Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SIN, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 23 December – Come and set us free

Advent Reflection – 23 December – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Malachi 3:1-4; 4: 5-6 (3: 1-4, 23-24), Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14, Luke 1:57-66

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.O emmanuel-king-and-lawgiver-23-dec-2017,2018,2019

And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he spoke, blessing God. … Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – “Speaking of John, we read in Luke:  “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord and many of the children of Israel shall he turn, to the Lord their God.   And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Lk 1:15-17).   For whom, then, did he prepare a people and in the sight of what Lord was he made great?   Truly of Him who said that John was something “even more than a prophet” and that “among those born of women none is greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:9.11).   For he made ready a people for the Lord’s advent, warning his fellow-servants and preaching repentance to them, so that they might receive forgiveness from the Lord, when He should arrive, after being converted to Him, from whom they had been alienated, because of their sins and transgressions ( … )

Yes, “in his mercy,” God, “the Dayspring from on high, has looked upon us and appeared to those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death and has guided our feet into the way of peace” (Lk 1:78-79) just as Zacharias, recovering from the state of dumbness he had suffered, because of his unbelief, blessed God in a new way, when he had been filled with a new spirit.   For all things have entered upon a new phase by the fact that the Word, after a new manner, has accomplished the purpose of His coming in the flesh, that He might return to friendship with God, the human flesh that had departed from God. And this is why men were taught to worship God after a new fashion.” … St Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202) Bishop, Theologian, Martyr

MEDITATION – “For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked – Who are you?   And he replied – I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.   The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.   John was a voice that lasted only for a time, Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.” … St Augustine (354-430)

ADVENT ACTION“The light of the world has come into the world and humanity loves darkness rather than the light.”   They have not known Him and they do not know Him because they do not wish to know Him, loving rather the darkness of sin than the light of grace.   Let each one determine this day not to be numbered among those unhappy souls who prefer the darkness.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)the light has come into the world - they have not known him - st alphonsus liguori 23 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER

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

 

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 23 December – O Divine Child of Bethlehem, Be our Peace and our Joy!

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 23 December

O Divine Child of Bethlehem,
Be our Peace and our Joy!
By St John Paul II (1920-2005)

Wipe away,
Baby Jesus,
the tears of children!
Embrace the sick and the elderly!
Move people to lay down their arms
and to draw close
in a universal embrace of peace!
Invite the peoples,
O merciful Jesus,
to tear down the walls created
by poverty and unemployment,
by ignorance and indifference,
by discrimination and intolerance.
It is You,
O Divine Child of Bethlehem,
who saves us,
freeing us from sin.
It is You,
who are the true and only Saviour,
whom humanity often searches for
with uncertainty.
God of peace,
gift of peace for all of humanity,
come to live in the heart
of every individual
and of every family.
Be our Peace and our Joy!
Ameno divine child of bethlehem be our peace and our joy st john paul 23 dec 2019.jpg

 

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 22 December – Emmanuel, God-with-us

The Lord comes!   Go to meet Him and say – Great is His reign and His kingdom will have no end.   He is God, the Strong One, the Ruler of the world, the Prince of peace, alleluia!

Advent Reflection – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-24

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;  she will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” ... Matthew 1:20-21matthew 1 20 - 21 joseph son of david do not fear to take mary 22 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Behold,” says the prophet Isaiah, “a virgin will conceive and bear a son and he will be called Emmanuel, a name which means God-with-us.” (7:14)   The name ‘God-with-us,’ given to our Saviour by the prophet, signifies that two natures are united in His one person.   Before time began he was God, born of the Father but in the fullness of time He became Emmanuel, God-with-us, in the womb of His mother, because when “the Word was made flesh and lived among us.” (Jn 1:14)   He deigned to unite our frail human nature to His own person.   Without ceasing to be what He had always been, He began in a wonderful fashion to be what we are, assuming our nature in such a way that He did not lose his own…

And so, Scripture says: “Mary gave birth to her firstborn son… and she named him Jesus.” (Lk 2:7.21).   Jesus, then, is the name of the Virgin’s son.   According to the angel’s explanation, it means one who is to save His people from their sins.   In doing so, He will also deliver them from any defilement of mind and body they have incurred on account of their sins.

But the title “Christ” implies a priestly or royal dignity.   In the Old Testament it was given to both priests and kings on account of the anointing with chrism or holy oil which they received.   They prefigured the true king and high priest who, on coming into this world, “was anointed with the oil of gladness above all his peers” (Ps 44[45]: 8).   From this anointing or chrismation, He received the name of Christ and those who share in the anointing which He Himself bestows, that is, the grace of the Spirit, are called Christians. May Jesus Christ fulfil His saving task, by saving us from our sins, may He discharge His priestly office by reconciling us to God the Father and may He exercise His royal power by admitting us to His Father’s kingdom…” … St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church

MEDITATION – “He came from heaven to suffer and die for us, so that we might love Him.   How can we remain ungrateful?” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

ADVENT ACTION – “O my Jesus, I love You and will always love You.   Inflame my heart everyday with the memory of Your love for me.   Mary, my mother, help me to live a life grateful to God, who has loved me, even after I have so greatly offended Him.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

PRAYER

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

o-king-of-all-nations-22-dec-2017, 2018, 2019.jpg

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

Our Morning Offering – 22 December – O Come, O come, Emmanuel

Our Morning Offering – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A

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.
Refraino come o come emmnuel no 2 22 dec 2019.jpg

This ancient Advent hymn is based upon the seven Great “O” Antiphons, which are recited or sung before and after the Magnificat at Vespers (or Evening Prayer) from 17 – 23 December.

Music: T Helmore, 1811-1890 adapted from a 1st Mode Responsory in a 15th cent. French Processional.

