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, 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

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 20 December “God of Hope”

Our Morning Offering – 20 December

Advent Prayer – God of Hope

God of hope,
who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope,
the rock we stand upon,
be the centre, the focus of our lives
always and particularly this Advent time.
Through Him,
who is our hope,
our joy,
our love,
our peace,
in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever,
amen.Advent prayer -god of hope 20 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Four – 19 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Four – 19 December

Day Four
The Life Of Humiliation Which Jesus Led From His Birth.

Reflection:
The Sign which the angel gave the shepherds to help them find the newborn Saviour, points to His lowliness:  “This shall be a sign to you:  you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”    No other newborn baby who was wrapped in poor swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, a feeding trough for animals, could be found anywhere else but in a stable.     Thus in lowliness the King of heaven, the Son of God, chose to be born, because He came to destroy the pride that had been the cause of man’s ruin.
The prophets had already foretold that our Redeemer was to be treated as the vilest of men on earth and that He was to be overwhelmed with insults.   How much contempt had not Jesus indeed to suffer from men!   He was called a drunkard, a trickster, a blasphemer and a heretic.   What ignominies He endured in His Passion!   His own disciples abandoned Him;  one of them sold Him for thirty pieces of silver and another denied having ever known Him.   He was led in bonds through the streets like a criminal; He was scourged like a slave, ridiculed as a fool, crowned with thorns as a mock king, buffeted and spit upon and finally left to die, hanging on a cross between two thieves, as the worst criminal in the world.   “The noblest of all,” says Saint Bernard, “is treated as the vilest of all.”   But the Saint adds, “The viler Thou are treated, the dearer Thou art to me.   The more I see Thee, my Jesus, despised and put to shame, the more dear and worthy of my love dost Thou become to me.”day-four-novena-to-the-christ-child-19-dec-2017-no-2

Prayer:
O Dearest Saviour,
You have embraced so many outrages
for love of me,
yet I have not been able to bear one word of insult
without at once being filled with resentful thought,
I who have so often deserved to be trodden
under foot by the demons in hell!
I am ashamed to appear before You,
sinful and proud as I am.
Yet do not drive me from Your presence, O Lord,
even though that is what I deserve.
You have said, that You will not spurn,
a contrite and humbled heart.
I am sorry for the offences
I have committed against You.
Forgive me, O Jesus. I will not offend You again.
For love of me You have borne so many injuries;
for love of You, I will bear all the injuries that are done to me.
I love You, Jesus, who was despised for love of me.
I love You above every other good.
Give me the grace to love You always
and to bear every insult for love of You.
O Mary, recommend me to your Son;
pray to Jesus for me.
Amen.

Posted in ADVENT, Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION

Quote of the Day – 19 December

Quote of the Day – 19 December

“Having clothed Himself with a created essence,
He made it the instrument of His humiliation –
He acted in it,
He obeyed and suffered through it…
That Eternal Power, which, till then,
had thought and acted as God,
began to think and act as a man,
with all man’s faculties, affections
and imperfections, sin excepted.
Before He came on earth,
He was infinitely above joy and grief,
fear and anger,
pain and heaviness
but afterwards, all these properties
and many more,
were His as full as they are ours.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)having clothed himself - bl john henry newman no 3 19dec2018

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Our Morning Offering – 19 December 

Our Morning Offering – 19 December

A 10th Century Catholic Advent Prayer

Unknown Author

You are our eternal salvation,
The unfailing light of the world.
Light everlasting,
You are truly our redemption.
Grieving that the human race was perishing
through the tempter’s power,
without leaving the heights
You came to the depths
in Your loving kindness.
Readily taking our humanity
by Your gracious will,
You saved all earthly creatures,
long since lost,
Restoring joy to the world.
Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ,
and so possess us as Your shining dwellings.
By Your first coming, make us righteous;
At Your second coming, set us free:
So that, when the world is filled with light
and You judge all things,
We may be clad in spotless robes
and follow in Your steps, O King,
Into the heavenly hall.   Amen10th-cent-advent-prayer-you-are-our-eternal-salvation-16-dec-2017

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

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Three – 18 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Three – 18 December

Day Three
The Life Of Poverty Which Jesus Led From His Birth.

Reflection:
God so ordained that, at the time when His Son was to be born on this earth, the Roman emperor should issue a decree ordering everyone to go to the place of his origin and there be registered in the census.   Thus it came about that, in obedience to this decree, Joseph went to Bethlehem together with his virgin wife when she was soon to have her Child.
Finding no lodging either in the poor inn or in the other houses of the town, they were forced to spend the night in a cave that was used as a stable for animals and it was here that Mary gave birth to the King of heaven.   If Jesus had been born in Nazareth,   He would also, it is true, have been born in poverty but there He would at least have had a dry room, a little fire, warm clothes and a more comfortable cradle.   Yet He chose to be born in this cold, damp cave and to have a manger for a cradle, with prickly straw for a mattress, in order that He might suffer for us.

Let us enter in spirit into this cave of Bethlehem but let us enter in a spirit of lively faith.
If we go there without faith, we shall see nothing but a poor infant
and the sight of this lovely child shivering
and crying on his rough bed of straw may indeed move us to pity.
But if we enter with faith and consider that this Babe is the very Son, God,
who for love of us has come down on earth
and suffers so much to pay the penalty for our sins,
how can we help thanking and loving Him in return?day-three-novena-to-the-christ-child-18-dec-2017

Prayer:
O Dear Infant Jesus,
how could I be so ungrateful and offend You so often,
if I realised how much You have suffered for me?
But these tears which You shed,
this poverty which you embraced for love of me,
make me hope for the pardon of all the offences
I have committed against You.
My Jesus,
I am sorry for having so often turned my back on You.
But now I love You above all else.
“My God and my all!”
From now on You, O my God,
shall be my only treasure and my only good.
With Saint Ignatius of Loyola I will say to You,
“Give me the grace to love You; that is enough for me.”
I long for nothing else;
I want nothing else.
You alone are enough for me,
my Jesus, my life, my love.
O Mary, my Mother,
obtain for me the grace
that I may always love Jesus
and always be loved by Him. Amen

Posted in ADVENT, BREVIARY Prayers, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, 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))

18 December

Jesus made Himself a child to gain our confidence and our love.

“Consider that the Son of God has made Himself little in order to make us great. He has given Himself to us, that we might give ourselves to Him.   He has come to show us His love, that we may respond to it by giving Him ours.   Let us, therefore, receive Him with affection, let us love Him and call upon Him with all our needs.

“A child gives easily” says St Bernard. Children readily give whatever is asked of them. Jesus came into the world as a child to demonstrate that He was ready and willing to give all.   If we wish for light, Jesus has come to enlighten us.   If we desire strength, He will strengthen us.   If we wish for pardon, He has come to pardon us.   In short, He has come to give us all that we need.

O my Jesus, You have descended from heaven to give Yourself entirely to us.   How can we turn our backs on You?   I have been loved by You and I have also been ungrateful.  O my Redeemer, forgive the injuries that I have committed against You.”advent with st alphonsus - o my jesus 18dec 2018

Scripture

“It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep….Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.”
Romans 13:11,12

Prayer

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

Advent Action
Are we in the core group of Christians who embody and live the purest form of the Gospel?   Or do we find ourselves among the masses that acknowledge Jesus, enjoy being Christian but don’t pursue it at any deep level?   The two requirements in the Gospel are that we repent and believe.   If we repent, we do no wrong and speak no lies. If we believe with all our hearts, we follow the Star to the Manger.   Let these last few days be a time when we begin the journey to the Christmas core – to the Christ Child.   “Let us make ourselves ready to celebrate Christmas by contemplating Mary and Joseph- Mary, the woman full of grace who had the courage to entrust herself totally to the Word of God;  Joseph, the faithful and just man who chose to believe the Lord rather than listen to the voices of doubt and human pride.   With them, let us walk together toward Bethlehem.” ...Pope Francis – Angelus, 22 December 2013o-lord-and-ruler-18-december

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Two – 17 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Two – 17 December

Day Two
God’s Love Revealed In His Being Born An Infant.

