Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – 2 February

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, a day that is also known as Candlemas.

The Presentation of the Lord is a second ‘epiphany’—revealing Jesus as the Messiah through the canticle of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess.   Christ, the Light of the World, is revealed in obedience to the Old Lawsand in creation of the new. Traditionally, in recognition of the saving light of Christ, this feast was referred to as “Candlemas,” and marked by candlelight processionals and Masses.

The Presentation of the Lord commemorates the Lord Jesus’ participation in a ritual encoded in the Mosaic Law, in which a newborn child had to be “redeemed” through the performance of a prescribed sacrifice. Christ “embeds” Himself through his Incarnation in the people He has chosen to be His own.   He makes himself an Israelite and accepts that people and culture as His own.   His willingness to participate in this ritual indicates the election of Israel by God in terms of its mission to bear into the world the divine presence and to become the means through which communion with the one, true God would be extended to the whole world.presentation of the lord

The event of the Lord’s Presentation also foreshadows His Paschal Mystery.   Christ will make of His suffering and death a sacrifice, a redemptive offering in which humanity’s reconciliation with God will be accomplished.   The Lord will be revealed, in the event of Christ’s passion, to be a God who is willing to forgive, even to the point of placing himself in the position of the sinner! Such is God’s solidarity with humanity in Christ!

The readings for today all orientate us toward Christ’s revelation as priest.

The prophet Malachi envisions the divine presence entering the temple and once this happens, the God of Israel reigns as the ruler of Israel, effecting the restoration of His people and setting them all in right relationship with Himself.   Christ in His Incarnation is this divine presence and His entry into the temple is happening at the moment of his Presentation.

The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that Christ’s sacrifice was to enter into the fullness of our humanity by accepting for Himself a human nature and uniting it to His divine nature.   Christ does this for our benefit and through this Incarnation makes of Himself a gift that is for us.

In this respect, Christ is a priest, the sacrifice that He offers is Himself and the beneficiary of this sacrifice is all of us.

The Gospel of Luke highlights the event of Christ’s presentation in the temple as the revelation of the divine presence, which the prophet Ezekiel had seen abandoning the temple centuries earlier, returning to the great sanctuary.   Christ is the divine high priest who comes to His temple to offer sacrifice but more than this, Christ is the divine presence.   With the arrival of the divine presence, a new age for Israel and for the world begins- the age of the Messiah.

Simeon and Anna can see this revelation and appreciate it.   For them the moment is as profound as it is bittersweet, for they know that with the beginning of this new age for Israel, the previous era has ended.   Their mission is now complete.   The Israel of the covenant, the prophets, the law, the temple and the kingdom has been brought to its fulfilment.   All these divine gifts were foreshadowings of the greatest of all divine Gifts- Christ the Lord- God with us.

The gifts of Israel will be returned to the world but they will all be transformed in Christ, becoming what we know and experience as the Church.

Candles that are used in the Church’s rituals are often blessed on this day and a procession is recommended with candles to commemorate the entrance of Christ into the temple.

The symbolism of the candle is meant to recall the divine presence, manifested to Israel at the time of the Exodus as a “pillar of fire.”   This “pillar of fire” led the Israelites from bondage in Egypt to the land of God’s promise.   Christ is this “pillar of fire” who leads humanity from the bondage of sin and death to the promises of resurrection and eternal life. (Fr Steve Grunow)

It is Christ, the divine fire, that leads us still…presentation and simeonsimeonSOD-0202-PresentationoftheLord-790x480

 

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and Feasts of Our Lady & Memorials of the Saints – 2 February

Presentation of the Lord (Feast):   The feast commemorates the purifying of the Blessed Virgin according to the Mosaic Law, 40 days after the birth of Christ, and the presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple.   The feast was introduced into the Eastern Empire by Emperor Justinian I and is mentioned in the Western Church in the Gelasian Sacramentary of the 7th century.   Candles are blessed on that day in commemoration of the words of Holy Simeon concerning Christ “a light to the revelation of the Gentiles” (Luke 2) and a procession with lighted candles is held in the church to represent the entry of Christ, the Light of the World, into the Temple of Jerusalem. “Candlemas” is still the name in Scotland for a legal term-day on which interest and rents are payable (2 February).
Patronage
• Jaro, Philippines
• Western Visayas, Philippines

Our Lady of Candelaria
Our Lady of Good Success
Santa María de Santa Anita

World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life:  Begun in 1997 by St Pope John Paul II, the World Day for Consecrated Life was intended to serve three purposes:
• to praise the Lord and thank him for the great gift of consecrated life;
• to promote a knowledge of and esteem for the consecrated life by the entire People of God;
• to allow those in consecrated life to celebrate together the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them, to discover by a more illumined faith the rays of divine beauty, spread by the Spirit in their way of life and to acquire a more vivid consciousness of their irreplaceable mission, in the Church and in the world;
It serves an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary contributions of men and women religious, as well as a time to pray for vocations to the consecrated life.

