Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The ANNUNCIATION, THE ASSUMPTION, The CHRIST CHILD, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 27 August – St Amadeus of Lausanne

Quote/s of the Day – 27 August – The Memorial of St Amadeus of Lausanne OCist (1110—1159) Bishop (I am unsure of whether he is a Saint or a Blessed as there seems to be disagreement about the final confirmation of his cultus. Whichever, he is a Saint of God!)

“O how marvellous are His wounds
by which the wounds of the world were healed!
How victorious His wounds,
by which He slew death and stung hell!”

“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.”

“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. ”

“He himself is your son, O Mary,
He Himself rose from the dead on the third day
and with your flesh ascended above all the heavens
that He might fill all things.
Therefore, O blessed lady,
you have your joy, the object of your desire
and the crown of your head have been granted you.
He has brought to you the sovereignty of heaven through His glory,
the kingdom of the world though His mercy,
the subjugation of hell through His power.
All things with their diverse feelings respond to your great
and unspeakable glory –
angels by honour, mortals by love, demons by terror.
For you are venerated in heaven,
loved in the world, feared in hell.”

“Has anyone ever come away from Mary,
troubled or saddened or ignorant
of the heavenly Mysteries?
Who has not returned to everyday life
gladdened and joyful
because a request has been granted
by the Mother of God?”

St Amadeus of Lausanne (1110-1159)

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 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!, 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, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Papa FRANCIS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – Blessed is the Babe

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

Blessed is the Child, who gladdened Bethlehem today.
Blessed is the Babe, who today renewed the youth of humankind.
Blessed is the Fruit, who bowed Himself down to our hunger.
Blessed is the gracious One,
who suddenly enriched our poverty and supplied our need.
Blessed is He, whose tender mercy led Him to heal our infirmities.
Blessed is He, whom freedom crucified, because He permitted it.
Blessed is He, whom also the wood bore, because He gave it leave.
Blessed is He, whom the grave bound, when He set limits to Himself.
Blessed is He, whose free choice brought Him to the womb and to birth.
Blessed is He, who sealed our soul
and adorned and betrothed her to Himself.
Blessed is the beautiful One, who remade us in His image.
Blessed is He, who made our flesh a tabernacle for His hiddenness.
Blessed is He, who with our tongue spoke out His secrets.
Blessed is the Word of the most high, who became flesh today for us.blessed is the child - 25 dec 2019 st ephrem.jpg

“The Firstborn entered the womb …
Glorious and unseen in entering,
humble and visible in birth.
He was God in entering
and He was man in birth.
A marvel and mystery to hear –
fire entered the womb,
put on a body
and came forth!”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Churchthe firstborn entered the womb - st ephrem 25 dec 2019.jpg

 

“Christ is born, glorify Him!
Christ from heaven,
go out to meet Him!
Christ on earth, be exalted!
Sing to the Lord all the whole earth
and that I may join both in one word,
let the heavens rejoice
and let the earth be glad,
for Him who is of heaven
and then of earth.
Christ in the flesh,
rejoice with trembling and with joy,
with trembling because of your sins,
with joy because of your hope.”

St Gregory Nazianzen (329-390)
Father and Doctor of the Churchchrist is born glorify him - st regory of nazianzen 25 dec 2019.jpg

“This day,
He who Is,
is Born
and He, who Is,
becomes what He
was not.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Churchthis day he who IS is born and becomes what he IS not - st john crysostom 25 dec 2019

“Let the just rejoice,
for their Justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
for their Saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
for their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
for their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
for Jesus Christ is born!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Churchlet the just rejoice their justifier is born st augustine 25 dec 2019.jpg

“Never was a whimpering bit of humanity
so powerful that, while lying on His bed of straw,
He could command the very stars
to direct whom He wished to visit Him.
Never a child so wise or so rich as this little Infant
who was full of grace and incarnate truth.
Never anyone so marvellous
as to be at once so small and so great,
true God and true Man,
the Uncreated Word and weak human flesh,
mighty King and a lowly slave.
Never had any child so emptied Himself
of all that He really was,
in order to become a tiny, speechless, naked, unknown babe.”never-was-a-whimpering-bit-of-humanity-st-peter-canisius-25-dec-2018 and 2019jpg

“Christmas Day is nothing if not a day of universal joy.
Children should rejoice because on this day,
God Himself
became as one of them;
virgins, because a Virgin brought forth
and remained unstained,
even after giving birth;
wives, because one of their number,
became the Mother of God;
sinners, because their Mediator and Saviour and Healer,
has come to redeem them;
the just, because their Reward, exceeding great,
has been born into the world.
In truth, all faithful Christians,
should rejoice, that their Creator and Lord,
has taken on human flesh and begun His reign
over the hearts of men,
not only as God
but also as the Son of Man
among the children of men.”

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397)
Doctor of the Churchchristmas-day-is-nothing-if-not-st-peter-canisius-25-dec-2018 and 2019.jpg

“Arise, all you nobles and peasants,
Mary invites all, rich and poor,
just and sinners,
to enter the cave of Bethlehem,
to adore and to kiss the feet
of her new-born Son.
Go in, then, all you devout souls,
go and see the Creator
of heaven and earth on a little hay,
under the form of a little Infant
but so beautiful that He sheds
all around rays of light.
Now that He is born
and is lying on the straw,
the cave is no longer horrible
but is become a paradise.
Let us enter,
let us not be afraid!”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Churcharise all you nobles and peasants, mary invites all - 25 dec 2019

“Today, the Son of God is born and everything changes.
The Saviour of the world comes to partake of our human nature;
no longer are we alone and forsaken.
The Virgin offers us her Son
as the beginning of a new life.
The true light has come to illumine our lives
so often beset by the darkness of sin.
Today we once more discover who we are!
Tonight we have been shown the way to reach the journey’s end.
Now must we put away all fear and dread,
for the light shows us the path to Bethlehem.
We must not be laggards; we are not permitted to stand idle.
We must set out to see our Saviour lying in a manger.
This is the reason for our joy and gladness:
this Child has been “born to us”;
he was “given to us”, as Isaiah proclaims (cf. 9:5).
The people who for for two thousand years
has traversed all the pathways of the world,
in order to allow every man and woman to share in this joy,
is now given the mission of making known “the Prince of peace”
and becoming His effective servant in the midst of the nations.”

Pope Francis
Homily on the Solemnity
of the Nativity of the Lord, 2015today the son of god is born - pope francis - I think 25 dec 2018.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord at Midnight “Awake mankind!”

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

“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.”awake mankind. for your sake god - st augustine 24 dec 2019.jpg

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

St Augustine 354-430)
Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Churchmans maker was made man - st augustine - 17 dec 2019.jpg

Christmas Prayer
Of St Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) 

O sweet Child of Bethlehem,
grant that we may share
with all our hearts
in this profound mystery of Christmas.
Put into the hearts of men and women,
this peace, for which they sometimes seek, so desperately
and which You alone can give to them.
Help them to know one another better
and to live as brothers and sisters,
children of the same Father.
Reveal to them also Your beauty, holiness and purity.
Awaken in their hearts love and gratitude
for Your infinite goodness.
Join them all together in Your love.
And give us Your heavenly peace.
Ameno sweet child of bethlehem by st pope john XXIII 24 dec 2018.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 23 December – O Divine Child of Bethlehem, Be our Peace and our Joy!

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 23 December

O Divine Child of Bethlehem,
Be our Peace and our Joy!
By St John Paul II (1920-2005)

Wipe away,
Baby Jesus,
the tears of children!
Embrace the sick and the elderly!
Move people to lay down their arms
and to draw close
in a universal embrace of peace!
Invite the peoples,
O merciful Jesus,
to tear down the walls created
by poverty and unemployment,
by ignorance and indifference,
by discrimination and intolerance.
It is You,
O Divine Child of Bethlehem,
who saves us,
freeing us from sin.
It is You,
who are the true and only Saviour,
whom humanity often searches for
with uncertainty.
God of peace,
gift of peace for all of humanity,
come to live in the heart
of every individual
and of every family.
Be our Peace and our Joy!
Ameno divine child of bethlehem be our peace and our joy st john paul 23 dec 2019.jpg

 

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 15 December – Let Your goodness, Lord, Appear to Us – An Advent Prayer by St Bernard

Our Morning Offering – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday

Let Your goodness, Lord,
Appear to Us
An Advent Prayer
By St Bernard (1090-1153)

Let Your goodness, Lord,
appear to us,
that we, made in Your image,
conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength
we cannot imitate
Your majesty, power and wonder,
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But Your mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small child
but You have brought us
the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love.
Caress us with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts
with Your soft, sweet cries.
Amenlet your goodness appear tp us o lord advent prayer of st bernard 15 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT QUOTES, FATHERS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The CHRIST CHILD

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us.

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us

This year, as before, I will post daily Advent Reflections drawn from diverse Saints and Holy people – please join me in prayer and in awakening our souls to hope.

advent reflections - o come o come emmnuel - begins 1 dec - posted 28 nov 2019.jpg

Memory Awakens Hope

By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(Pope Benedict XVI)

In one of his Christmas stories Charles Dickens tells of a man who lost his emotional memory, that is, he lost the whole chain of feelings and thoughts he had acquired in the encounter with human suffering.   This extinction of the memory of love is presented to him as liberation from the burden of the past but it becomes clear, immediately, that the whole person has been changed, now, when he meets with suffering, no memories of kindness are stirred within him…   Since his memory has dried up, the source of kindness within him has also disappeared.   He has become cold and spreads coldness around him.

Goethe deals with the same ideas as Dickens, in his account of the first celebration of the feast of Saint Roch in Bingen, after the long interruption caused by the Napoleonic wars. He observes the people as they press, tightly packed, through the church past the image of the saint and he watches their faces – the faces of the children and the adults are shining, mirroring the joy of the festal day.   But with the young people, Goethe reports, it was otherwise.   They went past unmoved, indifferent, bored.   And he gives an illuminating explanation – they were born in evil times, had nothing good to remember and consequently had nothing to hope for. In other words, it is only the person who has memories who can hope.   The person who has never experienced goodness and kindness simply does not know what such things are.

Recently a counsellor who spends much of his time talking with people on the verge of despair, was speaking in similar terms about his own work, if his client succeeds in recalling a memory of some good experience, he may once again be able to believe in goodness and thus relearn hope, then there is a way out of despair.   Memory and hope are inseparable.   To poison the past does not give hope, it destroys its emotional foundations.

Sometimes Charles Dickens’ story strikes me as a vision of contemporary experience. This man who let himself be robbed of the heart’s memory by the delusion of a false liberation — do we not find him with us today, in a generation whose past has been poisoned by a particular program of liberation that has stifled hope?   When we read of the pessimism with which our young people look toward the future, we ask ourselves, Why?   Is it that, in the midst of material affluence, they have no memory of human goodness that would allow them to hope?   By outlawing the emotions, by satirising joy, have we not trampled on the root of hope?

These reflections bring us straight to the significance of the Christian season of Advent. For Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man.   Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God Who became a Child.   This is a healing memory, it brings hope.   The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.   All the feasts in the Church’s calendar are events of remembrance and hence events of hope.   These events, of such great significance for mankind, which are preserved and opened up by faith’s calendar, are intended to become personal memories of our own life history, through the celebration of holy seasons by means of liturgy and custom.   Our personal memories are nourished by mankind’s great memories, in turn, it is only by translating them into personal term,s that these great memories are kept alive.   Man’s ability to believe always depends in part on faith having become dear on the path of life, on the humanity of God having manifested itself through the humanity of men.   No doubt each of us could tell his own story here as to what the various memories of Christmas, Easter or other festivals mean in his life.

It is the beautiful task of Advent, to awaken in all of us, memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.

“Those who run
toward the Lord,
will never lack space…
One who is climbing
never stops,
he moves from
beginning to beginning,
according to beginnings,
that never end.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395)
Brother of St Basil the Greatadvent - those who run toward the Lord - st gregory of Nyssa 28 nov 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The CHRIST CHILD

Our Morning Offering – 1 October – O Jesus, dear Holy Child

Our Morning Offering – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus OCD (1873 – 1897)

O Jesus, dear Holy Child
By St Thérèse of the Child Jesus

O Jesus,
dear Holy Child,
my only treasure,
I abandon myself
to Thy every whim.
I seek no other joy
than that of calling forth
Thy sweet Smile.
Vouchsafe to me the graces
and the virtues of
Thy Holy Childhood,
so that on the day
of my birth into Heaven
the Angels and Saints
may recognise in Thy Spouse:
Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
Ameno jesus dear holy child by st therese of the child jesus 1 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 21 January – The Burning Babe

Thought for the Day – 21 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time –  and The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Seeing as it is the Memorial of St Agnes and we are thinking about martyrdom, I have included the post below, which is an excerpt from my post on St Robert Southwell’s Memorial – 21 February.    It is talk by Servant of God, Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000) (a hero!).   If you wish to read the whole post, it is here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/saint-of-the-day-21-february-st-robert-southwell-s-j-1561-1595-martyr/

“There are two books, prose writings, that Robert Southwell wrote that are worth reading.   They are of course written in 16th century English but, powerful, written to encourage his fellow Catholics to remain firm in their faith.   The one is called ‘Mary Magdalene’s Funeral Tears’.   And the other one is called ‘Epistle of Comfort‘.   We would probably call it a letter of encouragement.   

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.’”

The Burning Babe, by St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) 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.

It’s not surprising, it’s one of the great poems of the English language.burning babe excerpt - st robert southwell - mem 21 feb - 21 jan 2019 on martyrdom mem of st agnes

St Agnes, Pray for Us!bernardo-lorente-german-sevilla-1680-sevilla-1759-e2809csaint-agnese2809d-pray-for-us

St Robert Southwell, Pray for Us!st robert southwell - pray for us - 21 feb 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, HOMILIES, Papa FRANCIS, SAINT of the DAY, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Christmas Weekday Today’s Gospel: John 1:19–28

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Christmas Weekday Today’s Gospel: John 1:19–28

He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”…John 1:23

REFLECTION – “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.   Prepare for the encounter with this Child who will give our smile back to us.”…Pope Francis – General Audience, 7 December 2016john 1 23 - i am the voice crying in the wilderness - it is a voice - pope francis 2 jan 2019prepare for the encounter with this child - pope francis 2 jan 2019

PRAYER – Look with favour on our morning prayer, Lord and in Your saving love, let Your light penetrate the wilderness in our hearts.   May no sordid desires darken our minds, renewed and enlightened as we are, by Your heavenly grace. God our Father, You enriched Your Church and gave examples for us to follow in the life and teachings of Sts Basil and Gregory.   Grant that, learning Your truth with humility, we may practise it in faith and love.   Sts Basil and Gregory, pray for our beloved Church, pray for all Catholic Christians, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.sts-basil-and-gregory-pray-for-us-2-jan-2018

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Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – Christmas Day!

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – Christmas Day!

“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 Churchin-adoring-our-saviours-birth-22-dec-2017 (1)

Christmas Day is nothing if not a day of universal joy.
Children should rejoice because on this day, God Himself
became as one of them;
virgins, because a Virgin brought forth and remained unstained, 
even after giving birth;
wives, because one of their number, became the Mother of God;
sinners, because their Mediator and Saviour and Healer,
has come to redeem them;
the just, because their Reward, exceeding great,
has been born into the world.
In truth, all faithful Christians,
should rejoice, that their Creator and Lord,
has taken on human flesh and begun His reign
over the hearts of men,
not only as God
but also as the Son of Man
among the children of men.christmas day is nothing if not - st peter canisius - 25 dec 2018

“Never was a whimpering bit of humanity
so powerful that, while lying on His bed of straw, He could command the very stars
to direct whom He wished to visit Him.
Never a child so wise or so rich as this little Infant who was full of grace and incarnate truth.
Never anyone so marvellous as to be at once so small and so great, true God and true Man, the Uncreated Word and weak human flesh, mighty King and a lowly slave.
Never had any child so emptied Himself of all that He really was, in order to become a tiny, speechless, naked, unknown babe.”

