Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Nine – 24 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Nine – 24 December

Day Nine

The Birth of Jesus in the Stable of Bethlehem

When the edict was issued by the emperor of Rome
that everyone should go to his own city to be enrolled,
Joseph and Mary went to be enrolled in Bethlehem.
How much the Holy Virgin must have suffered on this journey of four days,
over mountainous road and in the wintertime, with its cold rain and wind!
When they arrived in Bethlehem, the time of Mary’s delivery was near.
Joseph, therefore, sought some lodging where she might give birth to her Child.
But because they were so poor, they were driven away from the houses
and even from the public inn, where other poor people had found shelter.
So in that night they went a short way out of the town
and there found a cave that was used as a stable and here Mary entered.
But Joseph said to his virgin wife, “Mary, how can you spend the night in this cold, damp cave and here give birth to your Child?” Mary however replied, “Dear Joseph, this cave is the royal palace in which the King of kings, the Son of God, wishes to be born.”

When the hour of her delivery had arrived, the holy Virgin,
as she knelt in prayer, all at once saw the cave illumined with a dazzling light.
She lowered her eyes to the ground and there saw before her the Son of God now born on earth, a poor little Babe, crying and shivering in the cold.
Adoring Him as her God, she took Him to her breast and fondled Him.
Then she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and liad Him on the straw of the manger that stood in the cave.
Thus did the Son of God choose to be born among us to prove His infinite love for us.

O Adorable Infant Jesus!
I should not have the boldness to cast myself at Your feet,
if I did not know that You Yourself invite 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 art so good and who have loved me so much.
In this night, in which You bestow 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, more and more,
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 loving You evermore.
O Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother,
you can obtain everything from your Son by your prayers.
This is the only favour I ask of you, that I might love Him more and more.
Please pray to Jesus for me, I beg you. Amen.DAY NINE - CHRISTMAS NOVENA TO THE CHRIST CHILD - 24 DEC 2017- NO 2


Thought for the Day – 24 December – Christmas Eve!

Thought for the Day – 24 December – Christmas Eve!

Christmas is the feast of faith in the Son of God who became man in order to restore us to our filial dignity, lost through sin and disobedience.   Christmas is the feast of faith in hearts that become a manger to receive him and souls that allow God to make a shoot of hope, charity and faith sprout from the stump of their poverty.

Today is once again a moment for exchanging Christmas greetings and for wishing a holy and joyful Christmas and a happy New Year to you … and to all your dear ones. May this Christmas open our eyes so that we can abandon what is superfluous, false, malicious and sham and to see what is essential, true, good and authentic.   My best wishes indeed!

I began our meeting by speaking of Christmas as the Feast of Faith.
I would like to conclude, though, by pointing out that Christmas
reminds us that a faith that does not trouble us is a troubled faith.
A faith that does not make us grow is a faith that needs to grow.
A faith that does not raise questions is a faith that has to be questioned.
A faith that does not rouse us is a faith that needs to be roused.
A faith that does not shake us is a faith that needs to be shaken.
Indeed, a faith which is only intellectual or lukewarm is only a notion of faith.
It can become real once it touches our heart, our soul, our spirit and our whole being.
Once it allows God to be born and reborn in the manger of our heart.
Once we let the star of Bethlehem guide us to the place where the Son of God lies,
not among Kings and riches but among the poor and humble.
As Angelus Silesius wrote in The Cherubinic Wanderer:
“It depends solely on you.
Ah, if only your heart could become a manger,
then God would once again become a child on this earth”

Address of His Holiness, Pope Francis – 21 December 2017christmas message - pope francis 2017

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – Christmas Eve!

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – Christmas Eve!

“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 (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchhe was created - st augustine - 24 dec 2017

“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 (673-735) Father & Doctor of the Churchchrist-is-the-morning-star-st-bede-24-dec-2017

“Once in our world,
a stable had something in it,
that was bigger,
than our whole world.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963) – “The Last Battle” (1956)once-in-our-world-c-s-lewis-24-dec-2017

“I will honour Christmas in my heart
and try to keep it all the year.”

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) – A Christmas Caroli will honour - charles dickens - 24 dec 2017


One Minute Reflection – 24 December

One Minute Reflection – 24 December

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us……..John 1:14john 1 - 14

REFLECTION: Indeed, let us rejoice that we are unequal to the task
of giving due praise to so great a sacrament of mercy
(that is, the Nativity);
and if we are unable to express the sublimity
of the manner of our redemption,
let us know that it is good for us to be so helpless.
For none approaches more closely
to the knowledge of the truth than he who realises
that in matters divine there ever remains,
far more to attain,
no matter how far he progresses…St Pope Saint Leo the Great (400-461) Father & Doctor of the Churchindeed let us rejoice - st pope leo the great - 24 dec 2017

PRAYER – Come Lord Jesus, come soon.   In this time of Your coming, support and console us who trust in Your love.   We welcome Him with joy as our Redeemer; year by year renew our joy as we await the fulfilment of our redemption.   The time is now at hand for the Virgin Mary to give birth to her firstborn Son!   Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.the time is now at hand - 24 dec 2017


Our Morning Offering – 24 December

Our Morning Offering – 24 December

Nativity Prayer
By St Bernard of Clarivaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

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.
Amennativity prayer of st bernard - 24 dec 2017


The Fourth Sunday of Advent – 24 December

The Fourth Sunday of Advent – 24 December

“Know today that the Lord will come:  in the morning you will see His glory.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb
and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called
Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him
the throne of David his father,
and he will rule
over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom
there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High
will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy,
the Son of God.   And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month
for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said,
“Behold, I am the handmaid
of the Lord.
May it be done to me
according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:28-38the 4th sunday of advent - 24 dec 2017

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.


The Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord and Memorials of the Saints – 24 December

The Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord and Memorials of the Saints – 24 December

24 December – Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord

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: A commemoration of all the holy ancestors of Jeus Christ.

The New Testament has preserved two different genealogies of Our Lord, in Matthew 1 and Luke 3.
Saint Matthew’s list is divided artificially into three equal parts of 14 names each, with several intentional omissions: from Abraham the father of the chosen people to David the king, to whose family the promise was made (2 Kings 7);  David and the royal line after him to the Babylonian captivity; the descendants of the royal line from the captivity to Joseph, the legal father of Our Lord.

Saint Luke proceeds in reverse order; he starts from Joseph and goes, beyond Abraham, back to Adam the father of the human race, in accord with the character of his Gospel and he merely enumerates the names without grouping them according to a thesis or point, as is the case in Saint Matthew.

Few names are common to both lists: viz., those between Abraham and David, then Salathiel and Zorobabel after the captivity, and Joseph the foster-father of Christ; the others are absent from Matthew’s list, or the persons are different.   To account for these differences several explanations have been advanced but no decisive evidence is extant. Not a few authors hold that Saint Luke gives Mary’s genealogy but this view is more generally considered improbable, so that both lists are taken as giving Joseph’s ancestry. Only it must be supposed that at several points, instead of the actual descent, the one or the other of the lists gives the legal relationship based on adoption in some manner.  Our Lord was considered to belong to the family of David;  this seems to be taken for granted in the New Testament, where we find no difficulty raised against Him on the ground of His descent.   The genealogies show His relationship to the royal family of Juda through Joseph, as it was only through the father, legal or natural, that the rights could be transmitted and Joseph was the legal father of Jesus.   To trace Our Lord’s ancestry through His mother would not have served the purpose of the Evangelists.

Matthew 1:1-17 – The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab.   Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah.   Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.   Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah.   Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.   After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.   Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah.

Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

Luke 3:23-38:
When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age.   He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Blessed Mercedarian Brothers – (4 beati): Four Mercedarian friars who worked to free Christians enslaved by Muslims, and to preach Christ along the way to any who would hear.
• Blessed Dionysius Roneo
• Blessed Philip Claro
• Blessed Giulio Pons
• Blessed Peter of Valladolid

Blessed Mercedarian Sisters – (6 beati): Six cloistered Mercedarian nuns at the convent of Vera Cruz in Berriz, Spain. Noted for their devotion to the rules of the Order and for their deep prayer lives.
• Blessed Anna Maria Prieto
• Blessed Anna de Arrano
• Blessed Orsola de Larisgoizia
• Blessed Maguna Mary
• Blessed Margaret
• Blessed Mary of the Assumption Sarria

Martyred Maidens of Antioch – (40 saints): A group of forty virgins martyred in the persecutions of Decius. None of their names have come down to us. They were martyred in 250 in Antioch, Syria.

Martyrs of Tripoli – (6 saints): A group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. The only details that have surived are six of the names – Drusus, Lucian, Metrobius, Paul, Theotimus and Zenobius. They were martyred in Tripoli, Libya.