Friday, December 31, 2021

Seventh Day of Christmas!

 On this, the Seventh Day of Christmas the song says the true love gives "seven swans a-swimming." The meaning behind the seven swans is they represent the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. Isaiah 11:2-3 - wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear/respect of the Lord.

Saint of the Day - St. Sylvester I - pope from 314 - 335. If you know your history at all, this was both before and after the Edict of Milan and the emergence of the Church from the catacombs and with Emperor Constantine, the building of some of the greatest basilicas - like St. John Lateran and St. Peter's. He was also the pope during the Council of Nicaea. He was in charge at the end of the persecution of the Church and into the freedom of the Church.



Cheeseburger Friday!

 Yes! When a solemnity falls on a Friday, there is no penance!

Canon 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Canon 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridaysunless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

GENERAL NORMS FOR THE LITURGICAL YEAR

Chapter 1, Title 1, Section III
12. The celebration of the two greatest Solemnities, Easter and the Nativity, is extended over eight days. Each Octave is governed by its own rules.
https://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWLITYR.HTM

So, there it is! During the Octaves of the Nativity and Easter - ALL days are treated as solemnities - therefore - no penance!


Please share and/or comment below!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Reminder - Cheeseburger Friday

That's right! On the Seventh Day Within the Octave of Christmas - even though this year it falls on a Friday, all days within the Octave of Christmas are treated as solemnities! On a solemnity, there is no penance, like abstaining from meat, so have that cheeseburger (or steak, or chicken, etc.)!


If anyone asks you why you are eating meat on a Friday, you have the opportunity to explain to them that while it is a Friday, it is also within the Octave (8 days) of Christmas - and as such is a solemnity.

6th Day of Christmas

 On the Sixth Day of Christmas - we celebrate St. Anysius (and others).

Saint Anysius was a Martyr of Greece. She was a wealthy woman of Salonika, in Thessaly, who used her personal funds to aid the poor. A soldier accosted her in the street and tried to drag her to a pagan sacrifice. Anysius resisted and was killed when the soldier attacked her with his sword.  

 https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint/st-anysius-100 



In the song, the 6 geese a-laying refers to the six days of creation and is also symbolic of new life.

  • Gospel

    Luke 2:36-40

    36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,37and as a widow, till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.38And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.39And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.40And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

 

Merry Christmas!

Today is the 5th Day of Christmas!

We remember St. Thomas Becket today - murdered on this day in 1170 in the cathedral due to his opposition to King Henry II. In 1539 King Henry VIII had his remains burned.


Monday, December 27, 2021

The Octave of Christmas

During the Octave of Christmas, the first eight days of Christmastide, each day is treated as a solemnity. So, when it comes to Friday - this means there is no penance! We like to call these special Fridays "Cheeseburger Fridays" - several posts have been made here on Cheeseburger Fridays. Now, before you accuse me of irreverence, I like to draw attention to Cheeseburger Fridays because it gives you yet another opportunity for an ice-breaker to discuss your faith! Those who know you likely know you offer up a penance on every Friday throughout the year - but what they may not know is that it is not EVERY Friday, for if a solemnity falls on a Friday, we are not to do penance.

This also gives me the opportunity to remind all my fellow Catholics - you are STILL required to do some sort of penance on ALL Fridays throughout the year that are not solemnities! This is not simply a Lenten tradition - it is Canon Law! Canon 1250 is the one that expressly states this and Canon 1251 is the one that tells us "unless it falls on a solemnity." Canon 1251 goes on to tell us we do not HAVE to stay with the offering up of meat on Fridays throughout the year (in Lent, it still HAS to be meat) but it needs to be something equivalent, and you cannot be hit-or-miss on it. Pick something and stick with it! For me and my house, we stick with the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays. 

Why stick with meat? 

Because 1) it is easy to remember! 2) not eating meat on Fridays USED to be synonymous with Catholicism - and ever since the requirement was modified (again, NOT eliminated) it has become less clear that Catholics still have this practice - and to be honest - many do not observe this at all anymore, but in their ignorance - they commit a mortal sin! OK, in order for it to truly be a mortal sin, you have to be aware it is a sin and choose to do it anyway... well, if you are reading this, you do not have that excuse anymore! I urge you to not merely take my word on this - research the topic, as I have, and realize and start recognizing this required Catholic tradition. Back to the count, 3) if it has to be equivalent to abstaining from meat - why struggle to find something different?! Stick with abstaining from meat!

