Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Seven – 22 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Seven – 22 December

Day Seven

Flight Of The Child Jesus Into Egypt

Reflection:
Although the Son of God came from heaven to save men, scarcely was He born when men began to persecute Him to death.
Herod, fearing that this Child would deprive Him of his kingdom, seeks to destroy His life.  But St Joseph is warned by an angel in a dream to take the Infant and His Mother and flee into Egypt.   Joseph obeys at once and tells Mary about it.
He takes the few tools of his trade, that he may use them to gain a livelihood in Egypt for himself and his poor family.
Mary wraps up a small bundle of clothes for the use of her little Son and then, going to the crib, she says with tears in her eyes to her sleeping Child, “O my Son and my God!
You have come from heaven to save men but hardly are You born when they seek to take Your life.”
Lifting Him meanwhile in her arms and continuing to weep, she sets out that same night with Joseph on the road to Egypt.

Let us consider how much these holy wanderers must have suffered in making so long a journey, deprived of every comfort.   The divine Child was not yet able to walk and so Mary and Joseph had to take turns in carrying Him in their arms.
During their journey through the desert towards Egypt they had to spend several nights in the open air, with the bare ground for their bed.
The cold makes the Infant cry and Mary and Joseph weep in pity for Him.
And who would not weep at thus seeing the Son of God poor and persecuted, a fugitive on earth, that He might not be killed by His enemies!day-seven-novena-to-the-christ-child-22-dec-2017

Prayer:
Dear Infant Jesus, crying so bitterly!
Well have You reason to weep in seeing Yourself persecuted by men
whom You loved so much.
I, too, O God, have once persecuted You by my sins.
But You know that now I love You more than myself
and that nothing pains me more, than the thought
that I have so often spurned You, my sovereign Good.
Forgive me, O Jesus and let me bear You with me, in my heart
in all the rest of the journey that I have still to make through life,
so that together with You, I may enter into eternity.
So often have I driven You from my soul by my sins.
But now I love You above all things
and I regret above other misfortunes,
that I have offended You.
I wish to leave You no more, my beloved Lord.
But do You give me the strength to resist temptations.
Never permit me to be separated from You again.
Let me rather die than ever again lose Your good grace.
O Mary, my hope, make me always live in God’s love
and then die in loving Him.   Amen

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 22 December – – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:46-56 – The Canticle of the Magnificat

Thought for the Day – 22 December – – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:46-56 – The Canticle of the Magnificat

Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” 541

Mary’s Magnificat—a portrait, so to speak, of her soul—is entirely woven from threads of Holy Scripture, threads drawn from the Word of God.   Here we see, how completely at home Mary is, with the Word of God, with ease she moves in and out of it.   She speaks and thinks with the Word of God;  the Word of God becomes her word and her word issues from the Word of God.   Here we see how her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God, how her will is one with the will of God.   Since Mary is completely imbued with the Word of God, she is able to become the Mother of the Word Incarnate.since mary is completely imbued with the word - pope benedict the magnificat 22dec2018

Finally, Mary is a woman who loves.   How could it be otherwise?   As a believer who in faith thinks with God’s thoughts and wills with God’s will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves.   We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel.   We see it in the delicacy with which she recognises the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus.   We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus’ public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family and that the Mother’s hour will come only with the Cross…   At the hour of Pentecost, it will be the disciples who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!holy mary mother of god - pray for us - 7 may 2018

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION

Quote of the Day – 22 December – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:46-56

Quote of the Day – 22 December – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:46-56

“The exultation of the humble maiden of Galilee,
expressed in the Canticle of the Magnificat,
becomes the song of all humanity,
which sees with satisfaction,
the Lord stoop over all men and all women,
humble creatures and assume them with Him into heaven.”

Pope Francis – Angelus, 15 August 2016the exultation of the humble maiden of galilee -popefrancis - 22dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 22 December

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

22 December

The sorrow that the ingratitude of humankind has caused Jesus

“Consider that Saint Francis of Assisi, during the days of the holy Nativity, went about the highways and woods with sighs and tears and inconsolable lamentations.   When asked the reason, he responded, “Why should I not weep when I see that love is not loved! I see a God who became human for the love of humanity and humanity that is ungrateful to this God.” Now, if this ingratitude caused so much sorrow in the heart of St Francis, consider how much more it must have afflicted the heart of Jesus Christ.   The loving infant does not deserve this response.   He came from heaven to suffer and die for us, so that we might love Him.   How can we remain ungrateful?

O my Jesus, I love You and will always love You.   Inflame my heart every day with the memory of Your love for me.   Mary, my mother, help me to live a life grateful to God, who has loved me, even after I have so greatly offended Him.”

