Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

Thought for the Day – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

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!st nicholas - pray for us - 6 dec 2017

Posted in QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

Quote of the Day – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

“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 Girlonce again st nicholas - anne frank - 6 dec 2017

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

One Minute Reflection – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

One Minute Reflection – 6 December – The Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them….Isaiah 58:7isaiah 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 (1581-1660)it is only for your love - st vincent de paul - 5 dec 2017

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! Amenst nicholas - pray for us - 5 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, The WORD

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent – 6 December

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent – 6 December

“Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.

Daily Meditation:
We reflect today on a promise of a day full of hope
of plenty, of peace. We ask for the grace to be open,
to respond to whatever the Lord is offering us in these precious days
of preparation and anticipation.
No matter how difficult our situation, we can trust in the Lord;
we can eat and be satisfied.

I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!” Isaiah 25:9-10a

Today’s Daily Reflection – Intercessions:
The Word of God humbled Himself to dwell with us so
that we might see his glory. Rejoicing in hope, let us call
upon him:
Emmanuel, be with us.

Ruler, just and righteous,
– bring justice to the poor and the oppressed.

King of peace, You beat swords into plowshares and spears
into pruning hooks,
– turn hatred into love and our grievances into forgiveness.

You do not judge by appearances,
– recognise those who are Your own.

When You come with power and might upon the clouds,
– grant that we may come before You without shame.

Closing Prayer:
Lord of all,
You are a God of plenty, a Lord who provides
for us in our need.
As I begin these early days of Advent
help me to believe that You know what I need.
Give me the courage to listen to Your voice
and the freedom
to open my heart to the graces You are
offering me to place my trust in You.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.”wednesday of the first week of advent - 6 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Our Morning Offering – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

ADVENT PRAYER – GOD OF HOPE

God of hope, who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope, the rock we stand upon,
be the centre, the focus of our lives
always and particularly this Advent time.
Through Him who is our hope, our joy, our love, our peace,
in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.advent prayer - 6 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343)

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343) Also known as – • Nicholas of Bari• Nicholas of Lpnenskij • Nicholas of Lipno • Nicholas of Sarajskij • Nicholas the Miracle Worker • Klaus, Mikulas, Nikolai, Nicolaas, Nicolas, Niklaas, Niklas. Nikolaus, Santa Claus.   Priest, Abbot, Bishop, Miracle-Worker, Apostle of Charity, Confessor.st nicholas header

Patronages -• against fire • against imprisonment • against robberies • against robbers • against storms at sea • against sterility • against thefts • altar servers • archers • boys • brides • captives • children • choir boys • happy marriages • lawsuits lost unjustly • lovers • maidens • penitent murderers • newlyweds • paupers • pilgrims • poor people • prisoners • scholars • schoolchildren, students • penitent thieves • spinsters • travellers • unmarried girls • apothecaries • bakers • bankers • barrel makers • boatmen • boot blacks • brewers • butchers • button makers • candle makers • chair makers • cloth shearers • coopers • dock workers • druggists • educators • farm workers, farmers • firefighters • fish mongers • fishermen • grain merchants • grocers • grooms • hoteliers • innkeepers • judges • lace merchants • lawyers • linen merchants • longshoremen • mariners • merchants • millers • notaries • parish clerks • pawnbrokers • perfumeries • perfumers • pharmacists • poets • ribbon weavers • sailors • ship owners • shoe shiners • soldiers • spice merchants • spinners • stone masons • tape weavers • teachers • toy makers • vintners • watermen • weavers • Greek Catholic Church in America • Greek Catholic Union • Varangian Guard • Germany • Greece • Russia • 3 dioceses • 78 cities.

Attributes – • anchor • bishop calming a storm • bishop holding three bags of gold • bishop holding three balls • bishop with three children • bishop with three children in a tub at his feet • purse • ship • three bags of gold • three balls • three golden balls on a book • boy in a boat.   Saint Nicholas’ reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.   St Nicholas was generous to the poor and special protector of the innocent and wronged.   Many stories grew up around him prior to his becoming associated with Santa Claus.

Some examples of the Miracles of St Nicholas and the reasons for various Patronages:

• Upon hearing that a local man had fallen on such hard times that he was planning to sell his daughters into prostitution, Nicholas went by night to the house and threw three bags of gold in through the window, saving the girls from an evil life.   These three bags, gold generously given in time of trouble, became the three golden balls that indicate a pawn broker’s shop.

• He raised to life three young boys who had been murdered and pickled in a barrel of brine to hide the crime.   These stories led to his patronage of children in general and of barrel-makers besides.

• Induced some thieves to return their plunder.   This explains his protection against theft and robbery and his patronage of them – he’s not helping them steal but to repent and change.   In the past, thieves have been known as Saint Nicholas’ clerks or Knights of Saint Nicholas.

• During a voyage to the Holy Lands, a fierce storm blew up, threatening the ship.   He prayed about it and the storm calmed – hence the patronage of sailors and those like dockworkers who work on the sea.

