Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe- ruegue para nosotros

Following closely on the heels of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is today. I was in Ft. Worth, Texas for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. I went to a midday Mass at a small church that was about one third full. I had to stifle a very juvenile chuckle when the lector, a lovely lady from Texas, reading the first passage from Genesis, said "nekkid" instead of "naked." Truthfully, I prefer nekkid because, in keeping with the spirit of the reading, it has a naughty undertone. Anyway, the glorious feast we celebrate today comes just before the half way point of Advent and a day before Eastern Christians and we Latins who follow the Eastern discipline intensify our Nativity Fast in preparation for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Following the Byzantine discipline, from 13 December to 24 December, this intensification consists of abstaining from meat and meat products, dairy products, fish (excluding shell fish, which can be eaten), and olive oil. However, olive oil and wine can be taken on Saturdays and Sundays. It also means that on Wednesdays and Fridays no food is to be eaten between meals and that meals should be moderate in quantity, ideally only one per day, or even fasting from food altogether.

I do not write this to get others to do it. In fact, do NOT do this on the spur of the moment because fasting requires preparation and discernment. So, do something more manageable, but penitential, and start planning ahead for Lent!

This morning also marked the first ever Communion and Liberation Advent Retreat in Utah, which built on the Fraternity's Spiritual Exercises, From Faith, the Method. I was powerfully reminded that my encounter with Christ is not merely an idea, it is a fact, an event that not only happens in history, but in my history. My on-going encounter with Christ is always more than than I can express, will always be more than I can ever express, whether in a given moment or over the entire course of my life. As Fr. Erik told us, when it comes to the mystery of Christ I am always an ant looking at elephant, but even what I see from my limited perspective is glorious, awful at times and awe-inspiring at others, but no less glorious for all that. My inability to express the fullness of my heart is what has kept me from posting this week. Like Mary, this Advent I am trying to treasure "all these things, pondering them in [my] heart" (Luke 2:19).


  1. I am touched especially by this need for silence you express. Anyway, it's something I recognize more for myself and respect as a real need.

  2. Scott:
    Can we use the last paragraph you wrote here as a letter in Traces?
    It is lovely (and by the way the coincidence of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas falling also on our retreat day here in DC struck me as an incredible sign!).
    Let me know,and thanks,
    Suzanne Tanzi


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