Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – The family is called to become a daily offertory

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“Actually, the experience of the family is called to become a daily offertory, as a holy offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.
The Gospel of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, suggests us this same idea.
Jesus, the light of the world but also “a sign that will be contradicted” (Lk 2:32.34), desires to receive this offering of each family as He receives the bread and wine in the Eucharist.
He wants to join to the bread and wine destined to transubstantiation,
these human hopes and joys but also the inevitable sufferings and preoccupations of each family,
by incorporating them to the mystery of His Body and his Blood.
He then in turn gives them back – the same Body and Blood – in the communion,
as a source of spiritual energy,
not only for each single person but also for each family.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the experience of the family - st pope john paul 30 dec 2018

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Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Thought for the Day – 30 December – St Pope Paul VI – The School of Nazareth

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Saint Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
Bishop of Rome

An excerpt from Nazareth (Homily)

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Nazareth is a kind of school where we may begin to discover what Christ’s life was like and even to understand His Gospel.   Here we can observe and ponder, the simple appeal of the way God’s Son came to be known, profound yet full of hidden meaning.   And gradually, we may even learn to imitate Him.

Here we can learn to realise who Christ really is.   And here we can sense and take account, of the conditions and circumstances that surrounded and affected His life on earth – the places, the tenor of the times, the culture, the language, religious customs, in brief, everything which Jesus used to make Himself known to the world.   Here everything speaks to us, everything has meaning.   Here we can learn the importance of spiritual discipline for all who wish to follow Christ and to live by the teachings of His Gospel.

How I would like to return to my childhood and attend the simple yet profound school that is Nazareth!   How wonderful to be close to Mary, learning again the lesson of the true meaning of life, learning again God’s truths.   But here we are only on pilgrimage. Time presses and I must set aside my desire to stay and carry on my education in the Gospel, for that education is never finished.   But I cannot leave without recalling, briefly and in passing, some thoughts I take with me from Nazareth.

First, we learn from its silence.   If only we could once again appreciate its great value. We need this wonderful state of mind, beset as we are by the cacophony of strident protests and conflicting claims so characteristic of these turbulent times.   The silence of Nazareth should teach us, how to meditate in peace and quiet, to reflect on the deeply spiritual and to be open to the voice of God’s inner wisdom and the counsel of His true teachers.   Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of meditation, of a well-ordered personal spiritual life and of silent prayer that is known only to God.

Second, we learn about family life.   May Nazareth serve as a model of what the family should be.   May it show us the family’s holy and enduring character and exemplify its basic function in society – a community of love and sharing, beautiful for the problems it poses and the rewards it brings, in sum, the perfect setting for rearing children—and for this there is no substitute.

Finally, in Nazareth, the home of a craftsman’s son, we learn about work and the discipline it entails.   I would especially like to recognise its value—demanding yet redeeming—and to give it proper respect  . I would remind everyone, that work has its own dignity.   On the other hand, it is not an end in itself.   Its value and free character, however, derive not only from its place in the economic system, as they say but rather from the purpose it serves.

In closing, may I express my deep regard for people everywhere who work for a living. To them I would point out their great model, Christ their brother, our Lord and God, who is their prophet in every cause that promotes their well-being.

Holy Family of Nazareth, Pray for Us!holy-fam-pray-for-us-31 dec 2016

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on the FAMILY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“How important it is, therefore, that every child coming into the world
be welcomed by the warmth of a family!
External comforts do not matter,
Jesus was born in a stable and had a manger as His first cradle
but the love of Mary and of Joseph made Him feel the tenderness and beauty of being loved.
Children need this, the love of their father and mother.
It is this that gives them security and, as they grow,
enables them to discover the meaning of life.
The Holy Family of Nazareth went through many trials ….
Yet, trusting in divine Providence, they found their stability
and guaranteed Jesus a serene childhood and a sound upbringing.”

Pope Benedict XVI (Feast of the Holy Family 2010)how-important-it-is-therefore-pope-benedict-31-dec-2017

“Waste time with your children,
so that they can realise,
that love is always free.”

Pope Franciswaste time with your childen - pope francis - 30 dec 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – Nazareth Prayer for the Family

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.   This is a very appropriate prayer as the Church focuses on Family Life.

Nazareth Prayer for the Family
By St Mother Teresa(1910-1997)

Heavenly Father,
You have given us the model of life
in the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to make our family another Nazareth
where love, peace and joy reign.
May it be deeply contemplative,
intensely eucharistic, received with joy.
Help us to stay together in joy
and sorrow in family prayer.
Teach us to see Jesus
in the members of our families,
especially in their distressing disguise.
May the Eucharistic heart of Jesus
make our hearts humble like His
and help us to carry out our family duties
in a holy way.
May we love one another
as God loves each one of us,
more and more each day,
and forgive each others faults
as You forgive our sins.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to take whatever You give
and give whatever You take with a big smile.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
cause of our joy, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
Holy Guardian Angels,
be always with us,
guide and protect us.
Amen.nazareth prayer for the family - st mother teresa - 5 september 2-018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – 30 December

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – 30 December

The Feast of the Holy Family is dedicated to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, commemorating their life together in Nazareth and calling us to focus on Catholic family life.   The feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after Christmas since it was placed on the general calendar in 1921 by Pope Benedict XV.

