Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) – Today’s Gospel: Luke 2:1–14

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) – Today’s Gospel:  Luke 2:1–14 (Midnight Mass)

24 December

Saint Joseph goes to Bethlehem with his holy spouse

“Consider that God had decreed that His Son be born, not in Joseph’s house but in a cavern and stable of beasts, in the poorest and most painful way a child can be born. For this reason, God caused Caesar to publish an edict, by which people were commanded to go and register each member of their family, in their place of origin. When Joseph heard this order, he was agitated and unsure whether or not the Virgin Mother should take the trip with him. But Mary, knowing of his dilemma and being well versed in the prophet, Micheas, responded, “Do not fear, I will go with you and the Lord will assist us.”
She then gathered together the swaddling clothese and the other miserable garments already prepared for the journey and departed with Joseph.
Let us accompany Mary and Joseph, on their journey and await the appearance of the King.
My beloved Redeemer, I know that in this journey, the angels in heaven accompanied You but I also wish to accompany You, O my only love. My soul has become filled with love for You, O my amiable Infant God. Unite and bind me to Yourself.”

Scripture

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.
Luke 2:4-6advent with st alphonsus - luke 2 4-5 and joseph also went up - let us accompany 24 dec 2018

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-19-dec-2017

Advent Action
Today we are also pregnant with the fullness of the Advent season.   It is almost time for us to participate in the birthing of the Lord.   We ponder, like Mary, in our hearts, what this will mean for our lives.   We listen more intently to Scripture to hear the advice and directions that God is giving to us.   This day is the change we have been waiting for – this is the day promised us – this is the day which will alter our lives – everything, forever! Lord, grant me the grace to introduce You to the world in the place and time that You have assigned to me.   “I will sing praises to my God, all my life long.” (Psalm 146:2)advent with alphonsus - 24 dec 2018 -psalm 146 2 - i will sing praises to my god

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Today’s Gospel:  Luke 1:39-45

23 December

God’s love is demonstrated by the birth of Jesus

“Consider the love of God.   It was always present but did not always appear.    It was first promised in many prophecies and foreshadowed by many figures but, at the birth of our Redeemer, this divine love did indeed appear.   But despite the birth of Jesus, why is it that so many people have not known God’s love and so many people seem ignorant of His love? This is the reason – “The light of the world has come into the world and humanity loves darkness rather than the light.” They have not known Him and they do not know Him because they do not wish to know Him, loving rather the darkness of sin than the light of grace.   Let each one determine this day not to be numbered among those unhappy souls who prefer the darkness.

O my holy Infant, now I see You lying on the straw, poor, afflicted and forsaken.   I have been one of those ungrateful ones who do not know You.    Help me never to forget You again.”

Scripture

Restore us, O God;
let thy face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:3advent with st alphonsus psalm 80 3 restore us o lord -23dec2018

Prayer

O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!emmanuel-king-and-lawgiver-23-dec-2017

Advent Action
Carrying You in her womb, Your mother rushes to meet Elizabeth.   What an awesome moment that meeting turns out to be!   You are already on duty as our Redeemer, sanctifying John in his mother’s womb. In fact, the child in Elizabeth’s womb, responds to Your presence, as the mother, filled with the Holy Spirit, bears witness to it.
As these final days of this preparatory Season draw to a close, there is still time to allow body, mind and heart to be attuned to the transforming intervention of Jesus, God-in-the-flesh.   There is still time to permit body, mind and heart to see “the plan” already at work in life, especially in those dark and difficult moments of life.   There is still time for body, mind and heart to cry out to the Holy Spirit for a zealous and determined connection with the Person Jesus, who pours His abundant joy into every aspect of our lives.
Lord, grant me the grace, to bring Your joy to all I meet along the path of life.  May Your presence in my heart, as in Mary’s womb, bring salvation to all!
“Being awake for God and for other people – that is the kind of ‘waking’ that Advent has in mind, the wakefulness which discovers the light and brightens the world!” (Pope Benedict XVI – The Light of a new humanity p 19)

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 21 December

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

21 December

Jesus is a prisoner in the womb of Mary

“Consider the painful life that Jesus Christ led in the womb of His mother and the long-confined and dark imprisonment that He suffered there for nine months.   He had His senses but He could not use them.   A tongue but He could not speak.   Eyes but he could not see.   Hands but He could not stretch them out.   Feet but He could not walk.   For nine months, He had to remain the womb of Mary, a voluntary prison but also a prison of love. He was innocent but He had offered Himself to make payment for our debts and our crimes.

