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Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Seventh Word – 31 March – Holy Saturday 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Seventh Word – 31 March – Holy Saturday 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.

The Seven Last Words of Christ

” Jesus reaches the heights of the depth of his prayer to the Father during His Passion and Death, when He pronounces His supreme “yes” to the plan of God and reveals how the human will finds its fulfilment precisely in adhering fully to the divine will, rather than the opposite.   In Jesus’ prayer, in His cry to the Father on the Cross, “all the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history are summed up … Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them beyond all hope, answers them by raising His Son.   Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of prayer in the economy of creation and salvation”  (CCC 2606)

Pope Benedict 7 March 2012

all the troubles for all time ccc 2606 - used on easter sat 31 march 2018 - quoted by pope benedict in the seventh word

The Seventh Word

“Into Your hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46)

Gospel:  It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” and when he had said this, he breathed his last…Luke 23:44-46

The Word Incarnate utters His last sentence and in doing so, every last word takes on a special significance. In the act of dying, the God-Man teaches His brothers and sisters in the human family how to die.   What is the final lesson?

Jesus died resigned to the Will of the One Who sent Him.  However, we should not see this as passivity;  it is an active resignation, which sums up His entire life:  “As a man lives so shall He die.”

As we listen to the dying Saviour, two words draw our attention:  “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” “Father” and “thy” are the keys to the mystery of death.   Jesus, in His humanity, does not rely on His own resources but casts His cares upon His heavenly Father, the Abba (“Papa”) in Whom He encouraged His disciples to have complete trust.

His heart is thus other-directed or, better, Other-directed toward the One “who was able to save Him from death” (Heb 5:7).   With eyes fixed on Jesus (cf. Heb 3:1), then, Christians ponder what they need in death.   They are three: the grace of perseverance, the grace of final repentance and the grace of a happy death.

Such a gift then leads to that most blessed thing of all – the grace of a happy death. Several years ago I received an early morning call to the hospital to bring Viaticum for a cancer patient I had attended the entire summer.   Always thoughtful to a fault, she had restrained her family from contacting a priest during the night, lest he lose sleep.   Upon my arrival, the woman stirred herself to prepare for her final encounter with the Eucharist.   As I placed the Sacred Host on her tongue, she smiled, swallowed and died. Her son looked at me and said, “Father, that’s all she was waiting for all night.”

What a holy death! What a calming effect it had on her entire family!   What a powerful and unforgettable witness she had offered!   A holy death ensures a happy death because our eyes are “fixed on Jesus.”

Thinking about death – our own death – should not be an exercise in morbidity but a truly positive opportunity. St Alphonsus Liguori, author of the classic “Way of the Cross,” provides ample food for thought in his reflection for the Fifth Station  . It has within it all the serenity of Jesus’ serenity in His final moments and thus recommends itself to our thoughts and as a guide for our actions – perennially.

And so we are encouraged to say and to mean: “My beloved Jesus, I will not refuse the cross, as the Cyrenian did;  I accept it, I embrace it.   I accept in particular the death You have destined for me; with all the pains that may accompany it;  I unite it to your death, I offer it to You.   You have died for love of me; I  will die for love of You, and to please You.   Help me by your grace. I love You, Jesus, my love;  I repent of ever having offended You.   Never permit me to offend You again.   Grant that I may love You always and then do with me what you will.”  (St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church) ...Excerpt from Fr Peter Stravinskas

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

Lord, Your Cross is high and uplifted;
I cannot mount it in my own strength.
You have promised:
“I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all to Myself.”
Draw me, then, from my sins to repentance,
from darkness to faith,
from the flesh to the spirit,
from coldness to ardent devotion,
from weak beginnings to a perfect end,
from smooth and easy paths,
if it be Your will, to a higher and holier way,
from fear to love,
from earth to heaven,
from myself to You.
And as You have said:
“No man can come to Me,
except the Father, who sent Me, draw him,”
give unto me the Spirit Whom the Father hath sent in Your Name,
that in Him and through Him,
I being wholly changed,
may hasten to You
and go out no more for ever.
Amen
(From a Prayer a Day for Lent – 1923)THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE SEVENTH WORD - HOLY SAT - 31 MARCH 2018

 

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One Minute Reflection – – 31 March – Holy Saturday 2018

One Minute Reflection – – 31 March – Holy Saturday 2018

The man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world, preserves it to life eternal...John 12:25john 12 25

REFLECTION“Sursum corda” – lift up your hearts, high above the tangled web of our concerns, desires, anxieties and thoughtlessness – “Lift up your hearts, your inner selves!”   In both exclamations we are summoned, as it were, to a renewal of our Baptism: “Conversi ad Dominum” – we must distance ourselves ever anew from taking false paths, onto which we stray so often in our thoughts and actions.   We must turn ever anew towards Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.   We must be converted ever anew, turning with our whole life towards the Lord.   And ever anew we must allow our hearts to be withdrawn from the force of gravity, which pulls them down and inwardly we must raise them high,in truth and love.   At this hour, let us thank the Lord, because through the power of His word and of the holy Sacraments, He points us in the right direction and draws our heart upwards.”…Pope Benedict 22 March 2008susum corda - lift up your hearts - pope benedict - easter vigil holy sat 31 march 2018

PRAYER – Yes, Lord, make us Easter people, men and women of light, filled with the fire of Your love. Amen.yes lord, make us easter people - 31 march 2018 - holy sat

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Our Morning Offering – 31 March – Holy Saturday 2018

Our Morning Offering – 31 March – Holy Saturday 2018

Sabbatum Sanctum
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

I look at You, my Lord Jesus
and think of Your most holy Body
and I keep it before me,
as a pledge of my own resurrection.
Though I die, as die I certainly shall,
nevertheless, I shall not forever die,
for I shall rise again.
O You, who are the Truth,
I know and believe with my whole heart,
that this very flesh of mine will rise again.
I know, base and odious as it is at present,
that it will one day, if I be worthy,
be raised incorruptible
and altogether beautiful and glorious.
This I know,
this by Your grace,
I will ever keep before me.
Ameni look at you my lord jesus - sabbatum sanctum - 31 march 2018 - bl john henry newman

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Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday: “Watching” and The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday:  “Watching” and The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on His suffering and death.   The altar is left bare and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated.   Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.The Entombment by the Maitre du Chaorce. “HOLY SAT 2

Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest; it has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation.   The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function.   Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns.   After the great battle He is resting in peace but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering…The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible…Jesus’ enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.

HOLY SAT INFOHOLY SAT INFO 2HOLY SAT INFO 3

Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart.   When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.

According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary:  she is the “credentium collectio universa” (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73).   Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord’s tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of His resurrection.


The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church:  while the body of her Son lays in the tomb and His soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation from the shadow of darkness to His ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

“This same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord . . . throughout every generation” (cf. Ex 12:42)lumen christi - 31 march 2018

On this holy night we celebrate the Easter Vigil, the first — indeed the “mother” — of all vigils of the liturgical year.   On this night, as is sung over and over again in the Preconio, we walk once more the path of humanity from creation to the culminating event of salvation, the death and resurrection of Christ.

