Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

St Ambrose exemplifies for us the truly catholic character of Christianity.

He is a man steeped in the learning, law and culture of the ancients and of his contemporaries.   Yet, in the midst of active involvement in this world, this thought runs through Ambrose’ life and preaching – the hidden meaning of the Scriptures calls our spirit to rise to another world.

It is all for HIM, all for the WORD made flesh, all for GOD that we live!

St Ambrose Pray for us!st ambrose - pray for us 2


Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

“The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock
of the apostles among so many dangers in the world;
it therefore remains unmoved.
The Church’s foundation is unshakable and firm
against assaults of the raging sea.
Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it.
Although the elements of this world, constantly beat
upon the Church with crashing sounds,
the Church possesses the safest harbour
of salvation for all in distress.”

the church of the lord - st ambrose - 7 dec 2017

“Rise, you who were lying fast asleep…
Rise and hurry to the Church:
here is the Father,
here is the Son,
here is the Holy Spirit.”

rise you who were lying fast asleep - st ambrose - my pic 2017

“It is a better thing
to save souls for the Lord,
than to save treasures.
He who sent forth
His apostles without gold,
He had not need of gold
to form His Church.
The Church possesses gold,
not to hoard
but to scatter abroad
and come to the aid
of the unfortunate.”

it is a better thing - st ambrose - 7 dec 2017

“When we speak about WISDOM,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about VIRTUE,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about JUSTICE,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about PEACE,
we are speaking about CHRISTt.
When we speak about TRUTH,
we are speaking about CHRIST.”

when we speak - st ambrose - 7 dec 2017

“If it is “daily bread,” why do you take it once a year? . . .
Take daily what is to profit you daily.
Live in such a way that you may deserve
to receive it daily.
He who does not deserve to receive it daily,
does not deserve to receive it once a year.”

if it ias daily - st ambrose - 7 dec 2017

“Let your door stand open
to receive Him,
unlock your soul to Him,
offer Him a welcome in your mind
and then you will see
the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
the joy of grace.
Throw wide the gate of your heart,
stand before the sun of the everlasting light.”

let your door stand open - st ambrose - 7 dec 2017

“…He, who forgave all, required of all,
that what every one remembers
to have been forgiven to himself,
he also should forgive others.”

“The devil tempts, that he may ruin;
God tests, that He may crown.”

“The rich man who gives to the poor
does not bestow alms but pays a debt.”

“Therefore, let your words be rivers, clean and limpid,
so that you may charm the ears of people.
And by the grace of your words win them over
to follow your leadership.
…. That is, let the meaning of your words shine forth,
let understanding blaze out.
Let no word escape your lips in vain or be uttered,
without depth of meaning.”  from a letter by Saint Ambrose

St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

he, who forgave all - st ambrose - 7 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

One Minute Reflection – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light…1 Peter 2:91 peter 2-9 - 7 dec 2017

REFLECTION – “All the children of the Church are priests. At Baptism, they received the anointing that gives them a share in the priesthood. The sacrifice that they must offer to God is completely spiritual – it is themselves.”…St Ambroseall the children of the church - st ambrose - 7 dec 2017

PRAYER – Holy Father, teach me to offer myself to You with all my thoughts, words and actions. Let me also exercise my “common priesthood” by faithful participation at Holy Mass and in all my encounters with my neighbour. St Ambrose, holy father, teacher of the saints, pray for us! Amenst ambrose pray for us - 7 dec 2017


Our Morning Offering – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Our Morning Offering – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Veni Redemptor gentium
Saviour of the Nations, Come
St Ambrose’s Advent Hymn

Saviour of the nations, come;
Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood;
By the Spirit of our God
Was the Word of God made flesh,
Woman’s offspring, pure and fresh.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.

From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell
High the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father’s only Son,
Hast over sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o’ercloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.

Translated from Latin to German by Martin Luther, 1523;
translated from German to English by William M Reynolds, 1851veni redemptor gentium - st ambrose advent him saviour of the nations, come - 7 dec 2017

O Lord, Give me a Heart to Love You
Prayer of St Ambrose (c 340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church

O Lord, who has mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of Your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore You,
a heart to delight in You,
to follow and enjoy You,
for Christ’s sake. Ameno lord give me a heart to love you - prayer of st ambrose - 7 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, The WORD

Thursday of the First Week of Advent – 7 December

Thursday of the First Week of Advent – 7 December

“Come to us and save us, Lord God almighty.”

