Let us begin: In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son, we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain, so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession, to come unto You. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen
O Mother of the King of the Universe, most perfect member of the human race, our tainted nature’s solitary boast, we turn to you as mother, advocate and mediator. O Holy Mary, assist us in our present necessity. By your Immaculate Conception, O Mary conceived without sin, we humbly beseech you, from the bottom of our heart, to intercede for us with your Divine Son and ask, that we be granted the favour for which we now plead… ………………………………. (State your intention here… ) O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth, you have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from Him, the granting of our petition, if it be the Divine Will. Amen
Say the: Our Father… the: Hail Mary… the: Glory Be…
Thought for the Day – 7 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Contemplative and the Active Life
“We ought not to imagine that contemplation is a privilege exvclusive to Monks and Nuns. In fact, it belongs to all Catholics. It is the privilege of the peasant, artisan, or clerk, who, on his way home from work, pays a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. “Here I am, my God,“ anyone of them may say. “I am very tired. Please give me some rest for my soul. I am weary and worried, both in body and in soul. I wish to love You more and to be faithful to You, until I die. I wish to think only of You but there are so many other things which I must think about. I have so many temptations and disturbances, which cause me to forget You and which often lead me into evil. O God, be the light of my soul, the peace of my heart, the divine strength of my weak will. …” Murmuring words like these, they listen to God and seem to see Him bending down towards them.
Then there is the student who has spent the day pouring over books, searching for the truth. He goes into the Church for a moment and kneels down. His mind is full of the tumult of thoughts, calculations and problems, never completely answered or explained in the books, written by men. He asks God for the light which he has not found, for the answer which he has not discovered, for the peace and calm, which only He can give.
At least for a moment, all these workers and students are contemplatives. They have left behind the noise of the world, in order to listen to the Voice of God. But this Voice, which does not speak in words but in silence and in peace, is the Voice of contemplation. Prayer comes afterwards, when God makes His presence felt in the soul. In this way, no matter who or what we are, we should all be contemplatives. In other words, we should seek, in quiet conversation with God, the truth and tranquiliity which the world cannot give us.”
Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent and the Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church
“Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters. Let our soul thirst, as David thirsted, for the fountain. What is that fountain? Listen to David – With you is the fountain of life. Let my soul say to this fountain, When shall I come and see You face to face? For the fountain is God Himself.”
“All the children of the Church are priests. At Baptism, they received the anointing that gives them a share in the priesthood. The sacrifice that they must offer to God is completely spiritual – it is themselves.”
“If you have two shirts in your closet, one belongs to you and the other to the man who has no shirt.”
“The devil tempts, that he may ruin; God tests, that He may crown.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 7 December – Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 40: 1-11; Psalm 96: 1-3 and 10-13; Matthew 18: 12-14 and the Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?” Matthew 18:12
REFLECTION – “Imagine to yourself the sadness of the poor shepherd, whose sheep has strayed. The only thing to be heard in the fields roundabout, is the call of this unfortunate lad who, having abandoned the better part of the flock, runs about in woods and hills, passes by thicket and bush, mourning and calling out as hard as he can, unable to make up his mind to go back, until he has found his sheep again and led it back to the fold.
Here is what the Son of God did when men had gone astray, through their disobedience, from their Creator’s way of behaving. He came down to earth and did not stint, either care or labour ,to restore us again to the state from which we had fallen. It is what He still does daily for those who separate themselves from Him by sin. He tracks them down, so to speak, never ceasing to call them back, until He has restored them to the way of salvation. And indeed, if He did not wear Himself out in this way, you well know what would become of us after the first mortal sin – it would be impossible for us to come back again … It is He who has to make all the advances, Who must show us His grace, Who must follow after us, Who must invite us to take pity on ourselves, without which, we would never dream of asking His mercy …
The zeal with which God pursues us is undoubtedly the result of a very great mercy. But the sweetness by which this zeal is accompanied shows an even more wonderful goodness. Notwithstanding the immense desire He has to cause us to return, He never uses force; He only makes use of gentleness for this purpose. In all the Gospel I see no sinner who was invited to repent except by endearments and kindness.” – St Claude la Colombière SJ (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart” (A sermon preached in London before the Duchess of York).
PRAYER – Lord God, You made St Ambrose a teacher of the Catholic Faith and a pattern of apostolic fortitude. Raise up in the Church today, men after Your own heart, to lead Your people with wisdom, strength and courage in the face of widespread evil. And may his prayers intercede for us all. We make our prayer, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 7 December – St Charles Garnier SJ (1606-1649) Priest Martyr, Missionary. Born in 1606 in Paris, France and died by being shot in the chest and abdomen and then tomahawked in the head on 7 December 1649 at Fort Saint Jean, Canada, he was just 43 years old. Additional Memorials – 19 October as one of the Martyrs of North America, 26 September in Canada.
