Thought for the Day – 14 December -Traces of the Divine Beauty in Creation

Thought for the Day – 14 December – The Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

Traces of the Divine Beauty in Creation
From The Spiritual Canticle by Saint John of the Cross

“Created things in themselves, as Saint Augustine declares, give testimony to God’s grandeur and excellence.   For God created all things with remarkable ease and brevity and in them He left some trace of who He is, not only in giving all things being from nothing but even by endowing them, with innumerable graces and qualities, making them beautiful in a wonderful order and unfailing dependence on one another.  All of this He did through His own wisdom, the Word, His only begotten Son by whom He created them.

Saint Paul says:  The Son of God is the splendour of His glory and the image of His substance.   It should be known that only with this figure, His Son, did God look at all things, that is, He communicated to them their natural being and many natural graces and gifts and made them complete and perfect, as is said in Genesis:  God looked at all things that He made, and they were very good.   To look and behold that they were very good, was to make them very good in the Word, his Son.

Not only by looking at them did He communicate natural being and graces, as we said but also with this image of His Son alone, He clothed them in beauty by imparting to them supernatural being.   This He did when He became man and elevated human nature in the beauty of God and consequently all creatures, since in human nature He was united with them all.

Accordingly, the Son of God proclaimed:  If I be lifted up from the earth, I will elevate all things to me.   And in this elevation of all things through the incarnation of His Son and through the glory of His resurrection according to the flesh, the Father did not merely beautify creatures partially but rather, we can say, clothed them wholly in beauty and dignity.”

“Lord I am not worthy but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

St John of the Cross, Pray for Us!st-john-of-the-cross-pray-for-us-14-dec-2017


Quotes of the Day – 14 December – St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

Quotes of the Day – 14 December – The Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road
he treads on, he must close his eyes
and walk in the dark.”if a man wishes to be sure - st john of the cross 14dec2018

“The road is narrow. 
He who wishes to travel it more easily 
must cast off all things and use the cross as his cane. 
In other words, he must be truly resolved 
to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things.”even-though-i-should-die-matthew-26-35-and-the-road-is-narrow-st-john-of-the-cross-9-july-2018

“Live in the world,
as if only God and your soul were in it,
then your heart will never be made captive,
by any earthly thing.” live in the world - st john of the cross 14dec2018

“O you souls who wish to go on
with so much safety and consolation,
if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering
and how much it helps in acquiring other good things,
you would never seek consolation in anything;
but you would rather look upon it,
as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord.”o-you-souls-st-john-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017

It is a matter of real sorrow when God has given us strength to break stronger fetters, those of vanity and sin, that we neglect our own progress and the attainment of such great blessings, because we will not detach ourselves from trifles. 
Not only do we not advance, we fall back. 
For it is well known, that on the spiritual road, not to go on overcoming self, is to go backwards and not to increase our gain, is to lose.
As wood can never be transformed into fire, if one necessary degree of heat is missing, so the soul, that has even one imperfection, can never be perfectly transformed in

“Happiness is not a destination,
it’s a method of travel.”

Happiness is not a destination st john of the cross 14dec2018

“We must dig deeply in Christ.
He is like a rich mine
with many pockets containing treasures –
however deep we dig,
we will never find their end or their limit.
Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches
are discovered on all sides.”we must dig deeply in christ - st john of the cross 14 dec 2018

“At the end of your life,
you will be judged by your love.”at-the-end-of-your-life-st-j-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017

“Now that I no longer desire all,
I have it all, without desire.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchnow that i no longer st john of the cross 14dec2018


Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

14 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent

Jesus suffers so much in order to gain our hearts

“Consider that Jesus suffered for our love.   During His entire life, He had no other purpose than the glory of God and our salvation.   Even though He could have saved us without suffering, He chose to embrace a life of suffering. He was poor, despised and deprived of every comfort, with a death that was more desolate and bitter than any death ever endured by a martyr or penitent.   All of this, was done for the sole purpose of helping us understand the greatness of His love for us.

Saint Bonaventure exclaims, ‘It is a wonder to see a God endure such sufferings, shedding tears in a stable, poor in a workshop, languishing on a cross, in short afflicted and troubled His whole life, all because of His love for sinful humanity.'”

“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17

Prayer (St Alphonsus)

“O sovereign God,
help me not to be ungrateful
for all that You have given me.
Help me to die in love with You.
Mary, my hope, help me.
Pray to Jesus for me.”

