Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY

The Solemnity of Epiphany – 7 January 2018 – T S Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi”

The Solemnity of Epiphany – 7 January 2018 – T S Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi”

The Journey of the Magi

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This:  were we led all that way for
Birth or Death?   There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different;  this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

t s eliot
excerpt from t s eliot's journey of the magi
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Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The CHRIST CHILD

Sunday Reflection – 7 January 2018 – The Feast of Epiphany

Sunday Reflection – 7 January 2018 – The Feast of Epiphany

Each Sunday towards the end of Mass, we come to the altar rail, receive Holy Communion, return to our seats and sit or kneel quietly for a while in contemplation.   But in these quiet moments after we have received Communion, what prayers do we offer up?  Perhaps we don’t pray at all but in those quiet moments our thoughts turn to other things, like Sunday lunch or a planned visit to visit the grandchildren after Mass.

I recently came across this wonderful article, written by a priest.  He writes:

“A few years ago it became evident to me that my prayers after distributing Holy Communion to my congregation were wholly inadequate.   As I sat on my seat on the altar I was finding it extremely difficult to express into words, what this moment meant to me.   Looking through my book collection I read all the prayers I could get my hands on but none seemed to be what I was looking for, so I gave up in frustration.   However, each day I would pray to Mary our Blessed Mother asking her to teach me how to express my innermost feelings to the Lord.   Sometime later I was preaching a retreat to a group of nuns when one of the elderly nuns came to visit me and said she felt she had a problem concerning her prayers after receiving Holy Communion.   Feeling I had at last found a kindred spirit, I asked her what she usually prayed and she replied, ‘I don’t pray anything, I just sit in silence and allow Him to love me and to teach me to love Him.’   At that moment I realised that Mary had indeed answered my prayers.

“I just sit in silence and allow Him to love me and to teach me to love Him.”

What a simple, but moving description of what this moment means to us all.

“Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.   When we feel that His mysteries are too severe for us and occasion us to doubt, let us earnestly wait on Him for the gift of humility and love.    Those who love and who are humble will apprehend them, carnal minds do not seek the and proud minds are offended at them but while love desires them, humility sustains them.

Let us pray Him to give us an earnest longing after Him – a thirst for His presence – an anxiety to find Him – a joy on hearing that He is to be found, even now, under the veil of sensible things – and a good hope that we shall find Him there.

Blessed indeed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.   They have their reward in believing, they enjoy the contemplation of a mysterious blessing, which does not even enter into the thoughts of other men and while they are more blessed than others, in the gift vouchsafed to them, they have the additional privilege of knowing that they are vouchsafed it.”….Blessed John Henry Newman  (1801-1890) – Parochial & Plain Sermons, Vol. VI, no. 11let us pray him to give us - bl john henry newman - 7 jan 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

6 January – Feast of the Epiphany and Memorials of the Saints

Feast of the Epiphany – Almost universally celebrated on Sunday 7 January this year.
St André Bessette (Optional Memorial)

St Andrew Corsini
St Antoninus
St Basillisa of Antinoë
St Demetrius of Philadelphia
St Diman Dubh of Connor
St Edeyrn
St Eigrad
St Erminold of Prüfening
St Felix of Nantes
Bl Frederick of Saint-Vanne
Bl Gertrud of Traunkirchen
Bl Gertrude van Oosten
St Guarinus of Sion
St Guy of Auxerre
St Honorius
St Hywyn of Aberdaron
St John de Ribera
St Julian of Antinoë
St Julius
Bl Luc of Roucy
Bl Macarius the Scot
St Macra of Rheims
St Merinus
St Nilammon of Geris
St St Petran of Landévennec
Peter of Canterbury
Bl Peter Thomas
St Pia of Quedlinburg
St Pompejanus
St Rafaela Porras y Ayllón
Bl Raymond de Blanes
Bl Rita Amada de Jesus
St Schotin
St Wiltrudis of Bergen

Martyrs in Africa: Unknown number of Christian men and women who were martyred in the persecutions of Septimus Severus. They were burned to death c 210.

