Sunday, November 29, 2009

1st Sunday of Advent

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Today, the First Sunday of Advent, begins the new Liturgical Year and the season of Advent. The word advent in latin means "coming". So, Advent is the preparation time for the coming of the Lord at Christmas. Although Christ came, historically, two thousand years ago, He come again to us, mystically, at Christmas. And He will come again in the Second Coming where He will judge the living and the dead.

Advent is a time of joy and hope, tinged with a touch of penance so that we may be spiritually prepared to receive Him at Christmas. This is all symbolized in the Advent wreath whereby we have the four candles (one for each Sunday). The evergreens symbolize life in the midst of winter; the candles symbolize the light of Christ in the darkness (the pink one for the 3rd Sunday represents joy); and the purple (color of the season) represents the penitential flavor of the season.

Friday, November 27, 2009


When most of America was feasting on God's bounty, it's important to remember that there are many people, even in our own towns and cities, who went without an abundant Thanksgiving meal. It's our tradition, on the day after Thanksgiving, to pack up our leftovers and clean out our pantry and deliver if to the local food bank. So, please join us, on this day after, in a prayer to end world hunger.

UPDATE: My friend, Dina, at Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo, reminded me about a great organization that works to end hunger. See her comment about Heifer International in the comment section.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

"I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift."
1 Corinthians 1:4-7

I pray that each of you have a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving. May your tables be filled with the bounty of the Lord and may your hearts be filled with His love and peace.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My World Tuesday - music

This is my view of the "world" 5 to 7 times each day. As the principal organist for the monastery I plan all our major liturgies, choose the music for every Mass and prayer time, and accompany the singing on the organ....and I love every minute of it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sacred Sunday - Christ the King

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Matthew Bridges (1800-1894)

Today is the Solemnity of Christ the King. Christ the King Sunday celebrates the all-embracing authority of Christ as King and Lord of the cosmos. As the last Sunday of the liturgical calendar, it emphasizes the end times and the second coming of Christ.

Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent and begins a new liturgical year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Office Door

This is my world on a daily basis. I go in and out of my office door at least ten times each day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sacred Sunday

Christ has no body on earth but yours;
no hands but yours; no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he is to look out-
Christ's compassion to the world.
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless others now.

OHM, St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila)

Monday, November 9, 2009

My World Tuesday - Deer

There are many wonderful advantages to living in a monastery situated in a rural area. This is one of them. Last week I looked out my office window and there was this beautiful creature. As I opened the window to get a picture this fawn turned and looked right at me. The older deer will usually run pretty quickly. But, not this young one. He/she stayed and let me click away.
May God be praised for all His creatures, great and small.

For more My World Tuesday click here

Thanks to Dina at Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo for introducing me to My World Tuesday!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Altar of Sacrifice

The word altar appears twenty-four times in the New Testament. In Hebrews 13:10, St. Paul speaks of Christians having an altar where those who did not believe in Jesus could not partake. The Eucharist which happens on the altar, refers to the eternal, once-for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is made "present again". It is a re-presentation of the one sacrifice made by Jesus Christ.

There is fixed altar in every church, since it more clearly and permanently signifies Christ as the living stone (1 Peter 2:4; Ephesians 2:20). The reason an altar is called 'fixed' is because it attached to the floor so as to be irremovable.

Roman Catholicism requires that there be only one altar in a newly built church, and that it be made of stone, ideally made of natural stone, such as granite or marble, as the altar symbolises Christ who is regarded as being the cornerstone of the Church. In practice, however, solid and well-crafted wood is often used, due to the expense of stone. It is still customary to place relics of saints, specifically those of martyrs, under the altar (as Mass in early Christianity was customarily celebrated above tombs of martyrs ).

Because the altar represents Christ, only what is required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the mensa (the flat, horizontal surface of the altar). Candles, which are required at every Catholic liturgical service, are placed either on or around the altar in a way suited to the design of the altar and the sanctuary. Catholics also place a cross, or crucifix (a cross with the figure of Christ), on the altar or near the altar, where it is clearly visible to the congregation.

General Instruction from the Roman Missal

Happy Sacred Sunday

Friday, November 6, 2009

Skywatch over downtown

O most High, almighty, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!

Praised be my Lord God with all creatures;
and especially our brother the sun,
which brings us the day and the light;
fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor:
O Lord, he signifies you to us!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars,
which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather,
by which you uphold in life all creatures.

an excerpt from the Canticle of the Sun
St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2 - All Soul's Day

This morning after Mass, we processed to the cemetary while the monastery bell rang the "death toll" (the toll that is rung when a brother dies). At the cemetary, at the graves of our deceased brothers, we sang the In Paradisum from the Requiem Mass, and prayed for their souls.

May the Angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs greet you at your arrival
and lead you into the holy city, Jerusalem.
May the choir of Angels greet you and like Lazarus,
who once was a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

Today is All Soul's Day. It is the day we remember our faithful departed who are in purgatory (in other words, they have not reached heaven, nor have they gone to hell). Catholics believe that purgatory is a state of purification for the soul that is not properly disposed to be in the presence of God. This is called the Church Suffering. We, the Church Militant (the living), have the responsibility to pray for those in purgatory so that they may become the Church Triumphant (those is heaven).

In Latin countries, November 2 is also know as Dia de los muertos.

Today is my first time at My World Tuesday. Check it out!