Posted in GOD is LOVE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, The INCARNATION

Thought for the Day – 11 September – The Incarnation

Thought for the Day – 11 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Incarnation

“By means of the Incarnation, God comes to man so that man may return to God.
God created man by an act of love to display and to diffuse, His infinite goodness.
But this relationship of love was disrupted by sin.
Love became fear, on the part of man and it became justice, on the part of God.

The love of God is infinite, however and cannot decrease.
No sooner had man fallen, than God promised our first parents, that He Himself, would come to save them.
As soon as man had lost the white robe of grace, the Lord mercifully promised that He would come to restore it.
But how?
He could have sent an angel to lead erring man back to the fold and to teach him the way of virtue, which leads to Heaven.
That would have been a great act of love and mercy.
But, an angel is a finite being, whereas, the love of God has no limit.
For this reason, He was not satisfied to send an angel.

We can see, furthermore, another explanation of the great mystery of the Incarnation.
God infinitely loved man, who was the work of His omnipotence.
Precisely because He loved him, He wished to be loved by him in return.
But because the spirit of man is united to matter, he does not see God, except through the works of His creation.
He sees Him, as it were, “through a mirror in an obscure manner,” (1 Cor 13:12) and not face-to-face.
He does not love God, therefore, as he would if he could see Him in all His beauty.
He would need to see Him and to know Him better, before he could love Him more.
So God made Himself small by becoming man.
“Human wisdom often asks,” writes Bossuet, “why God came on earth.”
To this I reply: “He came to be lobed by men.”
“God was great,” writs St Bernard, “so great as to demand to be adored. Now He has become small, so that He may be better loved.”
God became, like us, a child.
“The goodness and kindness of God, our Saviour appeared,” (Titus 2:4) says St Paul.
But Jesus was not satisfied merely to become like us, to enlighten us with His doctrine and to enrich us with the abundance of His graces and gifts.
He also gave Himself to us by dying on the Cross and remaining with us in the Blessed Sacrament.
How could we fail to return such love!?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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

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

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

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

“Your Son appeared to us
as an abundance of food
when grievous famine threatened,
as a spring of living water,
to a life in distress
and fainting from thirst in the heat.”

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

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

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

St Amadeus of Lausanne (1110-1159)

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 August – “Whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed …”

One Minute Reflection – 4 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22, Psalm 102:16-21, 29, 22-23, Matthew 15:1-2,10-14 and The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“Let them alone;  they are blind guides [of the blind].   If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.” … Matthew 15:14matthew 15 14 - let them alone they are blind guides leading the blind - 4 aug 2020

REFLECTION – “When, in these last days, the Word of God was born of Mary, clothed in flesh and revealed to the world, what was seen of Him was something other than the mind could discern.   The appearance of His body was clear to all but knowledge of His divinity was only granted to some.   Similarly, when the Word of God speaks to us through the Old Law and the prophets, He shows Himself beneath the veil of the appropriate garments.

In His incarnation He is clothed with flesh;  in the Holy Scriptures He is clothed with the veil of the letter.   The veil of the letter can be compared to His humanity and the spiritual sense of the Law, to His divinity.   In the book of Leviticus we find the rites of sacrifice, the various sacrificial animals, the priestly liturgical service …  blessed the eyes that discern the divine Spirit hidden beneath the veil …

“Whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed … and, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” says the Apostle Paul (2 Cor 3:16-17).   Thus it is to the Lord Himself, the Spirit Himself, we must pray, that He will deign to remove every obscurity, so we can behold in Jesus, the wonders of the spiritual meaning of the Law, like the man who said: “Open my eyes that I may see the wonders of your Law (Ps 119[118]:18).” … Origen (c 185-253) Priest and Theologian, Church Father – Homily 1 on Leviticusin his incarnation he is clothed with flesh - origen - 4 aug 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, light of the faithful and shepherd of souls, who gave blessed John Vianney to Your Church to feed Your flock by his teaching and form them by his example, grant that by his intercession, we may keep the faith which he taught and follow in the way he walked, through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit. St John Vianney, pray for us, amen.st-jphn-vianney-pray-for-us-4-aug-2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY'S MONTH, OPEN HOUSE...Conversations with..., PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION

Thoughts of Mary – 9 May – “Show You are Our Mother”

Thoughts of Mary – 9 May – “Mary’s Month”

“Show You are Our Mother”
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

in her heaven and earth were joined - st john XXIII 9 may 2020

“The glorification of Mary, as it shines in the gentle radiance of this month’s celebrations, is simply a reminder of her mission, of all God’s purpose in her.

It is a mission of mercy and salvation, which springs from her other supreme privilege, divine motherhood.
God’s purpose is one of forgiveness and reconciliation, because the Heavenly Father, when He sent His Son to redeem the world, chose Mary as His first collaborator in His plan for our redemption.
In her, heaven and earth were joined and through her, the Divine Saviour was offered to mankind.

What harmonies of piety and love are awakened by the hymn Salve Regina, one of the oldest and dearest of all canticles, which sings with trustful longing, of this motherly role of Mary!
From beginning to end, this prayer – “Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,” is the lyrical cry of all, who, disturbed by sin and subject to tears, pain and death, still look to her, as their “life, sweetness and hope.”
To her, they address their imploring prayer, a supreme expression of shining and unconquerable faith:  “Show unto us Jesus, the blessed fruit of thy womb, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.”

salve regina hail holy queen 22 aug 2019

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – St Pedro de San Jose de Betancur

Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – the Memorial St Pedro de San Jose de Betancur OFB (1626-1667) “St Francis of Assisi of the Americas” – “The Man Who was Made Charity”

Father Manuel Lobo, a Jesuit who was Brother Pedro de Betancur’s spiritual director for fifteen years, wrote:

“It was because of the great devotion he professed to the mystery of the birth of the Son of God, that, inspired from Heaven, he gave his establishment the name of Our Lady of Bethlehem.   Bethlehem means ‘house of bread’—here it was that the humble shepherds found the Son of God incarnate.
Likewise, in this new Bethlehem, the poor must find not only bread but the Lord God and, with bodily food, spiritual food for the nourishment of their souls.”

Father Manuel Lobo

fr manuel lobo - speaking of st pedro de betancur 25 april 2020

“Already in the land of his birth, as in every phase of his life, Brother Pedro was a deeply prayerful man, especially here where, at the hermitage of Calvary, he diligently sought God’s will at every moment.

Thus, he is an outstanding example for Christians today, whom he reminds, that training in holiness “calls for a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer” (Novo millennio ineunte, 32).   I, therefore, renew my exhortation to all the Christian communities of Guatemala and other countries, to be authentic schools of prayer where all activity is centred on prayer.   An intensely devout life always bears abundant fruit.

the man who was made charity st pedro de betancur he is an outstanding - st john paul 25 april 2020

Brother Pedro modelled his spirituality in this way, particularly in contemplation of the mysteries of Bethlehem and of the Cross.   If, in the birth and childhood of Jesus, he immersed himself deeply in the fundamental event of the Incarnation of the Word — which led him to discover spontaneously, as it were, the face of God in man — then, in meditating on the Cross, he found the strength to practise mercy heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.

he immersed himself - st john paul on st pedro de betancur 25 april 2020

… Pedro de Betancurt was distinguished precisely by the humble spirit and austere life with which he practised mercy.   The Apostle Paul’s recommendation went straight to his servant’s heart:  “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men” (Col 3:23).   Thus he was truly a brother to all, who lived in misfortune and gave himself with tenderness and immense love, to their salvation.   In this way, throughout his life, his deeds showed his dedication to the sick at the little hospital of Our Lady of Bethlehem, the cradle of the Bethlehemite Order.

he was truly a brother to all - st john paul on st pedro de betancur 25 april 2020

Brother Pedro is a legacy that cannot be lost.   He must be the subject of continuous gratitude;  he must be imitated with renewed purpose.   This legacy must inspire among Christians and among all citizens, the desire to transform the human community into a large family, where social, political and economic relations are worthy of man and within which, the dignity of the person is promoted through effective recognition of his inalienable rights.