WHY DO WE DO THIS?

Just like every Sunday is like a "little Easter," every Friday is to be thought of as a "little Good Friday." In abstaining from meat on Fridays we should think of WHY we do this - and it is to unite us, in a small way, to the Sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us on the Cross on that first Good Friday. Even on a "Cheeseburger Friday," we can think about Christ's suffering and death - and be thankful to Him for this great gift He gave to all who believe in Him.

In JMJ,

Scott<<<



Sunday, December 26, 2021

Please Don't Wish Me a Merry Christmas

 Well, so goes the headline of an article written for The Washington Post, December 21, 2018. 


The writer, a Jewish person named Julia Ioffe, wrote this while acknowledging it is a dominant American cultural event, but being Jewish - she does not celebrate this holiday. Why? Because it is not just a secular holiday, which certainly it has become, but as the name states - it is the recognition of the birth of Jesus the Christ in Christianity - a point which Ms. Ioffe does acknowledge as well.
 
Ms. Ioffe also acknowledges that she planned on going to a Christmas party at a friend's house and was planning on bringing Christmas presents out of respect for their family practice. This writer finds that a bit ironic that Ms. Ioffe complains on one hand that she is not a Christian so do not be impolite or alienating in wishing her a Merry Christmas, yet, on the other hand, she has no problem attending a Christmas party and celebrating Christmas in the tradition of her Christian friends. "The lady doth protest too much. methinks" (Shakespeare, 1601).
 
I saw this on Twitter, and one of the respondents there (@OldTom_Morris) said "If I lived in a majority Muslim nation, and people wished me a happy Ramadan, why on earth would I be offended by that?" Mr. Morris makes perfect sense here! Many of you reading this blog are aware that I annually wish everyone a "Happy Chanukah" which is a Jewish celebration. Of course, in that case, I do argue that it really should be a Christian celebration as well since, without Chanukah, or more specifically, the Maccabees, we would not have a Christmas - or it would be significantly different than the way it is celebrated and has been for some 2000 years now. But I digress, the point is there is no real reason to be "offended" by someone wishing you a Merry (or Happy) Christmas season (or day), or a Happy Ramadan, or Happy Chanukah, etc. Why not have enough goodwill to simply accept the good wish from a fellow human?
 
This brings me back to a recent article here on Qui Locutus - Peace - to men of goodwill (Windsor, 2021). Ms. Ioffe does not express goodwill to her fellow man (or woman) in her article. Now, I do not wish her ill-will, but the verse, literally translated is not "goodwill to men" but "peace on earth, to men of goodwill" (Windsor, 2021). If I could reach out to Ms. Ioffe, I would ask her to be more open to accepting others where they are and as @OldTom_Morris said, accepting that where she is, in a country that is predominantly Christian, she should not be offended when one of "us" wishes her a Happy Christmas season. Be a person of goodwill, be at peace - and may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding be with her - and be with the readers here.


References

Ioffe, J. (2018). Please don't wish me a Merry Christmas. The Washington Post.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/12/21/please-dont-wish-me-merry-christmas/ 

Shakespeare, W. (1601). Hamlet. Act III. Scene 2. E-Books-For-All. http://www.ebooks-for-all.com/bookmarks/view/Hamlet.html 

Windsor, S. (2021). Peace - To men of goodwill [blog]. Qui Locutus.   http://quilocutus.blogspot.com/2021/12/peace-to-men-of-good-will.html 


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmastide Has Begun!


 Let us not forget - Christmas has JUST BEGUN! Not only the "12 Days of Christmas" - from Christmas Day to Epiphany (December 25-January 5th, January 6th is Epiphany). AND - even though the Season of Epiphany begins on January 6th - Christmastide lasts through Candlemas, February 2nd! 

