Celebrating Christmas – the Second Week: Monday 2 January 2017

Celebrating Christmas the Second Week Monday 2 January 2017

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

Daily Meditation:
This is how you can know the Spirit of God:
every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God,
and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus. 1 John 3

“The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.” Mt. 4

Jesus hears that John has been jailed.
He realises His time has come.
He begins by quoting Isaiah, chapter 8.
He is the light who has come into our lives,
which are so often overshadowed by death, in so many ways.

In this week before Epiphany, let us keep letting the Light
shine into the places of darkness within us and around us.
And where we have seen and felt His enlightening, freeing presence,
let us continue to rejoice with Christmas joy.

Closing Prayer:
Your radiant light blazes in my world today.
I know I will have difficult times
and the darkness will gather around me again.
But today the shining light of Your love
comes into my life and frees me.

There are other days that are shadowy,
when I don’t always know where I am going, Lord.
When the gloom gathers in my life, lead me through it.
I will reach out my hand in the darkness,
put aside my fears
and walk next to You, comforted by Your presence
and the warmth of Your unending love.

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


Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 2 January

Learning of these two great Doctors of the Church, St Basil the Great and St Gregory of Nazianzen and their lifelong friendship, their collaboration, most especially against the battle against Arianism, cannot help but call to our minds a similar and immensely brilliant collaboration and personal friendship, which yielded endless fruit for the life of the Church.

Do you know of whom I speak?   Of course – St Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict XVI – one already in the Halls of Heaven.  Both these great modern fathers are “Doctors” of the Church – whether yet recognised officially or not and the one blessedly still with us is a saint amongst the faithful.

Sts Basil and Gregory Pray for us!


Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January

“The hairsplitting difference between
formed and unformed makes no difference to us.
Whoever deliberately commits abortion
is subject to the penalty for homicide.”

“A tree is known by its fruit;
a man by his deeds.
A good deed is never lost;
he who sows courtesy reaps friendship
and he who plants kindness gathers love.”

St Basil (329-379) Doctor of the Church


“Give something, however small,
to the one in need.
For it is not small to one who has nothing.
Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could.”

“If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary
is the Mother of God, such a one is a stranger
to the Godhead.”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Doctor of the Church





Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering/s – 2 January

Our Morning Offering – 2 January

Prayer of Saint Basil the Great

O God and Lord of the Powers and Maker of all creation,
Who, because of Your clemency and incomparable mercy,
sent Yoour Only-Begotten Son and our Lord Jesus Christ
for the salvation of mankind and with His venerable Cross
He tore asunder the record of our sins and thereby
conquers the rulers and powers of darkness;
receive from us sinful people, O merciful Master,
these prayers of gratitude and supplication
and deliver us from every destructive and gloomy transgression
and from all visible and invisible enemies who seek to injure us.
Nail down our flesh with fear of Youself and let not our hearts be
inclined to words or thoughts of evil but pierce our souls
with Your love,
that ever contemplating You,
being enlightened by You
and discerning You,
the unapproachable and everlasting Light,
we may unceasingly render confession and gratitude to You:
The eternal Father, with Your Only-Begotten Son
and with Your All-Holy, Gracious and Life-Giving Spirit,
now and ever and unto ages of ages, amen.


To The All-Transcendent God

O All-Transcendent God
(and what other name could describe You?),
what words can hymn Your praises?
No word does You justice.
What mind can probe Your secret?
No mind can encompass You.
You are alone are beyond the power of speech,
yet all that we speak stems from You.
You are alone are beyond the power of thought,
yet all that we can conceive springs from You.
All things proclaim You,
those endowed with reason and those bereft of it.
All the expectation and pain of the world
coalesces in You.
All things utter a prayer to You,
a silent hymn composed by You.
You sustain everything that exists,
and all things move together to Your orders.
You are the goal of all that exists.
You are one and You are all,
yet You are none of the things that exist,
neither a part nor the whole.
You can avail Yourself of any name;
how shall I call You,
the only unnameable?
All-transcendent God!


Posted in Uncategorized

Saint/s of the Day -2 January

Saint/s of the Day -2 January – Sts Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen

ST BASIL the GREAT – (329-379) Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church – Patron of  Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, education, exorcism, Liturgists, Russia, Cappadocia.

St Basil the Great, the illustrious doctor and intrepid champion of the church, was born towards the close of the year 329 at Caesarea, the metropolis of Cappadocia. His parents were Cappadocians by birth, both equally illustrious for their nobility and descended from a long line of renowned heroes.  Our saint’s father, St. Basil the Elder, and his wife, St. Emmelia, adorned the conjugal state by their saintly conversation. Their marriage was blessed with ten children, of which they left nine living, all eminent for virtue; those that were married and lived in the world seeming no way inferior in piety to those who served God in holy virginity, as St. Gregory Nazianzen tells us. Four were sons and the other five daughters. St. Macrina the Younger, was the eldest of all these children, and assisted her mother in training up the rest in perfect virtue. The eldest among the boys was St. Basil; the other three were Naucratius, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Peter of Sebaste. Our saint was the fruit of his mother’s prayers, and in his infancy by the same means recovered his health in dangerous sickness, when he had been given over by the physicians, as St. Gregory of Nyssa relates. He received the first tincture of virtue from his grandmother, St. Macrina the Elder, under whose care he passed his infancy in a country house near Neocaesarea, in Pontus; and he testifies himself that during his whole life he never forgot the strong impressions of piety which her exhortations and holy example made upon his tender mind.

