DAY FOUR GOD THE CREATOR (Father) “In the beginning, when God created the universe”
In the beginning, when God created the Heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland and darkness covered the abyss, while the mighty wind swept over the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Thus evening came, and the morning followed – the first day.
Then God said: “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from another.” And so it happened: God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. God called the dome “the sky.” Evening came, and morning followed – the second day.
Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear.” And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into a basin, and the land appeared…Genesis 1:1-9
MEDITATION “And so the whole universe was completed. By the seventh day, God finished what He had been doing and stopped working. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart as special, because by that day He had completed His creation and stopped working and that is how the universe was created.” ...Genesis 2:1-4
God Eternal Father,
bless me through the love,
with which You have begotten Your only Son
from all eternity and shared with Him,
the fullness of Your Divinity.
Bless me through the love, which has adopted us as children
and made us partakers, of the treasures of Your Divinity.
Bless me through the love, which sent us Your Son
and the Holy Spirit to work the miracles of Your power
and mercy in us.
Grant that I may always revere and honour You
as my great God
and love You with my whole heart
as the best of fathers.
Eternal Father, please grant my petition:
…………………….(mention your petition)
Godhead indivisible, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
our first beginning and our last end,
You have made us after Your own image and likeness.
Grant that all the thoughts of my mind,
all the words of my mouth,
all the affections of my heart
and all my action, be always conformed to Your holy Will.
After having seen You here below in Your manifestations
and by faith, may I come at last,
to see You face to face,
in the perfect possession of You
forever in heaven. Amen.
Moses said: “The Lord, the lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing His kindness for a thousand generation, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet not declaring the guilty, guiltless, but punishing children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness!” (Ex. 34, 6-7)
Marian thought for the Day – 21 May 2018 “Mary’s Month!” – The First Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church
“Mary Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae
our new Universal Memorial today!
Blessed Pope Paul VI explicitly proclaimed Mary Mother of the Church and asked that she be honoured and invoked with this title by all the Christian people.
The title “Mother of the Church” thus reflects the deep conviction of the Christian faithful, who see in Mary not only the mother of the person of Christ but also of the faithful. She who is recognised as mother of salvation, life and grace, mother of the saved and mother of the living, is rightly proclaimed Mother of the Church.
Pope Paul VI would have liked the Second Vatican Council itself to have proclaimed “Mary Mother of the Church, that is, of the whole People of God, of the faithful and their Pastors”. He did so himself in his speech at the end of the Council’s third session (21 November 1964), also asking that “henceforth the Blessed Virgin be honoured and invoked with this title by all the Christian people” (AAS 1964, 37).
In this way, my venerable Predecessor explicitly enunciated the doctrine contained in chapter eight of Lumen gentium, hoping that the title of Mary, Mother of the Church, would have an ever more important place in the liturgy and piety of the Christian people.” – St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
“We need to meditate frequently on the fact that the Church is a deep, great mystery, so that we never forget it. We cannot fully understand the Church on this earth. If men, using only their reason, were to analyse it, they would see only a group of people who abide by certain precepts and think in a similar way. But that would not be the Church.
In the Church we Catholics find our faith, our norms of conduct, our prayer, our sense of fraternity. Through it we are united with all our brothers and sisters who have already left this life and are being cleansed in Purgatory—the Church suffering—and with those who already enjoy the beatific vision and love forever the thrice holy God—the Church triumphant. The Church is in our midst and at the same time transcends history. It was born under the mantle of our Lady and continues to praise her on earth and in heaven as its Mother (“The Supernatural Aim of the Church,” 28 May 1972).
If we become identified with Mary and imitate her virtues, we will be able to bring Christ to life, through grace, in the souls of many who will in turn become identified with him through the action of the Holy Spirit. If we imitate Mary, we will share in some way in her spiritual motherhood. And all this silently, like Our Lady; without being noticed, almost without words, through the true and genuine witness of our lives as Christians, and the generosity of ceaselessly repeating her fiat, which we renew as an intimate link between ourselves and God.” – St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975) – Friends of God, 281-283
“….We have spoken about Mary, about Jesus. What about us? We who are the Church? What kind of love do we bring to others? Is it the love of Jesus that shares, that forgives, that accompanies, or is it a watered-down love, like wine so diluted that it seems like water? Is it a strong love, or a love so weak that it follows the emotions, that it seeks a return, an interested love? Another question: is self-interested love pleasing to Jesus? No, it is not because love should be freely given, like His is. What are the relationships like in our parishes, in our communities? Do we treat each other like brothers and sisters? Or do we judge one another, do we speak evil of one another, do we just tend our own vegetable patch? Or do we care for one another? These are the questions of charity!
