Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The 2nd Joyful Mystery - the VISITATION, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – Being aware of the Lord’s Presence – Luke 1:41,44

Advent Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – Weekdays of Advent, Readings: Songs 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-18, Psalms 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21, Luke 1:39-45

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

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit … “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” – Luke 1:41,44

REFLECTION – “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, labourious 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, its 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.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop, Father and Great Latin Doctor – An excerpt from A Commentary on Luke, Book 2

PRAYER –
O Radiant Dawn,
Splendour of Eternal Light,
Sun of Justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Hail MARY!, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Louis-Marie Grignion de MONTFORT, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 20 December – “Hail, full of grace,”

Quote/s of the Day – 20 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – O Clavis David/O Key of David – Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12, 14, 16, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38

“[Jesus] became man by the Virgin
so that the course, which was taken
by disobedience in the beginning,
through the agency of the serpent,
might be also, the very course
by which it would be put down.
Eve, a virgin and undefiled,
conceived the word of the serpent
and bore disobedience and death.
But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy
when the Angel Gabriel announced to her,
the glad tidings, that the Spirit of the Lord
would come upon her
and the power of the Most High would overshadow her,
for which reason, the Holy One being born of her,
is the Son of God.
And she replied
‘Be it done unto me according to your word’
[Luke 1:38]”

St Justin Martyr (c 100- c 165)
Apologist, Theologian, Philosopher,
Father of the Church and Martyr

“The angel greeted Mary with a new address,
which I could not find anywhere else in Scripture.
I ought to explain this expression briefly.
The angel says, “Hail, full of grace.” …
I do not remember having read these words elsewhere in Scripture.
An expression of this kind, “Hail, full of grace,”
is not addressed to a male.
This greeting was reserved for Mary alone.”

Origen (c 185-253)
Priest, Theologian, Father

“The whole universe was created by God
and God was born of Mary.
God created all things
and Mary gave birth to God.
The God who made all things,
gave Himself form through Mary
and thus, He made His own creation.
He who could create all things from nothing,
would not remake His ruined creation without Mary.
God, then, is the Father of the created world
and Mary the mother of the re-created world.
God is the Father, by whom all things were given life
and Mary the mother,
through whom all things were given new life.
For God begot the Son,
through whom all things were made
and Mary gave birth to Him as the Saviour of the world.
Without God’s Son, nothing could exist;
without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.
Truly the Lord is with you,
to whom the Lord granted,
that all nature should owe,
as much to you as to Himself.”

St Anselm (1033-1109)
Magnificent Doctor
Marian Doctor

“Mary is the great mould of God …
He who is cast in this divine mould
is soon formed and moulded in Jesus Christ
and Jesus Christ in him.
With little effort and in a short time,
he will become divine,
since he is cast in the same mould
which formed a God.”

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The ANNUNCIATION, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 20 December – O Clavis David/O Key of David

Advent Reflection – 20 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12, 14, 16, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38

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

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.

“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 forever and of his kingdom there will be no end.” – Luke 1:32-33

REFLECTION“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David and the virgin’s name was Mary.” What is said of the house of David applies not only to Joseph but also to Mary. It was a precept of the law that each man should marry a wife from his own tribe and kindred. Saint Paul also bears testimony to this when he writes to Timothy: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my Gospel” (2 Tm 2:8) …

“He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” The angel refers to the kingdom of the Israelite nation as the throne of David because, in his time, by the Lord’s command and assistance, David governed it with a spirit of faithful service … As David had once ruled the people with temporal authority, so Christ would now lead them to the eternal kingdom by His spiritual grace …

“He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.. The house of Jacob here refers to the universal Church which, through its faith in and witness to Christ, shares the heritage of the patriarchs. This may apply either to those who are physical descendants of the patriarchal families, or to those who come from gentile nations and are reborn in Christ by the waters of baptism. In this house Christ shall reign forever and “of his kingdom there will be no end.”
During this present life, Christ rules in the Church. By faith and love He dwells in the hearts of His elect and guides them by His unceasing care toward their heavenly reward. In the life to come, when their period of exile on earth is ended, He will exercise His Kingship, by leading the faithful to their heavenly country. There, forever inspired by the vision of His presence, their one delight will be, to praise and glorify Him.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Priest and Monk, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies for Advent, no 3

