"Wisdom was born of the tenderest, the gentlest, and the most beautiful of all mothers... because He is Eternal Wisdom, tenderness, and beauty Itself."
Jesus greets His Mother after the Resurrection
Mary as Witness to Whole Pascal Mystery
After Jesus had been laid in the tomb, Mary “alone remains to keep alive the flame of faith, preparing to receive the joyful and astonishing announcement of the Resurrection” (Address at the General Audience, 3 April 1996). The expectation felt on Holy Saturday is
Holy Saturday is the day on which the Church contemplates the rest of Christ in the tomb, after the victorious battle of the cross. She remembers his descent into the world of death to heal the roots of humanity, and she expects his promise to be fulfilled: "The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, they will condemn him to death and deliver him to the Gentiles..., they will kill him, and in three days he will be resurrected " (Mk 10, 33-34).
The Blessing of the Candles
Filled with holy joy. radiant with the mystic light, excited, like the venerable Simeon, by the impulse of the Holy Spirit - the Church goes forth to meet her Emmanuel. The Church wield imitate that wondrous Procession, which was formed in the Temple of Jerusalem the day of Mary's Purification. Let us listen to St. Bernard:
February: The Passion of Our Lord
O Clavis David... O Key of David, come and lead us out of darkness!
Our good Bishop presided over Solemn Vespers at the Cathedral of St. Eugene on December 20, the fourth day of the O Antiphons in preparation for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Our Chaplain, Father Keyes directed the Men's Scola in leading the congregation in chanting Vespers. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the Church, the very voice of the Bride speaking to the Bridegroom, and it was a honor to enter into this dialogue with such solemnity and beauty.
Bishop's Reflection on the O Antiphons
"And then we conclude, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, O Emmanuel, Come! Come be God in our midst. And then, the day after, we rejoice in the completion, a response by God on high, sending Him Whom we have called upon to come for the previous seven days. When we do that in this more formal, liturgical rite, we lend dignity, we lend a seriousness to the completion of our Advent preparation, and we lend ourselves to kindling in our hearts this eagerness for a response to our prayer "O come! Come! Come to Thy people, O come, Lord, come Emmanual!"
We See the Star
During this second week of Advent, we behold a Star arise in our hearts. It is our Mother Mary, who points the way to her Divine Son. The rays of light that issue from this bright Star are the virtues that shine forth with such resplendence from her Immaculate Heart. The golden rays of her humble obedience, the silver rays of her immaculate purity, and the azure rays of her self-effacement furnish us with abundant matter for meditation and imitation. As we go about our duties, however humble or great, we endeavor to keep our eyes faithfully fixed upon this celestial Star in order to reproduce her virtues in our daily lives; striving to think speak and act as Mary would. Finding ourselves in any difficulty, we pray that we may heed St. Bernard's advice: "If temptation storms, or you fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the Star and call upon Mary..."
Focus of the Second Week: Union with Our Lady
O Mary, do thou bring thy holy Child to me!
The Meaning of Advent
During this first week, we recall the longings of the Patriarchs and Prophets, the holy souls living years before the coming of the Messiah. With what intense yearning they desired but a glimpse of that blessed Light of the World Who now gives Himself daily, in the fullness of His Love, to all who will receive Him. On each Christmas Day, He comes with a special plenitude of grace to all hearts who have prepared for Him. Our time of preparation is short! Let us warm our cold hearts in the furnace of Love issuing from the Sacred Heart of the unborn Infant reposing in His Immaculate tabernacle! His Mother will assist us in being attentive to the whisperings of His grace, His little voice asking for this or that little sacrifice or act of fidelity to our daily duties.
Focus of the First Week: Silence and Recollection