HOLY FAMILY

The Church presents the Holy Family to us as a model for our own family life.   Joseph was the head of the Holy Family and provided for Mary and Jesus with the work of his hands.   He was obedient to the angel who told him to take Mary as his wife, what to name the new child and again when told to flee with them to Egypt.   He taught Jesus the carpentry trade and what it was to be a man in the society in which they lived.Holy Family carl muller close up

Mary took care of her family in the home.   It was she who would have taught Jesus the Scriptures and prayers of their people when he was very young.   It was through her example of managing the home, that Jesus would formulate many of the examples he would later use in his teaching.   Jesus saw work sanctified through the example of his earthly parents, who did all things well in the ordinary circumstances of daily life.

As far back as St John Chrysostom (347-407), Christians were urged to make of their home a family church in which the family members would find their sanctification.   That was to be accomplished by putting Christ at the centre of all individual and family life, by working and praying together, reading the Scriptures and worshipping as a unit.Claudio Coello HOLY FAMILY

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, (60) St Pope John Paul said:  “Do you teach your children the Christian prayers? Do you prepare them, in conjunction with the priests, for the sacraments that they receive when they are young – Confession, Communion and Confirmation? Do you encourage them, when they are sick, to think of Christ suffering, to invoke the aid of the Blessed Virgin and the saints? Do you say the family Rosary together…? Do you pray with your children, with the whole domestic community, at least sometimes? Your example of honesty in thought and action, joined to some common prayer, is a lesson for life and an act of worship of singular value. In this way you bring peace to your homes: Pax huic domui. Remember, it is thus that you build up the Church.”

In 2002, St Pope John Paul II stated in his Angelus homily of 29 December “Every Christian family is called to show “convincingly that it is possible to live marriage fully in keeping with God’s plan and with the true good of the human person – of the spouses, and of the children who are more fragile” (Novo Millennio ineunte).

“A united family that follows these principles will more easily overcome the trials and difficulties it encounters on its way.   In the faithful love of the parents, a gift ceaselessly to foster and safeguard, children can find the best conditions for their growth, helped by Jesus who “increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man” (Lk 2:52).”holy-family10-SIMON VOUET

Catholics are encouraged to learn what the Church teaches about marriage and family life and to avoid those things which run counter to God’s plan.   Catholic family life, then, would exclude such acts as artificial contraception, abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexual activity, reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization and divorce.

It is within the family that human life in all its stages is nurtured and protected, where concern for others is learned and where the virtues are developed for the good of the individual, the family, and the society.HOLY FAMILY DEATH OF ST JOSEPH

The Holy Family feast is a good time to remember the family unit and pray for our human and spiritual families.   We also may take this feast to reflect on the value and sanctity of the family unit and to evaluate our own family life.   What ways may it be improved?   What would Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do?   Finally, we can use this feast to ask ourselves what are we doing to promote the family within our own cultures, neighbourhoods and communities.   (In Conversation with God Vol 1).BEAUTIFUL HOLY FAMILY CHRIST CHILD WITH CROSS

Last year’s post:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/31-december-feast-of-the-holy-family-and-the-seventh-day-of-the-octave/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Thought for the Day – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

Thought for the Day – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

Sermon of Saint Bernard for the Feast of the Holy Family
(1090-1153) – Doctor of the ChurchVision of St. Bernard_Munich, AP_1493.Perugino, Virgin Appearing to St. Bernard Italian, 1493holy-family41with st bernard

In Mary we praise that which places her above all others, that is, fruitfulness of offspring together with virginity.   For never has it been known in this world that anyone was at the same time mother and virgin.   And see of Whom she is mother.   Where does your astonishment at this so wondrous dignity lead you?   Is it not to this, that you may gaze in wonder yet never sufficiently revere?   Is she not in your veneration, nay, in the esteem of Truth itself, raised above choirs of angels?   Does not Mary address the Lord and God of all the angels as Son, saying: Son, why hast thou done so to us?

Who among the angels may thus presume?   It is enough for them and for them their greatest honour, that while they are spirits by nature they have become and are called angels, as David testifies:  Who makest thy angels spirits. [Ps. 103: 4] Mary, knowing herself mother, with confidence calls that Majesty Son Whom the angels in reverence serve.   Nor does God disdain to be called that which He disdained not to be.   For the Evangelist adds a little later:   He was subject to them.