So - MERRY CHRISTMAS! And do not be ashamed to keep wishing one another that through February 2nd! It can even be an ice-breaker for you to engage others in not only the true meaning of Christmas, but also the reality of how long the season lasts - AND that it did not even begin until Christmas Day - the weeks prior were a different season - the Season of Advent - a penitential season, similar to Lent, but not as severe, and a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord.

Many of the lessons in Advent are not about the Nativity, but the Second Coming of Jesus - which brings into focus the REAL meaning behind WHY God became Man to redeem us from our sin.

And also remember to keep Christ in Christmas - you have to keep the Mass in Christmass (spelled this way on purpose!). 



Sunday, December 19, 2021

Fourth and Final Sunday in Advent


The Fourth and Final Sunday in Advent! This marks the second longest possible Advent season, and the longest Advent season will happen next year! The longest Advent season happens when Christmas falls on a Sunday, which it will in 2022. For those who like to stretch out the seasons, especially Advent, this is nice! And remember too - Christmas Day does not mark the end of Christmas - it is the BEGINNING of Christmastide!

For those who just "want Christmas to be over," I have bad news for you - Christmas has not even begun yet! Christmastide BEGINS on Christmas Day - and lasts until Candlemas, February 2nd! So, even with next year's "longest Advent" - the Christmas Season lasts longer! You can actually keep your decorations up for over a month after Christmas Day!




Thursday, December 16, 2021

Peace - To Men of Good Will


"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." -Luke 2:14

While this is a beautiful sentiment – this is really a poor translation of Luke 2:14 which largely stems from the King James Version (KJV). My favorite is the Douay-Rheims Bible (DRB) which was published in 1609, (Bruno, 2011) 2 years before the KJV (1611 AD) (Wallace, 2004). My contention is the KJV copied much from the DRB, as in many verses the similarities are just too great to be wholly distinct translations. Where the KJV differs from the DRB, it leaves one to question the veracity of the novel translation.

Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. (DRB)

The meaning here is quite different! Yes, they are still pleading for peace on earth, but not necessarily to all men, as the KJV (and some other versions) state it – why would they be wishing peace to men of ill-will? No, the peace on earth is to go to men of good will.

Other versions considered to be quite literal, both Protestant and Catholic state the peace in a limited way as well:

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace among those whom he favours! (NRSVACE)

Glory to God in the highest
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. (NABRE)

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to all those on whom his favor rests. (NCB)

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. (NIV)

Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men [a]with whom He is pleased. (NASB)

 

References

Bruno, N. M. (2011). Matthew Carey’s Douay-Rheims Bible. https://s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/wpmudev-hosting-hbu-files/uploads/sites/27/2015/12/Bruno_MatthewCarey.pdf

Wallace, D. B. (2004). Why I do not think the King James Bible is the best translation available today. Bible.org. https://bible.org/article/why-i-do-not-think-king-james-bible-best-translation-available-today

 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

O Antiphons are Almost Here!

 It is almost time for the O Antiphons!



 

December 17th begins the tradition!  Do you have a Jesse Tree and O Antiphon ornaments? It's not to late to put something together and add a little more meaning to the end of Advent as the Christ Mass approaches!

http://quilocutus.blogspot.com/search/label/O%20Antiphons - Check out previous postings on the O Antiphons!

And remember, when you are singing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - you are singing the O Antiphons!



Scripture of the Week


From my Professor:

I just happened to come across this scripture in my daily devotional and liked it a lot, and thought I would share it with you this week.

“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” -Psalm 18:1-2

I replied:

    Thank you for that passage! My wife and I have been listening to Psalms nearly every night since my mom passed (using Alexa, "Read the Bible, Psalms") and the night before my mother went to be with the Lord I read to her, Psalms 146 (I just opened the Bible to that page, letting God direct me to what to read that night:

    Praise the Lord.

    Praise the Lord, my soul.

    I will praise the Lord all my life;

        I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

    Do not put your trust in princes,

        in human beings, who cannot save.

    When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;

        on that very day, their plans come to nothing.

    Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,

        whose hope is in the Lord their God.

    Blessings to you and your family this Advent Season and the upcoming Christmastide.

    Scott<<<

     

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Gaudete! Third Sunday in Advent

 Gaudete Sunday

Third Sunday in Advent!

