Sunday, January 26, 2014

Third Sunday after Epiphany 26th January 2014

Third Sunday After Epiphany
26 January 2014
“Be of one mind towards one another.”
 Rom. 12:16
Today’s readings show the radical
difference between the gospel message of Jesus and
the way in which the world lives. Jesus taught the
need for a life of charity and the practice of virtue
to all of his followers. In today’s Gospel (Mt. 8:1-
13), we see how Jesus Himself exemplifies His
great love for men by His compassion for the leper
and the centurion’s servant when He cured them of
their sickness. Likewise, in today’s Epistle to the
Romans (12:16-21), St. Paul emphasizes the need
for charity, especially towards our enemies. This
was unheard of in the ancient world, and it is still
not practiced in the world today: “Be of one mind
towards one another.” Rom. 12:16 We also see in
today’s readings, how much Jesus was pleased with
the faith and humility of the both the leper and the
centurion who believed that Jesus could aid them in
their request. For us, these readings are important
teachings because they remind us of the need for
charity toward one another and faith in Jesus who
alone can help us.
“Vengeance is mine...” Deut. 32:35
St. Paul reminds his followers of Jesus’ teaching of
the need to practice charity even to one’s enemies.
Jesus had said, “But I say to you, love your
enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray
for those who persecute and calumniate you...”
Mt. 5:44. St. Paul tells the Romans this same
message: “To no man render evil for evil, but
provide good things....Do not avenge yourselves,
but give place to the wrath, for it is
written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the
Lord.’” Rom. 12:17-9 This was a far cry from the
ancient traditions which said that one could return
what was given to you--- “An eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth...” Lev. 24:19. St. Paul is
reminding his followers that Christians who believe
in Jesus Christ must love their enemies and take no
revenge on anyone who opposes them. Revenge is
not for man to take! This is God’s domain as He
alone knows who is evil and who is good, and He
will ask all His creatures to render an account of
their works. If men do not repent of their evil, they
will have to endure the severe justice of God. This
can be seen in what Jesus said would happen to
In the Epistle to the Romans today,
anyone who causes one of His little ones to sin;
Jesus said, “But whoever causes one of these little
ones who believe in me to sin, it were better for
him to have a millstone hung around his neck,
and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Mt.
18:6 While God is all merciful, He is also all just,
and those who offend Him and do evil to their
fellow man will endure a most severe judgment.
This is why Jesus asks us to pray for those who
persecute us as they will have to endure the justice
of God for their deeds. If we would see how the
justice of God will punish those who do evil (to
us), then we must pray for them. Jesus also warns
us not to despise (hurt) them: Mt. 18:6 “See that
you do not despise one of these little ones; for I
tell you, their angels in heaven always behold the
face of my Father in heaven.” Mt. 18:6 What are
we doing to our little ones and those innocents in
the world; we are murdering our babies with
abortion, we are denying life for other brothers and
sisters to our children with contraception, we are
corrupting the morals of our youth with false
teachings and sex education, and we are denying
our children the faith in a good Catholic family by
not marrying and practicing the faith. The list
could go on and on! Has there ever been such a
sinful generation as ours is today? How severe will
be the vengeance of God on the Day of Judgment
on our generation for the scandal that we have
caused in “the little ones.”
“Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil
St. Paul takes the essential gospel teaching
of charity which Jesus had taught to its desired
end of loving even our enemies: “If thy enemy is
hungry, give him food; if he is thirsty, give him
drink; for by so doing thou wilt heap coals of fire
upon his head.” Rom 12:20 These “coals of fire”
are what St. Augustine explains as “the violence of
charity: Evil must be answered and conquered
by good. By gentleness Christians must disarm
anger, and by charity they must break down
hatred. Against the violence of charity,” says
St. Augustine, ”the world is powerless.” (Msgr.
Patrick Boylan, The Sunday Epistles and Gospels,”
p. 75.) These are the “coals of fire” which one’s
enemy will not be able to overcome. Fight hatred
with charity. It is the same lesson that Jesus taught
when He said, “But I say to you not to resist the
evildoer; on the contrary, if someone strikes thee
on the right cheek, turn to him the other also...”
Mt. 5: 39 Only those filled with the Spirit of Jesus
can understand such divine wisdom.
with good.” Rom. 12:21
“Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me
The leper in today’s gospel has the Spirit of
Jesus as he firmly believes that Jesus can cure him
of his leprosy. His faith and confidence in Jesus
are rewarded: “And stretching forth his hand
Jesus touched him, saying, ‘I will; be thou made
clean.’” Mt. 8:3 We can certainly admire the leper
who has trust in the goodness of Jesus by coming to
Him even though he knows that, as a leper, all are
advised to shun him as unclean. He goes to Jesus
with great hope and confidence that He can make
him clean if Jesus wills it. His trust in Jesus’
goodness is rewarded instantly!
“Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come
under my roof; but only say the word, and my
servant shall be healed.” Mt. 8: 8
great faith in Jesus. He also has great charity as he
is not asking for help for himself but for his servant
who is dying: “Lord, my servant is lying sick in
the house, paralyzed, and is grievously afflicted.”
Mt. 8:6 The centurion, even though he is a pagan,
is also aware Jesus should not enter his house. He
knows that Jesus, who is a prophet having great
power with God, does not need to come all the way
to his house and can cure him from where He is:
“Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come
under my roof; but only say the word, and my
servant shall be healed.” Mt. 8: 8 Jesus is amazed
at the centurion’s faith and says: “Amen I say to
you, I have not found such great faith in Israel.
And a I tell you that many will come from the east
and from the west, and will feast with Abraham
and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the kingdom will be put forth
into the darkness outside; there will be the
weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” Mt. 8:10-11.
By contrast, the faith of the children of Abraham,
who should know better, is so weak that they will
not feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in
the kingdom of heaven....” Mt. 8:11
“Go thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it
Although Jesus says these words to the
centurion, they also apply to the leper. Here we
see how important it is to have faith in Jesus.
Ironically, in today’s gospel the two men who have
faith in Jesus are despised in the Jewish society, a
leper and a pagan Roman soldier. There is a most
important lesson for all of us who have been called
to follow Christ. We need to practice the same
clean.” Mt. 8:2
Like the leper, the centurion also has
faith in God and charity to all or else, like the Jews,
we will be excluded from the kingdom and be in
the darkness outside “weeping and gnashing our
teeth.” Mt. 8:11
Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix
(MIM) 1 February 2014
On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our
monthly formation program for those who interested
in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality
of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day
begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes
two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary.
(see flyer on door)
 This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and
includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, St.
Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The
fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of
God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of
all souls through the maternal mediation of the
Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy
Trinity.” (Article 2: Statute)
It is most important at this time in our world
to come together and learn about Our Lady and her
messages especially Fatima. Pope John Paul II: On
November 9, 1976 said in the USA as Karol Cardinal
Wojtyla: “We are now standing in face of the
greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone
through. I do not think that the wide circles of
American society or the wide circles of the Christian
community realize this fully. We are now facing
the final confrontation between the Church and the
Anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-gospel.”
We hope that all of you will consider joining the
MIM and work for your own sanctification and the
sanctification of so many souls who are in danger of
being lost for all eternity in hell as Our Lady said at
Fatima.

