Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY

The Solemnity of Epiphany – 7 January 2018 – T S Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi”

The Solemnity of Epiphany – 7 January 2018 – T S Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi”

The Journey of the Magi

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This:  were we led all that way for
Birth or Death?   There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different;  this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

t s eliot
excerpt from t s eliot's journey of the magi
Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The CHRIST CHILD

Sunday Reflection – 7 January 2018 – The Feast of Epiphany

Sunday Reflection – 7 January 2018 – The Feast of Epiphany

Each Sunday towards the end of Mass, we come to the altar rail, receive Holy Communion, return to our seats and sit or kneel quietly for a while in contemplation.   But in these quiet moments after we have received Communion, what prayers do we offer up?  Perhaps we don’t pray at all but in those quiet moments our thoughts turn to other things, like Sunday lunch or a planned visit to visit the grandchildren after Mass.

I recently came across this wonderful article, written by a priest.  He writes:

“A few years ago it became evident to me that my prayers after distributing Holy Communion to my congregation were wholly inadequate.   As I sat on my seat on the altar I was finding it extremely difficult to express into words, what this moment meant to me.   Looking through my book collection I read all the prayers I could get my hands on but none seemed to be what I was looking for, so I gave up in frustration.   However, each day I would pray to Mary our Blessed Mother asking her to teach me how to express my innermost feelings to the Lord.   Sometime later I was preaching a retreat to a group of nuns when one of the elderly nuns came to visit me and said she felt she had a problem concerning her prayers after receiving Holy Communion.   Feeling I had at last found a kindred spirit, I asked her what she usually prayed and she replied, ‘I don’t pray anything, I just sit in silence and allow Him to love me and to teach me to love Him.’   At that moment I realised that Mary had indeed answered my prayers.

“I just sit in silence and allow Him to love me and to teach me to love Him.”

What a simple, but moving description of what this moment means to us all.

“Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.   When we feel that His mysteries are too severe for us and occasion us to doubt, let us earnestly wait on Him for the gift of humility and love.    Those who love and who are humble will apprehend them, carnal minds do not seek the and proud minds are offended at them but while love desires them, humility sustains them.

Let us pray Him to give us an earnest longing after Him – a thirst for His presence – an anxiety to find Him – a joy on hearing that He is to be found, even now, under the veil of sensible things – and a good hope that we shall find Him there.

Blessed indeed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.   They have their reward in believing, they enjoy the contemplation of a mysterious blessing, which does not even enter into the thoughts of other men and while they are more blessed than others, in the gift vouchsafed to them, they have the additional privilege of knowing that they are vouchsafed it.”….Blessed John Henry Newman  (1801-1890) – Parochial & Plain Sermons, Vol. VI, no. 11let us pray him to give us - bl john henry newman - 7 jan 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY, The CHRIST CHILD

Thought for the Day – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ Excerpt from Pope Francis Homily for Epiphany 2017

Thought for the Day – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Excerpt from Pope Francis Homily for Epiphany 2017

The Magi thus personify all those who believe, those who long for God, who yearn for their home, their heavenly homeland.   They reflect the image of all those who in their lives have not let their hearts be anaesthetised.
A holy longing for God wells up in the heart of believers because they know that the Gospel is not an event of the past but of the present.   A holy longing for God helps us keep alert in the face of every attempt to reduce and impoverish our life.   A holy longing for God is the memory of faith, which rebels before all prophets of doom.   That longing keeps hope alive in the community of believers, which from week to week continues to plead: “Come, Lord Jesus”.
We want to worship.   Those men came from the East to worship and they came to do so in the place befitting a king:  a palace.   This is significant.   Their quest led them there, for it was fitting that a king should be born in a palace, amid a court and all his subjects. For that is a sign of power, success, a life of achievement.   One might well expect a king to be venerated, feared and adulated.   True, but not necessarily loved.   For those are worldly categories, the paltry idols to which we pay homage:   he cult of power, outward appearances and superiority.   Idols that promise only sorrow, enslavement, fear.