Text: Veni, Veni Emmanuel, a para. of Latin 12th-13th cent.
“Great O Antiphons” in Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, 1770.

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CARMELITES, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – Saturday of Advent 21 December – ‘Joy is prayer, joy is strength, joy is love.’

Advent Reflection – Saturday of Advent 21 December, Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Luke 1:26-38

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

“Mary set out… in haste” … Luke 1:26

REFLECTION – “Our Lady’s strength was her gaiety and joy.   This is what made her God, her son’s attentive servant, because as soon as He came to her she “set out in haste.”   Joy alone could have given her the strength to set out in all haste across the hill country of Judah to become the servant of her cousin.   It is just the same for us.   Like her, we must be true servants of the Lord and after holy communion each day we must hurry over the mountains of the difficulties we encounter, offering our service to the poor with all our heart.   Give to Jesus in the poor, as a servant of the Lord.joy alone could have given her - st mother teresa 21 dec 2019.jpg

Joy is prayer, joy is strength, joy is love.   It is love’s net with which to catch souls.   “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7).   Those who give with joy give twice over.   If you meet up with difficulties and accept them with joy, with a big smile, in this, as in many other things, people will realise that your works are good and the Father will be glorified in them.   The best way, of showing God and others your gratitude, is to accept everything with joy.   A joyful heart comes from a heart that is burning with love.” … St Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) – Founder of the Missionary Sisters of Charity – Jesus, the Word to Be Spoken

MEDITATION – “A soul united to Jesus, is a living smile that radiates Him and, gives Him.”St Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906)a-sol-united-to-jesus-is-a-living-smile-that-radiates-him-and-gives-him-st-elizabeth-of-the-trinity-8-nov-2019 and 21 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – “God is interested in even the smallest events in the lives of His creatures – in your affairs and mine — and He calls each of us by name.   This certainty that the faith gives, enables us to look at everything in a new light.   And everything, while remaining exactly the same, becomes different, because it is an expression of God’s love.  god is interested in even the smallest events in the lives of His creatures - st josemaria - 31 may 2018 - the visitation.jpgOur life is turned into a continuous prayer, we find ourselves with good humour and a peace that never ends and everything we do is an act of thanksgiving, running through all our day.   ‘My soul magnifies the Lord,’ Mary sang, ‘and my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.’”St Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975) – “To Jesus through Mary,” Christ is Passing By, 144

PRAYER

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.

o-radiant-dawn-21-dec-2017, 2018 and 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Our Morning Offering – Saturday of Advent 21 December – The Canticle of Mary

Our Morning Offering – Saturday of Advent 21 December

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.the magnificat - luke 1 46-55 - 21 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December – God’s Sign

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December

God’s Sign

“God’s sign is His humility.
God’s sign is that He makes himself small.
He becomes a child.
He lets us touch him and He asks for our love.
How we would prefer a different sign,
an imposing, irresistible sign of God’s power and greatness!
But His sign summons us to faith and love
and thus it gives us hope – this is what God is like.
He has power, He is Goodness itself.
He invites us to become like Him.
Yes indeed, we become like God,
if we allow ourselves
to be shaped by this sign,
if we ourselves learn humility
and hence true greatness;
if we renounce violence
and use only the weapons
of truth and love.”

Pope Benedict XVI (2009)

gods-sign-pope-benedict-19-dec-2017 and reworked for 20 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December – “How shall this be…”

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December, Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Luke 1:26-38

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

And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” … Luke 1:34

REFLECTION – “Tell us, blessed David, how [the Word] descended.   “He came down as rain upon the fleece, and as drops that water the earth.” (Ps 71[72]:6 LXX). (…)   It remains to discuss how the rain descends upon the fleece and how the drops flow out over the earth. (…)

The rain descends upon the fleece without sound, without movement, without any cleavage or division.   It is gently poured out, peacefully received, sweetly drunk.   Thus the drops gradually, little by little, spread over the earth falling down so wonderfully and so gently that their coming is scarcely perceived and as they depart, they bring forth the shoots.   In the same way, the rain coming from beyond, above the heavenly waters, came down into the Virgin’s womb without human act, with no movement of concupiscence, her integrity unimpaired, the seal of her virginity still locked.   Gently was it poured, calmly received, ineffably made flesh.   It came drop by drop upon her soil, unseen as it entered and, as it departed, plainly going forth. (…)

We have told how the Word of God came down.   Where He came down is made clear in like manner, for He came down into the Virgin’s womb, a womb unstained, unspotted, hallowed by the touch of divine unction.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop, Cistercian Monk – On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily III, SC 72luke 1 34 how shall this be - he came down into the virgin's womb - st amadeaus of lausanne 20 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION” Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?   And who shall stand in his holy place?   He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” … Psalm 24:3-4advent-with-st-alphonsus-psalm-24-3-4-who-shall-ascend-20dec2018 AND 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – “O my Jesus, I am weak, grant me strength against temptation.   I am infirm, I hope that Your precious blood will be my medicine.   I am a sinner but I hope that Your grace will make me a saint.   I acknowledge that I have co-operated with my own ruin but this day, I promise always, to call upon You and in this way co-operate with Your grace.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor

PRAYER

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.

o-key-of-david-20-dec-2017, 2018, 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December – Hail, Heavenly Beam

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December

Hail, Heavenly Beam
9th Century Catholic Advent Prayer
By Cynewulf tr Israel Gollanz

Hail, heavenly beam,
brightest of angels Thou,
sent unto men upon this middle-earth.
Thou art the true refulgence of the sun,
radiant above the stars
and from Thyself illuminest
forever, all the tides of time.
And as Thou, God indeed,
begotten of God,
Thou Son of the true Father,
wast from aye,
without beginning, in the heaven’s glory,
so now Thy handiwork in its sore need
prayeth Thee boldly, that Thou send to us
the radiant sun
and that Thou come Thyself
to enlighten those who for so long a time
went wrapt around with darkness
and here in gloom
have sat the livelong night,
shrouded in sin.

