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The Lamp-post It returns, the general topic forum, combining the general discussion threads from Tumnus, International and Wood between the worlds.

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  #21  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceOfTheWest View Post
And here's the wreath for this Sunday:


It's Gaudete Sunday! Gaudete is Latin for Joy, and it's when we celebrate that Advent is at least halfway over. Though the candle looks pink, the technical color is "rose", which is formed by mixing purple (symbolizing penance and self-examination) with white (symbolizing purity and holiness.)

Have a joyful Gaudete Sunday, and remember that our King is coming soon!
Thanks for sharing the wreath and the history of the rose candle. When I was little, I used to be confused by the fact that the special colored candle didn't represent the last week of Advent. I was so sure that it did that it was quite shock for me to learn that it didn't...
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:52 PM
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A portion of a letter I was writing to my sister Saturday ...

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Originally Posted by inky
Same with the wise men, I am discovering in my lectio divina; they were “following a star,” but Jesus, the true light that was coming into the world, John says, was already there. It was Jesus drawing them to Himself — He was the light! And He was/is already there/here. No waiting! ☺ It’s so magical. I try to tell people, but they don’t get it ... “God with man is now abiding darn it! Yonder shines the infant light!” Ack, I am going to start crying again...
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:52 PM
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A portion of a letter I was writing to my sister Saturday ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by inky
Same with the wise men, I am discovering in my lectio divina; they were “following a star,” but Jesus, the true light that was coming into the world, John says, was already there. It was Jesus drawing them to Himself — He was the light! And He was/is already there/here. No waiting! ☺ It’s so magical. I try to tell people, but they don’t get it ... “God with man is now abiding darn it! Yonder shines the infant light!” Ack, I am going to start crying again...
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  #24  
Old 12-19-2012, 05:41 AM
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All these years of doing the Advent Wreath and I am just now finding out the rose candle is #3 not #4 Thanks Prince of the West for enlightening us; and thank you inky for your enlightening thoughts about the Light who was the True Star of Christmas being present all along drawing wise men to Himself...

I have revised the lyrics of Awesome God into a special Christmas version. Enjoy!
--------------------
When Jesus / came down to earth
He wasn’t / putting on a show
(Our God is an awesome God)
God’s /love and redemption
Jesus came to let us know
(Our God is an awesome God)
For /God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son
That /whosoever trusts in Him shall have new life
He’s the /Reason for the Season
for His love has won
Our God is an awesome God.

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

When the /sky was ablaze
with a holy light
(Our God is an awesome God)
Fear not! cried the angel
for a baby in the night
(Our God is an awesome God)
though lying in a manger
he brings hope and heaven
Mercy and grace He will give us at the cross
He’s the Reason for the Season
and in Him we are forgiven
Our God is an awesome God.

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God...
Our God is an awesome God
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:56 AM
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Interestingly, Lent has an equivalent Sunday - Laetare Sunday, which is the fourth Sunday of that season. It is amazing how poorly that tradition has been passed on. I remember in my household growing up, we had explained to us every year why the rose candle was lit on the Third Sunday of Advent. Yet in my own parish I had to instruct the sacristan of the proper form - she'd been lighting the rose candle on the Fourth Sunday as well, and nobody ever corrected her.

I can't help but wonder if it's another instance of the Church being "evangelized" by the world. After all, the culture's "Christmas season" begins in mid to late November, builds to a crescendo on Christmas Day proper, then completely collapses. The Church's Christmas Season begins on Christmas Day and continues through at least Jan 1st (Feast of the Circumcision, in classical usage) or Jan 12th (the Epiphany), and sometimes as late as Candlemas (Feb 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple.) You want real Christmas partying, go with the Church's calendar!
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  #26  
Old 12-19-2012, 07:17 AM
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I remember from my youth the excitement of Advent: the steady countdown to Christmas, the increasing number of candles burning at dinnertime, the accumulating marks of the season (the tree, household decorations, etc.) Even now I draw sentimental joy from those time-honored traditions, and thank the Lord that He has arranged the seasons to work with our natural human inclinations toward cycles.

This Christmas, though, I've been trying to delve deeper into the mystery of the Incarnation, and what we're really celebrating. There's nothing wrong with sentiment, and excitement, and loving the family times and the gift giving and all. But the heart of Christmas isn't sentiment - it's something much deeper, more profound, and more demanding.

One thing the Lord is helping me to see this Advent is the depths of humility that He delved. When we moderns think of phrases like "God became man", we tend to take that lightly - after all, what else would He do? Seeing as how we're such Hot Stuff, why wouldn't He want to hang with us? But Lewis used a great analogy to drive the point home: "Imagine becoming a slug, or a crab." The "distance" between us and a slug is much narrower than the distance between the eternal Son of God, Second Person of the Divine Trinity, and us.

But He bridged that distance out of love for us, and com-passion (literally: "suffering with") for our sinful plight. He lay aside the prerogatives of His heavenly glory and came among us. He who holds the universe in the palm of His hand shrank Himself to live on a tiny mote in the corner of just one of His galaxies. He who created time elected to become bound by it, and He who spans the heavens wrapped Himself in a human frame.

