Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 11 January – O Adorable Infant

Our Morning Offering – 11 January – Sixth Day within the Octave of Epiphany

O Adorable Infant
By St Alphonsus de Liguori

O Adorable Infant
I should not dare to present myself before Thee,
did I not know
that Thou, Thyself invitest me
to approach Thee.
It is I, by my sins,
who made Thee shed so many tears
in the stable of Bethlehem
but since Thou art come upon earth.
to pardon penitent sinners,
vouchsafe to pardon me.
I sincerely repent
of having despised Thee,
my Lord and my God,
Who art so good
and hast loved me so much.
Thy grace that I ask,
is that I may love Thee henceforth,
with all my heart.
Inflame my soul entirely
with Thy Holy Love.
I love Thee, O my God,
Who hast become an Infant for me.
Grant that I may never
cease to love Thee
O Mary, my Mother!
thou art all-powerful
by yhy prayers;
I ask but one favour of Thee,
namely, that Thou wilt pray to Jesus for me.
Amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD

Our Morning Offering – 10 January – O Child, So Worthy of Our Love, I Offer You My Heart

Our Morning Offering – 10 January – The Fifth Day within the Octave of Epiphany

O Child, So Worthy of Our Love,
I Offer You My Heart
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

O Child so worthy of our love,
I see You lying on the straw in this cave,
so poor and despised.
Yet faith teaches me, that You are my God
come down from heaven for my salvation.
I acknowledge You as my Sovereign Lord and Saviour,
as such I proclaim You,
yet, I have nothing at all to offer You.
I am without Love’s Gold,
since I have given my love to the things of this world –
I have only loved my own whim, rather than loving You,
so infinitely worthy of love.
I am without Prayer’s Incense,
since I have lived wretchedly without thinking of You.
I have no Myrrh of Mortification since,
so as not to forsake some paltry pleasures,
I have so often saddened Your infinite goodness.
So what am I to offer You?
O my Jesus, I offer You my heart, soiled and naked as it is.
Take it and change it, for You have come down to us
to wash our guilty hearts with Your Blood
and so transform us from sinners into saints.
O grant me that Gold, Incense and Myrrh which I lack.
Grant me the Gold of Your Holy Love;
grant me the Incense which is the spirit of prayer;
grant me Myrrh,
the willingness and strength to deny myself
in all that displeases You…
O holy Virgin, you welcomed those devout Magi Kings
with keen affection and satisfied them.
Deign to welcome and comfort me also,
I, who come, following their example,
to visit and offer myself to your Son
Amen.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, BREVIARY Prayers, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Christmas Weekday “Month of the Most Holy Name”

Of the Father’s Love Begotten
(Excerpt)
By Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens (c 348-c 413)

Trans. J M Neale (1818-1866)

Of the Father’s love begotten
Ere the world began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source, the Ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

Blessed was the day forever,
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Saviour of our race
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His Sacred Face
Evermore and evermore.

Glory be to God the Father,
Glory be to God the Son
Glory be the Holy Ghost,
Persons Three, yet Godhead One,
Glory be from all creation
While eternal ages run,
Evermore and evermore.

Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Roman Christian Poet, born in the Roman Province of Tarraconensis (now Northern Spain) in c 348. He probably died in the Iberian Peninsula some time after 405, possibly around 413.
Prudentius practised law with some success and was twice Provincial Governor, perhaps in his native country. Towards the end of his life (possibly around 392) Prudentius retired from public life to become an ascetic, fasting until evening and abstaining entirely from animal food and writing poems, hymns and controversial works in defence of Christianity. Prudentius later collected the Christian poems written during this period and added a preface, which he himself dated 405.
The poetry of Prudentius is influenced by early Christian authors, such as Tertullian and St Ambrose, as well as the Sacred Scriptures and the Acts of the Martyrs. His hymn Da, puer, plectrum – “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”) and the hymn for Epiphany O sola magnarum urbium (“Earth Has Many A Noble City”), both from the Cathemerinon, are still frequently in use today, although many others are too but perhaps less frequently..

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, POETRY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on WATCHING, The DIVINE INFANT, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – ‘He has come down to earth, to take you to heaven …’

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 2:12-17, Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40

“She [Anna] spoke about the child to all
who were awaiting
the redemption of Jerusalem…

Luke 2:38

“He has come down to earth
to take you to heaven,
He became mortal
that you might become God
and put on your original beauty
.”

St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556)
Monk, Composer of Hymns, Poet

“The Angel said to the shepherds,
“This is a sign for you” (Lk 2: 12),
you who are humble,
you who are obedient,
you who are not haughty (Rom 12: 16),
you who are keeping vigil
and meditating on God’s law,
day and night (Ps 1:2).
“This is a sign for you,” he said.
What is this sign?
The sign the Angels promised,
the sign the people asked for,
the sign the prophets foretold,
the Lord Jesus has now made
and He shows it to you. …

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

“Listen! the reason He is called Saviour
is because, for all those
to whom He is united,
He gains salvation.
Now salvation means,
to be delivered from all ills and,
at the same time,
to find all blessings forever –
Life instead of death,
Light in place of darkness
and, instead of the slavery
of the passions and unworthy deeds,
the complete freedom granted
to all those, who are united to Christ,
Saviour of all beings.
Thus they will possess,
without being able to lose it,
all joy, all happiness, all blessedness (…)
that that none can ever know,
or conceive, or see,
if not sincerely and ardently
attached to Christ
.”