Reflection:

When the Son of God became man for our sake, He could have come to earth as an adult man from the first moment of of His human existence, as Adam did when he was created.  But since the sight of little children draws us with a special attraction to love them, Jesus chose to make His first appearance on earth as a little infant and indeed as the poorest and most pitiful infant that was ever born.
“God wished to be born as a little babe,” wrote Saint Peter Chrysologus, “in order that He might teach us to love and not to fear Him.”
The prophet Isaiah had long before foretold that the Son of God was to be born as an infant and thus give Himself to us on account of the love He bore us:  “A child is born to us, a son is given to us.”

My Jesus, supreme and true God!
What has drawn You from heaven to be born in a cold stable, if not the love which You bear for us men?
What has allured You from the bosom of Your Father, to place You in a hard manger?
What has brought You from Your throne above the stars, to lay You down on a little straw?
What has led You from the midst of the nine choirs of angels, to set You between two animals?
You, who inflames the seraphim with holy fire, are now shivering with cold in this stable!
You, who sets the stars in the sky in motion, cannot now move unless others carry You in their arms!
You, who give men and beasts their food, has need now a little milk to sustain Your life!
You, who are the joy of heaven, do now whimper and cry in suffering!
Tell me, who has reduced You to such misery?
“Love has done it,” says Saint Bernard.
The love which You bear us men has brought all this on You!day-two-novena-to-the-christ-child-17-dec-20171

Prayer:

O Dearest Infant!
Tell me, what have You come on earth to do?
Tell me, whom do You seek?
Yes, I already know.
You have come to die for me, in order to save me from hell.
You have come to seek me, the lost sheep, so that,
instead of fleeing from You, I may rest in Your loving arms.
Ah my Jesus, my treasure, my life, my love and my all!
Whom will I love, if not You?
Where can I find a brother, a friend,
a spouse more loving and lovable than You are?

I love You, my dear God; I love You, my only good.
I regret the many years when I have not loved You
but rather spurned and offended You.
Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer;
for I am sorry that I have treated You thus and I regret it with all my heart.
Pardon me and give me the grace never more to withdraw from You
but constantly to love You in all the years that still lie before me in this life.
My love, I give myself entirely to You;
accept me and do not reject me as I deserve.
O Mary, you are my advocate.
By your prayers you obtain whatever you wish from your Son.
Pray to Him then to forgive me
and to grant me holy perseverance until death. Amen

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOVENAS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day One – 16 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day One – 16 December

DAY ONE
God’s Love Revealed In His Becoming Man.

Reflection:
Because our first parent Adam, had rebelled against God, he was driven out of paradise and brought on himself and all his descendants the punishment of eternal death.   But the son of God, seeing man thus lost and wishing to save him from death, offered to take upon Himself our human nature and to suffer death Himself, condemned as a criminal on a cross.

“But, My Son,” we may imagine the eternal Father saying to Him, “think of what a life of humiliations and sufferings You wilt have to lead on earth. You will have to be born in a cold stable and laid in a manger, the feeding trough of beasts.
While still an infant, You will have to flee into Egypt, to escape the hands of Herod.
After Your return from Egypt, You will have to live and work in a shop as a lowly servant,
poor and despised.
And finally, worn out with sufferings, You will have to give up Your life on a cross, put to shame and abandoned by everyone.”
“Father,” replies the Son, “all this matters not. I will gladly bear it all, if only I can save man.”

What should we say if a prince, out of compassion for a dead worm, were to choose to become a worm himself and give his own life blood in order to restore the worm to life? But the eternal Word has done infinitely more than this for us. Though He is the sovereign Lord of the world, He chose to become like us, who are immeasurably more beneath Him than a worm is beneath a prince and He was willing to die for us, in order to win back for us the life of divine grace that we had lost by sin.

