Thursday, December 14, 2017

Photo: Festive Necklace

Poem: San Juan de la Cruz

“I came into the unknown
and stayed there unknowing
rising beyond all science.

I did not know the door
but when I found the way,
unknowing where I was,
I learned enormous things,
but what I felt I cannot say,
for I remained unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

It was the perfect realm
of holiness and peace.
In deepest solitude
I found the narrow way:
a secret giving such release
that I was stunned and stammering,
rising beyond all science.

I was so far inside,
so dazed and far away
my senses were released
from feelings of my own.
My mind had found a surer way:
a knowledge of unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

And he who does arrive
collapses as in sleep,
for all he knew before
now seems a lowly thing,
and so his knowledge grows so deep
that he remains unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

The higher he ascends
the darker is the wood;
it is the shadowy cloud
that clarified the night,
and so the one who understood
remains always unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

This knowledge by unknowing
is such a soaring force
that scholars argue long
but never leave the ground.
Their knowledge always fails the source:
to understand unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

This knowledge is supreme
crossing a blazing height;
though formal reason tries
it crumbles in the dark,
but one who would control the night
by knowledge of unknowing
will rise beyond all science.

And if you wish to hear:
the highest science leads
to an ecstatic feeling
of the most holy Being;
and from his mercy comes his deed:
to let us stay unknowing,
rising beyond all science.” 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Third Sunday of Advent
December 17, 2017
Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11; Luke 1; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

This is called Rejoice Sunday because our waiting is coming to an end as we move closer to the birth of our Savior. We hear about rejoicing in each of the readings, even though this joy is tempered with grief and sorrow. It may be a quiet joy, but the important message is that we are to know that the last word will include our rejoicing.
This week, I found moments of rejoicing in the midst of hardship. A middle-age man is feeling down because his father died recently and this will be the first Christmas without him, but his friends, who recognize his, take him out for a party to give him good cheer so he will know the fullness of friends.

· An elderly woman in a memory care unit starts weeping when she hears Christmas song. She sings along and smiles widely with her friends, but somehow realizes this may the last time she enjoys Christmas songs.

· My brother flies into town to visit my ailing mother and some of the siblings go out to a new restaurant. There was great exciting in selecting shared menu items and in sipping hot chocolate during a holiday stroll to see the bright city lights.

· During a day of coincidences, two cousins, by happy fate, see each other after 40 years.

· A man who gets depressed around Christmastime sits in a chapel to gain courage and to figure out how to salvage parts of the season.

· At a company party, a woman who is working hard to pay down debt wins a 55-inch television, an item she could not afford on her own.

· Priests from around the city gather in a church for the sacrament of reconciliation and to enjoy fraternal fellowship.

During these dark days of the years, there are certainly moments of relief and rejoicing. These are the glimpses of relief that root us and ground us in hope. Even though it may be very difficult, the Lord will help us if we follow the words of St. Paul: Rejoice always! Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. I love these words and it is consoling to read: this is God’s will for me and you.

With many good, but busy activities swirling around us during this season, let us take that time to sit in silence and stillness some point this week just to say thanks to Christ, to ask for the moment when we can rejoice, if just a little bit, and to pray for his coming into our life in a new way this Christmas. You deserve to know that God wants you to have this joy. You are worth it. I know deep down in the core of my heart, I need this joy and thankfulness because life gets heavy and it is difficult to find. So, I ask for it and wait in stillness. And somehow, even though if there’s the tiniest movement, the movement is towards Christ who is moving towards me. It is time to come, Lord. Please do not delay. I want you. We all need you. And I want you to know this, Lord: Thank you.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Zechariah 2) Rejoice, O daughter Zion. I am coming to dwell among you. The Lord will possess Judah and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Tuesday: (Zephaniah 3) On that day, I will change and purify their lips that they may call upon the name of the Lord. You shall not exalt yourself on my holy mountain.
Wednesday: (Isaiah 45) I am the Lord; there is no other; I form the light and create the darkness. Turn to be and be safe all you ends of the earth for I am the Lord, your God.
Thursday: (Isaiah 54) Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear, break forth in jubilant song you who were not in labor.    
Friday (Isaiah 56) Observe what is right; do what is just; for my salvation is about to come; my justice is about to be revealed.
Saturday (Genesis 49) Jacob said: You Judah, shall your brothers praise. The scepter will never depart from you, or the mace from between your legs.  