St Symeon the New Theologian (c 949-1022)

Who lives in Love
By St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Martyr

Who lives in Love, loves least to live
and long delays doth rue,
if Him he love by Whom he lives,
to Whom all praise is due,
Who for our love did choose to live
and was content to die,
Who loved our love more than His life
and love with Life did buy.
Let us in life, yea with our life
requite His Living Love,
for best we live when least we live,
if Love our life remove.
Mourn, therefore, no true lover’s death,
life only him annoy
and when he taketh leave of life
then Love begins his joys.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – Beloved and Most Holy Word of God

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – The Sixth Day of the Octave of Christmas

Beloved and Most Holy Word of God
By St James of the Marches (1391-1476)

Beloved and most holy Word of God!
You enlighten the hearts of the faithful,
You satisfy the hungry,
console the afflicted.
You make the souls of all,
productive of good
and cause all virtues to blossom.
You snatch souls
from the devil’s jaw.
You make the wretched holy
and men of earth,
citizens of heaven!
Amen

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARTYRS, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – The Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas and the Memorial of St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

“… No matter who plants or waters,
God gives no harvest
unless what he plants
is the faith of Peter
and unless he himself.
assents to Peter’s teaching.

“Those who tread among serpents
and along a tortuous path,
must use the cunning of the serpent
.”

“If all the swords in England
were pointed against my head,
your threats would not move me.

St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170)
Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/29/quote-s-of-the-day-29-december-st-thomas-a-becket-1118-1170/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – O Dearest Infant by St Alphonsus

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – The Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

O Dearest Infant
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

O dearest Infant,
tell me what You came on earth to do.
Tell me whom You are seeking.
Ah, yes, I now understand…
You have come to die for me, a lost sheep,
in order that I may no more
hide from You but love You.
O Jesus, my treasure,
my life, my love, my all,
if I do not love You,
then whom shall I love?
Where can I find a mother or father,
a friend, or a spouse more loving than You?
And who has ever loved me more than You have?
I am sorry that I have lived so many years in this world
and yet still love You so little,
even having offended You
and sometimes forgotten You.
Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – O Jesus, Dear Holy ChildBy St Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents and the Fourth |Day of the Octave of Christmas

O Jesus, Dear Holy Child
By St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873 – 1897)
Doctor of the Church

O Jesus,
dear Holy Child,
my only treasure,
I abandon myself to Thy every whim.
I seek no other joy
than that of calling forth Thy sweet Smile.
Vouchsafe to me, the graces and the virtues
of Thy Holy Childhood,
so that, on the day of my birth into Heaven,
the Angels and Saints
may recognise in Thy Spouse,
Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN POETRY, POETRY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The DIVINE INFANT, The HEART

Quote/s of the Day – 26 December – Christ, the Child

Quote/s of the Day – 26 December – The Second Day in the Christmas Octave

Christ, the Child

“Oh great God! Oh perfect Child!
The Son is in the Father
and the Father is in the Son.
How could the teaching this Child gives,
not be irreproachable?
It includes us all to guide us all, His children.
He has stretched out His hands to us
and we have placed in them all our faith.
To this little Child, John the Baptist himself
also gave testimony – “Behold,” he said,
“the Lamb of God,” (Jn 1:29).
Since Scripture has called children ‘lambs,’
it has called “Lamb of God”
the Word of God Who became man for us
and Who wanted to become like us in all things,
the Son of God Himself, the child of the Father
.”

St Clement of Alexandria (150-215)
Theologian, Father

“Maker of the sun,
He is made under the sun.

In the Father He remains,
From His mother He goes forth.

Creator of heaven and earth,
He was born under heaven.

Unspeakably wise,
He is wisely speechless.

Filling the world,
He lies in a manger.

Ruler of the stars,
He nurses at His mother’s bosom.

He is both great in the nature of God
and small in the form of a servant.”

“He became small because you were small –
understand how great He is
and you will become great along with Him.
This is how houses are built,
how the solid walls of a building are raised.
The stones brought to construct the building increase,
you, too, increase, understanding how great Christ is
and how He who appeared to be small is great,
very great indeed…

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

He is an infant,
He does not speak,
He only cries but these cries
are cries of love
which invite us to love Him,
cries that demand our hearts.

St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

A Christmas Carol
By G K Chesterton (1874-1936)
English Catholic Convert, Writer, Poet.

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings
But here the true hearts are.
)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, POETRY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 26 December – Sleep, Holy Babe

Our Morning Offering – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave

Sleep, Holy Babe
By Fr Edward Caswell C.Orat. (1814-1878)

Sleep, holy Babe, Upon Your Mother’s breast!
Great Lord of earth and sea and sky,
How sweet it is to see You lie
In such a place of rest!
Sleep, holy Babe, Your angels watch around,
All bending low with folded wings
Before th’incarnate King of kings
In rev’rent awe profound!
Sleep, holy Babe, While I with Mary gaze
In joy upon that face awhile,
Upon the loving Infant smile
Which there divinely plays.
Sleep, holy Babe,
And take Your brief repose;
Too quickly will Your slumbers break
And You to lengthened pains awake,
That death alone shall close.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – “And the Word became flesh…”

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.

John 1:1

“And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

“On this day, on which the Lord of all came among servants, let the lords also bow down, to their servants lovingly.

On this day, when the rich One was made poor for our sake, let the rich man also make the poor man, a sharer at his table.

On this day, a gift came out to us without our asking for it, let us then give alms to those, who cry out and beg from us.

This Lord of natures, today was transformed, contrary to his nature; it is not too difficult for us also to overthrow our evil will.

