One Minute Reflection – 9 December – ‘ … Do not despair then, persevere, happy soul, …’

One Minute Reflection – 9 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19; Psalm 1:1-4 and 6; Matthew 11:11`-15

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence …” – Matthew 11:12

REFLECTION – “Someone wrestled with Jacob until morning perseveringly … and Jacob said to him: “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Gn 32:25.27). … So to you, my brethren, we say, you whose set purpose is to win heaven by force, you who have come together to wrestle with the angel who guards the way to the tree of life, to you we say – it is wholly necessary that you should wrestle perseveringly and without remission, not only until the thigh … is deprived of its vigour but also, until the body is mortified. But your toil will be able to achieve this, only by the touch of God’s strength and through His bounty. …

Do you not seem, to yourself ,to be wrestling with an angel, or rather, with God Himself, when day by day He resists your impatient prayers? … You cry to Him and He does not listen to you; you wish to approach Him and He repels you. You make a decision and the opposite happens and so, in every way, He sets Himself against you, with an unrelenting hand. O Mercy, You conceal Yourself and pretend to be unrelenting! With what loving-kindness You fight against those, for whom You fight. For although You “hide these things in your heart,” I know that You “love those who love you” and that, “the abundance of your sweetness which you hide away for those who fear you is immense” (Jb 10:13; Pr 8:17; Ps 31[30]:20).

Do not despair then, persevere, happy soul, who has begun to wrestle with God; He loves to suffer violence from you. He desires to be overcome by you. For when He is angry and stretches forth His Hand to strike, He seeks, as He Himself confesses, a man like Moses to resist Him. … For if His anger is implacable and His sentence unbending, Jeremiah, who had attempted to resist, will weep and say: “You were the stronger and did prevail” (20:7).” Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot (2nd Sermon on Saint John the Baptist).

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. By the prayers of the Immaculate Mother of Your only-begotten Son, may we receive Your grace and Your strength. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, now and for all eternity. Amen

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.”

“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


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.

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