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