I would like to conclude by recalling that devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin was always present in Brother Pedro’s life of piety and mercy.   May she also guide us so that, illuminated by the examples of ‘the man who was made charity,’ as Pedro de Betancur is known, we might come to her Son Jesus!”

St John Paul II (1920-2005)

Canonisation Homily
Guatemala City, Tuesday 30 July 2002

brother pedro - st john paul 25 april 2020

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN POETRY, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION

Second Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Annunciation by Thomas Merton

Second Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Annunciation

the annunciation poem by thomas merton 25 march 2020

The Annunciation
By Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Ashes of paper, ashes of a world
Wandering, when fire is done:
We argue with the drops of rain!

Until one comes Who walks unseen
Even in elements we have destroyed.
Deeper than any nerve
He enters flesh and bone.
Planting His truth, He puts our substance on.
Air, earth and rain
Rework the frame that fire has ruined.
What was dead is waiting for His Flame.
Sparks of His Spirit spend their seeds, and hide
To grow like irises, born before summertime.
These blue thinas bud in Israel.

The girl prays by the bare wall
Between the lamp and the chair.
(Framed with an angel in our galleries
She has a richer painted room, sometimes a crown.
Yet seven pillars of obscurity
Build her to Wisdom’s house, and Ark and Tower.
She is the Secret of another Testament
She owns their manna in her jar.)

Fifteen years old –
The flowers printed on her dress
Cease moving in the middle of her prayer
When God, Who sends the messenger,
Meets His messenger in her Heart.
Her answer, between breath and breath,
Wrings from her innocence our Sacrament!
In her white body God becomes our Bread.

It is her tenderness
Heats the dead world like David on his bed.
Times that were too soon criminal
And never wanted to be normal
Evade the beast that has pursued
You, me and Adam out of Eden’s wood.
Suddenly we find ourselves assembled
Cured and recollected under several green trees.

Her prudence wrestled with the Dove
To hide us in His cloud of steel and silver:
These are the mysteries of her Son.
And here my heart, a purchased outlaw,
Prays in her possession
Until her Jesus, makes my heart
Smile like a flower in her blameless hand.

Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Trappist monk and priest is recognized as one of the major spiritual fathers of our times.   His longing for silence and solitude, his contemplative vision, his engagement with need for world peace through inner life of the spirit, his journey across religious traditions, cultures and disciplines, make him a man for all times but especially for our own.   Thomas Merton expressed this vision in his poetry, novels, essays, devotionals and autobiographical writings.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, To JESUS through MARY

Quote of the Day – 25 March – Mary’s Titles

Quote of the Day – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

“Mary’s titles are numberless…
she is the palace in which the mighty King of kings abode,
yet He did not cast her out when He came,
because it was from her that He took flesh and was born.
She is the new heaven in which dwelt the King of kings,
in her, Christ arose and from her, rose up to enlighten creation,
formed and fashioned in His image.
She is the stock of the vine that bore the grape,
she yielded a fruit greater than nature
and He, although other than her in His nature,
ripened in colour on being born of her.
She is the spring from which living waters
sprang up for the thirsty
and all those who drank them,
yielded fruit a hundredfold.”

Saint Ephrem (306-373)

Father and Doctor of the Church

Sermons on the Mother of God, 2, 93-145

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/25/quote-s-of-the-day-25-march-in-her-god-spun-a-garment-with-which-to-save-us/

mary's titles are numberless - st ephrem - annunciation - sermon 25 march 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 25 March – Mary’s Fiat must be our fiat!

