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