Cynewulf is one of twelve Old English poets known by name and one of four, whose work is known to survive today. He presumably flourished in the 9th century, with possible dates extending into the late 8th and early 10th centuries.

Known for his religious compositions, Cynewulf is regarded as one of the pre-eminent figures of Anglo-Saxon Christian poetry. Posterity knows of his name by means of runic signatures that are interwoven into the four poems which comprise his scholastically recognised corpus. These poems are: The Fates of the Apostles, Juliana, Elene and Christ II (also referred to as The Ascension).

The four signed poems of Cynewulf are vast, in that they collectively comprise, several thousand lines of verse.hail-heavenly-beam-cynewulf-19-dec-2017 and 20 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December – Why, the Benedictus?

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December

“And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he spoke, blessing God.”…Luke 1:64

The Benedictus, is prayed every morning in the Breviary and so, the Church remembers this “forerunner of Jesus” at the beginning of every day.   The opening words of this Canticle are the source of its Latin title, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel”.
What does it mean for Catholics, that we sing this song about John the Baptists at the start of every new day?   After having been “silenced” by sleep throughout the night, God opens our mouths and one of the first things we do, is to sing this blessing of God, whose dawn breaks forth to shine on us and guide our way to peace.
In the Benedictus, we join ourselves to the mission of St John the Baptist, who came to prepare a way for the Lord by being a witness of God’s salvation, living a simple and penitential life and calling others to do the same.   Our work each day, then, is to use our voice – like Zechariah and his son – and the witness of our lives, to make God’s presence known wherever we go and to whom whomever we encounter.”the-benedictus-24-june-2019-new-2 and 19 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER –
The Benedictus – Canticle of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

The Messiah and His forerunner
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has visited His people and redeemed them.

He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
in the house of David, His servant,
as He promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were His prophets of old.

A Saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who us.
So His love for our fathers is fulfilled
and His holy covenant remembered.

He swore to Abraham, our father, to grant us,
that free from fear and saved from the hands of our foes.
we might worship Him in justice and holiness
all the days of our lives, in His Presence.

As for you, little child,
you shall be called the prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare His ways before Him,

to make known to His people their salvation,
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving kindness of the heart of our God,
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death
and to guide us into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The SECOND COMING

Quote/s of the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December – “He watches for Christ …” St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Quote/s of the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December, Readings:  Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17, Luke 1:5-25

“He, watches for Christ,
who has a sensitive, eager, apprehensive mind,
who is awake, alive, quick-sighted,
zealous in seeking and honouring Him,
who looks out for Him in all that happens
and who would not be surprised,
who would not be over-agitated or overwhelmed,
if he found that He was coming at once.”he watches for christ - t john henry newman - 19 dec 2019.jpg

“Year passes after year silently,
Christ’s coming is ever nearer than it was.
O that, as He comes nearer earth,
we may approach nearer heaven!”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)year passes after year silently, christ's coming - st john henry newman 19 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PRAYER, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December – ‘So long as Zechariah believed, he spoke, as soon as he ceased to believe, he was silent.’

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December, Readings:  Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17, Luke 1:5-25

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

Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home.
After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived .… Luke 1:23-24

REFLECTION – “The angel said to him:   “God has heard the voice of your prayer.”   If Zechariah believed his prayer would be heard, then he prayed well;   if he did not believe, he prayed badly.   His prayer was about to be answered, yet he doubted. Therefore it was reasonable that at that very moment the word was removed from him. Beforehand, he was praying for a son but the instant his prayer was answered he turned around and said:  “How can this be?”   Because it was with his mouth that he cast doubts on his prayer, it was his speech he lost ( … ).    So long as Zechariah believed, he spoke, as soon as he ceased to believe, he was silent.   So long as he believed, he spoke:  “I believed and therefore I spoke” (Ps 115[116]:10).   Because he rejected the angel’s word, this word plagued him so, that he would respect with his silence, the word he had rejected.

It was fitting that the mouth that said:  “How shall this be?” should be silenced so that it might learn the possibility of a miracle.   The unbound tongue was bound, so that it might learn that He who had bound the tongue was capable of unbinding the womb.   In this way experience taught him who had not accepted the teaching of faith ( … )   Thus he learned. that He who had closed an open mouth. could open a closed womb.” … Saint Ephrem (306-373) – Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Churchso long as zechriah believed he spoke - st ephrem 19 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION –And delicately, gently, by means of this sweet and peaceful dawn, God taught me, too, to obey – a very great peace filled my soul.   I thought how God alone is good, how all is ordained by Him, how nothing is of importance in what people do or say and how, where I am concerned, there must be nothing else in the world but God.   God who will arrange everything for my good.   God who causes the sun to rise each morning, who makes the ice melt, who cause the birds to sing and changes the clouds of heaven in a thousand soft colours.   God who offers me a little corner on this earth for prayer, who gives me a little corner in which to wait for what I hope.”St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)and delicately gently by means of this dawn god teaches me to obey he gives me a little cornr - st raphael arnaiz baron 19 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – ” … Jesus gives voice to those who are voiceless and to each one of us, He addresses an urgent appeal, to open our hearts and to make our own, the sufferings and anxieties of the poor, the hungry, the marginalised, the refugees, those who are defeated by life, those who are rejected by society and by the arrogance of the strong.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 28 August 2016

PRAYER

O ROOT OF JESSE,
that stands for an ensign of the people,
before whom the kings keep silence
and unto whom the Gentiles
shall make supplication,
come, to deliver us and tarry not.

o root of jesse - 19 dec 2019.jpg

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

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December – Awaiting Baby Jesus