Monday: (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. 
Tuesday: (Matthew 21) A man had two sons – one who said no, but did what his father asked; the other who said yes, but did not do what he asked. Which son was better?
Wednesday (Luke 7) The Baptist sent his disciples at ask: Are you the one who is to come? Look around: the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the poor hear the good news.
Thursday (Luke 7) Jesus asked: Why did you go out to see the Baptist? He is the greatest of men born to women.   
Friday (John 5) The Baptist was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his lift, but I have greater testimony than John’s.
Saturday (Matthew 1) The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus.

Saints of the Week

December 17 - O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge.

December 18 - O Adonai, and leader of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power.

December 19 - O root of Jesse's stem, sign of God's love for all the people, before you the kings will be silenced, to you the nations will make their prayers: come to save us without delay!

December 20 - O key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, opening the gates of God's eternal kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness.

December 21 - O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 21: Peter Canisius, S.J., priest and religious (1521-1597), was sent to Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, and Switzerland during the time of the Protestant Reformation to reinvigorate the Catholic faith. He directed many through the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius. He is a doctor of the church for his work in bringing many people back to the faith.

December 22 - O King of all nations, and their desire, and keystone of the church: come and save us, whom you formed from the dust.

December 23 - O Emmanuel, our king and giver of the Law, the hope of the nations and their Savior: come to save us, Lord our God.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Dec 17, 1588. At Paris, Fr. Henry Walpole was ordained.
·      Dec 18, 1594. At Florence, the apparition of St Ignatius to St Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi.
·      Dec 19, 1593. At Rome, Fr. Robert Bellarmine was appointed rector of the Roman College.
·      Dec 20, 1815. A ukase of Alexander I was published banishing the Society of Jesus from St Petersburg and Moscow on the pretext that they were troubling the Russian Church.
·      Dec 21, 1577. In Rome, Fr. Juan de Polanco, secretary to the Society and very dear to Ignatius, died.
·      Dec 22, 1649. At Cork, Fr. David Glawey, a missionary in the Inner and Lower Hebrides, Islay, Oronsay, Colonsay, and Arran, died.
·      Dec 23, 1549. Francis Xavier was appointed provincial of the newly erected Indian Province.

El tercer domingo de Adviento

El tercer domingo de Adviento
17 de diciembre de 2017
Isaías 61: 1-2, 10-11; Lucas 1; 1 Tesalonicenses 5: 16-24; Juan 1: 6-8, 19-28

Esto se llama Regocijar el domingo porque nuestra espera está llegando a su fin a medida que nos acercamos al nacimiento de nuestro Salvador. Escuchamos sobre regocijo en cada una de las lecturas, a pesar de que esta alegría se atempera con dolor y pena. Puede ser una alegría tranquila, pero el mensaje importante es que debemos saber que la última palabra incluirá nuestro regocijo.

• Esta semana, encontré momentos de regocijo en medio de las dificultades. Un hombre de mediana edad se siente deprimido porque su padre murió recientemente y esta será la primera Navidad sin él, pero sus amigos, que lo reconocen, lo llevan a una fiesta para alegrarlo y así conocer la plenitud de los amigos. .
• Una anciana en una unidad de atención de memoria comienza a llorar cuando escucha la canción de Navidad. Ella canta y sonríe ampliamente con sus amigos, pero de alguna manera se da cuenta de que es la última vez que disfruta de las canciones navideñas.
• Mi hermano vuela a la ciudad para visitar a mi madre enferma y algunos de los hermanos van a un nuevo restaurante. Hubo una gran emoción en la selección de elementos del menú compartido y en tomar chocolate caliente durante un paseo de vacaciones para ver las luces brillantes de la ciudad.
• Durante un día de coincidencias, dos primos, por feliz destino, se ven después de 40 años.
• Un hombre que se deprime alrededor de Navidad se sienta en una capilla para ganar coraje y para descubrir cómo salvar partes de la temporada.
• En una fiesta de la compañía, una mujer que está trabajando arduamente para pagar las deudas gana un televisor de 55 pulgadas, un artículo que no podía pagar solo.
• Los sacerdotes de toda la ciudad se reúnen en una iglesia para el sacramento de la reconciliación y para disfrutar del compañerismo fraterno.

