Tag Archives: Hanukkah

Hanukkah Night and Day 8

This is the eighth and final night and day of Hanukkah, the celebration of the intervention of God in the history of the people chosen to be the Lumen gentium, the Light of the Nations, to bring the revelation of God to all mankind. God strengthened the military in two ferocious battles, and then worked a liturgical miracle clearly indicating God’s will.

There is a prayer called Avinu Malkeinu, Our Father, Our King, which expresses an appropriate response to God’s holy will for us all. There are subtitles in the video below. There are different words for different occasions throughout the year, particularly the beginning of the new year (Rosh haShanah). This happens to be the funeral of Shimon Peres some years ago. Don’t let the presence of whatever dignitaries distract you. This is about the prayer. Make it your own:

Hanukkah is not the usual time for this prayer. Hanukkah is a time of joy. However, it seems to me that precisely this prayer is what would inspire the soldiers to get the job done for God and country way back in the day. The battles opened up the taking of the Temple once again. It is this kind of prayer which is transformed into its continuation by way of humble thanksgiving for God’s intervention. God does listen. God does intervene.

But where is God? Where His intervention? Is He listening?

There He is, on the Cross, making all things new, He the Temple, we the living stones in that Temple. His Heart, that Holy of Holies, was pierced through by the soldier. The Holy of Holies was torn open in the Temple by the angels, top to bottom:

  • “He yielded up His spirit. At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. The tombs broke open, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” (Matthew 27:50b-52)

It’s not that the Holy of Holies in the Temple was desecrated by the angels, but rather that the Holy of Holies, God Himself, was torn asunder, He who stood in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us: “Father, forgive them!” He makes all things new, rising from the dead as a pledge of eternal life for us, His light, His presence, His grace making us one with Himself, this new Temple, having us be with Him a Light to the Nations, the Lumen gentium.

From 1 Maccabees 4:36-59 —

“See, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.” So all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion. There they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins. Then they tore their clothes and mourned with great lamentation; they sprinkled themselves with ashes and fell face down on the ground. And when the signal was given with the trumpets, they cried out to Heaven. Then Judas detailed men to fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary. He chose blameless priests devoted to the law, and they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to an unclean place. They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned. And they thought it best to tear it down, so that it would not be a lasting shame to them that the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar, and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until a prophet should come to tell what to do with them. Then they took unhewn[d] stones, as the law directs, and built a new altar like the former one. They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple, and consecrated the courts. They made new holy vessels, and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. Then they offered incense on the altar and lit the lamps on the lampstand, and these gave light in the temple. They placed the bread on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken. Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred forty-eighth year, they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering that they had built. At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and joyfully offered burnt offerings; they offered a sacrifice of well-being and a thanksgiving offering. They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and fitted them with doors. There was very great joy among the people, and the disgrace brought by the Gentiles was removed. Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.”

I did get some holly, but it didn’t work out to hide the LED light clips at the top corners of the stained glass angels. Maybe I can use some of it below the candles. It’s an ongoing project.


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Hanukkah: Night and Day 7

Saint Thomas Aquinas settled on but one Jewish-Catholic faith. If I remember correctly, it is Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange OP in his volume on Faith who made comments on this, as well as Giuseppe Cardinal Siri in his Gethsemane. I’m with Saint Paul, who says:

  • “[1] I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost: [2] That I have great sadness, and continual sorrow in my heart. [3] For I wished myself to be an anathema from Christ, for my brethren, who are my kinsmen according to the flesh, [4] Who are Israelites, to whom belongeth the adoption as of children, and the glory, and the testament, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises: [5] Whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:1-5)

The Jews are the lampstand for the Light who is the Messiah, Jewish through and through. Jesus is the Lumen gentium, the Light of the Nations. They are the family which shines the Light. The nations, with that Light shining upon them, are adopted. But all become one in Christ Jesus.


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Hanukkah Night and Day 6

Veritatis splendor, the Truth’s splendor, is a good moral life, a good spiritual life. Truth begets the action of love. Living as the children of God, keeping the commandments, means being one with God. That’s God’s gift to us. The military victories bringing about the rededication of the Temple were God’s gift to us.

