Wednesday, December 31, 2014

From Heaven to the heaven of heart...

“Jesus, when You come to me in Holy Communion, You Who together
with the Father and the Holy Spirit have deigned to dwell in the
little heaven of my heart, I try to keep You company throughout the day…
my heart is always united…  St Faustina (Diary 486)
massgroegoty.jpg picture by kking_8888
"In order to penetrate a whole human life
with the divine life
it is not enough to kneel once a year before the crib
and let ourselves be captivated by the charm of the holy night. 
To achieve this,
we must be in daily contact with God. ...
Just as our earthly body needs its daily bread,
so the divine life must be constantly fed.
'This is the living bread
that came down from heaven.'"
~ St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Entering through the 'door'

 “Freed from the heavy burden of my own will, I may breathe freely
under the light load of love…”  St. Bernard of Clairvaux
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"Let us enter into the mystery of Christmas . . .
through the 'door' of the Eucharist;
in the grotto of Bethlehem let us adore the Lord Himself who,
in the Sacrament of the Eucharist,
desired to make Himself our spiritual food to transform the world
from within, starting with the human heart."
Pope Benedict XVI
14 December 2006

Monday, December 29, 2014

To warn, to lead, to bring them back

“Remember then how our fathers worked out their salvation; remember the sufferings through which the Church has grown, and the storms the ship of Peter has weathered because it has Christ on board.  Remember how the crown was attained by those whose sufferings gave new radiance to their faith.  The whole company of saints bear witness to the unfailing truth that without real effort no one wins the crown.” 
– St Thomas Becket

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"A martyr, a saint, is always made by
the design of God, for His love of men,
to warn them and to lead them ,
to bring them back to His ways.”

~ St. Thomas Becket, homily excerpt, Christmas morning Mass (1170),
four days before he was martyred

St. Thomas Becket
Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr*
England  (1118-1170)
FEAST DAY - December 29
*On December 29th, 1170, four knights from the court of King Henry II burst into Canterbury Cathedral as the Archbishop was on his way to Vespers. Just inside the cloister door, they murdered Thomas Becket, whose defense of the rights of the Church had angered the King. His last words were: 'I accept death for the name of Jesus and for the Church.'

The murder shocked the conscience of all Europe; miracles were announced immediately; the archbishop was canonized as a martyr by Alexander III in 1173; the king did public penance at his tomb, and much of what St Thomas had worked for all his life was accomplished by his death.
Thomas said this to a friend on his way to Ordination: "Hereafter, I want you to tell me, candidly and in secret, what people are saying about me. And if you see anything in me that you regard as a fault, feel free to tell me in private. For from now on, people will talk about me, but not to me. It is dangerous for men in power if no one dares to tell them when they go wrong." 

Click here: St. Thomas Becket - YouTube  (2 mins - Apostleship of Prayer)

St Thomas Becket, pray for us!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

+JMJ+ Feast of the Holy Family +JMJ+

Jesus, Mary and Joseph
*The Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day.
If both are Sundays, the feast is celebrated on December 30.
A Prayer to The Holy Family, for Assistance 

Lord Jesus Christ, who, being made subject to Mary and Joseph,
didst consecrate domestic life by Thine ineffable virtues;
grant that we, with the assistance of both, may be taught by the example
of Thy holy Family and may attain to its everlasting fellowship.
Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.
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“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph had only one life, one purpose:
To glorify the Heavenly Father.  That is what we also must want. 

To achieve it, we have to enter into union with Mary and Joseph, share their life - family life, the intimate interior life of which God alone is secret. 

What happiness to be called to this life Our love will consist in living with Mary and Joseph on the love of Jesus Eucharistic.”
St. Peter Julian Eymard
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 "The family has the mission to 
guard, reveal and communicate love,
and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity
and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church, His bride. 
Every particular task of the family is an expression
and concrete actuation of that fundamental mission.” - St John Paul II

533 The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life:

The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus - the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us. . . A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character... A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the "Carpenter's Son", in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work. . . To conclude, I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern their brother who is God. (Pope Paul VI at Nazareth, January 5, 1964)

534 The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus (Lk 2: 41-52). Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from His divine Sonship: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?" (Lk 2:49) Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.

Holy Family of Nazareth, help us to willingly enter the hidden life of Nazareth, the school of Nazareth, that allows us to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life.  Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for us. Amen.

Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for us!
Perhaps a 2015 resolution might include resuming or beginning the practice of writing/typing JMJ (Jesus, Mary, Joseph) atop or at the close of your papers (emails) of correspondence.  
It symbolically illustrates a worldview, a mindset that reminds that we follow an example, 
a way that is sanctified and greater than ourselves. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Following the Apostle of Charity...

The way we came to know love was that He laid
down His life for us; so we ought to lay down
our lives for our brothers. - 1 John 3:16

Icon: Sacred Heart of Naur (Jordan)

"The presence of Jesus in the tabernacle must be a kind of magnetic pole attracting an ever greater number of souls enamoured of Him, ready to wait patiently to hear His voice and, as it were, to sense the beating of His heart. “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps 34:8)."  

Mane Nobiscum Domine (Stay With Us Lord)
Apostolic Letter, 10/07/04, Pope St John Paul II

St John the Beloved Disciple
Apostle and Evangelist
Son of Zebedee, brother of James
Asia Minor, Galilee (6-115 AD)
Apostle of Charity
Patron of Asia Minor, Theologians
Feast Day - December 27
O most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still… I worship Thee with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. O my God, when Thou dost condescend to suffer me to receive Thee, to eat and drink Thee, and Thou for a while takest up Thy abode within me, O make my heart beat with Thy Heart. Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it, but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace. Amen. - Bl John Henry Newman, Meditations and Devotions, Part III [XVI] para. 3

Valentin de boulogne

"It is a long way from being eager to sit on a throne of power or to call down fire from heaven to becoming the man who could write: “The way we came to know love was that He laid down His life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16). Through John we know how we are to participate as our destiny in the life of Christ."

 ~ St Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)

The eagle, believed to look directly into the light of the sun, is the symbol of St. John.  This bird was used because in his Gospel St. John dwells particularly upon the Divinity of the Redeemer and contemplates with the unflinching eye of an eagle the highest truths.

St John, pray for us!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Blood of the martyrs, seed of the Church

The gates of heaven were opened for blessed Stephen, who was found
to be first among the number of the Martyrs and therefore is
crowned triumphant in heaven.  ~ Today's Entrance Antiphon
"Thursday the 26th, St Stephen's Day.  I (St Paul of the Cross) was in particular uplifting of soul, especially at Holy Communion;  I wanted to go and die a martyr's death in a place where the adorable mystery of the Most Blessed Sacrament is denied.  This wish has been given to me for some time past by the Infinite Goodness, but today I had it in a special manner; I had the desire for the conversion of heretics, especially in England and the neighboring kingdoms, and I offered a special prayer for that at Holy Communion...." 
Fr Edmund, CP
Excerpt from: Hunter of Souls:
A Study of the Life and Spirit
of St Paul of the Cross
St Stephen
Jerusalem ~  + 35 AD
Protomartyr and Archdeacon
FEAST DAY – Dec 26

The first of all the martyrs in... Our Christian history ... St Stephen looked upon his foes... With love and sympathy ... Before the twelve apostles died ... He gave his life for Christ ... And in whatever way he could  ... He always sacrificed ... To those in high authority ... He pointed out that they  ... Enforced the laws which they had no ... Intention to obey ... He showed them their hypocrisy ... And did not fear his end ... As every pauper he had helped ... Became his special friend ... And as he loved the children of  ... His boundless charity ... The final prayer before his death ... Was for his enemy.  

 From Poem Portraits of the Saints, James J. Metcalfe (pg 118)

St Stephen, pray for us! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Felix dies Nativitatis

May God, who by the Incarnation brought together the earthly 
and heavenly realm, fill you with the gift of His peace and favor 
and make you sharers with the Church in heaven.  - Missale Romanum

Felix dies Nativitatis
Merry Christmas - Glædelig Jul - Veselé Vánoce - Vrolijk Kerstfeest - Häid Jõule - Hyvää Joulua - Joyeux Noël - Fröhliche Weihnachten - Boldog Karácsonyt - Gleðileg Jól - Nollaig Shona - Buon Natale - Il-milied It-tajjeb - God Jul - Wesołych Świąt - Feliz Natal - Un Crăciun Fericit - C Pождеством Xристовом - Nollaig Chridheil - Vesele Vanoce - Feliz Navidad - Noeliniz Kutlu Olsun
...and a HAPPY NEW YEAR of the LORD!!
Let us continue in earnest and zeal
to know, love and serve our Eucharistic Lord
day by day, more and more -
and invite all that we meet to embrace the same!
United in prayer and mission  ~ Janette

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Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness, of the glory of Thy face.
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.
Frances Ridley Havergal

Make merry!

