Thought for the Day – 22 December – Joseph fully finds himself

Thought for the Day – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-24

When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home. … Matthew 1:24

By accepting himself according to God’s design,
Joseph fully finds himself, beyond himself.
His freedom to renounce even what is his,
the possession of his very life
and his full interior availability to the will of God,
challenges us
and shows us the way.

Pope Francis
Angelus 22 December 2013joseph fully finds himself - pope francis 22 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION

Quote of the Day – 22 December – In the Eucharist, He spans the centuries

Quote of the Day – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A

“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-2017, 2018 and 2019.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 22 December – “Go with Him”

Sunday Reflection – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A

“Go with Him”

St Ephrem of Syria (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Go with Him, as His inseparable companion, to the wedding feast of Cana and drink of the wine of His blessing.

Let you have ever before you, the Face of the Lord and look upon His beauty and let your earnest gaze, turn nowhere away from His most sweet countenance.

Go before Him into a desert place and see the wonder of His works, where He multiplied in His own Holy Hands, the bread that sufficed the great multitude.

Go, my brother, go forward and with all the love of your soul, follow Christ wherever He may go…  And lovingly behold Him as taking bread into His hands, He blesses it and breaks it, as the outward form of His own Immaculate Body and the chalice which He blessed, as the outward form of His Precious Blood and gave to His Disciples and be you also a partaker of His sacraments.”

go my brother go forward and with all the love of your soul 22 dec 2019.jpg


Advent Reflection – 22 December – Emmanuel, God-with-us

The Lord comes!   Go to meet Him and say – Great is His reign and His kingdom will have no end.   He is God, the Strong One, the Ruler of the world, the Prince of peace, alleluia!

Advent Reflection – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-24

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;  she will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” ... Matthew 1:20-21matthew 1 20 - 21 joseph son of david do not fear to take mary 22 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Behold,” says the prophet Isaiah, “a virgin will conceive and bear a son and he will be called Emmanuel, a name which means God-with-us.” (7:14)   The name ‘God-with-us,’ given to our Saviour by the prophet, signifies that two natures are united in His one person.   Before time began he was God, born of the Father but in the fullness of time He became Emmanuel, God-with-us, in the womb of His mother, because when “the Word was made flesh and lived among us.” (Jn 1:14)   He deigned to unite our frail human nature to His own person.   Without ceasing to be what He had always been, He began in a wonderful fashion to be what we are, assuming our nature in such a way that He did not lose his own…

And so, Scripture says: “Mary gave birth to her firstborn son… and she named him Jesus.” (Lk 2:7.21).   Jesus, then, is the name of the Virgin’s son.   According to the angel’s explanation, it means one who is to save His people from their sins.   In doing so, He will also deliver them from any defilement of mind and body they have incurred on account of their sins.

But the title “Christ” implies a priestly or royal dignity.   In the Old Testament it was given to both priests and kings on account of the anointing with chrism or holy oil which they received.   They prefigured the true king and high priest who, on coming into this world, “was anointed with the oil of gladness above all his peers” (Ps 44[45]: 8).   From this anointing or chrismation, He received the name of Christ and those who share in the anointing which He Himself bestows, that is, the grace of the Spirit, are called Christians. May Jesus Christ fulfil His saving task, by saving us from our sins, may He discharge His priestly office by reconciling us to God the Father and may He exercise His royal power by admitting us to His Father’s kingdom…” … St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church

MEDITATION – “He came from heaven to suffer and die for us, so that we might love Him.   How can we remain ungrateful?” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

ADVENT ACTION – “O my Jesus, I love You and will always love You.   Inflame my heart everyday 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.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church


and keystone of the Church
come and save man,
whom You formed from the dust!

o-king-of-all-nations-22-dec-2017, 2018, 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 22 December – O Come, O come, Emmanuel

Our Morning Offering – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A

O Come, O come, Emmanuel

O Come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high
And order all things far and nigh,
To us the path of knowledge show
And teach us in her ways to go.

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times did give the law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
From ev’ry foe deliver them
That trust Thy mighty power to save
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home,
Make safe the way that leads on high,
That we no more have cause to sigh.

