Unlikely Icons of Advent Reply

Today’s first reading presents a story from the Book of Judges that parallels St. Luke’s  narrative of the Annunciation and Incarnation of Jesus Christ — the story of Samuel.

braveheart-phone-wallpaper

Israel’s Judges were “warrior-prophets” who rose up and delivered their people from their enemies, kind of like Braveheart.

The implication of pairing this passage from Judges with the Announcement of John the Baptist’s birth in today’s Gospel reading is that both of these figures point forward to the Coming of Christ. The fact that both stories bear strong similarities with the Archangel’s Annunciation to the Virgin Mary also suggest that, in some way, Samuel is what we call a type of Christ, which is problematic, given Samuel’s checkered past.

 What are we to make of this? More…

Advent Vitamins Reply

O Advent, thou season of preparation!

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Advent began this year on December 1.

Maybe you’re feeling a bit down, because you missed it.

Or maybe you’re too bogged down in worldly affairs this “Holiday Season,” and you just aren’t feeling it yet.

Maybe You even forgot to be joyful on Gaudete Sunday. Not what you hoped it would be?

Buck up! Even Scrooge caught the spirit in the eleventh hour, and so can you. Need a boost? More…

Silent Themes of Advent 1

For Gaudete Sunday and Third Week of Advent

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“Rorate caeli de super et nubes pluant iustum” The Sacred Hymn “Rorate Caeli” translates, “Let dew come down from heaven above, and the clouds rain down justice.” (Isaiah 45:8)

What comes to your mind when you think of Advent?

Hope, patience, waiting, expectation, preparation, peace and love, and of course, Christmas are the most common Advent memes. The idea is to reflect, pray, and live these virtues to prepare for our Lord’s coming, at Christmas.

Now, what about vindication? More…

Christ’s Peace, the Antidote to the Pitfall of Presumption 3

"Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find peace for your soul."

Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find peace for your soul. (Image: Rembrandt, Head of Christ)

Today’s Gospel passage (Matt 11:25-30) is beautiful, refreshing, and reassuring. Jesus invites us to seek consolation from him, offers to share our burdens, and encourages us to follow and learn from him as a way to find true inner peace and happiness. More…

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul and the Tradition of the Pallium 4

Pope Francis investing an Archbishop with the pallium

Pope Francis investing an Archbishop with the pallium

Today in the city of Rome, 27 Archbishops, will receive the pallium from Pope Francis during a ceremony at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

What’s a Pallium?

The pallium is a white woollen garment that archbishops wear around their neck, like a yoke, as a sign of their metropolitan office. Traditionally, new archbishops receive the pallium from the pope on this day — the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul More…

The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Icon of Virtue 2

Icon of the Immaculate Heart in Byzantine style

Icon of the Immaculate Heart in Byzantine style

On today’s memorial feast of the Immaculate Heart, I want to honor Mary with a reflection on her virtues, which we are all called to imitate, all of which center on the one true thing — love for Christ. I selected 5 icons of the Blessed Virgin to aid me in this reflection, and I hope they will help you reflect and ponder more deeply the mysteries of Mary and Jesus in your life. More…

Hearts of Love: A Cordial Reflection 10

by Alison Batley

Adorable Sacred Heart of Jesus, which so greatly loved men and has not spared anything for them, unite with the Immaculate Heart of Your loving Mother, so full of merciful love, and together be my help, my comfort, and my salvation. Amen.

Wrestling with moments of dark and light within the human experience is what theologian Alejandra Garcia-Rivera calls “wounded innocence.” More…

The Thoughts of His Heart… 2

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus celebrates a feast of human and divine paradox.  As we ponder the eternal depths, the sorrow and joy of his human heart, pierced for our sins, we focus mostly on Christ’s humanity — he who was and continues to be both true God and true man.

Today I want to focus on the person of Christ — the divine Second Person of the Blessed Trinity — and the impenetrable thoughts of his heart, thoughts naturally inaccessible to our finite minds, yet revealed to us, in part, from his own human lips. He came from heaven to teach us the truth of our human reality: how much God loves us and so wills to save us (John 3:16).

We know whatever God wills, he has the power to do: what he wills to exist will exist at some point in time and what he wills to accomplish will undoubtedly be done, because there are no obstacles to God’s infinite power. More…

The Eucharist is Food for the Journey: A Pilgrim’s Reflection Reply

By Alison Batley

“I now receive you who are the price of my soul’s redemption, I receive you who are the food for my final journey, and for the love of whom I have studied, kept vigil, and struggled; indeed, it was you, Jesus, that I preached and you that I taught.” Thomas Aquinas as he received Viaticum, his last Eucharist

Alison Batley

Alison Batley

An earnest probing of the human heart will find an internal longing for a desire that cannot be quenched by any earthly substance or worldly pleasure. As St. Augustine professes, “Our hearts are restless until we rest in You, Lord.” More…