Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Seven – 22 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Seven – 22 December

Day Seven

Flight Of The Child Jesus Into Egypt

Reflection:
Although the Son of God came from heaven to save men, scarcely was He born when men began to persecute Him to death.
Herod, fearing that this Child would deprive Him of his kingdom, seeks to destroy His life.  But St Joseph is warned by an angel in a dream to take the Infant and His Mother and flee into Egypt.   Joseph obeys at once and tells Mary about it.
He takes the few tools of his trade, that he may use them to gain a livelihood in Egypt for himself and his poor family.
Mary wraps up a small bundle of clothes for the use of her little Son and then, going to the crib, she says with tears in her eyes to her sleeping Child, “O my Son and my God!
You have come from heaven to save men but hardly are You born when they seek to take Your life.”
Lifting Him meanwhile in her arms and continuing to weep, she sets out that same night with Joseph on the road to Egypt.

Let us consider how much these holy wanderers must have suffered in making so long a journey, deprived of every comfort.   The divine Child was not yet able to walk and so Mary and Joseph had to take turns in carrying Him in their arms.
During their journey through the desert towards Egypt they had to spend several nights in the open air, with the bare ground for their bed.
The cold makes the Infant cry and Mary and Joseph weep in pity for Him.
And who would not weep at thus seeing the Son of God poor and persecuted, a fugitive on earth, that He might not be killed by His enemies!day-seven-novena-to-the-christ-child-22-dec-2017

Prayer:
Dear Infant Jesus, crying so bitterly!
Well have You reason to weep in seeing Yourself persecuted by men
whom You loved so much.
I, too, O God, have once persecuted You by my sins.
But You know that now I love You more than myself
and that nothing pains me more, than the thought
that I have so often spurned You, my sovereign Good.
Forgive me, O Jesus and let me bear You with me, in my heart
in all the rest of the journey that I have still to make through life,
so that together with You, I may enter into eternity.
So often have I driven You from my soul by my sins.
But now I love You above all things
and I regret above other misfortunes,
that I have offended You.
I wish to leave You no more, my beloved Lord.
But do You give me the strength to resist temptations.
Never permit me to be separated from You again.
Let me rather die than ever again lose Your good grace.
O Mary, my hope, make me always live in God’s love
and then die in loving Him.   Amen

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Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Our Morning Offering – 22 December – The Magnificat, The Canticle of Mary

Our Morning Offering – 22 December

The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is his Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.the-magnificat-luke-1-46-55-22dec2018 today's gospel

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 PRAYERS, NOVENAS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day Five – 20 December

Day Five
The Life Of Sorrow Which Jesus Led From His Birth.

Reflection:
Jesus Christ could have saved mankind without suffering and dying.
Yet, in order to prove to us how much He loved us, He chose for Himself a life full of tribulations.
Therefore the prophet Isaias called Him “a man of sorrows,” His whole life was filled with suffering.
His Passion began, not merely a few hours before His death but from the the first moment of His birth.
He was born in a stable where everything served to torment Him.
His sense of sight was hurt by seeing nothing but the rough, black walls of the cave;
His sense of smell was hurt by the stench of the dung from the beasts in the stable;
His sense of touch was hurt by the prickling straw on which He lay.
Shortly after His birth He was forced to flee into Egypt, where He spent several years of His childhood in poverty and misery. His boyhood and early manhood in Nazareth were passed in hard work and obscurity.
And finally, in Jerusalem, He died on a cross, exhausted with pain and anguish.

Thus, then, was the life of Jesus but one unbroken series of sufferings, which were doubly painful because He had ever before His eyes all the sufferings He would have to endure till His death.
Yet, since our Lord had voluntarily chosen to bear these tribulations for our sake, they did not afflict Him as much as did the sight of our sins, by which we have so ungratefully repaid Him for His love towards us.
When the confessor of Saint Margaret of Cortona saw that she never seemed satisfied with all the tears she had already shed for her past sins, he said to her, “Margaret, stop crying and cease your lamenting, for God has surely forgiven you your offenses against Him.”
But she replied, “Father, how can I cease to weep, since I know that my sins kept my Lord Jesus in pain and suffering during all His life?”day-five-novena-to-the-christ-child-20-dec-2017-no-2

Prayer:
O Jesus, my sweet Love!
I too have kept You suffering through all Your life.
Tell me, then, what I must do in order to win Your forgiveness.
I am ready to do all You ask of me.
I am sorry, O sovereign Good, for all the offences I have committed against You.
I love You more than myself, or a least I feel a great desire to love You.
Since it is You who have given me this desire, grant me too the strength to love You exceedingly.
It is only right that I, who have offended You so much, should love You very much.
Always remind me of the love You have borne me, in order that my soul may ever burn with love of You
and long to please You alone.
O God of love, I, who was once a slave of hell, now give myself all to You.
Graciously accept me and bind me to Yourself with the bonds of Your love.
My Jesus, from this day and forever in loving You will I live and in loving You will I die.
O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love your dear God and mine.
This is the only favour I ask of you and through you I hope to receive it. Amen

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 20 December “God of Hope”

Our Morning Offering – 20 December

Advent Prayer – God of Hope

God of hope,
who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope,
who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope,
the rock we stand upon,
be the centre, the focus of our lives
always and particularly this Advent time.
Through Him,
who is our hope,
our joy,
our love,
our peace,
in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever,
amen.Advent prayer -god of hope 20 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT PRAYERS, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 19 December – “You will be speechless….” Origen

Thought for the Day – 19 December – “You will be speechless….” Origen

“But now you will be speechless and unable to talk
until the day these things take place,
because you did not believe my words,
which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”
Luke 1:20

“You will be speechless… until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words”.   Voice and word are not the same thing where we are concerned, since a voice can be heard without it conveying any meaning, without words and the word can likewise be communicated to our minds without a voice, as in the wandering of our thoughts.    In the same way, since the Saviour is Word…, John differs from Him in being voice, by comparison with Christ, who is Word.   This is what John himself answered to those who asked him who he was: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths’” (Lk 3:4; Jn 1:23).

Perhaps this is the reason – because he doubted the birth of the voice that would reveal the Word of God – why Zachariah lost his voice but recovered it again when that voice was born who is the Word’s forerunner (Lk 1:64).   Since, for the mind to be able to grasp the word intended by the voice, we must hear the voice.   It is also why, according to the time of his birth, John is slightly older than Christ – for we perceive the voice before the word.   Thus John points to Christ since it is with the voice that the Word is made known. Likewise, Christ was baptised by John, who admitted his need of being baptised by Him (Mt 3:14)… In brief, when John pointed to Christ it was as a man pointing to God, the incorporeal Saviour, as a voice pointing to the Word…”Origen (c.185-253)

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened and he spoke this prophecy:

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.

The Benedictus – Canticle of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and His forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has visited His people and redeemed them.

He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
in the house of David, His servant,
as He promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were His prophets of old.

A Saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who hate us.
So His love for our fathers is fulfilled
and His holy covenant remembered.

He swore to Abraham, our father, to grant us,
that free from fear and safe from the hands of our foes.
we might worship Him in justice and holiness
all the days of our lives, in His Presence.

As for you, little child,
you shall be called the prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare His ways before Him,

to make known to His people their salvation,
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving kindness of the heart of our God,
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death,
and to guide them into the way of peace.

Glory be to the Father
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever.
Amen

Ant. The mouth of Zechariah was opened and he spoke this prophecy: 

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israelthe Benedictus - BEST - 19dec2018

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!