Make merry therefore on this beautiful day,
on which the sun of the Eucharist is rising.  Let your gratitude
never separate the Crib from the Altar, the Word made Flesh
from the God-Man made Bread of Life in the Most Blessed Sacrament."

St Peter Julian Eymard

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Pope Francis ~preparing the altar for Christmas Mass 2014 ~ St Peter's Basilica~Roma

"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 Chrysostom

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 Each of us must sink to child-level before the Crib. Each of us, at the
same time, must rise to the Incarnation-level - Msgr Ronald Knox
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Adoration of the Shepherd ~ Angelo Bronzino
"Raise Your tiny hand, divine Child,
and bless these young friends of Yours,
bless the children of all the earth."
Pope St John Paul II

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Our abiding Bethlehem

“Above all else, this is what Christmas bids us to do: give glory to God, for He is good, He is faithful, He is merciful. ...Let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God; we need His caress. God’s caresses do not harm us. They give us peace and strength. We need His caresses. God is full of love: to Him be praise and glory forever! - Pope Francis

Behold, when the fullness of time had come,
God sent his Son into the world. – Gal 4:4

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"The Bethlehem of that night … has never passed away.  …It lives a real, unbroken, unsuspended life, not in history only, or in art, or in poetry, or even in the energetic fertile worship and fleshly hearts of the faithful, but in the worshipful reality of the Blessed Sacrament. 

Round the Tabernacle, which is our abiding Bethlehem, goes on the same world of beautiful devotion which surrounded the new-born Babe, real, out of real hearts, and realized by God’s acceptance. "

Fr Frederick W Faber

"The mystery of Bethlehem is renewed upon the altar,
and the cry goes forth:
'Christ is born to us.  Come, let us adore!' "

Fr Karl Adam

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

He both leads us and journeys toward us...

"He it is Who though as yet hidden is nevertheless leading all. ... He it is Who is now leading the whole world and placing everybody in His own city. He it is Who is leading Joseph away from Nazareth. He it is Who is leading His own Mother over every step of that difficult and tiring journey, letting the joy in His own Heart overflow into hers; and He is my Leader too. With such a General, nothing will be overlooked in my life; everything will be arranged in wisdom and love.....Oh! come, little Leader, come and redeem us."
Mother St. Paul (1861-1940)
Ortus Christi

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"The nine months draw to a close, and our Lord's last act is to journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  It is toward us, as well as toward Bethlehem, that He is journeying. 

He is about to leave His home a second time for the love of us. As He had left His uncreated home in the Bosom of the Father, so is He now going to leave His created home that He may come to us and be still more ours.

He will show us in this last action that He is not obedient merely to His holy and chosen Mother, but that He has come to be the servant of our commands and to wait upon our forwardness..."

Fr. Frederick W. Faber

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Child of the Dove ... Come!

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel!
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Advent antiphons 
From Mary's sweet silence
Come, Word mutely spoken!
Pledge of our real life,
Come, Bread yet unbroken!

Seed of the Golden Wheat,
In us be sown.
Fullness of true Light,
Through us be known.
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Secret held tenderly,
Guarded with Love,
Cradled in purity,
Child of the Dove,
Sr M Charlita, I.H.M
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Love

Fourth Sunday of ADVENT
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"Hail full of grace! The Lord is with you." - Luke 1:28

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 “The modern world’s feverish struggle for unbridled,
often unlicensed, freedom is answered by the bound,
enclosed helplessness and dependence of Christ:

Christ in the womb,
Christ in the Host,
Christ in the tomb."

Caryll Houselander
The Reed of God

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 Allegory of the Eucharist ~ Alexander Coosemans 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Passing beyond oneself...

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him, so that you may overflow
with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13
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 "He who enters 
into the secret place of his own soul
passes beyond himself,
and does in very truth ascend to God.
Banish, therefore, from thy heart 
the distractions of earth
and turn thine eyes to spiritual joys,
that thou mayest learn at last
to repose in the light
of the contemplation of God."

