The first time I wore a mantilla…

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Rhoslyn Thomas wears a Di Clara Aubergine Mini Mantilla.

By Rhoslyn Thomas.

The first time it ever occurred to me that I might like to veil, I was 21 and walking home from Mass. I admitted to my friend that I was having thoughts about wearing a mantilla. We both laughed: What was happening to me?! This wasn’t ‘me’ at all. But we had both changed a lot in that last year and we were slowly getting used to the idea of letting God take the reins in our lives.

A few weeks later, I was living about 60km outside of Rome and attending, almost daily, an Old Rite Mass celebrated by the FSSP. I wanted so much to cover my head in Mass, not because anyone ever pressured me, but because I thought it was a beautiful gesture. However, I was very nervous and self-conscious.

Someone had once mentioned veiling to me on pilgrimage. She told me that our hair is our glory and that by covering it, we honor God while we are in His presence, i.e. in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. I am ashamed to say that, before this short conversation, I actually thought that women who wore veils were a bit oppressed! As I began to become interested in veiling, I very quickly realized that this assumption could not be further from the truth (if only I could have seen myself now, how I would have laughed!).

The first time I finally worked up the courage to cover my hair during Mass, I was absolutely terrified. I wanted to do it so much, but in my mind I felt everyone was watching me. I sat at the back of the church in Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini in central Rome and tried to forget all my worries.

I actually felt different when I was wearing it. In a very short time, my mantilla came to be a great help to me in concentrating on the Mass and in helping me to differentiate between the outside world and God’s house, where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass would take place and where I am in the presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

At home, the reaction to my mantilla is almost always overwhelmingly positive. People just realize somehow that it is a very beautiful reverent thing to do in a sacred place. Now it is second nature to me and I would not be without my veil.

For those who are just starting out with veiling, a mini-mantilla might just be the thing for you. It is not as big as a full size mantilla and is also really practical if you are dealing with young kids at Mass. I have promised myself an early Christmas present of a purple one I can wear during Advent!

Until you veil, it’s hard to describe what it will do for you. The best way to find out would be to just try it! If you are feeling nervous then just start wearing it at home while you pray, then you might want to wear it at adoration, and before you know it you will have the desire to wear it every time you step into the church!

Before long, you’ll come to see how much more a veil will be to you than just a piece of material.

For a full range of mantilla veils, I would recommend www.diclara.co.uk who offer flat rate shipping worldwide.

Surviving Advent as a Sinner.

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Cute little baby Jesus, Christmas trees and family gatherings are all the kind of things that give us the warm fuzzies around Advent and Christmas.

The over sentimentality and uber perfectness of TV adverts, and watching your own beautiful children in the school nativity play is enough to make even the most hardened of us cower at the fearful power of purity and innocence.

It is this purity, innocence and stillness of the nativity that, as a sinner, I can find very difficult to deal with. I am aware of my own sin – all too well this year. I am aware of my human weaknesses and can only bury my head in my hands during prayer right now and beg for God’s mercy.

Who the heck can possibly be expected to celebrate the Incarnation when they are suffering from porn addiction, having an affair, a same sex relationship or recovering from an abortion? Well, I’ll tell you who – all of us. We are all sinners. We are all in desperate need of a saviour. And if you think for some reason you do not need to fall on your face at the foot of the manger and beg for mercy from that tiny baby boy, then you have a serious pride problem.

During Advent we are all called to pray and fast to prepare our hearts for the coming of our saviour. I would suggest giving up something like 1 cup of coffee or 1 cigarette per day. No more than that. Tiny steps. It is not about willpower and it is not about discipline – it is about love. Offer it with the entirety of your heart. Give it to Jesus out of pure love and gratitude for His love.

If you can give up one tiny thing per day, and give it with your whole heart, I guarantee this will be the most life transforming Advent you will ever have.

Prayer, tiny fasting, and of course confession. This is the way for a sinner not just to to survive Advent, but to emerge out the other side as a new creature in Christ.

Let’s do this together.

 

 

Scottish purple High Mass set.

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I’ve been extremely busy recently putting together this Gothic style High Mass set for the Latin Mass guys up in Scotland UK.