It was there, in that place, that those men, come from afar, would embark upon their longest journey.   There they set out boldly on a more arduous and complicated journey. They had to discover that what they sought was not in a palace but elsewhere, both existentially and geographically.   There, in the palace, they did not see the star guiding them to discover a God who wants to be loved.   For only under the banner of freedom, not tyranny, is it possible to realise that the gaze of this unknown but desired king does not abase, enslave, or imprison us.   To realise that the gaze of God lifts up, forgives and heals.   To realise that God wanted to be born where we least expected, or perhaps desired, in a place where we so often refuse him.   To realise that in God’s eyes there is always room for those who are wounded, weary, mistreated, abandoned.   That His strength and His power are called MERCY.   For some of us, how far Jerusalem is from Bethlehem!for only under the banner of freedom - pope francis 2017 - 7 jan 2018

Herod is unable to worship because he could not or would not change his own way of looking at things.   He did not want to stop worshipping himself, believing that everything revolved around him.   He was unable to worship, because his aim was to make others worship him.   Nor could the priests worship, because although they had great knowledge, and knew the prophecies, they were not ready to make the journey or to change their ways.

The Magi experienced longing, they were tired of the usual fare.   They were all too familiar with, and weary of, the Herods of their own day.   But there, in Bethlehem, was a promise of newness, of gratuitousness.   There something new was taking place.   The Magi were able to worship because they had the courage to set out.   And as they fell to their knees before the small, poor and vulnerable Infant, the unexpected and unknown Child of Bethlehem, they discovered the glory of God.and as they fell - pope francis - epiphany 2017 - 7 jan 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD

Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

“If we approach with faith,
we too will see Jesus….;
for the Eucharistic table
takes the place of the crib.
Here the Body of the Lord is present,
wrapped not in swaddling clothes
but in the rays of the Holy Spirit.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchif we approach with faith - st john chrysostom - 7 jan 2018

“Truth, by which the world is held together,
has sprung from the earth,
in order to be carried in a woman’s arms.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchtruth, by which the world - st augustine - 7 jan 2018

“Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see:
heaven on earth,
earth in heaven,
man in God,
God in man,
one whom the whole universe cannot contain
now enclosed in a tiny body.
As they look, they believe and do not question,
as their symbolic gifts bear witness:
incense for God,
gold for a king,
myrrh for one who is to die.”

St Peter Chrysologus (406-450) Doctor of the Churchtoday the magi gaze in deep wonder - st peter chrysologus - 7 jan 2018

“What are you doing, O Magi?
Do you adore a little Babe, in a wretched hovel,
wrapped in miserable rags?
Can this Child be truly God? …
Are you become foolish, O Wise Men …
Yes, these Wise Men have become fools
that they may be wise!”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Churchwhat are you doing o magi - st bernard - 7 jan 2018

“It is no magic formula He brings
because He knows that the salvation
He offers must pass through human hearts.
What does He first do?
He laughs and cries and sleeps defenceless,
as a baby, though He is God incarnate.
And He does this,
so that we may fall in love with Him,
so that we may learn to take Him in our arms….”it is no magic formula he brings - st josemaria - 7 jan 2018

“As you kneel at the feet of the child Jesus
on the day of His Epiphany
and see Him a king bearing none
of the outward signs of royalty,
you can tell Him:
“Lord, take away my pride;
crush my self-love,
my desire to affirm myself
and impose myself on others.
Make the foundation of my personality
my identification with you.”

St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)
Christ is passing by, 31as you kneel at the feet of the child jesus - st josemaria - 7 jan 2018

“As pilgrims of faith, the Wise Men themselves
became stars shining in the firmament of history
and they show us the way.
The saints are God’s true constellations,
which light up the nights of this world,
serving as our guides.
Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Philippians,
told his faithful that they must shine like stars in the world.”