And briefly, one last aspect: Mary as the model of union with Christ. The life of the Holy Virgin was the life of a woman of her people: Mary prayed, she worked, she went to the synagogue… But every action was carried out in perfect union with Jesus. This union finds its culmination on Calvary, here Mary is united to the Son in the martyrdom of her heart and in the offering of his life to the Father for the salvation of humanity. Our Lady shared in the pain of the Son and accepted with Him the will of the Father, in that obedience that bears fruit, that grants the true victory over evil and death.
The reality Mary teaches us, is very beautiful: to always be united with Jesus. We can ask ourselves: do we remember Jesus only when something goes wrong and we are in need, or is ours a constant relation, a deep friendship, even when it means following him on the way of the Cross?
Let us ask the Lord to grant us His grace, His strength, so that the model of Mary, Mother of the Church, may be reflected in our lives and in the life of every ecclesial community. So be it!”...Pope Francis 23 October 2013
Quote/s of the Day – 21 May 2018 “Mary’s Month!” – The First Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church and the Memorial of St Eugene de Mazenod (1782-1861)
“…She is clearly the Mother of his members; that is, of ourselves, because she cooperated by her charity, so that faithful Christians, members of the Head, might be born in the Church. As for the body, she is the Mother of its Head… Mary gave birth to our Head; the Church gave birth to you. Indeed, the Church also, is both virgin and mother, mother, because of her womb of charity, virgin, because of the integrity of her faith and piety.”
St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace
“This celebration will help us to remember. that growth in the Christian life, must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed, the Virgin who makes her offering to God.”
“As a caring guide to the emerging Church, Mary had already begun her mission in the Upper Room, praying with the Apostles, while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah
Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 11 February 2018, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes. DECREE ON THE CELEBRATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCHIN THE GENERAL ROMAN CALENDAR
“We glorify God in the masterpiece of His power and love… it is the Son whom we honour in the person of His Mother.”
“To love the Church is to love Jesus Christ and vice versa.”
“Practice well among yourselves: charity, charity, charity and outside, zeal for the salvation of souls”
One Minute Marian Reflection – 21 May 2018 “Mary’s Month!” – The First Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart….Luke 2:19
REFLECTION – “MARY’S PRAYER – “Let us ask the Blessed Virgin to make us contemplatives, to teach us to recognise the constant calls from God at the door of our heart. Let us ask her now: Our Mother, you brought to earth Jesus, who reveals the love of our Father God. Help us to recognise Him in the midst of the cares of each day. Stir up our mind and will so that we may listen to the voice of God, to the calls of grace.” …St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975) – “Cause of Our Joy,” Christ is Passng By, 174. Let us offer to our Mother today: A visit to Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
PRAYER – Lord God, You bestowed the Holy Spirit on Your Apostles while they were at prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Fill us too with the gift of Your grace in the Holy Spirit, that we may live our lives both in prayer and action and grant, that by Mary’s prayer, we may give You faithful service and spread abroad the glory of Your name, by word and example. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Your divine Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 21 May 2018 “Mary’s Month!” – The First Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church
Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our Faith
By our Holy Father, Pope Francis
Mother, help our faith! Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognise His voice and call. Awaken in us a desire, to follow in His footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive His promise. Help us to be touched by His love, that we may touch Him in faith. Help us to entrust ourselves fully to Him and to believe in His love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature. Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One. Remind us that those who believe are never alone. Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that He may be light for our path. And may this light of faith, always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day, which is Christ Himself, your Son, our Lord! Amen
Prayer to Mary at the conclusion of the Encyclical Lumen Fidei (29 June 2013) Image of Mary – Our Lady of the Column in St Peter’s Basilica
Saint of the Day – 21 May – St Eugene de Mazenod O.M.I. (1782-1861) Priest, Bishop, Founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Evangeliser, Missionary Preacher, Apostle of the poor and marginalised – born Charles-Joseph-Eugène de Mazenod on 1 August 1782 at Aix-en-Provence, southern France and died on 21 May 1861 at Marseille, France of cancer. When his body was exhumed in 1936 it was found to be incorrupt. Patronages – refugees, missionaries, families.
Eugene de Mazenod was born into an aristocratic family, on 1 August 1782 and baptised the following day in the Église de la Madeleine in Aix-en-Provence. His father, Charles Antoine de Mazenod, was one of the Presidents of the Court of Finances and his mother was Marie Rose Joannis. Eugene began his schooling at the College Bourbon but this was interrupted by the events of the French Revolution. With the approach of the French revolutionary forces, the family was forced to flee to Italy.
He became a boarder at the College of Nobles in Turin but a move to Venice meant the end to formal schooling. With their money running out, Eugene’s father was forced to seek various employments, none of which were successful. His mother and sister returned to France – eventually seeking a divorce so as to be able to regain their property that had been seized. Eugene was fortunate to be welcomed by the Zinelli family in Venice. This is how it happened:
One day when Eugene was playing at the window of his house, Fr Bartolo Zinelli (1766-1803) appeared on the other side of the street and asked him, “Are you not afraid of wasting your time?” “Alas, responded Eugene, it is really awful, but what can I do? I am a foreigner here without any books available to me.” “Well, then”, replied Don Bartolo, “I am right in my library at the moment and here I have many books in Latin, Italian and French.” Having said this, he took up the stick that was used to bar the shutters and put a book on it and passed it over the narrow, approximately one and one half meter street.
After having read the book, Eugene, following the advice of his father, went to Don Bartolo’s house to thank him for this kind gesture. “Well,” said Don Bartolo, “do you see this lovely library? All of these books are available to you as well.” Then, Don Bartolo showed Eugene his study where he and his brother Don Pietro used to study and told him, “You can take the place here of my younger brother who has died.” Eugene could not contain his joy. “Well, then, you can begin tomorrow already.”
Fr Bartolo Zinelli took special care of Eugene and saw to his education in the well-provided family library where the young adolescent spent many hours each day and was a major influence in the human, academic and spiritual development of Eugene.
Once again the French army chased the émigrés from Venice, forcing Eugene and his father and two uncles to seek refuge in Naples for less than a year and, finally, to flee to Palermo in Sicily. Here Eugene was invited to become part of the household of the Duke and Duchess of Cannizaro as a companion to their two sons. Being part of the high society of Sicily became the opportunity for Eugene to rediscover his noble origins and to live a lavish style of life. He took to himself the title of ‘Comte’ (“Count”) de Mazenod, did all the courtly things and dreamed of a bright future.
Spiritual journey of conversion
At the age of twenty, Eugene returned to France and lived with his mother in Aix en Provence. Initially he enjoyed all the pleasures of Aix as a rich young nobleman, intent on the pursuit of pleasure and money – and a rich girl who would bring a good dowry. Gradually he became aware of how empty his life was and began to search for meaning in more regular church involvement, reading and personal study and charitable work among prisoners. His journey came to a climax on Good Friday, 1807 when he was 25 years old. Looking at the sight of the Cross, he had a religious experience. The sight of the oblation of Jesus on the Cross, with his arms outstretched in love, led Eugene to respond in love: “What more glorious occupation than to act in everything and for everything only for God, to love Him above all else, to love Him all the more as one who has loved Him too late.”
In 1808, he expressed his desire for dedication to Jesus the Saviour by beginning his studies for the priesthood at the Saint-Sulpice Seminary in Paris and was ordained a priest at Amiens (Picardy), on 21 December 1811. Since Napoleon had expelled the Sulpician priest from the seminary, Eugene stayed on as a formator for a semester. As a member of the Seminary, notwithstanding personal risk, Eugene committed himself to serve and assist Pope Pius VII, who at this time was a prisoner of emperor Napoleon I at Fontainebleau. In this way, he experienced at firsthand, the suffering of the post-Revolutionary Church.
On his return to Aix, Father de Mazenod asked not to be assigned to a parish but to dedicate himself fully to evangelising those who were not being touched by the structures of the local church: the poor who spoke only the Provençal language, prisoners, youth, the inhabitants of poor villages who were ignorant of their faith. His constant message was, to invite people to enter into the same experience of Jesus, that he had at his conversion. Looking at everyone and every situation through the eyes of the Saviour, he showed the poor the human and spiritual dignity that was theirs and taught them how to live in relationship with the Saviour. The goal of his priestly preaching and ministry was always to lead others to develop themselves fully as humans, then as Christians and finally to become saints.
Oblates of Mary Immaculate
On 25 January 1816, “impelled by a strong impulse from outside of himself” he invited other priests to join him in his life of total oblation to God and to the most abandoned of Provence. Initially called “Missionaries of Provence,” they dedicated themselves to evangelization through preaching parish missions in the poor villages, youth and prison ministry. In 181, a second community was established, at the Marian shrine of Notre Dame du Laus. This became the occasion for the missionaries to become a religious congregation, united through vows and the evangelical counsels. Changing their name to Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the group received papal approbation on 17 February 1826.
In 1841, Bishop Bourget of Montreal invited the Oblates to Canada. At the same time there was an outreach to the British Isles. This was the beginning of an inspiring history of missionary outreach to the most abandoned peoples in Canada, United States, Mexico, England and Ireland, Algeria, Southern Africa and Ceylon during the Founder’s lifetime. In 200 years this zeal spread and took root in the establishment of the Oblates in nearly 70 countries.