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December

Awaiting Baby Jesus
Traditional Catholic Advent Prayer

My heart is beating,
filled with joy,
awaiting Mary’s baby boy.
For with this child, we embrace
the birth of God’s
most precious grace.
Baby Jesus, soon to come!
For us comes the Promised One.
Baby Jesus, God’s own Son,
you will be the Chosen One
to lead our flock into salvation.
Our eternal life awaits.
The birth of Jesus brings us nearer
Heaven’s holy gates.
Sing with joy
and count the days,
for soon to come,
the Lord we’ll praise.
Rejoice that Jesus
will soon arrive,
the Messiah and our faith alive.
Amenawaiting baby jesus - trad advent prayer - 19 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December – ‘O Church, true Spouse…’

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December – Readings: Jeremiah 23:5-8, Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19, Matthew 1:18-24

When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph … Matthew 1:18

Saint Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church

Sermon 146, on Mt 1:18

“His mother, Mary, was betrothed.”   It should have been enough to say:  Mary was betrothed.   What can a betrothed mother mean?   If she is a mother then she isn’t betrothed, if she is betrothed, then she isn’t yet a mother!   “His mother, Mary, was betrothed” – betrothed by virginity, mother by fecundity.   This was a mother without experience of a man but who yet experienced motherhood.   How could she not be a mother before she had conceived who, after giving birth, remains both virgin and mother?   When was she not a mother, she who is about to conceive Him, who set in motion, the time that gives things their beginning?

Why was the mystery of heavenly innocence given to a betrothed girl and not to a virgin who was still free?   Why did a fiancé’s jealousy put his betrothed in peril?   Why should such great virtue appear to be sin or salvation to be eternal danger?…   What mystery exercises us in all this, my brethren?   There is not a stroke, a letter, a syllable, a word, a name, a person in all the Gospel that is empty of Divine significance.

A betrothed girl was chosen that the Church, Christ’s betrothed, might also be signified according to the word of the prophet Hosea:  “I will betroth you to me in right and justice, in love and mercy;  I will betroth you in fidelity” (Hos 2:21-22).   That is why John said: “The one who has the bride is the Bridegroom” (Jn 3:29).   And Saint Paul:  “I betrothed you to one Spouse to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor 11:2).

O Church, true spouse, who through the virginal birth [of baptism] conceives a new infancy from Christ!o church true spouse - st peter chrysologus 18 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December – ‘The one goal – God Alone!’

Quote of the Day – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December – The Memorial of Blessed Giulia Nemesia Valle (1847-1916)

“Keep a quick pace,
without looking behind
and concentrate on the one goal –
God Alone!

Bl Giulia Nemesia Valle (1847-1916)keep a quick pace without looking behind - bl giulia valle 18 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December – ‘David’s Lord was made David’s Son’

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December
Jeremiah 23:5-8, Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19, Matthew 1:18-24

“See, days are coming — oracle of the LORD — when I will raise up a righteous branch for David. As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land.” … Jeremiah 23:5

REFLECTION – “There was only one remedy in the secret of the divine plan that could help the fallen living in the general ruin of the entire human race.   This remedy was, that one of the sons of Adam should be born free and innocent of original transgression, to prevail for the rest by his example and by his merits.   This was not permitted by natural generation.   There could be no clean offspring from our faulty stock by this seed. The Scripture says, “Who can make a clean thing conceived of an unclean seed?   Isn’t it you alone?”   David’s Lord was made David’s Son and from the fruit of the promised branch sprang.   He is one without fault, the twofold nature coming together into one person.   By this one and the same conception and birth, sprung our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom was present both true Godhead for the performance of mighty works and true manhood for the endurance of sufferings.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor (Sermon 28)david's lord was made david's son - the two requirements in the gospel - pope francis 18 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION – “Are we in the core group of Christians who embody and live the purest form of the Gospel?   Or do we find ourselves among the masses that acknowledge Jesus, enjoy being Christian but don’t pursue it at any deep level?   The two requirements in the Gospel are that we repent and believe.   If we repent, we do no wrong and speak no lies. If we believe with all our hearts, we follow the Star to the Manger.” Pope Francis Angelus, 22 December 2013

ADVENT ACTION – “Let these last few days, be a time, when we begin the journey to the Christmas core – to the Christ Child.   “Let us make ourselves ready to celebrate Christmas by contemplating Mary and Joseph – Mary, the woman full of grace who had the courage to entrust herself totally to the Word of God;  Joseph, the faithful and just man, who chose to believe the Lord rather than listen to the voices of doubt and human pride.   With them, let us walk together toward Bethlehem.” …  Pope Francis – Angelus, 22 December 2013

PRAYER 

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.o-lord-and-ruler-18-december 2018, 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December – A 6th Century Advent Hymn

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December

Catholic Advent Hymn
6th Century
tr. E Caswall (1814-1878)

Hark! a Herald voice is calling;
‘Christ is nigh!’ it seems to say,
‘Cast away the dreams of darkness,
waken, children of the day!’

Startled at the solemn warning,
let the earth-bound soul arise.
Christ her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
shines upon the morning skies.

Lo!, the Lamb so long expected,
comes with pardon down from heaven.
Let us meet Him with repentance,
pray that we may be forgiven.

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

Honour, glory, praise and blessing,
to the Father and the Son,
with the everlasting Spirit,
while unending ages run.hark-a-herald-voice-is-calling-6th-cent-hymn-18-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 17 December – The Mystery of our Reconciliation with God

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent, 17 December – Readings: Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17, Matthew 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham. … Matthew 1:1

The Mystery of our Reconciliation with God

Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Bishop of Rome, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Letter 31

To speak of our Lord, the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as true and perfect man, is of no value to us if we do not believe, that He is descended from the line of ancestors set out in the Gospel.   Matthew’s gospel begins by setting out the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham, and then traces His human descent by bringing His ancestral line down to His mother’s spouse, Joseph.   On the other hand, Luke traces His parentage backward step by step to the actual father of mankind, to show that both the first and the last Adam share the same nature.

