Monday, December 6, 2021

Monday of the Second Week of Advent

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Saint: Saint Nicholas (4th century)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 54 Letters or Gifts for the Monks

Mass: Is 35:1-10; Resp Ps 85; Lk 5:17-26

Our God will come to save us!

JESUS, MEEK AND HUMBLE OF HEART,
MAKE OUR HEARTS LIKE TO THINE.

Welcome to Monday. Let's be persistent today, impatient even, and do what needs to be done to get to Jesus. The power of the Lord is with Him for healing (Lk 5:17), as in today's Gospel. The Divine Physician is waiting for us. Even if your friends have to take you to the roof and lower you through the tiles into the middle of the room in front Jesus (Lk 5:18-19), go for it. After all, what are friends for? May Jesus see our faith and say, As for you, your sins are forgiven ... rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home (Lk 5:20, 24).

Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.
(Is 35:4-5)

SAINT NICHOLAS,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: These beautiful red berries, says contributor d, are the berries "of those jelly candies that come in a small round container. They taste like a gummy bear." Could they be the ones that make the famous German Haribo Gummy Berries? Yummy. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Second Sunday of Advent

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

In other years: Saint John Almond (c,1565-1612; Saint Birinus (7th century); Saint Hedda (-7050; Blessed Bartholomew Fanit (c.1428-1495)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 53:16-23 The Reception of Guests

Mass: Baruch 5:1-9; Resp Ps 126; Ph 1:4-6, 8-11; Lk 3:1-6

The Lord has done great things for us.

HEART OF JESUS, THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Welcome to the Second Week of Advent, this holy "period of devout and expectant delight". Last Sunday we were talking about removing things that burden us, things that make us drowsy. We are meant during this time to stand tall and be alert so that we are clear in mind and heart to remember the birth of Jesus, and to look forward to His Second Coming. How did your week go? No matter, we can always begin again as we hear from John the Baptist in today's Gospel. He is the voice crying out in the desert: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." (Lk 3:4). So why not listen to Servant of God Catherine de Hueck Doherty: "Let every day be the day of beginning again, of loving Christ a little more, of hungering for him a little more, of turning our face to him. To accomplish this, all we need to do is to look at the person next to us. We must never forget that we shall be judged on love alone. And that there is only one way to love God and "prove it" to him: by loving our "neighbor," the person next to us at any given moment." Catherine's words are fitting too for Saint Benedict's Chapter 53 on the Reception of Guests. Our holy father Benedict begins in this way: "All guests themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Mt 25:35). Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith, and to pilgrims" (RB 53:1-2). We don't have to wait for guests either, or look outside our homes, communities, places of work, or even very far, for the guest is the person next to us at any given moment. 

SAINT JOHN ALMOND,
SAINT BIRINIUS,
SAINT HEDDA,
BLESSED BARTHOLOMEW FANIT,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Our Advent Wreath, lit for the Second Week of this holy season.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Saturday of the First Week of Advent

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

First Saturday of the Month

Saint: Saint John Damascene, priest, Doctor (676-749)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 53:1-15 The Reception of Guests

Mass: Is 30:19-21; Resp Ps 147; Mt 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8

Great is our Lord and mighty in power.

HEART OF JESUS, SOURCE OF ALL CONSOLATION,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Welcome to the First Saturday of the Month. Mary, Mother of divine grace, pray for us.

If you hear a voice from behind today, a voice that sounds in your ears, This is the way; walk in it (Is 30:21), listen. Then pray with words from Saint John Damascene: "Lord, lighten the heavy burden of all my sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart. Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path. When I open my mouth, tell me what I should say. By the fiery tongue of your Spirit make my own tongue ready. Stay with me always and keep me in your sight: (From The Statement of Faith by Saint John Damascene, priest, in Office of Readings, December 4).

We continue to pray for Pope Francis, now in Greece on the second leg of his 35th foreign Apostolic Journey. For the health and well-being of the Holy Father we pray, Lord, hear our prayer. 

SAINT JOHN DAMASCENE,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Another look at the Oregon oak, seen before on November 3.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Friday, December 3, 2021

Friday of the First Week of Advent

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

First Friday of the Month

Saint: Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 52 The Oratory of the Monastery

Mass: Is 29:17-24; Resp Ps 27; Mt 9:27-31

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.

HEART OF JESUS, ENRICHING ALL WHO INVOKE THEE,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Welcome to the First Friday of the Month. I like First Fridays and First Saturdays too, and we get the latter tomorrow. They are good days to keep us in touch with our faith tradition. What special can you do on these days by way of prayer and charity so as to love the Lord God with your whole heart, your whole soul and all your strength, and love our neighbor as yourself? (Mt 22:37-39; Mk 12:30-31; Lk 10:27/RB 4:1). Dear Jesus, Divine Healer, touch us. May it be done to us according to our faith so that our eyes are opened (Mt 9:29-30). I believe, help my unbelief. 

Let us not forget that Pope Francis is engaged in his 35th Apostolic Journey, this time to Cyprus and Greece. We remember our Holy Father in prayer.

If we celebrate the Lord's advent with grateful hearts we shall be doing no more than our duty, for not only did He come to us but He came for our sake ... the very generosity with which He is pleased to treat us clearly shows up in the measure of our need.
(Saint Bernard of Clairvaux)  

SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Our land of the living grows some big things, like trees along the Avenue of the Giants. Photo taken November 3.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 51 Brothers on a Short Journey 

Mass: Is 26:1-6; Resp Ps 118; Mt 7:21, 24-27

The gate is the Lord's; the just shall enter it.

