Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY SPIRIT, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Two – 2 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Two – 2 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.

Day 2:   The Immaculata as Spouse of the Holy Spiritday 2 imm conception novena 2 dec 2019.jpg

Reading:
United to the Holy Spirit as His Spouse, the Immaculata is one with God in an incomparably more perfect way than can be predicated of any other creature.  What sort of union is this?   It is above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the “essence” of the Holy Spirit.   The Holy Spirit dwells in her, lives in her.   This was true from the first instant of her existence.   It was always true, it will always be true.

In what does this life of the Spirit in Mary consist?   He himself is uncreated Love in her, the Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love by which God loves Himself, the very love of the most Holy Trinity.   He is a fruitful love, a “Conception.”   Among creatures made in God’s image the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all (cf. Mt 19:6).   In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being.   He makes her fruitful, from the very first instant of her existence, all during her life and for all eternity (“Sketches for a book,” 17 February 1941).

Meditation:
To grow in daily awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence within us is a constant challenge that God gives to each and all of us.   May the Immaculata’s perfect life in the Holy Spirit, cause a sharpening, of our own attentiveness, to His presence at the core of our inner selves.

Closing prayers:

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask, through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 13 December – The Season of Advent by St Charles Borromeo

Thought for the Day – 13 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A

The Season of Advent

Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
Bishop of Milan

An excerpt from A Pastoral Letter

Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation – the great season of Advent.   This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced at last to see.   This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity.   We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father, for the mercy and love He has shown us in this mystery.   In His infinite love for us, though we were sinners, He sent His only Son, to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, to welcome us into its innermost recesses, to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of His grace and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.

Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us.   This holy season teaches us, that Christ’s Coming was not only for the benefit of His contemporaries, His power has still to be communicated to us all.   We shall share His power, if, through holy faith and the sacraments, we willingly accept the grace Christ earned for us and live by that grace and in obedience to Christ.st cahrles borromeao - the season of advent - 2 dec 2019 -in his infinite love for us CORRECT.jpg

The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again.   When we remove all obstacles to His presence He will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with Him the riches of His grace.

In her concern for our salvation, our loving mother the Church uses this holy season to teach us through hymns, canticles and other forms of expression, of voice or ritual, used by the Holy Spirit.   She shows us how grateful we should be for so great a blessing and, how to gain its benefit, our hearts should be as much prepared for the Coming of Christ as if He were still to come into this world.   The same lesson, is given us for our imitation, by the words and example, of the holy men of the Old Testament.

Almighty and merciful God,
let neither, our daily work, nor the cares of this life,
prevent us from hastening to meet Your Son.
Enlighten us with Your wisdom
and lead us into His Company.
We make our prayer,
through Christ, our Lord,
with the Holy Spirit,
God forever, amen.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!come o come emmanuel - 16 dec 2018.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote of the Day – 2 December – ‘He it is who comes …’

Quote of the Day – 2 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A

“The very Son of God,
older than the ages,
the invisible,
the incomprehensible,
the incorporeal,
the beginning of beginning,
the light of light,
the fountain of life and immortality,
the image of the archetype,
the immovable seal,
the perfect likeness,
the definition and word of the Father:
He it is who comes to His own image
and takes our nature for the good of our nature
and unites Himself to an intelligent soul
for the good of my soul,
to purify like by like.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

Father and Doctor of the Churchthe-very-son-of-god-st-gregory-of-naziazen.17dec2017.gaudete-sunday-2017 and 2 dec 2019 quote of the day.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD, VATICAN II - Documents

Advent Reflection – 13 December – How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God? 

Advent Reflection – 13 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 4:2-6, Psalm 122:1-9, Matthew 8:5-11

“Amen, I say to you, in no-one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven.” 

Matthew 8:10-11

Vatican Council II – “Gaudium et Spes” #45
Constitution on the Church in the Modern World

“While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the Church has a single intention – that God’s kingdom may come and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass.   For every benefit, which the People of God, during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family, stems from the fact, that the Church is “the universal sacrament of salvation”, (Lumen Gentium), simultaneously manifesting and actualising the mystery of God’s love.

For God’s Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh, so that, as perfect man, He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself.   The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilisation, the centre of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings.   He it is, Whom the Father raised from the dead, lifted on high and stationed at His right hand, making Him judge of the living and the dead.   Enlivened and united in His Spirit, we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God’s love:  “To re-establish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth” (Eph. 1:10).

The Lord Himself speaks:   “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me, to render to each one according to his works.   I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end,” (Rv 22:12-13).”matthew 8 10-11 amen i say to you in no-one in israel - centurion - for gods words - gaudium et spes no 45 2 dec 2019.jpg

Reflections
Christ is the ultimate centre of meaning in the universe.   It is through Christ that all people will be led to the Father.   How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God?   Only when men and women are working to achieve the unity that Christ’s redemption promises us.

“The Lord always goes beyond, goes first.   We take one step and He takes ten.   Always.   The abundance of grace, of His love, of His tenderness that never tires of seeking us.   Even, at times, with small things – we think that encountering the Lord would be something magnificent, like that man of Syria, Naaman, who was a leper [did].   And it’s not simple… And he too had a great surprise at God’s way of acting.
And our God is the God of surprises, the God that is seeking us, is awaiting us and asks of us only the little step of good will.”

Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 28 November 2016monday firsdt week advent 2 dec 2019 the lord always goes first - pope francis.jpg

Advent Action
Perform an act of kindness for someone you do not know.

Our Lives Multiply by Giving Them Away
Fr Henri Nouwen

“The fruitfulness of our little life, once we recognise it and live it, as the life of the Beloved, is beyond anything we can imagine.   One of the greatest acts of faith is to believe that the few years we live on this earth are like a little seed planted in very rich soil.   For this seed to bear fruit, it must die.   We often see, or feel, only the dying but, the harvest will be abundant, even when we ourselves are the harvesters.
How different would our life be, were we truly able to trust, that it multiplied in being given away?
How different would our life be, if we could believe, that every little act of faithfulness, every gesture of love, every word of forgiveness, every little bit of joy and peace, will multiply and multiply, as long as there are people to receive it … and that – even then – there will be left-overs!”

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for SEASONS

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – Daily Advent Prayer

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A

DAILY ADVENT PRAYER
By Fr Henri J M Nouwen (1932-1996)

Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness,
send Your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We, who have so much to do, seek quiet spaces
to hear Your voice each day.
We, who are anxious over many things
look forward to Your coming among us.
We, who are blessed in so many ways
long for the complete joy of Your kingdom.
We, whose hearts are heavy
seek the joy of Your presence.
We, are Your people,
walking in darkness,
yet seeking the light.
To You we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”

Amen!daily advent prayer - by henri nouswen 2 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Blessed Rafal Chylinski OFM Conv. (1694-1741)

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Blessed Rafal Chylinski OFM Conv. (1694-1741) aged 47 Franciscan Priest, Preacher, Apostle of Charity, Musician – born on 8 January 1694 at Buk, Poznan, Poland as Melchior Chylinski and died on 2 December 1741 at Lagiewniki, Lodzkie, Poland.bl rafal chylinski 2.jpg

Blessed Rafal was born near Buk in the Poznan region of Poland,   He showed early signs of religious devotion, so much so, that his family members nicknamed him “the little monk.”    After completing his studies at the Jesuit college in Poznan, Melchior joined the cavalry and was promoted to officer rank within three years.

In 1715, against the please of his military comrades, Melchior joined the Conventual Franciscans in Krakow.   Receiving the name Rafal, he was ordained two years later. After pastoral assignments in nine cities, he came to Lagiewniki, where he spent the last 13 years of his life, except for 20 months ministering to flood and epidemic victims in Warsaw.   In all these places, Rafal was known for his simple and candid sermons, for his generosity, as well as for his ministry in the confessional.   People of all levels of society were drawn to the self-sacrificing way he lived out his religious profession and priestly ministry.bl rafal chylinski snip.JPG

Rafal played the harp, lute and mandolin to accompany liturgical hymns.   In Lagiewniki he distributed food, supplies and clothing to the poor.   After his death, the Conventual church in that city became a place of pilgrimage for people throughout Poland.   He was Beatified in Warsaw in 1991 by St Pope John II after approval of a miracle.

His shrine is still a place of pilgrimage and prayer.

The sermons preached by Rafal were powerfully reinforced by the living sermon of his life.   The Sacrament of Reconciliation can help us bring our daily choices into harmony with our words about Jesus’ influence in our lives.bl rafal chylinski 3.jpg

May Blessed Rafal reminds us that everyone of us, even though we are sinners, has been called to love and to holiness. – St Pope John Paul IIŁódź-bł._Rafal_Chyliński_cm._ŁagiewnickiSOD-1202-BlessedRafalChylinski-790x480

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Feast of Our Lady of Liesse and Memorials of the Saints – 2 December

Our Lady of Liesse/Our Lady, Cause of our Joy:  2 December – An ancient statue of the Madonna and Child.   It was brought from Egypt to France during the Crusades by three Knights of Malta who had been briefly captured by Saracens.   It was enshrined at Liesse, diocese of Soissons.   The original statue was destroyed during the French Revolution. A duplicate was installed and crowned in 1857.   Patronage – Diocese of Soissons, France.

St Athanasius of the Caves
St Avitas of Rouen
St Bibiana (4th century died c 361) Martyr
Biography here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december/

St Chromatius of Aquileia
St Evasius of Brescia
Bl Francisco del Valle Villar
St Habakkuk the Prophet
Bl Ivan Sleziuk
Bl John Amero
Bl John van Ruysbroeck (c 1293-1382)
About Blessed Jan:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-blessed-john-van-ruysbroeck/
St Lupus of Verona
Bl Maria Angela Astorch
St Nonnus of Edessa
St Oderisius de Marsi
St Pimenio in Rome
St Pontian
Bl Rafal Chylinski OFM Conv (1694-1741)

Bl Robert of Matallana
St Silvanus
St Pope Silverio

Greek Martyrs of Rome – (9 saints): Several Greek Christians martyred in the persecutions of Valerian – Adria, Aurelia, Eusebius, Hippolytus, Marcellus, Mary Martana, Maximus, Neon and Paulina. They were martyred by various means between 254 and 259 in Rome, Italy and are buried in the Callistus catacombs, Rome.

Martyrs of Africa – (4 saints): Four Christians martyred in Africa in the persecutions of Arian Vandals – Januarius, Securus, Severus and Victorinus.