“Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” (Luke 2:14)
“O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge You as King of the universe.
All that has been created has been made for You.” (Prayer to Christ the King)
“Above all else, this is what Christmas bids us to do: give glory to God, for he is good, he is faithful, he is merciful. Today I voice my hope that everyone will come to know the true face of God, the Father who has given us Jesus. My hope is that everyone will feel God’s closeness, live in his presence, love him and adore him. May each of us give glory to God above all by our lives, by lives spent for love of him and of all our brothers and sisters . . . . Dear brothers and sisters, today, in this world, in this humanity, is born the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Let us pause before the Child of Bethlehem. Let us allow our hearts to be touched, let us not fear this. Let us not fear that our hearts be moved. We need this! Let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God; we need his caress. God’s caresses do not harm us. They give us peace and strength. We need his caresses. God is full of love: to him be praise and glory forever! God is peace: let us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world. Let us allow ourselves to be moved by God’s goodness.” (Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi message, Christmas 2013)
Reflections for the Christmas Season
The maker of Mary, He was born of Mary;
The son of David, He is David’s Lord;
The maker of earth, made on earth;
Creator of Heaven, created under Heaven;
He is Himself the day which the Lord made,
The day of our heart, that is the Lord.
He lies in a manger, but holds the world;
He is nursed by Mary, but feeds the Angels;
He is wrapped in swaddling clothes,
but vests us with immortality;
He found no place in the inn, but makes
for Himself a temple in the hearts of
all who believe in Him.
He who so loves us, that for our sakes
He was made in time, through Whom all
times were made;
Was in the world less in age than His
servants, though older than the world
itself in His eternity;
Was made man, who made man;
was created by a mother, whom He created;
Was carried by hands that He formed;
Cried in the manger in wordless infancy;
He is the Word, without Whom all human
Eloquence is mute. (St. Augustine)
St. Therese of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Patroness of Missionaries,(1873-1897), France—Oct. 1 “In the shadow of Faith, I love you and adore you.” (St. Therese) St. Therese’s fiat in the Holy Eucharist, the body and blood of Jesus, was her sustenance. She received the love of her heart as often as possible in Holy Communions, and spent time before Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. When she returned from her pilgrimage to Rome, St. Therese donated her gold bracelet to the Basilica of Le Sacre Coeur at Montmartre, Paris. It was melted down and became part of the monstrance in which Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is adored perpetually to this day. (A St. Therese prayer card is available through us, item D-10.)
Guardian Angels—Oct. 2 Prayer When Unable to Go to Mass:
Go, my Angel Guardian dear,/To church for me—the Mass to hear.
Go, kneel devoutly at my place/And treasure for me every grace.
At the Offertory time/Please offer me to God Divine./All I have and all I am,
Present it with the Precious Lamb./Adore for me the great Oblation.
Pray for all I hold most dear/Be they far or be they near.
Remember, too, my own dear dead/For whom Christ's Precious Blood was shed.
At Communion bring spiritually to me/Christ's flesh and blood my food to be,
To give me strength and holy grace;/A pledge to see Him face to face,
And when the Holy Mass is done/Then with His blessing,/come back home.
St. Theodore Guerin, Foundress of the Sisters of Providence, (1798-1856), France—Oct. 3
“How consoling is this mystery of the Eucharist! If we knew how to appreciate it, it would suffice to fortify and sustain us. Is there anything sweeter than to have a friend to whom we may at any hour confide our difficulties and our pain?” (St. Theodore)
St. Francis of Assisi, Deacon, Franciscan Founder, Stigmatist (c. 1181-1226), Italy—Oct. 4 “Let the entire man be seized with fear; let the whole world tremble; let heaven exult when Christ, the Son of the Living God, is on the altar in the hands of the priest. O admirable height and stupendous condescension! O humble sublimity! O sublime humility! that the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under a morsel of bread.” (St. Francis)
Respect Life Sunday—Oct. 5 “The Church firmly believes that human life, even if weak and suffering, is always a splendid gift of God’s goodness. Against the pessimism and selfishness which cast a shadow over the world, the Church stands for life: in each human life she sees the splendor of that ‘Yes,’ that ‘Amen,’ who is Christ Himself.” (St. John Paul II) Heavenly Father, deepen our reverence for the gift of every human life from natural conception to natural death. Through the power of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist grant us the grace to protect and defend human life always, especially where it is most under attack. (A Prayer for Life card is available through us, item D-13.)
Bl. Marie-Rose Durocher, Founder, Srs. of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, (1811-1849), Canada—Oct. 6 Bl. Marie-Rose would advise people: “Ask Our Lady to help you. Ask her to entreat her Son to let you know what you should do.” Blessed Marie herself would spend many hours in adoration before our beloved Lord.
Anniversary of Our Lady’s Apparition at Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun (1917)—Oct. 13 Our Lady appeared to the Fatima children seven times, culminating in the Miracle of the Sun on Oct. 13, 1917, witnessed by 70,000 people. This miracle is foretelling the coming glory of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! According to Our Lady, if her requests and directives are headed, there will be great graces and mercy poured upon our world resulting in an era of peace. The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph, and the promises will be fulfilled, when the Heart of her Son Jesus reigns throughout the world in Eucharistic Adoration! (A Fatima prayer card is available through us, item D-15.)
St. Teresa of Avila, Carmelite Nun, Reformer, Mystic (1515-1582), Spain—Oct. 15 This year marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila. St. Teresa was a Doctor of the Church who often wrote of her great love of the Blessed Sacrament. “Approaching the Sacrament would at once make me feel so well, both in soul and in body, that I was astounded. I would feel as if all the darkness in my soul had suddenly been dispersed and the sun had come out and shown me the stupidity of the things I had been saying and doing. At other times, if the Lord spoke only one word to me ‘Be not troubled: have no fear’ one word completely cured me.”
“He is the Lord,/He is free to do what he wants,/And since he loves us/He adapts himself to our size.”
St. Gerard Majella, Religious, Patron of Expectant Mothers (1726-1755), Italy—Oct. 16 “The Most Blessed Sacrament is Christ made visible.” St. Gerard cared for the poor, sick and needy.
St. Margaret Mary, Apostle of the Sacred Heart (1647-1690), France—Oct. 16 “Today the Lord wants you to honor His life wholly given to us in the Blessed Sacrament. You must be as a burning candle with no other desire than to be consumed in His honor.” (St. Margaret Mary)
St. Jude Thaddeus, Apostle, Martyr, Patron of Impossible Cases (d. 67), Galilee—Oct. 28 St. Jude, please intercede for the hopeless before Jesus Eucharistic. Help them to find hope in His ever present love.
All Saints Day—November 1
“The saints in heaven live in perpetual adoration, because their joy is derived from eternal contemplation. On earth, where in some manner we must imitate the life of heaven, Christian devotion has striven to make the Sacred Host the center of perpetual contemplation and adoration The Sacred Host perpetually exposed on its Eucharistic throne, and, before it, day and night, loving souls in adoration and contemplation! Is this not truly heaven on earth?” (The Holy Eucharist, J. G. Trevino).
All Souls Day—November 2 Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen. (A St. Gertrude prayer card with the Holy Souls prayer is available through us, item D-20.)
St. Martin de Porres, Patron of South America, Surgeon, (1579-1639), Peru—Nov. 3 Miracle Worker, Healer, Mystic, and Friend of the Poor, St. Martin drew his strength from Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. He spent many hours a day in Adoration, in the midst of routine tasks.
St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop, Patron of Catechists, (1538-1584), Italy—Nov. 4 St. Charles promoted adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, ensuring that the Real Presence of our Lord received the highest honor. He taught by example, ministering to the needs of plague victims. At one point, St. Charles bought food for over 60,000 a day! During the plague, he helped set up altars in the streets so that people could assist at Mass from their windows. Throughout his episcopacy, St. Charles brought the faithful the Holy Eucharist and invited them to pray in his chapel with him.
St. Martin of Tours, Patron of Soldiers (316-397) Italy—Nov. 11 As a soldier and catechumen, Martin was charitable to beggars. Shortly after he left the military, Martin became a priest because of his great love of the Eucharist. Filled with zeal for Jesus, Martin became an educator and preacher!
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Religious, Ptn. of Immigrants, (1850-1917), Italy—Nov. 13 “My Jesus, I want to adore You for all,” wrote St. Frances Xavier, who loved the Holy Eucharist from a young age. As Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who traveled the Americas and Europe founding schools, orphanages and hospitals, Mother Cabrini encouraged her sisters to find their strength in the Sacred Eucharistic Heart of Jesus through Mass and by starting Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Wife, Mother, 3rd Order Franciscan(1207-1231)—November 17
Elizabeth tirelessly cared for the poorest and sickest daily, and gave away her riches following her husband’s death. Her spiritual director testified to her holiness, saying “I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman.” Her great love was the Holy Eucharist.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Religious Missionary, (1769-1852) France, Nov. 18 While in Adoration on Holy Thursday during her first year as a nun, St. Rose had a spiritual experience which she confided in her superior, St. Madeline Sophie Barat. “I spent the entire night in the new world carrying the Blessed Sacrament to all parts of the land.” 13 years later, St. Rose’s dream of serving the American Indians as a missionary was realized. Through St. Rose’s Eucharistic devotion missions were established, as well as schools and convents.
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary—November 21 Sts. Anne & Joachim presented Mary in the temple to live in adoration and service of God.
St. Catherine Laboure, Religious Mystic and Visionary, (1806-1876), France—Nov. 28 “When I go to the chapel, I put myself before the good God and say to Him, ‘Lord, here I am, give me what You wish’. . . Then I tell Him all that comes into my mind.” (St. Catherine, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal visionary)
St. Francis Xavier, Jesuit Priest, Patron of Missionaries, (1506-1552), Spain—Dec. 3 St. Francis Xavier spent long days baptizing souls and bringing them the sacraments. At night, he drew strength from hours in prayer before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Nicholas, Bishop, Patron of Children and Russia, (4th century), Myra—Dec. 6 St. Nicholas is remembered for his holiness, great generosity with the poor and miracles. These fruits were sown by his deep prayer life, grounded in the Holy Eucharist.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception—December 8
Lift your heart in joy and exalt Him Laud the glorious Conception In the Blessed Sacrament all Holy, Of the Queen in God's Kingdom supernal, Where the Lord, His glory veiling, Who remaining Virgin stainless, Comforts souls true and lowly. Bore for men the Word eternal. (Alabado, sung after benediction)
St. Juan Diego, Visionary, (1474-1548), Mexico—Dec. 9 After the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was enshrined in the Church, Juan added on a one room hermitage. He was the caretaker of the Church, and lived a holy life through prayer, frequent Communion and sharing the faith.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Conversions & Miracles,(App. 1531)Mexico—Dec. 12 “I vividly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help and defense, for I am your most devoted mother . . . to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains and sufferings” (Our Lady of Guadalupe’s words to Juan Diego). A Capuchin convent was built adjoining the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1787, so that Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration could be held.
St. Lucy, Virgin, Martyr and Patroness of Eye Patients, (d. 304), Italy—Dec. 13 St. Lucy, martyred for your love of Christ, intercede for us that we may have the light of faith in Jesus, Our Eucharistic Lord. Help all those who need sight in body, mind and spirit. Amen.
St. Stephen, Deacon, Martyr, Patron of Deacons and Stonemasons (d. 35)—Dec. 26 St. Stephen was the first martyr who gave his life in witness to Christ. “O God, you accept our ministry and allow us to serve at your altar;grant that while serving you we follow the example of our patron, St. Stephen, the martyr, and that we may like him, come to see Jesus standing at your right hand in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Prayer)
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—December 28 O Lord Jesus, make those whom Thou dost refresh with Thy heavenly sacrament to imitate continually the example of Thy Holy Family, and that being welcomed at the hour of our death by Thy glorious Virgin-Mother and Saint Joseph, we may be found worthy to be received by Thee into Thy everlasting dwelling: Thou who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.
St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop and Martyr, (1118-1170), England—December 29 St. Thomas refused to give King Henry II authority over the Church and was murdered in his cathedral. St. Thomas often prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, and wrote in a letter to a friend, “harken to me who have been wont to pray for you in an abundance of tears and with groanings not a few before the Majesty of the Body of Christ.”
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& a very Happy and Holy New Year!!!
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