And as if that wasn't enough, He elected to be born in the most humiliating of circumstances. Those whom He invited to participate in His mission - His mother Mary and His foster father Joseph - were not even allowed to bear Him in their own humble dwelling. Mary was denied the most fundamental of rights owed every woman: to bear her child in conditions of basic human dignity. No, the holy couple was uprooted from their home to travel to a strange land and seek lodging with strangers. Even then there was no room for them, and they had to find a corner of the garage in which to stay.

It was there that He was born - in the most humiliating of circumstances. We've so sentimentalized the Nativity with our crèches and pageants that we lose sight of the fundamental message: Jesus was born in a barn, right there with the cattle dung. It was the first sign of the humility that would mark His entire life, until He was nailed naked to a tree to writhe in agony, dying beneath the Mediterranean sun. The path of Christ is that of abject humiliation, of laying down rightful claims for the good of others.

And, from the beginning, He has asked His followers to tread the same path. Mary and Joseph were the first, but His call echoes to all who follow them: this is the path; walk in it, and don't forget to bring your execution stake because you'll need it. You'll need it for your pride, for your self-esteem, for your opinions, for your desire for adulation. Want to walk with Me? The journey begins in this barn and goes downhill from there.

Can I really rejoice in that this Advent? God help me to do so.
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  #27  
Old 12-19-2012, 07:31 AM
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Rejoice in this, Roger: that God who sees the end of all roads knew what it would cost Him to make man in His image and give him free will. And seeing the cross ahead, the whips, the crown of thorns and even the two great armies at Armageddon, he still breathed into Adam and he became a living soul.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:56 AM
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That's so true, Magister! To think that He had the humility to know what it would cost Him to create humanity, and then did it! It isn't as if He started this project that went awry, then sighed and said, "I guess if that's what it'll cost to fix this mess, I'll pay it!" He knew it all - ALL - from the outset, and elected to go ahead anyway.

Incredible love.
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  #29  
Old 12-19-2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EveningStar View Post
Rejoice in this, Roger: that God who sees the end of all roads knew what it would cost Him to make man in His image and give him free will. And seeing the cross ahead, the whips, the crown of thorns and even the two great armies at Armageddon, he still breathed into Adam and he became a living soul.
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Originally Posted by PrinceOfTheWest View Post
That's so true, Magister! To think that He had the humility to know what it would cost Him to create humanity, and then did it! It isn't as if He started this project that went awry, then sighed and said, "I guess if that's what it'll cost to fix this mess, I'll pay it!" He knew it all - ALL - from the outset, and elected to go ahead anyway.

Incredible love.
YES! And that's the thing -- God doesn't call us to look in horror at His humiliation and then sneer down at us, daring us to be as degraded as He was. He calls us to look at the love that He showed, and to accept it, to accept that we are so important to Him that He would give up everything for us ... we're not supposed to feel like worms before His sacrifice, but to feel like the Prize that He would do anything to win! Until we accept that love, and recognize our worth because of the way He values us, then we can't walk in the same humility in which He walked -- or, if we do let ourselves be degraded because we want to be as humble as He was, it is disgusting to us and hard for us. But if once we recognize our worth in Him, then we simply forget about ourselves altogether so humiliation and hardship (with and in Him) become our paradise -- because anywhere we are with and in Him, that is paradise!

My brother started reading Henri Nouwen's "Return of the Prodigal" and said he couldn't take the thought of a love like that which in turn demanded that he love like that because he couldn't do it! It made him feel guilty that he couldn't love like the Prodigal Dad loved. But he's missing the point -- the point is, first, to accept that we are loved like that. Once we receive that, and revel in it, then it fills us so completely that it flows out of us willy-nilly. But until we accept it and revel in it, then we can't begin to love that way.

Same thing here, I think: if we focus on the humiliation and degradation of Christ and try in our own power to walk His path without complaint, to strip ourselves of conceit and be humble, we will fail or we will be miserable. But when we accept that His humiliation was the price He gladly paid because of His great love for us, when we accept that we were worth everything to Him, then of course it becomes our joy to live as He lived -- it's not humiliating, but liberating!
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:26 PM
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Well, that's kind of the point of true Christian humility: not seeing ourselves as worthless worms, but seeing ourselves as God sees us. That means understanding that we are at the same time 1) extremely tiny, mere dust specs in God's creation, and 2) dearly loved for all that.

It is only human limitation that automatically associates "small" and "insignificant". An infinite God can love even the tiniest things as much as He loves galaxies and universes. Thus we fall into one or the other (or both) of two errors: magnifying ourselves as if we were Quite Something and puffing up our pride (thus forgetting our place as very small creatures), or supposing that we are insignificant and worthless (thus forgetting that God's love is truly infinite.) True humility consists in seeing ourselves exactly as God sees us: tiny, but dearly loved.
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