Bound is the body by its nature, for it cannot grow larger or smaller but powerful is the will, for it may grow to all sizes.

Today the Deity imprinted itself on humanity, so that humanity might also be cut into the seal of Deity.”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor

(Homily on Our Lord, 21)

“… Let us keep the Feast,
not after the manner of a heathen festival
but after a godly sort;
not after the way of the world
but in a fashion above the world;
not as our own
but as belonging to Him
who is ours,
or rather as our Master’s;
not as of weakness
but as of healing;
not as of creation
but of re-creation.

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Awake, mankind!
For your sake God has become man.
Awake, you who sleep,
rise up from the dead
and Christ will enlighten you.
I tell you again,
for your sake,
God became man.”

St Augustine 354-430)
Great Latin Father
and Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – ‘ … This indeed is wonderful …’

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – Mass during the day – Readings: Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 98:1-6, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18

Christ has been born for us, come, let us adore Him!

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. … John 1:14

REFLECTION – “Christ has come from the Father, He has come from the Word, He has come from the Holy Spirit, since the whole Trinity accomplished His conception and His incarnation. For to come from the highest Trinity was, no other, than to be conceived and to become, a human being, by the same Trinity. Therefore, it was said: “His going forth is form the highest heaven.” (cf. Ps 18[19]:6)
The Only-Begotten … begotten of the Father eternally, begotten in time, He came forth from His Mother, remaining invisibly with the Father and dwelling visibly with us. For to go forth from the Father was this – to enter upon our world, to be seen openly and to become what, from the nature of the Father, He was not. This indeed is wonderful, He came from Him from Whom He did not depart, going forth from Him, with Whom He stayed, so that without intermission, He was wholly in eternity, wholly in time, wholly was He found in the Father, when wholly in the Virgin, wholly in His own Majesty and in His Father’s at the time, when He was wholly in our humanity.
If you ask how, gather the truth by means of an illustration. A word conceived in the heart goes forth complete in the voice, so that it comes perfectly to others, yet remains wholly in the heart. So the good Word, spoken forth from the heart of the Father, went forth into the broad plain, yet did not leave the Father.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk and Bishop (On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily II).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your incarnate Word fills us with the new light He brought to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts, shine through all that we do and say. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

The Word was God in the beginning and before all time, today, He is born to us, the Saviour of the world.

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The DIVINE INFANT, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Holy Family – Jesus

Thought for the Day – 24 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena IX
The Holy Family – Jesus

“We have in the Holy Family, the highest possible models of perfection – Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
As God, Jesus is essentially holy.
By means of the Hypostatic Union, this sanctity is transmitted also to His human nature.
The holiness of Jesus was only gradually revealed as He grew older because He wished to be like us in everything, save in sin.
As the Gospel says, He “advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men” (Lk 2:52).
Jesus gave us an example of holiness which we should find easier to imitate because it was eternally increasing all the time.
He offered us, as an example, the kind of sanctity which has its beginning and foundation in utter humility and detachment from worldly goods.
“Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).

Socrates advised his followers to have few desires and to desire these as little as possible, in order to remain content, for the man who is full of desires is always uneasy and restless.
This human counsel is very true but, it is incomplete.
It recommends detachment from earthly things but fails to teach the ardent and practical desire for supernatural things.
Jesus Christ teaches us both.
After He has urged us to become gentle and humble like Himself, after He has told us not to worry about the future and not to fret about what to wear and what to eat, He points out the way in which Providence clothes the lilies of the filed and feeds the birds of the air.
Then He adds: “Seek the kingdom of God and all these things shall be given you besides” (Cf Lk. 12:22-31).

We must limit and moderate our desire for earthly goods, therefore but, should ardently yearn to love God, to serve and obey Him in this life and to enjoy Him forever in Heaven.
This is what the Infant Jesus wishes to teach us
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel”

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalms 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29, Acts 13:16-17, 22-25, Luke 2:1-14

Know today that the Lord will come –
in the morning you will see His glory.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

For today in the city of David, a saviour has been born for you, who is Messiah and Lord.” – Luke 2:11

REFLECTION – “Brethren, now we have been told about the miracle, let us turn aside to see this unusual sight as Moses did (Ex 3:3) – in Mary, the burning bush is not consumed, the Virgin gives birth to the Light, without defilement … Let us then run to Bethlehem, the town of the Good News! If we are real shepherds, staying awake on our watch, then it is to us that the voice of the angels is addressed, announcing a great joy … “Glory to God in the highest for peace is coming down to earth!” There where, only yesterday, there was nothing but misfortune, battlefields and exile, now earth receives peace for today “Truth shall spring out of the earth and justice shall look down from heaven” (Ps 84[85]:12). Behold the fruit earth gives to humankind, in reward for the goodwill reigning among men (Lk 2:14). God is joined to man, to raise man to the stature of God.

