Saturday, December 3, 2016

Photo: Frosty


Prayer: Emmanuel d’Alzon

The first thing I recommend to you for Advent is to keep yourself in the presence of God deep within your heart, just as the Blessed Virgin, before the birth of our Lord, adored him within herself.


El Segundo Domingo de Adviento

El Segundo Domingo de Adviento
4 de diciembre de 2016
Isaías 11: 1-10; Salmo 72; Romanos 15: 4-9; Mateo 3: 1-12

            Isaías y Juan el Bautista se encuentran hoy en las lecturas. Cada uno tiene un estilo único de predicación. Isaías es el poeta que anima el retorno en confianza a la patria desde el exilio. Bendiciones esperan a los fieles y el Señor revivirá los espíritus quebrantados. Juan predica el arrepentimiento. Él pide el perdón de los pecados para que Dios se acuerde de ellos, y luego bautiza como reconocen su humildad.

            Cada profeta tiene una visión diferente del cielo. Isaías presenta un futuro mundo idílico sin hostilidad ni odio. Las divisiones se han ido y los enemigos naturales se hacen amigos. El Señor provee todo lo que uno necesita y los vencedores son los que son buenos. El miedo no puede existir donde reina la paz. La sabiduría y la comprensión son virtudes primarias. Isaías alienta la bondad de todos.

            La imagen de Juan es muy diferente. Quiere que todos reconozcan correctamente quiénes son ante el Señor. No quiere ilusiones de auto-grandeza o auto-importancia. Nuestras acciones morales necesitan purificación porque nos alejamos de Dios y él nos ayudará a regresar. Hoy, él ataca a los fariseos hipócritas y los desafía a probar que su bautismo es eficaz produciendo buenas obras. Ellos contarán con Cristo, que es el juez que separará al impío del bueno.

            Los puntos principales son claros: Confía en las promesas de Dios y conforma nuestras acciones a nuestras creencias. En el mundo de Isaías, las pequeñas acciones inadvertidas son esenciales para que la visión más amplia se desarrolle. Cada buena acción conduce a otro bien. Dios trabaja por invitaciones suaves, invisibles. Nuestras acciones deben replicar las de Dios. En el mundo de Juan, nuestras actitudes y acciones son indispensables para prepararnos para las promesas de Dios. La mansedumbre y la humildad son parte de ella. Las relaciones correctas con los vecinos son esenciales. La integridad hace que las palabras sean creíbles y las acciones surjan de la humildad: nuestra postura legítima ante Dios.


            Preste atención a los estilos particulares de los profetas en su vida. ¿Qué voz necesita escuchar? ¿Qué mensaje emociona tu corazón? Como Isaías anima, tome tiempo para soñar despierto, y como Juan exhorta, tome tiempo para la reflexión honesta. Cada profeta quiere ser escuchado. Necesitas ser escuchado. Pídale al Señor lo que más necesita. ¿Curación? ¿Fuerza? ¿Valor? Mayor comprensión? Abran lo que les rodea para que el Señor pueda alcanzar y traer la esperanza que necesitamos. Sea más amable con ustedes mismos. Reduzca la velocidad. Balancear la vida laboral. Ve más despacio. Detener. Escucha. Oír. El Señor hará que la gloria de su voz sea oída en el gozo de tu corazón. ¿Dónde necesita el Señor tocar tu vida de Adviento este año?

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Isaías 35) Aquí está tu Dios, él viene con vindicación. Los ojos de los ciegos serán abiertos, los oídos de los sordos serán despejados.
Martes: (Isaías 40) Dale consuelo a mi pueblo. Habla con ternura a Jerusalén y proclama que su servicio ha terminado, y su culpa ha sido expiada.
Miércoles: (Isaías 40) Alza tus ojos a lo alto y ve quién ha creado estas cosas. ¿No sabes? ¿No lo has escuchado?
Jueves: (Génesis 3) Después que Adán comió del árbol, Dios le llamó, "¿Dónde estás?" Oí que estabas en el jardín, pero tuve miedo porque estaba desnudo, así que me escondí.
Viernes (Isaías 48) Yo, el Señor, os enseñaré lo que es para vuestro bien, y os guiaré en el camino por donde debéis ir. Escucha mis mandamientos.
Sábado (Sira. 48) Un profeta llamado Elías apareció cuyas palabras fueron como un horno encendido. Por la palabra del Señor, él cerró los cielos y derribó fuego tres veces.

