Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, The DIVINE INFANT

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus, The Third Day, 18 December

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

18 December
Meditation 3:
The life of poverty which Jesus lived, even from His birth.

God planned that when His Son was to be born on earth, an edict would be promulgated by the Emperor, obliging the head of every household to go to the place of his birth and register. And so, Joseph had to go with his wife to Bethlehem, to enrol according to the Decree of Caesar.
While there, Mary’s time of delivery arrived. Because she had been driven from all the other houses and even from the common shelter for poor people, she ended up spending the night in a cave, and there, gave birth to the King of Heaven.
It is true that Jesus would have been just as poor if he had been born in Nazareth. But at least there, He would have had a dry room, a little fire, warm clothes and a comfortable cradle. But no, He chose to be born in a cold cavern without a fire to warm Him. He chose to have the livestock’s manger for His cradle and a little prickly straw for His bedding, in order that He might experience what poor people have to experience.

Let us enter that cave in Bethlehem but, let us enter with faith. If we go without faith we will see nothing but a poor Infant, Who moves us to compassion, by seeing Him so beautiful but shivering with cold and crying, from the itchiness of the straw on which He lies. But if we enter with faith, we will believe that this Child is the Son of God, Who loved us so much that He came down to earth and endured so much, to pay for our sins.
How could we not thank Him and love Him?

Affections and Prayers:

O dear Infant Jesus,
how could I be so ungrateful
and offend Thee so often,
if I realised, how much Thou hast suffered for me?
But these tears which Thou sheddest,
this poverty which Thou embraces!
for love of me, make me hope
for the pardon of all the offences
I have committed against Thee.

My Jesus,
I am sorry for having so often,
turned my back on Thee.
But now I love Thee above all else.
“My God and my all!”
From now on Thou, O my God,
shalt be my only treasure and my only good.
With Saint Ignatius of Loyola
I will say to Thee,
“Give me the grace to love Thee –
that is enough for me.”
I long for nothing else;
I want nothing else.
Thou alone art enough for me,
my Jesus, my life, my love.

O Mary, my Mother,
obtain for me, the grace
that I may always love Jesus
and always be loved by Him.


Thought for the Day – 18 December – The Cradle of the Divine Infant Jesus

Thought for the Day – 18 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena III
The Cradle of the Divine Infant Jesus

Perhaps I still preserve a strong attachment to sin and fall badly from time to time.
What is the main motivating power in my life?
Perhaps, I am motivated by self-interest and am attracted by pleasure, ease and worldly glory.
How little I have learned from the example of Our Lord in the manger.

Let us remember, that the man who looks only for worldly success, cannot find Heaven!
He will wind up bitter and disillusioned, whereas the man who seeks Jesus Christ, will eventually enjoy the peace and happiness which God alone can give.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, St JOSEPH, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 December – O LORD AND RULER

Quote/s of the Day – 18 December – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – O LORD AND RULER

of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the flame
of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai,
Come and redeem us with outstretched arms

Joseph embraced
the Son of the heavenly Father
as he would a newborn babe
and served Him as his God.
He took pleasure in this
as in goodness itself
and he, who was complete righteousness (Mt 1:19),
worshiped Him.

Oh how great was his wonderment!
“How is it, Son of God Most High,
that I should have You as my Son?
I was angered against Your Mother
and thought to put her away.
I never knew that in her womb
so great a treasure lay,
Who straightway made me rich
in the midst of my poverty.

David the King, arose amongst my forebears
and wore the crown,
yet how great is the destitution
to which I have come!
No king, I am a carpenter,
yet a crown has come to me,
since on my heart there rests,
the Lord of all crowns.

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

(Hymn for the Nativity.)


One Minute Reflection – 18 December – ‘What way are we to prepare for the Lord?’

One Minute Reflection – 18 December – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – The Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Feast of Our Lady of Expectation – 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Luke 3:1-6 – Scripture search here:

… The word of God came to John the son of Zachary in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaias…” -Luke 3:3-4

REFLECTION – “The precursor of Christ — the voice of one crying in the wilderness — preaches in the desert of the soul that has known no peace. Not only then but even now, a bright and burning lamp first comes and preaches the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Then, the true Light follows, as John himself said: “He must increase but I must decrease.” The Word came in the desert and spread in all the countryside around the Jordan.

