Friday, December 16, 2016

O Antiphons for you and your family

The following is the explanation by The Marian Catechists, sent via email 12/15/2016, about the O Antiphons. They are to me the continuous desire of the heart for God to come into all hearts, and an opportunity for us all to join the whole Church in this desire. 
Also, the link immediately below should bring you to a printable you may use to display the antiphons in your home each day and use at family prayer. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas.

THE O ANTIPHONS by the Marian Catechists:
As her final phase of preparation for Christmas, the Church recites or chants the O Antiphons during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. The O Antiphons express the Church’s longing for and expectation of the Messiah, and her startled wonderment at the fullness of grace which the Christ-Child is about to bestow on the world.
Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one — Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia — the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” In these words, the Lord Jesus, for whose coming we prepare in Advent and to whom we address these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us. The O Antiphons not only bring intensity to our Advent preparations, but they bring our preparations to a joyful conclusion. Dec. 17 – O Sapientia: O Wisdom (Eccl 24: 5), you came forth from the mouth of the Most High (Sir 24: 30) and, reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly (Wis 8: 1). Come, and teach us the way of prudence (Isa 40: 14).
Dec. 18 – O Adonai: O Adonai or O Lord and Ruler (Exod 6: 13) of the house of Israel (Matt 2: 6), you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush (Exod 3: 2); on Mount Sinai, you gave him your Law (Exod 20). Come, and with outstretched arm, redeem us (Jer 32: 21).
Dec. 19 – O Radix Jesse: O Root of Jesse, you stand for the ensign of all mankind (Isa 11: 10); before you, kings shall keep silence and, to you, all nations shall have recourse (Isa 52: 15). Come, and save us, and do not delay (Hab 2: 3).
Dec. 20 – O Clavis David: O Key of David (Apoc 3: 7), Scepter of the House of Israel, you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens (Isa 22: 22). Come, and deliver him from the chains of prison who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death (Ps 107: 10).
Dec. 21 – O Oriens: O Rising Dawn (Zac 6: 12), Radiance of the Light eternal (Hab 3: 4) and Sun of Justice (Mal 3: 20), come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death (Ps 107: 10; Lk 1: 78).
Dec. 22 – O Rex Gentium: O King of the Gentiles (Hag 2: 8), Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one (Eph 2: 20). Come, and save poor man whom you fashion out of clay (Gen 2: 7).
Dec. 23 – O Emmanuel: O Emmanuel (Isa 7: 14; 8: 8), our King and Lawgiver (Gen 49:10; cf. Ezek 21: 32), the Expected of the nations and their Savior (Isa 33: 22), come, and save us, O Lord our God.


Saturday, December 3, 2016


"The Supreme Court previously ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment,” protects intellectually disabled persons from being put to death."  stated in "Supreme Court justices appear skeptical of Texas' death penalty standards" by Matt Hadro in Washington, D.C., Dec. 2, 2016

""An estimated 92 percent of all women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to terminate their pregnancies, according to research reviewed by Dr. Brian Skotko, a pediatric geneticist at Children's Hospital Boston."

Hey, Supreme Court! How about some rulings in favor of the unborn, innocent, and disabled!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

"The great art is to be art-less."

The late Father John Hardon, SJ called Our Lady of Fatima the example for catechists to follow, for she is the Catechist. When I turn to Our Lady for help I can not help but approach her as Mother, Teacher, and Catechist. The three roles for the Christian mother are inseparable. In them we find the essence of the heavenly call of Holy Motherhood...the heart. 

Our hearts, like in today's Gospel, desire what Christ prayed to the Father, that we may be one in Him and in the Father. And isn't this the desire of catechists, too? For all to be one in God? But how often we are faced with trials of moving another to accept the fullness of Christ and His Church. Whether it is a child, a teen, a husband, a friend, a parent, the following quote from St. Francis de Sales instructs us all who desire Christ's prayer of union. But for the catechists and mothers how true the following words ring:

"Quite simply by speaking with feeling and devotion, candidly and trustfully, by really being in love with the doctrine we are teaching and trying to get people to accept. The great art is to be art-less. The kindling power of our words must not come from outward demonstration but from within, not from the mouth but straight from the heart. Try as hard as you like but in the end only the language of the heart can reach another heart, while the sound of the tongue does not get past your listener's ear."  -from St. Francis de Sales, Selected Letters, translated with an Introduction by Elizabeth Stopp, London and New York, 1960, p. 22. Print.

Does anyone else see the gold in this advice? First, to fall in love with the doctrine of Christ passed to us in His Church; next to speak from the heart. All else is creating an environment to open hearts and unleash our own. 

God bless you!
Happy Mother's Day

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Uncle Tom's Cabin review

My 9th grader is studying American History. As preparation for her unit on the Civil War time peiod, I decided to read Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beechee Stowe before she does. I was not sure what to expect, but what it gave me was immeasurable. 

For those who do not know, Harriet Beecher Stowe was asked by an Abolistionist magazine to write a story series concerning slavery;  Uncle Tom's Cabin became that series in book form. I am not able to presume what people then may have thought of the story; I can only speak for my take on it, and I say it is one of the best books I ever read. 

I was asked why I liked the book so much by our librarian last week. I told her "it is all about  forgiveness!" The story is about what it means to be Christian, to be forgiving, and being responsible. The comparison of Tom to what Christ modeled and taught as the characteristics of the blessed is hinted throughout the whole book. From the first chapter to the last, the author does an honest job in presenting not only slavery in the south, but slavery to sin and slavery to our own ways. It is an interesting book to read during Lent, no doubt. It will not only shed light on real historical events and human miseries, but also will call you to self-examination.

Sadly, I can see why the book is not read in most schools. The use of the N-word may be one reason, but in reality I think it is because it is a book about God, Christianity, sacrifice, and forgiveness. The author calls us out of our complacency over injustice and challenges the Christian, in particular, to do "what one man can" to right wrongs. These are topics the schools avoid. But we need not avoid it in our homes. 

In a day in age when public libraries are removing classics from the shelves because they are not borrowed often enough, I ask mothers to read and share this book with their older children...and all th classics! How else will they learn these great truths if all they read are easy texts that do not call the human spirit to rise up to the heights, that do not have characters that struggle and overcome? How will they learn if we hide it from them? How will we learn if we hide truth from ourselves?

The character, Tom, taught the reader that the greater evil is the loss of the soul. And the author asks the reader, what do you need to do to change to be Christ-like? We have so many evils in our world today, so many. Do we gloss over them? Ignore? To paraphrase the author when beginning the chapter about slave warehouses: man has a way of making evil look good so as not to upset the "respectable people." How awful! But are we not in the same position today? 

So what are we to? The author wisely tells the reader then, and now: you can pray! Pray to not fall into tempation and not be put to the test, says Christ. Praise God for the many who do not allow evil to steal away their faith, they are what we call martyrs. Will we? Will our children?

Have you read this book? What did you think?