Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, NOVENAS, St JOSEPH

Novena to St Joseph – 11 March – Day One St Joseph, Powerful Intercessor

Novena to St Joseph
By Fr Michael Gaitley, MIC1_St_Joseph_-_Time_to_Entrust.jpg

Day One
St Joseph, Powerful Intercessor

Dear St Joseph,

After Mary, you’re the most powerful intercessor before God.   In a sense, Jesus remains obedient to you and will listen to you as you bring my intentions to Him.   Because of this, I especially want to entrust myself to your fatherly care, just as Jesus Himself did. And while in the past, I may have brought to you one of my intentions here or there, this time I want to do something new.   This time, I want to give you all.   In other words, St Joseph, I’m not here to offer you a regular “novena” for just one of my intentions.   Rather, I want to forever entrust to you, all of my needs and cares, trusting that you will bring them, with Mary, to your Son, Jesus.

Dear St Joseph, as the best of fathers, as the one God chose to be the virginal father of Jesus, I believe that you know what I need better than I do myself.   So go ahead, St Joseph.   I give you permission to care for me as your child.   In doing so, I trust that you will do everything in your power to make my life into something beautiful for God.   I trust that you will watch over me and that your prayers will guide me, bless me and protect me.   I trust that you will now care for me with the same love and tenderness with which you cared for Jesus.   I’ll confirm this special relationship with you in nine days, when I make my prayer of consecration.

Saint Joseph, Powerful Intercessor, please pray for me and all my intentions.novena to st joseph day one - 11 march 2017.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – 11 March – Let us show each other God’s generosity – Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)

Lenten Thoughts – 11 March – Monday of the First Week of Lent, Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46

Let us show each other God’s generosity

Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)
Bishop. Father, Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Oration 14: On Love of the Poor

Recognise to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise and, above all, that you know God and hope for the kingdom of heaven and the vision of glory, now darkly as in a mirror but then with greater fullness and purity.   You have been made a son of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this and from whom?

Let me turn to what is of less importance – the visible world around us.   What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the sky, the sun in its course, the circle of the moon, the countless number of stars, with the harmony and order that are theirs, like the music of a harp?   Who has blessed you with rain, with the art of husbandry, with different kinds of food, with the arts, with houses, with laws, with states, with a life of humanity and culture, with friendship and the easy familiarity of kinship?

Who has given you dominion over animals, those that are tame and those that provide you with food?   Who has made you lord and master of everything on earth?   In short, who has endowed you with all that makes man superior to all other living creatures?

Is it not God who asks you now in your turn to show yourself generous above all other creatures and for the sake of all other creatures?   Because we have received from Him so many wonderful gifts, will we not be ashamed to refuse Him this one thing only, our generosity?   Though He is God and Lord, He is not afraid to be known as our Father. Shall we for our part repudiate those who are our kith and kin?

Brethren and friends, let us never allow ourselves to misuse what has been given us by God’s gift.   If we do, we shall hear Saint Peter say – Be ashamed of yourselves for holding onto what belongs to someone else.   Resolve to imitate God’s justice and no-one will be poor.   Let us not labour to heap up and hoard riches while others remain in need.   If we do, the prophet Amos will speak out against us with sharp and threatening words -Come now, you that say:  When will the new moon be over, so that we may start selling?   When will the sabbath be over, so that we may start opening our treasures?

Let us put into practice the supreme and primary law of God.   He sends down rain on just and sinful alike and causes the sun to rise on all without distinction.   To all earth’s creatures He has given the broad earth, the springs, the rivers and the forests.   He has given the air to the birds and the waters to those who live in the water.   He has given abundantly to all the basic needs of life, not as a private possession, not restricted by law, not divided by boundaries but as common to all, amply and in rich measure.   His gifts are not deficient in any way, because He wanted to give equality of blessing to equality of worth and to show the abundance of His generosity.resolve to imitate god's justice and noone will be poor - st gregory of nazianzen 11 march 2019 1st mond of lent.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 11 March – “Come, you who are blessed by my Father”

Lenten Reflection – 11 March – Monday of the First Week of Lent, Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father”
Homily attributed to Saint Hippolytus of Rome (c 170-c 235)
Priest and Martyr