The First Saturday: 4 January 2014
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I
promise to assist at the hour of death, with all
the graces necessary for salvation, all those who,
on the first Saturday of five consecutive months
go to confession and receive Holy Communion,
recite five decades of the Rosary and keep
me company for a quarter of an hour while
meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with
the intention of making reparation to me." If
only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would
be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises
us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we
keep The Five First Saturdays!
done to thee.” Mt. 8:13

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Second Sunday after Epiphany 19th January 2014

Second Sunday After Epiphany
19 January 2014
“But thou hast kept the good wine until now.” Jn. 2:9

Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol 3, tells us of the mystery of today’s feast: “The third Mystery of the Epiphany shows us the completion of the merciful designs of God upon the world, at the same time that it manifests to us for the third time (the first time to the Shepherds and Magi at the stable and the second time to Jewish people at the Baptism of St. John the Baptist), the glory of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The star has led the soul to faith, the sanctified Waters of the Jordan have conferred purity upon her; the Marriage-Feast unites her to her God. We have been considering, during this Octave, the Bridegroom revealing himself to the Spouse; we have heard him calling her to come to him from the heights of Libanus; and now, after having enlightened and purified her, he invites her to the heavenly feast, where she is to receive the Wine of his divine love.

The New Wine of Charity
“A Feast is prepared (cf. Jn. 2): it is a Marriage-Feast; and the Mother of Jesus is present at it, for it is just that, having co-operated in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, she should take part in all that her Son does, and in all the favours he bestows on his elect. But, in the midst of the feast, the Wine fails. Wine is the symbol of Charity or Love, and Charity had failed on the earth; for the Gentiles had never tasted its sweetness; and as to the Synagogue, what had it produced but wild grapes (cf. Is. 5:2). The True Vine is our Jesus and he calls himself by that name (Jn. 15:1). He alone could give that Wine which gladdeneth the heart of man (cf. Ps. 53:15). He alone could give us that Chalice which inebriated (cf. Ps. 22:5), and of which the Royal Psalmist prophesied.

“Do whatsoever he shall say to you.” Jn. 2:5
“Mary said to Jesus: They have no Wine. It is the office of the Mother of God to tell him of the wants of men, for she is also their Mother. But Jesus answers her in words which are apparently harsh: Woman! What is it to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come.’ The meaning of these words is, that, in this great Mystery, he was about to act, not as the Son of Mary, but as the Son of God. Later on, the hour will come when, dying upon the Cross, he will do a work, in the presence of his Mother, and he will do it as Man, that, according to that human nature which he has received from her. Mary at once understands the words of her Son, and she says to the waiters of the Feast, what she is now ever saying to her children: ‘Do whatsoever he shall say to you.’

The New Wine of Christ
“Now, there were six large waterpots of stone there, and they were empty. The world was then in its Sixth Age, as St. Augustine and other Holy Doctors tell us. During these six ages, the earth had been awaiting its Saviour, who was to instruct and redeem it. Jesus commands these waterpots to be filled with water; and yet water does not suit the Feast of the Spouse. The figures and the prophecies of the ancient world were this water, and until the opening of the Seventh Age, when Christ, who is the Vine, was to be given to the world, no man had contracted an alliance with the Divine Word.
“But, when the Emmanuel came, he had but to say, Now draw out, and the waterspots were seen to be filled with the wine of the New covenant, the Wine which had been kept to the end. When he assumed our human nature—a nature weak and unstable as water—he effected a change in it; he raised it up even to himself, by making us partakers of the divine nature (cf. 2 Pet. 1:4); he gave us the power to love him, to be united to him, to form that one Body of which he is the Head, that Church of which he is the Spouse and which he loved from all eternity, and with such tender love, that he came down from heaven to celebrate his nuptials with her.

Jesus Manifests His Glory as God
“St. Matthew, the Evangelist of the Humanity of our Lord, has received from the Holy Ghost the commission to announce to us the Mystery of Faith by the star; St. Luke the Evangelist of Jesus’ Priesthood, has been selected by the same Holy Spirit, to instruct us in the mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan; but the Mystery of the Marriage-Feast was to be revealed to us by the Evangelist John, the Beloved Disciple. He suggests to the Church the object of this third Mystery, by this expression, ‘This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and he MANIFESTED his glory.’ Jn. 2:11 At Bethlehem, the God of the Magi expressed the Divinity of the Babe; at the Jordan, the descent of the Holy Ghost and the voice of the Eternal Father proclaimed Jesus (known to the people as a carpenter of Nazareth) to be the Son of God; at Cana, it is Jesus himself that acts, and he acts as God, for, says St. Augustine, he who changed the water into wine in the waterpots could be no other than the same who, every year, works the same miracle in the vine. Hence it was that, from that day, as St. John tells us, ‘his disciples believed in him’ (cf. Jn. 2:), and the Apostolic College began to be formed.” Gueranger, p. 241-3

The “good wine” of Christ and His Bride, the Church
The Lord delights in performing this miracle. God has saved the “good wine” for last: “But thou hast kept the good wine until now.” Jn. 2:9 The new wine of Jesus is charity. St. Paul shows us the superabundant gifts of the Spirit which come in the New Testament with the charismatic gifts and the practice of fraternal charity. It is the new wine with the blessing of the Church on Holy Matrimony in which the love which husband and wife have for each other is similar to the love that Christ has for His Church: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, cleansing her in the bath of water (Baptism) by means of the word; in order that he might present to himself the Church in all her glory, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she might be holy and without blemish.” Eph. 5:25-7 St. Paul also speaks of this love which we need to have for one another in today’s Epistle to the Romans (12: 6-16): “Let love be without pretense. Hate what is evil, hold to what is good. Love one another with fraternal charity, anticipating one another with honour. Be patient in tribulation, persevering in prayer, Share the needs of the saints, practising hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Be of one mind toward one another….” Rom 12: 9-16