Advent Action
“O my Lord Jesus, whose love for me has been so great as to bring You down from heaven to save me, teach me, dear Lord, my sin—teach me its heinousness—teach me truly to repent of it—and pardon it in Your great mercy! I beg You, O my dear Saviour, to recover me! Your grace alone can do it. I cannot save myself. I cannot recover my lost ground. I cannot turn to You, I cannot please You, or save my soul without You. I shall go from bad to worse, I shall fall from You entirely, I shall quite harden myself against my neglect of duty, if I rely on my own strength. I shall make myself my centre instead of making it in You. I shall worship some idol of my own framing instead of You, the only true God and my Maker, unless You hinder it by Your grace. O my dear Lord, hear me! I have lived long enough in this undecided, wavering, unsatisfactory state. I wish to be Your good servant. I wish to sin no more. Be gracious to me and enable me to be what I know I ought to be.”…Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)advent with st alphonsus friday 2nd week isaiah 48 17 14dec2018

Posted in CARMELITES, CHRIST the KING, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – O King of Gentleness

Our Morning Offering – 14 December – The Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

O King of Gentleness
By St John of the Cross

O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.o king of gentleness - st john of the cross - 14dec2018

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 December – St John of the Cross OCD (1542-1591)

Saint of the Day – 14 December – St John of the Cross OCD (1542-1591)

John is a saint because his life was a heroic effort to live up to his name:  “of the Cross.” The folly of the cross came to full realisation in time.   “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34b) is the story of John’s life. The Paschal Mystery—through death to life—strongly marks John as reformer, mystic-poet and theologian-priest.header - st john of the cross - maxresdefault

Ordained a Carmelite priest in 1567 at age 25, John met Teresa of Avila and like her, vowed himself to the primitive Rule of the Carmelites.   As partner with Teresa and in his own right, John engaged in the work of reform and came to experience the price of reform – increasing opposition, misunderstanding, persecution, imprisonment.   He came to know the cross acutely—to experience the dying of Jesus—as he sat month after month in his dark, damp, narrow cell with only his God.john-of-the-cross-painted-by-thereses-sister-pauline-sr-agnes

Yet, the paradox!   In this dying of imprisonment John came to life, uttering poetry.   In the darkness of the dungeon, John’s spirit came into the Light.   There are many mystics, many poets – John is unique as mystic-poet, expressing in his prison-cross the ecstasy of mystical union with God in the Spiritual Canticle.John-of-the-Cross-Icon1

But as agony leads to ecstasy, so John had his Ascent to Mount Carmel, as he named it in his prose masterpiece.   As man-Christian-Carmelite, he experienced in himself this purifying ascent;  as spiritual director, he sensed it in others; as psychologist-theologian, he described and analysed it in his prose writings.   His prose works are outstanding in underscoring the cost of discipleship, the path of union with God – rigorous discipline, abandonment, purification.   Uniquely and strongly John underlines the gospel paradox: the cross leads to resurrection, agony to ecstasy, darkness to light, abandonment to possession, denial to self to union with God.   If you want to save your life, you must lose it.   John is truly “of the Cross.”   He died at 49—a life short, but john of the cross snip

Full Biography here:

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day -14 November

St John of the Cross OCD (Memorial) (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
Full Biography:

St Abundius of Spain
St Agnellus of Naples
Bl Buenaventura Bonaccorsi
St Folcuino of Therouanne
Bl Joan Lambertini
St John Pan y Agua (Bread-and-Water)
Bl John Discalceat
St Justus of Spain
St Matronianus of Milan
St Pompeius of Pavia
Bl Protasi Cubells Minguell
St Venantius Fortunatus
St Viator of Bergamo
St Yusuf Jurj Kassab al-Hardini
Bl William de Rovira

Martyrs of Alexandria – 4 saints: A group of Egyptian Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Decius – Arsenius, Dioscurus, Heron and Isidore. They were burned to death in 250 at Alexandria, Egypt.

Martyrs of Apollonia – 7 saints: Martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only surviving details are three names – Callinicus, Leucio and Tirso. Apollonia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Ashkelon – 3 saints: Several pilgrims from Egypt to Cilicia (in modern Turkey) who planned to minister to fellow Christians suffering in the persecutions of emperor Maximinus. They were arrested, torture, mutilated and then imprisoned in Ashkelon. Some were ordered to forced labour in the mines, but we have the names of three who were martyred by order of governor Firmilian – Ares, Elijah and Promo. They were burned at the stake or beheaded at the gates of Ashkelon c 308.

Martyrs of Hayle – 2+ saints: Several Christians, including a brother and sister, who were martyred together by pagans. The only other information to survive are the names of the two siblings – Fingar and Phiala. 5th century at Hayle, Cornwall, England.

Martyrs of Syria – 3 saints: Three Christians who were martyred together. Known to Saint John Chrysostom who preached on their feast day, and left us the only details we have – their names – Drusus, Theodore and Zosimus. The date and precise location of their martyrdom is unknown, but it was in Syria, possibly in Antioch.