Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH

Thought for the Day – 7 April – Easter Saturday, Seventh Day in the Octave of Easter

Thought for the Day – 7 April – Easter Saturday, Seventh Day in the Octave of Easter

What is Faith? by Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ

Faith is that disposition of our minds which makes us ready to accept all that God has revealed simply because He has revealed it.   It is an assent to that which comes to us with God’s authority because it comes with His authority and not because in itself it commends itself to our reason.   It is quite satisfied that God has said that this or that is true and it gives its adherence to what He has said without any further question.   It thus earns the benediction of those “who have not seen but have believed.” (John 20:29)   Have I this simple, unquestioning faith?

Faith is never opposed to reason.   It is above and beyond reason but never contrary to it. What God has spoken can never be in contradiction with what our reason tells us is true. It may contradict our ordinary experience, as in the case of miracles; it may seem to set aside the testimony of our senses, as in the case of the Blessed Eucharist;  it may require our acceptance of what is beyond the power of reason to grasp, as the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity but it never requires us to believe in an absurdity.   Thank God for your faith in the Catholic religion, since all others are ultimately in contradiction with reason.

Yet faith requires us to believe many things that are difficult of belief and that we cannot believe without the help of God.   Faith is a gift of God.   No amount of searching or inquiry will obtain it.   I must humbly pray to God, “Give me a strong faith; increase my faith; make me loyal in my readiness to believe,” if I wish my faith to be that of a true child of the Catholic Church. (Beautiful Pearls of Catholic Truth-1897)

“Of course, this adherence to God is not without content;  with it we are aware that God has shown Himself to us in Christ, He has made us see His face and has made Himself really close to each one of us.   Indeed, God has revealed thatHhis love for man, for each one of us, is boundless:  on the Cross, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God made man, shows us in the clearest possible way how far this love reaches, even to the gift of Himself, even to the supreme sacrifice.   With the mystery of Christ’s death and Resurrection, God plumbs to the depths of our humanity to bring it back to Him, to uplift it to His heights. Faith is believing in this love of God that is never lacking in the face of human wickedness, in the face of evil and death but is capable of transforming every kind of slavery, giving us the possibility of salvation.

Having faith, then, is meeting this “You”, God, who supports me and grants me the promise of an indestructible love that not only aspires to eternity but gives it;  it means entrusting myself to God with the attitude of a child, who knows well that all his difficulties, all his problems are understood in the “you” of his mother.   And this possibility of salvation through faith is a gift that God offers all men and women.   I think we should meditate more often — in our daily life, marked by problems and at times by dramatic situations — on the fact that believing in a Christian manner means my trusting abandonment to the profound meaning that sustains me and the world, that meaning that we are are unable to give to each other but can only receive as a gift and that is the foundation on which we can live without fear.   And we must be able to proclaim this liberating and reassuring certainty of faith with words and show it by living our life as Christians.”

Pope Benedict XVI – General Audience “What is faith?” – 24 October 2012

having faith then - pope benedict - 7 april 2018 easter sat 7th day of the octave

“We speak, we cast the seed, we scatter the seed.
There are those who deride us,
those who reproach us,
those who mock at us.
If we fear them, we have nothing left to sow
and on the day of reaping, we will be left without a harvest.
Therefore, may the seed in the good soil sprout!”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchwe speak, we cast the seed - st augustine - 7 april 2018 - easter saturday

Posted in EASTER, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 7 April – Easter Saturday and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)

Quote/s of the Day – 7 April – Easter Saturday and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)

“When you are at Mass,
be there as if you were on Calvary.
For it is the same sacrifice
and the same Jesus Christ
Who is doing for you
what He did on the Cross
for all human beings.”when you are at Mass - st john baptiste de la salle - 7 april 2018

“Jesus Christ came to this earth to reign here
but not, says Saint Augustine, as other kings do,
to raise tribute, enroll armies and visibly do battle
against his enemies, for Jesus Christ assures us
that His kingdom is not of this world
but to establish His reign within our souls,
according to what He Himself says,
in the holy Gospel, that His kingdom is within us.”jesus christ came to this earth - 7 april 2018

“We must strive to place ourselves completely in God’s hands.
Then He will cause us to feel the effects
of His goodness and protection – which are, at times extraordinary.”we-must-strive-stjohnbaptistdelasalle.14 jan 2017

“Miracles happen by touching hearts.”

