Posted in Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, Uncategorized

GAUDATE ET EXSULTATE: The Call for Holiness Is a Constant Battle, But We Can Count on Powerful Weapons God Gave Us

Pope’s 3rd Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness, Gives Practical Advice on How Not to Settle for Failure or Mediocritygaudete et exsultate

Jesus wants our happiness and wants us to be saints.   He does not want us to settle for a bland and mediocre existence.

Gaudate et Exsultate:  On the Call for Holiness in our Modern World was published today, marking Pope Francis’ 3rd Apostolic Exhortation after Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia.pope francis gaudete et exsultate

The five-chapter, 98-page document can be considered somewhat of a practical handbook on how to help us achieve holiness in the circumstances of our ordinary lives. The chapters include: 1) The Call to Holiness 2) Two Subtle Enemies of Holiness 3) In the Light of the Master 4) Signs of Holiness in Today’s World 5) Spiritual Combat, Vigilance and Discernment.

Reflecting on saints, the Pope speaks specifically of the saints ‘next door:’ “Nor need we think of those already beatified and canonised” but, he stressed, “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people:  n their daily perseverance, I see the holiness of the Church militant.   A holiness found in our next-door neighbors, the middle class of holiness.”

The document which stresses the need for discernment acknowledges that the Christian life is a battle. It notes that the devil tries to “poison with the venom of hatred, desolation and vice.”

Our call to holiness, it also asserts, is a constant battle.   If we do not realize this, it warns, we “will be prey to failure or mediocrity.”   Yet, it suggests, we can count on “the powerful weapons” God has given us, including prayer, meditation, Mass, Confession, Eucharistic adoration, charitable acts and community outreach.

While recalling some of the saints’ great examples, including St Francis of Assisi, St John Paul II, and Edith Stein, the Pope provides advice on how we can be good Christians.

The answer is clear, he says: “We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount.”

The life of a Christian, the text also stresses, is a constant battle, noting we need strength and courage to reject the devil’s temptations–those “dangers and limitations that distract and debilitate”– and to proclaim the Gospel. Pope Francis also warns against that which impedes our call to holiness, such as hedonism and consumerism, noting they “can prove our downfall.”

Pope Francis concludes the work, stating:  “It is my hope that these pages will prove helpful by enabling the whole Church to devote herself anew to promoting the desire for holiness.” (via Zenit)

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Link to full text of Apostolic Exhortation:  https://zenit.org/articles/gaudate-et-exsultate-on-the-call-to-holiness-in-todays-world-full-text/

Vatican Media has released a new video that focuses on the theme of the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate: On the Call for Holiness in our Modern World.  The two-and-a-half-minute video shows how the exhortation addressed the needs of people of all ages around the world.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, HOMILIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Thought for the Day – 9 April – Low Monday of Eastertide

Thought for the Day – 9 April – Low Monday of Eastertide

St Augustine of Hippo – The Easter Alleluia

This excerpt on the Easter Alleluia from St Augustine is a wonderful explanation of the joy of the Easter Season.   Just as Lent was a season of penance, so the fifty days of Easter is a season of praise and song, an anticipation for the age to come in heavenly glory.

“Our thoughts in this present life, should turn on the praise of God because it is in praising God, that we shall rejoice forever in the life to come and no one can be ready for the next life, unless he trains himself for it now. 

our thoughts in this present life - st augustine - 9 april 2018 - low monday  So we praise God during our earthly life and at the same time we make our petitions to Him.   Our praise is expressed with joy, our petitions with yearning.   We have been promised something we do not yet possess and because the promise was made by one who keeps His word, we trust Him and are glad;  but insofar as possession is delayed, we can only long and yearn for it.   It is good for us to persevere in longing until we receive what was promised and yearning is over, then praise alone will remain.

Because there are these two periods of time – the one that now is, beset with the trials and troubles of this life and the other yet to come, a life of everlasting serenity and joy – we are given two liturgical seasons, one before Easter and the other after.   The season before Easter signifies the troubles in which we live here and now, while the time after Easter which we are celebrating at present, signifies the happiness that will be ours in the future.   What we commemorate before Easter is what we experience in this life; what we celebrate after Easter points to something we do not yet possess.   This is why we keep the first season with fasting and prayer but now the fast is over and we devote the present season to praise.   Such is the meaning of the Alleluia we sing.

Both these periods are represented and demonstrated for us in Christ our head.   The Lord’s passion depicts for us our present life of trial – shows how we must suffer and be afflicted and finally die.   The Lord’s resurrection and glorification show us the life that will be given to us in the future.