Extract from the Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI
Vatican Basilica, Sunday, 6 January 2013benedict-on-epiphany.7 jan 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

..and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage... Matthew 2:11matthew-2-11

REFLECTION – “For by gold the power of a king is signified, by frankincense the honour of God, by myrrh the burial of the body and accordingly they offer Him, gold as King, frankincense as God, myrrh as Man.”…St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchfor by gold - st john chrysostom - 7 jan 2018

PRAYER – Lord, God, teach us to see the living presence of Your Divine Son in the Eucharist.   Make our faith so vivid that we will gladly come to encounter Jesus in every Mass.   May we follow in faith and trust, Your bright Light, which shines forever on our paths.   Holy Christ Child, intercede for us, amen.epiphany-feast - 8 jan 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Our Morning Offering – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Traditional Epiphany Prayer

Lord Jesus
may Your light shine on our way,
as once it guided the steps of the Magi:
that we too may be led into Your presence
and worship You,
the Child of Mary,
Mother of God,
the Word of the Father,
the King of nations,
the Saviour of mankind;
in union with Your heavenly Father
and the Holy Spirit,
You are One God
forever and ever, amen.epiphany prayer - 7 jan 2018

 

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SAINT of the DAY

Blessing of a Home at Epiphany – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Blessing of a Home at Epiphany – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Priest:  Peace be to this house.
All:  And to all who live here.

Priest:  Bless, O Lord, Almighty God,
this home, that in it there may be health,
chastity, strength of victory, humility,
goodness, and industry,
a fullness of law and the action of graces
through God the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit and that this blessing
may remain on this home
and on those who frequent it.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen..

After the blessing,
the initials of the Magi
(traditional names: Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar) but which can also be interpreted to mean Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means ” May Christ bless this house
are written with chalk over the main door way of the house, like this:
20 + C + M + B + 18
(the + is the Cross of our Salvation; the “18” stands for 2018;
change the year accordingly).house-blessing-7 jan 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SAINT of the DAY

The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ – 7 January: God reveals Himself to us

The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ
God reveals Himself to us04_Adoration_of_the_Magi_by Botticelli.jpg-800x500640px-Adoration_of_the_Magi_Tapestry_detailsolemnity of epiphany

The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the oldest Christian feasts, though, throughout the centuries, it has celebrated a variety of things.   Epiphany comes from a Greek verb meaning “to reveal” and all of the various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany are revelations of Christ to man.
Like many of the most ancient Christian feasts, Epiphany was first celebrated in the East, where it has been held from the beginning almost universally on 6 January.   Today, among both Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, the feast is known as Theophany—the revelation of God to man.
Epiphany originally celebrated four different events, in the following order of importance- the Baptism of the Lord, Christ’s first miracle, the changing of water into wine at the wedding in Cana, the Nativity of Christ and the visitation of the Wise Men or Magi.   Each of these is a revelation of God to man – at Christ’s Baptism, the Holy Spirit descends and the voice of God the Father is heard, declaring that Jesus is His Son,  at the wedding in Cana, the miracle reveals Christ’s divinity,  at the Nativity, the angels bear witness to Christ and the shepherds, representing the people of Israel, bow down before Him and at the visitation of the Magi, Christ’s divinity is revealed to the Gentiles—the other nations of the earth.
Eventually, the celebration of the Nativity was separated out, in the West, into Christmas and shortly thereafter, Western Christians adopted the Eastern feast of the Epiphany, still celebrating the Baptism, the first miracle and the visit from the Wise Men.   Thus, Epiphany came to mark the end of Christmastide—the Twelve Days of Christmas (celebrated in the song), which began with the revelation of Christ to Israel in His Birth and ended with the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles at Epiphany.
Over the centuries, the various celebrations were further separated in the West and now the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on the Sunday after today and the wedding at Cana is commemorated on the Sunday after the Baptism of the Lord.

EPIPHANY CUSTOMS:
Giving of Gifts:  In many parts of Europe, the celebration of Epiphany is at least as important as the celebration of Christmas. While in England and her historical colonies, the custom has long been to give gifts on Christmas Day itself, in Italy and other Mediterranean countries, Christians exchange gifts on Epiphany—the day on which the Wise Men brought their gifts to the Christ Child.

