Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmastide 2007

"May others seek after the goods of this earth; be Thou, O Divine Infant Jesus, my riches, my treasure, my peace, my hope in this life and in the next!"
-St. Alphonsus Ligouri

My dearest blog readers, please click here to read a very beautiful blog post from which I "stole" the picture from. :) And here's from my post last year, more meditations on these few days after the Blessed Feast of Christmas.

More blogging later when I have free time at the lab later in the day.. whoops, i realise the time only now. :p

O Dearest, Most Beautiful Baby Jesus! I love You!

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Divine Infant Jesus, born of the Most Pure Virgin

Merry Christmas!!! =)

I just came home from midnight mass and thought why not post my favourite christmas carol while waiting for the rest of the family for something. :)

Here's a link to the book, the Mystical City of God by Ven. Mary of Agreda, (Book IV, Chapter IV) with a lot more on the Nativity and the scene, the sentiments, the Birth of our Redeemer and Saviour, dearest, loveliest Jesus. :) Here's also the link to the Christmas post last year with some insight from another book, Alone with God by Fr. Heyrmann.

And as we mentally contemplate the beautiful nativity scene, here's my favourite hymn, Silent Night, originally written in German in 1818, Stille Nacht.

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knab’ im lockigen Haar,
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb’ aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund’.
Jesus in deiner Geburt!
Jesus in deiner Geburt!

O dearest baby Jesus!

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Tomorrow you shall witness HIS glory

My dearest blog readers, I wish you all - a Blessed Christmas! :)

Alone with God
Fr. J. Heyrmann S.J.

Vigil of Christmas
“Tomorrow you shall witness His glory”

1. By this time, the sense of expectation has risen to the highest point. During the first two Advent weeks the liturgy had invited us to “Come ye and adore the King that is coming”; from the third Sunday onwards that became “The Lord is nigh: Come and adore Him”; on December 21 the Laud’s antiphon promised us, “Fear not: four days more and the Lord shall be with you”; now, on the eve of Christmas the Introit of the Mass gives us the assurance, “This day ye shall know that the Lord will come, and in the morning ye shall see His glory.”

2. Petition: That in the company of Joseph and Mary we may spend this day in holy recollection, ardently longing for the Saviour, and adoring Him.

I. Glad Expectation

In most towns of the world the eve of Christmas is a day of bustling preparations; but alas! For so many Christ has been taken out of Christmas, which has become a profane festivity. At best there clingeth to it an atmosphere of homeliness and intimacy, which may remind men of the great events it commemorates.

We ourselves are likely to be busily engaged in material preparations for the external celebrations in the church or the community; but let us endeavour to keep our inner thoughts centered upon the great happenings we want to relive tomorrow.

When Moses had led the Jews out of Egypt, they had to cross the desert; there they walked in fear lest they should perish of hunger and thirst. Then one day Moses said to them, “In the evening you shall know that the Lord hath brought you forth our of the land of Egypt; and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord” (Ex. 16:6); and the next morning “a dew lay around about the camp”: God had rained down manna from heaven. This is the event recalled in today’s Introit, which the liturgy applies to the birth of the Saviour.

We too are awaiting salvation: tomorrow will appear the true Saviour, the true Manna from Heaven.

II. In Glory and in Poverty

There is a perplexing contrast between the manifestation of the Saviour as described by the prophets, and the reality of His appearance among us. In Isaias, e.g., we read about the Child: “The government is upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace” (9:6). Similarly the Psalmist (see the Offertory of today), “Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates; and the King of Glory shall enter in” (Ps. 23:7). = which evokes before our imagination some colossal portals of an Assyrian palace, a triumphal reception. And then we witness the reality: Joseph and Mary tread their way into Bethlehem at the close of day, they seek shelter and there is no room for them in the inn; at last they find a dark stable by the roadside and there they put up as best they can.

What a contemptible sight for human eyes! One needs the eyes of faith to discover, beneath the squalor the invisible glorious splendour. Behold! Far more magnificent than the most monumental gates of an imperial palace, the “blessed gate of Heaven” from which the King of Heaven and earth will step forth. The dark and wretched stable of Bethlehem is in spiritual reality the “Palace of Peace of the Nations”, wherein has just been drawn up the Charter of true Peace – not a scrap of parchment, but the tiny Body of the Child in whom “dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead”, and whose Blood will one day seal the Treaty of Peace between heaven and earth.

