Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON:The Second Week – Saturday 7 January 2017

Celebrating the
The Second Week
Saturday 7 January 2017

“Lord, open my lips,and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:

In this is love: not that we have loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. 1 John 4

O God, give your judgment to the king; your justice to the son of kings;
That he may govern your people with justice, your oppressed with right judgment, …
That he may defend the oppressed among the people, save the poor and crush the oppressor. Psalm 72

His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
They all ate and were satisfied. Mark 4

Jesus is full of compassion for us in His unconditional love for us.
Even when it seems impossible, He still shows us the way
and nourishes us with His love.

May we be grateful for His love for us
May we be like Him in our love for one another.

Closing Prayer:
Jesus, You became one of us on this earth.
What I want now is to be more like You:
more compassionate and patient,
more guided by Your Holy Spirit.

‘In this is love.’ It is impossible to believe
in the kind of love You have for me.
If only I believed it – how different my life would be!
It seems impossible that You could love me as You do
and yet You are the very centre of that impossible love.

Help me to be more grateful for all You have given me
so that my response might be one of generosity
to You and those You have placed in my life..

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.


Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 7 January

Quote of the Day – 7 January

Extract from a letter of St Raymond of Peñafort

“The preacher of God’s truth has told us that all who want to live righteously in Christ will suffer persecution. . . . the only exception to this general statement is, I think, the person who either neglects, or does not know how, to live temperately, justly and righteously in this world. May you never be numbered among those whose house is peaceful, quiet and free from care; those on whom the Lord’s chastisement does not descend; those who live out their days in prosperity and in the twinkling of an eye will go down to hell. Your purity of life, your devotion, deserve and call for a reward;  because you are acceptable and pleasing to God your purity of life must be made purer still, by frequent buffetings, until you attain perfect sincerity of heart.  If from time to time you feel the sword falling on you with double or treble force, this also should be seen as sheer joy and the mark of love. The two-edged sword consists in conflict without, fears within.  It falls with double or treble force within, when the cunning spirit troubles the depths of your heart with guile and enticements. . . .The sword falls with double and treble force externally when, without cause, persecution breaks out from within the church, where wounds are more serious, especially when inflicted by friends.  This is that enviable and blessed cross of Christ . . . the cross in which alone we must make our boast, as Paul, God’s chosen instrument, has told us.”

St Paul and St Raymond





Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 7 January

Thought for the Day – 7 January

Raymond was a lawyer, a canonist. Legalism can suck the life out of genuine religion if it becomes too great a preoccupation with the letter of the law to the neglect of the spirit and purpose of the law. The law can become an end in itself, so that the value the law was intended to promote is overlooked. But we must guard against going to the opposite extreme and seeing law as useless or something to be lightly regarded. Laws ideally state those things that are for the best interests of everyone and make sure the rights of all are safeguarded. From Raymond, we can learn a respect for law as a means of serving the common good.

St Raymond Pray for us!



One Minute Reflection – 7 January

One Minute Reflection – 7 January

…….while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of our faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God………..Heb 12:2

REFLECTION – “Look then on Jesus, the author and preserver of faith: in complete sinlessness He suffered, and at the hands of those who were His own, and was numbered among the wicked.  As you drink the cup of the Lord Jesus (how glorious it is!), give thanks to the Lord, the iver of all blessings.”………….St Raymond of Peñafort

PRAYER – O Lord, help me always to keep my eyes on You. Teach me too to endure and offer You all the sufferings and hardships of this earthly life, for Your greater Glory. St Raymond, your life is an example to us all of the practise of keeping our eyes on the Lord. Please pray for us, amen!


Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 7 January

Our Morning Offering – 7 January

O Christ, our Master and God,
King of the ages and Creator of all,
I thank You for all the good things
that You have given to me and for
the reception of Your most pure
and life-giving mysteries.
I pray You, therefore,
O good Lover of Humankind,
keep me under Your protection-
in the shadow of Your wings.
Grant that with a pure conscience,
until my last breath,
I may worthily partake of Your Holy Things,
for the forgiveness of sins
and for life everlasting.
For You are the Bread of Life,
the Fountain of Holiness
and the Bestower of Blessings
and to You we give glory
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever and ever,amen.
~~~ by St Basil the Great


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 January

Saint of the Day – 7 January – St Raymond of Peñafort O.P. (1175-1275 aged 100) Master of the Order of Preachers/Religious Priest/Teacher/Philosopher/Lawyer-both Canon and Civil/Confessor/Theologian/Writer/Archbishop/Evangelist/Missionary/Theologian/ Spiritual Director/Advisor/Mentor/Preacher – Patron of Canon and Civil Lawyers, Attorneys, Barristers, Spain, Librarians.

Raymond of Peñafort  was born in Vilafranca del Penedès, a small town near Barcelona, Catalonia, around 1175. Descended from a noble family with ties to the royal house of Aragon, he was educated in Barcelona and at the University of Bologna, where he received doctorates in both civil and canon law. From 1195 to 1210, he taught canon law. In 1210 he moved to Bologna where he remained until 1222, including three years occupying the Chair of canon law at the university. He came to know the newly founded Dominican Order there. Raymond was attracted to the Dominican Order by the preaching of Blessed Reginald, prior of the Dominicans of Bologna and received the habit at the age of 47 in the Dominican Convent of Barcelona to which he had returned from Italy in 1222.

He was instrumental in the founding of the Mercedarian friars in 1218. When approached by Peter Nolasco, Raymond encouraged and assisted him in obtaining the consent of King James I of Aragon for the foundation of the Order. The need to study oriental languages was affirmed by the General Chapter of the Dominican Order in Paris in 1236. Raymond established the first school of the Studia Linguarum in Tunis, where it was known as the Studium arabicum. The objective of the schools was to help the Dominicans liberate Christian captives in Islamic lands.

Raymond had written for confessors a book of cases, the Summa de casibus poenitentiae. More than simply a list of sins and suggested penances, it discussed pertinent doctrines and laws of the Church that pertained to the problem or case brought to the confessor and is widely considered an authoritative work on the subject.  In 1229 Raymond was appointed theologian and penitentiary to the Cardinal Archbishop of Sabina, John of Abbeville and was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Pope Gregory IX, who appointed him chaplain and grand penitentiary.   Knowing Raymond’s reputation in the juridical sciences, Gregory IX asked him to help in the rearranging and codifying of canon law. Canon laws, which were previously found scattered in many publications, were to be organized into one set of documents. In particular papal decretal letters had been changing the law over the course of the previous 100 years since the publication of the Decretum of Gratian. Being pleased with Raymond’s efforts, the pope announced the new publication in a Bull directed to the doctors and students of Paris and Bologna in September 1234, commanding that the work of Raymond alone should be considered authoritative and should alone be used in the schools.  His collection of canon law, known as the Decretals of Gregory IX, became a standard for almost 700 years.  Canon law was finally fully codified by 1917.


Most Famous Miracle