What gratitude and love we should demonstrate for our Lord in return for the love and goodness that He has given us.   He has put Himself into chains, in order to deliver us from the chains of evil.

O my Jesus, You are the innocent one. I implore You to bind my poor soul to Your feet by Your holy love, so that it may never again be separated from You.”

Scripture

“Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

Luke 1:42luke 1 42 blessed are you among woman - o raidant dawn 21dec2018

Prayer

O Radiant Dawn,
splendour of eternal light, sun of justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.o-radiant-dawn-21-dec-2017

Advent Action
Dawn never happens quickly.   Long before dawn, while it is quite dark, the birds start their sounds of joy.   Slowly the night changes from dark, to charcoal, to haze, to light. Today’s Scripture presents to us the image of waiting.   In the Gospel, Mary and Elizabeth, wait and wonder together and the Lord waits, St John the Baptist waits.   Oftentimes, we are called to wait.   We must believe that in our waiting, the dawning also exists. We know that the Lord will always draw us from darkness into His cleansing light. Patience is a virture – displayed so wonderfully and painfully by the Lord.   How can we give into our impatience?   Rest in Me, remember me in the womb of My mother Mary and learn patience!

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

20 December

Jesus offered Himself for our salvation from the beginning

“Consider that the divine Word knew that all the sacrifices of goats and bulls offered to the Father in times past had not been able to satisfy for the sins of humankind but that it required a divine person to pay the price of redemption.   “My Father” said Jesus, “all the victims previously offered to You have not paid the debt, nor could they have paid the debt, necessary to satisfy Your justice.   You have given me my humanity, in order that by shedding my blood, I might please You and save humanity.   Behold I come.   Here I am.   I am ready. I accept everything and I submit myself in everything, to Your will.”

O my Jesus, I am weak, grant me strength against temptation. I am infirm, I hope that Your precious blood will be my medicine. I am a sinner but I hope that Your grace will make me a saint.   I acknowledge that I have co-operated with my own ruin but this day, I promise always, to call upon You and in this way co-operate with Your grace.”

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

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

Advent Action
The Pharisees, dressed in fine robes and living in palaces, are rejected.   Advent is the time to ask Jesus to change us. He is coming, He invades the world, He changes everything, forevermore – He will change us if we ask – “Lord, come to me this day. Change me. Restore me to Your kingdom.”
“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 AlphonsusIf we would please this divine infant - st alphonsus liguori 20dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT PRAYERS, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

19 December

The passion of Jesus lasted throughout His whole life

“Consider that when Abraham was leading his son Isaac to death, that he did not give him notice of it beforehand, even during the short time that was necessary for them to arrive at the mount.   But the eternal Father chose that His incarnate Son, whom He had destined to be the victim for the atonement of our sins, should know the sorrow He was to endure from the very first moment that He was in His mother’s womb.  The whole life, then, of our blessed Redeemer and all the years that He spent, was a life of pain and tears. His divine heart never passed one moment free from suffering.   The martyrs have suffered but assisted by grace, they suffered with you and fervour.   Jesus Christ suffered but He suffered with a heart full of weariness and sorrow and He accepted all, for our love.

O sweet, O amiable, O loving heart of Jesus, I thank You.   O afflicted and loving heart of my Lord, I thank You for all that You suffered for me!”

