Saturday, December 24, 2016
It is a time for beginning the Christmas feast, after the first Christmas Masses have been said. It is the occasion for opening a single Christmas Eve gift, for reading the Nativity Story, for putting the Chrisat Child in the crib, for lighted candles, enjoying the Christmas Tree, and the most treasured Christmas albums, lighting the single white candle in the center of the Advent wreath. It is a night of hanging stockings, leaving cookies and milk for old Saint Nick, for roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding, for eggnog and mince pie. It is a time for family and homely entertainment amid holly and ivy, candles (even if electric) in the window, and for peace.
After the dinner on Christmas Eve, it is the time to sit back. The frantic pace of shopping, baking, cooking, wrapping, sending greetings, and entertaining is over. The spiritual preparation is done as well. A good confession has been made, and God willing, you can be housled in something close to a state of grace, baring only the veial sins committed since the confession. Sometimes, I wish I could just pop into the confessional seconds before receiving the Blessed Sacrament, as that is the only way this sinner can be clean enough for Him.
Days of rest are ahead. Now is the time to be with those you love best. The anxiety and stress of modern Christmas is a thing of the past.
I wish all of my readers the most Joyous and Blessed Christmas, and the most Happy and Most Prosperous New Year!
Friday, December 23, 2016
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!
O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Saint Thomas, please pray for us!
O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!
O Oriens, splendor lucis æternæ, et sol justitiæ: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
Monday, December 19, 2016
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.
O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
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!
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 The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(If this Sunday fall on December 24, it is omitted, and in its
place is said the Office of Christmas Eve)
We have now entered into the week which immediately precedes the
birth of the Messias. That long-desired coming might be even
tomorrow; and at furthest, that is, when Advent is as long as it
can be, the beautiful feast is only seven days from us. So that
the Church now counts the hours; she watches day and night, and
since December 17 her Offices have assumed an unusual solemnity.
At Lauds, she varies the antiphons each day; and at Vespers, in
order to express the impatience of her desires for her Jesus, she
makes use of the most vehement exclamations to the Messias, in
which she each day gives Him a magnificent title, borrowed from
the language of the prophets.
Today, she makes a last effort to stir up the devotion of her
children. She leads them to the desert; she shows them John the
Baptist, upon whose mission she instructed them on the third
Sunday. The voice of the austere Precursor resounds through the
wilderness, and penetrates even into the cities. It preaches
penance, and the obligation men are under of preparing by self-
purification for the coming of Christ. Let us retire from the
world during these next few days; or if that may not be by reason
of our external duties, let us retire into the quiet of our own
hearts and confess our iniquities, as did those true Israelites,
who came, full of compunction and of faith in the Messias, to the
Baptist, there to make perfect their preparation for worthily
receiving the Redeemer on the day of His appearing to the world.
See, then, with what redoubled earnestness the Church, before
opening the book of her great prophet, repeats her invitatory:
The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.
From the Prophet Isaias.
The land that was desolate and impassable shall be glad, and the
wilderness shall rejoice, and shall flourish like the lily. It
shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and
praise; the glory of Libanus is given to it, the beauty of Carmel
and Saron. They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the beauty of
our God. Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm the weak
knees. Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not. Behold
your God will bring the revenge of recompense: God himself will
come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be
opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall
the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be
free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the
wilderness. And that which was dry land, shall become a pool, and
the thirsty land springs of water. In the dens where dragons dwelt
before shall rise up the verdure of the reed and the bulrush. And
a path and a way shall be there, and it shall be called the holy
way: the 1melean shall not pass over it and this shall be unto you
a straight way, so that fools shall not err therein. No lion shall
be there, nor shall any mischievous beast go up by it, nor be
found there: but they shall walk there, that shall be delivered.
And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and shall come into
Sion with praise, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads:
they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning shall
Oh, the joy of Thy coming, dear Jesus! How great it must needs be,
when the prophecy says it shall be like an everlasting crown upon
our heads. And could it be otherwise? The very desert is to
flourish as a lily, and living waters are to gush forth out of the
parched land, because their God is coming. Come, O Jesus, come
quickly, and give us of that water, which flows from Thy sacred
Heart, and which the Samaritan woman, the type of us sinners,
asked of Thee with such earnest entreaty. This water is Thy grace;
let it rain upon our parched souls, and they too will flourish;
let it quench our thirst, and we will run in the way of Thy
precepts and examples. Thou, O Jesus, art our way, our path, to
God; and Thou art Thyself God; Thou art, therefore, both our way
and the term to which our way leads us. We had lost our way; we
had gone astray as lost sheep: how great Thy love to come thus in
search of us! To teach us the way to heaven, Thou hast deigned to
come down from heaven, and then tread with us the road which leads
to it. No! there shall be no more weak hands, nor feeble knees,
nor faint hearts; for we know that it is in love that Thou art
coming to us. There is but one thing which makes us sad: our
preparation is not complete. We have some ties still to break;
help us to do it, O Saviour of mankind! We desire to obey the
voice of Thy Precursor, and make plain those rugged paths, which
would prevent Thy coming into our hearts, O divine Infant! Give us
to be baptized in the Baptism of the waters of penance; Thou wilt
soon follow, baptizing us in the Holy Ghost and love.