Posted in ADVENT, EMBER DAYS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC

Today is an Ember Day – did you remember?

What Are Ember Days?

On Rogation and Ember Days, the Church is accustomed to entreat the Lord for the various needs of humanity, especially for the fruits of the earth and for human labour and to give thanks to Him publicly.
Four times a year, approximately three months apart, near the beginning of each season of the solar cycle (winter, spring, summer and autumn), the Church sets aside three days (a total of twelve days in a year) to ask for blessings upon mankind and to pray in gratitude for the blessings of nature, particularly those used by the Church in her Liturgy, such as olives, grape, and wheat. This is also a time set apart to thank God for the Sacraments and pray for Priests, particularly those who were being ordained. These days are marked with prayer, fasting and abstinence and stress spiritual renewal.

The word “Ember” actually comes from the Latin phrase, Quatuor Tempora, meaning four times.

This is an ancient tradition of the Church. St Pope Leo the Great, in the 5th century, mentioned the Ember Day Fasts, pointing to these fasts as stemming from Old Testament and Apostolic tradition.

Ember Days are still a vital part of the Church’s tradition.

The traditional dates for the Ember days are the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday:

After St. Lucy’s feast day, 13 December
After the First Sunday of Lent
After Pentecost (this would be during the traditional octave of Pentecost)
After the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 14 September

These times are spent fasting and partially abstaining in penance and prayer, with the intentions of thanking God for the gifts He gives us in nature and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. The fasts, known as “Jejunia quatuor temporum,” or “the fast of the four seasons,” are rooted in Old Testament practices of fasting four times a year:

Zacharias 8:19:
Thus saith the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Juda, joy and gladness, and great solemnities: only love ye truth and peace.

This painting is called “Seasons” and is by St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) – Doctor of the Church

Why Wednesday, Friday and Saturday?

Because Ember Days are of ancient tradition, there are Station Churches attached to the Ember Days, each with a different focus on each day of ember week.

All four Ember Wednesdays were celebrated in the station church St Mary Major. Wednesday was traditionally devoted to our Lady and in imitation of her it was a day of reflection and spiritual orientation.
All four Ember Fridays take place in the stational church of the Basilica of the Apostles. Father Pius Parsch says: “Ember Friday is the liturgy’s ‘Yom Kippur.’” Friday recalls Christ’s passion and death and emphasises conversion and penance.
All the Ember Saturdays take place in the stational church of St Peter in the Vatican. Saturday is a preview of Easter and it marks the renewal of our baptismal covenant.

When Are Ember Days In 2020:

Lenten /Spring Ember Days – March: 4, 6 and 7

Summer Ember Days – June 3, 5 and 6

Autumn Ember Days: September 16, 18 and 19

Advent Ember Days: December 16, 18 and 19

Posted in Uncategorized

I have missed you all.

A new house often comes with many challenges and trials.
I have missed you all in the last 3 days as we struggled with along with no internet, again!
Fr Jacques (https://jacques172.com/) had wished that in this new home we might be freed from such problems but, sadly this was not to be. As well as no internet, we also were in total darkness for 2+ days! But no trial is without value, our beloved Lord had His good reasons.

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOOD FRIDAY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The 5th Sorrowful Mystery - The CRUCIFIXION, The LAMB of GOD

Thought for the Day – 16 December – The Lamb of God

Thought for the Day – 16 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Lamb of God

“Jesus had only one consolation in the midst of His terrible sufferings.
His mother, Mary was beside the Cross along with His beloved Apostle and the holy women who had always followed Him.
Mary loved her Son with a love greater than that of any mother, which is the greatest love possible on earth.
She loved Jesus with the heart of a Mother and of a Virgin – He was her only treasure.
Moreover, she loved Him, not only as her Son but, also as her God.
Precisely because she loved Him as her God, her love was in perfect harmony with the divine will.