Raymond of Penyafort served as the confessor for King James I of Aragon, who was a loyal son of the Church but allowed his lustful desires to shackle him. While on the island of Majorca to initiate a campaign to help convert the Moors living there, the king brought his mistress with him. Raymond reproved the king and asked him repeatedly to dismiss his concubine. This the king refused to do.  Finally, the saint told the king that he could remain with him no longer and made plans to leave for Barcelona.  But the king forbade Raymond to leave the island and threatened punishment to any ship captain who dared to take him. Saint Raymond then said to his Dominican companion, “Soon you will see how the King of heaven will confound the wicked deeds of this earthly king and provide me with a ship!”  They then went down to the seashore where Raymond took off his cappa (the long black cloak the Dominicans wear over the white tunic and scapular) and spread one end of it on the water while rigging the other end to his walking staff. Having thus formed a miniature mast, Raymond bid the other Dominican to hop on, but his companion, lacking the saint’s faith, refused to do so. Then Raymond bid him farewell and with the sign of the cross he pushed away from the shore and miraculously sailed away on his cloak. Skirting around the very boats that had forbidden him passage, the saint was seen by scores of sailors who shouted in astonishment and urged him on. Raymond sailed the ~160 miles to Barcelona in the space of 6 hours, where his landing was witnessed by a crowd of amazed spectators. Touched by this miracle, King James I renounced his evil ways and thereafter led a good life.


Having reached his 60th year, Raymond retired to a reclusive life in Barcelona. Within the year, however, Raymond was appointed to the position of Archbishop of Tarragona, the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon, but declined.   Raymond returned to Barcelona in 1236. Not long able to remain in seclusion, however, he was elected the Master of the Order of Preachers by the General Chapter of 1238.  He immediately set out on foot to visit all the houses of friars and nuns of the Order.  Even in the midst of this, he was able to draft a new set of Constitutions of the Order, in which he included a resignation clause for the Master.  When it was adopted by the next General Chapter of 1240, he immediately took advantage of that option and resigned within two years.

Although not an inquisitor, as an advisor to James I of Aragon he was often consulted regarding questions of law regarding the practices of the Inquisition in the king’s domains. “…[T]he lawyer’s deep sense of justice and equity, combined with the worthy Dominican’s sense of compassion, allowed him to steer clear of the excesses that were found elsewhere in the formative years of the inquisitions into heresy.”  Raymond approved of conjugal visits for those imprisoned so that the spouse should not be exposed to the risk of possible adultery.

Rejoicing to see himself again free of office, he applied himself with fresh vigour to the Christian ministry, especially working for the conversion of the Moors. To this end he encouraged Thomas Aquinas to write his work  “Against the Gentiles”. He instituted the teaching of Arabic and Hebrew in several houses of the friars. He also founded priories in Murcia (then still ruled by Arabs) and in Tunis.   Additionally he went to help establish the Church in the recently conquered island of Mallorca.

He exercised great influence over King James of Aragon and succeeded in persuading him to order a public debate, concerning Judaism and Christianity, between Moshe ben Nahman, a rabbi in Girona, and Paulus Christiani, a baptized Jew of Montpellier who belonged to the Dominicans.  In this debate, which took place in the royal palace at Barcelona from 20–24 July 1263, in the presence of the king and of many of the higher clergy, Raymond took an important part.  He was at the head of the theologians present and in agreement with the king gave the rabbi perfect freedom of speech.  Raymond simply observed to Moses ben Nachman that he must not allow himself to blaspheme Christianity, to which Moses replied that he knew what the laws of propriety demanded. On the Jewish Sabbath following the close of the debate, the king, together with many preaching friars and other clergy, visited the synagogue.

Raymond died at the age of 100 in Barcelona in 1275 and was canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1601. He was buried in the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona.


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 7 January

St Raymond of Penyafort/St Raymond of Peñafort (Optional Memorial)

St Aldric of Le Mans
Bl Ambrose Fernandez
St Anastasius of Sens
St Brannock of Braunton
St Candida of Greece
St Canute Lavard
St Cedd
St Clerus of Antioch
St Crispin I of Pavia
St Cronan Beg
St Emilian of Saujon
St Felix of Heraclea
Bl Franciscus Bae Gwan-gyeom
St Januarius of Heraclea
St Julian of Cagliari
St Kentigerna
St Lucian of Antioch
Bl Marie-Thérèse Haze
St Pallada of Greece
St Polyeuctus of Melitene
St Reinhold of Cologne
St Spolicostus of Greece
St Theodore of Egypt
St Tillo of Solignac
St Valentine of Passau
St Virginia of Ste-Verge
Bl Wittikund of Westphalia