"Behold the Lord the Ruler is come:
and the Kingdom is in His hand, and power, and dominion."
- Introit: Mass of Epiphany
The Christmas season comes to its liturgical culmination (and is the continuation of that mystery) with today's feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. In the word's of Dom Prosper Gueranger:
"The Epiphany is indeed a great Feast, and the joy caused us by the Birth of our Jesus must be renewed on it, for, as though it were a second Christmas Day, it shows us our Incarnate God in a new light. It leaves us all the sweetness of the dear Babe of Bethlehem, who hath appeared to us already in love; but to this it adds its own grand manifestation of the divinity of our Jesus. At Christmas, it was a few Shepherds that were invited by the Angels to go and recognise The Word made Flesh, but now, at the Epiphany, the voice of God Himself calls the whole world to adore this Jesus, and hear Him."
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
Throughout the ages, the Divine Author has woven together history and culture into an enriching and fascinating tapestry that, when studied, shows the Love of our Good God.
One can see the ways in which Fallen Man expressed his yearning for His Maker, and that same Providential God’s ordering of human events in such a way as best served His one aim: Man’s salvation. One sees as well as the lengths He will go to, to show Himself a Loving Lord—coming to us in the manner in which we—as individuals and as a whole—will be most impacted by His Presence.
Rorate, caeli, desuper et nubes pluant justum:
aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just:
let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior.
- Introit: Ember Wednesday in Advent
With a spirit of joy lingering from Gaudate Sunday, the Church turns toward her first Ember Days of the liturgical year, where - with prayer and penance - she eagerly beseeches Heaven to send the promised Savior.
Gaudete in Dominio semper: iterum dico, gaudete.
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice.
Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh.
Be nothing solicitous: but in everything by prayer
let your petitions be made known to God.
- Introit: Gaudete Sunday
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God:
for He hath clothed me with the garment of salvation,
and with the robe of justice He hath covered me,
as a bride adorned with her jewels.
- Introit: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Isaiah 61:10)
From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so loved her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.
"People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations:
and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice
to be heard, in the joy of your heart."
- Introit: Second Sunday of Advent
Advent is a time in which we turn our faces towards Mysteries of Christ’s Hidden Life, beginning with the Nativity. However, to look to the Nativity is to hearken back to the great “Fiat” of Our Lady at the Annunciation, when Our Lord truly came and dwelt among us, hidden in her virginal womb. In Advent, we as Marian Sisters ask Our Lady to form Christ in our hearts; to nourish the life of Christ in our souls so that He may live freely in us and we, as she did, may bring forth the life of Christ in our spiritual children through a complete “Fiat” to the will of God.
"To Thee have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust,
let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me:
for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded."
Ad te levavi - Introit for 1st Sunday of Advent
“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.” - Prayer given by Our Lord to St. Gertrude for the Holy Souls
The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor; to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever.
- Introit: Solemnity of Christ the King
"It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of "King," because of the high degree of perfection whereby He excels all creatures. So He is said to reign "in the hearts of men," both by reason of the keenness of His intellect and the extent of His knowledge, and also because He is very truth, and it is from Him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in Him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by His grace and inspiration He so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors."
"My love urges Me to release the poor souls. If a beneficent king leaves his guilty friend in prison for justice’s sake, he awaits with longing for one of his nobles to plead for the prisoner and to offer something for his release. Then the king joyfully sets him free. Similarly, I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer!” – Our Lord to St. Gertrude