Lenten Reflection – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord –- Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10, Psalm 40:7-11, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.” … Luke 1:38

Daily Meditation:
Today we step out of Lent, in one way.
We are nine months away from Christmas.
This is the feast of the Incarnation – the enfleshment of our God for us.
In Jesus, God entered this world, our world.

“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, 2018 2019jpg

“Contemplate Mary, my beloved, see how Gabriel went into her house and her questioning: “How can this be?”   The Holy Spirit’s servant gave her this answer:  “Nothing is impossible for God, for him, all is easy.”   Consider how she believed the word she had heard and said: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord.”   From that moment the Lord descended in a way known to Him alone, He bestirred Himself and came according to His good pleasure, He entered her without her feeling it and she opened herself to Him without experiencing any suffering.   She bore within herself, as a child, Him by whom the world was filled.  He descended to become the model that would renew Adam’s ancient image.”Saint Ephrem (306-373) – Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermons on the Mother of God, 2, 93-145mary's fiat - luke 1 38 behold i am the handmaid of the lord - 11 may 2019

Intercessions:
Let us give thanks to God, our Father:
through the power of the Spirit He purifies our heart and strengthens us in love.
Let us humbly ask Him:
Lord, give us Your Holy Spirit.

Help us to receive good things from Your bounty with a deep sense of gratitude;
-and to accept with patience the evil that comes to us.
Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments,
-but above all in the ordinary events of daily life.
May we abstain from what we do not really need,
-and help our brothers and sisters in distress.
May we bear the wounds of Your Son,
-for through His body He gave us life.

Closing Prayer:
God of infinite love,
I thank You for this feast of our salvation,
right here in the middle of Lent.
I turn to You to beg for Your help.
I need the inspiration and help of Mary on this journey.
Please grant me the grace to be humbly faithful
to what You are calling me to do.
Please give me what I need to be free and to be Your servant.
Please let Mary guide us in the path to peace in our world.
I ask You this, through Jesus our Lord.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amenmary's fiat must be our fiat 25 march 2019 annunciation

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION

One Minute Reflection – 25 March – ‘And Mary’s body enfolds Him, whom the heaven of heavens does not contain.’

One Minute Reflection – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord –- Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10, Psalm 40:7-11, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38

“The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you.”   And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.”...Luke 1:35, 38

luke 1 35 the holy spirit shall come upon you - 25 march 2020 annunciation

REFLECTION – “The Word came from Himself and came down beneath Himself and dwelt among us (cf. Jn 1:14), when He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant (Phil 2:7).   That emptying was a decent.   Yet He descended in such a way that He did not lose Himself.   He was made flesh in such a way that He did not cease to be the Word, nor did the taking of humanity lessen the glory of His majesty. (…)
Indeed, just as the sun’s brightness penetrates glass without breaking it and as a glance of the eyes plunges into calm clear water without parting or dividing it, while it opens up all things to their very depth, so the Word of God drew near the Virgin’s dwelling and went forth from it, her virgin womb still closed. (…)  Therefore, the invisible God was made visible man, the impassible and immortal showed Himself passible and mortal.  He who was not confined within the garments of our substance, willed to be so confined. There is enclosed within the womb of a mother one whose immensity encloses the whole range of heaven and earth.   And Mary’s body enfolds Him, whom the heaven of heavens does not contain.
If you ask how it was done, hear the Archangel setting forth the plan to Mary and saying to her:  “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you.” (cf. Lk 1:35) (…)   For He chose you before and above all others, that you may surpass all those who have been before or after you or shall be in the fullness of grace.” … Saint Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk, then Bishop – In praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Homily IIIthere is enclosed within the womb of a mother - 25 march 2020 annunciation

PRAYER – Shape us in the likeness of the Divine nature of our Redeemer, whom we believe to be true God and true man, since it was Your will, Lord God, that He, Your Word, should take to Himself, our human nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.

