Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 27 December

Our Morning Offering – 27 December

Nativity Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian (AD 306-373)

The feast day of Your birth
resembles You, Lord
Because it brings joy to all humanity.
Old people and infants alike
enjoy Your day.
Your day is celebrated
from generation to generation.
Kings and emperors may pass away,
And the festivals to commemorate
them soon lapse.
But Your festival
will be remembered until
the end of time.
Your day is a means and
a pledge of peace.
At Your birth heaven and earth
were reconciled,
Since You came from heaven
to earth on that day
You forgave our sins and wiped
away our guilt.
You gave us so many gifts on the day
of Your birth:
A treasure chest of spiritual medicines
for the sick;
Spiritual light for the blind;
The cup of salvation for the thirsty;
The bread of life for the hungry.
In the winter when trees are bare,
You give us the most succulent
spiritual fruit.
In the frost when the earth is barren,
You bring new hope to our souls.
In December when seeds
are hidden in the soil,
The staff of life springs forth
from the virgin womb, amen.



Saint of the Day – 27 December

Saint of the Day – 27 December – St John APOSTLE/ EVANGELIST/Writer, teacher, Priest,Theologian – (c 6-c 100) “The Beloved Apostle; Apostle of Charity; Beloved Disciple; Giovanni Evangelista;  John the Divine;  John the Evangelist; John the Theologian- Patron of  love, loyalty, friendships, authors, booksellers, burn-victims, poison-victims, art-dealers, editors, papermakers, publishers, scribes, scholars, theologians, against epilepsy, against foot problems, against hailstorms, authors, writers,  glaziers, government officials, harvests, lithographers, notaries, saddle-makers, painters/artists, Asia Minor (proclaimed on 26 October 1914 by Pope Benedict XV), 6 dioceses, 7 cities

St. John the Evangelist had the experience of living with Jesus—walking at His side, watching hHm perform miracles, listening to His teaching and receiving signs of personal love.

Much of what we know about John’s life comes through the Gospels. According to Matthew’s Gospel, John was in a boat mending nets with his older brother James and his father Zebedee when Jesus called them to follow him. Their “Yes!” led to a great adventure.

John and James were called Sons of Thunder, possibly because of their fiery tempers. One example was when people in a Samaritan town would not accept Jesus. James and John wanted to call down fire to destroy the town. At another time the brothers secretly asked Jesus to have the highest place in His kingdom. Jesus explained that real greatness comes to those who serve.

John had the special privilege of being with Jesus at crucial times. With Peter and James, John was permitted to watch the miracle of Jairus’s daughter coming back to life. The three witnessed the glory of Jesus’ transfiguration. They were also the three invited to be with Jesus during His agony in the garden. John’s own Gospel refers to him as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (see John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2), the one who reclined next to Jesus at the Last Supper and the one to whom He gave the exquisite honour, as he stood beneath the cross, of caring for His mother. “Woman, behold your son…. Behold, your mother” (John 19:26b, 27b).


Because of the depth of his Gospel, John is usually thought of as the eagle of theology, soaring in high regions that other writers did not enter.


On the first Easter, Mary Magdalene “ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, ‘They have taken the Lord from the tomb and we don’t know where they put him’” (John 20:2). John recalls, perhaps with a smile, that he and Peter ran side by side, but then “the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first” (John 20:4b). He did not enter but waited for Peter and let him go in first. “Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed” (John 20:8).THE GREATEST EASTER PAINTING - ELISE EHRHARD CRISES MAG


John was with Peter when the first great miracle after the Resurrection took place—the cure of the man crippled from birth—which led to their spending the night in jail together. The mysterious experience of the Resurrection is perhaps best contained in the words of Acts: “Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they [the questioners] were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

The Apostle John is traditionally considered the author of the Fourth Gospel, three New Testament letters and the Book of Revelation. His Gospel is a very personal account. He sees the glorious and divine Jesus already in the incidents of His mortal life. At the Last Supper, John’s Jesus speaks as if he were already in heaven. It is the Gospel of Jesus’ glory!

It is said that when St. John was very old, people had to carry him to where the Christians assembled to worship. Each time he preached, he gave the same homily: “Little children, love one another.” When people asked if he would talk on a different topic, he said that this is the Lord’s word and if they really did this, they would do enough.