Divine Charity, Our Espousal with Christ
Dom Gueranger comments on the spiritual meaning of today’s Gospel (Jn. 2: 1-11) of Jesus’ miracle of changing water into wine: “Thus divine Charity, which dwells in the Sacrament of Love (Holy Eucharist), is communicated to us; and that we might not be unworthy of the espousals with himself, to which he called us, he raises us up even to himself. Let us therefore, prepare our souls for this wonderful union, and, according to the advice of the Apostle, let us labour to present them to our Jesus with such purity as to resemble that chaste Virgin, who was presented to the spotless Lamb (cf. 2 Cor. 11:2 and Eph. 5: 27). Gueranger, p. 247. Jesus not only manifests Himself with the miracle of changing water into wine at Cana, but He shows how we are called to be His spouse in the Heavenly Marriage Feast.

The First Saturday of the Month
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays! Just think that when you are about to die that the Blessed Virgin Mary will be there with you to help you get to heaven! “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen” How many times have you said these words in your lifetime?

How to attend Holy Mass

“The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass, as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words, and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass.”
His Holiness, Pope St. Pius X

Saturday, January 11, 2014

First Sunday after the Epiphany, Feast of the Holy Family, 12th January 2014

First Sunday after the Epiphany
Feast of the Holy Family
12 January 2014

“Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold in sorrow thy father and I have been seeking thee.” Lk. 2: 48

Today, in this time after the Epiphany, the Church continues to give us aspects of the early life of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Today’s Gospel (Lk. 2:42-52) focuses on the time during the Paschal season when the Holy Family made their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the feast. On the return trip, the men and women travelled separately and both Joseph and Mary thought that Jesus was with the other. Their sorrow knew no bounds when they discovered Jesus was nowhere to be found. Of course, being God, Jesus was not really lost, but to Joseph and Mary, he was missing and they did not know what happened to Him. In their return to Jerusalem, they found Him in the temple listening to the doctors of the law and asking them questions. Mary questioned Jesus, “Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold in sorrow thy father and I have been seeking thee.” Lk. 2: 48 Jesus replied, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Lk. 2:49. At first, it appears that Jesus was being inconsiderate of His parents, but on a closer analysis, we see a most important teaching in our spiritual lives. Our first obligation is to God. Jesus is being obedient to His father. This is the primary lesson in today’s liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Family. The second and closely-linked teaching is the need for charity within all of our relationships. St. Paul highlights this in today’s Epistle (Col. 3:12-17): “But above all these things have charity which is the bond of perfection.” Col. 3:14. These two virtues of charity and obedience are the essential virtues in every Catholic family.

Charity “is the bond of perfection.” Col.3:14

In every family, there is the need for love, kindness, and mercy for all the members of the family. We need to be patient with one another’s faults. Because charity “is the bond of perfection,” (Col. 3:14) it alone perfects all other virtues, and it alone is the virtue in which all perfection consists. Where there is love, then no sacrifice will be too difficult. Where there is no love, then even our good deeds will be just acts of self-love. This is why in our families we need to practice what St. Paul gives us in today’s Epistle: “Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity (goodness), humility, modesty, patience: bearing with one another and forgiving one another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also.” Col 3:12-13. These are the virtues that every member of the family needs to practice for true peace and harmony within the family.

Perfect Charity is doing God’s Will

All of our moral virtues must be motivated by charity or else they are not meritorious. This is why it is so important for the soul to be in the state of grace. Without sanctifying grace there are no meritorious actions. St. Thomas Aquinas gives us the reason for this because “It is charity which united our will to that of God in the most perfect fashion. From charity all the other virtues are derived and take their true strength... Charity is the end in view; all other things are means to that end. Therefore, there are no limits to the extent of charity; but there are limits in the other virtues.” “The Preacher’s Encyclopaedia,” p. 275 The reason why there is so much unhappiness in the world is because there is no peace in our hearts. Peace implies the right order of things. When we have ordered our lives to God with charity, we will be at peace. If we have not ordered our lives to God and His will, then we will never be at peace with ourselves or with others. This is why we must do all of our actions out of love for God. When our actions coincide with God’s will, then we show true love for God. If we do actions which are pleasing to ourselves and which are against God’s will as expressed in His Commandments and the duties of our state in life, then we will never be at peace and our hearts will be filled with disordered self-love.

“Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Lk. 2:49.

In Jesus’ reply to His Mother Mary, we see the essence of true charity. Jesus must obey God His Father first and foremost. It was His Father’s will that Jesus spend these three days in the temple praying and listening to and asking the Jewish doctors of the law questions about the Messiah. Jesus’ time away from Joseph and Mary was so mysterious that they did not fully understand it: “And they understood not the word that He spoke to them.” Lk. 2:50 Jesus needs to do the will of His Father rather than the will of His parents. Sooner or later, He will be leaving home to spread the Kingdom of His heavenly Father. Jesus does not blame His mother as St. Bede tells us: “He blames her not because she sought Him as her son, but forces her to raise the eyes of her mind to what He owes Him whose Eternal Son He is.”

Christ the God-Man

In order to understand the divine person of Jesus Christ, we must see that in His nature, He performs actions as God and actions as man. In the latter actions as man, He performs functions common to all men such as eating, sleeping, labouring etc.; and then He performs actions proper to Him as the God-man, the Redeemer, the Christ and these are called “Theandric” (of the God-man, partly of God, partly of man). These actions were those of teaching, working miracles, calling His disciples etc. With regard to the actions of man, Christ was willing to obey His parents from whom He had received His human nature. With the “Theandric” actions, which are of a higher order, His actions were received and directed by God alone. Thus Jesus answered His parents based on the higher authority of His Father with the actions of the “God-man.” This is why Jesus must be about “His Father’s business” (Lk. 2:4) which is the salvation of souls.



The Fifth Joyful Mystery

The Church with the Holy Rosary, calls today’s gospel story, the mystery of “The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.” Like all the mysteries, it has a particular virtue or fruit which can be learned from it. The fruit of this mystery is charity that conforms our will to God’s will. Other virtues related to charity in this mystery would include obedience to God’s will and zeal for the salvation of souls. The mysteries of the rosary have depths of meaning that we can find when we pray the rosary daily by meditating on each mystery. No wonder Our Lady at Fatima wanted us to pray the Holy Rosary daily. The most important action that every family can do is to pray the “Family Rosary”: “The family that prays together stays together.”