Durante estos oscuros días de los años, ciertamente hay momentos de alivio y regocijo. Estos son los atisbos de alivio que nos enraízan y nos fundamentan en la esperanza. Aunque puede ser muy difícil, el Señor nos ayudará si seguimos las palabras de San Pablo: ¡Regocíjense siempre! Orar sin cesar. En todas las circunstancias da gracias, porque esta es la voluntad de Dios para ti en Cristo Jesús. Amo estas palabras y es consolador leer: esta es la voluntad de Dios para mí y para ti.
Con muchas actividades buenas, pero ocupadas girando a nuestro alrededor durante esta temporada, tomemos ese tiempo para sentarnos en silencio y calmarnos en algún punto esta semana solo para agradecerle a Cristo, para pedir el momento en el que podamos regocijarnos, si solo un poco poco, y rezar por su llegada a nuestra vida de una manera nueva esta Navidad. Mereces saber que Dios quiere que tengas esta alegría. Lo vales. Sé que en el fondo de mi corazón, necesito esta alegría y agradecimiento porque la vida se vuelve pesada y es difícil de encontrar. Entonces, lo pido y espero en quietud. Y de alguna manera, a pesar de que si hay un movimiento mínimo, el movimiento es hacia Cristo que se mueve hacia mí. Es hora de venir, Señor. Por favor no te demores Te quiero. Todos te necesitamos. Y quiero que sepan esto, Señor: Gracias.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Zacarías 2) Alégrate, hija Sión. Vengo a vivir entre ustedes. El Señor poseerá a Judá y él volverá a elegir Jerusalén.
Martes: (Sofonías 3) En ese día, cambiaré y purificaré sus labios para que invoquen el nombre del Señor. No te exaltarás en mi santo monte.
Miércoles: (Isaías 45) Yo soy el Señor; no hay otro; Yo formo la luz y creo la oscuridad. Vuélvete y sé seguro en todos los confines de la tierra, porque yo soy el Señor, tu Dios.
Jueves: (Isaías 54) Levanta un alegre clamor, estéril que no soportó, irrumpe en canción jubilosa tú que no estuviste en parto.
Viernes (Isaías 56) Observe lo que es correcto; haz lo que es justo; porque mi salvación está por venir; mi justicia está a punto de ser revelada.
Sábado (Génesis 49) Jacob dijo: Tú, Judá, tus hermanos lo alabarán. El cetro nunca se apartará de ti, o la maza de entre tus piernas.

Lunes: (Lucas 1) El ángel Gabriel fue enviado a una virgen desposada con José para anunciar que el Espíritu Santo la vencería y ella concebiría un hijo.
Martes: (Mateo 21) Un hombre tuvo dos hijos, uno que dijo que no, pero que hizo lo que le pidió su padre; el otro que dijo que sí, pero que no hizo lo que le pidió. ¿Qué hijo fue mejor?
Miércoles (Lucas 7) El Bautista envió a sus discípulos a preguntar: ¿Eres tú el que ha de venir? Mire a su alrededor: los ciegos ven, los sordos oyen, los cojos caminan, y los pobres oyen las buenas nuevas.
Jueves (Lucas 7) Jesús preguntó: ¿Por qué saliste a ver al Bautista? Él es el más grande de los hombres nacidos de mujeres.
Viernes (Juan 5) El Bautista era una lámpara ardiente y resplandeciente, y durante un tiempo te contentaste con regocijarte en su elevación, pero tengo un testimonio más grande que el de Juan.
Sábado (Mateo 1) El libro de la genealogía de Jesucristo, el hijo de David, el hijo de Abraham. Jacob fue el padre de José, el esposo de María. De ella nació Jesús.

Santos de la semana

17 de diciembre - Oh Sabiduría, saliendo de la boca de nuestro Dios Altísimo, guiando la creación con poder y amor: ven a enseñarnos el camino del conocimiento.

18 de diciembre - Oh Adonai, y líder de la casa de Israel, que se apareció a Moisés en el fuego de la zarza ardiente y le dio la ley en el Sinaí: ven a rescatarnos con tu gran poder.

19 de diciembre: Oh, raíz de la raíz de Jesé, signo del amor de Dios para todo el pueblo, ante ti los reyes serán silenciados, a ti las naciones harán sus oraciones: ¡ven a salvarnos sin demora!

20 de diciembre - Oh, llave de David, y cetro de la casa de Israel, abriendo las puertas del reino eterno de Dios: ven y libera a los prisioneros de las tinieblas.

21 de diciembre - Oh Amanecer radiante, esplendor de la luz eterna, sol de justicia: ven y resplandece sobre los que habitan en las tinieblas y en la sombra de la muerte.