At this news, my brethren, let us go to Bethlehem to behold … the mystery of the crib, a child wrapped in swaddling clothes rests in a manger. A Virgin, after giving birth, His undefiled Mother, embraces her Son. Let us repeat the words of the prophet along with the shepherds: “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of our God.” (Ps 47[48]:9)

But why does our Lord seek shelter in this cave at Bethlehem? Why is He sleeping in a manger? Why does He participate in Israel’s census? My brethren, He who brings liberty to the world, comes to be born into our slavery to death. He is born in this cave to reveal Himself to us, who are immersed in darkness and the shadow of death. He rests in a manger because ,He is the One Who makes grass grow for the cattle (Ps 104[103],14). He is the Bread of Life who feeds us with a spiritual food that we too might live in the Spirit… What more joyful feast is there than that of today? Christ, the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20), comes to illumine our night. What had fallen, is raised up again, what was overcome, is now set free… what was dead is restored to life… Let us all sing today with one voice over all the earth: “Death came through one man, Adam, today salvation has come through one man (cf Rom 5,17)” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Bishop, Father of the Church (Sermon on the Nativity).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Incarnate Word fills us with the new Light, He brings to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts shine through all that we do and say. And may the Immaculate Virgin Mother of our Saviour, be ever near to help and protect us. Through Christ, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for all time and eternity, amen.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN POETRY, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord, Nativity Song, Day Nine of the Christmas Novena to the Christ Child and Memorials of the Saints – 24 December

24 December – Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord/Mass at Midnight
Midnight Mass is the first liturgy of Christmastide that is celebrated on the night of Christmas Eve, traditionally beginning at midnight when Christmas Eve gives way to Christmas Day. This popular Christmas custom is a jubilant celebration of the Mass in honour of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.

Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote a commentary on these words and explained in his Summa Theologiae, “And from this ,the Mass derives its name … the deacon on festival days ‘dismisses’ the people at the end of the Mass, by saying: ‘Ite, missa est,’ that is, the victim [Jesus] has been sent to God through the angel, so that it may be accepted by God.”

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Nine:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/24/christmas-novena-to-the-christ-child-day-nine-24-december-2/

All the Holy Ancestors of Christ – A commemoration of all the holy ancestors of Jesus Christ.
MORE HERE:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/24/24-december-vigil-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-mass-at-midnight-and-memorials-of-the-saints-24-december/

Nativity Song
By Blessed Jacopone da Todi OFM (1230-1306)

The beautiful Mother is bending
Low where her Baby lies
Helpless and frail, for her tending
But she knows the glorious eyes.

The Mother smiles and rejoices,
While the Baby laughs in the hay,
She listens to heavenly voices:
“This Child shall be King some day.”

O dear little Child in the manger,
Let me make merry with Thee,
O King, in my hour of danger,
Wilt Thou be strong for me?

About Saint Jacopone:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/25/saint-of-the-day-25-december-blessed-jacopone-da-todi-ofm-1230-1306/

St Adam the Patriarch
St Adela of Pfalzel
Bl Alberic of Gladbach
Bl Brocard of Strasbourg
St Bruno of Ottobeuren
St Caran of Scotland
St Delphinus of Bordeaux

St Emiliana and St Trasilla (died sixth Century) Virgins of the Church and aunts of Saint Pope Gregory the Great (540-604). What we know of their lives was recorded by the holy Pope, who was deeply moved by their model of Christian life and virtue.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/24/saints-of-the-day-24-december-saints-tarsilla-and-emiliana-died-sixth-century-virgins/

St Euthymius of Nicomedia
St Eve the Matriarch
Bl Francesco dei Maleficii
St Gregory of Spoleto

St Hanno of Worms OSB (Died 978) Benedictine Monk, Bishop of Worms from 950 until his death.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/24/saint-of-the-day-24-december-saint-hanno-of-worms-osb-died-978/

Bl Ignacio Caselles García
St Irmina of Oehren (Died c 716) Virgin Princess, Nun
St Mochua of Timahoe
Bl Pablo Meléndez Gonzalo

St Paola Elisabetta Cerioli (1816-1865) Widow, Founder of the Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Family, the male branch – the Religious of the Holy Family, of which orders she is the Patron.
Her Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/24/saint-of-the-day-24-december-saint-paola-elisabetta-cerioli-1816-1865/

Bl Peter de Solanes
Bl Venerandus of Clermont

• Blessed Dionysius Roneo
• Blessed Philip Claro
• Blessed Giulio Pons
• Blessed Peter of Valladolid

Blessed Mercedarian Sisters – (6 beati): Six cloistered Mercedarian nuns at the convent of Vera Cruz in Berriz, Spain. Noted for their devotion to the rules of the Order and for their deep prayer lives.
• Blessed Anna Maria Prieto
• Blessed Anna de Arrano
• Blessed Orsola de Larisgoizia
• Blessed Maguna Mary
• Blessed Margaret
• Blessed Mary of the Assumption Sarria

Martyred Maidens of Antioch – (40 saints): A group of forty virgins martyred in the persecutions of Decius. None of their names have come down to us. They were martyred in 250 in Antioch, Syria.

Martyrs of Tripoli – (6 saints): A group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. The only details that have survived are six of the names – Drusus, Lucian, Metrobius, Paul, Theotimus and Zenobius. They were martyred in Tripoli, Libya.

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, NOVENAS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 23 December – What Jesus Wants From Us

Thought for the Day – 23 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena VIII
What Jesus Wants From Us

“Let us contemplate Jesus lying on a rough pallet of straw in the manger.
When we see Him looking at us, let us ask ourselves what it is that He requires of us.
In fact, He wants many things from us.
First of all, He wants us to weep for our sins and to promise, never to fall again, as long as we have the assistance of His grace, for which we should pray continually.
For this, He has become man and has entered into the world.

For this He will work miracles, preach His doctrine and shed His Precious Blood on the Cross.
All this He will do to redeem us from sin and to win Heaven for us.