I’ve really enjoyed making this set – especially designing the embroidery.

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I decided to incorporate a celtic knot circle which traditionally represents eternity because there is no beginning or end to the knot or the circle. I also used thistles which are a national Scottish emblem, and by their thorny nature they are also an ancient symbol reminding us of our need for redemption. This large embroidery sits on the cope hood and also the back of the humeral veil:

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Back of the Cope.

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Back of the humeral veil.

I also added a practical aspect to the humeral veil of large inside pockets that are used to hide the Priest’s or Deacon’s hands while they carry the monstrance. This stops the issue of slipping and also means that the chance of the expensive material catching or wearing on the monstrance is lessened.

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Inside pockets on the sleeves of the humeral veil.

This particular set wanted 2 dalmatics with maniples, and one Deacon’s stole:

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In fact there were 3 maniples in total and one priest stole that looked rather nice if you put them all together like this…!

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Anyway here are the rest of the pics…

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Humeral veil, used when carrying the monstrance during adoration.

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Cope, used at anytime the priest is not offering Mass ie. Baptisms or Benediction.

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Gothic Chasuble, Stole (underneath Chasuble), Maniple (on wrist), Chalice veil (behind), and Burse.

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Priest Stole.

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If you’re interested in seeing some more of my vestments please visit www.diclara.co.uk  and like my Di Clara facebook page.

For enquires, please contact me through my website or email me direct at info@diclara.co.uk.

And if you haven’t told your priest about Di Clara yet, then perhaps it’s time you did 🙂

 

 

 

The Jesse Tree – A family guide through the season of Advent.

My dear friend Lynne has just finished her new book. It looks amazing for those of us with young families. I ordered my copy today! You can order your copy HERE and please come and like the Jesse Tree FACEBOOK PAGE

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By Lynne Drozdik Wardach

When I undertook the task of compiling material for this book, in no way did I ever envision it as a finished product. As any young Catholic mother, I strove constantly to weave the threads of the faith into the fabric of our daily lives wherever I was able. With the shopping, and baking, and wrapping, and visiting and every other secular activity that seemed to occupy the minds of my little disciples at Christmas time, it occurred to me that the preparation for the season seemed the perfect time to do just that, but how?

I began my search and fell upon the concept of the Jesse Tree. This was quite a novel idea to me at the time and reading the Old Testament scripture stories was something my children enjoyed already. As the advent season approached that year, I made a small list of their favorite stories, pulled out my parents’ old Christmas tree and set it up in the family room. We began with the creation of the world that year and my two oldest made little earths from some modeling clay, just as God would have done when He sculpted our world. We spoke of how God must have felt that day as He did so. “Do you think He ever mushed the world back up into a ball like that and started over, like you just did?” “Don’t forget those polar ice caps! Where do polar bears live?” My son made all the planets and the stars too as he loved to look at them at night. So much to learn! We ran a loop of string through each one, and tagged it with the child’s name and the year it was made.

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“Don’t forget those polar ice caps!”

These precious creations are beloved still and grace our tree every year when these same little disciples, now adults themselves mind you, rush to the box to search for them. We talk now about those little lessons that went with each ornament, more deeply and practically now, of course. They remember all the little talking points I used when I was their primary teacher of life, illustrating God’s point for my little disciples. It was my goal at the time that they not forget any of them, so I wrote them all down at night after they went to sleep. This, dear parents…THIS is why I worked so hard compile it all and share this advent adventure with you.

At that time, my own mother looked me in the eye and tearfully and somewhat prophetically told me that THIS was the happiest time of my life. This was the busiest, craziest, messiest, most emotional time with five small children all clamoring for my attention, but it was wonderful! She was so very right. This activity was more to my family than just catechesis; it took those teaching points and attached precious memories that hopefully will live on in them when God entrusts them with their very own little disciples. Perhaps they will remember me too!

