Twilight Twitches

msgrfetscherDear Family,
Wednesday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What does that mean? It means that when Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother Ann, unlike every one of us, she was without the mark of original sin that we inherited from Adam and Eve. Why? Her womb would become the sacred place where Mary would conceive Jesus under the power of the Holy Spirit.

“The person of Mary, (because) of her origin from Adam, should have been subject to sin, but, being the new Eve who was to be the mother of the new Adam, she was, by the eternal counsel of God and by the merits of Christ, withdrawn from the general law of original sin.” - NewAdvent.org

God made Mary the perfection of humanity in order that she might receive the perfection of divinity. I just made that line up, and I hope it will withstand the scrutiny of any good theologian.

Mary’s feast of the Immaculate Conception has a very long history. Her title became formal in 1854 by Pius IX in his encyclical Ineffabilis Deus, literally, The Indescribable God. The devotion’s long history speaks to the profound mystery of God’s love working for and through humanity.

In 1846, at the Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore, the gathered bishops dedicated the United States to Mary under her title of The Immaculate Conception.

So that brings us back to today, and why this feast is so important for all of us. Right now, we still battle with the effects of COVID. But as we gather on Sundays, so on Wednesday, we will have Mass as usual at 8:30 a.m. We will also celebrate Mass at 6:OO p.m.

Because we are not having an Advent Penance service ON WEDNESDAY THE 8TH, I WILL HEAR CONFESSIONS BEFORE (5:30) AND AFTER THE 6:00 P.M. MASS (AS LONG AS IT TAKES.)

Many years back I recall hearing that the Chinese had a very unique curse: “May you live in interesting times.” After a little research, Wikipedia yielded the following:

"May you live in interesting times"
is an English expression that is claimed to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. While seemingly a blessing, the expression is normally used ironically; life is better in "uninteresting times" of peace and tranquility than in "interesting" ones, which are usually times of trouble.

Despite being so common in English as to be known as the "Chinese curse", the saying is apocryphal. No actual Chinese source has ever been produced.

My question is, how do we recover a sense of peace and tranquility, ironies and pseudo-curses notwithstanding?

In difficult times, what do believers do? Well, maybe the first thing you do is ask yourself what do I really believe? I’m not talking about believing in God. It is more a question of how close am I letting myself get to God.

The fog of turbulent times makes it hard to see. Imagine Mary. Talk about a turbulent time! Luke tells about the conversation between Mary and Gabriel. She was no naïve youth. Gabriel tells her “the Lord is with you” but Luke says, “...she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” She listens and hears of Elizabeth’s conception in her old age. She realizes Elizabeth could use her help and things change. At that point she says, “Behold, I am the hand¬maid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” And she packs.

I believe the importance of this feast for us is that it celebrates the promise that Mary is as willing to help us as she was willing to be there for Elizabeth. How’s that for an Advent promise?

In our Coming Savior,
sign frjim

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Saturday 5 pm
(Sunday Vigil)
Sunday 8:30 & 11 am
Weekdays 8:30 am
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