The light of Him who “has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20) makes this memorable night, which is rightly considered the “heart” of the liturgical year, “bright as the day” (Ps 139:12).   On this night the entire Church keeps watch and recalls, in meditation, the significant stages of God’s saving intervention in the universe.

“A night of watching kept to the Lord”.   There is a twofold significance to this solemn Easter Vigil, so rich with symbols accompanied by an extraordinary abundance of biblical texts.   On the one hand, it is the prayerful memory of the mirabilia Dei, in the re-presentation of key texts from the Sacred Scriptures, from creation to the sacrifice of Isaac, to the passage through the Red Sea, to the promise of the New Covenant.

On the other hand, this evocative vigil is the trusting expectation of the complete fulfilment of the ancient promises.   The memory of God’s work reaches its climax in the resurrection of Christ and is projected onto the eschatological event of the parusia.   We thus catch a glimpse, on this night of Passover, of the dawning of that day that never ends, the day of the Risen Christ, which inaugurates the new life, the “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Pet 3:13; cf. Is 65:17; 66:22; Rev 21:1).

From its very beginnings, the Christian community placed the celebration of Baptism within the context of the Easter Vigil.   Here too, on this night, some catechumens will be immersed with Jesus into his death to rise with Him to immortal life.   Thus the wonder of the mysterious spiritual rebirth, wrought by the Holy Spirit, is renewed; the rebirth that incorporates the newly baptised into the people of the new and final Covenant, sealed by the death and resurrection of Christ.

Together with those who will shortly receive Baptism, the liturgy invites all of us here present to renew the promises of our own Baptism.   The Lord asks us to renew the expression of our full obedience to Him and of our total dedication to the service of his Gospel.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters! If this mission may sometimes seem difficult, call to mind the words of the Risen Lord:  “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). Certain of His presence, you shall fear no difficulty and no obstacle.   His word will enlighten you;   His Body and His Blood will nourish you and sustain you on your daily journey to eternity.

At the side of each of you there will always be Mary, as she was present among the Apostles, frightened and confused at the time of trial.   And with her faith she will show you, beyond the night of the world, the glorious dawn of the resurrection. Amen

Lumen Christi!

St Pope John Paul II easter vigil in the holy night - 31 march 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 31 March

St Abda
St Acacius Agathangelos of Melitene
St Agigulf
St Aldo of Hasnon
St Balbina of Rome
St Benjamin the Deacon
Bl Bonaventure Tornielli of Forli
Bl Christopher Robinson
St Daniel of Venice
St Guy of Pomposa
Bl Guy of Vicogne
Bl Jane of Toulouse
St Machabeo of Armagh
Bl Mary Mamala
St Mella of Doire-Melle
Bl Natalia Tulasiewicz
St Renovatus of Merida

Martyrs of Africa – 4 saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. No details have survived except for of their names – Anesius, Cornelia, Felix and Theodulus. They were martyred in Roman pro-consular Africa.

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Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Sixth Word – 30 March – Good Friday 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Sixth Word – 30 March – Good Friday 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.

“Like a bridegroom, Christ went forth from His chamber ….
He came to the marriage-bed of the Cross
and there, in mounting it, He consummated His marriage.
And when He perceived the sighs of the creature,
He lovingly gave Himself up
to the torment, in place of His bride
and joined Himself to her forever.”

St Augustine (354-430) – Sermo Suppositus 120like a bridgegroom - it is consumated - st augustine - good friday - the sixth word - 30 march 2018

” In John’s account, Jesus’ last words are: “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
In the Greek text, this word (tetélestai) points back to the very beginning of the Passion narrative, to the episode of the washing of the feet, which the evangelist introduces by observing that Jesus loved His own “to the end (télos)” (John 13:1). This “end,” this ne plus ultra of loving, is now attained in the moment of death.
He has truly gone right to the end, to the very limit and even beyond that limit.
He has accomplished the utter fullness of love – He has given Himself.”

Pope Benedict XVI

The Sixth Word

“It is consummated.” (John 19:30)

Translation is risky because it always involves some interpretation.   So how is this sixth word of Christ on the Cross (Jn 19:30) properly rendered into English:   “It is finished” (as in “done,” “over with”); “it is completed” (with a less fatalistic ring to it); or, “it is consummated” (in the sense of “brought to fulfillment”)?   The correct choice requires a knowledge of the total Gospel of John, to which we must now turn.

The Johannine Jesus is wholly focused on His hour – the moment of glory. It cannot be hastened, as He had to remind His Mother: “My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4).   Nor can or should it be forestalled:  “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. . . . My soul is troubled now yet what should I say – Father, save me from this hour?   But it was for this that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (Jn 12:23, 27-28).

Now, if most people were asked when Jesus’ hour of glory began, they would probably say Easter morning.   But John would disagree.   The Lord, according to this Evangelist, began His hour of glory in His Passion, when He freely consented to the Father’s plan for Him.

The Jesus we meet in John is the pre-existent Word (Jn 1:1-14) – always in control of His own destiny, never the helpless victim of either envious Jewish authorities or sadistic Roman soldiers.   Death comes when He is ready and not a minute sooner:  “The Father loves me for this: that I lay down my life to take it up again.   No one takes it from me; I lay it down freely.   I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again” (Jn 10:17-18).

And so it is that Jesus announces (even proclaims) that the hour of His death has come, proving correct the ironic inscription over His head (Jn 19:19).   He is, in fact, never more a King than from the throne of His Cross.   In His death, the work of salvation is finished or, as the original Greek implies, the end or purpose is accomplished.

No morbid preoccupation with death here, for death (and especially this death) is the gateway to life.   No room for the Angst of the existentialists of another era.   Death is not the end, as common parlance understands it:  Death is The End, as Aristotle and Aquinas would have us ponder the word – the goal toward which reality struggles for fulfilment. It is in the light of this truth that Jesus’ assertion makes the most sense:  “And I – once I am lifted up from earth – will draw all things to myself” (Jn 12:32).

Dying, however, is not an end in itself.   In the very act of dying, Jesus did one thing more – He “delivered over His spirit” (Jn 19:30).   It is significant that John does not say that He “gave up” His spirit but “delivered over” (as in “gave forth”).

Thus, we inquire, What is meant by “spirit”?   Surely a play on words is intended, for spirit means “life principle” or “breath” but also spirit as in “Holy Spirit.”   Interestingly, it is only in “giving up” His own life principle that He can “give over” the Holy Spirit.

To whom is that spirit delivered?   First of all, His earthly life is given over to the Father, Who seals it all with the Resurrection. Second, in fulfilment of John 7:39, He gives His Spirit to the faithful remnant, Mary and John, at the foot of the Cross.   Which is to say that He gives His spirit to us, His Church, represented in glory’s hour by the Church’s Mother and the Church’s first son.

That deliverance of the Spirit is achieved proleptically here, by way of a sure promise, only fully actualised after the Resurrection.   However, time does not matter;  in fact, eternity has taken over in the hour of glory, so that everything coalesces into a marvellous unity:  Death, Resurrection, communication of the Spirit, birth of the Church.

