Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD, WYD - World Youth Day

Thought for the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

Thought for the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

John challenges us Christians to the fundamental attitude of Christianity—total dependence on the Father, in Christ.   Except for the Mother of God, no one had a higher function in the unfolding of salvation.   Yet the least in the kingdom, Jesus said, is greater than he, for the pure gift that the Father gives.   The attractiveness as well as the austerity of John, his fierce courage in denouncing evil—all stem from his fundamental and total placing of his life within the will of God.

The Benedictus, below, is prayed every morning in the Breviary and so, the Church remembers this “forerunner of Jesus” at the beginning of every day.   The opening words of this Canticle are the source of its Latin title, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel”.

What does it mean for Catholics, that we sing this song about John the Baptists at the start of every new day?   After having been “silenced” by sleep throughout the night, God opens our mouths and one of the first things we do, is to sing this blessing of God, whose dawn breaks forth to shine on us and guide our way to peace.

In the Benedictus, we join ourselves to the mission of St John the Baptist, who came to prepare a way for the Lord by being a witness of God’s salvation, living a simple and penitential life and calling others to do the same.   Our work each day, then, is to use our voice – like Zechariah and his son – and the witness of our lives, to make God’s presence known wherever we go and to whom whomever we encounter.

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened and he spoke this prophecy:  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.

The Benedictus – Canticle of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and His forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has visited His people and redeemed them.

He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
in the house of David, His servant,
as He promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were His prophets of old.

A Saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who us.
So His love for our fathers is fulfilled
and His holy covenant remembered.

He swore to our father Abraham, our father, to grant us,
that free from fear and saved from the hands of our foes.
we might worship Him in justice and holiness
all the days of our lives, in His Presence.

As for you, little child,
you shall be called the prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare His ways before Him,

to make known to His people their salvation,
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving kindness of the heart of our God,
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death,
and to guide us into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened and he spoke this prophecy:  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.the benedictus - the birth of john the baptist - 24 june 2018 - from my lit of the hours

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS

Sunday Reflection – 24 June – Help to Holiness by St Alphonsus Liquori

Sunday Reflection – 24 June – Help to Holiness by St Alphonsus Liquori  (1696-1787)         Most Zealous Doctor

St Alphonsus helps us, with:
Help To Holiness – Desire And Resolution
Holiness means loving God.

To love God, we must first desire to love Him.
If we do not want something, we will, certainly go to little trouble to obtain it!
So it is with the love of God.
He that has a small wish to advance in divine love will become lukewarm and, continuing this tepidity,
will soon fall totally away from God.
On the other hand whoever aspires after holines, and makes daily efforts to advance, will, little by little, attain it.
Saint Teresa assures us:
God leaves no deisre without its reward.
But let us not trust to our own efforts, to advance in holiness but hope for all, from and through God.
He will give us strength which, of course, we do not possess.
I can do all things in him who strengthen me.
Philippians 4:13
Many desire holiness but never take the means to gain it!
They want to do great penance and practice great prayer,
but such desires are mere fancies.
Saint Teresa often said:
The devil has no dread of irresolute souls.

RESOLUTIONS

Let us then fix our minds in the ways of God.
Let us resolve to meditate each day on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us resign ourselves in peace to God’s plan for us.
Let us endeavour, in the time remaining to us, to give all to God.
Jesus has given Himself to us,
may God help us to give ourselves to Him.help to holiness - desire and resolution - 24 june 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

“The true secret of love consists in this:
we must forget self
like St John the Baptist
and exalt and glorify the Lord Jesus.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)the true secret of love is this - st peter julian eymard - 24 june 2018

“His name is John” (Lk 1:63)
…which in Hebrew means “God is benevolent”.
God is benevolent to human beings,
He wants them to live; He wants them to be saved.
God is benevolent to His people,
He wants to make of them a blessing, for all the nations of the earth.
God is benevolent to humanity,
He guides its pilgrim way, towards the land,
where peace and justice reign.
All this is contained in that name:
John!”his name is john - st john paul - 24 june 2018

“Look today to John the Baptist,
an enduring model of fidelity to God and His Law.
John prepared the way for Christ,
by the testimony of his word and his life.
Imitate him with docile and trusting generosity.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

(24 June 2001)look today to john - st john paul - 24 june 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

One Minute Reflection – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

“He was a burning and shining lamp”…John 5:35

REFLECTION – “Our Lord says that John is a lamp:  “He was a burning and shining lamp” (Jn 5:35).   But the light of a lamp pales, when the sun shines, it’s flame dies down, overcome by an even more radiant light.   What sensible person uses a lamp in full sunlight?…  Who would still come for John’s baptism of repentance (Mk 1:4) when Jesus’ baptism brings salvation?… St Maximus of Turin (?-c 420) Bishop – Sermon 99 ; PL 57, 535john 5 - 35 - he was a burning and shining lamp - but the light of a lamp pales - st maximus of turin - 24 june 2018

