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ANNOUNCING a Novena to the Christ Child in preparation for Christmas

ANNOUNCING a Novena to the Christ Child in preparation for Christmas

In the birth of Jesus, God comes to us and asks us to receive Him, so that He can be born in our lives and transform them and our world, by the power of His love.    The Christmas liturgy also invites us to contemplate Christ’s birth against the backdrop of His paschal mystery.   Christmas points beyond itself, to the redemption won for us on the Cross and the glory of the Resurrection.   May this Christmas fill you with joy in the knowledge that God has drawn near to us and is with us, at every moment of our lives”. …Pope Benedict XVI

Join us for the Christmas Novena to the Christ Child beginning 9 days before Christmas on 16 December.   Each day will feature a Scripture Reflection and prayer.   Let us dispose ourselves to receive the coming Lord.   With great desire, with joy full of hope, with a heart that is free and capable of great love, for after all, we are made in His image and likeness and He is love!ANNOUNCING - CHRISTMAS NOVENA TO THE CHRIST CHILD begins 16 DEC - 2017

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Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Conception – 8 December, The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Conception 
On The Feast of the Immaculate Conceptionact of consecration - 8 dec 2017

In the presence of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and with heaven and earth as our witness, we prostrate ourselves at your feet, O Mary, Our Lady.

We acknowledge you as our Mother, as the Immaculate Conception, living tabernacle of the Divinity, as Queen of angels and of men, as Mother of the Church and of the Catholic priesthood and as refuge of the afflicted.   That is why, small and weak as we are, we wish to consecrate to you our families, our persons, our works, our future, all that pertains to us and is in us and which God, in His immeasurable goodness, has entrusted to us for our good use.

We also consecrate to you the value of our good actions, past, present and future, leaving to you the entire and full right of disposing of us and all that belongs to us.   Mary, be our Mother:  sanctify us, purify us, correct us, guide us, pray for us and protect us.

Help us to perfectly fulfill the duties of our state of life.
Extinguish in us all self-love, which prevents your Divine Son, King and Sovereign Priest, from reigning in and around us.

Cover abundantly with your maternal protection all the parishes, chapels, schools, works and missions and may you forever impede the devil from reigning, in any manner in the Church which desires to be entirely yours for the greater glory of God, the protection of our Holy Father and the exaltation of our Mother, the Holy Catholic Church and for the conversion of sinners. Amen.in the presence of god almight - act of consecration immaculate conception - 8 dec 2017

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Thought for the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Thought for the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

In Luke 1:28 the angel Gabriel, speaking on God’s behalf, addresses Mary as “full of grace” (or “highly favoured”). In that context, this phrase means that Mary is receiving all the special divine help necessary for the task ahead. However, the Church grows in understanding with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit led the Church, especially non-theologians, to the insight that Mary had to be the most perfect work of God next to the Incarnation. Or rather, Mary’s intimate association with the Incarnation called for the special involvement of God in Mary’s whole life.

The logic of piety helped God’s people to believe that Mary was full of grace and free of sin from the first moment of her existence. Moreover, this great privilege of Mary is the highlight of all that God has done in Jesus . Rightly understood, the incomparable holiness of Mary shows forth the incomparable goodness of God and the role of Mary in our salvation. And never forget, at Lourdes when Bernadette asked of the beautiful Lady ‘who shall I say you are’ she replied “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Pray for us!

And St John Paul in 1998:

“We sang of this Mother in the Liturgy of the Word.  We beheld the Lord’s marvels.   In today’s liturgy, the first words of our hymn were “Tota pulchra es Maria”:  you are all beautiful, O Mary.   In the presence of this beauty, perhaps we find ourselves thinking of the words of the great Fyodor Dostoevski, who wrote that beauty can save the world: your beauty, Mary, which is expressed in the Immaculate Conception.   

