Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRECIOUS BLOOD PRAYERS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 4 December – God, my God, May I Always Abide in You

Our Morning Offering – 4 December – Friday of the First Week of Advent and the Memorial of St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church

God, my God,
May I Always Abide in You
By St John Damascene (675-749)

God, my God,
unextinguishable and invisible fire,
You make Your angels flaming fire.
Out of Your inexpressible love,
You have given me Your divine Flesh as food
and through this communion
of Your immaculate Body and precious Blood,
You receive me as a partaker of Your divinity.
Permeate all my body and soul,
all my bones and sinews.
Consume my sins in fire.
Enlighten my soul and illumine my mind.
Sanctify my body and make Your abode in me
together with Your blessed Father and all-holy Spirit,
that I may always abide in You,
through the intercession
of Your immaculate Mother
and all Your saints.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS for SEASONS, The CHRIST CHILD

Our Morning Offering – 2 December – Come, Sun and Saviour

Our Morning Offering – 2 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Come, Sun and Saviour
8th Century Catholic Advent Prayer/Hymn

Come, Sun and Saviour,
to embrace our gloomy world,
i’s weary race,
As groom to bride, as bride to groom:
The wedding chamber, Mary’s womb.
At Your great Name, O Jesus, now
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow,
All things on earth with one accord,
Like those in heaven, shall call You Lord.
Come in Your holy might, we pray,
Redeem us for eternal day.
Defend us while we dwell below,
From all assaults of our dread foe. Amen

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOTES to Followers, NOVENAS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The CHRIST CHILD

Getting Ready for the arrival of our King! Blessed Advent Season to you all!

Getting Ready for the arrival of our King!

Blessed Advent Season to you all!

Finally, having traversed the long roads and trials of the desert we have arrived in our new coastal home and after much ado, we are back online at last and I am so happy to be with you.
Blessed be God as His many Graces have been poured down upon us and may He bless you all for your many prayers which so kindly accompanied us during this time.

From tomorrow, I will be back in the usual way. May we share this beautiful season of anticipation together.

In the meantime, herewith, a little reminder of the beautiful Catholic tradition of the St Andrew Novena, the Christmas Anticipation Prayer which we began yesterday and pray 15 times everyday until Christmas.

While a Novena is normally a nine-day prayer, the term is sometimes used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of days. It is an ideal Advent devotion; the First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew.

The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in honour of the birth of His Son at Christmas. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal).

Prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your family and children on the Advent season.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment,
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
………………… [here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ
and of His blessed Mother.
Amen

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Grant us Your Light, O Lord

Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent, Year A

Grant us Your Light, O Lord
By The Venerable St Bede (673-735)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Grant us Your light, O Lord,
so that the darkness of our hearts,
may wholly pass away
and we may come at last,
to the light of Christ.
For Christ is that morning star,
who, when the night of this world has passed,
brings to His saints,
the promised light of life
and opens to them,
everlasting day.
Amengrant us your light o lord - st bede - 11 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, LITANIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote of the Day – 10 December – The Litany of Loreto

Quote of the Day – 10 December – The First Universal Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto

Litany of The Blessed Virgin Mary – The Litany of Loreto
The Litany of Loreto was originally approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V (1521-1590)THE LITANY OF LORETO

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God.
Have mercy on us.

Response for the following:   Pray for us.

Holy Mary
Holy Mother of God
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ
Mother of the Church
Mother of divine grace
Mother most pure
Mother most chaste
Mother inviolate
Mother undefiled
Mother most amiable
Mother most admirable
Mother of good counsel
Mother of our Creator
Mother of our Saviour
Virgin most prudent
Virgin most venerable
Virgin most renowned
Virgin most powerful
Virgin most merciful
Virgin most faithful
Mirror of justice
Seat of wisdom
Cause of our joy
Spiritual vessel
Vessel of honour
Singular vessel of devotion
Mystical rose
Tower of David
Tower of ivory
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant
Gate of heaven
Morning star
Health of the sick
Refuge of sinners
Comforter of the afflicted
Help of Christians
Queen of angels
Queen of patriarchs
Queen of prophets
Queen of apostles
Queen of martyrs
Queen of confessors
Queen of virgins
Queen of all saints
Queen conceived without original sin
Queen assumed into heaven
Queen of the most holy Rosary
Queen of families
Queen of peace

Lamb of God, You take away sins of the world;
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Grant, we beg You, O Lord God,
that we Your servants
may enjoy lasting health of mind and body
and by the glorious intercession
of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin,
be delivered from present sorrow
and enter into the joy of eternal happiness.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amenlitany of Loretto.jpg

During Advent:the litany of loreto closing prayer during advent - 10 dec 2019.jpg

Let us pray:
O God,
You willed that, at the message of an angel,
Your word should take flesh
in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
grant to Your suppliant people,
that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God,
may be helped by her intercession with You.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
R.   AmenTHE LITANY OF LORETO GERMAN

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, C S LEWIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 10 December – Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another’s.

