Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Nine – 5 March 2019 “Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Nine – 5 March 2019 “Shrove Tuesday”
“Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

Lent 2019 will begin on
Wednesday, 6 March
The Holy Triduum is
Thursday 18 April – Holy Saturday 20 April
Easter Sunday 21 April 2019

You have been crucifying Our Lord!

We come to confession quite preoccupied with the shame that we shall feel.   We accuse ourselves with hot air. It is said that many confess and few are converted.   I believe it is so, my children because few confess with tears of repentance.

See, the misfortune is, that people do not reflect.   If one said to those who work on Sundays, to a young person who had been dancing for two or three hours, to a man coming out of an alehouse drunk, “What have you been doing?   You have been crucifying Our Lord!” they would be quite astonished, because they do not think of it.   My children, if we thought of it, we should be seized with horror;  it would be impossible for us to do evil.   For what has the good God done to us that we should grieve Him thus, and put Him to death again — Him, who has redeemed us from Hell?

It would be well if all sinners, when they are going to their guilty pleasures, could, like St Peter, meet Our Lord on the way, who would say to them, “I am going to that place where you are going yourself, to be there crucified again.”   Perhaps that might make them reflect.

St Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars (1786-1859)what have you been doing - st john vianney - 5 march 2019.jpg

A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’

REFLECTION“Give back some of God’s gifts to God, that you may safely enjoy the rest. Fast, or watch, or abound in alms, or be instant in prayer, or deny yourselves society, or pleasant books, or easy clothing, or take on you some irksome task or employment;  do one or other, or some, or all of these, unless you say that you have never sinned and may go like Esau with a light heart to take your crown”

“But, O ye sons and daughters of men, what if this fair weather but ensure the storm afterwards? what if it be, that the nearer you attain to making yourselves as gods on earth now, the greater pain lies before you in time to come, or even (if it must be said), the more certain becomes your ruin when time is at an end?   Come down, then, from your high chambers at this season to avert what else may be.

Sinners as ye are, act at least like the prosperous heathen, who threw his choicest trinket into the water, that he might propitiate fortune.   Let not the year go round and round, without a break and interruption in its circle of pleasures.

Give back some of God’s gifts to God, that you may safely enjoy the rest.   Fast, or watch, or abound in alms, or be instant in prayer, or deny yourselves society, or pleasant books, or easy clothing, or take on you some irksome task or employment; do one or other, or some, or all of these, unless you say that you have never sinned and may go like Esau with a light heart to take your crown.

Ever bear in mind that Day, which will reveal all things and will test all things “so as by fire” and which will bring us into judgement ere it lodges us in heaven.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)give back some of god's gifts to god - lent prep nov 5 march 2019.jpg

Lenten Preparation Novena


O gracious Father,
infuse in our hearts
the spotless light of Your Divine Wisdom
and open the eyes of our mind
that we may understand the teachings of Your Gospel.
Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments,
so that having curbed all carnal desires,
we may lead a spiritual life,
both thinking and doing everything to please You.
Help us to see,
in our ordinary difficulties and duties,
in the trials and temptations of every day,
the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities.
United with Your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intention
(Mention your intention)
For You, our God,
are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies
and to You we render glory,
together with Your Suffering Son,
and with Your all holy,
life-creating Spirit,
now and ever and forever.
AmenLenten prep novena day nine - 5 march 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 5 March – Living permanent ‘Lent’

Thought for the Day – 5 March – Tuesday of the Eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Shrove Tuesday 2019 and the Memorial of St John Joseph of the Cross OFM (1654-1734)

St John Joseph’s mortifications allowed him, to be the kind of forgiving superior,  intended by Saint Francis.
Self-denial should lead us to charity—not to bitterness, it should help us clarify our priorities and make us more loving.
John Joseph is living proof of Chesterton’s observation:
“It is always easy to let the age have its head, the difficult thing is to keep one’s own”  (GK. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, page 101).

As we are nearly ready to leap into the three main areas of our lenten practice – fasting, prayer, almsgiving – let us recall the saints who so bountifully lived permanent ‘lents’ and aim to do the same.

