Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 17 February 2018

Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 17 February 2018
Isaiah 58:9-14, Psalms 86:1-6, Luke 5:27-32

Show me Lord, your way, so that I may walk in your truth.

Isaiah 58:9-10: “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke,
the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your darkest hour will be like noon.
Luke 5:32: “I have come to call not the upright but sinners to repentance.”saturday after ash wed - 17 feb 2018

Isaiah makes it abundantly clear that it is our service to the poor and the weak that wins God’s favour, not lifeless religious practices.   The message becomes most meaningful in modern society, marked by unfair distribution of resources, hatred, violence, abuse and mutual accusations.   It is only when we strive against such evils that we win God’s approval.   “You shall be like the watered garden” the prophet says.   The image stands for the possession of every good thing that we desire.

The Gospel speaks of the call of Levi.   His joy was so great that he could hardly contain it.
He organised a party for his fellow tax-collectors, which unfailingly earned the criticism of the Pharisees.   Jesus’ answer was that His mission was precisely to wrongdoers, to the least and the lost.   These words indeed offer us hope when we stray and urge us to reach out to others as Jesus did.
That is the Christian calling, that is the Christian ‘job’!
(Archbishop Thomas Menamparanpil SDB – Gods Word)

Don’t you wonder what it was about Levi that moved Jesus to call him?   And what was it that caused Levi to respond?
He must have been a pretty successful man in economic terms but as a tax collector, he was undoubtedly not popular in his own community and was seen as a collaborator with Rome.   Perhaps he had a nagging sense of “there must be something more to life”. perhaps a sense of emptiness and sadness.   Something touched him so deeply at Jesus call, that he let go of a previous way of life and opened himself instantly to the gift being offered.   He was overjoyed, he was filled with joy, he was joyous, he bubbled over and threw a big party in order to share his joy!   And Jesus attended the party!   He was at the party!   He is at our party too when we allow Him entrance to our hearts.

When asked who he is, Pope Francis responded “I am a sinner, whom the Lord has looked upon.”   When we are able to see ourselves as Pope Francis does, as loved sinners, we are open to receive the forgiveness and help God longs to give us.   When we are aware of ourselves as sinners, loved and called by God, we respond with a deep sense of repentance, gratitude and joy, we throw that party and invite other sinners to join us.   We simply have to share the joy!

Where do I experience my own sinfulness?
How is this awareness a gift?
Spend some time with Jesus today sharing with Him your struggles and Your need of His help.
Have a party with Him!
(excerpt Fr Nicholas King S.J. ‘The Long Journey to the Resurrection’)

My soul, what have you done for God?
Look o’er your misspent years and see;
See first what you have done for God,
And then what God has done for thee!

Daily Lenten Prayer

Today Lord, I choose life,
I choose Your love
and the challenge to live it and share it,
I choose hope, even in moments of darkness,
I choose faith, accepting You as Lord and God,
I choose to let go of some part of my burdens,
day by day handing them over to You,
I choose to take hold of Your strength
and power ever more deeply in my life.
May this truly be for me a time of new life,
of change, challenge and growth.
May I come to Easter with a heart open to dying with You
and rising to Your new life, day by day.

my soul what have you done for god - daily lenten prayer 17 feb 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 February – The Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (1233)

Thought for the Day – 17 February – The Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (1233)

Can you imagine seven prominent men of any great city banding together, leaving their homes and professions and going into solitude for a life directly given to God?   That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the 13th century.   The city was torn with political strife as well as the heresy of the Cathari, who believed that physical reality was inherently evil.   Morals were low and religion seemed meaningless.   In 1240, seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer and direct service of God.   Community members combined monastic life and active ministry.   In the monastery, they led a life of prayer, work and silence while in the active apostolate they engaged in parochial work, teaching, preaching and other ministerial activities.

Since criminals and people with evil purposes often band together for their common interests, good people often have to do the same.   Faced with the immorality and blood feuds of thirteenth century Florence, the Seven Holy Founders banded together for their own spiritual good and succeeded in founding a whole new religious order.   Good companions are on of the most powerful helps toward a holy life, for all of us are faced in a new and urgent way with the challenge to make our lives decisively centred in Christ.   In this new day, we often find those ‘good companions’ online, let us too band together and live a holy life amidst the dangers around us!

Seven Holy Founders, Pray for us!seven-holy-founders-pray-for-us-17 feb 2017


Quote/s of the Day – – 17 February – The First Saturday of Lent 2018

Quote/s of the Day – – 17 February – The First Saturday of Lent 2018

“The statue must be chiselled
with very sharp tools
before it is fit to be placed
in the grand gallery.”

St Paul of the Cross (1694-1775)the-statue-must-be-chiselled-st-paulof-the-cross-2017

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – The First Saturday of Lent 2018

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – The First Saturday of Lent 2018

And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick;  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”...Luke 5:31-32luke 5 31 32

REFLECTION – “I am a sinner, whom the Lord has looked upon.”…Pope Francisi am a sinner, whom the lord has looked upon - pope francis - 17 feb 2018

PRAYER – Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight and give Your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest Your weary ones.
Bless Your dying ones.
Soothe Your suffering ones.
Pity Your afflicted ones.
Shield Your joyous ones.
And all for Your love’s sake. Amen…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchwatch, o lord - st augustine - 17 feb 2017


Our Morning Offering – 17 February – The Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (1233)

Our Morning Offering – 17 February – The Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (1233)

Prayer to Our Lady
From the Servite Vigil of our Lady I

Loving Mother,
woman of prayer,
we turn to you and pray:
support our prayers
for ourselves,
for all your Servants,
for our friends and families,
for those who share the Christian faith
and for every person on earth
that all may know peace and salvation.
Ask the Father that we may truly know Christ,
be filled with the gifts of the Spirit,
protected in all adversity
and freed from every evil.
Help us to build God’s kingdom:
a kingdom of everlasting praise,
a kingdom of justice and peace
that will endure forever and ever.
Amen.servite prayer to our lady - 17 feb 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – 17 February – The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order OSM – Formation on 15 August 1233

Saints of the Day – 17 February – The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order OSM – Formation on 15 August 1233.   The Servite Order is one of the five original Catholic mendicant orders.   Its objectives are the sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows.   The members of the Order use O.S.M. (Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis) as their post-nominal letters.   The male members are known as Servite Friars or Servants of Mary.   The Order of Servants of Mary (The Servites) religious family includes friars (priests and brothers), contemplative nuns, a congregation of active sisters and lay groups.

Between the years 1225 and 1227 seven young Florentines joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin—popularly known as the ‘Laudesi’ or Praisers.   It was a period when the prosperous city of Florence was being rent by political factions and distracted by the heresy of the Cathari:  it was also a time of general relaxation of morals even where devotional practices were retained.   These young men were members of the most prominent families of the city.   Whether they were all friends before they joined the Laudesi is not clear but in that confraternity they became closely allied.

The eldest was Buonfiglio Monaldo, who became their leader.   The others were Alexis Falconieri, Benedict dell’ Antella, Bartholomew Amidei, Ricovero Uguccione, Gerardino Sostegni, and John Buonagiunta.   They had as their spiritual director James of Poggibonsi, who was chaplain of the Laudesi, a man of great holiness and spiritual insight.   All of them came to realise the call to a life of renunciation and they determined to have recourse to our Lady in their perplexity.   On the feast of the Assumption, as they were absorbed in prayer, they saw her in a vision and were inspired by her to withdraw from the world into a solitary place and to live for God alone.   There were difficulties, because, though three of them were celibates, four had been married and had ties, although two had become widowers.   Suitable provision for their dependants was arranged and with the approval of the bishop they withdrew from the world and betook themselves to a house called La Carmarzia, outside the gates of Florence, twenty-three days after they had received their call.   Before long they found themselves so much disturbed by constant visitors from Florence that they decided to withdraw to the wild and deserted slopes of Monte Senario, where they built a simple church and hermitage and lived a life of almost incredible austerity.

seven holy founders 4

In spite of difficulties, visitors sometimes found their way to the hermits and many wished to join them but they refused to accept recruits.   So they continued to live for several years,—until they were visited by their bishop, Ardingo, and Cardinal Castiglione, who had heard about their sanctity.   He was greatly edified but made one adverse criticism:  ‘You treat yourselves in a manner bordering on barbarity and you seem more desirous of dying to time than of living for eternity.   Take heed, the enemy of souls often hides himself under the appearance of an angel of light . . . Hearken to the counsels of your superiors.’

Again the solitaries gave themselves up to prayer for light and again they had a vision of our Lady, who bore in her hand a black habit while an angel held a scroll inscribed with the title of Servants of Mary.   She told them she—had chosen them to be her servants, that she wished them to wear the black habit and to follow the Rule of St Augustine. From that date, April 13, 1240, they were known as the Servants of Mary, or Servites.

seven holy founders

They were clothed by the bishop himself, Buonfiglio being elected their superior. According to custom they selected names by which they should thenceforth be known, and became Brothers Bonfilius, Alexis, Amadeus, Hugh, Sostenes, Manettus and Buonagiunta.   By the wish of the bishop, all except St Alexis, who in his humility begged to be excused, prepared to receive holy orders and in due time they were fully professed and ordained priests.   The new order, which took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the monastic orders, increased amazingly and it soon became necessary to form fresh houses.   Siena, Pistoia and Arezzo were the first places chosen, and afterwards the houses at Carfaggio, the convent and church of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence and the convent at Lucca were established.   Meanwhile, although the Servites had the approval of their immediate superiors, they had not been recognised by the Holy See.   It was only in 1259 that the order was practically recognised by Alexander IV, and not until 1304 over sixty years after its foundation-that it received the explicit and formal approbation of Blessed Benedict XI.    St Bonfilius had remained as prior general until 1256, when he begged to be relieved owing to old age.   He died on new year’s night, 1261.

seven holy founders 3seven holy founders 2

St Buonagiunta, the youngest of the seven, was the second prior general but not long after his election he breathed his last in chapel while the gospel of the Passion was being read.   St Amadeus ruled over the important convent of Carfaggio, but returned to Monte Senario to end his days.   St Manettus became fourth prior general and sent missionaries to Asia but he retired to make way for St Philip Benizi, upon whose breast he died.   St Hugh and St Sostenes went abroad—Sostenes to Paris and Hugh to found convents in Germany.   They were recalled in 1276 and, being attacked by illness, they passed away side by side the same night.   St Alexis, the humble lay-brother outlived them all and he was the only one who survived to see the order fully and finally recognised.   He is reported to have died at the age one hundred and ten.

Servite Church in Innsbruck, Austria
Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 17 February

Seven Founders of Servants of Mary (Optional Memorial)
• Sts Alexis Falconieri
• St Bartholomew degli Amidei
• St Benedict dell’Antella
• St Buonfiglio Monaldi
• St Gherardino Sostegni
• St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni
• St John Buonagiunta Monetti

St Alexis Falconieri – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
Optional Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

St Antoni Leszczewicz
St Bartholomew degli Amidei – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Benedict dell’Antella – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Benedict of Cagliari
St Buonfiglio Monaldi – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Bonosus of Trier
Bl Constabilis of Cava
St Donatus the Martyr
Bl Elisabetta Sanna
St Evermod of Ratzeburg
St Faustinus the Martyr
St Finan of Iona
St Fintan of Clonenagh
St Flavian of Constantinople
St Fortchern of Trim
St Gherardino Sostegni – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Guevrock
St Habet-Deus
St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St John Buonagiunta Monetti – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Julian of Caesarea
St Loman of Trim
Bl Luke Belludi
St Lupiano
Bl Martí Tarrés Puigpelat
St Mesrop the Teacher
St Petrus Yu Chong-nyul
St Polychronius of Babylon
St Romulus the Martyr
St Secundian the Martyr
St Silvinus of Auchy
St Theodulus of Caesarea
Bl William Richardson