Daily Meditation:
On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:  We have a strong city; he sets up victory like walls and bulwarks.   Open the gates, so that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.  Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace – in peace because they trust in you…. ” Isaiah 26:1-3

The reading from Isaiah is another promise of a day of victory,
when the tables will be turned on injustice.
Today, let’s turn to our God, with all our needs.

Part of our Advent journey is about learning to hope
– learning to imagine what we can’t see.

Let’s go through our day today, desiring freedom
with a growing confidence in our God who promises to save us.

Come and set us free, Lord, God of power and might.
Let Your face shine on us and we shall be saved.

Today’s Daily Reflection – Intercessions:
Christ is the wisdom and power of God and His delight is to
be with the children of men. With confidence, let us pray:
Draw near us, Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ, you have called us to Your glorious kingdom,
– make us walk worthily, pleasing God in all we do.

You who stand unknown among us,
– reveal Yourself to men and women.

You are nearer to us than we to ourselves,
– strengthen our faith and our hope of salvation.

You are the source of holiness,
– keep us holy and without sin now and until the day
of Your coming.

Closing Prayer:
God of strength and protection,
I turn to You because I need help.
I long to be free enough
to trust that I can lean on You.
But I become afraid.
Help me to trust in You, Lord.
Your strength and power
are a gentle place of protection.
Be a safe refuge when I am being trampled.
I long for Your help, Your protecting care.
Help to deliver me from the cold
loneliness of these dark nights.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

“Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.”thursday of the first week of advent - 7 dec 2017


More on today’s Saint – 7 December – St Ambrose (c340-397) Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

More on today’s Saint – St Ambrose (c 340-397)Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church –  Theologian, Apostle of Charity, Writer, Musician, Preacher, Reformer and protector – all-in-all a brilliant, charismatic, vibrant man.  Patronages – • bee keepers• bees• Bishops• candle makers• chandlers• domestic animals• French Commissariat• geese• honey cake bakers• learning• livestock• police officers • students, school-children• security personnel• starlings• wax melters• wax refiners• Archdiocese of Milan, Italy• 8 Cities.

Traditionally, Ambrose is credited with promoting “antiphonal chant”, a style of chanting in which one side of the choir responds alternately to the other, as well as with composing Veni redemptor gentium, an Advent hymn.   Ambrose is one of the four original Doctors of the Church and is the Patron saint of Milan.   He is notable for his influence on St Augustine, whom he Baptised.

This politician-turned churchman was profoundly aware of his lack of preparation for this great responsibility as Bishop and so set himself immediately to prayer and the study of Scripture.    His deep spirituality and love of God’s Word married together with the oratorical skill acquired in law and politics made St Ambrose one of the greatest preachers of the early church.

His feast day in the Roman calendar is 7 December, the day he was Ordained Bishop. From the Roman liturgy for the Feast of St. Ambrose:   “Lord, you made Saint Ambrose an outstanding teacher of the Catholic faith and gave him the courage of an apostle.   Raise up in your Church more leaders after your own heart, to guide us with courage and wisdom.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.”  

Here is Jimmy Akin’s article “St Ambrose: Strangest Life Story Ever?”
1) Who was St Ambrose?

St Ambrose of Milan was born around A.D. 338 and died in 397.
He was the bishop of Milan, Italy.

2) What makes is his life story so strange?

Originally, he was a government official, he became bishop in a most extraordinary way.
After the death of the local bishop, the Catholics and Arians got into a vehement conflict about who should be the new bishop.
Ambrose was trying to keep the peace and settle the two groups down when someone—allegedly a small boy—began chanting “Ambrose, bishop!”
Soon the two groups began chanting together that Ambrose should be the new bishop.
(The Arians, apparently, felt that although Ambrose was Catholic in belief he would be a kinder bishop than they otherwise would likely get.)
This set of circumstances is extraordinary enough, but what’s even more extraordinary is that Ambrose wasn’t even a Christian yet. He was an unbaptised catechumen!

3) Can it get any stranger?

