Thought for the Day – 13 January – May I serve You by making You known

Thought for the Day – 13 January – May I serve You by making You known
The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church

This prayer is an excerpt from a sermon On the Trinity by Saint Hilary of Poitiers, a bishop and early Church Father of the fourth century who struggled valiantly against the Arian heresy, defending the divinity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity.
From a sermon on the Trinity by St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church – (Lib 1, 37-38: PL 10, 48-49)

May I serve You by making You known

“I am well aware, almighty God and Father, that in my life I owe You a most particular duty.   It is to make my every thought and word speak of You.

In fact, You have conferred on me this gift of speech and it can yield no greater return than to be at Your service.   It is for making You known as Father, the Father of the only-begotten God and preaching this to the world that knows You not and to the heretics who refuse to believe in You.

In this matter, the declaration of my intention, is only of limited value.   For the rest, I need to pray for the gift of Your help and Your mercy.   As we spread our sails of trusting faith and public avowal before You, fill them with the breath of Your Spirit, to drive us on, as we begin this course of proclaiming Your truth.   We have been promised and He who made the promise is trustworthy:   Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Yes, in our poverty we will pray for our needs.   We will study the sayings of Your prophets and apostles with unflagging attention and knock for admittance wherever the gift of understanding is safely kept.   But Yours it is, Lord, to grant our petitions, to be present when we seek You and to open when we knock.

There is an inertia in our nature that makes us dull and in our attempt to penetrate Your truth. we are held within the bounds of ignorance. by the weakness of our minds.   Yet we do comprehend divine ideas by earnest attention to Your teaching and by obedience to the faith, which carries us beyond mere human apprehension.

So we trust in You to inspire the beginnings of this ambitious venture, to strengthen its progress and to call us into a partnership, in the spirit, with the prophets and the apostles.   To that end, may we grasp precisely what they meant to say, taking each word in its real and authentic sense.   For we are about to say what they already have declared as part of the mystery of revelation – that You are the eternal God, the Father of the eternal, only-begotten God;  that You are one and not born from another;  and that the Lord Jesus is also one, born of You from all eternity.   We must not proclaim a change in truth regarding the number of gods.   We must not deny that He is begotten of You who are the one God, nor must we assert that He is other than the true God, born of You who are truly God the Father.

Impart to us, then, the meaning of the words of Scripture and the light to understand it, with reverence for the doctrine and confidence in its truth.   Grant that we may express what we believe.   Through the prophets and apostles we know about You, the one God the Father and the one Lord Jesus Christ.   May we have the grace, in the face of heretics who deny You, to honour You as God, who is not alone and to proclaim this as truth.”

The above is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the feast (liturgical memorial) of St Hilary of Poitiers on 13 January.

St Hilary of Poitiers Pray for us!st hilary pray for us no 2 13 jan 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 13 January

Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church and Blessed Francesco Maria Greco (1857-1931)

“O Lord, wishing to fulfil all things
that You ordained before the ages,
You received the servants of Your mystery,
from among the Angels, Gabriel,
from among Men, the Virgin,
from among the Heavens, the Star
and from among the Waters, the Jordan,
in which You washed away the sin of the world,
O our Saviour, glory to You.”

St John Damascene (675-749) Doctor of the Churcho-lord-wishing-to-fulfil-all-things-st-john-damascene-7-jan-20181.jpg

“God only knows how to be love
and He only knows how to be Father.
And the one who loves is not envious
and one who is Father is so totally.
This name does not permit compromises,
as if God were only father in some aspects
and not in others.”god only knows how to love - st hilary 13 jan 2019.jpg

“The privilege of our Church is such that
it is never stronger
than when it is attacked,
never better known
than when it is accused,
never more powerful
than when it appears forsaken.”
(Treatise on the Trinity)

“The Church is the Ship
outside which
it is impossible to understand
the Divine Word,
for Jesus spoke from the boat
to the people gathered
on the shore.”