St. John, pray that we may understand the mysteries of our faith more and more!

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 27 December

St John the Apostle (Feast)
Bl Adelheidis of Tennenbach
Bl Alejo Pan López
Bl Alfredo Parte-Saiz
Bl Christina Ebner
St Fabiola of Rome
Bl Francesco Spoto
Bl Hesso of Beinwil
St José María Corbin-Ferrer
St Maximus of Alexandria
St Nicarete of Constantinople
Bl Odoardo Focherini
Bl Raymond de Barellis
Bl Roger of Verdun
Bl Sára Schalkház
St Theodore of Apamea
St Theophanes of Nicaea
Bl Walto of Wessobrünn


Christmas is………….

Christmas is………….

… a gift of love wrapped in human flesh and
tied securely with the strong promises of God.
… angelic music in the form of a carol
and oratorio with a celestial descant.
… “glory to God,” “good will to man,”
and “joy to the world.”
… “peace on earth” for those who accept it
and live in unity with God’s will.
… a man on duty tending sheep, or machine,
who senses the upward call and stops to worship.
… a tall green tree which serves as festive altar
for any household which discovers the true meaning behind it all.
… a ringing bell calling a distraught humanity
to gladness and hope.
… a glowing hearth gently placed
in the winter of man’s loneliness.
… an altar to which man can bring his heartache for comfort,
his lostness for guidance and his sin for forgiveness.
… the sparkle of anticipation and the steady light of faith
in the eyes of a little child as he hears the old, old story.
… the shining star of hope in the sky of all mankind.
… more than words can tell,
for it is a matter for the heart to receive, believe and understand

Author Unknown




Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON 26 December: The FEAST of ST STEPHEN

Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON 26 December: The FEAST of ST STEPHEN

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
Daily Meditation:
The gates of heaven opened for Stephen, the first of the martyrs;
in heaven, he wears the crown of victory. Entrance Antiphon

We remember the first martyr today to emphasize the invitation we have
as followers of Jesus to witness to his presence in our world, even when
it is unpopular, counter-cultural, or may even cost us our lives.

May we ask for the grace today to pray for our enemies and to
surrender even our lives in sharing this Good News with others.

Closing Prayer:
God of all great love,
you know how full of courage Stephen was
and how full of fears I am.

Help me to have the strength to be a witness for my faith,
standing up for those who are weaker,
speaking out for what I believe
and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.

Lord, give me a share in your compassion and understanding
that I might pray for those who oppose me,
those who ridicule me,
and those who dismiss me.

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



Thought for the Day – 26 December

Thought for the Day – 26 December

Stephen died as Jesus did: falsely accused, brought to unjust condemnation because he spoke the truth fearlessly. He died with his eyes trustfully fixed on God and with a prayer of forgiveness on his lips. A “happy” death is one that finds us in the same spirit, whether our dying is as quiet as Joseph’s or as violent as Stephen’s: dying with courage, total trust and forgiving love.

St Stephen Pray for us!

Image below – The Stoning of St Stephen by Friedrich Christoph Steinhammer around 1620



