Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION

Marian Thoughts – 11 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply

Marian Thoughts – 11 May – ‘Mary’s Month’

The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Replymary's fiat - luke 1 38 behold i am the handmaid of the lord - 11 may 2019.jpg

On the Annunciation and Mary’s “fiat”
Saint Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son, you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit.   The angel awaits an answer, it is time for him to return to God who sent him.   We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion, the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

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.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise.   Abraham begs it, David begs it.   All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death.   This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet.   It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

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.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid?   Believe, give praise and receive.   Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident.   This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence.   In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary.   Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator.  See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter.   If He should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seekHhim afresh, the One whom your soul loves.   Arise, hasten, open.   Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving.   Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.

This homily excerpt of St Bernard is in the Office of Readings for
20 December the fourth week of Advent.
Hom. 4, 8-9answer quickly o virgin - st bernard - 11 may 2019 homily on the annunciation.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Nine – 24 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Nine – 24 December

Day Nine

The Birth of Jesus in the Stable at Bethlehem

Reflection:
When the edict was issued by the emperor of Rome that everyone should go to his own city to be enrolled, Joseph and Mary went to be enrolled in Bethlehem.
How much the Holy Virgin must have suffered on this journey of four days, over mountainous road and in the wintertime, with its cold rain and wind!
When they arrived in Bethlehem, the time of Mary’s delivery was near.
Joseph, therefore, sought some lodging where she might give birth to her Child.
But because they were so poor, they were driven away from the houses and even from the public inn, where other poor people had found shelter.
So in that night they went a short way out of the town and there found a cave that was used as a stable and here Mary entered.
But Joseph said to his virgin wife, “Mary, how can you spend the night in this cold, damp cave and here give birth to your Child?”   Mary however replied, “Dear Joseph, this cave is the royal palace in which the King of kings, the Son of God, wishes to be born.”

When the hour of her delivery had arrived, the holy Virgin, as she knelt in prayer, all at once saw the cave illumined with a dazzling light.
She lowered her eyes to the ground and there saw before her the Son of God now born on earth, a poor little Babe, crying and shivering in the cold.
Adoring Him as her God, she took Him to her breast and fondled Him.
Then she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him on the straw of the manger that stood in the cave.
Thus did the Son of God choose to be born among us to prove His infinite love for us.day nine christmas novena to the christ child - 24 dec 2018

Prayer:
O Adorable Infant Jesus!
I should not have the boldness to cast myself at Your feet,
if I did not know that You Yourself invite me to draw near You.
It is I who by my sins have made You shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem.
But since You have come on earth to pardon repentant sinners,
forgive me also, now that I am heartily sorry for having spurned You,
my Saviour and my God, who art so good and who have loved me so much.
In this night, in which You bestow great graces on so many souls,
grant Your heavenly consolation to this poor soul of mine also.
All that I ask of You is the grace to love You always, more and more,
from this day forward, with all my heart.
Set me all on fire with Your holy love.
I love You, O my God, who have become a Babe for love of me.
Never let me cease loving You evermore.
O Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother,
you can obtain everything from your Son by your prayers.
This is the only favour I ask of you, that I might love Him more and more.
Please pray to Jesus for me, I beg you. Amen.

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – Christmas Eve!

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – Christmas Eve!

“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.”awake mankine - st augustine - 24 dec 2018

“Let us then joyfully celebrate
the coming of our salvation and redemption.
Let us celebrate the festive day
on which He who is the great
and the eternal day
came from the great and endless day of eternity
into our own short day of time.”

“Ask if this were merited;
ask for its reason, for its justification
and see whether you will find,
any other answer
but sheer grace.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchlet us then joyfully celebrate - ask if this were merited - st augustine 24 dec 2018

“I began our meeting by speaking of Christmas as the Feast of Faith.
I would like to conclude, though, by pointing out that Christmas
reminds us that a faith that does not trouble us is a troubled faith.
A faith that does not make us grow is a faith that needs to grow.
A faith that does not raise questions is a faith that has to be questioned.
A faith that does not rouse us is a faith that needs to be roused.
A faith that does not shake us is a faith that needs to be shaken.
Indeed, a faith which is only intellectual or lukewarm is only a notion of faith.
It can become real once it touches our heart, our soul, our spirit and our whole being.
Once it allows God to be born and reborn in the manger of our heart.
Once we let the star of Bethlehem guide us to the place where the Son of God lies,
not among Kings and riches but among the poor and humble.
As Angelus Silesius wrote in The Cherubinic Wanderer:
“It depends solely on you.
Ah, if only your heart could become a manger,
then God would once again become a child on this earth”

Address of His Holiness, Pope Francis to the Curia

21 December 2017christmas-message-pope-francis to the curia 24 dec2017

 

 

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) – Today’s Gospel: Luke 2:1–14

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) – Today’s Gospel:  Luke 2:1–14 (Midnight Mass)

24 December

Saint Joseph goes to Bethlehem with his holy spouse

“Consider that God had decreed that His Son be born, not in Joseph’s house but in a cavern and stable of beasts, in the poorest and most painful way a child can be born. For this reason, God caused Caesar to publish an edict, by which people were commanded to go and register each member of their family, in their place of origin. When Joseph heard this order, he was agitated and unsure whether or not the Virgin Mother should take the trip with him. But Mary, knowing of his dilemma and being well versed in the prophet, Micheas, responded, “Do not fear, I will go with you and the Lord will assist us.”
She then gathered together the swaddling clothese and the other miserable garments already prepared for the journey and departed with Joseph.
Let us accompany Mary and Joseph, on their journey and await the appearance of the King.
My beloved Redeemer, I know that in this journey, the angels in heaven accompanied You but I also wish to accompany You, O my only love. My soul has become filled with love for You, O my amiable Infant God. Unite and bind me to Yourself.”

