Sunday Reflection – 29 July – Become the bread of Christ – St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

Sunday Reflection – 29 July

Become the bread of Christ

St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

Saint Bernard teaches that it is not enough for us to take and eat the Bread from Heaven.
We must also offer ourselves to be eaten.
Holy Communion is a wondrous exchange in which we become the bread of Christ.
Listen to Saint Bernard:

“My penitence, my salvation are His food.
I myself am His food.
I am chewed. as I am reproved by Him;
I am swallowed by Him. as I am taught;
I am digested by Him. as I am changed;
I am assimilated. as I am transformed;
I am made one with Him, as I am conformed to Him.
He feeds upon us and is fed by us
that we may be the more loosely bound to Him.”

Saint Bernard, ever the poet, uses images of eating and assimilation to describe how Christ unites us to Himself.
Our Lord becomes our food that we might become His.
We need the language of poets and preachers in our approach to the Eucharist.

Saint Bernard says, “Christ eats me that He may have me in Himself and Christ in turn is eaten by me that He may be in me and the bond between us, will be strong and the union complete.”   

What awaits you in Holy Communion exceeds all that you can desire.   Eat, then and offer yourself to be eaten.   Receive the Bread of God and become the bread of God.christ eats me - st bernard - 29 july 2018

“I am in you and you are in me!”

i am in you and you are in me - 29 july 2018

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

Thought for the Day – 29 July – Today’s Gospel: John 6:1–15 and the Memorial of St Martha

Thought for the Day – 29 July – The Memorial of St Martha

One of the most precious things in life is to have a home where you can go at any time and find people who accept, love and understand you.   Jesus found such a home in Bethany, at the house of a woman named Martha.   She welcomed Him and served Him, and they developed a special bond of friendship.

Martha lived with her sister Mary.   Like all other pairs of sisters, these two women were different in personality.   Martha was energetic and outspoken, while Mary was quiet and reflective.   Jesus loved both of them and appreciated the gifts that each one had.

The Gospels record that once, when Jesus was visiting, Martha prepared the meal while Mary sat talking to their visitor.   Martha complained that Jesus should tell Mary to help her.   Jesus said that because Martha was worrying so much about the work, she did not have time to enjoy being with Him and listening to His words.

Another time recorded in John’s Gospel, the sisters sent a message to Jesus that their brother, Lazarus, was ill.   They knew Jesus would come and cure him;  they trusted in His loving care for them.   When Jesus finally came, Lazarus had already been dead for four days  . As soon as she heard that Jesus was nearby, Martha, a woman of action, went out to meet Him, while Mary stayed in the house.   In her grief, Martha told Jesus honestly what she had expected from Him.   Jesus asked her to believe that He was the resurrection and that He had power to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. Without really understanding this mystery, Martha trusted Jesus totally and said, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world” (John 11:27).   That day Jesus raised her brother Lazarus from the dead, showing that He has power over life and death and power to give eternal life.i believe that you athe christ - st martha - john 11 27 - 29 july 2018

The home Jesus found in Bethany was not only in the house but in the faithful heart of a woman named Martha.

St Martha, Pray for us!st-martha-pray-for-us-2-29 july 2017


Quote/s of the Day – 29 July – Today’s Gospel: John 6:1–15 and the Memorial of St Martha

Quote/s of the Day – 29 July – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Today’s Gospel: John 6:1–15 and the Memorial of St Martha

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” – Luke 10:42

“Our Lord’s words teach us that though we labour
among the many distractions of this world,
we should have but one goal.
For we are but travelers
on a journey without as yet a fixed abode;
we are on our way, not yet in our native land;
we are in a state of longing, not yet of enjoyment.
But let us continue on our way
and continue without sloth or respite,
so that we may ultimately arrive at our destination.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor
(Sermo 103, 1-2, 6: PL 38, 613, 615)our-lords-words-teach-us-st-augustine.29 july 2017

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,
“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?”…John 6:8-9

“Before the suffering, loneliness, poverty
and difficulties of so many people,
what can we ourselves do?
Complaining doesn’t resolve anything
but we can offer the little that we have,
like the lad in the Gospel.
We surely have a few hours of time, certain talents, some skills….
Who among us doesn’t have “five loaves and two fish” of his own?
We all have them!
If we are willing to place them in the Lord’s hands,
they will be enough to bring about a little more love,
peace, justice and especially joy in the world.”

Pope Francis – Angelus, 26 July 2015before the suffering loneliness poverty ....pope francis - 29 july 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 29 July – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Today’s Gospel: John 6:1–15

One Minute Reflection – 29 July – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Today’s Gospel: John 6:1–15

“This is indeed the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world!”…John 6:14

REFLECTION – “The disciples say that they have only five loaves and two fish.   The five loaves signified that they were still subject to the five books of the Law and the two fish that they were fed by the teachings of the prophets and John the Baptist… This was what the apostles had to offer to begin with since this was the point they were at and it was from this point, that the preaching of the Gospel began…
Our Lord took the loaves and the fish.   He raised his eyes to heaven, said the blessing and broke them.   He gave thanks to the Father because the Good News was being changed into food after centuries of the Law and the prophets…  The loaves were then given to the apostles, it was at their hands, that the gifts of divine grace were to be handed out.   Then the people were fed with the five loaves and two fish and, when those who were invited were satisfied, the leftovers of bread and fish were so plentiful that twelve baskets were filled with them.   What this means is that the crowd was filled with God’s word coming from the teaching of the Law and the prophets.   But it is an abundance of divine power, kept aside for the gentiles, that overflows after the provision of the food that lasts forever.   It comes to its full complement, that of the number twelve, the same as the number of the apostles.   Now, it happens that the number of those who ate is the same as that of those who would come to believe:  five thousand men (Mt 14:21; Acts 4:4).”…St Hilary (c 315-367) Bishop of Poitiers, Doctor of the Churchthis is indeed the prophet - john 6-14 - the loaves were then given to the apostles - st hilary - 29 july 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, protector of those who hope in You, without whom nothing is strong, nothing holy, support us always with Your love.   Help us to offer our own ‘loaves and fishes’ our own talents and possessions, to feed all who need our care.   May the prayers of St Martha grant us Your grace to serve Christ faithfully in our brethren and guide us so to use the good things of this world, that even now, we may hold fast to what endures forever, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amenst-martha-pray-for-us-29 july 2017


Our Morning Offering – 28 July – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Our Morning Offering – 28 July – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B (and still in the Month of Precious Blood)

Wash Me With Your Precious Blood
By St Peter Canisius (1521-1597) Doctor of the Church

See, O merciful God,
what return
I, Your thankless servant,
have made for the innumerable favours
and the wonderful love
You have shown me!
What wrongs I have done,
what good left undone!
Wash away, I beg You,
these faults and stains
with Your precious blood,
most kind Redeemer,
and make up for my poverty
by applying Your merits.
Give me the protection I need,
to amend my life.
I give and surrender myself wholly to You,
and offer You all I possess,
with the prayer,
that You bestow Your grace on me,
so that I may be able to devote and employ
all the thinking power of my mind
and the strength of my body,
in Your holy service,
who are God blessed
forever and ever.
Amensee o merciful lord - wash me with your precious blood - st peter canisius - 28 july 2018


Saint of the Day – 29 July – St Martha Virgin (1st century) 

Saint of the Day – 29 July – St Martha Virgin (1st century) – Sister of Saint Lazarus and Saint Mary of Bethany. Friend of Jesus and hostess to him in her house.ACCS-Martha-e1469752916611Christ_in_the_House_of_Mary_and_Martha

St John tells us that “Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus” and yet but few glimpses are vouchsafed us of them.   First, the sisters are set before us with a word.   Martha received Jesus into her house and was busy in outward, loving, lavish service, while Mary sat in silence at the feet she had bathed with her tears.   Then, their brother is ill, and they send to Jesus, “Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick.”   And in His own time the Lord came and they go out to meet Him and then follows that scene of unutterable tenderness and of sublimity unsurpassed:  the silent waiting of Mary, Martha strong in faith but realising so vividly, with her practical turn of mind, the fact of death and hesitating:  “Canst Thou show Thy wonders in the grave?”   And then once again, on the eve of His Passion, we see Jesus at Bethany.   Martha, true to her character, is serving; Mary, as at first, pours the precious ointment, in adoration and love, on His divine head.meeting-of-jesus-and-martha-corwin-knapp-linson

According the tradition we find the tomb of St Martha, at Tarascon, in Provence.   When the storm of persecution came, the family of Bethany, with a few companions, were put into a boat, without oars or sail and borne to the coast of France.    St Mary’s tomb is at S. Baume;  St Lazarus is venerated as the founder of the Church of Marseilles;  and the memory of the virtues and labours of St Martha is still fragrant at Avignon and Tarascon.

Reflection:  -When Martha received Jesus into her house, she was naturally busy in preparations for such a Guest.   Mary sat at His feet, intent alone on listening to His gracious words.   Her sister thought that the time required other service than this and asked our Lord to bid Mary help in serving.   Once again Jesus spoke in defence of Mary. “Martha, Martha,” He said, “thou art lovingly anxious about many things, be not over-eager, do thy chosen work with recollectedness.   Judge not Mary.   Hers is the good part, the one only thing really necessary.   Thine will be taken away, that something better be given thee.”   The life of action ceases when the body is laid down but the life of contemplation endures and is perfected in heaven.Cignaroli, Giambettino, 1706-1770; St Martha


Memorials of the Saints – 29 July

St Martha (Memorial) – Sister of Saint Lazarus and Saint Mary of Bethany. Friend of Jesus, and hostess to him in her house. May have been part of an early mission to France.

More on St Marth here:

Chirsk-Pskov Icon of the Mother of God:
The Chirsk (Pskov) Icon of the Mother of God was initially in the Chirsk village church of the Pskov diocese.   In a time of a deadly pestilence, tears flowed from the eyes of the Chirsk Icon of the Mother of God.   This was reported to authorities in the city of Pskov. Priests and devout men carried the wonder-working icon to Pskov.   A procession was held to honour the icon, which was placed in the cathedral church of the Holy Trinity.
On the reverse of the icon are depicted the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke and St Theodosius of the Kiev Caves.chirskaya2

St Antony
St Beatrix of Rome
Bl Beatrix of Valfleury
St Callinicus of Paphlagonia
Bl Charles-Antoine-Nicolas Ancel
St Faustinus of Rome
St Faustinus of Spello
St Felix of Rome
St John Baptist Luo Tingyin
St John the Soldier
Bl José Calasanz Marqués
St Joseph Zhang
St Kilian of Inishcaltra
St Lek Sirdani
Bl Luis Bertran
St Lupus of Troyes
Bl Mancius of the Cross
St Martha Wang
St Olaf II
St Olaus of Sweden
St Paulus Chen Changpin
Bl Petrus of Saint Mary
St Pjetër Çuni
St Prosper of Orleans
St Rufo of Rome
St Seraphina
St Serapia of Syria
St Simplicius of Rome
St Sulian
Bl Pope Urban II
St William of Saint Brieuc

Four Anonymous Martyrs

Martyrs of Calanda – 8 beati: A group of Dominican priests and friars who were martyred over the course of a day in the same town by the same group of anti-Christian forces in the Spanish Civil War.
• Antonio Manuel López Couceiro
• Felicísimo Díez González
• Gumersindo Soto Barros
• Lamberto María de Navascués de Juan
• Lucio Martínez Mancebo
• Matías Manuel Albert Ginés
• Saturio Rey Robles
• Tirso Manrique Melero
They were martyred on 29 July 1936 in Calanda, Teruel, Spain and Beatified on 11 March 2001 by St Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Lleida – 12 beati: Carmelites of the Ancient Observance novices, friars and priests who were all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Àngel Prat Hostench
• Eliseo Maneus Besalduch
• Gabriel Escoto Ruiz
• Ginés Garre Egea
• Joan Maria Puigmitjà Rubió
• Joan Prat Colldecarrera
• Josep Solé Rovira
• Lluis Fontdecava Quiroga
• Manuel Serrano Buj
• Miquel Soler Sala
• Pere Dorca Coromina
• Pere Ferrer Marín
They were martyred on 29 July 1936 in Clot dels Aubens, Cervera, Lleida, Spain and Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:   Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
Bl Bartolomé Rodríguez Soria
Joseph-Louis Marcou Pecalvel
Bl Juan Bautista Egozcuezábal Aldaz
Martyrs of Rome – 23 saints
Flora the Martyr