“No matter how sinful
one may have been,
if he has devotion to Mary,
it is impossible that he be lost.”

St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-privilege-of-our-church-st-hilary-of-pitiers-13-jan-2018.jpg

“In solitude,
in the presence
of the Blessed Sacrament,
I learned the love of Jesus
and the power of this love.”

Blessed Francesco Maria Greco (1857-1931)in solitude in the presence of the blessed sacrament - bl francesco m greco 13 jan 2019.jpg


One minute Reflection – 13 January – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

One minute Reflection – 13 January – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Gospel:  Luke 3:15-22 and Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church

“…when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son with thee I am well pleased.”…Luke 3:21-22when jesus also had been baptised luke 3 21-22 13 jan 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Jesus rises from the waters;  the world rises with Him.   The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open.   The Spirit comes to Him as to an equal, bearing witness to His Godhead.  A voice bears witness to Him from heaven, His place of origin.   The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God.
Today, let us do honour to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness.   Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed.   Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom His every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world.   You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the light of heaven.   You are to enjoy, more and more, the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received—though not in its fullness—a ray of its splendour, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. “…St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390 – Father & Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Oration 39: On Holy Light)he wants you to become a living force - st gregory of nazianzen - 13 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed when we were baptised
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have You for our Father,
that we may abide in Your Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amen…St Hilary of Poitierso-holy-trinity-prayer-for-perseverance-in-truth-st-hilary-of-poitiers-13-jan-2018.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 13 January – Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.

Sunday Reflection – 13 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
(Parochial & Plain Sermons, Vol. VI, no. 11)

“Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.   When we feel that His mysteries are too severe for us and occasion us to doubt, let us earnestly wait on Him for the gift of humility and love.   Those who love and who are humble will apprehend them, carnal minds do not seek the and proud minds are offended at them but while love desires them, humility sustains them.

Let us pray Him to give us an earnest longing after Him – a thirst for His presence – an anxiety to find Him – a joy on hearing that He is to be found, even now, under the veil of sensible things – and a good hope that we shall find Him there.

Blessed indeed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.   They have their reward in believing, they enjoy the contemplation of a mysterious blessing, which does not even enter into the thoughts of other men and while they are more blessed than others, in the gift vouchsafed to them, they have the additional privilege of knowing that they are vouchsafed it.”let us pray him to give us - bl john henry newman 13 jan 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 13 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Our Morning Offering – 13 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

O Most Sacred, Most Loving Heart of Jesus
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O Most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus,
You are concealed in the Holy Eucharist
and You beat for us still.
Now, as then You say,
“With desire I have desired.”
I worship You the,
with all my best love and awe,
with my fervent affection,
with my most subdued, most resolved will.
You, for a while, take up Your abode within me!
O make my heart beat with Your Heart.
Purify it of all that is earthly,
all that is proud and sensual,
all that is hard and cruel,
of all perversity,
of all disorder,
of all deadness.
So fill it with Thee,
that neither the events of the day
nor the circumstances of the time,
may have power to ruffle it
but that, in Your love
and Your fear,
it may have peace.
Amen.o most sacred most loving heart of jesus bl john henry newman - 13 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the day – 13 January – Blessed Francesco Maria Greco (1857-1931)

Saint of the day – 13 January – Blessed Francesco Maria Greco (1857-1931) Priest and Founder with Servant of God Raffaela De Vincentis (Sr Maria Teresa De Vincenti (1872-1936) of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts, Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Sacred Scripture, Apostle of Charity, devotee of Eucharistic Adoration, the Blessed Virgin and the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.   Born on 26 July 1857 in Acri, Cosenza, Italy and died on 13 January 1931 in Acri, Cosenza, Italy of bronchitis.   Patronages – the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts and francesco maria greco

Francesco Maria Greco, was born on 27 July 1857 in Acri, in what was then the Diocese of San Marco e Bisignano.   Preparing for his father’s profession, pharmacist, while still a student in Naples he felt a call to the priesthood.   At that time, while visiting the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii, still under construction, he asked for the grace of becoming “a learned priest for doing good ministry.”   He conquered the resistances of his parents and was ordained a priest in 1881.   In Acri he became arch-priest-pastor of the Church of St Nicholas, from 1888 to his death.