“You are called like the apostles
to make God known to others.”

“God has chosen you
to do his work.”

“Say to Jesus as the apostles
did: ‘Lord, teach us to pray’.“miracles happen, you are called, god has chosen you, say to Jeus - st john baptiste de la salle - 7 april 2018

St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)

Posted in EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 April – Easter Saturday and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)

One Minute Reflection – 7 April – Easter Saturday and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)

Do not worry about tomorrow;  tomorrow will take care of itself.   Sufficient for a day is its own evil.…Matthew 6:34

REFLECTION – “Do not have any anxiety about the future.   Leave everything in God’s hands, for He will take care of you.” …St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)do not have any anxiety - st john baptiste de la salle - 7 april 2018

PRAYER – In Your providence, Lord God, You chose St John Baptiste de la Salle, to educate the young in the Christian faith and way of life. Raise up, Lord, in the Church today, teachers who will devote themselves wholeheartedly to the human and Christian education of our youth.   May the prayers of St John, help us all to seek and do Your holy will in all things, amen.st john baptiste de la salle - pray for us - 7 april 2018

Posted in EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 7 April – Easter Saturday and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)

Our Morning Offering – 7 April – Easter Saturday and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)

LaSallian Prayer

Father in heaven, God of love,
all I have and am is Yours.
Grant that I may become
a living sign of Your compassion in this world.
Grant me the faith
to live my life,
always in the awareness of Your loving presence.
Grant me zeal
to serve without thought of reward,
those to whom you send me.
Grant me charity
to bear the burdens of my brothers and sisters.
Teach me to seek Your Son’s face,
in the last
the lost
and the least.
In whatever I undertake,
may I seek above all things,
to procure Your glory,
as far as I am able
and as You will require of me.
Strengthen me by Your Holy Spirit,
to follow Jesus by living
the commitment I make this day.
Amen

LaSallian Invocation:
Live Jesus in our hearts forever!lasallian prayer - father in heaven, god of love - st john baptiste de la salle - 7 april 2018

Posted in EASTER, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 April – St John Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719) – the “Father of Modern Education”

Saint of the Day – 7 April – St John Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719) Priest, Founder of La Salle Schools and of the Brothers of the Christian Schools or FSC (Fratres Scholarum Christianarum), Educational Reformer, known as the “Father of Modern Education”.   St John was born on 30 April 1651 at Rheims, France and died on 7 April 1719 at Saint-Yon, Rouen, France of natural causes.  Patronages – Teachers of Youth, (15 May 1950, Pius XII), Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Lasallian educational institutions, teachers, school principals.st john baptiste de la salle - header

st-john-baptist-de-la-salle.infost john baptiste de la salle patron of teachers

St John’s parents were people of standing, his father holding a judicial post.   From childhood he gave evidence of such unusual piety that he was designated for the priesthood.   At eleven he received the tonsure and at sixteen became a canon of the cathedral chapter at Rheims.   Later he was sent to the seminary of St Sulpice to complete his studies.   The young canon, handsome in appearance and scholarly in his tastes, seemed destined for high ecclesiastical preferment.   An altar server from the start, De La Salle regularly attended Mass and prayers in Rheims Cathedral and was a Canon for 16 years.   This is also where he said his first Mass and around which his liturgical life revolved.  Soon after his return to Rheims he was to discover his true life workthe education of the poor.   It was to be a long, hard struggle, with few tangible rewards but he unquestionably started a movement which was to result in furthering free elementary instruction.

young de la salle as Canon
Young De La Salle as canon
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De La Salle says his first Mass at Rheims Cathedral

In 17th-century France, education was reserved for those who were rich and only by special providence did John Baptiste de La Salle become interested in schools for boys who were poor.   By chance, John met Adrien Nyel, who was establishing some charitable schools for boys in need.   John disliked the rough behaviour of those who were poor and the smells and sights of the slums but he sympathised with their poverty.   John helped open a school for boys in need.   He secured five teachers and rented a building.   As John checked on his school, he witnessed shocking conditions.   John decided he had to bring order to the school.   He planned to upgrade the standards of the teachers and train them to be religious educators.   His teachers quit.   But soon men of better quality took their places and thrived under John’s training.   John began to see that he must identify with his teachers, so he gave away his fortune and dedicated himself to education.

