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Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

14 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent

Jesus suffers so much in order to gain our hearts

“Consider that Jesus suffered for our love.   During His entire life, He had no other purpose than the glory of God and our salvation.   Even though He could have saved us without suffering, He chose to embrace a life of suffering. He was poor, despised and deprived of every comfort, with a death that was more desolate and bitter than any death ever endured by a martyr or penitent.   All of this, was done for the sole purpose of helping us understand the greatness of His love for us.

Saint Bonaventure exclaims, ‘It is a wonder to see a God endure such sufferings, shedding tears in a stable, poor in a workshop, languishing on a cross, in short afflicted and troubled His whole life, all because of His love for sinful humanity.'”

Scripture
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17

Prayer (St Alphonsus)

“O sovereign God,
help me not to be ungrateful
for all that You have given me.
Help me to die in love with You.
Mary, my hope, help me.
Pray to Jesus for me.”

Advent Action
“O my Lord Jesus, whose love for me has been so great as to bring You down from heaven to save me, teach me, dear Lord, my sin—teach me its heinousness—teach me truly to repent of it—and pardon it in Your great mercy! I beg You, O my dear Saviour, to recover me! Your grace alone can do it. I cannot save myself. I cannot recover my lost ground. I cannot turn to You, I cannot please You, or save my soul without You. I shall go from bad to worse, I shall fall from You entirely, I shall quite harden myself against my neglect of duty, if I rely on my own strength. I shall make myself my centre instead of making it in You. I shall worship some idol of my own framing instead of You, the only true God and my Maker, unless You hinder it by Your grace. O my dear Lord, hear me! I have lived long enough in this undecided, wavering, unsatisfactory state. I wish to be Your good servant. I wish to sin no more. Be gracious to me and enable me to be what I know I ought to be.”…Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)advent with st alphonsus friday 2nd week isaiah 48 17 14dec2018

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Thought for the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

“Holy Bishop Ambrose – about whom I shall speak to you today – died in Milan in the night between 3 and 4 April 397.   It was dawn on Holy Saturday.   The day before, at about five o’clock in the afternoon, he had settled down to pray, lying on his bed with his arms wide open in the form of a cross.   Thus, he took part in the solemn Easter Triduum, in the death and Resurrection of the Lord.   “We saw his lips moving”, said Paulinus, the faithful deacon who wrote his Life at St Augustine’s suggestion, “but we could not hear his voice”.   The situation suddenly became dramatic.   Honoratus, Bishop of Vercelli, who was assisting Ambrose and was sleeping on the upper floor, was awoken by a voice saying again and again, “Get up quickly! Ambrose is dying…”.   “Honoratus hurried downstairs”, Paulinus continues, “and offered the Saint the Body of the Lord.   As soon as he had received and swallowed it, Ambrose gave up his spirit, taking the good Viaticum with him.   His soul, thus refreshed by the virtue of that food, now enjoys the company of Angels” (Life, 47).

On that Holy Friday 397, the wide open arms of the dying Ambrose expressed his mystical participation in the death and Resurrection of the Lord.   This was his last catechesis – in the silence of the words, he continued to speak with the witness of his life.

Like the Apostle John, Bishop Ambrose – who never tired of saying: “Omnia Christus est nobis! To us Christ is all!” – continues to be a genuine witness of the Lord.   Let us thus conclude our Catechesis with his same words, full of love for Jesus:  “Omnia Christus est nobis!   If you have a wound to heal, He is the doctor;  if you are parched by fever, He is the spring;  if you are oppressed by injustice, He is justice;  if you are in need of help, He is strength;  if you fear death, He is life;  if you desire Heaven, He is the way;  if you are in the darkness, He is light….   Taste and see how good is the Lord, blessed is the man who hopes in Him!” (De Virginitate, 16, 99).   Let us also hope in Christ.   We shall thus be blessed and shall live in peace.”

