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SIMPLE CHRISTMAS NOVENA PRAYER

SIMPLE CHRISTMAS NOVENA PRAYER – 16th TO 24th DECEMBER
THIS PRAYER IS RECITED DAILY FROM 16th DECEMBER TO 24th DECEMBER

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires (mention your request here).
Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother. Amen

 

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NOVENA PRAYER IN HONOUR OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

NOVENA PRAYER IN HONOUR OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
(The Immaculate Conception: 8th December)

Immaculate Virgin Mary, you were pleasing in the sight of God from the first moment of your conception in the womb of your mother, St Anne. You were chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I believe the teaching of Holy Mother the Church, that in the first instant of your conception, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race and your beloved Son, you were preserved from all stain of original sin. I thank God for this wonderful privilege and grace He bestowed upon you as I honour your Immaculate Conception.
Look graciously upon me as I implore this special favour: (mention your request).
Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from your throne in Heaven turn your eyes of pity upon me. Filled with confidence in your goodness and power, I beg you to help me in this journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. I entrust myself entirely to you, that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may always live a humble and pure life. I consecrate myself to you forever, for my only desire is to love your Divine Son Jesus.
Mary, since none of your devout servants has ever perished, may I, too, be saved. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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ADVENT PRAYER OF THE GREAT “O” ANTIPHONS

O Wisdom,
holy Word of God,
You rule all creation with power and true concern.
Come to teach us the way of salvation.

O sacred Lord,
and Leader of ancient Israel,
You communicated with Moses at the burning bush
and gave him the law on Mount Sinai.
Come to set us free by Your mighty arm.

O Root of Jesse,
raised up as a sign of all peoples,
in Your presence kings become mute
and the nations worship before You.
Come to deliver us and do not delay.

O Key of David,
and Royal Power of Israel,
You open what no one can shut,
and You shut what no one can open.
Come and deliver Your people
imprisoned by darkness and the shadows of death.

O Radiant Dawn,
You are the Brightness of eternal light
and the Sun of justice.
Come to enlighten those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

O King of the Gentiles
and the longed-for Ruler of the nations,
You are the cornerstone Who make all one.
Come and save those whom You have created.

O Emmanuel,
our King and our Lawgiver,
You are the Desired of the nations
and the Saviour of all people.
Come to save us, O Lord our God!

 
 

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FOUR SHORT ADVENT PRAYERS

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT:
O call forth your power, Lord, and come! Because of our sins, we are faced with imminent danger: under your protection may we escape it, with your redemption may we be saved from it. You who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT:
Rouse our hearts, Lord, to prepare the way before your only-begotten Son, so that with minds purified by his coming, we shall be able to serve you, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT:
Hearken, Lord, to our prayers, and by the grace of your coming, dispel the darkness of our minds. You who live and reign, with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT:
O call forth your power, Lord, and come! Come to help us in your great strength. May your merciful forgiveness and grace hasten on what our sins retard. You who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 
 

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OUR LORD JESUS’ COMING WILL BE AS QUICK AND AS SUDDEN AS LIGHTNING

THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM AND THE END OF THE WORLD

“In great sorrow Jesus brought His public preaching to a close with a solemn warning of destruction to Jerusalem. Then He sat down opposite the Temple treasury and watched the people offering their gifts to the Temple. He observed the splendid gifts of the rich. But he also observed a poor widow putting in two mites, a small sum, but all she had to live on. He called this to the attention of His disciples.

‘Amen I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who have been putting money into the treasury. For they have all been putting money in out of their abundance; but she out of her want has put in all that she had – all that she had to live on’ (Mark 12:43-44).

JESUS CHRIST’S OWN PEOPLE WILL REJECT HIM

This little incident is both a solace to Jesus and a lesson to His disciples. Jesus has come from heaven to offer men the precious gift of salvation, to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. But the Scribes and the Pharisees have rejected Him. Under their leadership His own people will reject Him and demand His death. Their unwillingness to receive Him shows, on their part, a lack of total dedication to the love of God. When Jesus sees the poor widow giving all that she has to the Temple, His heart rejoices at this example of total love of God. In pointing it out to His disciples He means to tell them once again that it is the spirit which inspires a gift that makes it valuable in the eyes of God. The rich gifts offered by the wealthy were praiseworthy. But since they were only a small part of the abundance of the wealthy, they did not symbolise so well the total gift of one’s self which God demands of every man. But by giving all that she possessed the widow showed in fact that she was totally dedicated to God.

