Thought for the Day – 19 February – “If you do not believe, you will not understand”

Thought for the Day – 19 February – Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Mark 8:14–21 and the memorial of Bl John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

And He said to them “Do you not yet understand or comprehend?”...Mark 8:21

Faith, the theologians say, is a certain and obscure habit of soul.   It is an obscure habit because it brings us to believe divinely revealed truths, that transcend every natural light and infinitely exceed, all human understanding.   As a result, the excessive light of faith bestowed on a soul, is darkness for it – a brighter light will eclipse and suppress a dimmer one.   The sun so obscures all other lights, that they do not seem to be lights at all when it is shining and instead of affording vision to the eyes, it overwhelms, blinds and deprives them of vision since its light is excessive and disproportioned to the visual faculty.   Similarly, the light of faith in its abundance, suppresses and overwhelms that of the intellect…

Another clearer example…  If those born blind were told about the nature of the colours white or yellow, they would understand absolutely nothing, no matter how much instruction they received, since they never saw these colours…   Only the names of these colours would be grasped, since the names are perceptible through hearing…   Such is faith to the soul – it informs us of matters we have never seen or known…   The light of natural knowledge does not show them to us…   Yet we come to know it through hearing, by believing, what faith teaches, in blinding our natural light and bringing it in to submission.   St Paul states:  “Faith comes through hearing” (Rm 10:17).   This amounts, to saying, that faith is not a knowledge, derived from the senses but an assent of the soul, to what enters through hearing…   Faith, manifestly, is a dark night for souls but in this way, it gives them light.   The more darkness it brings on them, the more light it sheds.   For by blinding, it illumines them, according to those words of Isaiah:  “If you do not believe, you will not understand” (cf. Is 7:9).isaiah 7 9 - if you do not believe you will not understand 19 feb 2019.jpg

Blessed John Sullivan was illuminated by the Light of faith, in his many hours of silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, the place where our light is found.

God and Father,
You honour those who honour You.
Make sacred the memory
of Your servant John Sullivan,
by granting through his intercession,
the petition we now make
……………….(name the petition)
and hastening the day,
when his name will be venerated
by the title of Saint.
We make our prayer
through Christ our Lord,
in the Holy Spirit,
God forever.

Blessed John Sullivan, Pray for Us!bl-john-sullivan-pray-for-us-no-2-19-feb-2018.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 19 February – Blessed John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

Quote/s of the Day – 19 February – the Memorial of Bl John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

“Any friend of the poor
is a friend of God.”


“I hope every single one of you, will have broken, every resolution you made, in the retreat before the end of the week, and if not then, at least in a fortnight. It will do you good and humble you, provided you get up and begin again and do not flop down and lie there on the broad of your back, saying “It’s no use, it’s all over.” Not a bit of it, it’s not all over, it’s only beginning. So up with you and start again. Remember, each time you fall, that you are not back where you were before but are starting again, from where you fell.”

remember each time you fall - bl john sullivan 19 feb 2019.jpg

“Be always beginning.
Let the past go.
The saints were always beginning.
That is how they became saints.”

be always beginning - bl john sullivan 19 feb 2019.jpg

Death is
“Looking on
the lovely Face of God.”

Blessed John Sullivan (1861-1933)

death is ...looking on the lovely face of god - bl john sullivan 19 feb 2019


One Minute Reflection – 19 February – “Am I a just and transparent person or am I a hypocrite?”

One Minute Reflection – 19 February – Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Mark 8:14–21 and the Memorial of Bl John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

And he cautioned them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”...Mark 8:15

REFLECTION – “Jesus tells us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.   That leaven is hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is an internal division, you say one thing and do another.   It is a sort of spiritual schizophrenia.   Furthermore a hypocrite is a phoney – he seems good, courteous but he has a dagger behind him.   A hypocrite is two-faced.   He is a phoney. Jesus, speaking of these doctors of the law, affirms that they say one thing but do not do. This is another form of hypocrisy, it is existential nominalism – those who believe that, by saying things, everything is in order.   No, things must be done, not just said.   On the contrary, a hypocrite is a nominalist, he believes that everything is done with words. Moreover, a hypocrite is incapable of blaming himself, he never finds a smudge on himself, he blames others.   Just think of the speck and the log, this is precisely how we can describe this leaven which is hypocrisy.
May the Lord give to us, to all of us, the Holy Spirit and the grace of the clarity to tell ourselves what is the leaven I grow with, which is the leaven I act with.   Am I a just and transparent person or am I a hypocrite?”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 14 October 2016mark 8 15 take heed beware of the leaven - jesus tells us pope francis 19 feb 2019 no 2.jpg

