Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The 3rd Joyful Mystery - the NATIVITY, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The HEART, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 5 October – The Third Joyful Mystery – The Birth of Jesus

Thought for the Day – 5 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Third Joyful Mystery
The Birth of Jesus

Like the simple shepherds, let us protrate ourselves with faith and with love before the Manger.
Let us offer, as our gifts, our good resolutions; let us offer our hearts and ask God to change them and make them entirely His forever.

Quite suddenly, the darkness of the night and the wretchedness of the cave was illuminated by a bright light from Heaven.
While men were unaware of, or indifferent to, the miraculous event which had taken place, bands of Angels descended from Heaven and sang: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men of goodwill” (Lk 2:13-14).
Joseph bent over the divine Infant and silently adored Him, while the Blessed Virgin knelt at His Feet in loving contemplation.

Let us too, learn to adore and love Him, as His Mother and Foster-Father did.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/10/05/thought-for-the-day-5-october-the-third-joyful-mystery-the-birth-of-jesus/

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, GOD the FATHER, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The HOLY TRINITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 September – Oh great God! Oh perfect Child!

One Minute Reflection – 27 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Zechariah 8: 1-8; Psalm 102: 16-21, 29 and 22-23; Luke 9: 46-50

Whoever receives this little child in my name, receives me” – Luke 9:48

REFLECTION – “As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you,” (Is 66:12-13). The mother embraces her children and we seek out our own mother, the Church. Anything weak and helpless, whose weakness needs supporting, is sweet and vulnerable and endearing: -God does not refuse His help to anything so young. Parents devote particular gentleness to their little ones; … in the same way, the Father of all creation gathers to Himself all who take refuge in Him, regenerates them by His Spirit and adopts them as His sons. He knows how gentle they are and they are the ones He loves, helps and protects;,that is why He calls them His little children, (cf. Jn 13:33).

The Holy Spirit, speaking through the mouth of Isaiah, applies the expression “child” to the Lord Himself: “For a child is born to us, a son is given us (…)” (Is. 9,5). Who is this Child, then? This newborn Infant in whose image we, too, are children? Through the same prophet, the Spirit describes His greatness: “Wonder-CounselLor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace,” (v. 6).

Oh great God! Oh perfect Child! The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son. How could the teaching this Child gives, not be irreproachable? It includes us all to guide us all, His children. He has stretched out His hands to us and we have placed in them all our faith. To this little Child, John the Baptist himself also gave testimony – “Behold,” he said, “the Lamb of God,” (Jn 1:29). Since Scripture has called children ‘lambs’, it has called “Lamb of God” the Word of God Who became man for us and Who wanted to become like us in all things, the Son of God Himself, the child of the Father. – St Clement of Alexandria (150-215) Theologian, Father – (Paedagogus I, 21-24)

PRAYER – God our Father, Your rule is a rule of love, Your providence is full of mercy for Your people. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Word made flesh and His sorrowful Mother, grant the spirit of wisdom and understanding in Your Word, Your Son Jesus Christ. Grant that by the healing Word our repentant hearts may know our way to our eternal home and strive to attain eternal joy there with You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on SILENCE, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 January – ‘… The Word of God, silent in the midst of men.’ Mark 4:1-20

One Minute Reflection – 27 January – Wednesday of the Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 10:11-18Psalms 110:1234Mark 4:1-20

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” – Mark 4:9

REFLECTION – “Truly it is “a trustworthy word and deserving of every welcome” (1 Tm 1:15), Your almighty Word, Lord, which in such deep silence made its way down from the Father’s royal throne (Wis 18:14f.) into the mangers of animals and meanwhile, speaks to us better by it’s silence. “Let him who has ears to hear, hear” what this loving and mysterious silence of the eternal Word speaks to us…
For what recommends the discipline of silence with such weight and such authority, what checks the evil of restless tongues and the storms of words, as the Word of God, silent in the midst of men.
“There is no word on my tongue” (Ps 139[138]:4), the almighty Word seems to confess while he is subject to His mother. What madness then will prompt us to say: “With our tongues we can do great things, our lips are good friends to us, we own no master” (Ps 11:5).
If I were allowed, I would gladly be dumb and be brought low and be silent even from good things, that I might be able, the more attentively and diligently to apply my ear to the secret utterances and sacred meaning of this divine silence, learning in silence in the school of the Word, if only for as long as the Word Himself was silent under the instruction of His mother …
“The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us” (Jn 1:14). With complete devotion, then, let us think of Christ in the swaddling clothes with which His mother wrapped Him, so that with eternal happiness we may see the glory and beauty with which His Father has clothed Him.” – Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot – 5th sermon for Christmas

PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom You created us, by Your providence You rule us, You have planted us, penetrate our inmost being with Your holy Light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service to You. May we never hesitate to run to Your all-forgiving arms of mercy, when we allow the rocks and thorns of this life to prevent our growth and our steps as we return home to You. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, our Mother, all the angels and saints, be unfailing assistance to us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The DIVINE INFANT, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – “Cast Upon Us a Look of Mercy”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 4:12-16, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10,15, Mark 2:13-17

“Cast Upon Us a Look of Mercy”

“Those who are well
have no need of a physician
but those who are sick.
I came not to call
the righteous but sinners.”

Mark 2:17

“For John came,
neither eating nor drinking and they said,
‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came
eating and drinking and they said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

Matthew 11:18-19

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

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

“But He still follows behind us and counsels us,
that we have despised Him
but He still does not cease to call us.
We turn our backs on His face, so to speak,
when we reject His words,
when we trample His commandments underfoot
but He who sees that we reject Him,
still calls out to us by His commandments
and waits for us by His patience,
stands behind us and calls us back
when we have turned away.”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“In order that you may have the same experience,
reflect within yourself that your sin is great
but that it is blasphemy against God
and an injury to yourself,
to despair of His forgiveness,
because your sin seems to you to be too great.
He has promised to forgive your sins, however many they are;
will you tell Him you cannot believe this and dispute with Him,
saying that your sin is too great
and He cannot heal your sickness?
Stop at that point and cry out with the prophet:
“Lord, I have sinned against you” (Ps 51[50]:6).
At once He will reply,
“As for me, I have overlooked your fault, you shall not die.”
Glory to Him from us all, through all ages!
Amen, Amen.”

An anonymous Syrian writer of the 6th century

Cast Upon Us a Look of Mercy
By Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878)

O Jesus!
Cast upon us a look of mercy,
turn Your Face towards each of us
as You did to Veronica,
not that we may see it with our bodily eyes,
for this we do not deserve
but turn it towards our hearts,
so that, remembering You,
we may ever draw from this fountain of strength,
the vigour necessary to
sustain the combats of life.
Amen

Posted in GOD ALONE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, The DIVINE INFANT, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD

Quote of the Day – 7 January – “The Epiphany” By St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)

Quote of the Day – 7 January – The Second Day within the Octave of Epiphany

Poem
“The Epiphany”

To blaze the rising of this glorious sun
A glittering star appeareth in the east
Whose sight to pilgrim toil three sages won
To seek the light they long had in request,
And by this star to nobler star they pace
Whose arms did their desired sun embrace.

Still was the sky wherein these planets shined
And want the cloud that did eclipse their rays,
Yet through this cloud their passage they did find,
And pierced these sages’ hearts by secret ways,
Which made them know, the Ruler of the skies
By Infant tongue and looks of babish eyes.

Heaven at her light, earth blusheth at her pride
And of their pomp these peers ashamed be,
Their crowns, their robes, their train they set aside
When God’s poor cottage, clouts and crew they see,
All glorious things their glory now despise
Since God contempt doth more than glory prize.

Three gifts they bring, three gifts they bear away,
For Incense, Myrrh and Gold, Faith, Hope and Love
And with their gifts the givers’ hearts do stay,
Their mind from Christ, no parting can remove,
His humble state, His stall, His poor retinue
They fancy more than all their rich revenue.

By St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Martyr

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

Our Morning Offering – 7 January – O Child, So Worthy of Our Love, I Offer You My Heart

Our Morning Offering – 7 January – The Second Day within the Octave of Epiphany

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

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

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRADITION, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 6 January –

Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany

It was love which inspired the Magi.
Love sustained them on their journey and made them fall prostrate in adoration before the Infant Jesus.
Even before they offered Him material gifts, they offered Him, their hearts!
As a reward for their faith and charity, God showered his graces upon them and an immense supernatural joy pervaded their souls.
In that moment of adoration, they received the highest possible reward for their hardships and perseverance.
With deep interior joy, they gave Jesus their hearts and never withdrew them.
A pious tradition maintains, that they apostles and Saints and, in fact, the Church venerates them as such, today.

We should follow the example of the Magi and promise, before the cradle of the Infant Saviour, that we shall face any sacrifices, even death, rather than offend Him and shall work, in every way possible, for His glory and our sanctification.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST the KING, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 6 January – Epiphany – In Your Light, we see light!

Quote/s of the Day – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

In Your Light, we see light!

“If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King,
they would have been disconcerted at finding
that they had taken the trouble to come
such a long way for nothing.
Consequently they would have
neither adored nor offered gifts.
But since they sought a heavenly King,
though they found in Him
no signs of royal pre-eminence,
yet, content with the testimony
of the star alone,
they adored – for they saw a man
and they acknowledged God.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder
at what they see – heaven on earth,
earth in heaven, man in God,
God in man,
One whom the whole universe cannot contain,
now enclosed in a tiny body.
As they look, they believe
and do not question,
as their symbolic gifts bear witness –
incense for God,
gold for a King,
myrrh for One who is to die.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father and Doctor of Homilies

“What are you doing, O Magi?
Do you adore a little Babe,
in a wretched hovel,
wrapped in miserable rags?
Can this Child be truly God?
… Are you become foolish, O Wise Men
… Yes, these Wise Men have become fools
that they may be wise.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Doctor of Light

More Epiphany quotes:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/06/quote-s-of-the-day-6-january-the-solemnity-of-the-epiphany-of-the-lord/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, The DIVINE INFANT, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD

Our Morning Offering – 6 January – Songs of Thankfulness We Raise

Our Morning Offering – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Songs of Thankfulness We Raise
By Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885) (18
62)

Songs of thankfulness we raise,
Jesu, Lord, to Thee we raise
manifested by the star
to the sages from afar,
Branch of royal David’s stem
in Thy birth at Bethlehem.
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest at Jordan’s stream,
Prophet, Priest and King supreme,
and at Cana wedding-guest
in Thy Godhead manifest,
manifest in power divine,
changing water into wine.
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,
Mirrored in Thy holy Word.
May we imitate Thee now
And be pure, as pure art Thou,
That we like to Thee may be,
At Thy great Epiphany
And may praise Thee, ever blessed,
God in flesh made manifest.
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Sun and moon shall darkened be,
stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee.
Christ will then like lightning shine.
All will see His glorious sign.
All will see the Judge appear,
all will then the trumpet hear,
Thou by all wilt be confessed,
God in man made manifest.
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest

Christopher Wordsworth (b. Lambeth, London, England, 1807; d. Harewood, Yorkshire, England, 1885), nephew of the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth, wrote this hymn in five stanzas.

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, MARIAN QUOTES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – St Basil and St Gregory Nazianzen

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

“… In the conceitedness of our souls,
without taking the least trouble
to obey the Lord’s commandments,
we think ourselves worthy
to receive the same reward
as those who have resisted sin to the death!”

“A tree is known by its fruit,
a man by his deeds.
A good deed is never lost,
he who sows courtesy,
reaps friendship
and he who plants kindness,
gathers love.”

“There is still time for endurance,
time for patience,
time for healing,
time for change.
Have you slipped?
Rise up!
Have you sinned?
Cease!
Do not stand among sinners
but leap aside!”

“O sinner, be not discouraged
but have recourse to Mary
in all you necessities.
Call her to your assistance,
for such is the divine Will
that she should help
in every kind of necessity.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Grace is given, not to those who speak [their faith]
but to those, who live their faith.”

“Remember God
more often
than you breathe!”

“Let us become like Christ,
since Christ became like us.
He assumed the worse,
that He might give us the better;
He became poor,
that we through His poverty,
might be rich.”

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

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/01/02/quote-s-of-the-day-2-january-the-memorial-of-st-basil-the-great-329-379-and-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-330-390-fathers-doctors-of-the-church/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – God is on earth and man is in heaven.

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21Psalms 96:1-211-1213John 1:1-18

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

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

REFLECTION – “God, who gave being to all that is, at the same time united all things together in His providence.

Being master, He became a servant (cf, Phil 2:6-7) and so revealed to the world, the depth of His providence.

God the Word, in becoming incarnate while remaining unchanged, was united through His flesh with the whole of creation.

There is a new wonder in heaven and on earth – God is on earth and man is in heaven.

