Posted in NOTES to Followers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Au Revoir – see you soon

My dear Friends and Followers

I will be away for the next 10-14 days.

I expect to be back in the saddle around 3 April or possibly a bit sooner than that.

I will be praying for you all, that the next two weeks of your Lenten journey will be abundantly blessed.

“May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
and give you peace.”

St Francis

ST FRANCIS PRAYER - MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU

Posted in NOVENAS, Uncategorized

Novena to St Joseph – Day Nine – Patron of a Happy Death

Novena to St Joseph

Day Nine
PATRON OF A HAPPY DEATH

ST JOSEPH 20 MARCH 2017 (NOT 19 MARCH 2017) 3RD SUNDAY OF LENT

Saint Joseph, how fitting it was that at the hour of your death Jesus should stand at your bedside with Mary, the sweetness and hope of all mankind.   You gave your entire life to the service of Jesus and Mary; at death you enjoyed the consolation of dying in Their loving arms.   You accepted death in the spirit of loving submission to the Will of God and this acceptance crowned your hidden life of virtue.   Yours was a merciful judgment, for your foster-Son, for whom you had cared so lovingly, was your Judge and Mary was your advocate.   The verdict of the Judge was a word of encouragement to wait for His coming to Limbo, where He would shower you with the choicest fruits of the Redemption and an embrace of grateful affection before you breathed forth your soul into eternity.

You looked into eternity and to your everlasting reward with confidence.   If our Saviour blessed the shepherds, the Magi, Simeon, John the Baptist and others because they greeted His presence with devoted hearts for a brief passing hour, how much more did He bless you who have sanctified yourself for so many years in His company and that of His Mother?   If Jesus regards every corporal and spiritual work of mercy, performed in behalf of our fellow men out of love for Him, as done to Himself, and promises heaven as a reward, what must have been the extent of His gratitude to you who in the truest sense of the word have received Him, given Him shelter, clothed, nourished and consoled Him at the sacrifice of your strength and rest and even your life, with a love which surpassed the love of all fathers.

God really and personally made Himself your debtor.   Our Divine Saviour paid that debt of gratitude by granting you many graces in your lifetime, especially the grace of growing in love, which is the best and most perfect of all gifts.   Thus at the end of your life your heart became filled with love, the fervour and longing of which your frail body could not resist. Your soul followed the triumphant impulse of your love and winged its flight from earth to bear the prophets and patriarchs in Limbo the glad tidings of the advent of the Redeemer.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Help me to spend each day in preparation for death.   May I, too, accept death in the spirit of resignation to God’s Holy Will and die, as you did, in the arms of Jesus, strengthened by Holy Viaticum, and in the arms of Mary, with her rosary in my hand and her name on my lips!

DAY 9 NOVENA ST JOSEPH
*NOVENA PRAYER

*NOVENA PRAYER   *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.  You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.   You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.   Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.   I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect resignation to the divine Will.   Be my guide, my father and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Saturday 18 March

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Saturday 18 March
St Cyril of Jerusalem,  (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

The symbolic meaning of the sacrament of baptism as sharing in Christ’s passion according to Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop of Jerusalem in the middle of the fourth century and one of the most important sources we have for how the church celebrated the sacraments during that era.  In his Jerusalem Catechesis from which this excerpt comes, St. Cyril instructs new Christians in the days immediately before and after their initiation into the life of the Church at the Easter Vigil.

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes.   Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”   You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water and three times you rose again.   This symbolized the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night.   At night a man cannot see but in the day he walks in the light.   So when you were immersed in the water it was like night for you and you could not see but when you rose again it was like coming into broad daylight.   In the same instant you died and were born again; the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

SAT 18 MARCH LENTEN REFLECTION-ST CYRIL ON BAPTISM

 

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here.   He spoke of a time to give birth and a time to die.   For you, however, it was the reverse: a time to die and a time to be born, although in fact both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of!    It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again.   We only did these things symbolically but we have been saved in actual fact.   It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again and all this has been attributed to us.   We share in His sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality.   What boundless love for men!   Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails; he suffered the pain.   I experience no pain, no anguish, yet by the share that I have in his sufferings he freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption.   Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins.   We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.   This is why Paul exclaims: Do you not know that when we were baptised into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in his death?    By baptism we went with him into the tomb.

These words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem on the symbolic meaning of the sacrament of baptism, a symbol of Christ’s passion, are read in the Roman Catholic liturgy’s Office of Readings on the Thursday in the Octave of Easter (Cat. 21 Mystagogica 3, 1-3 PG 33. 1087-1091) with the accompanying biblical reading of I Peter 3:1-17.

 

 

 

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Joseph – Day Eight – Friend in Suffering

Novena to St Joseph

Day Eight
FRIEND IN SUFFERING

Saint Joseph, your share of suffering was very great because of your close union with the Divine Saviour.   All the mysteries of His life were more or less mysteries of suffering. Poverty pressed upon you and the cross of labour followed you everywhere.   Nor were you spared domestic crosses, owing to misunderstandings in regard to the holiest and most cherished of all beings, Jesus and Mary, who were all to you.   Keen must have been the suffering caused by the uncertainty regarding Mary’s virginity; by the bestowal of the name of Jesus, which pointed to future misfortune.   Deeply painful must have been the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the disappearance of Jesus at the Paschal feast. To these sufferings were surely added interior sorrow at the sight of the sins of your own people.

You bore all this suffering in a truly Christ-like manner and in this you are our example. No sound of complaint or impatience escaped you — you were, indeed, the silent saint! You submitted to all in the spirit of faith, humility, confidence, and love.   You cheerfully bore all in union with and for the Savior and His Mother, knowing well that true love is a crucified love.   But God never forsook you in your trials.   The trials, too, disappeared and were changed at last into consolation and joy.

It seems that God had purposely intended your life to be filled with suffering as well as consolation to keep before my eyes the truth that my life on earth is but a succession of joys and sorrows, and that I must gratefully accept whatever God sends me and during the time of consolation prepare for suffering.   Teach me to bear my cross in the spirit of faith, of confidence and of gratitude toward God.   In a happy eternity, I shall thank God fervently for the sufferings which He deigned to send me during my pilgrimage on earth, and which after your example I endured with patience and heartfelt love for Jesus and Mary.

You were truly the martyr of the hidden life.   This was God’s Will, for the holier a person is, the more he is tried for the love and glory of God.   If suffering is the flowering of God’s grace in a soul and the triumph of the soul’s love for God, being the greatest of saints after Mary, you suffered more than any of the martyrs.

