Love Came Down on Christmas
On Tuesday of this week, the 11th of December, you will be offered a great gift…a blessing for this Advent season of anticipation and preparation and waiting. On the 11th of December….this Tuesday…in the Nave of Saint Brigid…Dr. Allen Hunt will begin our three day Mission…entitled Love Came Down at Christmas. Beginning at 7 PM on Tuesday evening and continuing on Wednesday and Thursday (also at 7 PM), our friend and fellow parishioner….Dr. Allen Hunt…will offer us all a gift…an invitation of faith…for his work as a Catholic evangelist is to encourage us to turn our hearts toward the reason for the season….the Lord. Our four-star nursery…the Ark….will be of service to our families with young children…so that all may plan to attend the Mission.
On Thursday evening, the final evening of this year’s Advent mission, after Allen concludes his presentation, there will be between fifteen and twenty priests from our Deanery available for you…offering you another gift of the Spirit…the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation….and experience again the Presence of the Lord…for love came down at Christmas….and seeks to redeem us…seeks to heal our broken hearts.
In his latest book, Dr. Hunt’s partner in the Dynamic Catholic Institute, Matthew Kelly, suggests that there are four signs of a dynamic Catholic. Their Dynamic Catholic Institute did extensive research on why…in most every parish and social gathering, about 7% of the people do most of the work….while about 93% of the people simply “watch”…and are not engaged…in the work…in the parish…in life. The research led to this notion, that four signstypify the Catholics that are now what all should want to be…the Catholics that are on fire and in love. These four signs are: prayer, study, generosity and evangelization. Prayer is a relationship with and a listening for God; Study is the work of learning what has been revealed to us…about Who God is…about who we are….and about how God and our shared humanity are connected; Generosity…is a way of being…a freedom from compulsive control…born in and of humility; Evangelization is about sharing with others what we have been given in prayer and study and generosity! Matthew Kelly’s The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic would be a good book to read, during these last weeks of Advent. Why not purchase the book, read it, then give it to another?
On the second day of our Mission, this Wednesday, the Catholic Church will remember Our Lady of Guadalupe. Beginning on the 9th of December 1531 and continuing through the 12th, Our Lady, the mother of the Lord Jesus, appeared to a Mexican peasant, Juan Diego, and asked that a Church be built on that place…the hill of Tepeyac…present day Mexico City. The appearance that this young man saw…was of a teenager, dressed in native dress, speaking in a native tongue and surrounded by Light. Juan (now declared a saint of the Church)…he recognized this appearance as the Blessed Virgin Mary. The image of Nuestra Seňora de Guadalupe…observable at Saint Brigid, in a frame outside of our Chapel… and in my office…was first given as a sign of Blessing…for it appeared on the tilma or poncho of Juan Diego, as he met with his Bishop and told him of the appearances and the request made of her Son’s Church.
Blessed John Paul the Great declared Our Lady of Guadalupe to be the Patroness of the Americas…joining north and south under the mantle of the Mother of God. In this special Year of Faith and during this second week of Advent, let us follow Our lady’s direction…as the first disciple…and do whatever He tells you (John 2.5).