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by St. Alphonsus Liguori
With Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur


The Eternal Word Is Made Man
Part 1

Ignum veni mittere in terram; et quid volo, nisi ut accendatur?

“I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I but that it be kindled?”—Luke, 12:49

THE Jews solemnized a day called by them dies ignis, [2 Mach. 1:18] the day of fire, in memory of the fire with which Nehemias consumed the sacrifice, upon his return with his countrymen from the captivity of Babylon. Even so, and indeed with more reason, should Christmas Day be called the day of fire, on which a God came as a little child to cast the fire of love into the hearts of men. Continue reading

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.

Third Sunday of Advent

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Third Sunday of Advent

Guadete Sunday
Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.

TODAY, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to lessen somewhat the austerity of this penitential season by the innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites. And first, this Sunday has had the name of Gaudete given to it, from the first word of the Introit; it also is honored with those impressive exceptions which belong to the fourth Sunday of Lent, called Lætare. The organ is played at the Mass; the vestments are rose-color [optional]; the deacon resumes the dalmatic, and the subdeacon the tunic; and in cathedral churches the bishop assists with the precious miter. How touching are all these usages, and how admirable this condescension of the Church, wherewith she so beautifully blends together the unalterable strictness of the dogmas of faith and the graceful poetry of the formulæ of her liturgy! Let us enter into her spirit, and be glad on this third Sunday of her Advent, because our Lord is now so near unto us. Tomorrow we will resume our attitude of. servants mourning for the absence of their Lord and waiting for Him; for every delay, however short, is painful and makes love sad.
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St. Eusebius

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St. Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli

A.D. 371.

ST. EUSEBIUS was born of a noble family in the isle of Sardinia, where his father is said to have died in chains for the faith. His mother, whose name was Restituta, being left a widow, carried him and a daughter she had, both in their infancy, to Rome. 1 Eusebius was brought up in the practice of piety, and in the study of sacred learning, and ordained lector by St. Sylvester. We know not by what accident he was called to Vercelli, a city now in Piedmont. He served that church among the clergy with such applause, that the episcopal chair becoming vacant, he was unanimously chosen by the clergy and people to fill it. He is the first bishop of Vercelli whose name we know.  Continue reading