Because you have experienced the sufferings of this valley of tears, you are most kind and sympathetic toward those in need.   Down through the ages souls have turned to you in distress and have always found you a faithful friend in suffering.   You have graciously heard their prayers in their needs even though it demanded a miracle.   Having been so intimately united with Jesus and Mary in life, your intercession with Them is most powerful.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to suffer for Jesus and Mary.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to bear my suffering patiently for love of Jesus and Mary. Grant that I may unite the sufferings, works and disappointments of life with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass and share like you in Mary’s spirit of sacrifice.

DAY 8 NOVENA ST JOSEPH

*NOVENA PRAYER   *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.  You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.   You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.   Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.   I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect resignation to the divine Will.   Be my guide, my father and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 18 March

Thought for the Day – 18 March

In times of great turmoil and controversy, it is difficult sometimes to know what is true and what is right and sometimes we have to grope our way along.   We have to follow the truth and give it our full loyalty, at whatever cost.   Sometimes that will mean that we are a majority of one.   That is what truth demands of us!   Those who imagine that the lives of saints are simple and placid, untouched by the vulgar breath of controversy, are rudely shocked by history. Yet, it should be no surprise that saints, indeed all Christians, will experience the same difficulties as their Master. The definition of truth is an endless, complex pursuit, and good men and women have suffered the pain of both controversy and error. Intellectual, emotional and political roadblocks may slow up people like Cyril for a time. But their lives taken as a whole are monuments to honesty and courage.

During this Lenten season, we reflect upon our beliefs and as Easter approaches, we renew our baptismal vows, using the words that Saint Cyril used.
Is our faith strong enough to endure accusation and exile?
How can we commit ourselves more fully to our Lord, our Church and our Creed?

St Cyril of Jerusalem Pray for us!

ST CYRIL of JERUSALEM - MARCH 18

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 18 March

Quote/s of the Day – 18 March

“Approaching do not come with thy palms stretched flat nor with fingers separated.  But making thy left hand a seat for thy right and hollowing thy palm, receive the Body of Christ, responding Amen.    And having with care hallowed thine eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, take it, vigilant lest thou drop any of it.   For shouldst thou lose any of it, it is as though thou wast deprived of a member of thy own body.”   “Then after Communion of the Body of Christ, approach the Chalice of His Blood, not extending thy hands but bending low, and with adoration and reverence saying Amen, sanctify thyself by receiving also the Blood of Christ.   And while thy lips are yet wet, touch them with thy hands and sanctify thy eyes and thy forehead and thy other senses.”

“We are to make the sign of the cross when we eat and drink, sit, go to bed, get up, talk, walk, in short, in every action.”

“If thou should be in foreign cities, do not simply ask where is the church – but where is the Catholic Church, for this is the proper name of this holy Mother of all.”

St Cyril of Jersualem (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

HOW TO RECEIVE HOLY COMM - ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEMWE ARE TO MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS- ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 18 March

One Minute Reflection – 18 March

You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency and loathe to punish……….Jon 4:2

REFLECTION – “How great is God’s love for men!   Some good men have been found pleasing to God because of years of work.   What they achieved by working for many hours at a task pleasing to God is freely given to you by Jesus in one short hour.   For if you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved and taken up to paradise by Him, just as He brought the thief there.   Do not doubt that this is possible.   After all, He saved the thief on the holy hill of Golgotha because of one hour’s faith; will He not save you too since you have believed? “………… St Cyril of Jersualem (315-386) Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Merciful Lord, come to my aid quickly in time of despair!   Let me rely on the infinite merits of Your suffering Son, Who died for me.  St Cyril pray for us all that we may always remain true to the Cross of Christ and our Holy Mother Church, amen.

ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM-AFTER ALL, HE SAVED THE THIEFST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM PRAY FOR US

 

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 18 March

Our Morning Offering – 18 March

The Elder Brother’s Prayer

Teach me, my Lord,
to be sweet and gentle in all the events of life,
in disappointments,
in the thoughtlessness of those I trusted,
in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.
Let me put myself aside,
to think of the happiness of others,
to hide my little pains and heartaches,
so that I may be the only one to suffer from them.
Teach me to profit by the suffering
that comes across my path.
Let me so use it that it may make me
patient, not irritable.
That it may make me broad in my forgiveness,
not narrow, haughty and overbearing.
May no one be less good
for having come within my influence.
No one less pure, less true, less kind,
less noble for having been a fellow traveler
in our journey toward Eternal Life.
As I go my rounds from one distraction to another,
let me whisper from time to time,
a word of love to Thee.
May my life be lived in the supernatural,
full of power for good,
and strong in its purpose of sanctity.
Amen

PRODIGAL ELDER BROTHER'S PRAYER

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem

Saint of the Day – 18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem (c 313-386 aged 75) Bishop, Confessor and Father & Doctor of the Church, Theologian, Writer, Preacher, Catechist.

CYRIL

Little is known of his life before he became a bishop.  According to Butler, Cyril was born at or near the city of Jerusalem, and was apparently well-read in both the Church fathers and the pagan philosophers. Cyril was ordained a deacon by Bishop St. Macarius of Jerusalem in about 335 and a priest some eight years later by Bishop St. Maximus. About the end of 350 he succeeded St. Maximus in the See of Jerusalem.    It is not until his exile, historically recorded, that the event of his life are made clear.   During a great depression, Cyril was accused of selling church property to feed the poor and thus exiled.   Theologians and historians agree that his exile had less to do with service to the poor,and more to do with differences in doctrine, failure to conform to the Arian teachings,and continued preaching of the Nicene doctrine.   The Nicene Creed, which we still recite today, is believed to have had its origins in the teachings of Saint Cyril – as per his writings:

“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten by the Father true God before all ages, God of God, Life of Life, Light of Light, by Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was made man. He was crucified and buried. He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and sat at the right hand of the Father. And He cometh in glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And in one Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, Who spake by the prophets; and in one baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and in one holy Catholic Church, and in the resurrection of the body, and in life everlasting.”

