Posted in MORNING Prayers

One Minute Reflection – 30 November

“As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men'” ……………Mt 4:18-19; Mk 1:16-17

REFLECTION – …………..”O blessed Cross, clothed in the majesty and beauty of the Lord’s limbs!… Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher, so that, through you, the one who redeemed me by you, may receive me. Hail, O Cross; yes, hail indeed!”…………St Andrew (This is what the Apostle is claimed to have said on that occasion, according to an ancient story (which dates back to the beginning of the sixth century), entitled The Passion of Andrew.)………………Pope Benedict XVI

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, It is by the Cross of alone that our sufferings too are ennobled and acquire their true meaning. You have called me personally by name, just as You called your first disciples, Simon, Andrew, and James. Fill me with the joy of Your gospel and help me to be a good and faithful witness of Your kingdom to all I meet. St Andrew Apostle Pray for me and for us all! Amen

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Posted in ADVENT

Wednesday of First Week of Advent 30 November

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
Daily Meditation:
We reflect today on a promise of a day full of hope
of plenty, of peace. We ask for the grace to be open,
to respond to whatever the Lord is offering us in these precious days
of preparation and anticipation.

No matter how difficult our situation, we can trust in the Lord;
we can eat and be satisfied.

I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”

Closing Prayer:
Lord of all,
you are a God of plenty, a Lord who provides
for us in our need.
As I begin these early days of Advent
help me to believe that You know what I need.
Give me the courage to listen to Your voice
and the freedom
to open my heart to the graces You are
offering me to place my trust in You.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

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Posted in NOVENAS

NOVENA TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (To commemorate the Immaculate Conception)

DAY TWO

O Mary, ever blessed Virgin,
Mother of God,
Queen of angels and of saints,
we salute you with the most profound veneration
and filial devotion
as we contemplate your holy Immaculate Conception,
We thank you for your maternal protection
and for the many blessings that we have received
through your wondrous mercy
and most powerful intercession.
In all our necessities
we have recourse to you
with unbounded confidence.
O Mother of Mercy,
we beseech you now to hear our prayer
and to obtain for us of your Divine Son
the favour that we so earnestly request in this novena…

(State your intention here…)

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth;
you have the same influence now in heaven.
Pray for us
and obtain for us from him
the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

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#daytwonovenaimmaculateconception

Image – Immaculate Conception, Bartolome Esteban Murillo

Posted in MORNING Prayers

Thought for the Day – 30 November

As in the case of all the apostles except Peter and John, the Gospels give us little about the holiness of Andrew. He was an apostle. That is enough. He was called personally by Jesus to proclaim the Good News, to heal with Jesus’ power and to share his life and death.He was a friend of the Master and his joy was in making Him known.  It was Andrew who introduced the Greeks to Jesus on Palm Sunday. What a wonderful description of a Christian – “to make Jesus known”   And holiness today is no different. It is a gift that includes a call to be concerned about the Kingdom, an outgoing attitude that wants nothing more than to share the riches of Christ with all people.

And we can find no better model than Andrew.

St Andrew Pray for us!

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 November

St Andrew Apostle (1st Century) Patron of fishermen, fishmongers and rope-makers, textile workers, singers, miners, pregnant women, butchers, farm workers, protection against sore throats, protection against convulsions, protection against fever, protection against whooping cough, Sctoland, Barbardos, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Cyprus, Romania and many Diocese, Schools, towns and cities.

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Andrew was St. Peter’s brother, and was called with him. “As [Jesus] was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is now called Peter and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20).

John the Evangelist presents Andrew as a disciple of John the Baptist. When Jesus walked by one day, John said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Andrew and another disciple followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come, and you will see.’ So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day” (John 1:38-39a).

Little else is said about Andrew in the Gospels. Before the multiplication of the loaves, it was Andrew who spoke up about the boy who had the barley loaves and fishes. When the Gentiles went to see Jesus, they came to Philip, but Philip then had recourse to Andrew.

Legend has it that Andrew preached the Good News in what is now modern Greece and Turkey and was crucified at Patras.

Images below – Rubens, Georges de la Tour, Jusepe de Ribera

Posted in MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 30 November

Not the intellect but God
Not the will but God
Not the heart but God
Not taste but God
Not touch but God
Not food and drink but God
Not clothing but God
Not tranquility but God
Not worldly goods but God
Not riches but God
Not distinctions but God
God in all
God always.

Prayer of St Vincent Pallotti

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Posted in ADVENT

Tuesday of First Week of Advent 29 November

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:
A shoot shall sprout from the stump.
Our God can transform our weakness, our sin, all conflict and all division.
From every life-less stump – where any future hope has been cut off
– a shoot of new life can sprout.
He shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.

We need to really hear this “good news” so that our hearts can begin to be softened
to hear how profoundly our God desires to help us
and to make things right with all of creation.
Throughout the day today, we can lighten our spirits
as we turn to God and pray:
Let me rejoice at the coming of Your Son, for me!

Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever. Psalm 72

Closing Prayer:
God of forgiveness,
I turn to You in my great weakness
and beg for Your help.
Let me feel the joy growing in my heart
as I anticipate Your coming.

I hear the message of the prophets of old
and know that the Messiah will bring
new life and new ways of living.

From the humbleness of my life,
help me to grow and bloom
and hear the words
that will change the world.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

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Posted in NOVENAS

NOVENA TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (To commemorate the Immaculate Conception)

DAY ONE

O most Holy Virgin,
who was pleasing to the Lord and became His mother,
immaculate in body and spirit,
in faith and in love,
look kindly on me as I implore your powerful intercession.
O most Holy Mother,
who by your blessed Immaculate Conception,
from the first moment of your conception
did crush the head of the enemy,
receive our prayers as we implore you
to present at the throne of God the favour we now request…

(State your intention here…)

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth;
you have the same influence now in heaven.
Pray for us
and obtain for us from Him
the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

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Immaculate Conception – Peter Paul Rubens – 1628
#dayoneimmaculateconceptionnovena. #29november,
Posted in MORNING Prayers

Thought for the Day – 29 November

“By now we’ve seen enough Jesuit saints, with their extraordinary loyalty to the Pope that it comes as no surprise that this man too was loyal to the Pope, oh, but what loyalty! Loyalty to the hand that stabs you. Provided you believe that hand is guided by the hand of God. And of course, it wasn’t easy to (even as he had that kind of loyalty) to keep others in line. Out of the 23,000 Jesuits put out of existence in 1773, thanks in large measure to the saint who’s virtues we are reflecting on – ST JOSEPH PIGNATELLI, there is not a single evidence of a public criticism of the Pope. How we need that kind of loyalty today! When one supposedly Catholic writer, take an Andrew Greeley in Chicago, or a Richard McBrien at Notre Dame, or a Hans Kung in Germany – almost every time they either open their mouth or put pen to paper, it is galled and bitterness in attacking the Vicar of Christ. We need this today and no doubt, I have no doubt, that one of the providential reasons for the suppression of the order with such dire consequences, was to give the world the lesson of fidelity, even under duress.”

St Joseph Pignatelli – Pray for us, our Holy Father and for the whole Church, especially the Catholicdigital world!

Venerable John A Hardon SJ (Archives of Lectures)

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#stjosephpignatelli,29novstjosephpignatelli,venjohnahardon,thoughtfortheday29november,

Posted in MORNING Prayers

One Minute Reflection – 29 November

The message of the cross is foolishness to those
who are perishing but to us who are being saved
it is the power of God……1 Cor 1:18

REFLECTION – I never tire repeating, whenever I speak and I talk about patience, even for a minute, I tell the people in case they even have forgotten or never heard, that patience comes from patior, which is the Latin verb for ‘to suffer’. So if you’re going cultivate the virtue of patience, you’ve got to find somebody who’s causing you some suffering. But, God will always provide, He always comes through but He uses human beings and I dare say that our worst pain comes from persons. And often from those we most love. Here, loving the Church and this Church tells you, you may no longer do the work of God for which you took solemn vow until death. Patience, indeed and THIS was the Cross and the power of St Joseph Pignatelli!………….Venerable John A Hardon SJ