In the light of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, for whom he had a special devotion, he carried out intense and fruitful pastoral work.    Living and working in Acri in the late 1800s, Fr Francesco realised that religious ignorance was the greatest problem his parishioners and townspeople face – for the less they knew about God, the further from Him they remained.   Together with his sister, Maria Teresa, he began a catechetical program to teach children, young people and adults about the Catholic faith.   The most dedicated catechist was Raffaella De Vincenti, who later became the faithful collaborator of Blessed Francisco, in the Institute’s foundation, on 21 November 1894, through her profession of the vows, of chastity, poverty and obedience, through which she received her religious name of Sister Maria Teresa of the Sacred Hearts.

Others soon followed as young women from Acri and nearby towns heard of the catechetical work to which she and Fr Francesco had devoted all their energies.   The Institute “… founded out of a spirit of charity, namely the love of God”, has as “its principal purpose catechetical instruction in parishes .”   Through its apostolic works, this Institute, gives witness to the charity of the Sacred Hearts directed in a special way to children and young people who are in need of human and Christian formation.francesco-maria-greco-1b233c6d-5f83-4994-9435-cb65fc83e45-resize-750

Always full of priestly concern for others, this blessed man founded the Caritas hospital which he entrusted to his sisters.

He also co-operated to the good performance of his diocese, making himself available to requests from Bishops, who held him in high esteem.   He taught Dogmatic Theology and Sacred Scripture in the Seminary of Bisignano and was its Rector for three years, while at the same time the fulfilling his role as pastor.   Surrounded by wide fame of holiness he fell asleep in the Lord on 13 January francesco maria greoc 21 may 2016

The cause of beatification began in 1960, was given in 1999 to Fr P Luca De Rosa, OFM, general Postulator.   The servant of God was declared Venerable on 19 April 2004.   On 21 January 2016, Pope Francis authorised the Congregation for the causes of Saints to promulgate the Decree of recognition of a miracle attributed to his intercession, thus allowing for his Beatification which took place on 21 May 2016.  The Beatification recognition was celebrated at Cosenza, Italy, with Cardinal Angelo Amato as the chief celebrant.   The beatification miracle involved bringing Nina Pancaro out of a coma in which she had lapsed following a severe illness and surger.   While comatose, she was visited by a dream of Father Francesco who healed her and woke her up.francesco_maria_greco2


Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – 13 Jan 2019

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – 13 Jan 2019

Today we celebrate the baptism of Christ in the Jordan.   This is the second epiphany, or manifestation, of the Lord.   The past, the present and the future are made manifest in this epiphany.goodbye-christmastide-13-jan-2019-for-this-he-bore-our-body-st-basil-the-great.jpg

The most holy one placed Himself among us, the unclean and sinners.   The Son of God freely humbled Himself at the hand of the Baptist.   By His baptism in the Jordan, Christ manifests His humility and dedicates Himself to the redemption of man.   He takes upon Himself the sins of the whole world and buries them in the waters of the Jordan. — The Light of the World by Benedict Baur, OSBthe-baptism-of-the-lord

The mystery of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan by St John, the Precursor, proposes the contemplation of an already adult Jesus.   This mystery is infinitely linked to the Solemnities of the Lord’s birth and the Epiphany that we have just celebrated, as in some ways it takes up and represents their significance to us.

