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Relevant Catholic Divine Inspirations and Holy Lights
O God,
as light comes from this candle,
may the blessing of Jesus Christ come to us,
warming our hearts and
brightening our way.
May Christ our Savior bring life
into the darkness of this world,
and to us, as we wait for his coming. Amen
The angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John:
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.

And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame. And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense.

And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the alter of incense. And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’ s womb.

And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people. And Zachary said to the angel: Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years. And the angel answering, said to him: I am Gabriel, who stand before God: and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be able to speak until the day wherein these things shall come to pass, because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.

And the people were waiting for Zachary; and they wondered that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they understood that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he made signs to them, and remained dumb. And it came to pass, after the days of his office were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself five months, saying: Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he hath had regard to take away my reproach among men.
Luke 1: 5-25
"Advent, this powerful liturgical season that we are beginning, invites us to pause in silence to understand a presence. It is an invitation to understand that the individual events of the day are hints that God is giving us, signs of the attention he has for each one of us."
Pope Benedict VXI, Homily at First Vespers of Advent, November 28, 2009
Look on us, Jesus, and let
   all the darkness of our souls
   disappear before the beams
   of your brightness.
Fill us with your holy love,
   and open to us
   the treasures of your wisdom.
You know all our desire,
   so bring to perfection
   what you have started,
   and what the Holy Spirit
   has wakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek your face,
   turn your face to us
   and show us your glory.
Then our longing will be satisfied
   and our peace will be perfect. Amen
Saint Augustine of Hippo
The angel Gabriel appears to Saint Zacharias as he offered incense in the temple; Austrian/German school, 1800s; http://commons.wikimedia.org
Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist by Jacopo Bassano; 1570; Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence; http://www.wga.hu
First Sunday of Advent - Waiting - Preparation - Light in the Darkness - Coming of the promised Messiah
 
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