White Flower Appeal
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).
This organization performs a most (if not, the most) important work in our society today. They protect the lives of unborn children. Do all that you can to help this most deserving organization. As you leave Mass today, someone will be at the door collecting for SPUC.

“Life, What A Beautiful Choice! “

“God loves a cheerful giver.” II Cor. 9:7

God will never be outdone in generosity.

How to attend Holy Mass

“The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass, as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words, and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass.”
His Holiness, Pope St. Pius X

“Make everything a sacrifice”

At Fatima, the Angel told the three children: “Make everything a sacrifice.” St. John of the Cross explains how we can do this.

“To arrive at perfect union, there is needed a total and perfect mortification of the senses and desires. The shortest and most effectual method of obtaining it is this: As to the senses whatever pleasing object may offer itself to them, unconnected with pure love to God, we should refuse it to them instantly, for the love of Jesus Christ, who in this life neither had nor desired to have any pleasure except to do the will of His Father, which He called His food. If, for example, there should arise a fancy or wish to hear or see things which do not concern the service of God or lead especially to Him, we should deny this fancy, and refrain from beholding or hearing these things; but if this is not possible, it is sufficient not to consent with the will. Then as to the desires, we should endeavour to incline always to what is poorest, worst, most laborious, most difficult, most unpleasant, and to desire nothing except to suffer and be despised.” St. John of the Cross











Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Epiphany, 5th January 2014

Solemnity of Epiphany
Sunday, 5 January 2014

“And entering the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they worshipped him and opening their treasures they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Mt. 2:11
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. The Church commemorate the manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles in the person of Three Magi from the East who represent all the nations of the world. Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol. 3, comments on today’s feast: “Oh! the greatness of this glorious Day, on which begins the movement of all nations towards the Church, the true Jerusalem! Oh! the mercy of our heavenly Father, who has been mindful of all these people that were buried in the shades of death and sin! Behold! the glory of the lord has risen upon the Holy City; and Kings set out to find and see the Light. Jerusalem is not large enough to hold all this sea of nations; another city must be founded, and towards her shall be turned the countless Gentiles of Median and Epha. Thou, O Rome! art this Holy City, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged. Heretofore thy victories have won thee slaves; but from this day forward, thou shalt draw within thy walls countless children. Lift up thine eyes and see—all these, that is the whole human race, give themselves to thee as thy sons and daughters; they come to receive from thee new birth. Open wide thine arms and embrace them that come from North and South bringing gold and frankincense to him who is thy King and ours.” Gueranger, p. 122 What great mysteries are revealed in the Word of God today! First, we have the fulfilment of several Messianic prophecies, and next we have the call of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God.

Glory of the Lord Revealed to the Gentiles
In today’s Epistle (Is. 60: 1-6) the prophet Isaiah tells Jerusalem to rise because a great light has come: “Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem; for the light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Is. 60:1 Not only will the inhabitants of Israel see the great light, but so will all the nations of the world: “All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord.” Is. 60:6 This great light is also prophesied by the pagan prophet Balaam in the Book of Numbers: “A star shall rise out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel.” Nu. 24:17 This theme of all nations adoring the Messiah is seen in today’s Offertory Antiphon: “And all the Kings of Earth shall adore Him, all nations shall serve him.” Ps. 71:11

The Call of the Gentiles
St. Paul also gives us the same theme: The Lord Jesus Christ has come for all nations and people. For St. Paul this is the revelation of a great mystery hidden from other times. It is now fully revealed in the person of Jesus Christ: “That the Gentiles are joint heirs, and fellow members of the same body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Eph. 3:6

The Magi Believe in the Light of Christ
The account of the Magi by St. Matthew in today’s Gospel (Mt. 2:1-12) reveals much of the mystery of the revelation to the Gentiles. First of all, the Magi are pagan astrologers who by their faith are a contrast to the doubting Jews who possess all the prophecies about the Christ but still do not believe. The Magi have followed the star to Jerusalem in the hope of seeing the royal king. The priests can tell them and King Herod that the king of the prophecy will be born in Bethlehem, but they do not believe it. Thus, they cannot claim that they knew nothing of his coming since they tell the Magi where he is to be born. Even Herod, the wicked king acknowledges his birth: “…when you have found him bring me word, that I too may go and worship him.” Mt. 2:8 The Jews have no excuse for not believing for they have all the prophets to tell them the truth. Ironically, the pagan Magi have only their one prophet Balaam, and yet they believe. Only the Magi see the light of Christ’s star. Christ is the bright and morning star arising in the East. When the Magi turned to Jerusalem for guidance, they lost the star. When they left Jerusalem and Herod, a symbol for the loss of faith, they regained the star and found Christ, the true light.

“…and falling down, they worshipped him.” Mt. 2:11
Having failed to find Christ where the earthly King reigned, the Magi found Him in poverty in the stable in Bethlehem. The Magi thus realize the fulfilment of two prophecies. The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, and He shall be given gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh: “The Kings of the Arabian and Saba shall bring gifts.” Ps. 71:10. St. John Chrysostom comments on these gifts: “For by gold the power of a king is signified, by frankincense the honour of God, by myrrh the burial of the body; and accordingly they gave Him gold as king, frankincense as God and myrrh as man.”

“They went back to their own country by another way.” Mt. 2:12
One final point is important for understanding the story of the Magi. They were warned in a dream about Herod’s evil intentions so they returned to their own homes by another route. Once they had seen the true light of Christ, their lives changed. They recognized the wickedness of Herod, and the ignorance and the lack of faith of the Jews. They returned to their own country to tell all about the great things that they have seen, especially, the fulfilment of the prophecy on the star which “shall rise out of Jacob.” Num. 24:17 Their trip would bear fruit in the future when the Apostles taught all nations. Notwithstanding this time of waiting until the preaching to all nations after Christ died, was resurrected and ascended into heaven, the visit of the Magi, who are the canonized saints Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, is still another example of how God was preparing His people for His coming. God was surrounding the birth of His Son with extraordinary events such as angels singing for poor shepherds and a star guiding the Magi from distant lands.

Be Imitators of the Three Wise Men
Let us imitate the faith and hope of the Magi who obey the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and leave their homeland to go to a far country. Let us bring to the Infant Jesus the gold of our charity, the frankincense of our adoration and prayer, and the myrrh of suffering and sacrifice. Let us also fall down and adore our God who is so humble as to be born as a babe in a lowly stable. Let us think about all these events of this Christmas season when we pray the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary especially the third mystery of the Birth of Jesus who is adored and honoured by the Gentile world with gifts of gold for His royalty, frankincense for His divinity and myrrh for His humanity. We too can say with them and to Mary, His Mother, “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” Lk. 1:42 Let us not imitate the Herods of this world who, although they know the truth of God’s identity, are intent on destroying the life of the new-born King of the Jews. Let us not imitate the modern-day Herods in the culture of death who also abort the many babies whose lives are the Father’s gift to our world as a blessing for humanity.



White Flower Appeal
Next Sunday, 12 January 2014 we will have a collection at the chapel door after Mass for the The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). This organization performs a most (if not, the most) important work in our society today. It protects the lives of unborn children. Do all that you can to help this most deserving organization!

“Life, What A Beautiful Choice! “

“God loves a cheerful giver.” II Cor. 9:7

God will never be outdone in generosity.

Epiphany Saints and Protectors

As in the past, we will have the drawing of saints after Mass today in St. Joseph’s Hall. This special drawing of Patron Saints, Virtues, Names of Our Lady, and Spiritual Maxims will help us live holy lives in the coming year. We will have the special guidance of all these holy patrons and virtues and Our Lady throughout the year.

How to attend Holy Mass

“The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass, as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words, and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass.”
His Holiness, Pope St. Pius X


Friday, January 3, 2014

The Feast of St Thomas of Canterbury

The Feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury
Sunday, 29 December 2013

“St. Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is the martyr of the liberties of the Church, in the XII th century. Henry II, King of England, wished to him to sanction customs contrary to the liberties of the Church. St. Thomas knew that to make this divine society subservient to the secular power would be to violate her very constitution, and therefore as Bishop he would willingly suffer death in defense of the Church of Christ. He was slain in his cathedral by the king’s soldiers on December 29, 1170.” Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962, p. 308

Don Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol. 2 comments on the significance of this great martyr’s death for the Catholic Church. “…This glorious martyr did not shed his blood for the faith; he was not dragged before the tribunals of pagans or heretics, there to confess the truth revealed by Christ and taught by the Church. He was slain by Christian hands; it was a Catholic King that condemned him to death; it was by the majority of his own brethren, and they his countrymen, that he was abandoned and blamed. How, then, could he be a Martyr? How did he gain a Palm like Stephen’s? He was the Martyr for the liberty of the Church.”

“Every Christian is obliged to lay down his life rather than deny any of the articles of our holy Faith: it was the debt we contracted with Jesus Christ when he adopted us in Baptism as his Brethren. All are not called to the honour of Martyrdom, that is, all are not required to bear that testimony to Truth which consists in shedding one blood for it: but all must so love their Faith as to be ready to die rather than deny it, under pain of incurring the eternal death from which the grace of our Redeemer has already delivered us. The same obligation lies still more heavily on the Pastors of the Church. It is the pledge of the truth of their teachings. Hence we find in almost every page of the History of the Church the glorious names of saintly Bishops, who laid down their lives for the Faith they had delivered for to their people…. Pastors have another debt to pay, which is that of defending the liberty of the Church; …the Church has put upon her altars the glorious St. Thomas of Canterbury, who was slain in his Cathedral in the twelfth century because he resisted a King’s infringements on the extrinsic rights of the Church. She sanctions the noble maxim of St. Anselm, one of St. Thomas’s predecessors in the See of Canterbury: Nothing does God love so much in this world as the liberty of his Church; and the Apostolic See declares by the mouth of Pius VIII in the nineteenth century, the very same doctrine she would have taught by St. Gregory VII in the eleventh century: ‘The Church, the spotless Spouse of Jesus Christ the immaculate Lamb, is by God’s appointment FREE, and subject to no earthly power.’”

The Liberty of the Church
“Such is the Liberty of the Church. It is the bulwark of the Sanctuary. Every breach there imperils the Hierarchy, and even the very Faith. A Bishop may not flee, as the hireling, nor hold his peace, like those dumb dogs of which the Prophet Isaias speaks, and which are not able to bark. (Is. 56:10). He is the Watchman of Israel: he is a traitor if he first lets the enemy enter the citadel, and then, but only then, gives the alarm and risks his person and life. The obligation of laying down his life for his flock begins to be in forced at the enemy’s first attack upon the very outposts of the City, which is only safe when they are strongly guarded.” Gueranger, p. 303-05

Bossuet’s Panegyric on St. Thomas of Canterbury

The famous contemporary bishop of St. Thomas offers us a magnificent testimony to the noble life and death of St. Thomas of Canterbury: “It is established law that every success the Church acquires cost her the life of some of her children, and that in order to secure her rights she must shed her own blood. Her Divine Spouse redeemed her by the Blood he shed for her; and he wishes that she should purchase on the same terms the graces he bestows upon her. It was by the blood of the Martyrs that she extended her conquests far beyond the limits of the Roman Empire. (Editor’s note: FYI 12 million Christians died for the faith in the Roman persecutions.) It was her blood that procured her both the peace she enjoyed under the Christian, and the victory she gained over the Pagan Emperors. So that as she had to shed her blood for the propagation of her teaching, she had also to bleed in order to make her authority accepted. The discipline, therefore, as well as the faith of the Church, was to have its Martyrs.’” Gueranger, p. 306.

The Grace of the Martyrs’ Simplicity and Courage

Don Gueranger continues his commentary: “Hence it was that St. Thomas, and the rest of the martyrs for ecclesiastical liberty, never once stopped to consider how it was possible, with such weak means as were at their disposal, to oppose the invaders of the rights of the Church. One great element of Martyrdom is simplicity united with courage; and this explains how there have been martyrs amongst the lowest classes of the faithful, and that young girls, and even children, can show their rich palm-branch. God has put into the heart of the Christian a capability of humble and inflexible resistance which make every opposition give way. What, then, must that fidelity be, which the Holy Ghost has put into the souls of Bishops, whom he has constituted the Spouses of his Church, and the defenders of his beloved Jerusalem? St. Thomas yields not to injustice, under the pretext that it is armed with the sword, and that it is a King who commits it; on the contrary, seeing that its source is high up, he feels his obligation of resisting it to be the greater, just as men throw the embankments higher when the torrent swells.

