Posted in LENT 2019, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR LENT 2019

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR LENT 2019

“For the creation waits with eager longing
for the revealing of the children of God” (Rm 8: 19)the-holy-fathers-message-for-lent-2019-6 march -ash-wed-2018.jpg

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Each year, through Mother Church, God “gives us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed… as we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ” (Preface of Lent I).   We can thus journey from Easter to Easter towards the fulfilment of the salvation we have already received as a result of Christ’s paschal mystery – “for in hope we were saved” (Rom 8:24).   This mystery of salvation, already at work in us during our earthly lives, is a dynamic process that also embraces history and all of creation.   As Saint Paul says, “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rom 8:19).   In this perspective, I would like to offer a few reflections to accompany our journey of conversion this coming Lent.

1. The redemption of creation

The celebration of the Paschal Triduum of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection, the culmination of the liturgical year, calls us yearly to undertake a journey of preparation, in the knowledge that our being conformed to Christ (cf. Rom 8:29) is a priceless gift of God’s mercy.

When we live as children of God, redeemed, led by the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 8:14) and capable of acknowledging and obeying God’s law, beginning with the law written on our hearts and in nature, we also benefit creation by cooperating in its redemption.   That is why Saint Paul says that creation eagerly longs for the revelation of the children of God; in other words, that all those who enjoy the grace of Jesus’ paschal mystery may experience its fulfilment in the redemption of the human body itself. When the love of Christ transfigures the lives of the saints in spirit, body and soul, they give praise to God. Through prayer, contemplation and art, they also include other creatures in that praise, as we see admirably expressed in the “Canticle of the Creatures” by Saint Francis of Assisi (cf. Laudato Si’, 87). Yet in this world, the harmony generated by redemption is constantly threatened by the negative power of sin and death.

2. The destructive power of sin

Indeed, when we fail to live as children of God, we often behave in a destructive way towards our neighbours and other creatures – and ourselves as well – since we begin to think more or less consciously that we can use them as we will. Intemperance then takes the upper hand: we start to live a life that exceeds those limits imposed by our human condition and nature itself. We yield to those untrammelled desires that the Book of Wisdom sees as typical of the ungodly, those who act without thought for God or hope for the future (cf. 2:1-11). Unless we tend constantly towards Easter, towards the horizon of the Resurrection, the mentality expressed in the slogans “I want it all and I want it now!” and “Too much is never enough”, gains the upper hand.

The root of all evil, as we know, is sin, which from its first appearance has disrupted our communion with God, with others and with creation itself, to which we are linked in a particular way by our body. This rupture of communion with God likewise undermines our harmonious relationship with the environment in which we are called to live, so that the garden has become a wilderness (cf. Gen 3:17-18). Sin leads man to consider himself the god of creation, to see himself as its absolute master and to use it, not for the purpose willed by the Creator but for his own interests, to the detriment of other creatures.

Once God’s law, the law of love, is forsaken, then the law of the strong over the weak takes over. The sin that lurks in the human heart (cf. Mk 7:20-23) takes the shape of greed and unbridled pursuit of comfort, lack of concern for the good of others and even of oneself. It leads to the exploitation of creation, both persons and the environment, due to that insatiable covetousness which sees every desire as a right and sooner or later destroys all those in its grip.

3. The healing power of repentance and forgiveness

Creation urgently needs the revelation of the children of God, who have been made “a new creation”. For “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). Indeed, by virtue of their being revealed, creation itself can celebrate a Pasch, opening itself to a new heaven and a new earth (cf. Rev 21:1). The path to Easter demands that we renew our faces and hearts as Christians through repentance, conversion and forgiveness, so as to live fully the abundant grace of the paschal mystery.

This “eager longing”, this expectation of all creation, will be fulfilled in the revelation of the children of God, that is, when Christians and all people enter decisively into the “travail” that conversion entails. All creation is called, with us, to go forth “from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom 8:21). Lent is a sacramental sign of this conversion. It invites Christians to embody the paschal mystery more deeply and concretely in their personal, family and social lives, above all by fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

Fasting, that is, learning to change our attitude towards others and all of creation, turning away from the temptation to “devour” everything to satisfy our voracity and being ready to suffer for love, which can fill the emptiness of our hearts. Prayer, which teaches us to abandon idolatry and the self-sufficiency of our ego, and to acknowledge our need of the Lord and his mercy. Almsgiving, whereby we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us. And thus to rediscover the joy of God’s plan for creation and for each of us, which is to love him, our brothers and sisters, and the entire world, and to find in this love our true happiness.

