O Adonai


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O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

O Adonai et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in bracchio extento

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O Wisdom


20161124_1antiphons

And so we begin the O Antiphons…

 

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter sauviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae

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Rejoice! Gaudete Sunday


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EDIT TO ADD:

I find myself adding a few more rejoices in my post after Vespers tonight. I found myself being full of joy for many more things here that have taken place. Especially after praying:

Father, precious in your sight is the death of the saints, but precious above all is the love with which Christ suffered to redeem us. In this life we will fill up in our own flesh what it is still lacking in the sufferings of Christ; accept this as our sacrifice of praise, and we shall even now taste the joy of the new Jerusalem.

As I ponder this day more, I need only to add one REJOICE, for the simple fact that it is our Lord’s grace that I am still here to have any day, good or bad. (END EDIT TO ADD)

Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent

A reflection on the rejoicing that has come about from a bad day…. No time for pride when humility is in order.

Yesterday morning, about three minutes before my children left for school, my daughter informed me she needed black shoes for her hand bell concert later that afternoon. The night before, I had taken her shopping for a shirt and we could have addressed it then. BUT she had not informed me of what she needed. I was not exactly joyful at the news she had withheld from me until that moment. She had found one shoe but was unable to find the other. With my health issues, it is next to impossible for me to go digging through a teenagers room, which looks as if a category 5 hurricane hit. Having not been able to get in both of the children’s rooms since May, we are talking complete disaster. I had been trying to teach my children the importance of “order”. If you take it, put it back.  No one had the time to listen to that.

So, I gave her my shoes to which she complained; “They were to big!” which I new was not exactly truthful as she is almost the same size as I am. Last year, I had bought her a pair of boots only 2 sizes smaller than my size. She just didn’t like the shoes I had. “I’m a size 6!” she yelled at me, which was completely incorrect. Grudgingly she took them, with much hesitation and complaining. I was then advised she was going to be performing off school grounds for a Christmas show, which she never mentioned, nor my husband tell me about.  She was getting a ride from school, but needed to be picked up at 5:45. I had planned on attending Holy Mass at 5:30 PM, for the feast of St. John of the Cross. Disappointment began to set in.

On our way to school, I was informed that one child did not have a lunch. After dropping of the children at school, I returned home, waited a while, and went back with a lunch. Returning back home, I had to get ready for a concert at the school directly after lunch. As I began to get ready, with only fifteen minutes to get back, I received a call from my daughter telling me to look for her black shoe. As I began to speak the phone when dead.  I called the school back and the receptionist began to tell me that my daughter MUST have the black shoes. I had advised the receptionist that I was in no condition to go looking at this point, and I had given her my shoes to wear. She began to tell me that my daughter said they did not fit. I informed the receptionist that those were the only shoes we have at this time and my daughter would just have to make due with what she had, and the conversation ended there. I got up, went to both bedrooms and began to look for the shoe without success.

Again, back in the truck to return to the school for the concert after 10 minutes to get ready now. The street department decided that 1 PM was a perfect time to shut down traffic to re-stripe the street. I sat and the stress built within.

I arrived at the school, and as I entered Church and sat down, the children were almost ready to begin. As they did, I observed my daughter walking up without the shoes I had given to her, and wearing her white gym shoes. They began to play and the principal of the school came to me to tell me, my daughter was not going to be able to participate in the concert directly after this one, without proper black shoes. The tone she used was not in tune. Keep in mind, if you are in a hand bell concert, and you miss, or are not there to perform, the ENTIRE concert is thrown off without you. They would be leaving at 2:45. It was now 1:10 I looked up at our Lord on the cross, bit my tongue, and said okay. I will do something. She walked away, I got up from my seat, and walked out. Unable to watch my daughters performance, I jumped in my truck, fuming at the way this played out. Knowing without a doubt that none of this needed to happen. But it did. I looked down, realized I was almost out of gas, stopped at a station, fueled up and began to head to ANY store with black shoes.

As I got to the store, parking was miserable. I found a spot (REJOICE!) a little walking distance and took it. I walked into the store and headed to the shoe section. I found a few black shoes with many sizes. (REJOICE!) Okay…. What size? She was dishonest about the size this morning, so do I buy one in every size and then hope one of them fit her? I bought two different sizes. Went to check out, stood in line, got ready to pay and realized my debit card was missing. I looked at the cashier, and told him I needed to run out to my truck. Ran back out, got to my truck and realized my keys were missing. I tried my door and it opened (REJOICE!). I had left not only my debit card, but my keys right in view for anyone to take. They were both still there with my truck. (REJOICE!) By this time, my entire body began to ache. I walked back to the store, waited in line again, the cashier still had the bag of shoes (REJOICE!) and I paid for the them, drove back to the school, walked into the concert, sat down and immediately felt the pain in my back radiating into both of my legs.  I could not sit there. I got up, walked to the office and dropped them off, with a message for my daughter to call me.

At that moment, I almost broke into tears. It was going to be a very ugly cry. The physical pain and the emotional were both adding up. I regained my composure, contemplating on our Lord and biting my tongue. (REJOICE!) I left, and went back home, with only a half an hour to head back to school and pick up my other daughter.

When I arrived home, the call came from my daughter. One of the pair of shoes I dropped off, fit perfectly. (REJOICE!)

