First Sunday of Advent
And now, yay, we prepare for Christmas, not as like the world, but with prayer and fasting - and sacrifice (advent, the second lent) as we gear up to get ready and prepare for the great feast that is - of Christmas. Beautiful and very beautiful baby Jesus, the Divine Infant.
Who knows? Perhaps if God had given us greater talent, better health, a more personable appearance, we might have lost our souls! Great talent and knowledge have caused many to be puffed up with the idea of their own importance and, in their pride, they have despised others. How easily those who have these gifts fall into grave danger to their salvation! How many on account of physical beauty or robust health have plunged headlong into a life of debauchery! How many, on the contrary, who, by reason of poverty, infirmity or physical deformity, have become saints and have saved their souls, who, given health, wealth or physical attractiveness had else lost their souls! Let us then be content with what God has given us.
"But one thing is necessary," and it is not beauty, not health, not talent. It is the salvation of our immortal souls.
As we prepare for Christmas, as we give thought to why baby Jesus had to come into the world, as we start the new liturgical year this advent, and as we hear in today's epistle and Gospel - about our last end - the particular judgment and the final judgment, let us remember: Our last end.
As with the prophet (Jeremias 12:11), They have laid it waste, and it hath mourned for me. With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart.
Let us consider with our hearts, let us think, as did all the great saints, as did the patron saint of missions, Saint Francis Xavier, whose blessed feast day falls tomorrow, what our last end is.
Here is a link to the story of St. Francis Xavier - Set All Afire! on St Francis and the Fishery Coast of India. Here is the link to his biography in the Catholic Encyclopedia. And here's another link on his death.
Here's also the link to Bishop Fellay's Letter #71.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
Gegrüßet seist du, Maria, voll der Gnade, der Herr ist mit dir. Du bist gebenedeit unter den Frauen, und gebenedeit ist die Frucht deines Leibes, Jesus. Heilige Maria, Mutter Gottes, bitte für uns Sünder jetzt und in der Stunde unseres Todes. Amen.
Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grâce, Le Seigneur est avec vous. Vous êtes bénie entre toutes les femmes, et Jésus, le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni. Sainte Marie, Mère de Dieu, priez pour nous, pauvres pécheurs, maintenant et à l'heure de notre mort. Amen.
Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.
Jesus, Mary, I love You; Save Souls!
Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)