HEART OF JESUS, HOUSE OF GOD AND GATE OF HEAVEN,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Buon viaggio Papa Francesco. Pope Francis embarked on his 35th Apostolic Journey this morning. This time the Holy Father is off to Cyprus and Greece. For the health and well-being of Pope Francis, and the of people of Cyprus and Greece, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.

I underlined this from today's first reading at Mass which seemed like a good motto for the day: "Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock" (Is 26:4). In this way we are reminded to build our houses on rock, the Rock of Jesus, the firm foundation as in today's Gospel. Listen to Jesus. Act on the Lord's words. The winds of the day will blow and buffet us. Be strong, take heart, hope in the Lord. 

Here is something to ponder. In the recent Humboldt Historian (Winter 2021), there is an interesting article, only one among many, entitled "Zipsy" (pp. 18-23), about Zipporah Henrietta Russ (1879-1929), affectionately known as "Zipsy" or "Zip". In an 1899 letter to Zipsy from Franklin Illingsworth, Mr Illingsworth writes about what he sees as Zipsy's key to happiness. He was happy to hear that Zipsy was feeling better. He wrote to her, "You are such a good, patient invalid, dearest, that everyone loves to be around you." Mr Illingsworth continues, "I can see that you have the key to happiness, Darling, in whatever condition you are in. You are unselfish, and think of the pleasures for someone else, rather than moodily going over all your own trials. I think perhaps that we have no trials at all unless we keep our minds on ourselves to the exclusion of every other beauty of life."

MARY, HEALTH OF THE SICK,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: I took this photo on November 28, 2018. This leads to our grove.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Saints: Blessed Clementine Anuarite (1939-1964); Saint Alexander Briant (1556-1581); Saint Ralph Sherwin (1550-1581); Saint Edmund Campion (1540-1581)

World Aids Day

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 50 Brothers Working at a Distance

Mass: Is 25:6-10a; Resp Ps 23; Mt 29-37

He refreshes my soul.

HEART OF JESUS, BREAD OF LIFE,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Welcome to December. I have been thinking this morning about today's Gospel passage, most specifically about the great crowds that came to Jesus the Divine Healer as He went up on the mountain and sat down. Hordes of people followed Jesus. They brought the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute and many others. It may be a tendency to place these "ill" people outside of ourselves, and not think that perhaps we, each one of us, are all ill in one way or another and so gathered too. As someone reminded me the other day, we all do have vulnerabilities of some kind or another. It may not be so pleasant to discover them, embrace them, and with the folks in today's Gospel, put ourselves at the feet of Jesus and ask for healing. And, united in faith, we can bring all the other people we know who are suffering with us. We just may be made whole, in ways unexpected and greatly needed. Kyrie eleison. May we glorify God in mind and heart. 

Keep God's word in this way. Let it enter into your very being, let it take possession of your desires and your whole way of life. Feed on goodness, and your soul will delight in its richness. Remember to eat your bread, or your heart will wither away. Fill your soul with richness and strength.
(From a sermon by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot, in Office of Readings, First Week of Advent, Wednesday)

BLESSED CLEMENTINE ANUARITE,
SAINT ALEXANDER BRIANT,
SAINT RALPH SHERWIN,
SAINT EDMUND CAMPION,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: One of my favorite spots. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Other Saints: Saint Cuthbert Mayne (1543-1577)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 49 The Observance of Lent 

Mass: Rm 10:9-18; Resp Ps 19; Mt 4:18-22

The precepts of the Lord are right.

HEART OF JESUS, DELIGHT OF ALL THE SAINTS,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

On this last day of the glorious month of November, when we celebrate all the saints in heaven and on earth, and pray too for the repose of the souls of all the faithful departed, we conclude in a rousing fashion by commemorating Saint Andrew the Apostle. God is praised

At the same time, we read from Chapter 49 of the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict, on the observance of Lent. Since it is as Saint Benedict says, that life ought to be a continuous Lent (RB 49:1), there are many aspects of the chapter that apply to the Season of Advent. Saint Benedict urges the whole community to keep its manner of life most pure and to wash away the negligences of other times (RB 49:2-3). We can do this during the holy season of Advent so as to be clear in our mind and heart to remember the birth of Jesus, and look forward to His Second Coming, as written about this past Sunday. We want to do what we can with the grace of God, to strengthen our hearts to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as Saint Paul exhorts (1 Th 3:13). We can devote ourselves to prayer, and reading, to compunction of heart and self-denial (RB 49:4), and stand erect and alert, even while carrying the burdens of daily life, things that weigh us down like pressures at work, problems in the family, illness, and so on. We can, as we do during Lent, deny ourselves of some food, drink, needless talking and idle jesting (RB 49:7), or any other things that make us "bobalized", as also written about last Sunday. We ask God to help us then, O God, come to my assistance, O Lord, make haste to help me. During Lent, we look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing (RB 49:7) Let us look forward to Christmas then, with joy and spiritual longing. United in faith and prayer, we support each other, from near and far. 

SAINT ANDREW THE APOSTLE,
SAINT CUTHBERT MAYNE,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: More beauty in the clay pot. Happy Name Day bro James Andrew. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021