Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 12 Jan – The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “St Bernard of the North”

Thought for the Day – 12 Jan – The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)  “St Bernard of the North”

Although St Aelred lived a millennium ago, his life and writings have a distinctively contemporary feel.   An extremely competent administrator of Rievaulx, a vast Yorkshire abbey in Northern England, yet even more a spiritual father to hundreds of men, had we met Aelred we would identify him with Pope John XXIII or Carlo Martini, the archbishop of Milan, Italy.   Like these beloved shepherds of the modern church, Aelred loved his flock and was much loved in return.   As I was walking around the cloisters, he said, all the brothers were sitting together.   And in the whole throng I could not find one whom I did not love and by whom I was not loved.

As a writer, too, Aelred seems to address our modern concerns and sensibilities.   In his teaching that the interior life is communal—that we move from self and sin to find God in community—we might imagine we are hearing Father Henri Nouwen or Dorothy Day. Consider, for example, Aelred’s reflections on how spiritual friendship leads us to Christ:

It is no small consolation in this life to have someone who can unite with you in an intimate affection and the embrace of a holy love.   Someone in whom your spirit can rest, to whom you can pour out your soul, to whose pleasant exchanges, as to soothing songs, you can fly in sorrow.   To the dear breast of whose friendship, amidst the many troubles of the world, you can safely retire.   A person who can shed tears with you in your worries, be happy with you when things go well, search out with you the answers to your problems, whom with the ties of charity you can lead into the depths of your heart.   A person who, though absent in body, is yet present in spirit, where heart to heart you can talk to him, where the sweetness of the Spirit flows between you, where you so join yourself and cleave to him that soul mingles with soul and two become one.

And so praying to Christ for your friend and longing to be heard by Christ for your friend’s sake, you reach out with devotion and desire to Christ Himself.   And suddenly and insensibly, as though touched by the gentleness of Christ close at hand, you begin to taste how sweet He is and to feel how lovely He is.   Thus from that holy love with which you embrace your friend, you rise to that love by which you embrace Christ. (LoyolaPress)

May all our friendships lead us to Christ!   St Aelred, Pray for us!

st aelred pray for us - 12 jan 2018 - no 2

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER

Quote/s of the Day – Speaking of Prayer

Quote/s of the Day – Speaking of Prayer

“Virtues are formed by prayer.
Prayer preserves temperance.
Prayer suppresses anger.
Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy.
Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit
and raises man to Heaven.”

St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Churchvirtues are formed by prayer - st ephrem - 12 jan 2018

“When we pray,
the voice of the heart
must be heard
more than proceedings
from the mouth.”

St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Churchwhen we pray - st bonaventure - 12 jan 2018

“We do not have to talk very much
in order to pray well.
We know that God is there,
in His holy tabernacle;
let us open our hearts to Him;
let us rejoice in His Presence –
this is the best prayer.”

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859) Patron of Priestswe do not have to talk - st john vianney - 12 jan 2018

“Without Prayer nothing good is done.
God’s works are done with our hands joined
and on our knees.
Even when we run,
we must remain spiritually
kneeling before Him.”

Blessed Luigi Orione (1872-1940)without prayer - bl luigi orione - 12 jan 2018

“You go to pray;
to become a bonfire,
a living flame,
giving light and heat.”

“You don’t know how to pray?
Put yourself in the presence of God
and as soon as you have said,
‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray!’
you can be sure you have already begun.”

St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)you go to pray - st josemaira - 12 jan 2018


Our Morning Offering – 12 January – Month of the Holy Name of Jesus

Our Morning Offering – 12 January – Month of the Holy Name of Jesus

The Golden Arrow

May the most holy,
most sacred,
most adorable,
most mysterious
and unutterable Name of God
be always praised,
and glorified in heaven.
on earth and under the earth,
by all the creatures of God
and by the Sacred Heart
of our Lord Jesus Christ
in the most Holy Sacrament
of the altar.

This prayer is said to have been revealed by Jesus Himself to a Carmelite Nun of Tours in 1843 as a reparation for blasphemy.   “This Golden Arrow will wound My Heart delightfully,”  He said  “and heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy.”the golden arrow prayer - 12 jan 2018


One Minute Reflection – 12 January – The Memorials of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) and St Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700)

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – The Memorialsof St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) and St Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700)

And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.   And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours…1 John 5:14-151 john 5 - 14 15

REFLECTION – “It seems to me, that we do not pay enough attention to prayer, for unless it arises from the heart, which ought to be its centre, it is no more than a fruitless dream. Prayer ought to carry over into our thoughts, our words and our actions…..It is true that all I have ever desired most deeply and what I still most ardently wish, is that the great precept of the love of God, above all things and of the neighbour as oneself, be written in every heart.”… St Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700)
“Charity may be a very short word but with its tremendous meaning of pure love, it sums up man’s entire relation to God and to his neighbour.”…St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) it seems too me - st amarguerite bourgeoys - 12 jan 2018charity may be - st aelred - 12 jan 2018

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me the grace to strive after perfect love.   Help me to bring forth frequent acts of love towards my neighbour, which flow from You, the summit of my prayer and the teacher of all that is good and in this, to grow each day in love for You and for all your creatures….St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167), St Marguerite Bourgeoys Pray for us, amen.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “Saint Bernard of the North”

Saint of the Day – 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Writer, Spiritual director, Poet, Preacher, Historian, Advisor and peacemaker.    He is called  “Saint Bernard of the North”.   St Aelred was born in 1110 at Hexham, England and he died on 12 January 1167 at Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire, England of kidney disease.   He was buried in the Rievaulx Chapter House.   In 1191 his relics were translated to the abbey church and enshrined behind the high altar.   Patronage – kidney stone sufferers.   Attributes – monk holding a book or scroll.