Evangelio:
Lunes: (Lucas 5) Después que Jesús sanó al hombre en una camilla, perdonó sus pecados. Los escribas y los fariseos protestaron y preguntaron: "¿Quién es éste que habla blasfemias?"
Martes: (Mateo 18) Si un hombre tiene cien ovejas y una de ellas se pierde, ¿no dejará las noventa y nueve en las colinas y se irá a buscar a la perdida?
Miércoles (Mateo 11) Venid a mí todos los que trabajáis y sobrecargéis, y yo os haré descansar. Llevad mi yugo sobre vosotros y aprended de mí, porque soy manso y humilde de corazón.
Jueves (Lucas 1) El ángel Gabriel fue enviado a una virgen prometida a José para anunciar que el Espíritu Santo la dominaría y ella concebiría un hijo.
Viernes (Mateo 11) ¿Cómo te consideraré? Jugé un canto fúnebre por ti y no llorarías; Tocé una flauta para ti y no bailarías.
Sábado (Mateo 17) Cuando Jesús bajó del monte, los discípulos preguntaron: "¿Por qué dicen que Elías debe venir primero?" Elías ha venido y vendrá para restaurar todas las cosas.

Santos de la Semana

3 de diciembre: Francis Xavier, S.J., sacerdote (1506-1552) fue uno de los miembros fundadores de la Orden Jesuita que fue enviado a las Indias Orientales y Japón como misionero. Su predicación convirtió a cientos de miles de conversos a la fe. Murió antes de llegar a China. Xavier era compañero de clase de Peter Faber e Ignatius de Loyola en la Universidad de París.

6 de diciembre: Nicolás, obispo (cerca de 350), vivió en el suroeste de Turquía y fue encarcelado durante la persecución de Diocleciano. Asistió al Concilio de Nicea en el año 324. Dado que hay muchas historias de sus buenas obras, generosa caridad y notable cuidado pastoral, su personaje se convirtió en el fundamento de la imagen de Santa Claus.

7 de diciembre: Ambrosio, obispo y médico (339-397) fue un gobernador romano que medió de manera justa una elección episcopal en Milán. Entonces fue aclamado su obispo aunque no fue bautizado. Bautizó a Agustín en 386 y es doctor de la iglesia por su predicación, enseñanza y formas influyentes de ser pastor.

8 de diciembre: La Inmaculada Concepción de María se celebra hoy, que es nueve meses antes de su nacimiento en septiembre. La Inmaculada Concepción la prepara para convertirse en la madre del Señor. La Escritura habla de la anunciación a María por el ángel Gabriel. El consentimiento de María para abrirse al plan de Dios hace posible nuestra salvación.

9 de diciembre: Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548) era un hombre indígena pobre y sencillo que fue visitado por María en 1531. Le instruyó que construyera una iglesia en Guadalupe, cerca de la Ciudad de México. Durante otra visita, le dijo que le presentara flores al obispo. Cuando lo hizo, las flores cayeron de su capa para revelar una imagen de María que todavía es venerada hoy.

Esta Semana en la Historia de los Jesuitas

• 4 de diciembre de 1870: El Colegio Romano, apropiada por el gobierno piamontés, fue reabierto como Liceo. El monograma de la Sociedad sobre la entrada principal se borró.
• 5 de diciembre de 1584: Por su toro Omnipotentis Dei, el Papa Gregorio XIII dio el título de Primaria a la Sodalidad de Nuestra Señora establecido en el Colegio Romano en 1564, y le autorizó a agregar otras sodalidades similares.
• 6 de diciembre de 1618. En Nápoles se acusó a los jesuitas de proponer al virrey que se celebrara una fiesta solemne en honor de la Inmaculada Concepción y que los sacerdotes hicieran una promesa pública de defender la doctrina. Esto se consideraba una novedad que no debía alentarse.
• 7 de diciembre de 1649: Charles Garnier fue martirizado en Etarita, Canadá, como misionero de los indios Petún, entre los cuales murió durante un ataque iroqueo.
• 8 de diciembre de 1984: falleció Walter Ciszek, prisionero en Rusia de 1939 a 1963.
• 9 de diciembre de 1741: En París, el P. Charles Poree murió. Era un famoso maestro de la retórica. Diecinueve de sus alumnos fueron admitidos en la Academia francesa, entre ellos Voltaire, que, a pesar de su impiedad, siempre sintió un afecto hacia su viejo amo.
• 10 de diciembre de 1548. El general de los dominicos escribió en defensa de la Compañía de Jesús al verla atacada en España por Melchor Cano y otros.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Photo: Tree Ornaments


Spirituality: “Advent: Hope or Delusion?” By Thomas Merton

The certainty of Christian hope lies beyond passion and beyond knowledge. Therefore we must sometimes expect our hope to come in conflict with darkness, desperation, and ignorance. Therefore, too, we must remember that Christian optimism is not a perpetual sense of euphoria, an indefectible comfort in whose presence neither anguish nor tragedy can possibly exist. We must not strive to maintain a climate of optimism by the mere suppression of tragic realities. Christian optimism lies in a hope that transcends all tragedy: a victory in which we pass beyond tragedy to glory with Christ crucified and risen.