Advent Reflection – 10 December – Tuesday of the Second Week in Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 40:1-11, Psalm 96:1-3, 10-13, Matthew 18:12-14

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

“So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” … Matthew 18:14

REFLECTION – “You brought me forth, O Lord, from my father’s loins and formed me in my mother’s womb (Ps 138:13).   You brought me, a naked babe, into the light of day, for nature’s laws always obey Your commands.   By the blessing of the Holy Spirit, You prepared my creation and my existence, not because man willed it, or flesh desired it (Jn 1:13) but by Your ineffable grace.   The birth You prepared for me was such, that it surpassed the laws of our nature.   You sent me forth into the light by adopting me as Your son (Gal 4:5) and You enrolled me among the children of Your holy and spotless Church.

You nursed me with the spiritual milk of Your divine utterances.   You kept me alive with the solid food of the body of Jesus Christ, Your only begotten Son and our God and You let me drink from the chalice of His life-giving blood, poured out to save the whole world.

You loved us, O Lord and gave up Your only-begotten Son for our redemption.   And He undertook the task, willingly and did not shrink away from it. (…)   Thus You humbled Yourself, Christ my God, so that You might carry me, Your stray sheep, on Your shoulders. You let me graze in green pastures, refreshing me with the waters of orthodox teaching at the hands of Your shepherds.   You pastured those shepherds and now, they in turn, tend Your chosen and special flock.” … St John Damascene (675-749) Monk, Theologian, Father & Doctor of the Churchmatthew 18 14 thus it is not the will of my father - st john damascene - thus you humbled yourself christ my god 10 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION – The mould in which a key is made, would be a strange thing if you had never seen a key and the key itself a strange thing, if you had never seen a lock.   Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling the in the infinite contours of the divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions.   For it is not humanity in the abstract that is to be saved but you – you, individual reader, John Stubbs or Janet Smith.   Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another’s.   All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction!” … C S Lewis (1898-1963)

ADVENT ACTION – Will I run halfway to meet Him?   Will I seek to at least repair what I can before He reaches me?   Are we in trouble, lost, confused and overwhelmed?   Tell Jesus!   He fulfils His promise to rescue us.

PRAYER – Thank You, my Lord, for looking for me.
Thank You, my Lord, for finding me.
Thank You, my Lord, for telling me
“it is never the will of my Father,
that one of these little ones should perish.”
This explains why
You assumed our human nature
and suffered so much for us.
Thank You, my Lord,
for Your reckless love.
Thank You, my Lord,
for saving me!
AmenTUESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT - 10 DEC 2019 psalm 96 13 the cord comes.jpg

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

Our Morning Offering – 7 December – Saviour of the Nations, Come – St Ambrose’s Advent Hymn

Our Morning Offering – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Veni Redemptor gentium
Saviour of the Nations, Come
St Ambrose’s Advent Hymn

Saviour of the nations, come;
Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood;
By the Spirit of our God
Was the Word of God made flesh,
Woman’s offspring, pure and fresh.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.

From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell
High the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father’s only Son,
Hast over sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o’ercloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.veni-redemptor-gentium-st-ambrose-advent-him-saviour-of-the-nations-come-7-dec-2017 and 7 dec 2019.jpg

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

Our Morning Offering – 6 December – A 10th Century Catholic Advent Prayer

Our Morning Offering – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Year A

A 10th Century Catholic Advent Prayer

Unknown Author

You are our eternal salvation,
The unfailing light of the world.
Light everlasting,
You are truly our redemption.
Grieving that the human race was perishing
through the tempter’s power,
without leaving the heights
You came to the depths
in Your loving kindness.
Readily taking our humanity
by Your gracious will,
You saved all earthly creatures,
long since lost,
Restoring joy to the world.
Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ,
and so possess us as Your shining dwellings.
By Your first coming, make us righteous;
At Your second coming, set us free:
So that, when the world is filled with light
and You judge all things,
We may be clad in spotless robes
and follow in Your steps, O King,
Into the heavenly hall.
Amen10th-cent-advent-prayer-you-are-our-eternal-salvation-16-dec-2017.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 – 5 December – Advent Prayer – God of Hope

