Saturday, December 19, 2009

First Real Snow Coming?

I am watching the radar and the forecasts, which indicate that the first real snow of the season is headed here. Boston itself has been lucky so far, escaping snows that have given the suburbs a couple of inches.

We may have a White Christmas.


Official New Venerables

The Holy Father has officially declared both Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II "Venerable," which means that they have moved up a rung from being merely "Servants Of God." I hope they will both be declared "Blessed," and later canonized in good time.


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

From The Mystical City Of God, by Venerable Mary of Agreda:

My dearest daughter, many times I have confided and manifested to thee the love burning within my bosom: for I wish that it should be ardently re-enkindled within thy own, and that thou profit from the instruction, which I give thee. Happy is the soul, to which the Most High manifests His holy and perfect will; but more happy and blessed is he, who puts into execution, what he has learned. In many ways God shows to mortals the highways and pathways of eternal life: by the Gospels and the holy Scriptures, by the Sacraments and the laws of the holy Church, by the writings and examples of the Saints, and especially, by the obedience due to the guidings of its ministers, of whom His Majesty said: "Whoever hears you, hears Me;" for obeying them is the same as obeying the Lord Himself. Whenever by any of these means thou hast come to the knowledge of the will of God, I desire thee to assume the wings of humility and obedience, and, as if in ethereal flight or like the quickest sunbeam, hasten to execute it and thereby fulfill the Divine pleasure.

Besides these means of instruction, the Most High has still others in order to direct the soul; namely, He intimates His perfect will to them in a supernatural manner, and reveals to them many sacraments. This kind of instruction is of many and different degrees; not all of them are common or ordinary to all souls; for the Lord dispenses His light in measure and weight (Wis. 11, 21). Sometimes He speaks to the heart and the interior feelings in commands; at others, in correction, advising or instructing: sometimes He moves the heart to ask Him; at other times He proposes clearly what He desires, in order that the soul may be moved to fulfill it; again He manifests, as in a clear mirror, great mysteries, in order that they may be seen and recognized by the intellect and loved by the will. But this great and infinite Good is always sweet in commanding, powerful in giving the necessary help for obedience, just in His commands, quick in disposing circumstances so that He can be obeyed, notwithstanding all the impediments which hinder the fulfillment of His most holy will.

In receiving this Divine light, my daughter, I wish to see thee very attentive, and very quick and diligent in following it up in deed. In order to hear this most delicate and spiritual voice of the Lord it is necessary, that the faculties of the soul be purged from earthly grossness and that the creature live entirely according to the spirit; for the animal man does not perceive the elevated things of the Divinity (1 Cor. 2, 14). Be attentive then to His secrets (Is. 34, 16) and forget all that is of the outside; listen, my daughter, and incline thy ear; free thyself from all visible things (Ps. 44, 11). And in order that thou mayest be diligent, cultivate love; for love is a fire, which does not have its effect until the material is prepared; therefore let thy heart always be disposed and prepared. Whenever the Most High bids thee or communicates to thee anything for the welfare of souls, or especially for their eternal salvation, devote thyself to it entirely; for they are bought at the inestimable price of the Blood of the Lamb and of Divine love. Do not allow thyself to be hindered in this matter by thy own lowliness and bashfulness; but overcome the fear which restrains thee, for if thou thyself art of small value and usefulness, the Most High is rich (1 Pet. 1, 18), powerful, great, and by Himself performs all things (Rom. 10, 12). Thy promptness and affection will not go without its reward, although I wish thee rather to be moved entirely by the pleasure of thy Lord.


Saturday In the Advent Embertide

Today is the last day of severe penance before the joy of Christmas.


O Radix Jesse

December 19

O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.

Latin version:
O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

From The Incarnation, Birth, and Infancy of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

