Posted in MORNING Prayers, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2018: Day Three – 20 January

The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2018
Day Three – 20 January

BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS FOR THE EIGHT DAYS
Your right hand, O Lord,
glorious in power
(Ex 15:6)

Day 3:  Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit

Exodus 3:4-10  God frees those who are in human bondage

Psalm 24:1-6  Lord, we are the people who seek your face

1 Corinthians 6:9-20  Therefore glorify God in your body

Matthew 18:1-7  Woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!

Many Christian churches in the Caribbean share a concern about the issue of pornography, especially via the internet.   Pornography has destructive consequences for human dignity, particularly for children and young people.   Like slavery, it commodifies human beings, ensnares those addicted to it and damages wholesome loving relationships.

Reflection

The book of Exodus demonstrates God’s concern for people in human bondage.   God’s revelation to Moses at the burning bush was a powerful declaration of his will to free his people.   God observed their misery, heard their cry and so came to deliver them. God still hears the cry of those who are subject to enslavement today and wills to deliver them.   While sexuality is a gift of God for human relationships and the expression of intimacy, the misuse of this gift through pornography enslaves and devalues both those caught up in producing it and those who consume it.   God is not impervious to their plight and Christians are called to be similarly concerned.

St Paul writes that we are called to give glory to God in our own bodies, which means that every part of our lives, including our relationships, can and should be an offering pleasing to God.   Christians must work together for the kind of society that upholds human dignity and does not put a stumbling block before any of God’s little ones but, rather, enables them to live in the freedom which is God’s will for them.

Prayer

By Your heavenly grace, O God,
restore us in mind and body,
create in us a clean heart and a pure mind
that we may give glory to Your Name.

May the churches attain unity of purpose
for the sanctification of Your people,
through Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

The right hand of God
is healing in our land,
healing broken bodies, minds and souls;
so wondrous is its touch,
with love that means so much,
when we’re healed
by the right hand of God.DAY 3 - 20 JAN - OCTAVE FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY - 20 JAN 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January

Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January

Day FIVE – 20 January

“Conversion to Christ,” says Pope Benedict XVI, “ultimately means this:  to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept one’s own need – the need of others and of God, the need of His forgiveness and His friendship.”

LET US PRAY:

Glorious St Paul,
your conversion is a powerful witness to the world
that God loves us and does not give up on us,
no matter how far we stray.
May every circumstante of my life be an occasion
to change my way of thinking,
to renounce self-will and
to surrender myself to the wisdom and tenderness of Jesus Christ
who is acting to make me His saint.
Pray that I may love God’s will and providence for me.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions
………………………………
(mention your request)

I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen

St Paul Pray for us!day5novenastpaul-2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St Francis de Sales Day SIX – 20 January

Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day SIX – 20 January

“Do not pay any attention to the kind of work you do but rather to the honour that it brings to God, even though it may seem quite trivial.   Desire only to do the Divine Will, following Divine Providence, which is the disposition of Divine Wisdom.   In a word, if your works are pleasing to God and recognised as such, that is all that matters.   Work hard every day at increasing your purity of heart, which consists in appraising things and weighing them in the balance of God’s will.” (St Francis de Sales Letters 280; O. XIII, p. 53)

O blessed Francis de Sales,
who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbour,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people, especially
………………..…………….
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven even as I walk each day
with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer.
…………………….(mention your particular need)
O God, for the salvation of all, you desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many along the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we, infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

St Francis de Sales, pray for us.DAY SIX - ST FRANCIS DE SALES NOVENA - 20 JAN 2018jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 20 January – The Memorial of St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)

Thought for the Day – 20 January – The Memorial of St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)

By contemplating death, we focus our minds on how better to live, so that when the moment comes–as it does for all of us–we need not be afraid or ashamed of our nakedness in the sight of God, as our first parents were, in the rebellion of original sin, which brought death into the world.
As the ancient saying commands us, memento mori, remember that you must die.
How we live our lives, will determine, whether we will join with the saints, in the victory of Christ over death.   Indeed, the saints are excellent examples for us, of how to live–and how to die–with grace, love and forgiveness.