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397) Doctor of the Churchnever was a whimpering bit of humanity - st peter canisius - 25 dec 2018

God’s sign is simplicity.
God’s sign is the baby.
God’s sign is that He makes Himself small for us.
This is how He reigns.
He does not come with power and outward splendour.
He comes as a baby – defenceless and in need of our help.
He does not want to overwhelm us with His strength.
He takes away our fear of His greatness.
He asks for our love – so He makes himself a child.
He wants nothing other from us than our love,
through which we spontaneously learn to enter into His feelings, His thoughts and His will – we learn to live with Him
and to practice with Him,
that humility of renunciation,
that belongs to the very essence of love.
God made Himself small,
so that we could understand Him, welcome Him and love Him.
The Fathers of the Church, in their Greek translation of the Old Testament,
found a passage from the prophet Isaiah that Paul also quotes,
in order to show how God’s new ways had already been foretold in the Old Testament.
There we read: “God made his Word short, he abbreviated it” (Is 10:23; Rom 9:28).
The Fathers interpreted this in two ways.
The Son Himself is the Word, the Logos – the eternal Word became small –
small enough to fit into a manger.
He became a child, so that the Word could be grasped by us.
In this way God teaches us to love the little ones.
In this way He teaches us to love the weak.
In this way He teaches us respect for children.
The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze towards all children who suffer
and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn.
Towards children who are placed as soldiers in a violent world;
towards children who have to beg;
towards children who suffer deprivation and hunger;
towards children who are unloved.
In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us –
it is the God who has become small who appeals to us.
Let us pray this night that the brightness of God’s love may enfold all these children.
Let us ask God to help us do our part, so that the dignity of children may be respected.
May they all experience the light of love,
which mankind needs so much more,
than the material necessities of life.”

Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, 2006god's sign - pope benedict - 19 dec 2017the son himself is the word, the logos - pope benedict 25dec2018

“Today, the Son of God is born and everything changes.
The Saviour of the world comes to partake of our human nature;
no longer are we alone and forsaken.
The Virgin offers us her Son as the beginning of a new life.
The true light has come to illumine our lives so often beset by the darkness of sin.
Today we once more discover who we are!
Tonight we have been shown the way to reach the journey’s end.
Now must we put away all fear and dread, for the light shows us the path to Bethlehem.
We must not be laggards; we are not permitted to stand idle. We must set out to see our Saviour lying in a manger. This is the reason for our joy and gladness: this Child has been “born to us”;
he was “given to us”, as Isaiah proclaims (cf. 9:5).
The people who for for two thousand years has traversed all the pathways of the world,
in order to allow every man and woman to share in this joy,
is now given the mission of making known “the Prince of peace”
and becoming His effective servant in the midst of the nations.”

Homily of Pope Francis on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, 2015today-we-once-more-discover-who-we-are-pope-francis-christmas-2015

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY NAME, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION, The SIGN of the CROSS

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – Blessed is He

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

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

Blessed is the Child, who gladdened Bethlehem today.
Blessed is the Babe, who today renewed the youth of humankind.
Blessed is the Fruit, who bowed Himself down to our hunger.
Blessed is the gracious One, who suddenly enriched our poverty
and supplied our need.
Blessed is He, whose tender mercy led Him to heal our infirmities.
Blessed is He, whom freedom crucified, because He permitted it.
Blessed is He, whom also the wood bore, because He gave it leave.
Blessed is He, whom the grave bound, when He set limits to Himself.
Blessed is He, whose free choice brough Him
to the womb and to birth.
Blessed is He, who sealed our soul and adorned and betrothed her to Himself.
Blessed is the beautiful One, who remade us in His image.
Blessed is He, who made our flesh a tabernacle for His hiddenness.
Blessed is He, who with our tongue spoke out His secrets.
Blessed is the Word of the most high, who became flesh today for us.
Amenblessed is he by st ephrem 25 dec 2018

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A Blessed and Holy Christmas to you all!

A Blessed and Holy Christmas to you all!
St John of the Cross will help us to truly appreciate this great Feast.my-christmas-wishes.2017

Romance on the Birth of Christ
By St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

Now at last the destined ages
Their appointed course had run,
When rejoicing from His chamber
Issued forth the Bridegroom Son.

He embraced His bride, and held her
Lovingly upon His breast,
And the gracious Mother laid Him
In the manger down to rest.

There He lay, the dumb beasts by Him,
They were fitly stabled there,
While the shepherds and the angels
Filled with melody the air.

So the feast of their espousals
With solemnity was kept
But Almighty God, an Infant,
In the manger moaned and wept.

So the bride at her betrothal
Did the bridal gifts arrange
But the Mother looked in wonder
At the marvellous exchange.

Man gave forth a song of gladness,
God Himself a plaintive moan,
Both possessing that which never
Had been hitherto their own.

romance on the birth of christ st john of the cross -24 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Nine – 24 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Nine – 24 December

Day Nine

The Birth of Jesus in the Stable at Bethlehem

Reflection:
When the edict was issued by the emperor of Rome that everyone should go to his own city to be enrolled, Joseph and Mary went to be enrolled in Bethlehem.
How much the Holy Virgin must have suffered on this journey of four days, over mountainous road and in the wintertime, with its cold rain and wind!
When they arrived in Bethlehem, the time of Mary’s delivery was near.
Joseph, therefore, sought some lodging where she might give birth to her Child.
But because they were so poor, they were driven away from the houses and even from the public inn, where other poor people had found shelter.
So in that night they went a short way out of the town and there found a cave that was used as a stable and here Mary entered.
But Joseph said to his virgin wife, “Mary, how can you spend the night in this cold, damp cave and here give birth to your Child?”   Mary however replied, “Dear Joseph, this cave is the royal palace in which the King of kings, the Son of God, wishes to be born.”

When the hour of her delivery had arrived, the holy Virgin, as she knelt in prayer, all at once saw the cave illumined with a dazzling light.
She lowered her eyes to the ground and there saw before her the Son of God now born on earth, a poor little Babe, crying and shivering in the cold.
Adoring Him as her God, she took Him to her breast and fondled Him.
Then she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him on the straw of the manger that stood in the cave.
Thus did the Son of God choose to be born among us to prove His infinite love for us.day nine christmas novena to the christ child - 24 dec 2018

Prayer:
O Adorable Infant Jesus!
I should not have the boldness to cast myself at Your feet,
if I did not know that You Yourself invite me to draw near You.
It is I who by my sins have made You shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem.
But since You have come on earth to pardon repentant sinners,
forgive me also, now that I am heartily sorry for having spurned You,
my Saviour and my God, who art so good and who have loved me so much.
In this night, in which You bestow great graces on so many souls,
grant Your heavenly consolation to this poor soul of mine also.
All that I ask of You is the grace to love You always, more and more,
from this day forward, with all my heart.
Set me all on fire with Your holy love.
I love You, O my God, who have become a Babe for love of me.
Never let me cease loving You evermore.
O Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother,
you can obtain everything from your Son by your prayers.
This is the only favour I ask of you, that I might love Him more and more.
Please pray to Jesus for me, I beg you. Amen.

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 24 December – Today, the 200th anniversary of the first performance of the beloved carol ‘Silent Night’

Thought for the Day – 24 December

Today, the 200th anniversary of the first performance

of the beloved carol ‘Silent Night’

Exactly 200 years ago today, 24 December 1818 — in a little church in what is now Austria, the world heard for the first time a poem set to music that eventually would be hailed as one of the most popular and beloved Christmas carols of all time.

“Silent Night” was sung for the first time that Christmas Eve at a Midnight Mass at St Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire.   The lyrics were written by a young Catholic priest, Father Joseph Mohr (1792–1848) and the music was composed by his friend, the local organist and schoolmaster, Francis Xavier Gruber (1787–1863).1024px-Stille_Nacht_Kapelle_Glasfenster_Josef_Mohr

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.Silent Night by Fr Joseph Mohr 1792-1848 24 dec 2018

Fr Joseph Mohr’s final resting place is a tiny Alpine ski resort, Wagrain.   He was born into poverty in Salzburg in 1792 and died penniless in Wagrain in 1848, where he had been assigned as pastor of the church.   He had donated all his earnings to be used for elder care and the education of the children in the area.   His memorial from the townspeople is the Joseph Mohr School located a dozen yards from his grave.   The overseer of St Johann’s, in a report to the bishop, described Mohr as “a reliable friend of mankind, toward the poor, a gentle, helping father.”

Many generations of the Mohr family lived in the Lungau region, in the southern part of the Province of Salzburg.   The pilgrimage church of St Nicholas in Mariapfarr, the little church where Father Mohr was the curate, is within walking distance of the former home of Joseph’s grandfather.   The climate is so invigorating and the Alpine air so clean, the town has become a major vacation destination for Europeans who want to get away from city life.   The pilgrimage church where Mohr celebrated Mass is undergoing the restoration of its centuries-old frescos.

The carol is believed to have caused a somewhat miraculous and well-documented Christmas truce during World War I.   On Christmas Eve 1914, British and French troops were encamped in trenches in a face-off against German troops in Ypres in Flanders, Belgium.   The two sides began singing Christmas carols to each other and “Silent Night” was the only hymn all the combatants knew.   Singing it together broke the ice and led to a temporary cease-fire with soldiers from both sides meeting in the middle “No Man’s Land” to trade tobacco and candy, play soccer and sing carols.

An early copy of Silent Night written by Joseph Mohr

As it marks its 200th anniversary, “Silent Night” remains as beloved as ever.   I am sure that all of us who attend Midnight Mass tonight, wherever we are in the world, will be singing Silent Night in one of the 300 languages into which it has been translated.

