Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Eight – 23 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child

Day Eight
The Life Of The Child Jesus In Egypt And In Nazareth.

Our Blessed Redeemer spent the first part of His childhood in Egypt, leading there for several years, a life of poverty and humiliation.   In that land Joseph and Mary were foreigners and strangers, having there neither relatives nor friends.
Only with difficulty could they earn their daily bread by the labour of their hands.
Their home was poor, their bed was poor, their food was poor.   Here Mary weaned Jesus, dipping a piece of bread in water, she would put it in the sacred mouth of her Son.
Here she made His first little garments and clothed Him with them.
Here the Child Jesus took His first steps, stumbling and falling as other children first do.
Here too He spoke His first words but stammeringly. O wonder of wonders!
To what has not God lowered Himself for love of us!
A God stumbling and falling as He walks! A God stammering in His speech!

Not unlike this was the poor and humble life that Jesus led in Nazareth after His return from Egypt.   There, until He was thirty years old, He lived as a simple servant or workman in a carpenter shop, taking orders form Joseph and Mary.   “And He was subject to them.”   Jesus went to fetch the water, He opened and closed the shop, He swept the house, gathered the fragments of wood for the fire and toiled all day long, helping Joseph in his work.
Yet who is this?   God Himself, serving as a apprentice!
The omnipotent God, who with less than a flick of His finger created the whole universe, here sweating at the task of planing a piece of work!   Should not the mere thought of this move us to love Him?

O Jesus, my Saviour!
When I consider how, for love of me, You didst spend thirty years of Your life hidden
and unknown in a poor workshop, how can I desire the pleasures and honours and riches of the world?
Gladly do I renounce all these things, since I wish to be Your companion on this earth,
poor as you were, mortified and humble as You were,
so that I may hope to be able one day to enjoy Your companionship in heaven.
What are all the treasures and kingdoms of this world?
You, O Jesus, are my only treasure, my only Good!
I keenly regret the many times in the past when I spurned
Your friendship in order to satisfy my foolish whims.
I am sorry for them with all my heart.
For the future I would rather lose my life a thousand times
than lose Your grace by sin.
I wish never to offend You again but always to love You.
Help me to remain faithful to You until death.
O Mary, you are the refuge of sinners, you are my hope. Amen


Sunday Reflection – 23 December – The Eucharistic Humility of God (Excerpt)

Sunday Reflection – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – The Eucharistic Humility of God (Excerpt)

Because humility belongs to God alone
who made it His own in the mystery of the Incarnation,
and who continues to make it His own
so often as the mystic words are uttered by a priest
over a little bread and a little wine mixed with water:
“This is My Body. This is the chalice of My Blood.”
Here is the Mysterium Fidei:
the Eucharistic Humility of God.
Eat the Body of Christ and digest the Divine Humility.
Drink the Blood of Christ;
it is the elixir of those who would hide themselves with Christ in God.
Since the event of the Incarnation
–the descent of God into the Virgin’s womb,
in view of His descent into death’s dark tomb–
and so often as Holy Mass is celebrated
–the descent of God into the frail appearance of Bread
and into the taste and fragrance and wetness
of a few drops of wine–
humility can be found nowhere else.
The very least and last of the guests
has become The Host,
and The Host
has made Himself the very least and last of the guests.
Tremble, then, to adore Him,
and having adored Him, receive Him,
that your soul may become the throne of the Humble Hidden God
and His humility your most cherished treasure.
“Learn from Me,” He says,
“for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29),
and again,
“Everyone that exalts himself shall be humbled,
and he that humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

Fr ‘Dom’ Marktremble then to adore him - fr dom mark vultus christi 23 dec 2018 sun reflection


Thought for the Day – 23 December – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

Thought for the Day – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Luke 1:39-40

“When the Holy Spirit touches a heart, He puts to flight all tepidity.   He loves diligence and promptitude and is the enemy of procrastination and delays in the performance of the divine will… “Mary set out in haste”…

What graces and favours must have descended upon Zechariah’s house when the Virgin entered it?   If Abraham received so many graces for having given hospitality to three angels in his tent… what graces and how many heavenly blessings must have descended upon the house of Zechariah into which entered the Angel of the Great Counsel (Is 9:5, Septuagint), that true Jacob and Divine Prophet, the true Ark of the Covenant, Our Lord enclosed within the womb of Mary!   Indeed, the whole house was overcome with joy; the infant leapt with joy, the father recovered his speech, the mother was filled with the Holy Spirit and received the gift of prophecy, for on seeing this blessed Lady enter her house she exclaimed:  “Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to visit me?”… And Mary, hearing what her kinswoman, Elizabeth, said in her praise, humbled herself and referred all the glory to God.   Then declaring that all her happiness came from the fact that God had looked upon His servant in her lowliness, she intoned that beautiful and wonderful canticle, the Magnificat.