Scripture

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
Psalm 71:4advent with st alphonsus rescue me o my god psalm 71-4 o sweet 19dec2018

Prayer

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.o-root-of-jesse-19-dec-2017

Advent Action
Speechless I stand before You, contemplating the Father’s mysterious design for our salvation.   I revere the elaborate preparations the Father puts in place for Your coming into our midst as one of us.    First, He prepares a mother for You, preserving her from sin right from conception and filling her with grace.   Then, in the fullness of time, He approaches her announcing His plan and the role she has to play in it.   Then, He takes care of her heart-broken husband, Joseph, announcing to him the mystery of Your incarnation.   And finally, the Father raises one more prophet to prepare the field for Your mission and to introduce You to our world.
Today, Your Word invites me to reflect on the role of the Baptist in Your redemptive work and challenges me to make space for You to be born in our world and in my heart.
Lord, let my life be a pointer to You as John’s was…I beg You!

Posted in ADVENT, BREVIARY Prayers, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

18 December

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

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

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

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

Scripture

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

Prayer

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

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

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

17 December 

The Heart of Jesus in the womb of His Mother

“Consider that whatever Jesus suffered in His life and in His Passion was all placed before Him while He was in the womb of Mary.   He accepted everything that was proposed to Him with delight but in accepting all things and in overcoming the natural repugnance of sense, O my God, what anguish and oppression did the innocent heart of Jesus suffer. Our Redeemer accepted each moment even though He continually had before His eyes that confusion which He would one day feel at seeing Himself stripped naked, scourged and suspended by three iron nails, ending His life in the midst of insults and curses.   And for what?   To save us miserable and ungrateful sinners.

My beloved Redeemer, how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin, which I brought on myself through my sins?   What can I do without Your grace? I can do nothing but pray that You will help me but even this prayer comes from the merits of Your suffering and death!   O my Jesus, help me!”

Scripture

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

Prayer

O WISDOM
You came forth from the mouth of the Most High
and reaching from beginning to end,
You ordered all things mightily and sweetly.
Come and teach us the way of prudence

Advent Action
Time is fast approaching for Eternity to break into time.   And today we begin our special preparations to celebrate Your birthday.   Your Evangelist, Matthew, begins his Gospel by tracing Your origin as a human being.   You did not come to us as bolt from the blue.   You fully belong to our human stock.   Matthew’s list of Your genealogy is disturbing, if not shocking.   Of course, Your ancestors include great patriarchs of the chosen people.  But it also includes some of ill repute!   It begins with Abraham begetting Isaac.  Ishmael, the first son of Abraham, is not in the picture.   The story continues with Isaac begetting Jacob and not the elder son Esau.   Again, Jacob begets Judah, ignoring Joseph who was obviously the best of the brothers.   With these unreasonable choices, Matthew seems to impress on us that often God does not choose the best or the noblest or the saintly.   Thank You, Lord, for it is only Your unpredictable graciousness that made You choose me and employ me in Your service!   Only by my prayer, ‘O my Jesus, help me’ can I live up to this choice.   And so I increase my prayer this week. (Fr Joseph Thena SSP)_O Wisdom 17 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

16 December – Gaudete Sunday

God has given His only Son to save us

“Consider, that the eternal Father has given His Son to the world, for the light and life of all people, in order that He might win salvation.
Consider also, that the Father, in sending His Son to be our Redeemer and Mediator has, in a certain sense, bound Himself to forgive us and love us. On the other hand, the divien Word, having accepted the invitation of His Father, has also bound Himself to love us – not for our own merits but rather, to fulfil the merciful will of His Father.”

Scripture
Have no anxiety about anything but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6

Prayer (St Alphonsus)

O infinite God
and only love of my soul,
I thank You,
for having given me Your Son.
For the sake of this same Son,
accept me
and bind me with chains of love
to my Redeemer.
Amengaudete-sunday-17-dec-2018 REJOICE

Advent Action
We begin this third week of Advent asking to feel the joy that comes from knowing our Lord’s coming to us is near.
In these precious days ahead, we are praying, longing, hoping in the background of our everyday lives.
His mission is to the poor, the brokenhearted, prisoners and captives.   His mission is for us.   It is “good news,” full of healing, liberty and release.   We can smile today as we imagine the freedom He has won for us and how liberating it will be to live it, with Him, for others.
It is right to give our God thanks and praise and to follow His mission in our lives.
Jesus will come again, very soon!ero-cras-tomororow-i-will-come-17-dec-2017

