Thought for the Day – 27 July – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23

Thought for the Day – 27 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it;
he indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty and in another thirty.”…Matthew 13:23

“Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus invites us today to look inside ourselves:  to give thanks for our good soil and to tend the soil that is not yet good.

Let us ask ourselves if our heart is open to welcome the seed of the Word of God with faith.

Let us ask ourselves if our rocks of laziness are still numerous and large;  let us identify our thorns of vice and call them by name.

Let us find the courage to reclaim the soil, to effect a conversion of our heart, bringing to the Lord in Confession and in prayer, our rocks and our thorns.” …Pope Francis (Angelus, 16 July 2017)let us ask ourselves if our rocks of laziness - pope francis - 27 july 2018

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!mary mother of god pray for us - 27 july 2018


Quote of the Day – 27 July

Quote of the Day – 27 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23

“The way Jesus shows you is not easy. 
Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. 
Do not lose heart! 
The steeper the road, the faster it rises towards ever wider horizons.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the-way-jesus-shows-you-st-john-paul 27 july 2017


One Minute Reflection – 27 July – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23

One Minute Reflection – 27 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”...Matthew 13:23

REFLECTION – “Indeed, you all know how land is cultivated.   First of all you pull out the weeds and throw away the stones, then you work the ground itself.   You do it again a second time, a third time and finally… you sow.   Oh, let it be like this in our souls!   First of all let us uproot the weeds, that is to say our evil thoughts;  then take out the stones, in other words all our malice and obstinacy.   Finally, let us work our hearts with the plough of the Gospel and the ploughshare of the cross.   Let us break it by repentance, turn over the soil with almsgiving and with charity, prepare it for the seed of Our Lord… that it may joyfully receive the seed of the divine word and bring forth fruit, not just thirty but sixty and a hundredfold.”...St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Monk & Bishop (Sermons to the people, no.6 passim ; SC 175)as for what was sown - matthew 11 23 - st caesarious of arles - finally let us work our hearts - 27 july 2018

PRAYER – A pure heart create for me O God, put a steadfast spirit within me! (Ps 50[51]) Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace to us.   Keep us within in the path of Your commandments, help us to work on the earth of our souls, rooting out the weeds and casting forth the stones of malice.   Grant that by the prayers of St Pope Celestine, who faced so many stones of heresy, we may succeed in attaining sanctity.   Through Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, pope celestine I pray for us - 27 july 2018.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 27 July

Our Morning Offering – 27 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Above All That is Not You
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

O most loving Jesus,
give me this special grace to rest in You
above all created things,
above all health and beauty,
above all glory and honour,
above all dignity and power,
above all knowledge and prudence,
above all riches and talents,
above all joy and gladness,
above all fame and praise,
above all sweetness and consolation,
above all hope and promise,
above all merit and desire,
above all gifts and rewards
that You may give or send –
except Yourself –
above all joy or happiness
that the human mind and heart
can grasp or feel,
above all Angels and Archangels,
above all the heavenly hosts as well,
above all things visible and invisible
and above all that is not You,
my God.
Ameno most loving jesus - above all that is not you - thomas a kempis - 27 july 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – St Pope Celestine I (died 432)

Saint of the Day – St Pope Celestine I (died 432), called “the Heresy Fighter.”     Much is unknown about Celestine, including his birthday.   But his reign as Pope – from 422 to his death in 432 – is credited with many achievements.celestine 1 - my edit

Celestine I was a Roman from the region of Campania.   Nothing is known of his early history except that his father’s name was Priscus.   According to John Gilmary Shea, Celestine was a relative of the emperor Valentinian.   He appears to have spent some time in Milan, living with the city’s bishop, St Ambrose (340-397).   St Augustine (354-430) (a protégé of Ambrose) seems to have been good friends with Celestine.   Certainly, Celestine sided with St Augustine against the Donatists and Semipelagians.
The first known record of him is in a document of Pope Innocent I from the year 416, where he is spoken of as “Celestine the Deacon”.

Various portions of the liturgy are attributed to him but without any certainty on the subject.   In 430, he held a synod in Rome, at which the teachings of Nestorius were condemned.   The following year, he sent delegates to the First Council of Ephesus, which addressed the same issue.   Four letters written by him on that occasion, all dated 15 March 431, together with a few others, to the African bishops, to those of Illyria, of Thessalonica and of Narbonne, are extant in re-translations from the Greek;  the Latin originals having been lost.celestine 3 - my edit

St Celestine actively condemned the Pelagians and was zealous for Roman orthodoxy.   To this end he was involved in the initiative of the Gallic bishops to send Germanus of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes travelling to Britain in 429 to confront bishops reportedly holding Pelagian views.

He sent Palladius to Ireland to serve as a bishop in 431. Bishop Patricius (Saint Patrick) continued this missionary work. Pope Celestine strongly opposed the Novatians in Rome; as Socrates Scholasticus writes, “this Celestinus took away the churches from the Novatians at Rome also and obliged Rusticula their bishop to hold his meetings secretly in private houses.”   He was zealous in refusing to tolerate the smallest innovation on the constitutions of his predecessors. As St Vincent of Lerins reported in 434:

Holy Pope Celestine also expresses himself in like manner and to the same effect.   For in the Epistle which he wrote to the priests of Gaul, charging them with connivance with error, in that by their silence they failed in their duty to the ancient faith, and allowed profane novelties to spring up, he says: “We are deservedly to blame if we encourage error by silence.    Therefore rebuke these people.    Restrain their liberty of preaching.”
In a letter to certain bishops of Gaul, dated 428, St Celestine rebukes the adoption of special clerical garb by the clergy.   He wrote: “We [the bishops and clergy] should be distinguished from the common people [plebe] by our learning, not by our clothes;  by our conduct, not by our dress;  by cleanness of mind, not by the care we spend upon our person”.

The 5th century was something of a boom time for heresy.   Celestine also had to confront Manicheans, Novatians and, above all, Nestorians.   He commissioned St Cyril of Alexandria to look into Nestorianism, which taught that Christ had two persons and denied that Mary was the Mother of God.   Having determined that this was heretical, the Pope deposed Nestorius, restoring faithful Catholics whom Nestorius had excommunicated.

St Celestine died on 26 July 432.   He was buried in the cemetery of St Priscilla in the Via Salaria but his body, subsequently moved, now lies in the Basilica di Santa Prassede.

In art, Saint Celestine is portrayed as a Pope with a dove, dragon, and flame.celestine 2 - my edit

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 27 July

St Aetherius of Auxerre
St Anthusa of Constantinople
St Arethas
St Aurelius of Cordoba
Bl Berthold of Garsten
St Pope Celestine I (Died 432)

St Ecclesius of Ravenna
Bl Felipe Hernández Martínez
St Felix of Cordoba
St Galactorio of Lescar
St George of Cordoba
St Hermippus
St Hermocrates
St Hermolaus
Bl Jaime Ortiz Alzueta
Bl Joaquín Vilanova Camallonga
Bl José María Ruiz Cano
St Juliana of Mataró
St Lillian of Cordoba
Bl Lucy Bufalari
St Luican
Bl Maria Grazia Tarallo
Bl Maria Klemensa Staszewska
Bl Mary Magdelene Martinengo
St Maurus of Bisceglia
Bl Modesto Vegas y Vegas
St Natalia of Cordoba
Bl Nevolone of Tavenisa
St Pantaleimon
St Pantaleon (Died c 305) Martyr
Bl Rudolf Aquaviva S.J.
Bl Robert Sutton
St Semproniana of Mataró
St Sergius of Bisceglia
Bl William Davies
Bl Zacarías Abadía Buesa

Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together.   The only other information to survive are their names – Felix, Jucunda and Julia. Nicomedia, Asia Minor.

Seven Sleepers of Ephesus:  A group of seven young Christian men who hid in a cave in hopes of avoiding the persecution of Decius in the year 250.   Found and arrested, they were ordered by the pro-consul in Ephesus to renounce their faith; they refused and were sentenced to die.   Legend says that they were walled up in their hiding cave, guarded by the dog Al Rakim; when the cave wall was breached in 479 – they all woke up!
It is likely that the youths were tortured to death in various ways and buried in the cave. The resurrection story confusion came from the phrase “went to sleep in the Lord” which was used to describe the death of Christians and 479 is when their relics were discovered.   Their names were Constantinus, Dionysius, Joannes, Malchus, Martinianus, Maximianus and Serapion.   They were martyred in 250 in Ephesus (in modern Turkey); tradition says that they were walled up in a cave to suffocate but other records indicate that they were tortured to death in various ways.   Their relics discovered in 479 and translated to Marseilles, France and enshrined in a large stone coffin.