Reflections | External Solemnity of the Purification (Candlemas) – Sunday, February 3, 2019

Dear Friends,

The Catholic Church is well known for its use of blessed, lighted candles, which are a traditional symbol that represents Jesus, the light of the world, a light shining in the darkness. You may recall that Christmas is celebrated at the darkest time of the year to symbolically show the contrast between spiritual light and dark: the light that Christ brings to the world and to souls opposes and triumphs over the darkness brought by Satan. The Church has traditionally used beeswax candles to further symbolize purity, authenticity, and industry as reflected in the work of virgin bees. In addition, to give light the candle is burned, it is sacrificed, as a reminder in our worship that Jesus Christ saved us by His Sacrifice on the Cross, the Supreme Sacrifice of Love. To know true love we too must take up the cross and lay down our lives in love of God and neighbor.

Continue reading

Advent Reflections | Gaudete Sunday – The Third Sunday of Advent – December 16, 2018

Philippians 4:4-5 Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Dominus enim prope est. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.

Zephaniah 3:14 Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart.

Luke 3:18 Exhorting them in many other ways, he (John the Baptist) preached good news to the people.

Dear Friends,

The Third Sunday of Advent and the Fourth Sunday of Lent are traditionally known in the sacred liturgy of the Roman Rite by the Latin first words of their Gregorian Chant Introits (Entrance Chants), which remain even in the liturgical reform as the official opening music for these days. In Advent it is Gaudete, whereas in Lent it is Laetare; both are exhortations to the people of God to rejoice in the Lord. In fact, during the many centuries when these ancient and venerable chants were used exclusively, the congregation would immediately know the occasion not only by the words, but also by the proper music. It told them that the holy season of Christmas preparation or Easter preparation was half over. There is still the custom in many parishes to switch from violet colored vestments to rose colored ones, if these are available, but just for these two Sundays. Clearly, the theme in Advent is rejoicing in the grace won for us by our Divine Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Who wouldn’t want to be reborn in Christ?

Continue reading

Reflections | Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te. Tu gloria Jerusalem, tu laetitia Israel, tu honorificentia populi nostri; You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain (of sin) is not in you. You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you give honor to our people.

On the eve of this Solemnity, exactly seventy-seven years ago, the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The next day, President Roosevelt announced that we were at war. He spoke of “the day that will live in infamy.” Thus began our participation in the sad events of World War II, which had already begun in Europe in 1939. We would be at war until the defeat of Japan on August 15, 1945. A whole generation, and indirectly those after, would be formed by these tragic years of war.

Continue reading

Advent Reflections | The First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 2, 2018

Right is right even if no one is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.

The First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 2, 2018

Romans 13:14 Abjiciamus ergo opera tenebrarum, et induamur arma lucis; Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.
Luke 21:33 Coelum et terra transibunt; verba autem mea non transibunt: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.

Dear Friends,

At the urging of the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco, I have agreed to write occasional reflections.

On the first Sunday of Advent the Church begins a new Church year. Once again we begin to come in contact with the central mysteries of our faith. Actually we are invited to respond in faith to God, who lives and loves. We are drawn into His Being. This is not done in a merely nostalgic way, nor in a way that merely recalls events of long past. No, the Church believes that in its Sacred Liturgy what happened then happens now.

Continue reading