Ignominy and triumph meet at the crossroads of Calvary in the hour of glory.   The Saviour knows this and that is why He can declare so majestically: “It is consummated.”… Fr Stravinskas

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

Lord, Your Cross is high and uplifted;
I cannot mount it in my own strength.
You have promised:
“I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all to Myself.”
Draw me, then, from my sins to repentance,
from darkness to faith,
from the flesh to the spirit,
from coldness to ardent devotion,
from weak beginnings to a perfect end,
from smooth and easy paths,
if it be Your will, to a higher and holier way,
from fear to love,
from earth to heaven,
from myself to You.
And as You have said:
“No man can come to Me,
except the Father, who sent Me, draw him,”
give unto me the Spirit Whom the Father hath sent in Your Name,
that in Him and through Him,
I being wholly changed,
may hasten to You
and go out no more for ever.
Amen
(From a Prayer a Day for Lent – 1923)THE SIXTH WORD -JOHN 19 230- THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE DEVOTION - 30 MARCH 2018

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Thought for the Day – 30 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord “Behold the Man” By Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)

Thought for the Day – 30 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

“Behold the Man”

Part two
By Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)

“I see the figure of a man, whether young or old I cannot tell.   He may be fifty, or he may be thirty. …..CONTINUED HERE – 20 February 2018, Tuesday of the First Week of Lent) https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/thought-for-the-day-20-february-2018-tuesday-of-the-first-week-of-lent/a-hand-was-lifted-up-against-the-face-of-christ-john-henry-newman-20-feb-2018

Continued:

“O injured Lord, what can I say?   I am very guilty concerning You, my brother;  and I shall sink in sullen despair if You do not raise me.   I cannot look on You;  I shrink from You;  I throw my arms round my face;  I crouch to the earth.   Satan will pull me down if You do not take pity.   It is terrible to turn to You;  but oh, turn me and so shall I be turned.

It is a purgatory to endure the sight of You, the sight of myself – I most vile, You most holy.   Yet make me look once more on You whom I have so incomprehensibly affronted, for Your countenance is my only life, my only hope and health lies in looking on You whom I have pierced.   So I put myself before You;  I look on You again;  I endure the pain in order to receive the purification.

O my God, how can I look You in the face when I think of my ingratitude, so deeply seated, so habitual, so immovable – or rather so awfully increasing!

You load me day by day with Your favours and feed me with Yourself, as You did Judas, yet not only do I not profit thereby but I do not even make any acknowledgement at the time.

Lord, how long?   When shall I be free of this real, this fatal captivity?   He who made Judas his prey has got foothold of me in my old age and I cannot get loose.   It is the same day after day.   When will You give me a still greater grace than You have given, the grace to profit by the graces that You give?   When will You give me Your effectual grace, which alone can give life and vigour to this effete, miserable, dying soul of mine?

My God, I know not in what sense I can pain You in Your glorified state but I know that every fresh sin, every fresh ingratitude I now commit, was among the blows and stripes that once fell on You in Your Passion.   Oh, let me have as little share in those past sufferings as possible.   Day by day goes and I find I have been more and more, by the new sins of each day, the cause of them.   I know that at best I have a real share of them all but still it is shocking to find myself having a greater and greater share.   Let others wound You – let not me.   Let me not have to think that You would have had this or that pang of soul or body the less, except for me.

O my God, I am so fast in prison that I cannot get out.   O Mary, pray for me.”o my god how can i look you in the face - behold the man - bl john henry newman - good friday part two - 30 march 2018

 

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Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Fifth Word – 30 March – Good Friday morning 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Fifth Word – 30 March – Good Friday morning 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.

“Love is not loved”:  this reality, according to some accounts, is what upset Saint Francis of Assisi.   For love of the suffering Lord, he was not ashamed to cry out and grieve loudly (cf. Fonti Francescane, no. 1413).   This same reality must be in our hearts as we contemplate Christ Crucified, He who thirsts for love.   Mother Teresa of Calcutta desired that in the chapel of every community of her sisters the words “I thirst” would be written next to the crucifix.   Her response was to quench Jesus’ thirst for love on the Cross through service to the poorest of the poor.   The Lord’s thirst is indeed quenched by our compassionate love;  He is consoled when, in His name, we bend down to another’s suffering.   On the day of judgement they will be called “blessed” who gave drink to those who were thirsty, who offered true gestures of love to those in need:  “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me”  (Mt 25:40).”

Pope Francisthe lord's thirst is indeed quenched - pope francis - good friday no 2 - 30 march 2018

The Fifth Word

“I thirst” (John 19:28)

Gospel:  After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and, so that the scripture should be completely fulfilled, he said:  I thirst.   A jar full of sour wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth….John 19:28-29

During Our Lord’s Passion, He was twice offered a drink.   This first was a mixture of wine and myrrh.   This Our Lord refused because it was commonly given to condemned criminals to deaden pain.   His Passion and Death would have been rendered worthless if He had allowed anything to mitigate the pain He was about to suffer.   The second drink He was offered was sour wine or vinegar.   This He drank.   In doing so, He drank deeply of the cup which He had begged His Father to remove from Him in the Garden.   He drank the last dregs of the cup of our punishment.

Lord God, Your Only Begotten Son drank deeply of the cup of iniquity for my sake.   If I were to try to drink the same draft by myself, I would not be able to survive.   It is only with Your help that I can hope to drink of my own bitter draught and survive.   Help me to turn away from the sweetness of the world and accept the bitter drink that is punishment for my sins.   I beg You to send me the grace and strength required to accept this bitter cup.   Let not my will be done, but Thine.  Amen.

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

My Lord and my God:
into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future,
what is small and what is great,
what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot,
things temporal and things eternal.
Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.THE FIFTH WORD -JOHN 19 28 - THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE DEVOTION - 30 MARCH 2018

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Quote/s of the Day – 30 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 30 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

“But far be it from me to glory,
except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me
and I to the world.”

St Paulbut far be it from me - st paul - good friday 30 march 2018

“We give glory to You, Lord,
who raised up Your Cross to span the jaws of death
like a bridge by which souls might pass
from the region of the dead to the land of the living. ..
You are incontestably alive.
Your murderers sowed Your living body in the earth
as farmers sow grain but it sprang up
and yielded an abundant harvest of men
raised from the dead.”

St Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Churchwe give glory to you lord - st ephrem - 30 march 2018 - good friday

“Mount Calvary is the academy of love.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchmount calvary is the academy of love - st francis de sales - 30 march 2018 - good friday

” …Let us direct today our gaze toward Christ,
a gaze frequently distracted by scattered
and passing earthly interests.
Let us pause to contemplate His Cross.
The cross, fount of life and school of justice and peace,
is the universal patrimony of pardon and mercy.
It is permanent proof of a self-emptying and infinite love
that brought God to become man,
vulnerable like us, unto dying crucified.”