‘THERE WILL NOT BE LEFT ONE STONE UPON ANOTHER’

After this incident Jesus and His disciples remembered His warning of the approaching doom of Jerusalem. They could not help but contrast the beauty and the solidity of the stone walls of the Temple with the sad forecast of the ruin of the Holy City. One of them said to Jesus,

‘Master, look, what wonderful stones and buildings!’ Jesus replied, ‘Dost thou see all these great buildings? There will not be left one stone upon another that will not be thrown down’ (Mark 13:1-2).

Jesus and the band of disciples went then to the Mount of Olives. There the curiosity of the disciples could no longer be restrained. Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Him, ‘Tell us, when are these things to happen, and what will be the sign when all these things will begin to come to pass?’ (Mark 13:4).

DID JESUS MEAN TO CONVEY THAT THE END OF THE WORLD WAS COMING SOON?

In the minds of the disciples there must have been great confusion. They had accepted Jesus as the Messias. Since they were Jews it was natural for them to expect the Messias to bring great glory to the Chosen People and to Jerusalem, the Holy City of God. But Jesus had just told them that Jerusalem would be left desolate and the great Temple, the centre of worship of Jahweh, would be destroyed. Perhaps they thought also that the destruction of the Temple would occur only when the Son of Man (spoken of by the prophet Daniel) came in glory to establish the final Kingdom of God at the end of the world. Of what then could Jesus be speaking? Did He mean that the end of the world was coming soon and that then His own glory would be manifested to all men?

WOULD THE GLORY OF THE SON OF MAN BE MANIFESTED TO ALL MEN SHORTLY?

Jesus, in replying to their question, spoke of both the destruction of Jerusalem and of the end of the world. But He distinguished the two events. They were not to be simultaneous, but rather separated by some interval of time. The destruction of Jerusalem would come during the lifetime of the generation of men who had listened to Jesus Himself. But the end of the world would come later, at a time determined by God the Father. When this time might be was not permitted to men to know. But it would be preceded by signs which would warn the followers of Jesus of its approach.

THE FOLLOWING THINGS TOOK PLACE BEFORE THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM IN THE YEAR 70 A.D.:

As for the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus first warned His disciples to beware of false Christs, men who would claim to be the Messias. These false Christs would only lead the people astray. There would be wars, and rumours of wars, He told them, pestilences, famine and earthquakes. The He added, ‘And when you see the abomination of desolation, standing where it ought not – let him who reads understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let him who is on the housetop not go down and enter to take anything from his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. But woe to those who are with child, or have infants at the breast in those days! But pray that these things may not happen in winter’ (Mark 13:14-18).

All these things took place before the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D. False Messiases arose and led the people into revolt against the authority of Rome. Jerusalem was besieged. Its people suffered from famine and pestilence.

As for the disciples themselves, Jesus told them, ‘But be on your guard. For they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, a witness to them’ (Mark 13:9).

THE APOSTLES WERE NOT TO BE AFRAID

When this persecution came upon the disciples they were not to be afraid. ‘And when they lead you away to deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to speak; but speak whatever is given you in that hour. For it is not you who are speaking, but the Holy Spirit… And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake; but he who perseveres to the end will be saved’ (Mark 13:11-13).

The disciples of Jesus are urged by Him to face persecution without fear. They will be working for God, for ‘the gospel must first be preached to all nations’ (Mark 13:10).

JERUSALEM WAS ENCIRCLED BY VESPASIAN’S AND TITUS’ TROOPS

God Himself, therefore, will speak through them, and if they persevere they will be saved.

That the first Christian community took His warning seriously is proved by the fact that the Christians there fled to Pella just before the encirclement of the city by the troops of Vespasian and Titus.

THE ANGELS WILL GATHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS

The mind of Jesus then turned to the thought of the end of the world. With prophetic insight He foresaw the signs which would precede His coming as the Son of Man in power and majesty to judge the world. ‘Then,’ He said, ‘there will be great tribulation, such as has not been found from the beginning of the world until now, nor will be. And unless those days had been shortened, no living creature would have been saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Then, if anyone say to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. If therefore they say to you, ‘Behold, he is in the desert,’ do not go forth; ‘Behold, he is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines even to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together. But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then will all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with great power and majesty. And he will send forth his angels with a trumpet and a great sound, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other’ (Matthew 24:21-31).

‘BUT OF THAT DAY OR HOUR NO ONE KNOWS… BUT THE FATHER ONLY’

Before the world comes to an end, then, a number of false Christs will appear, seeking to lead men astray. So powerful will be the forces of evil that even the elect would be led astray except that God will shorten the time so that they may be saved. Just when the end will come Jesus does not say.

