- Wednesday, 09 December 2009 07:00
Lord God, through Saint Juan Diego You made known the love of Our Lady of Guadalupe toward Your people. Grant by his intercession that we who follow the counsel of Mary, our Mother, may strive continually to do Your will.
The Vatican biography on Saint Juan Diego and Pope John Paul’s 2002 canonization homily. Also, there is a part of the beatification homily here.
The Pope said in part at the canonization:
Happy Juan Diego, true and faithful man! We entrust to you our lay brothers and sisters so that, feeling the call to holiness, they may imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel. Bless families, strengthen spouses in their marriage, sustain the efforts of parents to give their children a Christian upbringing. Look with favor upon the pain of those who are suffering in body or in spirit, on those afflicted by poverty, loneliness, marginalization or ignorance. May all people, civic leaders and ordinary citizens, always act in accordance with the demands of justice and with respect for the dignity of each person, so that in this way peace may be reinforced.
Beloved Juan Diego, “the talking eagle”! Show us the way that leads to the “Dark Virgin” of Tepeyac, that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, for she is the loving, compassionate Mother who guides us to the true God. Amen.
- Monday, 07 December 2009 05:45
O Ambrose, wonderworker and champion of the Church, Godbearing hierarch: thou did work miracles by thy faith and love for God; therefore we the earthborn glorify thee and cry out: Glory to Him Who has glorified tee; glory to Him Who has crowed thee; glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all. (Troparion, tone 1)
The Liturgy’s prayer for Saint Ambrose may be found here.
A biography for Saint Ambrose is found here
Saint Ambrose on the Holy Spirit:
But lest perchance any one should speak against as it were
the littleness of the Spirit and from this should endeavour to establish a
difference in greatness, arguing that water seems to be but a small part of a
Fount, although examples taken from creatures seem by no means suitable for
application to the Godhead; yet lest they should judge anything injuriously
from this comparison taken from creatures, let them learn that not only is the Holy
Spirit called Water, but also a River, as we read: “From his belly shall flow
rivers of living water. But this He said of the Spirit, Whom they were
beginning to receive, who were about to believe in Him” (Jn 7:38-39).
the Holy Spirit is the River, and the abundant River, which according to the
Hebrews flowed from Jesus in the lands, as we have received it prophesied by
the mouth of Isaiah (Is 66:12). This is the great River which flows always and
never fails. And not only a river, but also one of copious stream and
overflowing greatness, as also David said: “The stream of the river makes glad
the city of God.
For neither is that city, the heavenly Jerusalem, watered by
the channel of any earthly river, but that Holy Spirit proceeding from the
Fount of Life, by a short draught of Whom we are satiated, seems to flow more
abundantly among those celestial Thrones, Dominions and Powers, Angels and
Archangels, rushing in the full course of the seven virtues of the Spirit. For
if a river rising above its banks overflows, how much more does the Spirit, rising
above every creature, when He touches the as it were low-lying fields of our
minds, make glad that heavenly nature of the creatures with the larger
fertility of His sanctification. (St. Ambrose, On the Holy Spirit, Book One, 176-178)
- Sunday, 06 December 2009 10:00
You have proved yourself to be a holy priest, O Nicholas; You served God in Myra and lived the Gospel of Christ. You offered your life for your people; You rescued the innocent from death, therefore God has glorified you as a trustworthy guide of things divine.
(St Nicholas Kontakion, Tone 3)
You were revealed to your flock as a measure of faith. You were an image of humility and a teacher of self-control. Because of your humble life, heaven was opened to you, because of your poverty, spiritual riches were granted to you. O holy bishop Nicholas, we cry out to you: Pray to Christ our Go that our souls may be saved.
The Liturgy’s prayer for Saint Nicholas may be found here
A brief bio on Saint Nicholas is here
- Friday, 04 December 2009 11:08
Saint John of Damascus spent most of his life in the monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem, under Muslim rule, indeed, protected by it. Born in Damascus c. 676, John received a classical and theological education, and followed his father in a government position under the Muslims. He resigned after a few years so that he could go to the monastery of Saint Sabas. Saint John is considered the last of the Greek Church Fathers (his writings)
Three points to remember about the Damascene:
1. he is known for his opposition to the iconoclasts, who opposed the veneration of images. Paradoxically, it was the Eastern Christian emperor Leo who forbade the practice, and it was because John lived in Muslim territory that his enemies could not silence him.
2. he is famous for his treatise, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, a summary of the Greek Fathers. It is said that this book is the Eastern equivalent of Aquinas’ Summa.
3. he is known as a poet, one of the two greatest in the Eastern Church (the other being Romanus the Melodist). His devotion to the Theotokos (the Blessed Virgin Mary) and his sermons on her feasts are well known.
- Monday, 30 November 2009 06:11
Their sound goes forth to all the earth. And their speech to the end of the world.
We humbly beseech Thy majesty, O Lord, that as blessed Andrew the Apostle was both a preacher and ruler of Thy Church, so he may unceasingly interceded for us with Thee.
Today we particularly remember the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Istanbul) on their patronal feast day as well as the Christians of Scotland and the Rus peoples. Read the Pope’s message
to Patriarch Bartholomew I.