Advent

In Praise of the Virgin Mary

Today’s guest writer is St Bernard of Clairvoux, whose writing appears in the Office of Readings for December 19:

The image is The Annunciation (1644), by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674)

From a homily In Praise of the Virgin Mother by Saint Bernard, abbot

(Hom. 4:8-9; Opera omnia, Edit Cisterc 4. [1966], 53-54)

The whole world awaits Mary’s reply

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us. (more…)

Gaudete Sunday

You may have noticed a little different color scheme today! Yes, the Church celebrates the third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday. Thus the color of the vestments is rose–the color of hope. Traditionally in the liturgy, today is also the one day that flowers are allowed and the organ is played. This comes from the entrance antiphon for the Mass:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.”

This comes from the original latin: “Gaudete in Domino semper Dominus prope est.” (more…)

Monday of the First Week of Advent

I thought sharing this writing by Saint Charles Borromeo, as it is found in the Office of Readings for today, could be helpful. The Office of Readings is one of the “hours” of the Divine Office that priests pray everyday.

From a pastoral letter by Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop

(Acta Ecclesiae Mediolanensis, t. 2, Lugduni, 1683, 916-917)

The season of Advent

Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced at last to see. This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. (more…)