Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – They are alive! 

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

“A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.” … Matthew 2:18matthew 2 18 - a voice was heard in rama - feast of the holy innocents 28 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Where does this jealousy lead?…   The crime committed today shows us. Fear of a rival to his earthly kingdom fills Herod with anxiety, he plots to suppress “the newborn King” (Mt 2:2), the eternal Kin, he fights against his Creator and puts innocent children to death…   As for those children, what fault had they committed?   Their tongues were dumb, their eyes had seen nothing, their ears heard nothing, their hands done nothing.   They accepted death who had not known life. ( … )   Christ reads the future and knows the secrets of the heart, He weighs our thoughts and probes our intentions (cf. Ps 138[139]), why did He forsake them? ( … )   Why did the newborn heavenly King abandon these companions in innocence, forget the sentinels watching around His crib to such an extent, that the foe who wanted to get at the King, ravaged His whole army?

My brethren, Christ did not forsake His soldiers but covered them with honour by allowing them to conquer, before they had lived and to carry away the prize, without a fight. ( … )   He wanted them to possess heaven rather than earth. ( … )   He sent them before Him as His heralds.   He did not abandon them but saved those who went on ahead.   He did not forget them. ( … )

Blessed are they who have exchanged their travail for repose, their pains for ease, their suffering for joy.   They are alive!   Yes, they are alive, they live indeed, who have undergone death for Christ’s sake. ( … )   Happy the tears their mothers shed for these infants, they have won them the grace of baptism. ( … )   May He who deigned to rest in a stable be pleased to lead us also, to the heavenly pastures.” … St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Churchthey accepted death who had not known life - st peter chrysologus - holy innocents - 28 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord, the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. (from the Te Deum).we-praise-you-o-god-te-deum-28-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

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

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

“We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.”

From the Te Deumwe-praise-you-o-god-te-deum-28-dec-2017

“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.”these-then whom herod's cruelty - st augustine-28-dec-2017

”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 (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-precious-death-st-augustine-28-dec-2017

“The star of Bethlehem
shines forth in the dark night of sin.
Upon the radiance
that goes forth from the manger,
there falls the shadow of the cross.
In the dark of Good Friday, the light is extinguished
but it rises more brightly, as the sun of grace.
on the morning of the resurrection.
The road of the incarnate Son of God,
is through the cross and suffering.
to the splendour of the resurrection.
To arrive with the Son of Man,
through suffering and death,
at this splendour of the resurrection,
is the road for each one of us,
for all mankind.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)the star of bethlehem shines forth in the dark night - st teresa benedicta 28dec2018

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. (from the Te Deum)we praise you o god - te deum - 28 dec 2017

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 (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthese then - 28 dec 2017

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! amenholy innocents - pray for us - 28 dec 2017

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The HOLY TRINITY

Our Morning Offering- 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Our Morning Offering- 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

The hymn Te Deum is a moving tribute to God in His triune majesty. Its authorship has been traditionally attributed to Saints Ambrose (it has often been called an Ambrosian Hymn) and Augustine on the occasion of the latter’s baptism by the former in AD 387

It was more likely written by St. Nicetas, Bishop of Remesiana at about the same time period.   It is still part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the public prayers of the Church that are recited daily by the clergy and other religious, along with many of the laity as well.

Te Deum has been set to music by such illustrious composers as Mozart, Haydn, Verdi, Dvorak, Britten and Penderecki.   Its name comes from its opening words in Latin, “Te Deum Laudamus” (“O God we praise you”).

As you read the text of this hymn printed below (which can also be recited as a prayer, of course), you can get a sense of its grandeur!   It gives us a glimpse of heaven, with saints and angels praising God, before focusing on Christ in lines suggestive of the Apostle’s Creed.   It also includes some verses from the Psalms added at a later date (the lines after the space below).

TE DEUM

O, God, we praise You and acknowledge You
to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships You.
All the angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the cherubim and seraphim, continually cry to you:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of Your glory.
The glorious choir of the apostles,
The wonderful company of prophets,
The white-robed army of martyrs, praise You.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges You:
The Father of infinite majesty;
Your adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, You are the King of glory!
You are the everlasting Son of the Father.
When You took it upon Yourself to deliver man,
You did not disdain the Virgin’s womb.
Having overcome the sting of death,
You opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You sit at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that You will come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg You to help Your servants
whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Your saints in everlasting glory.

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance!
Govern them and raise them up forever.
Every day we thank You.
And we praise Your name forever; yes, forever and ever.
O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your mercy, O lord be upon us, for we have hoped in You.
O Lord, in you I have put my trust; never let me be put to shame.

TE DEUM - O GOD WE PRAISE YOU

Te Deum combines important elements of prayer to God, including adoration, supplication (particularly towards the end in its appeal for God’s mercy) and thanksgiving.   (It is often referred to as a Hymn of Thanksgiving).   The Church triumphant (those in heaven) and the Church militant (those on earth) sing God’s praises in adoration in this hymn.

We can see thanksgiving here in the acknowledgement of Christ’s opening “the kingdom of heaven to all believers” and redeeming us with His Precious Blood at Calvary.

The reference to Christ’s having overcome the sting of death also brings to mind the words of St. Paul, who spoke of our Lord as having overcome sin and death in His passion, saying “death, where is thy sting?” (1 Cor 15:55).

We see another good example of gratitude in Te Deum as well in the line that our Lord “did not disdain the Virgin’s womb”, becoming human like us in order to save us. (Indeed, as we hear in the Liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass, Jesus “humbled Himself to share in our humanity”!)

The last line, taken from Psalm 25, verse 2, is particularly moving.   It brings to mind the importance of trusting in our Lord to see us through our troubles if we stay close to Him in prayer, obedience and love.   And we are reminded here as well of the importance of asking God for His mercy in our often challenging journey towards Eternal Life with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven!