Category Archives: Advent

POPE FRANCIS ON THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS. Meditate on the Nativity Scene and you will discover the joyful hope Jesus brings to your life and to the world with his Birth.

POPE FRANCIS ON THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS.
Meditate on the Nativity Scene and you will discover
the joyful hope Jesus brings to your life and to the world with his Birth.

Dear brethren in Christ, below you have the Zenit translation of the beautiful speech given yesterday, Dec. 21, 2016, during the General Audience, which I summarized in the video and which I encourage you to read and meditate in preparation for Christmas.

Please do us the kind favor of liking our Facebook page so we could reach and help more people. thanks and God bless!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for holiness.

+++POPE FRANCIS SPEECH STARTS HERE+++

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
We have just begun a series of catecheses on the theme of hope, all the more appropriate in the Season of Advent. Up to now, the prophet Isaiah has been guiding us. Today, a few days from Christmas, I would like to reflect more specifically on the moment in which, so to speak, hope entered the world, with the Incarnation of the Son of God. Isaiah himself pre-announced the Messiah’s birth in some passages: “Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”: (7:14); and also “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). The meaning of Christmas shines through these passages: God fulfils the promise making Himself man; He does not abandon His people, He comes close to the point of despoiling Himself of his divinity. Thus God shows His fidelity and inaugurates a new Kingdom, which gives a new hope to humanity. And what is this hope? Eternal life.
When there is talk of hope, it refers often to that which is not in man’s power and which is not visible. In fact, what we hope for goes beyond our strength and our gaze. However, Christ’s birth, inaugurating the Redemption, speaks to us of a different hope, a reliable, visible and comprehensible hope, because it is founded on God. He entered the world and gave us the strength to walk with him: God walks with us in Jesus and to walk with Him towards the fullness of life gives us the strength to be in the present in a new way, though laborious. For the Christian to hope, therefore, means the certainty of being on the way with Christ towards the Father, who awaits us. Hope never stops, hope is always on the way and makes us walk forward. This hope, which the Child of Bethlehem gives us, offers a goal, a good destiny to the present, the salvation of humanity, beatitude to the one who entrusts himself to the merciful God. Saint Paul summarizes all this with the expression: “For in this hope we were saved” (Romans 8:24). That is, walking in this way, with hope, we are saved. And here, we can each ask ourselves the question: do I walk with hope or is my interior life stopped, closed? Is my heart a closed drawer or a drawer open to hope, which has me walk with Christ, and not alone?
During the Season of Advent, the Crib is prepared in Christians’ homes, according to the tradition that goes back to Saint Francis of Assisi. In its simplicity, the Crib transmits hope; each of the personages is immersed in this atmosphere of hope.
We note first of all the place where Jesus is born: Bethlehem. A small borough of Judea where a thousand years earlier David was born, the shepherd chosen by God as King of Israel. Bethlehem is not a capital, therefore it is preferred by Divine Providence, which loves to act through the little ones and humble ones. In that place, the much awaited “son of David” was born, Jesus, in whom God’s hope and man’s hope meet.
Then we look at Mary, Mother of Hope. With her “Yes” she opened the door of our world to God: her girl’s heart was full of hope, all animated by faith; and so God chose her and she believed in His word. She, who for nine months was the Ark of the new and eternal Covenant, contemplated the Child in the cavern and saw in Him the love of God, who comes to save His people and the whole of humanity.
At Mary’s side is Joseph, descendant of Jesse and David; he too believed in the Angel’s words and, looking at Jesus in the manger, he meditated that that Child came from the Holy Spirit, and that God Himself ordered him to call him thus, “Jesus.” In that name is every man’s hope, because through that son of woman, God will save humanity from death and sin. Therefore, it is important to look at the Crib!
Also at the Crib are the shepherds, who represent the humble and the poor who were awaiting the Messiah, the “consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25) and the “redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). In that Child they saw the fulfilment of the promises and they hope that God’s salvation will finally reach each one of them. One who trusts in his own securities, especially material, does not await God’s salvation. Let’s get this in our head: our securities will not save us; the only security that saves us is that of hope in God. He saves us because He is strong and makes us walk in life with joy, with the desire to do good, with the desire to become happy for eternity. Instead, the little ones, the shepherds, trust in God, hope in Him and rejoice when they recognize in that Child the sign indicated by the Angels (cf. Luke 2:12).
And in fact the choir of Angels proclaims from on high the great design that the Child carries out: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14). Christian hope is expressed in praise and thanksgiving to God, who has inaugurated His Kingdom of love, justice and peace.
Dear brothers and sisters, in these days, contemplating the Crib, we prepare ourselves for the Lord’s Birth. It will be truly a celebration if we receive Jesus, seed of hope that God deposits in the furrows of our personal and communal history. Every “Yes” to Jesus who comes is a seed of hope. Let us have confidence in this seed of hope, in this yes: “Yes, Jesus, you can save me, you can save me.” A Happy Christmas of hope to all!
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
In the atmosphere of joyful expectation of Christmas, now close, I am pleased to greet affectionately the Italian-speaking faithful. I greet the Genitori de Stelle Association, with the Bishop of Avezzano, Monsignor Pietro Santoro; the delegation of the Municipality of Bolsena and the members of the Association of Bakers of Rome.
I greet the scouts with the torch of the cradle of the Nativity at Bethlehem; the Mariana Betania Oasis Community of Alvito and the students, particularly those of the Capriotti Institute of San Benedetto del Tronto. I invite all to prayer and to commitment in works of mercy so that Christmas is a personal encounter with the Lord and arouses in us resolutions of goodness and solidarity.
Finally, a special greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Dear young people, prepare yourselves for the mystery of the Incarnation with the obedience of faith and humility, which were Mary’s. You, dear sick, draw from her that strength and ardor for Jesus who comes among us. And you, dear newlyweds, contemplate the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth, to practice the same virtues in your family life’s journey.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
THE HOLY FATHER’S APPEAL
In the light of my recent meeting with the President and Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I address again a heartfelt appeal to all the Congolese so that, in this delicate moment of their history, they are architects of reconciliation and peace. May those who have political responsibilities listen to the voice of their consciences, be able to see the cruel sufferings of their countrymen and have the common good at heart. In assuring, my support and my affection to the beloved people of that country, I invite all to allow themselves to be guided by the light of the Redeemer of the world and I pray that the Lord’s Birth will open paths of hope.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
TEXT SOURCE: https://zenit.org/articles/general-audience-on-the-coming-of-hope-into-the-world/
AUDIO SOURCE: “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
PHOTO CREDITS AND SOURCES: REUTERS, AP, ANSA VIA VATICAN RADIO

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CHRISTMAS NOVENA 8. Dec. 24: Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man (St. Augustine) AV summary (1:15s) & text.

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 8.
Dec. 24:  Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man (St. Augustine)
AV summary (1:15s) & text.

Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the corresponding Antiphon, Opening prayer and Gospel reading of the Mass and the daily 2nd reading of the Divine Office for meditation.
Please do us the kind favor of liking our Facebook page so we could reach and help more people.

Thanks and God bless!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.

OUTLINE

  1. Antiphon: Cfr Gal 4: 4
  2. Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:57-66: The Birth of John the Baptist
  3. Divine office Reading: Truth has arisen from the earth and justice has looked down from heaven (St. Augustine)
  4. Prayer

 

1. Antiphon: Cfr Gal 4: 4

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

2.  Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:57-66: The Circumcision of John the Baptist

 “When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”

3. Divine office Reading: Truth has arisen from the earth and justice has looked down from heaven (St. Augustine)

St Augustine
Truth has arisen from the earth and justice has looked down from heaven.

Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.

You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.

Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.

He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.

Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of the Virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.

Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through our Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory,” but of God’s glory: for justice has not come out of us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.

For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men of good will.

For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become son of God?

Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace.

Responsory

. A shoot shall grow from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall spring from his roots.* Round his waist he shall wear the belt of justice, and good faith shall be the girdle round his body.

. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and power.* Round his waist he shall wear the belt of justice, and good faith shall be the girdle round his body.

4. Prayer

Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, that those who trust in your compassion may find solace and relief in your coming. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

SEE AS WELL:
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 1.
 Dec. 17 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lp
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 2. Dec. 18 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lz
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 3. Dec. 19 in
 http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LK
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 4. Dec. 20 in
http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LT
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 5.Dec. 21 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1MF
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 6. Dec. 22 in
http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1MQ
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 7. Dec. 23 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1N3

 

AUDIO CREDIT: J S Bach – Magnificat BWV 243 – Gloria Patri by The Tudor Consort is licensed under a Attribution License.

PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE:
Lebrun, Adoration of the Shepherds, http://sites.stfx.ca/catholic_studies/sites/sites.stfx.ca.catholic_studies/files/lebrun-adoration_of_the_shepherds.jpg?1320780098
Gerard David, the Birth of Christ in https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6a/1b/c5/6a1bc5a3c52cd29e47a1fa8137422502.jpg
Noel Coypel, The Nativity of Jesus in https://thefineprints.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/45nativity540.jpg?w=1031

#CHRISTMASNOVENA 8. Dec. 24: Awake mankind! For your sake, #Godhasbecomeman. (#StAugustine).

 

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 7. Dec. 23: At a time and in a manner chosen by him God made his Word manifest, and through his Word he made all things. (St. Hippolytus) AV summary (1:16s) & text.

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 7.
Dec. 23:
At a time and in a manner chosen by him God made his Word manifest, and through his 
Word he made all things. (St. Hippolytus)
AV summary (1:16s) & text.

Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the corresponding Antiphon, Opening prayer and Gospel reading of the Mass and the daily 2nd reading of the Divine Office for meditation.
Please do us the kind favor of liking our Facebook page so we could reach and help more people.

Thanks and God bless!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.

OUTLINE

  1. Antiphon: Cfr Is 9, 6; Sal 71, 17
  2. Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:57-66: The Birth of John the Baptist
  3. Divine office Reading: At a time and in a manner chosen by him God made his Word manifest, and through his Word he made all things. (St. Hippolytus)
  4. Prayer

 

1. Antiphon: Cfr. Is 9, 6; Sal 71, 17

A child shall be born for us, and he will be called God, the Almighty; every tribe of the earth shall be blest in him.

2.  Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:57-66: The Birth of John the Baptist

 “When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

3. Divine office Reading: At a time and in a manner chosen by him God made his Word manifest, and through his Word he made all things. (St. Hippolytus)

St Hippolytus
The Hidden Sacrament is revealed.

There is, brethren, one God, the knowledge of whom we gain from the Holy Scriptures and from no other source. Whatever things the Holy Scriptures declare, at these let us look; and whatever they teach, let us learn it; and as the Father wills our belief to be, let us believe; and as he wills the Son to be glorified, let us glorify him; and as he wills the Holy Spirit to be bestowed, let us receive him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own mind, nor yet storming by force the things which are given by God, but even as he has chosen to teach them by the Holy Scriptures, so let us discern them.

God, subsisting alone, and having nothing coeval with himself, chose to create the world. And conceiving the world in mind, and willing and uttering the Word, he made it; and at once it appeared, formed it in the way he desired. For us it is sufficient simply to know that nothing was coeval with God. Outside him there was nothing; but he, while existing alone, yet existed in plurality. For he did not lack reason, or wisdom, or power, or counsel. All things were in him, and he was the All. At a time and in a manner chosen by him he made his Word manifest, and through his Word he made all things.

He bears this Word in himself, as yet invisible to the created world. He makes him visible, uttering the voice first, and begetting him as Light of Light. He presents him to the world as its Lord; and whereas the Word was visible formerly to God alone, and invisible to the world which is made, God makes the Word visible in order that the world might see him and be able to be saved.

This is the mind which came forth into the world and was manifested as the Son of God. All things came into being through him, and he alone comes from the Father.

He gave us the Law and the prophets; and in giving them, he made them speak by the Holy Ghost, in order that, receiving the inspiration of the Father’s power, they might declare the Father’s counsel and will.

Thus, then, was the Word made manifest, even as the blessed John says. For he sums up the things that were said by the prophets, and shows that this is the Word, by whom all things were made. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him nothing was made. And later, The world was made by him, and the world did not know him; he came to his own, and his own did not receive him.

Responsory

. A child shall be born for us, and this is the name they shall give him: Mighty God.*He shall sit upon the throne of David, his father, and rule; dominion shall be laid upon his shoulders.

. All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men.* He shall sit upon the throne of David, his father, and rule; dominion shall be laid upon his shoulders.