When He saw that all the other gifts which He had bestowed on us were not sufficient to induce us to repay His love with love, He became man Himself and gave all of Himself to us.

“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us;” 
“He loved us and delivered Himself up for us.”christmas novena - day one - 16 dec 2017 God_s Love Revealed In His Becoming Man.

O Great Son of God,
You became man in order to make Yourself loved by men.
But where is the love that men give You in return?
You gave Your life blood to save our souls.
Why then are we so unappreciative that,
instead of repaying You with love,
we spurn You with ingratitude?
And I, Lord, I myself more than others have ill treated You.
But Your Passion is my hope.
For the sake of that love which led You to take upon Yourself
human nature and to die for me on the cross,
forgive me all the offences I have committed against You.
I love You, O Word Incarnate;
I love You, O infinite goodness.
Out of love for You, that I could die of grief for these offences.
Give me, O Jesus, Your love.
Let me no longer live in ungrateful
forgetfulness of the love You bear me.
I wish to love You always.
Grant that I may always preserve in this holy desire.
O Mary, Mother of God and my Mother,
pray for me that Your Son, may give me,
the grace to love Him always, unto death.
Amen.

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, PAPAL PRAYERS, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Uncategorized

Gaudete Sunday – The Blessing of the Christ Child Figurine

Gaudete Sunday – The Blessing of the Christ Child Figurine

Pope Benedict XVI St Peter’s Square
Third Sunday of Advent, 14 December 2008

This Sunday, the Third Sunday in the Season of Advent, is called “Gaudete Sunday”: “rejoice”, because the Entrance Antiphon of Holy Mass takes up St Paul’s words in the Letter to the Philippians where it says:  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice”.   And immediately after he explains the reason, because “The Lord is at hand” (Phil 4: 4-5).   This is the reason for joy.   But what does “the Lord is at hand” mean?   In what sense must we understand this “closeness” of God?   The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians of Philippi, is evidently thinking of Christ’s return and invites them to rejoice because it is certain.   Yet, St Paul in his Letter to the Thessalonians, warns that no one can know the moment of the Lord’s coming (cf. 1 Thes 5: 1-2) and puts people on guard against any kind of alarmism, as if Christ’s return were imminent (cf. 2 Thes 2: 1-2).

Thus the Church, illumined by the Holy Spirit, already at that time understood increasingly better that God’s “closeness” is not a question of space and time but rather of love:  love brings people together!

This coming Christmas will remind us of this fundamental truth of our faith and in front of the manger we shall be able to savour Christian joy contemplating in the newborn Jesus the Face of God who made Himself close to us out of love.

In this light, it gives me real pleasure to renew the beautiful tradition of the Blessing of the Christ Child figurines, the miniature statues of the Baby Jesus to be placed in the manger.   I address you in particular, dear boys and girls of Rome, who have come this morning with your Baby Jesus figurines that I now bless.   I invite you to join me, following attentively this prayer:

God, our Father
You so loved humankind
that You sent us Your only Son Jesus,
born of the Virgin Mary,
to save us and lead us back to You.

We pray that with Your Blessing
these images of Jesus,
who is about to come among us,
may be a sign of Your presence and
love in our homes.

Good Father,
give Your Blessing to us too,
to our parents, to our families and
to our friends.

Open our hearts,
so that we may be able to
receive Jesus in joy,
always do what He asks
and see Him in all those
who are in need of our love.

We ask you this in the name of Jesus,
Your beloved Son
who comes to give the world peace.

He lives and reigns forever and ever.
Amen.Gaudete sunday the blessing of the Christ child figurine - pope benedict 16dec2018

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Thought for the Day – 16 December 2018

Thought for the Day – 16 December 2018 – The Third ‘Gaudete’ Sunday of Advent

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 293

John is the voice but the Lord is the Word who was in the beginning.   John is the voice that lasts for a time, from the beginning, Christ is the Word who lives forever.

