English: The Massacre of the Innocents by Giotto. 1304-1306. Fresco. Capella degli Scrovegni, Padua, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here we are within the Octave of Christmas and we find ourselves confronted with the brutality of King Herod. Having been told by three visiting stargazers that a king had been born in his territory, he could not allow there to be one such as this to be raised in opposition. So, he called for mass infanticide.
Fortunately the Holy Family had been warned not to stay – and were on their way to Egypt into exile. But for how many parents was there heartache to come? We may never know how many, but we do know that although they did not have tongues to say so, they were dying for Christ.
Holy Innocents, first martyrs of Christ, pray for us.
We have become used to the news of another shooting somewhere in the world: for some people they are almost hardened to the news. Others are lucky, more innocent, but when something happens in their town, they lose this innocence.
I came across the post linked below this morning, and ask that, of your charity, you read it.
The first of the Great O Antiphons1 today gives us the sign that in Advent we are drawing closer to Christmas.
Looking at today’s Antiphon, O Wisdom, we find a translation
O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.2
Prudence is not something we hear about very often, it’s not a word that I encounter on the streets of the city. Yet it is one that would be useful for us all to remember. Prudence is ‘the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason.’
I pray that we all will use the reasoning that our God gave us, as we discern our paths in life.
1. Fr William Saunders gives some background to them in his article reproduced on Catholic Education Resource Center.
You know how it is, there’s always more paperwork to be done, more letters and email to be read, and what is the next action that needs doing. Well yesterday, today, and tomorrow have been blocked out of my diary to sort collect all that is going on in my life, and then decide how to proceed. The simple way can be shown by questions below
- Is it actionable?
- What’s the next action?
- if under 2 minutes to do it, then do it.
- if over 2 minutes,
- defer to calendar
- next actions list
Thanks to IKEA I have a number of large boxes which are going to the dump full of trash.
But to get to the beginning, it is necessary to collect everything, so I have been going through the mountain of paperwork in stages and doing the above process rather than doing it all at once. Yesterday I was really only able to the first sort – Is it actionable, Yes or No, and if no, is it trash or not? One very large IKEA box of rubbish is heading to the dump today.
Of course, it is not just our material lives that need to have a clear out and a new way of working, we need to do that with our spiritual lives as well. We need to factor that in when planning our work schedule. Making sure that we have time to examine our consciences at the end of each day is important. The Sacrament of Penance is where we can right ourselves with the community of Faith and with God. Talking over what we are doing with our lives with a priest is always useful.
Often people take Spring as the time to clean out their houses, but for me, Advent is a bit like Spring but in the Church’s year, it is the first season, so for me it is the perfect time to make new liturgical year resolutions. One for me has been to take the time each day to pray the Divine Office without hurry. Being able to commit to this involves working a better way of working for everything else… which is why it is back to ‘Is it actionable?’ for me now.