Martyrs of Sirmium – 8 saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. The only surviving details are the names of eight of them – Anastasius VIII, Florianus, Florus, Jucundus, Peter, Ratites, Tatia and Tilis. 4th century at Syrmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Vojvodina, Serbia).

Martyrs of Ukraine – 25 beati
Seven Holy Deacons
Twelve Apostles of Ireland

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, The WORD

Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON The Third Week: SOLEMNITY of EPHIPHANY – 8 January 2017

Celebrating the
CHRISTMAS SEASON
The Third Week
SOLEMNITY of EPHIPHANY
8 January 2017

“Lord, open my lips,and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. …
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. 1 John 4

“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were (completely) astounded.
They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened. Mark 6

How often fear takes away our ability to love!
But, love drives out fear.
It appears that the key is to “understand the incident of the loaves.”
If Jesus has power, then it is foolish for us to fear.
If we won’t let Jesus have power in our lives,
then our hearts are still hardened.

Let us surrender our hearts to the Lord,
that we might let him love us
and take away all our fears,
that we might love more courageously, more completely.

Closing Prayer:
Lord.give me the joy of lasting peace
and fill my heart with so much love
that there is no more room for the worry and dread.

Teach me too, to follow Your Star and thus to become a shining star in the world.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

sunday-third-week-epiphany

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DEVOTIO, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers

Thought for the Day – Epiphany

Thought for the Day – Epiphany

“These men who set out towards the unknown were, in any event, men with a restless heart. Men driven by a restless quest for God and the salvation of the world. They were filled with expectation, not satisfied with their secure income and their respectable place in society. They were looking for something greater. They were no doubt learned men, quite knowledgeable about the heavens and probably possessed of a fine philosophical formation. But they desired more than simply knowledge about things. They wanted above all else to know what is essential. They wanted to know how we succeed in being human. And therefore they wanted to know if God exists and where and how he exists. Whether he is concerned about us and how we can encounter him. Nor did they want just to know. They wanted to understand the truth about ourselves and about God and the world. Their outward pilgrimage was an expression of their inward journey, the inner pilgrimage of their hearts. They were men who sought God and were ultimately on the way towards him. They were seekers after God.

The Wise Men followed the star and thus came to Jesus, to the great Light which enlightens everyone coming into this world (cf. Jn 1:9). As pilgrims of faith, the Wise Men themselves became stars shining in the firmament of history and they show us the way. The saints are God’s true constellations, which light up the nights of this world, serving as our guides. Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Philippians, told his faithful that they must shine like stars in the world (cf. 2:15).”

Extract from the HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI – Vatican Basilica
Sunday, 6 January 201
3

benedict-on-epiphany

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 January

One Minute Reflection – 8 January

…..and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. …………..Mt 2:11

REFLECTION – If we approach with faith, we too will see Jesus….; for the Eucharistic table takes the place of the crib.
Here the Body of the Lord is present, wrapped not in swaddling clothes but in the rays of the Holy Spirit……………..St John Chrysostum

PRAYER – Lord, God, teach me to see the living presence of Your Divine Son in the Eucharist. Make my faith so vivid that I will gladly come to encounter Jesus in every Mass.
Holy Christ Child, intercede for us, amen.

matthew-2-11if-we-approachepiphany-feast

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 8 January EPIPHANY

Our Morning Offering – 8 January EPIPHANY

Lord Jesus
may Your light shine our way,
as once it guided the steps of the Magi:
that we too may be led into Your presence
and worship You,
the Child of Mary,
Mother of God,
the Word of the Father,
the King of nations,
the Saviour of mankind;
in union with Your heavenly Father
and the Holy Spirit, You are One God
forever and ever, amen.

epiphany-prayer