“‘In the language of the Church,’ continues Bossuet, ‘fortitude has not the meaning it has in the language of the world. Fortitude, as the world understands it, is undertaking great things; according to the Church, it is goes beyond suffering every sort of trial, and there it stops. Listen to the words of St. Paul: ‘Ye have not yet resisted your enemies unto blood;’ (Heb. 12:4) as though he would say: ‘You have not yet gone the whole length of your duty, because you nave not resisted your enemies unto blood.’ You have not attacked your enemies and shed their blood; but, ‘Your resistance to your enemies has not yet cost you your blood.’” Gueranger, p. 307

St. Thomas Priest and Victim

Don Gueranger reminds us that St. Thomas’ martyrdom was a true sacrifice: “Christian! give me your attention. If there ever were a martyrdom, which bore the resemblance to a sacrifice, it was the one I have to describe to you….The Bishop is the victim chosen by God, and he is ready. So that all is prepared for the sacrifice, and they that are to strike the blow enter the Church. The holy man walks before them, as Jesus did before his enemies. He forbids his clergy to make the slightest resistance, and all he asks of his enemies is that they injure none of them that are present: it is the close imitation of his Divine Master, who said to them that apprehended him: ‘If it be I whom you seek, suffer these to go their way.’ (Jn. 18:8) And when all this has been done, and the moment for the sacrifice was come, St. Thomas begins the ceremony. He is both victim and priest: he bows down his head, and offers a prayer. Listen to the solemn prayer, and the mystical words of the sacrifice: ‘And I am ready to die for God, and for the claims of justice, and for the liberty of the Church, if only she may gain peace and liberty by this shedding of my blood!’ He prostrates himself before God: and as in the Holy Sacrifice there is the invocation of the Saints our intercessors, Thomas omits not so important a ceremony; he beseeches the holy Martyrs and the Blessed Mary ever a Virgin to deliver the Church from oppression He can pray for nothing but the Church; his heart beats but for the Church; his lips can speak nothing but the Church; and when the blow has been struck his and lifeless tongue seems still be saying: ‘The Church!’…The tomb of the Saint will become an altar; and at the foot of the that altar, there will one day kneel a penitent King, humbly praying for pardon and blessing. What has wrought this change? Has the death of Thomas of Canterbury stirred up the people to revolt? Has his martyrdom found its avengers? No. It is the blood of one who died for Christ producing its fruit. The world is hard to teach, else it would have long since learned this truth, that a Christian people can never see with indifference a pastor put to death for fidelity to his charge; and that a government that dares to make a martyr will pay dearly for its crime…” Bossuet gives a final comment in his panegyric: ‘He that infringes on the authority of the Church, let him dread that precious blood of the martyrs which consecrates and protects it.” Gueranger, p. 306-310.

St. Thomas Help Your Country Today

In conclusion from across the channel in France in the nineteenth century Don Gueranger beseeches St. Thomas to help his country to heal his country of those prelates who were not faithful after him in the Protestant Revolution: “Pray for thine own dear England, which three hundred years ago, made shipwreck of the faith through the apostasy of so many prelates who submitted to those usurpations which thou didst resist even unto blood. Now that the Faith is reviving in her midst, stretch out thy helping hand to her, and thus avenge the outrages offered to thy venerable name by thy country, when she, the once fair Island of Saints, was sinking into the abyss of heresy.” Gueranger, p. 335


Christmas Novena: Christmas Novena of Masses from Christmas Day 25th December 2013 to 2 January 2014. This novena will be for all of the benefactors, friends and relatives of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate. Thank you for all of your kind donations of alms and providence to us here in Lanherne.


Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (MIM) Saturday, 4 January 2014
“The fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of all souls through the maternal mediation of the Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” (Article 2: Statute)

The First Friday: 3 January The Promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary: "I promise you, in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that Its all-powerful love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure nor without receiving the Sacraments, My Divine Heart becoming their assured refuge at that last hour."
The First Saturday: 4 January 2014
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me

Solemnity of the Epiphany,
Sunday 5 January 2014
In all the dioceses of England and Wales: the External Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

































Sunday in the Octave of the Nativity

Sunday in the Octave of the Nativity
29 December 2013

“For His great love, wherewith God loved us, He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” Magnificat Antiphon for First Vespers

Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen in his book of meditations on the Mass for the Extraordinary Form, Divine Intimacy, tells us how this Magnificat antiphon from First Vespers “sums up perfectly the spirit of this day: ‘For His great love, wherewith God loved us, He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.’ This liturgical solemnity unites to the consideration of God’s immense charity, which illumines and dominates all the feast of the Christmas cycle, this vision of the Incarnate Son of God in the likeness of sinful man. In order to transform us from sinners into children of God, the only Son of the Father willed to be clothed in human nature, thereby putting on our sinful flesh and submitting to all its most humiliating consequences. The law of circumcision could in no way affect Jesus, the Son of God, the Most Holy One; but Jesus willed to submit to it as the least of the sons of Abraham, for as St. Paul says, ‘It behoved Him in all things to be made unto his brethren …. that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people.’ Heb. 2:17 The rite, which Joseph may have performed in the intimacy of the family, caused the first drops of the Precious Blood to be shed from the immaculate flesh of Jesus. Thus eight days after His birth He is beginning His redemptive mission. He has not yet spoken; the world does not know Him: but He is already shedding His Blood for the salvation of mankind.
“Contemplating Him, we shall learn that deeds are better than words, that the greater the sacrifices they require, the greater the poof they give of real love. Furthermore, every undertaking must receive its baptism of blood in order to be fruitful.

“Annus Domini, The Year of the Lord”

“This feast coincides with the beginning of the civil year; the first drops of Jesus’s Blood seal and consecrate each new year, making it really the ‘annus Domini,’ the year of Our Lord, which it actually is, since time belongs to God. Our life too is God’s; it has been redeemed and sanctified by the Blood of Christ.
“Let us, then begin the year by circumcising our hearts for as St. Ambrose says, ‘He who has been circumcised of every vice will be judged worthy of the Lord’s attention…See how all the events which followed one another in the Old Testament prefigure what was to happen later, for the circumcision also represents purification from sins.’” (Roman Breviary) Fr. Gabriel, Divine Intimacy, p. 106-7

