Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 11 January – O Adorable Infant

Our Morning Offering – 11 January – Sixth Day within the Octave of Epiphany

O Adorable Infant
By St Alphonsus de Liguori

O Adorable Infant
I should not dare to present myself before Thee,
did I not know
that Thou, Thyself invitest me
to approach Thee.
It is I, by my sins,
who made Thee shed so many tears
in the stable of Bethlehem
but since Thou art come upon earth.
to pardon penitent sinners,
vouchsafe to pardon me.
I sincerely repent
of having despised Thee,
my Lord and my God,
Who art so good
and hast loved me so much.
Thy grace that I ask,
is that I may love Thee henceforth,
with all my heart.
Inflame my soul entirely
with Thy Holy Love.
I love Thee, O my God,
Who hast become an Infant for me.
Grant that I may never
cease to love Thee
O Mary, my Mother!
thou art all-powerful
by yhy prayers;
I ask but one favour of Thee,
namely, that Thou wilt pray to Jesus for me.
Amen.

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

Our Morning Offering – 10 January – O Child, So Worthy of Our Love, I Offer You My Heart

Our Morning Offering – 10 January – The Fifth 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 which I lack.
Grant me the Gold of Your Holy Love;
grant me the Incense which 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 CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD

Quote of the Day – 7 January – “The Epiphany”

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

“The Epiphany”
By St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)

Martyr

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.

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRISTMASTIDE!, CREEDS, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – ‘ … Can it be true?’

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – The Second Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings:1 John 5: 5-13; Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20; Gospel: Luke 5: 12-16

“Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him” … Luke 5:13

REFLECTION – “Christ said when He came into the world:  ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but a body you prepared for me …  Then I said: Behold I come to do your will’ ” (Heb 10:5.7; Ps 40:7-9 LXX).   Can it be true that God wanted to become man to save us from our wretchedness … and conquer our love?   Yes, it is so true that it is an article of faith:  “Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven… and was made man” (Creed) …   Yes, this is what God has done, so to be loved by us! …  This is how He wanted to make known the immensity of His love for us:  “the grace of God our saviour has appeared to all” (Ti 2:11).   It is, as though, our Lord said:  “Man does not love Me because he cannot see Me, I am going to make Myself visible and talk to him, in that way I shall surely make Myself loved”:  “He has appeared on earth and spoken with us” (cf. Bar 3:38).

God’s love for humankind is vast, vast from all eternity:  “with age-old love I have loved you;  so in mercy I have drawn you to myself” (cf. Jer 31:3).   But we have not yet seen how great and incomprehensible He is.   When the Son of God was seen in the form of a child, lying on the straw in a stable, then He was made known indeed:  “the kindness and generous love of God our saviour appeared” (Ti 3:4).   As Saint Bernard observed:  “The creation of the world made God’s power shine out, the ordering of the world, His wisdom but the Incarnation of the Word, caused His mercy to break forth in the sight of all.” …

By showing disdain towards God,” Saint Fulgentius said, “man was separated from Him forever and, since man could no longer return to God, God deigned to come to find him on earth.”   And as Saint Augustine had already said:  “We were unable to go to the Doctor, therefore, the Doctor had the graciousness, to come to us.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) – Bishop and Doctor of the Church – 1st address for the Octave of Christmas.

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, by the guidance of a star, You revealed the Birth of the Saviour of the world. Open our minds and hearts to that revelation and may it bear fruit in our lives. May Your nearness, be understood in our hearts and minds, ‘may the Lord Jesus touch our eyes, as He did those of the blind and may the prayers of His Blessed Mother Mary and ours, grant us strength on our journey. We make our prayer, through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOMINICAN OP, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Egypt, Madonna delle Grazie / Our Lady of Grace, Costa Folgaria, Italy (1588) and Memorials of the Saints – 7 January

Second Day of the Epiphany Octavv

Our Lady of Egypt and the Return of the Child Jesus from Egypt — 7 January:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/07/our-lady-of-egypt-and-memorials-of-the-saints-7-january/

Madonna delle Grazie / Our Lady of Grace, Costa Folgaria, Italy (1588) – 7 January, 8 September:

Brother Pietro Dal Dosso di Folgaria – a young Hermit Friar of the Order, Saint Jerome of Vicenza – was inspired directly by the Virgin Mary into building a small Church in her honour on the Echen Peak during the second half of the 16th century. Obediently, the Friar began his work and built a small Chapel, occupying what is now the Apse of the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie. In the 17th Century, the Magnifica Comunità di Folgaria expanded the small building and endowed it with a Bell Tower (1662). The Sanctuary currently hosts the miraculous Madonna, which was declared Holy Patron of Skiers by Papal Decree.
The Terracotta statue of the Virgin Mary dates to the second half of the 16th century and is venerated by thousands of believers, who hold an ancient feast – as well as a solemn procession – on the 8th of September every year, when the Statue is carried by ski instructors. All along its age-old history, the Sanctuary of Echen has always been a pilgrimage destination and numerous faithful have put up their own votive offers for graces received in the small Church. The Sanctuary is approximately 2 km away from Folgaria, near the hamlet of Costa and can be easily reached on foot after an easy walk. I am not sure why this Title is listed for today, 7 January but there must be a good reason.

St Raymond of Peñafort OP (1175-1275) “Father of Canon Law” Master of the Order of Preachers, Archbishop, Confessor, Evangelist, Missionary, (Memorial)
His Feast Day is 23 January although he died on 7 January
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/07/saint-of-the-day-7-january-st-raymond-of-penafort-op-1175-1275-the-father-of-canon-law/

St Aldric of Le Mans
Bl Ambrose Fernandez
St Anastasius of Sens
St Brannock of Braunton
St Candida of Greece
St Canute Lavard
St Cedd
St Clerus of Antioch
St Crispin I of Pavia
St Cronan Beg
St Emilian of Saujon
St Felix of Heraclea
Bl Franciscus Bae Gwan-gyeom
St Januarius of Heraclea
St Julian of Cagliari
St Kentigerna

Blessed Lindalva Justo de Oliveira DC (1953-1993) Virgin Martyr, Religious Sister of the Vincentian Sisters.
Her Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/07/saint-of-the-day-7-january-blessed-lindalva-justo-de-oliveira-dc-1953-1993-virgin-and-martyr/

St Lucian of Antioch
Bl Marie-Thérèse Haze
Blessed Matthew of Agrigento OFM (1377-1450) “Apostle of the Holy Name of Jesus,” Franciscan Priest and Friar, Bishop, Missdionary Preacher often with St Bernardine of Siena.
St Pallada of Greece
St Polyeuctus of Melitene
St Reinhold of Cologne
St Spolicostus of Greece
St Theodore of Egypt
St Tillo of Solignac
St Valentine of Passau
St Virginia of Ste-Verge
Bl Wittikund of Westphalia

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 6 January – Bethlehem! of Noblest Cities

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

Bethlehem! of Noblest Cities
By Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens (c 348-c 413)
Trans. Fr Edward Caswell c.Orat. (1814–1878)

Bethlehem! of noblest cities
None can once with thee compare;
Thou alone the Lord from Heaven
Didst for us Incarnate bear.

Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the Star that told His Birth;
To the lands their God announcing,
Hid beneath a form of earth.

By its lambent beauty guided,
See, the Eastern Kings appear;
See them bend, their gifts to offer,
Gifts of incense, gold and myrrh.

Offerings of mystic meaning;
Incense doth the God disclose;
Gold a Royal Child proclaimeth;
Myrrh a future Tomb foreshows.

Holy Jesus! in Thy brightness
to the gentile world displayed!
With the Father and the Spirit,
Endless praise to Thee be paid!
Amen! Amen!

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, GOD is LOVE, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The HEART, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – Love one another. – 1 John 4:11

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 4:7-10, Psalms 72:1-2, 3-4,7-8, Mark 6:34-44

Beloved, since God loved us so much,
we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11

“So if I, your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash
one another’s feet.

John 13:14

“It is by the path of love,
which is charity,
that God draws near to man
and man to God.
But where charity is not found,
God cannot dwell.
If, then, we possess charity,
we posses God,
for ‘God is Charity

(1 John 4:8).”

St Albert the Great OP (1200-1280)
Doctor of the Church

At the end of your life,
you will be judged by your love
.”

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

The Gospel showed me
that the first commandment is to love God
with all one’s heart
and that, we should enfold everything in love;
everyone knows,
that the first effect of love is imitation
.”

Bl Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916)

Before the cave at Bethelehm then,
we should learn two great lessons.
We should learn to love Jesus intensely,
as our highest and only good
and we should learn to love,
in an effective and practical way,
those who are poverty-stricken
or suffering, in whom we should be able
to see Jesus Christ Himself.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, ON the SAINTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THANKSGIVING, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – “What are you looking for?” John 1:38

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42

Jesus turned and saw them following him
and said to them, “What are you looking for?

John 1:38

… There is one Road
and one only,
well secured against all possibility
of going astray
and, this Road is provided
by One Who is Himself
both God and man.
As God, He is the Goal,
as man, He is the Way.

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

May I Love You More Dearly
St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

Thanks be to You,
my Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits
You have given me,
For all the pains and insults
You have borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer,
Friend and Brother,
May I know You more clearly,
Love You more dearly,
Follow You more nearly.
Amen

Those who risk all for God,
will find. that they have
both lost all and gained all.

St Teresa of Jesus of Ávila (1515-1582)
Doctor of Prayer of the Church

“Teach Us Good Lord”
By St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Teach us, good Lord,
to serve You as You deserve;
to give
and not to count the cost,
to fight
and not to heed the wounds,
to toil
and not to seek for rest,
to labour
and not to ask for reward,
except that of knowing
that we are doing Your will.
Amen

“All a person’s holiness,
perfection and profit
lies in doing God’s will perfectly….
Happy are we, if we succeed
in pouring out our heart into God’s,
in uniting our desires
and our will to His,
to the point,
that one heart and one will are formed,
wanting, what God wants,
wanting, in the way,
in the time
and in the circumstances,
what He desires
and willing it all,
for no other reason,
than that God wills it.”

St Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)

“You cannot be half a saint.
You must be a whole saint
or no saint at all.

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus
and the Holy Face
of Lisieux (1873-1897)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, BREVIARY Prayers, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Christmas Weekday “Month of the Most Holy Name”

Of the Father’s Love Begotten
(Excerpt)
By Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens (c 348-c 413)

Trans. J M Neale (1818-1866)

Of the Father’s love begotten
Ere the world began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source, the Ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

Blessed was the day forever,
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Saviour of our race
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His Sacred Face
Evermore and evermore.

Glory be to God the Father,
Glory be to God the Son
Glory be the Holy Ghost,
Persons Three, yet Godhead One,
Glory be from all creation
While eternal ages run,
Evermore and evermore.

Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Roman Christian Poet, born in the Roman Province of Tarraconensis (now Northern Spain) in c 348. He probably died in the Iberian Peninsula some time after 405, possibly around 413.
Prudentius practised law with some success and was twice Provincial Governor, perhaps in his native country. Towards the end of his life (possibly around 392) Prudentius retired from public life to become an ascetic, fasting until evening and abstaining entirely from animal food and writing poems, hymns and controversial works in defence of Christianity. Prudentius later collected the Christian poems written during this period and added a preface, which he himself dated 405.
The poetry of Prudentius is influenced by early Christian authors, such as Tertullian and St Ambrose, as well as the Sacred Scriptures and the Acts of the Martyrs. His hymn Da, puer, plectrum – “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”) and the hymn for Epiphany O sola magnarum urbium (“Earth Has Many A Noble City”), both from the Cathemerinon, are still frequently in use today, although many others are too but perhaps less frequently..

Posted in "Follow Me", Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY NAME, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Jesus is ….

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – and the Feast of the Holy Name celebrated today (Feast 3 January), Readings: Epistle Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 105:47, Isa 63:16, Ps 144:21, Gospel Luke 2:21-24

“And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus”…Luke 2:21

REFLECTION – “The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord’s character and office and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of Saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Saviour, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think, that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.

But He is also to them the Mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremest Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind, without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His Saints. The [name] seems to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him and to Him and for Him and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only but also by reproduction of Him in themselves and to win all men to love Him.” – Fr Alban Goodier SJ (1869-1939) Archbishop – Excerpted from The Prince of Peace.

PRAYER – O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of Your Word, give Your people the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other Name to be invoked but the Name of Your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Posted in CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 31 December – ‘In the beginning …’

Quote/s of the Day – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalms 96:1-2, 11-12, 13, John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.

John 1:1

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

“God so loved the world
that he gave his only-begotten Son

John 3:16

“In the beginning,
God created the heavens
and the earth…

Genesis 1:1

“What is the beginning of all things
except our Lord
and “Saviour of all,” Jesus Christ
“the firstborn of every creature?”
In this beginning, therefore, that is,
in His Word, “God made heaven and earth”
as the Evangelist John also says
in the beginning of his Gospel:
“In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him
and without him nothing was made.”
Scripture is not speaking here
of any temporal beginning
but it says that the heavens
and the earth and all things that were made,
were made “in the beginning,”
that is, in the Saviour.

Origen Adamantius (c 185-253)
Priest, Theologian, Exegist,
Writer, Apologist, Father

(Homilies on Genesis, 1)

“Whoever believes in him …
might have eternal life

John 3:16

“God alone is wise and the Son His wisdom,
for “Christ is the power
and the wisdom of God” (Rm 16:27; 1 Cor 1:24).
So, it is in receiving the Spirit of wisdom,
that we possess the Son and gain wisdom in Him. …
The Son is Life.
He said: “I am the Life” (Jn 14:6).
But, it is said,
that we are brought to life by the Spirit,
as Paul wrote: “The one who raised Christ
from the dead will give life
to our mortal bodies also through his Spirit
that dwells in us” (Rm 8:11).
But when we have been brought to life by the Spirit,
then Christ will be our life …
“I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me
” (Gal 2:20).”

St Athanasius (295-373)
Bishop of Alexandria,
Father and Doctor of the Church

( Letters to Serapion, no.1, 19).

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, POETRY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on WATCHING, The DIVINE INFANT, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – ‘He has come down to earth, to take you to heaven …’

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 2:12-17, Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40

“She [Anna] spoke about the child to all
who were awaiting
the redemption of Jerusalem…

Luke 2:38

“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

“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. …

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

“Listen! the reason He is called Saviour
is because, for all those
to whom He is united,
He gains salvation.
Now salvation means,
to be delivered from all ills and,
at the same time,
to find all blessings forever –
Life instead of death,
Light in place of darkness
and, instead of the slavery
of the passions and unworthy deeds,
the complete freedom granted
to all those, who are united to Christ,
Saviour of all beings.
Thus they will possess,
without being able to lose it,
all joy, all happiness, all blessedness (…)
that that none can ever know,
or conceive, or see,
if not sincerely and ardently
attached to Christ
.”

St Symeon the New Theologian (c 949-1022)

Who lives in Love
By St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Martyr

Who lives in Love, loves least to live
and long delays doth rue,
if Him he love by Whom he lives,
to Whom all praise is due,
Who for our love did choose to live
and was content to die,
Who loved our love more than His life
and love with Life did buy.
Let us in life, yea with our life
requite His Living Love,
for best we live when least we live,
if Love our life remove.
Mourn, therefore, no true lover’s death,
life only him annoy
and when he taketh leave of life
then Love begins his joys.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – She spoke about the child to all … Luke 2:38

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – 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 – “Inasmuch as the Word was from above, He was and is, the Divine Source of all things but, inasmuch as He has now received the name Christ, consecrated of old and worthy of power, He has been called by me “a new song” (Pss 33[34], 144[145], 149[150], etc.). This Word, then, the Christ, the Cause of both our being (for He was in God) and of our well-being, this very Word has now appeared to us – He alone being both God and man—the Author of all blessings to us. Having been taught by Him to live well, we are introduced by Him to life eternal. For, according to that inspired Apostle of the Lord: “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly and devoutly in this present age as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit 2,11-13).

This is the new song, the manifestation of the Word, that was in the beginning and Who comes to shine in our midst. The Saviour, Who has existed before all time, has, in recent days, appeared… For the Word,Who “was with God” and by Whom all things were created (Jn 1,10), has appeared, as our Teacher. The Word, Who in the beginning bestowed life on us as our Creator, taught us to live well when He appeared as our Teacher, that, as God, He might afterwards lead us to the life that never ends. It was not only now, that He took pity us because of our sins but, He pitied us from the first, from the beginning.” – St Clement of Alexandria (c 150- c 215) Father, Theologian, Philosopher (Protreptic 1,6-8 ; SC 2)/).

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. Imitating our Master and following His ways, may His Immaculate Mother, be our hope and our advocate. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – Beloved and Most Holy Word of God

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – The Sixth Day of the Octave of Christmas

Beloved and Most Holy Word of God
By St James of the Marches (1391-1476)

Beloved and most holy Word of God!
You enlighten the hearts of the faithful,
You satisfy the hungry,
console the afflicted.
You make the souls of all,
productive of good
and cause all virtues to blossom.
You snatch souls
from the devil’s jaw.
You make the wretched holy
and men of earth,
citizens of heaven!
Amen

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARTYRS, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – The Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas and the Memorial of St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

“… No matter who plants or waters,
God gives no harvest
unless what he plants
is the faith of Peter
and unless he himself.
assents to Peter’s teaching.

“Those who tread among serpents
and along a tortuous path,
must use the cunning of the serpent
.”

“If all the swords in England
were pointed against my head,
your threats would not move me.

St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170)
Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/29/quote-s-of-the-day-29-december-st-thomas-a-becket-1118-1170/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – O Dearest Infant by St Alphonsus

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – The Fifth 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 ADVENT QUOTES, AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN POETRY, POETRY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The DIVINE INFANT, The HEART

Quote/s of the Day – 26 December – Christ, the Child

Quote/s of the Day – 26 December – The Second Day in the Christmas Octave

Christ, the Child

“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

“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.”

“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

He is an infant,
He does not speak,
He only cries but these cries
are cries of love
which invite us to love Him,
cries that demand our hearts.

St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

A Christmas Carol
By G K Chesterton (1874-1936)
English Catholic Convert, Writer, Poet.

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings
But here the true hearts are.
)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, POETRY, 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.
Amen

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOTES to Followers

Christmas Wishes for You

Christmas Wishes for You 💖🙏

I offer today, special Prayers for you ALL and for all my extended family on WordPress. Most especially, my heart’s deepest thanksgiving for those most generous and loving Benefactors, who, in their generosity have constantly contributed to the upkeep of this site.
For those who, in the midst of their manifold duties during this very busy time, have still found time to send Christmas donations and prayers.

Thank you!

Give, and there will be gifts for you:
a full measure, pressed down,
shaken togethe and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap …

Luke 6:38

And my wishes for a most Holy and Blessed Christmas
May the Divine Babe of Bethlehem
fill your hearts with His joy, peace and love!
And my Love and Prayers to you and yours.
Ana

“And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth;
we have beheld his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father.

John 1:14

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 25 December – The Feast of the Nativity

Thought for the Day – 25 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Feast of the Nativity

“The world ignores the Birth of Jesus.
There is no room for Him in the inns of Bethlehem and no room for Mary and Joseph, two poverty-stricken travellers, who are obliged, as a result, to take refuge in a miserable hovel.
In the world, it is always so, for men judge one another by external appearances and by financial standards.

How do we behave towards Jesus Christ?
How do we behave towards the needy and the afflicted, in whom we should discern the Person of Christ Himself?

If we are prepared to open our hearts to Jesus and to welcome Him as our King and absolute Master, we shall be so transformed, that we shall live His life and act in unison with Him.
In short, we shall become saints!
But if we are lacking in generosity and are reluctant to welcome Jesus unreservedly into our hearts, we shall never be more than half-Christian, tepid and ungrateful!
We should even be prepared to welcome the poor as the representatives of Christ.
As long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren,” He has assured us, “you did it for me” (Mt 25-40).

Before the cave at Bethelehm then, we should learn two great lessons.
We should learn to love Jesus intensely, as our highest and only good and we should learn to love, in an effective and practical way, those who are poverty-stricken or suffering, in whom we should be able to see Jesus Christ Himself.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/25/thought-for-the-day-25-december-the-feast-of-the-nativity/

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – “And the Word became flesh…”

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.

John 1:1

“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

“On this day, on which the Lord of all came among servants, let the lords also bow down, to their servants lovingly.

On this day, when the rich One was made poor for our sake, let the rich man also make the poor man, a sharer at his table.

On this day, a gift came out to us without our asking for it, let us then give alms to those, who cry out and beg from us.

This Lord of natures, today was transformed, contrary to his nature; it is not too difficult for us also to overthrow our evil will.

Bound is the body by its nature, for it cannot grow larger or smaller but powerful is the will, for it may grow to all sizes.

Today the Deity imprinted itself on humanity, so that humanity might also be cut into the seal of Deity.”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor

(Homily on Our Lord, 21)

“… 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)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“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 ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRISTMASTIDE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – ‘ … This indeed is wonderful …’

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

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

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. … John 1:14

REFLECTION – “Christ has come from the Father, He has come from the Word, He has come from the Holy Spirit, since the whole Trinity accomplished His conception and His incarnation. For to come from the highest Trinity was, no other, than to be conceived and to become, a human being, by the same Trinity. Therefore, it was said: “His going forth is form the highest heaven.” (cf. Ps 18[19]:6)
The Only-Begotten … begotten of the Father eternally, begotten in time, He came forth from His Mother, remaining invisibly with the Father and dwelling visibly with us. For to go forth from the Father was this – to enter upon our world, to be seen openly and to become what, from the nature of the Father, He was not. This indeed is wonderful, He came from Him from Whom He did not depart, going forth from Him, with Whom He stayed, so that without intermission, He was wholly in eternity, wholly in time, wholly was He found in the Father, when wholly in the Virgin, wholly in His own Majesty and in His Father’s at the time, when He was wholly in our humanity.
If you ask how, gather the truth by means of an illustration. A word conceived in the heart goes forth complete in the voice, so that it comes perfectly to others, yet remains wholly in the heart. So the good Word, spoken forth from the heart of the Father, went forth into the broad plain, yet did not leave the Father.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk and Bishop (On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily II).

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 CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – Let Me Love Your Jesus

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

Let Me Love Your Jesus
By St Ildephonsus (c 607-670)

Virgin Mary, hear my prayer,
through the Holy Spirit,
you became the Mother of Jesus,
from the Holy Spirit,
may I too have Jesus.
Through the Holy Spirit,
your flesh conceived Jesus,
through the same Spirit,
may my soul receive Jesus.
Through the Holy Spirit,
you were able to know Jesus,
to possess Jesus
and to bring Him into the world.
Through the Holy Spirit,
may I too come to know your Jesus.
Imbued with the Spirit, Mary, you could say
“I am the handmaid of the Lord,
be it done unto me according to your word,”
in the Holy Spirit, lowly as I am,
let me proclaim the great truths about Jesus.
In the Spirit, you now adore Jesus as Lord
and look on Him as Son,
in the same Spirit, Mary,
let me love your Jesus.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The DIVINE INFANT, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

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

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

A Christmas Novena IX
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 teach 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 CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY

Quote of the Day – 24 December – The Burning Babe and the Shepherds at The Midnight Hour

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

The Burning Babe
St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Priest and Martyr

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat
which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view
what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat,
such floods of tears did shed
As though His floods should quench His flames
which with His tears were fed.
Alas, quoth He but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts
or feel My fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is,
the fuel ,wounding thorns,
Love is the fire and sighs, the smoke,
the ashes, shame and scorns;
The fuel, justice layeth on
and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace
wrought, are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am, to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath, to wash them in My Blood.
With this He vanished, out of sight
and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind
that it was Christmas day.

Verses from the Shepherds’ Hymn
Richard Crashaw (c 1612-1649)
Canon of the Holy House of Loreto

WE saw Thee in Thy balmy nest,
Young Dawn of our eternal day;
We saw Thine eyes break from the East,
And chase the trembling shades away:
We saw Thee and we blest the sight,
We saw Thee by Thine own sweet Light.

Poor world, said I, what wilt thou do
To entertain this starry stranger?
Is this the best thou canst bestow—
A cold and not too cleanly manger?
Contend, the powers of heaven and earth,
To fit a bed for this huge birth.

Proud world, said I, cease your contest,
And let the mighty Babe alone;
The phoenix builds the phoenix’ nest,
Love’s architecture is His own.
The Babe, whose birth embraves this morn,
Made His own bed ere He was born.

I saw the curl’d drops, soft and slow,
Come hovering o’er the place’s head,
Off’ring their whitest sheets of snow,
To furnish the fair Infant’s bed.
Forbear, said I, be not too bold;
Your fleece is white, but ’tis too cold.

I saw th’ obsequious Seraphim
Their rosy fleece of fire bestow,
For well they now can spare their wings,
Since Heaven itself, lies here below.
Well done, said I but are you sure
Your down, so warm, will pass for pure?

No, no, your King ‘s not yet to seek
Where to repose His royal head;
See, see how soon His new-bloom’d cheek
‘Twixt mother’s breasts is gone to bed!
Sweet choice, said we; no way but so,
Not to lie cold, you sleep in snow!

She sings Thy tears asleep and dips
Her kisses in Thy weeping eye;
She spreads the red leaves of Thy lips,
That in their buds yet blushing lie.
She ‘gainst those mother diamonds tries
The points of her young eagle’s eyes.

Welcome—tho’ not to those gay flies,
Gilded i’ th’ beams of earthly kings,
Slippery souls in smiling eyes—
But to poor shepherds, homespun things,
Whose wealth ‘s their flocks, whose wit ‘s to be
Well read in their simplicity.

Yet, when young April’s husband show’rs
Shall bless the fruitful Maia’s bed,
We’ll bring the first-born of her flowers,
To kiss Thy feet and crown Thy head.
To Thee, dread Lamb! whose love must keep
The shepherds, while they feed their sheep.

To Thee, meek Majesty, soft King
Of simple graces and sweet loves!
Each of us his lamb will bring,
Each his pair of silver doves!
At last, in fire of Thy fair eyes,
Ourselves become our own best sacrifice!

The Midnight Hour
(Fr or Br) Frederick M Lynk, SVD

The Virgin Mother kneels upon the floor
And holds her Baby in her arm,
Her heart is gladder than her lips can say,
To keep her newborn Baby snug and warm,
A Babe more sweet and fair and dear
Than any rosebud in the bright sunshine,
Whose little eyes look straight into her own,
O, blessed maid, God’s Son is also thine.

‘Twas holy midnight, when He came to earth:
As pours a sun ray through a limpid glass,
Not leaving any mark upon its face;
A drop of dew upon the fresh green grass,
A little star that fell upon her lap,
A cooing Babe, that seeks her virgin breast.
The hopes of all the sin-cursed world
Upon this Baby’s eyelids rest.

And ever since the midnight hour is holy,
And millions of human hearts are stirred,
To wonderment and love for Him, Who came,
To save the world, God’s own Incarnate Word.
He came in darkness, He who was The Light,
His Godhead shone from clear blue Baby eyes,
The curse of earth’s first sin, was lifted then,
That midnight hour re-opened paradise!

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel”

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalms 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29, Acts 13:16-17, 22-25, Luke 2:1-14

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

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.

For today in the city of David, a saviour has been born for you, who is Messiah and Lord.” – Luke 2:11

REFLECTION – “Brethren, now we have been told about the miracle, let us turn aside to see this unusual sight as Moses did (Ex 3:3) – in Mary, the burning bush is not consumed, the Virgin gives birth to the Light, without defilement … Let us then run to Bethlehem, the town of the Good News! If we are real shepherds, staying awake on our watch, then it is to us that the voice of the angels is addressed, announcing a great joy … “Glory to God in the highest for peace is coming down to earth!” There where, only yesterday, there was nothing but misfortune, battlefields and exile, now earth receives peace for today “Truth shall spring out of the earth and justice shall look down from heaven” (Ps 84[85]:12). Behold the fruit earth gives to humankind, in reward for the goodwill reigning among men (Lk 2:14). God is joined to man, to raise man to the stature of God.

At this news, my brethren, let us go to Bethlehem to behold … the mystery of the crib, a child wrapped in swaddling clothes rests in a manger. A Virgin, after giving birth, His undefiled Mother, embraces her Son. Let us repeat the words of the prophet along with the shepherds: “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of our God.” (Ps 47[48]:9)

But why does our Lord seek shelter in this cave at Bethlehem? Why is He sleeping in a manger? Why does He participate in Israel’s census? My brethren, He who brings liberty to the world, comes to be born into our slavery to death. He is born in this cave to reveal Himself to us, who are immersed in darkness and the shadow of death. He rests in a manger because ,He is the One Who makes grass grow for the cattle (Ps 104[103],14). He is the Bread of Life who feeds us with a spiritual food that we too might live in the Spirit… What more joyful feast is there than that of today? Christ, the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20), comes to illumine our night. What had fallen, is raised up again, what was overcome, is now set free… what was dead is restored to life… Let us all sing today with one voice over all the earth: “Death came through one man, Adam, today salvation has come through one man (cf Rom 5,17)” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Bishop, Father of the Church (Sermon on the Nativity).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Incarnate Word fills us with the new Light, He brings to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts shine through all that we do and say. And may the Immaculate Virgin Mother of our Saviour, be ever near to help and protect us. Through Christ, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for all time and eternity, amen.

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 24 December – Silent Night, Holy Night!

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

Silent Night, Holy Night!
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
By Father Joseph Mohr (1792-1818)

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child!
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, how the light
Radiates love from Thy heavenly face,
At the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

Set to Music by Francis Xavier Gruber (1787-1863)

The story of Fr Mohr and his composition of this 203rd Anniversary of the first sound of this favourite Catholic Christmas Carol, here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/24/thought-for-the-day-24-december-today-the-200th-anniversary-of-the-first-performance-of-the-beloved-carol-silent-night/

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN POETRY, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord, Nativity Song, Day Nine of the Christmas Novena to the Christ Child and Memorials of the Saints – 24 December

24 December – Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord/Mass at Midnight
Midnight Mass is the first liturgy of Christmastide that is celebrated on the night of Christmas Eve, traditionally beginning at midnight when Christmas Eve gives way to Christmas Day. This popular Christmas custom is a jubilant celebration of the Mass in honour of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.

Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote a commentary on these words and explained in his Summa Theologiae, “And from this ,the Mass derives its name … the deacon on festival days ‘dismisses’ the people at the end of the Mass, by saying: ‘Ite, missa est,’ that is, the victim [Jesus] has been sent to God through the angel, so that it may be accepted by God.”

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Nine:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/24/christmas-novena-to-the-christ-child-day-nine-24-december-2/

All the Holy Ancestors of Christ – A commemoration of all the holy ancestors of Jesus Christ.
MORE HERE:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/24/24-december-vigil-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-mass-at-midnight-and-memorials-of-the-saints-24-december/

Nativity Song
By Blessed Jacopone da Todi OFM (1230-1306)

The beautiful Mother is bending
Low where her Baby lies
Helpless and frail, for her tending
But she knows the glorious eyes.

The Mother smiles and rejoices,
While the Baby laughs in the hay,
She listens to heavenly voices:
“This Child shall be King some day.”

O dear little Child in the manger,
Let me make merry with Thee,
O King, in my hour of danger,
Wilt Thou be strong for me?

About Saint Jacopone:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/25/saint-of-the-day-25-december-blessed-jacopone-da-todi-ofm-1230-1306/

St Adam the Patriarch
St Adela of Pfalzel
Bl Alberic of Gladbach
Bl Brocard of Strasbourg
St Bruno of Ottobeuren
St Caran of Scotland
St Delphinus of Bordeaux

St Emiliana and St Trasilla (died sixth Century) Virgins of the Church and aunts of Saint Pope Gregory the Great (540-604). What we know of their lives was recorded by the holy Pope, who was deeply moved by their model of Christian life and virtue.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/24/saints-of-the-day-24-december-saints-tarsilla-and-emiliana-died-sixth-century-virgins/

St Euthymius of Nicomedia
St Eve the Matriarch
Bl Francesco dei Maleficii
St Gregory of Spoleto

St Hanno of Worms OSB (Died 978) Benedictine Monk, Bishop of Worms from 950 until his death.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/24/saint-of-the-day-24-december-saint-hanno-of-worms-osb-died-978/

Bl Ignacio Caselles García
St Irmina of Oehren (Died c 716) Virgin Princess, Nun
St Mochua of Timahoe
Bl Pablo Meléndez Gonzalo

St Paola Elisabetta Cerioli (1816-1865) Widow, Founder of the Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Family, the male branch – the Religious of the Holy Family, of which orders she is the Patron.
Her Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/24/saint-of-the-day-24-december-saint-paola-elisabetta-cerioli-1816-1865/

Bl Peter de Solanes
Bl Venerandus of Clermont

• Blessed Dionysius Roneo
• Blessed Philip Claro
• Blessed Giulio Pons
• Blessed Peter of Valladolid

Blessed Mercedarian Sisters – (6 beati): Six cloistered Mercedarian nuns at the convent of Vera Cruz in Berriz, Spain. Noted for their devotion to the rules of the Order and for their deep prayer lives.
• Blessed Anna Maria Prieto
• Blessed Anna de Arrano
• Blessed Orsola de Larisgoizia
• Blessed Maguna Mary
• Blessed Margaret
• Blessed Mary of the Assumption Sarria

Martyred Maidens of Antioch – (40 saints): A group of forty virgins martyred in the persecutions of Decius. None of their names have come down to us. They were martyred in 250 in Antioch, Syria.

Martyrs of Tripoli – (6 saints): A group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. The only details that have survived are six of the names – Drusus, Lucian, Metrobius, Paul, Theotimus and Zenobius. They were martyred in Tripoli, Libya.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRISTMASTIDE!, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

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

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

“And so, when God’s birth
is proclaimed to you,
keep silent.
Let Gabriel’s word be held in your mind
for nothing is impossible
to this glorious Majesty,
who humbled Himself for us
and was born of our humanity.

St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor

“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

“He came from Him,
from Whom He did not depart,
going forth from Him,
with Whom He stayed,
so that without intermission,
He was wholly in eternity,
wholly in time,
wholly was He found in the Father
when wholly in the Virgin,
wholly in His own Majesty
and in His Father’s,
at the time
when He was wholly in our humanity.

St Amadeus of Lausanne (1110-1159)

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 22 December – A Christmas Novena VII – Prayer and Dedication

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

A Christmas Novena VII
Prayer and Dedication

“Let us kneel once more before the crib.
Like other newborn infants, Jesus is sometimes asleep and sometimes awake, sometimes crying and sometimes smiling.
Often His tiny eyes silently watch Mary and Joseph.
Surely, this seems a useless existence for Almighty God.
But we know that it is not purposeless.
This is the first great lesson which God wishes to give to the proud and corrupt human race.
It is the lesson of humility, prayer and total dedication to God.

To outward appearances, Jesus is behaving like any other baby.
Internally, however, His soul is hypostatically united to the Eternal Word and dwells in the Presence of the Heavenly Father, Whom He loves with a burning and infinite love.
Heart and soul, He offers Himself as a holocaust on behalf of sinful humanity and implores His Heavenly Father, to enlighten minds darkened by error, to strengthen weak human wills and to make all men holy.
It may well be said, that already, in the silence and obscurity of the cradle, Jesus has begun to redeem the world, for every one of His human-divine actions has an infinite value.
Whether He is awake or asleep, crying or smiling, He offers Himself silently to His Eternal Father as a holocaust of propitiation for our sins.

Let us adore the Divine Infant, therefore and thank Him for the priceless gift of our Redemption, which is already accomplished in the silence and obscurity of the manger.
Let us implore the grace to love Him and to imitate Him more closely.

As we kneel before the Infant Jesus, let us beseech Him to enable us to grasp the truth of these reflections.
Let us take more care of our soul than we do of our external talents and possessions.
May God occupy the foremost place in our minds and may He be the principal object of our thoughts, desires and affections.
Let us imitate the humble recollection and ardent love for God of the Holy Infant.
Like Him, let us offer ourselves entirely to God.

Let us ask Him to make us like Him, in complete acceptance of the Divine Will, especially when we are in trouble or in pain, for in this way, we shall be able to show God how sincerely we love Him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci