Sunday Reflection – 11 February 2018 – 6th Sunday of Year B

Sunday Reflection – 11 February 2018 – 6th Sunday of Year B – Pope Benedict and St John Paul

In liturgical prayer, especially the Eucharist and – formats of the liturgy – in every prayer, we do not speak as single individuals, rather we enter into the “we” of the Church that prays.   And we need to transform our “I” entering into this “we”.   Pope Benedict XVI is one of the great liturgists of our age.   His seminal book, “The Spirit of the Liturgy”, written when he was still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, is required reading in most seminaries and should be read by every Catholic.

“It is not the individual – priest or layman – or the group that celebrates the liturgy but it is primarily God’s action through the Church, which has its own history, its rich tradition and creativity.   This universality and fundamental openness, which is characteristic of the entire liturgy is one of the reasons why it can not be created or amended by the individual community or by experts but must be faithful to the forms of the universal Church.

The entire Church is always present, even in the liturgy of the smallest community.   For this reason there are no “foreigners” in the liturgical community.   The entire Church participates in every liturgical celebration, heaven and earth, God and man.   The Christian liturgy, even if it is celebrated in a concrete place and space and expresses the “yes” of a particular community, it is inherently Catholic, it comes from everything and leads to everything, in union with the Pope, the Bishops , with believers of all times and all places.   The more a celebration is animated by this consciousness, the more fruitful the true sense of the liturgy is realised in it.

Dear friends, the Church is made visible in many ways:  in its charitable work, in mission projects, in the personal apostolate that every Christian must realise in his or her own environment.   But the place where it is fully experienced as a Church is in the liturgy : it is the act in which we believe that God enters into our reality and we can meet Him, we can touch Him.   It is the act in which we come into contact with God, He comes to us and we are enlightened by Him.

So when in the reflections on the liturgy we concentrate all our attention on how to make it attractive, interesting and beautiful, we risk forgetting the essential:  the liturgy is celebrated for God and not for ourselves, it is His work, He is the subject and we must open ourselves to Him and be guided by Him and His Body, which is the Church.

Let us ask the Lord to learn every day to live the sacred liturgy, especially the Eucharistic celebration, praying in the “we” of the Church, that directs its gaze not in on itself but to God and feeling part of the living Church, of all places and of all time.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Wednesday Audience 3 Oct 2012

“I have been able to celebrate Holy Mass in chapels built along mountain paths, on lakeshores and seacoasts.   I have celebrated it on altars built in stadiums and in city squares….This varied scenario of celebrations of the Eucharist, has given me, a powerful experience of its universal and, so to speak, cosmic character – YES, cosmic!   Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always, in some way, celebrated on the altar of the world.  It unites heaven and earth.   It embraces and permeates all creation!” St Pope John Paul “Ecclesia de Eucharista no 8”the liturgy is celebrated - pope benedict = 11 feb 2018 sunday reflection


Thought for the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

On 8 December 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus.   A little more than three years later, on 11 February 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.   This began a series of visions. During the apparition on 25 March, the lady identified herself with the words:  “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents.   Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm.   Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed.   She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal:  “O Mary conceived without sin.”

During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw.   It was “something white in the shape of a girl.”   She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.”   It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.”   Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle.   She wore a white veil.   There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand.   Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous).   The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.

Through that humble girl, Mary revitalised and continues to revitalise the faith of millions of people.   People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world.   In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorised the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese.   The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.

Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and healing but even more of faith.   Church authorities have recognised over 60 miraculous cures, although there have been accounts of many more.   To people of faith this is not surprising.   It is a continuation of Jesus’ healing miracles—now performed at the intercession of his mother.   Some would say that the greater miracles are hidden.   Many who visit Lourdes return home with renewed faith and a readiness to serve God in their needy brothers and sisters.

There still may be people who doubt the apparitions of Lourdes.   Perhaps the best that can be said to them are the words that introduce the film The Song of Bernadette:   “For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary.   For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”

Let us Pray:

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

To Mary, Mother of tender love,
we wish to entrust all those
who are ill in body and soul,
that she may sustain them in hope.
We ask her also to help us to be welcoming
to our sick brothers and sisters.