Mary’s Divine Maternity

Dom Gueranger reminds us that this day is not only devoted to the Circumcision but also to Mary, the Mother of God: “There is another object that shares the love and devotion of the Faithful on this great Solemnity. This object is Mary, the Mother of God. The Church celebrates today the august prerogative of this divine Maternity which was conferred on a mere creature, and made her the co-operatrix with Jesus in the great work of man’s salvation….
“Let us not be surprised therefore, at the enthusiasm and profound respect wherewith the Church extols the blessed Virgin and her prerogatives. Let us on the contrary be convinced that all the praise the Church can give her, and all the devotion she can ever bear towards her, are far below what is due to her as Mother of the Incarnate God. No mortal will ever be able to describe, or even comprehend, how great a glory accrues to her from this sublime dignity. For, as the glory of Mary comes from her being the Mother of God, one would have first to comprehend God himself, in order to measure the greatness of her dignity. It is to God that Mary gave our human nature; it is to God whom she has her Child; it to God who gloried in rendering himself, inasmuch as he is Man, subject to her: hence the value of such a dignity, possessed by a mere creature can only be appreciated in proportion to our knowledge of the sovereign perfection of the great God, who thus deigns to make himself dependent upon that favoured creature. Let us therefore bow in deepest adoration before the Majesty of our God; let us therefore acknowledge that we cannot respect as it deserves the extraordinary dignity of her whom he chose for his Mother.” Gueranger p. 371-3 From her exalted position as Mother of God, we can trust that Our Blessed Mother will gain for us all the graces which we will need in in the beginning of the New Year of 2014.
“… we should live soberly and justly and godly in this world…” Titus, 2:11.
Dom Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol. 2, comments on the need to live good lives in today’s Epistle to Titus (2:11-15): “These counsels of our great Apostle, who warns the Faithful of the obligation they are under of making a good use of the present life, are most appropriate to this first day of January, which is now the beginning of the new Civil Year. Let us therefore, renounce all worldly desire; let us live soberly, justly and piously, and permit nothing to distract us from the expectation of that blessedness, which is our hope. The great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who shows himself in these days of his mercy in order to instruct us, will come to us in a second coming in order to give us our reward. The beginning of a New Year tells us plainly enough that this last day is fast approaching; let us cleanse ourselves from all iniquity, and become a people acceptable to our Redeemer, a people doing good works.” Gueranger, p. 383

“After eight days were accomplished that the Child should be circumcised , his name was called Jesus…” Lk. 2: 21
In today’s Gospel (Luke 2:21), Dom Gueranger reminds us of the sacrifice of Jesus’ Precious Blood on the Cross. “The Child is circumcised: he is now not only a member of the human race; he is made today a member of God’s chosen People. He subjects himself to this painful ceremony, to this symbol of one devoted to the Divine service, in order that he may fulfil all justice. He receives, at the same time, his Name: the Name is Jesus, and it means a Saviour. A Saviour! Then he is to save us? Yes; and he is to save us by his Blood. Such is the divine appointment, and he has bowed down his will to it. The Incarnate Word is upon the earth in order to offer a Sacrifice, and the Sacrifice is begun today. This first shedding of the Blood of the Man-God was sufficient to the fullness and perfection of a Sacrifice; but he is come to win the heart of the sinner, and that heart is so hard that all the streams of that Precious Blood, which flow from the Cross on Calvary will scarcely make it yield. The drops that were shed today would have been enough to satisfy the justice of the Eternal Father, but not to cure man’s miseries, and the Babe’s Heart would not be satisfied to leave us uncured. He came for man’s sake, and his love for man will go to what looks like excess—he will carry out the whole meaning of his dear name—he will be our ‘Jesus,’ our Saviour.” Gueranger, p. 384-5

“A New Year, A New Life”
Fr. Gabriel also reminds us of the importance of this day: It is a new beginning, in a new year and we must embrace it with strong resolutions of our will. “A new year, a new life! A new life indeed!—for if we circumcise in ourselves the ‘old man’ with his vices and passions, the ‘Christian’ can grow in us: we can become new creatures, purified by the Blood of Christ, vivified and nourished by the His grace, so that it may no longer be we who live, but Christ who lives in us. The new year which begins today will acquire value only if lived in this light. Only by this daily circumcision of the heart will grace triumph in us, thus making the Christ-life an ever-increasing reality in our souls.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 106

God’s Will is our peace for the New Year

Fr. Gabriel reminds us how carefully God prepared the events of our life for our peace and sanctification: “Jesus’ humble submission to His Father’s will, manifested by His obedience to the law, is another lesson to be learned from today’s Feast. It is an invitation to us to be docile to God’s will, whatever it may be. None of us knows what awaits us in this New Year, but God knows. His will has already prepared our path; every detail of our life is already determined in His mind. Let us be ready to accept, or rather to embrace with courage and readiness everything that God wishes or permits, certain that in his Holy will we shall find our peace and our sanctification.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 107


Christmas Novena: Christmas Novena of Masses from Christmas Day 25th December 2013 to 2 January 2014. This novena will be for all of the benefactors, friends and relatives of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate. Thank you for all of your kind donations of alms and providence to us here in Lanherne.


Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (MIM) 4 January 2014
On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our monthly formation program for those who interested in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary. (see flyer on door)
This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of all souls through the maternal mediation of the Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” (Article 2: Statute)
It is most important at this time in our world to come together and learn about Our Lady and her messages especially Fatima. Pope John Paul II: On November 9, 1976 said in the USA as Karol Cardinal Wojtyla: “We are now standing in face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that the wide circles of American society or the wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the Anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-gospel.”
We hope that all of you will consider joining the MIM and work for your own sanctification and the sanctification of so many souls who are in danger of being lost for all eternity in hell as Our Lady said at Fatima.


The First Saturday: 4 January 2014
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays!

Solemnity of the Epiphany,
5 January 2014
In all the dioceses of England and Wales: the External Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.





