Month: December 2015

O Antiphon – Emmanuel

Read: Isaiah 7:14, 8:8; Luke 1:31-33; Genesis 49:10; Ezekiel 21:32; Isaiah 33:22. Pray: O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God. Reflect: Who do we rely on to lead our faith lives? […]

O Antiphon – King of the Nations

Read: Jeremiah 10:7; Haggai 2:7; Isaiah 28:16; Psalm 117:22- 23; Matthew 21:42; Luke 20:17-18; 1 Corinthian 3:11; Ephesians 2:20; Genesis 2:7. Pray: O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and […]

O Antiphon – Radiant Dawn

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Read: Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8, 6:12; Habakkuk 3:4; Wisdom 7:26; Hebrews 1:3; Malachi 3:20; Psalm 107:10; Luke 1:78; Matthew 17:1-2; Revelation 1:16.

Pray:

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Reflect: What example do we set for others…our family members…our friends? How do we show them God’s light in all that we say and do?

Image source: Little Saints of Divine Grace Academy (our homeschool).

O Antiphon – Key of David

Read: Isaiah 22:22; Numbers 24:7; Psalm 107:10; Matthew 16:19; Revelation 3:7. Pray: O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the […]

O Antiphon – Root of Jesse

Read: Isaiah 11:1, 10; Isaiah 52:15; Jeremiah 23:5; Zachariah 6:12; Habakkuk 2:3; Revelation 5:5, 22:16. Pray: O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before […]

O Antiphon – Lord and Ruler

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Read: Isaiah 11:4–5; 33:22

Pray:

O sacred Lord of ancient Israel,
who shows yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.

Reflect: What do we do to honor the Lord in our daily lives? How can we best serve him during both times of plenty and times of need?

Image source: Little Saints of Divine Grace Academy (our homeschool).

O Antiphons – Wisdom

Read: Sirach 24:3; Wisdom 8:1; Isaiah 40:14; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16 Pray: “Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Reflect: What gifts of the Holy Spirit are we using […]

The O Antiphons

We are praying the O Antiphons for the first time this year, though they’ve been part of Church tradition since the Middle Ages and are based on the prophesies of Isaiah. While introducing us to the prophecies of Isaiah, as well as the many biblical […]

Advent, Baptism, and Confession

File Dec 08, 9 53 42 AMOn the eve of the second Sunday in Advent, and my oldest daughter’s baptism, I went to confession.

A baptism on St. Nicholas Day. Talk about super exciting! But, about that confession…not so much (exciting, I mean)

Now, for another confession of sorts: I hadn’t been to confession in a really. long. time. Not since the priest, who confirmed me in 2007, left for another Diocese. And had never done a private confession (as opposed to Mass Reconciliation) before. Ever.

Can you say, “super nervous?”

But, as I was willing to do anything to bring my sixth child into the Church, I anxiously went to confession. I primarily confessed that I hadn’t been to confession in a really. long. time. But, of course that’s all changed now. It’s now been three days since my last confession…

So, about that confession… it turned out to be a less-anxiety-provoking experience than I thought it would be. I wasn’t struck down by lightening or made to feel less-than.
Rather, as the priest talked to me about confession being the wings that I needed to lift my soul to heaven (and my sins from my conscience), I literally felt all my immediate struggles lift away. I realized that it was only me (ONLY me) who was standing in the way of a better relationship with God.

Plus, with two of my sons making their First Reconciliation this Saturday, I realize the need to lead by example. After all, how can I talk about going to confession when I’m not going myself. How can I explain that while praying to God is great (truly GREAT), going to confession is so. much. greater! Although prayer has certainly given me the “arms wrapped around me” feeling, it was only during my last confession that I had the “wings lifting me up (and lifting my sins out)” feeling. I can’t explain it, but it absolutely changed my entire attitude (reservation, fear) about confession.

If you are like my pre-private confession self and are either scared of or struggling with confession, please give it some considerable thought. Did it not take considerable courage for Jesus to bear the cross? And yet in doing so, he opened the heavens so that we could one day be lifted up! If you want even a small glimpse of how that will feel – to be lifted up to Christ when we leave this life for the next – I encourage you to go to confession. And if the courage escapes you, please pray for enough courage to simply get you to church. If you commit your heart to taking that first step, and then stepping out of your comfort zone to take yet another, you will leave the confessional without regret. Fortunately, I know this to be true. Unfortunately, I had to learn it the incredibly hard way.

I pray for a happy confession during Advent, a time of preparation and penance!