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

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

Getting Ready for the arrival of our King!

Blessed Advent Season to you all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Ven Servant of God John A Hardon

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – The Burning Babe

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – the Memorial of St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church and St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr

The Burning Babe, by Saint Robert Southwell

burning-babe-excerpt-st-robert-southwell-mem-21-feb-21-jan-2019 and 21 feb 2020 as quote of the day

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.

It’s not surprising, it’s one of the great poems of the English language.

St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-1595) Martyr, Religious Priest, Poet, Hymnodist, Writer, clandestine missionary was born in 1561 in Horsham Saint Faith, Norfolk, England and he was martyred by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 21 February 1595 (aged 33) in Tyburn, London, England. St Robert was Canonised on 25 October 1970 by Blessed Pope Paul VI.
“His poetry – we don’t know exactly when he began to write but it must have been very young because he wrote a great deal of which we have the record and by now the English speaking world knows Robert Southwell. His two outstanding poems are ‘The Burning Babe’ and ‘The Virgin Mary to Christ On The Cross.’” (Ven Fr John A Hardon SJ)

St Peter Damian quotes here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/21/quote-s-of-the-day-21-february-st-peter-damian/
And some from St Robert Southwell here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/02/21/quote-s-of-the-day-21-february-the-memorial-of-st-peter-damian-o-s-b-1007-1072-and-st-robert-southwell-s-j-1561-1595/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS for SEASONS

Our Morning Offring – 14 January – Be Born in Us

Our Morning Offring – 14 January – Tuesday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Be Born in Us
By Caryll Houselander (1901-1954)

Be born in us,
Incarnate Love.

Take our flesh and blood,
and give us Your humanity.

Take our eyes,
and give us Your vision.

Take our minds,
and give us Your pure thought.

Take our feet,
and set them in Your path.

Take our hands,
and fold them in Your prayer.

Take our hearts,
and give them Your will to love.

Amen

Caryll Houselander (29 September 1901 – 12 October 1954) was an English lay Roman Catholic ecclesiastical artist, mystic, popular religious writer and poet.be born in us caryll houselander no 2 14 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The CHRIST CHILD, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 11 January – ‘Then Jesus is born within us…’

Quote/s of the Day – 11 January – Saturday after Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 5:14-21, Psalm 149:1-6, 9, John 3:22-30

“He must increase
but I must decrease.”

John 3:30john-3-30-he-must-increase-12-jan-2019-no-2.and 11 jan 2020jpg.jpg

“Christ is born, God from His Father,
man through His mother.
He was born from His Father’s immortality
and His mother’s virginity.
From the Father, without the aid of a mother,
from the mother, without that of a father.
From His Father, without time,
from His mother, without seed.
According to His Father,
He is the principle of life,
according to His mother,
the ending of death.
According to His Father,
He was born to determine the order of days,
according to His mother,
to consecrate the day that is here.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Churchchrist is born god from his father man through his mother - st augustine 11 jan 2020.jpg

“When His place becomes our place,
when His time becomes our time,
when His person becomes our life,
then the prophecies come to fulfilment in us.
Then Jesus is born within us.
He becomes the living God for me.
Today we are asked to imitate the Magi.
They do not debate – they set out.
They do not stop to look but enter the house of Jesus.
They do not put themselves at the centre
but bow down before the One who is the centre.
They do not remain glued to their plans
but are prepared to take other routes.
Their actions reveal a close contact with the Lord,
a radical openness to Him,
a total engagement with Him.
With Him, they use the language of love,
the same language that Jesus, though an infant, already speaks.
Indeed, the Magi go to the Lord not to receive but to give.

when-his-place-becomes-our-place-pope-franics-epip-homily-2019-9-jan-2019 and 11 jan 2020

Let us ask ourselves this question –
at Christmas, did we bring gifts to Jesus for His party,
or did we only exchange gifts among ourselves?

let-us-ask-ourselves-pope-francis-9-jan-2019-epiphany-homily-2019 and 11 jan 2020.jpg

In this Christmas season, now drawing to its close,
let us not miss the opportunity
to offer a precious gift to our King,
who came to us,
not in worldly pomp
but in the luminous poverty of Bethlehem.
If we can do this,
His light will shine upon us.”

Pope Francis

6 January 2019

in-this-christmas-season-pope-francis-9-jan-2019 and 11 jan 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – ‘Can it be true ….?’

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – Fifth Day after Epiphany and the Memorial of Bl Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña (1848-1918), Readings:  1 John 5:5-13, Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20, Luke 5:12-16

“Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him” … Luke 5:13luke 5 13 jesus stretched out his hand and touched him - can it be true - st alphonsus liguori 10 jan 2020.jpg

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 Bl Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña, 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.bl dolores sopena pray for us 10 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRAMENTS, SAINT of the DAY, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – ‘What is heaven’s most precious possession?’ 

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – Second day after Epiphany, Readings:  1 John 4:7-10, Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, Mark 6:34-44 and the Memorial of St Raymond of Peñafort OP (1175-1275)

And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people ... Mark 6:41

REFLECTION – “Christ gave us His flesh to eat in order to deepen our love for Him.  When we approach Him, then, there should be burning within us, a fire of love and longing…  The wise men paid homage to Christ’s body even when it was lying in a manger…  They only saw Christ in a manger, they saw nothing of what you now see and yet they approached Him with profound awe and reverence.

You see Him, not in a manger but on an altar, not carried by a woman but offered by a priest and you see the Spirit bountifully poured out upon the offerings of bread and wine.   Unlike the wise men, you do not merely see Christ’s body, you know His power as well and the whole divine plan for our salvation…  Let us then awaken in ourselves a feeling of awe and let us show a far greater reverence than did those foreigners so that we do not approach this sacrament casually, without thinking of what we do…

This food strengthens us, it emboldens us to speak freely to our God, it is our hope, our salvation, our light and our life. mark 6 41 he looked up to heaven, blessed and broke - this food strengthens us - st john chrysostom 7 jan 2019.jpg

If we go to the next world fortified by this sacrifice, we shall enter its sacred portals with perfect confidence, as though protected all over, by armour of gold.   But why do I speak of the next world?   Because of this sacrament earth becomes heaven for you.   Throw open the gates of heaven, look through and you will see the proof of what I say.   What is heaven’s most precious possession?   I will show you it here on earth.   I do not show you angels or archangels, heaven or the heaven of heavens but I show you the very Lord of all these.   Do you not see how you gaze, here on earth, upon what is most precious of all?   You not only gaze on it but touch it as well.   You not only touch it but eat it.  So cleanse your soul from sin and prepare your mind to receive these mysteries.” … St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church

because of this sacrament earth becomes heaven fo ryou -st john chrysostom 7 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, when Your only-begotten Son revealed Himself in flesh and blood, we came to know Him as our fellow-man  . Now He feeds us by His mysteries and cleanses us by His Blood to transform us inwardly, until we bear His likeness.   As You inspired St Raymond of Peñafort with an immense compassion for sinners and captives, grant us, through his prayer, freedom from sin and the grace to do Your will.   Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever with You, amen.st raymond of penafort pray for us 7 jan 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 January – In Your Light, God, we see light

One Minute Reflection – 6 January – First Day after Epiphany, Readings:
1 John 3:22–4:6, Psalm 2:7-8, 10-11, Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

” .. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen.” … Matthew 4:16

REFLECTION – “In speaking of vision, or rather of a great light, Matthew undoubtedly intends us to understand our Saviour’s luminous preaching, the radiance of the Good News of the Kingdom of God.   The land of Zebulon and of Naphtali heard it from our Lord’s own mouth before anyone else…

For in fact it was in this particular land that our Lord began to preach, it was there His preaching was inaugurated…   And the apostles, who were the first to see this true light over these regions of Zabulon and Naphtali, themselves became “lights of the world”...  As Isaiah’s text continues:   “They rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing the spoils.”    This joy will indeed become the apostles’s joy, it will be a twofold joy when “they come back like reapers carrying their sheaves” and “as conquerors sharing the spoil”, that is to say of the conquered devil…

For it was You, our Lord and Saviour, who removed from their shoulders “the yoke that burdened them”, that yoke of the devil’s who in former times lorded it over the world when he reigned over all the nations and caused their necks to bow beneath the yoke of a grievous slavery…   You it was who, without troops, without bloodshed, in the secret of Your power, freed us to place us at Your service…  Yes, the devil will be “burned as fuel for the flames” because “a child is born to us”, the lowly Son of God “upon whose shoulders dominion rests” because, being God, He is able to possess the pre-eminence by His own strength…   And His “dominion extends” since He will not only reign over the Jews, as David did but He will have the sovereignty over all nations “both now and forever”.” … Rupert of Deutz OSB (c 1075-1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian, Exegete, Writer.matthew 4 16 the people who sit in darkness - you it was who without troops - rupert of deutz 6 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Lord, may the radiance of Your glory, light up our hearts and bring us through the shadows of this world, until we reach our homeland of everlasting light.   May the prayers of St Andre Bessette and all Your saints who stand beside You, be an assistance in our moments of trial.   Through Christ, the Light which shows us light and the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.in your light god we see light - 6 jan 2020.jpgst andre bessette pray for us -6 jan 2018-no. 2.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Our Morning Offering – 6 January – Write Your Blessed Name, Upon My Heart

Our Morning Offering – 6 January – First Day after Epiphany and the Month of the Most Holy Name

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.
Amenwrite your blessed name o lord upon my heart - thomas a kempist - 5 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD

Chalk the Door – Epiphany House Blessing

Chalk the Door – Epiphany House Blessing

20 C+M+B 20

“Christus mansionem benedicat”

The equation is written to be the first two digits of the year,
followed by the initials C, M, and B,
followed by the last two digits of the year.
Each portion is split by plus signs.
For this year, the equation would be written as
“20 + C + M + B + 20.”

The chalking holds two meanings.
The C, M and B, refer to the traditional names
of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.
The letters also stand for the Latin phrase
“Christus mansionem benedicat” which means
“May Christ bless the house.”
The plus signs represent the cross
and the 20 and 20 simply refer to the year.

epiphany-house-blessing-2019 - half done - changed for 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE

Thought for the Day – 5 January – Epiphany of the Lord – It was Love

Thought for the Day – 5 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany

it was love which inspired the magi - antonio bacci 5 jan 2020.jpg

“Let us consider the faith of the Magi, a faith which was willing, lively and active.
They saw in the sky, the star which heralded the Infant Jesus and experienced the divine inspiration in their hearts.
Immediately, they went in search of Him.
They were not even deterred by the long and hazardous journey, which lay before them.