St Sebastian, Martyr for Christ, Pray for us!  (The Image is the Bernini Statue in the Vatican)st sebastian - pray for us no 2- 20 jan 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – – 20 January – The Memorial of St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)

Quote/s of the Day – – 20 January – The Memorial of St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)

“Last Words”

“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”

St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)
(Last words addressed to his executioners)lord jesus, receive my spirit - st sebastian - 20 jan 2018

“If all the swords in England were pointed
against my head, your threats would not move me.
I am ready to die for my Lord,
that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.”

St Thomas à Becket, Martyr (1118-1170)
(Last words addressed to his murderers)if all the swords - st thomas a becket - 20 jan 2018

“Long live Christ the King!”
“Viva Cristo Rey!”

Blessed Miguel Pro, Martyr (1891-1927)
(Last words addressed to his executioners)viva cristo rey - bl miguel pro - 20 jan 2018

“This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively:
if I have held communication with foreigners,
it has been for my religion and for my God.
It is for Him that I die.
My immortal life is on the point of beginning.
Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death
because God has eternal chastisements in store
for those who have refused to know Him.”

St Andrew Kim Taegon, Martyr (1821-1846)
(Last words addressed to his murderers)this is my last hour of life - st andrew kim taegon - 20 sept 2017

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 20 January – The Memorial of St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)

One Minute Reflection – 20 January – The Memorial of St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)

What will separate us from the love of Christ?   Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?   …No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us   For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.…Romans 8:35,37-39romans 8-35,37-39

REFLECTION – “From the very beginning of the life of the Church, Christians have always believed that the blood of martyrs is a seed for Christians, as Tertullian said.   Today too, in a dramatic way, the blood of a great number of Christian martyrs continues to be shed on the field of the world,with the certain hope that will bear fruit in a rich harvest of holiness, justice, reconciliation and love of God.   But we must remember that one is not born a martyr.   Archbishop Romero remarked, We must be willing to die for our faith, even if the Lord does not grant us this honour. … Giving life does not only mean being assassinated;  giving life, having the spirit of martyrdom, means offering it in silence, in prayer, in the honest fulfillment of one’s duty;  in this silence of everyday life, giving life a little at a time.’”...Pope Francis 30 October 2015but we must remember that one - pope francis - 20 jan 2018

PRAYER – Grant us, Lord, the spirit of fortitude.   Teach us, by the example of St Sebastian, to render obedience, to you rather than to men and by his prayer, may we gain courage in the face of evil.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st sebastian - pray for us - 20 jan 2018

sebastian-2-pray for us 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 20 January

Our Morning Offering – 20 January

I love You, O my God
By St John Vianney (1786-1859)

I love You, O my God
and my only desire is to love You
until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely lovable God,
and I would rather die loving You,
than live for an instant without loving You.
I love you, O my God
and I desire only to go to heaven
to have the happiness
of loving You perfectly.
I love You, O my God
and my only fear is to go to hell
because one will not have
the sweet solace of loving You there.
O my God,
if my tongue cannot say
at all times that I love You,
at least I want my heart
to repeat it to You as I breathe.
Ah! Do me the grace to suffer
while loving You,
to love You while suffering.
And, that when I die, I not only will love You
but experience it in my heart.
I beg You that the closer I come to my final end,
You will increase and perfect my love for You, amen.i love you o my god - st john vianney - 20 jan 2018

 

 

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 20 January – St Sebastian (Died c 288)

