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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

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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

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Quote/s of the Day – 20 December – “Hail, full of grace,”

Quote/s of the Day – 20 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – O Clavis David/O Key of David – Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12, 14, 16, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38

“[Jesus] became man by the Virgin
so that the course, which was taken
by disobedience in the beginning,
through the agency of the serpent,
might be also, the very course
by which it would be put down.
Eve, a virgin and undefiled,
conceived the word of the serpent
and bore disobedience and death.
But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy
when the Angel Gabriel announced to her,
the glad tidings, that the Spirit of the Lord
would come upon her
and the power of the Most High would overshadow her,
for which reason, the Holy One being born of her,
is the Son of God.
And she replied
‘Be it done unto me according to your word’
[Luke 1:38]”

St Justin Martyr (c 100- c 165)
Apologist, Theologian, Philosopher,
Father of the Church and Martyr

“The angel greeted Mary with a new address,
which I could not find anywhere else in Scripture.
I ought to explain this expression briefly.
The angel says, “Hail, full of grace.” …
I do not remember having read these words elsewhere in Scripture.
An expression of this kind, “Hail, full of grace,”
is not addressed to a male.
This greeting was reserved for Mary alone.”

Origen (c 185-253)
Priest, Theologian, Father

“The whole universe was created by God
and God was born of Mary.
God created all things
and Mary gave birth to God.
The God who made all things,
gave Himself form through Mary
and thus, He made His own creation.
He who could create all things from nothing,
would not remake His ruined creation without Mary.
God, then, is the Father of the created world
and Mary the mother of the re-created world.
God is the Father, by whom all things were given life
and Mary the mother,
through whom all things were given new life.
For God begot the Son,
through whom all things were made
and Mary gave birth to Him as the Saviour of the world.
Without God’s Son, nothing could exist;
without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.
Truly the Lord is with you,
to whom the Lord granted,
that all nature should owe,
as much to you as to Himself.”

St Anselm (1033-1109)
Magnificent Doctor
Marian Doctor

“Mary is the great mould of God …
He who is cast in this divine mould
is soon formed and moulded in Jesus Christ
and Jesus Christ in him.
With little effort and in a short time,
he will become divine,
since he is cast in the same mould
which formed a God.”

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The DIVINE INFANT, The HEART, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 19 December – The Cradle of the Divine Infant Jesus

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

The Cradle of the Divine Infant Jesus

Enter once more with faith and love into the stable of Bethlehem.
As soon as her Son has been miraculously delivered without any damage to her virginity, Mary adores Him and, with such maternal love as we could never conceive of, she takes Him to her heart.
Joseph, kneeling in ecstasy at the sight, bows reverently and kisses the forehead of the Divine Infant.
In this moment of blis, he is well rewarded for his unshaken faith and for all the sacrifices which he has made from his youth until the time of his alliance with Mary.

Now Mary and Joseph look around and, since they can find no better cradel for the Baby Jesus, they place Him upon some straw in a manger and cover Him with a rough linen coth.
They have nothing else to give the Son of God, King of Kings and Lord of the Universe, Who wishes, at this early stage, to present us with this wonderful example of humility and voluntary poverty.
But each of them has once treasure to offer, for they offer and dedicate their hearts to Jesus.
Mary’s heart is only less beautiful and pure than that of our Divine Redeemer and St Joseph’s is similar to hers.

Jesus did not come to look for human wealth or greatness but, He came in search of men’s hearts, so that He might make them holy.
Throughout the centuries there have been many generous-hearted people who joined with Mary and Joseph in loving Jesus and in dedicating themselves entirely to Him.
Does your heart belong completely to Jesus?

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote of the Day – Saturday of Advent – 19 December – Prepare

Quote of the Day – Saturday of Advent – 19 December

“I speak out in order to lead Him
into your hearts
but He does not choose to come
where I lead Him,
unless you prepare the way for Him.”

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

“Unreasoning and stupid
that you look for God where He is not!
Listen and be filled with awe –
God is in our hearts, I know it.
God lives in the human heart
when this heart lives withdrawn
from all that is not Him,
when this heart heeds God’s knock
at it’s door (Rv 3,20) and,
sweeping and cleaning all its rooms,
makes itself ready to welcome Him
who alone truly satisfies.”

Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)

Spanish Trappist monk (Spiritual writings)

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT, The HOLY NAME, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December – “She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus” – Matthew 1:21

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

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

O LORD AND RULER
of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the flame
of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai,
Come and redeem us with outstretched arms.

“She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus” – Matthew 1:21

REFLECTION – “The Name of Jesus is a divine Name that the Lord made known to Mary through the voice of the Archangel Gabriel: “You will give him the name Jesus” (Lk 1:31). A name that, for this reason, is called “above all names,” “the only name by which we can be saved” (Phil 2:9; Acts 4:12). This great Name is compared to oil by the Holy Spirit: “Your name is oil poured out” (Sg 1:3). Why? Because, as Saint Bernard explains, just as oil is both light, food and medicine, so the Name of Jesus is light for our minds, food for our hearts, medicine for our souls.
Light for our minds – it was the brilliance of this Name that enabled the world to pass from the shadows of idolatry to the light of faith. We were born in a land whose inhabitants were all pagans before the coming of the Lord. We should have been as they were if He had not come to enlighten us. So how should we not give thanks to Jesus Christ for the gift of faith! (…)
Food for our hearts – this, too, is what the Name of Jesus is. For it calls to our minds all the painful work Jesus accomplished to save us. This is how He comforts us in tribulation, strengthens us to walk along the way of salvation, revives our hope and inflames us with love for our God.
And medicine for our souls – Jesus’ Name makes them strong in the face of temptation and our enemies’ attacks. Do they hear this holy Name? The powers of hell tremble and take to flight. This is what Saint Paul says: “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld” (Phil 2:10). No-one who is tempted will fall if he calls on Jesus and so long as he calls, he will persevere and be saved.” – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and named The Most Zealous Doctor of the Church – Meditations for the Octave of Christmas, no 8

PRAYER Write Your Blessed Name, Upon My Heart
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Write Your blessed name,
O Lord,
upon my heart,
there to remain so indelibly engraved,
that no prosperity,
no adversity shall ever move me
from Your love.
Be to me a strong tower of defence,
a comforter in tribulation,
a deliverer in distress,
a very present help in trouble
and a guide to heaven
through the many temptations
and dangers of this life.
Amen

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Quote/s of the Day 17 December – He came from heaven …

Quote/s of the Day 17 December – O Wisdom …….

“He came from heaven
to suffer and die for us,
so that we might love Him.
How can we remain ungrateful?”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor of the Church

“A soul united to Jesus,
is a living smile
that radiates Him
and,
gives Him.”

St Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906)

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., St JOHN the BAPTIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY CROSS, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – The Lamb of God

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – Wednesday of the Third week of Advent

The Lamb of God

“Behold, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29

“The language of the cross
is foolishness to those who are perishing
but to us, who are being saved,
it is the power of God”

1 Corinthians 1:18

“Teacher of children
became Himself a child among children,
that He might instruct the unwise.
The Bread of heaven
came down to earth
to feed the hungry.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

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

“He who calls us, came here below,
to give us the means of getting there.
He chose the wood
that would enable us to cross the sea –
indeed, no-one can cross the ocean of this world,
who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.
Even the blind can cling to this Cross.
If you can’t see where you are going very well,
don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself.”

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

“He was humbled in the womb of the Virgin,
needy in the manger of the sheep
and homeless on the wood of the Cross.”

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, Hail MARY!, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – Is she not our mother?

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

“And if any man
will not receive His birth from a virgin,
how shall he receive His resurrection
from the dead?
For it is nothing wonderful
and astonishing and extraordinary,
if one who was not born,
rose from the dead – nay indeed,
we cannot speak of a resurrection of him
who came unto being without birth.
For one who is unborn and immortal
and has not undergone birth,
will also not undergo death.
For He, who took not the beginning of man,
how could He receive His end?”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Martyr, Theologian, Father

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world but to God.”

“Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’.
If the Lord is to be praised in those saints
through whom He performs
mighty works and miracles,
how much more should He be praised in HER,
in whom He fashioned Himself,
He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
From his sermons – Sermon 20

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The ANNUNCIATION, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 12 December – ‘… The mediator and the ladder … ‘

Advent Reflection – 12 December – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall name him Jes
us.” – Luke 1:30-31

REFLECTION “Most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb ” For all ages will call you blessed, as you said (Lk 1:48). The daughters of Jerusalem, that is to say, the Church, saw you and proclaimed your happiness … For you are the royal throne near which the angels stood contemplating their Master and Creator, who was seated on it (Dan 7:9). You have become the spiritual Eden, more sacred and more divine than the former one. The earthly Adam lived in the former; in you, lives the Lord who came from heaven (1 Cor 15:47). Noah’s ark was a prefiguration of you; it saved the seed of the second creation, for you gave birth to Christ, the world’s salvation, who submerged sin and pacified the floods.

It was you whom the burning bush described ahead of time, whom the tablets depicted, on which God wrote (Ex 31:18), which the ark of the covenant told about; it is you whom the golden urn, the candelabra … and Aaron’s staff that blossomed (Num 17:23) clearly prefigured. … I almost left out Jacob’s ladder. Just as Jacob saw heaven united with the earth by means of the two ends of the ladder and the angels descending and ascending on it and as the one who is really the strong and invincible one engaged in a symbolic struggle with him, thus you yourself became the mediator and ladder by which God came down to us and took upon Himself the weakness of our substance, embracing it and closely uniting it to Himself.” – St John Damascene (675-749) Monk, Theologian, Father and Doctor of the Church – 1st Sermon on the Dormition

PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ my Lord, help me to become a devoted client of Your holy Mother Mary. Through Your grace, may I receive the spiritual strength she has promised to all her clients. May I, in simplicity, like St Juan Diego, become her vessel to share Your Light, throughout my world. Our Lady of Guadalupe Pray for us! Jesus Christ, our Lord, one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for all ages, amen.

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Our Morning Offering – 12 December – Mary Immaculate! By St John Damascene

Our Morning Offering – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

Mary Immaculate!
By St John Damascene (675-749)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Today, the root of Jesse has produced its shoot,
she will bring forth a Divine flower for the world.
Today, the Creator of all things,
God the Word,
composes a new book:
a book issuing from the heart of His Father
and written by the Holy Spirit,
who is the tongue to God.

O daughter of King David and Mother of God,
the universal King.
O Divine and living object
whose beauty has charmed God the Creator;
your whole soul is completely open
to God’s action and attentive to God alone.

All your desires are centred
only on what merits to be sought
and is worthy of love.
You harbour anger only for sin and its author.
You will have a life superior to nature,
but not for your own sake.
For it has not been created for you
but has been entirely consecrated to God,
who has introduced you into the world
to help bring about our salvation
in fulfillment of His plan,
the Incarnation of His Son
and the Divinisation of the human race.

Your heart will find nourishment in the words of God,
like the tree planted near the living waters of the Spirit,
like the tree of life
that has yielded its fruit in due time,
the incarnate God who is the life of all things.

Your ears will be ever attentive to the Divine words
and the sounds of the harp of the Spirit,
through whom the Word has come to take on our flesh.
Your nostrils will inhale the fragrance of the Bridegroom,
the Divine fragrance with which He scented His humanity.

Your lips will savour the words of God
and will rejoice in their Divine sweetness.
Your most pure heart,
free from all stain,
will ever see the God of all purity
and will experience ardent desire for Him.

Your womb will be the abode
of the one whom no place can contain.
Your milk will provide nourishment for God,
in the little Infant Jesus.
Your hands will carry God
and your knees will serve
as a throne for Him
that is more noble
than the throne of the Cherubim.

Your feet, led by the light of the Divine Law,
will follow Him along an undeviating course
and guide you to the possession of the Beloved.

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit,
the city of the living God,
made joyous by abundant flowers,
the sacred flowers of Divine grace.
You are all-beautiful
and very close to God,
above the Cherubim
and higher than the Seraphim,
right near God Himself!

Image Excerpt

O daughter of King David
and Mother of God,
the universal King.
O Divine and living object
whose beauty has charmed God the Creator;
your whole soul is completely open
to God’s action and attentive to God alone.
… Your womb will be the abode
of the one whom no place can contain.
Your milk will provide nourishment for God,
in the little Infant Jesus.
Your hands will carry God
and your knees will serve
as a throne for Him
that is more noble
than the throne of the Cherubim.
… You are the temple of the Holy Spirit,
the city of the living God,
made joyous by abundant flowers,
the sacred flowers of Divine grace.
You are all-beautiful
and very close to God,
above the Cherubim
and higher than the Seraphim,
right near God Himself!
Amen

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SACRED HEART QUOTES, The DIVINE INFANT, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 11 December – “May We Love Only You”

Quote/s of the Day – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent

“May We Love Only You”

“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening
and the day is almost over.”

Luke 24:29

“You hide your heart from man –
hide it from God if you can.
… Where will you go?
Where will you flee?
Do you want to hear some advice?
If you want to flee from Him – flee to Him.
Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him, by hiding,
for you cannot hide but you can Confess.
Tell Him. “You are my refuge” (Ps 32[31]:7)
and let there be nursed in yo,
the love that alone leads to life.”

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

May We Love Only You
By St Columban (543-615)

Loving Saviour,
be pleased to show Yourself to us who knock,
so that in knowing You,
we may love only You,
love You alone,
desire You alone,
contemplate only You, day and night
and always think of You.
Inspire in us the depth of love
that is fitting for You to receive as God.
So may Your love pervade our whole being,
possess us completely
and fill all our senses,
that we may know no other love
but love for You,
Who are everlasting.
May our love be so great,
that the many waters of sky, land and sea
cannot extinguish it in us –
many waters could not extinguish love.
May this saying be fulfilled
in us also, at least in part,
by Your gift,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
to whom be glory forever and ever.
Amen

“How good and pleasant it is
to dwell in the Heart of Jesus!
Who is there who does not love a heart so wounded?
Who can refuse a return of love
to a Heart so loving?
Amen.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“Who could ever soften this heart of mine
but YOU alone O Lord!”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

“Christ first of all,
Christ in the centre of the heart,
in the centre of history
and of the cosmos.
Humanity needs Christ intensely
because, He is our “measure.”
There is no realm,
that cannot be touched
by His strength;
there is no evil,
that cannot find remedy in Him,
there is no problem,
that cannot be solved in Him.
Either Christ or nothing!”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

“During the night
we must wait
for the light.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

“Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly.
Let scientists go on asking – Where is God?
He is where those clever ones,
arrogant in their knowledge, cannot reach.”

Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)

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, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on TIME, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 10 December – “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8

Quote/s of the Day – 10 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent

“But when the Son of Man comes,
will he find faith on earth?”

Luke 18:8

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

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

“The divine nature and the nature of a servant,
were to be united in one person,
so that the Creator of time,
might be born in time and He,
through whom all things were made,
might be brought forth in their midst.”

“He Himself will help us
and lead us
to what He has promised.”

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

“You first loved us
so that we might love You—
not because You needed our love
but because, we could not be
what You created us to be,
except by loving You.”

William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
was a twelfth century French Benedictine Abbot of Saint-Thierry,
theologian and mystic who became a Cistercian monk and writer.

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – Come to Me – Matthew 11:28

Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 40:25-31, Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4,8 and 10, Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me,
all who labour
and are heavy laden
and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

“It was not enough for God
to make His Son our guide to the way;
He made Him the Way itself,
that you might travel with Him as leader
and by Him as the Way.

St Augustine (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Christ is both the way and the door.
Christ is the staircase and the vehicle …”

St Bonaventure (1221-1274)
Seraphic Doctor

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 9 December – St Bernard’s Let Your goodness, Lord, Appear to Us

Our Morning Offering – 9 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent

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.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, ENCYCLICALS, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 8 December – “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Quote/s of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette
25 March 1858

“Come, then and search out Your sheep,
not through Your servants or hired men
but do it Yourself.
Lift me up bodily and in the flesh,
which is fallen in Adam.
Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary,
a Virgin not only undefiled
but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate,
free of every stain of sin.”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“He came down into the Virgin’s womb,
a womb unstained, unspotted,
hallowed by the touch of divine unction.”

St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159)

O Most Holy Virgin
By St Pope Pius X (1835-1914)

Most holy Virgin,
who pleased our Lord and became His Mother,
Virgin Immaculate in your body and soul,
in your faith and love,
at this solemn jubilee of the promulgation of the dogma
which proclaimed you
to the entire world as conceived without sin,
look kindly on us, unfortunate ones,
who implore your powerful protection.
The infernal serpent,
upon whom the primeval curse was laid,
continues, alas, to attack and tempt
the hapless children of Eve.
Ah! Do you, our blessed Mother,
our Queen and Advocate,
who at the first moment of your conception
did crush the enemy’s head,
do you gather together our prayers
and we beseech you (our hearts one with yours),
present them before God’s throne,
that we may never allow ourselves
to be caught in the snares laid for us
but that we may reach the portal of salvation
and that the Church and Christian society
may once more chant the hymn of deliverance,
of victory and of peace.
Amen

“Enraptured by the splendour of your heavenly beauty
and impelled by the anxieties of the world,
we cast ourselves into your arms,
O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother Mary,
confident of finding in your most loving heart,
appeasement of our ardent desires
and a safe harbour from the tempests
which beset us on every side.

“O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths!
O fragrant Lily of all holiness,
captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume!
O Conqueress of evil and death,
inspire in us a deep horror of sin,
which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God,
hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart.
Bend tenderly over our aching wounds.
Convert the wicked,
dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed,
comfort the poor and humble,
quench hatreds, sweeten harshness,
safeguard the flower of purity in youth,
protect the holy Church,
make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness.”

Ven Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/09/quote-s-of-the-day-9-december-the-solemnity-of-the-immaculate-conception-from-the-fathers/

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WISDOM, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY TRINITY, The REDEMPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397) – Father and Doctor of the Church

“And this Body, which we make present,
is the Body born of the Virgin.
Why do you expect to find in this case,
that nature takes its ordinary course
in regard to the Body of Christ,
when the Lord Himself was born of the Virgin
in a manner above and beyond the order of nature?
This is indeed the true flesh of Christ,
which was crucified and buried.
This is then, in truth,
the Sacrament of His Flesh.”

“Rise, you who were lying fast asleep…
Rise and hurry to the Church:
here is the Father,
here is the Son,
here is the Holy Spirit.”

“Let your door stand open
to receive Him,
unlock your soul to Him,
offer Him a welcome in your mind
and then you will see
the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
the joy of grace.
Throw wide the gate of your heart,
stand before the sun of the everlasting light.”

“Prayer is the wing,
wherewith the soul flies to heaven
and meditation,
the eye,
wherewith we see God.”

“When we speak about WISDOM,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about VIRTUE,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about JUSTICE,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about PEACE,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about TRUTH
and LIFE and REDEMPTION,
we are speaking about CHRIST.”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on WATCHING, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 December – Prepare the way of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 6 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

“Prepare the way of the Lord
make his paths straight”

Mark 1:3

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

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“I speak out in order to lead Him
into your hearts
but He does not choose to come
where I lead Him,
unless you prepare the way for Him.”

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

“If we wish to make any progress in the service of God,
we must begin everyday of our life, with new eagerness.
We must keep ourselves, in the presence of God,
as much as possible and have no other view
or end, in all our actions but the divine honour.”

St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The BAPTISM of the LORD, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 6 December – “I am unworthy” – Mark 1:7

Advent Reflection – 6 December – The Second Sunday of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14 (8), 2 Peter 3:8-14, Mark 1:1-8

Prepare the way of the Lord
make his paths straight
” – Mark 1:3

I am unworthy to stoop down to loosen the thongs of his sandals” – Mark 1:7

REFLECTION – “Jesus came to John to be baptised by him. John tried to prevent him, saying: “I need to be baptised by you and yet you are coming to me?” (Mt 3:13-14)
“I am the voice, the voice crying in the wilderness – prepare the way for the Lord.”
So I cannot be silent, Lord, in Your presence. I “need to be baptised by You and do You come to me?” (…)
You existed from the beginning, You were with God and You were God (Jn 1:1). You are the radiance of the Father’s glory, the perfect image of the perfect Father (Heb 1:3). You are the true light enlightening every person who comes into the world (Jn 1:9). You were in the world yet You have come to where You were already. You have become flesh but You have not been changed into flesh. You have lived among us, appearing to Your servants in the likeness of a servant (Jn 1:14; 14:23; Phil 2:7). You, by Your holy name have bridged heaven and earth and do You come to me? You, so great, to such as I? King to herald, Master to servant? (…)

I know the distance between the earth and the Creator, between the clay and the potter.
I know how far I, a lamp lit by Your grace, am outshone by You, the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 3:20; Jn 5:35).
You are concealed by the pure cloud of Your body but I still recognise Your sovereignty.
I acknowledge my servile condition; I proclaim Your greatness.
I admit Your absolute authority and my own lowly estate.
“I am unworthy to undo the strap of your sandal;” how then could I dare to touch Your Immaculate Head?
How could I stretch out my hand over You, who “stretched out the heavens like a tent,” and “set the earth upon the waters” (Pss. 104[103]:2; 136[135]:6)? (…)
Surely it is not for me to pray over You, for You are the one who receives the prayers even of those who have no knowledge of You.” – Homily attributed to Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus the Wonderworker (c 213-270) Bishop (His life: https://anastpaul.com/2018/11/17/saint-of-the-day-17-november-st-gregory-thaumaturgus-the-wonder-worker-c-213-c-270/)

MEDITATION Bombarded as we are by a deafening decibel culture; battered by commercialism; bruised by the relentless onslaught of a consumerist society; dazed and dazzled as we are by tinsel, trash and trinkets; overwhelmed by fake news, fake viruses, fake politicians, fake economies – we need the wilderness of silence and solitude – to make that most intimate and intricate journey – the wilderness of our heart. The heart of our Advent preparation is the preparation of our heart.

PRAYER – Almighty and merciful God, let neither our daily work nor the cares of this life prevent us from hastening to meet your Son. Teach us Holy Father God, silence and solitude, to hear and learn, then lead us into the company of Your Son, as He comes to save us! And may His Mother and ours, the most pure Virgin Mary be our intercessor and advocate. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SPEAKING of ....., The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – The Divine Infant

Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – Saturday of the First week of Advent

“He is the Word of God
who dwelt with man
and became the Son of Man,
to open the way for man, to receive God,
for God to dwell with man,
according to the will of the Father.”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Father of the Church

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

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

“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

“If we would please this Divine Infant,
we too must become children,
simple and humble.
We must carry to Him, flowers of virtue,
of meekness, of mortification, of charity.
We must clasp Him in the arms of our love.”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on PEACE

Thought for the Day – 2 December – Exactly What is the Peace of Jesus Christ?

Thought for the Day – 2 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Exactly What is the Peace of Jesus Christ?

“The spirit of peace pervades the Gospel.
When Jesus is born, choirs of angels sing above the stable in Bethlehem: “Glory to God in the highest ad on earth, peace among men of good will” (Lk 2:14).
When our Saviour has risen gloriously from the dead, He appears to His disciples and greets them with the words: “Peace be to you.”
Finally, when He is departing from this earth, He leaves his peace to His followers as their inheritance. “Peace I leave with you,” He says to them, “my peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled or be afraid” (Jn 14:27).

Exactly what is the peace of Jesus Christ?
It is much different from worldly peace, presuming that the world can give some kind of peace.
St Paul says of the Saviour that “he himself is our peace” (Eph 2:14).
How are we to understand what is meant by this?
The Apostle himself explains when he writes: “Having been justified by faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).
Jesus Christ, therefore, is our peacemaker.
He has shouldered our iniquities and has offered Himself to the Father as a victim of expiation and of reconciliation.
It is at the price of Christ’s precious blood, that we have regained peace with God and freedom from our sins.
This is the peace which our Lord has given us.
Let us remember, however, that if we return to the slavery of sin, we shall lose at once, the jewel of peace which Jesus Christ has bestowed on us.
“There is no peace to the wicked” (Isa 48:22).
We have experienced on many occasions how true this is.
Sin destroys peace of soul because it deprives us of Jesus, without Whom, peace cannot survive.
Let us resolve, therefore, to remain always close to our Lord and far from sin.
Then only shall we be able to preserve our peace of mind in the midst of temptations and of earthly sorrows.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 2 December – “If we would God discern …

Quote of the Day – 2 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent and The Memorial of Bl Jan/John van Ruusbroec(k) (c 1293-1382)

“If we would God discern
The world we must despise,
His love and hate must learn,
See all things with His eyes.
And we must self forgo
If God we would attain,
His grace must in us grow
And ease us from all pain.
So shall we sing His praise
And be at one with Him,
In peace our voices raise
In the celestial hymn,
That with quadruple harmony
And all mellifluous melody,
In Heaven resounds eternally.”

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381)

(The Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual Love)

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

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

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

God’s Sign

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

Pope Benedict XVI (2009)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRAYER

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

o root of jesse - 19 dec 2019.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

Sermon 146, on Mt 1:18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRAYER 

O LORD AND RULER

of the House of Israel,

who appeared to Moses in the flame

of the burning bush

and gave him the law on Sinai:

Come and redeem us with outstretched arms.o-lord-and-ruler-18-december 2018, 2019.jpg

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

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

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

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

The Mystery of our Reconciliation with God

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

An excerpt from Letter 31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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