A Time of Hope

+JMJ+ It’s here! The week leading up to Christmas! Whew! We’ve had some cold weather here and we’re expecting a few days of lows around 16-18 degrees for Christmas Eve and Christmas night. But it’s not so brutal right now and pretty comfy in the den where I’m writing this. Let’s get a fresh cup of tea, then we can take a quick look at a book in my favorite devotional series, In Conversation with God, Daily Meditations, Volume One, Advent and Christmastide, and the reading for yesterday, the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

Advent is a time of hope. It says so right on page 153 in the printed volume.(This is one of those sets that I do prefer to have in print instead of an ebook. For some reason it helps me get into a devotional “mood” and I’d rather call it something else but that’s what comes to mind.) 

The first section reflects on the Blessed Virgin Mary as the teacher of hope and says that the “spirit of Advent largely consists in living close to Our Lady…when she is carrying Jesus in her womb.” Our life is like

“a longer advent, waiting for that definitive moment when we at last find ourselves with God forever. The Christian knows that he has to live this advent beside Our Lady every day of his life if he wants to be certain of attaining the only thing in the whole of his existence that is really important — finding Christ in this life, and afterwards being with him in eternity.

“There is no better way of preparing for Christmas, which is now so close, than by keeping Mary company, getting to know her and deepening our love and trust in her.”

Francis Fernandez Carvajal, In Conversation with God, Daily Meditations for Advent and Christmastide, Volume One, 153. 

Mary teaches us to hope. ‘All generations will call me blessed’, she proclaimed. Humanly speaking, how could she hope for such a thing? Who was she, in the eyes of her contemporaries? The great heroines of the Old Testament – Judith, Esther, Deborah – won a measure of human renown even here on earth … What a contrast between Our Lady’s hope and our own impatience! We call so often upon God to reward us at once for any little good we may have done. For us, no sooner does the very first difficulty “appear than we begin to complain. Often we find ourselves incapable of sustaining our efforts, of keeping our hope alive.

St. Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, 286, quoted in ICWG, 153-154.
Mother of the Light of the world, pray for us.
Mother of the Light of the world, pray for us.

I shared the playlist below recently but this is the week for the O Antiphons now, so I’m sharing it again.

Video: “The Great Antiphons. Gregorian chant notation from the Liber Usualis (1961), p. 341. Latin lyrics sung by the Cantarte Regensburg.” This is a playlist of all seven antiphons. 

More about the O Antiphons

And more about the O Antiphons at Catholic Culture. Also at Catholic Culture, for each of the seven days: 

  • Day 1, December 17: (O Sapientia, O Wisdom), 
  • Day 2, December 18: (O Adonai, O Lord and Ruler), 
  • Day 3, December 19: (O Radix Jesse, O Root of Jesse). 
  • Day 4, December 20: (O Clavis David, O Key of David)
  • Day 5, December 21: (O Oriens, O Dayspring)
  • Day 6, December 22: (O Rex Gentium, O King of Nations)
  • Day 7, December 23: (O Emmanuel, O God with Us)

That’s where we are now as I write, Day 3, O Radix Jesse, O Root of Jesse. You can follow the O Antiphons at Catholic Culture using those links to get you started. (Note, Dec 22: Links added. Note, Dec 20: If I remember to do it, I’ll add the links for each of the seven days.)

Thanks for visiting the blog and reading. May we stay holy and virtuous during this Advent season of hope, and, by His grace, become the saints the Lord intends us to be. May His peace be with you, now and always. +JMJ+ 

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Notes and Links

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Image credit: On the Way to Bethlehem, from Free Images, by Ambrozjo. Mother of the Light of the World, I’m not sure what the title of this painting is and I cannot find information about the artist. We used to carry this one at the Catholic bookstore, the one I have written about on the blog as part of my conversion story and have mentioned it elsewhere, too.

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Copyright: All original material on Catholic Heart and Mind is Copyright © 2009-2023 Lee Lancaster. All rights reserved. Read more.

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