Dear brothers and sisters, the “lenten” period of forty days spent by the Son of God in the desert of creation had the goal of making it once more that garden of communion with God that it was before original sin (cf. Mk 1:12-13; Is 51:3). May our Lent this year be a journey along that same path, bringing the hope of Christ also to creation, so that it may be “set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom 8:21). Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain! Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion. Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption, and turn to Jesus’ Pasch. Let us stand beside our brothers and sisters in need, sharing our spiritual and material goods with them. In this way, by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation.

From the Vatican, 4 October 2018
Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

Francis

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 March

Quote/s of the Day – 6 March – Ash Wednesday and the Memorial of St Colette (1381-1447)

“Yet even now,” says the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping and with mourning
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful….

Joel 2:12-13joel 2 12-13 yet even now says the lord come back to me - ash wed 6 march 2019.jpg

He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the Sign of the Cross
on his brow.

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchhe need not fear anything nor - st augustine ash wed 6 march 2019

We must faithfully keep
what we have promised.
If through human weakness we fail,
we must always without delay arise again
by means of holy penance
and give our attention to leading a good life
and to dying a holy death.
May the Father of all mercy,
the Son by His holy Passion
and the Holy Spirit,
source of peace, sweetness and love,
fill us with Their consolation.
Amen

Saint Colette

(in her spiritual testament to her sisters)we must faithfully keep - st colette ash wed 6 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 March – Ash Wednesday

One Minute Reflection – 6 March – Ash Wednesday

“Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them;  for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”…Mark 6:1

REFLECTION – “Fasting, that is, learning to change our attitude towards others and all of creation, turning away from the temptation to “devour” everything to satisfy our voracity and being ready to suffer for love, which can fill the emptiness of our hearts.
Prayer, which teaches us to abandon idolatry and the self-sufficiency of our ego and to acknowledge our need of the Lord and His mercy.   Almsgiving, whereby we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us.

And thus to rediscover the joy of God’s plan for creation and for each of us, which is to love Him, our brothers and sisters and the entire world and to find in this love our true happiness.

Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain!   Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion.   Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption and turn to Jesus’ Pasch.   Let us stand beside our brothers and sisters in need, sharing our spiritual and material goods with them.   In this way, by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation.”- Pope Francis’ 2019 Lenten Messagemark 6 1 - beware of practising your piety - let us not let this season pass in vein - pope francis 6 march 2019 ash wed.jpg

PRAYER – Remember Lord, Your solemn covenant, renewed and consecrated by the Blood of the Lamb, so that Your people may obtain forgiveness for their sins and a continued growth in grace.   Support us Lord, as with this Lenten fast we begin our Christian warfare, so that in doing battle against the spirit of evil, we may be armed with the weapon of self-denial.   Heavenly Father, help us to fast for the right reasons.   Teach us to fast to curb illicit desires and to obtain closer union with You.   Help us Lord, during this Lenten season to cleave to You alone and grow in sanctity and charity.   Create in me a clean heart O Lord!   Through our Lord Jesus Christ in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.o-that-today-ash-wednesday-6 march 2019 ash wed.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, LENT 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 6 March – Ash Wednesday 2019

Our Morning Offering – 6 March – Ash Wednesday 2019

Draw me to Yourself, O Lord

(From a Prayer a Day for Lent – 1923)

Lord, Your Cross is high and uplifted;
I cannot mount it in my own strength.
You have promised:
“I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all to Myself.”
Draw me, then,
from my sins to repentance,
from darkness to faith,
from the flesh to the spirit,
from coldness to ardent devotion,
from weak beginnings to a perfect end,
from smooth and easy paths,
if it be Your will,
to a higher and holier way,
from fear to love,
from earth to heaven,
from myself to You.
And as You have said:
“No man can come to Me,
except the Father, who sent Me, draw him,”
give unto me the Spirit
Whom the Father has sent in Your Name,
that in Him and through Him,
I being wholly changed,
may hasten to You
and go out no more forever.
Amendraw me to yourself o lord - 6 march 2019 ash wed.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 March – St Colette

Saint of the Day – 6 March – St Colette PCC (1381-1447 -aged 66) Abbess and Foundress of the Colettine Poor Clares, a reform branch of the Order of Saint Clare.

