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Thought for the Day – 1 January – Take heart, dear children, here I am, your Mother!

Thought for the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lordtake heart dear children here i am your mother - pope francis 1 jan 2019.jpg

Excerpt
Pope Francis’ Homily on
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
1 January 2019

“All who heard were amazed at what the shepherds told them” (Lk 2:18).   To be amazed -this is what is asked of us today, at the conclusion of the Octave of Christmas, as we continue to contemplate the Child born for us, lacking everything, yet abounding in love. Amazement is what we should feel at the beginning of each year, for life is a gift that constantly gives us a chance to make a new start, even from the most lowly of circumstances.

Today is also a day to be amazed by the Mother of God.   God appears as a little child, held in the arms of a woman who feeds her Creator.   The statue before our eyes depicts the Mother and Child so close as to appear as one.   That is the mystery we celebrate today, which gives rise to boundless amazement – God has become one with humanity forever.   God and man, always together, that is the good news of this new year.   God is no distant lord, dwelling in splendid isolation above the heavens but love incarnate, born like us of a mother, in order to be a brother to each of us, to be close to us – the God of closeness.   He rests on the lap of His mother, who is also our mother and from there he pours out upon humanity a new tenderness.   Thus we come to understand more fully God’s love, which is both paternal and maternal, like that of a mother who never stops believing in her children and never abandons them.   God-with-us, Emmanuel, loves us despite our mistakes, our sins and the way we treat our world.   God believes in mankind, because its first and pre-eminent member is His own Mother.

At the beginning of the year, let us implore from Mary the grace to be amazed at the God of surprises.   Let us renew the amazement we felt when faith was first born in us. The Mother of God helps us – the Mother who gave birth to the Lord, now presents us, reborn, to the Lord.   She is a mother who generates in her children the amazement of faith, because faith is an encounter, not a religion.   Without amazement, life becomes dull and routine and so it is with faith.   The Church too needs to renew her amazement at being the dwelling place of the living God, the Bride of the Lord, a Mother who gives birth to her children.   Otherwise, she risks turning into a beautiful museum of the past.   A “Church museum”.   Our Lady, instead, gives the Church the feel of a home, a home in which the God of newness dwells.   Let us receive with amazement the mystery of the Mother of God, as the inhabitants of Ephesus did at the time of the Council.   Like them, let us acclaim her “Holy Mother of God”.   From her, let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon, to be embraced, to be taken by the hand.

Let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon.   Especially in times of need, when we are entangled in life’s knots, we rightly lift our eyes to Our Lady, to Our Mother.   Yet first, we should let ourselves be gazed upon by Our Lady.   When she gazes upon us, she does not see sinners but children.   It is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul, the eyes of Mary, full of grace, reflect the beauty of God, they show us a reflection of heaven.   Jesus Himself said that the eye is “the lamp of the body” (Mt 6:22) – the eyes of Our Lady are able to bring light to every dark corner, everywhere they rekindle hope.   As she gazes upon us, she says: “Take heart, dear children, here I am, your Mother!”

Holy Mother of God, OUR  mother, Pray for Us!mother of god and our mother - mary pray for us - 14 may 2018.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – New Year’s Day 2019

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – New Year’s Day 2019

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
the new creation has come.
The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17therefore,is anyone is in christ - 2 corinthians 5 17

“Brothers, . . . I can only say,
that forgetting all that lies behind me
and straining forward to what lies in front of me
and I am racing towards the finishing-point,
to win the prize of God’s heavenly call
in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13brothers...i can only say phil 3 13 - blessed 2019 keep up the good fight 1 jan 2018

May he give you what you desire
and make all your plans succeed.
Then we will shout for joy over your victory
and celebrate your triumph by praising our God.
May the LORD answer all your requests.

Psalm 20:4-5may he give you what you desire - blessed 2019 1 jan 2019 no 3

“The bread you store up belongs to the hungry,
the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the naked,
the gold you have hidden in the ground,
belongs to the poor.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe bread you store up - st basil the great - 1 jan 2019

“Love God,
serve God;
everything is in that.”

St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)love god serve god everything is in that - st clare - 1 jan 2019

“Teach us to give and not to count the cost.”teach us to give and not to count the cost - st ignatius 1 jan 2019.jpg

“All for the greater glory of God.”