We entrust our city, the Church and the whole world to you.   May you be the “Tota Pulchra” who guides us in all hope through the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 towards the future, because you, O Mary, are the Mother of hope.   Praised be Jesus Christ!

At the end of the prayer celebration at  Piazza di Spagna in Rome, the Holy Father added:

Let us conclude this contemplative celebration:  we have beheld your marvels, O Lord. Yes, the “Tota Pulchra” must save the world in the mystery of her Immaculate Conception. 
Praised be Jesus Christ!”mary of the immaculate conception pray for us

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Quote/s of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Quote/s of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

“Mary, a Virgin,
not only not only UNDEFILED
but a Virgin whom grace
has made INVIOLATE,
FREE from EVERY STAIN of SIN.”

St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor, Sermon 22, in the year 338mary a virgin - st ambrose - 8 dec 2017

The Apostolic Constitution «Ineffabilis Deus», published on 8th December 1854, more 150 years ago, by Blessed Pope Pius IX on the theology regarding the privilege of the Immaculate Conception, in the following solemn proclamation of this Dogma of Catholic faith:

“To the honour of the holy and undivided Trinity, to the worthiness and splendid beauty of the Virgin Mother of God, to the upholding of the Catholic faith and to the furthering of the Christian religion, with the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with that of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and with Our own authority, we declare, we pronounce and we define the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the very first moments of her Conception, through the singular grace of Almighty God and through the foresight of the merits of Christ Jesus, Saviour of the human race, was preserved immune from all stains of original sin.   We furthermore declare, pronounce and define that this doctrine has been revealed by God and, therefore, has to be strongly and always believed by all the faithful.”  Blessed Pope Pius IX

“As soon as she [Mary] had the use of reason, that is, from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception in the womb of St Anne, from that time she began with all her powers to love her God and thus she continued to do, ever advancing more in perfection and love through her whole life.   All her thoughts, her desires, her affections, were wholly given to God.   Not a word, not a motion, not a glance of the eye, not a breath of hers that was not for God and for His glory, never departing one step, nor separating herself for one moment from the divine love.”…Saint Alphonsus Ligouri  (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

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One Minute Reflection – 8 December  – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

One Minute Reflection – 8 December  – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your strength and with all your mind ………………Luke 10:22luke 10 - 22

REFLECTION – Love for Christ pierced Mary’s heart in such a way that no part
of it was left unkindled.   Mary thus fulfilled the first commandment of love
in all its fullness and without the slightest imperfection…………St Bernardlove for christ - st bernard - 8 dec 2017

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help us to imitate Your Immaculate Daughter Mary in her love for You.   Grant us the grace to love You as much as she, all our lives and grant, that through her help and her prayers, we ourselves may come to You , cleansed from our sins. O Mary Immaculate, mother of our Lord, Pray for us! Amenimmaculate mary - pray for us

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Our Morning Offering – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Our Morning Offering – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Holy light on earth’s horizon,
star of hope to those who fall,
light amid a world of shadows,
dawn of God’s design for all,
chosen from eternal ages,
you alone of all our race,
by your Son’s atoning merits
were conceived in perfect grace.

Mother of the world’s Redeemer,
promised from the dawn of time:
how could one so highly favoured
share the guilt of Adam’s crime?
Sun and moon and stars adorn you,
sinless Eve, triumphant sign;
you it is who crushed the serpent,
Mary, pledge of life divine.

Earth below and highest heaven,
praise the splendour of your state,
you who now are crowned in glory
were conceived immaculate.
Hail, beloved of the Father,
Mother of his only Son,
mystic bride of Love eternal,
hail, O fair and spotless one!
Fr Edward Caswall (1814-1878)

holy light on earth's horizon - for the solemnity of the Immaculate Con - 8 dec 2017

PRAYER OF THE HOLY FATHER
POPE JOHN PAUL II
FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Tuesday, 8 December 1998

1. O Mary!
Here we are again at your feet on the day we celebrate your Immaculate Conception
and we beg you, as the beloved daughter of the Father,
during this year of preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000,
to teach us to walk in unity to the Father’s house, to make all humanity one family.