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

15 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent

The greatest sorrow of Jesus

“Consider Jesus, who revealed to the Venerable Agatha of the Cross, that which afflicted Him more than any other sorrow was hardness of the hearts of humanity.   This sorrow, was the bitter chalice that Jesus begged the Father to remove from Him, saying, “Let this chalice pass from me.  ” What chalice?   The contempt with which His love was treated. Our Lord revealed to St Catherine of Siena that this was the reason that He exclaimed from the cross, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

Knowing this sorrow, let us change our will, repent of our sins and resolve to love God. In this way, we shall then find peace, that is, the divine friendship that we seek.   We beg the Lord for the necessary grace to execute what we propose.   We call upon our Blessed Lady and ask that she not cease to pray until we are changed and made into what God wishes us to be.”

Scripture
“So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.”
Matthew 17:12b

Prayer (St Alphonsus)

“O my most amiable Jesus,
how much have I caused You to suffer?
In the future,
I will love You above all things,
ready to give up my life a thousand times,
in order to accomplish Your will.
Mary Holy Mother,
I beg your prayer and loving care.
Please help us all.
Amen”

Advent Action
Today’s Scriptures encourage us to look for the signs of Jesus, who will restore life to us. “Lord, help me see the signs of Your coming.   Let me not be blinded by the glare of business or the millions of lights in malls and on trees.   Rather, let me look for You in the small things of the day, with my heart longing for You.    “Christ dwelt for nine months in the tabernacle of Mary’s womb.   He dwells until the end of the ages in the tabernacle of the Church’s faith.   He will dwell forever, in the knowledge and love of each faithful soul.” [Blessed Isaac of Stella (c 1100-1170) Cistercian Monk]   Amen!”advent with st alphonsus - so also will matthew 17 12 - o sovereign god 15dec2018

“Now is the time to say to Jesus: 
“Lord, I have let myself be deceived;
in a thousand ways I have shunned Your love, 
yet here I am once more, 
to renew my covenant with You. 
I need you. 
Save me once again, Lord,
take me once more into 
Your redeeming embrace”.

Pope Francis – The Joy of the Gospelnow-is-the-time-to-say-to-jesus-15-dec-2018-from-the-joy-of-the-gospel

Posted in ADVENT, Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

14 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent

Jesus suffers so much in order to gain our hearts

“Consider that Jesus suffered for our love.   During His entire life, He had no other purpose than the glory of God and our salvation.   Even though He could have saved us without suffering, He chose to embrace a life of suffering. He was poor, despised and deprived of every comfort, with a death that was more desolate and bitter than any death ever endured by a martyr or penitent.   All of this, was done for the sole purpose of helping us understand the greatness of His love for us.

Saint Bonaventure exclaims, ‘It is a wonder to see a God endure such sufferings, shedding tears in a stable, poor in a workshop, languishing on a cross, in short afflicted and troubled His whole life, all because of His love for sinful humanity.'”

Scripture
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17

Prayer (St Alphonsus)

“O sovereign God,
help me not to be ungrateful
for all that You have given me.
Help me to die in love with You.
Mary, my hope, help me.
Pray to Jesus for me.”

Advent Action
“O my Lord Jesus, whose love for me has been so great as to bring You down from heaven to save me, teach me, dear Lord, my sin—teach me its heinousness—teach me truly to repent of it—and pardon it in Your great mercy! I beg You, O my dear Saviour, to recover me! Your grace alone can do it. I cannot save myself. I cannot recover my lost ground. I cannot turn to You, I cannot please You, or save my soul without You. I shall go from bad to worse, I shall fall from You entirely, I shall quite harden myself against my neglect of duty, if I rely on my own strength. I shall make myself my centre instead of making it in You. I shall worship some idol of my own framing instead of You, the only true God and my Maker, unless You hinder it by Your grace. O my dear Lord, hear me! I have lived long enough in this undecided, wavering, unsatisfactory state. I wish to be Your good servant. I wish to sin no more. Be gracious to me and enable me to be what I know I ought to be.”…Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)advent with st alphonsus friday 2nd week isaiah 48 17 14dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori 13 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