PRAYER – Lord my God, let me rely always on the Power of the Cross of Your Son. Grant that I may attain the salvation which He won for us by His Passion and Resurrection. Teach me patience, trust, loyality and obedience to You my God by the example of Your Saint Joseph Pignatelli, from whom we request his prayer of intercession. Amen

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 29 November

“Prayer for Perfect Resignation” by St Joseph Pignatelli, SJ (1737-1811)

My God, I do not know
what must come to me today.
But I am certain that nothing
can happen to me that You have
not foreseen, decreed
and ordained from eternity.
That is sufficient for me.
I adore Your impenetrable
and eternal designs,
to which I submit with all my heart.
I desire, I accept them all
and I unite my sacrifice
to that of Jesus Christ,
my divine Saviour.
I ask in His name
and through His infinite merits,
patience in my trials and perfect
and entire submission to all that comes to me
by Your good pleasure.
Amen

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 November – St Joseph Pignatelli SJ

St Joseph Pignatelli SJ –José María Pignatell –  (1737-1811 aged 73) called  The “Second Founder”, the “Saviour” and the “Restorer” of the Society of Jesus – Patron of Jesuit Novices, those suffering unjust   After St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, Pignatelli is arguably the most important Jesuit in its subsequent history, linking the two Societies, the old Society which was first founded in 1540 and the new Society which was founded forty years after it had been suppressed by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. Pignatelli can thus be rightly considered the saviour and restorer of the Jesuits.

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For multiple political reasons, European monarchs pressured the pope into suppressing the Jesuits in the late 18th century. The Jesuit suppression affected Portugal, France, the Two Sicilies, Parma and the Spanish Empire by 1767. In 1773 Pope Clement XIV dissolved the Order entirely. Prussia and Russia refused to carry out the papal decree. Because of this, the Society of Jesus survived in Russia throughout the suppression.

When the Jesuits were suppressed in Spain, Pignatelli could have remained in his country, because he was a member of the Spanish nobility. Instead Pignatelli chose exile with his Jesuit brothers and became Superior for 600 remaining Jesuits. These Jesuits were refused entry into Italy and settled on the southern tip of Corsica, only to be exiled once again when France acquired Corsica in 1768. The community finally made it to Ferrara in Northern Italy, where they lived a fragile existence until the final suppression in 1773.

Now forbidden to practice his ministry as a priest, Pignatelli moved to Bologna and for the next 24 years kept in contact with his dispersed brethren. Pignatelli attempted to become a member of the Jesuit community in Russia. Unable to go to Russia, Pignatelli accepted an invitation from Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, to reestablish the Society in his territory. With several Jesuits from Russia, the Jesuit community was reestablished in 1797. Pignatelli renewed his vows and was appointed Novice Master. Later he was appointed Provincial in Italy.

In the midst of the Napoleonic wars, with shifting political pressures among the small states in Italy, Pignatelli shepherded the re-founded Jesuit communities. Joseph Pignatelli hoped to live to see the full restoration of the Society of Jesus but, worn out by his labours, died in 1811—three years before Pope Pius VII universally restored the Society.

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Posted in ADVENT

Monday of the First Week of Advent 2016

“Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:
That He may instruct us in His ways.
Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

We want to begin this journey by rallying ourselves
to turn to the Lord with great hope.
In the midst of many discouraging challenges in our lives
and the violence in the world around us,
we desire to spend this day in anticipation of the graces
our God desires to give us.

They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again. Isaiah 2

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you; but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
I sense that all is Your creation
and everything and all of us,
are being drawn back toward Your loving heart.

Help me to be a person of peace,
to speak about Your peace in an uneasy world
and to live it among the people
You have put into my life every day.

