Posted in EASTER, HOMILIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Thought for the Day – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide

Thought for the Day – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide

We Are Keeping a Feast
The Greatest of ALL Feasts!

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

In the early days of the church, the faithful of one province, or district, used to come together publicly on the feast day of a saint in order to have the happiness of participating in all the graces which God bestows on such days.

The office of the vigil was started.   The evening and night were spent in prayer at the tomb of the saint.   The faithful heard the word of God.   They sang hymns and canticles in honour of the saint.   After passing the night so devoutly, they heard Mass, at which all those assisting had the happiness of going to Holy Communion.   Then they all withdrew, praising God for the triumphs He had accorded the saint and the graces He had bestowed in response to the latter’s intercession.   After that, my dear brethren, who could doubt but that God pours out His graces with abundance upon such a reunion of the faithful and that the saints themselves are happy to be the patrons of such people.   That was the way in which the feast days of patrons (and all feasts) were celebrated in olden times.

What do you think of that?   Is it thus that we celebrate such feasts today?   Alas!   If the first Christians were to come back upon this earth, would they not tell us that our feasts are no different from those that the pagans kept?   Is it not the general rule that God is most seriously offended on these holy days?

Does it not seem, rather, that we combine our money and our energies together to multiply sin almost to infinity?

What are we concerned with on the vigil of such feasts and even for several days beforehand?   Is it not with spending foolish and unnecessary money?   And all this time poor people are dying of hunger and our sins are calling down upon us the anger of God to the point where eternity would not be sufficient to satisfy for them.   You should pass the night in repentance and remorse, in considering how very little you have followed the example of your patron saint.   And yet you consecrate that time to preparing everything that will flatter your gluttony!   Might it not be said that this day is one for pure self-indulgence and debauchery?   Do parents and friends come, as in former times, to enjoy the happiness of participating in the graces which God bestows at the intercession of a patron saint?  They come but only to pass this feast day almost wholly at the table.   In former times, the religious services were much longer than they are today, and still they seemed always too short.   Nowadays you will see even fathers of families who, during the performance of the offices, are at table filling themselves with food and wine.   The first Christians invited each other in order to multiply their good works and their prayers.   Today it seems rather as if people invite each other so that they can multiply the sins and the orgies and the excesses in which they indulge in eating and drinking.   Does anyone think God will not demand an account of even a penny wrongly spent?   Does it not seem that we celebrate the feast only to insult our holy Patron and to increase our ingratitude?

Let us look a little closer, my dear brethren, and we shall realise that we are far from imitating Him whom God has given us for a model.   He passed His life in penance and in sorrow.   He died in torments.   What is more, I am sure that there are parishes where more sins are committed on those days than during all the rest of the year.   The Lord told the Jews that their feasts were an abomination and that He would take the filth of their feasts and throw it in their faces.   He wished to make us understand by this how greatly He is offended on those days which should be passed in weeping for our sins and in prayer.

We read in the Gospel that Jesus Christ came on earth to enlighten souls with the fire of divine love.   But we can believe that the Devil also roams around on earth to light an impure fire in the hearts of Christians and that what he promotes with the greatest frenzy are balls and dances.   I have debated for a long time whether I should speak to you about a matter so difficult to get you to understand and so little thought upon by the Christians of our days, who are blinded by their passions.   If your faith were not so weak that it might be extinguished in your hearts in the blink of an eye, you would understand the enormity of the abyss towards which you precipitate yourselves in giving yourselves over with such abandon to these wretched amusements.   But you will tell me.   For you to talk to us about dances and about the evil that takes place at them is just a waste of time.   We will indulge neither more nor less in them.   I firmly believe that, since Tertullian assures us that very many refused to become Christians rather than deprive themselves of such pleasures.

does anyone think - st john vianney - 14 april 2018

 

Posted in GOD the FATHER, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide “Speaking of Divine Providence”

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide

“Speaking of Divine Providence”

“To escape the distress caused by regret
for the past
or fear about the future,
this is the rule to follow:
leave the past to the infinite mercy of God,
the future to His good Providence,
give the present wholly to His love
by being faithful to His grace.”to escape the distress caused by regret - fr de caussade - 14 april 2018

“But,” say you, “what will become of me if . . . ?”
This is indeed a temptation of the enemy.
Why should you be so ingenious
in tormenting yourself beforehand
about something which perhaps will never happen?
Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.
Uneasy forebodings do us much harm;
why do you so readily give way to them?
We make our own troubles
and what do we gain by it?
but lose, instead, so much both for time and eternity.“but say you - what will become of me if - fr jean pierre de caussade - 14 april 2018

“never lose sight of the great and consoling truth
that nothing happens in this world
but by the command of God,
or at least, with His divine permission;
and that, whatever He wills, or permits
turns infallibly to the advantage
of those, who are submissive and resigned.”

Fr Jean-Pierre de Caussade S.J. (1675-1751)

‘Abandonment to Divine Providence’never lose of the great and consoling truth - fr caussade - 14 april 2018

Posted in EASTER, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of Bl Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of Bl Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr

When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat.   They were frightened but he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”   Then they were glad to take him into the boat and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going...John 6:19-21

REFLECTION – “When the disciples are facing danger and difficulty in the agitated lake at the time of nightfall, Jesus comes to their rescue.   His presence puts heart into them and enables them to cross the lake, instantly and without any further danger.   He is in our midst as one who serves and saves.   His presence saves His apostles in the trials and troubles they face on the way.   When they – and we – feel frightened and helpless, the Lord comes and says “It is I, do not be afraid.”   We get frightened because we fail to recognise His presence in our difficult experiences.   But His voice is effective, it removes fear.   The tempest calms down and the other shore is reached without fear and trial. When everything seems to turn against us and we live the experience of the Cross of Christ, He comes to console and strengthen and carry our tired bodes, minds and souls.”…Fr George Kaiholil SSPhe is in our midst as one who serves and saves - fr george kaiholil ssp - 14 april 2018