Pope Benedict XVI – 21 March 2008pope benedict - let us direct our gaze - good friday - 30 march 2018

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One Minute Reflection – 30 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

One Minute Reflection – 30 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.   Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place;  for Jesus often met there with his disciples..…..John 18:1-2jesus was in a garden, not of delight - blaise pascal - 30 march - good friday 2018

REFLECTION – “Jesus was in a garden, not of delight as the first Adam, in which he destroyed himself and the whole human race but in one of agony, in which He saved Himself and the whole human race.”…Blaise Pascal  (1623-1662)
“Do not pass one day without devoting a half hour, or at least a quarter of an hour, to meditation on the sorrowful Passion of your Saviour.   Have a continual remembrance of the agonies of your crucified Love and know that the greatest saints, who now, in heaven, triumph in holy love, arrived at perfection in this way.” – St Paul of the Cross  (1694-1775)st paul of the cross - do not pass one day - good friday - 30 march

PRAYER – Be mindful Lord, of this Your family, for whose sake our Lord Jesus Christ, when betrayed, did not hesitate to yield Himself into His enemies hands and undergo the agony of the Cross.   Help us holy Father, to ever keep the Cross in our hearts and minds and to accept our own with love of You.   Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God, amen.jesus praying in the garden

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Our Morning Offering – 39 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

Our Morning Offering – 39 March 2018 – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

The Angel of the Agony
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Jesu! by that shuddering dread which fell on Thee;
Jesu! by that cold dismay which sicken’d Thee;
Jesu! by that pang of heart which thrill’d in Thee;
Jesu! by that mount of sins which crippled Thee;
Jesu! by that sense of guilt which stifled Thee;
Jesu! by that innocence that girded Thee;
Jesu! by that sanctity that reign’d in Thee;
Jesu! by that Godhead which was one with Thee;
Jesu! spare those souls which are so dear to Thee;
Who in prison, calm and patient, wait for Thee;
Hasten, Lord, their hour and bid them come to Thee;
To that glorious Home, where they shall ever gaze on Thee.
Amenthe angel of the agony - bl john henry newman good friday 30 march

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 30 March

Bl Amadeus of Savoy
St Clinius of Pontecorvo
St Cronan Mochua
St Damiano
St Domnino of Thessalonica
St Fergus of Downpatrick
St Irene of Rome
Bl Joachim of Fiore
St John Climacus
St Julio Álvarez Mendoza
St Leonard Murialdo
St Ludovico of Casoria
St Mamertinus of Auxerre
St Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy
Bl Maria Restituta Kafka
St Osburga of Coventry
St Pastor of Orléans
St Patto of Werden
St Peter Regulatus
St Quirinus the Jailer
St Regulus of Scotland
St Regulus of Senlis
St Secundus of Asti
St Tola
St Zozimus of Syracuse

Martyrs of Constantinople:  ourth-century Christians who were exiled, branded on the forehead, imprisoned, tortured, impoverished and murdered during the multi-year persecutions of the Arian Emperor Constantius.   They were martyred
between 351 and 359 in Constantinople.

Martyrs of Korea:
Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy
Iosephus Chang Chu-gi
Lucas Hwang Sok-tu
Martin-Luc Huin
Pierre Aumaître

Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Fourth Word – 29 March – Holy Thursday 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Fourth Word – 29 March – Holy Thursday 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.   For centuries The Seven Last Words have been built into various forms of devotion for the consideration and consolation of the Christian people.

“Take your crucifix in your hand
and ask yourselves whether this is the religion
of the soft, easy, worldly, luxurious days in which we live;
whether the crucifix does not teach you
a lesson of mortification, of self-denial, of crucifixion of the flesh.”

Cardinal Henry Edward Manning (1808-1892)take your crucifix in your hand - card henry edward manning - holy thursday - 29 march 2018

“As is well known, the initial cry of the Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, is recorded by the Gospels of Matthew and Mark as the cry uttered by Jesus dying on the Cross (cf. Mt 27:46, Mk 15:34).   It expresses all the desolation of the Messiah, Son of God, who is facing the drama of death, a reality totally opposed to the Lord of life. Forsaken by almost all His followers, betrayed and denied by the disciples, surrounded by people who insult Him, Jesus is under the crushing weight of a mission that was to pass through humiliation and annihilation.   This is why He cried out to the Father and His suffering took up the sorrowful words of the Psalm.   But His is not a desperate cry, nor was that of the Psalmist who, in his supplication, takes a tormented path which nevertheless opens out at last into a perspective of praise, into trust in the divine victory.”…Pope Benedict XVI – General Audience 14 September 2011

as is well known - on my god my god why hast thou forsaken me - 29 march 2018 - holy thursday-pope benedict

The Fourth Word

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Gospel – From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.   And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”…Matthew 27:45-46 (Psalm 22(21))

Reflection:  To ensure that He suffered every torment that normal man is prone to, Christ allowed Himself to experience despair. Up to this point, Jesus had suffered mainly physically.   These torments had left His body racked with pain and agony. But now it was time for the ultimate pain, the pain a soul feels when it is separated from God.

The soul is spiritual being in the image of God.   The human soul is like a plant is nourished by the bright sunlight of God.   The human soul needs this light to grow and flourish.   However, unlike a plant, the human soul does not die when it is separated from God because it cannot die. Instead the soul endures great and debilitating agony. It was this kind of agony that Our Lord willingly accepted on the Cross.

O sinful man, how can you claim that Our Lord does not understand the pain you are going through?   He has suffered every imaginable punishment.   He has felt the rejection of His own people.   He has endured the dreadful physical pains of a brutal scourging and ignominious death on a Cross.   He had endured the despair of a soul separated from God.   He understands pain, agony, loss and despair.   And He wishes to console you  . He stands with arms out stretched on the Cross, looking to comfort you in all your distress.

Lord Jesus Christ, You know better than anyone what suffering I am enduring. I beg you to give me the grace and strength to endure these hardships, that I may offer them as penance for my sins.   Help me to never refuse my cross, so that by taking it up daily I may be worthy of You one day. Amen.

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

My Lord and my God:
into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future,
what is small and what is great,
what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot,
things temporal and things eternal.
Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.THE FOURTH WORD -MATTHEW 27 46 - THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE DEVOTION - 29 MARCH 2018

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Thought for the Day – 29 March – Holy Thursday – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper 2018

Thought for the Day – 29 March – Holy Thursday – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper 2018vatican - statue at the gethsemane steps in rome

When the Lord tells Peter that without the washing of his feet he would never be able to have any part in Him, Peter immediately and impetuously asks to have his head and hands washed as well.   This is followed by the mysterious words of Jesus:  “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed” (John 13:10).   Jesus alludes to a bath that the disciples, according to ritual prescriptions, had already taken; in order to participate in the meal, they now needed only to have their feet washed.   But naturally, a deeper meaning is hidden in this.   To what does it allude?   We do not know for sure.  In any case, we should keep in mind that the washing of the feet, according to the meaning of the entire chapter, does not indicate a single specific Sacrament but the “sacramentum Christi” in its entirety – His service of salvation, His descent even to the cross, His love to the end, which purifies us and makes us capable of God.