Light in me a desire to prepare for Your coming
to stand in the darkness, waiting, eager and filled with joy.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

Thought for the Day – 28 November

Devotion to Mary is at the very heart of Catholicism and from time to time we are reminded by Our Lady, that this love is not unfounded.  This devotion is as ancient as the Church itself and is one of the qualities that marks a Catholic.  The beauty which emanates from devotion to Mary, is how she constantly leads us to her Son.  We will find on examination of the great Saints who loved her so deeply that they also loved Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, first and foremost – Mary takes second place once she has led us to Him.

Today’s Saint, St Catherine Labouré, said the following:

“Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord and I say to Him, ‘Lord, here I am. Tell me what You would have me do.’ If He gives me some task, I am content and I thank Him. If He gives me nothing, I still thank Him since I do not deserve to receive anything more than that. And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart. I tell Him about my pains and my joys and then I listen. If you listen, God will also speak to you, for with the good Lord, you have to both speak and listen. God always speaks to you when you approach Him plainly and simply.”
– St. Catherine Laboure (1806 – 1876)

St Catherine Pray for us!

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

One Minute Reflection – 28 November

Those who love me, I also love and those who seek me find me……….Prv 8:17

REFLECTION – Blessed are those who abandon themselves into Our Lady’s hands.Their names are written in the Book of Life…………….St Bonaventure

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, make me a devoted client of Your Beloved Mary, the Mother of our Lord the Christ. Let me entrust myself always into her hands so that she may protect me as she took care of Your Son. Let me place complete trust in her, as St Catherine did, knowing that she will lead me to You. St Catherine Labouré Pray for us! Amen

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 November – St Catherine Labouré

St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) Sister of Charity, Mystric and Visionary – Patron of the Miraculous Medal, infirm people, the elderly

St. Catherine Labouré (born Zoe ) was the ninth of eleven children. On October 9, 1815 Catherine was nine years old when her mother died. After this, she and her younger sister were raised by their aunt. It is said that after her mother’s funeral, Catherine picked up a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and kissed it; saying “Now you will be my mother.”

She was a simple, uneducated young woman. In 1830, having cared for her father’s household for a decade, she joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul at Châtillon-sur-Seine, France. On July 31, late at night a shining child awakened her and escorted her to the chapel.

There Mary spoke with her for two hours, telling her she would have a difficult task to perform and predict future events. On November 27, Mary appeared to give Catherine her mission. She saw Mary standing on a globe, with rays of light flooding from her hands. Later Catherine gave this account of the vision:

While I contemplated her, the Blessed Virgin lowered her eyes and looked upon me. Then I heard a voice saying to me: “The ball that you see represents the entire world . . . and each person in particular. These rays symbolize the graces that I shed on those who ask for them.” With this I understood how agreeable to the Blessed Virgin are the prayers addressed to her. I discovered how generous she is toward those who invoke her, what precious graces she would give those who would ask them of her and with what joy she would grant them.

At this moment I scarcely knew where I was. All I can say is that I was immersed in supreme delight, when a panel of oval shape formed around the Blessed Virgin. On it traced these words: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” Then a voice said to me: “Have a medal struck on this model. All those who wear it will receive great graces. It should be worn around the neck. Great graces will be the portion of those who wear it with confidence.” All at once the picture appeared to turn and I saw the reverse of the medal. Solicitous about what should be inscribed on the reverse, one day I seemed to hear a voice saying: “The M and the two hearts are enough.”
Catherine spoke about the apparitions only to Father M. Aladel, her confessor, who determined that they were genuine. With the permission of the archbishop of Paris, Aladel had 1500 medals struck in 1832. The conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne, an Alsatian Jew who had reluctantly worn the medal and then had the same vision as Catherine, enormously increased its popularity.

Catherine herself maintained her anonymity. She even refused to appear at the archbishop’s investigation in 1836 that declared the visions authentic. She lived quietly for the rest of her life at a convent in Enghien-Neuilly, answering the door, raising poultry, and tending the sick. But when Catherine died in 1876, an outburst of popular veneration exploded at her funeral. And the healing of a 12-year-old girl, crippled from birth, at her grave helped spread her fame widely. Catherine Labouré has become one of the most esteemed of all the saints and the Miraculous Medal is almost a Catholic Staple, loved, worn and revered by millions and the cause of miracles in everyday life.