21 de diciembre: Peter Canisius, S.J., sacerdote y religioso (1521-1597), fue enviado a Alemania, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia y Suiza durante el tiempo de la Reforma Protestante para revitalizar la fe católica. Dirigió a muchos a través de los Ejercicios Espirituales de Ignacio. Él es un doctor de la iglesia por su trabajo en traer a muchas personas a la fe.

22 de diciembre: Rey de todas las naciones, y su deseo, y clave de la iglesia: ven y sálvanos, a quienes formaste del polvo.

23 de diciembre - O Emmanuel, nuestro rey y dador de la Ley, la esperanza de las naciones y su Salvador: vengan a salvarnos, Señor nuestro Dios.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 17 de diciembre de 1588. En París, el p. Henry Walpole fue ordenado.
• 18 de diciembre de 1594. En Florencia, la aparición de San Ignacio a Santa María Magdalena de Pazzi.
• 19 de diciembre de 1593. En Roma, el p. Robert Bellarmine fue nombrado rector del Colegio Romano.
• 20 de diciembre de 1815. Se publicó un ukase de Alejandro I desterrando a la Compañía de Jesús de San Petersburgo y Moscú con el pretexto de que estaban perturbando a la Iglesia rusa.
• 21 de diciembre de 1577. En Roma, el p. Juan de Polanco, secretario de la Sociedad y muy querido por Ignacio, murió.
• 22 de diciembre de 1649. En Cork, el p. David Glawey, misionero en las Hébridas Internas e Inferiores, Islay, Oronsay, Colonsay y Arran, murió.
• 23 de diciembre de 1549. Francis Xavier fue nombrado provincial de la recién creada provincia india.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Photo: Lighted Trees

Spirituality: "A Season of Waiting" by James Martin, S.J.

Waiting is a lost virtue. And technology has only contributed to this loss. No need to wait in line to buy movie tickets any longer – buy them online. No need to wait to read the latest issue of a magazine – read it online. These days we can grow impatient when our computers take more than a few seconds to load.

That’s why Advent can serve as a reminder of the holiness of waiting. Faithful hope is a virtue, a grace, even a joy. Many expectant mothers have told me that while they eagerly look forward to the birth of their child, the pregnancy itself is filled with joy. “I’ll miss having my baby inside of me,” one mother said to me. Perhaps Mary felt the same way about Jesus.

Paradoxically, Christian waiting also encourages us to find God in our present – not simply in our future. God is not only coming; God is already here. So while we anticipate the future with hope, we know that living mindfully in the present is a key way to encounter God. Remember that God does not say to Moses in Exodus, “I was” or “I will be.” God says, “I am.” Here and now.

One of the great joys of Christianity, however, is that God always has something good prepared for our future. For the people of Israel it was a messiah. For us now it is greater Intimacy with Christ, who is alive in the Spirit. And for us at the end of our earthly lives, it is eternal life.

Find God today – but wait in hope for a beautiful future.

Source: In All Seasons, For All Reasons page 66.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Photo: Christmas trees

Poem: “Advent Peace Psalm” (Unknown)

O Prince of Peace,
whose Advent we seek in our lives,
come this day and show us
how to beat our swords into plowshares,
tools of life instead of instruments of fear.

May your love strip us naked
of all weapons and strategies of conquest,
which are not the tools of lovers,
wise ones and God’s children.

Let us not lust for power
but rather strive for the insight
to be guided on the Way of Peace.

Let us be Advent adventurers and peacemakers,
hammering swords into shovels,
filling holes and leveling peaks.

Let us be disarmed and vulnerable,
for only through such open hands and hearts
can Emmanuel come.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Photo: At Nativity Church

Spirituality: “Advent Credo” by: Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss. This is true: For God so loved the world that He sent his only-begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction. This is true: I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.

It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word and that war and destruction rule forever. This is true: Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, his name shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, the Everlasting, the Prince of Peace.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek to rule the world. This is true: To me is given all authority in heaven and on earth and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the world.

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the Church, before we can be peacemakers. This is true: I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy; your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.

It is not true that our hopes for the liberation of humankind, of justice, of human dignity, of peace are not meant for this earth and for this history. This is true: The hour comes – and it is now – that the true worshippers shall worship God in spirit and in truth.

So let us enter Advent with hope, even hope against hope. Let us see visions of peace and justice. Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage: Jesus Christ is the Life of the World.

Source: Testimony: The Word Made Flesh.