Quote of the Day – 26 December

Quote of the Day – 26 December

Above all, St Stephen speaks to us of Christ, of the Crucified and Risen Christ as the centre of history and our life.  We can understand that the Cross remains forever the centre of the Church’s life and also of our life.  In the history of the Church, there will always be passion and persecution. And it is persecution itself which, according to Tertullian’s famous words, becomes “the seed of Christians”, the source of mission for Christians to come.”

~~~~ Pope Benedict XVI – General Audience delivered by Pope Benedict XVI in January 2007


Image “The Stoning of St Stephen by Adam Elsheimer 1604


One Minute Reflection – 26 December

One Minute Reflection – 26 December

God is love and he who lives in love lives in God and God in him…..1 Jn 4:16

REFLECTION – Love is the source of all good things.  It is an impregnable defense and the way that leads to heaven.  Those who walk in love can neither go astray nor be afraid.  Love guides and protects them and brings them safely to their journey’s end……….St Fulgentius

PRAYER – Loving Father, pour forth Your love into my heart and help me always to act in accord with it.  Let me be ruled by Your love in all things so that I may experience it completely with You in Heaven.  St Stephen you are an example of total love, pray for us all! Amen.




Our Morning Offering – 26 December

Our Morning Offering – 26 December

Christmas Prayer of St Pope John XXIII

O sweet Child of Bethlehem,
grant that we may share with all our hearts
in this profound mystery of Christmas.
Put into the hearts of men and women this peace
for which they sometimes seek so desperately
and which You alone can give to them.
Help them to know one another better,
and to live as brothers and sisters,
children of the same Father.
Reveal to them also Your beauty, holiness and purity.
Awaken in their hearts
love and gratitude for Your infinite goodness.
Join them all together in Your love.
And give us Your heavenly peace, amen.


Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Saint of the Day – 26 December

Saint of the Day – 26 December – St Stephen the ProtoMartyr/Deacon/Preacher (1st cent died c34) – Patron of against headaches, brick layers, casket makers, coffin makers, deacons, horses, masons, stone masons, Metz, France, diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, diocese of Toulouse, France, archdiocese of,• 92 cities

One of the first deacons of the Church was a man named Stephen, a man filled with the  Holy Spirit and with faith. Besides his job of overseeing the distribution of the poor, he also preached. A group of Jewish Hellenists strongly resented Stephen’s preaching of salvation through Jesus. The situation became so tense that they found witnesses to falsely testify that Stephen had committed blasphemy.

Stephen was arrested and brought to the court. The odds were against him and Jesus said, “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you to say will be given to you in that hour; for it not you who speak but the Spirit of your father speaking through you (Mathew 10:19–20). Stephen knew he would be helped by the Holy Spirit, and he wasn’t afraid.

When Stephen testified in court, he made two major points. First he believed that God could be found everywhere, not just in a single place like temple or a single person like Abraham. Second he demonstrated how from the beginning, the Israelites had consistently rejected God’s messengers, prophet’s and chosen servants. And now they rejected and killed God’s Son who had been sent to them.  In his speech, Stephen recalled God’s guidance through Israel’s history, as well as Israel’s idolatry and disobedience. He then claimed that his persecutors were showing this same spirit. “[Y]ou always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors” (Acts 7:51b).

His speech brought anger from the crowd. “But [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God….’ They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him…. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit…. Lord, do not hold this sin against them’” (Acts 7:55-56, 58a, 59, 60b).


Stoning of Saint Stephen, altarpiece of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, by Jacopo & Domenico Tintoretto


St. Stephen – Domenico Ghirlandaio



Jean Fouquet Etienne Chevalier with St Stephen (detail of Stephen)


Saints and Feasts – 26 December

St Stephen the ProtoMartyr (Feast)
St Abadiu of Antinoë
Bl Agata Phutta Bi
Bl Agnès Phila
St Amaethlu of Anglesey
St Archelaus of Mesopotamia
Bl Bibiana Khamphai
Bl Cecilia Butsi
Bl Daniel of Villiers
St Dionysius, Pope
St Euthymius of Sardis
St Evaristo of Constantinople
Bl Giovanni Orsini
Bl Jean of Hainaut
Bl Lucie Khambang
St Margaret of Hohenfels
Bl Maria Phon
Bl Marinus of Rome
Bl Paganus of Lecco
Bl Pierre Boffet
St Tathai of Wales
St Theodore the Sacristan
St Vincentia Lopez y Vicuña
St Zeno of Gaza
St Zosimus, Pope


The Benedictus

It is appropriate that today, Christmas Day 2016, we adopt the practice of praying this great prayer, EVERY DAY!

The Benedictus was the song of thanksgiving uttered by Zechariah on the occasion of the birth of his son, John the Baptist.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the Benedictus is part of Lauds because it is the song of thanksgiving for the coming of the Redeemer in the first part of the canticle.
It is believed to have been first introduced by Benedict of Nursia. According to Durandus, the allusion to Christ’s coming under the figure of the rising sun had also some influence on its adoption. It also features in various other liturgical offices, notably at a funeral, at the moment of interment, when words of thanksgiving for the Redemption are specially in place as an expression of Christian hope.