St Catherine’s Body is incorrupt.

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Posted in ADVENT

The Symbolism of the Advent Wreath

1. The four candles represent the
4,000 years prior to Christ’s
coming and the four weeks of Advent.
2. The three purple candles signify penance
and the rose one joy.
3. The unlighted candles represent the dark ages
before Christ’s coming.
4. The lighted candles represent
Christ, the Light of the World.
5. Each week we light one more candle representing
the idea that the coming of Christ is closer.
6. The circular form of the wreath symbolizes
that God has no beginning and no end.
7. The green of the boughs indicates hope–
just as the green of spring indicates new life.
8. The word Advent means
the “coming” of promise.

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Posted in ADVENT

St Andrew’s Christmas Novena

While a Novena is normally a nine-day prayer, the term is sometimes used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of days. The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply the “Christmas Novena” or the “Christmas Anticipation Prayer,” because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas.  It is an ideal Advent devotion; the First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew.

The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal).

Prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your family and children on the Advent season.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

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Posted in ADVENT

Advent 2016 – Cycle A 1st Sunday 27 Nov Come, Lord Jesus! Come and visit Your people. We await Your coming. Come, O Lord.

As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world.  It symbolizes our longing, our desire, our hope.  Three “advents” or “comings” shape our desire.  We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death.  We want to experience his coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose.  And we want to prepare for His coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.   So, we begin with our longing, our desire and our hope.

When we wake up, each day this week, we could light that candle, just by taking a few moments to focus.  We could pause for a minute at the side of our bed, or while putting on our slippers or our robe and light an inner candle.  Who among us doesn’t have time to pause for a moment?  We could each find our own way to pray something like this:

“Lord, the light I choose to let into my life today is based on my trust in You.  It is a weak flame but I so much desire that it dispel a bit more darkness today.  Today, I just want to taste the longing I have for You as I go to the meeting this morning, carry out the responsibilities of my work, face the frustration of some difficult relationships.  Let this candle be my reminder today of my hope in Your coming.”

Each morning this week, that momentary prayer might get more specific, as it prepares us for the day we will face.  And as we head to work, walk to a meeting, rush through lunch, take care of errands, meet with people, pick up the phone to return some calls, answer e-mail, return home to prepare a meal, listen to the ups and downs of our loved ones’ day, we can take brief moments to relate our desire for the three comings of the Lord to our life.

If our family has an Advent wreath, or even if it doesn’t, we could pray together before our evening meal.  As we light the first candle on the wreath, or as we simply pause to pray together our normal grace.  Then, as we begin to eat, we can invite each other, including the children, to say something about what it means today to light this first candle. 

Perhaps we could ask a different question each night, or ask about examples from the day.  How am I getting in touch with the longing within me?  How did I prepare today?  What does it mean to prepare to celebrate his coming 2,000 years ago?  How can we prepare to experience his coming into our lives this year?  What does it mean for us now, with our world involved in so much conflict? How are we being invited to trust more deeply?  How much more do we long for his coming to us, in the midst of the darkness in our world?  In what ways can we renew our lives so we might be prepared to greet Him when He comes again?  Our evening meal could be transformed this week, if we could shape some kind of conversation together that lights a candle of anticipation in our lives.  Don’t worry if everyone isn’t “good at” this kind of conversation at first.  We can model it, based on our momentary pauses throughout each day, in which we are discovering deeper and deeper desires, in the midst of our everyday lives.

And every night this week, we can pause briefly, perhaps as we sit for a minute at the edge of the bed.  We can be aware of how that one, small candle’s worth of desire brought light into this day.  And we can give thanks.  Going to bed each night this week with some gratitude is part of the preparation for growing anticipation and desire.

Come, Lord Jesus!  Come and visit Your people.    We await Your coming.  Come, O Lord.