Now therefore, brethren, we urge you to praise God.   That is what we are all telling each other when we say Alleluia.   You say to your neighbour, “Praise the Lord!” and he says the same to you.   We are all urging one another to praise the Lord and all thereby doing what each of us urges the other to do.   But see that your praise comes from your whole being;  in other words, see that you praise God, not with your lips and voices alone but with your minds, your lives and all your actions.

but see that you praise god - st augustine - low monday - 9 april 2018

We are praising God now, assembled as we are here in church;  but when we go on our various ways again, it seems as if we cease to praise God.   But provided we do not cease to live a good life, we shall always be praising God.   You cease to praise God only when you swerve from justice and from what is pleasing to God.   

If you never turn aside from the good life, your tongue may be silent but your actions will cry aloud and God will perceive your intentions;  for as our ears hear each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear our thoughts.”

if you never turn aside from the good life - st augustine - low monday - 9 april 2018as our ears hear each other's voices - st augustine - 8 april 2018 - low monday of eastertide

This excerpt on the Alleluia as the song of the Easter Season of praise comes from St. Augustine’s discourse on the Psalms (Ps. 148, 1-2: CCL 40, 2165-2166).

We are the Easter People and Alleluia is our Song!

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)we are the easter people and alleluia is our song - st john paul - 9 april 2018 - low monday

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote of the Day – 9 April – Low Monday of Eastertide

Quote of the Day – 9 April – Low Monday of Eastertide

“God is always trying to give good things to us
but our hands are too full to receive them.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctorgod is always trying to give good things - st augustine - 9 april 2018 low monday of eastertide

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Low Monday of Eastertide & the Memorial of St Liborius of le Mans (early 4th century – 397)

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Low Monday of Eastertide & the Memorial of St Liborius of le Mans (early 4th century – 397)

By his ‘will’ we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ....Hebrews 10:10HEBREWS 10-10 - no 2 used on 9 april 2018

REFLECTION – “God’s infinite power, His profound wisdom and the reign of His justice were known.   However, the dimensions of His clemency were not yet known.   Jesus came as interpreter of the Divinity.”…St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the ChurchGOD'S INFINIE POWER-ST BERNARD

PRAYER – Merciful Father, let us not turn from Your mercy and clemency.   In Jesus Your Son, You sent us all Your loving kindness.   Grant that Christ’s complete sacrifice may bear fruit in me in accord with Your Will for me.   St Liborius, faithfully sought Your will in all things and lovingly gave himself to fulfil it to the best of his ability, grant that by his prayers, we may understand and complete Your will in our lives.   Through Jesus our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st liborius - pray for us - 9 april 2018

Posted in EASTER, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – Low Monday of Eastertide

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – Low Monday of Eastertide

A Prayer for Confidence and Trust in God’s Mercy
By St Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968)

O Lord,
we ask for a boundless confidence and trust
in Your Divine Mercy
and the courage to accept the crosses and suffering
which bring immense goodness to our souls
and that of Your Church.
Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart
and to humble ourselves beneath Your Cross
as we climb the mountain of holiness,
carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.
O Jesus, most adorable Heart
and eternal fountain of Divine Love,
may our prayer find favour
before the Divine Majesty
of Your heavenly Father.
Amena prayer for confidence and trust in god's mercy - by st padre pio - 9 april 2018 low monday

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 9 April – St Liborius of Le Mans (early 4th century – 397)

Saint of the Day – 9 April – St Liborius of Le Mans (early 4th century – 397) Bishop, Confessor, Reformer, evangeliser and shepherd of souls, builder of Churches and monasteries.   Patronages – abdominal pains, against calculi, gravel, kidney stones or gall stones, against colic, against fever, of a good death, archdiocese of Paderborn, Germany, city of Paderborn, Germany, Paderborn Cathedral.   Attributes – Bishop with pebbles on a book; Bishop with a peacock; episcopal attire.

st liborius - v large

St Liborius was born of an illustrious family of Gaul (a region in the Roman Empire which extended to the area on the west bank of the Rhine river of the present day Germany) and became Bishop of Le Mans, France.   He was a trusty companion and great friend to St Marinus (Martin of Tours).   They were both bishops, neighbours in office.  St Liborius was bishop for about 49 years and ordained 217 priests, 186 deacons and 93 sub deacons and other churchmen.