 

John founded the Brothers of Christian Schools to educate those who were poor. “The more religious a school is, the more successful it is,” was John’s philosophy.   His boys attended daily Mass, were taught the catechism and prayers and had religion integrated into other subjects.

John motivated the students to prepare for a career and to live their lives by Christian principles.   His schools attracted boys from fee-paying schools.   Jealous instructors tried to bring lawsuits to ruin his work but his efforts were praised by the people.   John opened boarding schools for boys in need and gave them courses in practical skills.

Although the schools had originally been founded for orphans and the children of the poor, a new departure was made at the request of King James II of England, who was then living in exile.   He urged the founding of a college for the sons of his adherents, mainly Irish, who were living in France and Father John opened such a school for fifty young men of gentle birth.   At about the same time he started a school for boys of the artisan class.   Here technical instruction was combined with religious exercises and this type of school became very popular.   There were also schools started for “troublesome boys,” now usually called “juvenile delinquents.”   Efforts were thus being made to meet the needs of all types and classes of boys and young men.   This constantly expanding work required insight and adaptability in an unusual degree.st john teacher

Father John Baptist’s later years were spent at the College of St Yon, in Rouen, where the novitiate had been transferred in 1705, after it had functioned for some years in Paris.   In 1716 he resigned from the active direction and government of the Institute and from then on would give no orders and lived like the humblest of the brothers, teaching the novices and young boarders.   He wrote for them several treatises, including <A Method of Mental Prayer>.   Worn out by illness and austerities, he passed away on Good Friday, April 7, 1719, at the age of sixty-seven.   Six years after his death, the Christian Brothers’ institute was recognised by Pope Benedict XIII and its rule approved.   Father John was canonised in 1900.   To his valiant efforts we owe in large part the acceptance of the idea of universal education.

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Saint Peter Basilica, Rome

In spite of internal difficulties, chiefly concerning the degree of austerity to be observed by the Brothers, the schools spread and flourished up to the French Revolution.   During that period of persecution, the Christian Brothers were at one point reduced to twenty active members.   However, when the ban was lifted by Napoleon I in 1799, the community sprang back to life with remarkable resilience.   During the nineteenth century the schools expanded steadily;  then, from 1904 to 1908, there was another setback:  1285 establishments were closed by legislative decree in France.   Meanwhile the Brothers had established themselves in other countries of Europe, in England, Ireland, the Levant, North and South America, the West Indies, South Africa and Australia. Their first school in the United States was founded in 1846, today many of them are on the college level.st john info

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Posted in EASTER, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 7 April

St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719) (Memorial)

St Albert of Tournai
Bl Alexander Rawlins
St Brenach of Carn-Engyle
St Calliopus of Pompeiopolis
Bl Cristoforo Amerio
St Cyriaca of Nicomedia
St Donatus of North Africa
Bl Edward Oldcorne
St Epiphanius the Martyr
St Finian of Kinnitty
St George the Younger
St Gibardus of Luxeuil
St Goran
St Guainerth
St Hegesippus of Jerusalem
St Henry Walpole
Bl Herman Joseph
Bl Mary Assunta
St Peleusius of Alexandria
St Peter Nguyen Van Luu
Bl Ralph Ashley
St Rufinus the Martyr
St Saturninus of Verona
Bl Ursuline of Parma

Martyrs of Pentapolis – 4 saints:  A bishop, deacon and two lectors at Pentapolis, Lybia who for their faith were tortured, had their tongues cut out, and were left for dead.  They survived and each died years later of natural causes; however, because they were willing to die and because there were attempts to kill them, they are considered martyrs.   We know little else except their names – Ammonius, Irenaeus, Serapion and Theodore c 310 at Pentapolis, Lybia.

Martyrs of Sinope – 200 saints: 200 Christian soldiers martyred together for their faith. We don’t even have their names.   They were martyred in Sinope, Pontus, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).