13 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent

Jesus suffers during His whole life

“Consider that all the sufferings that Jesus endured in His life and death were all present to Him from the first moment of His life. Consider that even from His childhood, He began to offer them to fulfil His role as our Redeemer.   What martyrdom did the loving heart of Jesus constantly endure in beholding all sins of humankind!   Saint Thomas says that the sorrow which Jesus felt, at the knowledge of the injury dome to His Father and of the evil that sin would cause to the souls that He loved, surpassed the sorrow of all contrite sinners that ever existed.

St Margaret of Cortona, never ceased to shed tears for her sins.   One day her confessor said to her, “no more tears, Margaret, it is enough, our Lord has already forgiven you,” “What”, answered the saint, “how can my tears and my sorrows suffice for the sins which my Jesus was afflicted all His life long?”

My beloved Redeemer, I thank You!   I could die of sorrow when I think of how I have abused Your infinite goodness.   Forgive me, my Love and come and take entire possession of my heart.”

Scripture
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and men of violence, take it by force.”
Matthew 11:12

Prayer

Lord God,
true Light and Creator of Light,
empty us today
of the many worldly distractions
that lead us from You.
The darkness of our heart
is our enemy and we are beleaguered.
Help us Lord, that faithfully
seeking all that is holy,
and begging Your grace,
we may ever live in the
splendour of Your presence.
Amen

Advent Action
“Saint Paul teaches: “Our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the unseen powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens,” (Eph 6:12).   Like Joshua, let us set out to war, attacking the greatest city in the world, namely wickedness and let us throw down the arrogant walls of sin.   Would you look around for which path to take, which battlefield to choose?   No doubt you will find my words extraordinary;  nevertheless, they are true – limit your quest to yourself alone. In you lies the combat you are going to engage, within yourself the structure of evil and sin to pull down, your enemy emerges from the depths of your heart.   It is not I who say this but Christ.   Listen to him: “From the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy” (Mt 15:19).   Do you realise the power of this enemy force that advances against you from the depths of your heart?   Those are our real enemies.”…Origen (c.185-253)advent with st alphonsus - my beloved redeemer - 13dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori 12 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

12 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent

Jesus is charged with the sins of the whole world

“Consider that the divine Word, in taking on the human form, chose not only to take the form of a sinner but also, to bear the sins of all humanity.   What must have been the anguish of the heart of the infant Jesus when He discovered that divine justice insisted that He make full satisfaction for each sin!   Our Lord once showed to St Catherine of Siena, the hideousness of single venial sin and such was the dread and sorrow of the saint, that she fell senseless to the gound!   What then, must have been the suffering of the infant Jesus when He saw before Him, the immense array of all the crimes of history?

My beloved Jesus, I who offended You am not worthy of Your favours.   Help me, O Lord, to make that act of contrition, which I now intend to do.   You do not deserve to be offended, my Jesus but rather, to be loved. My blessed Redeemer, help me.”

Scripture
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:29come-to-me-all-who-are-burdened-matthew-11-28-29-jesus-asks-us-to-go-to-him-pope-benedict-19-july-2018

Prayer

O Lord,
we come to You.
We are burdened and struggling.
Our sins afflict and wound You
and ourselves.
We love You Lord Jesus,
our love above all things.
We repent with our whole hearts.
Never permit us to separate
ourselves from You again.
Grant that we may always love You
and sin no more.
O Jesus, our holy Saviour,
in Your gracious kindness,
supply what is wanting in us.
Lift us up on Your wings, O Lord.
Amen