Let us say with St. Augustine "O fire, ever burning, inflame me." O Word Incarnate, Thou wert made man to enkindle divine love in our hearts: and how couldst Thou have met with such a want of gratitude in the hearts of men? Thou hast spared nothing to induce them to love Thee; Thou hast even gone so far as to give Thy blood and Thy life for them: and how, then, can men still remain so ungrateful? Do they, perchance, not know it? Yes, they know it, and they believe that for them Thou hast come down from Heaven to put on mortal flesh, and to load Thyself with our miseries; they know that for their love Thou hast led a painful life, and embraced an ignominious death; and how, then, can they live forgetful of Thee? They love relatives, friends; they love even animals: if from them they receive any token of good-will, they are anxious to repay it; and yet towards Thee alone are they so loveless and ungrateful. But, alas! in accusing them, I am my own accuser: I who have treated Thee worse than anyone else. But Thy goodness encourages me, which I feel has borne with me so long, in order at length to pardon me, and to inflame me with Thy love, provided I will but repent and love Thee. Indeed, my God, I do wish to repent; and I grieve with my whole soul for having offended Thee; I wish to love Thee with my whole heart. I am well aware, my Redeemer, that my heart is no longer worthy of Thy acceptance, since it has forsaken Thee for the love of creatures; but, at the same time, I see that Thou art willing to have it, and with my entire will I dedicate it and present it to Thee. Inflame it, then, wholly with Thy Divine love, and grant that from this day forward it may never love any other but Thee, O infinite Goodness! worthy of an infinite love. I love Thee, my Jesus; I love Thee, O sovereign Good! I love Thee. O only Love of my soul!
O Mary my Mother, thou who art the mother of fair love, [Ecclus. 24:24] do thou obtain for me this grace to love my God; I hope it of


Friday In the Advent Embertide

Ember Friday in Advent is a time for especially severe penance, prayer, fasting, abstinence, and almsgiving, as we prepare the way for Christ's coming.


O Adonai

December 18

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!

Latin version:
O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammæ rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

From Godzdogz:


Thursday, December 17, 2009

O Sapientia

December 17

O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.

From Godzdogz:


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday In the Advent Embertide

Today is Ember Wednesday In Advent, a penitential day for special prayer, fasting, abstinence, and almsgiving. This Embertide would be a good time to perform a thorough examination of conscience in preperation for confession, so that you can make a worthy communion for Christmas.

I recommend this form created by Father George Rutler.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ember Alert

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week, the week of Gaudete Sunday, are the Advent Embertide, days of special prayedr, fasting, abstinence, and almsgiving, in preparation for the great feast of Christmas. use this coming Embertide to make a good preparation for a worthy communion at Christmas.


Gaudete Sunday

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:


by Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.

Today, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater
than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels
that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to
lessen somewhat the austerity of this penitential season by the
innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites. And first this Sunday
has had the name of given to it, from the first word of
the Introit; it also is honoured with those impressive exceptions
which belong to the fourth Sunday of Lent, called The
organ is played at the Mass; the vestments are rose-colour; the
deacon resumes the dalmatic, and the subdeacon the tunic; and in
cathedral churches the bishop assists with the precious mitre. How
touching are all these usages, and how admirable this
condescension of the Church, wherewith she so beautifully blends
together the unalterable strictness of the dogmas of faith and the
graceful poetry of the formulae of her liturgy! Let us enter into
her spirit, and be glad on this third Sunday of her Advent,
because our Lord is now so near unto us. Tomorrow we will resume
our attitude of servants mourning for the absence of their Lord
and waiting for Him; for every delay, however short, is painful
and makes love sad.

The Station is kept in the basilica of St. Peter, at the Vatican.
This august temple, which contains the tomb of the prince of the
apostles, is the home and refuge of all the faithful of the world;
it is but natural that it should be chosen to witness both the joy
and the sadness of the Church.

The night Office commences with a new Invitatory. The voice of the
Church no longer invites the faithful to come and adore in fear
and trembling Her language
assumes another character; her tone is one of gladness; and now,
every day, until the vigil of Christmas, she begins her nocturns
with these grand words:

The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

Now let us take the book of the Prophet, and read with the Church:

From the Prophet Isaias. Ch. xxvi.

In that day shall this canticle be sung in the land of Juda. Sion
the city of our strength: a Saviour, a wall, and a bulwark shall
be set therein. Open ye the gates and let the just nation, that
keepeth the truth, enter in. The old error is passed away, thou
wilt keep peace: peace, because we have hoped in thee. You have
hoped in the Lord forevermore: in the Lord God mighty for ever.
For he shall bring down them that dwell on high, the high city he
shall lay low. He shall bring it down even to the ground,
he shall pull it; down even to the dust. The foot shall tread it
down; the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy. The way of the
just is right, the path of the just is right to walk in. And in
the way of thy judgements, O Lord, we have patiently waited for
thee: thy name and thy remembrance are the desire of the soul. My
soul hath desired thee in the night: yea, and with my spirit
within me in the morning early I will watch to thee.