St Ignatius de Loyola (1491-1556)all for the greater glory of god - 1 jan 2019 happy new year.jpg

“You must ask God to give you power
to fight against the sin of pride
which is your greatest enemy –
the root of all that is evil
and the failure of all that is good.
For God resists the proud.”

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)you must ask god to give you power - st vincent de paul - new year's res 1 jan 2019

“Let us go forward in peace,
our eyes upon heaven,
the only one goal of our labours.”

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897)- Doctor of the Churchlet us go forward in peace - st t of l - 1 jan 2018.jpg

“During this new year,
I resolve to begin a new life.
I do not know,
what will happen to me, during this year.
But I abandon myself entirely to You, my God.
And my aspirations and all my affections,
will be for You.
I feel so weak, dear Jesus
but with Your help,
I hope and resolve,
to live a different life,
that is, a life closer to You.”

“Father, do You know,
the latest idea that has come into my head?
It is to become a saint at all costs.
I made this resolution yesterday evening.
During my meditation I was thinking,
that one lives only once
and it is certain,
that one is going to die,
then one will have to answer to God.”

“Every time the clock strikes,
I will repeat three times –
‘My Jesus, mercy!”

St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)new year quotes - st gemma galgani 1 jan 2019

AND here are Quotes for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/quote-s-of-the-day-1-january-2018-the-solemnity-of-mary-mother-of-god-and-the-octave-day-of-the-nativity-of-our-lord/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering 1 January – Prayer of St Ephrem to the Mother of God

Our Morning Offering 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

O Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God
By St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church

O Immaculate and wholly-pure Virgin Mary,
Mother of God,
Queen of the world,
hope of those who are in despair,
you are the joy of the saints,
you are the peacemaker
between sinners and God,
you are the advocate of the abandoned,
the secure haven
of those who are on the sea of the world,
you are the consolation of the world,
the ransom of slaves,
the comfortress of the afflicted….
O great Queen, we take refuge in your protection.
After God, you are all my hope.
We bear the name of your servants,
allow not the enemy to drag us to hell.
I salute you, O great mediatress of peace
between men and God,
Mother of Jesus our Lord,
who is the love of all men and of God,
to whom be honour and benediction
with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Ameno immac virgin mary mother of god - st ephrem 1 jan 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lordoctave-day-mary-mother-of-god-2016jpg

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, our Lady’s greatest title.   This feast is the octave of Christmas.   In the modern Roman Calendar only Christmas and Easter enjoy the privilege of an octave.   One of the earliest titles given by Christians to the Blessed Virgin was Theotokos“God-bearer.”   We celebrate her as the Mother of God because, in bearing Christ, she bore the fullness of the Godhead within her.icon mary and jesus

In fact, the Church regards the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, as so important that it is a Holy Day of Obligation in most countries.   On this day, we are reminded of the role that the Blessed Virgin played in the plan of our salvation.   Christ’s Birth was made possible by Mary’s fiat:  “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.”

“Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time.   For the first time in the plan of salvation and because His Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where His Son and His Spirit could dwell among men.   In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary.   Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 721

As we begin another year, we draw inspiration from the selfless love of the Theotokos, who never hesitated to do the will of God.   And we trust in her prayers to God for us, that we might, as the years pass, become more like her.

Post on 1 January 2018: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/1-january-2018-the-solemnity-of-mary-the-mother-of-god/

O Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!MARY MOTHER OF GOD PRAY FOR US - 1 jan 2019

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 1 January 2018 – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of Our Lord

Thought for the Day – 1 January 2018 – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of Our Lord

Reflect on this.
Jesus, Who is God, is the only natural-born son who chose His mother.
He had a plan for her life and she accepted it with her fiat, her yes given to the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation.
For that we are eternally grateful and indebted to Mary, who was given to us to be our mother by her Son from the Cross.

And if anyone ever suggests to you that you love Mary too much, answer,
“Oh no, I could not possibly love Mary too much
because I could never love her as much as she is loved by her son!”

