- Tuesday, 22 December 2009 08:14
O You Who are One person but also have the Nature of
man; You Who have told us what You have heard from the Father; We beseech You,
through Your Pure Nativity and the intercession of Your Mother and Saint
Joseph, Your Chosen One, to grant us an ardent belief in Your teachings and
good acts to harmonize with them. Do not permit us to lose the reward of our
faith because of our own wrong doings. Rather, make our lives fruitful in
beliefs and good works. Amen.
- Monday, 21 December 2009 13:47
Bethlehem, make ready,
for Eden has been opened for all.
Ephrathah, be alert,
for the Tree of Life has blossomed forth
from the Virgin in the cave.
Her womb has become a spiritual paradise
wherein the Divine Fruit was planted,
and if we eat of it,
we shall live and not die like Adam.
Christ is coming forth to bring back to life
the likeness that had been lost in the beginning.
Bethlehem, make ready, for Eden has been opened for all!
(a Byzantine poetic text for the time before the Nativity of the Lord)
- Monday, 21 December 2009 10:15
O Word of God, Who comes from the Mouth of God to be
the Life of all men; You Who became Living Bread and was born in Bethlehem,
“The House of Bread,” to satisfy our hunger; We beseech You, through Your Pure
Nativity and the intercession of Your Mother and Saint Joseph, Your Chosen One,
to grant us a piercing hunger for that Bread which is Your Pure Body and
Blood. May we ever approach Your
altar and receive Your Sacred Mysteries with fitting preparation so that our
Communion may be for us salvation and life everlasting. Amen.
- Sunday, 20 December 2009 11:26
We have all had the occasion by a moment to sense more
intensely the presence of Christ in the Eucharist during the celebration of the
Mass, during Eucharistic adoration, or even in the Tabernacle, when we walk
into a church. There is Christ. He is there whether we sense or experience His
presence. But precisely because this is the case, we are sometimes given
to experience that He is present. Such experience is not the source of faith,
but in some way it is its consequence.
But what about the experience of the
Blessed Virgin Mary during Advent? It is reasonable, like the Fathers of the
Church, to see Mary as the original tabernacle. The Word became flesh and
dwells among us. This being hidden but present among us is first of all
realized during the time of Advent in the home of Nazareth, in the womb of
Mary, under the protection of Saint Joseph. Mary meditated upon all these
things and kept them in her heart. We can reasonably speculate that she read
scripture during this time, in silence, most likely the words of Isaiah, his
prophesies, and found in them a sense of the meaning of what was happening to
St. Augustine says that she conceived the Word in her heart before she
conceived the Word in her flesh. So that her maternity was accompanied by an
intensification and growth in faith, in contemplation, in the intelligent
perception of mystery. The Second Vatican Council says that during the time of
her pregnancy the heart of the Incarnate Word beat gently below the heart of
Mary, her immaculate heart. Two immaculate hearts, beating silently and
prayerfully in the night of this world.
(Fr. Thomas J. White, OP, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC)