Blessed Virgin Mary

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…)

Saint Juan Diego

Today is the feast of Saint Juan Diego. It was on December 9 that the Blessed Mother first appeared to him. Here is his biography taken from the Vatican website:

St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548). Little is known about the life of Juan Diego before his conversion, but tradition and archaelogical and iconographical sources, along with the most important and oldest indigenous document on the event of Guadalupe, “El Nican Mopohua” (written in Náhuatl with Latin characters, 1556, by the Indigenous writer Antonio Valeriano), give some information on the life of the saint and the apparitions. (more…)

Immaculate Conception

Nothing is impossible for God!

The words of the Angel Gabriel should ring in our ears as well. Nothing is impossible for God!

Not even sparing our Blessed Mother from falling into the state of original sin. This dogma of the Faith–something we must believe–was solemnly defined by Blessed Pius IX on December 8, 1854–“most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful” (Ineffabilis Deus). (more…)

Advent? What is that?

As I drive through the area, it is not hard to see: people are already anticipating Christmas. Decorations are already up, and the stores are going wild. The Turkey from Thanksgiving didn’t even get a chance to go cold this year before the Christmas bonanza began. This isn’t surprising, considering some of the dark news: threats from North Korea and the seemingly endless stream of sexual harrassment suits. (more…)

Immaculate Conception Novena

The joy of a feast day is too great to contain within one day. That is why we often have entire liturgical seasons and octaves. For example, after Christmas Day we have the octave of Christmas–eight days of Christmas, followed by an entire season of Christmas until the Baptism of the Lord (Candlemas, February 2, for the old calendar).

We also like to prepare for feast days, and one good way to do this is to pray a novena. The solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is the day on which we celebrate Mary who was conceived without original sin.

Here is a good pdf with a way to celebrate the Novena.

If you go here you can sign up for some daily reflections and prayers in your inbox.

Let us give our Blessed Mother some special affection and make a resolution to honor her in a special way during these grace filled days. She is our mother and she looks forward to being with us. Let us entrust her with our worries, our joys, our struggles, our desires to be free from any habitual sin, a desire for clarity in vocational discernment. A desire to be more faithful to our vocation…

Here is a page with some more resources for growing in devotion to our Blessed Mother.