2. O Mary!
From the very first moment of life,
you were preserved from original sin
through the merits of Jesus,
whose Mother you were to become.
Sin and death have no power over you.
From the moment you were conceived,
you have enjoyed the unique privilege of being filled
with the grace of your blessed Son,
to be holy as he is holy.
For this reason the heavenly messenger,
sent to announce the divine plan to you, greeted you saying:
“Hail, full of grace” (Lk 1:28).
Yes, O Mary, you are full of grace;
you are the Immaculate Conception.
In you is fulfilled the promise made to our first parents,
the primordial Gospel of hope at the tragic moment of the fall:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman
and between your seed and her seed” (Gn 3:15).
Your seed, O Mary, is the blessed Son of your womb, Jesus, the immaculate Lamb who took upon Himself
the sin of the world, our sin. Your Son, O Mother, has preserved you, to offer all humanity the gift of salvation.
For this reason, from generation to generation, the redeemed ceaselessly repeat the angel’s words:
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28).

3. O Mary!
From East to West, from the very beginning, the People of God profess with faith that you are the all pure, the all holy, the sublime Mother of the Redeemer. The Fathers of the Church unanimously attest to it: pastors, theologians and the greatest confessors of the faith proclaim it. Then, in 1854 my venerable Predecessor, Pope Pius IX, officially recognised the truth of this your privilege.
In everlasting memory of that event, this column was erected here, in the heart of Rome, from where you watch over the city with a mother’s love.
Every year since then, on this solemn feast, the Church and the city of Rome come here with their Bishop to Piazza di Spagna, to honour you, a sign of sure hope for all men and women.
With this annual act of veneration, we profess that we want to return to the original, eternal plan of our Creator and Father, and with the Apostle Paul we repeat:
“Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…. He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Eph 13-4).

4. O Mary!
You are the witness to this primordial choice.
Guide us, O Mother, who know the Way!
Today the People of God and the whole city of Rome
entrust themselves to you, the Immaculate Conception.
Protect us always and lead us all on the ways of holiness. Amen!

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The WORD

Friday of the First Week of Advent – 8 December

Friday of the First Week of Advent – 8 December

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

Daily Meditation:
In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us…Ephesians 1:6

In the busiest of times, it is often difficult to realise
that our worst enemy is our own sinfulness.
When we do realise that, however, we can really beg God to save us.
Today, let’s say the prayer Jesus gave us,
devoutly and as a real Advent prayer.

Our Father, in heaven,
may Your name be holy;
may Your kingdom come;
may Your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us today, Your faithful bread for the journey.
Forgive us our sins,
the way we forgive the sins of others.
Don’t let us be overcome by temptation,
but deliver us from all evil.

Today’s Daily Reflection – Intercessions:
Through His Son, God the Father revealed His glory to
men and women. Therefore, let our joyful cry resound:
Lord, may Your name be glorified.

Teach us, Lord, to love each other,
– as Christ loved us for God’s glory.

Fill us with all joy and peace in faith,
– that we may walk in the hope and strength of the Holy Spirit.

Help all mankind, Lord, in Your loving mercy,
– be near to those who seek You without knowing it.

You call and sanctify the elect,
– though we are sinners, crown us with eternal happiness.

Closing Prayer:
Jesus, protector,
I long for Your coming.
The promise of new light is there
if only I can believe.
Protect me from dangers
and lead me through the gloom and darkness
to the joy I so long to find in You.
Lift me from my lowly sins
and give me the promise of salvation
with no more shame,
only the light and saving grace of Your love.
Let the ancient dream be fulfilled in You
and peace come to this life and world.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.”friday of the first week of advent - 8 december 2017

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The Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Solemnity – 8 December

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the solemn belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   It is a Solemnity and is universally celebrated on 8 December, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, which is celebrated on 8 September.   It is one of the most important Marian feasts in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, celebrated worldwide.immaculate conception info

By Pontifical designation and decree, it is the patronal feast day of Argentina, Brazil, Korea, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain, the United States and Uruguay.   By royal decree, it is also designated by as the Patroness of Portugal.   It is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church as well as a few other closely related Protestant Christian churches.

