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One Minute Reflection – 28 December – “The servant is not greater than his lord”

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18

When Herod realised that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity, two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. – Matthew 2:16

REFLECTION – “The Apostle John said: “Whoever says he abides in Christ, ought to walk even as Christ walked” (1 Jn 2:6). Moreover, the blessed Apostle Paul exhorts and teaches us, saying: “We are God’s children but if children, then heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him that we may also be glorified together” (Rm 8:16f.) … Let us, beloved brethren, imitate righteous Abel, who initiated martyrdom, he being the first to be slain for righteousness’s sake (Gn 4:8) …; let us imitate the three children Ananias, Azarias and Misael, who … overcame the king by the power of faith (Dn 3) … What of the prophets whom the Holy Spirit quickened to a foreknowledge of future events? What of the Apostles whom the Lord chose? Since these righteous men were slain for righteousness’ sake, have they not taught us also to die?

The nativity of Christ at once witnessed the martyrdom of infants, so that they who were two years old and under were slain for His name’s sake. An age, not yet fitted for the battle, appeared fit for the crown. That it might be manifest that they who are slain for Christ’s sake are innocent, innocent infancy was put to death for His name’s sake … How grave is the case of a Christian, if he, a servant, is unwilling to suffer when his Master first suffered! … The Son of God suffered that He might make us sons of God and the son of man will not suffer that he may continue to be a son of God! … The Maker and Lord of the world also warns us, saying: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own but because you are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world … remember the word that I said to you: “The servant is not greater than his lord” (Jn 15:18-20).” – St Cyprian of Carthage (c.200-258) Martyr, Bishop of Carthage, Father of the Church – Letter 55

PRAYER – We praise You, O God, we acclaim You as Lord, the white-robed army of martyrs praise You. (from the Te Deum).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

A tiny child is born, who is a great king.   Wise men are led to him from afar.   They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth.   When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed.   To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king?   He does not come to drive you out but to conquer the devil.   But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children.   You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart.   You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life Himself.

Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace—so small, yet so great—who is lying in the manger.   He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out His own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil.   He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it.   The parents mourn for the death of martyrs.   The child makes of those, as yet unable to speak, fit witnesses to Himself.   See the kind of kingdom that is His, coming as He did in order to be this kind of King.   See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious.   While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying Him homage and do not know it.

How great a gift of grace is here!   To what merits of their own, do the children owe this kind of victory?   They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ.   They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

St Quodvultdeus (died 450) Bishop, Father of the Church, Spiritual child of St Augustinehow great a gift of grace is here - st quodvultdeus -holy innocents 28dec 2018

“And while he thus persecutes Christ,
he furnished an army of martyrs,
clothed in white robes,
of the same age as the Lord.”

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

and while he thus persecutes christ - st augustine 28dec2018

Holy Innocents, Pray for us!holy-innocents-pray-for-us-no-2-28-dec-2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for Day – 28 December

Thought for Day – 28 December

The Holy Innocents are few, in comparison to the genocide and abortion of our day. But even if there had been only one, we recognize the greatest treasure God put on the earth—a human person, destined for eternity and graced by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Holy Innocents Pray for us!holy-innocents-dec-28

the_virgin_and_child_surrounded_by_the_holy_innocents_or_the_virgin_with_angels

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 28 December

Quote of the Day – 28 December

” The precious death of any martyr
deserves high praise because of
his heroic confession; the death
of these children is precious in
the sight of God because of the
beatitude they gained so quickly.
For already at the beginning of
their lives they pass on. The end
of the present life is for them
the beginning of glory.”

~~~ St Augustine

quote-st-augustine

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 28 December

One Minute Reflection – 28 December

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. (from the Te Deum)

REFLECTION – “These then, whom Herod’s cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom, are justly hailed as “infant martyr flowers”; they were the Church’s first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.”… St. Augustine

PRAYER – O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed and proclaimed on this day, not by speaking but by dying, grant, we pray, that the faith in You which we confess with our lips may also speak through our manner of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Holy Innocents Pray for us! amen

te-deumst-augustine-holy-innocentsholy-innocents