Saint Cyril is known for his catechetical writings, including twenty-three homilies he delivered to those preparing for baptism during Lent and then mystagogical reflections for the week after Easter.   In these writings, Cyril clearly outlines the liturgy of the Mass used at that time, including elements we continue celebrating today.   Saint Cyril states a fairly strong doctrine of the Eucharist both in symbolic and realistic terms, addressing transubstantiation of elements and proclaiming the bread and wine received to be the actual body and blood of Christ.   He affirms the true authority of the one Catholic Church, and provides instructions to the newly welcomed regarding how to receive the Holy Eucharist.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem lived in a time of great strife and conflict within the Church, a time of heresy, faction and political influence which questioned the Divinity of Jesus Christ (known as Arianism).  Saint Cyril, a man of peaceful and conciliatory temperament, opposed this movement, aligning himself with those true to Christ and teaching Nicene doctrine.   For this, he suffered exile multiple times, due to the power and political connections of the Arians at that time.  He finally returned to find Jerusalem torn with heresy, schism and strife, and wracked with crime. Even Saint Gregory of Nyssa, who was sent to help, left in despair.

They both went to the Council of Constantinople, where the amended form of the Nicene Creed was promulgated in 381.   Cyril accepted the word consubstantial–that is, Christ is of the same substance or nature as the Father.   Some said it was an act of repentance but the bishops of the Council praised him as a champion of orthodoxy against the Arians.

Following the eventual acceptance of the Nicene Doctrine, Cyril served the Church with jurisdiction over all of Jerusalem for the last five years of his life.   Ten years after Cyril’s death, the abbess, Lady Etheria, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and wrote that she found a peaceful Christian community.   This was the result of the efforts of Bishop Cyril, who suffered to heal the wounds that Arianism had inflicted on the Church.

Johann Lossaust cyril jerusalem 2

st augustine and st cyril
St Cyril and St Augustine

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 18 March

St Cyril of Jerusalem (Optional Memorial)

Bl Aimée-Adèle le Bouteiller
St Alexander of Jerusalem
St Anselm of Lucca the Younger
St Braulio of Saragossa
Bl Celestine of the Mother of God
Bl Christian O’Conarchy
St Edward the Martyr
St Egbert of Ripon
St Eucarpius of Nicomedia
St Felix of Gerona
St Finan of Aberdeen
St Frigidian of Lucca
Bl John Thules
St Leobard of Tours
St Narcissus of Gerona
Bl Roger Wrenno
St Salvator of Horta
St Trophimus of Nicomedia

Martyrs of Nicomedia – Commemorates the Christians who were martyred anonymously, either singly and in small groups, by local pagans in the area of Nicomedia prior to the year 300 and who may have been over-looked in the waves of Diocletian persecutions that resulted in the deaths of thousands.

Posted in LENT, SAINT of the DAY

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Friday 17 March

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Friday 17 March

LENTEN REFLECTION FRIDAY 17 MARCH

On the Memorial of St Patrick, there can be few better reflections than the complete Prayer/Hymn of the Breastplate.   St. Patrick came to Ireland and showed all of them the way to the truth of God.   He preached the Good News of God to them and called them to repent their past sins and wickedness.   St. Patrick taught them the truth about God, including what is now famous as his symbol of the Holy Trinity, the three-leaf clover.   He taught them how God is a perfect and loving union of three Divine Persons, of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as inseparable as the three-leaf clover’s parts from each other.

And God Who is perfect in Love, and Who is indeed Love, wants to share that love with all of us His people.  That is exactly why He has given us His commandments, His laws and ways and Jesus His Son to be our salvation from the darkness, by bringing us into the light of His new world and life filled with love and grace, no longer with greed, evil, wickedness, ego and all other human ambitions and vileness.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate (also known as The Deer Cry-see the reason below)

St. Patrick of Ireland, 387-460 AD

(translation by Cecil Frances Alexander)

This Celtic hymn, which dates from the late seventh or early eighth century, is ascribed to St. Patrick. It reflects many of the themes found in Patrick’s thought. It is believed that Patrick wrote this hymn as a breastplate of faith for the protection of body and soul against all forms of evil – devils, vice and the evil which humans perpetrate against one another. Legend has it that the High King of Tara, Loeguire, on Holy Saturday 433 AD, resolved to ambush and kill Patrick and his monks to prevent them from spreading the Christian faith in his kingdom. As Patrick and his followers approached singing this hymn, the king and his men saw only a herd of wild deer and let them pass by. This hymn is both a prayer and statement of faith to be recited for protection, arming oneself for spiritual battle, leading us all to reflect upon the power of God in our lives, the strength of His protection and the way we are go on towards our heavenly home.

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
his baptism in the Jordan River;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.
[Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility,

I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart’s idolatry,
against the wizard’s evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning
the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till thy returning.]

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three,
of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation:
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

st-patricks-day-prayer

ST PATRICK PRAY FOR US 2

 

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Joseph – Day Seven – 17 March

Novena to St Joseph – Day Seven – 17 March

Day Seven
PATRON OF WORKERS

Saint Joseph, you devoted your time at Nazareth to the work of a carpenter.   It was the Will of God that you and your foster-Son should spend your days together in manual labor. What a beautiful example you set for the working classes!

It was especially for the poor, who compose the greater part of mankind, that Jesus came upon earth, for in the synagogue of Nazareth, He read the words of Isaiah and referred them to Himself: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor…” (Luke 4:18).   It was God’s Will that you should be occupied with work common to poor people, that in this way Jesus Himself might ennoble it by inheriting it from you, His foster-father and by freely embracing it.   Thus our Lord teaches us that for the humbler class of workmen, He has in store His richest graces, provided they live content in the place God’s Providence has assigned them and remain poor in spirit for He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).

The kind of work to which you devoted your time in the workshop of Nazareth offered you many occasions of practicing humility.   You were privileged to see each day the example of humility which Jesus practiced — a virtue most pleasing to Him.   He chose for His earthly surroundings not the courts of princes nor the halls of the learned but a little workshop of Nazareth.   Here you shared for many years the humble and hidden toiling of the God-Man. What a touching example for the worker of today!

While your hands were occupied with manual work, your mind was turned to God in prayer.   From the Divine Master, who worked along with you, you learned to work in the presence of God in the spirit of prayer, for as He worked He adored His Father and recommended the welfare of the world to Him, Jesus also instructed you in the wonderful truths of grace and virtue, for you were in close contact with Him who said of Himself, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.”

As you were working at your trade, you were reminded of the greatness and majesty of God, who, as a most wise Architect, formed this vast universe with wonderful skill and limitless power.

The light of divine faith that filled your mind, did not grow dim when you saw Jesus working as a carpenter.   You firmly believed that the saintly Youth working beside you was truly God’s own Son.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to work side by side with Jesus in the carpenter shop of Nazareth.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to respect the dignity of labour and ever to be content with the position in life, however lowly, in which it may please Divine Providence to place me.   Teach me to work for God and with God in the spirit of humility and prayer, as you did, so that I may offer my toil in union with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass as a reparation for my sins and gain rich merit for heaven.