4. Prayer

Almighty ever-living God, as we see how the Nativity of your Son according to the flesh draws near, we pray that to us, your unworthy servants, mercy may flow from your Word, who chose to become flesh of the Virgin Mary and establish among us his dwelling, Jesus Christ our Lord. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

SEE AS WELL:
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 1.
 Dec. 17 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lp
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 2. Dec. 18 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lz
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 3. Dec. 19 in
 http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LK
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 4. Dec. 20 in 
http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LT
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 5.
Dec. 21 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1MF
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 6. Dec. 22 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1MQ

AUDIO CREDIT: O Come all ye Faithful, rendition by Jingle Punk, YouTube Audio library

PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE:

Peter Paul Reubens, Adoration of the Shepherds in https://uploads7.wikiart.org/images/peter-paul-rubens/adoration-of-the-shepherds-2.jpg ; and Adoration of the Magi in http://www.catholictradition.org/Christmas/adoration13.jpg

Raphael Mengs, Adoration of the Shepherds in http://paintingdb.com/art/xl/9/8997.jpg

 

#CHRISTMASNOVENA 7. Dec. 23: #God made manifest His #Word (#StHippolytus).

 

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 6. Dec. 22: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour (Lk 1:39).” St. Bede’s Commentary. AV summary (1:15s) & text.

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 6.
Dec. 22:  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour (Lk 1:39).” St. Bede’s Commentary.
AV summary (1:15s) & text.

Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the corresponding Antiphon, Opening prayer and Gospel reading of the Mass and the daily 2nd reading of the Divine Office for meditation.
Please do us the kind favor of liking our Facebook page so we could reach and help more people.

Thanks and God bless!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.

OUTLINE

  1. Antiphon: Psalm 24: 7
  2. Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:39–45: The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
  3. Divine office Reading: The Magnificat (St. Bede)
  4. Prayer 

1. Antiphon: Psalm 24: 7

O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the King of Glory! 

2.  Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:39–45: The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.

Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

3. Divine office Reading: The Magnificat (St. Bede)

A commentary on Luke by the Venerable Bede
The Magnificat.
And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.

The Lord has exalted me by a gift so great, so unheard of, that language is useless to describe it; and the depths of love in my heart can scarcely grasp it. I offer then all the powers of my soul in praise and thanksgiving. As I contemplate his greatness, which knows no limits, I joyfully surrender my whole life, my senses, my judgement, for my spirit rejoices in the eternal Godhead of that Jesus, that Saviour, whom I have conceived in this world of time.

The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Mary looks back to the beginning of her song, where she said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Only that soul for whom the Lord in his love does great things can proclaim his greatness with fitting praise and encourage those who share her desire and purpose, saying: Join with me in proclaiming the greatness of the Lord; let us extol his name together.

Those who know the Lord, yet refuse to proclaim his greatness and sanctify his name to the limit of their power, will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven. His name is called holy because in the sublimity of his unique power he surpasses every creature and is far removed from all that he has made.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy.

In a beautiful phrase Mary calls Israel the servant of the Lord. The Lord came to his aid to save him. Israel is an obedient and humble servant, in the words of Hosea: Israel was a servant, and I loved him.

Those who refuse to be humble cannot be saved. They cannot say with the prophet: See, God comes to my aid; the Lord is the helper of my soul. But anyone who makes himself humble like a little child is greater in the kingdom of heaven.

The promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.

This does not refer to the physical descendants of Abraham, but to his spiritual children. These are his descendants, sprung not from the flesh only, but who, whether circumcised or not, have followed him in faith. Circumcised as he was, Abraham believed, and this was credited to him as an act of righteousness.

The coming of the Saviour was promised to Abraham and to his descendants for ever. These are the children of promise, to whom it is said: If you belong to Christ, then you are descendants of Abraham, heirs in accordance with the promise.

But it is right that before the birth of the Lord or of John, their mothers should utter prophecies; for just as sin began with a woman, so too does redemption. Through the deceit of one woman, grace perished; the prophecies of two women announce its return to life.

Responsory

℟. All generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.* Holy is his name.

℣. His mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.* Holy is his name.

4. Prayer

O God, who, seeing the human race fallen into death, willed to redeem it by the corning of your Only Begotten Son, grant, we pray, that those who confess his Incarnation with humble fervor may merit his company as their Redeemer. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 

SEE AS WELL:
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 1.
 Dec. 17 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lp
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 2. Dec. 18 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lz
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 3. Dec. 19 in
 http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LK
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 4. Dec. 20 in
http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LT
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 5. Dec. 21 in 
http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1MF

 

AUDIO CREDIT: J S Bach – Magnificat BWV 243 – Gloria Patri by The Tudor Consort is licensed under an Attribution License.

PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE: De_Champaigne,_Philippe,_The_Visitation,_1643-48 in https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/De_Champaigne,_Philippe,_The_Visitation,_1643-48.jpg

#CHRISTMASNOVENA 6. Dec. 22: The #Magnificat of the #BlessedVirginMary (#StBede).

 

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 5. Dec. 21: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Ambrose) AV summary (1:18s) & text.

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 5.

Dec. 21: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Ambrose) AV summary (1:18s) & text.


Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the corresponding Antiphon, Opening prayer and Gospel reading of the Mass and the daily 2nd reading of the Divine Office for meditation.
Please do us the kind favor of liking our Facebook page so we could reach and help more people.

Thanks and God bless!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.

OUTLINE

  1. Antiphon: Cfr Isa 7: 14; 8, 10
  2. Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:39–45: The Visitation
  3. Divine office Reading: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Ambrose)
  4. Prayer

 

1. Antiphon: Cfr Isa 7: 14; 8, 10

 

The Lord and Ruler will be coming soon, and his name will be Emmanuel, because he will be God with us.

2.  Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:39–45: Blessed are you who believed!

 

Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

3. Divine office Reading: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Ambrose)

 

St. Ambrose
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The angel Gabriel had announced the news of something that was as yet hidden and so, to buttress the Virgin Mary’s faith by means of a real example, he told her also that an old and sterile woman had conceived, showing that everything that God willed was possible to God.

When Mary heard this she did not disbelieve the prophecy, she was not uncertain of the message, she did not doubt the example: but happy because of the promise that had been given, eager to fulfil her duty as a cousin, hurried by her joy, she went up into the hill country.

Where could she hurry to except to the hills, filled with God as she was? The grace of the Holy Spirit does not admit of delays. And Mary’s arrival and the presence of her Son quickly show their effects: As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting her child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

See the careful distinction in the choice of words. Elizabeth was the first to hear the voice but her son John was the first to feel the effects of grace. She heard as one hears in the natural course of things; he leapt because of the mystery that was there. She sensed the coming of Mary, he the coming of the Lord — the woman knew the woman, the child knew the child. The women speak of grace while inside them grace works on their babies. And by a double miracle the women prophesy under the inspiration of their unborn children.

The infant leapt and the mother was filled with the Spirit. The mother was not filled before her son: her son was filled with the Holy Spirit and in turn filled his mother. John leapt and so did Mary’s spirit. John leapt and filled Elizabeth with the Spirit; but we know that Mary was not filled but her spirit rejoiced. For the Incomprehensible was working incomprehensibly within his mother. Elizabeth had been filled with the Spirit after she conceived, but Mary before, at the moment the angel had come. “Blessed are you,” said Elizabeth, “who believed”.

You too, my people, are blessed, you who have heard and who believe. Every soul that believes — that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognises his works.

  Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, to rejoice in God. According to the flesh only one woman can be the mother of Christ but in the world of faith Christ is the fruit of all of us. For every soul can receive the Word of God if only it is pure and preserves itself in chastity and modesty.

The soul that has been able to reach this state proclaims the greatness of the Lord just as Mary did and rejoices in God its saviour just like her.

The Lord’s greatness is proclaimed, as you have read elsewhere, where it says Join me in magnifying the Lord. This does not mean that anything can be added to the Lord’s greatness by human words, but that he is magnified in us. Christ is the image of God and so any good or religious act that a soul performs magnifies that image of God in that soul, the God in whose likeness the soul itself was made. And thus the soul itself has some share in his greatness and is ennobled.

Responsory

℟. ‘Blessed are you who have believed, because what has been promised to you by the Lord will be fulfilled.’ And Mary said,* My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.

℣. Come and hear: I will tell what God has done for my soul.* My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.

4. Prayer

 

Hear in kindness, O Lord, the prayers of your people, that those who rejoice at the corning of your Only Begotten Son in our flesh, may, when at last he comes in glory, gain the reward of eternal life.
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

SEE AS WELL:
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 1.
 Dec. 17 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lp
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 2. Dec. 18 in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lz
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 3. Dec. 19 in
 http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LK CHRISTMAS NOVENA 4. Dec. 20 in  http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LT

 

AUDIO CREDIT: Alma Redemptoris Mater (Johannes Ockeghem c. 1410 – 1497) by Zefiro, Marian Antiphons, Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 in https://archive.org/details/Zefiro-MarianAntiphons_158

PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE: https://reliquariandotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/the-visitation.jpg

#CHRISTMASNOVENA 5. Dec. 21: The #Visitation of the #BlessedVirginMary (#StAmbrose).