One more Sunday to go!


On this day we light the third candle, it is pink (or rose) and symbolizes JOY!

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in everything by prayer let your requests be made known to God. Lord, thou hast blessed thy land; thou bast turned away the captivity of Jacob. Glory be to the Father."

 And the Gospel for today is from John, and is about John the Baptist:

At that time the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to John, to ask him, Who art thou?

And he confessed, and did not deny; and he confessed: I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet?

And he answered, No.

They said therefore unto him, Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? what sayst thou of thyself?

He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias.

And they that were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet?

John answered them, saying: I baptize with water: but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not: the same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose.

These things were done in Bethania beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. John 1:19-28

Monday, December 06, 2021

 

I usually try to get to the Scripture of the Week sooner than this, but with all the family issues related to my mother's passing a couple weeks ago, it has been difficult.

From my professor:

"Being confident of this very thing, that he, who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6 - DRA).

These are the words the bishop says to the ordinandi, those who are being ordained, just after making their vows during the ordination Mass. (Ferguson, 2018).

Personal Reflection:

We are to be confident that what God has started, He can complete or perfect that work in us. St. Paul is quite pleased and confident in the Christian community he founded at Phillipi. They have remained strong in the Gospel and St. Paul is sure that they will continue to grow in Christ and grow His Church in the Phillipian community (Hunt, 2018).

References

Ferguson, A. (2018). May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment. RVA Priest. https://richmondvocations.org/discernment-tips/may-god-begun-good-work-bring-fulfillment/ 

Hunt, M. (2018). The Letter to the Philippians, Lesson 1, Introduction and chapter 1, Paul's greeting and present circumstances. Agape Bible Study. https://www.agapebiblestudy.com/Philippians/Philippians_Lesson_1.htm 


Sunday, December 05, 2021

Second Sunday in Advent - Stir Up Our Hearts

 

The second purple candle is lit today! We meditate on the stirring up of our hearts in the preparation of for the coming of the Son, the Savior, the Light of the World. If you have been following the Chanukah entries this year (2021) you will also see that today is the last day of Chanukah and in the Jewish tradition, the Festival of Lights concludes with the reminder of the Chosen People of God to be the Light of the World, the Light to the Gentiles.

Catholicism is the fulfilled Jewish tradition. If one takes a closer look at the ways of the Jews and how they were to build their temple, set up their altar, and the vestments their priests were to wear - you will see quite a lot of similarities in the same for the Catholic tradition! 

Another reminder - when someone wishes you "Happy Holidays" - you should not be offended, but thankful that they recognize the holy days of Advent too! After all, it is not yet Christmas! Christmas begins with the Christ Mass which traditionally is a midnight Mass. And keep in mind, the way to keep Christ in Christmas is to keep the Mass in Christmas.



Eighth Night of Chanukah

 

So why are there eight days/nights of Chanukah? Again, this was due to the fact that after Judas Maccabee drove the Greeks out of Jerusalem, when they got to the temple to restore it they found only one cruse of oil, which is only enough for one day of burning and it takes 8 days for the ritual of blessing new oil. They lit one lamp, and it stayed lit for the entire eight days - hence, the miracle of the lights - which Jesus was celebrating - also known as the Feast of the Dedication (of the Temple) per the Gospel of John (John 10:22).

The eighth night is a night of transcendence. Following the seventh night, while is symbolic of perfection and wholeness, the eighth night transcends beyond, and even the number 8 is a symbol of going beyond the linear and beyond the physical and to remind us to continue our focus upon God (Kaplan-Lester, 2021).





References

Kaplan-Lester, C. (Eight meditations for the eight nights of Chanukah. Chabad.org. https://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/1348517/jewish/Eight-Meditations-for-the-Eight-Nights-of-Chanukah.htm


Saturday, December 04, 2021

Seventh Night of Chanukah

Seven is the number of perfection and wholeness in Jewish tradition (Stern, 2020). On the seventh night of Chanukah it is remembered that the Jews are to be the light of the world, and not to hide that light under a bushel and the Gentiles will come to that ligtht (see Isaiah 60:1-3). This is what Yeshuah (Jesus) meant in Matthew 5, in bringing the light unto the world (Staley, 2018).