Blessed Virgin Mary,
who can worthily repay you
with praise and thanksgiving
for having rescued a fallen world
by your generous consent?
…accept then such poor thanks as we have to offer,
unequal though they be to your merits.
Receive our gratitude
and obtain by your prayers the pardon of our sins.
Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven
and enable them to bring about our peace with God
…Holy Mary, help the miserable,
strengthen the discouraged,
comfort the sorrowful,
pray for your people,
plead for the clergy,
intercede for all women consecrated to God.
May all who venerate you,
feel now your help and protection. …
Make it your continual care to pray for the people of God,
for you were blessed by God
and were made worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world,
who lives and reigns for ever. Amen

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctorto mary mother of god - st augustine - 1 jan 2018

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD - PRAY FOR US

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 January 2018 – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Octave Day of the Nativity of Our Lord and the first day of the Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

One Minute Reflection – 1 January 2018 – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Octave Day of the Nativity of Our Lord and the first day of the Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.…Luke 2:19

REFLECTIONS – “Today’s liturgy celebrates the solemnity of the Mother of God.
Mary is the one who was chosen to be Mother of the Redeemer, sharing intimately in his mission.
In the light of Christmas, the mystery of her divine motherhood is illumined.
Mary, Mother of Jesus who was born in the Bethlehem cave,
is also the Mother of every man and woman who comes into the world.
How is it possible not to commend to her the year that is beginning,
to implore a time of serenity and peace for all humanity?
On the day when this new year begins under the blessed gaze of the Mother of God,
let us invoke the gift of peace for each one and all.”…St Pope John Paul – 1997mary is the one who was chosen - st john paul - 1 jan 2018

PRAYER – God, our Father, since You gave mankind a saviour through blessed Mary, virgin and mother, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.mary mother of god pray for us - 1 jan 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN TITLES, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PAPAL MESSAGES, SAINT of the DAY

1 January 2018 – The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

1 January 2018 – The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

Start the New Year With Jesus’ Mother—and Our Own

In the early centuries of the Church, once Christmas began to be celebrated as its own feast on 25 December (having originally been celebrated with the Feast of the Epiphany, on 6 January, the Octave (eighth day) of Christmas, 1 January took on a special meaning. In the East, and throughout much of the West, it became common to celebrate a feast of Mary, the Mother of God, on this day. This feast was never established in the universal calendar of the Church, however, and a separate feast, celebrating the Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ (which would have taken place a week after His birth), eventually took hold of 1 January. With the revision of the liturgical calendar the Feast of the Circumcision was set aside, and the ancient practice of dedicating 1 January to the Mother of God was revived—this time, as a universal feast.
One of the earliest titles given by Christians to the Blessed Virgin was Theotokos—”God-bearer.” We celebrate her as the Mother of God, because, in bearing Christ, she bore the fullness of the Godhead within her. As we begin another year, we draw inspiration from the selfless love of the Theotokos, who never hesitated to do the will of God. And we trust in her prayers to God for us, that we might, as the years pass, become more like her. O Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!Mary2017_1100x754

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Vatican Basilica
Sunday, 1st January 2017

“Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart! (Lk 2:19).   In these words, Luke describes the attitude with which Mary took in all that they had experienced in those days.   Far from trying to understand or master the situation, Mary is the woman who can treasure, that is to say, protect and guard in her heart, the passage of God in the life of his people.   Deep within, she had learned to listen to the heartbeat of her Son, and that in turn taught her, throughout her life, to discover God’s heartbeat in history.   She learned how to be a mother and in that learning process she gave Jesus the beautiful experience of knowing what it is to be a Son.   In Mary, the eternal Word not only became flesh, but also learned to recognise the maternal tenderness of God.   With Mary, the God-Child learned to listen to the yearnings, the troubles, the joys and the hopes of the people of the promise.   With Mary, he discovered himself a Son of God’s faithful people.octave-day.mary mother of god - 2016jpg

In the Gospels, Mary appears as a woman of few words, with no great speeches or deeds but with an attentive gaze capable of guarding the life and mission of her Son and for this reason, of everything that he loves.   She was able to watch over the beginnings of the first Christian community and in this way she learned to be the mother of a multitude.   She drew near to the most diverse situations in order to sow hope.   She accompanied the crosses borne in the silence of her children’s hearts.   How many devotions, shrines and chapels in the most far-off places, how many pictures in our homes, remind us of this great truth.   Mary gave us a mother’s warmth, the warmth that shelters us amid troubles, the maternal warmth that keeps anything or anyone from extinguishing in the heart of the Church the revolution of tenderness inaugurated by her Son.   Where there is a mother, there is tenderness.   By her motherhood, Mary shows us that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong. She teaches us that we do not have to mistreat others in order to feel important (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 288).    God’s holy people has always acknowledged and hailed her as the Holy Mother of God.