‘But of that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only’ (Mark 13:32).

Jesus does not mean that as the Son of God He is Himself ignorant of the day when the world will end. He means that this is knowledge which God the Father does not allow to angels or men, but reserves for God alone. Jesus, as the Son of God, knows the day and the hour, but as the Messias He will not reveal it to men.

OUR LORD JESUS’ COMING WILL BE AS QUICK AND AS SUDDEN AS LIGHTNING

The destruction of Jerusalem, as Jesus foretold it, would not be sudden, its approach would not be unrecognisable. Men would have an opportunity to flee from the city and escape its fate. But the end of the world would come suddenly and men will find no chance to escape.

Neither will they be able to recognise its approach clearly.

‘And as it was in the days of Noe [Noah], even so will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noe entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away; even so will the coming of the Son of Man be’ (Matthew 24:37-39). Or, as Jesus had already said, His coming will be as quick as sudden as a bolt of lightning searing the sky from east to west.

‘TAKE HEED, WATCH AND PRAY’

Because of the uncertainty of the time of the end of the world Jesus warns His disciples to be ready at every moment for that final catastrophe. ‘Take heed, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time is’ (Mark 13:33).

In several parables Jesus emphasised the necessity of being prepared for the coming of the Son of Man to judge the world. ‘As a man,’ He said, ‘when he leaves home to journey abroad, puts his servants in charge, to each his work, and gives orders to the porter to keep watch. Watch, therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or early in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping’ (Mark 13:34-36).

Or again, ‘Watch, therefore, for you do not know at what hour your Lord is to come. But of this be assured, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would certainly have watched, and not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you also must be ready, because at an hour that you do not expect, the Son of Man will come’ (Matthew 24:42-44).

Or, ‘Who, dost thou think, is the faithful and prudent servant whom his master has set over his household to give them their food in due time? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, shall find doing so. Amen I say to you, he will set him over all his goods. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master delays his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day he does not expect, and in an hour he does not know, and will cut him asunder and make him share the lot of the hypocrites. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth’ (Matthew 24:45-51).

THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH VIRGINS

Lastly Jesus made the same point in the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins. Ten virgins went out joyfully to attend a wedding. They carried lamps to light their way. Five were wise and carried also some vessels of oil to replenish their lamps if it became necessary. But five were foolish and carried no extra supply. The coming of the bridegroom was delayed. The virgins fell asleep. When the bridegroom came they arose and prepared to attend the marriage feast. But the lamps of the foolish virgins had gone out and so they were late in arriving at the feast. The door was shut. The bridegroom, not knowing them, refused to let them in.

…TO MEET JUDGMENT UNAFRAID

In all these parables Jesus was emphasising the point that His disciples should be prepared always to meet judgment at the hands of the Son of Man. ‘Watch, then, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to be, and to stand before the Son of Man’ (Luke 21:36).

No man may know when the end of the world will be. But all men must be prepared to meet it at any moment. They must watch and pray so that they meet judgment unafraid.

‘HE WILL COME AGAIN IN GLORY TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD’

This thought of the end of the world and of the second coming of the Son of Man is followed quite naturally in the discourse of Jesus by a description of the judgment of men at the end of time. ‘But when the Son of Man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory and before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and he will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you covered me; sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the just will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and feed thee; or thirsty, and give thee drink? And when did we see thee sick, or in prison, and come to thee?’ And answering the king will say to them, ‘Amen I say to you, as long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left hand, ‘Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you did not give me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take me in; naked, and you did not clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Amen I say to you, as long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me.’ And these will go into everlasting punishment, but the just into everlasting life’ (Matthew 25:31-46).

THE JUDGMENT WILL BE BASED ON THE LAW OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

As the Son of Man, the apocalyptic figure spoken of by the prophet Daniel, Jesus will come at the end of the world to judge all men. His judgment will be based on the law of love which He so often preached to men. Those who have loved their fellowmen enough to aid them in their need will be given eternal life with God. Those who have not followed this law of love will be punished eternally in the fire of hell prepared for the devil and his angels. At the moment of judgment the secret of all history will be revealed.

THE SECRET OF ALL HISTORY WILL BE REVEALED

Jesus does not tell us the full nature of this secret. But He tells us enough for us to know that it flows in some mysterious way from the free wills of God, the angels and men. In the transcendent freedom of His will God has loved the universe enough to give it being, existence. And He has given it existence for the sake of His elect, angels and men whom He will gather from every corner of the universe to share His Kingdom with Him. The elect are those who live by the law of love, love of God and love of one another. Their love is the free choice of their own wills, echoing generously the creative act of God’s free decision to make the world. But some angels, and some men, will freely choose not to imitate the divine love; they will refuse to love [unconditionally], and in their refusal they will reject both God and all others. They will be punished by their own refusal; having rejected [unconditional] love, the secret of the universe, they must live forever in the self-corrosion of hate.

