Friday, December 21, 2012

Christ our newborn king

In the bible it says that every knee shall bend in heaven, on the Earth , and under the Earth.  I think all those knees will be bending to the child Jesus because of atrocities committed against children especially abortion.  They truly seem to be "the least" in our society.  So, when those who have put children last, when they get to meet Jesus for their judgement, they will most likely  meet him in his powerful yet most vulnerable of images:  that of a newborn babe...

All hail the newborn KING!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

St John of the Cross

Today is the feast of St John of the Cross.  Often people consider him a lofty mystic but all he did was love God.  He didnt set out in life to reform Carmel or even to be a Carmelite!  He wanted to join some other Order  but that wasn't what God had in mind..  Thus John met Teresa of Avila and his life was never the same from then on.

At the hands of his fellow Carmelites John suffered kidnapping, imprisonment and beatings.  It was not what he signed up for but out of the sins of men came the realization of the love of God.  God gave people free will and when they used their ill will against John God was still able to turn that into something beautiful.  In the darkness John encountered God and his life was never the same from then on.

Today in the United States a man entered a school and shot teachers and very young students.  May those who are in darkness now from grief and sorrow at the ill will caused by the actions of a man find that in the darkness they aren't alone.  The same God John encountered is there for them beckoning to be silent, to hear Him, and to encounter His love.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Today marks the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  She was the most successful evangelizer of the Mexican continent, bringing millions to Jesus in a little less than ten years (much more successful than any of the spanish missionaries put together at that time, lol.)

This image, which was left on the tilma of St. Juan Diego, still resides in the Basilica in Mexico City, baffling scientists as to how the image was placed and how it has been able to remain hundreds of years later...
Here is a video in honor of Our Lady, in the language of St. Juan Diego, Nahautl:
I love her words to St. Diego, "Do not worry, am I not your mother?"  She is our mother, because she is the mother of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.  She is our mother because He  deemed it so.  He gave her to us from the cross as he suffered and died for our sins.  He made sure that one of his last acts before he died was to hand his mom over to be mother of all mankind.  It is by His hands that we can all call Our Lady, "Mom."  It is by the Hands of Christ that she fulfills this role so perfectly in the divine plan of salvation.   
Today also marks the last time we can see the same digits in the date stamp.  I think this is a very special day to honor Our Lady, and if you couldn't wake up this morning to sing her Mananitas, or go to Mass and eat the delicious Mexican breakfast afterwards, there is still Mass throughout the day.   I will be attending at 6 p.m. tonite.   The Mass is for the repose of the soul of my very own, dear, earthly mother... very appropriate, don't you think?  :)

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us your children and bring us closer, so much more closer to Your Son, Jesus Christ!

Monday, December 3, 2012

St Francis Xavier

VEE:  St Joseph of Cupertino wasnt the only so called "reluctant saint" as I would include Xavier in that group.  He didnt plan on being a missionary etc etc, he wanted to be a scholar.  But encountering Ignatius of Loyola changed that, kind of like John of the Cross meeting Teresa of Avila.  John didnt have an agenda to reform Carmel, if I recall correctly he was intending to go off and join the Carthusians!  Xavier failed at what he wanted to do with his life, even when he was out on his trips he failed at reaching China where he wanted to go.  The important thing is he went where God wanted him to go.  For more, read this article 

Francis Xavier had planned to devote himself to the intellectual life, but at a strategic moment he surrendered to God, who had long and patiently pursued him. That surrender changed the course of his life—and the course of history as well. Even Ignatius of Loyola, the leader of the new Jesuit community, had planned to deploy Francis as a scholar. But India beckoned, and Ignatius reluctantly sent Francis to preach the gospel there. Thus, the man who had planned on a leisurely intellectual life became a missionary apostle, perhaps second only to St. Paul.

 In his passion for spreading the gospel, in his simple obedience, in his humble disregard for himself, the saint was a near perfect imitation of Christ.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"These words are Trustworthy and True..."

DS: Today is the First Sunday of Advent.  It is a new year in our Liturgy.  Year B, Cycle II has ended, we now begin with Year C, Cycle I, and what a way to begin...

Fra Angelico's "Last Judgment"

The Gospel reading of today's Mass hits us with the message that this world will come to an end, but we who follow Christ, must be prepared for His coming.  When the time comes the rest of the world will tremble in fear, but we must "hold our heads high at our deliverance."  Just like the readings of yesterday, where St. John beheld a vision of Paradise, today's Gospel reminds of the importance of being in a state of grace at the time of Christ's coming.  St. John's vision is no fairy tale.  He saw a place that had neither night nor tribulation and all who have served God and believed in Him on earth now praise Him forever in celestial bliss.  "These words," the angel explained to St. John, "are trustworthy and true...":

Luke 21: 25 - 28, 34 - 36

25"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
26men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
34"But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare;
35for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.
36But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."

At Mass this evening, Fr. touched on the topic of "end of the world" hysteria that grips the world from time to time.  The upcoming Dec. 21, 2012 prediction by the Mayans is one example.  Fr. said that he finds it a mystery why people will easily believe such things, and yet, they find it difficult to heed the Word of God and believe in Him.   Truth is, we do not know the day nor the hour, and Jesus himself said only His Father in heaven knows.  What Fr. emphasized is that we must prepare our selves to be ready for anything, for the end may come to any one of us at any hour of any day we least expect it.  

Advent is such a time of preparation.  The Church takes these four weeks before Christmas to prepare for the coming of the Lord in the manger at Bethlehem.  (But in reality, we are preparing ourselves for when the Lord comes again.)  Like Lent, some Catholics will decide to offer some sort of sacrifice, or, take up a charitable activity.  Fr. suggested the latter.  This preparation is an activity that Catholics seem to repeat at various times of the Liturgical calendar.  In a sense, it's "practice made perfect."  Once we begin to take that journey to get closer to  God, there is no stopping us.  Preparation becomes an every day mission, rather than something we do just during certain seasons of the year.

VEE:  I like Michelangelo's "Last Judgement" in the Sistine chapel better, although I do suspect that at the general judgement at the end of time there will be a similar amount of shushing going on!  In the center of it is Jesus as a strong just judge, condemning the evildoers with such intensity that Mary is hiding her face.  Jesus is no frail pale wisp of a man there.    But we have started Advent though, where we prepare for Christ the newborn king, the Babe to whom we can go and adore and love and whom loves us.  Let us bend our knees before Him now in the manger and not wait until the end trembling at His justice.  I read in a Magnificat once a quote that went something like "God became what He loves most, a child so that we dont have to fear Him we can only love Him."