At Christmas we have contemplated the human birth of the Word incarnate by the Virgin Mary.   In the 4th century, the Fathers of the Church deepened the understanding of the faith with regard to the Christmas mystery in the light of Jesus’ Humanity.   They spoke of the Incarnation of the Word already working like the ‘Christification’ of that humanity that he had assumed from His mother.   Or put in simpler terms – Jesus is the Christ from the first instant of conception in Mary’s spotless womb because He Himself, with His Divine Power, consecrated, anointed and ‘Christified’ that human nature with which He became incarnate.baptism of the lord murillo.jpg

In the mystery of the Epiphany, we then meditated on Christ’s manifestation to all nations that was represented by the Magi, the wise men from the East, who came to adore the Child.

Now, in the mystery of Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan River, we again encounter and represent the truth of the Lord’s incarnation and His manifestation as the Christ.   Jesus’ Baptism is in fact His definitive manifestation as the Messiah or Christ to Israel and as the Son of the Father to the entire world.   Here we find the dimension of the Epiphany which was His manifestation to all nations.   The Father’s voice from heaven shows that Jesus of Nazareth is the eternal Son and the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove shows the Trinitarian nature of the Christian God.   The true and unique God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, shows Himself in Christ, through Him, with Him and in Him.baptism of the lord

The Baptism in the Jordan returns to the great Christmas theme of ‘Christification,’ Jesus of Nazareth’s spiritual anointing, His presentation as the Anointed One par excellence, the Messiah or the One sent by the Father for the salvation of mankind.   The Spirit that descended on Jesus shows and seals in an incontrovertible way the ‘Christification’ of Jesus’ humanity that the Word had already fulfilled from the first moment of His miraculous conception by Mary.   Jesus, from the very beginning, was always the Lord’s Christ, He was always God.   Yet, His one, true humanity, that which is perfect in every way, as the Gospel records, constantly grew in natural and supernatural perfection.   ‘And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with men’ (Lk2:52).   In Israel at 30 years of age, one reached full maturity and therefore could become a master.   Jesus came of age and the Spirit, descending and remaining on Him, definitively consecrated His whole being as the Christ.721px-Guido_Reni_-_The_Baptism_of_Christ_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

The same Spirit, that descended on the water of the River Jordan wafted over the waters during the first creation (Gen 1:2).   Therefore, the Baptism in the Jordan presents yet another truth – that Jesus has started a new creation.   He is the second man (1 Cor 15:47) or the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45), that comes to repair the first Adam’s guilt.   He does this as the Lamb of God that takes away our sins.

“Looking at the events in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people realised what happened – Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon His shoulders;  he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan.   He inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of sinners”

(Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth).

jesus loaded the burden of all mankind's guilt - papa Benedict joseph ratzigner jesus of naz 13 jan 2019.jpg

Excerpted from the Congregation for the Clergy


Feast of The Baptism of the Lord – Year C (2019) & Memorials of the Saints – 13 January

Feast of The Baptism of the Lord – Year C (2019)

(This one is worth every second of viewing time!)

St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

St Agrecius of Trier
St Andrew of Trier
St Berno of Cluny
St Ðaminh Pham Trong Kham
St Designatus of Maastricht
St Elian of Brittany
St Emil Szramek
St Enogatus of Aleth
St Erbin of Cornwall
Bl Francesco Maria Greco (1857-1931)
Bl Francisca Inés Valverde González
St Giuse Pham Trong Ta
St Glaphyra
St Gumesindus of Córdoba
St Hermylus
Bl Hildemar of Arrouaise
Bl Ida of Argensolles
Bl Ivetta of Huy
St Kentigern of Glasgow
St Leontius of Caesarea
St Luca Pham Trong Thìn
Bl María Francisca Espejo y Martos
Bl Matteo de Lana
St Peter of Capitolíade
St Servusdei of Córdoba
St Stephen of Liège
St Stratonicus
Bl Veronica of Milan
St Viventius
St Vivenzio of Blera

Forty Martyred Soldiers at Rome: Forty soldiers martyred in the persecutions of Gallienus.
They werr martyred in 262 on the Via Lavicana, Rome, Italy.