Posted in NOTES to Followers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS

Thank You! on your Thanksgiving Day – 28 November

Dear American Friend,

On your Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to be sure to remind you of this:

“You are greatly appreciated!”

There is no greater blessing God has given me than the people that support, pray and join me in my mission to advance the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church, in communion with our Saints.

Thank you.

I pray you are reminded not just today but every day,

of how grateful I am for you all.

May God bless you and your beloved families.

Ana
Breathing Catholic

Thanksgiving Day Prayer

We thank you, Father,
for the gift of Jesus, Your Son,
who came to our earth
and lived in a simple home.
We have a greater appreciation
of the value and dignity
of the human family
because He loved
and was loved within its shelter.
Bless us this day.
may we grow in love,
for each other in our family
and so give thanks to You,
who are the Maker of all human families
and our abiding peace.
Amenthanksgiving day prayer - 28 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOTES to Followers, NOVENAS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The NATIVITY of JESUS

St Andrew’s Christmas Novena – Begins on St Andrew’s Feast Day – 30 November

St Andrew’s Christmas Novena – Begins on St Andrew’s Feast Day – 30 November

Prepare for the arrival of our King!

Just a reminder of this beautiful Catholic tradition st-andrews-prayer-christmas-novena-no-1 - 30nov2017.jpg

The Feast of Saint Andrew has always been closely associated with the beginning of Advent as it is on 30 November, around the First Sunday of Advent.   In light of that fact, a prayer was developed as a daily preparation for Christmas and took 30 November as its starting point.

It is sometimes called the Christmas Novena, St Andrew’s Novena, St Andrew’s Christmas Prayer, or the Christmas Anticipation Prayer.

It is a beautiful prayer that focuses on the moment of Christ’s birth and can act as an inspiring meditation for Advent and of course, we pray for our own intentions – 15 times a day – God is listening!  The prayer is customarily prayed 15 times a day, as a family, it is most efficacious to pray it five times before and after mealtimes, alternating the family members.

Let us prepare our hearts to welcome Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer and pray the “Christmas Novena.”

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
………………… [here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ
and of His blessed Mother.
Amenst andrews christmas novena - begins 30 nov - say 15 times each day-posted 28 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT QUOTES, FATHERS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The CHRIST CHILD

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us.

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us

This year, as before, I will post daily Advent Reflections drawn from diverse Saints and Holy people – please join me in prayer and in awakening our souls to hope.

advent reflections - o come o come emmnuel - begins 1 dec - posted 28 nov 2019.jpg

Memory Awakens Hope

By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(Pope Benedict XVI)

In one of his Christmas stories Charles Dickens tells of a man who lost his emotional memory, that is, he lost the whole chain of feelings and thoughts he had acquired in the encounter with human suffering.   This extinction of the memory of love is presented to him as liberation from the burden of the past but it becomes clear, immediately, that the whole person has been changed, now, when he meets with suffering, no memories of kindness are stirred within him…   Since his memory has dried up, the source of kindness within him has also disappeared.   He has become cold and spreads coldness around him.

Goethe deals with the same ideas as Dickens, in his account of the first celebration of the feast of Saint Roch in Bingen, after the long interruption caused by the Napoleonic wars. He observes the people as they press, tightly packed, through the church past the image of the saint and he watches their faces – the faces of the children and the adults are shining, mirroring the joy of the festal day.   But with the young people, Goethe reports, it was otherwise.   They went past unmoved, indifferent, bored.   And he gives an illuminating explanation – they were born in evil times, had nothing good to remember and consequently had nothing to hope for. In other words, it is only the person who has memories who can hope.   The person who has never experienced goodness and kindness simply does not know what such things are.

Recently a counsellor who spends much of his time talking with people on the verge of despair, was speaking in similar terms about his own work, if his client succeeds in recalling a memory of some good experience, he may once again be able to believe in goodness and thus relearn hope, then there is a way out of despair.   Memory and hope are inseparable.   To poison the past does not give hope, it destroys its emotional foundations.

Sometimes Charles Dickens’ story strikes me as a vision of contemporary experience. This man who let himself be robbed of the heart’s memory by the delusion of a false liberation — do we not find him with us today, in a generation whose past has been poisoned by a particular program of liberation that has stifled hope?   When we read of the pessimism with which our young people look toward the future, we ask ourselves, Why?   Is it that, in the midst of material affluence, they have no memory of human goodness that would allow them to hope?   By outlawing the emotions, by satirising joy, have we not trampled on the root of hope?