The Benedictus

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has come to His people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of His servant David.
Through His holy prophets He promised of old
that He would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember His holy covenant.
This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship Him without fear,
holy and righteous in His sight all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
to give His people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever, amen



Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON – 25 December – Christmas Day

Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON – Christmas Day

Christmas is not the end of Advent. It is a real season of the Church year. We usually miss it because the consumer society that some of us live in has nothing to offer us, except for days to return gifts. Too often, within days after Christmas day, the decorations are down and it is over.Lorenzo Costa

This year, let’s try to really celebrate Christmas and the days that follow. Let’s enter a new Season, which has its own spirit and desires and graces.

Special Feasts begin the season and we continue the story, so that we enter more deeply into the story of Jesus’ coming to be one with our life, but also that we might enter more deeply into how Jesus comes this year to bless each of us.


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

Daily Meditation:
All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God. John 1

We plan to celebrate the family Christmas morning, with our traditional customs,
perhaps with a Christmas tree gift sharing with the children.
When we come to church to celebrate our faith together,
there is a different feel than midnight Mass or even an early
morning Mass.
Still, the choir draws us in immediately.
We look at each other and smile and we see the bright eyes of
the elderly and single friends around the community.
We know why we are here, and it is easy to join in the singing.

Let us give thanks today. Let us repeat the sounding joy of a faith-filled Christmas.
Let us go forth to share glad tidings with our family and friends.
Let us help our Lord usher in an age of justice and peace,
beginning in our our hearts this day.

In times past, God spoke in partial and various way to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son. Hebrews 1

Closing Prayer:
This day feels so different already, dear Lord.
You promised the glory of this day by the birth of Jesus.
So humble, so simple, such a complete act of love.

Make me one of your people of the light
and help me to be faithful to your word.
I am filled with the joy of the world
and ask you to fill my heart
with a longing for your justice and peace.

My savior – you are here with me on this day,
bringing life to the waiting world.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

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



Thought for the Day – 25 December

Thought for the Day – 25 December

On this day, the Church focuses especially on the newborn Child, God become human, who embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. We need no other special saint today to lead us to Christ in the manger, although his mother Mary and Joseph, caring for his foster-son, help round out the scene.

But if we were to select a patron for today, perhaps it might be appropriate for us to imagine an anonymous shepherd, summoned to the birthplace by a wondrous and even disturbing vision in the night, a summons from an angelic choir, promising peace and goodwill. A shepherd willing to seek out something that might just be too unbelievable to chase after and yet compelling enough to leave behind the flocks in the field and search for a mystery.

On the day of the Lord’s birth, let’s let an unnamed, “non-celebrity” at the edge of the crowd model for us the way to discover Christ in our own hearts—somewhere between skepticism and wonder, between mystery and faith. And, like Mary and the shepherds, let us treasure that discovery in our hearts.

The precise dating in this passage sounds like a textbook on creationism. If we focus on the time frame, however, we miss the point. It lays out the story of a love affair: creation, the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, the rise of Israel under David. It climaxes with the birth of Jesus. From the beginning, some scholars insist, God intended to enter the world as one of us, the beloved people. Praise God!

And a Holy and Happy Christmas to All!  May the Christ Child live in your hearts!



Quote/s of the Day – 25 December

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December

“Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day,
even every moment in the interior temple
of your spirit, remaining like a baby in
the bosom of the heavenly Father,
where you will be reborn each moment
in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ.”

St. Paul of the Cross

Meister Eckhart once said: ‘What good is it that Christ was born 2,000 years ago if he is not born now in your heart?’

“Lord, we do far too much celebrating your actual coming in our hearts. I believe in God, but do I believe in God-in-me? I believe in God in heaven, but do I believe in God-on-earth? I believe in God out there, but do I believe in God-with-us?

“Lord, be born in my heart. Come alive in me this Christmas! Amen.”



One Minute Reflection – 25 December

One Minute Reflection – 25 December