Advent Action
Our Scripture presents us with the anchor that never rusts, the eagle that always carries us, the lamb that lifts our burdens.   In the midst of the Advent rush, let us rely on the Lord to renew our strength and to carry our burdens.   Let us take a break to turn our hearts each day to Him, to stop and rest and pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”the jesus prayer 3 - 13 feb 2018 - shrove tuesday

advent with st alphonsus - mt 11 29 wed 2nd week take my yoke 12 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori 11 December – Tuesday of the Second week of Advent

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

11 December – Tuesday of the Second week of Advent

Jesus, suffering servant, in the womb of His mother

“Consider, as the prophet Isaiah once proclaimed, that Jesus is the ‘suffering servant’ and from His infancy began to endure the greatest sorrows.   Even from the womb of Mary, Jesus Christ accepted obediently, the will of His Father.   He foresaw the scourges, the thorns, the blows, the nails and the cross on which He offered His life.   He suffered a continual martyrdom and He offered every moment for us, to His eternal Father.   But what afflicted Him more than any other suffering, was the malice of every sin, when He saw the immense number that would be committed.

My sweetest Redeemer, when shall I begin to be grateful to You for Your infinite goodness? When shall I begin to acknowledge the love that You bear for me and the sorrows that You endured for me? Shall I continue to live an ungrateful life?   No, my Jesus, by the help of Your grace, it shall not be so.”

Scripture

“He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,
no beauty to draw us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by men,
a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
spurned and we held him in no esteem.”

Isaiah 53:2-3

Prayer

Thank You, my Lord, for looking for me.
Thank You, my Lord, for finding me.
Thank You, my Lord, for telling me
“it is never the will of my Father,
that one of these little ones should perish.”
This explains why
You assumed our human nature
and suffered so much for us.
Thank You, my Lord,
for Your reckless love.
Thank You, my Lord,
for saving me!
Amen

Advent Action

Our Scripture today, overflows with hope.   In the Gospel, Jesus proclaims that He, personally, will rescue us.   Even if we are the only one lost, He will come after us.   “So it is not the will of my Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”  Are we in trouble, lost, confused and overwhelmed?   Tell Jesus!   He fulfils His promise to rescue us.advent with st alphonsus tues 2nd week 11dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

10 December – Monday of the Second week of Advent

God’s Son demonstrates His love in the Redemption

“Consider that the eternal Word is so infinitely happy that even the salvation of all humankind could not have added anything to this happiness or diminished it in any way.
Consider also, that despite this, He has nevertheless suffered so much for us – only God is capable of loving to such excess humankind, who is so unworthy of being loved.

A devout mother once wrote ‘if Jesus Christ had permited us to ask Him to give us the greatest proof of His love, who would have asked that He should become a child, that He should clothe Himself with all of our miseries and make Himself poor, despised and ill-treated, even to being put to death by the hands of an executioner and to be cursed and forsaken by all?’

O my Jesus, I am a poor creature and I was lost through my sins but You came to save the lost. What then should I fear, if I am willing to amend my life and become Yours?”

Scripture

“But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”, He said to the man who was paralysed—“I say to you, rise, take up your bed and go home.” And immediately he rose before them and took up that on which he lay and went home, glorifying God.”
Luke 5:24-25

Prayer

Almighty Lord and God
do not let us turn aside to any sin
but let our every thought,
word and deed,
aim at doing what is pleasing in Your sight.
Protect us by Your power,
even as You have enable us to begin it.
Guide our feet in the ways of Your happiness.
Accept our prayers for our neighbour in need.
Amen

Advent Action
In today’s Gospel Jesus gives life to the dead limbs of a paralytic.   In Jesus, all the prophecies of life springing from our ‘dead limbs’ find their fulfilment and become alive. Blessed was this paralytic who had such wonderful friends who were so convinced of the power of Jesus.   Thank you Lord, for all the good friends who have helped me to come into Your presence when my spirit was numb and paralysed.   Let us add all those in trials to our daily Advent prayer.   For the prayers on behalf of others, brings us all together to become sharers in the faith of the Saints and of the whole Church.   Let us pray for all those in need, each day of Advent.Luke 5 24-25 - I say to rise - what then should i fear - adventwithstalphonsus 10dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

God sent the Son to restore us to life.