These reflections bring us straight to the significance of the Christian season of Advent. For Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man.   Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God Who became a Child.   This is a healing memory, it brings hope.   The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.   All the feasts in the Church’s calendar are events of remembrance and hence events of hope.   These events, of such great significance for mankind, which are preserved and opened up by faith’s calendar, are intended to become personal memories of our own life history, through the celebration of holy seasons by means of liturgy and custom.   Our personal memories are nourished by mankind’s great memories, in turn, it is only by translating them into personal term,s that these great memories are kept alive.   Man’s ability to believe always depends in part on faith having become dear on the path of life, on the humanity of God having manifested itself through the humanity of men.   No doubt each of us could tell his own story here as to what the various memories of Christmas, Easter or other festivals mean in his life.

It is the beautiful task of Advent, to awaken in all of us, memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.

“Those who run
toward the Lord,
will never lack space…
One who is climbing
never stops,
he moves from
beginning to beginning,
according to beginnings,
that never end.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395)
Brother of St Basil the Greatadvent - those who run toward the Lord - st gregory of Nyssa 28 nov 2019

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SILENCE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 28 November – ‘Listen to Him’

Quote of the Day – 28 November – The Memorial of St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876)

“If you listen to Him,
He will speak to you also
because with the good God,
it is necessary to speak
and to listen.”

St Catherine Labouréif you listen to Him - st catherine laboure 28 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Papa FRANCIS, SAINT of the DAY, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 November – ‘…Let us lift up our heads.’

One Minute Reflection – 28 November – Thursday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:20–28

“Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”…Luke 21:28now-when-these-things-begin-to-take-place-luke-21-28-29nov2018 and 28 nov 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “When we think of the end of time, with all of our sins, with our history, let us think of the banquet which will be freely offered us and let us lift up our heads.  Do not give way to depression.  Hope! Reality is ugly.   There are many, many people, cities and people, so many people who are suffering;  many wars, so much hatred, so much envy, so much spiritual worldliness and so much corruption.   Yes, it’s true!   All of this will fall!
Let us ask the Lord for the grace to be prepared for the banquet that awaits us, always with our heads held high.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 27 November 2014when-we-think-of-the-end-of-times-pope-francis-29-nov-2018 and 28 nov 2018.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, creator of all Light and creator of all good, grant that we may look up to You always and know that by Your Light and your goodness we are safe in this world of corruption.   May the Light of our Lord Jesus, make the path He has set out bright and clear and may the prayers of St James of the Marches be a help in our struggle.   Lead us, Lord, in Your kindness and mercy to the banquet which awaits us.  We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st james of the marches pray for us 28 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 28 November – Beloved and Most Holy Word of God

Our Morning Offering – 28 November – The Memorial of St James of the Marches OFM Conv (1391-1476)

Beloved and Most Holy
Word of God
By St James of the Marches (1391-1476)

Beloved and most holy Word of God!
You enlighten the hearts of the faithful,
You satisfy the hungry,
console the afflicted.
You make the souls of all,
productive of good
and cause all virtues to blossom.
You snatch souls
from the devil’s jaw.
You make the wretched holy
and men of earth,
citizens of heaven!
Amenbeloved and most holy word of god by st jjames of the marches - 28 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 November – Saint James of the Marches OFM (1391-1476)

Saint of the Day – 28 November – Saint James of the Marches OFM Conv. (1391-1476) Franciscan Priest, brilliant Preacher, Penitent, Reformer, Writer, Papal legate, Inquisitor, founder of several monasteries in Bohemia, Hungary and Austria – born on 1 September 1391 at Monteprandone, March of Ancona, Italy as Domenico meaning “of the Lord” (from Latin, Dominus) Gangala and died on 28 November 1476 at Naples, Italy.    Patronages – Monteprandone, co-patron of Naples, Italy, of children. His body is incorrupt.Saint James of the Marches

Domenico was born into an extremely poor family at Montebrandone (in the Marche of Ancona), in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea.   Unfortunately, his cruel father abused him and James left home as a boy.   He placed himself under the care of his uncle, a priest.   Through the generosity of his uncle, Domenico was educated in nearby towns of Ascoli and Offida.