St Aelred was the son of Eilaf, a priest during a period when English priests were allowed to marry and keeper of the shrine of Hexham.    He was the Master of the household of the court of King David of Scotland and was known for his gentle spirituality and his personal austerity amid the court life.    King David wanted to make his friend a bishop, but instead Aelred left Scotland in 1134 to become a Cistercian monk at Rievaulx, Yorkshire, England.

Their he became the Master of novices and later the first abbot of a Cistercian monastery in Revensby, Lincolnshire, England in 1142.

He returned to Rievaulx to become the Abbot in 1147, which made him the superior of all Cistercians in England and kept him much on the road, travelling from house to house, preaching throughout England and Scotland.    He acted as peacemaker among the Picts in Galway, ending disputes and revitalising the faith in the area.   He composed sermons and prayers, wrote works on the spiritual and aescetic life, wrote on the lives of King David of Scotland, Saint Ninian and Saint Edward the Confessor and was considered a living saint by those who knew him.

O God, who gave the blessed Abbot Aelred the grace of being all things to all men, grant that, following his example, we may so spend ourselves in the service of one another, as to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

As the author of Spiritual Friendship, Saint Aelred’s Pastoral Prayer is a profound meditation on the Rule of Saint Benedict which shaped his thinking and led him (and his disciples) to prefer nothing to the love of Christ.

So, with today’s liturgical memorial of Saint Aelred celebrated especially by Benedictines and Cistercians, the Church’s memory of the life and teaching of Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, ought to open for us a renewed interest in friendship with Christ and with one another, as well as a more sincere devotion to the Cross.   It is the Cross that shapes the life of the Christian and more poignantly, that of the person professing monastic vows as a monk, nun or the oblate promise.   In his well-known treatise, Spiritual Friendship, Saint Aelred has a well-known and bold teaching:  “God is friendship.”   This is clearly an understanding of Saint John’s theology, “God is love.”   God is friendship is Saint Aelred’s personal experience of God’s intimacy with him.

Aelred was never formally canonised in the manner that was later established but he became the centre of a cult in the north of England that was officially recognised by Cistercians in 1476.    As such, he was venerated as a saint, with his body kept at Rievaulx.   In the sixteenth century, before the dissolution of the monastery, John Leland, claims he saw Aelred’s shrine at Rievaulx containing Aelred’s body glittering with gold and silver.   Today, Aelred of Rievaulx is listed as a saint on 12 January, the traditional date of his death, in the latest official edition of the Roman Martyrology, which expresses the official position of the Roman Catholic Church.

From 1147 to 1167, Aelred governed 150 choir monks and 500 lay brothers at the Cistercian abbey at Rievaulx.   He ruled firmly but with kindness.   In two decades he did not dismiss even one person from the monastery.   Although constantly suffering from kidney stones, Aelred visited many other abbeys, extending his gentle influence throughout western monasticism.   Encouraged by St Bernard of Clairvaux, he wrote numerous books, including The Mirror of Charity and On Spiritual Friendship.   For the last four years of his life, illness confined him to a cell attached to the abbey where small groups of monks daily sought his counsel.   He died on January 12, 1167.

The Writings:

• A Certain Wonderful Miracle
• Genealogy of the Kings of the English
• Jesus as a Boy of Twelve
• Lament for the Death of King David of Scotland
• Mirror of Charity
• On Spiritual Friendship
• On the Saints of Hexham
• On the Soul
• Pastoral Prayer
• Relatio de Standardo
• Rule of Life for a Recluse • The Life of Saint Ninian
• The Life of Saint Edward, King and ConfessorAelred-of-Rievaulx-Life-of-Edward-the-Confessor

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 12 January

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
Bl Antoine Fournier
St Antony Mary Pucci
St Arcadius of Mauretania
Bl Bartholomew Alvarez
Bl Bernardo de Plano
St Biccianus
St Benedict Biscop
St Bernard of Corleone
St Caesaria of Arles
St Caroticus
Bl Emmanuel d’Abreu
St Eutropius
St Ferreolus of Grenoble
Bl John Gaspard Cratz
St John of Ravenna
Bl Lucia of Valcaldara
St Marguerite Bourgeous
St Martinian of Belozersk
St Martin of León
Bl Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung
St Peter of Abessala
Bl Pierre-François Jamet
St Probus of Verona
St Quinctus the Soldier
St Satyrus
St Tatiana of Rome
St Tigrius
St Victorian of Asana
Bl Vincent da Cunha

Martyrs of Africa – 44 saints: A group of 44 Christian soldiers murdered together for their faith in Africa. The only details that survive are four of their names – Castulus, Modestus, Rogatus and Zoticus.

Martyrs of Ephesus – 42 saints: Forty-two monks martyred at a monastery in Ephesus (modern Turkey) during the persecutions of the Iconoclast Byzantine Emperor Constantine V. Their names have not come down to us. Martyred c 762.

Martyrs of Iona – 38 saints: Thirty-eight monks martyred in Iona, Ireland. Their names have not come down to us. They were Martyred in 750 at Iona, Ireland.