“Consider that sin is the death of the soul, because this enemy of God deprives us of divine grace, which is the life of the soul. Therefore, we miserable sinners, were dead and condemned but God, through the immense love which the Father bears for us, determined to restore us to life. How die He accomplish this? He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die, so that by His death, God might restore us to life.

Behold our Redeemer who has come “so that we might have life to the full.” For this purpose, Jesus accepted death, so that He might give us life. It is reasonable that we should live only in God. It is reasonable that Jesus should be the only sovereign of our heart, since He has spent His blood for us.”

Scripture

“Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be brought low and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough ways shall be made smooth and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Luke 3:5-6

“O my God! Who would be so ungrateful a wretch, as to believe that Jesus died to secure the love of sinful humanity and yet refuse to love Him.”

Prayer
Almighty and merciful God,
let neither our daily work
nor the cares of this life,
prevent us from hastening
to meet Your Son.
Lord, make straight
the winding ways within us.
Draw us to repent!
Enlighten us with Your wisdom
and lead us into His company,
that we may love Him
and do homage to Him.
Amen

ADVENT ACTION
It is John the Baptist coming out of the desert breathing the fire of repentance, dressed like an animal, who is the one preparing and making ready.   This hints to us that the rest of the gift (Jesus at Christmas) will not be the perfect, shining diamond we would like but will represent the rougher side of life.   The poor, the lame, the outcast and the sick will be part of the experience of the Christ Child in the stable and the adult Christ on the roads of Galilee.   We are asked to prepare and to be ready, to accept this rough gift this Christmas!Second Sunday of advent - luke 3 5-6 - advent with st alphonsus 9dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 8 December – The First Saturday of Advent

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 8 December – The First Saturday of Advent

The Son of God was laden with all our sins

Consider the humble state which the Son of God freely chose to assume.   He not only took upon Himself the form of a slave but also, the form of a sinful servant “in the likeness of sinful flesh.”   Therefore, St Bernard writes, “He not only assumed the form of a servant but even that of a wicked servant.”   And thus, in this way,   He presented Himself to His Father, even from His birth, as a criminal and a debtor, guilty of all of our sins and, as such, was condemned to die as a malefactor, accursed on a cross.

Scripture
All things came to be through him and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life and this life was the light of the human race
John 1:3-4

“Behold the man” the Eternal Father, seems to say to all of us, showing Jesus to us in the stable of Bethlehem. “This poor child whom you behold, laid in a manager for beasts and stretched on straw, is my beloved Son, who has come into the world to take upon Himself your sins and your sorrows – love Him because He is infinitely worthy of your love and you are under an infinite obligation to do so.”

O my innocent Redeemer, enlighten the minds of those who do not know You or who do not love You.

PRAYER
Good and gracious God,
I sincerely thank and praise You for loving me.
Your love is the joy of my life.
Lord, help me to love You and others totally.
Take away any malice or bitterness in my life.
Help me love as Your Son, Jesus, loved.
And to love Him as my Life!
Amen

ADVENT ACTION
Remember the Babe in the Manger, keep Him before your eyes and you will not be able to forget what our sins do.ADVENT - PREPARING THE WAY - THE FIRST DAT OF ADV 8 DEC 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori 3 December – Monday of the First Week of Advent

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori
3 December – Monday of the First Week of Advent

Fullness of Grace

Behold the happy time is come which was called the designated time:  “When the designated time had come, God sent his Son…to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it” (Gal 4:4).   It is called the fullness of time because of the fullness of grace which the Son of God came to communicate to [us] by the redemption of the world.

THE INCARNATION, BIRTH AND INFANCY OF JESUS CHRIST
Scripture
Brothers [and sisters]:  May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. [Amen.]
Finally, brothers [and sisters], we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God—and as you are conducting yourselves—you do so even more.   For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus...1 Thessalonians 3:12—4:2

PRAYER
Lord, it is my hope that I may always be in “your will
and way.”
Sometimes I am selfish with my time and my own desires.
Today, help me sort out things in my life.
I need to make You the first priority in my life
and not the things that really do not matter.
Assist me in conducting myself in ways that are most pleasing to You.
Lord, it is my desire to live more for You this day.
Amen.

ADVENT ACTION
Advent is a time to practice patience.   Today, be patient with yourself and those around you.   Spiritual growth is tender, it is holy ground.   There is simply no greater investment.advent-preparing the way - day two - 3 december 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 2 December – The First Sunday of Advent

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori
2 December – The First Sunday of Advent

Day 1

The Redeeming Plan

“Consider how God allowed 4,000 years to pass after the sin of Adam before He sent His Son on earth to redeem the world.   And in the meantime, what fatal darkness reigned on the earth!   The true God was not known or adored, except in one small corner of the world.   Idolatry reigned everywhere;  devils and beasts and stones were adored as gods.…If Jesus Christ had come into the world immediately after the Fall of Adam, the greatness of this favour would have been but slightly appreciated.   Let us, therefore, thank the goodness of God for having sent us into the world, after, the great work of redemption was accomplished.”St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

THE INCARNATION, BIRTH AND INFANCY OF JESUS CHRIST
Scripture
The days are coming—oracle of the LORD—when I will fulfil the promise made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.   In those days, at that time, I will make a just shoot spring up for David;  he shall do what is right and just in the land.   In those days Judah shall be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; this is the name they shall call her: “The LORD our justice.”…Jeremiah 33:14–16

PRAYER
Creator and creating God, You give me such a delightful and wholesome gift in a new beginning.   Pride, rebellion and temptation called to me and I pulled away from You. These identical issues continue to cause sin in the lives of Your people.

Rather than true confession, like the first Adam, I seek
to blame others for the troubles in my life.

Forgive me of my sins.

Allow me to begin this Advent sojourn, by restoring me to a fresh start and new beginning with and in You.   Amen.

ADVENT ACTION
Whatever is at the centre of your life will be the source of your security, peace, wisdom, and power.   Decide today to make Jesus the centre and source of everything in your life.

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Churchadvent - preparing the way - day one - 2 Dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, NOTES to Followers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC

Thought for the Day – 26 November – Advent is nearly here!

Thought for the Day – 26 November – Advent is nearly here!

Advent—that period of great anticipatory joy—is a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s arrival in Bethlehem as a helpless infant.   In the Western liturgy, Advent begins four Sundays prior to December 25—the Sunday closest to 30 November, which is the feast of Saint Andrew, one of Jesus’ first disciples.
The annual commemoration of Christ’s birth begins the Christmas cycle of the liturgical year—a cycle that runs from Christmas day to the Baptism of the Lord.   In keeping with the unfolding of the message of the liturgical year, I hope to post from the first Sunday of Advent through twelve days of the Christmas cycle, or until 6 January, daily Scripture and Prayer with St Alphonsus Liguori, in place of (usually) the One Minute Reflection.

The four weeks of Advent are often thought of as symbolising the four different ways Christ comes into the world:
(1) upon His birth as a helpless infant;
(2) upon His arrival in the hearts of believers;
(3) upon His death;
(4) upon His arrival on Judgement Day.

Because Christmas falls on a different day of the week each year, the fourth week of Advent is never really finished;  it is abruptly, joyously and solemnly abrogated by the annual coming again of Christ at Christmas.   Christ’s Second Coming will also one day abruptly interrupt our sojourn here on Earth.

Each “day” begins with the words of Saint Alphonsus Liguori.   Following that quotation, is an excerpt from Scripture that is related in some way.   Next is a prayer, also built on the ideas from the two preceding passages.   Finally, an Advent or Christmas “action” suggests ways in which to apply the messages to one’s daily life.

I hope you will join St Alphonsus as we journey to Bethlehem and may the Holy Alphonsus, Pray for us all!advent and christmas wisdom together with st alphonsus begins 2 december - posted 26 nov 2018

st alphonsus liguori pray for us 1 august 2018