Ambrose did not want to be bishop and so he went into hiding.
The Emperor Valentinian then got word of all this and declared severe penalties on anyone who would give Ambrose shelter.
He was thus forced to come out of hiding and accept his ordination as bishop.
They quickly ran him through the preliminary grades of orders and he was consecrated a bishop about a week later.

4) How did he do as bishop?

He was great!   That’s part of why he ended up as a doctor of the Church.
He left many wonderful writings.   He helped convert St Augustine.   And he combated heresy.
He also introduced a practice into the West that has remained with us to this day.

5) What practice was that?

Lectio Divina. Pope Benedict XVI explained:
Culturally well-educated but at the same time ignorant of the Scriptures, the new Bishop briskly began to study them.
From the works of Origen, the indisputable master of the “Alexandrian School”, he learned to know and to comment on the Bible.
Thus, Ambrose transferred to the Latin environment the meditation on the Scriptures which Origen had begun, introducing in the West the practice of lectio divina.
The method of lectio served to guide all of Ambrose’s preaching and writings, which stemmed precisely from prayerful listening to the Word of God.

6) How did Ambrose help with Augustine’s conversion?

That also involved a rather dramatic story, in which Ambrose stood up to the emperor at the risk of his own life.
Pope Benedict explained:
A passage from St Augustine’s Confessions is relevant.
He had come to Milan as a teacher of rhetoric;   he was a sceptic and not Christian.  He was seeking the Christian truth but was not capable of truly finding it.
What moved the heart of the young African rhetorician, sceptic and downhearted and what impelled him to definitive conversion was not above all Ambrose’s splendid homilies (although he deeply appreciated them).
It was rather the testimony of the Bishop and his Milanese Church that prayed and sang as one intact body.
It was a Church that could resist the tyrannical ploys of the Emperor and his mother, who in early 386 again demanded a church building for the Arians’ celebrations.
In the building that was to be requisitioned, Augustine relates, “the devout people watched, ready to die with their Bishop”.
This testimony of the Confessions is precious because it points out that something was moving in Augustine, who continues: “We too, although spiritually tepid, shared in the excitement of the whole people” (Confessions 9, 7).

7) Was Ambrose remarkable in other ways?

He was remarkable in many ways, one of them we today would find quite surprising.
Pope Benedict explained:
[Augustine] writes in his text that whenever he went to see the Bishop of Milan, he would regularly find him taken up with catervae [Latin, “crowd”]of people full of problems for whose needs he did his utmost.
There was always a long queue waiting to talk to Ambrose, seeking in him consolation and hope.
When Ambrose was not with them, with the people (and this happened for the space of the briefest of moments), he was either restoring his body with the necessary food or nourishing his spirit with reading.
Here Augustine marvels because Ambrose read the Scriptures with his mouth shut, only with his eyes (cf. Confessions, 6, 3).
Indeed, in the early Christian centuries reading was conceived of strictly for proclamation and reading aloud also facilitated the reader’s understanding.
That Ambrose could scan the pages with his eyes alone suggested to the admiring Augustine a rare ability for reading and familiarity with the Scriptures.

Got that?

Ambrose was known for the ability to read with his mouth shut, not using his voice or moving his lips.
We’re all taught to do this today, but it was rare in the ancient world! Back then, if you even could read, you usually had to at least move your lips.
Ambrose also passed on to Augustine a very famous piece of advice, that many people quote today without even knowing where it comes from.

8) What advice was that?

Augustine noted that the liturgical customs in Rome were different than those used in other places and Ambrose told him something we still quote today.

We paraphrase it in English, but it’s the same thought: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”Some-Advice-On-Prayer-2-saint-ambrose-of-milan-1St_AmbroseSome-Advice-On-Prayer-2-St.-Ambrose-Stained-Glass

Posted in ADVENT, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 7 December

St Ambrose of Milan (Memorial)
St Agatho of Alexandria
St Anianas of Chartres
St Antonius of Siya
St Athenodoros of Mesopotamia
St Buithe of Monasterboice
St Charles Garnier
St Diuma
St Geretrannus of Bayeux
St Humbert of Clairvaux
St Martin of Saujon
St Mary Joseph Rosello
St Nilus of Stolbensk
St Polycarp of Antioch
St Sabinus of Spoleto
St Servus the Martyr
St Theodore of Antioch
St Urban of Teano
St Victor of Piacenza