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Tag Archives: Child

PRAYER FOR THE INTERCESSION OF ST GERARD TO CONCEIVE OR TO PREVENT MISCARRIAGE

ST GERARD, PATRON OF MOTHERHOOD

(THIS PRAYER IS TO BE SAID FOR NINE CONSECUTIVE DAYS)

O good St Gerard, powerful patron and protector of mothers and of children yet unborn, to thee do I turn in my hour of anxiety. Of the do I beg the blessings of a happy motherhood. When all human assistance seems to fail, deign to come to my aid by thy powerful intercession at the throne of Almighty God. Beseech the Divine Author of Life to bless me with offspring, that I may raise up children to God in this life who will be heirs to His heavenly Kingdom in the next. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SAY THIS “THANK YOU” PRAYER FOR GRACES RECEIVED EITHER NOW OR LATER ON:

O good St Gerard, wonderful Patron of Mothers, deign to offer to God my heartfelt gratitude for the great blessing of motherhood. In my long hours of anxiety, uncertainty and doubt, thy powerful intercession with Jesus my Lord and Mary my Queen was ever my hope. Obtain for me the grace always to turn to thee in similar trials. Help me to inspire other women with confidence in thy most gracious assistance. Aid all of us, that doing God’s holy Will as mothers here on earth, we may merit eternal life in Heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MARK 9:30-37)

THE SON OF MAN WILL BE DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF MEN. IF ANYONE WANTS TO BE FIRST, HE MUST MAKE HIMSELF THE LAST OF ALL.

Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.

They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.” He then took a little child, set it in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, “Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

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

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 16:20-23)

NO ONE SHALL TAKE YOUR JOY FROM YOU.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you most solemnly,
you will be weeping and wailing
while the world will rejoice;
you will be sorrowful,
but your sorrow will turn to joy.
A woman in childbirth suffers,
because her time has come;
but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering
in her joy that a man has been born into the world.
So it is with you: you are sad now,
but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy,
and that joy no one shall take from you.
When that day comes,
you will not ask me any questions.”

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

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING: ISAIAH 7:10-14 (ANNUNCIATION)

This year, the Annunciation is celebrated today. We celebrate that great day of decision: Mary’s acceptance of the role that God has chosen for her in his plan of redemption.

THE MAIDEN IS WITH CHILD.

The Lord spoke to Ahaz and said, “Ask the Lord your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.” “No,” Ahaz answered, “I will not put the Lord to the test.”
Then he said:
Listen now, House of David:
are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men
without trying the patience of my God, too?
The Lord himself, therefore,
will give you a sign.
It is this: the maiden is with child
and will soon give birth to a son
whom she will call Immanuel,
a name which means “God-is-with-us”.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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THE SECRET TO ALWAYS PRACTISING BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN SIMPLICITY

I. Contemplate the child Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem. O, what marvel of love for the entire world and all heaven to see, to witness the infinite God in the form of a humble child, crying, weeping and shivering with cold in a lowly manger! O, how that beautiful child wins the love of men and angels! O, how powerfully He draws all souls towards His love! By virtue of love then, unite your heart to the Heart of the child Jesus, and live with Him always; but how? you ask. By practising beautiful Christian simplicity, for Jesus said, “Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” And so He Himself, O, infinite condescension, became a child, giving us an example of that simplicity that He asks of us, if we are to have paradise.

Therefore, O Christian, be simple, become a child together with that heavenly child. May your heart be far from all worldly worries and all desires of the flesh and may you not fall back into them. May your mind be pure in its thoughts, always just and right in its ideas and always holy in its intentions. May you always speak sincerely, never lying or being duplicitous, and with the correct Christian prudence, so that your heart may be in your speech and sincerity in your heart. May you seek to do nothing other than what God wishes, what pleases Him and what gives Him glory. May your behaviour be far from all worldly affectation, may it be honest and good. So, in the words of St Paul, you will be a child of God in the midst of a corrupt and depraved generation, and God who loves to be one with simple souls, will enrich you with His light and blessings!

II. Contemplate Jesus, who lived a hidden life for thirty years in the village of Nazareth. Where were His infinite majesty and greatness? Where His wisdom, light and infinite glory? All was hidden in the shadows and silence of that tiny hamlet. The omnipotent hands that made the heavens and the earth were occupied by simple work, and the world saw Him as just the son of a carpenter. Become one with the young Jesus then and begin an inner life hidden in God. Do not allow yourself to be enticed or trapped by any exterior thing, stay close to that infinite goodness that is the divine Heart, determined to live quietly united to Jesus, until living without Him seems impossible, as impossible as to live without light or air.

Always have Jesus Christ in your mind, Jesus Christ in your heart and Jesus Christ before your eyes, for He is your beginning, your middle and your end, and so your life must be in Him. Be happy only with Him, thinking nothing of the greatness and honour the world offers, which all passes away. What a blessing for you, if you are able to live hidden with the Heart of Jesus! Even were you poor, despised and suffering in the eyes of the world, before God you would be a royal bride, ineffably glorious and beautiful.

III. Contemplate Jesus, who for three years walked the paths of Palestine showering blessings and working miracles, illuminating and consoling the people. He, infinite wisdom and truth, teaches you through His public ministry, the way to conduct all your actions. He did all things well, ‘bene omnia fecit’, these words are the praise of the Holy Spirit for Him. And you too, unite your heart to His Heart and seek to do all things well. And do them well as a reflection of Jesus Christ. He was a man, He worked, walked, rested, ate, slept and talked, and in all these ordinary actions there was perfect love, devotion and sacrifice, and so He became the example to you and the source of all good.

Do all things well, think like Jesus Christ, love like Jesus Christ, speak with the language of Jesus Christ, see all things with the eyes of Jesus Christ, and put Jesus Christ first, allowing yourself to be led by Him in all things and behave in all things as He would. Do all things well, and take Him as a father who watches over you, as a friend who goes with you, as a teacher who corrects you, as a benefactor who favours you, and as God who judges you. Do all things well, with order, tranquillity, diligence and good intentions. Have within you that mixture of serenity and certainty, modesty, humility and sweetness that can be called Christian goodness, so that you will be able to say, as St Paul did, “I live, but it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and I live in Him.”
– Mons Nicola Tafuri

 
 

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“SO, LISTEN, WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A BAD DAY OR WHEN ALL THE SCANDAL STUFF IN THE CHURCH GETS YOU DOWN, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOUR LIFE HAS MORE MEANING THAN YOU KNOW”

When you’re a priest in a large church, you know people by sight. But the truth is, you don’t always get to know everyone’s name. In a parish like mine, with over four thousand families, you’re fortunate to learn a few hundred first names. Some people understand this; others don’t. They’ll come up to you and very aggressively ask, ‘Do you know my name, Father?’ I used to say, ‘Sure’, and try to change the topic. But too often they’d call me in on it. So now I just tell the truth: ‘No, I know your face, but your name escapes me.’ Some get a little miffed. ‘But you did my sister’s wedding three years ago,’ said one. ‘That,’ I responded, ‘was three hundred weddings ago.’ A similar moment happened recently, but I was happy for the confrontation.

An attractive young woman approached me after Mass. She waited until all the other folks had left before asking, ‘Do you know who I am?’ I didn’t. So I asked, ‘Have we met before?’ ‘Well, yes, in a very unusual way.’ Now she had my curiosity aroused. ‘Tell me where and when,’ I asked. ‘My name is Samantha. I’m eighteen. You actually knew my mother back when she was pregnant with me. So that’s when we met, it just wasn’t face to face.’

I asked her to tell me more. ‘My mother raised me alone. She had very little financial or emotional support. Her parents didn’t like my biological father. He apparently left the scene once Mum became pregnant. So here she was, just nineteen at the time – pregnant, alone, poor and scared.

How, I wondered, did I fit into this story? Samantha continued: ‘I recently asked my mother why she didn’t get an abortion. She said she almost did. But she happened to come upon a priest who gave a talk on the beauty of human life, and the need to protect it. You. She looked for you after Mass and you two talked. Just like we’re talking now. My Mum says she expected you to get angry at her when she said that she was pregnant and considering an abortion. But you didn’t. You just hugged her and offered to help her to have me. She said that when she cried with fear about raising a child alone, your eyes filled up too.’

I asked Samantha to tell me more. ‘My Mum says you two talked for over an hour. And then, as Mum said she needed time to think about her options, you offered her a blessing and prayed for me too. Mum says that blessing made her realise that there really were two of us. Mum and me. I stopped being a problem and became a SOMEONE to her for the first time. I stopped being a crisis and became her child.’

I wish I could say that I knew or remembered the encounter, but I don’t. I wish I could say that I knew just the right words to say back then, but I didn’t. Like many times in my life as a priest, I think God just used me as His instrument, and it’s foolish to claim credit for saying the good stuff!

Samantha concluded, ‘When I heard that story I had to find out where you worked. I just needed to tell you that I’m grateful that you and my Mum met when you did. She needed someone to listen, someone to care. She needed not to be condemned for what she was thinking of doing, but to be loved enough to see the positive possibilities. You did that and I think that’s why I got to be born. So, listen, when you’re tired or having a bad day or when all the scandal stuff in the Church gets you down, please don’t forget that sometimes your life has more meaning than you know. Thanks for being there for my Mum. Thanks for being there for me.’

I’m going to pay more attention to those faces from now on. Sometimes they have the most beautiful stories to tell.

– By Mgr Jim Lisante; publ. in the ‘Crusader Magazine’, issue December 2012; for subscription etc. contact the Crusader Magazine at “All Saints Friary, Redclyffe Road, Manchester M41 7LG, United Kingdom”.

 
 

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CHILD IN THE MANGER, INFANT OF MARY (CHRISTMAS CAROL)

1. Child in the manger, infant of Mary;
outcast and stranger, Lord of all;
child who inherits all our transgressions,
all our demerits on him fall.

2. Once the most holy child of salvation
gently and lowly lived below;
now as our glorious mighty Redeemer,
see him victorious o’er each foe.

3. Prophets foretold him, infant of wonder;
angels behold him on his throne:
worthy our Saviour of all their praises;
happy forever are his own.

– Mary MacDonald, Lachlan MacBean

 
 

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