If we return to the path of sin, we destroy the divine work of redemption, inasfar as it applies to ourselves.
We make Christ’s passion, death and resurrection useless in our case.
We brush aside the chain of favours with which His love has girdled us – the Gospel, the Sacraments and the Church, our good mother who is always at our side to instruct and direct us, to rescue us from peril and, to distribute to us, the gifts of her divine Founder.
When we sin, we commit an act of base ingratitude to Jesus and accomplish our own eternal ruin.

The Infant Jesus longs for us to give our hearts to Him.
Since He has given us His own, why should we be unwilling to give ours to Him?
Who or what can we love, if we do not love Jesus?
Nothing else is capable of giving us peace of soul and resignation in suffering.
Jesus alone can bestow these gifts on us, as long as we love and follow Him and abandon ourselves completely to His Holy Will.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRISTMASTIDE!, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 23 December – O Emmanuel

Quote/s of the Day – 23 December – O Emmanuel

“And so, when God’s birth
is proclaimed to you,
keep silent.
Let Gabriel’s word be held in your mind
for nothing is impossible
to this glorious Majesty,
who humbled Himself for us
and was born of our humanity.

St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor

“In adoring our Saviour’s birth,
it is our origin that we celebrate.
Christ’s temporal generation
is the source of the Christian people,
the birth of His Mystical Body.
All of us encounter in this Mystery,
a new birth in Christ
.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“He came from Him,
from Whom He did not depart,
going forth from Him,
with Whom He stayed,
so that without intermission,
He was wholly in eternity,
wholly in time,
wholly was He found in the Father
when wholly in the Virgin,
wholly in His own Majesty
and in His Father’s,
at the time
when He was wholly in our humanity.

St Amadeus of Lausanne (1110-1159)

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 December – O Emmanuel

One Minute Reflection – 23 December – O Emmanuel – Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24, Psalms 25:4-5,8-9, 10 and 14, Luke 1:57-66

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.

O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!

Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed and he spoke blessing God.” – Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – “When John, his son was born, among his neighbours there was concern about what name he should be given. Writing tablets were offered to his father, so that he himself could put down the name that he had decided upon, so that he might express, in writing, what he could not, in speech. Then, in a wonderful manner, when he had taken the tablets in order to begin writing, his tongue was loosened, the written word gave way to speech and he did not write “John” but spoke it. Consider, then, the merit of the holy Baptist: he gave his father back his voice, he restored the faculty of speech to the priest. Consider, I say, his merit – John unloosed the mouth that the angel had bound. What Gabriel had closed, the little child unlocked. When John is born, the father suddenly becomes a prophet or priest, speech attains its use, love receives an offspring, the office recognises the priest.” – St Maximus of Turin (Died c 420) Bishop of Turin (Sermon 6)

PRAYER – Almighty God, now that the birth of Your Son is drawing near, we pray that Your eternal Word, Who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary and came to dwell amongst men, will show Your unworthy people, the greatness of His love. And by the intercession of His Holy Mother, may we be granted Your grace. Through Emmanuel, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 23 December – O Come, O come, Emmanuel

Our Morning Offering – 23 December – O Emmanuel!

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.
Refrain:
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.
Refrain

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.
Refrain

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.
Refrain

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.
Refrain

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.
Refrain

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.
Refrain

The favourite O Come, O Come Emmanuel carol was originally written in Latin text in the 12th Century. The author of the words and composer to the music of O Come, O Come Emmanuel is unknown. It is, however, believed that the melody was of French origin and added to the text a hundred years later. The Latin was translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 22 December – A Christmas Novena VII – Prayer and Dedication

Thought for the Day – 22 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena VII
Prayer and Dedication

“Let us kneel once more before the crib.
Like other newborn infants, Jesus is sometimes asleep and sometimes awake, sometimes crying and sometimes smiling.
Often His tiny eyes silently watch Mary and Joseph.
Surely, this seems a useless existence for Almighty God.
But we know that it is not purposeless.
This is the first great lesson which God wishes to give to the proud and corrupt human race.
It is the lesson of humility, prayer and total dedication to God.

To outward appearances, Jesus is behaving like any other baby.
Internally, however, His soul is hypostatically united to the Eternal Word and dwells in the Presence of the Heavenly Father, Whom He loves with a burning and infinite love.
Heart and soul, He offers Himself as a holocaust on behalf of sinful humanity and implores His Heavenly Father, to enlighten minds darkened by error, to strengthen weak human wills and to make all men holy.
It may well be said, that already, in the silence and obscurity of the cradle, Jesus has begun to redeem the world, for every one of His human-divine actions has an infinite value.
Whether He is awake or asleep, crying or smiling, He offers Himself silently to His Eternal Father as a holocaust of propitiation for our sins.

Let us adore the Divine Infant, therefore and thank Him for the priceless gift of our Redemption, which is already accomplished in the silence and obscurity of the manger.
Let us implore the grace to love Him and to imitate Him more closely.

As we kneel before the Infant Jesus, let us beseech Him to enable us to grasp the truth of these reflections.
Let us take more care of our soul than we do of our external talents and possessions.
May God occupy the foremost place in our minds and may He be the principal object of our thoughts, desires and affections.
Let us imitate the humble recollection and ardent love for God of the Holy Infant.
Like Him, let us offer ourselves entirely to God.

Let us ask Him to make us like Him, in complete acceptance of the Divine Will, especially when we are in trouble or in pain, for in this way, we shall be able to show God how sincerely we love Him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT QUOTES, CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, POETRY, The HEART, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote of the Day – 22 December – .If you want … ‘

Quote of the Day – 22 December – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations,

“If you want, the Virgin will come
walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy and say:
I need shelter for the night.
Please take me inside your heart.
My time is so close
.”
Then, under the roof of your soul,
you will witness the sublime intimacy,
the Divine, the Christ,
taking birth forever.
As she grasps your hand for help,
for each of us is the midwife of God,
each of us.
Yes, there, under the dome of your being,
does creation come into existence eternally–
through your womb,
dear pilgrim–the sacred womb of your soul!
As God grasps our arms for help;
for each of us is His beloved servant never far.
If you want, the Virgin will come,
walking down the street,
pregnant with Light and sing!”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Mystical Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN PRAYERS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The 2nd Joyful Mystery - the VISITATION, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 December – , O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations

One Minute Reflection – 22 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations, Readings: Samuel 1:24-28; First Samuel 2: 1, 4-8; Luke 1:46-56

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O KING OF ALL NATIONS
and keystone of the Church
come and save man,
whom You formed from the dust!

My spirit rejoices in God my saviour” – Luke 1:47

REFLECTION – My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.”. The first interpretation of these words is undoubtedly to acknowledge the gifts granted to her, to Mary in particular, by God. But then she recalls the universal blessing with which God never ceases to surround the human race.

The soul glorifies the Lord, when it consecrates all its inner powers on praising and serving God and when, by its submission to the divine commands, it proves that it never loses sight of His power and majesty. The spirit rejoices in God, its Saviour, when it places all its joy in the remembrance of its Creator, from Whom it hopes for eternal salvation. Without doubt, these words exactly express the thought of all the Saints but it was most especially fitting they should be spoken by the blessed Mother of God, who, filled with a special privilege, burned with a wholly spiritual love for the One she had the joy of conceiving in her flesh. More than any other Saint she had good reason to rejoice in Jesus – that is to say, in her Saviour – because He Whom she acknowledged to be the Eternal Author of our salvation, would in time, as she knew, be born in His own flesh and with such authenticity, that in one and the same Person her Son and her God, would be truly present…

Hence it is a praiseworthy and salutary custom, whose fragrance perfumes Holy Church, when everyday at Vespers, we sing the Canticle of the Virgin. We may well expect from this, that the souls of the faithful, by so often calling to mind the Lord’s Incarnation, will be enflamed with even greater fervour and that, such a frequent reminder of His Holy Mother’s example, will strengthen them in virtue. And Vespers is the best time to come back to this song, since our souls, tired by the day and drawn this way and that by the day’s thoughts, need to come back together again, when the hour of rest draws near, so that they may find, once more, their singleness of focus.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Monk, Father and Doctor of the Church (Homilies on the Gospel, I, 4 ; CCL 122, 25f)

PRAYER – The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth, all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is His Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.
Amen.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering

Our Morning Offering – 22 December – Prepare for Christ your Saviour!

Our Morning Offering – 22 December – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations

Prepare for Christ your Saviour!
Stanbrook Abbey

Throughout a world in shadow,
John’s urgent voice we hear;
Prepare for Christ your Saviour!
The Son of God is near.

He gives a new beginning
To those who turn from sin,
Who answer love with loving
By turning back to Him.

His veiled but certain splendour
Begins to shine from far;
He comes, His Saints around Him,
The bright and Morning Star.

With all who wait in longing,
Give thanks that never cease,
For Him Whom God is sending
To visit us in peace.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 21 December – The Silence of the Divine Infant

Thought for the Day – 21 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena VI
The Silence of the Divine Infant

Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God, made man, the infinite and substantial image of the Divine Intellect.
Nevertheless, the Divine Infant, Whom we adore in the stable at Bethlehem, is mute and silent.
The voluntary humiliation of the Son of God is such, that He, the Word of God, cannot utter a single human syllable.

By this chosen silence, however, He teaches us many things.
In the first place, He teaches us humility and self-denial.
He teaches us, moreover, to recollect ourselves in the Presence of God, so that it may be easier for us to speak with Him and for Him, to make known what He requires of us.
The silence of prayer brings forth divine consolations and inspirations to holiness,

Do we love to be silent?
It is not necessary to become hermits but, it is essential, from time to time, to place ourselves quietly in the Presence of God.
God cannot be heard through the noise and confusion of the world, whereas, He speaks clearly to the soul, which seeks the silence of prayer.
In any case, if we go about looking for the gossip and idle chatter of the world, it is almost impossible not to offend God.
“Avoid profane and empty babblings,” St Paul urges us, “for they contribute much to ungodliness” (2 Tim 2:16).
“If anyone does not offend in word,” adds St James, “he is a perfect man” (Js 3:2).
“The tongue is a little member,” he continues but, goes onto emphasis that it is capable of doing either a great deal of good or a great deal of harm.
“With it, we bless God the Father and, with it, we curse men, who have been made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren ought not to be so” (Js 3:5-10).

There are two main lessons which we should learn, therefore, from the silence of the Divine Infant.
We should learn to love recollection and, we should learn to make proper use of the gift of speech, which can be an equally powerful weapon, in the cause of good, or, in the cause of evil!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, Hail MARY!, MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The 2nd Joyful Mystery - the VISITATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn

One Minute Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Readings: Songs 2: 8-14 or Zephaniah 3: 14-18a; Psalm 33: 2-3, 11-12, 20-21; Luke 1: 39-45

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O Radiant Dawn,
Splendour of Eternal Light,
Sun of Justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” – Luke 1:41-42

REFLECTION – “Everyday we devoutly greet the most Blessed Virgin Mary with the angel’s greeting and we usually add: Blessed is the fruit of thy womb. After she was greeted by the Virgin, Elizabeth added this phrase as if she were echoing the salutation of the Angel – Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. This is the fruit of which Isaiah spoke – On that day the shoot of the Lord shall be splendid and radiant—the sublime fruit of earth. What is this fruit but the holy one of Israel, the seed of Abraham, the shoot of the Lord, the flower arising from the Root of Jesse, the fruit of life, Whom we have shared?