St Adalbald of Ostrevant
St Adeloga of Kitzingen
St Agathodoros of Tyana
St Andrea Carlo Ferrari
St Apronian the Executioner
St Bruno of Ebsdorf
St Burchard of Wurzburg
St St Candidus the Martyr
Catherine del Ricci
St Columbanus of Ghent
St Cornelius the Centurion
St Felician the Martyr
St Feock
St Firmus of Rome
St Flosculus of Orléans
St Fortunatus the Martyr
St Giovanni Battista Clemente Saggio
St Hilarus the Martyr
St Jean Theophane Venard
St Jeanne de Lestonnac
St Lawrence of Canterbury
Bl Louis Alexander Alphonse Brisson
Bl Maria Domenica Mantovani
St Marquard of Hildesheim
St Mun
Bl Peter Cambiano
St Rogatus the Martyr
St Saturninus the Martyr
St Sicharia of Orleans
St Simon of Cassia Fidati
Bl Stephen Bellesini
St Theodoric of Ninden
St Victoria the Martyr

Martyrs of Ebsdorf: Members of the army of King Louis III of France under the leadership of Duke Saint Bruno of Ebsdorf. The martyrs died fighting invading pagan Norsemen, and defending the local Christian population. Four bishops, including Saint Marquard of Hildesheim and Saint Theodoric of Ninden, eleven nobles, and countless unnamed foot soldiers died repelling the invaders. They were martyred in the winter of 880 in battle at Luneberg Heath and Ebsdorf, Saxony (modern Germany).

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The CHRIST CHILD

Sunday Reflection – 7 January 2018 – The Feast of Epiphany

Sunday Reflection – 7 January 2018 – The Feast of Epiphany

Each Sunday towards the end of Mass, we come to the altar rail, receive Holy Communion, return to our seats and sit or kneel quietly for a while in contemplation.   But in these quiet moments after we have received Communion, what prayers do we offer up?  Perhaps we don’t pray at all but in those quiet moments our thoughts turn to other things, like Sunday lunch or a planned visit to visit the grandchildren after Mass.

I recently came across this wonderful article, written by a priest.  He writes:

“A few years ago it became evident to me that my prayers after distributing Holy Communion to my congregation were wholly inadequate.   As I sat on my seat on the altar I was finding it extremely difficult to express into words, what this moment meant to me.   Looking through my book collection I read all the prayers I could get my hands on but none seemed to be what I was looking for, so I gave up in frustration.   However, each day I would pray to Mary our Blessed Mother asking her to teach me how to express my innermost feelings to the Lord.   Sometime later I was preaching a retreat to a group of nuns when one of the elderly nuns came to visit me and said she felt she had a problem concerning her prayers after receiving Holy Communion.   Feeling I had at last found a kindred spirit, I asked her what she usually prayed and she replied, ‘I don’t pray anything, I just sit in silence and allow Him to love me and to teach me to love Him.’   At that moment I realised that Mary had indeed answered my prayers.

“I just sit in silence and allow Him to love me and to teach me to love Him.”

What a simple, but moving description of what this moment means to us all.

“Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.   When we feel that His mysteries are too severe for us and occasion us to doubt, let us earnestly wait on Him for the gift of humility and love.    Those who love and who are humble will apprehend them, carnal minds do not seek the and proud minds are offended at them but while love desires them, humility sustains them.

Let us pray Him to give us an earnest longing after Him – a thirst for His presence – an anxiety to find Him – a joy on hearing that He is to be found, even now, under the veil of sensible things – and a good hope that we shall find Him there.