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Now, to speak practically, it took me over fifteen years to write the material in this book. You may notice that there are 40 lessons. We are a Byzantine rite Catholic family, so for us the pre-Christmas preparatory season begins on November 15. It is called Philipovka, or St. Philip’s fast, because it begins the day after the feast of St. Philip and lasts for 40 days until Christmas. We realize this is much more material than the average Christian family might use in their own home as they celebrate Advent, but bear in mind that you need not use it every day to be practical. Some families may choose to do the even days one year, and the odd days the next. Some may do one per week, skipping around the lessons as they like and do more over the next several years.

In my own family, we did this, and found that as the children grew, it became more practical to review the story and the lesson and then let them search for past ornaments, now keepsakes, that they had made to adorn the tree. It may also be the case that the tree itself may be difficult to display due to space and size. A friend of mine has solved this dilemma by copying and laminating the icon that accompanies each lesson, and crafting that into a flat ornament to tack to a wall in her kitchen, in the form of a tree. Each family will come to use this book as it suits them best.

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This book is intended to help each family develop a greater understanding of salvation history over the span of many years. The ways in which each family will use this material will also evolve over time and grow and change as the little disciples in the family grow and change. Use this in whatever way works best for you! I hope that it becomes a beloved tradition in your domestic church and that it brings your family as much joy as it has brought to mine.

God bless! Lynne x

Lynne Drozdik Wardach

Lynne Drozdik Wardach

The themes each day include reading the account from scripture as a family, a lesson for the children and making a Commemorative Ornament.
November 15    Introduction to the Jesse Tree
November 16    The Creation and Fall of the Angels
November 17    The Creation of the Earth
November 18    The Creation of Adam and Eve
November 19    The First Sin
November 20    Cain and Abel
November 21    Noah and the Great Flood
November 22    The Tower of Babel
November 23    Abraham
November 24    The Three Visitors
November 25    The Offering of Isaac
November 26    Jacob
November 27    Joseph
November 28    Moses
November 29    The Passover and Exodus
November 30    The Parting of the Red Sea
December 1    The Ten Commandments
December 2    Joshua and the Fall of Jericho
December 3    Gideon
December 4    Ruth
December 5    Samuel
December 6    David and Goliath
December 7    David the Shepherd
December 8    Elijah
December 9    Esther
December 10    Isaiah
December 11    Jeremiah
December 12    Micah
December 13    Habbakuk
December 14    Nehemiah
December 15    The Three Brave Youths
December 16    Daniel in the Lion’s Den
December 17    Jonah and the Whale
December 18    The Annunciation to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel
December 19    Elizabeth and Zaccharias
December 20    The Visitation
December 21    John the Baptist
December 22    Joseph
December 23    The Magi
December 24    Jesus:  The Birth of the Messiah
December 25    Christ is Born!

You can order your copy HERE and please come and like the Jesse Tree FACEBOOK PAGE

Our Lady’s Birthday and Christmas Cake.

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A beautiful friend, whom I love dearly, reminded me the other day that if I didn’t make my Christmas cake FROM SCRATCH at least 4 months in advance of the big day, then I might as well just stamp a big FAIL sign across my head as a wife and mother.

I’m only kidding! There is of course absolutely nothing wrong with buying your Christmas cake – which is exactly what I have done every year since I got married. But this year I have found myself rather more organised than I have ever been, and so decided to follow my friends advice and have a bash at making my own Christmas cake – from scratch!

Lets face it, it is MUCH more expensive to make your own cake, but I am promised wholeheartedly that there is no comparison to a shop bought one.

Today is 8th September: the day Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary’s birthday. The readings at mass this morning were all about the birth of Christ. It got me thinking that today was the perfect day to begin soaking the dried fruit to make the Christmas cake. I hope I can remember to be this organised every year from now on. (Ha! I seriously doubt it!).

I am loosely following a recipe from The Pink Whisk but changed it a little to incorporate pretty much all the dried fruit in the entire world. In my cake there will be Sultanas, Currants, Raisins, Cranberries, Cherries, Dates, Figs, Prunes, Mixed peel, Apricots, juice and rind from an orange and lemon, Rum, Brandy and brown sugar. I also used Cinnamon, Allspice, Mixed Spice and ground Cloves.