Candles should remain lit for 30 minutes. The blessings are as follows:

First Blessing:

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us by his commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.

Second Blessing:

Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, Who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season. (Akhlah, 2021).


References

Akahlah, (2021). Hannukah blessings, Seventh night. Akahlah.com. https://www.akhlah.com/jewish-holidays/hanukkah/hanukkah-blessings/hanukkah-blessings-seventh-night/

Staley, J. (2018). The seventh night of Hannukah - The light of the Gentiles. Staley Family Ministries. https://staleyfamilyministries.com/the-seventh-night-of-hanukkah.html

Stern, E. (2020). Getting to know your candles - A writing workshop with Emily Stern - Night 7 2020. Jewish Journal. https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/blogs/343025/getting-to-know-your-candles-a-hanukkah-writing-workshop-with-emily-stern-night-7-2020/#:~:text=The%20seventh%20night%20of%20Hanukkah%20is%20a%20special,who%20you%20are%20in%20the%20eyes%20of%20G-d.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Sixth Night of Chanukah


 The 6th Night of Chanukah

From tel shemesh:

While it is common to think of there being four seasons, according to Gen. 9:22 the seasons number six. When Noah emerges from the ark, the Creator makes a covenant with Noah and all of creation by means of a rainbow, saying: "As long as the days of the earth endure, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease." We also see the number six in our six pointed star, the six directions in nature (north, south, east, west, up, down), and six visible colors in the rainbow. Six is the balance and beauty of the physical world.  http://telshemesh.org/tevet/ritual_for_the_sixth_night_of_chanukah.html 

Happy Chanukah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Fifth Night of Chanukah


Tonight I wished to describe why there are nine candles for the eight days of Chanukah, and I came across the Jewish Path website which puts forth a brief explanation:

Tonight is the fifth night of Chanukah. We light five candles and say two Blessings after dark. This is Erev Yom Reshon {29-09-5768}. First we light the server candle {The Shamis Candle} in the center to use as a lighter for our fifth, fourth, third, second and first candles.We light the fifth candle (that is the fifth candle from the right, not including the Shamis candle) then we light the fourth, third, second and first candles afterwards.

And the blessings for the fifth night are:

First Blessing over the lighting of the candle...

Blessed are you O L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us through His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights.

Second Blessing in remerance of the miracles...

Blessed are you O L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who brought miracles for our ancestors, in those days at this time {of year}.

Reference

http://www.jewishpath.com/holidays/chanukah_5768/chanukah_day_five.html

A Little Fun

Those who have been following the Qui Locutus (formerly CathApol) blog know that I like to campaign for Keeping Christ in Christmas and Keeping Mass in ChristMass, and I could not resist when I saw this for keeping the Han in Hannukah!


And here is one of mine:




















Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Fourth Night of Chanukah

 

Overcoming Despair and Building Faith and Trust

Rabbi Allen writes:

It takes trust and faith to overcome despair. Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlav, who is known to have struggled with depression, teaches us, “Hanukkah is not just some celebration of miracles performed in the past…It is a guiding light for people from all walks of life, from all eras in time, to see through the darkness of their personal lives and to become part of history…It is also the knowledge that G!d is with us, even when we lose the battle.” 

There is faith and trust that G!d is with us, and that G!d will be with us, and that we will never be alone. But there is also something even more fundamental: just plain faith and just plain trust. Not trust or faith in anything, but as a state of being. Living with trust. Living with faith. It is a moment-by-moment experience. It is being in the now with confidence, security, and a sense of well-being. It is setting despair aside and opening our hearts and minds to find new ways of being, new answers, new avenues. Some of us may attribute such feelings to faith and trust in G!d, while others of us may experience it differently. No matter how we describe it or to what we ascribe it, when we feel a sense of trust and faith in our hearts, it feels just right. (Allen, 2021).

Reference

Allen, K. (2021). Diminishing despair and growing trust and faith. Jewish Boston. https://www.jewishboston.com/read/hanukkah-day-4-diminishing-despair-and-growing-trust-and-faith/