Friday after Ash Wednesday – 16 February 2018

Friday after Ash Wednesday – 16 February 2018
Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

Isaiah 58:3-4 – Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure and oppress all your workers.   Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high…
Matthew 9:14-15 – 14 – Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast but your disciples do not fast?”   And Jesus said to them,  “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?   The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Create in me a clean heart, O God and put a new spirit within me.friday after ash wed - 16 feb 2018 - create in me

Genuine faith does not make a believer pretentious.
Dialogue with God is not a business bargain.
External observance of religion wins little favour with God, if it is combined with unfairness to the weak and indifference to the poor.
Openness to the indigent is the door to true religion.
The world itself changes for the better with the widening of human concern for the poor. Good works multiply on the face of the earth and everyones sees the glory of God in action.
The Gospel presents Jesus, as refusing to absolutise ritual fasting.
What He expects from His disciples is that they remain faithful to the mission He is about to give them even at great sacrifice.
It will make evidently greater demands from them than mere ritual fasting.
They should be prepared.
Jesus is introducing a new set of values of immense worth, for which the old order of things must make way.
(Archbishop Thomas Menamparanpil SDB – GodsWord)

Each of us has different talents, material resources and opportunities.   Lent is an invitation, not to introspection and penance for its own sake but always to help us to better partner with God in responding to the needs of our world.

Is there a need I feel called to do something about?
Could I ask God to show me where He is inviting me to act?
What one thing might I do today to reach out to someone in need?
(excerpt Fr Nicholas King S.J. ‘The Long Journey to the Resurrection’)

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

St Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226)peace prayer - st francis - 16 feb 2018 - a prayer a day for lent


Thought for the Day – – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

Thought for the Day – – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

Alas, for our dearest Lord! up to this day what have we done for Him?
You see what He has done for us and the end of His doing it was to gain our love!

We look upon a crucifix and it hardly moves us.
We hear of His bittter passion but our eyes are dry and our hearts indifferent.
We kneel down to pray but we can hardly keep our thoughts fixed upon Him for a quarter of an hour together.
We go into His own most holy presence and we hardly bend the knee before the Tabernacle lest it should spoil our clothes.
We see others sin and what is it to us that Jesus is offended, so long as it is not we, who are risking our souls, by offending Him?
These are strange signs of love!
Surely Jesus cannot be much to us if this is the way we feel about Him.
Yet so it is.
We go our own way and do our own will.
The great thing is to please ourselves and to make things easy to ourselves.
Life must be taught to run smooth.

As to penance, it must be kept at arm’s length.
We must have our bodily comforts and worldly conveniences and our spiritual life must be nothing but a sufficiency of those inward consolations without which our souls give us pain, because they are not at rest.

If we worship God it is for self, if we do good to others, it is self we are seeking, even in our charity.

Poor Jesus Christ! as Saint Alphonsus used to say, “Poor Jesus Christ! Who thinks of Him? Who weds His interest?”

Father Faber – Remember Me: Daily Readings for Lentpoor jesus christ - st alphonsus - 16 feb 2018 - first friday of lent

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

Quote of the Day – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

Quote of the Day – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

“Prayer, mercy and fasting:
these three are one and they give life to each other.
Fasting is the soul of prayer,
mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.
Let no one try to separate them, they cannot be separated.
If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.
So if you pray, fast,
if fast, show mercy,
if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.
When you fast, see the fasting of others.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 406 – c 450) Father & Doctor of the Churchprayer,mercyandfasting-16 feb 2018 - first friday of lent - st peter chrysologus


One Minute Reflection – – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

One Minute Reflection – – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

‘But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast.’…Matthew 9:15matthew 9 15

REFLECTION – “The scripture is full of places that prove fasting to be not the invention of man but the institution of God and to have many more profits than one.   And that the fasting of one man may do good unto another, our Saviour shows Himself where He says that some kind of devils cannot be cast out of one man by another “without prayer and fasting.”   And therefore I marvel that they take this way against fasting and other bodily penance.”…St Thomas More (1478 – 1535)the scripture is full of places - 16 feb 2018 - first friday of lent 2018 on fasting

PRAYER – Give us the grace O Lord, to continue the works of penitence we have begun, so that the Lenten observance we have taken upon ourselves, may be accomplished in sincerety of heart.   “A humbled, contrite heart, O God, You will not spurn.” (Ps 51) Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.lent - first friday 16 feb - psalm 51 - a humbled contrite heart - juice font


Our Morning Offering – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

Our Morning Offering – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

A Prayer to Seek the Consolation of the Cross
By St Alphonsus Rodriguez S.J. (1532-1617)

Jesus, love of my soul,
centre of my heart!
Why am I not more eager to endure pains
and tribulations for love of You,
when You, my God,
have suffered so many for me?
Come, then, every sort of trial in the world,
for this is my delight, to suffer for Jesus.
This is my joy, to follow my Saviour
and to find my consolation
with my Consoler on the Cross.
This is my happiness,
this my pleasure:
to live with Jesus,
to walk with Jesus,
to converse with Jesus,
to suffer with and for Him,
this is my treasure.
Amena prayer to seek - st alphonsus rodriguez - 16 feb 2018 - lenten prayer

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 February – Blessed Bernard Scammacca O.P. (1430-1487)

Saint of the Day – 16 February – Blessed Bernard Scammacca O.P. (1430-1487) – Religious Priest, Preacher, apostle of charity, mystic, with a gift of prophecy and a great devotion to the Passion of Christ.   Born Bernardo in 1430 in Catania, Sicily and he died on 11 January 1487 of natural causes.   Fifteen years after his death he appeared in a vision to the prior in Catania and asked that his remains be moved to the house’s rosary chapel, during this relocation, a man was cured of paralysis by touching the relics.   He was Beatified in 1825 by Pope Leo XII (cultus confirmed).   His body is incorrupt.

bl bernard scammacca

Blessed Bernard Scammacca was born in 1430 in Catania to upper-class and pious parents.

Scammacca was well-educated in his childhood.   Despite his education he spent his adolescence as a wild and dissolute man and during one such revel he received a leg wound in a duel with a man with whom he had quarrelled.   His subsequent convalescence provided him with adequate time to reflect on what had happened as well as the course his life had taken.   This made him realise that he was heading in the wrong direction and needed urgent changes.   His healing over time renewed his links to his faith;  he approached the Order of Preachers in 1452 in Catania and begged to be admitted into their ranks.

Bl Bernard became known for his range of charitable works and for his life of repentance for the life he had led, as well as for his strict adherence to the rule of St Dominic.   He fostered a particular devotion to the Passion of Christ, which sometimes led him into ecstasies.   He founded a hospital for the poor, which still exists.   He also liked to spend time in the confessional and worked as a spiritual director.  He had the gift of being a prophet and used that gift to warn others to change their lives.   He also prophesied the date of his own death.

Scammacca was named the prior of the convent of St Dominic in Catania and later named as the prior of the convent in Palermo.   He was also made the vicar general of the reformed Sicilian convents.

It was often said that when he walked in his convent’s garden the birds would come and sing to him but would stop at once when he stopped to reflect.   On one occasion a porter was sent to his room to fetch him and the man saw a bright light under a door.   He peeked in to see a child shining with light holding a book that Scammacca was reading from.

Bl Bernard died in 1487 in Catania.   In 1502 it was said that he appeared in a vision to the prior of his convent and asked that his incorrupt remains be relocated the house’s chapel.   During the translation a man was cured of his paralysis after he touched Scammacca’s relics.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 16 February

St Aganus of Airola
Bl Bernard Scammacca O.P. (1430-1487)
St Faustinus of Brescia
St Gilbert of Sempringham
St Honestus of Nimes
St John III of Constantinople
Bl Joseph Allamano
St Julian of Egypt
St Juliana of Campania
St Juliana of Nicomedia
St Nicola Paglia
St Onesimus of Ephesus
Bl Philippa Mareria

Martyrs of Cilicia – 12 saints: A group of Christians who ministered to other Christians who were condemned to work the mines of Cilicia in the persecutions of Maximus. They were arrested, tortured and martryed by order of the governor Firmilian.
• Daniel
• Elias
• Isaias
• Jeremy
• Samuel
The group also includes the three known have been sentenced to the mines –
• Pamphilus
• Paul of Jamnia
• Valens of Jerusalem
and those who were exposed as Christians as a result of these murders –
• Julian of Cappadocia
• Porphyrius of Caesarea
• Seleucius of Caesarea
• Theodule the Servant
They were martyred in 309 in Cilicia, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).