The Temple as the epicenter of God’s presence, with God making the Holy of Holies holy, being rededicated, points to our own necessity of being rededicated as living stones in that Temple.

When Jesus “cleanses” the Temple with a whip of cords, He speaks of the rededication of the Temple of His own Body, which He would raise up in three days. As the Master, so the disciple.

Thinking of improvements for the display above. I wonder… What if I were to put a couple of Lilies on the top-outer corners of the stained-glass angels to hide the clips of the LED lights? That might work…


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Hanukkah: Night and Day 5

  • “If so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet. Unto whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen and made honourable by God: Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:3-5)
  • “He who bears his cross of sorrows with meekness will inherit in the life to come the glory of God.” (Saint Ephraim the Syrian)


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Hanukkah: Night and Day Three

Investigative meditation on Jesus who is the Light of the Nations, the Lumen Gentium:

Get a concordance to the Scriptures and look up the word “glory” as related to God. Perhaps you have a good memory and can recall a few passages. I think you’ll find that the glory of God is the effect of God’s presence in human nature.

Because of the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures in the One Person of Christ Jesus, this glory is perfect in Him.

Saint Paul speaks of our participation in the glory of God. This is based on the Body of Christ, Christ the Head, we the members, the glory of God in us.

The participation we have now is structured by our bearing with the effects of original sin while we are in this world. We do live, please God, in sanctifying grace. If we could plainly see this, I think we would die for joy, quite glorious, so to speak.. but we don’t see this now. Saint Paul says that this same grace turns to glory in heaven. In other words, we being now in some way with this glory of God, but it will be entirely manifest in heaven.

Again, Hanukkah celebrates God’s assistance with the military victory bringing about, once again, the free exercise of religion as witnessed by the rededication of the Temple. Even more, Hanukkah celebrates God’s assistance with worthy liturgy in that Temple. Jesus is that Temple. Jesus is the Light.

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Hanukkah: Day 2

[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. [6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. [8] He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. [9] That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. [11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not. [12] But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. [13] Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus is both the Light and the Temple.

The Shamash was upgraded. The cross was added to the stained glass Star of David. Now I gotta hide the cords better and fix the top light on the very top Star of David.


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Adoration and Hanukkah? Yes.

6:00 AM Sunday 28 November 2021, hours before Hanukkah would begin, we had adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Christ Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Lumen Gentium, the Light of the Nations, in this little parish of Appalachia. Jesus is Himself the Temple. Jesus is Himself the Light who is God. The Father loved the world so much as to send His Son into the world… (see Jn 3:16).

The Sacred Liturgy is worth fighting for. The great Maccabees did just that. Fighting. Without the free exercise of religion we’re all dead. Smackdowns of religion is always all about hatred of God, therefore hatred of neighbor and self. And that brings unlimited death in its wake. In more recent times here in North America, a revolution was fought against those who would suppress religion. We celebrate what is now the first amendment to the Constitution, the free exercise of religion, also in the public square. What we celebrate is God intervening to assist us with the free exercise of religion. So, to hell with the smackdown of the proper celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.

Hanukkah began in the evening of the 28 November 2021. It is a celebration of God’s intervention to assist in the proper rendering of the Sacred Liturgy, and that is appropriate for all to celebrate throughout human history, even after the Messiah has come among us, who is Himself the Liturgy. Why’s that? Because it’s always all about Jesus. Here’s a picture of the first night:

So, I need to do a couple of things here. One is to change out that rather weak “Shamash” candle. I have one ready to go, but it needs a bit wider platform to be constructed. The other is to take a magic marker and draw a cross in the stained glass Star of David, the seventh item proclaimed that perfection of God’s presence amongst us is fulfilled.

I recall Ben Shapiro’s great smack down of Kamala Harris on Hanukkah:

Hanukkah runs until late afternoon 6 December 2021.


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Finally, a non-epic “Day Off”, preparing for Hanukkah and Christmas, et alia.

A million little projects. Just calm, at a million miles an hour, but a breather for sure. To start off, the Hanukkah and Christmas picture window display needed setting up. The lighting from last year, pictured above, was not easy. A simplified version was in order, which I like much better:

That was just for the picture, a trial lighting making sure everything works. I’ll change out the “Shamash” candle in the middle. I know, I know, it’s not even Advent, or even Hanukkah, or even Thanksgiving for that matter. Just preparing.