Charles was the son of a secretary to King Henri III of France. He attended the Collège de Clermont in Paris and joined the Jesuit Seminary in Clermont in September 1624
After his novitiate, he returned to the College of Clermont as Prefect. When he finished his studies in rhetoric and philosophy, he spent two years teaching at the College of Eu. Completing years of studies in language, culture and theology, he was Ordained in 1635.
Charles had to be persistent in asking to become a missionary because his father, a wealthy Parisian gentleman, opposed his desires and obstructed his first request. That same persistence proved invaluable as he worked with the Petun people who initially were hostile to the Black Robes, as they called the Jesuits.
Garnier spent his first three years in New France learning the Huron language and ministering at the mission in Ossossané. In November 1639 he and Father Isaac Jogues were sent to the Petuns who would not accept them because they remembered the accusation that the Black Robes had caused the epidemic that swept through the Huron lands in 1636. The two Jesuits spent the winter months among the Petun, then returned to Ossossané because they thought they had failed. Father Garnier returned the following autumn and then left again. Finally he returned during the winter of 1647 and founded two missions. For now, the people were more responsive than on his previous visits.
For several years the Iroquois had been increasing their attacks on the Huron world; they had already killed Father Anthony Daniel in 1648, so Garnier took the report very seriously, which he received in November 1649, that the Iroquois were on the warpath against the Petun and threatened to burn their villages. He sent his newly-arrived assistant, Father Noel Chabanel back to the mission headquarters because he did not want to leave him at risk but Charles himself was firm in wanting to stay with his people. On 7 November at mid-afternoon, the Iroquois attacked, killing anyone they found. Garnier was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the abdomen. He was stripped of his cassock and left to die in the cold but he regained consciousness and tried to move towards a Petun man who had been wounded. An attacker scalped him and then killed him with a blow to the head. Another Jesuit came to the village the next day and buried the gentleman’s son, our Saint, in a shallow grave among the people he so wanted to bring to Christ.
Charles Garnier was Canonised on 29 June 1930 by Pope Pius XI with the seven other Canadian Martyrs (also known as the North American Martyrs).
Vigil of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 7 December On this vigil day, Catholics stand in the remains of the night as the dawn makes its appearance. This resplendent dawn is that Singular Conception, the Immaculate Conception, who ushers in the Light of Christ. A day of Fast and Abstinence following the Rubrics of Pope Pius X for the Universal Calendar of the Church.
“It is through the most Blessed Virgin Mary, that Jesus Christ came into the world and, it is also through her, that He will reign in the world.” – St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
Virgen del Castillo, Inmaculada Concepción / Virgin of the Castle, Yecla, Spain (1642) – 7 and 8 December:
The Virgen del Castillo, Inmaculada Concepción, is venerated as Patron in the City of Yecla ( Murcia, Spain ). The Sanctuary constitutes a pilgrimage centre not only for the people of Yecla but also for the inhabitants of the entire region and even the neighboring Provinces. The name of Virgen del Castillo or Virgin of the Castle, even though it is not the official title, is the popular name with which the faithful have called their Patron because she is enshrined in the Castle Sanctuary, which is next to the medieval fortress that crowns the hill on which the City is situate. The invocation actually corresponds to the Immaculate Conception, being venerated in the aforementioned Sanctuary since time immemorial. The existence in that same place of a Mozarabic Church, dedicated to Santa María, which even became a Parish until the middle of the 16th century, is documented .
But the event that marked the transcendence of the old Sanctuary would occur during the reign of Felipe IV, when a group of Yeclans led by Captain Martín Soriano Zaplana, returned to the City after fighting against the French troops that had invaded Catalonia. The combatants return to Yecla without having suffered any casualties, a fact that they knew was miraculous, due to their devotion to the Virgin Mary and for which, they went to the hermitage of the Castle in thanksgiving. That act was an event for the City, which from then on would see in the image of Our Lady of the Castle, a symbol of protection.
The Church where the Virgin is enshrined has undergone numerous reconstructions and restorations throughout its history. The current building dates from the 19th century . The carving that is venerated today, is not the original either, since it disappeared in the Spanish Civil War – it is a replica made by Miguel Torregrosa in 1941 in the likeness of the original one, which was canonically crowned in 1954. The Procession is held on 7 December and the High Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December.
St Agatho of Alexandria St Anianas of Chartres St Antonius of Siya St Athenodoros of Mesopotamia St Buithe of Monasterboice St Burgundofara St Charles Garnier SJ (1606-1649) Priest Martyr St Diuma St Geretrannus of Bayeux Bl Humbert of Clairvaux St Martin of Saujon