Reflection on The Holy Season of Advent

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Reflection on The Holy Season of Advent

The Liturgical Year opens with the holy Season of Advent. This period of preparation for the great solemnity celebrating the coming of the Son of God among men, represents the long centuries of eager waiting which preceded the appearance of the Redeemer. It is a time of hope, full of the longings and aspirations of the Prophets who announced the promised Messiah. But in particular it is the season of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who awaits the fulfillment, in her own sacred person, of the message brought by the Angel Gabriel.

Holy Mother Church wishes us to be filled with the interior dispositions in which the Just among the Chosen People lived before the coming of the Messiah. We shall thus prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ into our souls by faith and Divine charity, as well as for His final Coming, on the Day of Judgment.

In union with the Prophets, and especially with Our Lady, our hearts should yield themselves up to an absolute confidence in Him Who is to come, so that the graces of His Nativity may be brought to us in abundance, and that Jesus may be truly born anew in our hearts.

 

St. Bibiana

St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr

In the fourth century, there lived at Rome a virgin celebrated among the Christians for her beauty and her modesty, named Bibiana. Flavian, her father, was, in the reign of the godless Emperor Julian, dispossessed of all his honors and banished from his country on account of his faith. He ended his life in misery, a true martyr for Christ’s sake. Dafrosa, her mother, was for the same reason, after her husband’s banishment, locked up in her own house, that she might starve. Bibiana and Demetria, the two daughters, shared their mother’s imprisonment. But as neither the mother nor her daughters became emaciated by the hunger they, suffered, and, on the contrary, appeared more vigorous than before, and could not be frightened into denying Christ, the mother, by the order of the governor Apronianus, was banished from the country and then beheaded. Bibiana and Demetria were, at the same time, deprived of all their possessions, in the hope that poverty would cause them to abandon their faith. But the Christian heroines regarded it as little as those to whom St. Paul writes: “You have received the loss of your possessions joyfully, because you know that you have to expect greater goods in heaven.” They said cheerfully: “It is better to lose the temporal goods, which we cannot possess long, than the eternal.” The Governor, after a time, called both of them, and promised that all that had been taken from them would be restored, if they would only worship the gods; but if they refused, he threatened them with imprisonment, a cruel martyrdom and the most painful death. Continue reading

INSTRUCTION FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT

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INSTRUCTION FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT

The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

The first Sunday in Advent is the first day of the Church Year, and the beginning of the holy season of Advent. The Church commences on this day to contemplate the coming of the Redeemer, and with the

prophets to long for Him; during the entire season of Advent she unites her prayers with their sighs, in order to awaken in her children also the desire for the grace of the Redeemer; above all to move them to true penance for their sins, because these are the greatest obstacles in the path of that gracious Advent; therefore she prays at the Introit of the day’s Mass:

INTROIT To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. Show me, O Lord, Thy ways, and teach me Thy paths (Ps. 24). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Raise up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power, and come; that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and to be saved by Thy deliverance. Through our Lord. Continue reading