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to His promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to His manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us. Amenprayer to our lady of lourdes by st john paul no 2 - 11 feb 2018our lady of lourdes pray for us no 2 - 11 feb 2018st bernadette pray for us - 11 feb 2018

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

St Bernadette, pray for us!


Quote of the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Quote of the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette
25 March 1858i am the immaculate conception - 11 feb 2018


One Minute Reflection – – 11 February – 6th Sunday of Year B, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

One Minute Reflection – – 11 February – 6th Sunday of Year B, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

….if you will, you can make me clean…Mark 1:41.

REFLECTION – “Jesus, who is present in our suffering neighbour, wishes to be present in every act of charity and service of ours, which is expressed also, in every glass of water we give “in his name” (cf Mk 9:41). Jesus wants love, the solidarity of love, to grow from suffering and around suffering. He wants, that is, the sum of that good which is possible in our human world. A good that never passes away. The Pope, who wishes to be a servant of this love, kisses the forehead and kisses the hands of all those who contribute to the presence of this love and to its growth in our world. He knows, in fact and believes that he is kissing the hands and the forehead of Christ himself, who is mystically present in those who suffer and in those who, out of love, serve the suffering.”…St Pope John Paul, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes – 1979jesus, who is present in our suffering neighbour - st john paul - 11 feb 2018

PRAYER – Christ of our sufferings,
Christ of our sacrifices,
Christ of our Gethsemane,
Christ of our difficult transformations,
Christ of our faithful service to our neighbour,
Christ of our pilgrimages to Lourdes,
Christ of our community, today, in St Peter’s Basilica,
Christ our Redeemer,
Christ our Brother!
Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us that we may live this solidarity of love, in You and with You and for You, amen.our lady of lourdes pray for us - 11 feb 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – 6th Sunday of Year B

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – 6th Sunday of Year B

Your Sacred Table – A Prayer Before Holy Communion –
By Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

Divine Saviour,
we come to Your sacred table
to nourish ourselves,
not with bread but with Yourself,
true Bread of eternal life.
Help us daily to make a good and perfect meal
of this divine food.
Let us be continually refreshed
by the perfume of Your kindness and goodness.
May the Holy Spirit fill us with His Love.
Meanwhile, let us prepare a place
for this holy food by emptying our hearts.
Amen.your sacred table - prayer before holy comm by st francis de sales - 11 feb 2018


Message of the Holy Father for the 26th World Day of the Sick – 11 February 2018

Message of the Holy Father

Mater Ecclesiae: “Behold, your son… Behold, your mother.
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
(John 19:26-27)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Church’s service to the sick and those who care for them must continue with renewed vigour, in fidelity to the Lord’s command (cf. Lk 9:2-6; Mt 10:1-8; Mk 6:7-13) and following the eloquent example of her Founder and Master.

The theme for this year’s Day of the Sick is provided by the words that Jesus spoke from the Cross to Mary, His Mother, and to John: “Woman, behold your son … Behold your mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (Jn 19:26-27).

1. The Lord’s words brilliantly illuminate the mystery of the Cross, which does not represent a hopeless tragedy, but rather the place where Jesus manifests his glory and shows his love to the end.   That love in turn was to become the basis and rule for the Christian community and the life of each disciple.

Before all else, Jesus’ words are the source of Mary’s maternal vocation for all humanity. Mary was to be, in particular, the Mother of her Son’s disciples, caring for them and their journey through life.   As we know, a mother’s care for her son or daughter includes both the material and spiritual dimensions of their upbringing.

The unspeakable pain of the Cross pierces Mary’s soul (cf. Lk 2:35) but does not paralyse her.   Quite the opposite.   As the Lord’s Mother, a new path of self-giving opens up before her.   On the Cross, Jesus showed His concern for the Church and all humanity and Mary is called to share in that same concern.   In describing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Acts of the Apostles show that Mary began to carry out this role in the earliest community of the Church.   A role that never ceases.