He united men and angels, so as to bestow deification on all creation.

The knowledge of the holy and co-essential Trinity is the sanctification and deification of men and angels. …

When, in His compassion for man, the Word became flesh (cf. Jn 1:14), He changed, neither what He was, nor what He became.” – Thalassios the Syrian (5th Century)
Priest, Hermit and Abbot in Syria – Centuries on Love I

PRAYER – All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank You for the human birth of Your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship. Number us among His people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in Him, for the Word became flesh who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.

Thalassius of Syria undertook the call of God to life as a hermit in the fifth century.
Thalassius is recorded to have entered into solitude at a young age near a village named Targala in Byzantine Syria. He is said to have dwelt there, living the ascetic life with no shelter for nearly forty years.
Thalassius’ was a soul filled with humbleness, simplicity and a gentle nature. God manifested in him, the gifts of powerful intercession and healing for which he gained considerable renown.
In time, many came to join Thalassius in the eremitic life and he welcomed them as he would welcome Christ, building them cells with his own hands.
BlessedThalassius, Hermit of Syria is said to have died peacefully.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – “Christmas”

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave

“Christmas”

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

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

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

Unspeakably wise,
He is wisely speechless.

Filling the world,
He lies in a manger.

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

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

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

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

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

“Has anybody the right to criticise us
even if we seem to be
beside ourselves with joy to-day
over the Birthday of our King?”

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397)
Doctor of the Church

“I feel as though I am
with Mary and Joseph beside the Crib.
It is good to be there.
Outside are the cold and the snow,
images of the world
but in the little cave,
lit by the light of Jesus,
it is sweet and warm and light.”

Blessed Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916)

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – St Bernard – ‘He is the Kiss of God’

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 2:12-17, Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40

“She spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” … Luke 2:38

REFLECTION “O Root of Jesse, who stand as a sign to the peoples” (Is 11: 10), “how many kings and prophets wanted to see you and did not” (Lk 10:24)? Simeon is the happiest of them all because by God’s mercy he was still bearing fruit in old age. For he rejoiced to think that he would see the sign so long desired. He saw it and was glad (Lk 8:56). When he had received the kiss of peace, he departed in peace but first, he proclaimed aloud that Jesus was born, a sign that would be rejected (Lk 2:25-34). And so it was. The sign of peace arose and was rejected, by those who hate peace (Ps 119:7). For what is peace to men of goodwill (Lk 2:14) is a stone to make men stumble, a rock for the wicked to fall over (l Pt 2:8). “Herod was troubled and all Jerusalem with him” (Mt 2:3). He came to His own and His own did not receive Him (Jn 1:11). Happy those shepherds keeping watch at night who were found worthy to be shown the sign of this vision! (Lk 23:8)

For even at that time He was hiding Himself from the wise and prudent and revealing Himself to the simple (Mt 11:25; Lk 10:21). … The angel said to the shepherds, “This is a sign for you” (Lk 2: 12), you who are humble, you who are obedient, you who are not haughty (Rom 12: 16), you who are keeping vigil and meditating on God’s law day and night (Ps 1:2). “This is a sign for you,” he said. What is this sign? The sign the angels promised, the sign the people asked for, the sign the prophets foretold, the Lord Jesus has now made and He shows it to you. …

This is your sign. What is it a sign of? Indulgence, grace, peace, “the peace which will have no end” (Is 9:7). It is this sign: “You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk 2: 12). But this baby is God Himself, reconciling the world to Himself in Him (2 Cor 5: 19). … He is the Kiss of God, the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1Tm 2:5), who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end.” … St Bernard (1091-1153) Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, the human birth of Your Only-begotten Son, was the beginning of new life. May He set us free from the tyranny of sin. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – O Dearest Infant

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

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

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

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 26 December – Sleep, Holy Babe

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

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

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

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – A Child My Choice

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ and remembering Blessed Jacopone da Todi OFM (1230-1306)