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high
And cheer us by thy drawing nigh.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid every strife and quarrel cease
And fill the world with heaven’s peace.
Refraino come o come emmnuel no 2 22 dec 2019.jpg

This ancient Advent hymn is based upon the seven Great “O” Antiphons, which are recited or sung before and after the Magnificat at Vespers (or Evening Prayer) from 17 – 23 December.

Music: T Helmore, 1811-1890 adapted from a 1st Mode Responsory in a 15th cent. French Processional.

Text: Veni, Veni Emmanuel, a para. of Latin 12th-13th cent.
“Great O Antiphons” in Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, 1770.


Saint of the Day – 22 December – Blessed Thomas Holland SJ (1600-1642) Priest and Martyr – His Faith was his crime

Saint of the Day – 22 December – Blessed Thomas Holland SJ (1600-1642) Jesuit Priest and Martyr – born in 1600 at Sutton, Lancashire and was executed by being hang, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, 12 December 1642 (aged 42).   Also known as Thomas Sanderson, Thomas Hammond.

Thomas Holland suffered from poor health during the whole of the seven years he spent in active ministry in his native England.   Despite his suffering, he fearlessly moved around London to bring the Sacraments to Catholics during this terrible and fearful period of thomas-holland.jpg

He was born in Lancashire and attended the English College at Saint-Omer in Flanders for six years.   He moved to Valladolid, Spain, in August 1621, to attend the English College there and then returned to Flanders in 1624 in order to enter the Jesuits.   He did his novitiate and theological studies in Flanders and was Ordained there, before being assigned to be the spiritual director of the scholastics at Saint-Omer.   In 1635 he was assigned to the English mission, in the hope that his native air would meliorate the poor health he had begun to suffer.

The conditions in which he had to live in England made his health worse, unfortunately. He had to stay indoors all day and travel only at night because of the danger of arrest byPpriest-hunters.   The hardships he endured caused a loss of appetite, which only worsened his condition.   Ill health, however, did not keep him from his mission and he continued until his arrest on 4 October 1642, on suspicion of being a Priest.

He was detained at New Prison in London for two weeks and then taken to Newgate to be tried. No evidence could be put forth proving that he was a Priest.    He had been very careful in prison not to be caught praying but when the court asked him to swear that he was not a Priest, he refused, the jury found him guilty and condemned him to die.   The French ambassador offered to intervene to try to win his freedom but Holland said he preferred martyrdom.

Some Capuchin friends smuggled Mass supplies into prison so he could celebrate the Eucharist one last time.

On the morning of 12 December 1642, he was dragged to Tyburn to be executed.   He prayed for those who had condemned him and for King Charles I, the royal family, parliament and the nation.   He gave the hangman the little money he had, forgave him for what he was about to do and then was hanged until he was dead.   His body was then beheaded and quartered and exposed on London thomas holland.jpg

This Jesuit site provides more details about his execution and his beatification:

Fr Holland was dragged to Tyburn at mid-morning of the 12th and seeing a crowd had gathered in silence, he spoke:

 “I have been brought here to die a traitor, a Priest and a Jesuit but in truth none of these things has been proved.”   Then mounting the cart, he placed the noose about his neck and told the people that he was truly a Priest and a Jesuit and that he pardoned the judge and jury that had condemned him..   He recited his acts of faith, hope, charity and contrition and then prayed for King Charles I and the nation “for whose prosperity and conversion to the Catholic faith, if I had as many lives as there are hairs on my head, drops of water in the ocean, or stars in the firmament, I would most willingly sacrifice them all.”   These words brought cheers from the crowd.   He then forgave his executioner for what he is about to do and gave him the few coins he still had in his pocket.

With eyes closed in prayer, Fr Holland looked at a Priest secretly in the crowd and received absolution.   After he was hanged, his body was beheaded and quartered and exposed on London Bridge.   Fr Holland was only forty-two years of age and a Jesuit for eighteen years.   Pope Pius XI beatified him on December 15, 1929.

Blessed Thomas Holland, your faith was your crime, pray for us!

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A +2019 and Memorials of the Saints – 22 December

The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A +2019

St Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) – Universal optional memorial (except in the USA which is on 13 November)
About St Frances:

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 SJ (1600-1642) Priest and Martyr
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.