Oh, how overwhelmed with joy we should be when visited by this divine Saviour in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar and by the interior graces we receive daily through the many inspirations and words He speaks to our hearts!”…St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

Come, Lord Jesus Come!come-lord-jesus-come-23 DEC 2018 HOLY COMMUNION AND ADVENT

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!holy mary mother of god pray for us sinners - 4 may 2018


Quote of the Day – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Quote of the Day – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Jesus Christ, the God-Man,
was born in a manger and is spiritually reborn on the altar.
He suffered on Calvary
and continues to offer Himself on the altar.
In His earthly life, He spread His teaching
and worked miracles among the crowds.
In the Eucharist, He spans the centuries
and communicates Himself to all.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchjesus-christ-the-god-man-st-john-chrysostom-23-dec-20171


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

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Today’s Gospel:  Luke 1:39-45

23 December

God’s love is demonstrated by the birth of Jesus

“Consider the love of God.   It was always present but did not always appear.    It was first promised in many prophecies and foreshadowed by many figures but, at the birth of our Redeemer, this divine love did indeed appear.   But despite the birth of Jesus, why is it that so many people have not known God’s love and so many people seem ignorant of His love? This is the reason – “The light of the world has come into the world and humanity loves darkness rather than the light.” They have not known Him and they do not know Him because they do not wish to know Him, loving rather the darkness of sin than the light of grace.   Let each one determine this day not to be numbered among those unhappy souls who prefer the darkness.

O my holy Infant, now I see You lying on the straw, poor, afflicted and forsaken.   I have been one of those ungrateful ones who do not know You.    Help me never to forget You again.”


Restore us, O God;
let thy face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:3advent with st alphonsus psalm 80 3 restore us o lord -23dec2018


O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!emmanuel-king-and-lawgiver-23-dec-2017

Advent Action
Carrying You in her womb, Your mother rushes to meet Elizabeth.   What an awesome moment that meeting turns out to be!   You are already on duty as our Redeemer, sanctifying John in his mother’s womb. In fact, the child in Elizabeth’s womb, responds to Your presence, as the mother, filled with the Holy Spirit, bears witness to it.
As these final days of this preparatory Season draw to a close, there is still time to allow body, mind and heart to be attuned to the transforming intervention of Jesus, God-in-the-flesh.   There is still time to permit body, mind and heart to see “the plan” already at work in life, especially in those dark and difficult moments of life.   There is still time for body, mind and heart to cry out to the Holy Spirit for a zealous and determined connection with the Person Jesus, who pours His abundant joy into every aspect of our lives.
Lord, grant me the grace, to bring Your joy to all I meet along the path of life.  May Your presence in my heart, as in Mary’s womb, bring salvation to all!
“Being awake for God and for other people – that is the kind of ‘waking’ that Advent has in mind, the wakefulness which discovers the light and brightens the world!” (Pope Benedict XVI – The Light of a new humanity p 19)


Our Morning Offering – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Our Morning Offering – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Act of Oblation before Holy Communion
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Lord, all things in heaven and on earth
are Yours,
I desire to give myself to You
in willing abandonment
and to remain Yours forever.
Lord, in simplicity of heart,
I offer myself to You this day,
always to be Your obedient servant
and a sacrifice of perpetual praise.
Accept me with the Holy Sacrifice
of Your precious Body,
which I offer You today
in the presence of Your assisting Angels,
for my salvation
and that of all Your people.
Amenact of oblation before holy comm thomas a kempis 23 dec 2018 4 advent

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 December – St John of Kanty (1390-1473) Patron of Poland and Lithuania

Saint of the Day – 23 December – St John of Kanty (1390-1473) Patron of Poland and Lithuaniajohn Jan-Kanty-1024x803

To most Catholics, St John of Kanty—otherwise known as John Kanty or John Cantius—is an obscure saint but even in Europe, probably few people know of Pope John Paul II’s deep and lifelong devotion to this professor saint.   Only 13 miles from the Holy Father’s own birthplace, John was born in the small southern Polish town of Kanty on June 24, 1390.   At the age of 23, he registered for studies at the Jagiellonian University, located in the not too distant city of Krakow—then, the capital of the Polish Kingdom.   Founded 1364 by royal decree, it was the same university at which astronomer, Nicolas Copernicus, would study almost 80 years later.   Enrolled in the Department of Liberal Arts, John became a doctor of philosophy in 1418.   During the following three years, he undertook further studies in preparation for the priesthood, while supporting himself by conducting philosophy classes at the university.

