Thursday, December 12, 2019


Just think, Our Lady appeared as the Great Sign in the Americas

Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, 
fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,
you alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world. - Little Office

La Guadalupana

Our Lady left a "permanent sign" as proof of her appearance. 

The inexplicable preservation of the tilma and mysterious image is considered miraculous.
I recall some Mariologists pointing to the apparitions at Rue du Bac to St. Catherine Laboure as initiating the Marian era of the Church.  It seems to me, the apparition and sign left by Our Lady of Guadalupe might have even greater significance.  Opening a new era, as it were, in the Church. 

San Juan Evangelita on Patmos, by Gregorio José de Lara y Priego. 
The Virgen apocalíptica depicted as la Virgen Morena, 
encompassing the tremendous mystery of the Immaculate Conception
and the 'Great Sign' seen by St. John in the
Book of Revelation.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The dead are very close to us in Advent...

Because we the living, along with the souls of the departed, await the coming of Christ together.

Don't over think what I'm trying to say.  Don't get all theological or dogmatic about it - especially who is saved or who is not, or where the departed are now. 

This morning at prayer the thought came to me that the dead are very near.  I thought of people I hadn't thought of for a long time, not just relatives either.  People I met briefly, or knew for a time and then lost track of - they come to mind.  Sometimes I think they need prayers, and I do what I can.  Other times I wonder if they are near to help me prepare for my own death.

They are near, I'm sure of it.  They go before us, we are left behind, but they encourage us to 'catch up' ... every Advent reminding us that together, we await our Savior.

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Immaculate Conception and St. Juan Diego

St. Juan Diego's feast day falls on the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at dawn on December 9, 1531.  Providentially, today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception as well.  The Blessed Virgin left her image imprinted on the Tilma of Juan Diego, miraculously preserved today.  The image resembles Spanish prototype images of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. 

"Know for certain, littlest of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God through Whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of Heaven and earth." - Our Lady to St. Juan Diego

Escorted out ...

I guess they do walk around dressed like this.