After picking up my other daughter, my husband informed me that he was leaving early from work and would be picking up my daughter from the concert she was performing at the time she needed to be picked up. (REJOICE!). As they both arrived home, we ALL had an extensive conversation about the serious need for communication, personal responsibility,  listening and following orders. (REJOICE.)  The other pair of shoes I had bought, ended up fitting my youngest daughter. (REJOICE!). 

Today, the pain in my back and legs is not as bad, and both of my daughters are taking this day to clean up their rooms completely. (REJOICE!)

REPENT! PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE! Yesterday is gone. We only have now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Do not put off what is needed now, so you can Rejoice!

Gospel LK 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,
“What should we do?”
He said to them in reply,
“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
“Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them,
“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him,
“And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages.”Now the people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Exhorting them in many other ways,
he preached good news to the people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feast of St. John of the Cross


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“And I saw the river over which every soul must pass
to reach the kingdom of heaven
and the name of that river was suffering:
and I saw a boat which carries souls across the river
and the name of that boat was love.”

St. John of the Cross

 

Excellent read over at Church Life Journal to keep my readers busy in contemplation for today, the Feast of St. John of the Cross.

St. John of the Cross: The Depth, Height, and Edges of Silence

St. John of the Cross, pray for us

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Language Of Our Faith


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Pondering:

“If I speak in human and angelic tongues -but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1

Our faith is like a language the soul must learn. The ultimate language of Love. IF it is not “spoken” at all times, it becomes a broken language, mixed with our own, which express some Word but not fully.

If it is not “spoken” in the home, it is not being practiced.  If it is not “spoken” at work, it is being forgotten and not shared. If it is only spoken for 45 minutes on Sunday, then one is not interested in becoming “fluent” in Love, and simply not applying what is needed to speak and live it fluently. And all the times it is UNSPOKEN, opens the door to the soul for sin and separation from our Lord.

 

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PRAYER REQUEST


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ATTN: Prayer Request: Through the Intercession of Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Carmel,

Praised be Jesus Christ! A prayer request for Damian Jude Cooper, a little eight-year-old boy who is having critical cancer surgery on December 12. This message comes from the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Mexico and South America, and from myself.  

If you could please pray for Damian and also circulate this message, we would be most grateful!

Yours in Jesus, Mary, and Mother Luisita,

Fr. Donald Kinney, OCD

PRAYER:

O Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, King and center of all hearts! Look with merciful love on the petitions we present to You through the intercession of Your servant, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

(Pause and request your petition)

We humbly beseech You to glorify her who was always such a fervent lover of Your Sacred Heart by granting us these favors if they are for Your greater honor and glory. Amen.

 

 

Damian Jude Cooper, an 8-year old who has become a friend of the
Sisters, was diagnosed with a very serious form of bone cancer in July.
Damian is currently going through aggressive treatment at City of
Hope, and has good days and difficult days, but inspired us greatly with
his faith and joy amid suffering.  (PLEASE CONTINUE READING HERE)

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The Gift


New year christmas gift box with gold ribbon.

My family and I were out at dinner last light, celebrating my birthday. Even in these moments, contemplation of our Lord takes place.

As we sat down and the server took our orders, he had placed a few coasters down to hold our drinks. On the coasters were a picture of gift with the words “Loyalty Is Rewarded”.  As I looked at the printed gift and pondered the words, immediately my thoughts were brought to our Lord on the cross and the small group of followers who stayed with Him. Looking at the picture of the Christmas gift on the coaster, on a side bar, were some words with the highlighted enlarged words “STEAK”. I thought of how we often rip through the wrapping without noticing at all the real gift. Would anyone notice the presence of our Lord in a crowded place as this, in such a simple way as this? Can anyone assess the real presence in our midst in Word?

If you look at the photo above,  although not a photo of what I had seen, I will tell you what our Lord was showing me in the gift.

The ribbons in the cross pattern, showing me the Cross of our Lord and the bow in the center being our Lord on the cross.

“Loyalty Is Rewarded”

LOYALTY

Definition

Constancy in allegiance to God or the things of God; steadfastness in fidelity to a person or cause, organization or enterprise. Implicit in loyalty is strong affection based on firm conviction that the object of one’s fidelity deserves the allegiance. (Etym. Latin legalis, of or belonging to the law, legal.)

And all while contemplating this, the server came back and took our orders. I had ordered a steak, cooked medium. You may say what does this have to do with anything? I did also at the time.

The server left and the conversation began again with all of us at the table. We prayed grace before our meal came.

I took hold of that coaster again as it was drawing my attention to the word “STEAK”. What is at steak? Well, our Lord was on the stake, and all of us are at stake. For some reason, I began to ponder the Gospel of Matt. 25:23

His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

I began to tell our Lord interiorly, forgive me Lord, I ordered my steak medium and not well done. I hope the life I am leading is pleasing to you and I am never lukewarm.

The server returned and with him, brought our meal. As he placed my order in front of me, what should have been a steak cooked medium, was dark and black. It looked burnt. I stopped for a moment just staring at it. Recalling what was taking place in my contemplation of Him. Without saying a word, I cut into the black steak, and it was perfect.

This coming of our Lord, at Christmas, as we rip apart the wrapping to get to what is hidden underneath, may we never lose sight of Him in our hearts, His commands and His promise to us:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

 

A blessed Second Week of Advent to all.

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