Next Tuesday we will celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of our diocese and the Queen of the Americas. This is not just a Hispanic feast, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the first great appearance of our Blessed Mother and the only one where she left her actual image. This image is not a painting, but a miraculous image on fiber that should have disintegrated after about 20 years.
We will conclude our Novena on Monday evening at 6pm at our Capilla on 55th Avenue. After the novena, about 7pm, we will process our image of Our Lady of Guadalupe through the neighborhood. If you have never walked in this procession you have missed a wonderful devotion, not just for those who walk, but for those who come out of their home to greet our Blessed Mother.READ MORE
Advent is about preparing for the coming of Jesus into our lives. According to the prophet Isaiah, we should "Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!" What is this wasteland if not the barren places of our souls? They are those places we have not yet received God's love for us. Do we have valleys in our hearts? Empty places where love and kindness are missing? We can fill in those valleys by being loving and kind to a family member who is especially difficult. What about the mountains or hills, the high places of pride that make us feel we're better than others? We can flatten those by choosing the hidden, humble tasks with joy. Are there rocky places of temptation that cause us to stumble or fall? We can remove them by confessing our sins. Then our souls will be ready to welcome our Lord when he comes. When we let Isaiah help us to "prepare the way of the LORD" in Advent, we will be "gathered into His arms and carried in His bosom."READ MORE
The prophet Isaiah describes what we are like when we forget God. Does his description make us uncomfortable? We are, he says, sinful, unclean, withered like leaves, guilty. Even our good deeds, Isaiah warns, are like polluted rags without God. Then he prays, "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are clay, you are the potter." This shift of focus from the guilt of our sin to pliable docility in the hands of a loving Father is what Advent is all about. Our hearts ought to cry with the Psalmist throughout this season, "Lord make us turn to you." The second reading brings another shift. In Christ is grace, peace, knowledge, and every spiritual gift. God is Faithful – He will keep us firm to the end!READ MORE
Many of us have probably had the experience of being in a very dark place, maybe a room, or even outside away from the city lights. If it is really dark, we look for some little light to guide our way. When we see the light, we move towards it, because it will show us the way we need to go.
As we begin the holy season of Advent, we begin looking for that light to guide our way. Life can sometimes seem dark and despairing, but St. John the Baptist and our Blessed Mother will guide us to the light, Jesus Christ. This is the Advent experience.READ MORE