st liborius

Much of the ministerial life of Bishop Liborius covered the second half of the 4th century. By this time, the Roman Empire ended its persecution of Christianity with Emperor Constantine the Great’s Edict of Milan in the year 313.   Freed from persecution, the Christian faith was now free to grow.   However, during this time, foreign tribes roamed the land.   There was chaos and misery.   Bishop Liborius’ Episcopal area had been Christian for some time but heathen Druids were still active and through their mysterious pagan rites were able to influence the people.   So, Bishop Liborius built many churches and celebrated the Eucharist with piety and dignity.   The well-trained priests in his diocese finally triumphed over the Druids.   Nowadays, we would call the works of Bishop Liborius and his clergy at the time as primary evangelisation.

st liborius of le mans

In the year, 836 A.D., (9th century), the relics of Saint Liborius were brought from Le Mans, France, to Paderborn, Germany.   At this time, relics of the saints were well guarded and venerated in churches and dioceses which had them.   The willingness of the diocese of Le Mans to handover the relics of St Liborius to the diocese of Paderborn was a true act of charity.   The event forged a long lasting friendship between the sister cities of Le Mans and Paderborn;  it has existed for over 1,000 years to this day.

Since St Liborius died in the arms of his friend St Martin of Tours, he is looked to as a patron of a good death.   Since the century he is prayed to for assistance against that gallstones that are caused by the water of the limestone area; the first account of a healing of this kind concerns the cure of Archbishop Werner von Eppstein, who came on pilgrimage to the saint’s shrine in 1267.   This is the origin of the saint’s attribute of three stones placed on a copy of the Bible.   In the same period he became the patron of the cathedral and the archdiocese, rather than the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Kilian, who were previously in first place.   And he is often cited as a patron of peace and understanding among peoples.   He is invoked against colic, fever, and gallstones.

As well as being shown as a bishop carrying small stones on a book, Saint Liborious is also shown with the attribute of a peacock because of a legend that, when his body was brought to Paderborn, a peacock guided the bearers.

The popularity of the saint in Paderborn is shown in the week-long yearly festival known as “Libori”, that begins on the Saturday after his local 23 July feast day but his universal memorial is today, 9 April.   Today, many parishes across the world are named after this great man and Saint, as their patron.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SAINT of the DAY

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord 2018 & Memorials of the Saints – 9 April

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord 2018

The Annunciation of the Lord celebrates the angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary, announcing that she had been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord.
How Is the Date of the Feast of the Annunciation Determined?
The Annunciation always falls on 25 March, exactly nine months before the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas.   However, the celebration of the feast is transferred to a different date if it falls on a Sunday of Lent, during Holy Week (which was the case this year), or during the octave of Easter.
The Church considers Masses for the Sundays of Lent, any time in Holy Week and any time from Easter through the Sunday after Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) to be so important that even this Marian feast cannot replace one of them.   So, when the Annunciation falls on a Sunday in Lent (before Palm Sunday), it is transferred to the following Monday.   If it falls on Palm Sunday or on any day in Holy Week, it is transferred to Low Monday, the Monday after the Sunday after Easter and so, this year, 2018, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is transferred to today, Monday, 9 April 2018.

Rubens-1610
Rubens
the_annunciation- murillo
Murillo
titian annunciation
Titian

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St Acacius of Amida
St Aedesius of Alexandria
Bl Antony of Pavoni
St Brogan
St Casilda of Toledo
St Concessus the Martyr
St Demetrius the Martyr
St Dotto
St Eupsychius of Cappadocia
St Gaucherius
St Hedda the Abbot
St Heliodorus of Mesopotamia
St Hilary the Martyr
St Hugh of Rouen
Bl James of Padua
Bl John of Vespignano
Bl Katarzyna Faron
St Liborius of Le Mans
Bl Lindalwa Justo de Oliveira
St Madrun of Wales
St Marcellus of Die
Bl Marguerite Rutan
St Maximus of Alexandria
Bl Pierre Camino
St Prochorus
Bl Thomas of Tolentino
Bl Ubaldo Adimari
St Waltrude of Mons

Martyrs of Croyland – 9 saints: A group of Benedictine monks martyred by pagan Danes – Agamund, Askega, Egdred, Elfgete, Grimkeld, Sabinus, Swethin, Theodore and Ulric. Croyland Abbey, England.

Martyrs of Masyla: Massylitan Martyrs Group of Christians martyred in Masyla in northwest Africa.

Martyrs of Pannonia: Seven virgin-martyrs in Sirmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).

Martyrs of Thorney Abbey – 3+ saints: A group of Hermits, hermitesses and monks who lived in or around Thorney Abbey who were martyred together during raids by pagan Danes.   We know little more than the names of three – Tancred, Torthred and Tova. 869 by raiders at Thorney Abbey, Cambridgeshire, England.