“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
the word of our God stands forever
Our God comes with power to save us.
Each of us can name what it is we long to be saved from.
Today, let’s imagine ourselves freer.
Throughout the day, let’s picture new ways of responding
to challenging relationships, habitual sins
and other ruts we are in.
As we envision our freedom we experience
how much our God desires to save us.
It is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.
I hear it over and over: You are coming to me.
I feel my heart stir in anticipation,
and I sense that You are inviting me
to enter more deeply
into the mystery of Your birth.
Help me to feel renewed patience settle in my heart,
and to lift my face in joy.
I have been like a lost lamb,
but I hear Your voice calling me
and I feel how deeply You want me to return.
I know that You rejoice in my desire to find You!
Help me not to be afraid to say out loud, to believe:
Here is God, coming into my life.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
O Most gracious Virgin Mary,
beloved Mother of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer,
intercede with Him for us
that we be granted the favour which we petition
for so earnestly in this novena…
(State your intention here…)
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
we feel animated with confidence
that your prayers in our behalf
will be graciously heard before the throne of God.
O Glorious Mother of God,
in memory of your joyous Immaculate Conception,
hear our prayers and obtain for us our petitions.
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.
Image – The Immaculate Conception, Jose Antolinez (1650)
Thought for the Day – 6 Decembet
The critical eye of modern history makes us take a deeper look at the legends surrounding Saint Nicholas. But perhaps we can utilise the lesson taught by his legendary charity, look deeper at our approach to material goods in the Christmas season and seek ways to extend our sharing to those in real need.
The simple generosity of a man lives on and is echoed through the centuries, inspiring others to a like generosity; thus is the influence of a holy life! Not only do the saints become immortal in heaven, they also become immortal on earth by their imperishable memory. And – guess what – we are all called to be saints!
St Nicholas, Pray for us!
“Once again St. Nicholas Day
Has even come to our hideaway;
It won’t be quite as fun, I fear,
As the happy day we had last year.
Then we were hopeful, no reason to doubt
That optimism would win the bout,
And by the time this year came round,
We’d all be free and safe and sound.
Still, let’s not forget it’s St. Nicholas Day,
Though we’ve nothing left to give away.
We’ll have to find something else to do:
So everyone please look in their shoe!”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
One Minute Reflection – 6 December
(Share) your bread with the hungry and (shelter) the oppressed and the homeless…………….Is 58:7
REFLECTION – You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humoured. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them….St Vincent de Paul
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to give some part of whatever I possess to those who have less. Let me strive to give help in any way I can to those who are less fortunate than I am. Dearest St Nicholas, you were an icon of charity, Pray for us! Amen
Thanks be to You, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which You have given us,
for all the pains and insults
which You have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know You more clearly,
love You more dearly,
and follow You more nearly,
day by day. Amen.
by St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)
St Nicholas had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of “Saint Nikolaos.”
Many traditions have evolved during the course of history, including the supply for the children of St Nicholas cookies:
- 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Yield: about 40
Sift together first 3 ingredients. Cream butter or margarine; slowly stir in sugar; beat until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, mixing well. Cover dough; chill until firm enough to roll out. On a floured board, roll out dough, a little at a time, 1 cm inch thick. Cut out cookies with a floured Santa Claus (or St. Nicholas) cookie cutter- if not available make them round or oval and decorate with a appropriate “face” and colours.. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from sheets; cool on wire racks. Decorate with icing, candies, coconut, and colored sugars. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Recipe Source: Cook’s Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965
Blessed Memorial of Saint Nicholas (c270-343) BISHOP – Patron of against imprisonment; against robberies; against robbers; apothecaries; bakers; barrel makers; boatmen; boot blacks; boys; brewers; brides; captives; children; coopers; dock workers; druggists; fishermen; grooms; judges; lawsuits lost unjustly; longshoremen; maidens; mariners; merchants; murderers; newlyweds; old maids; parish clerks; paupers; pawnbrokers; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; pilgrims; poor people; prisoners; sailors; scholars; schoolchildren; shoe shiners; spinsters; students; thieves; travellers; unmarried girls; watermen; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Union; Bari, Italy; Fossalto, Italy; Duronia, Italy; Portsmouth, England; Greece; Lorraine; Russia; Sicily.
Nicholas was elected bishop of Myra, now called Mugla in southwestern Turkey. After his death he was buried in his cathedral. These two sentences tell all that we know for sure about St. Nicholas.
Yet from ancient times Nicholas has been among the most celebrated saints. Somehow during the sixth century, a cult of Nicholas’s devotees grew extensively throughout the East. And in the ninth century a fictitious biography spread his following westward to Europe. When Muslims invaded Myra in 1087, Nicholas’s body was taken surreptitiously to Bari, Italy. Pope Urban II presided at the ceremony that enshrined his relics in a newly constructed church. From that time St. Nicholas has been universally venerated. For example, it is said that in the Middle Ages he was the saint most frequently depicted in art, second only to the Virgin Mary. Today this saint about whom we have so few facts durably maintains his worldwide popularity.
Popular legends have involved Saint Nicholas in a number of charming stories, one of which relates Nicholas’ charity toward the poor. A man of Patara had lost his fortune, and finding himself unable to support his three maiden daughters, was planning to turn them into the streets as prostitutes. Nicholas heard of the man’s intentions and secretly threw three bags of gold through a window into the home, thus providing dowries for the daughters. The three bags of gold mentioned in this story are said to be the origin of the three gold balls that form the emblem of pawnbrokers.
After Nicholas’ death on December 6 in or around 345, his body was buried in the cathedral at Myra. It remained there until 1087, when seamen of Bari, an Italian coastal town, seized the relics of the saint and transferred them to their own city. Veneration for Nicholas had already spread throughout Europe as well as Asia, but this occurrence led to a renewal of devotion in the West. Countless miracles were attributed to the saint’s intercession. His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them.
Video from the Apostleship f Prayer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj38O48wO58
St. Abraham of Kratia
Bl. Adolph Kolping
St. Nicholas of Myra/Bari
St. Peter Pascual