Posted in ADVENT

The Second Sunday of Advent – 4 December 2016

The Second Sunday of Advent

Preparing our Hearts and asking for Grace
We prepare this week by stepping up the longing. We move through this week by naming deeper and more specific desires.

Each morning this week, if even for that brief moment at the side of our beds, we want to light a second inner candle. We want to let it represent “a bit more hope.” Perhaps we can pause, breathe deeply and say,

“Lord, I place my trust in You.”

Each day this week, as we encounter times that are rushed, even crazy, we can take that deep breath and make that profound prayer. Each time we face some darkness, some experience of “parched land” or desert, some place where we feel “defeated” or “trapped,” we hear the words, “Our God will come to save us!”

The grace we desire for this week is to be able to hear the promise and to invite our God to come into those real places of our lives that dearly need God’s coming. We want to be able to say:

“Lord, I place my trust in Your promise. Please, Lord, rouse Your power and come into this place in my life, this relationship, into this deep self-defeating pattern. Please come here and save me.”

Each night this week we can look back over the day and give thanks for the moments of deep breath, that opened a space for more trust and confidence in God’s fidelity to us. No matter how difficult the challenges we are facing – from the growing realization of our personal sinfulness, to any experience of emptiness or powerlessness, even in the face of death itself – we can give thanks for the two candles that faithfully push back the darkness. And, we can give thanks for the graces given us to believe that “Our God will come to save us” because we were given the courageous faith to desire and ask boldly.

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

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Posted in NOVENAS

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

NOVENA TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

DAY SIX

Glorious and immortal Queen of Heaven,
we profess our firm belief in your Immaculate Conception
preordained for you in the merits of your Divine Son.
We rejoice with you in your Immaculate Conception.
To the one ever-reigning God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
three in one Person,
one in nature,
we offer thanks for your blessed Immaculate Conception.
O Mother of the Word made Flesh,
listen to our petition as we ask
this special grace during 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.

The Immaculate Conception, Diego Velazquez (1619)

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

Thought for the Day – 4 December

Thought for the Day – 4 December

John defended the Church’s understanding of the veneration of images and explained the faith of the Church in several other controversies.
For over 30 years, he combined a life of prayer with these defenses and his other writings.
His holiness expressed itself in putting his literary and preaching talents at the service of the Lord.

And so too, we have been graced with talents – many and varied – for what purpose BUT to use them at the service of the Lord!

St John Damascene Pray for us!

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

Quote/s of the Day – 4 December

“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. …
I do not worship matter. I worship the Creator of matter
who became matter for my sake, who willed to take His abode in matter,
who worked out my salvation through matter.
Never will I cease honoring the matter which wrought my salvation! I honour it
but not as God. Because of this I salute all remaining matter with reverence
because God has filled it with his grace and power.
Through it my salvation has come to me.”

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“The saints must be honoured as friends of Christ
and children and heirs of God. Let us carefully
observe the manner of life of all the apostles,
martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced
the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their
faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering
and perseverance unto death so that we may also
share their crowns of glory.”

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“Angels are intelligent reflections of light,
that original light which has no beginning.
They can illuminate.
They do not need tongues or ears,
for they can communicate without speech, in thought.”

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~~~ St John Damascene – Father and Doctor of the Church (Saint of the Day)

Posted in MORNING Prayers

One Minute Reflection – 4 December

One Minute Reflection – 4 December

I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now…………..Jn 16:12

REFLECTION – God knows all things and provides what is profitable for each one.
He revealed what it is to our benefit to know. But He kept secret what we are
unable to bear now……….St John Damascene

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help me to meditate on Your Revelations every day. Grant that by learning fully
what You have revealed, I may one day in heaen attain the knowledge of all that You did not reveal.
St John Damascene Pray for us!

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 4 December

PRAYER FOR THE INTERCESSION OF MARY by St John Damascene
I salute thee, O Mary!
thou art the hope of Christians:
receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves thee tenderly,
honours thee in a special manner
and places in thee the whole hope
of his salvation. From thee I have my life.
Thou dost reinstate me in the grace of thy Son:
thou art the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of thee, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins:
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress thou the temptations of mine enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by thy means
and under thy guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen.

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 December

Saint of the Day – 4 December – St John Damascene/John of Damascus FATHER & DOCTOR of the CHURCH “called the “last of the Church Fathers”(675/6-749) – Patron of Pharmacists, icon painters, theology students

St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian family. When his father died, he became the governor of Damascus.  But the spirit of the Muslim rulers was turning against Christians, so John left his position in the government and became a monk in Jerusalem.  He spent most of his life in the monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem and all of his life under Muslim rule, indeed, protected by it.

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He is famous in three areas:

First, he is known for his writings against the iconoclasts, who opposed the veneration of images. Paradoxically, it was the Eastern Christian emperor Leo who forbade the practice, and it was because John lived in Muslim territory that his enemies could not silence him.

Second, he is famous for his treatise, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, a summary of the Greek Fathers (of which he became the last). It is said that this book is for Eastern schools what the Summa of Aquinas became for the West.

Third, he is known as a poet, one of the two greatest of the Eastern Church, the other being Romanus the Melodist. His devotion to the Blessed Mother and his sermons on her feasts are well known.

Apostleship of Prayer Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36pyHrbbW0Y