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You sent St John the Baptist, to the people of Israel to make them ready for Christ the Lord.   Give us the grace of joy in the Spirit and guide the hearts of all the faithful, in the way of salvation and peace, as they harken to the voice of John, the Lord’s herald and bring them safely to Jesus, whom John foretold.   St John the Baptist, may your intercession for the Church, bring us to the Light and the Way.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever amen.st john the baptist - pray for us - 24 june 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

Our Morning Offering – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

Prayer Before Holy Communion
By St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church

O Lord, my God,
I am not worthy,
that You should come into my soul
but I am glad that You will come to me,
because in Your loving kindness,
You desire to dwell in me.
You ask me to open the door of my soul,
which You alone have created,
so that You may enter into it,
with Your loving kindness
and dispel the darkness of my mind.
I believe that You will do this
for You did not turn away Mary Magdalene
when she approached You in tears.
Neither did You withhold forgiveness
from the tax collector,
who repented of his sins,
or from the good thief,
who asked to be received into Your kingdom.
Indeed, You numbered as Your friends
all who came to You with repentant hearts.
O God, You alone are blessed always,
now and forever.
Amenprayer before holy communion by st john chrysostom - 24 june 2018 - solemnity of the birth of john baptist

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers

The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist – 24 June

The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist – 24 June

young John the Baptist

“Today, 24 June, we are celebrating the Solemnity of St John the Baptist.   He is the only saint — with the exception of the Virgin Mary — whose birth the liturgy celebrates and it does so because it is closely connected with the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.   In fact, from the time when he was in his mother’s womb, John was the precursor of Jesus:  the Angel announced to Mary his miraculous conception as a sign that “nothing is impossible to God” (Lk 1:37), six months before the great miracle that brings us salvation, God’s union with man, brought about by the Holy Spirit.birth_of_st_john_the_baptist

The four Gospels place great emphasis on the figure of John the Baptist, the prophet who concludes the Old Testament and inaugurates the New, by identifying Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, the Anointed One of the Lord.  In fact, Jesus Himself was to speak of John in these terms:  “This is he of whom it is written ‘Behold I send my messenger before your face, / who shall prepare your way before you.   Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist;  yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he!” (Mt 11:10-11).

John’s father, Zechariah — Elizabeth’s husband and a relative of Mary — was a priest of Old Testament worship, he did not immediately believe in the announcement of such an unexpected fatherhood.   This is why he was left mute until the day of the circumcision of the child to whom he and his wife gave the name God had indicated to them, that is, John, which means “graced by God”.   Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Zechariah spoke thus of his son’s mission:  “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins” (Lk 1:76-77).Pontormo,_natività_del_battista_01

All this came to pass 30 years later when John began baptising people in the River Jordan, calling them to prepare themselves with this act of penance for the imminent coming of the Messiah, which God had revealed to them during their wanderings in the desert of Judaea.   This is why he was called the “Baptist”, the “Baptiser” (cf. Mt 3:1-6). When one day Jesus himself came from Nazareth to be baptised, John at first refused but then consented;  he saw the Holy Spirit settle on Jesus and heard the voice of the heavenly Father proclaiming him His Son (cf. Mt 3:13-17).   However, the Baptist’s mission was not yet complete.   Shortly afterwards he was also asked to precede Jesus in a violent death:   John was beheaded in King Herod’s prison and thus bore a full witness to the Lamb of God who had recognised him and publicly pointed him out beforehand.Domenico_di_bartolo,_desco_da_nozze_con_nascita_del_battista,_1420-40_ca._(siena)_01

Dear friends, the Virgin Mary helped her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth when she was expecting John to bring her pregnancy to completion.   May she help all people to follow Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, whom the Baptist proclaimed with deep humility and prophetic fervour.”….Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, 24 June 2012

Here is a great sermon from St Augustine on the reason for this Solemnity:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-saint-john-the-baptist-24-june/Bartolomé_Esteban_Perez_Murillo_-_St_John_the_Baptist_as_a_Boy_-_WGA16373

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist and Memorials of the Saints – 24 June

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (Solemnity) (2018)

St Aglibert of Créteil
St Agoard of Créteil
St Alena of Brussels
St Amphibalus of Verulam
St Anastasia Guadalupe García Zavala
St Bartholomew of Farne
Bl Christopher de Albarran
St Erembert I of Kremsmünster
St Faustus of Rome and Companions
St Festus of Rome
St Germoc
St Gohardus of Nantes
Bl Henry of Auxerre/the Hagiographer
St Ivan of Bohemia
St John of Rome
St John of Tuy
St Joseph Yuan Zaide
Bl Maksymilian Binkiewicz
St Rumold
St Simplicio of Autun
Bl Theodgar of Vestervig
St Theodulphus of Lobbes

Martyrs of Satala: Seven Christian brothers who were soldiers in the imperial Roman army. They were kicked out of the military, exiled and eventually martyred in the persecutions of Maximian. We know little more about them than their names – Cyriacus, Firminus, Firmus, Longinus, Pharnacius, Heros and Orentius. The martyrdoms occurred in c311 at assorted locations around the Black Sea.