She understood the mystery which led Jesus to accept death on the Cross – the mystery of the Redemption.
“He was offered because it was his own will” (Isa 53:7).
He was offered on our behalf, as a voluntary victim to His heavenly Father.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., St JOHN the BAPTIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY CROSS, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – The Lamb of God

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – Wednesday of the Third week of Advent

The Lamb of God

“Behold, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29

“The language of the cross
is foolishness to those who are perishing
but to us, who are being saved,
it is the power of God”

1 Corinthians 1:18

“Teacher of children
became Himself a child among children,
that He might instruct the unwise.
The Bread of heaven
came down to earth
to feed the hungry.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Man’s Maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars,
might nurse at His mother’s breast,
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey,
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood,
that Strength might grow weak,
that the Healer might be wounded,
that Life might die.”

“He who calls us, came here below,
to give us the means of getting there.
He chose the wood
that would enable us to cross the sea –
indeed, no-one can cross the ocean of this world,
who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.
Even the blind can cling to this Cross.
If you can’t see where you are going very well,
don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“He was humbled in the womb of the Virgin,
needy in the manger of the sheep
and homeless on the wood of the Cross.”

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The HOLY CROSS, The LAMB of GOD, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 16 December – “Are you the one who is to come” … Luke 7:19

Advent Reflection – 16 December – Wednesday of the Third week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25, Psalms 85:9 and 10, 11-12, 13-14, Luke 7:18-23

“Are you the one who is to come” … Luke 7:19

REFLECTION – “The Lord, knowing that without the Gospel nobody’s faith may be complete – for the Sacred Scripture begins from the Old Testament but is brought to fulfilment by the New – does not answer questions about Himself, with words but, by acts. “Go, he says and tell John what you have seen and heard – the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” This testimony is complete because, it is of Him they had prophesied: “The Lord sets prisoners free; the Lord gives sight to the blind. The Lord raises up those who are bowed down … The Lord shall reign forever, through all generations!” (Ps 145[146]:7f). These are the signs of a power that is not human but divine …
And yet these are only the least examples of the testimony given by Christ. What makes the fullness of faith is the Lord’s cross, His death, His burial. This is why, after giving the answer we have quoted, He also says: “And blessed is the one who takes no offence at me.” In fact, the cross could have indeed provoked the fall of the Chosen ones but, there is no greater testimony of a divine person, nothing that seems to go further beyond human forces, than this offering of one man for the entire world. Through this only, the Lord reveals Himself fully. Furthermore, this is how John had defined Him: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, 5, 99-102

PRAYER – Almighty God, let the splendour of Your glory dawn in our hearts. May the coming of Your only Son dispel all darkness and reveal that we are children of light. By the care and love of Your Mother and ours, may we be ever strong as we carry our own crosses after You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 16 December – Hark, a Herald Voice is Calling

Our Morning Offering – 16 December – Wednesday of the Third week of Advent

Hark, a Herald Voice is Calling
En Clara Vox Redarguit
Trans. Fr E Caswall, 1695

Hark, a herald voice is calling,
“Christ is nigh,” it seems to say;
“Cast away the dreams of darkness,
O ye children of the day.”

Startled at the solemn warning,
Let the earthbound soul arise;
Christ her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
Shines up on the morning skies.

Lo, the Lamb so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from heav’n;
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiv’n.

So when next He comes with glory,
Shrounding all the earth in fear,
May He then as our defender,
On the clouds of heav’n appear.

Translated from En Clara Vox Redarguit, which is a 5th or 6th century hymn whose author is unknown. It was revised in the 1632 Roman Breviary and the English translation found above, is by Fr E Caswall, 1695.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 December – Saint Ado of Vienne (Died 875)

Saint of the Day – 16 December – Saint Ado of Vienne (Died 875) Archbishop of Vienne from 850 until his death, Writer, Reformer – Born in Sens, France and died in 875 in Vienne, France of natural causes. Also known as Adon, Adonis. Several of his letters are extant and reveal their writer as an energetic man of wide sympathies and considerable influence.

