since I converted. I guess I SHOULD know, but this board is not just for debate, but f/ information, and to learn.
"God from God, Light from Light, True God from true God".
I will be happy to answer your question. I am not so sure I am any more qualified than any other of the Catholics here to answer, though....I hope I am clear and answer your question.
The phrases "God from God, Light from Light, True God from true God," were added, along with many other doctrinal phrases, to the Apostles' Creed at the council of Nicea (thus the expanded Creed is called the Nicean Creed which we say each Sunday at Mass). It (the aforementioned phrases) was a clarification of the Christian belief in the Trinity. You see, already in the early Church, all kinds of controversies and heresies were springing up. This phrasing was introduced to clarify the phrase preceding it--"eternally begotten of the Father"--and the phrase immediately following -- "begotten, not made, one in being with the Father."
There were heresies floating around about the nature and origin of Christ. Ie, He was made like any other creature from God; that He got His divine nature at conception, or baptism, or resurrection; that He was just a mode of God--that God the Father became God the Son, then God the Holy Spirit; etc. [See: True God and True Man, paragraphs 464-469 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which addresses many of these early heresies: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p122a3p1.htm#469 ]
John's Gospel and his prologue in particular were instrumental in the development of the Christian docrine of the Trinity. From John 1:
In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through Him. What has come into being in Him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it. (1-3)
The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone; He was coming into the world. he was in the world that had come into being through Him, and the world did not recognize Him. (9-10)
No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made Him known. (18)
Let's take them individually:
God from God -- We believe the Word is God. (Jn 1:1) He came forth from God in eternity ("eternally begotten"). He was always there with God. Many heretics then and now believe He was not God, or that He was an inferior God, or that He became God at some point in time.
Light from Light -- God is the Light of the World (Isa 9:1, Ps 119:105), the creator of Light (Gen 1), and the Word was there with Him during this creation of Light (Jn 1:3). He, the Word, God Incarnate, Jesus IS the Light of the world (Jn 1:3, 9). The light of God is seen in the Light that came into the World.
True God from True God -- Jesus is not an inferior God, He was not a good man who received divinity at Baptism or resurrection, He was not one of three Gods. The Word, who became flesh, IS God--the God. He is co-eternal, "one in being with the Father."
So, the phrases, "God from God, Light from Light, True God from true God" were put in place to eleviate all doubt as the origin and true being of the second person of the Trinity. He is God, He is THE Light, He is true God.
I hope that helps.
There is some good stuff on this very subject in Fr. Hardon's A Catholic Catechism, alsoThe Creed by Berard Marthaler has some good material on this subject.
The current Catechism of the Catholic Church has these paragraphs that may be helpful also:
The revelation of God as Trinity 238-256:
The Son of God, 430-455: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c2a2.htm
"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." --St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939 (CCC 460)
Picture: Monstrance of Divine Mercy © 2000 Jack daSilva