DAY SEVEN - PATRON OF WORKERS

*NOVENA PRAYER   *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.  You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.   You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.   Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.   I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect resignation to the divine Will.   Be my guide, my father and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 March

Thought for the Day – 17 March

The amazing influence of one man!   How do you teach a classroom that’s as big as a whole country?    How do you teach a whole country about God?   St. Patrick’s classroom was the whole country of Ireland and his lesson was the good news of Jesus Christ.  ow in the world did he do it?    Well, it was only possible because he depended totally on God.   But letting God give him strength and direction didn’t always come naturally to St. Patrick.   That was a lesson the Lord had to teach him.  And he didn’t get to learn it from understanding, gentle teachers in a comfortable classroom.   He learned it from a band of thieving, roving pirates.   But when he learned he learned it perfectly and he became the most wondrously hardworking, untiring apostle for Christ.   When one considers the state of Ireland when he began his mission work, the vast extent of his labours and how the seeds he planted which continued to grow and flourish – making Ireland one of the greatest Catholic countries in history, which itself proceeded to evangelise the whole world, one can only admire the kind of man Patrick must have been.   We have no way of knowing the fruits of our own lives or how many people our lives may touch.   And this is power of holiness – it endures forever!

St Patrick please pray for us.

ST5 Patrick PRAY FOR USST PATRICK - MARCH 17

 

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

Quote/s of the Day – 17 March

Quote/s of the Day – 17 March

“I pray that those who believe in God and who read this confession, which I, Patrick, an unlearned sinner have written in Ireland, may recogniSe that whatever I achieved or taught that was pleasing to God, was done so by the gift of God.   This is my confession before I die.”

“The Lord had to humble me first through my captivity to get his attention.   Then in His mercy He came and raised me up and lifted me to the very top of a wall.   And from there I can only shout out in gratitude to the Lord for His great favours which He showed me without measure”

“Whether you be great or small, learned or simple, listen and consider how God summoned me, a fool and a wretch in this world, to serve Him with reverence, faith and humility.   It was the love of Christ that inspired me to give my life in service to this people.”

“I came to the Irish people to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.   If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for Christ’s name.  H I want to spend myself for that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favour.   It is among that people that I want to wait for the promise made by Him, who assuredly never tells a lie. HHe makes this promise in the Gospel: “They shall come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  H This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world.”

“I do not seek honour from others because the Lord Himself is enough for me.   Although I am most unworthy, the Lord has exalted me beyond measure.   I prefer poverty and failure rather than a life of wealth and pleasure.   After all, Christ the Lord Himself was poor for our sakes.   I fear nothing, not even betrayal, slavery, or murder because of the promises of heaven.    I am in the Lord’s hands, as Scripture says: “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.”

“Whatever befalls me, be it good or bad, I will accept it equally and give thanks always to God.    I will put my trust in him and dare to undertake so holy and so wonderful a work, so that I might imitate those who have gone before as heralds of the Gospel to all peoples, even to the ends of the earth.   This commission is being fulfilled even today, as we witness the Gospel being proclaimed in far away places such as this land.”

– from the Confession of Saint Patrick

THE LORD HAD TO HUMBLE ME FIRST-ST PATRICK

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 March

One Minute Reflection – 17 March

As long as you neglected to do it to one of these least ones, you neglected to do it to me…………..Matthew 25:45

REFLECTION – “May Christ shield me today, Christ with me. Christ before me, Christ behind me………
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.”………….St Patrick

PRAYER – Lord Jesus the Christ, be with me this day and let me see You in everyone I meet. Grant that I may always serve You in others and so arrive at Your heavenly Kingdom where I will serve You and love You and see You, for ever and ever. St Patrick, pray for us all that we may live as you did and reach our heavenly home, amen.

MATTHEW 25-45

christ in the mouth - st patrick pray for us

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 17 March

Our Morning Offering – 17 March

Excerpt from St Patrick’s Breastplate (also known as The Deer Cry)

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
[Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility, …….
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three,
of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation:
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

EXCERPT FROM ST P'S BREASTPLATE

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 March – St Patrick

Saint of the Day – 17 March – St Patrick (c 386 – 461) also know as Maewyn Succat
and Patricius, Patrizio – Priest, Bishop, Missionary, “Apostle of Ireland” – Patron against fear of snakes or ophidiophobia; ophidiophobics, against snake bites, against snakes, of barbers, hairdressers, barrel makers; coopers, blacksmiths, cattle, engineers, excluded people, miners, Ireland, Nigeria (1961), Loiza, Puerto Rico, 29 dioceses

 

Although we think of Ireland when we talk about St. Patrick, he wasn’t actually born in Ireland.   He was born probably in Scotland.   His father was a deacon and his grandfather had been a priest.   But Patrick didn’t think too much about God.   We don’t really know why this was.   He probably thought he didn’t need God.   He probably thought other things could bring him as much happiness as God could.   God just wasn’t on Patrick’s mind as he roamed the fields of his homeland, tending animals and learning how to be a man.

Patrick

But his happy, carefree life ended one day when crowds of strangers appeared on the horizon.   They looked dangerous and frightening and they were.   They were pirates and thieves, on their way to capture slaves to take back to Ireland.   Patrick was one of those hundreds of captives.   He was snatched from his family and his home.   He was taken from all of his future hopes and dreams.   Patrick was thrown on a ship, bound in chains and taken over the sea to Ireland.   He was sixteen years old.   For six years, Patrick was a slave in Ireland.   He was put to work watching sheep and cattle.   Patrick had just enough food to live on and when he wasn’t working, he tried to rest in tiny huts that were damp and cold.

But something strange and wonderful happened in Ireland.   All alone, frightened for his life and among people who worshiped trees and stones, Patrick opened his heart to God.

That happens to a lot of us, doesn’t it?   When everything’s going great, we don’t have any time for God.   But then something awful and painful happens and there we are, back at God’s feet.

During those years, Patrick started to pray.   He thought about God all the time and it gave him peace of mind.   He knew that no matter how much he was suffering, God loved him.

Eventually, Patrick escaped from slavery and traveled to France, which in those days was called Gaul.   We’re not sure exactly how much time Patrick spent in Gaul.   But it was enough time for him to draw closer to God as he prayed and studied in a monastery.   One night, deep in a dreamy vision, Patrick heard voices.   He heard many voices, joined together, pleading with him.   “Come back,” the voices cried, “come back and walk once more among us.”   Patrick knew it was the Irish people calling him.