Hanukkah is all about God’s joyful intervention in assisting the celebration of the rededication of the Temple. Christmas is all about the Living Temple in the Body of the Messiah, the Lumen gentium, the Jewish Light of the Nations borne amongst us.

I totally get that the candles or lamps should be wax or oil. I mean, I wouldn’t use electric candles for the Altar for Holy Mass. But this is a celebration at home, which doesn’t have the same candle/lamp viability as does the church.

Hanukkah is super early this year (the lunar calendar thing), beginning Sunday Night 28 November, 2021, which coincides with the evening of the first Sunday of Advent. Hanukkah runs through daytime of Monday, December 6. Only the “Shamash” and the first candle are lit Sunday night, from right to left, night by night. The prayers the first night (from Chavad.org):

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה

  • Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
  • Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לִזְּמַן הַזֶּה

  • Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion. [This one is just for the first night.]

Next up on the day off was the cutting of a rose bush out front (which was obscuring the picture window), then the ripping off the Jasmine from the inside fence of the backyard (lots more to be done there), as well as ripping up of the Jasmine that had been hiding “Brake-Man” since springtime. The asparagus forest was also knocked to the ground.

Next up on the day off was attaching the tiniest of all concealed carry holsters next to the standard shift of Sassy the Subaru. I rarely use stuff for what it’s intended. Benefits: availability-at-speed instead of struggling with the seat-belt over the open carry and now, almost winter, under a jacket (the concealed carry permit was just renewed). I can’t imagine concealed carry under a shirt, under a jacket, under a seat-belt. That would be worse than carrying non-chambered. Also, there’s a comfort factor while driving, however slight. But most people won’t carry if there’s the slightest discomfort. I’m no better than anyone else.

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The footwell of the passenger seat is a catchall for rituals of all kinds, Holy Water, a sacramental stole, the mail that day, other items of various projects. I don’t care what any ecclesiastical authority, say, in Rome, says about priests being forbidden to give Last Rites because of Covid-whatever, I’m always a priest and always have the right to provide Last Rites. That rebellious spirit applies over against any secular authorities as well. Going up against all the lawyers and upper-echelon admin of the hospital and going up against the governor’s office brought immediate positive results.

The bit of orange you see is a glass-breaker should the doors be wrecked and the electric windows fail. All the electrical in the car failed just the other day. Just sayin’. A left-over from years gone by next to that bit of orange is a really old wallet filled with cancelled credit cards and one dollar in cash. That would be given to any would-be robber who would ask for the wallet if the circumstances permitting that kind of deescalation and avoidance of conflict were present. It just buys enough time to leave a situation and have it resolved another way. We live in weird times. I’ve already been in a car-jacking incident helping transport a retired cop to the hospital. But that guy was apprehended on the spot by the police came screeching up with miraculously good timing.

  • “But Father George! Father George! You start off with the Temple and the Prince of Peace and wind up with guns?!”

Lol. Yes. That’s me. You might want to read up on the violent occasioning of the celebration of Hanukkah, the celebrating being brought about by God Himself. You might want to recall the violence occasioned in this world throughout time by Adam with original sin (see “Brake-Man” above) but the actual peace we will have in heaven, please God. You might want to remember that the second amendment is a service to one’s fellow man in violent circumstances. This is about just defense over against unprovoked and already being delivered deadly aggression. Statistically, where the second amendment is respected there is a huge decrease in crime. But there is always an increased risk for those who render the service of deescalation and defense of the innocent. There’s really so much good with Jesus intervening amongst us, but it helps us appreciate His entrance into this world when we remember why He came!


Filed under Gardening, Guns, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Liturgy


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Hanukkah… To Ben Shapiro and Kamala Harris on the Light who is the Temple

To Ben Shapiro: You’re right, of course. Thank you for bringing back the blood and guts of this celebration.

To Kamala Harris: Listen to Ben Shapiro.


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Hanukkak March of the Light(s)

Ever notice how the one Light, the one Lumen Gentium shines though many as the march through time continues?

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