O holy Roman Church, city of our strength / behold us thy
children assembled within thy walls, around the tomb of the
fisherman, the prince of the apostles, whose sacred relics protect
thee from their earthly shrine, and whose unchanging teaching
enlightens thee from heaven. Yet, : it is by
the Saviour, who is coming, that thou art strong. He is thy
, for it is He that encircles, with His tender mercy, all
thy children; He is thy , for it is by Him that thou art
invincible, and that all the powers of hell are powerless to
prevail against thee. Open wide thy gates, that all nations may
enter thee; for thou art mistress of holiness and the guardian of
truth. May the , which sets itself against the faith,
soon disappear, and peace reign over the whole fold! O holy Roman
Church! thou hast forever put thy trust in the Lord; and He,
faithful to His promise, has humbled before thee the haughty ones
that defied thee, and the proud cities that were against thee.
Where now are the Caesars, who boasted that they had drowned thee
in shine own blood? where the emperors, who would ravish the
inviolate virginity of thy faith? where the heretics, who, during
the past centuries of shine existence, have assailed every article
of thy teaching, and denied what they listed? where the ungrateful
princes, who would fain make a slave of thee, who hadst made them
what they were? where that empire of Mahomet, which has so many
times raged against thee, for that thou, the defenceless State,
didst arrest the pride of its conquests? where the reformers, who
were bent on giving the world a Christianity, in which thou west
to have no part? where the more modern sophists, in whose
philosophy thou west set down as a system that had been tried, and
was a failure, and is now a ruin? and those kings who are acting
the tyrant over thee, and those people that will have liberty
independently and at the risk of truth, where will they be in
another hundred years? Gone and forgotten as the noisy anger of a
torrent; whilst thou, O holy Church of Rome, built on the
immovable rock, wilt be as calm, as young, as unwrinkled as ever.
Thy path through all the ages of this world's duration, will be
right as that of the just man; thou wilt ever be the same
unchanging Church, as thou hast been during the eighteen hundred
years past, whilst everything else under the sun has been but
change. Whence this thy stability, but from Him who is very truth
and justice? Glory be to Him in thee! Each year, He visits thee;
each year, He brings thee new gifts, wherewith thou mayst go
happily through thy pilgrimage; and to the end of time, He will
visit thee, and renew thee, not only with the power of that look
wherewith Peter was renewed, but by filling thee with Himself, as
He did the ever glorious Virgin, who is the object of thy most
tender love, after that which thou bearest to Jesus Himself. We
pray with thee, O Church, our mother, and here is our prayer:
'Come, Lord Jesus! Thy name and Thy remembrance are the desire of
our souls: they have desired Thee in the night, yea, and early in
the morning have they watched for Thee.'


If Today Were Not A Sunday

It would be liturgically observed as the feast of Saint Lucy, or Santa Lucia.

From The Golden Legend

Santa Lucia customs. Scroll down for lots of links.

St. Lucia's Saffron Bread

On December 13 people in Sweden celebrate St. Lucy's Day. They remember how Lucia, a young girl, brought food to persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome
during the time of Emperor Diocletian. In order that she could carry the food and see where she was going in the dark, Lucia wore candles on her head. On St. Lucy's Day each year by tradition one of the daughters of the family is chosen to be St. Lucy. She gets up early and takes coffee and 'Lucia' buns (Saffronsbrod) to the rest of the family who are still in bed. She dresses in a white robe with a scarlet sash and wears on her head a crown of green leaves with five candles in it. Sometimes she is escorted by boys dressed in long white shirts and pointed hats, called star boys.

· 2 tsp sugar
· 1/2 cup warm water
· 1 tsp saffron powder
· 8 cups strong plain flour (all purpose flour)
· 4 tsp salt
· 1/2 cup butter
· 3/4 cup castor (table) sugar
· 1/4 cup raisins
· 1 tsp ground cardamom
· 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
· beaten egg for brushing

· 1 tbsp chopped almonds
· 1 tbsp coarsely crushed cube sugar

1. Dissolve sugar in the warm water and add yeast.

2. Mix the saffron powder with 1 tbsp hot water.

3. Leave about 20 minutes, until frothy.

4. Sift flour and salt and rub in the butter. Add castor sugar, cardamom and raisins.

5. Mix to a dough with the yeast mixture and milk and add saffron.

6. Knead thoroughly, return to bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.

7. Shape into small buns, put on a greased baking tray until doubled in size. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with coarse sugar and almonds.

8. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Cool on a cooling tray.

10. Serve fresh with coffee.


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