St Nicholas died in 346 at Myra, Lycia (in modern Turkey) of natural causes and his  relics are believed to be at Bari, Italy.bari-shrine3-detail

Here is the story of St Nicholas by Prosper Dom Gueranger:

Nicholas was born in the celebrated city of Patara, in the province of Lycia.   His birth was the fruit of his parents’ prayers.  Evidences of his great future holiness were given from his very cradle.   For when he was an infant, he would only take his food once on Wednesdays and Fridays and then not till evening but on all other days he frequently took the breast:  he kept up this custom of fasting during the rest of his life.

Having lost his parents when he was a boy, he gave all his goods to the poor.   Of his Christian kindheartedness there is the following noble example.   One of his fellow-citizens had three daughters but being too poor to obtain them an honourable marriage, he was minded to abandon them to a life of prostitution.   Nicholas having learned of the case, went to the house during the night and threw in by the window a sum of money sufficient for the dower of one of the daughters;  he did the same a second and a third time and thus the three were married to respectable men.

Having given himself wholly to the service of God, he set out for Palestine, that he might visit and venerate the holy places.   During this pilgrimage, which he made by sea, he foretold to the mariners, on embarking, though the heavens were then serene and the sea tranquil, that they would be overtaken by a frightful storm.   In a very short time, the storm arose.   All were in the most imminent danger, when he quelled it by his prayers.

His pilgrimage ended, he returned home, giving to all men example of the greatest sanctity.   He went, by an inspiration from God, to Myra, the Metropolis of Lycia,which had just lost its Bishop by death and the Bishops of the province had come together for the purpose of electing a successor.   Whilst they were holding council for the election, they were told by a revelation from heaven, that they should choose him who, on the morrow, should be the first to enter the church, his name being Nicholas.   Accordingly, the requisite observations were made, when they found Nicholas to be waiting at the church door:  they took him and, to the incredible delight of all, made him the Bishop of Myra.

During his episcopate, he never flagged in the virtues looked for in a bishop;  chastity, which indeed he had always preserved, gravity, assiduity in prayer, watchings, abstinence, generosity and hospitality, meekness in exhortation, severity in reproving. He befriended widows and orphans by money, by advice and by every service in his power.   So zealous a defender was he of all who suffered oppression, that, on one occasion, three Tribunes having been condemned by the Emperor Constantine, who had been deceived by calumny and having heard of the miracles wrought by Nicholas, they recommended themselves to his prayers, though he was living at a very great distance from that place:   the saint appeared to Constantine and angrily looking upon him, obtained from the terrified Emperor their deliverance.

Having, contrary to the edict of Dioclesian and Maximian, preached in Myra the truth of the Christian faith, he was taken up by the servants of the two Emperors.  He was taken off to a great distance and thrown into prison, where he remained until Constantine, having become Emperor, ordered his rescue and the Saint returned to Myra.   Shortly afterwards, he repaired to the Council which was being held at Nicaea:  there he took part with the three hundred and eighteen Fathers in condemning the Arian heresy (Tradition has it that he became so angry with the heretic Arius during the Council that he struck him in the face).St Nicholas of Myra slapping Arius at the Council of Nicaea.

Scarcely had he returned to his See than he was taken with the sickness of which he soon died.   Looking up to heaven and seeing Angels coming to meet him, he began the Psalm, In thee, O Lord, have I hoped and having come to those words, Into your hands I commend my spirit, his soul took its flight to the heavenly country.   His body, having been translated to Bari in Apulia, is the object of universal veneration.

st nicholas beautifulst nicholas.2

For St Nicholas traditional cookies see here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/st-nicholas-6-december/

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 6 December

St Nicholas of Myra (Optional Memorial)

St Abraham of Kratia
St Aemilianus the Martyr
Bl Angelica of Milazzo
St Asella of Rome
St Boniface the Martyr
St Dativa the Martyr
St Dionysia the Martyr
St Gerard of La Charite
St Gertrude the Elder
St Giuse Nguyen Duy Khang
St Isserninus of Ireland
Bl Janos Scheffler
St Leontia the Martyr
St Majoricus the Martyr
Bl Peter Paschal
St Polychronius
St Tertus

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Esteban Vázquez Alonso
• Blessed Florencio Rodríguez Guemes
• Blessed Gregorio Cermeño Barceló
• Blessed Heliodoro Ramos García
• Blessed Ireneo Rodríguez González
• Blessed Juan Lorenzo Larragueta Garay
• Blessed Luis Martínez Alvarellos
• Blessed Luisa María Frías Cañizares
• Blessed Miguel Lasaga Carazo
• Blessed Narciso Pascual y Pascual
• Blessed Pascual Castro Herrera
• Blessed Vicente Vilumbrales Fuente

Martyred Salesians of Guadalajara (Spanish Civil War) – 7 beati:
• Blessed Gregorio Cermeño Barceló
• Blessed Ireneo Rodríguez González
• Blessed Luisa María Frías Cañizares
• Blessed Narciso Pascual y Pascual
• Blessed Vicente Vilumbrales Fuente