Take away the word, the meaning and what is the voice?   Where there is no understanding, there is only a meaningless sound.   The voice without the word strikes the ear but does not build up the heart.

However, let us observe what happens when we first seek to build up our hearts.   When I think about what I am going to say, the word or message is already in my heart.   When I want to speak to you, I look for a way to share with your heart what is already in mine.

In my search for a way to let this message reach you, so that the word already in my heart may find a place also in yours, I use my voice to speak to you.   The sound of my voice brings the meaning of the word to you and then passes away.   The word which the sound has brought to you is now in your heart and yet it is still also in mine.

When the word has been conveyed to you, does not the sound seem to say – the word ought to grow and I should diminish?   The sound of the voice has made itself heard in the service of the word and has gone away, as though it were saying – my joy is complete.   Let us hold on to the word;  we must not lose the word conceived inwardly in our hearts.

Do you need proof that the voice passes away but the divine Word remains?   Where is John’s baptism today?   It served its purpose and it went away.   Now it is Christ’s baptism that we celebrate.   It is in Christ that we all believe, we hope for salvation in Him.   This is the message the voice cried out.

Because it is hard to distinguish word from voice, even John himself was thought to be the Christ.   The voice was thought to be the word.   But the voice acknowledged what it was, anxious not to give offence to the word.   I am not the Christ, he said, nor Elijah, nor the prophet.   And the question came:  Who are you, then?   He replied:  I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness – Prepare the way for the Lord!

The voice of one crying in the wilderness is the voice of one breaking the silence.   Prepare the way for the Lord, he says, as though he were saying:  “I speak out in order to lead Him into your hearts but He does not choose to come where I lead Him, unless you prepare the way for Him.”

To prepare the way means to pray well – it means thinking humbly of oneself.  We should take our lesson from John the Baptist.   He is thought to be the Christ, he declares he is not what they think.   He does not take advantage of their mistake to further his own glory.

If he had said, “I am the Christ,” you can imagine how readily he would have been believed, since they believed he was the Christ even before he spoke.   But he did not say it, he acknowledged what he was.   He pointed out clearly who he was;  he humbled himself.

He saw where his salvation lay.   He understood that he was a lamp and his fear was that it might be blown out, by the wind of pride.”

I speak out in order to lead Him - st augustine - 16 dec 2018

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

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father and Doctor of the Churchthe-very-son-of-god-st-gregory-of-naziazen.17dec2017.gaudete sunday 2017

Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

 

come o come emmanuel - 16 dec 2018

 

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 15 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent

Quote/s of the Day – 15 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent

“Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for Him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.”

Thomas Merton OCSO (1915-1968)into this world this demented inn - thomas merton - 15 dec 2018

“At this Christmas, when Christ comes,
will He find a warm heart?
Mark the season of Advent,
by loving and serving the others,
with God’s own love and concern.”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

(Love:  A Fruit Always in Season)at this christmas when christ comes - st mother teresa 15 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The LAST THINGS

Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Grant us Your Light, O Lord

Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Tuesday of the Second week of Advent

Grant us Your Light, O Lord
By St Bede (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church
(From ‘On the Apocalypse’)

Grant us Your light, O Lord,
so that the darkness of our hearts,
may wholly pass away
and we may come at last,
to the light of Christ.
For Christ is that morning star,
who, when the night of this world has passed,
brings to His saints,
the promised light of life
and opens to them,
everlasting day.
Amen

grant us your light o lord - st bede - 15 dec 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SPEAKING of ....., The CHRIST CHILD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 October – Speaking of: Seeking Prof Clive Staples

Quote/s of the Day – 12 October

Speaking of:  Seeking Prof Clive Staples

“Once in our world,
a stable had something in it,
that was bigger,
than our whole world.”once-in-our-world-c-s-lewis-24-dec-2017 - no 2