Saint of the Day – 20 January – St Sebastian Martyr, Roman Soldier.  He was born in Milan and was martyred in c 288.  Patronages – against cattle disease, against plague, diseased cattle, dying people, plague victims, against enemies of religion, enemies of religion, archers, armourers,arrowsmiths, athletes, bookbinders, fletchers, gardeners, gunsmiths, hardware stores,ironmongers, lace makers, lace workers, lead workers, masons, police officers, racquet makers, soldiers, stone masons, stonecutters, Pontifical Swiss Guards, World Youth Day 2013, Bacolod, Philippines, diocese of, Tarlac, Philippines, diocese of, 22 cities.   Attributes –  arrows, crown, semi- naked youth with arrows piercing his body.   St Sebastian was martyred during the Roman emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians.  He is commonly depicted in art and literature tied to a post or tree and shot through with arrows.   Despite this being the most common artistic depiction of Sebastian, he was rescued and healed by Irene of Rome.   Shortly afterwards he went to Diocletian to warn him about his sins and as a result was clubbed to death.   The details of Saint Sebastian’s martyrdom were first spoken of by 4th-century bishop Ambrose of Milan (Saint Ambrose), in his sermon (number 22) on Psalm 118.   Ambrose stated that Sebastian came from Milan and that he was already venerated there at that time.

Saint_Sébastien_Fabriano_Musée_de_Lille_130108SOD-0120-SaintSebastian-790x480

Although there is no doubt that there was a Roman martyr named Sebastian and that devotion to him dates back to the fourth century, the earliest surviving life of the saint was written a century or more after his death.   According to this story Sebastian was a Praetorian, a member of an elite troop of soldiers who served as the emperor’s bodyguard.   When Emperor Diocletian began his persecution of the Church, Sebastian used his status to visit Christians in prison.   This was dangerous business and it was not long before he was denounced to the emperor.

Enraged that one of his own bodyguards was a Christian, Diocletian ordered the Praetorians to take Sebastian back to their camp and shoot him to death with arrows.  After performing this deadly evil on their former comrade, the Praetorians assumed that Sebastian was dead.   So did everyone else who heard of his martyrdom. sebastian statue

After sunset a Christian woman named Irene crept into the Praetorians’ camp to retrieve the body and give it a Christian burial.   As Irene and her serving woman cut Sebastian down, they heard him groan.   Incredibly, he was still alive.st-sebastian-tended-by-st-ireneRegnier, Nicolas, c.1590-1667; St Sebastian Tended by the Holy IreneSebastian

Instead of carrying him to the catacombs for burial, Irene brought Sebastian back to her house where she and her servant nursed him.   As soon as his strength returned, Sebastian went off to confront Diocletian.   He found the emperor on the steps of the imperial palace.   Furious that his former bodyguard was still alive, Diocletian demanded of his entourage, “Did I not sentence this man to be shot to death with arrows?”   But Sebastian answered for the emperor’s courtiers.   He had been made a target for archers, “But the Lord kept me alive so I could return and rebuke you for treating the servants of Christ so cruelly.”

This time the emperor took no chances, he ordered his guard to beat Sebastian to death there on the palace steps, while he watched.   800px-tytgadt_-_martyrs_death_of_st_sebastian1

Once he was certain that Sebastian truly was dead, Diocletian had the martyr’s body dumped into the Cloaca Maxima, Rome’s main sewer.   Nonetheless, Christians recovered it and buried Sebastian in a catacomb known ever since as San Sebastiano.RomaSanSebastianosebastian - Andrea Boscoli

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 20 January

St Fabian, Pope (Optional Memorial)
St Sebastian (Optional Memorial)

St Ascla of Antinoe
Bl Basil Anthony Marie Moreau
St Basilides the Senator
St Bassus the Senator
Bl Benedict Ricasoli
Bl Bernardo of Poncelli
Bl Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi
St Daniel of Cambron
Bl Didier of Thérouanne
St Eusebius the Senator
St Eustochia Calafato
St Euthymius the Great
St Eutyches the Senator
Fechin of Fobhar
Bl Francesco Paoli
St Henry of Uppsalla
Bl Jeroni Fábregas Camí
St Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata Concezione
St Molagga of Fermoy
St Neophytus of Nicaea
St Stephen Min Kuk-ka
St Wulfsin