Maike Hickson@HicksonMaike·on Twitter Sat Nov 28th, 2020:
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Vatican is stepping up its alliance with a pan-Islamic organization alleged to have provided "material support" to al-Qaeda's 9/11 terrorist operation as well as to have funded terrorism and the global propagation of hardline Wahhabi Islam.
As part of recent efforts at re-branding its image through "religious diplomacy," the Saudi-sponsored Muslim World League (MWL) hosted the Vatican's envoy to the United Nations (U.N.) Sunday for a book presentation on interreligious dialogue.
Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, the Holy See's permanent observer to the U.N. in Geneva, delivered a keynote address in Jeddah on the book The Promotion of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue as an Instrument for Peace and Fraternity, stressing the Vatican's developing relationship that began under Pope Francis in 2017.
Making no mention of Christ or the gospel, Jurkovič instead extolled the "polychromatic light of religions" that illuminates this world and "does not contrast the individual colors by putting them in antithesis to one another; rather, it combines them in a non-conflictual vision."
"The inevitable consequence of abandoning a civilization of encounter is to resort to an incivility of conflict," Jurkovič said, citing both Francis' Fratelli Tutti and the Human Fraternity pact with Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayyeb.
Speaking to Church Militant, distinguished Islamic scholar Robert Spencer observed how "Jurkovič's attendance at an MWL event is a stark illustration of how the Vatican's determination to pursue Muslim 'dialogue' is so indefatigable that it has blunted all of its critical faculties and rendered it incapable of distinguishing between sincerely peaceful entities and those that are, like the MWL, extensively involved in funding jihad terrorism."
"This is partly due to the cynical cleverness of the MWL itself, which presents itself as a benign organization dedicated to 'dialogue,' although it wouldn't have taken more than five minutes of research for Vatican officials to discover the grim reality of the MWL," Spencer explained.
An Arabic-speaking source from the Middle East told Church Militant that the MWL was undertaking a massive re-branding operation and using the Vatican in order to whitewash its image as a terror-funding body.
"This is a new marketing strategy the MWL is using to influence public opinion and subjugate the West," he said. "The MWL has realized that openly flaunting hardline Wahhabism won't get them very far."
Read More at: ChurchMilitant.com
Rom. xiii. 12: The night is passed, and the day is at hand:
"Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light."
The word Advent is from the Latin adventus for "coming" and is associated with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas. Advent always contains four Sundays, beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, (November 30) and continuing until December 24. It blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent, a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the Lord, called the Parousia, and a joyful theme of getting ready for the Bethlehem event.
Since the 900s Advent has been considered the beginning of the Church year. This does not mean that Advent is the most important time of the year. Easter has always had this honor.
The traditional color of Advent is purple or violet which symbolizes the penitential spirit. Religious traditions associated with Advent express all these themes.
Week 1 of Advent
Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.
let your blessing come upon us as we light the first (purple) candle of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ's promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this in His holy name. Amen.
We light a advent candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark. But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master. The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:
The blessing of an Advent Wreath takes place on the First Sunday of Advent or on the evening before the First Sunday of Advent.
1514 When the blessing of the Advent Wreath is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family; the shorter rite may appropriately be used for this purpose.
1515 When the Advent Wreath is used in the home, the opening prayer of the Sunday Mass is recited when the candles are lighted. The lighting of the candles may be preceded or followed by an Advent hymn and a Scripture reading. The lighting of the Advent Wreath may fittingly be included as a part of the evening meal.
1516 The Advent Wreath may be blessed by a priest, deacon, or a lay minister.
All make the Sign of the Cross. The leader begins:
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
2.Pray the Responsory:
Who made heaven and earth.
The leader may use these or similar words to introduce the blessing:
In the short days and long nights of Advent, we realize how we are always needing salvation by our God. Around this wreath, we shall remember God's promise.
Then the Scripture is read:
Listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah: 9:1-2
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom, a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.
The reader concludes: The word of the Lord.
All respond: Thanks be to God.
After a time of silence, all join in prayers of intercession and in the Lord's Prayer:
4. Pray the Prayer of Blessing:
Then the leader invites:
Let us now pray for God's blessing upon us and upon this wreath.
After a short silence, the leader prays:
Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Savior of every nation.
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ's promise to bring us salvation;
may he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord
5. Sprinkle the Advent Wreath With Holy Water
6. Pray the Advent Wreath Prayer for the First Week and Light the First Candle
The blessing may conclude with a verse from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
O come, desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of humankind;
bid ev’ry sad division cease and be thyself our Prince of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
7. End With the Sign of the Cross
This blessing of the Christmas tree can be performed by the father of a family. This blessing can be done during Advent, or at Christmas. This was taken from the 1954 Collectio Rituum.
BLESSING OF A CHRISTMAS TREE FOR THE HOME
The father of the family recites the antiphon. The psalm is then recited alternately with the rest of the family.
Antiphon: Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy, for the Lord has come.
