Posted in ADVENT

Monday of the Second Week of Advent – 5 December 2016

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

Daily Meditation:
Our God will come to save us!
What an incredible promise!
Each of these days uses images to help us
to imagine and become excited about the ways
our God has tried to prepare us, through the prophets
to be ready for the healing and restoration and love
that is offered us in Jesus.
For all in me that is feeble or weak or frightened
I can simply listen to these words:

Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Isaiah 35

Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?  – Luke 5
Closing Prayer:
God of Strength,
I need Your courage.
You offer to make firm the knees that are weak.
Only You know how frightened I so often am.

And You do offer me strength.
There is the promise of Your Son’s coming
and knowing that You will save me.
I can’t do this on my own
no matter how often I think I can.

Give me the humility to ask for Your help
and open heart to accept
Your care and love in my life.

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 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 mad 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

Image – Immaculate Conception, Giuseppe Angeli (1765)

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

Thought for the Day – 5 December

Thought for the Day – 5 December

Few of us share St Sabas’ yearning for a cave in the desert but most of us sometimes resent the demands others place on our time. St Sabas understands that. When at last he gained the solitude for which he yearned, a community immediately began to gather around him and he was forced into a leadership role. He stands as a model of patient generosity for anyone whose time and energy are required by others—that is, for all of us.

Let us learn patience and silence in the face of the needs and demands of others!

St Sabas pray for us!

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

Quote of the Day – 5 December

Quote of the Day – 5 December

“We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
–St Mother Teresa

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

One Minute Reflection – 5 December

One Minute Reflection – 5 December

These….are the festivals of the Lord which you shall celebrate at their proper time with a sacred assembly……………Lv 23:4

REFLECTION – The Eucharist is the sun of the feasts of the Church.
It sheds light on those feasts and renders them living and joyous………….St Peter Eymard

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help me to participate in the Eucharist with true devotion throughout the year. Help me this Advent to participate with all my heart as I wait for Your coming.  Help me to encounter You in Your Mysteries and remain united with You every day of my life. St Sabas Pray for us. Amen

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 December

Saint of the Day – 5 December – St Sabas – Priest, Monk, Abbot (439-532)

By the fourth century, monasteries had appeared in Palestine. Aspiring ascetics sought to be like Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus himself, who had found solitude in the desert east of Jerusalem. St. Sabas, a leader of that early monasticism, founded seven monasteries, three lauras and four cenobia. A laura is a settlement of hermits living in caves and huts around a church. A community of monks who live, worship, and work together is a cenobium. Sabas built well as his chief monastery, the Mar Saba, still exists after 15 centuries.

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The saint dwelt in monasteries most of his life. At age eight he ran away from abusive relatives to a monastery in Cappadocia. Ten years later he went to the monastery of St. Euthymius at Jerusalem, hoping to become a hermit. But Euthymius judged him too young for absolute solitude and placed him in a cenobium nearby. When he was 30, Sabas was allowed to spend five days a week alone in the wilderness. After Euthymius’s death, Sabas finally became an anchorite, dwelling in a cave on the face of a cliff. So many monks came desiring to live under his direction that he had to establish his first monastery, which became the Mar Saba. Sabas did not give his disciples a written rule, but he expected them to follow certain basic guidelines. He did not micromanage their conduct. But he seized “teachable moments” to test his disciples’ fidelity, as he did on the occasion described in this account:

Once when journeying with a disciple from Jericho to the Jordan, this champion of piety Sabas fell in with some people of the world among whom was a girl of winning appearance. When they had passed by, the elder, wishing to test the disciple, asked, “What about the girl who has gone by and is one-eyed?” The brother replied, “No, father, she has two eyes.” The elder said, “You are wrong, my child. She is one-eyed.” The other insisted that he knew with precision that she was not one-eyed but had indeed extremely fine eyes. The elder asked, “How do you know that so clearly?”

He replied, “I, father, had a careful look, and I noted that she has both her eyes.”
At this the elder said, “And where have you stored the precept that says, ‘Do not fix your eye on her and do not be captured by her eyebrows?’ (See Proverbs 6:25). Fiery is the passion that arises from inquisitive looks. Know this: from now on you are not to stay with me in a cell because you do not guard your eyes as you should.”

He sent him to the cenobium at Castellium and when he had spent sufficient time there and learnt to keep a careful watch on his eyes and thoughts, he received him as an anchorite into the laura. The patriarch of Jerusalem ordained Sabas in 491 and two years later appointed him head over all the monks of Palestine who were hermits. When the saint was old, other patriarchs sent him on diplomatic missions representing the church’s interests to the emperors at Constantinople. Sabas died after a brief illness in 532.

Over the years Sabas traveled throughout Palestine, preaching the true faith and successfully bringing back many to the Church. At the age of 91, in response to a plea from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sabas undertook a journey to Constantinople in conjunction with the Samaritan revolt and its violent repression. He fell ill and soon after his return, died at the monastery at Mar Saba. Today the monastery is still inhabited by monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Saint Sabas is regarded as one of the most noteworthy figures of early monasticism.

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