“Enemy-occupied territory –
that is what this world is.
Christianity is the story of how,
the rightful king has landed,
you might say landed in disguise
and is calling us all, to take part,
in a great campaign of sabotage.”enemy-occupied-territory-c-s-lewis-19-april-speaking-of-becoming-a-saint

“Real joy
seems to me,
almost as unlike
security or prosperity,
as it is unlike
agony.”real joy - c s lewis - 12 oct 2018

“Do not waste time bothering
whether you “love” your neighbour;
act as if you did.
As soon as we do this we find
one of the great secrets.
When you are behaving as if
you loved someone,
you will presently come to love him.”do-not-waste-time-c-s-lewis-13-april-2018 - no 2

“There are two kinds of people –
those who say to God,
‘Thy will be done’
and those to whom God says,
‘All right, then, have it your way.'”there are two kinds of people - c s lewis - 12 oct 2018

“You can’t go back
and change the beginning
but you can start where you are
and change the ending.”you-cant-go-back-and-change-the-beginning-c-s-lewis-23-april-2018

“God whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our conscience
but shouts in our pains –
it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”god-whispers-to-us-in-our-pleasures-c-s-lewis-10-july-2018

“God, who foresaw your tribulation,
has specially armed you to go through it,
not without pain but without stain.”god-who-foresaw-your-tribulation-c-s-lewis-10-july-2018

“He died for us.
Why not live for Him?”he-died-for-us-c-s-lewis-13-oct-2017-no2

C S Lewis (1898-1963)

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgina nd Grandparents of Jesus

One Minute Reflection – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgina nd Grandparents of Jesus

How wonderful is God among his saints;  come, let us adore him…..Psalm 94how wonderful is godamong his saints - psalm 94 - 26 july 2018

REFLECTION – “Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple!   All creation is indebted to you.   For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts:  a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of Him.   Joachim and Anne, how blessed and spotless a couple!   You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says:  “By their fruits you will know them.”   The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your daughter.   For by the chaste and holy life you led together, you have fashioned a jewel of virginity:  she who remained a virgin before, during and after giving birth  . She alone for all time would maintain her virginity in mind and soul as well as in body.   Joachim and Anne, how chaste a couple!   While leading a devout and holy life in your human nature, you gave birth to a daughter nobler than the angels, whose queen she now is.” – from a sermon by Saint John Damascene (675-749) – Doctor of the Churchjoachim-and-anne-st-john-damascene- 26 july 2017

PRAYER – O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.   Sts Joachim and Anne, pray for us!  Amensts-anne-and-joachim-pray-for-us- 26 july 2017

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD

Marian Thought for the Day -15 May – “Mary’s Month” – Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Eastertide

Marian Thought for the Day -15 May – “Mary’s Month” – Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Eastertide

Mary is the “Mater Christi,” the Mother of Christ
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

EACH of the titles of Mary has its own special meaning and drift and may be made the subject of a distinct meditation. She is invoked by us as the Mother of Christ.   What is the force of thus addressing her?   It is to bring before us that she it is whom from the first was prophesied of and associated with, the hopes and prayers of all holy men, of all true worshippers of God, of all who “looked for the redemption of Israel” in every age before that redemption came.

Our Lord was called the Christ, or the Messias, by the Jewish prophets and the Jewish people.   The two words Christ and Messias mean the same.   They mean in English, the “Anointed.”   In the old time there were three great ministries or offices by means of which, God spoke to His chosen people, the Israelites, or, as they were afterward called, the Jews, viz., that of Priest, that of King and that of Prophet.   Those who were chosen by God for one or other of these offices, were solemnly anointed with oil—oil signifying the grace of God, which was given to them for the due performance of their high duties.   But our Lord was all three, a Priest, a Prophet and a King—a Priest, because He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins; a Prophet, because He revealed to us the Holy Law of God; and a King, because He rules over us. Thus He is the one true Christ.

It was in expectation of this great Messias that the chosen people, the Jews, or Israelites, or Hebrews (for these are different names for the same people), looked out from age to age.   He was to come to set all things right.   And next to this great question which occupied their minds, namely, When was He to come, was the question, Who was to be His Mother?   It had been told them from the first, not that He should come from heaven but that He should be born of a Woman.   At the time of the fall of Adam, God had said, that the seed of the Woman, should bruise the Serpent’s head.   Who, then, was to be that Woman thus significantly pointed out to the fallen race of Adam?   At the end of many centuries, it was further revealed to the Jews that the great Messias, or Christ, the seed of the Woman, should be born of their race and of one particular tribe, of the twelve tribes, into which that race was divided.   From that time every woman of that tribe hoped to have the great privilege of herself, being the Mother of the Messias, or Christ; for it stood to reason, since He was so great, the Mother must be great and good and blessed too. Hence it was, among other reasons, that they thought so highly of the marriage state, because, not knowing the mystery of the miraculous conception of the Christ, when He was actually to come, they thought that the marriage rite was the ordinance necessary for His coming.

Hence it was, if Mary had been as other women, she would have longed for marriage, as opening on her the prospect of bearing the great King.   But she was too humble and too pure for such thoughts.   She had been inspired to choose that better way of serving God, which had not been made known to the Jews—the state of Virginity.   She preferred to be His Spouse, to being His Mother.   Accordingly, when the Angel Gabriel announced to her, her high destiny, she shrank from it, till she was assured, that it would not oblige her, to revoke her purpose, of a virgin life devoted to her God.

Thus was it that she became the Mother of the Christ, not in that way, which pious women for so many ages had expected Him but, declining the grace of such maternity, she gained it by means of a higher grace.   And this is the full meaning of St Elizabeth’s words, when the Blessed Virgin came to visit her, which we use in the Hail Mary: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”   And, therefore, it is that, in the Devotion called the “Crown of Twelve Stars” we give praise to God, the Holy Ghost, through whom she was both, Virgin and Mother.

Mary, “Mater Christi,” the Mother of Christ

Pray for us!mary, mater christi - pray for us - 15 may 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 May – Mary’s Month!” – Monday of the Seventh Week of Eastertide

One Minute Reflection – 14 May – Mary’s Month!” – Monday of the Seventh Week of Eastertide

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions...Luke 2:46after three days they found - luke 2 46 - 14 may 2018

REFLECTION – “MARY: LOSING AND FINDING THE CHILD JESUS – “The Mother of God, who looked for her Son so anxiously when he was lost (through no fault of her own) and experienced such great joy in finding him, will help us retrace our steps and put right, whatever may be necessary when, because of our carelessness or our sins, we have been unable to recognise Christ.   With her help, we will know the happiness of holding Him in our arms once more and telling Him we will never lose Him again.”…St Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975) “Mother of God and Our Mother,” Friends of God, 278
Let us offer to our Mother today:
A good, sincere, sorrowful confession of our sins and failures, in the sacrament of Penance.the mother of god who looked for her son - st josemaria - 14 may 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, as You brought joy to the world, through the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, grant that through His Virgin Mother, we may constantly seek and recognise our Lord and Saviour and turn to Him in complete trust and love.   Mary, Mother of our Lord, bring your holy child to us.   Through Jesus Christ with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mother of god and our mother - mary pray for us - 14 may 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

One Minute Marian Reflection – 9 May “Mary’s Month!” – Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

One Minute Marian Reflection – 9 May “Mary’s Month!” – Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.   For today in the city of David, a saviour has been born to you, who is Messiah and Lord...Luke 2:10-11

REFLECTIONMARY:  WELCOMING THE SHEPHERDS:   “You must look at the Child in the manger.   He is our Love.   Look at Him, realising that the whole thing is a mystery. We need to accept this mystery on faith and use our faith to explore it very deeply.   To do this, we must have the humble attitude of a Christian soul.” …St Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975) “Christ Triumphs through Humility,” Christ is Passing by 13.
Let us offer to our Mother today:   