Prepare the way for the Lord.” What way are we to prepare for the Lord? Surely not a material way. Can the Word of God go on such a journey? Should not the way be prepared for the Lord within? Should not straight and level paths be built in our hearts? This is the way by which the Word of God has entered. That Word dwells, in the spaces, of the human heart.

I believe that the mystery of John is still being achieved in the world today. If anyone is going to believe in Christ Jesus, John’s spirit and power first come to his soul and “prepare a perfect people for the Lord.” It makes the ways in the heart’s rough places, smooth and straightens out its paths.” Origen of Alexandria (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Homilies on the Gospel of Luke 4).

PRAYER – O God, Who, by the message of an Angel, willed to take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant that we, Thy suppliants, who believe her to be truly, the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).


Our Morning Offering – 18 December – “Christ is Near!”

Our Morning Offering – 18 December –The Fourth Sunday of Advent – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception”

“Christ is Near!”
Vox clara ecce intonas
Hear the Herald Voice Resounding
Unknown Sixth Century

Trans. Fr Edward Caswell C.Orat. (1814-1878)

Hear the herald voice resounding:
“Christ is near!” it seems to say,
“Cast away the dreams of darkness,
Welcome Christ, the Light of day!”

Wakened by this solemn warning,
Let the earthbound soul arise;
Christ her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
Shines upon the morning skies.

See the Lamb so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from Heav’n;
Hasten now, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiv’n.

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

Honour, glory, virtue, merit,
To the Father and the Son,
With the co-eternal Spirit,
While eternal ages run.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 December – Saint Auxentius of Mopsuetia (Died c 321) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 18 December – Saint Auxentius of Mopsuetia (Died c 321) Bishop of of Mopsuestia, Southern Turkey, ex-Officer in the Roman army.

The Roman Martyrology reads: “At Mopsuestia in Cilicia, Turkey, St Auxentius, Bishop, who while he was still a soldier under Licinius, preferred to surrender his military insignia, rather than to offer grapes to the pagan god Bacchus. Having been made the Bishop, he was renowned for merit and rested in peace.”

Auxentius had been an Officer in the personal guard of the Emperor Augustus Licintus. But for refusing to sacrifice at the feet of the statue of the pagan god Bacchus, he was dismissed from his post.

He was then Ordained as Priest and appointed and Consecrated as the Bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia, Turkey.

He is known to have given refuge to exiles.


The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Feast of Our Lady of the Expectation and Memorials of the Saints – 18 December

The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Feast of

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Three

Our Lady of the Expectation – This Feast originated in Spain. When the Feast of the Annunciation (25 March) was transferred to 18 December because of the regulation forbidding Feasts in Lent, it remained on this date after the Annunciation was again celebrated on its original date. It impressed on the faithful, the sentiments of the Blessed Virgin as the time of her delivery approached.

More about the Feast here:

St Auxentius of Mopsuetia (Died c 321) Bishop
St Basilian of Laodicea
St Bodagisil of Aquitaine
St Desiderius of Fontenelle

St Flannán of Killaloe (7the Century) Bishop, Abbot, Missionary to the Hebrides Islands, renowned for his preaching.

St Gatian of Tours (c 251-301) The founding Bishop of the See of Tours, Missionary..
About St Gatian:

St Malachi the Prophet
St Mawnan of Cornwall
Bl Philip of Ratzeburg
St Rufus of Philippi*
St Samthann of Clonbroney
St Theotimus of Laodicea

St Winebald OSB (c 701-761) Benedictine Priest, Abbot, Confessor, Missionary, Founder of many Monasteries, disciple of St Boniface.
St Winebald’s Life:

St Zosimus of Philippi*

Mercedarians Redeemers – Also known as “Blessed Redentori.”
A group of Mercedarian friars who worked together, under the leadership of Saint Peter de Amer, to ransom prisoners and minister to them after.

  • Blessed Bernardo de Pratis
  • Blessed Giacomo de Lara
  • Blessed Louis Gasco
  • Blessed Peter de Quesada
  • Blessed Peter of Barcelona
  • Blessed William de Quadres

Martyrs of Northwest Africa – 42 Saints:
Mercedarian Redeemers – 6 beati – These are a group of Mercedarian Friars who worked together, under the leadership of Saint Peter de Amer, to ransom (e.g., redeem) prisoners and minister to them after.