“Come, my Father’s blessed ones, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”   Come, you lovers of poor people and strangers.   Come, you who fostered My love, for I am love… Look, My kingdom is ready, paradise stands open, My immortality is displayed in all its beauty.   Come now, all of you, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Then, astounded at so great a wonder – at being addressed as friends by Him whom the angelic hosts are unable clearly to behold – the righteous will reply, exclaiming:  “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?   Master, when did we see You thirsty and give You a drink?   When did we see You, whom we hold in awe, naked and clothe You? When did we see You, the immortal One, a stranger and welcome You?   When did we see You, lover of our race, sick or in prison and come to visit You?   You are the Eternal, without beginning like the Father, and co-eternal with the Spirit.   You are the One who created all things from nothing, You are the King of angels, You make the depths tremble, You are clothed in light as in a robe (Ps 104[103]:2), You are our maker who fashioned us from the earth (Gn 2:7), You are the creator of the world invisible.   The whole earth flies from Your presence (Rv 20:11).   How could we possibly have received Your lordship, Your royal majesty, as our guest?”

Then will the King of Kings say to them in reply:  “Inasmuch as you did this to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.   Inasmuch as you received, clothed, fed and gave a drink to those members of mine (1Cor 12:12) about whom I have just spoken to you, that is, to the poor, you did it to me.   So come, enter the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, enjoy forever the gifts of my heavenly Father and of the most holy and life-giving Spirit.”   What tongue can describe those blessings?   “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1Cor 2:9).lord when did we see you hundry - mon 1st week lent matthew 25 37 11 march 2019 no 2.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Bring us back to you.
We repeat our desire that God bring us home from our wandering.
We know that in the confusion that surrounds us and can fill us,
we need the gift of Wisdom.

It is fitting that our very first “lesson” in our faith,
is the last judgement scene that Jesus paints for us.
We will be judged on whether we:
fed the hungry
welcomed the stranger
clothed the naked
comforted the sick
visited the imprisoned.
It is powerful to re-learn this wisdom –
Jesus identifies with each of these “least” cared for.

Who might we feed, welcome, clothe, comfort or visit this week?
As my heart might “resist” this mission,
I might beg to be brought back, with all my heart.

Praise to Jesus, our Saviour, by his death He has opened for us the way of salvation.
Let us ask Him:
Lord, guide Your people to walk in Your ways.

God of mercy, You gave us new life through baptism,
– make us grow day by day in Your likeness.
May our generosity today bring joy to those in need,
– in helping them may we find You.
Help us to do what is good, right and true in Your sight,
– and to seek You always with undivided hearts.
Forgive our sins against the unity of Your family,
– make us one in heart and spirit.

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
You call us back to You with all of our hearts.
I feel Your call for me deep in my heart
and I know You want me back
as much as I want to return.
Please, Lord,
give me the wisdom to know how to return.
Make my journey back to You this Lent
one of grace, forgiveness and gentle love.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.monday of the 1st week of lent 11 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 March – “For I was hungry…”

One Minute Reflection – 11 March – Monday of the First Week of Lent, Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46

“‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’”... Matthew 25:34-36

REFLECTION – “Jesus will come at the end of time to judge all nations but He comes to us each day, in many ways and asks us to welcome Him.   May the Virgin Mary help us to encounter Him and receive Him in His Word and in the Eucharist and at the same time in brothers and sisters who suffer from hunger, disease, oppression, injustice.   May our hearts welcome Him in the present of our life, so that we may be welcomed by Him into the eternity of His Kingdom of light and peace.”…Pope Francis-Angelus, 26 November 2017Matthew 25 34-36 come o blessed of my father - he comes to us in many ways - pope francis 11 march 2019 1st mon of lent.jpg

PRAYER – Turn our hearts back to You, God our Saviour, form us by Your heavenly teaching.   Let Your Face shine in all we meet and our hearts and hands give to all.   May we truly grow and profit by our Lenten observance and become of the blessed, who will inherit the kingdom prepared for us.   Mary Virgin most pure and merciful, Mother pray for us.   We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.blessed virgin mother mary - pray for us - 25 june 2018.jpg

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

Our Morning Offering – 11 March – Lord Jesus, Think on Me

Our Morning Offering – 11 March – Monday of the First Week of Lent

Lord Jesus, Think on Me
Bishop Synesius of Cyrene (373-430)
Bishop of Ptolemais

Lord Jesus, think on me,
and purge away my sins,
from earth-born passions set me free,
and make me pure within.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
with care and woe oppressed,
let me Thy loving servant be,
and taste Thy promised rest.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
amid the battle’s strife.
In all my pain and misery,
be Thou my health and life.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
nor let me go astray.
Through darkness and perplexity
point Thou the heavenly way.lord jesus think on me - bishop synecius - 11 march 2019 lenten breviary hymn.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Saint of the Day – 11 March – St Eulogius (Died 857) Priest and Martyr,

Saint of the Day – 11 March – St Eulogius (Died 857) Priest and Martyr, Writer, Poet, Theologian, Teacher – It is not certain on what date or in what year of the 9th century he was born.   It must have been before 819, because in 848 he was a highly esteemed priest among the Christians of Catalonia and Navarre and priesthood was conferred only on men thirty years of age.   Patronages – carpenters, coppersmiths.

