Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January
Day FOUR – 19 January
For St John Paul, conversion means returning to God “through evaluating earthly realities in the unfailing light of His truth.” The proof of St Paul’s conversion is his profession: “For me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). Conversion is a conversion to the will and design of God: “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
Let us Pray:
Glorious St Paul,
your conversion is a powerful witness to the world
that God loves us and does not give up on us,
no matter how far we stray.
Help me to live a life of ongoing conversion.
True conversion means converting my life to the
design of God, the plan He has for me right now.
Pray that I will love God’s will and providence for me.
May I learn to truly surrender myself to wisdom and tenderness of God.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions ………………..
(mention your request)
I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen.
St Paul Pray for us!
Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day FIVE – 19 January
“This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way but rather, we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do not accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart’s door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation,” … a man’s anger does not fulfil God’s justice.” [St Francis de Sales Jas 1:20] (INT. Part III, Ch. 8; O. III, p. 162)
O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbour,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people, especially
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise
cause me to stumble in my attempt
to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer.
(mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
You desired that St Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many along the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, amen.
St Francis de Sales, pray for us.
Thought for the day – 19 January – The Memorial of Blessed Marcelo Spínola y Maestre, Cardinal-Priest (1835-1906)
Blessed Marcelo was a pious man, of intense prayer and mortification, extremely sensitive to the needs and suffering of his faithful and an untiring apostle. Homes, workers’ societies, centres where food was given to those who needed it, orphanages, night schools, creation of the faculty of theology of Seville, etc., were all part of his mark. He toured all the dioceses in which he exercised his ministry, travelling on a mule, he fought against the attempt to displace the teaching of religion from public centres as a senator from Granada, consoled the afflicted and took the gospel to every corner, preaching and confessing.
And at the centre of the heart of Blessed Marcelo was the Holy Eucharist. He wrote:
“The masterpiece of Jesus Christ’s love for humanity is the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is within our reach.
We can all get close to Christ the guest and talk with Him
and perceive the warmth of His word.
The word! How it inflames the spirits!
How will the word of Christ inflame them!
We can all get to the altar when He immolates Himself and shouts at us:
Look how much I have loved and loved you!
And we can all sit at His table
and eat the bread
and drink the intoxicating wine of charity. “
Blessed Marcelo Spínola y Maestre, Pray for Us!
Quote of the Day – 19 January 2019 – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time – Gospel: Mark 2:13–17
“For everything in the life of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, is full of signification.
Christ, if I may thus express myself, is the great sacrament of the New Law…
each of Our Lord’s mysteries ought to be for us, an object of contemplation.
His mysteries ought also to be, as it were, sacraments producing within us,
according to the measure of our faith and love, their own special grace.
And this is true of each of the states of Jesus, of each of His actions.
For if Christ is always the Son of God, if in all that He says and does
He first of all glorifies His Father,
neither does He ever separate us from the thought of Him.
To each of His mysteries, He attaches a grace,
which is to help us to reproduce within ourselves,
His divine features, in order to make us like unto Him.”
Blessed Abbot Columba Marmion OSB (1858-1923)
(Christ in His Mysteries, 232-33)
One Minute Reflection – 19 January – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time – Gospel: Mark 2:13–17
And as he passed on, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him...Mark 2:14
REFLECTION – “In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (Eph 1:9) by which, through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (Eph 2:18; 2 Pt 1:4). Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (Col 1:15; 1 Tm 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (Ex 33:11; Jn 15:14-15) and lives among them (Bar 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself.” …Vatican Council II – Dogmatic Constitution on revelation « Dei Verbum », § 1-2
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You offer the covenant of reconciliation to mankind through Your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Lord God, grant Your people constant joy, in the renewed vigour of their souls. They rejoice because You have restored them to the glory of Your adopted children, through Him who saves them. Grant that by the assistance of Mary, His mother and theirs, they may look forward gladly to the certain hope of resurrection. Through Christ, the Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 19 January – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time “Saturday with Mary”
Most Holy Mary,
Virgin Mother of God
By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Most Holy Mary,
Virgin Mother of God,
I am unworthy to be your servant.
Yet moved by your motherly care for me
and longing to serve you,
I choose you this day to be my Queen,
my Advocate and my Mother.
I firmly resolve ever to be devoted to you
and to do what I can
to encourage others to be devoted to you.
My loving Mother,
through the Precious Blood
of your Son shed for me,
I beg you to receive me
as your servant forever.
Aid me in my actions
and beg for me the grace
never by thought, word, or deed,
to be displeasing in your sight
and that of your most holy Son.
Remember me, dearest Mother
and do not abandon me
at the hour of death.
Saint of the Day – 19 January – St Canutus (1040-1086) Martyr, King of Denmark “Canute IV” – known as Canutus the Holy – Canutus was an ambitious king who sought to strengthen the Danish monarchy, devotedly supported the Roman Catholic Church and had designs on the English throne. Slain by rebels in 1086, he was the first Danish king to be canonised. He was recognised as patron saint of Denmark in 1101.
Saint Canutus, King of Denmark, succeeded his elder brother Harold on the throne of Denmark in the year 1080. He began his reign by a successful war against the enemies of the state and by planting the faith in the conquered provinces. Amid the glory of his victories he humbly prostrated himself at the foot of the crucifix, laying there his diadem and offering himself and his kingdom to the King of kings. After having provided for the peace and safety of his country, he married Eltha, daughter of Robert, Earl of Flanders, who proved herself a spouse worthy of him.
The justice of Saint Canutus as sovereign was well known. He applied himself to the reform of all internal abuses. For this purpose he enacted severe but necessary laws for the strict administration of justice, the repression of violence and tyranny by the powerful, without respect to persons. He favoured and honoured holy men and granted many privileges and immunities to the clergy. His charity and tenderness towards his subjects made him study all possible ways to make them a happy people.
To the virtues which constitute a great king, Canutus added those which prove the great saint. A rebellion having sprung up in his kingdom, the king was surprised at church by the rebels. Perceiving his danger, he confessed his sins at the foot of the altar and received Holy Communion. Stretching out his arms before the altar, the Saint fervently recommended his soul to his Creator; in this posture he was struck by a javelin thrown through a window and fell a victim for Christ’s sake by the enemies of his Christian reign.
St Canutus’ Cathedral below, also known as Odense Cathedral, is named after the Danish king St Canutus, otherwise Canute IV. It is a fine example of Brick Gothic architecture. The church’s most visited section is the crypt where the remains of St Canutus and his brother Benedict are enshrined.