Here, with the distinction between the bath and the washing of feet, nevertheless, there also appears an allusion to life in the community of the disciples, to life in the community of the Church – an allusion that John may have intentionally transmitted to the community of his time.   It then seems clear that the bath that purifies us definitively and does not need to be repeated is Baptism – immersion in the death and resurrection of Christ, a fact that changes our lives profoundly, giving us something like a new a identity that endures, if we do not throw it away as Judas did.   But even in the endurance of this new identity, for convivial communion with Jesus we need the “washing of the feet.”   What does this mean?   It seems to me that the first letter of Saint John gives us the key for understanding this.   There we read: “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.   If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing” (1:8ff.).

We need the “washing of the feet,” the washing of our everyday sins and for this we need the confession of sins.   We do not know exactly how this was carried out in the Johannine community.   But the direction indicated by the words of Jesus to Peter is obvious:  in order to be capable of participating in the convivial community with Jesus Christ, we must be sincere.   One must recognise that even in our own identity as baptised persons, we sin.   We need confession as this has taken form in the Sacrament of reconciliation.   In it, the Lord continually rewashes our dirty feet and we are able to sit at table with Him.

But in this way, the word takes on yet another meaning, in which the Lord extends the “sacramentum” by making it the “exemplum,” a gift, a service for our brother:   “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).   We must wash each other’s feet in the daily mutual service of love.   But we must also wash our feet, in the sense, of constantly forgiving one another.   The debt that the Lord has forgiven us is always infinitely greater than all of the debts that others could owe to us (cf. Mt. 18:21-35).   It is to this that Holy Thursday exhorts us:  not to allow rancour toward others to become, in its depths, a poisoning of the soul.   It exhorts us to constantly purify our memory, forgiving one another from the heart, washing each other’s feet, thus being able to join together in the banquet of God.

Holy Thursday is a day of gratitude and of joy for the great gift of love to the end that the Lord has given to us.   We want to pray to the Lord at this time, so that gratitude and joy may become in us the power of loving together with His love. Amen.

Pope Benedict XVI 20 March 2008 Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supperwe must wash each other's feet in the daily mutual service of love- pope benedict - 29 march 2018 holy thurs

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Quote/s of the Day – 29 March – Holy Thursday 2018

Quote/s of the Day – 29 March – Holy Thursday 2018

“Christianity is above all a gift:  God gives himself to us – He does not give some thing but Himself.   And this takes place not only at the beginning, at the moment of our conversion.   He continually remains the One who gives.   He always offers us His gifts anew.   He always precedes us.   For this reason, the central action of being Christians is the Eucharist:  gratitude for having been gratified, the joy for the new life that He gives us.christianity is above all a gift - pope benedict - 27 march 2018 - holy thursday

In spite of all this, we do not remain passive recipients of the divine goodness.   God gratifies us as personal and living partners.   The love that is given is the dynamic of “loving together,” it is intended to be a new life within us, beginning from God. We thus understand the words that, at the end of the account of the washing of the feet, Jesus speaks to His disciples and to all of us:  “I give you a new commandment: love one another.   As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34).   The “new commandment” does not consist in a new and difficult norm, one that did not exist before.   The new commandment consists in a loving together with Him who loved us first.”

Pope Benedict XVI – 20 March 2008 Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supperi give you a new commandment - pope benedict - holy thursday - 29 march 2008

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Holy Thursday 2018

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Holy Thursday 2018

...And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”   In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”..1 Corinthians 11:24-25

REFLECTION – “In the Mass the blood of Christ flows anew for sinners.”….St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchin the mass the blood of christ - st augustine - 29 march 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, since for Your glory and our salvation, You willed Christ Your Son, to be the eternal High Priest, grant that the people He gained for You by His blood, may be strengthened by His cross and Resurrection, when they take part in His memorial service, through Christ in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.The-Last-Supper-large

Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE

Our Morning Offering – 29 March 2018 – Holy Thursday

Our Morning Offering – 29 March 2018 – Holy Thursday

Jesu, be You my Life!
Msgr Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914)

I cannot live alone another hour;
Jesu, be You my Life!
I have not power to strive;
be You my Power
In every strife!
I can do nothing
– hope, nor love, nor fear.
But only fail and fall.
Be You my soul and self,
O Jesu dear.
My God and all!
Amenjesu be you my life - msgr robert hugh benson - maundy thurs - 29 march 2018

Msgr Robert Hugh Benson (18 November 1871 – 19 October 1914) was an English Anglican priest who in 1903 was received into the Roman Catholic Church in which he was ordained priest in 1904.   He was a prolific writer of fiction and wrote the notable dystopian novel Lord of the World (1907).   His output encompassed historical, horror and science fiction, contemporary fiction, children’s stories, plays, apologetics, devotional works and articles.   He continued his writing career at the same time as he progressed through the hierarchy to become a Chamberlain (Chaplain) to Pope Pius X in 1911 and subsequently titled Monsignor.

220px-Monsignor_R._H._Benson_in_Oct._1912,_Aged_40

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOLY WEEK

29 March 2018 – Maundy/Holy Thursday

29 March 2018 – Maundy/Holy Thursday – The First Day of the Paschal Triduum

The History of Holy Thursday
Holy Thursday is more than just the lead-in to the events of Good Friday;  it is, in fact, the oldest of the celebrations of Holy Week.   And with good reason—Holy Thursday is the day on which Catholics commemorate the institution of three pillars of the Catholic Faith:  the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the priesthood and the Mass.   During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine that He shared with His disciples with the very words that Catholic and Orthodox priests use today to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass and the Divine Liturgy.   In telling His disciples to “Do this in remembrance of Me,” Jesus instituted the Mass and made them the first priests.

 

Maundy Thursday:   A New Commandment
Near the end of the Last Supper, after Judas had left to arrange for the betrayal of Christ, Jesus said to His disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you:  That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  The Latin word for “commandment,” mandatum, became the source of another name for Holy Thursday: Maundy Thursday.I give you a new commandment - maundy thursday

The Chrism Mass
On Holy Thursday, the priests of each diocese gather with their bishop to consecrate holy oils, which are used throughout the year for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick.   This ancient practice, which can be traced back as far as the fifth century, is known as the Chrism Mass.