Immediately following ordination, he accepted a position as rector at the prestigious school of the Canons Regular of the Most Holy Sepulchre in Miechow.   That such a school would offer him this position at his relatively young age was evidence of John’s exceptional intellect and talents.   It was there in conducting formation classes for the young novices that he became firmly grounded in the writings and spirituality of St Augustine.snip st john of kanty graphic

In 1429, a position became vacant in the Philosophy Department at the Jagiellonian University.   John quickly returned to Krakow for the Job, taking up residence at the university where he remained until his death.   He also began studies in theology and after 13 long years of study intertwined with teaching and administrative duties as head of the Philosophy Department, he finally received his doctorate.   Later, after the death of his mentor, the eminent theologian Benedykt Hesse, John assumed directorship of the university’s Theology Department.

As most learned men of his day, John spent many of his free hours hand copying manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures, theological tracts and other scholarly works. Although only 26 volumes have survived to our time, their total of over 18,000 pages is a testament to his exceptional industriousness.Jan-Kanty

During the course of his life in Krakow, John became well known among the city’s residents for his generosity and compassion toward the poor, always sacrificing his own needs in order to help those less fortunate.   He felt a special affinity toward needy students at the university, helping to care for their spiritual, physica, and academic needs.   Whether it was in the classroom or in the pulpit, everyone knew him as a staunch defender of the faith and enemy of heretics.St john cantinus my edit

By the time the Master from Kanty died on 24 December 1473, the people of Krakow already considered him a very holy man.   That his opinion was wholly justified can be evidenced by the numerous favours and miracles attributed to John’s intercession beginning immediately following his death.   Before long, John from Kanty became known widely throughout Europe, drawing pilgrims from many countries to his tomb in the university’s Collegiate Church of St Anne.   Despite this, the process for his beatification did not begin until 150 years later.   Finally, in 1676, Pope Clement XIII declared him a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, proclaiming 20 October as his feast day.

Throughout his many years in Krakow, our philosopher Pontiff drew much inspiration at the grave of his patron saint of learning.   It was no surprise, therefore, that during his 1997 pilgrimage to Poland, he once more prayed at the Saint’s tomb.   There, during a special gathering with professors from the Jagiellonian -both his and S. John’s alma mater— he alluded to the Master from Kanty when he stated:  “Knowledge and wisdom seek a covenant with holiness.”st john of kanty statue

Saint John Kanty’s feast day was moved in 1969 it was to 23 December the day before the anniversary of his death, which occurred on Christmas Eve, john kanty

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saionts – 23 December

St John of Kanty/Cantius (1390-1473) (Optional Memorial)
Full Biography:

St Besa of Egypt
Bl Bincema
St Dagobert II of Austrasia
Bl Epifanio Gómez Alvaro
St Frithbert of Hexham
Bl Hartmann of Brixen
Bl Herman of Scheda
Bl James Aymerich
St John Cirita
St John Stone
St Joseph Cho Yun-ho
St Mardonius of Rome
St Mazota of Abernethy
St Migdonius of Rome
St Nicolás Factor-Estaña
St Servulus of Rome
St Thorlac Thorhallsson
St Victoria
St Vintila of Orensee

Martyred Dominicans of Santander – (9 beati) – Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Bernardino Irurzun Otermín
• Blessed Eleuterio Marne Mansilla
• Blessed Eliseo Miguel Lagro
• Blessed Enrique Cañal Gómez
• Blessed Enrique Izquierdo Palacios
• Blessed Epifanio Gómez Alvaro
• Blessed José María García Tabar
• Blessed Manuel Gutiérrez Ceballos
• Blessed Miguel Rodríguez González
• Blessed Pedro Luís y Luís

Martyrs of Crete – (10 saints): A group of ten Christians who died in the persecutions of Decius. They were –
• Agathopus
• Basilides
• Cleomenes
• Eunician
• Euporus
• Evaristus
• Gelasius
• Saturninus
• Theodulus
• Zeticus
They were martyred in 250 on the island of Crete.