No doubt, the Son of God in His omnipotence, could have taught and sanctified men, by appearing to them in a semblance of human form, as He did to the patriarchs and prophets, when for instance He engaged in a wrestling contest or entered into conversation with them, or when He accepted their hospitality and even ate the food they set before Him.   But these appearances were only types, signs that mysteriously foretold, the coming of One, who would take a true human nature from the stock of the patriarchs, who had gone before Him.

No mere figure, then, fulfilled the mystery of our reconciliation with God, ordained from all eternity.   The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon the Virgin nor had the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that within her spotless womb Wisdom might build itself a house and the Word become flesh.   The divine nature and the nature of a servant, were to be united in one person, so that the Creator of time, might be born in time and He, through whom all things were made, might be brought forth in their midst.the divine nature and the nature of a servant - st pope leo the great 17 dec 2019.jpg

For unless the new man, by being made in the likeness of sinful flesh, had taken on Himself, the nature of our first parents, unless He had stooped to be one in substance with His mother, while sharing the Father’s substance and, being alone free from sin, united our nature to His, the whole human race would still be held captive under the dominion of Satan.

The Conqueror’s victory, would have profited us nothing, if the battle had been fought outside our human condition.   But through this wonderful blending, the mystery of new birth shone upon us, so that through the same Spirit by whom Christ was conceived and brought forth, we too might be born again in a spiritual birth and, in consequence, the evangelist declares the faithful to have been born not of blood, nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

“Man’s Maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars,
might nurse at His mother’s breast,
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey,
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood,
that Strength might grow weak,
that the Healer might be wounded,
that Life might die.”

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

 

mans maker was made man - st augustine - 17 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS

Advent Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom ……. –

Advent Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom ……. – Readings: Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17, Matthew 1:1-17O WISDOM - you came forth from the mouth of the most high - 17 dec 2019

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

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. … Matthew 1:1

REFLECTION – “The Incarnation of the Word only contributed to the doing of those things that were done and the mystery of humankind’s salvation was never, even in the remotest age, at a standstill.   What the propehts foretold, the apostles announced, nor were those things fulfilled too late, which had always been believed.   But the wisdom and goodness of God, made us all the more receptive of His call…  as the foretelling of it had been ancient and oft-repeated.

And so it was no new counsel, no tardy pity whereby God took thought for us but from the foundation of the world He ordained one and the same cause of Salvation for all.   For the grace of God, by which the whole body of the saints is continually made righteous, was increased, not initiated, when Christ was born.   And this mystery of God’s great love, with which the whole world is now filled, was so effectively pre-signified, that those who believed the promise, obtained no less, than those who were the actual recipients.

And so, dearly beloved, since that loving-kindness is now manifest with which all the wealth of divine goodness has been showered on us, whose call to eternal life has been promoted, not only by the supportive example of those who went before us but by the visible and bodily appearance of Truth itself, we are bound to keep the day of our Lord’s nativity with a joy beyond this world…   By the illumination of the Holy Spirit consider who it was who received us into Himself and whom we have received, since as the Lord Jesus became our flesh by being born, so we also became His body by being re-born…  For God suggested to us the standard of His own gentleness and humility…  Let us imitate His humility, then, to whose glory we would wish to be conformed.   He Himself will help us and lead us to what He has promised.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church – 3rd sermon on the Feast of the Nativity, 4-5he himself will help us and lead us to what he has promised - st pope leo the great 17 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION – “Hope marks humanity’s journey but for Christians, it is enlivened by a certainty, the Lord is present in the passage of our lives.   He accompanies us and will one day also dry our tears.   One day, not far off, everything will find its fulfilment in the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of justice and peace.” … Pope Benedict XVI 2 December 2009

ADVENT ACTION – Let us share the good news, the hope of the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER – O WISDOM

You came forth from the mouth of the Most High
and reaching from beginning to end,
You ordered all things mightily and sweetly.
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israelrejoice rejoice emmanuel shall come to thee o israel-19-dec-2017.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 17 December – Alma Redemptoris Mater

Our Morning Offering – 17 December

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Loving Mother of the Redeemer

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven,
star of the sea,
assist your people
who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature
you bore your Creator,
Yet remained a virgin
after as before.
You who received
Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

Marian Antiphon Traditionally Said from Advent to the Presentation of Jesus in the TempleALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER loving mother of the redeemer 17 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOD is LOVE, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, The HOLY SPIRIT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 16 December – ‘He Loved us First’

Thought for the Day – 16 December – Monday of the Third Week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 21:23-27

“By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” … Matthew 21:23

He Loved us First

William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
Abbot

An excerpt from his On the Contemplation of God

Truly You alone are the Lord.   Your dominion is our salvation, for to serve You, is nothing else but to be saved by You!   O Lord, salvation is Your gift and Your blessing is upon Your people, what else is Your salvation but receiving from You the gift of loving You or being loved by You?   That, Lord, is why You willed, that the Son at Your right hand, the man whom You made strong for Yourself, should be called Jesus, that is to say, Saviour, for He will save His people from their sins and, there is no other, in whom there is salvation.   He taught us to love Him by first loving us, even to death on the cross.   By loving us and holding us so dear, He stirred us to love Him who had first loved us to the end.

And this is clearly the reason – You first loved us so that we might love You—not because You needed our love but because, we could not be what You created us to be, except by loving You.

In many ways and on various occasions You spoke to our fathers through the prophets. Now in these last days You have spoken to us in the Son, Your Word, by Him the heavens were established and all their powers came to be, by the breath of His mouth.

