Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 17 December – The Cave of Bethlehem

Thought for the Day – 17 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Cave of Bethlehem

“Why, asked Bossuet, should the Eternal Word of God, infinitely and everlastingly happy, have deigned to assume in time, the fallen state of humanity?
Why should He have chosen, as the scene of His miraculous life of love, this insignificant world, a planet almost imperceptible among the myriads of gigantic heavenly bodies?
It was for the very same reason, Bossuet replied, that propmpted Him, once He had become man, to choose as His birthplace, the tiny and unknown village of Nazareth in Galilee rather than Rome, the centre of power, or Athens, the centre of learning, or Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel.
Our world is the Nazareth of creation, one of the smallest planets in the firmament.

God did not even choose, moreover, to be born in the poor but comparatively comfortable house at Nazareth.
He preferred to be born in the strange town of Bethlehem.
It was the cradle of His ancestral line but it gave Him no welcome and compelled Him to be born in a cold and squalid barn on the straw of a manger.
God had no need of human grandeur.
His power and majesty shone more brightly through the insignificance of the objects and means which He employed in order to fulfil His purpose.
It would be ridiculous to imagine, even for a moment, that He had any need of human aid in order to accomplish His designs.
God chooses the weak things of the world in order to confound the strong!” (Missale Romanum, Miss. Virg et Mart).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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 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 PRAYERS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 7 December – St Ambrose’s Advent Hymn, Saviour of the Nations, Come

Our Morning Offering – 7 December – Monday of the Second Week of Advent and the Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Veni Redemptor gentium
Saviour of the Nations, Come
St Ambrose’s Advent Hymn

Saviour of the nations, come;
Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood;
By the Spirit of our God
Was the Word of God made flesh,
Woman’s offspring, pure and fresh.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.

From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell
High the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father’s only Son,
Hast over sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o’ercloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.

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 JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SACRED HEART REFLECTIONS, The HOLY CROSS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 3 June – The Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Revealed in the Gospel

Thought for the Day – 3 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Revealed in the Gospel

“If we meditate on the pages of the Gospel, we shall find that they are vibrant with the infinite love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Let us, in imagination, enter the cave of Bethlehem and kneel before the crib where the Divine Infant is lying.
Darkness is all around, darkness over the earth, darkness in the minds and hearts of the majority of men.
But, now, the heavens open and from the brightness the voices of angels ring out, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men of goodwill.”
Who is this infant?
He is the Eternal Word, the substantial image of God, Who, for love of us, has been made man.
He is the Infinite One Who has willed to unite Himself with the finite, in order to lift us towards Himself.
This little heart is throbbing like that of any baby but, in this throb, is expressed the love of the God-Man.
It is a profound mystery, that God should have loved man so much, that He became a tiny infant.
Yet, He did this so that we might love Him more easily and in order to show us His own immeasurable love.
There is about this Infant, a fascination, at once human and divine, which compels us to love Him, even as Mary, Joseph and the simple shepherds loved Him.
He is asking us for love, adoration and complete surrender.
Can we refuse Him?

Now let us take ourselves in imagination to Calvary and kneel at the foot of the Cross.
The heart which began to beat with the sacred love in the manger at Bethlehem, has given everything for us, has poured forth it’s precious blood for our salvation and, has bestowed on us, as a final gift, the Blessed Mother of God.
Now, this heart is consumed with love for us and ceases to beat only when it has give us everything.
“It is consummated” (Jn 19:30).
At Bethlehem we have experienced a joyful ecstasy of love.
Here, at the foot of the Cross, we should experience a deep sorrow, which will cause us to weep for our sins and to transform our lives after the model of Jesus Christ.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, Ven Servant of God John A Hardon

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – The Burning Babe

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – the Memorial of St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church and St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr

The Burning Babe, by Saint Robert Southwell

burning-babe-excerpt-st-robert-southwell-mem-21-feb-21-jan-2019 and 21 feb 2020 as quote of the day

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

It’s not surprising, it’s one of the great poems of the English language.

St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-1595) Martyr, Religious Priest, Poet, Hymnodist, Writer, clandestine missionary was born in 1561 in Horsham Saint Faith, Norfolk, England and he was martyred by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 21 February 1595 (aged 33) in Tyburn, London, England. St Robert was Canonised on 25 October 1970 by Blessed Pope Paul VI.
“His poetry – we don’t know exactly when he began to write but it must have been very young because he wrote a great deal of which we have the record and by now the English speaking world knows Robert Southwell. His two outstanding poems are ‘The Burning Babe’ and ‘The Virgin Mary to Christ On The Cross.’” (Ven Fr John A Hardon SJ)

St Peter Damian quotes here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/21/quote-s-of-the-day-21-february-st-peter-damian/
And some from St Robert Southwell here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/02/21/quote-s-of-the-day-21-february-the-memorial-of-st-peter-damian-o-s-b-1007-1072-and-st-robert-southwell-s-j-1561-1595/

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 IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARTYRS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION

Our Morning Offering – 31 December – Let Me Spend My Life Near Thee, O Mother

Our Morning Offering – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

Let Me Spend My Life Near Thee, O Mother
Blessed Miguel Pro SJ
Martyr (1891-1927)

Let me spend my life near thee, O Mother
to keep thee company
in thy solitude and deepest grief.

Let me feel in my soul
the sadness of thine eyes
and the abandonment of thy heart.

On life’s highway I do not seek
the gladness of Bethlehem,
I do not wish to adore the infant God
in thy virginal hands,
nor to enjoy the winsome presence of Jesus
in thy humble home of Nazareth,
nor the mingle with the angelic choirs
in thy glorious Assumption.

My wish in life is for the jeers
and derision of Calvary,
for the slow agony of thy Son,
for the contempt, the disgrace
and infamy of the cross.

My wish, O most sorrowful Virgin,
is to stand near thee,
to strengthen my soul through thy tears
to complete my offering
through thy martyrdom,
to temper my heart through thy solitude
and to love my God and thy God
through my self-sacrifice.
Amenlet me spend my life near thee o mother - 31 dec 2019 bl miguel pro

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Her Amazement at her Only Child – Karol Wojtyla

Thought for the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave

Her Amazement at her Only Child
Karol Wojtyla
Saint Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Light piercing, gradually, everyday events,
a woman’s eyes, hands
used to them since childhood.
Then brightness flared, too huge for simple days,
and hands clasped when the words lost their space.

In that little town, my Son, where they knew us together,
You called me mother but no-one had eyes to see,
the astounding events as they took place day by day.
Your life became the life of the poor
in Your wish to be with them, through the work of Your hands.

I knew – the light that lingered in ordinary things,
like a spark sheltered under the skin of our days —
the light was You,
it did not come from me.

And I had more of You in that luminous silence,
than I had of You as the fruit of my body, my blood.

ST JOHN PAUL II’S CHRISTMAS POETRY
Poem from his 1950 Collection, “The Mother”

 

her amazement at her only child - st john paul karol wojtyla 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, 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 CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – The Staff of Life Springs Forth

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave

The Staff of Life Springs Forth
A Nativity Prayer
By St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

The feast day of Your birth resembles You, Lord
because it brings joy to all humanity.
Old people and infants alike, enjoy Your day.
Your day is celebrated from generation to generation.
Kings and emperors may pass away,
and the festivals to commemorate them soon lapse.
But Your festival will be remembered
until the end of time.
Your day is a means and a pledge of peace.
At Your birth heaven and earth were reconciled,
since You came from heaven to earth on that day.
You forgave our sins and wiped away our guilt.
You gave us so many gifts on the day of Your birth,
a treasure chest of spiritual medicines for the sick.
spiritual light for the blind,
the cup of salvation for the thirsty,
the bread of life for the hungry.
In the winter when trees are bare,
You give us the most succulent spiritual fruit.
In the frost when the earth is barren,
You bring new hope to our souls.
In December, when seeds are hidden in the soil,
the staff of life springs forth
from the virgin womb.
Amenthe feast day of your birth resembles you o lord - nativity prayer by st ephrem 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, 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 CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Second Thought for the Day – 24 December – “Silent Night” – May this Holy Infant so tender and mild, bless us all!

Second Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight

Last year we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the first performance

of the beloved carol ‘Silent Night’Silent-Night-by-Fr-Joseph-Mohr-1792-1848-24-dec-2018 and 2019

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child!
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, how the light
Radiates love from Thy heavenly face,
At the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

May this Holy Infant so tender and mild, bless us all!

Read the story here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/24/thought-for-the-day-24-december-today-the-200th-anniversary-of-the-first-performance-of-the-beloved-carol-silent-night/Holy-infant-so-tender-and-mile-bless-us-all-24-dec-2018 and 2019

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Holy Eucharist and Hope – Let us approach Him

Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight

The Holy Eucharist and Hope

The greatest source of hope this side of eternity is the Sacrament of hope, the Sacrament of encounter with Christ that is the Holy Eucharist.   The document of the Second Vatican Council that begins with the words “joy” and “hope,” Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution On The Church in the Modern World), says:

“Christ left to His followers a pledge of . . . hope and food for the journey in the sacrament of faith, in which natural elements, the fruits of human cultivation, are changed into His glorified body and blood, as a supper of brotherly and sisterly communion and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet (38).”

Those who frequent this Sacrament — receiving it often, if not daily — know that one of the fruits of the Sacrament, is the virtue of hope.   Gaudium et Spes refers to this sacrament as a “pledge of hope and food for the journey” that Christ left to His followers.

This document of Vatican II opened with these words:

“The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.   Nothing that is genuinely human, fails to find an echo in their hearts.   For theirs is a community of people united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit in their pilgrimage towards the father’s kingdom, bearers of a message of salvation for all of humanity (1).”

In the general intercessions at Holy Mass, we bring the “joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted.”   We name those needs and address them to God our Father, through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.   We know that those pleas to God register with Him, as they come directly to God through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the compassionate and merciful heart of Christ.

When we bring our prayers and petitions to Holy Mass, we should trust that they are heard by God and that God will bring a most fitting response — in His good time, His unique way and His providential plan — to all the prayers of our hearts.   We might take them to Christ, with the added prayer:  “Jesus, I trust in you.”

“Let us, at this season, approach Him with awe and love, in whom resides all perfection and from whom we are allowed to gain it.   Let us come to the Sanctifier to be sanctified….
May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him, who as at this time became a little child for our sake, more simple-minded, more humble, more holy, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.”

Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)let us as this season approach him in awe and love - st john henry newman 24 dec 2019.jpg

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

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

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

“Awake, mankind!
For your sake God has become man.
Awake, you who sleep,
rise up from the dead
and Christ will enlighten you.
I tell you again,
for your sake,
God became man.”awake mankind. for your sake god - st augustine 24 dec 2019.jpg

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

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

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

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

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – ‘Let us go to Bethlehem to behold the mystery of the crib.’

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings: Isaiah 9:2-7 (1-6), Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14

For to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.… Luke 2:11

REFLECTION – “Brethren, now we have been told about the miracle let us turn aside to see this unusual sight as Moses did (Ex 3:3) – in Mary the burning bush is not consumed, the Virgin gives birth to the Light without defilement (…) Let us then run to Bethlehem, the town of the Good News!   If we are real shepherds, staying awake on our watch, then it is to us that the voice of the angels is addressed, announcing a great joy (…)   “Glory to God in the highest for peace is coming down to earth!”   There where, only yesterday, there was nothing but misfortune, battlefields and exile, now earth receives peace for today “Truth shall spring out of the earth and justice shall look down from heaven” (Ps 84[85]:12).   Behold the fruit earth gives to humankind in reward for the goodwill reigning among men (Lk 2:14).   God is joined to man to raise man to the stature of God.

At this news, my brethren, let us go to Bethlehem to behold (…) the mystery of the crib, a child wrapped in swaddling clothes rests in a manger.   A Virgin after giving birth, His undefiled Mother, embraces her son.   Let us repeat the words of the prophet along with the shepherds:  “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of our God.” (Ps 47[48]:9)

But why does our Lord seek shelter in this cave at Bethlehem?   Why is He sleeping in a manger?   Why does He participate in Israel’s census?   My brethren, He who brings liberty to the world, comes to be born into our slavery to death.   He is born in this cave to reveal Himself to us, who are immersed in darkness and the shadow of death.   He rests in a manger because He is the One who makes grass grow for the cattle (Ps 104[103],14).   He is the Bread of Life who feeds us with a spiritual food that we too might live in the Spirit…   What more joyful feast is there than that of today?   Christ, the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20), comes to illumine our night.   What had fallen is raised up again, what was overcome is now set free…  what was dead is restored to life…   Let us all sing today with one voice over all the earth:  “Death came through one man, Adam, today salvation has come through one man (cf Rom 5,17)” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Bishop-Sermon on the Nativityhe rests in a manger because he is the one who makes the grass grow - st gregory of nyssa 24 dec 2019

PRAYER –
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amenrejoice rejoice emmanuel shall come to thee o israel 24 dec 2019

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Our Morning Offering – 24 December – The People who in Darkness Walked

Our Morning Offering – 24 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Mass at Midnight – Readings: Isaiah 9:1-6, Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14

The People who in Darkness Walked
From Isaiah 9:1-6

The People who in darkness walked
have seen a glorious light.
The light has shone on them who dwelt
In death’s surrounding night.
To hail You, Sun of Righteousness,
the gathering nations come,
rejoicing as when reapers bear,
their harvest treasures home.
To us a child of hope is born,
to us a son is given,
Him shall the tribes of earth obey,
Him all the host of heaven.
His name shall be the Prince of Peace
for evermore adored,
the Wonderful, the Counsellor,
the great and mighty Lord.the people who in darkness walked 24 dec 2019.jpg

 

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, SAINT of the DAY, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord and Memorials of the Saints – 24 December

24 December – Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord/Mass at Midnight
In many Western Christian traditions Midnight Mass is the first liturgy of Christmastide that is celebrated on the night of Christmas Eve, traditionally beginning at midnight when Christmas Eve gives way to Christmas Day.   This popular Christmas custom is a jubilant celebration of the Mass in honour of the Nativity of Jesus, even many of those Christian denominations that do not regularly employ the word “Mass” uniquely use the term “Midnight Mass” for their Christmas Eve liturgy.

Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote a commentary on these words and explained in his Summa Theologiae, “And from this the Mass derives its name … the deacon on festival days ‘dismisses’ the people at the end of the Mass, by saying: ‘Ite, missa est,’ that is, the victim [Jesus] has been sent to God through the angel, so that it may be accepted by God.”

St Adam the Patriarch
St Adela of Pfalzel
Bl Alberic of Gladbach
Bl Brocard of Strasbourg
St Bruno of Ottobeuren
St Caran of Scotland
St Delphinus of Bordeaux
St Emiliana and St Trasilla (died sixth Century)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/24/saints-of-the-day-24-december-saints-tarsilla-and-emiliana-died-sixth-century-virgins/
St Euthymius of Nicomedia
St Eve the Matriarch
Bl Francesco dei Maleficii
St Gregory of Spoleto
St Hanno of Worms
Bl Ignacio Caselles García
St Irmina of Oehren
St Mochua of Timahoe
Bl Pablo Meléndez Gonzalo
St Paola Elisabetta Cerioli (1816-1865)
Bl Peter de Solanes
Bl Venerandus of Clermont

All the Holy Ancestors of Jesus: A commemoration of all the holy ancestors of Jesus Christ.
• Blessed Dionysius Roneo
• Blessed Philip Claro
• Blessed Giulio Pons
• Blessed Peter of Valladolid

Blessed Mercedarian Sisters – (6 beati): Six cloistered Mercedarian nuns at the convent of Vera Cruz in Berriz, Spain. Noted for their devotion to the rules of the Order and for their deep prayer lives.
• Blessed Anna Maria Prieto
• Blessed Anna de Arrano
• Blessed Orsola de Larisgoizia
• Blessed Maguna Mary
• Blessed Margaret
• Blessed Mary of the Assumption Sarria

Martyred Maidens of Antioch – (40 saints): A group of forty virgins martyred in the persecutions of Decius. None of their names have come down to us. They were martyred in 250 in Antioch, Syria.

Martyrs of Tripoli – (6 saints): A group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. The only details that have surived are six of the names – Drusus, Lucian, Metrobius, Paul, Theotimus and Zenobius. They were martyred in Tripoli, Libya.