Blessed indeed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.   They have their reward in believing, they enjoy the contemplation of a mysterious blessing, which does not even enter into the thoughts of other men and while they are more blessed than others, in the gift vouchsafed to them, they have the additional privilege of knowing that they are vouchsafed it.”….Blessed John Henry Newman  (1801-1890) – Parochial & Plain Sermons, Vol. VI, no. 11let us pray him to give us - bl john henry newman - 7 jan 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY, The CHRIST CHILD

Thought for the Day – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ Excerpt from Pope Francis Homily for Epiphany 2017

Thought for the Day – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Excerpt from Pope Francis Homily for Epiphany 2017

The Magi thus personify all those who believe, those who long for God, who yearn for their home, their heavenly homeland.   They reflect the image of all those who in their lives have not let their hearts be anaesthetised.
A holy longing for God wells up in the heart of believers because they know that the Gospel is not an event of the past but of the present.   A holy longing for God helps us keep alert in the face of every attempt to reduce and impoverish our life.   A holy longing for God is the memory of faith, which rebels before all prophets of doom.   That longing keeps hope alive in the community of believers, which from week to week continues to plead: “Come, Lord Jesus”.
We want to worship.   Those men came from the East to worship and they came to do so in the place befitting a king:  a palace.   This is significant.   Their quest led them there, for it was fitting that a king should be born in a palace, amid a court and all his subjects. For that is a sign of power, success, a life of achievement.   One might well expect a king to be venerated, feared and adulated.   True, but not necessarily loved.   For those are worldly categories, the paltry idols to which we pay homage:   he cult of power, outward appearances and superiority.   Idols that promise only sorrow, enslavement, fear.

It was there, in that place, that those men, come from afar, would embark upon their longest journey.   There they set out boldly on a more arduous and complicated journey. They had to discover that what they sought was not in a palace but elsewhere, both existentially and geographically.   There, in the palace, they did not see the star guiding them to discover a God who wants to be loved.   For only under the banner of freedom, not tyranny, is it possible to realise that the gaze of this unknown but desired king does not abase, enslave, or imprison us.   To realise that the gaze of God lifts up, forgives and heals.   To realise that God wanted to be born where we least expected, or perhaps desired, in a place where we so often refuse him.   To realise that in God’s eyes there is always room for those who are wounded, weary, mistreated, abandoned.   That His strength and His power are called MERCY.   For some of us, how far Jerusalem is from Bethlehem!for only under the banner of freedom - pope francis 2017 - 7 jan 2018

Herod is unable to worship because he could not or would not change his own way of looking at things.   He did not want to stop worshipping himself, believing that everything revolved around him.   He was unable to worship, because his aim was to make others worship him.   Nor could the priests worship, because although they had great knowledge, and knew the prophecies, they were not ready to make the journey or to change their ways.

The Magi experienced longing, they were tired of the usual fare.   They were all too familiar with, and weary of, the Herods of their own day.   But there, in Bethlehem, was a promise of newness, of gratuitousness.   There something new was taking place.   The Magi were able to worship because they had the courage to set out.   And as they fell to their knees before the small, poor and vulnerable Infant, the unexpected and unknown Child of Bethlehem, they discovered the glory of God.and as they fell - pope francis - epiphany 2017 - 7 jan 2018

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

Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

“If we approach with faith,
we too will see Jesus….;
for the Eucharistic table
takes the place of the crib.
Here the Body of the Lord is present,
wrapped not in swaddling clothes
but in the rays of the Holy Spirit.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchif we approach with faith - st john chrysostom - 7 jan 2018

“Truth, by which the world is held together,
has sprung from the earth,
in order to be carried in a woman’s arms.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchtruth, by which the world - st augustine - 7 jan 2018

“Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see:
heaven on earth,
earth in heaven,
man in God,
God in man,
one whom the whole universe cannot contain
now enclosed in a tiny body.
As they look, they believe and do not question,
as their symbolic gifts bear witness:
incense for God,
gold for a king,
myrrh for one who is to die.”

St Peter Chrysologus (406-450) Doctor of the Churchtoday the magi gaze in deep wonder - st peter chrysologus - 7 jan 2018

“What are you doing, O Magi?
Do you adore a little Babe, in a wretched hovel,
wrapped in miserable rags?
Can this Child be truly God? …
Are you become foolish, O Wise Men …
Yes, these Wise Men have become fools
that they may be wise!”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Churchwhat are you doing o magi - st bernard - 7 jan 2018

“It is no magic formula He brings
because He knows that the salvation
He offers must pass through human hearts.
What does He first do?
He laughs and cries and sleeps defenceless,
as a baby, though He is God incarnate.
And He does this,
so that we may fall in love with Him,
so that we may learn to take Him in our arms….”it is no magic formula he brings - st josemaria - 7 jan 2018

“As you kneel at the feet of the child Jesus
on the day of His Epiphany
and see Him a king bearing none
of the outward signs of royalty,
you can tell Him:
“Lord, take away my pride;
crush my self-love,
my desire to affirm myself
and impose myself on others.
Make the foundation of my personality
my identification with you.”

St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)
Christ is passing by, 31as you kneel at the feet of the child jesus - st josemaria - 7 jan 2018

“As pilgrims of faith, the Wise Men themselves
became stars shining in the firmament of history
and they show us the way.
The saints are God’s true constellations,
which light up the nights of this world,
serving as our guides.
Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Philippians,
told his faithful that they must shine like stars in the world.”

Extract from the Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI
Vatican Basilica, Sunday, 6 January 2013benedict-on-epiphany.7 jan 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – the Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved”  and the 3rd Octave Day

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – the Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved”  and the 3rd Octave Day

Beloved:  What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life (for the life was made visible;  we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us.…1 John 1:1-21 john 1 - 1 to 2

REFLECTION – “Life itself was therefore revealed in the flesh. In this way what was visible to the heart alone could become visible also to the eye and so heal men’s hearts. For the Word is visible to the heart alone, while flesh is visible to bodily eyes as well.   We already possessed the means to see the flesh but we had no means of seeing the Word. The Word was made flesh so that we could see it, to heal the part of us, by which we could see the Word…”…St Augustine (354-430) – Father & Doctor of the Churchlife itself was therefore revealed - st augustine - 27 dec 2017

PRAYER – Almighty God, who through Your Apostle John, unlocked for us the hidden treasures of Your Word, grant that we may grasp with fuller understanding, the message he so admirably proclaimed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st-john-pray-for-us - 2016

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD

Our Morning Offering – 27 December – the Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved” and the 3rd Octave Day

Our Morning Offering – 27 December – the Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist  “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved” and the 3rd Octave Day

Rejoice! For Jesus Christ is Born
By St Augustine (354-430) – Father & Doctor of the Church

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.
Amen.rejoice, for jesus christ is born - st Augustine - 27 dec 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, The CHRIST CHILD

Our Morning Offering – 26 December – The Memorial of St Stephen the First Martyr and the Second Day in the Octave of Christmas

Our Morning Offering – 26 December – The Memorial of St Stephen the First Martyr and the Second Day in the Octave of Christmas

Blessed Throne
Poem/Prayer by Daryl Madden

In moment approaching
Through grace that is shone
A kneeling before
Your blessed throne

One of great honour
Our Creator, our King
An underserved sinner
With nothing to bring

In fear and trembling
A respect that is due
Our life in Your hands
All laid before You

See now a manger
Son hung on a tree
A passion of love
Is blessed with mercy

Poem/Prayer by Daryl Madden
From On a Bench of Wood
Find him here: https://darylmadden.wordpress.com/about/blessed throne - 26 dec 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

“The Lord entered her
and became a servant;
the Word entered her
and became silent within her;
thunder entered her
and His voice was still;
the Shepherd of all, entered her
He became a Lamb in her
and came forth bleating.”

St Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe lord entered her - st ephrem - 25 dec 2017

“The One who is seated
on the throne of heaven
is laid in a stable.
A God Who is beyond access
is touched by the hands
of human beings!”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe one who is seated - st john chrysostom - 2016

“The angel sent of God, Gabriel,
had said to blessed Mary:
“The Holy Ghost shall come upon you
and the power of the Most High
shall overshadow you.
And therefore also the Holy,
which shall be born of you,
shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
But of this same Spirit,
of whom Christ was born
out of the womb
of the immaculate Mother,
is reborn the Christian,
out of the womb of holy Church.
True peace for him lies solely,
in not being separated from the will of God,
in loving those things only,
which are beloved of God.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe angel sent of god - st pope leo the great - 25 dec 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God…Isaiah 52:10isaiah 52 10

REFLECTION – “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 HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, 2015today we once more discover who we are!-pope francis christmas 2015

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 the ages, to bring Your light to all nations.   Come, come, let us adore our Holy Babe of Bethlehem, through whom we pray, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever amen.o come let us adore him - dec 2016

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – Christmas Eve!

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – Christmas Eve!