Christmas Day, 25 December 2013


Christmas Day, 25 December 2013

The Nativity of the Lord


“Glory to God in the Highest and peace on earth among men of good will.” Lk. 2:14

Fr. Gabriel in his book of meditations, Divine Intimacy, gives us a wonderful meditation on the “Christmas Day—The Saviour has appeared.” “God is charity: He has loved us with an everlasting love! ‘I think God must have said to Himself: Man does not love Me because he does not see Me; I will show Myself to him and thus make him love Me. God’s love for man was very great, and had been great from all eternity, but this love had not yet become visible ... Then, it really appeared; the Son of God let Himself be seen as a tiny Babe in a stable, lying on a little straw.’ (St. Alphonsus) This is the mystery of the Nativity! This is St. Paul’s exultant cry: ‘The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men... The goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared.’ Titus 2:11 (Epistle 1st and 2nd Masses: Tit. 2: 11-15). These are the blessed tidings ‘of great joy’ brought by the Angel to the shepherds; ‘This day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord!’ Lk. 2:11 (Gospel 1st Mass: Lk. 2:1-14) The texts is today’s liturgy, following each other in tones of increasing exultation, sing the praises of the sweet Child Jesus, the Word made Man, living and breathing among us: ‘Whom have you seen, O Shepherds? We saw the new-born Child and choirs of angels loudly praising the Lord.’ (Roman Breviary). ‘Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth exult in the presence of the Lord! (Roman Missal). Our God is here in the midst of us, He has become one of us. ‘A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us... His name is Admirable, God, Prince of peace, Father of the world to come!... Rejoice, O daughter of Sion, sing, O daughter of Jerusalem... Rejoice, ye inhabitants of the earth! Come, ye nations, adore the Lord! (Roman Breviary). Come ! Come, adore, listen, and rejoice! Jesus, the Word of the Father, speaks to us a wonderful word: God loves You!’”

... the brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance.’ Heb. 1:1-3



“The three Christmas Masses place before us a majestic picture: the touching descriptions of the birth of Jesus as a man alternates with the sublime one of the eternal birth of the Word in the bosom of the Father. However, this threefold birth is but one single manifestation of God who is Charity. No one on earth could know God’s love but the Word, who is in the bosom of the Father, knows it and can reveal it to us. The Word was made flesh and has shown to us the love of God. Through the Word, God’s incomprehensible, invisible charity is made manifest and tangible in the sweet little Babe, who from the manger holds out His arms to us. Today’s Preface solemnly declares it: ‘O eternal God, because of the mystery of the Word made flesh, the light of Thy glory hath shone anew upon the eyes of our mind: that while we acknowledge Him to be God visible, He May draw us to the love of things invisible.’ Yes, this ‘Child, wrapped in swadddling clothes and laid in a manger’ (cf. Lk. 2:12) is our God, who, for us, has made Himself visible: our God, who shows us in the most concrete way His infinite charity. One cannot contemplate little Jesus without being captivated and enraptured by the infinite love which has given Him to us. The Infant Jesus reveals to us God’s love, He manifests it in the clearest, most touching way. St. Paul says in the Epistle of Third Mass (Heb. 1:1-12)|: ‘God, in these days hath spoken to us by His Son... the brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance.’ Heb. 1:1-3 Jesus, the Incarnate Word, in His silence as a helpless Child, speaks to us and reveals to us the substance of God: His Charity.”

O Fire of Love!

St. Catherine of Siena: “O all-powerful and eternal Trinity! O sweet, ineffable charity! Who would not be inflamed by such love? What heart could keep itself from being consumed by You?
“O abyss of charity! You have so closely bound Yourself to Your creatures that it seems that You cannot live without them! Nevertheless You are our God! You have no need of us. Our good adds nothing to your greatness, for You are immutable. Our misfortune cannot harm You, O God, sovereign, eternal Goodness! Then what urges You to such mercy? Love—for You have no obligation toward us and no need of us. Then, O infinite God, who brings You to me, a little creature? No one but Yourself, O Fire of Love! Love alone has always urged You, and love still urges You!
“O sovereign sweetness, You have deigned to unite Yourself to our bitterness; You, brilliance, with our darkness; You, wisdom, with our stupidity; You, life, with death; You, and love still urges You!” (St. Catherine of Siena)

Today is the dawn of a new redemption

St. Bonaventure: “O Sweet Incarnate Word, O most amiable Infant Jesus, behold me at last at Your feet; let me contemplate You; permit me to delight in Your beauty, Your goodness, Your immense charity! In this little Child who smiles, and holds out His baby arms to me, I find Your infinite love, living, breathing – for this Babe is You, O my God! How can I ever thank You for Your exceeding love? How can I ever make You a return of love?
“You, who are so great and rich, have made Yourself little and poor for us! You chose to be born far from home, in a stable, to be wrapped in swaddling clothes, to be nourished at Your Virgin Mother’s breast, to be laid in a manger between an ox and an ass. Today is the dawn of a new redemption, of the old restoration, of eternal happiness; today, the heavens have distilled honey throughout the whole world! Then O my soul, kiss this divine manger, press your lips to the Infant’s feet and embrace them. Meditate on the shepherd’s watching their flocks, contemplate the angelic hosts, prepare to join in the heavenly melody, singing with your lips and with your heart: ‘Glory to God in the Highest and peace on earth among men of good will.’” Lk. 2: 14

Christmas of Another Year
The Twelve Days of Christmas was written to help young Catholics remember the tenets of their faith through symbols. Below are the hidden meanings.
1. The Partridge in the Pear Tree - the one and only Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ
2. Two Turtle Doves - the Old and New Testaments

3. Three French Hens - the Theological Virtues, Faith, Hope and Love
4. Four Calling Birds – the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
5. Five Golden Rings - the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament
6. Six Geese a-Laying - the six days of creation.
7. Seven Swans a-Swimming - the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Right Judgment, Knowledge, Courage, Reverence, Wonder & Awe

8. Eight Maids a-Milking - the eight beatitudes.
9. Nine Ladies Dancing - the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self Control.
10. Ten Lords a-Leaping - the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven Pipers Piping - the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve Drummers Drumming - the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed
Christmas Schedule

Christmas Eve, Tuesday ,
24th December 2013:
10: 45 P. M. Matins
11: 15 P. M. Christmas Carols
12:00 A. M. Midnight Mass: Missa Cantata (EF)
(After Mass there will be refreshments and good cheer in the friary and repository. All are invited to share the great joy of the Birthday of Jesus Christ.)

Christmas Day, Wednesday,
25th December 2013
10:00 A. M. Missa Cantata (EF)

New Year’s Eve, Tuesday,
31 December 2013:

7:30 A. M. Holy Mass (Extraordinary Form). After Mass, there will be adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (all day) in reparation for our sins and the sins of the world.
11:15 PM Matins and Benediction
12:00 A. M. Te Deum (No Mass at Midnight)
(Refreshments in the friary after the Te Deum; all are invited to share the Peace of Christ for the New Year of 2012)

Octave Day of the Nativity,
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
10:00 A. M. Missa Cantata (EF)

Christmas Novena: Christmas Novena of Masses from Christmas Day 25th December 2013 to 2 January 2014 This novena will be for all of the benefactors, friends and relatives of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate. Thank you for all of your kind donations of alms and providence for us here in Lanherne.