2. John, the beloved disciple, is a figure of the Church, the messianic people.   He must acknowledge Mary as his Mother.   In doing so, he is called to take her into his home, to see in her the model of all discipleship and to contemplate the maternal vocation that Jesus entrusted to her, with all that it entails:  a loving Mother who gives birth to children capable of loving as Jesus commands.   That is why Mary’s maternal vocation to care for her children is entrusted to John and to the Church as a whole.   The entire community of disciples is included in Mary’s maternal vocation.

3. John, as a disciple who shared everything with Jesus, knows that the Master wants to lead all people to an encounter with the Father. He can testify to the fact that Jesus met many people suffering from spiritual sickness due to pride (cf. Jn 8:31-39) and from physical ailments (cf. Jn 5:6). He bestowed mercy and forgiveness upon all, and healed the sick as a sign of the abundant life of the Kingdom, where every tear will be wiped away. Like Mary, the disciples are called to care for one another, but not only that. They know that Jesus’ heart is open to all and excludes no one. The Gospel of the Kingdom must be proclaimed to all, and the charity of Christians must be directed to all, simply because they are persons, children of God.

4. The Church’s maternal vocation to the needy and to the sick has found concrete expression throughout the two thousand years of her history in an impressive series of initiatives on behalf of the sick.   This history of dedication must not be forgotten.   It continues to the present day throughout the world.   In countries where adequate public health care systems exist, the work of Catholic religious congregations and dioceses and their hospitals is aimed not only at providing quality medical care but also at putting the human person at the centre of the healing process, while carrying out scientific research with full respect for life and for Christian moral values.   In countries where health care systems are inadequate or non-existent, the Church seeks to do what she can to improve health, eliminate infant mortality and combat widespread disease.   Everywhere she tries to provide care, even when she is not in a position to offer a cure.   The image of the Church as a “field hospital” that welcomes all those wounded by life is a very concrete reality, for in some parts of the world, missionary and diocesan hospitals are the only institutions providing necessary care to the population.

5. The memory of this long history of service to the sick is cause for rejoicing on the part of the Christian community and especially those presently engaged in this ministry.   Yet we must look to the past above all to let it enrich us.   We should learn the lesson it teaches us about the self-sacrificing generosity of many founders of institutes in the service of the infirm, the creativity, prompted by charity, of many initiatives undertaken over the centuries, and the commitment to scientific research as a means of offering innovative and reliable treatments to the sick.   This legacy of the past helps us to build a better future, for example, by shielding Catholic hospitals from the business mentality that is seeking worldwide to turn health care into a profit-making enterprise, which ends up discarding the poor.   Wise organisation and charity demand that the sick person be respected in his or her dignity and constantly kept at the centre of the therapeutic process.   This should likewise be the approach of Christians who work in public structures;  through their service, they too are called to bear convincing witness to the Gospel.

6. Jesus bestowed upon the Church his healing power:  “These signs will accompany those who believe… they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover (Mk 16:17-18). In the Acts of the Apostles, we read accounts of the healings worked by Peter (cf. Acts 3:4-8) and Paul (cf. Acts 14:8-11).   The Church’s mission is a response to Jesus’ gift, for she knows that she must bring to the sick the Lord’s own gaze, full of tenderness and compassion. Health care ministry will always be a necessary and fundamental task, to be carried out with renewed enthusiasm by all, from parish communities to the most largest healthcare institutions.   We cannot forget the tender love and perseverance of many families in caring for their chronically sick or severely disabled children, parents and relatives.   The care given within families is an extraordinary witness of love for the human person, it needs to be fittingly acknowledged and supported by suitable policies.   Doctors and nurses, priests, consecrated men and women, volunteers, families and all those who care for the sick, take part in this ecclesial mission.   It is a shared responsibility that enriches the value of the daily service given by each.