Who was subject to whom?   A God to men.   God, I repeat, to Whom the angels are subject:   Whom principalities and powers obey:   was subject to Mary and not alone to Mary but to Joseph also, because of Mary.   Admire and revere both the one and the other and choose which you admire the more, the most sweet condescension of the Son, or the sublime dignity of the Mother.   For either am I at a loss for words, for both are wondrous.   For that God should obey a woman is humility without compare and that a woman should have rule over God dignity without equal.   In praise of virgins is it joyfully proclaimed, that they follow the lamb withersoever he goeth. [Apoc. 14: 4]   Of what praise shall you esteem her worthy who also goeth before Him?

Learn, O Man, to obey.   Learn, O Earth, to be subject.   Learn, O Dust, to submit.   The Evangelist in speaking of thy Maker says:   He was subject to them, that is, without doubt, to Mary and to Joseph.   Be you ashamed, vain ashes that you are.   God humbles Himself, and do you exalt yourself?   God becomes subject to men and will you, eager to lord it over men, place yourself above your Maker?   O would that God might deign to make me, thinking such thoughts at times in my own mind, such answer as He made, reproving him, to His apostle:  Go behind Me, Satan: because thou savourest not the things that are of God. [Mark 8: 33]

For as often as I desire to be foremost among men, so often do I seek to take precedence of God and so do I not truly savour the things that are of God.   For of Him was it said and he was subject to them. If you disdain, O Man, to follow the example of a Man, at least it will not lower thee to imitate thy Maker.   If perhaps you cannot follow Him wheresoever He goeth, at least follow in that wherein He has come down to you.

If you are unable to follow Him on the sublime way of virginity, then follow God by that most sure way of humility, from whose straitness should some even from among the virgins go aside, then must I say what is true, that neither do they follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth .  He that is humble, even though he be stained, he follows the Lamb so too does the proud virgin but neither of the two whithersoever He goeth: because the one cannot ascend to the purity of the Lamb that is without stain, nor will the other deign to come down to the meekness of the Lamb, Who stood silent, not merely before the shearer but before the one that put Him to death.   Yet the sinner who makes after Him in humility, has chosen a wholesomer part than the one that is proud in his virtue, since the humble repentance of the one washes away uncleanness but the pride of the other contaminates his own virtue.

Truly blessed was Mary who possessed both humility and virginity.   And truly wondrous the virginity whose fruitfulness stained not but adorned her and truly singular the humility, which this fruitful virginity has not troubled but rather exalted and wholly incomparable the fruitfulness which goes hand in hand with her humility and her virginity.   Which of these things is not wondrous?   Which is not beyond all comparison? Which that is not wholly singular?   It would be strange if you did not hesitate to decide which you regard as most worthy of praise: whether the wonder of fruitfulness of offspring in virginity, or of virginal integrity in a mother, sublimity of Offspring, or humility joined to such dignity, unless it be that we place both together above each one singly and it is truly beyond any doubt more excellent and more joyful to have beheld these perfections united in her, than to see but one part of them.

And can we wonder that God, of Whom it is written that He is wonderful in his saints,[Ps. 67: 36] shows Himself in His own Mother yet more wondrous still.   Venerate then, Ye spouses, this integrity of flesh in our corruptible flesh.   Revere likewise, Ye virgins, fruitfulness in virginity.   Let all men imitate the humility of God’s Mother.   Honour, Ye angels, the Mother of your King, you who adore the Offspring of our Virgin, Who is your King and our King, the Healer of our race, the Restorer of our fatherland.  Who among you is so sublime, yet among us was so lowly, to Whose Majesty as well from you as from us. let there be adoration and reverence, to whose Perfection be there honour and glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen

Mary and Joseph be our teachers and our guides, pray for us and for all the families of the world.holy family pray for us no 2 - 31 dec 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES/PRAYERS on THE FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them. He will never be shamed.…Psalm 127:3-5psalm 127 - 3-5 - 31 dec 2017

REFLECTION – “How important it is, therefore, that every child coming into the world be welcomed by the warmth of a family!   External comforts do not matter, Jesus was born in a stable and had a manger as His first cradle but the love of Mary and of Joseph made Him feel the tenderness and beauty of being loved.   Children need this, the love of their father and mother.   It is this that gives them security and, as they grow, enables them to discover the meaning of life.   The Holy Family of Nazareth went through many trials …. Yet, trusting in divine Providence, they found their stability and guaranteed Jesus a serene childhood and a sound upbringing.”…Pope Benedict XVI (Feast of the Holy Family 2010)how important it is therefore - pope benedict - 31 dec 2017

PRAYER – Holy Father, trusting in the motherly intercession of Mary Most Holy, Queen of Families and under the powerful protection of St Joseph, her spouse, grant we pray, that we may dedicate ourselves tirelessly to this beautiful mission which You have placed in our hands, as mothers and fathers of Your children.   Strengthen us to protect and guide them in Your ways.   Through the prayers of our Holy Mother and the Guardian of Your divine Son and of His Church, in union with Jesus Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit, amen.holy-fam-pray-for-us - 2016