Strengthened by the courage that only God can give, Patrick went back.   He returned to the very people who had stolen him from his family, worked him mercilessly as a slave and knew little, if anything, about the love of the true God.

Before he left Gaul, Patrick was made the bishop of Ireland.   He then traveled across the sea to teach Ireland about Jesus Christ.   It wasn’t easy. The people of Ireland practiced pagan religions.   They worshiped nature,and they practiced magic.   They feared the spirits they believed lived in the woods.   The Irish people believed they could bring evil spirits down on those they wanted to harm.

Patrick had a big job ahead of him. He had to show a country full of students that there was no point in worshiping nature.   Trees can’t forgive your sins or teach you how to love.   The sun, as powerful as it is, could not have created the world.   Patrick explained things using simple examples that people could easily understand.   For example, he used the three-leaf clover to show people how there could be three persons in one God.   Patrick preached to huge crowds and small villages.   He preached to kings and princes.   He preached in the open air and he preached in huts.   Patrick never stopped preaching and he never stopped teaching.   He couldn’t stop—the whole country of Ireland was his classroom and he couldn’t afford to miss even one student!

Soon, Patrick had help.   Men became priests and monks.   Women became nuns. Wherever they lived, those monks and nuns settled in monasteries and set up schools. More students were being reached every day.

But, of course, the greatest help Patrick had was from God.

When he was young, Patrick had forgotten God but that would never happen again.   He knew that God supported him in every step he took.   God gave Patrick the courage to speak, even when Patrick was in danger of being hurt by pagan priests who didn’t want to lose their power over the people.

Patrick’s most famous prayer (excerpt below) shows us how close he was to God. It’s called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.”   A breastplate is the piece of armour that protects a soldier’s heart from harm.   We have this prayer and his own story in one of the few certainly authentic writings of Patrick – his Confessio, which is above all an act of homage to God for having called Patrick, unworthy sinner, to the apostolate.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left.

ST PATRICK'S CONFESSIO

Patrick banishes all snakes from Ireland
The absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that they had all been banished by St. Patrick chasing them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill.    This hagiographic theme draws on the Biblical account of the staff of the prophet Moses.   In Exodus 7:8–7:13, Moses and Aaron use their staffs in their struggle with Pharaoh’s sorcerers, the staffs of each side morphing into snakes. Aaron’s snake-staff prevails by consuming the other snakes.

 Patrick’s walking stick grows into a living tree
Some Irish legends involve the Oilliphéist, the Caoránach and the Copóg Phádraig.   During his evangelising journey back to Ireland from his parent’s home at Birdoswald, he is understood to have carried with him an ash wood walking stick or staff.   He thrust this stick into the ground wherever he was evangelising and at the place now known as Aspatria (ash of Patrick) the message of the dogma took so long to get through to the people there that the stick had taken root by the time he was ready to move on.

St Patrick died between 461 and 464 at Saul, County Down, Ireland of natural causes

 

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 17 March

St Patrick (Optional Memorial)

St Agricola of Châlon-sur-Saône
St Alexander
St Ambrose of Alexandria
Bl Conrad of Bavaria
St Diemut of Saint Gall
St Gabriel Lalemant
St Gertrude of Nivelles
Bl Gertrude of Trzebnica
St Jan Sarkander
Bl Josep Mestre Escoda
St Joseph of Arimathea
Bl Juan Nepomuceno Zegrí y Moreno
St Llinio of Llandinam
Bl Maria Bárbara Maix
St Paul of Cyprus
St Stephen of Palestrina
St Theodore of Rome
St Thomasello
St Withburga of Dereham

Martyrs of Alexandria – Also known as Martyrs of Serapis: An unknown number of Christians who were martyred together by a mob of worshippers of the Graeco-Egyptian sun god Serapis.. Died c.392 in Alexandria, Egypt

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, The WORD

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week of Lent – Thursday 16 MARCH

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week of Lent – Thursday 16 MARCH (Today’s Gospel Luke 16:19-31)

The Holy Father’s reflection on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31)

HOLY FATHER-LENT2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death.   This season urgently calls us to conversion.   Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us.   Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive (cf. Homily, 8 January 2016).

Lent is a favourable season for deepening our spiritual life through the means of sanctification offered us by the Church: fasting, prayer and almsgiving.   At the basis of everything is the word of God, which during this season we are invited to hear and ponder more deeply.   I would now like to consider the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31). Let us find inspiration in this meaningful story, for it provides a key to understanding what we need to do in order to attain true happiness and eternal life. It exhorts us to sincere conversion.

1. The other person is a gift

The parable begins by presenting its two main characters.   The poor man is described in greater detail: he is wretched and lacks the strength even to stand.   Lying before the door of the rich man, he fed on the crumbs falling from his table.   His body is full of sores and dogs come to lick his wounds (cf. vv. 20-21).   The picture is one of great misery; it portrays a man disgraced and pitiful.

The scene is even more dramatic if we consider that the poor man is called Lazarus: a name full of promise, which literally means God helps.   This character is not anonymous. His features are clearly delineated and he appears as an individual with his own story. While practically invisible to the rich man, we see and know him as someone familiar.   He becomes a face and as such, a gift, a priceless treasure, a human being whom God loves and cares for, despite his concrete condition as an outcast (cf. Homily, 8 January 2016).

Lazarus teaches us that other persons are a gift.   A right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognizing their value.   Even the poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance but a summons to conversion and to change.   The parable first invites us to open the doors of our heart to others because each person is a gift, whether it be our neighbour or an anonymous pauper.   Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognizing in them the face of Christ.   Each of us meets people like this every day.   Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love.   The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable.   But in order to do this, we have to take seriously what the Gospel tells us about the rich man.

2. Sin blinds us
The parable is unsparing in its description of the contradictions associated with the rich man (cf. v. 19).  Unlike poor Lazarus, he does not have a name; he is simply called “a rich man”.  His opulence was seen in his extravagant and expensive robes.   Purple cloth was even more precious than silver and gold, and was thus reserved to divinities (cf. Jer 10:9) and kings (cf. Jg 8:26), while fine linen gave one an almost sacred character.   The man was clearly ostentatious about his wealth and in the habit of displaying it daily: “He feasted sumptuously every day” (v. 19).   In him we can catch a dramatic glimpse of the corruption of sin, which progresses in three successive stages: love of money, vanity and pride (cf. Homily, 20 September 2013).

The Apostle Paul tells us that “the love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Tim 6:10). It is the main cause of corruption and a source of envy, strife and suspicion.   Money can come to dominate us, even to the point of becoming a tyrannical idol (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 55). Instead of being an instrument at our service for doing good and showing solidarity towards others, money can chain us and the entire world to a selfish logic that leaves no room for love and hinders peace.

The parable then shows that the rich man’s greed makes him vain.   His personality finds expression in appearances, in showing others what he can do.   But his appearance masks an interior emptiness.   His life is a prisoner to outward appearances, to the most superficial and fleeting aspects of existence (cf. ibid., 62).

The lowest rung of this moral degradation is pride.   The rich man dresses like a king and acts like a god, forgetting that he is merely mortal.   For those corrupted by love of riches, nothing exists beyond their own ego.   Those around them do not come into their line of sight.   The result of attachment to money is a sort of blindness.   The rich man does not see the poor man who is starving, hurting, lying at his door.

Looking at this character, we can understand why the Gospel so bluntly condemns the love of money: “No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money” (Mt 6:24).

3. The Word is a gift
The Gospel of the rich man and Lazarus helps us to make a good preparation for the approach of Easter.   The liturgy of Ash Wednesday invites us to an experience quite similar to that of the rich man.   When the priest imposes the ashes on our heads, he repeats the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.   As it turned out, the rich man and the poor man both died and the greater part of the parable takes place in the afterlife.   The two characters suddenly discover that “we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it” (1 Tim 6:7).

We too see what happens in the afterlife.   There the rich man speaks at length with Abraham, whom he calls “father” (Lk 16:24.27), as a sign that he belongs to God’s people. This detail makes his life appear all the more contradictory, for until this moment there had been no mention of his relation to God.   In fact, there was no place for God in his life. His only god was himself.

The rich man recognizes Lazarus only amid the torments of the afterlife. He wants the poor man to alleviate his suffering with a drop of water.   What he asks of Lazarus is similar to what he could have done but never did. Abraham tells him: “During your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus had his fill of bad.   Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony” (v. 25).   In the afterlife, a kind of fairness is restored and life’s evils are balanced by good.

The parable goes on to offer a message for all Christians.   The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers, who are still alive.   But Abraham answers: “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them” (v. 29). Countering the rich man’s objections, he adds: “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead” (v. 31).

The rich man’s real problem thus comes to the fore.   At the root of all his ills was the failure to heed God’s word.   As a result, he no longer loved God and grew to despise his neighbour.   The word of God is alive and powerful, capable of converting hearts and leading them back to God.   When we close our heart to the gift of God’s word, we end up closing our heart to the gift of our brothers and sisters.

Dear friends, Lent is the favourable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbour.   The Lord, who overcame the deceptions of the Tempter during the forty days in the desert, shows us the path we must take.   May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need.   I encourage all the faithful to express this spiritual renewal also by sharing in the Lenten Campaigns promoted by many Church organizations in different parts of the world and thus to favour the culture of encounter in our one human family.   Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor.   Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter.

 

 

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Joseph – Day Six – Patron of Families

Day Six
PATRON OF FAMILIES

Saint Joseph, I venerate you as the gentle head of the Holy Family.   The Holy Family was the scene of your life’s work in its origin, in its guidance, in its protection, in your labour for Jesus and Mary and even in your death in their arms.   You lived, moved and acted in the loving company of Jesus and Mary.   The inspired writer describes your life at Nazareth in only a few words: “And (Jesus) went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them” (Luke, 2:51). Yet these words tell of your high vocation here on earth and the abundance of graces which filled your soul during those years spent in Nazareth.

Your family life at Nazareth was all radiant with the light of divine charity.   There was an intimate union of heart and mind among the members of your Holy Family.   There could not have been a closer bond than that uniting you to Jesus, your foster-Son and to Mary, your most loving wife.   Jesus chose to fulfill toward you, His foster-father, all the duties of a faithful son, showing you every mark of honour and affection due to a parent.   And Mary showed you all the signs of respect and love of a devoted wife.   You responded to this love and veneration from Jesus and Mary with feelings of deepest love and respect.   You had for Jesus a true fatherly love, enkindled and kept aglow in your heart by the Holy Spirit. And you could not cease to admire the workings of grace in Mary’s soul and this admiration caused the holy love which you had consecrated to her on the day of your wedding grow stronger every day.

God has made you a heavenly patron of family life because you sanctified yourself as head of the Holy Family and thus by your beautiful example sanctified family life.   How peacefully and happily the Holy Family rested under the care of your fatherly rule, even in the midst of trials.   You were the protector, counselor and consolation of the Holy Family in every need.   And just as you were the model of piety, so you gave us by your zeal, your earnestness and devout trust in God’s providence and especially by your love, the example of labour according to the Will of God.   You cherished all the experiences common to family life and the sacred memories of the life, sufferings and joys in the company of Jesus and Mary.   Therefore the family is dear to you as the work of God and it is of the highest importance in your eyes to promote the honour of God and the well-being of man.   In your loving fatherliness and unfailing intercession, you are the patron and intercessor of families and you deserve a place in every home.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of living in the Holy Family and being its head. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain God’s blessing upon my own family.   Make our home the kingdom of Jesus and Mary — a kingdom of peace, of joy and love.

I also pray for all Christian families.   Your help is needed in our day when God’s enemy has directed his attack against the family in order to desecrate and destroy it.   In the face of these evils, as patron of families, be pleased to help and as of old, you arose to save the Child and His Mother, so today arise to protect the sanctity of the home.   Make our homes sanctuaries of prayer, of love, of patient sacrifice and of work.   May they be modeled after your own at Nazareth.   Remain with us with Jesus and Mary, so that by your help we may obey the commandments of God and of the Church; receive the holy sacraments of God and of the Church; live a life of prayer and foster religious instruction in our homes.   Grant that we may be reunited in God’s Kingdom and eternally live in the company of the Holy Family in heaven.