Scripture

“…For he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.”…Luke 1:49

Prayer

O KING OF ALL NATIONS
and keystone of the Church
come and save man,
whom You formed from the dust!o-king-of-all-nations-22-dec-2017

Advent Action
“The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”   Mary looks back to the beginning of her song, where she said:  My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Only that soul for whom the Lord in His love does great things can proclaim His greatness with fitting praise and encourage those who share her desire and purpose, saying – ‘join with me in proclaiming the greatness of the Lord, let us extol His name together.'”…St Bede the Venerable (673-735) – Father & Doctor

Have you ever been overcome by the goodness of God?   Today’s Scripture presents the images of Hannah and Mary, who are both overcome by God’s goodness.   Lord, today, I too want to join Your mother in her hymn of thanksgiving.   On the threshold of Christmas, this is the best prayer that we humans can raise to the Almighty God.   Let us make this song our own – our continual song of gratitude!   Together with Mary, let us rejoice for the fulfilment of the promise of which You, already in her womb, are the fruit and proof.   Lord, make us too partners in the revolution that You begin, with Your incarnation – the revolution that pulls down the mighty and exalts the poor and the powerless.advent with st alphonsus - luke 1 49 for he who is mighty 22 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Our Morning Offering – 22 December – The Magnificat, The Canticle of Mary

Our Morning Offering – 22 December

The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is his Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.the-magnificat-luke-1-46-55-22dec2018 today's gospel

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 December – Blessed Jutta of Disibodenberg OSB (c 1084-1136)

Saint of the Day – 22 December – Blessed Jutta of Disibodenberg OSB (c 1084-1136) – Religious Nun of the Benedictine Order, Foundress and Abbess, Spiritual Director (most notably of St Hildegard of Bingen), Mystic, miracle worker – born c 1084 in Spanheim, Rhineland-Palatinate (in modern Germany) and died on 22 December 1136 at Disibodenberg Abbey, Germany of natural causes.

“Jutta was like a river with many tributaries, overflowing with the grace of God.” – St Hildegard of Bingen OSB (1098-1179) Doctor of the Church.

Jutta, anchoress and foundress of the women’s cloister at Disibodenberg and spiritual mother to Hildegard, was born to Count Stephan II of Sponheim and his wife Sophia of Formbach in 1092.

Her father died when she was three and she was “nurtured with great care by her widowed mother”.   At the age of twelve when “she was laid low by a severe illness, . . . she vowed to God that if she survived she would undertake a holy way of life”.   After recovering, the beautiful girl had many suitors.   “Many nobles and wealthy landowners were coming to her, even from far-off places, panting to be joined to her in the marriage union.”

640px-Kloster_Disibodenberg_02
Disibodenberg ruins

Jutta kept her vow and at the age of twenty, with two companions, she was enclosed as an anchoress attached to the monastery at Disibodenberg.   Jutta, instead of entering the convent at an early age, became an “anchoress,” a symbolic “anchor” for the world to God and thus she closed herself for life in a one-room shelter, with only a small window through which food was passed in, and refused to be taken out.   This hut was next to the Benedictine monastery on Disibodenberg, where she was abbess.   She tutored several female pupils from wealthy families and they lived with her in her hermitage.   She taught and raised them all, but most notably the child Hildegard of Bingen.   On the Day of All Saints, 1 November 1112, Hildegard was given over as an oblate into the care of Jutta of Sponheim, who was only six years Hildegard’s elder.

Jutta taught Hildegard to write, to read the collection of psalms used in the liturgy and to chant the Opus Dei (‘work of God’), the weekly sequential recitation of the Canonical hours.   She probably also taught Hildegard to play the zither-like string instrument called the psaltery.

JDie_achtjährige_Hildegard_von_Bingen_(Mitte)_wird_zu_Jutta_von_Sponheim_(Mitte_rechts)_auf_den_Disibodenberg_gebracht
Eight-year-old Hildegard von Bingen is brought to Jutta

Throughout her religious life, Jutta practised extraordinary penance and became known as a healer.   “Through her consoling words, many were restored from all kinds of wretched conditions.”   She was so renowned for her wisdom that “all those from round about of whatever rank, nobles or common people, rich or poor, pilgrims or tenants, were asking only after the anchoress, the lady Jutta; they waited on her alone as on a heavenly oracle”.

On 2 December 1136, Jutta had a vision of a saint beloved by the Germans.   “Do not be afraid, for I am Oswald, once king of the English people and I have now come to you, that I might let you know the day of your departure, which you have obtained today from the Lord by your daily prayers.”

For the next twenty days, suffering with fever, Jutta comforted her ten disciples.   She received Viaticum almost every day and on 22 December she died.   Hildegard and two other disciples prepared her body for burial.

Hildegard succeeded Jutta as abbess and when she left Disibodenberg to found her own convent at Rupertsberg, it was with the financial assistance of Jutta’s brother, Count Meinhard.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 22 December

St Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) – Universal optional memorial (except in the USA which is on 13 November)
About St Frances: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/saint-of-the-day-22-december-st-frances-xavier-cabrini-m-s-c-1850-1917/

St Abban of New Ross
Bl Adam of Saxony
St Amaswinthus of Málaga
St Athernaise of Fife
St Bertheid of Münster
St Chaeremon of Nilopolis
St Flavian of Acquapendente
St Honoratus of Toulouse
St Hunger of Utrecht
St Ischirione of Alexandria
Bl Jutta of Disibodenberg OSB (c 1084-1136)
Bl Ottone of Toulouse
Bl Thomas Holland
St Zeno of Nicomedia

Martyrs of Ostia – (3 saints): A group of Christians martyred together. The only details about them to survive are three names – Demetrius, Florus and Honoratus. They were martyred at Ostia, Italy.

Martyrs of Rhaitu – (43 saints): 43 monks martyred by Blemmyes, in Raíthu, Egypt, date unknown.

Martyrs of Via Lavicana – (30 saints): A group of 30 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian.
c 303 in Rome, Italy and were buried between two bay trees on the Via Lavicana outside Rome.