Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 21 March – The Memorial of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

Thought for the Day – 21 March – The Memorial of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) and Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent 2018  (this reflection includes our Lenten Reflection for today.)

Although our minds are limited in their ability to attain God in this life, we are capable of “greater desire and love, and pleasure in knowing divine matters” than we are able to find in “the perfect knowledge of the lowest things.”   Thus far Aquinas, who taught as one who knew.   Saint Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) was in perfect agreement.   “God,” he once said, “gives us such a taste for prayer that we yearn for it as if we were waiting to go to a dance.”

The likeness was more than a bit incongruous, for the speaker was a true hermit, a man who had given up not only dances but nearly everything else that bound him to this world, even food.   Born to a pious, upstanding peasant family, young Nicholas stood out for his goodness, simplicity and mortification.   While still a young man, labouring in the fields and meadows of the valleys south of Lucerne, he fasted four times per week, explaining himself, when pressed, by saying, “Such is the will of God.”   Until his fiftieth year, his life was that of an exemplary Swiss free man.   Like many of his fellow countrymen, he served his canton both under arms and by holding civic office.   And this pillar of the community raised up five sons and five daughters with the help of his exemplary wife Dorothy.   Yet God persisted in calling him to a life beyond that of the domestic holiness he had already embraced and sent visions to him in his late-night prayer vigils and his moments of afternoon solitude in the fields, visions that beckoned him to leave all.

As the eminent Swiss theologian Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) explained in his biography of the hermit-saint, “it no longer sufficed for him to walk along the roads of the world with God in his heart;  he had to take the path set aside for him, that he might be taken by the hand and led to where he knew not.”   What praise of Dorothy of Flue could be lovelier, Journet asked, than to admire her magnanimity in being able to    They parted friends, just thirteen weeks after the birth of their youngest child and remained so.   Several years later, a pilgrim visitor to Nicholas’ hermitage saw the saint, with joyous mien, lean out of the window of his tiny cell after the morning Mass to greet his family with a blessing:  “May God give you a blessed day, dear friends and good people!”  One is glad to know that his wife and children attended his deathbed.   After all, she had never lost her husband completely.   Honoured by Swiss Protestants, venerated by Swiss Catholics, Nicholas’s cult, uninterrupted since his death, was officially sanctioned by Clement IX (1667-9).  In 1947 he was canonised by Pope Pius XII.

What lesson might Nicholas of Flue hold out for our generation?   Were he alive today this simple Swiss peasant would doubtless be startled by our wealth.   The recession of recent years seems to have done little to dull the edge of our consumption.   The adjective “worldly” is now being used as a term of approbation, to signify the savoir-faire of the person who knows the latest fashions and ways of thinking.   It is a telling linguistic development.   Nicholas of Flue spent the last twenty years of his life in a tiny room with two windows.   Through one of them, he could see something of the beauty of his native land, a beauty that nourished his reflection and piety:  “O man, think of the sun so high in the sky and consider its splendour:  but your soul has received the splendour of the eternal God.”   Through the other, he saw the altar, whence came the very food of his soul.   “We should carry the Passion of God in our hearts, for this is the greatest consolation to a man at the hour of his death.”   The one thing needful indeed.st nicholas of flue pray for us - 21 march 2018-no 2

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SPEAKING of ....., St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei

Quote/s of the Day – 21 March “Speaking of Sanctity”

Quote/s of the Day – 21 March
“Speaking of Sanctity”

“The secret of being always with God
and of assuring His continual presence
in our hearts is constant prayer.”

St Isidore of Seville (560-636) Doctor of the Churchthe secret of being always with god - st isidore - 21 march 2018 - speaking of sanctity

“The shortest, yes, the only way,
to reach sanctity, is to conceive a horror
for all that the world loves and values.”

St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)the shortest, yes, - st ignatius - speaking of sanctity - 21 march 2018

“Sanctity consists in the accomplishment
of the duties God lays upon us.
In this way, one who fulfills well the duties of his station
and, much more, one who fulfills them well for God,
will become a real saint – nothing more is needed.”

Blessed Louis-Édouard Cestac (1801-1868)sanctity consists in the accomplishment - bl louis-edouard cestac - 21 march 2018 speaking of sanctity

“If God does not desire me to be a saint,
He would not have created me a reasonable being.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)if god does not - st peter julian eymard - speaking of sanctity - 21 march 2018

“Our Lord has created persons for all states in life
and in all of them, we see people,
who achieved sanctity
by fulfilling their obligations well.”

St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)our lord has created - sdt anthony mary claret - speaking of sanctity - 21 march 2018

“Great’ holiness consists in carrying out
the ‘little duties’ of each moment.”

