WREATH OF LIGHTS

A wreath of candles like the image above can be a wonderful way to mark the approach of Christmas.  This year, I choose to use ‘used’ candles from my maman’s collection of candles. Lighting them will bring back precious memories of long ago Christmas with my parents.

An Advent Prayer

Father, please give me eyes to see you in every encounter and strength to align my life with you, so that I’m ready for the coming of Jesus whatever the hour and day.  Thank you for the immense love you show me, especially in sending  your only Son.  Amen.

SEVEN SORROWS ROSARY

The Seven Sorrows of Mary

as given to Saint Bridget of Sweden

Following an ancient tradition honored during October is this devotion to meditate on the seven sorrows of Mary who revealed to Saint Bridget seven blessings to anyone who would reflect on them and share with others.

1st Sorrow:  Simeon’s prophecy that a sword will pierce Mary’s soul

2nd Sorrow:  The flight into Egypt

3rd Sorrow:  The loss of the child Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem

4th Sorrow:  The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.

5th Sorrow:  Mary witnesses the crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross.

6th Sorrow:  The dead body of Jesus is taken down and laid in the arms of his Mother.

7th Sorrow:  The burial of Jesus with Mary’s tears and loneliness

When meditating on these seven sorrows, seven graces are given by Mary:

I will grant peace to your families

They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries

I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work

I will give them as much as they ask for; as long as it does not oppose the Adorable Will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls

I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives

I will visibly help them at the moment of their death; they will see the face of their mother

I have obtained these graces from my Divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and sorrows, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy

Prayer:  Mary, your heart suffered so much.  By the merits of your seven sorrows, obtain for me your seven graces, Amen.

“More than ever, the world needs the Seven Sorrows Rosary.”

–Visionary Marie Claire of Kibeho, Rwanda

May this special devotion bless you and your family

IN PRAISE OF CREATION

“All powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures…help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth…that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction…teach us to discover the worth of each thing as we journey towards your infinite light.  We thank you for being with us each day.  Encourage us in our struggle for justice, love and peace.”

This prayer is for everyone

–Excerpt from Pope Francis’ Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’

GO TO JOSEPH

Artful Writing

‘The Dream of Saint Joseph’

This moving scene of Joseph and Mary was painted in 1642 by the French Baroque painter Philippe de Champaigne.  Worthy yet rare is a discussion of Joseph as “Mary’s husband known to be a “righteous man” recounting the Christmas story in Matthews 2:18-24.

“Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.  For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.”

“When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”

Thus began Joseph’s commitment to protect Mary and her child as they journeyed to Bethlehem and beyond.  As a mighty guardian, we can imitate Joseph’s boundless faith in God to fulfill the duties of our state in life.

Prayer to Saint Joseph

O, Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong,

so prompt before the throne of God,

I place in you all my interests and desires.

Saint Joseph, pray for us, Amen