Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus – The Second Day, 17 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

17 December
Meditation 2:
The love of God in being born as an Infant.

The Son of God, in becoming human for our sake, might have appeared in the world at the age of a grown man, the way Adam appeared when he was created. But since children usually attract greater love to themselves from those who take care of them, Jesus chose to appear on earth, as an Infant and as the poorest and most miserable Infant ever born.

Saint Peter Chrysologus wrote: “Our God chose to be born this way because he wanted to be loved.” The prophet Isaiah had already predicted that the Son of God was to be born an Infant and give Himself entirely to us through the love He bore for us:
A child is born to us, a son is given to us (Isaiah 9:6a).

O my Jesus, almighty and true God, what else could possibly have attracted Thee to come from Heaven and be born in a cave, if not Thy love for us?
What convinced Thee to leave the lap of Thy Father and lay Thyself down in a manger?
What drew Thee down from Thy throne above the stars, to stretch Thyself out on a little pile of straw?
What, from the midst of the Nine Choirs of Angels, has placed Thee between these sheep and oxen?
Thou inflame the Seraphim with holy fire, yet look, Thou trembles from the cold in this stable! Thou give the sun, the stars and the planets their paths of movement, yet now Thou cannot move at all without being carried in someone’s arms!
Thou provide food for all creatures and yet now, Thou depends on a little milk to sustain Thy life. Thou ary the delight of Heaven and yet, how is it that I now hear Thee whimper and cry? Tell me, who has reduced Thee to such lowliness? “Who has done this? Love has done it,” says Saint Bernard. Yes, the love that Thou hast for us has done it!

Affections and Prayers:

O Dearest Infant!
Tell me, what hast Thou come on earth to do?
Tell me, whom art Thou seeking?
Yes, I already know.
Thou hast come to die for me,
in order to save me from hell.
Thou hast come to seek me, the lost sheep,
so that, instead of fleeing from Thee any more,
I may rest in Thy loving arms.
Ah my Jesus, my Treasure, my life, my love and my all!
Whom will I love, if not Thee?
Where can I find a father, a friend, a spouse,
more loving and lovable than Thou art?

I love Thee, my dear God;
I love Thee, my only good.
I regret the many years,
when I have not loved Thee
but rather, spurned and offended Thee.
Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer;
for I am sorry that I have thus treated Thee
and I regret it with all my heart.
Pardon me and give me the grace
never more to withdraw from Thee
but constantly, to love Thee in all the years
which still lie before me in this life.
My love, I give myself entirely to Thee.
accept me and do not reject me as I deserve.

O Mary, thou art my advocate.
By thy prayers thou dost obtain whatever thou wilt
from thy Son.
Pray Him then to forgive me
and to grant me holy perseverance until death.


Thought for the Day – 17 December – Preparation for the Nativity

Thought for the Day – 17 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena II
Preparation for the Nativity

“The better to celebrate this Mystery of the Word of God made Man for love of us, it is necesary to make some preparation.
Then, we shall be able to derive real spiritual benefit from the Feast of the Nativity.

We can prepare our minds for the celebration of this great Mystery, by meditation on te Infinite Goodness of God, Who was so moved by compassion for our misery that He came down from Heaven and became an Infant, whimpering on a bed of straw in a manger.
He offered His first sufferings for our sake, even as He later offered Himself on the Cross, as a Victim for our redemption.
This meditation should elicit from us, an act of profound humility.
If God so abased Himself, how can such sinful and ungrateful creatures, as we are, carry ourselves proudly and boastfully in the presence of God and of men?

This humble act of adoration on the part of our intellect, should be accompanied by an act of heartfelt love.
If we do not love Jesus, whom else are we capable of loving?
He alone is worthy of all ou affections; only He can satisfy the desires our our hearts!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – O Wisdom / O Sapientia

Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – Saturday of Ember Week in Advent – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception”

O Wisdom
O Sapientia

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia-
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth
from the Mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things-
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

I send you a very little word,
made little in the crib,
made flesh for us ….
of salvation and grace
of sweetness and glory
Who is good and gentle –

Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)


One Minute Reflection – 17 December – Prepare the way of the Lord make straight His paths. – Luke 3:4

One Minute Reflection – 17 December – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – Saturday of Ember Week in Advent – Isaias 19:20-22, Luke 3:1-6 – Scripture search here:

As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: ‘A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord make straight His paths.’” – Luke 3:4

REFLECTION – “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God.’ The prophecy makes clear that it is to be fulfilled, not in Jerusalem but in the wilderness, it is there that the glory of the Lord is to appear and God’s salvation is to be made known to all mankind.

It was in the wilderness that God’s saving presence was proclaimed by John the Baptist and there that God’s salvation was seen. The words of this prophecy were fulfilled when Christ and His glory were made manifest to all after His Baptism, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, rested upon Him and the Father’s Voice was heard, bearing witness to the Son: ‘This is My beloved Son, listen to Him.

The prophecy meant that God was to come to a deserted place, inaccessible from the beginning. None of the pagans had any knowledge of God, since His holy servants and prophets, were kept from approaching them. The Voice commands that a way be prepared for the Word of God – the rough and trackless ground is to be made level, so that our God may find a highway when He comes. Prepare the way of the Lord – the way is the preaching of the Gospel, the new message of consolation, ready to bring to all mankind, the knowledge of God’s saving power.