St Josemaria Escriva, (1902-1975) The Way, 81great holiness - st josemaria - speaking of sanctity - 21 march 2018

“We must have a real living determination to reach holiness.
I will be a saint means, I will despoil myself of all, that is not God;
I will strip my heart of all created things;
I will live in poverty and detachment;
I will renounce my will, my inclinations, my whims and fancies
and make myself a willing slave to the will of God.”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)we must have a ral living - st mother teresa - speaking of sanctity - 21 march 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 March – The Memorial of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

One Minute Reflection – 21 March – The Memorial of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…Colossians 3:17

REFLECTION – “Each state of life has its special duties; by their accomplishments one may find happiness.”…St Nicholas of Flueeach state of life - st nicholas of flue - 21 march 2018

PRAYER – Holy Father, teach us to offer all we do to You and thus make it a perfect gift. By giving our best efforts to every aspect of our daily lives, we may be offer You our gratitude.   Grant that by the prayers of St Nicholas of Flue, we may attain holiness and happiness as we continue our journey to our eternal home.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st nicholas of flue pray for us - 21 march 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CCC, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 21 March – The Memorial of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

Our Morning Offering – 21 March – The Memorial of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

My Lord and my God
St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

My Lord and my God,
take from me everything
that distances me from You.
My Lord and my God,
give me everything
that brings me closer to You.
My Lord and my God,
detach me from myself
to give my all to You.
Amen

The above prayer of St Nicholas, is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph #226.
CCC 226 – It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to Him and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from Him.

prayer of st nicholas of flue no 226 - my lord and my god, take from me everything - 21 march 2018

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 March – St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

Saint of the Day – 21 March – St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) – born on 21 March 1417 at Sachseln, Canton Unterwalden, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland and died on  21 March 1487 at Ranft, Aargau, Switzerland of natural causes;  his wife and children were at his side
His relics reside in the church of Sachseln, Switzerland.   He is affectionately known as Brother Klause.   Patronages – Switzerland, Pontifical Swiss Guards, Councillors, large families.   St Nicholas was a Swiss hermit and ascetic who is the patron saint of Switzerland.   He is sometimes invoked as Brother Klaus.   A husband and father, a Mystic, a writer, farmer, military leader, member of the assembly, councillor, judge, he was respected as a man of complete moral integrity.  Brother Klaus’s counsel to the Diet of Stans (1481) helped to prevent war between the Swiss cantons.HEADER - ST NICHOLAS OF FLUE

The Swiss affectionately call St.Nicholas of Flue “Brother Klaus.”   They revere him as a great holy man and political Councillors, who contributed significantly to the formation of their peace-loving nation.

 

From his youth in Unterwalden, Switzerland, Nicholas was a member of a Catholic lay association called the Friends of God.   Scattered throughout Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany, members sought closeness to Christ through a disciplined life, especially by meditation on his passion.

Though totally dedicated to peace, twice patriotism led Nicholas to fight in wars to defend Unterwalden.   At age thirty he married Dorothy Wissling and during twenty happy years she bore him ten children.

At age fifty, however, Nicholas sensed God’s call to live a contemplative life as a hermit. Dorothy, also a member of the Friends of God, would not be opposed to such a desire.   She believed that Nicholas had a divine commission and she and the children released him.   So Nicholas left his family and spent the next twenty years in a remote cottage at Ranft.   He prayed most of the night but in afternoons he welcomed visitors.   It is reported but not confirmed, that during these years he took no food or drink, only Holy Communion.

In 1481, Nicholas played a major role in solidifying the unity of Switzerland.   After the cantons secured independence by defeating the German king, Charles the Bold, a dispute threatened to divide the cantons.   Representatives meeting at Stans disagreed over admitting Fribourg and Soleure to the confederation.   However, at an impasse they consulted Brother Klaus.   Within an hour after obtaining his advice, they agreed to include the territories.

A document from that period preserved Nicholas’s fundamental political wisdom.

“Always put God first and do not extend too widely the country’s frontiers that you may live more easily in peace, union and faithfulness to your dearly attained liberties.   Do not mix in the affairs of others or ally yourself with a powerful stranger.   Protect your country and do not hold yourself distant from it.   Do not let grow among you self-interest, jealousy, hatred, envy and factions, or these will work against you.   Dear friends, don’t let innovations and roguery seduce you.   Hold on to the good, all of you together.   Stay on the road in the footprints of your pious ancestors.   Guard faithfully that which has been assigned to you.   If you do that, neither storm nor tempest can harm you and you will overcome much evil.

Six years after the Stans meeting, on December 21, 1487, Nicholas died at Ranft after an illness of eight days.

St Nicholas was beatified in 1669.   After his beatification, the municipality of Sachseln built a church in his honour, where his body was interred.   He was canonised in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.

As a layman with family responsibilities who took his civic duties as an ancestral landowner seriously, Brother Klaus is a model of heroic manhood for many concerned with the flourishing of local communities and sustainable use of open land.   He is the patron saint of the German-language association KLB (Katholischen Landvolkbewegung), the Catholic Rural Communities Movement.st nicholas - statue

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 21 March

Bl Alfonso de Rojas
St Augustine Tchao
St Benedicta Cambiagio Frassinello
St Birillus of Catania
St Christian of Cologne
St Domninus of Rome
St Enda of Arran
St Isenger of Verdun
St James the Confessor
Bl John of Valence
Bl Lucia of Verona
St Lupicinus of Condat
Bl Mark Gjani
Bl Matthew Flathers
St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

St Philemon of Rome
Bl Santuccia Terrebotti
St Serapion the Scholastic
Bl Thomas Pilcher
Bl William Pike

Martyrs of Alexandria: A large but unknown number of Catholics massacred in several churches during Good Friday services in Alexandria, Egypt by Arian heretics during the persecutions of Constantius and Philagrio. They were martyred on Good Friday in 342 in Alexandria, Egypt.