(Chrism is a mixture of oil and balsam used for the holy oils.)   The gathering of all the priests in the diocese to celebrate this Mass with their bishop stresses the role of the bishop as a successor to the apostles.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Except in very rare circumstances, there is only one Mass other than the Chrism Mass celebrated on Holy Thursday in each church:  the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which is celebrated after sundown.   It commemorates the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion and it ends with the removal of the Body of Christ from the tabernacle in the main body of the church.   The Eucharist is carried in procession to another place where it is kept overnight, to be distributed during the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday (when no Mass is held and therefore no hosts are consecrated). After the procession, the altar is stripped bare and all bells in the church are silent until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.st jp the essence of our truthholy week trad

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 29 March

St Acacia of Antioch
St Archmimus of Africa
St Armogastes of Africa
St Barachasius
Bl Bertold of Mount Carmel
St Constantine of Monte Cassino
St Eustachio of Naples
St Firminus of Viviers
St Gladys
St Gwynllyw
Bl Hugh of Vaucelles
Bl John Hambley
St Jonas of Hubaham
St Lasar
St Ludolf of Ratzeburg
St Mark of Arethusa
St Masculas of Africa
St Pastor of Nicomedia
St Saturus of Africa
St Simplicius of Monte Cassino
St Victorinus of Nicomedia
St William Tempier

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Thought for the Day – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018 Judas

Thought for the Day – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018
Judas

Commentaries on Holy Week | Wednesday

Wednesday of Holy Week recalls the sad story of one who was an apostle of Christ, Judas. As St Matthew tells us in his gospel:  Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?”   And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray Him.spy wed

So that we realise that we all might behave as Judas did.   So that we ask our Lord that, on our part, there be no treachery, nor distancing, nor abandonment.   Not only because of the great harm this could bring to our personal lives but because we could drag along others who need the help of our good example, of our support, of our friendship.

JUDAS’ KISS

In some places in Latin America, the images of Christ crucified show a deep bruise on our Lord’s left cheek.  People say this represents Judas’ kiss.   So great is the pain that our sins cause Jesus.   Let us tell Him that we want to be faithful, that we don’t want to sell Him, as Judas did, for thirty coins, for a trifle, for that’s what our sins are:  pride, envy, impurity, hatred, resentment… When a temptation threatens to overwhelm us, let’s remember that it is not worthwhile to exchange the happiness of God’s children, which is what we are, for a pleasure that ends right away, leaving the bitter aftertaste of defeat and infidelity.

We have to feel on our shoulders the weight of the Church and of all humanity.   Isn’t it marvellous to know that each of us can influence the whole world.   In that place where we are, doing our work well, caring for our family, serving our friends, we can help make so many people happy.   As St Josemaria wrote, through the fulfilment of our duties, we Christians have to be like the stone fallen into the lake.   With your word and your example you produce a first circle… and it another… and another, and another…Until you reach the furthest sites.

Let us ask our Lord that there be no more betrayals;  that we learn, with His grace, how to reject the temptations that the devil presents us with, trying to trick us.   We have to say no, firmly, to all that would separate us from God.   Thus the sad story of Judas will not be repeated in our own lives.

SACRAMENT OF DIVINE MERCY

And if we feel ourselves weak, let us hurry to the holy Sacrament of Penance!   There our Lord is waiting, like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, to give us an embrace and offer us His friendship.  He is continually going forth to meet us, even if we have fallen low, very low.   It’s always time to return to God!  We should never react with discouragement or pessimism.   Don’t think:  What can I do, if I’m just a pile of wretchedness?   God’s mercy is even greater.   What can I do, if I fall again and again through my weakness?   God’s power to lift us from our falls is even greater.

The sins of Judas and of Peter were great.   Both of them betrayed the Master:  one by handing Him over to His persecutors, the other by denying Him three times.   And nevertheless, how differently each reacted.   Our Lord longed to show mercy towards both.   Peter repented;  he wept over his sin, he asked for forgiveness and Christ strengthened him in his faith and love.   In time, he came to give his life for our Lord.   But Judas failed to trust in Christ’s mercy.   Up till the last moment, God held the doors of forgiveness open for him, but he didn’t want to enter them through penance.

MOMENT OF CONVERSION AND FORGIVENESS

In his first encyclical, John Paul II spoke of Christ’s “right to meet each one of us in that key moment in the soul’s life constituted by the moment of conversion and forgiveness” (Redemptor Hominis, 20).   Let’s not deprive Jesus of that right!   Let’s not take away from God the Father the joy of giving us a welcoming embrace!   Let’s not sadden the Holy Spirit, who wants to give supernatural life back to souls!

Let’s ask Blessed Mary, the Hope of Christians, to prevent us from becoming discouraged on seeing our mistakes and sins, perhaps repeated ones.   May she win for us from her Son the grace of conversion, an efficacious desire to go humbly and contritely to Confession, the sacrament of divine mercy, beginning and beginning again as often as necessary.and if we feel ourselves weak - Bishop Javier Echevarria (1932-2016) opus dei - wed of holy week

Bishop Javier Echevarria (1932-2016)

Fr Javier Echevarria (born 1932) was the second successor of St Josemaria Escriva as head of Opus Dei from 1994-2016.
He worked closely with St. Josemaria Escriva as his personal secretary from 1953 until St Josemaria’s death in 1975. Bishop Echevarria was ordained as a priest on 7 August 1955.
He was elected and appointed by John Paul II as prelate of Opus Dei on 20 April 1994.
The Pope ordained him as a bishop on 6 January 1995.
Bishop Echevarria died in Rome on 12 December 2016.BISHOP JAVIER

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MARIAN QUOTES, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CONVERSION, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Third Word – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Third Word – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.   For centuries The Seven Last Words have been built into various forms of devotion for the consideration and consolation of the Christian people.

“…As we are under great obligations to Jesus,
for His Passion endured for our love,
so also are we under great obligations to Mary,
for the martyrdom which she voluntarily suffered,
for our salvation, in the death of her Son”.

St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Churchas we are under great - st bonaventure on the sorrowful mother - the third word - 28 march 2018

The Third Word

“Woman, behold, your son.”… “Behold, your mother.” John 19:26-27

Gospel:  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”   Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”   And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home…Jn 19:26-27

Reflection:  Sinful man, behold the sorrowful face of Our Blessed Mother.   She, who through her acceptance of God’s will brought the Son of God into the world, now sees Him stretched between heaven and earth suffering unbearable torments for your sake. This Mother, who accepted God’s Gift to the world with great joy, is now overcome with great sorrow to see Him who is Innocent put to death for our sakes.   Weep. o sinful man, for you and your sinful habits are the cause of her sorrow.

Looking down on His Most Holy Mother, the Saviour of the world gives her a parting gift: sinful mankind.   With four words He gives us who have crucified Him into her care, so that she may care for us with the same kindness and dedication as she had for Him.   The sorrow at losing her only Son is replaced with the sorrow of a mother who is forced to watch as her children blindly go down the path to destruction.

But Our Saviour is not finished.   Turning to St John and speaking through him to us, He reminds and warns us to honour His mother.   How can we return to sin when we remember that our sin hurts Our Blessed Mother twice?   First, we hurt her when our sin adds to Our Lord’s suffering.   Second, just like any other mother, Our Blessed Mother is saddened to the point of tears when we turn from the narrow path that leads to Salvation and instead take the wide path that leads to Eternal Damnation.

O, Most Blessed Mother,
I beg that you forgive me
for all that I have done to offend you
and your Most Holy Son.
I beg you further to intercede with your Son on my behalf.
I deserve Eternal Punishment for my continual offenses
against both you and your Son.
Take me by the hand so that I may never again offend you
and help me to grow in virtue,
that I may make reparation for my offences.
Amen.