the nicest word - servant of god guy pierre de fontgalland - 24 feb 2018-no 2

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 10 March – God’s Sign

Lenten Reflection – 10 March – Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20, Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23, Matthew 23:1-12

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:
The eyes of the Lord look on the lowly to make them glad.   But the face of the Lord turns away from the proud to humble them.   The lowly always receive pity from God…   Make yourself small before everyone and you will be raised up higher than this world’s princes.   Make all creatures go before you, embrace them, humble yourself before them, and you will be honoured more than those who make an offering of gold.   Descend lower than your own self and you will see God’s glory within you.
For where humility sprouts, God’s glory spreads…  If you have humility in your heart, God will reveal His glory to you in it… St Isaac the Syrian of Nineveh (c 613-c 700) Bishop of Nineveh, Monk at Mosul

But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes,
or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline
and you cast my words behind you.
Psalm 50:16-17tuesday of the second week of lent 10 march 2020

Intercessions:
God the Father has given us His only Son, the Word made man,
to be our food and our life. Let us thank him and pray:
May the word of Christ dwell among us in all its richness.

Help us in this Lenten season to listen more frequently to Your word,
-that we may celebrate the solemnity of Easter with greater love for Christ, our paschal teacher,
-that we may encourage those in doubt and error to follow what is true and good.
Enable us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Anointed One,
-that our lives may reveal Him more effectively.
Lift us out of the mire of pride and honour
-that we may seek only Christ’s Cross as our mantle of humility.
Purify and renew Your Church in this time of salvation,
-that it may give an even greater witness to You.

Closing Prayer:
God in heaven and in my life,
guide me and protect me.
I so often believe I can save myself
and I always end in failure.
Lead me with Your love away from pride
and guide me on the right path.
May Your Spirit inspire the Church
and make us an instrument of your love and guidance.
Thank You for Your care for me,
for Your example which teaches me the way of humility
and self-abnegation.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

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 used in lent pope benedict xvi 10 march 2020

Posted in QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The PASSION

Sunday Reflection – 23 February – “Take and divide it among yourselves.”

Sunday Reflection – 23 February – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

“Take and divide it among yourselves.”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

“Christ then took on 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.”

Newman was convinced that no one “realises the mystery of the Incarnation but must feel disposed towards that of the Holy Communion.”   Both are mysteries of the coming of Christ, longed for as the hope of mankind for salvation.   If we accept that God unites Himself, His divinity and His spirit, to humanity, nature and matter in His birth as man, then we can also accept that He binds His presence to the species of bread and wine. When Jesus says, “This is my body, this is my blood,” this remains a mystery but our faith in it, is not against our reason.

Years later this Catholic priest wrote:

“O wisest love! That flesh and blood
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.”
“And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
God’s presence and His very Self,
And Essence all-divine.”

christ-then-took-on-our-nature-bl-john-henry-newman-no-2-25-feb-2018-sunday-reflection and 23 feb 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The WORD

Quote of the Day – 26 January – Sunday of the Word of God – ‘His only Word’

Quote of the Day – 26 January – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A “Sunday of the Word of God”

“In giving us His Son, His only Word,
He spoke everything to us at once
in this sole Word –
and He has no more to say…
because what He spoke
before to the prophets in parts,
He has now spoken, 
all at once, by giving us
the ALL, Who is His Son.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Doctor of the Churchin giving us his son - sun of the word of god - his only word - snip 26 jan 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – Epiphany

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

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

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

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

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

Pope Francis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHRISTMAS
By Gertrude von le Fort (1876-1971)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Word made Flesh makes us Divine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – The Word was made flesh …

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist the Memorial of Blessed Sára Salkaházi (1899–1944) Martyr and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:1-4, Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12, John 20:2-8

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 1:1-2beloved-what-was-from-the-beginning-what-we-have-heard-1-john-1-1-to-2-27dec2017, 2018 and 2019.jpg