Renewing religious institutions is not easy.   We would expect a person chosen to reform convents and monasteries to be formidable.   Maybe even physically tall, overbearing, and somewhat threatening.   God, however, doesn’t seem to agree.   For example, in the fifteenth century he selected St Colette, a young woman the opposite of these characteristics, to call Franciscans to strict observance of the rules of St Clare and St Francis.Santa_Coleta_(pormenor_-_Santa_Clara_e_Santa_Coleta,_c._1520,_Mestre_da_Lourinhã)

Not that Colette was unimpressive.   She was a beautiful woman whose radiant inner strength attracted people.   However, her spirituality, her commitment to God and her heart for souls, not her physical qualities, suited her for her reforming mission.

At seventeen, upon her parents’ death, Colette joined the Franciscan Third Order.   She lived for eight years as a hermit at Corbie Abbey in Picardy.   Toward the end of this time, St Francis appeared to her in a vision and charged her to restore the Poor Clares to their original austerity.   When Friar Henry de Beaume came in 1406 to conform her mission, Colette had the door of her hut torn down, a sign that her solitude was over and her work begun.   And she then prayed for her commitment:

“I dedicate myself in health, in illness, in my life, in my death, in all my desires, in all my deeds, so that I may never work henceforth, except for your glory, for the salvation of souls and towards the reform for which you have chosen me.   

From this moment on, dearest Lord, there is nothing which I am not prepared to undertake for love of You.”36colette5

Colette’s first reports to reform convents met vigorous opposition.   Then she sought the approval of the Avignon pope, Benedict XIII, who professed her as a Poor Clare and put her in charge of all convents she would reform.   He also appointed Henry de Beaume to assist her.   Thus equipped, she launched her reform in 1410 with the Poor Clares at Besancon.   Before her death in 1447, the saint had founded or renewed seventeen convents and several friaries throughout France, Savoy, Burgundy and Spain.

Like Francis and Clare, Colette devoted herself to Christ crucified, spending every Friday meditating on the passion.   She is said to have miraculously received a piece of the cross, which she gave to St Vincent Ferrer O.P. (1350-1419) when he came to visit her.

St Joan of Arc (c 1412–1431) once passed by Colette’s convent in Moulins but there is no evidence that the two met.   Like Joan, Colette was a visionary.   Once, for instance, she saw souls falling from grace in great numbers, like flakes in a snowstorm.   Afterward, she prayed daily for the conversion of sinners.   She personally brought many strays back to Christ and helped them unravel their sinful patterns.   At age sixty-six, Colette foretold her death, received the sacrament of the sick and died at her convent in Ghent, Flanders.

HabijtColeta_28-04-2009_15-02-57
St Colette’s Habit, kept in Ghent, Belgium
Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

Remember you are Dust and Unto Dust you shall return

Remember you are Dust and Unto Dust you shall return remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return - 6 march 2019.jpg

Ash Wednesday 6 March 2019

Saint Peter Chrysologus (400-450)

Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

Sermon 8 ; CCL 24, 59 ; PL 52, 208

Exercises for Lent:  Almsgiving, Prayer, Fasting

My dear brethren, today we set out on the great Lenten journey.   So let us take our food and drink along in our boat, putting onto the chest the abundant mercy we shall need. For our fasting is a hungry one, our fasting is a thirsty one if it isn’t sustained by goodness and refreshed by mercy.   Our fasting will be cold, our fasting will flag, if the fleece of almsgiving doesn’t clothe it, if the garment of compassion does not wrap it around.

Brethren, what spring is for the land, mercy is for fasting – the soft, spring winds cause all the buds on the plains to flower;  the mercy of our fast causes all our seeds to grow until they blossom and bear fruit for the heavenly harvest.   What oil is to the lamp, goodness is to our fast.   As the oily fat sets the lamp alight and, in spite of so little to feed it, keeps it burning to our comfort all night long, so goodness makes our fasting shine – it casts its beams until it reaches the full brightness of self-restraint.   What the sun is to the day, almsgiving is to our fast:  the sun’s splendour increases the light of day, breaking through the dullness of the clouds;  almsgiving together with fasting sanctifies its holiness and, thanks to the light of goodness, dispels from our desires anything that could petrify.   In short, what the body is for the soul, generosity acts similarly for the fast:  when the soul leaves the body it brings about death;  if generosity abandons the fast, it is, its death.ash wed and good friday - days of fasting and abstinence

A very special day.

