I’m a few days ahead with my greetings–Saint Nicholas Day isn’t until Monday–but I wanted to give my loyal readers a heads-up so that you can prepare. Especially if you have children, celebrating Saint Nicholas Day is a wonderful to refocus your attention on the true meaning of Christmas. Scroll down to the “Featured Articles” section of this newsletter to learn more about this great saint and the customs associated with his feast day.
As we prepare for the birth of Christ, we also celebrate one of the great feasts of the Catholic Church. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) is not only a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary but a foretaste of our own redemption. It is such an important feast that the Church has declared the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception a holy day of obligation and named the month in which it occurs the Month of the Immaculate Conception.
During Advent, one of the most popular features on the About.com GuideSite to Catholicism is my little tutorial on How to Make an Advent Wreath. This week’s Wordless Wednesday shows you the finished project in all its glory.
- Reading for the First Friday of Advent
In Isaiah 19:16-25, the prophet continues with his theme of the conversion of nations. With the coming of Christ, salvation is no longer confined to Israel. Egypt, whose enslavement of the Israelites represented the darkness of sin, will be converted, as will Assyria. Christ’s love encompasses all nations, and all are welcome in the New Testament Israel, the Church.
- Reading for the First Saturday of Advent
In Isaiah 21:6-12, the prophet foretells the coming of Christ, and of His triumph over sin. Babylon, the symbol of sin and idolatry, has fallen. Like the watchman, in this Advent we wait for the triumph of the Lord.
- Reading for the Second Sunday of Advent
In Isaiah 22:8b-23, the Lord calls on the inhabitants of Jerusalem–“those who have been saved”–to mourn for their past sins, yet they continue to celebrate. They aren’t thankful to God for saving them, and thus the Lord vows to humble them.
- Reading for the Second Monday of Advent
True repentance means conforming ourselves to the way of the Lord. In Isaiah 24:19-25:5, we see the Lord overturning all of human society, because of the sins and transgressions of the people. To be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, we must humble ourselves.