Blessed surely in seed and blessed in the shoot, blessed in the flower, blessed in the gift, finally blessed in thanksgiving and praise, Christ, the Seed of Abraham, was brought forth from the seed of David into the flesh.

He alone among men is found perfected in every good quality, for the Spirit was given to Him without measure so that He alone could fulfill all justice. For His justice is sufficient for all nations, according to the Scriptures. As the earth brings forth its buds and as the garden germinates its own seed, so the Lord God shall bring forth justice and praise before all the nations. For this is the shoot of justice, which the flower of glory adorns with its blessings when it has grown. But how great is this glory? How can anyone think of anything more glorious, or rather, how can anyone conceive of this at all? For the flower rises from the root of Jesse. you ask: “How far?” Surely it rises even to the highest place because Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. His magnificence is elevated above the heavens, so that He, the issue of the Lord, is splendid and glorious, the sublime fruit of earth.

But what is our benefit from this fruit? What other than the fruit of blessing from the blessed fruit? From this seed, this shoot, this flower, surely the fruit of blessing comes forth. It has come even to us; first as a seed it is planted through the grace of pardon, then germinated with the increase of perfection and finally, it flowers in the hope or the attainment of glory. For the fruit was blessed by God and in God, so that God may be glorified through it. For us, too, the fruit was blessed, so that blessed by God, we may be glorified in Him through the promise spoken to Abraham. God made the fruit a blessing for all nations.” – Baldwin of Forde O.Cist ( c 1125– 1190) Cistercian Abbot, Bishop, then Archbishop of Canterbury ( An excerpt from A Sermon on the ‘Hail Mary’).

PRAYER – In Your goodness Lord, as we rejoice at the coming of Your Son in flesh and blood like ours, grant that when He comes again in glory, we may receive the gift of eternal life. And may His Blessed and Immaculate ever Virgin Mother, cast upon us a look of mercy and intercede on our behalf. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 20 December – The Swaddling Clothes of the Divine Infant

Thought for the Day – 20 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena V
The Swaddling Clothes of the Divine Infant

“Mary, like other mothers in those days, wrapped the Infant Jesus in swaddling clothes.
The Divine Child quietly offered this new humiliation to His heavenly Father.
He saw prefigured in these bands, the ropes with which He would be bound in the garden of Gethsemane, even after He had given sinful humanity, His celestial teaching, example and miracles and finally, His own Body inthe Sacrament of the Eucharist.
He saw in them too, the chains with which He would be secured to the pillar, in order to be scourged in the Praetorium of Pilate among the jeers and insults of the onlookers.
He saw in them, finally, the cords with which, after having been condemned to the ignominious death of the Cross, He would be tied, while being led to the place of execution on Mount Calvary.
Filled with infinite love for stricken humanity, the Heart of the Divine Infant offered all this, in advance, to His Father in heaven.

Are we making any effort to return such great love?
Like Jesus, we are often obliged to endure, both physical and moral anguish.
Have we the resignation to offer it all to Jesus, or do we squander our opportunities in useless complaining or in acts of impatience and rebellion?
We shall have to go on suffering anyway but, in the latter case, we may have to suffer even more and shall lose all merit in the sight of God.

Let us kneel down before the Holy Infant wrapped in His swaddling clothes and, let us promise to endure everything for His sake and in reparation for our sins.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, POETRY, The ANNUNCIATION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 20 December – ‘… Answer quickly, O Virgin. …’

Quote/s of the Day – 20 December – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 7: 10-14; Psalm 24: 1-6; Luke 1: 26-38

“And Mary said,
‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be to me according to your word
.’”

Luke 1:38

The price of our salvation
is offered to you.
We shall be set free at once, if you consent.
In the eternal Word of God, we all came to be
and behold, we die.
In your brief response,
we are to be remade.
in order to be recalled to life.

… Answer quickly, O Virgin.
Reply in haste to the Angel,
or rather, through the Angel to the Lord.
Answer with a word,
receive the Word of God.
Speak your own word,
conceive the Divine Word.
Breathe a passing word,
embrace the Eternal Word!

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
The Last Father and
the Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

The Annunciation
By Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Ashes of paper, ashes of a world
Wandering, when fire is done:
We argue with the drops of rain!

Until one comes Who walks unseen
Even in elements we have destroyed.
Deeper than any nerve
He enters flesh and bone.
Planting His truth, He puts our substance on.

Air, earth and rain
Rework the frame that fire has ruined.
What was dead is waiting for His Flame.
Sparks of His Spirit spend their seeds, and hide
To grow like irises, born before summertime.

These blue thinas bud in Israel.

The girl prays by the bare wall
Between the lamp and the chair.
(Framed with an angel in our galleries
She has a richer painted room, sometimes a crown.
Yet seven pillars of obscurity
Build her to Wisdom’s house, and Ark and Tower.
She is the Secret of another Testament
She owns their manna in her jar.)

Fifteen years old –
The flowers printed on her dress
Cease moving in the middle of her prayer
When God, Who sends the messenger,
Meets His messenger in her Heart.
Her answer, between breath and breath,
Wrings from her innocence our Sacrament!
In her white body God becomes our Bread.