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, 2018 and one min refl 2019-1.jpg

PRAYER – “I am grateful to You for the love You have given me.   My dear Jesus, I place this love into Your hands:  keep it chaste and bless it, so that it may always be rooted in You.   And increase in me my love for You. I know that if I love You, I can never get lost. If I want to be Yours with all my heart, You will never let me stray from You. Amen.    May St John the Evangelist, beloved of the Lord and Blessed Sára Salkaházi, intercede for us that we may love You Lord with all our hearts, minds and souls!if-i-love-you-prayer-of-bl-sara-salkahazi-27-dec-2018 and one min refl 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – ‘He came from Him from whom He did not depart’

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

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

REFLECTION – “Christ has come from the Father, He has come from the Word, He has come from the Holy Spirit, since the whole Trinity accomplished His conception and His incarnation.   For to come from the highest Trinity was no other than to be conceived and to become a human being by the same Trinity.  Therefore, it was said:  “His going forth is form the highest heaven.” (cf. Ps 18[19]:6)
The Only-Begotten (…) begotten of the Father eternally, begotten in time He came forth from His mother, remaining invisibly with the Father and dwelling visibly with us.   For to go forth from the Father was this – to enter upon our world, to be seen openly and to become what, from the nature of the Father, He was not.   This indeed is wonderful, He came from Him from whom He did not depart, going forth from Him with whom He stayed, so that without intermission He was wholly in eternity, wholly in time, wholly was He found in the Father when wholly in the Virgin, wholly in His own majesty and in His Father’s at the time when He was wholly in our humanity.
If you ask how, gather the truth by means of an illustration.   A word conceived in the heart goes forth complete in the voice, so that it comes perfectly to others yet remains wholly in the heart.   So the good Word spoken forth from the heart of the Father went forth into the broad plain, yet did not leave the Father.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk and Bishop – On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily IIIhe came from him from whom he did not depart - st amadeus of lausanne - 25 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your incarnate Word fills us with the new light He brought to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts, shine through all that we do and say. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

The Word was God in the beginning and before all time, today, He is born to us, the Saviour of the world.the word ws god in the beginning before all time today, he is born to us, the saviour- 25 dec 2019

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – I hold Within my Heart, O Mother Queen, Thy Little Son, thy Child.

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

I hold Within my Heart,
O Mother Queen,
Thy Little Son, thy Child.

Prayer after Holy Communion

I hold within my heart, O Mother Queen,
Thy little Son, thy Child.
The right is thine,
And yet, by wondrous gift, this grace is mine!
‘Twas thou who first within thy heart serene
Thy God received.
By mortal eyes unseen
He dwelt secure,
thy loving heart His shrine.
In first communion with the Word Divine
Thou hadst a foretaste of our Gift supreme.
O thou, sweet Mother, who didst first embrace
Our God, teach me Thy potent way of grace,
That in the precious moments that are mine
I may constrain my Guest, thy Son Divine,
To abide with me.
Oh, may He ne’er depart!
Behold—-His living chalice,
my unworthy heart!
Ameni hold within my heart o mother queen they little child thy son - prayer after holy comm 25 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in Papa FRANCIS, St JOSEPH, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 22 December – Joseph fully finds himself

Thought for the Day – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-24

When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home. … Matthew 1:24

By accepting himself according to God’s design,
Joseph fully finds himself, beyond himself.
His freedom to renounce even what is his,
the possession of his very life
and his full interior availability to the will of God,
challenges us
and shows us the way.

Pope Francis
Angelus 22 December 2013joseph fully finds himself - pope francis 22 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 22 December – Emmanuel, God-with-us

The Lord comes!   Go to meet Him and say – Great is His reign and His kingdom will have no end.   He is God, the Strong One, the Ruler of the world, the Prince of peace, alleluia!