7. To Mary, Mother of tender love, we wish to entrust all those who are ill in body and soul, that she may sustain them in hope.   We ask her also to help us to be welcoming to our sick brothers and sisters.   The Church knows that she requires a special grace to live up to her evangelical task of serving the sick.   May our prayers to the Mother of God see us united in an incessant plea that every member of the Church may live with love the vocation to serve life and health.   May the Virgin Mary intercede for this Twenty-sixth World Day of the Sick; may she help the sick to experience their suffering in communion with the Lord Jesus and may she support all those who care for them.   To all, the sick, to healthcare workers and to volunteers, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 26 November 2017
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

FRANCIS26th world day of the sick - 11 feb 2018 = pope francis message and theme


The Memorial of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes / Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception – 11 February

Blessed Memorial of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes/Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception – (11 February and 16 July of 1858) – Patron of the ill and infirm, protection from disease, France, 6 cities and a Diocese.the-immaculate-conception1our lady of lourdes 2

The memorial commemorates the eighteen (18) apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Bernadette Soubiroux that occurred between 11 February and 16 July of 1858 near the town of Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrenees region of France.   Though there would be other people with her, only Saint Bernadette could see the Lady.

During the 9th appearance, on 25 February, the Lady told Bernadette to drink from a spring that suddenly appeared in the grotto where the apparitions occurred.   During the 12th appearance, on 1 March, a visitor washed her arm in water from the spring and some nerve damage in it was immediately cured.   There is a tradition of miraculous cures at the grotto, or received by those who drink or are bathed in its waters. Bernadette later said that the water had no special properties but it helped focus the faithful who received the cures through faith and prayer.

During the 13th appearance, on 2 March, the Lady told Bernadette to tell local priests that they should build a chapel at the grotto and have processions to be made to it;  the priests were understandably sceptical but due to the numbers of pilgrims coming to the area, construction of several churches was started within a few years.

During the 16th appearance, on 25 March, the Lady identified herself as “the Immaculate Conception”.

Due to the number of people gathering at the site and making treks to the area, on 8 June 1858, the mayor of Lourdes barricaded the grotto and stationed guards to prevent public access;  visitors were fined for kneeling near the grotto or talking about it and Bernadette saw the last appearance of the Lady from outside the barricade.   The grotto was re-opened to the public in October 1858 by order of Emperor Louis Napoleon III and the pilgrims have not stopped coming since.lady-of-lourdeslourdes in stained glassour lady of lourdes 4

Church Approval:

• on 18 January 1862 Bishop Bertrand-Sévère Mascarou-Laurence, with the authorisation of Pope Pius IX, declared that the faithful are “justified in believing the reality of the apparition”
• national French pilgrimages to the site began in 1873
• the basilica of Notre-Dame de Lourdes was consecrated in 1876
• Blessed Pope Pius IX formally granted a canonical coronation to the statue of Our Lady in the courtyard of the basilica on 3 July 1876
• Church of the Rosary consecrated in 1901
• a special office and Mass were authorised by Pope Leo XIII
• observance of the feast extended to the whole Church by St Pope Pius X in 1907

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Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick and Memorials of the Saints – 11 February

Our Lady of Lourdes (11 February and 16 July of 1858)  – (Optional Memorial)

World Day of the Sick

St Ampelius of Africa
St Ardanus of Tournus
Bl Bartholomew of Olmedo
St Caedmon
St Calocerus of Ravenna
St Castrensis of Capua
St Dativus the Senator
Bl Elizabeth Salviati
St Etchen of Clonfad
St Eutropius of Adrianopolis
St Felix the Senator
St Gobnata
St Pope Gregory II
Bl Gaudencia Benavides Herrero
St Helwisa
St Jonas of Muchon
St Lucius of Adrianople
St Pope Paschal I
St Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero
St Saturninus of Africa
St Secundus of Puglia
St Severinus of Agaunum
St Soter of Rome
St Theodora the Empress
Bl Tobias Francisco Borrás Román

Guardians of the Holy Scriptures: Also known as –
• Anonymous Martyrs in Africa
• Martyrs of Africa
• Martyrs of Numidia
• Martyrs of the Holy Books
A large number of Christians tortured and murdered in Numidia (part of modern Algeria) during the persecutions of Diocletian, but whose names and individual stories have not survived. They were ordered to surrender their sacred books to be burned. They refused. Martyrs. c 303 in Numidia.

Martyrs of Africa – 5 saints: A group of five Christians who were martyred together; we know nothing else but the names of four of them – Cyriacus, Oecominius, Peleonicus and Zoticus.