Monthly Archives: December 2016

Advent increase

In short, all our undertakings for the glory of God require His action and ours.  “Our part is to plant and to irrigate well, with the assistance of grace, but it is for God to give the increase.”  –Abbot Vitalis Lehodey


In haste to fellowship

Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Gospel of Luke


Proper focus upon Mary

And literally, every step the Lord took towards fulfillment of his godly destiny Mary followed—in bare faith. Comprehension came only with Pentecost. Then she understood all that she had so long reverently stored in her heart. It is this heroic faith which places her irrevocably at Christ’s side in the work of redemption, not the miracles of Marianic legend. Legend may delight us with deep and gracious images, but we cannot build our lives on imagery, least of all when the very foundations of our belief begin to totter. What is demanded of us, as of her, is a constant wrestling in fide with the mystery of God and with the evil resistance of the world. Our obligation is not delightful poetry but granite faith—more than ever in this age of absolutes in which the mitigating spell is falling from all things and naked opposites clash everywhere. The purer we see and understand the figure of the Mother of God as she is recorded in the New Testament, the greater the gain for our Christian lives.  –Father Romano Guardini ‘The Lord’


A woman of grace

Mary, Virgin, and Mother

Oh, Virgin Joy of all the world art thou,
In whose white, fragrant steps the countless throng
On souls elect doth follow God with song;
Creation’s Queen, whose bright and holy brow
The multitude of Saints, like stars, endow
With changeful splendors, flashing far and strong:
The Maid unshadowed by the primal wrong:
God’s Lily, chosen in His shrine to bow.

All these thy glories are, and still a grace
More high, more dread, and yet more sweet and fair,
Doth bind thy royal brows, O Mary blest.
God called thee Mother; yea, His sacred face
The tender likeness of thine own doth wear.
And thou art ours—we trust Him for the rest.

Saint Mary E. Seton


Stark reality

The young creature in the stall of Bethlehem was a human being with human brain and limbs and heart and soul. And it was God. Its life was to manifest the will of the Father: to proclaim the sacred tidings, to stir mankind with the power of God, to establish the Covenant, and shoulder the sin of the world, expiating it with love and leading mankind through the destruction of sacrifice and the victory of the Resurrection into the new existence of grace.  —Father Romano Guardini ‘The Lord’