Today is Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. Translated from latin, it means “Rejoice” and is from St. Pauls “Letter to the Phillipians.” We are now half-way through Advent. The pink candle is to be lit, along with two purple candles, on the Advent Wreath.
11 days till the BIRTH of CHRIST,
and this is the 15th day of the ADVENT season.
“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
Quote of the Day:
The church is prayer-conditioned!
Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (NAB Mt 11:11)
John the Baptist was a prophet sometimes identified with and compared to Elijah, anouncing the coming of a Savior. He was also a cousin and friend of the Savior, Jesus. Next to Jesus, John is probably one of the most religious, spiritual, and obedient servents of God on the planet. But this statement claims that he doesn’t even rank next to the lowliest in heaven.
Anyone in heaven has been purified; either prior to death by the sacrament of reconcilliation, or through the purification of purgatory. I believe this is one example of scriptural proof that there is a purgatory. Most humans die with some type of ‘dirt’ on their soul. I gave this analogy to my sons when explaining purgatory:
If you break a window playing baseball, I will forgive you. But, the replacement of the window will still have to be paid at a later time.
After we die, ‘dirt’ left on our souls after forgiveness, or any venial sins not forgiven, will be dealt with through purgatory. This gives me hope that I am destined, with God’s grace, for paradise some day; and that I, a poor sinner, has a chance for glory in heaven.
All souls in heaven are purified beings worthy of being in Christ’s presence. No human being on earth is worthy enough to even “kiss His feet,” (please excuse the twist of scripture).
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint Event of the Day: Finding the Body of Our Holy Father St. Francis
The church which was built at Assisi in honor of St. Francis soon after his death (1228-1230). It was a double church, and the body of the saint was buried deep under the lower church. In the course of time the exact location of the tomb was forgotten, and with the permission of the Holy See, excavations were made in 1818 for the purpose of finding the relics. After 52 nights of hard work, the stone coffin containing the bones and ashes of St. Francis were found. A third underground church was then hewn out of solid rock upon which the church had been built; and there the relics of St. Francis are venerated today. Pope Leo XII instituted a special feast to commemorate the finding of the body of St. Francis. It is observed by the Franciscan Order on Dec 12, except in the Americas. where it is kept on the following day.
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #13:
As the Father sees in every person the features of his Son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, so the Secular Franciscans with a gentle and courteous spirit accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ.
A sense of community will make them joyful and ready to place themselves on an equal basis with all people, especially with the lowly for whom they shall strive to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ.