Thought for the Week

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER

December 9-15, 2015

 

St. Paul in Philippians 1: 8-11 gives us a beautiful blessing and prayer during this second week of Advent:

 

…this is my prayer for you; that your love may increase ever more and more

in knowledge and every kind of perception,

to discern what is of value,

so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ

for the glory and praise of God

 

John the Baptist appears on the scene during this season, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He further fulfills Isaiah, the prophet’s words. Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Luke 3: 1-6  In these words we see the path to St. Paul’s prayer.  As we cleanse ourselves of our sins, we become more open to receive the graces of God. We want that road to be cleared of all obstacles that may clutter the way to our hearts.  Sometimes those obstacles may be small, but you can trip over a small stone, as well as, a boulder.

 

The most wonderful feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe appropriately occurs during this season. She is the Patroness of the Americas and the Unborn.  This is the most popular title of Mary and her basilica in Mexico City is the most visited Catholic Church in the world along with the Vatican.

 

Some facts by Christina Mead from lifeteen.com:

It is believed that the name ‘Guadalupe’ came about because of the translation from Nahuatl to Spanish, of the words used by the Virgin during the apparition. It is believed that Our Lady used the Aztec Nahuatl word of “coatlaxopeuh” which is pronounced “quatlasupe” and sounds remarkably like the Spanish word Guadalupe. Coa meaning serpent, tla being the noun ending which can be interpreted as “the”, while xopeuh means to crush or stamp out. So Our Lady must have called herself the one “who crushes the serpent.”

At the time, the Aztecs offered annually at least 20,000 men, women and children in human sacrifice to their gods. In 1487, just in a single 4 day long ceremony for the dedication of a new temple in Tenochtitlan, some 80,000 captives were killed in human sacrifice. But following the Apparitions of our Blessed Mother and the miracle of the blessed tilma in 1531, over 9 million Aztecs converted to Christianity in little over a decade.

 

Just reading about the tilma itself on which Mary’s image hovers, many interesting facts are available on the internet.  One new fact that I learned was that the investigations concluded Mary appeared in her Resurrected body. She arranged the roses in Juan Diego’s tilma with her own hands. It certainly is food for thought.

 

Burn some candles on Thursday for the remembrance of St. Lucy, Patroness of the Blind. Her eyes were plucked out because she would not deny Jesus.

 

May Jesus give you peace and joy,

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Director