Our Morning Offering – 5 December – Thursday of the First week of Advent, Year A

Advent Prayer – God of Hope

God of hope,
who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope,
the rock we stand upon,
be the centre, the focus of our lives
always and particularly this Advent time.
Through Him,
who is our hope,
our joy,
our love,
our peace,
in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever,
amen.Advent-prayer-god-of-hope-20-dec-2018 and 5 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for SEASONS

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – Daily Advent Prayer

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A

DAILY ADVENT PRAYER
By Fr Henri J M Nouwen (1932-1996)

Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness,
send Your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We, who have so much to do, seek quiet spaces
to hear Your voice each day.
We, who are anxious over many things
look forward to Your coming among us.
We, who are blessed in so many ways
long for the complete joy of Your kingdom.
We, whose hearts are heavy
seek the joy of Your presence.
We, are Your people,
walking in darkness,
yet seeking the light.
To You we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”

Amen!daily advent prayer - by henri nouswen 2 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAST THINGS, The SECOND COMING

Thought for the Day – 1 December – On the Twofold Coming of Christ – St Cyril of Jerusalem

Thought for the Day – 1 December – The First Sunday of Advent, Year A

On the Twofold Coming of Christ

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Catechetical Instruction, Catechesis 15

We do not preach only one coming of Christ but a second as well, much more glorious than the first.   The first coming was marked by patience, the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.

In general, whatever relates to our Lord Jesus Christ has two aspects.   There is a birth from God before the ages and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time.   There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece and a coming before all eyes, still in the future.

At the first coming He was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger.   At His second coming He will be clothed in light as in a garment.   In the first coming He endured the cross, despising the shame;  in the second coming He will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels.   We look then beyond the first coming and await the second.   At the first coming we said – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.   At the second we shall say it again, we shall go out with the angels to meet the Lord and cry out in adoration – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
The Savior will not come to be judged again, but to judge those by whom he was judged. At His own judgement He was silent, then He will address those who committed the outrages against Him when they crucified Him and will remind them – You did these things and I was silent.

His first coming was to fulfil His plan of love, to teach men by gentle persuasion.   This time, whether men like it or not, they will be subjects of His kingdom by necessity. Malachi the prophet speaks of the two comings.   And the Lord whom you seek will come suddenly to His temple – that is one coming.

Again he says of another coming – Look, the Lord almighty will come and who will endure the day of His entry, or who will stand in His sight?   Because he comes like a refiner’s fire, a fuller’s herb and He will sit refining and cleansing.

These two comings are also referred to by Paul in writing to Titus – The grace of God the Saviour has appeared to all men, instructing us to put aside impiety and worldly desires and live temperately, uprightly and religiously in this present age, waiting for the joyful hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.   Notice how he speaks of a first coming for which he gives thanks and a second, the one we still await.

That is why the faith we profess has been handed on to you in these words:  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father and He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end.

Our Lord Jesus Christ will therefore come from heaven.   He will come at the end of the world, in glory, at the last day.   For there will be an end to this world and the created world will be made new.

Grant, almighty Father,
that when Christ comes again,
we may go out to meet Him,
bearing the harvest of good works,
achieved by Your Grace.
We pray, that He will receive us
into the company of the saints
and call us into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ, our Lord,
with the Holy Spirit,
God for all eternity,
Amenfirst sun advent - grant almighty father that when your son comes again 1 dec 2019 be prepared.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 1 December – The First Sunday of Advent

Advent Reflection – 1 December – The First Sunday of Advent, Year A –
Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122:1-9, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:37-44

“So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”

Matthew 24:44

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Doctor of the Church
Sermons 4 and 5 for Advent

“It is only right, my brothers, to celebrate our Lord’s coming with all possible devotion, so greatly does His comfort gladden us… and His love burn within us.   But do not just think about His first coming when He came “to seek and save the lost” (Lk 19:10), think, too, of that other coming when He will come to take us with Him.  I should like to see you constantly occupied in meditating on these two comings… “resting among the sheepfolds” (Ps 68[67]:14), for they are the two arms of the Bridegroom in which the Bride of the Song of Songs took her rest:  “His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me” (2:6)…

But there is a third coming between the two to which I have just referred and those who know of it, can rest in it for their greater happiness.   The other two are visible but this one is not.   In the first, “ the Lord has appeared on earth and has spoken to us” (Bar 3:38)… in the last, “all mankind shall see the salvation of God” (Lk 3:6; Is 40:5)…   But the one that comes between them is secret, it is that in which the elect alone see the SavioUr within themselves and their souls find salvation.