May this Holy Infant so tender and mild, bless us all!Holy infant so tender and mile bless us all 24 dec 2018

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Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) – Today’s Gospel: Luke 2:1–14

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) – Today’s Gospel:  Luke 2:1–14 (Midnight Mass)

24 December

Saint Joseph goes to Bethlehem with his holy spouse

“Consider that God had decreed that His Son be born, not in Joseph’s house but in a cavern and stable of beasts, in the poorest and most painful way a child can be born. For this reason, God caused Caesar to publish an edict, by which people were commanded to go and register each member of their family, in their place of origin. When Joseph heard this order, he was agitated and unsure whether or not the Virgin Mother should take the trip with him. But Mary, knowing of his dilemma and being well versed in the prophet, Micheas, responded, “Do not fear, I will go with you and the Lord will assist us.”
She then gathered together the swaddling clothese and the other miserable garments already prepared for the journey and departed with Joseph.
Let us accompany Mary and Joseph, on their journey and await the appearance of the King.
My beloved Redeemer, I know that in this journey, the angels in heaven accompanied You but I also wish to accompany You, O my only love. My soul has become filled with love for You, O my amiable Infant God. Unite and bind me to Yourself.”

Scripture

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.
Luke 2:4-6advent with st alphonsus - luke 2 4-5 and joseph also went up - let us accompany 24 dec 2018

Prayer

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amenrejoice rejoice emmanuel shall come to thee o israel-19-dec-2017

Advent Action
Today we are also pregnant with the fullness of the Advent season.   It is almost time for us to participate in the birthing of the Lord.   We ponder, like Mary, in our hearts, what this will mean for our lives.   We listen more intently to Scripture to hear the advice and directions that God is giving to us.   This day is the change we have been waiting for – this is the day promised us – this is the day which will alter our lives – everything, forever! Lord, grant me the grace to introduce You to the world in the place and time that You have assigned to me.   “I will sing praises to my God, all my life long.” (Psalm 146:2)advent with alphonsus - 24 dec 2018 -psalm 146 2 - i will sing praises to my god

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 24 December – O Sweet Child of Bethlehem

Our Morning Offering – 24 December – The Eve of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ

O Sweet Child of Bethlehem
By St Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

O sweet Child of Bethlehem,
grant that we may share with all our hearts,
in this profound mystery of Christmas.
Put into the hearts of men and women,
this peace for which they seek so desperately
and which You alone can give to them.
Help them to know one another better
and to live as brothers and sisters,
children of the same Father.
Reveal to them, also Your beauty,
holiness and purity.
Awaken in their hearts,
love and gratitude
for Your infinite goodness.
Join them altogether in Your love
and give us Your heavenly peace.
Ameno sweet child of bethlehem by st pope john XXIII 24 dec 2018

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Midnight Mass and Memorials of the Saints – 24 December

24 December – Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord/Mass at Midnight
In many Western Christian traditions 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 Jesu,; even many of those Christian denominations that do not regularly employ the word “Mass” uniquely use the term “Midnight Mass” for their Christmas Eve liturgy.

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)
St Euthymius of Nicomedia
St Eve the Matriarch
Bl Francesco dei Maleficii
St Gregory of Spoleto
St Hanno of Worms
Bl Ignacio Caselles García
St Irmina of Oehren
St Mochua of Timahoe
Bl Pablo Meléndez Gonzalo
St Paola Elisabetta Cerioli
Bl Peter de Solanes
Bl Venerandus of Clermont

All the Holy Ancestors of Jesus: A commemoration of all the holy ancestors of Jesus Christ.
• 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 surived are six of the names – Drusus, Lucian, Metrobius, Paul, Theotimus and Zenobius. They were martyred in Tripoli, Libya.

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Eight

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child

Day Eight
The Life Of The Child Jesus In Egypt And In Nazareth.

Reflection:
Our Blessed Redeemer spent the first part of His childhood in Egypt, leading there for several years, a life of poverty and humiliation.   In that land Joseph and Mary were foreigners and strangers, having there neither relatives nor friends.
Only with difficulty could they earn their daily bread by the labour of their hands.
Their home was poor, their bed was poor, their food was poor.   Here Mary weaned Jesus, dipping a piece of bread in water, she would put it in the sacred mouth of her Son.
Here she made His first little garments and clothed Him with them.
Here the Child Jesus took His first steps, stumbling and falling as other children first do.
Here too He spoke His first words but stammeringly. O wonder of wonders!
To what has not God lowered Himself for love of us!
A God stumbling and falling as He walks! A God stammering in His speech!

Not unlike this was the poor and humble life that Jesus led in Nazareth after His return from Egypt.   There, until He was thirty years old, He lived as a simple servant or workman in a carpenter shop, taking orders form Joseph and Mary.   “And He was subject to them.”   Jesus went to fetch the water, He opened and closed the shop, He swept the house, gathered the fragments of wood for the fire and toiled all day long, helping Joseph in his work.
Yet who is this?   God Himself, serving as a apprentice!
The omnipotent God, who with less than a flick of His finger created the whole universe, here sweating at the task of planing a piece of work!   Should not the mere thought of this move us to love Him?day-eight-novena-to-the-christ-child-23-dec-2017-no-2

Prayer:
O Jesus, my Saviour!
When I consider how, for love of me, You didst spend thirty years of Your life hidden
and unknown in a poor workshop, how can I desire the pleasures and honours and riches of the world?
Gladly do I renounce all these things, since I wish to be Your companion on this earth,
poor as you were, mortified and humble as You were,
so that I may hope to be able one day to enjoy Your companionship in heaven.
What are all the treasures and kingdoms of this world?
You, O Jesus, are my only treasure, my only Good!
I keenly regret the many times in the past when I spurned
Your friendship in order to satisfy my foolish whims.
I am sorry for them with all my heart.
For the future I would rather lose my life a thousand times
than lose Your grace by sin.
I wish never to offend You again but always to love You.
Help me to remain faithful to You until death.
O Mary, you are the refuge of sinners, you are my hope. Amen

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 23 December – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

Thought for the Day – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:39-45

In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Luke 1:39-40

“When the Holy Spirit touches a heart, He puts to flight all tepidity.   He loves diligence and promptitude and is the enemy of procrastination and delays in the performance of the divine will… “Mary set out in haste”…

What graces and favours must have descended upon Zechariah’s house when the Virgin entered it?   If Abraham received so many graces for having given hospitality to three angels in his tent… what graces and how many heavenly blessings must have descended upon the house of Zechariah into which entered the Angel of the Great Counsel (Is 9:5, Septuagint), that true Jacob and Divine Prophet, the true Ark of the Covenant, Our Lord enclosed within the womb of Mary!   Indeed, the whole house was overcome with joy; the infant leapt with joy, the father recovered his speech, the mother was filled with the Holy Spirit and received the gift of prophecy, for on seeing this blessed Lady enter her house she exclaimed:  “Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to visit me?”… And Mary, hearing what her kinswoman, Elizabeth, said in her praise, humbled herself and referred all the glory to God.   Then declaring that all her happiness came from the fact that God had looked upon His servant in her lowliness, she intoned that beautiful and wonderful canticle, the Magnificat.

Oh, how overwhelmed with joy we should be when visited by this divine Saviour in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar and by the interior graces we receive daily through the many inspirations and words He speaks to our hearts!”…St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

Come, Lord Jesus Come!come-lord-jesus-come-23 DEC 2018 HOLY COMMUNION AND ADVENT

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!holy mary mother of god pray for us sinners - 4 may 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

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

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Today’s Gospel:  Luke 1:39-45

23 December

God’s love is demonstrated by the birth of Jesus

“Consider the love of God.   It was always present but did not always appear.    It was first promised in many prophecies and foreshadowed by many figures but, at the birth of our Redeemer, this divine love did indeed appear.   But despite the birth of Jesus, why is it that so many people have not known God’s love and so many people seem ignorant of His love? This is the reason – “The light of the world has come into the world and humanity loves darkness rather than the light.” They have not known Him and they do not know Him because they do not wish to know Him, loving rather the darkness of sin than the light of grace.   Let each one determine this day not to be numbered among those unhappy souls who prefer the darkness.

O my holy Infant, now I see You lying on the straw, poor, afflicted and forsaken.   I have been one of those ungrateful ones who do not know You.    Help me never to forget You again.”

Scripture

Restore us, O God;
let thy face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:3advent with st alphonsus psalm 80 3 restore us o lord -23dec2018

Prayer

O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!emmanuel-king-and-lawgiver-23-dec-2017

Advent Action
Carrying You in her womb, Your mother rushes to meet Elizabeth.   What an awesome moment that meeting turns out to be!   You are already on duty as our Redeemer, sanctifying John in his mother’s womb. In fact, the child in Elizabeth’s womb, responds to Your presence, as the mother, filled with the Holy Spirit, bears witness to it.
As these final days of this preparatory Season draw to a close, there is still time to allow body, mind and heart to be attuned to the transforming intervention of Jesus, God-in-the-flesh.   There is still time to permit body, mind and heart to see “the plan” already at work in life, especially in those dark and difficult moments of life.   There is still time for body, mind and heart to cry out to the Holy Spirit for a zealous and determined connection with the Person Jesus, who pours His abundant joy into every aspect of our lives.
Lord, grant me the grace, to bring Your joy to all I meet along the path of life.  May Your presence in my heart, as in Mary’s womb, bring salvation to all!
“Being awake for God and for other people – that is the kind of ‘waking’ that Advent has in mind, the wakefulness which discovers the light and brightens the world!” (Pope Benedict XVI – The Light of a new humanity p 19)

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

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

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

Day Seven

Flight Of The Child Jesus Into Egypt

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

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

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

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

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 22 December

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

22 December

The sorrow that the ingratitude of humankind has caused Jesus

“Consider that Saint Francis of Assisi, during the days of the holy Nativity, went about the highways and woods with sighs and tears and inconsolable lamentations.   When asked the reason, he responded, “Why should I not weep when I see that love is not loved! I see a God who became human for the love of humanity and humanity that is ungrateful to this God.” Now, if this ingratitude caused so much sorrow in the heart of St Francis, consider how much more it must have afflicted the heart of Jesus Christ.   The loving infant does not deserve this response.   He came from heaven to suffer and die for us, so that we might love Him.   How can we remain ungrateful?

O my Jesus, I love You and will always love You.   Inflame my heart every day with the memory of Your love for me.   Mary, my mother, help me to live a life grateful to God, who has loved me, even after I have so greatly offended Him.”

Scripture

“…For he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.”…Luke 1:49

Prayer

O KING OF ALL NATIONS
and keystone of the Church
come and save man,
whom You formed from the dust!o-king-of-all-nations-22-dec-2017

Advent Action
“The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”   Mary looks back to the beginning of her song, where she said:  My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Only that soul for whom the Lord in His love does great things can proclaim His greatness with fitting praise and encourage those who share her desire and purpose, saying – ‘join with me in proclaiming the greatness of the Lord, let us extol His name together.'”…St Bede the Venerable (673-735) – Father & Doctor

Have you ever been overcome by the goodness of God?   Today’s Scripture presents the images of Hannah and Mary, who are both overcome by God’s goodness.   Lord, today, I too want to join Your mother in her hymn of thanksgiving.   On the threshold of Christmas, this is the best prayer that we humans can raise to the Almighty God.   Let us make this song our own – our continual song of gratitude!   Together with Mary, let us rejoice for the fulfilment of the promise of which You, already in her womb, are the fruit and proof.   Lord, make us too partners in the revolution that You begin, with Your incarnation – the revolution that pulls down the mighty and exalts the poor and the powerless.advent with st alphonsus - luke 1 49 for he who is mighty 22 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Six – 21 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Six – 21 December

Day Six 
God’s Mercy Revealed In His Coming Down From Heaven To Save Us.

Reflection:
Saint Paul says, “The goodness and kindness of God, our Saviour, has appeared.”
When the Son of God made Man appearedon earth, then was it seen how great is God’s goodness towards us.
Saint Bernard says that first of God’s power was manifested in the creation of the world
and His wisdom in its conservation but His merciful goodness was especially manifested later in His taking human nature on Himself, in order to save fallen mankind by His sufferings and death.
For what greater proof of His kindness towards us could the Son of God show us,
than in taking on Himself the punishment we had deserved?

See Him as a weak, newborn infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.   Unable to move or feed Himself, He has need of Mary to give Him a little milk to sustain His life.
Or see Him again in Pilate’s courtyard, tied with fast bonds to a column and there scourged from head to foot.
Behold Him on the way to Calvary, falling down from weakness under weight of the cross that He must carry.
Finally behold Him nailed to this tree of shame, on which He breathes His last amid pain and anguish.
Because Jesus Christ wished that His love for us should win all the love of our hearts for Himself,
He would not send an angel to redeem us but chose to come Himself, to save us by His Passion and death.
Had an angel been our redeemer, men would have had to divide their hearts
in loving God as their Creator and an angel as their redeemer;  but God, who desires men’s whole hearts, as He was already their Creator, wished also to be their Redeemer.day-six-novena-to-the-christ-child-21-dec-2017

Prayer:
O my Dear Redeemer!
Where should I be now, if You had not borne with me so patiently
but had called me from life while I was in the state of sin?
Since You have waited for me till now, forgive me quickly, O my Jesus,
before death finds me still guilty of so many offences
that I have committed against You.
I am so sorry for having vilely despised You, my sovereign Good,
that I could die of grief.
But You can not abandon a soul that seeks You.
If hitherto, I have forsaken You,
I now seek You and love You.
Yes, my God, I love You above all else;
I love You more than myself.
Help me, Lord, to love You always during the rest of my life.
Nothing else do I seek of You.
But this I beg of You, this I hope to receive from You.
Mary, my hope, do you pray for me.
If you pray for me, I am sure of grace.   Amen

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 December – The Memorial of St Peter Canisius (1521-1397) Doctor of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 21 December – The Memorial of St Peter Canisius (1521-1397) Doctor of the Church

God who is mighty,
has done great things for me,
holy is his name…

Luke 1:49luke-1-49.god who is mighty has done great things for me - 21 dec 2017

“While remaining the Mother of our Judge,
Mary is a mother to us, full of mercy.
She constitutes our protection.
She keeps us close to Christ
and she faithfully takes
the matter of our salvation
into her charge.”while-remaining-the-mother-of-our-judge-st-peter-canisius-21 dec 2016-image

“Never was a whimpering bit of humanity
so powerful that,
while lying on His bed of straw,
He could command the very stars
to direct whom He wished to visit Him.
Never a child so wise or so rich as this little Infant
who was full of grace and incarnate truth.
Never anyone so marvellous as to be at once so small
and so great, true God and true Man,
the Uncreated Word and weak human flesh,
mighty King and a lowly slave.
Never had any child so emptied Himself of all that He really was,
in order to become a tiny, speechless, naked, unknown babe.”

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397) Doctor of the Churchnever was a whimpering - st peter canisius 21dec2018

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

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 21 December

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

21 December

Jesus is a prisoner in the womb of Mary

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

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

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

Scripture

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

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

Prayer

O Radiant Dawn,
splendour of eternal light, sun of justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.o-radiant-dawn-21-dec-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in ADVENT, Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote of the Day – 20 December

Quote of the Day – 20 December

“Christ…took our nature, when He would redeem it,
He redeemed it by making it suffer in His own Person –
He purified it, by making it pure in His own Person.
He first sanctified it in Himself,
made it righteous,
made it acceptable to God,
submitted it to an expiatory passion
and then, He imparted it to us.
He took it,
consecrated it,
broke it
and said,
“Take and divide it among yourselves.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)christ took our nature when he would redeem it bl john henry 20dec2018