It is her tenderness
Heats the dead world like David on his bed.
Times that were too soon criminal
And never wanted to be normal
Evade the beast that has pursued
You, me and Adam out of Eden’s wood.
Suddenly we find ourselves assembled
Cured and recollected under several green trees.

Her prudence wrestled with the Dove
To hide us in His cloud of steel and silver:
These are the mysteries of her Son.
And here my heart, a purchased outlaw,
Prays in her possession

Until her Jesus, makes my heart
Smile like a flower in her blameless hand.

Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Trappist Monk and Priest. Thomas Merton expressed his vision in his poetry, novels, essays, devotionals and autobiographical writings.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Hail MARY!, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS

One Minute Reflection – 20 December – “Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28

One Minute Reflection – 20 December – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent O Clavis David/O Key of David – Readings: Isaiah 7: 10-14; Psalm 24: 1-6; Luke 1: 26-38

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O KEY OF DAVID,
and Sceptre of the House of Israel,
who opens and no-one shuts,
who shuts and no-one opens.
Come and bring forth the captive from his prison,
he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28

REFLECTION – “This woman will be the Mother of God, the door to Light, source of Life; she will reduce to oblivion the judgement that weighed on Eve. “The rich among the people seek the face” of this woman, “the kings of the nations shall pay her homage”, they shall “offer gifts”…, yet the glory of the Mother of God is an interior glory: the fruit of her womb.

O woman, so worthy of love, thrice happy, “blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Daughter of David the king and Mother of God, King of the universe, masterpiece in whom the Creator rejoices…: you are to be nature’s full achievement. For you, life is not yours; you were not born for yourself alone but your life is to be God’s. You came into the world for Him, you will serve for the salvation of all people, fulfilling God’s design established from the beginning: the Incarnation of the Word and our own divinisation. Your whole desire is to feed on the words of God, to be strengthened by their sap, like “a green olive tree in the house of God,” “like a tree planted by running water,” you are the “tree of life” who “yielded its fruit in due season”…

He Who is Infinite, Limitless, came to dwell in your womb; God, the Child Jesus, was nourished by your milk. You are the ever virginal Doorway of God; your hands hold your God; your lap is a throne raised up above the Cherubim… You are the wedding chamber of the Spirit, the “city of the living God, gladdened by the runlets of the stream”, that is to say, the waves of the Spirit’s gifts. You are “all fair, the Beloved” of God.” – St John Damascene (675-749) Monk, Theologian, Father and Doctor of the Church (Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin, # 9 ; SC 80) [( Biblical references : Ps 44[45],13; 71[72],11.10; Mt 2,11; Lk 1,42; Is 62,5; Ps 51[52],10; 1,3; cf Gn 2,9, Rv 22,2; cf Ez 44,2; Ps 79[80],2; cf Sg 1,4; Ps 45[46],5; Sg 4,7].

PRAYER – Lord, at the Angel’s message, Mary, the Immaculate Virgin, became the temple of God and was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, when she received Your divine Word. Grant that, after her example, we may humbly and steadfastly follow Your will. Through Christ the Incarnate Word, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all ages, amen.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION

Our Morning Offering – 20 December – Blessed Shall be Her Name

Our Morning Offering – 20 December – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Blessed Shall be Her Name
Anonymous Author

Praise we the Lord this day,
This day so long foretold,
Whose promise shone with cheering ray
On waiting saints of old.

The prophet gave the sign
That those with faith might read;
A Virgin, born of David’s line
Shall bear the promised Seed.

Ask not how this should be,
But worship and adore;
Like her whom Heaven’s majesty
Came down to shadow o’er.

She meekly bowed her head
To hear the gracious word,
Mary, the pure and lowly maid,
The favoured of the Lord.

Blessed shall be her name
In all the Church on earth,
Through whom that wondrous Mercy came,
The Incarnate Saviour’s Birth.

Jesus, the Virgin’s Son,
We praise You and adore,
Who are with God the Father One
And Spirit evermore.
Amen,

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 19 December –

Thought for the Day – 19 December – Meditations withAntonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena IV
The First Hours of the
Childhood of Jesus Christ

“Enter in spirit into the stable at Bethlehem and humbly kneel before the Word of God made man.
What do we find Jesus doing in these first moments of His mortal life.
By a single act of His divine will, He could have instantly transformed the human race.
But, He came to redeem men and preach to them before anything else, the virtues which they most needed – humility, indifference to worldly possessions and the acceptance of suffering.
He taught them to endure suffering, neither rebelliously, nor even as a disagreeable necessity but, as a means of purification and sanctification.
Before the time of Jesus Christ, suffering was dreaded and abhorred.
He taught us to love it because it is the salt of the earth which saves us from corruption because, it detaches us from worldly things and because, it lifts our thoughts towards Heaven.

What then do we find Jesus doing in these first moments of His mortal life|?
He is weeping and smiling by turns, as a newborn infant does.
How can we understand the mystery behind these divine tears?
Jesus does not weep because it is cold and damp, nor because He is uncomfortable on His bed of straw.
He could have remedied these inconveniences, if He had so desired by a single act of His will.
No, He weeps for us, for the human race, immersed in sin.

He weeps and suffers, so that we also may learn to weep and suffer for our sins and to do penance for them.
This is the explanation of the tears of the Divine Child.
Let us learn to weep with Him and we shall be purified and comforted.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci