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Christian, remember your dignity

Christ our Saviour is born.

Christ The Saviour is born.

Herewith and excerpt from a wonderful Christmas homily of Pope St. Leo the Great: (Catholic Online)

Christian, remember your dignity 
Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life. In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind. 
And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: 

Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvellous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men? 

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh. 

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom. 

Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ. 

Cathy Pease Designs

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Keeping vigil.

vigil, from the Latin vigilia meaning wakefulness (Greek: pannychis,[1] παννυχίς or agrypnia[2] ἀγρυπνία),[3] is a period of purposeful sleeplessness, an occasion for devotional watching, or an observance. ( Wikipedia) 

Keeping vigil has always been a spiritual practice in Catholicism. This is what we are essentially doing by attending any “Vigil” mass, we wait in joyful hope for the coming of the Saviour.

There is also a Biblical reference here that can be included. The Shepherds in Luke’s infancy narratives in his Gospel were keeping watch over their sheep on the nightly vigil. In a sense, we are the same shepherds today and we are entrusted to keep watch over one another. While we wait for God during Advent, it’s also important to note that God also keeps Vigil for us. Many people “come home” at Christmas and find God welcoming them back home once again. We pray that they find our church to be a welcoming place and that we show them the love that God always offers to us. In doing so, we have the opportunity to continually welcome them home each week and pray that they will be part of our community regularly.

Christmas 2013 037

Christmas 2013 038

The Sanctuary is ready and the first of the Holy Masses for Christmas may begin.

Alongside Our Lady during Advent.

image@http://youngandcatholic.net/2013/11

image@http://youngandcatholic.net/2013/11

I have included the two Christmas Novenas I will be praying during Advent 2013.

The’ St. Andrew’ Novena has nothing to do with the Saint, but for the fact  that the novena is started on the 30th of November (St. Andrew’s feast day) and said 15 times per day  until Christmas Eve.

(I like this one as I’m going to be praying for a personal intention .)

I want to pray the Christmas Novena, as it will serve to prepare me for the Feast of Christmas, and keep me focussed on the Truth about this Festive Season.

Are there any prayers you take comfort in praying during Advent?

Preparatory Novena for Christmas

PRAYERS FOR A NOVENA FROM THE 16TH TO THE 24TH OF DECEMBER

Opening Prayer:                                                                                                                                   

Icon@http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/andre/sj_nov2.html

Icon@http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/andre/sj_nov2.html

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father…

Our Father…

Day 1

The Incarnation.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who descended from the bosom of the eternal Father into the womb of the Virgin Mary, where, conceived by the Holy Ghost, you took upon yourself, O Incarnate Word, the form of a servant for our salvation. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 2

The Visitation.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who by means of your Virgin Mother, visited St. Elizabeth, and filled your servant, St. John the Baptist, with the Holy Spirit, sanctifying him from his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.  Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 3

The Expectation of Birth.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who waited for nine months enclosed in the womb, and inflamed the heart of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph with the most powerful love and expectation, all for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 4

The Holy Nativity.

O most sweet infant Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, wrapped in poor swaddling clothes, laid in the manger, glorified by angels, and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

O Jesus born of Virgin bright, Immortal glory be to thee; Praise to the Father infinite, And Holy Ghost eternally.

Christ is at hand. O come, let us worship him.

Our Father…

Day 5

The Circumcision.

O most sweet infant Jesus, circumcised when eight days old, and called by the glorious name of Jesus, and proclaimed both by your name and by your blood, to be the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 6

The Adoration of the Kings.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who was made known to the three kings, who worshipped you as you lie on Mary’s breast, and offered you the mystical presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 7

The Presentation.

O most sweet infant Jesus, presented in the temple by the Virgin Mary, embraced by Simeon, and revealed to the Jews by Anna the prophetess. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 8

The Flight into Egypt.

O most sweet infant Jesus, whom Herod tried to slay, carried by St. Joseph with your Mother into Egypt, saved from death by flight, and glorified by the blood of the holy innocents. Have mercy on. us.

Have mercy on us. O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

O Jesu! born of Virgin bright, Immortal glory be to thee Praise to the Father infinite, And Holy Ghost eternally.

Christ is at hand. 0 come, let us worship him.

Our Father…

Day 9

The Journey in Egypt.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who dwelled as an exile in Egypt for seven years, where spoke your first words, and, first begin to walk upon this earth. Have mercy upon us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary

 Closing

LET US PRAY

0 almighty and everliving God, Lord of heaven and earth, who revealed yourself to little ones, grant, we beg you, that while we celebrate and honor the most holy mysteries of your Son, the infant Jesus, and strive to imitate them, we may arrive at that heavenly kingdom which you have promised to little children, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Open the door just a crack.

the_light_door

The very clear message of Advent is, “Settle down for a while.” Open the door just a crack to let God in.

 

 

Mull over,question, comment and share.

We need prophetic witnesses. We need people who in their way of life challenge the prevailing false ideologies bearing upon the production, distribution, and use of material goods. We need lived prophecy.

We therefore need pilgrim witnesses. We need joyous, loving men and women to show in their lives that one can live a sparing-sharing lifestyle and still be happy and fulfilled. We need to induce conversion into the masses first by example, then by word—really, by both simultaneously. (my highlight)

—Fr. Thomas Dubay

From his book “Happy Are You Poor”. Find this book on our site here:http://goo.gl/FjB1k

I explain below why I chose to include this quote:

The past two weeks has been privy my to early morning rises and late-night home comings. I’ve been on auto-pilot moving mechanically from one responsibility to the next and it’s been catching up with me. When life gets a little too hectic, I indulge in buying some of my favourite magazines. I thought I’d put the kettle on and enjoy a little frivolous down time enjoying a strong cup of tea and a glossy magazine filled with entertaining tidbits of nothing overly important or taxing. Nothing that strains the brain too much. The fact that 95%the magazine was filled with  articles about Christmas did make me sit up and think once again, ‘Yes , Christmas is being sold consumers earlier each year’, as I purchased the magazine two weeks before the end of October! And so , the secular tidal wave rolls over once again.

Just recently the 250 000 lights along Regent street have been switched on, luring shoppers into London in order to spend, spend, spend. Loads of people go to London to see the Christmas decorations; the sparkly lights and to experience the tradition of Christmas in one of the world’s most exciting cities on the planet.

While sipping my strong brew, I spluttered and coughed as I turned the pages to be greeted by a feature in the called,’In the mood for love?’ (this was decorated with a picture of mistletoe!)I was more than a little disappointed that a generally (I thought) ‘clean-cut’ women’s magazine which boasts world class recipes, great ideas to get rid of stains etc,  and recommends which home gadgets we busy women cannot be without in order to in order run our homes, had an article such as this one, sully its reputation.  At first glance the article could be looked at as inoffensive and pretty mild by today’s standards, but on closer inspection I was introduced to women sharing their light-hearted experiences regarding foreplay, as if this topic is just what everyone should know about, would be  interested in, and would be willing to share themselves. I was disappointed that at my ‘favourite’ magazine  has fallen prey to feeling the need to satisfy the trained masses in their need for  a now expected, type of voyeurism. This habit being perpetuated by a never-ending stream of talent and game-shows filling most channels on t.v. And so , the secular tidal wave rolls over once again. 

I have come to an age when I ‘ve realised I have to make choices about things that matter to me: I made one such decision recently. Two acquaintances are to marry in the near future, so a ‘Hen-Night’ as been arranged to celebrate these wonderful events. These celebrations will take place in a club and the evening will include making cocktails, a meal and dancing. I have two main objections to this:

  1. You have to dress the part: and my wardrobe is sadly lacking in the area of clubbing attire!
  2. One of the betrothed has been married before and the other has lived with her fiancée for two years already!! What a farce……I would not really be celebrating, I would most certainly be lying to myself if I pretended to be having a good time. If I did attend I’d feel like a fraud. So, no, I won’t be attending.

I quite like the idea of becoming a ‘pilgrim witness’ who induces conversion into the masses first by example, then by word.

On a more upbeat note, I received this pleasant and unexpected surprise from 8Kids And a Business– last week (I did say I ‘ve been busy) ‘The Food for Thought award’! I consider this award to be seriously prestigious in the Catholic blogosphere, as we’re blogging to share the GOOD NEWS about Jesus and His message of Love and Hope, and if  1catholicsalmon is providing food for thought for readers, I’m a happy camper.

 

I will adhere to the prerequisites on acceptance of the reward later in this week. Thanks once again 8Kidsandabusiness!