Scripture

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.
Luke 2:4-6advent with st alphonsus - luke 2 4-5 and joseph also went up - let us accompany 24 dec 2018

Prayer

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.
Amenrejoice rejoice emmanuel shall come to thee o israel-19-dec-2017

Advent Action
Today we are also pregnant with the fullness of the Advent season.   It is almost time for us to participate in the birthing of the Lord.   We ponder, like Mary, in our hearts, what this will mean for our lives.   We listen more intently to Scripture to hear the advice and directions that God is giving to us.   This day is the change we have been waiting for – this is the day promised us – this is the day which will alter our lives – everything, forever! Lord, grant me the grace to introduce You to the world in the place and time that You have assigned to me.   “I will sing praises to my God, all my life long.” (Psalm 146:2)advent with alphonsus - 24 dec 2018 -psalm 146 2 - i will sing praises to my god

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Eight

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child

Day Eight
The Life Of The Child Jesus In Egypt And In Nazareth.

Reflection:
Our Blessed Redeemer spent the first part of His childhood in Egypt, leading there for several years, a life of poverty and humiliation.   In that land Joseph and Mary were foreigners and strangers, having there neither relatives nor friends.
Only with difficulty could they earn their daily bread by the labour of their hands.
Their home was poor, their bed was poor, their food was poor.   Here Mary weaned Jesus, dipping a piece of bread in water, she would put it in the sacred mouth of her Son.
Here she made His first little garments and clothed Him with them.
Here the Child Jesus took His first steps, stumbling and falling as other children first do.
Here too He spoke His first words but stammeringly. O wonder of wonders!
To what has not God lowered Himself for love of us!
A God stumbling and falling as He walks! A God stammering in His speech!

Not unlike this was the poor and humble life that Jesus led in Nazareth after His return from Egypt.   There, until He was thirty years old, He lived as a simple servant or workman in a carpenter shop, taking orders form Joseph and Mary.   “And He was subject to them.”   Jesus went to fetch the water, He opened and closed the shop, He swept the house, gathered the fragments of wood for the fire and toiled all day long, helping Joseph in his work.
Yet who is this?   God Himself, serving as a apprentice!
The omnipotent God, who with less than a flick of His finger created the whole universe, here sweating at the task of planing a piece of work!   Should not the mere thought of this move us to love Him?day-eight-novena-to-the-christ-child-23-dec-2017-no-2

Prayer:
O Jesus, my Saviour!
When I consider how, for love of me, You didst spend thirty years of Your life hidden
and unknown in a poor workshop, how can I desire the pleasures and honours and riches of the world?
Gladly do I renounce all these things, since I wish to be Your companion on this earth,
poor as you were, mortified and humble as You were,
so that I may hope to be able one day to enjoy Your companionship in heaven.
What are all the treasures and kingdoms of this world?
You, O Jesus, are my only treasure, my only Good!
I keenly regret the many times in the past when I spurned
Your friendship in order to satisfy my foolish whims.
I am sorry for them with all my heart.
For the future I would rather lose my life a thousand times
than lose Your grace by sin.
I wish never to offend You again but always to love You.
Help me to remain faithful to You until death.
O Mary, you are the refuge of sinners, you are my hope. Amen

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 23 December – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

Thought for the Day – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Luke 1:39-40

“When the Holy Spirit touches a heart, He puts to flight all tepidity.   He loves diligence and promptitude and is the enemy of procrastination and delays in the performance of the divine will… “Mary set out in haste”…

What graces and favours must have descended upon Zechariah’s house when the Virgin entered it?   If Abraham received so many graces for having given hospitality to three angels in his tent… what graces and how many heavenly blessings must have descended upon the house of Zechariah into which entered the Angel of the Great Counsel (Is 9:5, Septuagint), that true Jacob and Divine Prophet, the true Ark of the Covenant, Our Lord enclosed within the womb of Mary!   Indeed, the whole house was overcome with joy; the infant leapt with joy, the father recovered his speech, the mother was filled with the Holy Spirit and received the gift of prophecy, for on seeing this blessed Lady enter her house she exclaimed:  “Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to visit me?”… And Mary, hearing what her kinswoman, Elizabeth, said in her praise, humbled herself and referred all the glory to God.   Then declaring that all her happiness came from the fact that God had looked upon His servant in her lowliness, she intoned that beautiful and wonderful canticle, the Magnificat.

Oh, how overwhelmed with joy we should be when visited by this divine Saviour in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar and by the interior graces we receive daily through the many inspirations and words He speaks to our hearts!”…St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

Come, Lord Jesus Come!come-lord-jesus-come-23 DEC 2018 HOLY COMMUNION AND ADVENT

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!holy mary mother of god pray for us sinners - 4 may 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The PASSION

Quote of the Day – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Quote of the Day – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Jesus Christ, the God-Man,
was born in a manger and is spiritually reborn on the altar.
He suffered on Calvary
and continues to offer Himself on the altar.
In His earthly life, He spread His teaching
and worked miracles among the crowds.
In the Eucharist, He spans the centuries
and communicates Himself to all.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchjesus-christ-the-god-man-st-john-chrysostom-23-dec-20171