St John Joseph of the Cross, Pray for Us!st john joseph of the cross pray for us 5 march 2019


Quote/s of the Day – 5 March – Shrove Tuesday 2019

Quote/s of the Day – 5 March – Tuesday of the Eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Psalm 50:5-8 – Shrove Tuesday 2019

“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
Psalm: 50:5psalm 50 5 - gather to me my faithful ones - shrove tuesday-ready - 5 march 2019

“The planting of Christ’s Cross in the heart,
is sharp and trying –
but the stately tree rears itself aloft
and has fair branches and rich fruit
and is good to look upon.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Parochial Sermons, #iv,17the planting of christ's cross in the heart - bl john henry newman - shrove tuesday 5 march 2019


One Minute Reflection – 5 March – Gospel:Mark 10:28–31

One Minute Reflection – 5 March – Tuesday of the Eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel:  Mark 10:28–31 – Shrove Tuesday 2019 and the Memorial of St John Joseph of the Cross OFM (1654-1734)

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and in the age to come, eternal life.   But many that are first will be last and the last first.”…Mark 10:29-31mark 10 29-31 truly i say to you there is no-one who has left -5 march 2019

REFLECTION – “All offerings to God are of great value, if they are made with a cheerful heart.   The greatest of all such offerings are observing God’s commandments and showing kindness to the poor.   Prayer itself, is like a great offering, when made in thankfulness.
Jesus highlights the blessing that radical renouncers, for the sake of the Gospel, will receive.   What most people do not understand, when taking note of the ‘hundred-fold’ is the prediction of persecution that goes with it.   When one is not ready for it, his renunciation is incomplete.   ‘Persecution’ in this context, can also include the challenges of committed religious life, before which one is tempted to give up.   But one should gather up courage and continue.   Another danger, is to place oneself ahead of others even in renounced life, thus condemning oneself to the last position.   But fortunately, the last too has hope to change roles.”…Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil SDB

“Sursum corda” – lift up your hearts, high above the tangled web of our concerns, desires, anxieties and thoughtlessness – “Lift up your hearts, your inner selves!”   In both exclamations we are summoned, as it were, to a renewal of our Baptism:  “Conversi ad Dominum” – we must distance ourselves ever anew from taking false paths, onto which we stray so often in our thoughts and actions.   We must turn ever anew towards Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.   We must be converted ever anew, turning with our whole life towards the Lord.   And ever anew, we must allow our hearts to be withdrawn from the force of gravity, which pulls them down and inwardly we must raise them high, in truth and love.   At this hour, let us thank the Lord, because through the power of His word and of the holy Sacraments, He points us in the right direction and draws our heart upwards.”…Pope Benedict 22 March 2008susum-corda-lift-up-your-hearts-pope-benedict-easter-vigil-holy-sat-31-march-2018

PRAYER – Yes, Lord, make us Easter people, men and women of light, filled with the fire of Your love.   Kindly listen to the prayers of the angels and saints on our behalf, as we start our Lenten journey.   May You bless us through their prayers and grant us strength. Beloved Virgin Mother of God and our mother and St John Joseph of the Cross, pray for us, amen.yes-lord-make-us-easter-people-31-march-2018-holy-sat

st john joseph of the cross - pray for us - 5 march 2019

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 5 March – Shrove Tuesday 2019

Our Morning Offering – 5 March – Tuesday of the Eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Shrove Tuesday 2019

The Grace of Thy Love
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O My God,
strengthen me with Thy strength,
console me with Thy everlasting peace,
soothe me with the beauty of Thy countenance,
enlighten me with Thy uncreated holiness.
Bathe me in Thyself
and give me to drink,
as far as mortal man may ask,
of the rivers of grace
which flow from the Father and the Son,
the grace of Thy consubstantial,
co-eternal Love.


Shrove Tuesday – 5 March – Ready?

Shrove Tuesday – 5 March – Ready?

The English term provides the best meaning for this period – “To shrive” meant to hear confessions.   In the Anglo-Saxon “Ecclesiastical Institutes,” recorded by Theodulphus and translated by Abbot Aelfric about 1000, Shrovetide was described as follows:
“In the week immediately before Lent, everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor, shall so “shrive him,” as he then may hear by his deeds, what he is to do in the way of penance.”
To highlight the point and motivate the people, special plays or masques were performed which portrayed the passion of our Lord or final judgement.   Clearly, this Shrovetide preparation for Lent, included the confessing of sin and the reception of absolution.   As such, Lent then would become a time for penance and renewal of faith.

Who needs pancakes, we have far more important things to do!shrove tuesday - time for confession - 5 march 2019.jpg

Beginning of Lent:  A Time of Penance, Purification and Conversion

We are at the beginning of Lent, a time of penance, purification and conversion.   It is not an easy program but then Christianity is not an easy way of life.   It is not enough just to be in the Church, letting the years roll by.   In our life, in the life of Christians, our first conversion — that unique moment which each of us remembers, when we clearly understood everything the Lord was asking of us — is certainly very significant.   But the later conversions are even more important and they are increasingly demanding.   To facilitate the work of grace in these conversions, we need to keep our soul young, we have to call upon our Lord, know how to listen to Him and, having found out what has gone wrong, know how to ask His pardon.