Of course having failed weights and measures at school I was extremely grateful to have the help of my mathematical genius 9 year old who sorted out all the quantities for me 🙂

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All you do at this stage is to chop up all the fruit, mix it in with the liquid and stick it in a big airtight container until “stir up Sunday” (Christ the King) at the end of November. But you know what? It was great to start the new school term doing something really fun in preparation for Christmas – even if it is a long way off.

I think anticipation is a lost thrill in our modern world. People don’t have to wait for anything nowadays which is a shame really. Sometimes the anticipation can be as exciting as the main event itself, and certainly adds to the glory at the end of the waiting time. It also strikes me that waiting in anticipation creates the right mood for contemplating the feast of Christmas.

During any pregnancy there is the feeling of anticipation, but how much more was there for the birth of the Messiah?! The Jews had been anticipating His arrival for almost 2000 years! “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14

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Each night for a week we will stir the fruit to make sure it all gets a good soaking. Then we will stir it once a week until Stir up Sunday. By that time it will have soaked up enough Rum and Brandy to warrant living in it’s own drinks cabinet.

I love Christmas!

Advent, Season of Longing.

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By – Victoria Seed

In the middle ages Advent was often called St Martin’s Fast because it was a penitential season focused on prayer, almsgiving, fasting and abstinence that began on the feast of St Martin de Tours (11th November) and lasted until Christmas.  In those days the faithful had many dark, meatless days of preparation before the joy of the Nativity.  Today the days leading to Christmas are markedly different for most of us.  We hear about the Second Coming of Christ at mass, and are urged to repentance, following the call of John the Baptist, but outside of mass the world is abuzz with premature Christmas excitement.  Christmas parties, Christmas wish-lists, Christmas shopping, Christmas fayres, Christmas decorations and planning the Christmas menu dominate our days and nights.  The humble advent candles, coloured penitential purple and hopeful rose, tell us the time is not yet come, that Jesus is not yet here, but we shove that into a corner behind a glitzy Santa Claus and a and continue with the feast.  Christmas seems to begin sometime in November and go until New Year’s.

There is something understandable about our bacchanalian Advent days: we want to celebrate Christmas.  We want it to be Christmas now.  And why not?  We are not Puritans.  Christmas, the feast of the birth of our Lord, is worth celebrating.  But right now, in the early days of December, the churches are decked out in purple, the congregations sing Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and the readings speak of the end times.  Everything about the mass is reminding us it isn’t Christmas yet.

The liturgical year is a great gift to the faithful.  There is a great and ancient wisdom in the progression of its seasons.  Penitence (purple) prepares us for feasting (white), and every-day, ordinary spiritual practice (green) steadies us and allows the lessons of the high and low to take root and blossom in our souls.  There are times to mourn and weep, times to rejoice and celebrate, and times to be simply faithful.  Advent is the first season of the Catholic liturgical year.  The first Sunday of Advent is our New Year’s Day.  But it is not the starter’s pistol for the Christmas season, so what is it for?  What does it teach us?  Why should the lead up to the Nativity of our Lord require penitence?

I think it is too simplistic to say that Advent is penitential in the same way that Lent is.  The penitence of Lent focuses on the sorrow of Christ’s Passion, and the part we each play in that. But in Advent we are not focused explicitly on the sufferings of Christ, we are focused on his absence.  The penance we are called to is to prepare for his coming.  Prepare the Way! Make straight His path!  In Lent, our penance is a symbolic atonement, participation in the sufferings of Christ.  But Advent brings us back to the beginning.  It is the beginning of the Church year, and the beginning of every journey of faith.  Advent is the season of longing for a God who is not yet present.

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From the earliest days of humanity, faith has begun with this longing that only God can answer.  The stories of the Old Testament tell us about it: Sarah and Abraham longed for a child, Moses longed for the Promised Land, the Israelites in captivity and exile longed for the restoration of the Kingdom.  All longed for the coming of the Messiah.  In the Gospels too we see stories that start with longing fulfilled only in Christ.  Mary and Joseph, Zachariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptist, Simeon and Anna all have desires that await the coming of Christ.  The Magi travel far, following the star, drawn by longing across the dessert to pay homage to Christ.  And all of them had to begin in something like Advent.  It was this desire for God that allowed them to recognise Christ when at last he came.  He and he alone was the answer to their hearts’ deepest desires.  Their faith – our faith – is at root one of longing, not of fulfilment.