We hasten to welcome Mary:

The Great King’s Gate art thou, and bright
Abode of everlasting Light.
Ye ransomed nations, hail to heaven
Our Life Spring through a Virgin given.

To God the Father, God the Son
Of Mary born, be homage done;
The like to God the Spirit be:
Eternal Godhead, One in Three.

III. The Other Advent

As in the beginning of Advent, so on the eve of Christmas the Church’s liturgy recalls the second coming of Christ too, and duly connects the coming of the Redeemer with the coming of the Judge: “Tomorrow shall the iniquity of the earth be blotted out: and the Saviour of the world shall reign over us” (Gradual of today). And in the hymn of Lauds:

Great Judge of all, in that Last Day
When friends shall fail and foes combine,
Be present then with us, we pray,
To guard us with Thine arm divine.

This shows how concerned Mother Church is that, even when we rejoice at the birth of “the Child that is given to us”, we should blend together and foster both a childlike love and a childlike fear.

Prayer: “O God, who gladdenest us with the yearly expectation of our salvation, grant that we, who now joyfully welcome Thine only-begotten Son as our Redeemer, may also without fear see Him coming as our Judge, Jesus Christ our Lord Thy Son, who with Thee liveth” (Collect of the Mass of today).

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Enthronement Anniversaire

Jesus, Mary, I love You; Save Souls!

Hallo! I'm back! as I announced on the tagboard. Back from a short break from the laptop - which reminds me very much of the retreat we had last year, I want to go for another retreat! and back also from a good weekend, a treat :) with the lab and also with my dear cousins and sister of course.

Anyway, on the 9th of December was the 1st anniversaire of the enthronement of my family to the Sacred Heart! :) The 8th and the 9th were very beautiful days for me. And here's my beautiful family altar all spruced up for the occasion. yay.

More later ...

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)


Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us those who have recourse to thee!

Today's the most beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception. I remember clearly what happened last year at this most beautiful feast and this year was also beautiful. :) Here's the link to last year's post (around this time).

Deo gratias et Mariae! for everything :)

From today's epistle, Prov. 8

Now therefore, ye children, hear me: blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.

Gegrüßet seist du, Maria, voll der Gnade, der Herr ist mit dir. Du bist gebenedeit unter den Frauen, und gebenedeit ist die Frucht deines Leibes, Jesus. Heilige Maria, Mutter Gottes, bitte für uns Sünder jetzt und in der Stunde unseres Todes. Amen.

From the Alone with God, by Fr. J. Heyrmann S.J.:

Alone with God
Fr. J. Heyrmann S.J.

The Immaculate Conception

December 8

1. On December 8, 1854, in St Peter’s at Rome, Pope Pius IX, surrounded by hundreds of Bishops and thousands of Catholics, who had assembled in the Eternal City from every part of the world, solemnly and infallibly proclaimed that Mary’s Immaculate Conception is a dogma of the Catholic Faith, revealed by God. In imagination we may assist at this glorious ceremony, remembering meanwhile how the angel appeared to Mary in the humble house of Nazareth and called her “full of grace”.

2. Petition: The grace to be moved to joy at the homage paid to our Lady, to thank God with her, and to acquire firm confidence in her powerful intercession.

I. “Saved in a More Sublime Manner”

Mary was a daughter of Adam and Eve, and therefore liable to the penalty that had befallen all Adam’s descendents. In the genealogies, which we read in the Holy Bible, many sinners are mentioned, both men and women. Mary, like ourselves, stood in need of Redemption – and Redemption by the one and only Redeemer, her Son Jesus Christ. But as Pius IX wrote in the bull proclaiming the dogma, “by a special grace and privilege, in view of the merits of Christ, Saviour of the whole human race, Mary, from the first moment of her existence was preserved from all taint, so that she was saved in a more sublime manner. She was so close to the Sun, that no shadow at all could fall upon her.” She was “full of grace”, the “all-beautiful”, the “glory of our race”. These favours were not bestowed on her because of any excellence or merit of her own, but on account of her Son and through His merits. No one was better aware of this than Mary herself; for in her Magnificat she proclaimed, “He that is mighty hath done great things to me.”

It was because she had been saved in so sublime a manner that she was so abysmally humble.

II. “For the Honour of Mary”

“To the honour and glory of the Virgin from whom He was born,” says the papal bull. “God has loved her, and adorned her; has vested her with a splendid garment.” Love feels the need of adorning and embellishing the object of its affection: in the case of Mary, He that loved was all powerful. The omnipotent Son would make His Virgin Mother all beautiful. (Tota pulchra est) He would make her worthy to mould His sacred Humanity, Body and Soul into, “the Son of Man”.

He would preserve her form the faintest breath or shadow of sin. He endowed her with the fullest measure of grace which a creature can receive.

All this grace and spiritual beauty was hers, when in the humble house of Nazareth she awaited the coming of the Divine Child. But all this beauty was interior, quite hidden form the eyes of the simple folk, who saw in her no more than the spouse of Joseph, the village carpenter.

III. “In Honour of the Holy and Undivided Trinity”

These are the opening words of the papal bull, defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. All the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity bear a part in the creation, the redemption, and the forming of Mary. The more complete and sublime her redemption was, the greater was her holiness, and therefore the greater the glory she gave to the Gather, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. No creature ever stood in such unique, such intimate relation to each of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.

“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

Human words, even our loftiest figures of speech, are too carnal and too gross to express adequately the mysterious relation that exists between Mary and the Father Almighty, Mary and the Word Incarnate, Mary and the Holy Ghost. An old Latin Hymn tried to express it as follows:

Thee made the Father, who knows no beginning;
On thee lay the shadow of the Father’s only Son;
Upon thee came the Holy Ghost;
Thy whole being, O Mary, is related to God.

Prayer: O God, who didst prepare worthy dwelling for Thy Son by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin: we beseech Thee, who didst preserve her from all stain in view of the death of Thy Son, to make us through her intercession so pure as to be admitted to Thy presence. Through our Lord. (Collect, Feast of the Immaculate Conception).

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

First Sunday of Advent

And now, yay, we prepare for Christmas, not as like the world, but with prayer and fasting - and sacrifice (advent, the second lent) as we gear up to get ready and prepare for the great feast that is - of Christmas. Beautiful and very beautiful baby Jesus, the Divine Infant.

Saint Alphonsus Ligouri wrote this very beautifully in his book, Uniformity with God's Will -

Who knows? Perhaps if God had given us greater talent, better health, a more personable appearance, we might have lost our souls! Great talent and knowledge have caused many to be puffed up with the idea of their own importance and, in their pride, they have despised others. How easily those who have these gifts fall into grave danger to their salvation! How many on account of physical beauty or robust health have plunged headlong into a life of debauchery! How many, on the contrary, who, by reason of poverty, infirmity or physical deformity, have become saints and have saved their souls, who, given health, wealth or physical attractiveness had else lost their souls! Let us then be content with what God has given us.

"But one thing is necessary," and it is not beauty, not health, not talent. It is the salvation of our immortal souls.


As we prepare for Christmas, as we give thought to why baby Jesus had to come into the world, as we start the new liturgical year this advent, and as we hear in today's epistle and Gospel - about our last end - the particular judgment and the final judgment, let us remember: Our last end.

As with the prophet (Jeremias 12:11), They have laid it waste, and it hath mourned for me. With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart.

Let us consider with our hearts, let us think, as did all the great saints, as did the patron saint of missions, Saint Francis Xavier, whose blessed feast day falls tomorrow, what our last end is.

Here is a link to the story of St. Francis Xavier - Set All Afire! on St Francis and the Fishery Coast of India. Here is the link to his biography in the Catholic Encyclopedia. And here's another link on his death.

Here's also the link to Bishop Fellay's Letter #71.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Gegrüßet seist du, Maria, voll der Gnade, der Herr ist mit dir. Du bist gebenedeit unter den Frauen, und gebenedeit ist die Frucht deines Leibes, Jesus. Heilige Maria, Mutter Gottes, bitte für uns Sünder jetzt und in der Stunde unseres Todes. Amen.

Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grâce, Le Seigneur est avec vous. Vous êtes bénie entre toutes les femmes, et Jésus, le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni. Sainte Marie, Mère de Dieu, priez pour nous, pauvres pécheurs, maintenant et à l'heure de notre mort. Amen.

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.

Jesus, Mary, I love You; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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