“’If you call upon me, I will listen to you,’ we read in holy scripture.   Isn’t it wonderful how God cares for us and is always ready to listen to us — waiting for man to speak?   He hears us at all times but particularly now.   Our heart is ready and we have made up our minds to purify ourselves.   He hears us and will not disregard the petition of a ‘humble and contrite heart.’

The Lord listens to us.   He wants to intervene and enter our lives to free us from evil and fill us with good.   ‘I will rescue him and honour him,’ he says of man.   So we must hope for glory.   Here again we have the beginning of the interior movement that makes up our spiritual life.   Hope of glory increases our faith and fosters our charity, the three theological virtues, godly virtues which make us like our Father God, have been set in motion.

What better way to begin Lent?   Let’s renew our faith, hope and love.   The spirit of penance and the desire for purification come from these virtues.   Lent is not only an opportunity for increasing our external practices of self-denial.   If we thought it were only that, we would miss the deep meaning it has in Christian living, for these external practices are — as I have said — the result of faith, hope and charity.”

Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)
Christ is Passing By No 57

Explaining “Shrove” – lent - our heart is ready - st josemaria escriva - 5 march 2019.jpg


Saint of the Day – 5 March – St John Joseph of the Cross OFM (1654-1734)

Saint of the Day – 5 March – St John Joseph of the Cross OFM (1654-1734) – Priest, Franciscan Friar, Mystic, ascetic, gifted with prophecy and miracles – born Carlo Gaetano Calosinto on 15 August 1654 at Ischia, Naples, Italy and died on 5 March 1734 of natural causes.   Patronage – Ischia.Saint-John-Joseph-of-the-Cross

Saint John Joseph of the Cross was born on the feast of the Assumption in 1654, on the island of Ischia in the kingdom of Naples.   From his childhood he was a model of virtue and in his sixteenth year he entered the Franciscan Order of the Strict Observance, or Reform of Saint Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562), at Naples.   Such was the edification he gave in his Order, that within three years after his profession he was sent to found a monastery in Piedmont.   He assisted in its construction himself and established there the most perfect silence and monastic fervour.

One day Saint John Joseph was found in the chapel in ecstasy, raised far above the floor. He won the hearts of all his religious and became a priest out of obedience to his Superiors.   He obtained what seemed to be an inspired knowledge of moral theology, in prayer and silence.   He assisted at the death of his dear mother who rejoiced and seemed to live again in his presence and after he had sung the Mass for the repose of her soul, saw her soul ascend to heaven, to pray thereafter to their God face to john joseph of the cross 5 march

With his superiors’ permission he established another convent and drew up rules for the Community, which the Holy See confirmed.   Afterward, he became a master of novices vigilant and filled with gentleness and of a constantly even disposition.   Some time later he was made Provincial of the Province of Naples, erected in the beginning of the 18th century by Clement XI.   He laboured hard to establish in Italy this branch of his Order, which the Sovereign Pontiff had separated from the same branch in Spain.   His ministry brought him many sufferings, especially moral sufferings occasioned by numerous calumnies.   Nonetheless, the Saint succeeded in his undertakings, striving to inculcate in his subjects the double spirit of contemplation and penance which Saint Peter of Alcantara had bequeathed to the Franciscans of the Strict Observance.   He gave them the example of the most sublime virtues, especially of humility and religious discipline. God rewarded his zeal with numerous gifts in the supernatural order, such as those of prophecy and miracles.

Finally, consumed by labours for the glory of God, he was called to his reward.   Stricken with apoplexy, he died an octogenarian in his convent at Naples, on 5 March 1734. Countless posthumous miracles confirmed the sanctity and glory of the Saint and he was Canonised in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI.SOD-0305-SaintJohnJosephoftheCross-790x480

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 5 March

Shrove Tuesday – *2019

St Adrian of Caesarea
St Caron
St Carthach the Elder
Bl Christopher Macassoli of Vigevano
St Clement of Santa Lucia
St Colman of Armagh
St Conon of Pamphylia
Bl Conrad Scheuber
St Eusebius of Cremona
St Eusebius the Martyr
St Gerasimus
Bl Giovanna Irrizaldi
Bl Ion Costist
St John Joseph of the Cross OFM (1654-1734)

St Kieran
Bl Lazër Shantoja
St Lucius I, Pope
St Mark the Ascetic
St Oliva of Brescia
St Phocas of Antioch
St Piran
Bl Roger
Bl Romeo of Limoges
St Theophilus of Caesarea
St Virgilius of Arles