Advent Reflection – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-24

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;  she will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” ... Matthew 1:20-21matthew 1 20 - 21 joseph son of david do not fear to take mary 22 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Behold,” says the prophet Isaiah, “a virgin will conceive and bear a son and he will be called Emmanuel, a name which means God-with-us.” (7:14)   The name ‘God-with-us,’ given to our Saviour by the prophet, signifies that two natures are united in His one person.   Before time began he was God, born of the Father but in the fullness of time He became Emmanuel, God-with-us, in the womb of His mother, because when “the Word was made flesh and lived among us.” (Jn 1:14)   He deigned to unite our frail human nature to His own person.   Without ceasing to be what He had always been, He began in a wonderful fashion to be what we are, assuming our nature in such a way that He did not lose his own…

And so, Scripture says: “Mary gave birth to her firstborn son… and she named him Jesus.” (Lk 2:7.21).   Jesus, then, is the name of the Virgin’s son.   According to the angel’s explanation, it means one who is to save His people from their sins.   In doing so, He will also deliver them from any defilement of mind and body they have incurred on account of their sins.

But the title “Christ” implies a priestly or royal dignity.   In the Old Testament it was given to both priests and kings on account of the anointing with chrism or holy oil which they received.   They prefigured the true king and high priest who, on coming into this world, “was anointed with the oil of gladness above all his peers” (Ps 44[45]: 8).   From this anointing or chrismation, He received the name of Christ and those who share in the anointing which He Himself bestows, that is, the grace of the Spirit, are called Christians. May Jesus Christ fulfil His saving task, by saving us from our sins, may He discharge His priestly office by reconciling us to God the Father and may He exercise His royal power by admitting us to His Father’s kingdom…” … St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church

MEDITATION – “He came from heaven to suffer and die for us, so that we might love Him.   How can we remain ungrateful?” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

ADVENT ACTION – “O my Jesus, I love You and will always love You.   Inflame my heart everyday 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.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

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, 2018, 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – Saturday of Advent 21 December – Mary visits Elizabeth – You also are blessed!

Thought for the Day – Saturday of Advent 21 December

Mary visits Elizabeth

Saint Ambrose of Milan (340-397)
Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from A Commentary on Luke, Book 2

When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary, he gave her a sign to win her trust.   He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman, to show that God is able to do all that He wills.

When she hears this, Mary sets out for the hill country.   She does not disbelieve God’s word, she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign.   She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.

Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights?   The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, laborious efforts.   Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear, as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Notice the contrast and the choice of words.   Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice but John, is the first to be aware of grace.   She hears with the ears of the body but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery.   She is aware of Mary’s presence but he is aware of the Lord’s – a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation.   The women speak of the grace they have received, while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.

The child leaps in the womb, the mother is filled with the Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit.   John leaps for you and the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit but we know, that though Mary’s spirit rejoices, she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.   Her Son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in His mother, in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord.   Elizabeth says:  Blessed are you because you have believed.

You also are blessed, because you have heard and believed.   A soul that believes, both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.

Let Mary’s soul be in each of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord.   Let her spirit be in each, to rejoice in the Lord.   Christ has only one mother, in the flesh but we all bring forth Christ, in faith.   Every soul receives the Word of God, if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, it’s modesty undefiled.   The soul that succeeds in this, proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour.   In another place we read – Magnify the Lord with me.   The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but, because He is magnified within us.   Christ is the image of God and, if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.you also are blessed becauxe you have believed - st ambrose - 21 dec 2019 the vistation.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December – “How shall this be…”

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 20 December, Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Luke 1:26-38

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

And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” … Luke 1:34

REFLECTION – “Tell us, blessed David, how [the Word] descended.   “He came down as rain upon the fleece, and as drops that water the earth.” (Ps 71[72]:6 LXX). (…)   It remains to discuss how the rain descends upon the fleece and how the drops flow out over the earth. (…)

The rain descends upon the fleece without sound, without movement, without any cleavage or division.   It is gently poured out, peacefully received, sweetly drunk.   Thus the drops gradually, little by little, spread over the earth falling down so wonderfully and so gently that their coming is scarcely perceived and as they depart, they bring forth the shoots.   In the same way, the rain coming from beyond, above the heavenly waters, came down into the Virgin’s womb without human act, with no movement of concupiscence, her integrity unimpaired, the seal of her virginity still locked.   Gently was it poured, calmly received, ineffably made flesh.   It came drop by drop upon her soil, unseen as it entered and, as it departed, plainly going forth. (…)

We have told how the Word of God came down.   Where He came down is made clear in like manner, for He came down into the Virgin’s womb, a womb unstained, unspotted, hallowed by the touch of divine unction.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop, Cistercian Monk – On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily III, SC 72luke 1 34 how shall this be - he came down into the virgin's womb - st amadeaus of lausanne 20 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION” Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?   And who shall stand in his holy place?   He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” … Psalm 24:3-4advent-with-st-alphonsus-psalm-24-3-4-who-shall-ascend-20dec2018 AND 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – “O my Jesus, I am weak, grant me strength against temptation.   I am infirm, I hope that Your precious blood will be my medicine.   I am a sinner but I hope that Your grace will make me a saint.   I acknowledge that I have co-operated with my own ruin but this day, I promise always, to call upon You and in this way co-operate with Your grace.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor

PRAYER

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, 2018, 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 17 December – The Mystery of our Reconciliation with God

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent, 17 December – Readings: Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17, Matthew 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham. … Matthew 1:1

The Mystery of our Reconciliation with God

Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Bishop of Rome, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Letter 31

To speak of our Lord, the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as true and perfect man, is of no value to us if we do not believe, that He is descended from the line of ancestors set out in the Gospel.   Matthew’s gospel begins by setting out the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham, and then traces His human descent by bringing His ancestral line down to His mother’s spouse, Joseph.   On the other hand, Luke traces His parentage backward step by step to the actual father of mankind, to show that both the first and the last Adam share the same nature.

No doubt, the Son of God in His omnipotence, could have taught and sanctified men, by appearing to them in a semblance of human form, as He did to the patriarchs and prophets, when for instance He engaged in a wrestling contest or entered into conversation with them, or when He accepted their hospitality and even ate the food they set before Him.   But these appearances were only types, signs that mysteriously foretold, the coming of One, who would take a true human nature from the stock of the patriarchs, who had gone before Him.

No mere figure, then, fulfilled the mystery of our reconciliation with God, ordained from all eternity.   The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon the Virgin nor had the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that within her spotless womb Wisdom might build itself a house and the Word become flesh.   The divine nature and the nature of a servant, were to be united in one person, so that the Creator of time, might be born in time and He, through whom all things were made, might be brought forth in their midst.the divine nature and the nature of a servant - st pope leo the great 17 dec 2019.jpg

For unless the new man, by being made in the likeness of sinful flesh, had taken on Himself, the nature of our first parents, unless He had stooped to be one in substance with His mother, while sharing the Father’s substance and, being alone free from sin, united our nature to His, the whole human race would still be held captive under the dominion of Satan.

The Conqueror’s victory, would have profited us nothing, if the battle had been fought outside our human condition.   But through this wonderful blending, the mystery of new birth shone upon us, so that through the same Spirit by whom Christ was conceived and brought forth, we too might be born again in a spiritual birth and, in consequence, the evangelist declares the faithful to have been born not of blood, nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

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

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

 

mans maker was made man - st augustine - 17 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 17 December – Alma Redemptoris Mater

Our Morning Offering – 17 December

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Loving Mother of the Redeemer

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven,
star of the sea,
assist your people
who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature
you bore your Creator,
Yet remained a virgin
after as before.
You who received
Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

Marian Antiphon Traditionally Said from Advent to the Presentation of Jesus in the TempleALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER loving mother of the redeemer 17 dec 2019.jpg