For You to speak thus in Your Son, was to bring out, in the light of day, how much and in what way You loved us, for You did not spare Your own Son but delivered Him up for us all.   He also loved us and gave himself up for us.

This, Lord, is Your Word to us, this is Your all-powerful message – while all things were in midnight silence (that is, were in the depths of error), He came from His royal throne, the stern Conqueror of error and the gentle Apostle of love.   Everything He did and everything He said on earth, even enduring the insults, the spitting, the buffeting—the cross and the grave—all of this, was actually You speaking to us in Your Son, appealing to us by Your love and stirring up our love for You.he came from his royal throne - william of saint thierry 16 dec 2019.jpg

You know that this disposition could not be forced on men’s hearts, my God, since You created them, it must rather be elicited.   And this, for the further reason, that there is no freedom, where there is compulsion and where freedom is lacking, so too is Righteousness.

You wanted us to love You, then, we, who could not with justice have been saved, had we not loved You, nor could we have loved You except by Your gift.   So, Lord, as the Apostle of Your Love tells us and, as we have already said, You first loved us – You are first to love all those who love You.

Thus we hold You dear by the affection You have implanted in us.   You are the one supremely good and ultimate goodness.   Your love is Your goodness, the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son!   From the beginning of creation it was He who hovered over the waters—that is, over the wavering minds of men, offering Himself to all, drawing all things to Himself.   By His inspiration and holy breath, by keeping us from harm and providing for our needs, He unites God to us and us to God.your love is your goodness the holy spirit - william of theirry 16 dec 2019.jpg

William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148), was a twelfth century French Benedictine Abbot of Saint-Thierry, theologian and mystic who became a Cistercian monk and writer.
William wrote throughout all of his abbatial career as a Benedictine and his final years as a Cistercian monk.   His earliest works reflect a monk seeking God continually and investigating, the various and best ways of furthering the soul’s ascent to God in spiritual union, William’s ultimate goal.   When read chronologically, one can discern the development and evolution of William’s thought.
Besides his letters to St Bernard and others, William wrote several works – there were twenty two works by William (twenty one extant), all written in Latin between c 1121 and 1148.
William’s writings were widely read in the later Middle Ages.   However, they were frequently attributed to St Bernard of Clairvaux – a sign of their quality and also another reason for their continued popularity.   Only in the early twentieth century, did interest in William as a distinct writer, begin to develop again and was his name correctly attached to all of his own writings.

“At this Christmas, when Christ comes,
will He find a warm heart?
Mark the season of Advent,
by loving and serving others,
with God’s own love and concern.”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
(Love-A Fruit Always in Season)

at this christmas, when he comes - st mother teresa 16 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 16 December – He made of Him the Way

Advent Reflection – 16 December – Monday of the Third Week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 21:23-27

“The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore him.”

“We do not know.”   And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” … Matthew 21:27

REFLECTION – “In truth, brethren, what God promised seemed humanly unbelievable, that starting from this mortal state in which people are corruptible, despicable, weak, dust and ashes, they would become equal to God’s angels!   That is why God wasn’t satisfied with making a scriptural covenant for them, to believe but put forward a mediator as proof of His faith – no prince, no angel or archangel but His only Son.   In this way, He would point out and bestow through His own Son, the way by which He would lead us to the end promised to us.   Yet for God it was too small a thing that His Son should show us the way, He made of Him the Way (cf. Jn 14:6), the Way by which you would go under His direction, the Way you would follow…

How far we were from Him!   He who is so high and we so low!   We were sick, with no hope of healing.   A doctor was sent but the patient did not recognise Him, “for if they had known him they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1Cor 2:8).   But the death of the doctor has been the cure of the patient, the doctor came to visit him and died to heal him.   He made those who believed in Him understand He was God and man, God who created us, man who recreated us.   The one was visible in Him, the other hidden and that which was hidden, far exceeded what was seen…   The patient has been healed by what was visible, that later he might be able to see in full.   God postponed this final vision by concealing it, He did not refuse it.” … St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace – Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 110[109]advent monday of the third week 16 dec 2019 for god it was too small a thing - st augustine .jpg

MEDITATION – “Now is the time to say to Jesus:  “Lord, I have let myself be deceived;  in a thousand ways I have shunned Your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with You. I need you.   Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into Your redeeming embrace”. … Pope FrancisThe Joy of the Gospelnow-is-the-time-to-say-to-jesus-15-dec-2018-from-the-joy-of-the-gospel and 16 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – Let us go to Confession!   Lead your family to the door of God’s love and mercy.

PRAYER – “My beloved Redeemer, how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin, which I brought on myself through my sins?   What can I do without Your grace?   I can do nothing but pray that You will help me but even this prayer comes from the merits of Your suffering and death!   O my Jesus, help me!” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most zealous Doctormy beloved redeemer - how much did it cost you - st alphonsus - christmas confession.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 15 December – The tongue is loosened because a voice is born.

Thought for the Day – 15 December – Third Sunday of Advent, Year A, Gaudete Sunday – Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, Psalm 146:6-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness
Saint Augustine (354-430)

Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church
An excerpt from his Sermon 293the-tongue-is-loosened-because-a-voice-is-born-24-june-2019-birth-of-john-the-baptist and 15 dec 2019 gaudete

…John is born of a woman too old for childbirth, Christ was born of a youthful virgin. The news of John’s birth was met with incredulity and his father was struck dumb. Christ’s birth was believed and He was conceived through faith.

Such is the topic, as I have presented it, for our inquiry and discussion.   But as I said before, if I lack either the time or the ability to study the implications of so profound a mystery, He who speaks within you, even when I am not here, will teach you better, it is He whom you contemplate with devotion, whom you have welcomed into your hearts, whose temples you have become.