In His first coming, Christ came in our flesh and in our weakness;  in His coming in the midst of time, He comes in Spirit and power;  in His final coming, He will come in His glory and majesty.   But it is by the strength of the virtues, that we attain to glory, as it is written:  “The Lord, the king of armies, he is the king of glory” (Ps 24[23]:10) and, in the same book:  “That I may see your power and your glory” (Ps 63[62]:3).   And so the second coming is like a road leading from the first to the last.   In the first, Christ has been our redemption, in the last, He will appear as our life, in His coming between, He is our rest and our consolation.”in-the-first-coming-st-bernard-3-dec-2017 AND 1 DEC 2019.jpg

Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God,
we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ,
for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Saviour of us all.
O Lord,
let Your blessing come upon us
as we light the first (purple) candle of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Waiting

We light a advent candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark.   But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master.   The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:

See! The ruler of the earth shall come,
the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile
The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.

We must capture that urgency today in the small flame of our candle.   We light the candle because we know that the coming of Christ is tied to our building of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting the lonely and forgotten – doing all these works hastens His coming.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuelthe first sunday of advent - 1 dec 2019 matthew 24 44

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

Our Morning Offering – 1 December – Come, O Long-Expected Jesus

Our Morning Offering – 1 December – First Sunday of Advent, Year A

Come, O Long-Expected Jesus

Breviary Lauds Hymn
First Sunday Advent

Come, O long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free,
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art,
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a king,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone,
By Thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.come o long expected jesus 1st sunday of advent 1 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOVENAS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Reminder – The St Andrew Christmas Novena – begin today 30 November

The St Andrew Christmas Novena – The Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Pray 15 Times each day.

Let us Pray!

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment,
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
………………… [here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ
and of His blessed Mother.
Amen

st-andrew-christmas-novena-30nov2018 AND 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOTES to Followers, NOVENAS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The NATIVITY of JESUS

St Andrew’s Christmas Novena – Begins on St Andrew’s Feast Day – 30 November

St Andrew’s Christmas Novena – Begins on St Andrew’s Feast Day – 30 November

Prepare for the arrival of our King!

Just a reminder of this beautiful Catholic tradition st-andrews-prayer-christmas-novena-no-1 - 30nov2017.jpg

The Feast of Saint Andrew has always been closely associated with the beginning of Advent as it is on 30 November, around the First Sunday of Advent.   In light of that fact, a prayer was developed as a daily preparation for Christmas and took 30 November as its starting point.

It is sometimes called the Christmas Novena, St Andrew’s Novena, St Andrew’s Christmas Prayer, or the Christmas Anticipation Prayer.

It is a beautiful prayer that focuses on the moment of Christ’s birth and can act as an inspiring meditation for Advent and of course, we pray for our own intentions – 15 times a day – God is listening!  The prayer is customarily prayed 15 times a day, as a family, it is most efficacious to pray it five times before and after mealtimes, alternating the family members.

Let us prepare our hearts to welcome Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer and pray the “Christmas Novena.”

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
………………… [here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ
and of His blessed Mother.
Amenst andrews christmas novena - begins 30 nov - say 15 times each day-posted 28 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Seven – 22 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Seven – 22 December

Day Seven

Flight Of The Child Jesus Into Egypt

Reflection:
Although the Son of God came from heaven to save men, scarcely was He born when men began to persecute Him to death.
Herod, fearing that this Child would deprive Him of his kingdom, seeks to destroy His life.  But St Joseph is warned by an angel in a dream to take the Infant and His Mother and flee into Egypt.   Joseph obeys at once and tells Mary about it.
He takes the few tools of his trade, that he may use them to gain a livelihood in Egypt for himself and his poor family.
Mary wraps up a small bundle of clothes for the use of her little Son and then, going to the crib, she says with tears in her eyes to her sleeping Child, “O my Son and my God!
You have come from heaven to save men but hardly are You born when they seek to take Your life.”
Lifting Him meanwhile in her arms and continuing to weep, she sets out that same night with Joseph on the road to Egypt.