Basil was educated in Caesarea, Constantinople, and Athens in the fourth century. He enjoyed stimulating university life. There he met Gregory Nazianzen, a quiet, scholarly man. The two became close friends.

Basil traveled through the East and studied monastic life. As a result, he formed his own monastic group. Gregory joined him. From their discussions, Basil composed a rule of life for monks. He allowed monks and nuns to operate hospitals and guesthouses and work outside the community. His principles still influence Eastern monasticism.

The two friends lived the monastic life for only about five years. Then Gregory had to return home to care for his father, who was a bishop. When Gregory got home, he was ordained a priest, although he did not think himself worthy. He watched over his father’s diocese.

In 374, Basil was made bishop of Caesarea. The Church called on him to refute the Arian heresy, which claimed that Jesus was not God. Emperor Valens promoted the heresy. Basil believed the Church must remain independent of the emperor and boldly defended the Church. He preached morning and evening to large crowds. When a famine struck, he gave his money to people who were poor. He organized a soup kitchen and served the people himself. Basil even built a town, which included a church, a hospital and a guesthouse.

Basil continued to write for the Church and to clarify the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. When one town was falling away from the faith, Basil ordained Gregory bishop and sent him there. Gregory went unhappily because he disliked conflict. The two friends were later reconciled.

St Basil died on the 1 or 2 of January 379.  We commemorate and celebrate his memory on 2 January.   The emperor had tried to tax St Basil’s diocese (area) so much, that he would not be able to pay. However, the many faithful followers, gave him money and jewels to help pay the taxes. The tax-collector was so amazed that he refused the money. t Basil had no way of knowing who to return the money and jewels to.  So, he had many cakes baked and in them placed the coins and jewels; he then distributed these cakes to the poor. Traditionally Basil’s cakes or sweet bread) is made in Orthodox households and they are also brought to the church. There they (called  Vasilopita) are blessed and cut by the priest; pieces are cut to honour Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, St Basil, the priest, the poor and others.



St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Bishop, Theologian, Doctor of the Church Patron of Harvests and Poets

St Gregory who, from his profound skill in sacred learning, is surnamed the Theologian, was a native of Arianzum, an obscure village in the territory of Nazianzum, a small town in Cappadocia not far from Caesarea His parents are both honoured in the calendars of the church: his father on the 1st of January and his mother Nonna on the 5th of August.

After his baptism at 30, Gregory gladly accepted his friend Basil’s invitation to join him in a newly founded monastery. The solitude was broken when Gregory’s father, a bishop, needed help in his diocese and estate. It seems that Gregory was ordained a priest practically by force and only reluctantly accepted the responsibility. He skillfully avoided a schism that threatened when his own father made compromises with Arianism. At 41, Gregory was chosen suffragan bishop of Caesarea and at once came into conflict with Valens, the emperor, who supported the Arians.

For 30 years, Constantinople had been under the leadership of supporters of the Arian movement. The bishops of the surrounding areas begged Gregory to come and restore the faith, and again he went, dreading the task. When protection for Arianism ended with the death of Valens, Gregory was called to rebuild the faith in the great see of Constantinople, which had been under Arian teachers for three decades. Retiring and sensitive, he dreaded being drawn into the whirlpool of corruption and violence. He first stayed at a friend’s home, which became the only orthodox church in the city. In such surroundings, he began giving the great sermons on the Trinity for which he is famous. In time, Gregory did rebuild the faith in the city but at the cost of great suffering, slander, insults and even personal violence. An interloper even tried to take over his bishopric.

His last days were spent in solitude and austerity. He wrote religious poetry, some of it autobiographical, of great depth and beauty. He was acclaimed simply as “the Theologian.”


Both Basil and Gregory were misunderstood, but in spite of this, they rebuilt the faith. Basil died at age 49. Gregory resigned from Constantinople because of opposition and spent his last years reading, writing his autobiography, and enjoying his gardens.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 2 January

St Basil the Great (Memorial)
St Gregory of Nazianzen (Memorial) – VIDEO ewtn –

St Adelard of Corbie
Bl Airaldus of Maurienne
St Asclepius of Limoges
St Aspasius of Auch
St Blidulf of Bobbio
St Gaspare Bufalo
Bl Guillaume Répin
St Hortulana of Assisi
St Isidore of Antioch
St Isidore of Nitria
St Laurent Bâtard
St Macarius the Younger
St Maximus of Vienne
Bl Odino of Rot
St Paracodius of Vienne
St Seraphim of Sarov
St Seiriol
Bl Stephana de Quinzanis
St Telesphorus, Pope
St Theodota
St Theopistus
St Vincentian of Tulle

Many Martyrs Who Suffered in Rome
Martyrs of Antioch – 5 saints
Martyrs of Britain
Martyrs of Ethiopia – 3 saints
Martyrs of Jerusalem – 2 saints
Martyrs of Lichfield
Martyrs of Piacenza
Martyrs of Puy – 4 saints
Martyrs of Syrmium – 7 saints
Martyrs of Tomi – 3 saints