“Blessed is the Child,
Who gladdened Bethlehem today.
Blessed is the Babe,
Who today renewed the youth of humankind.
Blessed is the Fruit,
Who bowed Himself down to our hunger.
Blessed is the gracious One,
Who suddenly enriched our poverty
and supplied our need.
Blessed is He,
Whose tender mercy
Led Him to heal our infirmities.
Blessed is He,
Whom freedom crucified
because He permitted it.
Blessed is He,
Whom also the wood bore
because He gave it leave.
Blessed is He,
Whom the grave bound,
when He set limits to Himself.
Blessed is He,
Whose free choice brough Him
to the womb and to birth.
Blessed is He,
Who sealed our soul
and adorned and betrothed her to Himself.
Blessed is the beautiful One,
Who remade us in His image.
Blessed is He,
Who made our flesh a tabernacle for His hiddenness.
Blessed is He,
Who with our tongue spoke out His secrets.
Blessed is the Word of the most high,
Who became flesh today for us.
Amen”

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

“He was created of a mother,
whom He created.
He was carried by hands,
that He formed.
He cried in the manger,
in wordless infancy.
He, the Word,
without Whom,
all human eloquence is mute.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of Grace

“Christ is the Morning Star,
Who, when the night
of this world is past,
gives to His saints,
the promise of the light of life,
and opens everlasting day.”

St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father & Doctor of the Church

“He came from His royal throne,
the stern Conqueror of error
and the gentle Apostle of love.”

William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)

“Let all your desires then be,
directed toward Him,
the Infinite One,
the Giver of all Good.”

Bl Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306)

A Child My Choice
By St Robert Southwell (1561-1595)
Martyr

Let folly praise that fancy loves, I praise and love that Child
Whose heart no thought, whose tongue no word, whose hand no deed defiled.

I praise Him most, I love Him best, all praise and love is His;
While Him I love, in Him I live, and cannot live amiss.

Love’s sweetest mark, laud’s highest theme, man’s most desired light,
To love Him life, to leave Him death, to live in Him delight.

He mine by gift, I His by debt, thus each to other due;
First friend He was, best friend He is, all times will try Him true.

Though young, yet wise; though small, yet strong; though man, yet God He is:
As wise, He knows; as strong, He can; as God, He loves to bless.

His knowledge rules, His strength defends, His love doth cherish all;
His birth our joy, His life our light, His death our end of thrall.

Alas! He weeps, He sighs, He pants, yet do His angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs, doth bud a joyful spring.

Almighty Babe, whose tender arms can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life, direct me when I die!

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on SIN, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – St Augustine ‘The Divine Physician’ John 1:14

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – Mass during the day – Readings:  Isaiah 52:7-10Psalms 98:12-33-45-6Hebrews 1:1-6John 1:1-18

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

“And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

REFLECTION – “His glory no-one could see unless he was healed by the lowliness of His flesh. Why could we not see? Concentrate, my beloved people and see what I am saying. Dust, so to speak, had forcibly entered humanity’s eye; earth had entered it, had injured the eye and it could not see the light. That injured eye is anointed; it was injured by earth and earth is put there that it may be healed. For all salves and medicines are nothing but [compounds] of the earth. You have been blinded by dust, you are healed by dust; thus the flesh has blinded you, flesh heals you. For the soul had become carnal by assenting to carnal passions; from that the eye of the heart had been blinded. “The Word was made flesh.” That physician made a salve for you. And because He came in such a way that by His flesh He might extinguish the faults of the flesh and by His death He might kill death, it was, therefore, effected in you that, because “the Word was made flesh,” you could say, “And we saw his glory.”St Augustine (354-430) Great Western Father & Doctor of Grace –Tractates on the Gospel of John, 2

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

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

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, POETRY, PRAYERS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES for CHRIST, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – Afar from Where the Sun Doth Rise

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

Afar from Where the Sun Doth Rise
A Solis Ortus Cardine
By Coelius Sedulius (Died c 450)
Trans Fr Ronald A Knox (1888-1957)

Afar from where the sun doth rise
To lands beneath the western skies,
Homage to Christ our King we pay,
Born of a Virgin’s womb this day

Blessed Creator, Thou didst take__
A servant’s likeness for our sake,
And didst in flesh our flesh restore
To bid Thy creature live once more.

Chaste was the womb where Thou didst dwell,
Of heavenly grace the hidden cell;
Nor might the blessed Maid proclaim
Whence her dread Guest in secret came.

Down from on high God came to rest__
His glory in a sinless breast;
Obedience at His word believed,
And virgin innocence conceived.

Ere long, that holy child she bore
By Gabriel’s message named before,
Whom yet unborn, with eager pride,
The swift forerunner prophesied.

Fast doth He sleep, where straw doth spread,
A humble manger for His bed.
A Mother’s milk that strength renewed,
Which gives the birds of heaven their food.

Glory to God, the angels cry;
Earth hears the echo from on high;
Mankind’s true Shepherd and it’s Lord
By shepherd hearts is first adored.

“A Solis Ortus Cardine…” (Latin for “From the Pivot of the Sun’s Rising”) is a poem by Christian Poet, Coelius Sedulius (Died c 450), recounting Christ’s life from His birth to His resurrection. Its 23 verses each begin with a consecutive letter of the Latin alphabet, making the poem an abecedarius. It is one of the oldest parts of the Roman Catholic liturgy, with two hymns formed from the first seven and four later verses.
There have been monastic translations into Anglo-Saxon and later translations into other languages..

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The DIVINE INFANT, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The NATIVITY of JESUS

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

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

The Holy Family – Jesus

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

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, The DIVINE INFANT, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight

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

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

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

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“… 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…”

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

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

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” ‘The Light that enlightens all things’

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings:  Isaiah 62:1-5Psalms 89:4-516-172729Acts 13:16-1722-25Matthew 1:1-25

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

“She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” … Matthew 1:21

REFLECTION – “The heavens were glad, earth exulted when Mary gave birth and hell was troubled and aghast. The heavens in their joy produced a shining star and a glorious army of angels, uttering praise and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will.” (Lk 2:14) The earth, exulting, brought shepherds giving glory and magi adoring and offering gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. …
Reflect how that night poured forth light in the darkness and instead of blackness, it offered radiance. It gave light before the sun arose and a brightness which, from its exceeding brilliance, obscured the splendour of the sun. Concerning this night the psalmist says: “Night is my light in my delights” and turning to the Lord he says: “The darkness will not be dark for you and the night will be as bright as the day, for the darkness is as light for him” (cf Ps 38[139]:11-12 LXX). …
Taking up the newborn Emmanuel, Mary beheld a Light incomparably fairer than the sun and saw a Fire that water cannot quench. She received, in the covering of flesh that she had borne, the Light that enlightens all things and she was worthy to carry in her arms, the Word that carries the universe.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop, Cistercian Monk – Homilies in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, IV, SC 72

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

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 24 December – What Child is This?

Our Morning Offering – 24 December – Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord/Mass at Midnight

What Child is This?

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant king to own Him,
The King of kings, salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

By William C Dix (1837-1898) English Hymnist and is sung to the tune of Greensleeves.

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The DIVINE INFANT, The HEART, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION, The WILL of GOD

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

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

What Jesus Wants From Us

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

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, POETRY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 23 December – “If you want…”

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

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

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

“If you want,
the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy,
and say, “I need shelter for the night.
Please take me into your heart, my time is so close. ”

Then, under the roof of your soul,
you will witness the sublime intimacy, the divine, the Christ,
taking birth forever, as she grasps your hand for help;
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yet there, under the dome of your being,
does creation come into existence eternally, through your womb,
dear pilgrim – the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help;
for each of us is His beloved servant never far.

If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the street
pregnant with Light and sing…”

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

“No-one can celebrate
a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud,
those who, because they have everything,
look down on others,
those who have no need,
even of God- for them
there will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry,
those who need someone
to come on their behalf,
will have that Someone.
That Someone is God.
Emmanuel.
God-with-us.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.”

St Óscar Romero (1917-1980)
Priest Martyr

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS

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

Our Morning Offering – 23 December – O Emmanuel!

O Come, O come, Emmanuel

O Come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high
And order all things far and nigh,
To us the path of knowledge show
And teach us in her ways to go.
Refrain

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times did give the law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Refrain

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
From ev’ry foe deliver them
That trust Thy mighty power to save
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Refrain

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home,
Make safe the way that leads on high,
That we no more have cause to sigh.
Refrain

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high
And cheer us by thy drawing nigh.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid every strife and quarrel cease
And fill the world with heaven’s peace.
Refrain

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

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 22 December – The Humility of Mary

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

The Humility of Mary

“The profound humility of Mary was commensurate with her high dignity.
As Dante put it, she was the humblest and noblest of creatures. “Umile ed altra piu che creatura” (Paradiso 33:2)
None of the saints was humbler than Mary, just as none of them was greater.
It was an Archangel who came down from Heaven and bowed before her as he praised her in the highest terms as “full of grace” and announced the unique dignity she was to receive as Mother of God.
She bowed her head in turn and declared herself to be the handmaid of the Lord, ready to do His will in all things.
Then she went to visit and congratulate her cousin, Elizabeth, because she had heard from the Angel that she was to be the mother of the Precursor.
When she arrived at the house, she was greeted by Elizabeth with the words: “How have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Far from being flattered, however, Mary attributed all her glory to God and replied with the Magnificat, a hymn of praise and gratitude in God’s honour.
It was the same when Jesus was born in the manger at Bethlehem.
There was a sudden brightness in the sky and the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men of goodwill.”
But even though she held the Lord of Heaven and earth, in her arms, the Blessed Virgin asked for nothing for herself.
Her only desire was to do the will of God.
The love of Jesus was enough for her.
She did not seek her own glory but the glory of God.
Likewise, on the weary journey into Egypt, she was content because, she was with Jesus and in the obscure life of Nazareth, she desired no other treasure but Her divine Son.
During His public life, she followed Him in silence.
Once only she spoke in a submissive tone, in order to ask a favour for others but not for herself.
It was at the wedding celebrations in Cana, when she asked for the first miracle, in such a way, that it was not even apparent that it was she who had wrung the favour from the filial heart of Jesus.
It was always like that, up to the time of Calvary and the Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost.
She remained humbly in the background all the time.
Now, after her departure from this earth, her humility has been gloriously crowned in the dogma of the Assumption and in her Coronation as Queen of Angels and of Saints.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The ANNUNCIATION

Quote/s of the Day – 22 December – My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord – Luke 1:46

Quote/s of the Day – 22 December – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations, Readings: 1 Samuel 1:24-28, 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8, Luke 1:46-56

“Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” – Luke 1:46-47

“The Lord has exalted me by a gift so great,
so unheard of, that language is useless to describe it
and the depths of love in my heart can scarcely grasp it.
I offer then all the powers of my soul
in praise and thanksgiving.
As I contemplate His greatness,
which knows no limits,
I joyfully surrender my whole life,
my senses, my judgment,
for my spirit rejoices in
the eternal Godhead of that Jesus,
that Saviour,
whom I have conceived in this world of time.”

“Those who refuse to be humble cannot be saved.
They cannot say with the prophet:
See, God comes to my aid;
the Lord is the helper of my soul.
But anyone who makes himself humble,
like a little child,
is greater in the kingdom of heaven.”

St Bede the Venerable (673-735)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on SIN, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

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

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

The Silence of the Divine Infant

Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God, made man, the infinite and substantial image of the Divine Intellect.
Nevertheless, the Divine Infant, Whom we adore in the stable at Bethlehem, is mute and silent.
The voluntary humiliation of the Son of God is such, that He, the Word of God, cannot utter a single human syllable.
By this chosen silence, however, He teaches us many things.
In the first place, He teaches us humility and self-denial.
He teaches us, moreover, to recollect ourselves in the Presence of God, so that it may be easier for us to speak with Him and for Him, to make known what He requires of us.
The silence of prayer brings forth divine consolations and inspirations to holiness,

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The 2nd Joyful Mystery - the VISITATION, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – Being aware of the Lord’s Presence – Luke 1:41,44

Advent Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – Weekdays of Advent, Readings: Songs 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-18, Psalms 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21, Luke 1:39-45

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

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit … “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” – Luke 1:41,44

REFLECTION – “When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary he gave her a sign to win her trust. He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman to show that God is able to do all that he wills.
When she hears this Mary sets out for the hill country. She does not disbelieve God’s word; she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign. She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.
Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights? The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, labourious efforts. Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear – as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice but John is the first to be aware of grace. She hears with the ears of the body but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence but he is aware of the Lord’s – a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation. The women speak of the grace they have received while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.
The child leaps in the womb; the mother is filled with the Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit. John leaps for you and the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit but we know, that though Mary’s spirit rejoices, she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Her Son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in His mother in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord. Elizabeth says – Blessed are you because you have believed.
You also are blessed because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.
Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh but, we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour.
In another place we read – Magnify the Lord with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of God and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop, Father and Great Latin Doctor – An excerpt from A Commentary on Luke, Book 2

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.

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

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

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

The Swaddling Clothes of the Divine Infant

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

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci