Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December – God’s Sign

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December

God’s Sign

“God’s sign is His humility.
God’s sign is that He makes himself small.
He becomes a child.
He lets us touch him and He asks for our love.
How we would prefer a different sign,
an imposing, irresistible sign of God’s power and greatness!
But His sign summons us to faith and love
and thus it gives us hope – this is what God is like.
He has power, He is Goodness itself.
He invites us to become like Him.
Yes indeed, we become like God,
if we allow ourselves
to be shaped by this sign,
if we ourselves learn humility
and hence true greatness;
if we renounce violence
and use only the weapons
of truth and love.”

Pope Benedict XVI (2009)

gods-sign-pope-benedict-19-dec-2017 and reworked for 20 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in GOD is LOVE, I BELIEVE!, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote of the Day – 20 December – ‘Awaken hope!’

Quote of the Day – 20 December – The Memorial of Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr

“The blessed martyrs cry to our hearts.
Believe in God who is love!
Believe in Him in good times and bad!
Awaken hope!
May it produce in you,
the fruit of fidelity to God,
in every trial!”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

At the Beatification of the 108 Martyrs of World War Two in Poland, 13 June 1999the blessed martyrs cry to our hearts believe in god who is love - st john paul 20 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December – “How shall this be…”

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December, Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Luke 1:26-38

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.

And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” … Luke 1:34

REFLECTION – “Tell us, blessed David, how [the Word] descended.   “He came down as rain upon the fleece, and as drops that water the earth.” (Ps 71[72]:6 LXX). (…)   It remains to discuss how the rain descends upon the fleece and how the drops flow out over the earth. (…)

The rain descends upon the fleece without sound, without movement, without any cleavage or division.   It is gently poured out, peacefully received, sweetly drunk.   Thus the drops gradually, little by little, spread over the earth falling down so wonderfully and so gently that their coming is scarcely perceived and as they depart, they bring forth the shoots.   In the same way, the rain coming from beyond, above the heavenly waters, came down into the Virgin’s womb without human act, with no movement of concupiscence, her integrity unimpaired, the seal of her virginity still locked.   Gently was it poured, calmly received, ineffably made flesh.   It came drop by drop upon her soil, unseen as it entered and, as it departed, plainly going forth. (…)

We have told how the Word of God came down.   Where He came down is made clear in like manner, for He came down into the Virgin’s womb, a womb unstained, unspotted, hallowed by the touch of divine unction.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop, Cistercian Monk – On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily III, SC 72luke 1 34 how shall this be - he came down into the virgin's womb - st amadeaus of lausanne 20 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION” Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?   And who shall stand in his holy place?   He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” … Psalm 24:3-4advent-with-st-alphonsus-psalm-24-3-4-who-shall-ascend-20dec2018 AND 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – “O my Jesus, I am weak, grant me strength against temptation.   I am infirm, I hope that Your precious blood will be my medicine.   I am a sinner but I hope that Your grace will make me a saint.   I acknowledge that I have co-operated with my own ruin but this day, I promise always, to call upon You and in this way co-operate with Your grace.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor

PRAYER

O KEY OF DAVID,

and Sceptre of the House of Israel,
who opens and no-one shuts,
who shuts and no-one opens.
Come and bring forth the captive from his prison,
he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

o-key-of-david-20-dec-2017, 2018, 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December – Hail, Heavenly Beam

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December

Hail, Heavenly Beam
9th Century Catholic Advent Prayer
By Cynewulf tr Israel Gollanz

Hail, heavenly beam,
brightest of angels Thou,
sent unto men upon this middle-earth.
Thou art the true refulgence of the sun,
radiant above the stars
and from Thyself illuminest
forever, all the tides of time.
And as Thou, God indeed,
begotten of God,
Thou Son of the true Father,
wast from aye,
without beginning, in the heaven’s glory,
so now Thy handiwork in its sore need
prayeth Thee boldly, that Thou send to us
the radiant sun
and that Thou come Thyself
to enlighten those who for so long a time
went wrapt around with darkness
and here in gloom
have sat the livelong night,
shrouded in sin.

Cynewulf is one of twelve Old English poets known by name and one of four, whose work is known to survive today. He presumably flourished in the 9th century, with possible dates extending into the late 8th and early 10th centuries.

Known for his religious compositions, Cynewulf is regarded as one of the pre-eminent figures of Anglo-Saxon Christian poetry. Posterity knows of his name by means of runic signatures that are interwoven into the four poems which comprise his scholastically recognised corpus. These poems are: The Fates of the Apostles, Juliana, Elene and Christ II (also referred to as The Ascension).

The four signed poems of Cynewulf are vast, in that they collectively comprise, several thousand lines of verse.hail-heavenly-beam-cynewulf-19-dec-2017 and 20 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 20 December – Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 20 December – Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr, Poet, Writer, Lecturer, Apostle of the poor – born on 1 November 1885 at Lomza, Podlaskie, Poland and died on 18 December 1940 in the prison camp in Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg, Oberhavel, Germany of starvation and illness related to the concentration camp conditions.   He was Beatified as one of the 108 Martyrs of World War II and thus has a secondary feast on 12 June as part of this group.Bl._Michael_Piaszczynski

Michal Piaszczynski was born in Lomza, Poland, the son of Ferdinand and Anna Zientara.   In 1903 after graduating from high school, he entered the seminary in Sejny. After being ordained a Deacon, he was sent for further specialised studies to the Catholic Clergy Academy in St Petersburg.   The Spiritual Academies – theological colleges – were created as a result of Russian repression after the fall of the November Uprising of 1830-1831 and the liquidation of Polish universities.   Their task was to be to attempt to re-educate the Polish Catholic clergy of the Russian partition.

And there, on 13 June 1911 in the academic chapel, he was Ordained a Priest at the hands the Servant of God, Bishop Jan Feliks Cieplak, a defiant priest, many times punished by the Russian authorities for preaching patriotic sermons and participation in national demonstrations and later – during Soviet Russia – arrested twice and in 1923 sentenced at a demonstration trial to the death penalty for ” inciting a rebellion through superstition .”

In 1912 he graduated with a master’s degree in Holy Theology …bl PIASZCZYNSKImichal01_h900_01

He was briefly the first Parish Priest of St Mary Magdalene in Mikaszówka.   For a short time – but long enough to be remembered by the village as a church and community builder … Michał left Mikaszówka and in 1914, after two years in Freiburg, he obtained doctorates in philosophy and literature.

At the beginning of the First World War, Fr Michal was visiting Italy.   From there, at the request of Polish emigrants he went to France, where for four years he was a chaplain of miners, a priest of the Polish-French parish and a prefect of schools.   At that time, he visited Polish colonies and prisoner-of-war camps of Poles in France (in the mining regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais with the capital in Lille, Lorraine and Picardy) – they were Poles mainly from the German partition, conscripted into the German army, participating in the trench warfare and taken prisoner by Franco-British troops …

“He was known here in the colony in France and was highly respected by all Poles who today, (in 1946) remember and honour him for his holiness and goodness.   He assisted the poor and visited the sick.   In a word, a holy priest…” (the letter by Jerez-Chojnacka, representatives of the Polish mission in France).bl michal piaszxzynski glass.jpg

After the end of hostilities, he returned in 1919 to the reborn Commonwealth, to his hometown of Łomża.   He threw himself into the teaching work … He became a lecturer and then a vice-director (from 1935), newly opened in 1919 at the Major Seminary in Lomza.   He invited Jewish rabbis to him, thus becoming a promoter of religious dialogue with Jews.   He addressed them with the term “elder brothers in the faith,” which made him a kind of precursor (though not the only one) of the significant movement of St John Paul II.   Blessed Michal was also a teacher in various schools and Chaplain of a Hospital and Confessor of the Benedictine Sisters in the Abbey of Of the Holy Trinity.

When the Second World War broke out and the Germans took possession of Blessed Michal’s area, they immediately proceeded to round up the Catholic Priests.   As part of the planned policy of extermination of the Polish clergy and intelligentsia, about 80% of the clergy from areas directly connected to the German Reich – found themselves in German concentration camps.   Most of them lost their lives, as did 15% of Polish teachers, 30% of technicians, 40% of university professors, 45% of doctors and dentists, and 57% of lawyers …

Fr Michal was arrested on 7 April 1940 and was moved to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp on 3 May 1940.

During his detention, he comforted everyone.   In the evenings, he prayed with them and gave short homilies and lectures.   His deep love for God was also reflected in his attitude towards his fellow man – he helped the weak in camp work and assisted them on their way to the assembly ground.

One day, when the head of the camp, took their daily ration of bread, from the Jews, Fr Michal, who once said at the table, that he would like to eat his fill at least once more in his life, offered his portion of bread to a Jewish lawyer from Warsaw named Kott.   At that time, the Jew would say: “You Catholics believe that there is a living Christ in your churches.   I believe that there is a living Christ in this bread, He who told you to share it with me,” recalled Fr Kazimierz Aleksander Hamerszmit.bl PIASZCZYNSKImichal07_h900_01

Blessed Michal went to the Lord, emaciated, starved, sick, suffering from numerous complaints related to the conditions under which he lived – deprived of medical care – on 18 December 1940.

He was beatified by St John Paul II in Warsaw, 13 June 1999, in the group of 108 Polish martyrs of World War II.PIASZCZYNSKImichal08statue _h900_01.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 20 December

St Attala of Strasbourg
St Bajulus of Rome
St Crescentius of Africa
St Dominic of Brescia
St Dominic de Silos OSB (1000-1073)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/saint-of-the-day-20-december-st-dominic-de-silos-o-s-b-c1000-1073/

St Eugene of Arabia
St Gabriel Olivares Roda
St Hoger of Hamburg-Bremen
Bl John de Molina
St Julius of Gelduba
Bl Lorenzo Company
St Liberatus of Rome
St Macarius of Arabia
St Malou of Hautvillers
Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr
St Paul of Latra
Bl Peter de la Cadireta
Bl Peter Massalenus
Philogonius of Antioch
St Thomas of Dover
St Ursicinus of Saint-Ursanne
St Vincenzo Romano (1751-1831)
His story:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/20/saint-of-the-day-20-december-st-vincenzo-romano-1751-1831-a-priest-of-the-people/

St Pope Zephyrinus