Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for December 6, 2009

The Second Sunday of Advent – This week’s bulletin for Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, Newton:

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for the week of December 6, 2009


Front Cover: An illustration of St. Nicholas, Bishop and Confessor, bringing gifts for children.  St. Nicholas, who lived in the 4th century, is the great saint of charity to the poor and the protector of children.  His feast-day—St. Nicholas Day—is December the 6th.


Calendar of Masses; Latin Mass Texts; Music Programs for this Sunday’s Masses; Latin Mass Community Announcements; Parish and General Announcements



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The Peace of Christ

One of the Messianic titles of Our Lord is “Prince of Peace”.  Wherever Christ’s spirit reigns there is an atmosphere of true peace.  This should be especially true of an individual Christian’s own inner state.  No matter what his circumstances he finds himself with peace of heart.

Unfortunately, as we know, this is often not the case.  A person can have faith and be staying out of mortal sin, and still be experiencing anxiety, sadness, and various other morbid preoccupations.  Partly this is due to the weakness of our human nature.  In other part it is aggravated by the inhumanly fast-paced, technology-driven life we lead.

In the “Providence of books” there is one book, in particular, I can highly recommend to people who are seeking to learn how to recover or maintain their peace of heart under adverse conditions.  This book was written by a Spanish Jesuit priest, Fr. Narciso Irala, in 1944. Its title in English translation is: Achieving Peace of Heart.  It has been recently reprinted by Roman Catholic Books in a hardcover edition and it is also readily available on the used books market.

Fr. Irala himself had experienced a nervous breakdown in his youth and was helped back to mental health by the Jesuit psychologist Fr. Laburu.  Not only did he personally benefit from Fr. Laburu’s skill and insight, but he also developed a deep interest in how to devise methods for dealing with human problems.  Later on in his life, he spent ten years as a Catholic missionary priest in China and gained an extensive knowledge of Oriental psychology.

One of his key insights is that so much of our mental stress problems come from an imbalance between our subjective inner world and the objective world of reality.  The practice of simple, straightforward methods to direct our thoughts to concrete outer reality (for example, focusing the mind on what our senses are perceiving in our immediate environment) has a marvelous effect of relieving us of obsessive thoughts and that tearing-ourselves-apart-inside. He writes:

Although intellectual error brings many to the precipice of evil and disgrace, wanton feelings and emotions are responsible for many more physical tragedies.

To my knowledge this is the best and most generally suitable self-help book that is out there for people who are striving to realize that peace which Christ promises in their personal emotional lives.

Your thoughts are the limit of your activities.  No one takes a single step further than his convictions.  If you imagine to yourself that you cannot do this or that, you will never do it.  “Posse quia posse videntur,” the old Romans used to say.  “They can because they think they can.”  Aside from the times when you need the ministrations or advice of a professional physician, your six best doctors are sun, water, air, exercise, diet and joy.  They are always there waiting for you. They cure your ills and do not cost you a cent.

Sacred Heart
(link added by webmaster)

Fr. Higgins
(Fr. Higgins)

Pastor’s Note from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for December 6, 2009

Advent Customs: St. Nicholas Day


The von Trapp children
In 1926, Maria Kutschera, a postulant at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, Austria was sent to the home of a retired navy Captain Von Trapp, a widower with seven children—pictured here in the photo—to teach one of his daughters Maria, who was recuperating from an illness. Here Maria describes her first Advent at the Villa Trapp.

Saint Nikolaus was a saintly bishop of the fourth century, and being always very kind and helpful to children and young people, God granted every year that on his feastday he might come down to the children.  He comes dressed in bishop’s vestments, with a mitre on his head and his bishop’s staff in his hand…The excitement was great on [December] the fifth.

Soon after dark we assembled in the hall, looking out through the large window into the driveway…Suddenly one could see the little flicker of candlelight through the bare bushes. A tall figure bearing a lantern and high staff turned into our driveway, followed by a little black fellow [the “Krampus”].

The heavy double-door opened wide, and in came the Holy Bishop, reverently greeted by young and old.  The white beard which cascaded down below his waist showed his old age.  Nobody could see that half an hour before, it had been plastered on Hans’s face with the help of the white of a raw egg…After he had sat down, he gave the Captain his lantern to hold, and then he produced from under his white cloak a large package with a big golden Cross…In this magic book were written down all the many crimes, big and little, which had been committed by the children of this house.  It was quite incredible how well-informed Saint Nikolaus was…

Saint Nikolaus shook his finger and frowned at the sinners as they were called to his feet.  They all felt very uncomfortable, and promised fervently to reform.  The Holy Bishop rose and waved his hand towards the door; a big sack was pushed in, which Saint Nikolaus opened.  There was a bag with fruit and candies for everybody…

(Maria Augusta Trapp: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, A.D. 1949.  Reproduced from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for June 12, 2009)

N.B.  The von Trapp family sang at Holy Trinity, the former home of the Boston area Latin Mass Community.