“He was created of a mother whom He created.
He was carried by hands that He formed.
He cried in the manger in wordless infancy.
He, the Word,
without whom all human eloquence is mute.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchhe was created - st augustine - 24 dec 2017

“Christ is the Morning Star,
Who, when the night
of this world is past,
gives to His saints,
the promise of the light of life,
and opens everlasting day.”

St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father & Doctor of the Churchchrist-is-the-morning-star-st-bede-24-dec-2017

“Once in our world,
a stable had something in it,
that was bigger,
than our whole world.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963) – “The Last Battle” (1956)once-in-our-world-c-s-lewis-24-dec-2017

“I will honour Christmas in my heart
and try to keep it all the year.”

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) – A Christmas Caroli will honour - charles dickens - 24 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD

Our Morning Offering – 24 December

Our Morning Offering – 24 December

Nativity Prayer
By St Bernard of Clarivaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

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.
Amennativity prayer of st bernard - 24 dec 2017

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Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Eight – 23 December

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?

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. AmenDAY EIGHT NOVENA TO THE CHRIST CHILD - 23 DEC 2017 - NO 2

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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.

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 offenses
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. AmenDAY SIX NOVENA TO THE CHRIST CHILD - 21 DEC 2017

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD

Quote of the Day – 20 December – Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

Quote of the Day – 20 December – Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

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

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Churchif we would please this divine infant - st alphonsus - 20 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

Wednesday of Gaudete Week – 20 December 2017

Wednesday of Gaudete Week – 20 December 2017

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

Daily Meditation:
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob….Psalm 24:5-6

We have heard the promises and we have begged for more hope.
Today we pray for His saving help and hear His personal invitation
to turn to Him, to find our safety in Him alone.

How might I yet place my trust in God’s love for me?
How might I yet surrender my independence?
How might my heart grow in anticipation and welcome
of the fullness of His coming to me this year?

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end…Luke 1:32-33

Today’s Daily Reflection – Intercessions:
The Word of God humbled himself to dwell with us so
that we might see his glory.
Rejoicing in hope, let us call upon him:
Emmanuel, be with us.
Ruler, just and righteous,
– bring justice to the poor and the oppressed.
King of peace, You beat swords into plowshares and spears
into pruning hooks,
– turn hatred into love and our grievances into forgiveness.
You do not judge by appearances,
– recognize those who are Your own.
When You come with power and might upon the clouds,
– grant that we may come before You without shame.

O KEY OF DAVID,
and Sceptre of the House of Israel,
who opens and no one shuts,
who shuts and no one opens:
Come and bring forth the captive from his prison,
he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.o key of david - 20 dec 2017

Closing Prayer:
Dearest Lord,
Your invitation settles in my soul:
“Turn to me and be safe.”
Something lets go inside when I take those words into my heart.
They are an invitation for me to rest.
So many moments of my life are filled with my own needs.
“Turn to me and be safe,” You say to me again.
Give me the great grace to let go from the depths of my soul.
Help me to be released
from the demons I cling to with so much fear.
I hear Your invitation to ask for help
and I begin to list all the places in my life that need healing.
“Turn to me and be safe.”
You promise Your saving help
and I know it is the only thing that can heal me.
I feel Your presence in my life
and am aware of the growing joy I feel
as I anticipate celebrating the birth of Your son.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.wednesday of the third week - 20 dec 2017

 

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, 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 offenses
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, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

Thought for the Day – 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-202) on the Incarnation, the Word of God born for us as Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, Son of Man, the sign of our salvation.   He comes to restore God’s likeness in us and lead us to glory.

God is man’s glory.   Man is the vessel which receives God’s action and all his wisdom and power.

Just as a doctor is judged in his care for the sick, so God is revealed in his conduct with men.   That is Paul’s reason for saying:   God has made the whole world prisoner of unbelief that he may have mercy on all.   He was speaking of man, who was disobedient to God and cast off from immortality and then found mercy, receiving through the Son of God the adoption he brings.

If man, without being puffed up or boastful, has a right belief regarding created things and their divine Creator, who, having given them being, holds them all in his power and if man perseveres in God’s love and in obedience and gratitude to him, he will receive greater glory from him.   It will be a glory which will grow ever brighter until he takes on the likeness of the one who died for him.

He it was who took on the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and rid the flesh of sin, as now condemned.   He wanted to invite man to take on his likeness, appointing man an imitator of God, establishing man in a way of life in obedience to the Father that would lead to the vision of God and endowing man with power to receive the Father.   He is the Word of God who dwelt with man and became the Son of Man to open the way for man to receive God, for God to dwell with man, according to the will of the Father.

