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ADVENT REFLECTION

ADVENT REFLECTION

ADVENT – REFLECTING ON THE NEED I HAVE FOR CHRIST TO COMPLETE IN ME THE WORK BEGUN LONG AGO

“… The beauty of Christmas unlike, say, Thanksgiving, is not grounded in a celebration of human achievement successfully concluded. It does not stem from the beauty of human nature. It is, rather, a reminder that human beauty and virtues have their origins in the divinity of the Incarnate Christ. We are celebrating not simply the fact that Christ aspired to become a man like us; we are celebrating the fact that in becoming Man Christ wished to raise our humanity to his immortal nature. The perfection and beauty of the Christ Child is that of God-with-Us, not of some idealised version of what I was in childhood.

THE PREPARATION FOR A MORE INTENSE ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST

To want to celebrate Christ’s birth then, for the Christian should theoretically be inseparable from a period of preparation in which I reflect on the need I have for Christ to come now, and to complete in me the work begun long ago – not just when he was born, but before time itself existed, when I was chosen in him, when his ‘Incarnate form’ became the possibility of my existence, the pattern of my humanity and the promise of my happiness. I need to become aware of the ever increasing urgency of the task of modelling my own life, my own sense of what makes for happiness on his own, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. The preparation cannot be just for a season of mirth; it must be for a more intense encounter with Christ through the medium of his historical Incarnation, which is an outward, visible sign of a divine reality which is the real reason for celebration. Without an explicit awareness of this Christological heart, as suggested by the very name Christmas, the outward, visible signs of celebration are Pagan and hollow.

ACKNOWLEDGING HIS ETERNAL DESIRE TO BECOME GOD-WITH-US

It is the Church as the Bride of Christ, who shows us how to share in such intimacy with Christ that the Spirit will be able to act in the depths of our souls to reproduce the pattern of Christ’s humanity in us. This presence of Christ, she reminds us, is dynamic. We should be celebrating it not merely as the recollection of a past occurrence, but as the possibility of Christ being born in our own time and milieu, in our own heart through faith, in prayer and sacrament, as we acknowledge his eternal desire to become God-With-Us. To bring us into this intimacy of likeness to Christ, the Church has given us Advent, not an anticipated Christmas.

A MAJOR MYSTERY OF FAITH

Not until December 17 does the liturgy focus on the birthday of the Child. If we do so, we are neglecting a major mystery of our faith, the truth that Christ will come again, that Christ will return in majesty to take us fully to himself. He has told us in no uncertain terms that he expects to find us watching, not just keeping up appearances.”
– From “Diary of a City Priest” by Pstor Iuventus, available from Amazon. This excerpt was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue December 6 2013.

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ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART

(The Holy Father Pope Pius XI wanted the whole human race to be consecrated to Jesus – the universal King – on the last day of the year 1925, with this prayer. He then ordered that the last Sunday of October should be dedicated with solemnity and special ceremony by the whole Church to the eternal Lord of all time, and that this consecration should be said, which is the same as that of Leo XIII, with a few changes. – If not being said in a Church, the word ‘altar’ should be replaced with ‘presence’.)

Most sweet Jesus, redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your Altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united to You, behold, each one of us this day freely dedicates himself to Your Most Sacred Heart. Many, indeed, have never known You, many, too, despising Your precepts have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart.

Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal sons who have abandoned You, grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, before they perish of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those whom heresy holds in error or discord keeps far away, call them back to the harbour of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one fold and one Shepherd.
Be King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam, and do not refuse to bring them into the light of Your kingdom. Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race, which was for so long a time Your chosen people, and let Your blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance, now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life.

Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm, unto all nations give an ordered tranquillity; bring it to pass that from pole to pole the earth may resound with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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MISSION PRAYER

MISSION PRAYER

MISSION PRAYER OF BLESSED JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your love everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Your Spirit and Life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that my life may be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me and be so in me
that every soul I come in contact with may
feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus!

Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine.
It will be You, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise You in the way You love best,
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching,
not by my words but by my example,
by the catching force,
the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for You.

Amen.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2017 in Prayers for Today

 

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DIVINE GRACE IS THE ONLY HOPE ON WHICH YOUR FAMILY RELIES

DIVINE GRACE IS THE ONLY HOPE ON WHICH YOUR FAMILY RELIES

“DIVINE GRACE IS THE ONLY HOPE ON WHICH YOUR FAMILY RELIES”

Let us pray. O Lord, divine grace is the only hope on which your family relies: watch over them with uninterrupted love, surround them with your constant protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2017 in Prayers for the Church

 

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ST JOHN BERCHMANS – PRAYER FOR ALTAR SERVERS

ST JOHN BERCHMANS – PRAYER FOR ALTAR SERVERS

PRAYER BEFORE MASS:

Go before us O Lord,
in this our sacrifice of Prayer and Praise,
and grant that what we say and sing
with our lips we may believe in our hearts, and practise and show forth in our daily lives.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

PRAYER AFTER MASS:
Bless, O Lord, our hearts and minds,
and grant that as we leave Your house,
we may continue to be aware of Your presence.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

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DO NOT CRY, WE ARE GOING TO HEAVEN

DO NOT CRY, WE ARE GOING TO HEAVEN

ABOUT SAINT MARY GUO LI, WIDOW AND MARTYR (1835-1900)

Mary Guo Li, a native of Hu-jia-che, China (Hebei Province), was a Catholic wife and grandmother, with numerous children and grandchildren, all of whom were raised in the Catholic faith.

In 1900 a Chinese quasi-religious faction known to history as the “Boxers” embarked upon a bloody persecution of Christians in China.

Mary instructed her children and grandchildren that under no circumstances were they to deny their faith, warning two of her sons, “Remember that if you apostatise, I shall no longer be your mother!”

On 29th June 1900, the Boxers raided the family’s home, murdered Mary’s husband Guo Zhinfang, and torched the house.

Sensing that she would soon share her husband’s fate, Mary spent the days that followed preparing herself with the recitation of the rosary, fasting, and spiritual reading.

On 7th July the sixty-five-year-old grandmother was put to death by the Boxers together with three of her daughters and four of her grandchildren. Before being executed, Mary offered a final word of encouragement to her family, telling them, “Don’t cry. We are going to heaven to enjoy eternal life.”

“They are happy whose life is blameless, who follow God’s law.” (Ps 118:1)

 

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SI QUAERIS

SI QUAERIS

THE MIRACULOUS RESPONSORY IN HONOUR OF ST ANTHONY – “SI QUAERIS”

(This prayer of praise in honour of St Anthony was composed by St Bonaventure. It is sung frequently in the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua and every Tuesday throughout the world.)

If then you ask for miracles,
death, error, all calamities,
leprosy and demons fly,
and health succeeds infirmities.
The sea obeys and fetters break,
and lifeless limbs do you restore;
while treasures lost are found again,
when young and old your aid implore.

All dangers vanish at your prayer,
and direst need does quickly flee;
let those who know your power proclaim,
let Paduans say: these are of thee.

To Father, Son, may glory be
and Holy Spirit, eternally.

Pray for us, blessed Anthony.
Make us worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Lord God, may the votive commemoration of blessed Anthony, your Confessor and Doctor, be a source of joy for your people. May they always be strengthened with his spiritual assistance and deserve eternal rewards.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

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