From 1837 to 1861, he was the Bishop of Marseille, in Provence (south-eastern France). During his episcopacy, he commissioned Notre-Dame de la Garde, an ornate Neo-Byzantine basilica on the south side of the old port of Marseille . He inspired local priest Joseph-Marie Timon-David to found the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Marseille in 1852.
Towards the end of his life, Eugene had become very free. Faced with the prospect of the Cardinalate which had been promised and which slipped away from him because of political considerations, he had this to say: “After all, it is all the same whether one is buried in a red cassock or a purple one; the main thing is that the bishop gets to heaven”.
Shortly before his death on May 21, 1861, in keeping with his temperament, the elderly and seriously ill bishop said to those around him: “Should I happen to doze off, or if I appear to be getting worse, please wake me up! I want to die knowing that I am dying”.
His last words to the Oblates were a testament that summed up his life: “Practice well among yourselves charity, charity, charity and outside, zeal for the salvation of souls”. Saint Eugene died on Pentecost Sunday, to the prayer of the Salve Regina. It was his final salute on earth to the one he considered as the “Mother of the Mission”.
St Eugene was Beatified on 19 October 1975 by Blessed Pope Paul VI and Canonised on 3 December 1995 by Sr Pope John Paul II.
Martyrs of the Mexican Revolution (Optional Memorial): The 1917 Mexican constitution was pointedly anti-clerical and anti-Church, and its adoption instituted years of violent religious persecution including expulsion of foreign priests, closing of parochial schools, and the murders of several priests and lay leaders who work to minister to the faithful and support religious freedom. 25 of them who died at different times and places but all as a result of this persecution were celebrated together. They each have separate memorials but are also remembered as a group.
• Saint Agustin Caloca Cortes
• Saint Atilano Cruz Alvarado
• Saint Cristobal Magallanes Jara
• Saint David Galván-Bermúdez
• Saint David Roldán-Lara
• Saint David Uribe-Velasco
• Saint Jenaro Sánchez DelGadillo
• Saint Jesús Méndez-Montoya
• Saint Jose Isabel Flores Varela
• Saint José María Robles Hurtado
• Saint Julio álvarez Mendoza
• Saint Justino Orona Madrigal
• Saint Luis Batiz Sainz
• Saint Manuel Moralez
• Saint Margarito Flores-García
• Saint Mateo Correa-Magallanes
• Saint Miguel de la Mora
• Saint Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero
• Saint Pedro Esqueda Ramírez
• Saint Rodrigo Aguilar Alemán
• Saint Roman Adame Rosales
• Saint Sabas Reyes Salazar
• Saint Salvador Lara Puente
• Saint Toribio Romo González
• Saint Tranquilino Ubiarco Robles
Canonised: 21 May 2000 by Pope John Paul II
St Adalric of Bèze
Bl Adilio Daronch
St Ageranus of Bèze
St Ansuinus of Bèze
St Antiochus of Caesarea Philippi
St Bairfhion of Killbarron
St Berard of Bèze
St Collen of Denbighshire
St Constantine the Great
St Donatus of Caesarea
St Eugene de Mazenod O.M.I. (1782-1861)
St Eutychius of Mauretania
Bl Franz Jägerstätter
St Genesius of Bèze
St Godric of Finchale
Bl Hemming of Åbo
St Hospitius of Cap-Saint-Hospice
Bl Hyacinth-Marie Cormier
St Isberga of Aire
Bl Jean Mopinot
Bl Lucio del Rio
St Mancio of Évora
Bl Manuel Gómez González
St Nicostratus of Caesarea Philippi
Bl Pietro Parenzo
St Polieuctus of Caesarea
St Polius of Mauretania
St Restituta of Corsica
St Rodron of Bèze
St Secundinus of Cordova
St Secundus of Alexandria
St Serapion the Sindonite
St Sifrard of Bèze
St Theobald of Vienne
St Timothy of Mauretania
St Valens of Auxerre
St Victorius of Caesarea
Martyrs of Egypt: Large number of bishops, priests, deacons and lay people banished when the Arian heretics seized the diocese of Alexandria, Egypt in 357 and drove out Saint Athanasius and other orthodox Christians. Many were old, many infirm and many, many died of abuse and privations while on the road and in the wilderness. Very few survived to return to their homes in 361 when Julian the Apostate recalled all Christians and then many of those later died in the persecutions of Julian.
Martyrs of Pentecost in Alexandria: An unspecified number of Christian clerics and lay people who, on Pentecost in 338, were rounded up by order of the Arian bishop and emperor Constantius and were either killed, or exiled, for refusing to accept Arian teachings. 339 in Alexandria, Egypt.