St. Albert the Great

Friday, December 19, 2014

The sight of FAITH is fitting for the upright to praise him.  - Psalm 33:1b

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"Words cannot express the perfection of his adoration. If Saint John leaped in the womb at the approach of Mary, what feelings must have coursed through Joseph during those six months when he had at his side and under his very eyes the hidden God!

If the father of Origin used to kiss his child during the night and adore the Holy Spirit living within him, can we doubt that Joseph must often have adored Jesus hidden in the pure tabernacle of Mary? How fervent that adoration must have been: My Lord and my God, behold your servant!

No one can describe the adoration of this noble soul. He saw nothing, yet he believed; his faith had to pierce the virginal veil of Mary. So likewise with you! Under the veil of the Sacred Species your faith must see our Lord.

Ask St. Joseph for his lively, constant faith."

St. Peter Julian Eymard

Thursday, December 18, 2014

His life: an Advent!

"The life of a priest is an Advent
bringing forth 
the Incarnation of souls."- Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity


(St Charles Borromeo)
O Holy Mother of God, 
pray for the priests
your Son has chosen to serve the Church.
Help them, by your intercession,
to be holy, zealous and chaste.
Make them models of virtue
in the service of God’s people.
Help them to be prayerful in meditations,
efficacious in preaching,
and zealous in the daily offering of
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Help them administer the sacraments with joy.

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Let us generously remember our priests in daily prayer -
especially in this holy Advent season.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

O, the heavenly Rhythm of Liturgy


On December 17th, the Church’s Advent liturgy begins to focus in a more particular way on the Nativity of the Lord.  The prayers, readings, preface at Mass, as well as the readings, antiphons for the Gospel canticles, intercessions, and prayers at the Liturgy of the Hours concentrate more resolutely than during the preceding days of Advent on the coming feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Our attention is fixed on the messianic promises proclaimed by the ancient prophets of Israel. 

The seven great “O Antiphons” have a particular role in these days. Each antiphon, always sung in a very similar melody, begins with 'O' and addresses Christ with a unique title from the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah.  Each is followed by a petition for God's people relevant to the title by which He is addressed, and the cry for Jesus to COME to us (veni) and act on our behalf:   

December 17: O Wisdom, O Holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation. (Isaiah 11:2-3; Wisdom 8:1; Proverbs 9:1)
December 18: O Sacred Lord of Ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free. (Exodus 3:1-8; 20:1-20; Deuteronomy 26:5-9)
December 19: O Flower of Jesse’s Stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid. (Isaiah 11:1-4; 45:23; 52:13; Luke 1:32-33)
December 20: O Key of David, O Royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom. (Isaiah 22:22; 42:6-7; Luke 4:16-19)
December 21: O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. (Malachi 3:20; Isaiah 9:1; Psalm 107:14)
December 22: O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust. (Isaiah 28:16; Genesis 2:7; Matthew 21:42; 1 Peter 2:4-5)
December 23: O Emmanuel, King and Lawgiver, Desire of the Nations, Savior of all People, come and set us free, Lord our God. (Isaiah 7:14; Malachi 3:1; Matt 1:21-23)

·                     December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
·                     December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
·                     December 19: O Radix Iesse (O Root of Jesse)
·                     December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
·                     December 21: O Oriens (O Daystar) (after this date, days get longer)
·                     December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
·                     December 23: O Emmanuel (O God-with-Us)

When taken together from the last title to the first,
the first letters of each title form a wonderful Latin acrostic:
This is the Lord’s response
to the Church’s ardent petition that He COME (veni):
Ero cras (I will be there tomorrow)!

 The “O Antiphons” not only bring holy intensity to our Advent
preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.


  Some have used the O Antiphons as the basis of a rich Novena
up to and including Christmas Day.
Perhaps this "last lap" of Advent could also include
daily Mass and/or daily Adoration.

O come, O come, Emmanuel!
The song "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is simply a reworking of the O Antiphons. When you sing it, you are joining a vast throng of Christians stretching back across centuries and spanning the whole of the earth who prayed as all Christians do, "Come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev 22:20)

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Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

More on the 'O Antiphons':

Dearest Holy Father...
78 years old today

You have the pledge of our prayers!

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