Mary gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger…………Lk 2:7

REFLECTION – “The One who is seated on the throne of heaven is laid in a stable.
A God Who is beyond access is touched by the hands of human beings!”………………..St John Chrysostum

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, let me welcome Your Son as my Redeemer now. Then help to go to meet Him with confidence when He comes to be my Jude at the end of my earthly life. Lord Jesus, the Christ who came to us as a Babe, I love You! Amen



Our Morning Offering – 25 December

Our Morning Offering – 25 December

Nativity Prayer of St. Augustine

Let the just rejoice,
for theirJjustifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
For their Saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
For their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
For their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
For Jesus Christ is born.

The Barbadori Altarpiece is a painting by Filippo Lippi, dated to 1438 (detail)



25 December – The Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

25 December – The Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Traditional Bible Time From the Creation to The Birth of Jesus
On December 25 in the Latin Breviary’s Martyrology we have a very important time line in the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning’ God created the heavens and the earth.
In the year 2959th from the flood.
In the year 2015 from the birth of AbrahamIn the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses.
In the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King.
In the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel.
In the 194th Olympiad.
In the 752th from the foundation of the city of Rome.
In the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus.
In the 6th age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, (all kneel down) was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, THE BIRTHDAY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST was born according to the flesh.

The story begins with the simple lines of St Luke’s Gospel “And Joseph also went up from Galilee….to the city of David which is called Bethlehem.”  In Palestine, in the reign of Caesar Augustus, a homeless couple were driven underground to escape the night and the cold.  And there, in silence and wonder a child is born.  A child who was truly a human child but just as truly is God.  That is the mystery we celebrate today and it is belief in that mystery that makes us Christians.

Happy Birthday Jesus!







Saints and Feasts for 25 December

Nativity of the Lord (Solemnity)

St Adalsindis of Hamay
St Alburga of Wilton
St Anastasia of Sirmium
Bl Artale
St Basilée of the Via Latina
Bl Bentivoglio de Bonis
Bl Diego de Aro
St Eugenia of Rome
St Fulk of Toulouse
Bl Jacopone da Todi
St Jovin of the Via Latina
Bl Maria Therese von Wüllenweber
Bl Matthew of Albano
Bl Michael Nakashima Saburoemon
Bl Nera
St Peter Nolasco
St Romulus of Berry

Martyrs of Nicomedia


The Meaning of the Christmas Wreath

The Meaning of the Christmas Wreath

+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.

In the General Roman Calendar, this date is the last day of Advent, Christmas Eve, and also (beginning with the vigil Mass) is the first day of Christmas time. The liturgical texts express wholehearted confidence in the imminent coming of the Redeemer. There is much joyous expectation. Most families have their own observances, customs that should be preserved from generation to generation. Today is the last day of our Christmas Novena.

Throughout Advent we have seen how the preparation for Jesus’ coming became more and more precise. Isaiah, John the Baptist and the Virgin Mother appeared throughout the season announcing and foretelling the coming of the King. We learn today that Christ according to His human nature is born at Bethlehem of the House of David of the Virgin Mary and that according to His divine nature He is conceived of the Spirit of holiness, the Son of God and the Second Person of the Trinity.

The certitude of His coming is made clear in two images. The first is that of the closed gate of paradise. Since our first parents were cast forth from the earthly paradise the gate has been closed and a cherubim stands guard with flaming sword. The Redeemer alone is able to open this door and enter in. On Christmas Eve we stand before the gate of paradise and it is for this reason that Psalm 23 is the theme of the vigil:

Lift up your gates, O princes,
Open wide, eternal gates,
That the King of Glory may enter in. . . .

The opening of the eternal gates through
which the King of Glory may enter is indicated
by the wreath on the door of our homes at Christmastide.
The Advent wreath, which accompanied the family
throughout the season of preparation may be taken down.
The violet ribbons are removed and it is gloriously
decorated with white, red and gold.
It is then placed upon the door as a symbol
of the welcome of Christ into our city, our home and our hearts.
On Christmas Eve the whole house should be strewn with garlands
and made ready for the Light of the World.
The crib is set in a special place of honour,
for tonight the central figure of the Nativity scene is to arrive.



Posted in ADVENT

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Advent Christmas Eve! – 24 December 2016

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Christmas Eve! – 24 December 2016

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

Daily Meditation:
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
“temple of God’s Word”
because she was so ready to do God’s will.