St Eulogius was of a senatorian family of Cordoba, at that time the capital of the Moors in Spain.   Our Saint was educated among the clergy of the Church of St Zoilus, a martyr who suffered with nineteen others under Diocletian.   Here he distinguished himself, by his virtue and learning and, being made priest, was placed at the head of the chief ecclesiastical school at Cordoba.   He joined assiduous watching, fasting and prayer to his studies and his humility, mildness and charity gained him the affection and respect of every one.St._Eulogio_-_Capilla_de_San_Eulogio_-_La_Mezquita_-_Córdoba

During the persecution raised against the Christians in the year 850, St Eulogius was thrown into prison and there wrote his Exhortation to Martyrdom, addressed to the virgins Flora and Mary, who were beheaded on 24 November, 851.   Six days after their death Eulogius was set at liberty.   In the year 852 several others suffered the like martyrdom.   St Eulogius encouraged all these martyrs to their triumphs and was the support of that distressed flock.

The Archbishop of Toledo dying in 858.   St Eulogius was elected to succeed him but there was some obstacle that hindered him from being consecrated, though he did not outlive his election two months.

A virgin, by name Leocritia, of a noble family among the Moors, had been instructed from her infancy in the Christian religion by one of her relatives and privately baptised. Her father and mother scourged her day and night to compel her to renounce the Faith. Having made her condition known to St Eulogius and his sister Anulona, intimating that she desired to go where she might freely exercise her religion, they secretly procured her the means of getting away and concealed her for some time among faithful friends.ST EULOGIUS

But the matter was at length discovered and they were all brought before the cadi, who threatened to have Eulogius scourged to death.   The Saint told him that his torments would be of no avail, for he would never change his religion.   Whereupon the cadi gave orders that he should be carried to the palace and be presented before the king’s council. Eulogius began boldly to propose the truths of the Gospel to them.   But, to prevent their hearing him, the council condemned him immediately to lose his head.   As they were leading him to execution, one of the guards gave him a blow on the face, for having spoken against Mohamed he turned the other cheek and patiently received a second.MARTYRDOM OF 972px-EulogioCordovamart

He received the stroke of death with great cheerfulness, on 11March, 859.   St Leocritia was beheaded four days after him and her body thrown into the river Guadalquivir but taken out by the Christians.

St Eulogius’s friend and biographer Paulus Alvarus affectionately described him as gentle, reverent, well-educated, steeped in Scripture and so humble, that he freely submitted to opinions of others less informed than he.   He said that Eulogius had a pleasant demeanour and conducted his relationships with such kindness that everyone regarded him as a friend.   A gifted leader, the most prominent among his charisma was the ability to give encouragement.   As a priest serving in an occupied country, he used this gift to strengthen his friends in the face of danger.

This humility shone particularly on two occasions.   In his youth he had decided to make a foot pilgrimage to Rome, notwithstanding his great fervour and his devotion to the sepulchre of the Prince of the Apostles (a notable proof of the union of the Mozarabic rite Church with Rome), he gave up his project, yielding to the advice of prudent friends. Again, during the Muslim persecution, in 850, after reading a passage of the works of St Epiphanius he decided to refrain for a time from saying Mass that he might better defend the cause of the martyrs, however, at the request of his bishop, Saul of Córdoba, he put aside his scruples.   His extant writings (Apologia, Exhortation to Martyrdom, Memorial of the Saints) are proof that Alvarus did not exaggerate.st eulogius martyrdom

Saint Eulogius demonstrated courageous love for the Lord, accepting martyrdom even when his position within society would have allowed him to avoid such a fate.   He recorded a detailed history of the martyrs of Cordoba, illuminating the widespread heroic faith which occurred in that region.

His life reminds us that all we have is given to us by the Lord—that without Him, we are nothing.   The message of Lent resonates with the lives of these “voluntary” martyrs of Cordova who gave their lives for their faith, recognising that those lives belonged to He who created them.

St Eulogius is buried in the Cathedral of Oviedo.