 

NATIVITY SCENE 4: IGLESIA DEL SEÑOR SAN JOSÉ (Seville, Spain).

NATIVITY SCENE 4:
IGLESIA DEL SEÑOR SAN JOSÉ
(Seville, Spain).

Please do us the kind favor of liking our Facebook page so we could reach and help more people. Thanks and a holy and happy 7 days before Christmas! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for holiness.

AUDIO CREDIT: Angels We Have Heard on High Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 3 Dec. 19: God’s Redeeming Incarnation. AV summary (0:53 s) & text.

CHRISTMAS NOVENA 3
Dec. 19: God’s Redeeming Incarnation.
AV summary (0:53 s) & text.

Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the corresponding Antiphon, Opening prayer and Gospel reading of the Mass and the daily 2nd reading of the Divine Office for meditation.
Please do us the kind favor of liking our Facebook page so we could reach and help more people.

Thanks and God bless!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.

OUTLINE

  1. Antiphon Cfr. Hb 10, 37
  2. Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:5–25: The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
  3. Divine office Reading: God’s Redeeming Incarnation.
  4. Prayer

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1. Antiphon: Cfr. Hb 10, 37

He who is to come will come and will not delay, and now there will be no fear within our land, for he is our Savior.

2. Gospel reading from St. Luke 1:5–25: The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years.

Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”

Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.” Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute.

Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home.

After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, “So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.”

3. Divine office Reading: God’s Redeeming Incarnation.

St Irenaeus
The operation of the redeeming Incarnation

God is man’s glory. Man is the vessel which receives God’s action and all his wisdom and power.

Just as a doctor is judged in his care for the sick, so God is revealed in his conduct with men. That is Paul’s reason for saying: God has made the whole world prisoner of unbelief that he may have mercy on all. He was speaking of man, who was disobedient to God, and cast off from immortality, and then found mercy, receiving through the Son of God the adoption he brings.

If man, without being puffed up or boastful, has a right belief regarding created things and their divine Creator, who, having given them being, holds them all in his power, and if man perseveres in God’s love, and in obedience and gratitude to him, he will receive greater glory from him. It will be a glory which will grow ever brighter until he takes on the likeness of the one who died for him.

He it was who took on the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and rid the flesh of sin, as now condemned. He wanted to invite man to take on his likeness, appointing man an imitator of God, establishing man in a way of life in obedience to the Father that would lead to the vision of God, and endowing man with power to receive the Father. He is the Word of God who dwelt with man and became the Son of Man to open the way for man to receive God, for God to dwell with man, according to the will of the Father.

For this reason the Lord himself gave as the sign of our salvation, the one who was born of the Virgin, Emmanuel. It was the Lord himself who saved them, for of themselves they had no power to be saved. For this reason Paul speaks of the weakness of man, and says: I know that no good dwells in my flesh, meaning that the blessing of our salvation comes not from us but from God. Again, he says: I am a wretched man; who will free me from this body doomed to die? Then he speaks of a liberator, thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isaiah says the same: Hands that are feeble, grow strong! Knees that are weak, take courage! Hearts that are faint, grow strong! Fear not; see, our God is judgement and he will repay. He himself will come and save us. He means that we could not be saved of ourselves but only with God’s help.

Responsory

℟. All nations, hear the word of the Lord, declare it to the ends of the earth,* say to the farthest parts: ‘Our Saviour is coming.’

℣. Say this, proclaim it, cry it aloud,* say to the farthest parts: ‘Our Saviour is coming.’

4. Prayer

O God, who through the child-bearing of the holy Virgin graciously revealed the radiance of your glory to the world, grant, we pray, that we may venerate with integrity of faith the mystery of so wondrous an Incarnation and always celebrate it with due reverence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

AUDIO CREDIT: What Child is This Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE: Adoration of the Shepherds by François Boucher (1703-1770),  in http://i1.wp.com/www.catholichousehold.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/16.-Adoration-of-the-Shepherds-Boucher-1.jpg?resize=750%2C943