Contemplative Prayer – Listening to the Catechism, Part One

Contemplative Prayer – Listening to the Catechism, Part One

2709   What is contemplative prayer?
St Teresa answers: “Contemplative prayer [oracion mental] in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends;  it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”   Contemplative prayer seeks Him “whom my soul loves.”
It is Jesus and in Him, the Father. We seek Him, because to desire Him is always the beginning of love and we seek Him in that pure faith which causes us to be born of Him and to live in Him.
In this inner prayer we can still meditate but our attention is fixed on the Lord Himself.

2710   The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart.
One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time:  one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter.
One cannot always meditate but one can always enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work, or emotional state.
The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in poverty and in faith.

2711   Entering into contemplative prayer is like entering into the Eucharistic liturgy: we “gather up:” the heart, recollect our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, abide in the dwelling place of the Lord which we are, awaken our faith in order to enter into the presence of Him who awaits us.
We let our masks fall and turn our hearts back to the Lord who loves us, so as to hand ourselves over to Him as an offering to be purified and transformed.

Christ be in my heart and mind,
Christ within my soul enshrined;
Christ control, my wayward heart;
Christ abide and ne’er depart.


contemplative prayer - ccc part one - 7 august 2018 - christ be in my heart and mind

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 7 August – the Memorial of St Pope Sixtus II (Died 258) Martyr

Thought for the Day – 7 August – the Memorial of St Pope Sixtus II (Died 258) Martyr

On 6 August 258, Sixtus was presiding over a clandestine liturgy in the cemetery of Praetextatus when Roman officials burst in and captured the pontiff and four deacons. An epitaph placed on Sixtus’ tomb a century later by St Pope Damasus I (305-384) recounts the scene:

“At the time when the sword pierced the bowels of the Mother, I, buried here, taught as Pastor the Word of God;   when suddenly the soldiers rushed in and dragged me from the chair.   

The faithful offered their necks to the sword but as soon as the Pastor saw the ones who wished to rob him of the palm (of martyrdom) he was the first to offer himself and his own head, not tolerating that the (pagan) frenzy should harm the others.

Christ, who gives recompense, made manifest the Pastor’s merit, preserving unharmed the flock.”

St Pope Damasus I (305-384)

The Holy Father, embodying our Lord’s command in John 15:13, willingly laid down his very life for his friends, the flock he was called to protect at all costs.   Such a gesture is especially poignant for us as we navigate an increasingly hostile Western society.

The story of Sixtus II and his holy companions should not only stir within us a zeal for our own faith but should teach us the value of staying hope-filled amidst a fallen world. Hope, we ought to remember, isn’t simply bland optimism, but is rather, as Archbishop Charles Chaput put it recently, “Having confidence that the future is in God’s hands.”

Who are we beholden to in this life and just how serious are we about defending them with our own lives?   More to it, when the going gets particularly tough, are we hopeful in our prayer that we’ll have the courage to persevere?   Do we recognise that the Lord is the Divine Ruler of all things and thus will help us through those moments when the situation is bleakest?   Even especially when things look the worst?   (excerpt – Matthew Sewell NC Register)

St Pope Sixtus II, Pray for us!st pope sixtus II pray for us no 2 - 7 aug 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 7 August – The Memorial of St Cajetan (1480-1547)

Quote/s of the Day – 7 August – The Memorial of St Cajetan (1480-1547)

“If you want Christ to love you
and help you, you must love Him
and always make every endeavour to please Him.
Do not waver in your purpose
because even if all the saints
and every single creature were to abandon you,
He will always be near you,
no matter what your needs may be.”if-you-want-christ-to-help-you-st-cajetan-7 aug 2017

“Do not receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament
so that you may use Him as you judge best
but give yourself to Him
and let Him receive you in this Sacrament,
so that He Himself, God your Saviour,
may do to you and through you, whatever He wills.”

St Cajetan (1480-1547)do not receive christ in the blessed sacrament - st cajetan - 7 august 2018


One Minute Reflection – 7 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 14:22–36

One Minute Reflection – 7 August – Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 14:22–36

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”   And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.   And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”…Matthew 14:31-33jesus immediately reached out his hand - matthew 14 31-33 - 7 aug 2018

REFLECTION – “Today’s Gospel reminds us that faith in the Lord and in His Word does not open a way for us where everything is easy and calm, it does not rescue us from life’s storms.   Faith gives us the assurance of a Presence, the presence of Jesus who encourages us to overcome the existential tempests, the certainty of a hand that grabs hold of us so as to help us face the difficulties, pointing the way for us even when it is dark.

Faith, in short, is not an escape route from life’s problems but it sustains the journey and gives it meaning.   This episode offers a wonderful image of the reality of the Church throughout the ages – a boat that, as she makes the crossing, must also weather contrary winds and storms which threaten to capsize her.   What saves her are not the courage and qualities of her men, the guarantee against shipwreck is faith in Christ and in his Word.   This is the guarantee, faith in Jesus and in His Word.   We are safe on this boat, despite our wretchedness and weaknesses, especially when we are kneeling and worshipping the Lord, like the disciples who, in the end, fell down before Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God!”...Pope Francis – Angelus, 13 August 2017faith in short is not an escape route - pope francis - 7 aug 2018

PRAYER – Almighty God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, You enabled St Pope Sixtus II and his companions to lay down their lives for Your Word and to bear witness to Jesus, never fearing as they were tossed around in the tempest but always trusting in Your saving grace.   Give us a ready and true faith, the courage to profess it and to hold tightly to the hand of Your Son in all of life’s storms.   May the prayers of St Pope Sixtus, his companions and St Cajetan, fill us with strength.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, pope sixtus II - pray for us - 7 aug 2018st-cajetan-pray-for-us.7 aug 2017


Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 6 August – The Memorial of St Cajetan (1480-1547)

Our Morning Offering – 6 August – The Memorial of St Cajetan (1480-1547)

Look down, O Lord
Prayer of St Cajetan (1480-1547)

Look down, O Lord, from Your sanctuary
and from the high habitation of heaven
and behold this sacred oblation
which our great High Priest,
Your holy Servant, the Lord Jesus,
immolates unto You for the sins of His brethren
and be propitious to the multitude of our iniquities.
Behold, the voice of the blood of Jesus,
our brother, cries to You from the cross.
Graciously hear, O Lord,
be appeased, O Lord, hearken and do?
Delay not for Your own sake, my God,
because Your name is invoked upon this city
and upon Your people
and do with us according to Your mercy.
Amenlook down o lord - prayer of st cajetan - 7 aug 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 August – St Pope Sixtus II Martyr

Saint of the Day – 7 August – St Pope Sixtus II Martyr was the Bishop of Rome from 31 August 257 until his death on 6 August 258.   He was martyred along with seven deacons, including St Lawrence of Rome during the persecutions of Christianity by Emperor Valerian.   This is the St Sixtus who is commemorated in the Eucharistic Prayer.


Even as the storm of persecution created by Emperor Valerian raged against the Church, the papal throne was not vacant.   Sixtus, a Greek, was elected to succeed Stephen.   The emperor’s decrees had ordered the Christians to take part in state religious ceremonies and forbade them to assemble in cemeteries.   For nearly a year Sixtus managed to evade the authorities before he was gloriously martyred.pope-sixtus-ii-d5dfa3a0-606a-44e4-9d83-97aa13c6a1b-resize-750

Valerian issued his second edict ordering the execution of Christian bishops, priests and deacons.   Sixtus had taken to holding services in the private cemetery of Praetextatus because it was not watched as closely by the authorities as was the cemetery of Calixtus. But in early August of 258, while Sixtus was seated on his episcopal chair and surrounded by the brethren, the soldiers broke in arresting Sixtus and four deacons who were in attendance.   After a formal judgement, Sixtus was led back to the very place where he had been arrested, to face execution.   His chief deacon St Lawrence, upon hearing the news, hastened to his side, desiring to die with his bishop.   Sixtus consoled his deacon by telling him that he would follow in three days with even greater glory.   The soldiers then placed Sixtus in his chair and swiftly beheaded him.   True to the great pope’s words, Lawrence was arrested three days later and executed the same day.   The remains of Sixtus were transferred by the Christian faithful to the Papal Crypt in the neighbouring cemetery of St Callistus.   Behind his tomb was enshrined the bloodstained chair on which he had been beheaded.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 7 August

St Pope Sixtus II (Died 258) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
St Cajetan (1480-1547) (Optional Memorial)

St Afra of Augsburg
Bl Agathangelus Nourry
St Albert of Sicily
Bl Cassian Vaz Lopez-Neto
St Claudia of Rome
St Donat
St Donatian of Chalons-sur-Marne
St Donatus of Arezzo
St Donatus of Besancon
Bl Edmund Bojanowski
Bl Edward Bamber
St Faustus of Milan
St Hilarinus of Ostia
St Hyperechios
Bl John Woodcock
Bl Jordan Forzatei
St Julian of Rome
St Miguel de la Mora
Bl Nicholas Postgate
St Peter of Rome
Bl Thomas Whitaker
St Victricius of Rouen

Martyred Deacons of Rome – 6 saints: A group of deacons who were martyred with Pope Saint Sixtus II. We know nothing about them but their names and their deaths – Agapitus, Felicissimus, Januarius, Magnus, Stephen and Vincent. They were
beheaded on 6 August 258 in a cemetery on the Appian Way, Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Como – 6 saints: A group of Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army. Martyred in the persecutions of Maximian. We know little else but the names – Carpophorus, Cassius, Exanthus, Licinius, Secundus and Severinus. c.295 on the north side of Lake Como, near Samolaco, Italy. Their relics in the church of San Carpoforo, Como, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 10 Beati
Dalmacio Bellota Perez
Diodorus Hernando Lopez
Francisco Gargallo Gascón
Joan Baptista Urgell Coma
Luis Villanueva Montoya
María del Carmen Zaragoza y Zaragoza
María Rosa Adrover Martí
Rafaél Severiano Rodríguez Navarro
Tomás Carbonell Miquel
Isabel Remiñán Carracedo