When they arrived at Jerusalem, they found Herod, who did not know what they were talking about.   The star disappeared and the priests replied coldly to the questions they asked.
But all the time, their trust in the divine call continued to grow.
Eventually, they reached a poor barn, where they found, not an earthly King but a little child, who was crying on the straw bed of a manger.
As a reward for their trouble and perseverance, a voice in their hearts told them, that this was Jesus, the King of Kings and Saviour of the world.

Unfortunately, when we hear the divine call, no matter how clear and simple it is, we find a thousand excuses for delaying and perhaps for not responding to it at all.

Let us humbly promise to be more generous in listening for it and more energetic in complying with it, regardless of the cost!

It was love which inspired the Magi.
Love sustained them on their journey and made them fall prostrate in adoration before the Infant Jesus.
Even before they offered Him material gifts, they offered Him, their hearts!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Papa FRANCIS, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – Epiphany

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

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

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Churchsince they sought a heavenly king - st john chrysostom epiphany 5 jan 2020.jpg

“The Gospel account of the Magi
describes their journey from the East
as a journey of the spirit,
as a journey toward the encounter with Christ.
They are attentive to signs that indicate His presence,
they are tireless in facing the trials of the search,
they are courageous in deducing the implications
for life that derive from encounter with the Lord.
This is life – Christian life, is a journey
but being attentive, tireless and courageous.
A Christian, journeys like this.
Journey attentively, tirelessly, courageously!”matthew-2-9-when-they-heard-the-king-the-gospel-account-of-the-magi-pope-francis-6-jan-2019 and 5 jan 2020.jpg

“And as they fell to their knees
before the small, poor and vulnerable Infant,
the unexpected and unknown Child of Bethlehem,
they discovered the glory of God.”

Pope Francis

Homily for Epiphany 2017and-as-they-fell-pope-francis-epiphany-2017-7-jan-2018 and 5 jan 2020.jpg

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

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION

Sunday Reflection – 5 January – ‘Today He is born in mystery.’

Sunday Reflection – 5 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

“At Christmas He was born a man, today He is reborn sacramentally.

Then He was born from the Virgin, today He is born in mystery.

When He was born a man, His mother Mary held Him close to her heart, when He is born in mystery, God the Father embraces Him with His voice when He says: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.

The mother caresses the tender baby on her lap, the Father serves His Son by His loving testimony.

The mother holds the child for the Magi to adore, the Father reveals that His Son is to be worshipped by all the nations.”

St Maximus Of Turin (380 to 465)
Bishop of Turin, Theologian

at christmas he was born a man today he is bor sacramentally st maximus of turin 5 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST the KING, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 January – Give me, therefore, I pray Thee, this gold, this incense and this myrrh.

One Minute Reflection – 5 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13, Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6, Matthew 2:1-12

“… They fell down and worshipped him.   Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” … Matthew 2:11matthew 2 11 they fell down and worshipped him then opening their treasures 5 jan 2020.jpg

REFLECTION – “But if with careful thought we wish to see how their threefold kind of gift is also offered by all who come to Christ with the foot of faith, is not the same offering repeated in the hearts of true believers?   For he that acknowledges Christ the King of the universe brings gold from the treasure of his heart, he that believes the Only-begotten of God to have united man’s true nature to Himself, offers myrrh and he that confesses Him in no wise inferior to the Father’s majesty, worships Him in a manner with incense.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Churchbut if with careful thought we wish to see - st pope leo the great 5 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – “Give me, therefore, I pray Thee, this gold, this incense and this myrrh.   Give me the gold of Thy holy love, give me the spirit of holy prayer, give me the desire and strength to mortify myself in everything that displeases Thee.   I am resolved to obey Thee and to love Thee but Thou knowest my weakness, oh, give me the grace to be faithful to Thee!” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Churchgive me therefore i pray thee this gold, this franckinsense - st alphonsus liguori 5 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DEVOTIO, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY

Our Morning Offering – 5 January – Who lives in Love

Our Morning Offering – 5 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

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.who lives in love - st robert southwell 5 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MYSTICS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “Come and see.” 

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – Saturday of Christmas, Readings:
1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42

He said to them, “Come and see.”   They came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day … John 1:39

REFLECTION“John was there and two of his disciples with him.”   John was such “a friend of the Bridegroom” that he did not seek his own glory, he simply bore witness to the truth (Jn 3:29.26).   Did he dream of keeping back his disciples and preventing them from following the Lord?   Not in the least.   He himself showed them the one they were to follow (…) He declared:   “Why cling to me?   I am not the Lamb of God.   Behold the Lamb of God (…) Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”

At these words the two disciples who were with John followed Jesus.   “Jesus turned and saw that they were following him and said to them:   ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him: ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?”   As yet they were not following Him definitively, as we know, they joined themselves to Him when He called them to leave their boat (…), when He said to them:  “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). That was the moment they joined Him definitively, no longer to leave Him.  But for now they wanted to see where Jesus was living and put into practice the words of Scripture:  “If you see an intelligent man, seek him out at daybreak;  let your feet wear away his doorstep!   Learn from him the precepts of the Lord” (cf. Sir 6:36f.).   So Jesus showed them where He was living, they went and stayed with Him.   What a happy day they spent! What a blessed night!   Who can say what it was they heard from the Lord’s mouth?   Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, construct a house where Christ can come to teach and converse with us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 7john 1 39 he said to them come and see - let us too build a dwelling - st augustine 4 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, the light of a new star in heaven, heralded Your saving love  . Let the light of Your salvation dawn in our hearts and keep them always open to Your life-giving grace.   May we stay with Your Son, for He will teach us Your ways.   Kindly hear the prayers on our behalf of Mary our mother and of all Your saints and may St Angela of Foligno intercede today on our behalf.    Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.st angela of foligno pray for us 4 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CCC, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 3 January – Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus without end!

Quote/s of the Day – 3 January – Christmas Weekday

and the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

“And whatever you ask in my name,
I will do, so that the Father
may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me,
in my name,
I will do it.”

John 14:14-14john-14-13-14-10-jan-2018 and 2020 and whatever you ask in my name i will do, so that.jpg

“And you shall call His name Jesus,
because in His Name we adore
the entire majesty of the Godhead.
All who dwell in the heavens,
those who abide upon the earth
and everyone of those
who are held in the depths of hell,
bow down prostate to this Name.
This is the Name which gave sight to the blind,
hearing to the deaf,
agility to the lame,
speech to the mute
and life to the dead,
The power of this Name
forced the mastery of the devil entirely,
from the bodies of the possessed.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father and Doctor of the Churchthis is the name - st peter chrysologus - 3 jan 2020.jpg

“The Holy Name of Jesus is, first of all, an all-powerful prayer.
Our Lord, Himself, solemnly promises,
that whatever we ask the Father in His Name,
we shall receive.
God never fails to keep His word.
Each time we say “Jesus,”
it is an act of perfect love,
for, we offer to God,
the infinite love of Jesus”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Churchthe holy name of jesus is first of all an all powerful prayer - st alphonsus liguori 3 jan 2020.jpg

”The invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus,
is the simplest way of praying always.
When the Holy Name is repeated often
by a humbly attentive heart,
the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty praises
but holds fast to the Word and
”brings forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15).
This prayer is possible at all times
because it is not one occupation among others
but the only occupation –
that of loving God which animates
and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus”

CCC 2668ccc2668-the-invocation-of-the-holy-name-3-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

“We, Jesuits, want to be conferred the name of Jesus,
militate under the standard of His Cross and this means,
to have the same sentiments of Christ.
It means to think like Him,
love like Him, see like Him, walk like Him.
It means to do what He did
and with His same sentiments,
with the sentiments of His Heart.
The heart of Christ is the heart of a God
who, out of love, “emptied” Himself.

Pope Francis

(3 January 2014)we-jesuits-want-to-be-pope-francis-on-3-jan-2014-my-image-3-jan-201 and 2020 in quotes.jpg

Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus without end!

blessed be the most holy name of jesus without end - 3 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNITY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – ‘He became mortal that you might become God and put on your original beauty.’

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – Christmas Weekday and the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, Readings:  1 John 2:29-3, 6, Psalm 98:1, 3-6, John 1:29-34

I did not know him but the reason why I came baptising with water, was that he might be made known to Israel.”   John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him”. … John 1:31-32

REFLECTION – “Upon Adam, blinded in Eden, a Sun has arisen, rising up from Bethlehem and has opened his eyes by washing them in the waters of Jordan.   Upon him whom darkness and shadows were covering, that light has dawned which will never go out.   Night is no more for him, all is day, Dawn is born for him, since it was dusk when he hid himself, as Scripture says (Gn 3:8).   He who fell in the evening has found the Sunrise that gives him light, he has fled from the dark and advanced towards the morning which has manifested itself and illuminated all. (…)

Sing aloud, O Adam and worship Him who comes to meet you.   While you were drawing back, He manifested Himself to you that you might see and touch and welcome Him.   He whom you feared after you had been deceived, has been made like you for your sake.  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.   Wishing to open up again for you the gates of Eden, He lived in Nazareth.   For all this, sing of Him, man and glorify with a psalm, the One who manifested Himself and has shone over all.

The eyes of the children of earth have received the strength to behold the heavenly Face, the sight of the creatures of clay, (Gn 2:7) has perceived the undimmed shining of the immaterial Light, that prophets and kings have not seen but longed to see (Mt 13:17). Great Daniel was called a man of desires because he desired to contemplate Him whom we behold.   David, too, hoped for this decree, now we can understand what lay hidden, the One who manifested Himself and illuminated all.” … St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556) Monk, Composer of Hymns, Poet – 2nd hymn for the Epiphany, 1,3,8john 1 32 I saw the spirit come down like a dove - he has come down to earth - st romanus melodios 3 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Son’s manhood, born of the Virgin, was a new creation, untainted by our sinful condition.   Renew us then, in Christ and cleanse us from our sins.   May the Holy Name of Jesus, be our light, our safeguard and our shield.   Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all time and forever, amen.the jesus prayer - 3 jan 2018.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ABORTION, QUOTES on FRIENDSHIP, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Basil and Gregory and Pope Francis

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390), Readings: 1 John 2:22-28, Psalm 98:1-4, John 1:19-28

“It is a voice which cries out where it seems that no one can hear it — for who can listen in the desert? — and which cries out in the disorientation caused by a crisis of faith.
We cannot deny that the world today is in a crisis of faith.
One says: “I believe in God, I am a Christian” —
“I belong to this religion…”
But your life is far from being Christian – it is far removed from God! Religion, faith is but an expression: “Do I believe?” — “Yes!”
This means returning to God, converting the heart to God and going on this path to find Him.
He is waiting for us.
This is John the Baptist’s preaching – prepare. john-1-23-i-am-the-voice-crying-in-the-wilderness-it-is-a-voice-pope-francis-2-jan-2019 and 2020

Prepare for the encounter with this Child
who will give our smile back to us.”

Pope Francis

General Audience, 7 December 2016prepare-for-the-encounter-with-this-child-pope-francis-2-jan-2019 and used quotes 2020.jpg

“The hairsplitting difference between
formed and unformed makes no difference to us.
Whoever deliberately commits abortion
is subject to the penalty for homicide.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)

Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-hairsplitting-difference-st-basil-the-great-2-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

“Different men have different names,
which they owe to their parents or to themselves,
that is, to their own pursuits and achievements.
But our great pursuit,
the great name we wanted,
was to be Christians,
to be called Christians.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

(from his writings on his friendship with St Basil)different-men-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2-jan-2018 and 2020.jpg

“If anyone does not believe
that Holy Mary
is the Mother of God,
such a one is a stranger
to the Godhead.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father & Doctor of the Churchif-anyone-does-not-believe-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 2 January – Steer the Ship of my Life, Lord

Our Morning Offering – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

Steer the Ship of my Life, Lord
By St Basil the Great (329-379)

Steer the ship of my life, Lord,
to Your quiet harbour,
where I can be safe from
the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can see the right direction
in which I should go.
And give me the strength
and the courage to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough
and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring
hardship and danger in Your name
we shall find comfort and peace.
Amensteer-the-ship-of-my-life-lord-st-basil-11-june-2018-no-2-jpg.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC

Thought for the Day – 1 January – Take heart, dear children, here I am, your Mother!

Thought for the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lordtake heart dear children here i am your mother - pope francis 1 jan 2019.jpg

Excerpt
Pope Francis’ Homily on
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
1 January 2019

“All who heard were amazed at what the shepherds told them” (Lk 2:18).   To be amazed -this is what is asked of us today, at the conclusion of the Octave of Christmas, as we continue to contemplate the Child born for us, lacking everything, yet abounding in love. Amazement is what we should feel at the beginning of each year, for life is a gift that constantly gives us a chance to make a new start, even from the most lowly of circumstances.

Today is also a day to be amazed by the Mother of God.   God appears as a little child, held in the arms of a woman who feeds her Creator.   The statue before our eyes depicts the Mother and Child so close as to appear as one.   That is the mystery we celebrate today, which gives rise to boundless amazement – God has become one with humanity forever.   God and man, always together, that is the good news of this new year.   God is no distant lord, dwelling in splendid isolation above the heavens but love incarnate, born like us of a mother, in order to be a brother to each of us, to be close to us – the God of closeness.   He rests on the lap of His mother, who is also our mother and from there he pours out upon humanity a new tenderness.   Thus we come to understand more fully God’s love, which is both paternal and maternal, like that of a mother who never stops believing in her children and never abandons them.   God-with-us, Emmanuel, loves us despite our mistakes, our sins and the way we treat our world.   God believes in mankind, because its first and pre-eminent member is His own Mother.

At the beginning of the year, let us implore from Mary the grace to be amazed at the God of surprises.   Let us renew the amazement we felt when faith was first born in us. The Mother of God helps us – the Mother who gave birth to the Lord, now presents us, reborn, to the Lord.   She is a mother who generates in her children the amazement of faith, because faith is an encounter, not a religion.   Without amazement, life becomes dull and routine and so it is with faith.   The Church too needs to renew her amazement at being the dwelling place of the living God, the Bride of the Lord, a Mother who gives birth to her children.   Otherwise, she risks turning into a beautiful museum of the past.   A “Church museum”.   Our Lady, instead, gives the Church the feel of a home, a home in which the God of newness dwells.   Let us receive with amazement the mystery of the Mother of God, as the inhabitants of Ephesus did at the time of the Council.   Like them, let us acclaim her “Holy Mother of God”.   From her, let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon, to be embraced, to be taken by the hand.

Let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon.   Especially in times of need, when we are entangled in life’s knots, we rightly lift our eyes to Our Lady, to Our Mother.   Yet first, we should let ourselves be gazed upon by Our Lady.   When she gazes upon us, she does not see sinners but children.   It is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul, the eyes of Mary, full of grace, reflect the beauty of God, they show us a reflection of heaven.   Jesus Himself said that the eye is “the lamp of the body” (Mt 6:22) – the eyes of Our Lady are able to bring light to every dark corner, everywhere they rekindle hope.   As she gazes upon us, she says: “Take heart, dear children, here I am, your Mother!”

Holy Mother of God, OUR  mother, Pray for Us!mother of god and our mother - mary pray for us - 14 may 2018.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – ‘Love God’

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Memorial of St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)

“My brothers,
Christ made love the stairway
that would enable all Christians
to climb to heaven.
Hold fast to it, therefore,
in all sincerity,
give one another practical proof of it
and by your progress in it,
make your ascent together.”

St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)

From a sermon on The Feast of Saint Stephenchrist made love the stairway - st fulgentius 1 jan 2020.jpg

“Love God,
serve God,
everything is in that.”

St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)love-god-serve-god-everything-is-in-that-st-clare-1-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

“During this new year,
I resolve to begin a new life.
I do not know,
what will happen to me, during this year.
But I abandon myself entirely to You, my God.
And my aspirations and all my affections,
will be for You.
I feel so weak, dear Jesus
but with Your help,
I hope and resolve,
to live a different life,
that is, a life closer to You.”

St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)during this new year i resolve - st gemma galgani a blessed new year - 1 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CARMELITES, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – ‘..For the sake of His love take me…’

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, Readings: Numbers 6:22-27, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:16-21

But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. … Luke 2:19luke 2 19 but mary kept all these things pondering 1 jan 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “You will pray to the Virgin Mother that she obtain for you a perfect renewal of life and that, by this grace, she herself, the venerable rose, become your mother and godmother in such a way, that you may be her true daughter in conduct.  And pray that this very gem of decency, may envelop your soul, in the mantle of her cleanliness, preserving you without any spot, under her most dulcet tutelage, for her Son, the Lord King.   And pray that your name may be numbered among Israel, the choicest lot, so that you have share with those who walk in innocence of heart, always seeing the Lord before them in all of their ways. (cf. Ps 15:8)

Greetings, Mary, queen of clemency, olive tree of mercy, through whom life’s remedy has come to us.   Queen of clemency, Virgin Mother of the divine offspring, through whom the Child of supernal light came to us, the scented offspring of Israel.   Ah!   Just as you became the true mother of us all, through your Son, who Himself, your one and only Son, did not scorn to become our Brother, now then, for the sake of His love take me, an unworthy woman, into your motherly care.   Aid my faith, keep and instruct it and become so much the godmother of my renewal and faith now, that you may be my only mother and closest to my heart for eternity, always caring for me with loving-kindness in this life and taking me, into your full motherliness, at the hour of death.   Amen.” … St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)greetings mary queen of clemency - 1 jan 2020 st gertrude the great.jpg

PRAYER – God, our Father, since You gave mankind a Saviour through the blessed Mary, virgin and mother, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession, when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS for SEASONS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 1 January – ‘Now will I sing to Thy mother!’

Our Morning Offering – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

CHRISTMAS
By Gertrude von le Fort (1876-1971)

Your voice speaks:
Little child out of Eternity, now will I sing to Thy mother!
The song shall be fair as dawn-tinted snow.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, daughter of my earth, sister of my soul,
rejoice, O joy of my joy!
I am as one who wanders through the night
but you are a house under stars.
I am a thirsty cup but you are God’s open sea.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, blessed are those who call you blessed,
never more shall child of man lose hope.
I am one love for all, I shall never cease from saying:
one of you has been exalted by the Lord.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, wings of my earth, crown of my soul,
rejoice joy of my joy!
Blessed are those who call you blessed.

The Baroness Gertrud von Le Fort (full name Gertrud Auguste Lina Elsbeth Mathilde Petrea Freiin von Le Fort – 11 October 1876 – 1 November 1971 – aged 95) was a German writer of novels, poems and essays.
She converted to Catholicism in 1925 and most of her writings came after this conversion. She published over 20 books, comprising poems, novels and short stories.   Her work gained her the accolade of being “the greatest contemporary transcendent poet.”   Her works are appreciated for their depth and beauty of their ideas and for her sophisticated refinement of style.   She was nominated by Hermann Hesse for the Nobel Prize in Literature and was granted an honorary Doctorate of Theology for her contributions to the issue of faith in her works.CHRISTMAS BY GERTRUDE VON LE FORT 1 january 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER, YouTube VIDEOS

1 January 2020 – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Peace +2019 and Memorials of the Saints

1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Peace +2019

Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord (Solemnity)
1 January 2018:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/1-january-2018-the-solemnity-of-mary-the-mother-of-god/
1 January 2019:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/01/1-january-the-solemnity-of-mary-mother-of-god-and-the-octave-day-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord/octave-day-mary-mother-of-god-2016jpg.jpg

53rd Annual World Day of Prayer for Peace:   Feast day dedicated to peace.   It first observed on 1 January 1968, proclaimed by St Pope Paul VI.   It was inspired by the encyclical Pacem in Terris by St Pope John XXIII and with reference to Paul’s encyclical Populorum Progressio.   Our Holy Fathers have used this day to make magisterial declarations relevant to the social doctrine of the Church on such topics as the United Nations, human rights, women’s rights, labour unions, economic development, the right to life, international diplomacy, peace in the Holy Land, globalisation, migrants, refugees and terrorism.

St Pope Paul VI:  https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/01/the-52nd-world-day-of-prayer-for-peace-1-january-2019/

Titular Feast of the Society of Jesus – But now celebrated on 3 January, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Bl Adalbero of Liege
St Baglan of Wales
St Basil of Aix
Bl Bonannus of Roio
St Brogan
St Buonfiglio Monaldi
Bl Catherine de Solaguti
St Clarus of Vallis Regia
St Clarus of Vienne
St Colman mac Rónán
St Colman Muillin of Derrykeighan
St Concordius of Arles
St Connat
St Cuan
St Demet of Plozévet
St Elvan
St Eugendus of Condat
St Euphrosyne of Alexandria
St Fanchea of Rossory
St Felix of Bourges
St Frodobert of Troyes
St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)
St Gisela of Rosstreppe
St Gregory Nazianzen the Elder
Bl Hugolinus of Gualdo Cattaneo
Bl Jean-Baptiste Lego
Bl Jean of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée
St Joseph Mary Tomasi
St Justin of Chieti
Bl Lojze Grozde
St Maelrhys
St Magnus the Martyr
Bl Marian Konopinski
St Mydwyn
St Odilo of Cluny
St Odilo of Stavelot
St Peter of Atroa
St Peter of Temissis
Bl René Lego
St Sciath of Ardskeagh
St Severino Gallo
St Telemachus
St Thaumastus of Mainz
St Theodotus
St Tyfrydog
Bl Valentin Paquay
St Vincent Strambi
St William of Dijon
St Zedislava Berka
St Zygmunt Gorazdowski

Breton Missionaries to Britain
Martyred Soldiers of Rome: Thirty soldiers martyred in Rome as a group during the persecutions of Diocletian. We don’t even known their names. They were martyred c 304 at Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Africa – 8 saints: Eight Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown. The only details we have are four of their names – Argyrus, Felix, Narcissus and Victor.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Andrés Gómez Sáez

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 31 December – The Word made Flesh makes us Divine

Thought for the Day – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13, John 1:1-18

The Word made Flesh makes us Divine

Saint Hippolytus, Bishop of Pontus (c 170-c 235)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from his On the Refutation of All Heresies, Chapter 10

“Our faith is not founded upon empty words, nor are we carried away by mere caprice or beguiled by specious arguments.   On the contrary, we put our faith in words spoken by the power of God, spoken by the Word Himself at God’s command.   God wished to win men back from disobedience, not by using force to reduce him to slavery but by addressing to his free will, a call to liberty.

The Word spoke first of all through the prophets but because the message was couched in such obscure language that it could be only dimly apprehended, in the last days, the Father sent the Word in person, commanding him to show Himself openly, so that the world could see Him and be saved.

We know that by taking a body from the Virgin He re-fashioned our fallen nature.   We know that His manhood was of the same clay as our own, if this were not so, He would hardly have been a teacher who could expect to be imitated.   If He were of a different substance from me, He would surely not have ordered me to do as He did, when by my very nature I am so weak.   Such a demand could not be reconciled with His goodness and justice.

No.   He wanted us to consider Him as no different from ourselves and so, He worked, He was hungry and thirsty, He slept.   Without protest He endured His passion, He submitted to death and revealed His resurrection.   In all these ways, He offered His own manhood as the first fruits of our race, to keep us from losing heart, when suffering comes our way and to make us look forward to receiving the same reward as He did, since we know that we possess the same humanity.

When we have come to know the true God, both our bodies and our souls will be immortal and incorruptible.   We shall enter the kingdom of heaven, because while we lived on earth we acknowledged heaven’s King.   Friends of God and co-heirs with Christ, we shall be subject to no evil desires or inclinations, or to any affliction of body or soul, for we shall have become divine.

Whatever evil you may have suffered, being man, it is God that sent it to you, precisely because you are man but equally, when you have been deified, God has promised you a share in everyone of His own attributes.   The saying “Know yourself” means, therefore, that we should recognise and acknowledge in ourselves, the God who made us in His own image, for if we do this, we in turn will be recognised and acknowledged by our Maker.

So let us not be at enmity with ourselves but change our way of life without delay.   For Christ who is God, exalted above all creation, has taken away man’s sin and has re-fashioned our fallen nature.   In the beginning God made man in His image and so gave proof of His love for us.   If we obey His holy commands and learn to imitate His goodness, we shall be like Him and He will honour us.   God is not beggarly and for the sake of His own glory, He has given us a share in His divinity.”

St Hippolytus (c 170–c 235) was one of the most important second-third century Christian theologians, whose provenance, identity and corpus remain elusive to scholars and historians.   Many unconfirmed ‘facts’ concerning him abound.   I will follow Rome, as in all things – Pope Pius IV identifies him and confirms him as “Saint Hippolytus, Bishop of Pontus” who was martyred in the reign of Severus Alexander through his inscription on a statue found at the Church of Saint Lawrence in Rome and kept at the Vatican.
Hippolytus’ voluminous writings, which for variety of subject can be compared with those of Origen, embrace the spheres of exegesis, homiletics, apologetics and polemic, chronography and ecclesiastical law.   The Apostolic Tradition, recorded the first liturgical reference to the Virgin Mary, as part of the ordination rite of a bishop.
His Feast day is 13 August.he wanted us to consider him as no different - st hippolytus of rome 31 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – ‘As Your Word descended, our heart has been melted…’

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13, John 1:1-18

He came to his own home and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God…. John 1:11-12

REFLECTION – “Lord, we have heard Your works and we have been astounded.   We have pondered Your marvels and we have fainted.

As Your Word descended, our heart has been melted and all our innermost being, trembling, has been laid bare to Him.   For while silence, held all things and night, in her journey reached her mid-course, Your Almighty Word came from its royal abode (cf. Wis 18:14-15).   You poured out, O Father, the tenderness of Your love upon us and You could no longer contain the multitude of Your mercies.   You shed light in the darkness, dew upon the dryness and in the bitter frost, You kindled a raging fire.   Your Son appeared to us as an abundance of food when grievous famine threatened, as a spring of living water, to a life in distress and fainting from thirst in the heat.   Or surely, just as there is wont to appear, a strong helper and deliverer for men besieged, who are about to rush out into battle, with death before their eyes and with the enemy’s threatening sword (…): so He appeared for us and became our Salvation.

Yet it is an excellent and salutary thing to recount again the beginning of our Salvation and to treat of His incarnation, to recall whence He came and in what sort He descended.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk, Bishop – On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily III, SC 72.john 1 11-12 he came to his own and his own received him not - your son appeared to us - st amadeus of lausanne 31 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank You for the human birth of Your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship.   Number us among His people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in Him, for the Word became flesh who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.the word became flesh alleluia alleluia 31 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Her Amazement at her Only Child – Karol Wojtyla

Thought for the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave

Her Amazement at her Only Child
Karol Wojtyla
Saint Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Light piercing, gradually, everyday events,
a woman’s eyes, hands
used to them since childhood.
Then brightness flared, too huge for simple days,
and hands clasped when the words lost their space.

In that little town, my Son, where they knew us together,
You called me mother but no-one had eyes to see,
the astounding events as they took place day by day.
Your life became the life of the poor
in Your wish to be with them, through the work of Your hands.

I knew – the light that lingered in ordinary things,
like a spark sheltered under the skin of our days —
the light was You,
it did not come from me.

And I had more of You in that luminous silence,
than I had of You as the fruit of my body, my blood.

ST JOHN PAUL II’S CHRISTMAS POETRY
Poem from his 1950 Collection, “The Mother”

 

her amazement at her only child - st john paul karol wojtyla 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – He is the Kiss of God

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

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

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

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

This is your sign.  What is it a sign of?   Indulgence, grace, peace, “the peace which will have no end” (Is 9:7).   It is this sign: “You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk 2: 12).   But this baby is God Himself, reconciling the world to Himself in Him (2 Cor 5: 19). ( … )   He is the Kiss of God, the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1Tm 2:5), who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end.” … St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian monk and Doctor of the Churchluke 2 38 - she spoke about the child to all - he is the kiss of god - st bernard 30 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, the human birth of Your Only-begotten Son, was the beginning of new life.   May He set us free from the tyranny of sin.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.the Prince of Peace - peace to men of goodwill 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – The Staff of Life Springs Forth

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

The Staff of Life Springs Forth
A Nativity Prayer
By St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

The feast day of Your birth resembles You, Lord
because it brings joy to all humanity.
Old people and infants alike, enjoy Your day.
Your day is celebrated from generation to generation.
Kings and emperors may pass away,
and the festivals to commemorate them soon lapse.
But Your festival will be remembered
until the end of time.
Your day is a means and a pledge of peace.
At Your birth heaven and earth were reconciled,
since You came from heaven to earth on that day.
You forgave our sins and wiped away our guilt.
You gave us so many gifts on the day of Your birth,
a treasure chest of spiritual medicines for the sick.
spiritual light for the blind,
the cup of salvation for the thirsty,
the bread of life for the hungry.
In the winter when trees are bare,
You give us the most succulent spiritual fruit.
In the frost when the earth is barren,
You bring new hope to our souls.
In December, when seeds are hidden in the soil,
the staff of life springs forth
from the virgin womb.
Amenthe feast day of your birth resembles you o lord - nativity prayer by st ephrem 30 dec 2019.jpg

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One Minute Reflection – 29 December – ‘I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile.’

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14, Psalm 128:1-5, Colossians 3:12-21, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. … Matthew 2:14joseph rose and took the child and his mother - matthew 2 14.jpg

REFLECTION – “An angel appeared in a dream to Joseph and warned him that Herod was seeking the Child Jesus’ life:  “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt”.   Jesus had hardly been born before he was being persecuted to the death. (…)  Joseph obeyed the angel’s voice without delay and warned his holy wife.   He took such poor tools as he could carry so that he might have the wherewithal to carry on his work in Egypt and have something with which to maintain his little family.   Mary, for her part, gathered together in a bundle the necessary linen for her divine son, then, going to the cradle where He was lying, she went down on her knees, kissed the feet of her beloved child and, weeping tears of tenderness, said to Him:  “Oh my son and my God, You have come into the world to save humankind yet You have scarcely been born and they seek to kill You!”   Then she took Him in her arms and, as they wept, the holy couple shut the door and set out through the night. (…)

Beloved Jesus, You are the king of heaven and now I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile.   Tell me, who are You looking for?   I am moved with compassion when I see Your poverty and humiliation.   But what distresses me, even more deeply, is the complete ingratitude with which I see You being treated by the very ones You came to save.   You weep and I weep too for being one of those who have despised and persecuted You.   Yet know, that I would now prefer Your grace to all the kingdoms of the world.

Forgive me all the harm I have caused You.   On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms during the flight to Egypt.   Beloved Redeemer, I have often cast You out of my soul but now, I trust You have repossessed it.   I beseech You, bind it closely to Yourself with the sweet bonds of Your love.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and Doctor of the Church – Meditations for the Octave of the Epiphany, no. 3on the journey of this life to eternity - st alphonsus liguori 29 dec 2019 holy family feast no 2

PRAYER – O Most merciful Infant Jesus, I give You thanks for all that You suffered for me. O my sweetest Love, I am sorry that I have offended You.   I desire to be always faithful in Your service.   Fill my heart with Your love.   O Mary, grant that I may belong entirely to you and your Son, Jesus. Amen – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)holy family pray for us 29 dec 2019.jpg