Let us consider how much these holy wanderers must have suffered in making so long a journey, deprived of every comfort.   The divine Child was not yet able to walk and so Mary and Joseph had to take turns in carrying Him in their arms.
During their journey through the desert towards Egypt they had to spend several nights in the open air, with the bare ground for their bed.
The cold makes the Infant cry and Mary and Joseph weep in pity for Him.
And who would not weep at thus seeing the Son of God poor and persecuted, a fugitive on earth, that He might not be killed by His enemies!day-seven-novena-to-the-christ-child-22-dec-2017

Prayer:
Dear Infant Jesus, crying so bitterly!
Well have You reason to weep in seeing Yourself persecuted by men
whom You loved so much.
I, too, O God, have once persecuted You by my sins.
But You know that now I love You more than myself
and that nothing pains me more, than the thought
that I have so often spurned You, my sovereign Good.
Forgive me, O Jesus and let me bear You with me, in my heart
in all the rest of the journey that I have still to make through life,
so that together with You, I may enter into eternity.
So often have I driven You from my soul by my sins.
But now I love You above all things
and I regret above other misfortunes,
that I have offended You.
I wish to leave You no more, my beloved Lord.
But do You give me the strength to resist temptations.
Never permit me to be separated from You again.
Let me rather die than ever again lose Your good grace.
O Mary, my hope, make me always live in God’s love
and then die in loving Him.   Amen

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

Our Morning Offering – 22 December – The Magnificat, The Canticle of Mary

Our Morning Offering – 22 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-1-46-55-22dec2018 today's gospel

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 21 December

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

21 December

Jesus is a prisoner in the womb of Mary

“Consider the painful life that Jesus Christ led in the womb of His mother and the long-confined and dark imprisonment that He suffered there for nine months.   He had His senses but He could not use them.   A tongue but He could not speak.   Eyes but he could not see.   Hands but He could not stretch them out.   Feet but He could not walk.   For nine months, He had to remain the womb of Mary, a voluntary prison but also a prison of love. He was innocent but He had offered Himself to make payment for our debts and our crimes.

What gratitude and love we should demonstrate for our Lord in return for the love and goodness that He has given us.   He has put Himself into chains, in order to deliver us from the chains of evil.

O my Jesus, You are the innocent one. I implore You to bind my poor soul to Your feet by Your holy love, so that it may never again be separated from You.”

Scripture

“Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

Luke 1:42luke 1 42 blessed are you among woman - o raidant dawn 21dec2018

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

Advent Action
Dawn never happens quickly.   Long before dawn, while it is quite dark, the birds start their sounds of joy.   Slowly the night changes from dark, to charcoal, to haze, to light. Today’s Scripture presents to us the image of waiting.   In the Gospel, Mary and Elizabeth, wait and wonder together and the Lord waits, St John the Baptist waits.   Oftentimes, we are called to wait.   We must believe that in our waiting, the dawning also exists. We know that the Lord will always draw us from darkness into His cleansing light. Patience is a virture – displayed so wonderfully and painfully by the Lord.   How can we give into our impatience?   Rest in Me, remember me in the womb of My mother Mary and learn patience!

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Day Five
The Life Of Sorrow Which Jesus Led From His Birth.

Reflection:
Jesus Christ could have saved mankind without suffering and dying.
Yet, in order to prove to us how much He loved us, He chose for Himself a life full of tribulations.
Therefore the prophet Isaias called Him “a man of sorrows,” His whole life was filled with suffering.
His Passion began, not merely a few hours before His death but from the the first moment of His birth.
He was born in a stable where everything served to torment Him.
His sense of sight was hurt by seeing nothing but the rough, black walls of the cave;
His sense of smell was hurt by the stench of the dung from the beasts in the stable;
His sense of touch was hurt by the prickling straw on which He lay.
Shortly after His birth He was forced to flee into Egypt, where He spent several years of His childhood in poverty and misery. His boyhood and early manhood in Nazareth were passed in hard work and obscurity.
And finally, in Jerusalem, He died on a cross, exhausted with pain and anguish.

Thus, then, was the life of Jesus but one unbroken series of sufferings, which were doubly painful because He had ever before His eyes all the sufferings He would have to endure till His death.
Yet, since our Lord had voluntarily chosen to bear these tribulations for our sake, they did not afflict Him as much as did the sight of our sins, by which we have so ungratefully repaid Him for His love towards us.
When the confessor of Saint Margaret of Cortona saw that she never seemed satisfied with all the tears she had already shed for her past sins, he said to her, “Margaret, stop crying and cease your lamenting, for God has surely forgiven you your offenses against Him.”
But she replied, “Father, how can I cease to weep, since I know that my sins kept my Lord Jesus in pain and suffering during all His life?”day-five-novena-to-the-christ-child-20-dec-2017-no-2