Pope Benedict – Excerpt, General Audience, Catechesis on St Ambrose, 24 October 2007

St Ambrose, Pray for us!st-ambrose-pray-for-us-2- 7dec2017

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One Minute Reflection – 29 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 21:20–28 – “Look up and raise your heads”

One Minute Reflection – 29 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 21:20–28, Thursday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Francesco Antonio Fasani OFM Conv (1681 – 1742)

“Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”...Luke 21:28now when these things begin to take place - luke 21 28 - 29nov2018

REFLECTION – “Babylon falls because of its corruption;  Jerusalem because of its distraction; its failing to welcome the Lord who comes to her rescue.   She did not feel the need of salvation.   She had the writings of the prophets, Moses and this was enough.  But sealed writings!   She left no room for salvation, her door was closed to the Lord!   The Lord was knocking at her door but there was no willingness to receive Him, to listen, to be rescued by Him.   And so she falls…
Corruption gives you a sort of happiness, it gives you power and it also makes you feel self-satisfied, however, it doesn’t leave room for the Lord, for conversion.   The word corruption speaks of many things today – of not only economic corruption but corruption with so many different sins.   The worst kind of corruption is the spirit of worldliness.
When we think of the end of time, with all of our sins, with our history, let us think of the banquet which will be freely offered us and let us lift up our heads.   Do not give way to depression:  Hope!   Reality is ugly.   There are many, many people, cities and people, so many people who are suffering; many wars, so much hatred, so much envy, so much spiritual worldliness and so much corruption.   Yes, it’s true!   All of this will fall!
Let us ask the Lord for the grace to be prepared for the banquet that awaits us, always with our heads held high.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 27 November 2014when we think of the end of times - pope francis 29 nov 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, creator of all Light and creator of all good, grant that we may look up to You always and know that by Your Light and your goodness we are safe in this world of corruption.   May the Light of our Lord Jesus, make the path He has set out bright and clear and may the prayers of St Francesco Antonio Fasani be a help in our struggle.   Lead us, Lord, in Your kindness and mercy to the banquet which awaits us.  We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st francesco antonio fasani pray for us no 3 - 29 nov 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

One Minute Reflection – 26 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 21:1-4

One Minute Reflection – 26 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 21:1-4 – Monday of the Thirty Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury and he saw a poor widow, put in two copper coins.   And he said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them, for they all contributed out of their abundance but she out of her poverty, put in all the living that she had.”…Luke 21:1-4

REFLECTION – “However, in the mystical sense, the woman who placed two small coins in the treasury, is not to be forgotten.   Great indeed is that woman who was worthy to be preferred before everyone else according to the divine judgement!   Might it not be she who has drawn the two Testaments out of her faith for the help of all humankind?   Therefore, no one has done more than she and no one has been able to equal the greatness of her gift, since she joined faith to mercy.   And you, too, whoever you are…, do not hesitate to bring to the treasury, two coins, full of faith and grace.”…St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctorluke 21 1-2 - he looked up and saw the rich - might it not be she who has drawn the two testaments - st ambrose - 26 nov 2018

“In a certain sense the Church is a widow somewhat, because she is waiting for her Bridegroom to return… Of course, she has her Spouse in the Eucharist, in the Word of God, in the poor but she is waiting for Him to return.   This woman wasn’t important, no one knew her.   Nothing.   She did not shine of her own light.
Likewise, the great virtue of the Church is not shining of her own light but rather reflecting the light that comes from her Spouse.   Especially since over the centuries, when the Church wanted to have her own light, she was wrong.   The Church receives light from there, from the Lord and all the services we do in the Church, help her to receive that light.   When a service is lacking this light, it’s not good because it causes the Church to become rich, or powerful, or to seek power, or to lose her way, as has happened so many times in history, it happens in our life when we want to have another light – our own light, which is not really that of the Lord.   When the Church is humble and poor and even when the Church confesses her misfortunes — we all have them — the Church is faithful.
Let us pray to this widow who is surely in heaven that she may teach us to be like the Church, renouncing all we have and keeping nothing for ourselves but instead giving all for the Lord and for our neighbour.   Always humble and without boasting of having our own light but “always seeking the light which comes from the Lord.”…Pope Francis (Santa Marta, 24 November 2014)this poor widow - luke 21 3-4 - let us pray to this widow pope francis 26 nov 2018

PRAYER – God our Father, You give us a share in the one bread and the one cup and make us one in Christ.   Help us to live as Your children and by our lives to bring Your salvation and joy to all the world.   May the Holy Spirit fill us with all His gifts and virtues so that we may await the coming of Your Son, guided by His Light and may Mary, the blessed Virgin, accompany us, guarding and giving us her prayerful help.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.blessed virgin mary mother of god pray for us 26 nov 2018