In this life we will never be complete.  We are a fallen people, and in Advent we re-join those wandering in the dessert, offered only cryptic promises as consolation.  Today we feel longing as acutely as our forebears, perhaps even more so.  We are restless and impatient: the noise and distraction of modern life can make it hard to pin down what we desire, and the instant gratification available for most desires allows us to be temporarily numb to the call of grace.  Advent is the season to feel the lack of God’s incarnate presence, to allow it to leave us hollow, incomplete and unfulfilled.  The focus of the readings at mass on the end times and remind us that we too, who live more than two millennia after the birth of Jesus, are waiting for him to arrive.  We are still waiting for the Messiah.  We are still on a journey towards God.

Advent is a time to renew our own faith in that for which we long.  We do penance, make sacrifices and deny ourselves the pleasures of Christmas season so that we can more keenly feel that hunger, and also to prepare ourselves for the fulfilment of the deepest desire of soul.  It would be a shame if Christ, the root of all our longing, was to return and find us sated on worldly pleasures, too full to welcome him in.  Fasting, prayer and almsgiving are all ways of making the hollowness we feel God-shaped.  Embracing the desolation of Advent can transform our longing into the virtue of hope, awaken in us a sense of wonder, and prepare us to celebrate with joy Emmanuel, Christ with us on Christmas morning, and to rejoice, feast and make merry for the whole of the liturgical season of Christmas.

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Father Dylan’s Sermons: 1st Sunday of Advent, Year B

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Mk 13:33-37; 1 Cor 1:3-9

I was talking to a friend earlier this year, and he causally made reference to the fact that the Lord Jesus might come again in glory at any time, that, in fact, He might be coming this afternoon. And I, quite spontaneously, said, “But I’ve got some things I need to finish first”.
This is how I’ve often heard other people refer to the Second Coming of Jesus: as something they don’t want to happen just yet. “Go away Jesus, could you come back later, maybe Tuesday? There are a lot of things I need to do first. I’ve not written any Christmas cards, I’ve barely started to think about presents, and basically I’ve just got a lot on right now.”

Now, when phrased like this, it obviously sounds silly. It is not for us to be telling God when He can or can’t come in glory. And yet, it is with thoughts of the Second Coming that the Church starts our Advent preparations for Christmas: We are to start our preparations for the celebration of the anniversary of His birthday, of His FIRST coming, by thinking about His future SECOND Coming. And when we do that a lot of things change their focus. Let me note three.

Firstly, when I think about the fact that Jesus might come, that time might end this afternoon, it suddenly changes what I think is really important. All my priorities shift. So, for example, I might still be aware of the Christmas cards I’ve not sent –but I’d be MORE aware of how much or how little LOVE I have put into those cards.  And I’d still realise that I hadn’t bought many presents yet, but I’d more clearly realise the extent to which this expressed (or not) a lack of love or concern for the people I wasn’t ready for. So, my priorities would shift if I recalled that Jesus is Coming.

Secondly, I’d be less STRESSED about many of those details. I’d value those details in a different way, in some things I’d value them much MORE -because of the re-focusing on what they mean to others, and what they mean to God. But in MOST things I’d value those details in a way that was less focused on myself and my achievement and was thus less STRESSFUL.

Finally, with all of my life presented before me in the judgement, I think I’d be more aware of what I need to be GRATEFUL for. In our second reading we heard St Paul saying that he “never stop[ed] thanking God for all the graces you have received”(1 Cor 1:4) –and he moved straight from that thought to the revelation of the “last day, the day of the Lord Jesus”(1:8). Seeing things in the light of eternity is a good way to be less focused on our problems and more focused on what God has given us, what we have to be thankful for.