PRAYER – Lord, at the angel’s message, Mary, the immaculate Virgin became the temple of God and was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, when she received Your divine Word. Grant that, after her example, we may humbly and steadfastly follow Your will. Through Christ the Incarnate Word, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all ages, amen.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, HYMNS, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION

Our Morning Offering – 20 December – Blessed Shall be Her Name

Our Morning Offering – 20 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Blessed Shall be Her Name
Anonymous

Praise we the Lord this day,
This day so long foretold,
Whose promise shone with cheering ray
On waiting saints of old.

The prophet gave the sign
That those with faith might read;
A virgin, born of David’s line
Shall bear the promised seed.

Ask not how this should be,
But worship and adore;
Like her whom heaven’s majesty
Came down to shadow o’er.

She meekly bowed her head
To hear the gracious word,
Mary, the pure and lowly maid,
The favoured of the Lord.

Blessed shall be her name
In all the Church on earth,
Through whom that wondrous mercy came,
The incarnate Saviour’s birth.

Jesus, the virgin’s son,
We praise you and adore,
Who are with God the Father one
And Spirit evermore.

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS

Advent Reflection – Saturday of Advent – 19 December – O Radix Jesse/O Root of Jesse – ‘a voice pointing to the Word’

Advent Reflection – Saturday of Advent – 19 December – O Radix Jesse/O ROOT OF JESSE – Readings: Judges 13:2-724-25Psalms 71:3-45-616-17Luke 1:5-25

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

O ROOT OF JESSE,
that stands for an ensign of the people,
before whom the kings keep silence
and unto whom the Gentiles
shall make supplication,
come, to deliver us and tarry not.

“And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak, until the day that these things take place because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” – Luke 1:20

REFLECTION “You will be speechless… until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words.” Voice and word are not the same thing where we are concerned, since a voice can be heard without it conveying any meaning, without words and the word can likewise be communicated to our minds without a voice, as in the wandering of our thoughts. In the same way, since the Saviour is Word…, John differs from Him in being voice, by comparison with Christ, who is Word. This is what John himself answered to those who asked him who he was: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths’” (Lk 3:4; Jn 1:23).
Perhaps this is the reason – because he doubted the birth of the voice that would reveal the Word of God – why Zachariah lost his voice but recovered it again, when that voice was born, who is the Word’s forerunner (Lk 1:64). Since, for the mind to be able to grasp the word intended by the voice, we must hear the voice. It is also why, according to the time of his birth, John is slightly older than Christ – for we perceive the voice before the word. Thus John points to Christ since it is with the voice that the Word is made known. Likewise, Christ was baptised by John, who admitted his need of being baptised by Him (Mt 3:14)… In brief, when John pointed to Christ it was as a man pointing to God, the incorporeal Saviour, as a voice pointing to the Word…”… Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father

PRAYER – Deepen our faith Lord, as we celebrate the great mystery of the Incarnation, by which You revealed to the world the splendour of Your glory, through the most pure Virgin Mary when she gave birth to Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOD is LOVE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 18 December – Preparation for the Nativity

Thought for the Day – 18 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Preparation for the Nativity

“The Birth of Our Lord is the most wonderful and most moving mystery of divine omnipotence and goodness.
At first thought, the idea of the infinite God becoming man, would seem impossible.
Between God and man, there is a vast abyss.
Why should God have bridged this gap and assumed our poor mortal nature, becoming like us in everything but sin, while still remaining God?
It is a hard question for the human mind to answer.
There is only one reply, however.
The immensity of God’s power and justice is equalled, by the immensity of His love.
It was simply because God loved us infinitely that He took pity on us, lost as we were in sin.
He assumed a human body and became man and, He suffered and died for us, so that we might love and obey Him more easily and follow in the way of goodness.

To our poor intellects, God seems not only immense and infinite but also, very remote.
For this reason, God determined to come closer to us, so that He became as one of us.
He was a tiny infant, crying in a manger; then, He was a lovable young boy Who spoke words of eternal wisdom among the doctors in the Temple; then, He was a prophet Who traversed the countryside of Palestine, teaching and working miracles; finally, He died a martyr’s death on the Cross in the cause of truth and goodness.
Reflecting on this mystery of infinite love, let us adore and love Him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, DANTE ALIGHIERI!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN TITLES, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS

Our Morning Offering – 18 December – “O Virgo Virginum” and Maiden yet a Mother

Our Morning Offering – 18 December and also the Feast of Our Lady of Expectation

O Virgo Virginum

O Virgin of Virgins,
how shall this be?
For neither before thee was any like thee,
nor shall there be after.
Daughters of Jerusalem,
why marvel ye at me?
That which ye behold,
is a divine mystery.

Maiden yet a Mother
By Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Tr Msgr Ronald A Knox (1888-1957)

Maiden yet a mother,
daughter of thy Son,
high beyond all other,
lowlier is none;
thou the consummation
planned by God’s decree,
when our lost creation
nobler rose in thee!

Thus His place prepared,
he who all things made
‘mid his creatures tarried,
in thy bosom laid;
there His love He nourished,
warmth that gave increase
to the root whence flourished
our eternal peace.

Nor alone thou hearest
When thy name we hail;
Often thou art nearest
When our voices fail;
Mirrored in thy fashion
All creation’s gird,
Mercy, might compassion
Grace thy womanhood.

Lady, let our vision
Striving heavenward, fail,
Still let thy petition
With thy Son prevail,
Unto whom all merit,
prayer and majesty,
With the Holy Spirit
And the Father be.

Most authors agree that there were seven original ‘O Antiphons’ and that they are a very ancient expression of Christian Prayer. While their author is unknown, they are cited in at least two works as early as the eighth century. Both Cynewulf, an Anglo-Saxon author and Amalarius, a liturgist and the Archbishop of Trier (died 850), who was a student of the teacher St Alcuin, cite the existence of the ‘O Antiphons’ as early as the seventh/eighth century.

The ‘O Antiphons’ get their name from the fact that they all begin with the interjection ‘O’: O Sapientia (Wisdom); O Adonai (Lord); O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse); O Clavis David (Key of David); O Oriens (Dawn of the East); O Rex Gentium (King of Gentiles); O Emmanuel.

While the original ‘O Antiphons’ numbered seven, over time a number of others were added to the liturgy of particular regions and sometimes for particular religious feast days which fell during Advent, or even in the liturgy of some medieval religious orders. Some medieval religious churches had as many as twelve O Antiphons which were sung in the Advent Liturgy leading up to Christmas Eve.

Among these, there was an important Marian ‘O Antiphon’ which appears in both the Gallican (France) and Sarum (England) liturgies. Although it is difficult to establish just when this antiphon was first introduced, it was certainly known in the Middle Ages.

This Marian Antiphon is still used today in the liturgy of the Norbertine Order. While the Latin Liturgy begins the O Antiphons on 17 December with ‘O Sapientia,’ and ends on 23 December with ‘O Emmanuel,’ the Liturgy of the Norbertine Order begins their O Antiphons on 16 December with ‘O Sapientia,’ and ends on 23 December with the beautiful Marian Antiphon ‘O Virgo Virginum.’

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day 17 December – He came from heaven …

Quote/s of the Day 17 December – O Wisdom …….

“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)
Most Zealous Doctor of the Church

“A soul united to Jesus,
is a living smile
that radiates Him
and,
gives Him.”

St Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906)

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom / O Sapientia …….

Advent Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom ……. – Readings: Genesis 49:28-10Psalms 72:1-23-47-817Matthew 1:1-17

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

O Wisdom
O Sapientia

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia-
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae
.