Prayer:
O Jesus, my sweet Love!
I too have kept You suffering through all Your life.
Tell me, then, what I must do in order to win Your forgiveness.
I am ready to do all You ask of me.
I am sorry, O sovereign Good, for all the offences I have committed against You.
I love You more than myself, or a least I feel a great desire to love You.
Since it is You who have given me this desire, grant me too the strength to love You exceedingly.
It is only right that I, who have offended You so much, should love You very much.
Always remind me of the love You have borne me, in order that my soul may ever burn with love of You
and long to please You alone.
O God of love, I, who was once a slave of hell, now give myself all to You.
Graciously accept me and bind me to Yourself with the bonds of Your love.
My Jesus, from this day and forever in loving You will I live and in loving You will I die.
O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love your dear God and mine.
This is the only favour I ask of you and through you I hope to receive it. Amen

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 20 December “God of Hope”

Our Morning Offering – 20 December

Advent Prayer – God of Hope

God of hope,
who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope,
the rock we stand upon,
be the centre, the focus of our lives
always and particularly this Advent time.
Through Him,
who is our hope,
our joy,
our love,
our peace,
in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever,
amen.Advent prayer -god of hope 20 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT PRAYERS, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 19 December – “You will be speechless….” Origen

Thought for the Day – 19 December – “You will be speechless….” Origen

“But now you will be speechless and unable to talk
until the day these things take place,
because you did not believe my words,
which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”
Luke 1:20

“You will be speechless… until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words”.   Voice and word are not the same thing where we are concerned, since a voice can be heard without it conveying any meaning, without words and the word can likewise be communicated to our minds without a voice, as in the wandering of our thoughts.    In the same way, since the Saviour is Word…, John differs from Him in being voice, by comparison with Christ, who is Word.   This is what John himself answered to those who asked him who he was: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths’” (Lk 3:4; Jn 1:23).

Perhaps this is the reason – because he doubted the birth of the voice that would reveal the Word of God – why Zachariah lost his voice but recovered it again when that voice was born who is the Word’s forerunner (Lk 1:64).   Since, for the mind to be able to grasp the word intended by the voice, we must hear the voice.   It is also why, according to the time of his birth, John is slightly older than Christ – for we perceive the voice before the word.   Thus John points to Christ since it is with the voice that the Word is made known. Likewise, Christ was baptised by John, who admitted his need of being baptised by Him (Mt 3:14)… In brief, when John pointed to Christ it was as a man pointing to God, the incorporeal Saviour, as a voice pointing to the Word…”Origen (c.185-253)

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened and he spoke this prophecy:

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.

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 hate 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 safe 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 them into the way of peace.

Glory be 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

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened and he spoke this prophecy: 

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israelthe Benedictus - BEST - 19dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT PRAYERS, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

19 December

The passion of Jesus lasted throughout His whole life

“Consider that when Abraham was leading his son Isaac to death, that he did not give him notice of it beforehand, even during the short time that was necessary for them to arrive at the mount.   But the eternal Father chose that His incarnate Son, whom He had destined to be the victim for the atonement of our sins, should know the sorrow He was to endure from the very first moment that He was in His mother’s womb.  The whole life, then, of our blessed Redeemer and all the years that He spent, was a life of pain and tears. His divine heart never passed one moment free from suffering.   The martyrs have suffered but assisted by grace, they suffered with you and fervour.   Jesus Christ suffered but He suffered with a heart full of weariness and sorrow and He accepted all, for our love.

O sweet, O amiable, O loving heart of Jesus, I thank You.   O afflicted and loving heart of my Lord, I thank You for all that You suffered for me!”

Scripture

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
Psalm 71:4advent with st alphonsus rescue me o my god psalm 71-4 o sweet 19dec2018

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-2017

Advent Action
Speechless I stand before You, contemplating the Father’s mysterious design for our salvation.   I revere the elaborate preparations the Father puts in place for Your coming into our midst as one of us.    First, He prepares a mother for You, preserving her from sin right from conception and filling her with grace.   Then, in the fullness of time, He approaches her announcing His plan and the role she has to play in it.   Then, He takes care of her heart-broken husband, Joseph, announcing to him the mystery of Your incarnation.   And finally, the Father raises one more prophet to prepare the field for Your mission and to introduce You to our world.
Today, Your Word invites me to reflect on the role of the Baptist in Your redemptive work and challenges me to make space for You to be born in our world and in my heart.
Lord, let my life be a pointer to You as John’s was…I beg You!