To sum that up: We are to start our Advent preparations for Christmas by thinking about the Second Coming in glory at the End of Time –a moment that could be any moment. Thinking about ‘the end’ helps us re-focus on what is important, and at Christmas it is precisely those ‘important’ things we need to be have before us. So, as we heard the Lord say, “Stay awake, because you do not know when the time will come”(Mk 13:33).

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Teach Kids about Advent using White Chocolate and Cornflakes!

So…. We’ve been busy! We have been making White Chocolate Advent Wreaths.

You will need…

White Chocolate

Cornflakes 

Mixed Chopped Nuts (optional)

Desiccated Coconut

Cherries

1 Birthday Candle

Plate or board

Cup

 

Q. What are real Advent wreaths made out of?

A. Evergreen leaves like Holly or Pine branches.

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1. Start by melting the white chocolate. Then add the Cornflakes, mixed chopped nuts (optional) and a little of the coconut. When it is mixed together it should look like this…

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Q. Why do we use evergreen branches?

A. To remind us of the Eternal Life we will have in heaven.

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2. Get a board or a large plate and put a cup faced down in the centre. Spoon your mixture around the cup to create your round wreath shape.

Q. Why are Christmas wreaths circle shaped?

A. Because a circle has no beginning and no end – just like God has no beginning and no end.

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3. Carefully remove the cup and sprinkle on some more coconut.

Q. How many weeks are there in Advent?

A. Four. 

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4. Place 4 cherries on your wreath and one in the centre. Stick a birthday candle in the centre cherry.

Q. Why do we light candles during Advent and Christmas?

A. To remind us that Jesus is the ‘Light of the World’. 

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5. Start feeling rather proud of yourself for creating such a beautiful edible Advent wreath!

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6. Share that feeling with those around you! Then place your wreath into the fridge to set. 

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7. Lick the bowl.

Q. Why do we have Advent?

A. To help us prepare for the coming of baby Jesus at Christmas.

For a more in-depth answer of Why do we have Advent? look here… http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/series/introduction-to-advent/

And now, while your baby does this…

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You can have one of these…

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And ponder why on earth that recent Vatican survey was written in such complicated language!

 

 

Second Sunday of Advent – Year C

Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight …”

Gospel: Luke 3:1-6

1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ “

Gospel Summary

Luke was very thorough in placing the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry within a historical context. He set John’s ministry in time by telling who the leaders were in the region. John’s role was to prepare the way for Jesus and to proclaim a theme of repentance for those who would follow Jesus. Like a Roman army of engineers filling in gullies and levelling mountains to make roads, John’s job was to make the pathway smooth for those about to encounter Jesus.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

John the Baptist invites us to repent! But it is true today that many western Catholics never go to confession. Why is this? Many would argue that within our secular western culture there is a widespread loss of the sense of sin. We’ve ended up in a moral ‘grey area’ where anything goes – as long as we can justify it to ourselves. Perhaps the saddest thing about this is that we have forgotten that sin is something that harms us.

Confession heals us. It is the first step on the road as we turn back to God. People often talk about having ‘baggage’, but with confession there is no need to carry this ‘baggage’ any more. Healing takes time, and may be painful to begin with, but there is no need for us to do it on our own. Jesus has given us the priests to light our way, guide our steps, and even hold our hand if we need them to. A thirty-something American woman described her experience of confession like this:

“I was scared, shaking in fact. The priest noticed I was nervous but he was so friendly and re-assuring. I couldn’t remember what to say but that didn’t matter – he took me through it step by step. I told him about the abortion I had almost 15 years ago. Finally – I was letting it go. We talked a while and then he absolved me. I am so grateful, and now I am beginning to find peace in my life again.”

  • Sin harms us. Confession heals us.
  • Is there some ‘baggage’ I would like to let go of this Advent?
  • What time does confession take place in my Parish?

Dear Jesus…

Help me find the courage to come to confession this Advent. I want to but I am scared. Help me remember that confession is a healing experience. Help me remember that there is no sin you cannot forgive. Your love and mercy never end Lord.

Thank You, I love You Jesus. Amen.

 Download the A4 newsletter version of this post, FREE for use in your school or parish: Second Sunday of Advent – Year C.pdf   Second Sunday of Advent – Year C