O Wisdom, coming forth from the Mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things-
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you.” – Genesis 49:8

REFLECTION – “This text appears to be directed to the Patriarch Judah, indeed but more so that later Judah is meant, the true Confessor who was born of that tribe and who alone is praised by His brothers; of them He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers.”
He is the Lord by nature but a brother by grace; His hands, which He stretched out to an unbelieving people, are on the back of His enemies.
For with those same hands and by that same passion, Christ protected His own, subjugated hostile powers and made subject to Himself, all people who were without faith and devotion.
Of these the Father says to His Son, “And you will rule in the midst of your enemies.”
It was their own wickedness that made them enemies, not Christ’s will. In this there is a great gift of the Lord. Previously, spiritual wickedness generally used to make our neck bend to the yoke of captivity. Thus even David wrote that he felt, in some way, the hands of those who triumphed over him, for he said, “Upon my back sinners have wrought.”
But now spiritual wickedness is subject to the triumph of Christ and to His hands, as it were; that is, wickedness undergoes the affliction of captivity, being subject forever in deeds and in works.
And, it is He indeed, to whom the sons of His Father bow down, when we bow down to Him; for he has permitted us to call upon the Father and, to be subject to the Father, is to be subject to virtue.” – St Ambrose (340-397) One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church – (The Patriarchs, 4)

PRAYER – Collect:
O God,
Creator and Redeemer of human nature,
Who willed
that Your Word should take flesh
in an ever-virgin womb,
look with favour on our prayers,
that Your only Begotten Son,
having taken to Himself our humanity,
may be pleased to grant us
a share in his divinity.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, HYMNS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 17 December – Awaiting Baby Jesus

Our Morning Offering – 17 December – O Wisdom/O Sapientia

Awaiting Baby Jesus
Traditional Catholic Advent Prayer

My heart is beating,
filled with joy,
awaiting Mary’s baby boy.
For with this child, we embrace
the birth of God’s
most precious grace.
Baby Jesus, soon to come!
For us comes the Promised One.
Baby Jesus, God’s own Son,
you will be the Chosen One
to lead our flock into salvation.
Our eternal life awaits.
The birth of Jesus brings us nearer
Heaven’s holy gates.
Sing with joy
and count the days,
for soon to come,
the Lord we’ll praise.
Rejoice that Jesus
will soon arrive,
the Messiah and our faith alive.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., St JOHN the BAPTIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY CROSS, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – The Lamb of God

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – Wednesday of the Third week of Advent

The Lamb of God

“Behold, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29

“The language of the cross
is foolishness to those who are perishing
but to us, who are being saved,
it is the power of God”

1 Corinthians 1:18

“Teacher of children
became Himself a child among children,
that He might instruct the unwise.
The Bread of heaven
came down to earth
to feed the hungry.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“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.”

“He who calls us, came here below,
to give us the means of getting there.
He chose the wood
that would enable us to cross the sea –
indeed, no-one can cross the ocean of this world,
who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.
Even the blind can cling to this Cross.
If you can’t see where you are going very well,
don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“He was humbled in the womb of the Virgin,
needy in the manger of the sheep
and homeless on the wood of the Cross.”

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, Hail MARY!, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – Is she not our mother?

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

“And if any man
will not receive His birth from a virgin,
how shall he receive His resurrection
from the dead?
For it is nothing wonderful
and astonishing and extraordinary,
if one who was not born,
rose from the dead – nay indeed,
we cannot speak of a resurrection of him
who came unto being without birth.
For one who is unborn and immortal
and has not undergone birth,
will also not undergo death.
For He, who took not the beginning of man,
how could He receive His end?”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Martyr, Theologian, Father

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world but to God.”

“Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’.
If the Lord is to be praised in those saints
through whom He performs
mighty works and miracles,
how much more should He be praised in HER,
in whom He fashioned Himself,
He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
From his sermons – Sermon 20

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, LENTEN THOUGHTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 11 December – ‘… I want to love You with all my heart.’

Advent Reflection – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6, Matthew 11:16-19

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“For John came, neither eating nor drinking and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” … Matthew 11:18-19

REFLECTION – “O Fire ever burning,” let us say together with Saint Augustine – “inflame our souls.”
O incarnate Word, You became man to strike in our hearts the fire of divine love, how is it You should find in us such great ingratitude?
You held nothing back to enable us to love You; You went as far as to sacrifice Your blood and Your life.
What is the reason we humans remain unmoved by such great gifts?
Is it because we know nothing about them? Not at all.
People understand and believe, it is for love of them, You came down from heaven to put on human flesh and take on the burden of their woes.
They know it is for love of them, You willed to lead a life of constant suffering and undergo a shameful death.
How explain, after all this, their living in such absolute forgetfulness of Your unequalled kindness?
They love their family, they love their friends, they even love their livestock! … it is for You alone they are without love and without gratitude!
But what am I saying? In accusing others of ungratefulness, I condemn myself since my conduct in Your regard is even worse than theirs.
Nevertheless, Your mercy gives me courage.
I know how long it has borne with me, to forgive me and set me on fire with Your love, if only I am willing to repent and love You.

Oh yes, my God, I want to repent … I want to love You with all my heart.
I well see how my heart … has abandoned You to love the things of this world but I also see how, in spite of this betrayal, You yet claim it as Your own.
And so, with all the strength of my will, I consecrate it and offer it to You. Therefore, be pleased to inflame it wholly with Your holy love and grant, that from now on, it may love no other thing but You …
O my Jesus, I love You, I love You, my sovereign Good!
I love You, sole Love of my soul.

O Mary, my mother, you are the “mother of noble loving” (Sir 24:24 Vg.), grant me the grace of loving my God.
It is from you that I hope to gain it.” – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) – Bishop and Most Zealous Doctor of the Church – 1st Sermon for the Octave of Christmas

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You. Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Advocate be our eternal succour. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on TIME, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 10 December – “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8

Quote/s of the Day – 10 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent

“But when the Son of Man comes,
will he find faith on earth?”

Luke 18:8

“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

“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.”

“He Himself will help us
and lead us
to what He has promised.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“You first loved us
so that we might love You—
not because You needed our love
but because, we could not be
what You created us to be,
except by loving You.”

William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
was a twelfth century French Benedictine Abbot of Saint-Thierry,
theologian and mystic who became a Cistercian monk and writer.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 9 December – St Bernard’s Let Your goodness, Lord, Appear to Us

Our Morning Offering – 9 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent

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

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

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Mary, our Hope!

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.

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

REFLECTION – “If, as the Apostle declares, faith is nothing else than the substance of things to be hoped for” (Heb 11:1) everyone will easily allow, that our faith is confirmed and our hope aroused and strengthened, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. The Virgin was kept the more free from all stain of original sin because she was to be the Mother of Christ and she, was the Mother of Christ, that the hope of everlasting happiness, might be born again in our souls.

Leaving aside charity towards God, who can contemplate the Immaculate Virgin without feeling moved to fulfill that precept which Christ called peculiarly His own, namely that of loving one another as He loved us? “A great sign,” thus the Apostle St John describes a vision divinely sent him, appears in the heavens: “A woman clothed with the sun and with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head” (Rv 12:1). Everyone knows that this woman signified the Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth our Head.

The Apostle continues: “And, being with child, she cried travailing in birth and was in pain to be delivered” (Rv 12:2). John, therefore, saw the Most Holy Mother of God already in eternal happiness, yet travailing in a mysterious childbirth. What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains, show the love and desire, with which the Virgin from heaven above, watches over us and strives with unwearying prayer to bring about the fulfilment of the number of the elect.

This same charity we desire that all should earnestly endeavour to attain, taking special occasion from … feasts in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” … Saint Pius X (1835-1914) Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum”

PRAYER O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749)
I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians.
Receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins,
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 7 December – ‘They were filled with awe” – Luke 5:26

Advent Reflection – 7 December – Monday of the Second Week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10Psalms 85:9 and 1011-1213-14Luke 5:17-26 and the Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.

And amazement seized them all and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”- Luke 5:26

REFLECTION – “The Word of God has come to dwell in man; he became “Son of man” in order to accustom man to receive God and God to dwell in man, as it has pleased the Father. See now why the sign of our salvation, Emmanuel born of a Virgin, has been given by the Saviour Himself (Is 7:14). Indeed, it is the Saviour Himself who saves men, since of themselves they cannot save themselves. (…) The prophet Isaiah has said: “Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak! Take courage, frightened hearts; be strong, fear not! Here is your God who comes with vindication; he himself comes, he comes to save us,” (Is 35:3-4). For it is only by God’s help and not of ourselves, that we can stand up to our salvation.

And here is another text where Isaiah predicted that the one who saves us is neither simply a man nor an incorporeal being: “It was not a messenger or an angel but the Lord himself who saved his people. Because of his love and pity he forgave them; he redeemed them himself,” (Is 63:9). Yet this Saviour is also truly man, truly visible: “City of Zion, behold: your eyes shall see our Saviour” (…) And another prophet has said: “He will again have compassion on us and cast into the depths of the sea all our sins,” (Mi 7:19) (…) From the land of Judah, from Bethlehem (Mi 5:1) will come the Son of God, He who is also God, to pour out His praise on all the earth (…) Thus God has become man indeed and the Lord Himself has saved us, by giving us the sign of the Virgin.” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-c 202) Bishop, Church Father, Theologian and Martyr – Against the heresies III

PRAYER – Prayer of St Ambrose
O Lord, who has mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of Your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore You,
a heart to delight in You,
to follow and enjoy You,
for Christ’s sake.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on WATCHING, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 December – Prepare the way of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 6 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

“Prepare the way of the Lord
make his paths straight”

Mark 1:3

“Open wide your door
to the One who comes.
Open your soul,
throw open the depths of your heart
to see the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
the sweetness of grace.
Open your heart and run to meet
the Sun of eternal light
that illuminates all men.”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“I speak out in order to lead Him
into your hearts
but He does not choose to come
where I lead Him,
unless you prepare the way for Him.”

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

“If we wish to make any progress in the service of God,
we must begin everyday of our life, with new eagerness.
We must keep ourselves, in the presence of God,
as much as possible and have no other view
or end, in all our actions but the divine honour.”

St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SPEAKING of ....., The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – The Divine Infant

Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – Saturday of the First week of Advent

“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.”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Father of the Church

“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 Church

“He became small because you were small –
understand how great He is
and you will become great along with Him.
This is how houses are built,
how the solid walls of a building are raised.
The stones brought to construct the building increase,
you, too, increase, understanding how great Christ is
and how He who appeared to be small is great,
very great indeed…”

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

“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)
Most Zealous Doctor

Posted in Hail MARY!, MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The INCARNATION, To JESUS through MARY

Thought for the Day – 25 October – “Hail Mary”

Thought for the Day – 25 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Hail Mary

“After the Lord’s Prayer, there is no more beautiful prayer than the Hail Mary, which we should recite with particular devotion in the decades of the Holy Rosary.
At the beginning of the Rosary, we can imgine that we are witnesses of the Annunciation to Mary, in her home at Nazareth.
An Angel descends from Heaven and bows before the Blessed Virgin as she kneels, absorbed in prayer.
“Hail, full of grace,” he says, “the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women” (Lk 1:26-28).
We should join with the Angel of God in repeating these words fervently and devoutly.

The constant repetition of this prayer is very pleasing to Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother.
When we greet her with the words of the Angel, we remid her of the great mystery of the Incarnation, which was the beginning of her lofty mission as co-redemptrix and the dawn of Christian civilisation.

Even when we say these words over and over again, they can never become monotonous.
When a son is speaking to his mother, every word possesses an unlimited warmth and meaning because, it is the expression of a boundless love.
When we recite the decades of the Rosary, we should think of the heavenly Mother who is watching over us and listening to us, eager to console and assist us.
She loves us with a maternal love but, she requires us to love her also and to prove that we are her children by imitating her virtues.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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, 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