DAY SIX-NOVENASTJOSEPH

*NOVENA PRAYER  *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.  You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.   You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.   Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.   I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect resignation to the divine Will.   Be my guide, my father and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 16 March

Thought for the Day – 16 March

Potential martyrdom was a central component of the Jesuit missionary identity. Missionaries going to Canada knew they were at risk from harsh conditions, as well as from confronting alien cultures. They expected to die in the name of God; they believed the missionary life and its risks was a chance to save converts and thus be saved themselves.   The Jesuits Christophe Regnault and Paul Ragueneau provided the two accounts of the deaths of Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalement.   According to Regnault, the Jesuits learned of the tortures and deaths from Huron refugee witnesses, who had escaped from Saint-Ignace.   Regnault went to see the bodies to verify the accounts and his superior Rageuneau’s account was based on his report.   The main accounts of Brébeuf’s death come from the Jesuit Relations.   Jesuit accounts of his torture emphasize his stoic nature and acceptance, claiming that he suffered silently without complaining. Throughout the torture, Brébeuf was reported to have been more concerned for the fate of the other Jesuits and of the captive Native converts than for himself.   As part of the ritual, the Iroquois drank his blood, as they wanted to absorb Brébeuf’s courage in enduring the pain.   The Iroquois mocked baptism by pouring boiling water over his head.

Is it even a tiny iota of our faith to know and be prepared to die such a death for Christ?   When we suffer and are persecuted, in the smallest way compared to this, compared to the Cross of Christ, do we grow in faith and courage and pray for more?

St Jean de Brebeuf please pray that we may all grow in faith and courage!

STJEANDEBREBEUF-PRAY FOR US 2

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 March

One Minute Reflection – 16 March

All who believe………………have eternal life in him……….John 3:15

REFLECTION – “Faith is in no way a burden or a yoke imposed on humban beings.  Far from it! Faith is an immense benefit because it commences life in us even on this earth.”………….St Thomas Aquinas

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me the gift of faith.  Help me to remain firm in my faith throughout my life and to strive, no matter to what suffering You call me, to increase in faith and love for You, day by day.  St Jean de Brebeuf, you have reached the glory of heaven and by your life and suffering for your faith, you taught us the true beauty of love for Christ the Lord, please pray for us all, amen.

FAITHIS IN NO WAY-ST THOMAS AQUINASST JEAN DE BREFEUF PRAY FOR US

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 16 March

Our Morning Offering – 16 March

PRAYER of St JEAN de BREBEUF SJ (1593-149)

“Jesus, my Lord and Saviour,
what can I give You in return
for all the favours you have first conferred on me?
I will take from Your hand the cup of Your sufferings
and call on Your name.
I vow before Your eternal Father and the Holy Spirit,
before Your most holy Mother
and her most chaste spouse,
before the angels, apostles and martyrs,
before my blessed fathers –
Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Xavier–
in truth, I vow to You, Jesus my Saviour,
that as far as I have the strength,
I will never fail to accept the grace of martyrdom,
if someday You in Your infinite mercy should offer it to me,
Your most unworthy servant…
My beloved Jesus,
here and now I offer my body and blood and life.
May I die only for You, if You will grant me this grace,
since You willingly died for me.
Let me so live that You may grant me
the gift of such a happy death.
In this way, my God and Saviour,
I will take from Your hand the cup of Your sufferings
and call on Your name: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”

PRAYER OF ST JEAN DE BREBEUF

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 March – St Jean de Brebeuf SJ

Saint of the Day – 16 March – St Jean de Brebeuf SJ (1593-1949 aged 55) Priest, Martyr, Missionary “Apostle to the Hurons” – Patron of Canada.   Additional Memorial – 19 October as one of the Martyrs of North America.

St Jean was a French Jesuit missionary who traveled to New France (Canada) in 1625.  There he worked primarily with the Huron for the rest of his life, except for a few years in France from 1629 to 1633.   He learned their language and culture, writing extensively about each to aid other missionaries.   In 1649, Brébeuf and another missionary were captured when an Iroquois raid took over a Huron village (referred to in French as St. Louis). T ogether with Huron captives, the missionaries were ritually tortured and killed, being martyred on March 16, 1649.   Brébeuf was beatified in 1925 and among eight Jesuit missionaries canonised in 1930.

brebeuf

In 1649, Brébeuf and another missionary were captured when an Iroquois raid took over a Huron village (referred to in French as St. Louis). Together with Huron captives, the missionaries were ritually tortured and killed, being martyred on March 16, 1649. Brébeuf was beatified in 1925 and among eight Jesuit missionaries canonized as saints in the Roman Catholic Church in 1930.

St. John de Brébeuf was large and handsome, his presence commanded attention.   A brilliant student, gifted linguist and competent manager, he could make things happen.  He was willing to endure anything if only he could thank Christ by giving his life for the salvation of others.

Even though weakened by tuberculosis, John joined the Canada mission in 1625.   For a quarter of a century with only a four-year interlude, he evangelised the Hurons in Quebec. He lived with them, embraced their customs, mastered their language,and wrote a catechism for them.

At first he had little success because the odds were stacked against him.   The Indians viewed him as member of a conquering race.   They also blamed him for rampant diseases and everything else that went wrong.   But John persevered with the good humour you see in this letter inviting other Jesuits to join the mission:

“When you reach the Hurons, you will find us with hearts full of love.   We shall receive you in a hut, so mean that I have scarcely found in France one wretched enough to compare it with.   Fatigued as you will be, we shall be able to give you nothing but a poor mat for a bed.   Besides you will arrive when fleas will keep you awake most of the night.

Instead of being a great theologian as you may be in France, you must reckon on being here a humble scholar and then good God! with what masters—exposed to the laughter of all the savages.   The Huron language will be your St. Thomas and your Aristotle.   Glib as you are, you must decide for a long time to be mute among the barbarians.

Without exaggeration, you will pass the six months of winter in almost continual discomforts—excessive cold, smoke, the annoyance of the savages who surround our fireplace from morning until evening looking for food.

For the rest, thus far we have had only roses.   As we have Christians in almost every village, we must expect to make rounds throughout the year.   Add to all this that our lives depend upon a single thread.   Your cabin might burn down at any moment or a malcontent may cleave your head open because you cannot make it rain.

Here we have nothing that incites toward good.   We are among peoples who are astonished when you speak to them of God.”

In 1649, the Iroquois attacked the Huron village where John was living.  They brutally martyred him, Gabriel Lalement, his companion and their converts . Their suffering is indescribable: bludgeoned, burned with red-hot hatchets, baptised with boiling water, mutilated, flesh stripped off and eaten, hearts plucked out and devoured.   But John de Brébeuf had his prayer answered.   He traded his life for the seven thousand souls he had converted and baptised.

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 16 March

St Abban of Kill-Abban
St Abraham Kidunaia
St Agapitus of Ravenna
St Aninus of Syria
St Benedicta of Assisi
St Dionysius of Aquileia
St Dentlin of Hainault
Bl Eriberto of Namur
St Eusebia of Hamage
St Felix of Aquileia
St Finian Lobhar
Bl Ferdinand Valdes
St Gregory Makar
St Heribert of Cologne
St Hilary of Aquileia
St Jean de Brebeuf
Bl Joan Torrents Figueras
Bl John Amias
Bl John Sordi of Vicenza
St Julian of Anazarbus
St Largus of Aquileia
St Malcoldia of Asti
St Megingaud of Wurzburg
St Papa of Seleucia
Bl Robert Dalby
St Tatian of Aquileia
Bl Torello of Poppi

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 15 March

Thought for the Day – 15 March

In different times we hold up different models as examples of holiness. In our present time, we find holiness in people such as St John Paul, St Mother Teresa and St Padre Pio. They were people so grounded in prayer and their relationship with Christ that action must flow from them.   They were each able to stand up strong about the rights and dignity of all people despite the opposition all around them.

St. Louise de Marillac, co-founder of the Daughters of Charity, died in 1660.   Yet, she wasn’t canonized until 1934.   I believe it is because she is a saint for this present time. She was a great leader and changed the face of social work forever– all this because Christ was the centre of her life.

Through this season of Lent and into Easter, have we grown in holiness?   Have we focused our lives more on Christ?   Do we reach out more to those in need as Christ did?   Especially those considered outcasts of mainstream society?   If not, the blessing is we still have today, tomorrow and the next days to work on it!”   (From the 2010 article What Does Holiness Look Like?, by Sr. Denise LaRock, DC)

St Louise de Marillac Pray for us!

ST L DE M PRAY FOR US 3

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week of Lent – Wednesday 15 MARCH

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week of Lent – Wednesday 15 MARCH

LENTEN REFLECTION WED 2ND WEEK - 15 MARCH

Christ Calls Us Deeper Still.
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman

Called on from grace to grace
All through our life Christ is calling us.  He called us first in Baptism; but afterwards also; whether we obey His voice or not, He graciously calls us still.   If we fall from our Baptism, He calls us to repent;  if we are striving to fulfil our calling, He calls us on from grace to grace and from holiness to holiness, while life is given us.
Abraham was called from his home, Peter from his nets, Matthew from his office, Elisha from his farm, Nathanael from his retreat;  we are all in course of calling, on and on, from one thing to another, having no resting-place but mounting towards our eternal rest and obeying one command only to have another put upon us.   He calls us again and again, in order to justify us again and again—and again and again and more and more, to sanctify and glorify us.

Christ calls us right now
It were well if we understood this; but we are slow to master the great truth, that Christ is, as it were, walking among us and by His hand, or eye, or voice, bidding us follow Him.   We do not understand that His call is a thing which takes place now.   We think it took place in the Apostles’ days;  but we do not believe in it, we do not look out for it in our own case. We have not eyes to see the Lord; far different from the beloved Apostle, who knew Christ even when the rest of the disciples knew Him not.   When He stood on the shore after His resurrection and bade them cast the net into the sea, “that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord” (John 21:7).

Do you accept Christ’s’ call?
There is nothing miraculous or extraordinary in His dealings with us.  He works through our natural faculties and circumstances of life.   Still what happens to us in providence is in all essential respects what His voice was to those whom He addressed when on earth: whether He commands by a visible presence, or by a voice, or by our consciences, it matters not, so that we feel it to be a command.   If it is a command, it may be obeyed or disobeyed; it may be accepted as Samuel or St. Paul accepted it, or put aside after the manner of the young man who had great possessions.

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Joseph – Day Five – 15 March

Novena to St Joseph

Day Five
PATRON OF THE CHURCH

Saint Joseph, God has appointed you patron of the Catholic Church because you were the head of the Holy Family, the starting-point of the Church.   You were the father, protector, guide and support of the Holy Family.   For that reason you belong in a particular way to the Church, which was the purpose of the Holy Family’s existence.

I believe that the Church is the family of God on earth.   Its government is represented in priestly authority which consists above all in its power over the true Body of Christ, really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, thus continuing Christ’s life in the Church. From this power, too, comes authority over the Mystical Body of Christ, the members of the Church — the power to teach and govern souls, to reconcile them with God, to bless them and to pray for them.

You have a special relationship to the priesthood because you possessed a wonderful power over our Saviour Himself.   Your life and office were of a priestly function and are especially connected with the Blessed Sacrament.   To some extent you were the means of bringing the Redeemer to us — as it is the priest’s function to bring Him to us in the Mass — for you reared Jesus, supported, nourished, protected and sheltered Him.   You were prefigured by the patriarch Joseph, who kept supplies of wheat for his people.   But how much greater than he were you!   Joseph of old gave the Egyptians mere bread for their bodies.   You nourished, and with the most tender care, preserved for the Church, Him who is the Bread of Heaven and who gives eternal life in Holy Communion.

God has appointed you patron of the Church because the glorious title of patriarch also falls by special right to you.   The patriarchs were the heads of families of the Chosen People and theirs was the honour to prepare for the Savior’s incarnation.   You belonged to this line of patriarchs, for you were one of the last descendants of the family of David and one of the nearest forebears of Christ according to the flesh.   As husband of Mary, the Mother of God, and as the foster-father of the Saviour, you were directly connected with Christ.   Your vocation was especially concerned with the Person of Jesus; your entire activity centered about Him.   You are, therefore, the closing of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New, which took its rise with the Holy Family of Nazareth.   Because the New Testament surpasses the Old in every respect, you are the patriarch of patriarchs, the most venerable, exalted and amiable of all the patriarchs.

Through Mary, the Church received Christ and, therefore, the Church is indebted to her. But the Church owes her debt of gratitude and veneration to you also, for you were the chosen one who enabled Christ to enter into the world according to the laws of order and fitness.   It was by you that the patriarchs and the prophets and the faithful reaped the fruit of God’s promise.   Alone among them all, you saw with your own eyes and possessed the Redeemer promised to the rest of men.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the Patron of the Church.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to live always as a worthy member of this Church, so that through it I may save my soul.   Bless the priests, the religious and the laity of the Catholic Church, that they may ever grow in God’s love and faithfulness in His service.   Protect the Church from the evils of our day and from the persecution of her enemies, both within and without her.   Through your powerful intercession may the church successfully accomplish its mission in this world — the glory of God and the salvation of souls!

DAY 5 -NOVENASTJOSEPH

*NOVENA PRAYER    *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.  You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.   You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.   Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.   I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect resignation to the divine Will.   Be my guide, my father and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.