FATHER’S TEACHING CORNER: When we pray that God will forgive us as we forgive others, this is the only petition in the “Our Father” conditional upon our doing something. “As we forgive: means in like manner as we forgive. The reason Christ has to us to pray this way is because we are not fit to receive mercy from God until we have shown it to others. “Blessed are the merciful: for the shall obtain mercy” (St. Marr. 5: 7). It has been said, “He that cannot forgive others, breaks down the bridge over which he must pass himself.” (Borrowed in part from Vernon Staley, The Catholic Religion. (To be continued)
VISITATION OF THE SICK: Holy Communion, when administered to a sick person at the point of death, is called the Viaticum, which means “Provision for the way”. The Church has considered this last Sacrament to be so important that it is never to be denied, even to the greatest of sinners, if they showed signs of repentance. The 13th Council of Nice ordered all people to receive the Viaticum. For the same reason the Church has seen fit to suspend the otherwise universal custom of communicating fasting when the Blessed Sacrament is received by way of Viaticum. If the sick person is unable to retain the sacred species in his stomach (in which case of course it would be the grossest profanity to communicate him), or if a Priest cannot be had in time, the person should make an act of spiritual communion. The person also would not be communicated in the event he was beyond understanding the reception of the holy Sacrament.
TUESDAY IS THE DAY OF EXPECTATION, exactly a week before the Nativity of Our lord. On this day preparation is made for His coming. The veil is removed from the stable and the animals are placed in, waiting in anticipation of His arrival. Traditionally on this day the “Great Os” begin. These are the verses we know in the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. We sing it in fill on the Fourth Sunday in Advent as a reminder.
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