John, then, appears as the boundary between the two testaments, the old and the new. That he is a sort of boundary the Lord himself bears witness, when He speaks of the law and the prophets up until John the Baptist.   Thus He represents times past and is the herald of the new era to come.   As a representative of the past, he is born of aged parents, as herald of the new, he is declared to be a prophet while still in his mother’s womb.   For when yet unborn, he leapt in his mother’s womb at the arrival of blessed Mary.   In that womb, he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was born, it was revealed that he was to be Christ’s precursor, before they ever saw one another.  These are divine happenings, going beyond the limits of our human frailty. Eventually he is born, he receives his name, his father’s tongue is loosened.   See how these events reflect reality.

Zechariah is silent and loses his voice until John, the precursor of the Lord, is born and restores his voice.   The silence of Zechariah is nothing but the age of prophecy lying hidden, obscured, as it were and concealed before the preaching of Christ.   At John’s arrival, it becomes clear, when the one who was being prophesied is about to come.   The release of Zechariah’s voice at the birth of John is a parallel to the rending of the veil at Christ’s crucifixion.   If John were announcing his own coming, Zechariah’s lips would not have been opened.   The tongue is loosened because a voice is born.   For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked – Who are you?   And he replied – I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.  The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.   John was a voice that lasted only for a time, Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.i-am-the-voice-the-voice-is-john-but-st-augustine-24-june-2019-nativity-of-st-john-the-baptist and 15 dec 2019 gaudete sun

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – Gaudete Sunday – “Rejoice in the Lord always”

Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – Gaudete Sunday

“Gaudete in Domino semper”

“Rejoice in the Lord always”

Philippians 4:4philippians 4 4 rejoice in the lord always gaudete in domine semper 15 dec 2019 gaudete sunday.jpg

Rejoice, O star that goes before the Sun.
Rejoice, O womb of the Incarnate God.
Rejoice, for through you, all creation is renewed,
Rejoice, for through you, the Creator became a baby.
Rejoice, O Virgin and Bride!

Akathist Hymn to Mary (c Fifth Century)rejoice o star that goes before the sun - akathis hymn to mary gaudete sunday 15 dec 2019.jpg

“Open wide your door to the One who comes.
Open your soul, throw open the depths of your heart
to see the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
the sweetness of grace.
Open your heart and run to meet
the Sun of eternal light
that illuminates all men.”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Churchopen wide your door to the one who comes - st ambrose 15 dec 2019.jpg

“Awake, you who lie in the dust,
awake and give praise.
Behold, the Lord comes with salvation.
He comes with salvation,
He comes with unction,
He comes with glory.
Jesus cannot come without salvation,
Christ cannot come without unction,
nor the Son of God without glory.
For He Himself is salvation,
He is unction,
He is glory,
as it is written,
‘A wise son is the glory of his father.'”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Doctor of the Churchawake you who lie in the dust, ....he who is to come - st bernard - gaudete sunday 15 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday – The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

Advent Reflection – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday – Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, Psalm 146:6-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.gaudete-sunday-17-dec-2018-REJOICE and 15 dec 2019.jpg

“Are you he who is to come…” … Matthew 11:3

REFLECTION – “It is part of the Baptist’s approaching witness-to-death, that, even in prison, he must put up with the darkness God has given him.   He had expected a mighty One who would baptise with Spirit and fire.   And now there appears in the Gospel, this gentle One, who “will not quench a smouldering wick” (Is 42:3).   Jesus calms John’s disquie, by showing him that the prophecy is being fulfilled in Himself, in gentle miracles that still call for trusting faith:  “Blessed is the man who finds no stumblimg block in me.” Perhaps the darkness that burdens John as a witness to Christ, is the very reason why Jesus praises him to the crowd – he really is what he understood himself to be – the messenger sent in advance of Jesus to prepare the way.   John referred to himself as a mere voice in the wilderness, ringing out the marvel of the coming One.
The least among those belonging to the coming Kingdom is greater than John, who assessed himself as belong to the Old Covenant, yet, as “friend of the Bridegroom” he is showered with the light of new grace, as he humbly makes way for Christ.
On icons, he joins Mary the Mother, who also comes from the Old Covenant, yet steps across into the New Covenant, the two of them at the right and left hand, of the world’s Judge!” … Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) Theologian

MEDIATION – “I speak out in order to lead Him into your hearts but He does not choose to come where I lead Him, unless you prepare the way for Him.”
To prepare the way means to pray well – it means thinking humbly of oneself.   We should take our lesson from John the Baptist.   He is thought to be the Christ, he declares he is not what they think.   He does not take advantage of their mistake to further his own glory.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the ChurchI-speak-out-in-order-to-lead-Him-st-augustine-16-dec-2018 and 15 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – We begin this third week of Advent asking to feel the joy that comes from knowing our Lord’s coming to us is near.
In these precious days ahead, we are praying, longing, hoping in the background of our everyday lives.
His mission is to the poor, the brokenhearted, prisoners and captives.   His mission is for us.   It is “good news,” full of healing, liberty and release.   We can smile today as we imagine the freedom He has won for us and how liberating it will be to live it, with Him, for others.
It is right to give our God thanks and praise and to follow His mission in our lives.
Jesus will come again, very soon!ero-cras-tomororow-i-will-come-17-dec-2017 and 15 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – O infinite God and only love of my soul,
I thank You, for having given me Your Son.
For the sake of this same Son,
accept me and bind me with chains of love
to my Redeemer. Amen … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Sunday Reflection – 15 December – To purify like for like

Sunday Reflection – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday

“The very Son of God,
older than the ages,
the invisible,
the incomprehensible,
the incorporeal,
the beginning of beginning,
the light of light,
the fountain of life and immortality,
the image of the archetype,
the immovable seal,
the perfect likeness,
the definition and word of the Father:
He it is who comes to His own image
and takes our nature for the good of our nature
and unites Himself to an intelligent soul
for the good of my soul,
to purify like by like.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