Blessing of our Homes:  the blessing of homes, on whose lintels are inscribed the Cross of salvation, together with the indication of the year and the initials of the three wise men (C+M+B), which stands for Caspar, Melchior and Balthassar (the traditional names of the 3 Magi) but which can also be interpreted to mean Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means ” May Christ bless this house” written in blessed chalk.   We put 20 + C + M + B + 18, using the initials of the Magi and the year, so that our coming and going would be in search of the Truth.   We are called to remember, each time we enter and leave our homes, that we are in search of Christ, that our mission is to find Him and follow Him.
In the absence of a priest the family gathers around the crib with lighted candles and prays:
Leader: “Peace be to this house and to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Reader: When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.
The word of the Lord.
ALL: Thanks be to God
All: Lord God of heaven and earth, You revealed Your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star.
Bless this house and all who live here and all who visit.
May we be blessed with health, kindness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law.
Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all.
Grant that we may always remain true to our mission of seeking and preaching
the most Holy Name of Jesus, our Lord.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.Three Kingsepiphany trad imageepiphany 2.EPIPHANY

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

7 January 2018 – Celebration of the Solemnity of Epiphany and Memorials of the Saints

Epiphany (Celebrated generally on the Sunday after 6 January) – Epiphany celebrates the visit of the three kings or wise men to the Christ Child, signifying the extension of salvation to the Gentiles.   The date of Epiphany, one of the oldest Christian feasts, is 6 January the 12th day after Christmas.   However, in most countries, the celebration of Epiphany is transferred to the Sunday that falls between January 2 and January 8 (inclusive).   Greece, Ireland, Italy and Poland continue to observe Epiphany on 6 January as do some dioceses in Germany.

AND just in case you wish to know and be ready:
When Is the Feast of the Epiphany in Future Years?

Here is the date of Epiphany and the date it will be observed in most countries, next year and in future years:
Epiphany 2018: Saturday, January 6, 2018 (transferred to Sunday, January 7, in the United States and most other countries)
Epiphany 2019: Sunday, January 6, 2019
Epiphany 2020: Monday, January 6, 2020 (generally transferred to Sunday, January 5)
Epiphany 2021: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 (generally transferred to Sunday January 2)
Epiphany 2022: Thursday, January 6, 2022 (generally transferred to Sunday January 2)
Epiphany 2023: Friday, January 6, 2023 (generally transferred to sUNDAY January 9)
Epiphany 2024: Saturday, January 6, 2024 (generally transferred to Sunday January 7)
Epiphany 2025: Monday, January 6, 2025 (generally transferred to Sunday January 5)
Epiphany 2026: Tuesday, January 6, 2026 (generally transferred to Sunday January 4)
Epiphany 2027: Wednesday, January 6, 2027 (generally transferred to Sunday, January 3)
Epiphany 2028: Thursday, January 6, 2028 (generally transferred to Sunday, January 2)
Epiphany 2029: Saturday, January 6, 2029 (generally transferred to Sunday, January 7)
Epiphany 2030: Sunday, January 6, 2030

Because Epiphany is one of the most important Christian feasts, it is a Holy Day of Obligation in most countries.

St Raymond of Penyafort/St Raymond of Peñafort (Optional Memorial)

St Aldric of Le Mans
Bl Ambrose Fernandez
St Anastasius of Sens
St Brannock of Braunton
St Candida of Greece
St Canute Lavard
St Cedd
St Clerus of Antioch
St Crispin I of Pavia
St Cronan Beg
St Emilian of Saujon
St Felix of Heraclea
Bl Franciscus Bae Gwan-gyeom
St Januarius of Heraclea
St Julian of Cagliari
St Kentigerna
St Lucian of Antioch
Bl Marie-Thérèse Haze
St Pallada of Greece
St Polyeuctus of Melitene
St Reinhold of Cologne
St Spolicostus of Greece
St Theodore of Egypt
St Tillo of Solignac
St Valentine of Passau
St Virginia of Ste-Verge
Bl Wittikund of Westphalia