For this reason the Lord himself gave as the sign of our salvation, the one who was born of the Virgin, Emmanuel.  It was the Lord himself who saved them, for of themselves they had no power to be saved.   For this reason Paul speaks of the weakness of man and says:  I know that no good dwells in my flesh, meaning that the blessing of our salvation comes not from us but from God.   Again, he says: I am a wretched man;  who will free me from this body doomed to die?   Then he speaks of a liberator, thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isaiah says the same:  Hands that are feeble, grow strong!   Knees that are weak, take courage!   Hearts that are faint, grow strong!   Fear not; see, our God is judgement and he will repay.   He himself will come and save us.   He means that we could not be saved of ourselves but only with God’s help.

This excerpt from St Irenaeus’ monumental work, Against Heresies (Lib 3,20, 2-3; SC 34, 342-344) speaks of the incarnation, the birth of the Word of God as Son of Man, as the sign of our salvation.   It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for 19 December one of the last days of Advent.   It was originally written around 185 AD.

St Irenaeus of Lyons
Born about 130, St Irenaeus was one of the most important of the Early Church Fathers of the 2nd Century.   His life reveals the cosmopolitan nature of the Roman Empire at the height of its power.   Though Irenaeus ultimately became bishop of what is now Lyons, in Southern France, he grew up and was educated in Smyrna, located in modern-day Turkey.   There Irenaeus had personal contact with St Polycarp, one of the Apostolic Fathers who in turn knew the Apostle John, son of Zebedee.   Before becoming bishop, Saint Irenaeus apparently studied in Rome where he was influenced by St Justin Martyr. His major work, Against Heresies, which appeared around the year 185 exposed the absurdities of the Gnostic cults of the day and included a strong presentation and defense of Catholic Christianity.   It is the earliest compendium of Christian theology surviving from ancient times and is the first work that cites virtually every book of the Christian writings that we now call the New Testament.   Irenaeus is said to have won the crown of martyrdom around the year 200 AD.   He is honoured in the Roman liturgy on 28 June.he is the word of god - st irenaeus - 19 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The CHRIST CHILD

Quote of the Day – 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

Quote of the Day – 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

God’s Sign

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

Pope Benedict XVI (2009)god's sign - pope benedict - 19 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, BREVIARY Prayers, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection- 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

One Minute Reflection- 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked…Psalm 71:3-4apsalm 71-3 - 19 dec 2017

REFLECTION – “‘The Lord is near!’   What can the whole year offer us more precious, lovely and joyful?   Christmas is the shining Feast of nature and of life, full of grace and charm.   Everything comes to us from that Child whom his Mother gives to every one of us and presents to the whole world!” …St Pope John XXIIIthe lord is near - st john XXIII - 19 dec 2017

PRAYER – Deepen our faith, Lord God, as we celebrate the great mystery of the Incarnation by which You revealed to the world, the splendour of Your glory, through the Virgin Mary, when she gave birth to Your Son.   As we meditate and pray about Your Son’s coming, help us to grasp its meaning in a way that is personal and profound. Through Him whom You sent to save us, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.   Come, Lord Jesus! Amenrejoice - 19 dec 2017

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Our Morning Offering – 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

Our Morning Offering – 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

Hail, Heavenly Beam
9th Century Catholic Advent Prayer
By Cynewulf tr Israel Gollanz

Hail, heavenly beam,
brightest of angels Thou,
sent unto men upon this middle-earth.
Thou art the true refulgence of the sun,
radiant above the stars
and from Thyself illuminest
forever, all the tides of time.
And as Thou, God indeed,
begotten of God,
Thou Son of the true Father,
wast from aye,
without beginning, in the heaven’s glory,
so now Thy handiwork in its sore need
prayeth Thee boldy, that Thou send to us
the radiant sun
and that Thou come Thyself
to enlighten those who for so long a time
went wrapt around with darkness
and here in gloom
have sat the livelong night,
shrouded in sin.hail heavenly beam - cynewulf - 19 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

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, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, MORNING Prayers, The CHRIST CHILD

Our Morning Offering – Monday of Gaudete Week – 18 December

Our Morning Offering – Monday of Gaudete Week – 18 December

6th Century Catholic Advent Hymn
tr. E Caswall (1814-1878)

Hark! a Herald voice is calling;
‘Christ is nigh!’ it seems to say,
‘Cast away the dreams of darkness,
waken, children of the day!’

Startled at the solemn warning,
let the earth-bound soul arise.
Christ her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
shines upon the morning skies.

Lo!, the Lamb so long expected,
comes with pardon down from heaven.
Let us meet Him with repentance,
pray that we may be forgiven.

So when next He comes with glory,
wrapping all the earth in fear.
May He then as our Defender,
on the clouds of heav’n appear.

Honour, glory, praise and blessing,
to the Father and the Son,
with the everlasting Spirit,
while unending ages run.hark a herald voice is calling - 6th cent hymn - 18 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

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 2017

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, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – Gaudete Sunday

Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – Gaudete Sunday

“Gaudete in Domino semper”

“Rejoice in the Lord always”

Philippians 4:4-5philippians 4 4-5

“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

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

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 anddelivered 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 offenses 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 offenses.
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, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, The CHRIST CHILD

Thought for the Day – 15 December – Friday in the Second Week of Advent – “The Golden Thread”

Thought for the Day – 15 December – Friday in the Second Week of Advent – “The Golden Thread”

The Golden Thread

All through the long ages that elapsed from the promise to the coming of the Redeemer, a golden thread of light from Heaven ran athwart their darkness.   In the chosen people of Israel, there ever prevailed a strong conviction of the coming of a Saviour, who was to deliver His people from all sin and evil. It was handed down from generation to generation and was again and again renewed by the inspired declarations of the Prophets of Israel.   Thus, God in His mercy never leaves Himself without a witness to reveal to men of goodwill the message of hope.

So through all the centuries that have passed since the coming of our Lord, the Catholic Church has been the golden thread of light amid the darkness of heresy and heathendom.   What a bright and glorious thread!   What a contrast to all around!   How it has, through God’s mercy, enlightened my life  ! How can I ever thank God sufficiently that, led by its Divine light, I am travelling on in peace and safety to the Heavenly Jerusalem!

So, too, there runs through the life of all those who are to attain at last to the eternal happiness of Heaven, a golden thread, which never wholly disappears, even though their steps may wander far from the right path.   Sometimes it is kindness to the poor; sometimes devotion to the holy souls; very often, it is a reverence to the Holy Mother of God that thus runs through the whole of life.   In my life, God has interwoven some such thread.   Do I follow it up with grateful perseverance?   (Fr Richard Clarke SJ)

Come Lord Jesus, my light, my life, I thank You!come lord jesus - 15 december 2017 - the golden thread

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD

One Minute Reflection – 15 December – Friday of the Second Week of Advent

One Minute Reflection – 15 December – Friday of the Second Week of Advent

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour...Matthew 25:13matthew 25 13 - 15 dec 2017

REFLECTION – “To prevent His disciples from asking the time of His coming, Christ said: About that hour no one knows, neither the angels nor the Son.   It is not for you to know times or moments.   He has kept those things hidden so that we may keep watch, each of us thinking that He will come in our own day. If He had revealed the time of His coming, His coming would have lost its savour:  it would no longer be an object of yearning for the nations and the age in which it will be revealed.   He promised that He would come but did not say when He would come and so, all generations and ages await Him eagerly.”…St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Churchhe promised that he would come - st ephrem - 15 dec 2017

PRAYER – Holy God, keep us ever alert and watchful, making straight the paths of Your Son, as we await His coming.   It is within our hearts that we need to straighten all things, for if all hearts are ready, our Lord will find His people waiting in hope, peace, joy and love.   Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amencome lord jesus - 15 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD

Our Morning Offering – 15 December – Friday of the Second Week of Advent

Our Morning Offering – 15 December – Friday of the Second Week of Advent

Grant us Your light O Lord
By St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Doctor of the Church

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 ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD

Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Monday of the Second Week of Adve

Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Monday of the Second Week of Advent

Come, Sun and Saviour
8th Century Catholic Advent Prayer/Hymn

Come, Sun and Saviour,
to embrace Our gloomy world,
its weary race,
As groom to bride, as bride to groom:
The wedding chamber, Mary’s womb.
At your great Name, O Jesus, now
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
All things on earth with one accord,
Like those in heaven, shall call you Lord.
Come in Your holy might, we pray,
Redeem us for eternal day;
Defend us while we dwell below,
From all assaults of our dread foe.come sun and saviour - 8th cent advent hymn - 11 dec 2017