I dropped my car off the other day for service. A maintenance light had been nagging me for at least a month, so I finally did something about it. $880 later, I drove away with my “newly improved” car. Ugh. The maintenance light had bugged me because it reminded me that something needed fixing . […]
Penitential prayers are an important Lenten devotional practice. Here is one to get you started on Ash Wednesday to help you have the right disposition of heart as your 40+ day journey begins. Find our selection of Lenten prayer and devotional books here. Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them. Fast […]
Veneration of the Holy Face of Jesus had its beginning during the very passion Our Lord, making it one of the oldest devotions in the Christian tradition. This devotion evolved from the sacred image of Our Lord that appeared on the Veil of Manoppello, also referred to as Veronica’s Veil. Below, follow the devotion from the beginning.
Advent and Lent are both characterized by penance, fasting, and almsgiving. However, the penance, fasting, and almsgiving is much more pronounced and emphasized during Lent because of Our Lord’s Passion and Crucifixion. However . . .
Many people view Lent, because it is a penitential season of self-denial, as a time of forced depression. It is good to be reminded that,
“While Lent is a solemn season, it is not a somber one. The forty days are not structured to foster morbid gloominess and debilitating self-loathing; they are meant to thrust us into the heart of divine love.”
“Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, give us miserable ones the grace to do for You alone what we know you want us to do and always to desire what pleases You. Inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footsteps of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You, Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity, and are glorified God almighty, forever and ever. Amen.”
During the final days of Advent, the anticipation increases as the birth of the Savior draws nearer and nearer. In the final eight days before Christmas, this anticipation is marked by something special that happens in the prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours.
The antiphons of Evening Prayer (Vespers) during the week before Christmas all welcome the birth of the Savior by heralding one of His resplendent Biblical titles along with a special petition in light of that title. It is a liturgical tradition started in the earliest centuries of the Church and continues in monasteries and convents today, and even in homes of the Catholic faithful who make portions of the Divine Office part of their daily prayers.
One of the best things about celebrating a Catholic Christmas are the final days leading up to Christmas Eve. There are several long-standing cultural Catholic traditions to take us through these final days of Advent that are heightened with anticipation in so soon welcoming the birth of the King of Kings. The Las Posadas (“the inns”) celebrated in Latin American countries and Simbáng Gabi (“Night Mass”) in the Philippines are just two examples.
There is also tradition of praying a novena for the nine days leading up to Christmas Eve. Not to be confused with the St. Andrew’s Christmas Novena which began on November 30th (the feast day of St. Andrew) and is prayed 15 times daily until Christmas Eve.
“O Almighty God, gracious provider and giver of life, we anxiously await the celebration of your birth. Like the people of long ago, our ancestors in faith, we, too, are in need of light, in need of direction, in need of your Word, to show us the way. Our busy lives and the consumerism that surrounds us make it difficult to recognize your kingdom and to hear your voice. Help us Lord, to focus on you.We pray that you hear our prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
The historical story surrounding this Marian apparition is truly fascinating. There are so many significant details regarding the time period and culture to which the image was revealed. In addition, there is a whole other fascinating story surrounding just the image itself and its highly unusual properties. All of this detail cannot possibly be covered in one blog post . . . but here is a sampling! I hope the information from this blog post will encourage you to have a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and to celebrate her feast day in a special way each and every year.