As we approach this anniversary of our redemption,
let’s spend the day placing our life in God’s hands
embracing the ways He will come to us
and let us be His instruments for others.

Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.

Closing Prayer:
Oh, God-With-Us,
For so long You have promised
forgiveness, peace, salvation.
Now in my heart, I am filled with joy
because of Your coming.

Thank You for Your promises and for the way I can trust in You.
I feel a new freedom in my life
and a courage I have not known before.

I know You came to save me and bring new life
and I am so grateful to You.
Let me show my thankfulness
with my life.
You have brought me through the darkness
and into the light of Your saving grace.

Guide my feet on the way of peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

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



Christmas Novena to the Christ Child

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child
DAY NINE – 24 December

The Birth Of Jesus In The Stable Of Bethlehem.

O Adorable Infant Jesus!
I should not have the boldness to cast myself at Your feet, if I did not know that You Yourself invites me to draw near You. It is I who by my sins have made You shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem. But since You have come on earth to pardon repentant sinners, forgive me also, now that I am heartily sorry for having spurned You, my Saviour and my God, who are so good and who have loved me so much.

In this night, in which You bestowest great graces on so many souls, grant Your heavenly consolation to this poor soul of mine also. All that I ask of You is the grace to love You always, from this day forward, with all my heart. Set me all on fire with Your holy love. I love You, O my God, who have become a Babe for love of me. Never let me cease from loving You ever more.

O Mary, Mother of the Babe who is God and my Mother, you can obtain everything from Your Son by your prayers. This is the only favour I ask of you
Do you pray to Jesus for me. Amen.



Thought for the Day – 24 December

Thought for the Day – 24 December


St Alphonsus Liguori

“A child is born to us, and a son is given to us” -Isa. 9:6

CONSIDER that after so many centuries, after so many prayers and sighs, the Messiah, whom the holy patriarchs and prophets were not worthy to see, whom the nations sighed for, “the desire of the everlasting hills,” our Saviour, has come;  He is already born and has given Himself entirely to us: “A child is born to us, and a son is given to us.”
The Son of God has made Himself little, in order to make us great.
He has given Himself to us, in order that we may give ourselves to Him.
He has come to show us His love, in order that we may respond to it by giving Him ours.
Let us, therefore, receive Him with affection.
Let us love Him and have recourse to Him in ill our necessities.
“A child gives easily,” says St. Bernard; children readily give anything, that is asked of them. Jesus came into the world as a child in order to show Himself ready and willing to give us all! good gifts: “The Father hath given all things into his hands.”
If we wish for light, He has come on purpose to enlighten us.
If we wish for strength to resist our enemies, He has come to give us comfort.
If we wish for pardon and salvation, He has come to pardon and save us.
If, in short, we desire the sovereign gift of divine love, He has come to inflame our hearts with it and, above all, for this very purpose, He has become a child and has chosen to show Himself to us worthy of our love, in proportion as He was poor and humble, in order to take away from us all fear and to gain our affections.
“So,” said St. Peter Chrysologus, “should He come who willed to drive away fear and seek for love.” And Jesus has chosen to come as a little child to make us love Him, not only with an appreciative but even a tender love.
All infants attract the tender affection of those who behold them- but who will not love, with all the tenderness of which they are capable, a God whom they behold as a little child, in need of milk to nourish Him, trembling with cold, poor, abased and forsaken, weeping and crying in a manger, and lying on straw?
It was this that made the loving St. Francis exclaim: “Let us love the child of Bethlehem, let us love the child of Bethlehem. Come, souls and love a God who has become a child and poor, who is so lovable and who has come down from heaven to give Himself entirely to you.”



Quote/s of the Day – 24 December

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December

“Christ is the Morning Star,
who, when the night of this world is past,
gives to His saints the promise of the light of life,
and opens everlasting day.”
– St Bede the Venerable

“It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you.”
-St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.”  – St Augustine


Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December

One Minute Reflection – 24 December

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us……..Jn 1:14

REFLECTION – The sun’s rays light up the world without separating themselves from the sun.   In like manner, the Son of God comes down to earth to enlighten us without separating Himself from the Father with Whom He is entirely one………..St Anthony of Padua

PRAYER – Come Lord Jesus and give me new courage, for I trust in Your love. By Your renewed coming at Christmas and in the Eucharist, raise me to heavenly glory.  On the Memorial of Sts Tarsilla and Emiliana, we implore them to Pray for us, amen.




Our Morning Offering – 24 December

Our Morning Offering – 24 December

Nativity Prayer of St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Let Your goodness Lord appear to us, that we
made in Your image, conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength
we cannot imitate Your majesty, power and wonder
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But Your mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small child,
but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love.
Caress us with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries.


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint/s of the Day – 24 December

Saint/s of the Day – 24 December – Sts  Tarsilla and Emiliana (6th Century) Virgins

Tarsilla and Emiliana were two paternal aunts of Saint Gregory the Great and it is this holy Pope who narrates their touching story. They renounced the world together, together consecrated their virginity to God and remained in their house as if in a convent, far removed from the conversation of the world. Encouraging one another to virtue by discourse and example, the two sisters soon made considerable progress in spiritual life.

They had a sister named Gordiana, who had taken the same way but little by little fell back into affection for the world, to the great grief of Tarsilla and Emiliana. With gentleness they reproached her, but the inconstant spirit of Gordiana soon forgot their charitable lessons. One day Tarsilla had a vision, in which Pope Saint Felix, her uncle, appeared to her and showed her a palace of marvelous beauty, saying to her: Come; I will receive you into this habitation of light. She fell ill with a fever the next day, which rapidly grew worse. While in her agony, with her eyes lifted to heaven, she cried out to those surrounding her, Make way! Jesus is coming! Soon after speaking these words, as she gazed at the vision, her soul was delivered from the bonds of the flesh. It was 24 December. The fragrance with which the room was filled confirmed the vision the virgin had had before dying.

A few days afterwards she appeared to her sister Emiliana, saying: My sister, come! I did not celebrate with you the birth of the Lord, but together we will celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. If you call only me, Emiliana replied, what will become of our sister Gordiana? Come, Tarsilla answered sadly; Gordiana has decided to remain with the worldlings. And after that vision, Emiliana fell ill and joined her sister for the feast day.


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 24 December

St Adam the Patriarch
St Adela of Pfalzel
Bl Alberic of Gladbach
Bl Brocard of Strasbourg
St Bruno of Ottobeuren
St Caran of Scotland
St Delphinus of Bordeaux
St Emiliana of Rome
St Euthymius of Nicomedia
St Eve the Matriarch
Bl Francesco dei Maleficii
St Gregory of Spoleto
St Hanno of Worms
Bl Ignacio Caselles García
St Irmina of Oehren
St Mochua of Timahoe
Bl Pablo Meléndez Gonzalo
St Paola Elisabetta Cerioli
Bl Peter de Solanes
St Trasilla
Bl Venerandus of Clermont

All the Holy Ancestors of Jesus
Blessed Mercedarian Brothers – (4 beati)
Blessed Mercedarian Sisters – (6 beati)
Martyred Maidens of Antioch – (40 saints)
Martyrs of Tripoli – (6 saints)

Posted in ADVENT

Friday of the Fourth Week of Advent 23 December 2016

Friday of the Fourth Week of Advent
23 December 2016

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

Daily Meditation:
Zechariah asked for a tablet and wrote, “John ”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed
and he spoke, blessing God.
When Zechariah could say “John,” that is, “God is Gracious,”
he was freed to give thanks and praise to God.

Let’s each of us express our gratitude to our God
for coming to be with us, for forgiving our sins,
for saving us from the power of death.
Let’s ask that we might be purified of all self-love
that we might receive His coming to us this week.

But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye. Mal. 3

Lift up Your heads and see; Your redemption is near at hand.

Closing Prayer:
Oh, Emmanuel,
You have touched me;
You are God-with-Me.

Thank You for these weeks of prayer.
In the spirit of the season
my waiting, my patience,
feels sacred.

Refine and purify my heart
with the hottest flame of Your love.
Give me the courage of Your prophets
and let me do what is right
even when others don’t understand.

Bless my heart with generosity
and make me ready to receive You.

Come, Lord Jesus! Come!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

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



Christmas Novena to the Christ Child

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child
DAY EIGHT – 23 December
The Life Of The Child Jesus In Egypt And In Nazareth.

O Jesus, my Saviour! When I consider how, for love of me, You spent thirty years of Your life hidden and unknown in a poor workshop, how can I desire the pleasures and honours and riches of the world? Gladly do I renounce all these things, since I wish to be Your companion on this earth, poor as You were, mortified and humble as You were, so that I may hope to be able one day to enjoy Your companionship in heaven. What are all the treasures and kingdoms of this world? You, O Jesus, are my only treasure, my only Good!

I keenly regret the many times in the past when I spurned Your friendship in order to satisfy my foolish whims. I am sorry for them with all my heart. For the future I would rather lose my life a thousand times than lose Your grace by sin. I wish never to offend You again but always to love You. Help me to remain faithful to You until death.

O Mary, you are the refuge of sinners, you are my hope. Amen.