Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
"To Thee I have lifted up my soul" -- Advent is here, my friends. A season of immense grace. Year after year we embark upon this journey of faith, prayer and preparation for the coming Nativity of Our Lord. For the faithful, this is a "new year". A time to really begin to change our lives. In times past, Advent was stressed to be a 'semi-penitential' season. Now, however, this stress, amid other things, has fallen by the wayside. But there was wisdom in this, wasn't there? Are we prepared for the coming of Christ? When Christ comes, do we not need to rid of ourselves of that which hinders intimacy with Him? And doesn't this need to be done, in fact, before He comes?
The Church invites us to pray, to meditate upon the saving mysteries of Christ, in His Incarnation. Then, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote concerning Advent,
Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.
Let us begin the journey, lifting our souls to God.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
In light of the Holy Father's recent addresses and statements surrounding the use of beauty in the liturgy, particular in regard to music, the arts, architecture, etc... i have found this organization -- the Foundation for the Sacred Arts to be a remarkable endeavour in our world. Too often many Catholics encounter either purposeful poor taste, or poor taste as a result of ignorance and a lack of knowledge and awareness. Perhaps, the few readers that we have of this blog, might become supporters of this organization by word-of-mouth and prayer.
Look to the past and see the great beauty that was exemplified by the ingenuity of our fathers. The great cathedrals and the equally great parish churches built from the sweat and tears of the poor, themselves. While they may not have been able to share in the splendor of the great Chartres Cathedral in their homes, the assuredly would give it, as an act of worship and thanksgiving, to God for the many blessings and favors He has given. As the years past, it was the magnificence of these great pieces of art that drew many from the errors of Protestantism and the like, into the Truth of the Catholic Church. They were ransomed via truth, beauty, and goodness.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. In this time of uncertainty -- politically, socially, personanly, globally -- it is unique that we are given this "civil" opportunity to give thanks to God for His abundant blessings in our lives. However, it is even more unique that we isolate this day as a moment to give thanks. Even the Sacred Liturgy of the Church gives to us -- via US Adaptations -- Propers that can be used within the US and its territories for this "civil" holiday. Yet, how often we forget that every moment is a moment of thanksgiving to God; every experience is an opportunity to, for the briefest period, render thanks to Him, Who is the source of our lives and particular vocations.
Here, in Philadelphia, the Monastery and the Casa Massabielle and the Convent of our Sisters will come together -- ready to eat -- to give thanks for gifts and graces we have received throughout this year and the years past, and perhaps, in the years to come. Particularly, we thank God for the gift of our vocations to the consecrated religious life.....
Pray for us all; as we will remember you in our prayers.