PRAYER – Father of wisdom, help us to accept all earthly misfortunes with the sure knowledge that good will come from them.   Let us never despair but trust in Your Providence that governs all things.   Let us know and trust that Your divine Son walks with us, that He is our faithful help in all things, that He will carry us on and carry our Crosses for us.   Blessed Lucien Botovasoa, today you join the halls of the saints, please pray that we may have the courage that you did, amen.blessed lucien botovasoa - pray for us - 14 april 2018 - beatification 15 april 2018

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of Bl Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr

Our Morning Offering – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of Bl Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr

Prayer to Do the Will of God
By St Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226)

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God,
grant us in our misery, the grace to do for You alone
what we know You want us to do
and always to desire what pleases You.
Thus, inwardly cleansed,
interiorly enlightened
and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,
may we be able to follow
in the footprints of Your beloved Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
And, by Your grace alone,
may we make our way to You, Most High,
Who live and rule in perfect Trinity
and simple Unity
and are glorified God
all-powerful forever and ever.
Amen.

-from ‘A Letter to the Entire Order’

almighty eternal just and merciful god - st francis - 19 sept 2018

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 April – Blessed Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 14 April – Blessed Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr, Layman, Father, Multi-lingual Schoolteacher, Catechist, Franciscan Tertiary, Musician and Singer.  Blessed Lucien was born in 1908 in Vohipeno, Madagascar and died by being beheaded with a sword between 10pm and midnight on 14 April 1947 on the banks of the Mattanana River near Ambohimanarivo, Manakara, Madagascar.   He was wearing his tertiary “uniform” – khaki shirt and trousers with a black cord for a belt.   His body was tossed into the river.

img-Blessed-Lucien-Botovasoa

Bl Lucien was a Madagascan Roman Catholic schoolteacher and a professed member from the Secular Franciscan Order.   He served as a teacher for his entire life and was dedicated to both the religious and secular education of children.   His thirst for the religious life led him to discover the Secular Franciscan Order in 1940 and he became part of it;  he rallied others to know Saint Francis of Assisi and enter the order themselves.   Botovasoa likewise adopted the Franciscan charism for himself through his fasting and clothing habits.

Botovasoa’s murder came during a period of tumult in Madagascar and his cause for canonisation opened on 11 October 2011 under Pope Benedict XVI in which he became titled as a Servant of God.  Pope Francis confirmed in mid-2017 that Botovasoa was killed in hatred of his faith and decreed that he was to be beatified;   it shall be celebrated in Vohipeno, Madasgascar tomorrow, the Third Sunday of Easter, 15 April 2018.

bl lucient beatification.

Lucien Botovasoa was born in 1908 in Vohipeno, a rural town in the southeast of Madagascar, the province of Fianarantsoa.

In 1918 he began studies in the state school and then proceeded to the Jesuit College of St Joseph in Ambozontany.   In 1928 he concluded the studies and was awarded the teaching diploma and in the same year became a parish teacher in Vohipeno, making his own the motto of the Society of Jesus:  Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.

On 10 October 1930 he married Suzanna Soazana in the parish church of Vohipeno and on the following 12 September was born Vincent de Paul Hermann, the first of their eight children, of which only five survived.   The Servant of God was an excellent teacher, working not only as the village teacher but also in the parish, with generous availability to the needy.   In addition to Malagasy, he knew French, Latin, German, and Chinese.   He was an exceptional musician and appreciated as a singer, becoming also the director of the parish choir.   He was also an athlete and is described as always smiling and joyful.lucien_botovasoa_foto

In 1940 the Servant of God stumbled upon the Rule of the Franciscan Third Order and it became for him a text for study and meditation.   He decided to take up himself this following of Christ, with investiture in the habit of the Franciscan Third Order on 18 December 1944.   He thus began to live a poor life of Franciscan spirituality, characterised by a deep piety and by the burning desire to bring the gospel everywhere.

After the Second World War, in the years 1946-1947, there grew in Madagascar the desire for independence from France.   In 1946, as supporter of independence, Tsimihoño, from the Clan of Ambohimanarivo, became king (Mpanjaka).   At Vohipeno there were also violent clashes between the two factions.   On 30 March 1947, Palm Sunday, the parish church was burned and so began the king’s hunt for the ‘Christian teacher,’ Lucien Botovasoa, who was respected by both the Catholics and others in Vohipeno.  Lucien was commanded to appear, or his family would be massacred.

The Servant of God, realising what was happening, entrusted his wife and children to his brother and returned to Vohipeno.   Around nine o’clock in the evening of 17 April 1947, his brother André and two cousins, under threat of death, were charged with arresting Lucien.   Brought to the house of the king Tsimihoño, he was condemned to death without any trial.   Arriving at the place of execution he knelt and was beheaded while he was praying for his murderers.    His body was thrown in the river.

Bl Lucien, pray for us!

snip - bl lucien

Posted in EASTER, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 14 April

St Abundius the Sacristan
St Antony of Vilna
St Ardalion the Actor
St Benezet the Bridge Builder
St Bernhard of Tiron
St Domnina of Terni
St Eustace of Vilna
St Fronto of Nitria
Bl Hadewych
St John of Monte Marano
St John of Vilna
St Lambert of Lyon
Bl Lucien Botovasoa (1908-1947) Martyr
St Lydwina of Schiedam
St Maximus of Rome
St Peter Gonzalez
St Tassach of Raholp
St Thomaides of Alexandria
St Tiburtius of Rome
St Valerian of Trastevere