To celebrate Mary as Mother of God and our mother at the beginning of the new year means recalling a certainty that will accompany our days:   we are a people with a Mother;   we are not orphans.

Mothers are the strongest antidote to our individualistic and egotistic tendencies, to our lack of openness and our indifference.   A society without mothers would not only be a cold society, but a society that has lost its heart, lost the “feel of home”.   A society without mothers would be a merciless society, one that has room only for calculation and speculation.   Because mothers, even at the worst times, are capable of testifying to tenderness, unconditional self-sacrifice and the strength of hope.   I have learned much from those mothers whose children are in prison, or lying in hospital beds, or in bondage to drugs, yet, come cold or heat, rain or draught, never stop fighting for what is best for them.   Or those mothers who in refugee camps, or even the midst of war, unfailingly embrace and support their children’s sufferings.   Mothers who literally give their lives so that none of their children will perish.   Where there is a mother, there is unity, there is belonging, belonging as children.

To begin the year by recalling God’s goodness in the maternal face of Mary, in the maternal face of the Church, in the faces of our own mothers, protects us from the corrosive disease of being “spiritual orphans”.   It is the sense of being orphaned that the soul experiences when it feels motherless and lacking the tenderness of God, when the sense of belonging to a family, a people, a land, to our God, grows dim.   This sense of being orphaned lodges in a narcissistic heart capable of looking only to itself and its own interests.   It grows when what we forget that life is a gift we have received – and owe to others – a gift we are called to share in this common home.

It was such a self-centred orphanhood that led Cain to ask:  “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9).   It was as if to say:  he doesn’t belong to me;  I do not recognise him.   This attitude of spiritual orphanhood is a cancer that silently eats away at and debases the soul.   We become all the more debased, inasmuch as nobody belongs to us and we belong to no one.   I debase the earth because it does not belong to me;  I debase others because they do not belong to me;  I debase God because I do not belong to him and in the end we debase our very selves, since we forget who we are and the divine “family name” we bear.   The loss of the ties that bind us, so typical of our fragmented and divided culture, increases this sense of orphanhood and, as a result, of great emptiness and loneliness.   The lack of physical (and not virtual) contact is cauterising our hearts (cf. Laudato Si’, 49) and making us lose the capacity for tenderness and wonder, for pity and compassion.   Spiritual orphanhood makes us forget what it means to be children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, friends and believers.   It makes us forget the importance of playing, of singing, of a smile, of rest, of gratitude.

Celebrating the feast of the Holy Mother of God makes us smile once more as we realise that we are a people, that we belong, that only within a community, within a family, can we as persons find the “climate”, the “warmth” that enables us to grow in humanity and not merely as objects meant to “consume and be consumed”.   To celebrate the feast of the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we are not interchangeable items of merchandise or information processors.   We are children, we are family, we are God’s People.

Celebrating the Holy Mother of God leads us to create and care for common places that can give us a sense of belonging, of being rooted, of feeling at home in our cities, in communities that unite and support us (cf. Laudato Si’, 151).2.2.2.x-collection-detail-sirani_virgin_and_childMother-of-GodVirgin and Child (Luis De Morales)

Jesus, at the moment of his ultimate self-sacrifice, on the cross, sought to keep nothing for himself, and in handing over his life, he also handed over to us his Mother.   He told Mary:   Here is your son; here are your children.   We too want to receive her into our homes, our families, our communities and nations.   We want to meet her maternal gaze. The gaze that frees us from being orphans; the gaze that reminds us that we are brothers and sisters, that I belong to you, that you belong to me, that we are of the same flesh.   The gaze that teaches us that we have to learn how to care for life in the same way and with the same tenderness that she did:  by sowing hope, by sowing a sense of belonging and of fraternity.

Celebrating the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we have a Mother.   We are not orphans.   We have a Mother.   Together let us all confess this truth.   I invite you to acclaim it three times, standing [all stand], like the faithful of Ephesus:  Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God.BallymoteChurchoftheImmaculateConceptionNorthAisleMadonnaandChild20100923