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One Minute Reflection – 17 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 18:1–8

One Minute Reflection – 17 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 18:1–8 – Saturday of the Thirty Second week in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)

“When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”...Luke 18:8

REFLECTION – “What more powerful incentive to prayer could be proposed to us than the parable of the unjust judge?   An unprincipled man, without fear of God or regard for other people, that judge nevertheless ended by granting the widow’s petition.   No kindly sentiment moved him to do so;  he was rather worn down by her pestering.   Now if a man can grant a request even when it is odious to him to be asked, how can we be refused by the one who urges us to ask?   Having persuaded us, therefore, by a comparison of opposites that “we ought always to pray and never lose heart,” the Lord goes on to put the question:  “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, do you think he will find faith on earth?”
Where there is no faith, there is no prayer.   Who would pray for something he did not believe in?   So when the blessed Apostle exhorts us to pray he begins by declaring: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”   But to show that faith is the source of prayer and the stream will not flow if its springs are dried up, he continues: “But how can people call on him in whom they do not believe?” (Rom 10:13-14).   We must believe, then, in order to pray and we must ask God, that the faith enabling us to pray, may not fail.   Faith gives rise to prayer and this prayer obtains, an increase of faith.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor – Sermon 115, 1 ; PL 38, 655luke 18 8 - when the son of man comes - we must believe then, in order to pray - st augustine - 17 nov 2018

faith gives rise to prayer and this prayer - st augustine - 17 nov 2018

PRAYER – Holy Father, grant us a strong Faith!   Poor Your graces into our hearts that we may believe with all our hearts, minds and souls and that in believing, we may constantly raise our entire being to You in prayer and supplication, in prayer and adoration, in prayer and love.    May the intercession of St Elizabeth of Hungary, a woman of deep prayer from her youth, strengthen our perseverance.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.st elizabeth of hungary pray for us - 17 nov 2018

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Thought for the Day – 10 November – Christian, Remember Your Dignity by St Pope Leo the Great

Thought for the Day – 10 November – Christian, Remember Your Dignity by St Pope Leo the Great

Today we celebrate the feast day of Pope Saint Leo the Great (c 400-461).   St Leo is referred to by many names, including “Doctor of Doctrine” and “Doctor of Unity of the Church.”   He is the first pope to be referred to by the title “Great” and the first pope made Doctor of the Church.   His writings, unifying doctrine and peacemaking, continue to inspire and instruct us today in the ways of the faith.   Below, an excerpt from a homily, encouraging Christians to take heed of the joy of Christ and exhorts them to live in freedom and dignity of the Incarnation!

Christian, Remember Your Dignity!

Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born, let us rejoice.   Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life.   The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.
No one is shut out from this joy, all share the same reason for rejoicing.   Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all.   Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand.   Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness.   Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.
In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for Himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator.   He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which He had overthrown mankind.
And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy – Glory to God in the highest and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world.   When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvellous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?
Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through His Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in His great love for us He took pity on us and when we were dead in our sins He brought us to life with Christ, so that in Him we might be a new creation.   Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.
Christian, remember your dignity and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition   Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member.   Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.
Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit.   Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.

St Pope Leo the Great, Pray for Us!st pope leo the great pray for us 10 nov 2018

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Quote/s of the Day – 6 November – The Memorial of St Théophane Vénard (1829-1861) Martyr


Quote/s of the Day – 6 November – The Memorial of St Théophane Vénard (1829-1861) Martyr

“Try to fulfil each day’s task
steadily and cheerfully.
The life of a true Christian
should be a perpetual jubilee,
a prelude to the festivals of eternity.”try-to-fulful-each-days-st-theophane-venard-13-april-2018

“Be merry, really merry.
The life of a true Christian
should be a perpetual joy,
a prelude to the
festival of eternity.”be merry really merry - st thephane venard - 6 nov 2018

“Carry gently
the cross of this life,
like Jesus did,
until the day
of the peaceful passing.”carry gently the cross of this life - st theophane venard - 6 nov 2018

“Courage!
God asks of us
only our goodwill.
His grace does the rest.”

St Théophane Vénard (1829-1861) Martyrcourage god ask of us only our good will - st theophane venard - 6 nov 2018