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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

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FRANCISCAN, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 27 November – The Memorial of St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)

Quote/s of the Day – 27 November – The Memorial of St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)

“What graces, gifts and virtues
the Holy Mass calls down!”what graces gifts and virtues the holy mass calls down no 2 -stleonardofportmaurice-27nov2018

“”I believe that were it not for the Holy Mass,
as this moment, the world would be in the abyss,
unable to bear up under the mighty load of its iniquities.
Mass is the potent prop that hold the world on its base.”mass is the potent prop-stleonardofportmaurice-27nov2018

“If the Lord, at the moment of my death,
reproves me for being too kind to sinners,
I will answer, ‘My dear Jesus, if it is a fault
to be too kind to sinners, it is a fault
I learned from You, for You never scolded anyone
who came to You seeking mercy.'”if the Lord at the moment of my death - stleonardofportmaurice-27nov2918

“If you practice the holy exercise
of Spiritual Communion,
a good many times each day,
within a month,
you will see yourself completely changed.”

St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)

Act of Spiritual Communion
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

My Jesus,
I believe that You art present
in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things
and I desire You in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,
come at least, spiritually, into my heart.
As though You were already there,
I embrace You
and unite myself wholly to You,
permit not, that I should ever,
be separated from You.
Amenif you practice the holy exercise-stleonardportmaurice-actofspiritualcomm-stalphonsus-27nov2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on UNITY, SAINT of the DAY

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

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 15:1–10

One Minute Reflection – 8 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 15:1–10 – Thursday of the Thirty First week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of Blessed John Duns Scotus OFM (c 1265-1308)

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”…Luke 15:4-5

REFLECTION – “The fact of re-finding something we had lost always fills us anew with joy.   And this joy is greater than that we felt before losing it, when the thing was safely kept.   But the parable of the lost sheep speaks more of God’s tenderness than of the way in which people usually behave.   It expresses a profound truth.   To leave behind something of importance for love of what is more humble, is characteristic of divine power, not of human possessiveness.   For God even brings into existence what is not, He sets out in search of what is lost while still keeping what He had left in place and He finds what had strayed without losing what He has under His protection.
That is why, this shepherd is not of earth but of heaven.   The parable is not in any respect, a representation of human achievements but it conceals divine mysteries, as the numbers it mentions immediately show: “What man among you,” says the Lord, “having a hundred sheep and losing one of them…”   As you see, the loss of a single sheep has sorely tried this shepherd, as though the whole flock, deprived of His protection, had set out along a treacherous path.   This is why, leaving the ninety-nine others there, He sets out in search of the one.   He attends to one alone so that, in that one, all may be found and saved.”…St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Doctor of the Churchand when he has found it - luke 15 5 - he attends to one alone so that in that one all may be found and saved st peter chrysologus - 8 nov 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom, You created us, by Your providence You rule us, penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life, may always be one of faithful service to You. With great love we thank You for the great gifts You shower upon us and for being our Father, who seeks and finds us when we are lost.   Grant that by the intercession of Blessed John Duns Scotus, we may ever seek to stay true to our baptism.   Through Jesus, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.bl john duns scotus pray for us - 8 nov 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY SOULS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 2 November – The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

Quote/s of the Day – 2 November

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

We believe that Jesus died and rose again,
so we believe, that God will bring with Jesus,
those who have died, believing in him.…

1 Thessalonians 4:141 thes 4 14 - we believe that jesus died and rose - 2 nov 2018

“He who saves a soul,
saves his own and satisfies
for a multitude of sins.”

James 1:20james-1-20-he-who-saves-a-soul-saves-his-own-2-nov-2017

“The whole Church observes this practice
which was handed down by the Fathers –
that it prays for those who have died
in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ,
when they are commemorated
in their own place in the sacrifice itself
and the sacrifice is offered,
also in memory of them, on their behalf.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe whole church observes this practice - st augustine - 2 nov 2018

“What great power the holy souls in purgatory
have over the heart of God!
If we realised this fact
and averted to all the graces
that we can gain through their intercession,
these souls would not be so forgotten.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)what-great-power-st-john-vianney-2-nov-2017-21

“If today we are remembering
these brothers and sisters of
ours who lived before us and are
now in heaven, they are there
because they were washed in the
Blood of Christ, that is our hope
and this hope does not disappoint.
If we live our lives with the Lord,
He will never disappoint us.”

Pope Francisif-today-we-are-remembering-pope-francis-2 nov 2017

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 29 October – The Memorial of St Gaetano Errico (1791-1860)

Thought for the Day – 29 October – The Memorial of St Gaetano Errico (1791-1860), Founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Day by day, city to city, village to village, among both the poorest and those of high esteem, he saw the hunger each possessed to know that sin was forgiven, that God’s mercy was infinite and that they were loved.   Countless souls found a merciful listener, the embodiment of God’s promise of peace and renewal, in Fr Gaetano, in the Confessional.

“The priest, Gaetano Errico, dedicated himself to this sacrament with diligence, assiduity and patience, never refusing it nor counting the cost. He thus entered among the group of other extraordinary priests who tirelessly made the confessional a place to dispense God’s mercy, helping men to rediscover themselves, to fight against sin and make progress in the spiritual life.

The street and the confessional were the two particular places of Gaetano Errico’s pastoral work.   The street was the place that permitted him to offer his customary invitation:  “God loves you, when shall we meet?” and in the confession he made their encounter with the mercy of the heavenly Father possible.   How many wounded souls did he heal in this way! How many people did he help to be reconciled with God through the sacrament of forgiveness!

In this way St. Gaetano Errico became an expert in the “science” of forgiveness, and concerned himself with teaching it to his missionaries:   “God, who does not wish the death of the sinner, is always more merciful than his ministers;  so be as merciful as you can and you will find mercy with God!”

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Canonisation Mass, October 2008

He found his own encouragement on his knees in prayer . . . indeed it was prayer and the hours he spent in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that strengthened and renewed him and kept the fire of his love for God ever burning.

Let us rediscover the great grace of the Confessional and the immense joy of Eucharistic Adoration for ourselves!

St Gaetano Errico, Pray for Us!god who does not wish the death of a sinner - st gaetano errico pray for us no 2 - 29 oct 2018