It is important to remember the deep, in some ways anguished seriousness of Advent, when the mendacious celebrations of our marketing culture so easily harmonize with our tendency to regard Christmas, conspicuously or otherwise, as a return to our own innocence and our own infancy. Advent should remind us that the “King Who is to Come” is more than a charming infant smiling (or if you prefer a dolorous spirituality) weeping) in the straw. There is certainly nothing wrong with the traditional family jours of Christmas, nor need we be ashamed to find ourselves still able to anticipate them without too much ambivalence. After all, that in itself is no mean feat.

But the Church in preparing us for the birth of a “great prophet,” a Savior and King of Peace, has more in mind than seasonal cheer. The advent mystery focuses the light of faith upon the very meaning of life, of history, of men, of the world, and of our own being. In Advent we celebrate the coming and indeed the presence of Christ in our world. We witness to His presence even in the midst of all its inscrutable problems and tragedies. Our Advent faith is not an escape from the world to a misty realm of slogans and comforts which declare our problems to be unreal, our tragedies inexistent …

In our time, what is lacking is not so much the courage to ask this question as the courage to expect an answer … We may at times be able to show the world Christ in moments when all can clearly discern in history, some confirmation of the Christian message. But the fact remains that our task is to seek and find Christ in our world as it is, and not as it might be. The fact that the world is other than it might be does not alter the truth that Christ is present in it and that His plan has been neither frustrated nor changed; indeed, all will be done according to His will. Our Advent is a celebration of this hope.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Photo: Wait before Opening


Prayer: Benedict XVI

Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Second Sunday in Advent

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze
predmore.blogspot.com


The Second Sunday in Advent
December 4, 2016
Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12

            Isaiah and John the Baptist, two towering Advent figures, meet on this Second Sunday of Advent. Both are important prophets but each has a unique preaching style. Isaiah is the poet with lyrical verses that encourage people to return in confidence to their homeland of Israel from the exile. Many blessings await the ones who remain faithful. The Lord, as promised, will revive their broken spirits. John preaches ascetical repentance. His is the lonely voice that calls people to ask for forgiveness of their sins so that God remembers them.  John also spoke through his action – baptizing people as they acknowledged their lowliness before God.

             Each prophet has a different vision of heaven. Isaiah presents an idyllic world that is to come where there is no hostility or hatred. All the lines of division are gone and no walls exist. Natural enemies become friends and they decide to enjoy one another. The Lord provides everyone anything that is needed and the good will come out as victors. Fear cannot exist in this world where peace reigns. The virtues of wisdom and understanding are upheld are primary ones. Isaiah sees goodness and encourages everyone to work for it.

            John’s image of the world is vastly different. He wants everyone to rightly acknowledge who they are before the Lord. He wants no puffed up illusions of self-grandeur or self-importance. Our moral actions need purification because we stray far from the goal and he wants to help us get back there by the grace of God. In these readings, he goes after the hypocritical Pharisees, who may be having a change of heart. He wants them to prove that their baptism is effective through their actions by producing good works. If they do not, they will have to reckon with Christ, who will judge the people as a reaper clears the wheat from the chaff.
            The major points are clear: We have to trust in God’s promises to us and conform our actions to our beliefs. In Isaiah’s world, our small, unnoticed actions are essential for the larger vision to unfold. Each good action leads to further good actions and when the goodness catches on fire, we see that peace miraculously fits into our world. God’s grace helps it unfold. As God works by gentle, unseen invitations, our actions must replicate God’s. In John’s world, assessing our attitudes and actions are indispensible for keeping us prepared for God’s promises. Gentleness and humility are part of it, and right relations with our neighbors are essential. John recognizes that integrity makes words credible and our actions have to emerge from our humility – our rightful stance before God. Each vision is contained in God’s larger universe.