Small hidden sacrifices,
especially those that go against the grain.you must look at the child in the manger - st josemaria - 9 may 2018

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your incarnate Word fills us with the new light He brought to men.   Let the light of faith in our hearts shine through all that we do and say.   Grant that through Mary, mother of Christ and our mother and protector, by her prayers and solace, we may learn humility and true faith.   We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord, with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.holy mary mother of god - pray for us - 9 may 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CONSECRATION Prayers, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, VOCATIONS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Thought for the Day – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

On this holy feast-day we each have an opportunity to consecrate our lives anew to the Lord.    How do we do this?    We can simply make a prayer of re-dedication to God which can take many forms.    It can be a simple heartfelt prayer reaffirming our baptismal promises or a re-visiting of our religious or marriage vows.    Or it can be a prayer which asks the Holy Spirit to renew our sense of vocation as a priest or religious or as a lay person in our chosen job, trade or profession.
We gave our life to the Lord when we were baptised but the call to conversion continues to resound throughout our lives and ‘this second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole church’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1428).    A re-dedication or renewal of vows or promises is a movement of conversion within our heart and is always a work of the Holy Spirit.
Today, step out in faith, whatever your vocation, whatever your calling and give your life to the Lord, in the assurance of God’s grace, blessing and renewal in the power of the Holy Spirit.

LET US PRAY FOR ALL CONSECRATED MEN & WOMEN AND FOR VOCATIONS:

Loving God, You call all who believe in You
to grow perfect in love
by following in the footsteps
of Christ Your Son.
Call from among us more men and women
who will serve You as religious.
Open the hearts of many, raise up
faithful servants of the Gospel, dedicated,
holy priests, sisters, brothers and deacons,
who will spend themselves for Your people
and their needs.
Bless those who are serving now
with courage and perseverance.
Grant that many will be inspired by their
example and faith.
By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign
of Your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.prayer for the consecrated and vocations - 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD

Quote of the Day – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Quote of the Day – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

“The glorious St Simeon also was very happy…
to carry Him as did Our Lady…
we do this when we endure with love
the labours and pains He sends us,
that is to say, when the love which we bear
to the Law of God makes us find His yoke easy
and pleasing, so that we love these pains and labours,
and gather sweetness in the midst of bitterness.
This is nothing else but to carry Our Lord in our arms.
Now if we carry Him in this way,
He will, without doubt, Himself carry us.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchthe glorious st simeon - st francis de sales - 2 feb 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD, Uncategorized

One Minute Reflection – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

One Minute Reflection – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered...Hebrews 5: 7-9although he was a son - hebrews 5 - 7-9

REFLECTION – “When Mary let Simeon take the Son of the Promise into his arms, the old man began to sing of his dreams.    Whenever she puts Jesus in the midst of His people, they encounter joy.    For this alone will bring back our joy and hope, this alone will save us from living in a survival mentality.    Only this will make our lives fruitful and keep our hearts alive:  putting Jesus where He belongs, in the midst of His people…Hence, it is all the more important for consecrated men and women to be one with Jesus, in their lives and in the midst of these great changes (in the world)…Putting Jesus in the midst of His people means having a contemplative heart, one capable of discerning how God is walking through the streets of our cities, our towns and our neighbourhoods.  Putting Jesus in the midst of His people means taking up and carrying the crosses of our brothers and sisters.  It means wanting to touch the wounds of Jesus in the wounds of a world in pain, which longs and cries out for healing.”…Pope Francis on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life – 2 February 2017world day consecrated life 2018

PRAYER – May the Lord renew in you and in all consecrated people each day the joyful response to His freely given and faithful love.   Dear brothers and sisters, like lighted candles, always and everywhere shine with the love of Christ, Light of the world.   May Mary Most Holy, the consecrated Woman, help you to live to the full, your special vocation and mission in the Church for the world’s salvation.   And may we all follow our Lord in obedience. Amen!