Posted in LENT

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week of Lent – Tuesday 14 MARCH

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week of Lent – Tuesday 14 MARCH

Why Forty Days – St Pope Gregory the Great – Doctor of the Church  (540-604)

He, the Author of all things, for forty days tasted no food.   Let us likewise, as far as we are able, afflict our flesh by abstinence during the season of Lent.   A fast of forty days is observed, since the perfection of the Decalogue is completed by the four books of the Holy Gospel;  ten multiplied by four being forty.

Or, again, because this mortal body is made up from four elements and because of its pleasures we are bound by the commandments of the Lord, made known in the Decalogue, it is therefore, fitting, that we who through the desires of the flesh despise the commands of God should chastise this same flesh four times ten times.

Or, as by the Law men had to offer up tithes of their possessions, so ought we strive to offer tithes of our days.   For from the first Sunday of Lent, until the joys of the Paschal feast, there are six weeks – which are two and forty days, from which, since the six days of Sunday are subtracted from the fast, there remains but thirty six days.   Since the year continues for three hundred and sixty five days, we do penance for thirty six days, as though offering to God a tenth of our year.



Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Joseph – Day Four – 14 March

Novena to St Joseph

Day Four

Saint Joseph, you lived for one purpose — to be the personal servant of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.   Your noble birth and ancestry, the graces and gifts, so generously poured out on you by God — all this was yours to serve our Lord better.   Every thought, word and action of yours was a homage to the love and glory of the Incarnate Word.   You fulfilled most faithfully the role of a good and faithful servant who cared for the House of God.

How perfect was your obedience!   Your position in the Holy Family obliged you to command but besides being the foster-father of Jesus, you were also His disciple.   For almost thirty years, you watched the God-Man display a simple and prompt obedience, and you grew to love and practice it very perfectly yourself.   Without exception you submitted to God, to the civil rulers and to the voice of your conscience.

When God sent an angel to tell you to care for Mary, you obeyed in spite of the mystery which surrounded her motherhood.   When you were told to flee into Egypt under painful conditions, you obeyed without the slightest word of complaint.   When God advised you in a dream to return to Nazareth, you obeyed.   In every situation your obedience was as simple as your faith, as humble as your heart, as prompt as your love.  It neglected nothing; it took in every command.

You had the virtue of perfect devotedness, which marks a good servant.   Every moment of your life was consecrated to the service of our Lord: sleep, rest, work, pain.   Faithful to your duties, you sacrificed everything unselfishly, even cheerfully.   You would have sacrificed even the happiness of being with Mary.   The rest and quiet of Nazareth was sacrificed at the call of duty.   Your entire life was one generous giving, even to the point of being ready to die in proof of your love for Jesus and Mary.   With true unselfish devotedness you worked without praise or reward.

But God wanted you to be in a certain sense a cooperator in the Redemption of the world. He confided to you the care of nourishing and defending the Divine Child.   He wanted you to be poor and to suffer because He destined you to be the foster-father of His Son, who came into the world to save men by His sufferings and death and you were to share in His suffering.   In all of these important tasks, the Heavenly Father always found you a faithful servant!

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being God’s faithful servant.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to be a faithful servant of God as you were.   Help me to share, as you did, the perfect obedience of Jesus, who came not to do His Will, but the Will of His Father; to trust in the Providence of God, knowing that if I do His Will, He will provide for all my needs of soul and body; to be calm in my trials and to leave it to our Lord to free me from them when it pleases Him to do so.   And help me to imitate your generosity, for there can be no greater reward here on earth than the joy and honour of being a faithful servant of God.


*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.

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 – 14 March

Thought for the Day – 14 March

St Mathilda had to be many things:  wife, mother, queen, grandmother, even regent of the kingdom.   She never had a false sense of her own importance and was simply good to everyone.   Her position enabled her to do a lot of good and she did not shirk from the effort.  She spent her days in penance and service to others, through her prayer, heartfelt repentance and penance being washed clean of her sins and reaching Christian perfection in sainthood.  This means that we too can achieve such perfection.   Our greatest opportunities for good lies in those we live with – let us open our eyes to the people around us – where are we needed, where are we called?

St Mathilda pray for us!


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

One Minute Reflection – 14 March

One Minute Reflection – 14 March

Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, while he who humbles himself shall be exalted……….Luke 18:14

REFLECTION – “Observe a surprising fact. God is on high. You exalt yourself and God flees from you. You humble yourself and He comes to you.
God looks upon the humble to exalt them but He regards the proud from afar to abase them.”…………….St Augustine

PRAYER – Almighty Father, whenever I seek to take pride in what I do, please remind me of the way things really are. The only good I have and am comes from You; all that is mine is my weakness. Teach me that it is only in humility that I can attain You. St Matilda, you learnt humility by the suffering you experienced at the hands of your own family, please pray for us all, amen.


Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 14 March

Our Morning Offering – 14 March

The Second Week of Lent

God in heaven and in my life,
guide me and protect me.
I so often believe I can save myself
and I always end in failure.
Lead me with Your love away from harm
and guide me on the right path.
May Your Holy Spirit inspire the Church
and make us an instrument of Your love,
your peace, your mercy.
Help us to imitate the humility
of Your Son and approach all
with humble care.
Thank You for Your Hand on me,
on the whole Church and
on Your beautiful creation, amen.



Saint of the Day – 14 March – St Matilda of Saxony

Saint of the Day – 14 March – St Matilda of Saxony  (c 894-968) – Queen, Apostle of Prayer and Almsgiving, Foundress  – Patronages – of death of children, disappointing children, falsely accused people, large families, people ridiculed for their piety, queens, second marriages, widows.  Medieval chroniclers like Liutprand of Cremona and Thietmar of Merseburg celebrated Matilda for her devotion to prayer and almsgiving.   Her first biographer depicted her leaving her husband’s side in the middle of the night and sneaking off to church to pray.   St. Matilda founded many religious institutions, including the canonry of Quedlinburg, which became a center of ecclesiastical and secular life in Germany under the rule of the Ottonian dynasty.   She also founded the convents of St. Wigbert in Quedlinburg, in Pöhlde, Enger, and Nordhausen, likely the source of at least one of her vitae.

Born in Saxony, Mathilda was the daughter of Thierri, a prince of considerable importance. From an early age, Mathilda demonstrated great piety and love for the Lord and was raised by her pious grandmother, Maud, the abbess of Enford, in the cloister.   There, as she grew up, she practiced daily prayer and penance and learned a love of labour and spiritual reading.   Mathilda would have been more than content to spend her life dedicated to religious pursuits.   However, her father arranged her marriage to Henry, the son of the Duke of Saxony.   Within seven years, Henry found himself the King of Germany, and Mathilda, the queen.


King Henry demonstrated through his actions that he was a God-fearing and pious spouse. His equity and courage won him the respect of his subjects and he encouraged and financed Mathilda’s longing to live a life of charitable service to others.   While Henry ruled his kingdom, Mathilda devoted herself to penance and spent her days visiting the poor and sick, offering them consolation and comfort.   She also founded schools to provide education to all, visited incarcerated prisoners and worked for the conversion of souls.   Overall, her life was relatively a simple one, despite her royalty, with her primary focus on daily prayer.


After seventeen years, Henry died of apoplexy, and Mathilda, looking to the Lord, gave up her royal vestments and jewels, laying them on the alter of the Lord.   Divesting herself of her title, she stepped aside for her children, with the eldest, Otho, becoming king. Henry became Duke of Bavaria and the youngest, Bruno, the Archbishop of Cologne.

However, all was not smooth prior to the coronation, with Henry contesting his brother’s rightful place as heir.   Mathilda, for her part, always partial to Henry, sided with him, her words creating significant discord between the brothers.   Eventually, the brothers reconciled, but turned against their mother, stripping her of her dowry,and accusing her publicly of mismanaging the royal funds in service to her charities.   Saint Mathilda accepted the punishment gracefully, recognising her sinfulness in siding with one son above another, repenting and offering herself wholly to the Lord in reparation.

The persecution and suffering of Mathilda was long and cruel but she patiently bore this all, until her son reconciled with her.   Her dowry restored, Mathilda was allowed to move back into the royal court.   However, instead, she chose to live in the Benedictine monastery of Quedlinbourg, using her funds to serve the poor and extend the religious communities in the region dedicated to charity.  he founded five monasteries, and built many churches.

Saint Mathilda grew ill and realized that death was upon her. In the presence of her community at the monastery, she made a public confession, donned sackcloth and covered herself with ashes.   She further received last sacraments from William, Archbishop of Mayence, her nephew.   Her body remains at Quedlinburg, where she is buried beside her husband.   She is venerated there today.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints-14 March

St Agno of Zaragoza
St Alexander of Pydna
St Aphrodisius of Africa
Bl Arnold of Padua
St Boniface Curitan
St Diaconus
St Eutychius of Mesopotamia
Bl Eve of Liege
Bl Giacomo Cusmano
St Lazarus of Milan
St Leo of the Agro Verano
St Leobinus of Chartres
St Matilda of Saxony
St Maximilian
Bl Pauline of Thuringia
St Peter of Africa
St Philip of Turin
St Talmach
Bl Thomas Vives

47 Martyrs of Rome – Forty-seven people who were baptised into the faith in Rome, Italy by Saint Peter the Apostle, and were later martyred together during the persecutions of Nero. Martyred c.67 in Rome, Italy

Martyrs of Valeria – Two monks martyred by Lombards in Valeria, Italy who were never identified. After the monks were dead, their killers could still hear them singing psalms. They were hanged on a tree in Valeria, Italy in the 5th