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Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 27 November

DAILY ADVENT PRAYER by FR HENRI NOUWEN

Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light
and the darkness,
send Your Holy Spirit
upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do
seek quiet spaces to hear
Your voice each day.
We who are anxious
over many things
look forward to Your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways
long for the complete joy of Your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy
seek the joy of Your presence.
We are Your people,
walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To You we say, “Come Lord Jesus!” Amen

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day 27 November

Saint Francis Anthony Fasani, O.F.M. Conv (1681-1742) Franciscan Priest, Monk, Mystic, Teacher, Preacher – Patron of his home town Lucera, Foggia in Italy

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Francesco was born in Lucera (Southeast Italy) and grew up a pious child. He entered the Conventional Franciscan order at the young age of 14, taking the name Francis. Ordained ten years later. Initially, he was appointed to teach philosophy to the younger friars, served as the guardian of his friary, became the provincial of the order, master of novices and finally Priest in his hometown. There he lived for 35 years, an unwavering witness to the Gospel life and a zealous pastoral witness.

He was loving, devout and penitential. He was a sought-after confessor and preacher. One witness at the canonical hearings regarding Francesco’s holiness testified, “In his preaching he spoke in a familiar way, filled as he was with the love of God and neighbour; fired by the Spirit, he made use of the words and deed of holy Scripture, stirring his listeners and moving them to do penance.” Francesco showed himself a loyal friend of the poor, never hesitating to seek from benefactors what was needed.

From the Vatican biography of Saint Francesco: – “The spiritual life of Fr. Fasani was characterized by those virtues that made him like his Seraphic Father St. Francis. In fact, it was said in Lucera: “Whoever wants to see how St. Francis looked while he was alive should come to see Padre Maestro.” In imitation of St. Francis he built his religious life on the basis of a generous participation in the mysteries of Christ through the most faithful practice of the evangelical counsels, which he considered to be a radical expression of perfect charity. In his constant prayers, inflamed with seraphic love, he called out to God, saying to Him: “O Highest Love, Immense Love, Eternal Love, Infinite Love.”

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 27 November

St. Acacius
Bl. Alexius Nakamura
Bl. Anthony Kimura
St. Apollinaris
Bl. Bartholomew Sheki
St. Basileus and Companions
St. Bilhild
St. Facundus
St. Fergus
St. Gallgo
St. James Intercisus
St. John Angeloptes
Bl. John Ivanango & John Montajana
Bl. Leo Nakanishi
Bl. Matthias Kosaka & Matthias Nakano
St. Maximus of Reiz
Bl. Michael Takeshita
Bl. Romanus
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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day 26 November

St John Berchmans SJ (1599-1621 -aged 22) Patron of Altar Servers, Jesuit scholastics, and students.

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St. John Berchmans was born in 1599, the son of a shoemaker, in what is now Belgium. He was the oldest of five children and grew up during a time of religious turmoil in the Netherlands. When John was nine years old, his mother was stricken with a long and serious illness. John would pass several hours each day by her bedside. In 1615, the Jesuits opened a college near his home and Berchmans was one of the first to enroll. He immediately enrolled in the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. When John wrote his parents that he wished to join the Society of Jesus, his father rushed to the school to dissuade him and sent him to a Franciscan convent. At the convent, a friar who was related to John, also attempted to change his mind.

Despite their efforts, John entered the Jesuit novitiate the next year. He was affable, kind and endowed with an outgoing personality that endeared him to everyone. He requested after ordination to become a chaplain in the army, hoping to be martyred on the battlefield. He made his first vows and went to Antwerp, then Rome, to study philosophy. Five years later, Berchman succumbed to dysentery and fever at the age of twnety-two. That same year, Phillip-Charles, Duke of Aarschot, began the process of beatification.

Berchman’s heart was returned to his beloved province in Belgium where it is kept in a silver reliquary on a side altar in the church at Leuven (Louvain). He was beatified in 1865 and canonized in 1888. Statues frequently depict him with hands clasped, holding his crucifix, his book of rules and his rosary. He is venerated today as the patron of both altar servers and Jesuit students

Video – Apostleship of Prayer – https://youtu.be/XhYavVskIEY