The ashes we use are the burnt palms from last year’s celebration of Passion Sunday.
We begin our Lenten journey aware of where we are going.
We want to enter into the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus for us more fully.
That is the purpose of our journey.   It is why we mark our heads with His cross.
It is why we fast today and abstain from meat.from pam fronds to ashes

Our Lenten program is not an effort to save ourselves.
We have been saved by His sacrifice.
Our self-denial helps us, in the darkness that surrounds us,
to prepare ourselves to receive His light.
For this is a journey to the Easter font,
where we will renew the promises of our Baptism,
remembering that in dying with Him in the waters of Baptism,
we are re-born with Him to everlasting life.

This year’s journey begins today.

Yet even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning;

Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Joel 2:12-13joel 2 12-13 ash wed yet even now - 6 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Lord,
it feels like we are embarking
on a Lenten journey together, You and I.
Today, we are invited to let the Holy Spirit
purify our hearts and strengthen us in love.
That feels like what I am looking for –
or what You are looking for in me.
I want to remember how much I need You in my life
and how much my life needs redemption.
I want to remember it clearly and
in the background of my day, today and all through Lent.

On this special day, Ash Wednesday,
may my small sacrifices in fasting be a way to clear away
the clutter in my life to see You more clearly.
May my longing for meat and other food,
help me to focus my life today more outside myself.
Let me be aware of those,
who are in so much more suffering, than I am
and may I be aware of them,
as the brothers and sisters, You have placed in my life.

Lord, I know there is darkness within me and around me.
Bless these days with Your Word.
Let Your Light shine in the darkness.
Help me long for that shining Light
until we celebrate it at the Vigil, six weeks from now.

And most of all Lord,
help me to honour this day with the ashes on my forehead.
They help me remember where I have come from
and where I am going.
May I acknowledge to You my sins
and my deep need for Your loving forgiveness and grace.
I pray that this Lenten season will make me so much more aware
of how much I need Your love and care in my life.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

“The Lord, who always goes before us, said this and did this (Jn 12:24).   Whenever we experience the cross, He has already experienced it before us.   We do not mount the cross to find Jesus.   Instead it was He who, in His self-abasement, descended even to the cross, in order to find us, to dispel the darkness of evil within us and to bring us back to the light.”

Pope Francis

(at the Canonisation of Saints Francisco and Jacinta on 14 May 2017)

the-lord-who-always-goes-before-us-pope-francis-20-feb-2017-sts-francisco-and-jacinta.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Ash Wednesday and Memorials of the Saints – 6 March

Ash Wednesday *2019

St Aetius
St Bairfhion
St Baldred of Strathclyde
St Baldred the Hermit
St Balther of Lindisfarne
St Basil of Bologna
St Cadroë
St Chrodegang of Metz
St Colette PCC (1381-1447 -aged 66)
More details here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/saint-of-the-day-6-march-st-colette/

 

St Cyriacus of Trier
St Cyril of Constantinople
St Evagrius of Constantinople
Fridolin Vandreren of Säckingen
Bl Guillermo Giraldi
St Heliodorus the Martyr
Bl Jordan of Pisa
St Julian of Toledo
St Kyneburga of Castor
St Kyneswide of Castor
St Marcian of Tortona
Bl Ollegarius of Tarragona
St Patrick of Malaga
St Sananus
Bl Sylvester of Assisi
St Tibba of Castor
St Venustus of Milan

Martyrs of Amorium – 42 saints – Also known as Martyrs of Syria and Martyrs of Samarra
A group of 42 Christian senior officials in the Byzantine empire who were captured by forces of the Abbasid Caliphate when the Muslim forces overran the city of Amorium, Phrygia in 838 and massacred or enslaved its population. The men were imprisoned in Samarra, the seat of the Caliphate, for seven years. Initially thought to be held for ransom due to their high position in the empire, all attempts to buy their freedom were declined. The Caliph repeatedly ordered them to convert to Islam and sent Islamic scholars to the prison to convince them; they refused until the Muslims finally gave up and killed them. Martyrs. We know the names and a little about seven of them:
• Aetios
• Bassoes
• Constantine
• Constantine Baboutzikos
• Kallistos
• Theodore Krateros
• Theophilos
but details about the rest have disappeared over time. However, a lack of information did not stop several legendary and increasingly over-blown “Acts” to be written for years afterward. One of the first biographers, a monk name Euodios, presented the entire affair as a judgement by God on the empire for its official policy of Iconoclasm.
Deaths:
• beheaded on 6 March 845 in Samarra (in modern Iraq) on the banks of the Euphrates river by Ethiopian slaves
• the bodies were thrown into the river, but later recovered by local Christians and given proper burial

Martyrs of Nicomedia
Bassa
Claudian
Victor
Victorinus