“The time of Advent that we begin again today returns us to the horizon of hope, a hope that does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God. A hope that does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful!” Pope Francis
All men are candles,
Burning on some altar.
Some disappear into nothingness,
Before worldly idols,
Unable to sustain their spark
Beyond the veil,
Others light the heavens
As they are consumed
On the altar of Love,
Creature with Creator.
When my wax is spent,
I pray I am not distracted
By my sin.
When I melt
Into the arms of God,
May it be that Love,
That lit my flame,
Outshines my imperfections
In holy consummation.
Burn candle, all alight
Warming with mercy rays the night,
To Penetrate hearts of friend and foe,
To soothe and mend wounds,
With the Uncreated Light
That set creation into being.
Now and forever,
I cast myself
Into the flame,
The furnace of His Sacred Heart.
Passing through pierced side,
One with the Virgin,
Holy angels and expurgated saints of ole,
Melted in union,
I am formed anew in Christ,
With the Father and Spirit,
Candle, altar and Salvation might.
“Llife is not governed by chance; it is not random. Your very existence has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose!” he proclaimed.”
“Life is not just a succession of events or experiences, helpful though many of them are. It is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this – in truth, in goodness, and in beauty – that we find happiness and joy.”
“There is also something sinister which stems from the fact that freedom and tolerance are so often separated from truth. This is fuelled by the notion, widely held today, that there are no absolute truths to guide our lives.”
Teresa Monaghen, of Pro Sanctity and Fr. John Sianchuck, C.Ss.R., a Ukranian Byzantine priest do a great job of explaining the Western and Eastern understanding of this great mystery.
Take a listen to the discussion posted above, that Bruce and I had with Teresa Monaghen, from Pro Sanctity and Fr. John Sianchuk, C.Ss.R., a Ukrainian Redemptorist priest discuss the difference and similarities of Western and Eastern understanding of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135
492 The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137
493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long. ”