TO LOVE ANYONE IS TO LOVE HIM WHO IS THE BROTHER OF ALL

The disciples of Jesus might have wondered that Jesus mentioned only love of men as the basis for the final judgment of all men. Surely, they might have thought, men should be judged on the basis of their love for God. But Jesus had already taught them that it was God’s will that they should love all men as they loved themselves. In so doing they would be loving God Himself.

And in Jesus Himself there is an ever deeper reason why this is true. Jesus is God Himself come to earth, God-made-man. By taking to Himself a human nature, the Son of God has become the neighbour, in fact, the brother of all mankind. By His own free decision He has identified Himself with all men. To love anyone, therefore, is to love Him, Who is the brother of all. And to love Him is to love not just a man but God Himself.”
– Martin J. Healy S.T.D., 1959

 
 

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NIGHT LITANY FOR A BIG CITY

NIGHT LITANY FOR A BIG CITY

O GOD OUR FATHER, HEAR US,
Sacred Heart of Jesus, we bring before You all who tonight in this great city, and in all the cities of the world, are most in need of Your merciful love and protection.
On those surrounded by temptation – have mercy.
On those who have fallen into sin, – have mercy.
On those ensnared by consumerism who have forgotten You, – have mercy.
On those who are in mortal danger at this moment, – have mercy.

BY YOUR AGONY, SAVE THEM, JESUS.
Those who are tempting others to sin, – convert them to love of You.
On those who profit from the sin of others and carry on illicit trade, – have mercy.
On all the victims of sin and abuse, – have mercy.
On those who are entertaining themselves and others in sinful ways, – have mercy.
On those who by their self indulgent lifestyle exploit others, – have mercy.
On those who earn their living in immoral ways, – have mercy.

BY YOUR SCOURGING, SAVE THEM, JESUS.
On all who are out tonight, the homeless, the weary, the starving, those tempted to suicide, abortion, drugs, alcohol, those sleeping rough, without friends or security, – have mercy.
On those with sinful intentions, especially of terrorism and violence, – grant a change of heart.
To those who are out this night to rescue others from moral and physical danger, – grant help and protection.
For all those who work at night, such as the police, railwaymen, firemen, security personnel, those engaged on the stage, soldiers, sailors, and airmen, editors and journalists, – let Your saving Presence be with them, Jesus.
For the sick or those suffering any agony of mind, body, or spirit, – comfort them, Jesus.
For all undergoing operations, – strengthen them, Jesus, and help them in body and soul.
For the sleepless and the lonely, – be near them.
For those in anxiety, nervous or mental distress, – calm them.
For those suffering serious mental illness, – keep them in Your Power.
For those who nurse and care for them, – make them tender-hearted and compassionate.
For all nurses, – give them gentleness, sympathy and patience.
For priests and doctors called out this night, – be with them in their healing ministry, and keep them safe.

BY YOUR CROWN OF THORNS, DELIVER THEM, JESUS.
For those who tonight will lose a loved one – comfort and uphold them.
On all the dying who have sincerely sought You in their lives, – have mercy and draw them to Yourself.
On those who like the good thief are turning to You in their last moments, – have mercy.
On those who die without warning or preparation, – have mercy as they see You face to face.
On those dying alone without the comfort of a priest or anyone to support them, – have mercy.
On those dying unconscious, – have mercy.
For those who are afraid of dying, – turn their fear into surprise, wonder, and joy.
On those who die turning away from Your love, – have mercy.
On those who do not believe in You, on those whose belief in You is flawed, on those who are unaware of Your laws and commandments, and are dying tonight, – have mercy.
For all the faithful departed, – grant them light and peace.
For us all in our last hour, – wipe away all that separates us from You and give us confidence in Your love.

BY YOUR HOLY DEATH, DELIVER US ALL O JESUS.
On behalf of those who have not thought of God today, let us say:
Our Father… , Hail Mary…, Glory be…

 
 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 12:8-12)

(Week 28 of the year: Saturday)

WHEN THE TIME COMES, THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL TEACH YOU WHAT YOU MUST SAY.

Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of men, the Son of Man will declare himself for him in the presence of God’s angels.

But the man who disowns me in the presence of men will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels. “Everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

“When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say, because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 
 

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