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

My Lord and my God:
into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future,
what is small and what is great,
what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot,
things temporal and things eternal.
Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.THE THIRD WORD - JOHN 19 26-27 - THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE DEVOTION - 28 MARCH 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Quote of the Day – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

Quote of the Day – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

By nothing else except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ
has death been brought low, the sin of our first parent destroyed,
hell plundered, resurrection bestowed,
the power given us to despise the things of this world,
even death itself, the road back to the former blessedness made smooth,
the gates of paradise opened, our nature seated at the right hand of God
and we made children and heirs of God.
By the cross all these things have been set aright…
It is a seal that the destroyer may not strike us,
a raising up of those who lie fallen,
a support for those who stand,
a staff for the infirm,
a crook for the shepherded,
a guide for the wandering,
a perfecting of the advanced,
salvation for soul and body,
a deflector of all evils,
a cause of all goods,
a destruction of sin,
a plant of resurrection
and a tree of eternal life.

St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Churchby nothing else except the cross - st john damascene - 28 march 2018 - wed of holy week 2018

Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018 & The Memorial of St Stephen Harding (1050-1134) 

One Minute Reflection – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018 & The Memorial of St Stephen Harding (1050-1134)

Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?”   And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him…Matthew 26:14-16matthew 26 14-16

REFLECTION – “Judas is neither a master of evil nor the figure of a demoniacal power of darkness but rather a sycophant who bows before the anonymous power of changing moods and current fashions.   But it is precisely this anonymous power that crucified Jesus, for it was anonymous voices that cried ‘away with him! Crucify him!'”…Pope Benedict XVI

judas is neither a master of evil - pope benedict - 28 march 2018

PRAYER – Father of mercy, hear the prayers of Your repentant children, who call on You in love.   Englighten our minds, sanctify our hearts, grant us right judgement and lead us away from the idols of the world.   St Stephen Harding, as you abandoned the world and helped many to follow you, intercede for us.   Through Jesus Christ our Saviour, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

st stephen harding pray for us - 28 march 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS

Our Morning Offering – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

Our Morning Offering – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

Act of Love
of Father Jean-Baptiste Muard O.S.B. (1809-1854)

Desiring to love Thee, my God,
as much as is possible to a feeble creature,
I desire that all my thoughts,
all my wishes, all my sentiments,
all my aspirations, all the pulsations of my heart,
all my movements, be so many acts of love.
I desire that every character I trace in writing,
every word, every letter I read,
be to me so many acts of love.
Would that I could offer Thee each day
as many acts of most fervent love
as there are grains of sand on the sea-shore,
leaves on the trees of the forest,
atoms in the air and created things
and multiply them to infinity.
I offer Thee, my God,
in compensation for my weakness,
all the acts of love of all the angels
and all the saints in heaven and earth;
all the acts of love of the most holy Virgin
and, above all, the acts of love
for Thee of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alas ! my God, that I cannot love Thee
as Thou deservest to be loved;
give me, then, the heart of a Seraph or, rather,
fill my heart with the love of all the Seraphim,
the love of all the Saints, the love of all hearts,
and increase it ever more and more
that I may love Thee as much as I desire to love Thee.
Amenact of love by fr jean-baptiste Muard OSB - desiring to love thee o my God - 28 march 2018 wed ofholy week

Father Jean-Baptiste Muard (1809-1854) was the founder of the Society of Saint Edmund and of the Benedictine Abbey of La-Pierre-Qui-Vire.

Père_Muard-thumb-300x482

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 March – St Stephen Harding O.Cist (c 1050-1134)

Saint of the Day – 28 March – St Stephen Harding O.Cist (1050-1134) Monk, priest, Abbot, Reformer and co-founder of the Cistercian Order.   He was born in c 1050 in Meriot, Sherborne, England and died on 28 March 1134 at Citeaux, France of natural causes.  His remains are buried at Citeaux Abbey, France.   He was Canonised in 1623 by Pope Urban VIII.1200px-Sv._Stevan_Harding,_Stevanovska_cirkev

Stephen Harding was an Englishman of an honourable family and heir to a large estate. Born in Dorset, he was educated at the monastery of Sherborne and spoke English, Norman, French and Latin.

Desirous of seeking a more perfect way of Christian perfection, he, with a devout companion, travelled into Scotland and afterwards to Paris and to Rome.   On their return journey, the two travellers chanced upon a collection of huts in the forest of Molesme in Burgundy, where monks lived in great austerity.   Struck by their way of life and finding kindred spirits in Robert the Abbot and Alberic the Prior, he bid his friend goodbye and threw in his lot with the monks.

Robertus-Albericus-Stephanus21-203x300

After some years, finding that religious fervour had waned considerably, Stephen, Robert, Alberic and others went to Lyons and with the support of Bishop Hugh struck a new foundation in the forest of Citeaux sponsored by Rainald, Lord of Beaune and Odo, Duke of Burgundy.   Later Robert returned to his monks of Molesme who reclaimed him as their abbot, and upon the death of Alberic, in 1109, Stephen succeeded him as Abbot of Citeaux.

citeauxcitcistercian monastery at citeaux

He immediately instituted such austere measures to keep the spirit of the world out that he alienated the support of many who had helped to establish the abbey.   Novices ceased applying and to make matters worse, a mysterious disease decimated his monks to the point that even Stephen’s stout heart began to quiver wondering if he were really doing God’s will.

God answered him dramatically when thirty noblemen knocked at the abbey’s door seeking admittance.   They were headed by young St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church, who in his zeal had convinced his brothers, uncles and a number of his acquaintances to give up the world with him.

Apr+17+Stephen+Harding+1

Increasing numbers called for additional foundations and the first two were made at Morimond and Clairvaux.   To the general surprise, Stephen appointed twenty-four-year-old Bernard as Abbot of Clairvaux.   When nine abbeys had sprung from Citeaux, Stephen drew up the statutes of his Charter of Charity which officially organised the Cistercians into an order.

St Stephen died in 1134, advanced in age and nearly blind and having served as Abbot of Cîteaux for twenty-five years.  Whilst he was in his agony, he heard many whispering that, after so virtuous and penitential a life, he could have nothing to fear in dying:  at this he said to them, trembling, “I assure you that I go to God in fear and trembling. If my baseness should be found to have ever done any good, even in this I fear, lest I should not have preserved that grace with the humility and care I ought.”   He was interred in the tomb of Blessed Alberic, in which also many of his successors lie buried, in the cloister, near the door of the church.   His Order keeps his memorial as of the first class, with an octave and with greater solemnity than those of St Robert or St Bernard, having always looked upon him as the principal of its founders.

st-stephen-harding

In the words of author Stephen Tobin, “Stephen Harding found Cîteaux just another reformed abbey and left it the head of the first (European) religious order … Nothing like it had ever been seen before … At the head of a flourishing family of daughter houses, with a clearly defined manifesto and full legal constitution, Cîteaux was a force for change and a force to be reckoned within a world where (other leaders) vied to outdo each other in accruing and displaying wealth and power.”