PRAYER – God of mercy, teach us to live as You have ordained.   Help us to follow Your commandments with courage and steadfast devotion.   Let our Saviour be our master, help us to learn from Him, the ways of prayer in silence.    Fill us with the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may learn.   Grant blessed Trinity, that by the prayers of Blessed John Sullivan, we may grow in holiness.   Through Jesus our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amenbl-john-sullivan-pray-for-us-19-feb-2018.jpg

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, The HOLY SPIRIT

Our Morning Offering – 19 February – Take me as Your disciple

Our Morning Offering – 19 February – Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

O Holy Spirit of God
By Cardinal Henry Edward Manning (1806-1892)

O Holy Spirit of God,
take me as Your disciple;
guide me,
illuminate me,
sanctify me.
Bind my hands,
that they may do no evil;
cover my eyes,
that they may see it no more;
sanctify my heart,
that evil may not dwell within me.
Be You my God;
be You my guide.
Wherever You lead me I will go,
whatever You forbid me I will renounce,
whatever You command me,
in Your strength, I will do.
Lead me, then,
unto the fullness of Your truth.
Ameno-holy-spirit-of-god-cardinal-h-e-manning-1808-1892- no 2 15 feb 2019 prayer-a-day-for-lent-15-feb-2018.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 February – St Barbatus of Benevento (c 610-682) “Apostle of the South”

Saint of the Day – 19 February – St Barbatus of Benevento (c 610-682) “Apostle of the South” Bishop of Benevento, Preacher, Reformer, Confessor – Patronages – Benevento, Cicciano, Castelvenere, Casalattico and Valle dell’Angelo.  St Barbatus was the bishop of Benevento from 663 to 682.   He succeeded Hildebrand in this capacity.   He assisted in a church council called by Pope Agatho in Rome in 680 and in 681 attended the Third Council of Constantinople against the barbatus bishop

St Barbatus was born in 610, in the village of Vandano, near Cerreto Sannita. St Barbatus received a Christian education and spent most of his time studying Sacred Scriptures.  He had a desire from an early child to become a Priest and was ordained as soon as his age would allow.   The local Bishop immediately assigned him to preaching, which he had a great talent for.   Soon after that, he was made the Curate of St Basil’s Church in nearby Morcone.   He caused discomfort with the parishioners there, as he continued preaching on their falling short of living the ideal Christian life.   They soon persecuted him, in order to get him to allow them to continue in their sinful lifestyles.   He didn’t let up and this caused the parishioners to slander his character.   It wasn’t long until he was to cease his charitable works because of these slanders.

Eventually he returned to Benevento, where he was welcomed back by those that remembered him from his earlier position there.   These people were living a Christian life and loved his spiritual direction and preaching.   Eventually they turned to indulging in many idolatrous behaviours, including veneration of a golden viper and a specific local tree.   The local Lombard Prince Romuald I, son of Grimoald I, was himself seriously involved in these activities.   St Barbatus regularly preached against these pagan rituals, only to be ignored.

He started to tell the people of the city of great trials they would soon suffer at the hands of the East Roman Emperor Constans II, and his army.   Shortly after, the army landed in the area and laid siege to Benevento.   The people, in their fear, renounced the practices that St Barbatus had been criticising.   He then cut down the tree they worshipped, and melted the viper into a Chalice for use in the Church.   As St Barbatus had foretold, the siege ended with the defeat of Emperor barbatus of benevento

The presiding Bishop of Benevento, Bishop Hildebrand, had died during the siege.   After the withdrawal of the invaders, St Barbatus was made Bishop on10 March 633.   He took advantage of his new position and quickly destroyed the remaining superstitious artifacts hidden by the Prince and the locals.   In 680, St Barbatus assisted in a council held by Pope Agatho and took part in the sixth General Council held in Constantinople in 681 regarding the Monothelites.   Shortly after that Council, on 19 February 682, St Barbatus died at the age of seventy.   His relics rest partly in the Cathedral of Benevento and partly in Montevergine.

The Romanesque façade of Benevento Cathedral
Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints -19 February

Bl Alvarez of Cordova
St Auxibius
St Baoithin
St Barbatus of Benevento (c 610-682)
St Beatus
St Belina
St Boniface of Lausanne
St Conon of Alexandria
St Conrad of Piacenza
Bl Elizabeth of Mantua
St Gabinus
St George of Lodeve

Bl John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

His life:

Bl Józef Zaplata
St Lucia Yi Zhenmei
St Mansuetus of Milan
St Odran
St Proclus of Bisignano
St Quodvultdeus
St Valerius of Antibes
St Zambdas of Jerusalem