Daily Devotion for December 12, 2017
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
My sweet and lovely son are you
You are my love my darling new
Unworthy I, of you
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia
Your mild and gentle eyes proclaim
The loving heart with which you came
A tender, helpless tiny babe
With boundless gifts of grace
King of Kings, Most Holy One
God The Son, Eternal One
You are my God and helpless son
High Ruler Of Mankind
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia...
The Morning “Lorica” (Prayer) of Saint Patrick
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today through the strength of Heaven
the rays of the sun,
the radiance of the moon,
the splendor of fire,
the speed of lightening,
the swiftness of the wind,
the depth of the sea,
the stability of the earth
the firmness of rock.
I arise today through the power of God:
God’s might to comfort me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to lead me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s Heavenly Host to save me
from the snares of the devil,
from temptations to sin,
from all who wish me ill,
from near and afar,
alone and with others.
May Christ shield me today
against poison and fire,
against drowning and wounding,
so that I may fulfill my mission
and bear fruit in abundance.
Christ behind and before me,
Christ behind and above me,
Christ with me and in me,
Christ around and about me,
Christ on my right and on my left,
Christ when I lie down at night,
Christ when I rise in the morning,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Let me not forget my prayers as I go out into the world. Holy Spirit, be with me, and let me praise you and remember you in my every action and thought, for the entire day long. In Christ's name I ask this,
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Who is Saint Nicholas?
One who aspires to the grace of God must be pure, with a heart as innocent as a child's.
~ St. Nicholas (Nicholas of Myra)
The Historical St. Nick
Saint Nicholas of Myra was born in western Anatolia (Turkey), then the hotbed of Christianity, around 270 AD. He was persecuted and imprisoned, but rose to become the Bishop of Myra, where he died in December of 343 AD. He was said to have worked many miracles and became so popular that his remains were stolen from Myra in 1087 by Italian or Arab merchants and transported to Bari, Italy, where they can be seen today. (Recently, a pelvic bone from the Bari tomb was exhumed and shown, by carbon dating, to have originated in 300-400 AD. There are hints that DNA testing might be possible.) He is the patron saint of children.
One of the earliest legends that was attached to his name tells how St Nicholas heard of a man who could not afford the dowries for his three daughters, with the result that he intended - regretfully - to send them to the brothel to work. St Nicholas saves them from this fate by throwing three bags of gold through their window at night: it is this tale which is often identified as the root of St Nicholas's reputation as a gift-giver.
Santa Claus circa 1920.
Cults grew up around his legend in both the Catholic and Orthodox churches and he is well-known throughout continental Europe, from Russia to the Netherlands. In Germany and surrounding areas, a practice arose of giving secret gifts to children from St. Nicholas on his feast day, December 6.
The practice was so popular that it was adopted and, because of the date, associated with Christmas in much of Europe and North America. He was gradually transformed into "Santa Claus" (a Dutch colloquialism for St. Nicholas), starting around 1860. The current Santa was strongly influenced by Scandinavian immigrants, Clement Moore, and the Coca-Cola Company.
Isaiah 26:18-19 (ESV)
We were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind.
We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
Notes on the Scripture
ike Paul in Romans 8:22, Isaiah uses the image of pregnancy to describe our state as human beings. Here, Isaiah uses pregnancy to symbolize the pains we take, and the pain we suffer, in order to try to deliver ourselves from the destruction we slowly undergo in our bodies and lives while we are on earth. We try and try, but all we accomplish is to give birth to the wind; eventually our earthly accomplishments blow away, invisibly, leaving no sign behind.
But our lives are not in vain, because the earth is pregnant with our dust. The earth will give birth to the dead; a symbolic morning will come and the dew will be God’s light, which is to say, Christ Jesus. Remember the beginning of Chapter 1 of John: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” When we pass away from this life, it is as if the earth is pregnant with us; and we will be born into God’s bliss when the light of Christ shines upon the earth once more.