Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day from Pope Benedict– 21 December – The Memorial of St Peter Canisius (1521-1597) Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day from Pope Benedict – 21 December – The Memorial of St Peter Canisius (1521-1597) Doctor of the Church

Characteristic of St Canisius’ spirituality was his profound personal friendship with Jesus.   For example, on 4 September 1549 he wrote in his journal, speaking with the Lord:  “In the end, as if you were opening to me the heart of the Most Sacred Body, which it seemed to me I saw before me, you commanded me to drink from that source, inviting me, as it were, to draw the waters of my salvation from your founts, O my Saviour”.

Then he saw that the Saviour was giving him a garment with three pieces that were called peace, love and perseverance.   And with this garment, made up of peace, love and perseverance, Canisius carried out his work of renewing Catholicism.   His friendship with Jesus — which was the core of his personality — nourished by love of the Bible, by love of the Blessed Sacrament and by love of the Fathers, this friendship was clearly united with the awareness of being a perpetuator of the Apostles’ mission in the Church. And this reminds us that every genuine evangeliser is always an instrument united with Jesus and with His Church and is fruitful for this very reason.

Friendship with Jesus had been inculcated in St Peter Canisius in the spiritual environment of the Charterhouse of Cologne, in which he had been in close contact with two Carthusian mystics:  Johannes Lansperger, whose name has been Latinised as “Lanspergius” and Nikolaus van Esche, Latinized as “Eschius”.

He subsequently deepened the experience of this friendship, familiaritas stupenda nimis, through contemplation of the mysteries of Jesus’ life, which form a large part of St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.   This is the foundation of his intense devotion to the Heart of the Lord, which culminated in his consecration to the apostolic ministry in the Vatican Basilica.

The Christocentric spirituality of St Peter Canisius is rooted in a profound conviction:  no soul anxious for perfection fails to practice prayer daily, mental prayer, an ordinary means that enables the disciple of Jesus to live in intimacy with the divine Teacher.

For this reason in his writings for the spiritual education of the people, our Saint insists on the importance of the Liturgy with his comments on the Gospels, on Feasts, on the Rite of Holy Mass and on the sacraments;  yet, at the same time, he is careful to show the faithful the need for and beauty of personal daily prayer, which should accompany and permeate participation in the public worship of the Church.

This exhortation and method have kept their value intact, especially after being authoritatively proposed anew by the Second Vatican Council in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium:  Christian life does not develop unless it is nourished by participation in the Liturgy — particularly at Sunday Mass — and by personal daily prayer, by personal contact with God.

Among the thousands of activities and multiple distractions that surround us, we must find moments for recollection before the Lord every day, in order to listen to Him and speak with Him.

At the same time, the example that St Peter Canisius has bequeathed to us, not only in his works but especially with his life, is ever timely and of lasting value.   He teaches clearly that the apostolic ministry is effective and produces fruits of salvation in hearts only if the preacher is a personal witness of Jesus and an instrument at his disposal, bound to Him closely by faith in His Gospel and in His Church, by a morally consistent life and by prayer as ceaseless as love.  And this is true for every Christian who wishes to live his adherence to Christ with commitment and fidelity.    Thank you. (Pope Benedict XVI – GENERAL AUDIENCE, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 9 February 2011).

St Peter Canisius, pray for us!

st peter canisius pray for us 2

And last year’s Thought for the Day is also inspiring – https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/thought-for-the-day-21-december/

 

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

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