Hello everyone, good morning and I hope you are well today. I also hope that your week has gone well for you.  As we approach the weekend once more, may the Lord in His love bless you and your families as you spend time together. May He keep you safe and well as you rest and relax.

Welcome to our Spiritual Lift for Friday.  May you be inspired and encouraged as you read.

First Friday – Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Today, is the First Friday of the Month and we remember the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The love of God was shown so powerfully in the Life and Death of Our loving Lord, Jesus Christ and here are some traditional prayers in honour of His lovely gentle Sacred Heart, filled full of love and mercy for us.

You can find some wonderful prayers and devotions about this lovely celebration online.  Simply type in “First Friday -Sacred Heart Devotions” into your Internet browser for more information. 

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in You!  Amen. 

Tomorrow is the First Saturday of the month and is when we honour Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady, Mary in special ways, particularly praying the prayer most dear to her heart, the Holy Rosary.  Type in “First Saturday Devotions.” Into your Internet browser for more details about this.  

Today we remember Saint Francis Xavier. In the Catholic Cycle of Prayer Intentions, we also remember all those who are Migrants and Refugees. You can read more information about this special prayer Intention in the information from the Liturgy Office website (link below). Here is some information about Saint Francis Xavier from www.catholic.org.

St. Francis Xavier – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online

Daily Advent Calendar:

Every day we shall open our Advent Calendar which has a scripture which tells the story of the first Christmas, and we can reflect in each of the readings upon during this lovely Season of Hope, Light and expectation! 

Today our symbol and picture on our Advent Calendar for 3rd December is:

The Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary.

Our scripture verse today comes from St Luke’s Gospel. (Luke 1:26-33)

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” (Lk 1:26)   In this window on our Advent Calendar today, we give thanks that God chose Mary to be the Mother of our Saviour Jesus and we thank Mary our Blessed Lady and Spiritual Mother for her commitment to God’s plan of salvation.  She entrusted herself completely to the Lord and surrendered herself to His Holy Will by saying her ‘yes’ to God.  As we journey through Advent, into Christmas and beyond, may we too say our ‘yes’ to God and commit ourselves to His Will for our lives.  Our God brings only good and perfect things and He always wants the very best for us. Let us put all our trust in Him. 

Our Advent prayer during this month:

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!  

(Mar’anatha – Aramaic – the Language Jesus would have spoken – which means, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20 and c.f. 1 Corinthians 16:22d) 
Once again, our Scripture reading for this week reflects the Season of Advent we have just begun.  Our reading comes from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. (Is.11:1,2) It talks about the new shoot which will grow into a virtuous Branch for the Lord – Jesus Our Messiah.

“A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion comes from his roots: on him the Spirit of the Lord rests, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.”

Advent 2021:

We continue on our Advent journey.   We are encouraged to prepare our hearts for the Birth of Our Lord Jesus at Christmas and we look forward with joy and hopeful expectation in the days ahead.  May we grow closer to the Lord in this lovely Season and remember God’s love for each one of us as He gave us His Son, Jesus to be our Saviour. The special colours of the Season are purple/violet and rose pink. Here is some information from the Liturgy Office.

Cycle of Prayer- Liturgy Office Advent:

Liturgical Calendar | Season of Advent (liturgyoffice.org.uk)

Liturgical Calendar | Season of Advent – Liturgy Office

Advent has a twofold character: for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered; and likewise when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time.


Advent Jesse Tree:

A lovely tradition within the Church is to pray and reflect on the Family Tree of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour.  It is called a ‘Jesse Tree’ and with prayers, scripture readings and reflections, along with symbols relating to each day of the devotion these are hung on a tree throughout December and the Season of Advent. The ‘Jesse Tree’ links us up with the Genealogy – the Family line -of Jesus as recorded in St Matthew’s Gospel, all the way from Abraham to Jesus Himself. (Matthew 1:1-16) 

The ‘tree’ can be either a paper one, the main Christmas Tree in the family room or a special little tree, made from evergreens for this use.   

It is called a ‘Jesse Tree’, because Jesse was the father of King David, and Jesus is related to King David because He is of the Family Line and House of David through St Joseph.  This was part of the Lord’s plan for our redemption and salvation through Jesus.  St Joseph, foster-father and guardian of Jesus and Husband of Mary, Our Lady, was of the Family Line of David, which is why Jesus was born in Bethlehem because David’s Line originated here.  

Here is some information about this devotion and tradition in the link below.   May this help you reflect and pray with the Jesse Tree devotions. It is taken from Catholic Culture all about this beautiful Advent devotion.

Liturgical Year : Activities : Jesse Tree Symbols | Catholic Culture

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions – December. Let us join in prayer with Pope Francis during this joyful Advent Season. 

Pope’s Prayer Intention – December 2021 – Missio

Our MAC Prayer: 

Our Lady of the Magnificat, Mary the Mother of Jesus, pray for us.  Amen.

Our prayers for today: 

Today, I will be keeping a special prayer candle burning for you and will remember you and your prayer intentions before the Lord.

Let us ask…..

Our Lady of the Magnificat, pray for us.  Amen. 

Our Lady of Sorrows, Mother and Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us.  Amen. 

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.  Amen.

Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church, pray for us.  Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Patron of our Archdiocese, Health of the Sick and Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us. Amen.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Beauty of Carmel, pray for us.  Amen.

St Joseph, pray for us.  Amen. 

St Luke, Beloved Physician (Doctor) and companion of St Paul the Apostle, Patron of Doctors and Healthcare professionals, pray for us. Amen.

St Jude Thaddeus, Patron of impossible or difficult circumstances, pray for us.  Amen.

St Raphael, Archangel, God’s healing Angel, pray for us.  Amen.

St Catherine of Siena, Patron of Nurses, pray for us.  Amen.

St Camillus of Lellis, Patron of the Sick, pray for us. Amen.

St Sebastian, patron of the sick and plagues of disease, pray for us.  Amen. 

St John Henry Newman, pray for us.  Amen.

Blessed Dominic Barberi, pray for us.  Amen. 

St Francis Xavier, pray for us.  Amen.

Blessings to you all on this day.

Miss Downes



Categories: Catholic Life

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