At the University of Perugia he took the degree of Doctor of Canon and Civil Law.   He began his career in Florence as tutor in a noble family and as judge.   On one occasion, while travelling to Assisi for his work, he went to pray in the church of the Portiuncula, St Mary of the Angels.   Inspired by the friars he witnessed there and by the example of St Francis, Domenico decided to enter the Franciscan Order.   In 1416, at 23 years of age, he became a novice, taking the religious name of James.P. 0520 - James, of the Marches, Saint

Studying under Saint Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444), James was widely recognised for his oratory, delivering both forceful and effective sermons and converting thousands of souls.   Ordained at age twenty seven, James was sent on mission with Saint John Capistrano (1603-1663), travelling throughout Italy, German, Bohemia, Poland, and Hungary.Francisco_de_Zurbaran_James_of_the_Marches

Noting his orthodoxy, Pope Saint Martin V appointed him inquisitor to root out heretical sects that were growing in power throughout Italy.   He continued his travels, preaching, working against heresy and attempting to reconcile various branches of the Franciscan Order.   He attended the Council of Florence in 1438, working diligently to reconcile the Eastern and Latin Churches, with little success.st james of the marches - maybe murillo

Elected Bishop of Milan, James humbly declined the position, preferring to continue his itinerant lifestyle, travelling, preaching and confirming the truth of Church doctrine. Saint James preached every day for 40 years, beginning on the date of his ordination and ending on the date of his death.   He preached a message of penance, which he also put into practice.   James slept only three hours each evening and fasted nine months of the year.   Thinly dressed, always in the same tattered brown robe, he always wore underneath his habit either a rough hair shirt or an iron coat of mail armed with short sharp spikes.and susceptible to illness, Saint James ate little, giving all he had to the needy.   As he grew older and his health began to observably fail, Pope Martin V ordered him to eat regularly, as a public service, so that he could continue his ministry. Charitable, Saint James instituted several montes pietatis, (literally, “mountains of money”) which provided low-interest loans to all who needed them.st james of the marches preaching snip getty

James took his vows seriously.   Due to his promise of poverty, he travelled on foot everywhere he went.   He pulled a small wagon by hand, which contained all his possessions – a bible, a prayer book, some theological works, liturgical vestments and vessels.   He personally hand-copied most of the few books he owned and he wore just his threadbare habit. He took the practice of obedience very seriously, as well.   In fact, on one occasion, he received an order from his superior to go abroad while lifting a cup to his mouth to drink.   He immediately set it down and left without drinking, as he was afraid of losing the merit of obedience by the least delay.james-of-the-marches-a7841781-3ceb-45df-b994-bd90440be75-resize-750

Under Pope Callistus III, in 1455, he was appointed an arbiter on the questions at issue between the Conventuals and Observants.   His decision was published 2 February 1456 in a papal bull, which pleased neither part.

In 1462, James became the subject of the Inquisition.   In a sermon, he preached his theological opinion on the Blood of Christ, stating that the blood shed during Christ’s passion was not hypostatically united to the divinity of Christ during the three days of his burial.   The case was controversial, and James was summoned to appear before the Dominican inquisitor, which he refused. Eventually, James appealed to the Holy See, after which a silence was imposed upon both the Dominican inquisitors and the Franciscans.   No decision was ever reached.james-of-the-marches-1fa8bce8-3dd2-4cc3-aca9-b83ca1ad580-resize-750

Saint James spent the last three years of his life at Naples and died there on 28 November 1476.   His funeral was attended by the Pope, the king of Naples, the royal court, many clergy and countless laypersons.   James’s body remained in the Franciscan church of Santa Maria la Nova in Naples for over five centuries until 2001 when it was finally transferred to his birthplace of Monteprandone.   There his incorrupt body remains exposed for the faithful to venerate.  james-of-the-marches-6fd911fe-4bd5-4671-aff9-a8788304c99-resize-750james-of-the-marches-b2fab1e5-fd2d-41dd-9fde-63d49dc729f-resize-750

Pope Urban VIII Beatified him on 12 August 1624, and St James of the Marches was Canonised on 10 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII.st james of the marches snip two

He is generally represented as a Franciscan holding a chalice and a veil.   His emblem is a chalice from which a snake is escaping – an allusion to the endeavours of certain heretics to poison him.   Numerous miracles have been reported through his intercession, both while he lived and subsequent to his death.james-of-the-marches-0d48f6af-a17b-4ab5-893c-0f5320e3d8d-resize-750