Sing to the Lord a new song;sing unto the Lord, all the earth.Sing to the Lord, bless His nameProclaim His salvation day after day.Declare His glory among the nations,His wonders among all the peoples.For great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,to be feared above all the gods.For all the gods of the heathen are vain idols;but the Lord made the heavens.Majesty and beauty are before Him:Power and splendor are in His sanctuary.Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,ascribe to the Lord glory and power;ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name.Offer sacrifice, and enter His courts.Worship the Lord in holy attire.Tremble before Him, all the earth.Proclaim among the nations "the Lord is king."He has established the world that is not moved;He rules the people with equity.Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad;let the sea and all that it contains resound,let the fields exult and all that is in them.Then shall the trees of the forest rejoice before the Lord,for He comes, for He comes to rule the earth.He will rule the world with justice,And the peoples according to His faithfulness.Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The antiphon is repeated by all together:
Antiphon: Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy, for the Lord has come.
The mother of the family reads:
After the fall of our first parents the earth was bare and desolate; the world stood in the darkness of sin. But when the Savior was born our earth shone with a new brightness; the glory of the Almighty had renewed the world, making it more beautiful than before. This tree once stood dark and empty in a cold world. But now resplendent with lights and bright adornments in its new glory, this Christmas tree reflects the new beauty that God brought to earth when "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." By a tree the whole world has been redeemed, and therefore, with great joy we celebrate the glory of this tree.
One of the children reads:
From the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke:
At that time it came to pass that while Mary and Joseph were at Bethlehem, the days for her to be delivered were fulfilled. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds in the same district living in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them and the glory of God shone about them and they feared exceedingly. And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you news of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there has been born to you today in the town of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
All recite: Glory to God on high, * and on earth peace to men whom God has chosen. * We praise you. * We bless you. * We adore you. * We glorify you. * We worship you for your great glory. * Lord God, heavenly king, * God the Father all-powerful! * Lord Jesus Christ, only-begotten Son! * Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father! * You that take away the sins of the world, * have mercy on us. * You that take away the sins of the world, * receive our prayer. * You that sit at the right hand of the Father, * have mercy on us. * For you alone are the Holy One, * you alone are the Lord. * You alone are the Most High, O Jesus Christ, * with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father. * Amen.
Father: Christ is the tree of life.All: In the midst of the paradise of delights.Father: He is the tree.All: We are the branches.Father: In Him was lifeAll: And the life was the light of men.Father: The Lord be with you.All: And with you also.
Father: Let us pray: Bless, we beseech Thee, O Holy God, Father Almighty, this noble tree which we have adorned in honor of the new birth of Thy only-begotten Son, and do Thou so adorn our souls with the manifold beauties of Thy graces that being internally enlightened by the splendor radiating from this tree, we like the wisemen may come to adore Him who is eternal Light and Beauty, the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.
From the 1954 Collectio Rituum.
To be prayed at 5 p.m. on November 27th, Feast of the Miraculous Medal, and in urgent necessities, any day, at that time.
O Immaculate Virgin, we know that always and everywhere you are willing to listen to the prayers of your exiled children in this valley of tears, but we also know that you have days and times in which you are pleased to spread more abundantly the treasures of your graces. And so, very well, O Mary, here we are, prostrate before You, precisely in that blessed day and time, chosen by you in the manifestation of your Medal.
We come to You, full of immense gratitude and unlimited confidence in this hour so beloved by You, to give you thanks for the great gift which you have bestowed upon us, giving us Your image, with the goal that it be for us living testimony of affection and your garment of protection. We promise you that, in accord with your wish, the holy Medal will be the sign of your presence, together with us; it will be our book by which we will learn to know, by your counsel, how much you have loved us, and what we must do so as to not render useless your many sacrifices, and those of Your Divine Son. Yes, your pierced Heart, represented in the Medal, takes possession always of our own and will make ours beat in unison with Yours. Our heart will be enflamed with love for Jesus and Your Heart will strengthen ours to be able to carry the cross behind Him each day.
This is your hour, O Mary, the hour of your inexhaustible goodnesss, of your mercy triumphant, the hour in which you birthed, through your Medal, that torrent of graces and prodigies that flooded the earth. Make this hour, O Mother, in which we remember you be the sweet stirring of your Heart, which moved you to come visit us and to bring us the remedy of so many evils. Make this hour also be our hour, the hour of our sincere conversion, the hour in which we will fully hear your will.
You, who have rightly promised in this fortunate hour that, many would be the graces received for those who ask with confidence: turn your eyes with kindness towards our supplications. We confess not meriting your graces; but to whom shall we turn, O Mary, if not to you, who are our Mother, in whose hands God has placed all his graces? Have therefore pity on us. We ask this by your Immaculate Conception, and for the love that moved you to give us Your Precious Medal. O, consoler of the afflicted, who has already been endeared by our wounds, look at the evils that oppress us.
Let your Medal shower over us and all our loved ones your beatific rays: cure our sick, give peace to our families, liberate us of all danger. May your Medal bring relief to those who suffer, console the ones who cry, and give light and strength to all. We especially ask you for the conversion of sinners, particularly for those who are our most beloved. Remember that for them you have suffered, have pleaded and cried. Save us, O Refuge of Sinners, with the goal that after we have all loved, invoked and served you on earth, we may be able to thank you and praise you eternally in Heaven. Amen.