“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!”*
The Roman Catholic liturgical season of Advent is upon us, and yesterday, Advent wreaths were lit up all over the world. KBF made such a wreath with her elfin helpers on Friday, and the product of the little hands is pictured, above. She promises us a tutorial on the creation of this beauty, and I will post it when it arrives. We took a small break at the The Marian Room for Thanksgiving, which was, as predicted, a thoroughly happy family affair with moments of near anarchy, and the appropriate assertion of strong personalities. The entire riotous celebration hit its high point when the infant C. Stanislaus left The World, and joined the glorious Church (where the gates of hell have yet to prevail against her, though not for want of trying!) founded by Jesus Christ: the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
C. Stan entered the waters of Baptism at the Font of Life in a former steel town, cut along the hills of the Ohio River, near a university named for St. Francis; and was carried to the font by his godparents, who had traveled from the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Witnesses to the sacrament had traveled as far west from the town named for the sixteenth president of the United States (E. Jean and company), east from the grand shadows cast from the Liberty Bell (A. Nicole and company), and south-west from the border state of A (Princess K. Patrice). I do not think any person present will forget the innocent countenance displayed by C. Stan as he left the baptistery, a newly minted Catholic, bearing his newly cleansed immortal soul in the confines of his mortal body. How quietly does innocence speak to those long-lived of a time when we, too, were innocent; and how mysteriously is this innocence re-gained, no matter one’s age, in that other glorious sacrament, Confession.
Which leads one to think of the grand kindnesses God extends to us in His Holy Church through the sacraments, which are conferred by Catholic priests. The Catholic Church is a priestly church as evidenced by the founder, Jesus Christ, the great high priest. This goodness, this beauty of God, this is the Church; this is the Good News, that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, through the Blessed Virgin Mary, to save us.
These are the things we remember in Advent; and they are happy things.
It is a happy time.
So, as the days grow shorter, and the candles are lit one by one, week by week, and the bustle of Christmas preparations press upon us, let us, like C. Stan, dip our feet into the grand river of grace that flows from the sacramental life of the Church; the living Church, the Church immaculate which stands with Christ as its head, the great high priest.
Let us keep not only our Advent candles burning, but the proverbial Baptismal candles, as well.
Christ shall return one day.
Yes, the King Shall Return (Tolkien), and all will be well; until then, we pray:
May you have a good day.
*O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!” history, source