Pay attention to the particular styles of the prophets in your life. Which voice do you need to hear? What message will stir your heart? Where does the Lord need to touch your Advent life this year? The Lord’s mercy is endless. As Isaiah encourages, take time to daydream, and as John exhorts, take time for honest reflection about the direction of your life. Each of these prophets wants to be heard. You need to be heard. This is the time to ask the Lord to prepare your hearts for what you most need. Healing? Strength or courage? Greater understanding? This is the time to crack open the world that encloses us so that the Lord’s graces can reach into it and bring us the hope we need. Be extra gentle with yourselves this time of year. Slow it down and learn how to balance the work-life demands. Slow it down because no one will do it for you. Stop. Listen. Hear. The Lord will make the glory of his voice heard in the joy of your heart.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Isaiah 35) Here is your God, he comes with vindication. The eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be cleared.
Tuesday: (Isaiah 40) Give comfort to my people. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated.
Wednesday: (Isaiah 40) Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things. Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Thursday: (Genesis 3) After Adam ate of the tree, God called to him, “Where are you?” I heard you were in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.   
Friday (Isaiah 48) I, the Lord, will teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. Hearken to my commandments.
Saturday (Sirach 48) A prophet named Elijah appeared whose words were as a flaming furnace. By the Lord’s word, he shut up the heavens and brought down fire three times.

Gospel: 
Monday: (Luke 5) After Jesus healed the man on a stretcher, he forgave his sins. The scribes and Pharisees protested and asked, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies?”
Tuesday: (Matthew 18) If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them is lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?
Wednesday (Matthew 11) Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.
Thursday (Luke 1) The angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin betrothed to Joseph to announce that the Holy Spirit would overpower her and she would conceive a son.  
Friday (Matthew 11) How shall I consider you? I played a dirge for you and you would not mourn; I played a flute for you and you would not dance.
Saturday (Matthew 17) As Jesus came down the mountain, the disciples asked, “Why do they say Elijah must come first?” Elijah has come and will indeed come to restore all things.

Saints of the Week

December 3: Francis Xavier, S.J., priest (1506-1552) was a founding members of the Jesuit Order who was sent to the East Indies and Japan as a missionary. His preaching converted hundreds of thousands of converts to the faith. He died before reaching China. Xavier was a classmate of Peter Faber and Ignatius of Loyola at the University of Paris.

December 6: Nicholas, bishop (d. 350), lived in southwest Turkey and was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution. He attended the Council of Nicaea in 324. Since there are many stories of his good deeds, generous charity, and remarkable pastoral care, his character became the foundation for the image of Santa Claus.

December 7: Ambrose, bishop and doctor (339-397) was a Roman governor who fairly mediated an episcopal election in Milan. He was then acclaimed their bishop even though he was not baptized. He baptized Augustine in 386 and is doctor of the church because of his preaching, teaching and influential ways of being a pastor.

December 8: The Immaculate Conception of Mary is celebrated today, which is nine months before her birth in September. The Immaculate Conception prepares her to become the mother of the Lord. Scripture tells of the annunciation to Mary by the angel Gabriel. Mary's assent to be open to God's plan makes our salvation possible.

December 9: Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548) was a poor, simple, indigenous man who was visited by Mary in 1531. She instructed him to build a church at Guadalupe near Mexico City. During another visit, she told him to present flowers to the bishop. When he did, the flowers fell from his cape to reveal an image of Mary that is still revered today.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Dec. 4, 1870: The Roman College, appropriated by the Piedmontese government, was reopened as a Lyceum. The monogram of the Society over the main entrance was effaced.
·      Dec. 5, 1584: By his bull Omnipotentis Dei, Pope Gregory XIII gave the title of Primaria to Our Lady's Sodality established in the Roman College in 1564, and empowered it to aggregate other similar sodalities.
·      Dec. 6, 1618: In Naples, the Jesuits were blamed for proposing to the Viceroy that a solemn feast should be held in honor of the Immaculate Conception and that priests should make a public pledge defend the doctrine. This was regarded as a novelty not to be encouraged.
·      Dec. 7, 1649: Charles Garnier was martyred in Etarita, Canada, as a missionary to the Petun Indians, among whom he died during an Iroquois attack.
·      Dec. 8, 1984: Walter Ciszek, prisoner in Russia from 1939 to 1963, died.
·      Dec. 9, 1741: At Paris, Fr. Charles Poree died. He was a famous master of rhetoric. Nineteen of his pupils were admitted into the French Academy, including Voltaire, who, in spite of his impiety, always felt an affectionate regard for his old master.

·      Dec 10, 1548. The general of the Dominicans wrote in defense of the Society of Jesus upon seeing it attacked in Spain by Melchior Cano and others.