Climb on a high mountain, bearer of good news to Zion. Lift up your voice in strength, bearer of good news to Jerusalem. These words harmonise very well with the meaning of what has gone before. They refer, opportunely, to the Evangelists and proclaim the coming of God to men, after speaking of the voice crying in the wilderness. Mention of the Evangelists suitably follows the prophecy of John the Baptist.

What does Zion mean if not the City previously called Jerusalem? This is the mountain referred to in that passage from Scripture: Here is mount Zion, where Thou dwelt. The Apostle says: You have come to mount Zion. Does not this refer to the company of the Apostles, chosen from the former people of the circumcision?

This is the Zion, the Jerusalem, which received God’s salvation. It stands aloft on the mountain of God, that is, it is raised high on the Only-begotten Word of God. It is commanded to climb the high mountain and announce the Word of Salvation. Who is the bearer of the good news but the company of the Evangelists? What does it mean to bear the good news but to preach to all nations but first of all, to the cities of Judah, the coming of Christ on earth?– Eusebius of Caesarea (c 265-339) Bishop, Theologian, Historian, Father (An excerpt from his Commentary on Isaias).

PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we, who are heavy-laden under the yoke of sin, maybe delivered from the bondage of old, by the long-awaited new birth of Thy Only-begotten Son. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Rejoice! ejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel. Amen (Collect)


Our Morning Offering – 17 December – O Purest of Creatures, Sweet Mother, Sweet Maid

Our Morning Offering – 17 December – Saturday of Ember Week in Advent – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception”

O Purest of Creatures,
Sweet Mother, Sweet Maid

By Fr Frederick W Faber C.Orat. (1814-1863)

O Purest of creatures, sweet Mother, sweet maid,
The one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid!
Dark night hath come down on us, Mother! and we
Look out for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Deep night hath come down on this rough-spoken world,
And the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled;
And the tempest-tossed Church,—
all her eyes are on thee;
They look to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

He gazed on thy soul, it was spotless and fair,
For the empire of sin—it had never been there;
None ever had owned thee, dear Mother but He.
And He blest thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Earth gave Him one lodging; t’was deep in thy breast,
And God found a home where the sinner finds rest;
His home and His hiding-place, both were in thee,
He was won by thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 December – Saint Wivina (1103-c 1170) Virgin, Abbess

Saint of the Day – 17 December – Saint Wivina (1103-c 1170) Virgin, Abbess. Born in 1103 in Oisy, Flanders, Belgium and died in c 1170 at Grand-Brigard Abbey, Brabant, Belgium of natural causes. Also known as – Vivina, Wiwina. Additional Memorials – 16 December in the Benedictine Order and 25 September (translation of Relics).

We have little knowledge of her childhood and early life but at the age of 15, she had already determined to forsake the world.

However, she was renowned for her beauty and sought in marriage by a young nobleman named Richard, who found favour in the eyes of her parents. When rejected by her, he became ill to the point of death. Whereupon Wiwina prayed and fasted for him ,until he was miraculously restored to health.

At the age of 23, she went to live a hermit’s life in a wood near Brussels. Here, in 1120, Count Godfrey of Brabant established the Convent of Le Grand Bigard for her and her disciples.

Acting as Abbess, she put it under the direction of the Abbot of the nearby Monastery of Affligem and laboured diligently to maintain the true religious life there.

After her death she was glorified by many miracles. Her Relics are now in Notre Dame du Sablon at Brussels. Her cultus was confirmed by Pope Urban VII in 1625 and a Mass and Office was approved in 1903.

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Ember Saturday, Madonna del Terremoto / Our Lady of the Earthquake, Basilicata, Italy (1857) and Memorials of the Saints – 17 Decenber

Ember Saturday – Fast and Abstinence

Christmas Novena Day Two

Madonna del Terremoto (Madonna del Carmine) / Our Lady of the Earthquake, Paterno, Potenza, Basilicata, Italy (1857) – 17 December. (As Patron-Our Lady of Carmel – 26 July):

St Lazarus of Bethany (1st Century) Friend amd Disciple of Jesus, raised to life by Jesus after having been in his tomb for 4 days, brother of Sts Martha and Mary of Bethany, Bishop of Marseilles, France, , Martyr, Missionary. Died by being beheaded in the 1st century in a cave near Marseilles, France.
His Life and Death:

St Briarch of Bourbriac
St Judicaël
St Maxentiolus
St Modestus of Jerusalem

St Olympias of Constantinople (c 361-365 – 408) Childless Widow, Diaconess, friend of St John Chrysostom, Apostle of charity and Founder of a Convent, hospital and an orphanage, Defender of the true faith.
About St Olympias:

Bl Peter of Spain

St Sturmi of Fulda OSB (c 705-779) Priest, Monk, Missionary, disciple of Saint Boniface and Founder and first Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery and Abbey of Fulda. Known as “The Apostle of the Saxons,” “The Apostle of Germany.”
About St Sturmi:

St Tydecho
St Wivina (1103-c 1170) Virgin, Abbess
St Yolanda

Martyrs of Eleutheropolis – (60+ Martyrs-Beati): Approximately 60 Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army of emperor Heraclius; they were murdered as a group for their faith by invading Saracen Muslims. We know the names of two of them – Calaoicus and Florian. 638 in Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), Palestine.