Father and Doctor of the Church

the-very-son-of-god-st-gregory-of-naziazen.17dec2017.gaudete-sunday-2017.and 15 dec 2019 gaudete sun reflecjpg.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 15 December – Let Your goodness, Lord, Appear to Us – An Advent Prayer by St Bernard

Our Morning Offering – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday

Let Your goodness, Lord,
Appear to Us
An Advent Prayer
By St Bernard (1090-1153)

Let Your goodness, Lord,
appear to us,
that we, made in Your image,
conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength
we cannot imitate
Your majesty, power and wonder,
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But Your mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small child
but You have brought us
the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love.
Caress us with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts
with Your soft, sweet cries.
Amenlet your goodness appear tp us o lord advent prayer of st bernard 15 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, SAINT of the DAY

Third Sunday of Advent, Year A – Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday +2019 and Memorials of the Saints – 15 December

Third Sunday of Advent, Year A – Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday +2019
Gaudete Sunday:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/16/sunday-reflections-gaudete-sunday/

Blessed Karl Steeb (1773 – 1856)
The Story of Blessed Karl:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/15/saint-of-the-day-15-december-blessed-karl-steeb-1773-1856/
St Margaret of Fontana
Bl Maria della Pace
Blessed Maria Vittoria De Fornari Strata (1562–1617)
St Mary Crocifissa di Rosa (1813 – 1855)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/saint-of-the-day-15-december/

St Maximinus of Micy
St Offa of Essex
Bl Pau Gracia Sánchez
St Paul of Latros
Bl Ramón Eirin Mayo
St Silvia of Constantinople
St Urbicus
St Valerian of Abbenza
St Virginia Centurione Bracelli (1587-1651)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/saint-of-the-day-15-december-st-virginia-centurione-bracelli-1587-1651/

Martyrs of Drina – (5 beati): Also known as
• Daughters of Divine Charity of Drina
• Drina Martyrs
Five members of the Daughters of Divine Charity who were martyred while fighting off Chetnik rapists. They were –
Jozefa Bojanc
Jozefa Fabjan
Karoline Anna Leidenix
Kata Ivanisevic
Terezija Banja
Their martyrdom occured in December 1941 in Gorazde, Bosansko-Podrinjski, Bosnia-Herzegovina
They were Beatified on 24 September 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Martyrs of North Africa – (7 saints): A group of Christians martyred together for their faith in North Africa. The only details about them that survive are their names – Caelian, Candidus, Faustinus, Fortunatus, Januarius, Lucius and Mark.

Martyrs of Rome – (22 saints): A group of 22 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Valerian. The only details we have are five of their names – Antonius, Irenaeus, Saturnin, Theodorus and Victor. c 258 in Rome, Italy.

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 14 December – Restore us, O God, let thy face shine, that we may be saved!   

Advent Reflection – 14 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11, Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19, Matthew 17:10-13 and the Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the ChurchSAT OF THE SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT - 14 DEC 2019.jpg

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“… but I tell you that Elijah has already come and they did not recognise him but did to him, whatever they pleased.   So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands…” … Matthew 17:12

REFLECTION – “God fixed a time for His promises and a time for fulfilling what he had promised.   The period of His promises was from the time of the prophets, up to John the Baptist and the period for fulfilling what He had promised is from John and henceforward, to the end.   God is faithful, He made Himself our debtor, not by accepting anything from us but by promising us such great blessings.   The promise was not enough, He even chose to be bound by writing, creating for us a kind of bond for His promises, so that, when He began to fulfil His promises, we might contemplate in scripture, the order of their accomplishment.   The period of prophecy, therefore, as we have before now frequently said, was the announcement of the promises.

He promised everlasting salvation and an unending life of blessedness with the angels, an unfading inheritance (1Pt 1:4), everlasting glory, His own dear face, His sanctuary in heaven and, by the resurrection of the dead, no further fear of death.   This is, as it were, His final promise, towards which all our endeavours tend and after we have received it, we shall seek nothing more, demand nothing more.

Nor has He passed over in silence in His promises and prophecies, how that final state will be reached.   He promised us the divine nature, to mortals, immortality, to sinners, justification, to castaways, a state of glory.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church

MEDIATION – “In giving us His Son, His only Word,
He spoke everything to us at once
in this sole Word – and He has no more to say…
because what He spoke before to the prophets in parts,
He has now spoken all at once by giving us
the ALL Who is His Son.” … St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchin giving us his son his only word - st john of the cross 14 dec 2019.JPG

ADVENT ACTION – He gave us His ALL, perhaps today, we can give Him ourselves.   May we be free of earthly things, just for today.    Restore us, O God, let thy face shine, that we may be saved!   Psalm 80:3

PRAYER – “O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me. Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.” … St John of the Cross (1542-1591)o-king-of-gentleness-st-john-of-the-cross-14dec2018 and 14dec2019

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, YouTube VIDEOS

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – The God whom earth and sea and sky

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, the Memorial of St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) and a Marian Saturday

The God whom earth and sea and sky
For Mary, The Mother of God
For the Annunciation and Christmas
By St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)

The God whom earth and sea and sky
Adore and praise and magnify,
Whose might they claim, whose love they tell,
In Mary’s body comes to dwell.

O Mother blest! the chosen shrine
Wherein the architect divine,
Whose hand contains the earth and sky,
Has come in human form to lie.

Blest in the message Gabriel brought,
Blest in the work the Spirit wrought,
Most blest, to bring to human birth
The long desired of all the earth.

O Lord, the Virgin-born, to you
Eternal praise and laud are due,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Spirit blest for evermore.

the god whom earth and sea and sky st venantius fortunatus 14 dec 2019 hymn poem for mary