Posted in MORNING Prayers, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 4 February – 5th Sunday of Year B

Sunday Reflection – 4 February – 5th Sunday of Year B

The Action of God on Calvary is a continuous action throughout Creation
Fr Gerard W Hughes S.J. – “God of Surprises”

The same God who manifested Godself in the historical Jesus, once-for-all, is still giving Godself to us in love through the signs and symbols of bread and wine.   God is not time-and-space-conditioned.   The once-for-all action of God on Calvary is a continuous action throughout creation.   In celebrating the Eucharist, we are celebrating our awareness of this tremendous truth.
As our sinfulness can infect and deform our image of God and our understanding of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection, so too, it can distort our understanding of the Eucharist.   Instead of a celebration which fills us with joy and wonder, broadening our vision and uniting us with ourselves and with all creation, the Eucharist can become a code and formal ritual, performed mechanically with more attention to rubrics and money-raising, than to God or to one another and, attended by many because they are afraid that their absence might cause their eternal damnation.
Christian communities can be divided into hostile factions over the choice of hymns, the place of tabernacle in the Church, the manner of distributing and receiving Holy Communion, who should and should not be allowed to receive it, what one wears or should wear or not wear, whether women cover their heads, the language used for the liturgy, or whether the Peace of Christ should be given to one another by the congregation!
I am not saying that these questions do not have their importance somewhere, nor am I advocating abolition of all rubrics, rules and regulations but I am saying that many of the questions which absorb our attention, are very secondary.   They preoccupy and divide us within the Catholic Church because our vision and understanding of the Eucharist is too limited – we turn this reality of God’s love for all His creation into a sacred object, a thing and we do not allow God to be God to us, even this most wonderful and mysterious event!
The Eucharist is given to us so that Christ’s presence may be real in the lives of His people, a living presence.the eucharist is given to us - fr gerard hughes - god of surprises - 4 feb 2018

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY THREE– 4 February

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY THREE– 4 February (we Pray the Novena for our own intentions and for the sick, the infirm within our own communities but also for all those throughout the world who suffer, especially those who have no-one to pray for them in preparation for the Wold Day of the Sick on 11 February.)

DAY THREE
“You are all fair, O Mary
and there is in you no stain of original sin.”
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O brilliant star of sanctity,
as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes
you spoke to the child Bernadette
and a fountain broke from the plain earth
and miracles happened
and the great shrine of Lourdes began,
so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer
and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek.
……………………………….. (make your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes,
glorious in your assumption,
triumphant in your coronation,
show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God,
Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother,
be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.day three - our lady of lourdes - 4 feb 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 4 February – – The Memorial of St Joseph of Leonissa O.F.M. CAP (1556-1612)

Thought for the Day – 4 February – – The Memorial of St Joseph of Leonissa O.F.M. CAP (1556-1612)

Saints often jar us because they challenge our ideas about what we need for “the good life.” “I’ll be happy when. . . ,” we may say, wasting an incredible amount of time on the periphery of life.   People like Joseph of Leonissa challenge us to face life courageously and get to the heart of it:  life with God.   Joseph was a compelling preacher because his life was as convincing as his words.

Saint Joseph of Leonissa suffered illness, poverty, persecution and exhaustion throughout his life, never ceasing in his efforts to bring the peace of Christ to those around him.   He embraced his suffering, contemplating the wounds of Christ and frequently exclaiming, “When we suffer anything we give proof of our love.”   We look to Saint Joseph of Leonissa as a shining example of the union of joy and suffering made manifest by Our Lord on the cross and the experience of Our Blessed Mother throughout her life.   May we, like this holy saint, embrace our own personal sufferings as bringing us closer to our risen Lord, suffering with Him and His Mother, for expiation of the sins of the world.

St Joseph of Leonissa Pray for us!st joseph of leonissa - pray for us no 2 - 4 feb 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – 5th Sunday of Year B

Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – 5th Sunday of Year B

“Speaking of the Eucharist/the Holy Mass”

“When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled, with countless angels, who adore the divine victim, immolated on the altar.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchwhen mass is being celebrated - st john chrysostom - 4 feb 2018

“The Holy Mass would be of greater profit, if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls, after death.”

Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922)the holy mass - pope benedict XV

“One merits more, by devoutly assisting at a Holy Mass, than by distributing, all of his goods to the poor and travelling, all over the world, on pilgrimage.”

St Bernard if Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Churchone merits more - st bernard of clairvaux - 4 feb 2018

“The celebration of Holy Mass has the same value as the Death of Jesus on the Cross.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Churchthe celebration of holy mass - st thomas aquinas - 28 jan 2018

“When you have received Him, stir up your heart to do Him homage, speak to Him about your spiritual life, gazing upon Him in your soul, where He is present, for your happiness, welcome Him as warmly as possible and behave outwardly, in such a way, that your actions, may give proof to all, of His Presence.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchwhen you have received him - st francis de sales - 4 feb 2018

“If someone said to us, “At such an hour a dead person is to be raised to life, ” we should run very quickly to see it.   But is not the Consecration, which changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of God, a much greater miracle than to raise a dead person to life?   We ought always to devote at least a quarter of an hour to preparing ourselves to hear Mass well.   We ought to annihilate ourselves before God, after the example of His profound annihilation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and we should make our examination of conscience, for we must be in a state of grace. to be able to assist properly at Mass.   If we knew the value of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or rather, if we had faith, we should be much more zealous to assist at it.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)we ought always - st john vianney - 4 feb 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 4 February – The Memorial of St Joseph of Leonissa O.F.M. CAP (1556-1612)

One Minute Reflection – 4 February – The Memorial of St Joseph of Leonissa O.F.M. CAP (1556-1612)

Clearly you are a letter of Christ which I have delivered, a letter written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh in the heart….2 Corinthians 3:3

REFLECTION – “Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel. This is what St Paul says to the Corinthians.   Our heart is the parchment;  through my ministry the Holy Spirit is the writer because ‘my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe’ (Psalm 45:1).”….St Joseph of Leonissaevery christian must be a living book - st joseph of leonissa - 4 feb 2018

PRAYER – Almighty God, You made Saint Joseph of Leonessa, an illustrious preacher of the gospel. Through his prayers inflame us with love and with his zeal for souls that we may serve You alone. St Joseph of Leonissa, pray for us, amen.st joseph of leonissa - pray for us - 4 feb 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Our Morning Offering – 4 February – The Memorial of Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)

Our Morning Offering – 4 February – The Memorial of Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)

Veni Creator Spiritus
By Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)

Come, Creator, Spirit,
come from Your bright heavenly throne,
come take possession of our souls
and make them all Your own.
You who are called the Paraclete,
best gift of God above,
the living spring,
the vital fire,
sweet christ’ning and true love. . . .
O guide our minds with Your best light,
with love our hearts inflame
and with Your strength,
which ne’er decays,
confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our deadly foe,
true peace unto us bring
and through all perils lead us safe
beneath Your sacred wing.
Through You may we the Father know,
through You th’eternal Son
and You the Spirit of them both,
thrice-blessed Three in One. . . .Veni, Creator Spiritus - bl rabanus maurus - 4 feb 2018

Today, 4 February, us the Memorial of Blessed Rabanus Maurus.

Rabanus Maurus was a young boy who loved to study and became a disciple of the great Englishmen who brought learning and holiness to the kingdom of Charlemagne.   He was born in 784, when the Carolingian renaissance was at its height and his parents sent him to be educated at St Boniface’s great monastery of Fulda, which had a famous school.   So remarkable was he as a student that the Abbot of Fulda sent him to study under Charlemagne’s own schoolmaster, Alcuin, at Tours and it was under this teacher that he received the name Maurus, after St. Benedict’s favourite disciple.   On returning to Fulda, he was first a teacher, then head of the school there, which became famous all over Europe.

He continued the tradition of sacred learning begun by St Boniface and Alcuin.   He wrote homilies, scientific treatises, poetry, hymns and commentaries on most of the books of the Bible.   Like St Bede, he was the marvel of his time for his learning and was unequalled in his time for his scriptural and patristic learning.

In 822, Blessed Rabanus Maurus was elected abbot of Fulda and the monastery flourished under his guidance. He increased the library, built new buildings and fostered learning of every kind.  In 842, he retired, planning to live a life of prayer in solitude for the rest of his life.

In 847, he was chosen to be archbishop of Mainz, at the age of sixty-three and the last years of his life were spent directing the affairs of his diocese, holding provincial synods, and directing a multitude of charitable works.   During a famine, he fed three hundred poor people at his own house.   He became bedridden shortly before his death and from the moment of his death was regarded as a saint.

He was buried at the monastery of St Alban’s in Mainz but later his relics were transferred to Halle.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 February – Saint Jane of Valois O.Ann.M (1464-1505)

Saint of the Day – 4 February – Saint Jane of Valois O.Ann.M and T.O.S.F (1464-1505) Princess, Queen, Founder, Religious Sister, Mystic, Teacher.   St Jane was born a Princess as Jeanne de France, Jeanne de Valois on 23 April 1464 – 4 February 1505) and was briefly Queen of France as wife of King Louis XII, in between the death of her brother, King Charles VIII and the annulment of her marriage.   After that, she retired to her domain, where she soon founded the monastic Order of the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary.   From this Order later sprang the religious congregation of the Apostolic Sisters of the Annunciation, founded in 1787 to teach the children of the poor. She was Beatified on 18 June 1742 by Pope Benedict XIV and canonised on 28 May 1950 by Pope Pius XIIand is known as Saint Joan of Valois, O.Ann.M.st joan valois header

Saint Jane of Valois, the daughter of Louis XI, king of France, was born April 23, 1464. Favoured with great gifts of mind and heart from her earliest years, she despised the pomp of the court and sought her joy in solitude, prayer and meditation.   This manner of life greatly displeased her proud and morose father as being unworthy of a royal princess and he always treated her harshly.st joan valois

Saint Jane, however, bore it patiently and complained of her sufferings only to God.   She once had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary and said to her:

“Be consoled, my daughter!   A time will still come when you will belong to me entirely. A   large group of young women consecrated to God will join you in serving me and proclaiming my praise everywhere.”

At these words a stream of heavenly consolation flooded Jane’s soul and she resolved anew to persevere in the service of God, cost what it might.st joan valois 3

Her divinely guided director, Blessed Gabriel Mary or Father Gilbert Nicolas, a Franciscan, encouraged her in her resolution and was her support and director on the way to perfection.   From him she also received the habit of the Third Order.  From then on she entertained the thought of entering a convent in order to live and die as a bride of the Crucified but suddenly her father announced his decision that she should marry Louis, Duke of Orleans and she was to obey without remonstrance.   In filial obedience and for love of God Jane made this difficult sacrifice in the year 1486.

Her marriage was not a happy one.   Even before the ceremony took place, Duke Louis protested secretly before a notary and witnesses that he yielded to force and was marrying against his will, in order to escape the anger of the king.   He always treated Saint Jane of Valois as a stranger and if he ever permitted her to appear before him, he reproached and ill treated her.   When Duke Louis ascended to the throne of France in the year 1498 as Louis XII, his first act was to send the queen a bill of divorce.   Because of the compulsion employed, the pope declared the marriage null and void.   Jane accepted this great humiliation with a heart resigned to God and said:

“God has now detached me from the world and has made it possible for me to serve Him better than heretofore.”

She now repaired to Bourges and there the revelation that had been made to her in her youth was to be realised.   She united a group of young women to form a religious community which would devote itself to the special veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   Her regular confessor, Father Gilbert, drew up the statutes, which treat in ten chapters on imitating the ten virtues of the Blessed Virgin:  the chastity, prudence, humility, faith, obedience, compassion, devotion, poverty, patience and piety of Mary.

In the year 1500 Pope Alexander VI approved this new institute, the members of which were called Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary, or Annunciades.   The pope placed them under the obedience of the minister general of the Franciscans and gave Father Gilbert the name of Gabriel Mary.   Jane herself took the veil in the convent of Bourges which she had built and on Pentecost, 1503, she pronounced her solemn vows.

Having for so long a time been prepared in the school of suffering and humiliation, she soon reached the summit of religious perfection and was ripe for heaven.   God called Saint Jane of Valois to Himself on 4 February 1505.   Her body was entombed in the church of the Annunciation and many miracles occurred at her tomb.

In the year 1562, the heretical Huguenots stormed the city of Bourges.   Also the convent and the church of the Annunciades were plundered and destroyed.   They tore Jane’s body, which was still incorrupt, out of the vault and when they pierced it with swords, blood flowed from the wounds.   The holy body was then burned.   This kind of activity by these heretics puts the lie to their claim to be “reformers” of the faith, or even followers of Christ.   Like the Pharaoh at the time of Moses, the miracle they had just witnessed only hardened their hearts in sin.

*from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 4 February

St Aldate of Gloucester
Bl Alfonso de Meneses
St Aquilinus of Fossombrone
St Aventinus of Chartres
St Aventinus of Troyes
St Cuanna of Lismore
Bl Dionisio de Vilaregut
St Donatus of Fossombrone
St Eutychius of Rome
St Filoromus of Alexandria
St Firmus of Genoa
Bl Frederick of Hallum
St Gelasius of Fossombrone
St Geminus of Fossombrone
St Gilbert of Sempringham
St Isidore of Pelusium
St Jane of Valois  (1464-1505)
St John de Britto
St John of Irenopolis
Bl John Speed
St Joseph of Leonissa
St Liephard of Cambrai
St Magnus of Fossombrone
St Modan
St Nicholas Studites
St Nithard
St Obitius
St Phileas of Alexandria
Bl Rabanus Maurus
St Rembert
St Themoius
St Theophilus the Penitent
St Vincent of Troyes
St Vulgis of Lobbes

Jesuit Martyrs of Japan: A collective memorial of all members of the Jesuits who have died as martyrs for the faith in Japan.
• Blessed Ambrose Fernandez
• Blessed Antony Ixida
• Blessed Augustine Ota
• Blessed Baltasar de Torres Arias
• Blessed Camillus Costanzo
• Blessed Charles Spinola
• Blessed Diego Carvalho
• Blessed Dionysius Fugixima
• Blessed Francisco Pacheco
• Blessed Giovanni Battista Zola
• Blessed Gundisalvus Fusai Chozo
• Blessed Ioannes Kisaku
• Blessed Iulianus Nakaura
• Blessed Jerome de Angelis
• Blessed John Baptist Machado de Tavora
• Blessed Michaël Tozo
• Blessed Paulus Shinsuke
• Blessed Petrus Rinsei
• Blessed Simon Yempo
• Blessed Vincentius Kaun
• Saint James Kisai
• Saint John Soan de Goto
• Saint Paul Miki
• Saint Paul Suzuki

Martyrs of Perga – 4 saints: A group of shepherds martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only details we have about the