On this day since 1854, the Holy See through the Sacred Congregation of Rites grants the Spanish crown the expressed privilege of permitting blue vestments for their present and former territories.   Since 1953, the Pope as Bishop of Rome visits the Column of the Immaculate Conception in Piazza di Spagna to offer expiatory prayers commemorating the solemn event.

The feast was first solemnized as a Holy Day of Obligation on 6 December 1708 under the Papal Bull Commissi Nobis Divinitus by Pope Clement XI and is often celebrated with Holy Mass, parades, fireworks, processions, ethnic foods and cultural festivities in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is generally considered a Family day, especially in many Catholic countries.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is the subject of a lot of misconceptions (so to speak).   Perhaps the most common one, held even by many Catholics, is that it celebrates the conception of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   That the feast occurs only 17 days before Christmas should make the error obvious!   We celebrate another feast—the Annunciation of the Lord—on March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas.   It was at the Annunciation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary humbly accepted the honour bestowed on her by God and announced by the angel Gabriel, that the conception of Christ took place.557px-the_immaculate_conception_by_giovanni_battista_tiepolo_from_prado_in_google_earth

HISTORY OF THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, in its oldest form, goes back to the seventh century, when churches in the East began celebrating the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne, the mother of Mary.   In other words, this feast celebrates the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of Saint Anne;  and nine months later, on 8 September we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The feast arrived in the West probably no earlier than the 11th century and at that time, it began to be tied up with a developing theological controversy.   Both the Eastern and the Western Church had maintained that Mary was free from sin throughout her life but there were different understandings of what this meant.the-immaculate-conception-after-anton-raphael-mengsimmaculate-conception-mosaic

What Is the Immaculate Conception?
DEVELOPMENT OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Because of the doctrine of Original Sin, some in the West began to believe that Mary could not have been sinless unless she had been saved from Original Sin at the moment of her conception (thus making the conception “immaculate”).   Others, however, including St Thomas Aquinas, argued that Mary could not have been redeemed if she had not been subject to sin—at least, to Original Sin.

The answer to St Thomas Aquinas’s objection, as Blessed John Duns Scotus (d. 1308) showed, was that God had sanctified Mary at the moment of her conception in His foreknowledge that the Blessed Virgin would consent to bear Christ.   In other words, she too had been redeemed—her redemption had simply been accomplished at the moment of her conception, rather than (as with all other Christians) in Baptism.

Who Was Born Without Original Sin?
SPREAD OF THE FEAST IN THE WEST
After Duns Scotus’s defense of the Immaculate Conception, the feast spread throughout the West, though it was still often celebrated at the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne. On 28 February 1476, Pope Sixtus IV extended the feast to the entire Western Church, and in 1483 threatened with excommunication those who opposed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.   By the middle of the 17th century, all opposition to the doctrine had died out in the Catholic Church.immaculbimmaculateconceptionstatue

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Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and Memorials of the Saints – 8 December

Immaculate Conception (Solemnity)
Bl Alojzy Liguda
St Anastasia of Pomerania
St Anthusa of Africa
St Antonio García Fernández
St Casari of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon
St Eucharius of Trier
St Pope Eutychian
St Gunthildis of Ohrdruf
Bl Jacob Gwon Sang-yeon
Bl Johanna of Cáceres
Bl José María Zabal Blasco
St Macarius of Alexandria
St Marin Shkurti
St Noel Chabanel
St Patapius
Bl Paul Yun Ji-chung
St Rafael Román Donaire
St Romaric of Remiremont
St Sofronius of Cyprus