Ado was born into a noble family and was sent as a child for his education, first to Sigulfe, Abbot of Ferrières and then to Marcward, Abbot of Prüm near Trier. He had as one of his masters, the Benedictine Abbot Lupus Servatus, one of the most celebrated humanists of those times. By his brilliant talents and assiduous application, Ado gained the esteem of his masters and schoolmates, while his ready obedience, deep humility and sincere piety foreshadowed his future holiness.

Though urged on all sides to enter upon a career in the world, to which his nobility of birth and great intellectual abilities entitled him, he consecrated himself entirely to God by taking the Benedictine habit at Ferrières. When Markward, a Monk of Ferrières, became Abbot of Prüm near Trier, he applied for Ado to teach the sacred sciences there. His request was granted. Soon, however, certain envious Monks of Prüm conceived an implacable hatred against Ado, due to his great intellect, humility and holiness and, upon the death of Markward, turned him out of their Monastery. With the permission of his Abbot, Ado now made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he remained five years. He then went to Ravenna, where he discovered an old Roman Martyrology which served as the basis for his own renowned Martyrology published in 858, which is generally known as the Martyrology of Ado. At Lyons he was received with open arms by the Archbishop, St Remigius, who, with the consent of the Abbot of Ferrières, appointed him pastor of the Church of St Roman near Vienne.

In 860 he became Archbishop of Vienne and a year later received the pallium from Pope Nicholas I. By word and exampl,e he began reforming the laxity of his priests and he gave them strict orders to instruct the laity in the necessary doctrines of Christianity. His own life was a model of humility and austerity. Ado participated in the Council of Tousy, near Toul in Lorraine, on 22 October 860 and held a council at Vienne in 870.

When Lothaire II, King of Lorraine, had unjustly dismissed his wife Theutberga and the papal legates at the Synod of Metz had been bribed to sanction the King’s marriage to his concubine Waldrada, Ado hastened to Rome and reported the crime to the Pope, who, thereupon, annulled the acts of the synod.

Besides the Martyrology mentioned above, Ado wrote a chronicle from the beginning of the world to 874, Chronicon de VI ætatibus mundi and the lives of St Desiderius, St Bernard – a previous Bishop of Vienne and St Theuderius.

Ado’s name is in the Roman Martyrology and at Vienne, his feast is celebrated on 16 December, the day of his death. His body was buried in the Church of the Apostles in Vienne, now called St Peter’s Church, the usual place of burial of the archbishops of Vienne.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 16 December

St Adelaide of Burgundy (c 931-999) Holy Roman Empress
About St Adelaide:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/16/saint-of-the-day-16-december-st-adelaide-of-italy-burgundy-c-931-999/

St Adelard of Cysoing
St Ado of Vienne (Died 875) Bishop
Bl Adolphus of Tunis
Bl Arnaldo of Tunis
St Albina of Caesarea
St Ananias
St Azarias
St Bean of Lough Derg
St Beoc
Bl Clemente Marchisio
St Dominic Dosso
Bl Elizabeth of Saint Francis
Bl Filip Siphong Onphithakt
St Irenion
Bl James of Tunis
Bl Jaume Mases Boncompte
St Jean Wauthier
St Macarius of Collesano
Blessed Mary of the Angels Fontanella OCD (1661-1717)
Blessed Mary’s life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/16/saint-of-the-day-16-december-blessed-mary-of-the-angels-fontanella-ocd-1661-1717-the-fragrant-rose-of-turin/
St Misael
St Nicholas Chrysoberges
Bl Raynald de Bar
Blessed Sebastian Maggi OP (1414–1496)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/16/saint-of-the-day-16-december-blessed-sebastian-maggi-op-1414-1496/

Martyred Women of North-West Africa: A large group of women martyred in the persecutions of Hunneric, Arian King of the Vandals. 482 in North-West Africa.

Martyrs of Ravenna – (4 saints): A group of Christians martyred together. Four names and no other information has survived – Agricola, Concordius, Navalis and Valentine. c 305 at Ravenna, Italy.

CHRISTMAS NOVENA TO THE CHRIST CHILD – DAY ONE:

https://anastpaul.com/2017/12/16/christmas-novena-to-the-christ-child-day-one-16-december/