st stephen harding - glass - 2

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 28 March

St Alkelda of Middleham
Bl Antonio Patrizi
St Castor of Tarsus
Bl Christopher Wharton
Bl Conon of Naso
St Cyril the Deacon
Bl Dedë Maçaj
St Donal O’Neylan
St Dorotheus of Tarsus
St Gundelindis of Niedermünster
St Guntramnus
St Hesychius of Jerusalem
St Hilarion of Pelecete
Bl Jean-Baptiste Malo
Bl Jeanne Marie de Maille
St Joseph Sebastian Pelczar
St Proterius of Alexandria
Bl Renée-Marie Feillatreau épouse Dumont
St Rogatus the Martyr
St Stephen Harding O.Cist (1050-1134)
St Successus the Martyr
St Tutilo of Saint-Gall
Bl Venturino of Bergamo

Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 27 March – Tuesday of Holy Week 2018

Thought for the Day – 27 March – Tuesday of Holy Week 2018

In many countries of the world, the Chrism Mass is celebrated separately today or tomorrow, together with the renewal of the local Priests’ vows.   In my particular Diocese, this is so, therefore I hope you will join me in praying for all our priests.

“Dear brothers and sisters, each year the Chrism Mass exhorts us to return to that “yes” to the call of God which we pronounced on the day of our priestly ordination. “Adsum – here I am!”, we said like Isaiah, when he heard the voice of God, who asked him:  “Whom shall I send?   Who will go for us?”  “Here I am, send me!”, Isaiah replied (Isaiah 6:8).   Then the Lord Himself, through the hands of the bishop, laid His hands upon us and we gave ourselves to His mission.   Since then, we have travelled down various roads in following His call.   Can we always claim what Paul, after years of a service of the Gospel that was often labourious and marked by sufferings of all kinds, wrote to the Corinthians: “Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged” (2 Cor. 4:1)?   “We are not discouraged.”   Let us pray today that our zeal may always be rekindled, so that it is constantly fed by the living flame of the Gospel.”…Pope Benedict 20 March 2008

Let us pray:

LORD JESUS CHRIST,

Eternal High Priest, you offered yourself to the
Father on the altar of the Cross and through the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit gave your priestly
people a share in your redeeming sacrifice.
Hear our prayer for the sanctification of our priests.
Grant that all who are ordained to the ministerial
priesthood may be ever more conformed to you,
the divine Master. May they preach the
Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience.
Let them be shepherds according to your own Heart,
single- minded in service to you and to the Church
and shining examples of a holy,simple and joyful life.
Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
your Mother and ours,draw all priests and the flocks
entrusted to their care to the fullness of eternal life where
you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

AMEN

BENEDICTUS PP. XVIpope-benedicts-prayer-for-priests-19-oct-2017

Holy Priest of God, Blessed Louis-Edouard Cestac, please pray for all our priests, amen.blessed louis-edouard cestac - pray for us no 2- 27 march 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 27 March – Tuesday of Holy Week 2018

Quote/s of the Day – 27 March – Tuesday of Holy Week 2018

“Nobody can reign with Christ without having imitated His Passion.   For things of great value can only be acquired at a great price.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchnobody can reign with christ - st john chrysostom - tuesday of holy week - 27 march 2018

“Great thing is the knowledge of the crucified Christ.   How many things are enclosed inside this treasure!   Christ crucified!   Such is the hidden treasure of wisdom and science.   Do not be deceived, then, under the pretext of wisdom. Gather before the covering and pray that it may be uncovered.    Foolish philosopher of this world, what you are looking for is worthless…   What is the advantage of being thirsty, if you despise the source? …   And what is His precept but that we believe in Him and love each other?   In whom?   In Christ crucified. This is His commandment:  that we believe in Christ crucified …   But where humility is, there is also majesty, where weakness is, there shall one find power, where death is, there shall be life as well.   If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first. “   (Sermon 160, 3-4).

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthis is his commandment - tues of holy week - st augustine - 27 march 2018

Posted in DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Second Word – 27 March – Tuesday of Holy Week 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Second Word – 27 March – Tuesday of Holy Week 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.   For centuries The Seven Last Words have been built into various forms of devotion for the consideration and consolation of the Christian people.

“The tree upon which were fixed the members of Him dying
was even the chair of the Master teaching.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe tree upon which were fixed - st augustine - 27 march 2018

The Second Word

“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
(Lk 23:43)

Gospel:  Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.”   The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”   Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”...Lk 23:39-43

Reflection:   “The Christian is obliged to be alter Christus, ipse Christus: another Christ, Christ himself.   Through baptism all of us have been made priests of our lives, ‘to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’   Everything we do can be an expression of our obedience to God’s will and so perpetuate the mission of the God-man.

“Once we realize this, we are immediately reminded of our wretchedness and our personal failings.   But they should not dishearten us;  we should not become pessimistic and put our ideals aside.   Our Lord is calling us, in our present state, to share His life and make an effort to be holy.   I know holiness can sound like an empty word.   Too many people think it is unattainable, something to do with ascetical theology — but not a real goal for them, a living reality.   The first Christians didn’t think that way.   They often used the word “saints” to describe each other in a very natural manner:  ‘greetings to all the saints’;‘my greetings to every one of the saints in Jesus Christ.’

“Take a look now at Calvary.   Jesus has died and there is as yet no sign of His glorious triumph.   It is a good time to examine how much we really want to live as Christians, to be holy.   Here is our chance to react against our weaknesses with an act of faith.”…St Josemaria Escriva – Christ is Passing By, no. 95

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

My Lord and my God:
into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future,
what is small and what is great,
what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot,
things temporal and things eternal.
Amen.   Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.THE SECOND WORD - LUKE 23 43 - THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE DEVOTION - 27 MARCH 2018.no.2

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 March – Tuesday of Holy Week 2018

One Minute Reflection – 27 March – Tuesday of Holy Week 2018

Peter said to him, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times…John 13:37-38

REFLECTION – “We too often forget that maxim of the Saints which warns us to consider ourselves as each day recommencing our progress towards perfection.   If we consider it frequently we shall not be surprised at the poverty of our spirit, nor how much we have to refuse ourselves.   The work is never finished, we have continually to begin again and that courageously.   What we have done so far is good but what we are going to commence will be better and when we have finished that, we shall begin something else that will be better still and then another – until we leave this world to begin a new life that will have no end because it is the best that can happen to us.
It is not then a case for tears that we have so much work to do for our souls, for we need great courage to go ever onwards (since we must never stop) and much resolution to restrain our desires.   Observe carefully this precept that all the Saints have given to those who would emulate them: to speak little, or not at all, of yourself and your own interests.”…St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchit is not then a case for tears - st francis de sales - tuesday of holy week - 27 march 2018

PRAYER – All-powerful, everliving God, may our sacramental celebration of the Lord’s passion bring us Your forgiveness, Your love and Your help.   Grant that through the prayers of Blessed Louis-Edouard Cestac, Your servant, we may constantly grow in sanctity, zeal and fortitude. T  hrough our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.blessed louis-edouard cestac - pray for us - 27 march 2018