Novena to St Joseph – Day Six – 16 March

Novena to St Joseph
By Fr Michael Gaitley, MIC

Day Six

St Joseph, Who Suffered with Love

Dear St Joseph,

As the day draws closer when I will fully consecrate myself to you, as I draw closer to you, I can’t help but notice the scars on your heart, how you suffered with love.   You suffered darkness and confusion when Mary was found with child.   You suffered the sacrifice of your flesh as you lovingly offered up the absence of bodily intimacy in marriage.   You suffered a sword in your heart, with Mary, when Simeon foretold the passion of your Son.   You suffered stress and uncertainty when you had to escape with your family to Egypt and live as an immigrant.   You suffered crushing anxiety when your 12-year-old Son was lost for three days.   You daily suffered fatigue and bodily aches from your manual labour.   Worst of all, your fatherly heart, grieved, at knowing that you could not be there for Jesus and Mary when their darkest hour would one day come.

Saint Joseph, thank you for what you suffered in God’s service, in union with your Son, for my salvation.   I love you, St Joseph.   Thank you for your yes.   Now, please help me to suffer with love as you did.   When I suffer, help me not to complain.   Help me not to forget love.   Help me not to forget others.   Dear St Joseph, through my suffering, watch over my poor heart, may it not harden but rather become more merciful.   Help me to remember all God’s children who are suffering in the world and help me, to offer my suffering for them and for the good of the Church.   I am counting on you, St Joseph. I know you will be with me, helping me to suffer with love.

Saint Joseph, who suffered with love, please help me also to suffer with a love like yours.   Amenday six noivena to st joseph who suffered with love 16 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Lenten Thoughts – 16 March – Why Forty Days?

Lenten Thoughts – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C

Why Forty Days?

St Pope Gregory the Great


Father & Doctor of the Church

He, the Author of all things, for forty days tasted no food.   Let us likewise, as far as we are able, afflict our flesh by abstinence during the season of Lent.   A fast of forty days is observed, since the perfection of the Decalogue is completed by the four books of the Holy Gospel – ten multiplied by four being forty.

Or, again, because this mortal body is made up from four elements and because of its pleasures, we are bound by the commandments of the Lord, made known in the Decalogue, it is therefore, fitting, that we who through the desires of the flesh despise the commands of God, should chastise this same flesh, four times ten times.

Or, as by the Law men had to offer up tithes of their possessions, so ought we strive to offer tithes of our days.   For from the first Sunday of Lent, until the joys of the Paschal feast, there are six weeks – which are two and forty days, from which, since the six days of Sunday are subtracted from the fast, there remains but thirty six days.   Since the year continues for three hundred and sixty five days, we do penance for thirty six days, as though offering to God a tenth of our year.why 40 days - st pope gregory the great answers 16 march 2019.jpg

Posted in ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 16 March – Our devotion to the Saints

Thought for the Day – 16 March – Our devotion to the Saints

One thing that unites the Catholic Church to the Eastern Orthodox Churches and separates it from most Protestant denominations is the devotion to the saints, those holy men and women who have lived exemplary Christian lives and, after their deaths, are now in the presence of God in Heaven.   Many Christians — even Catholics — misunderstand this devotion, which is based on our belief that, just as our life does not end with death, so too our relationships with our fellow members of the Body of Christ continue after their deaths.   This Communion of Saints is so important that it is an article of faith in all Christian creeds, from the time of the Apostles’ Creed.

What Is a Saint?
Saints, broadly speaking, are those who follow Jesus Christ and live their lives according to His teaching.   They are the faithful in the Church, including those who are still alive. Catholics and Orthodox, however, also use the term narrowly to refer to especially holy men and women who, through extraordinary lives of virtue, have already entered Heaven.   The Church recognises such men and women through the process of canonisation, which holds them up as examples for Christians still living here on earth.SaintsStainedGlass-58ecfe7d5f9b58f119251872 (1).jpg

Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints?
Like all Christians, Catholics believe in life after death, but the Church also teaches us that our relationship with other Christians does not end with death.   Those who have died and are in Heaven in the presence of God can intercede with Him for us, just as our fellow Christians do here on earth when they pray for us.   Catholic prayer to saints is a form of communication with those holy men and women who have gone before us and a recognition of the “Communion of Saints,” living and dead.Communion-of-Saints.jpg

Patron Saints
Few practices of the Catholic Church are so misunderstood today as devotion to patron saints.   From the earliest days of the Church, groups of the faithful (families, parishes, regions, countries) have chosen a particularly holy person who has passed into eternal life to intercede for them with God.   The practice of naming churches after saints and of choosing a saint’s name for Confirmation, reflects this devotion.

The Doctors of the Church
The Doctors of the Church are great saints known for their defence and explanation of the truths of the Catholic Faith.   Thirty six saints, including four female saints, have been named Doctors of the Church, covering all eras in Church history.Doctors of the Church.jpg

The Litany/ies of the Saints
The Litany/ies of the Saints is one of the oldest prayers in continuous use in the Catholic Church.   Most commonly recited on All Saints Day and at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, the Litany of the Saints is an excellent prayer for use throughout the year, drawing us more fully into the Communion of Saints.   The Litany of Saints addresses the various types of saints and includes examples of each and asks all of the saints, individually and together, to pray for us Christians who continue our earthly pilgrimage.

All You Holy Men and Women, Pray for Us!holy saints pray for us - 1 nov 2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Quote of the Day – 16 March – “it is necessary to pass by the dragon”

Quote of the Day – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 5:43–48

“The dragon sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father & Doctor of the Churchthe dragon sits by the side of the road - st cyril of jerusalem 16 march 2019.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 16 March

Lenten Reflection – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 5:43–48

Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) Martyr

“But I say to you… pray for those who persecute you”

You have often heard it said that we are living through a marvellous time, a time of great men… It is easy to understand why people long for a strong and capable leader to arise… This kind of neo-paganism [Nazism] believes all nature to be an emanation of the divine…; it admires a race that is nobler and purer than any other… From this comes the cult of race and blood, the cult of its own people’s heroes.

By starting out from so mistaken an idea, this view of things can lead to capital errors.   It is tragic to see how much enthusiasm, how many efforts are placed at the service of such an erroneous and baseless ideal!   However, we can learn from our enemy.   We can learn from his deceitful philosophy how to purify and improve our own ideal, we can learn how to develop great love for this ideal, how to arouse immense enthusiasm and even a readiness to live and die for it, how to strengthen our hearts to incarnate it in ourselves and in others…

When we talk about the coming of the Kingdom and pray for its coming, we are not thinking of a discrimination according to race or blood but of the brotherhood of all, for all men are our brothers – not excluding even those who hate and attack us – in a close bond with the One, who causes the sun to rise on the good and the bad alike (Mt 5:45).all men are our brothers - bl titus brandsma 1st sat lent 16 march 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Turn our hearts to You.

The Saturdays of Lent have a grateful and uplifting tone to them.
Our lesson today reminds us of the covenant God made long ago:
you be My people
and I will be your God.

In the new covenant, without condition,
God is faithful to us, even if we are not.
Jesus calls us to a new way of being –
loving others as we have been loved –
which includes loving those who do not love us.
We are to be as pure in our love,
as God is pure in loving us.

You, therefore, must be perfect,
as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48saturday of the first week of lent - 16 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:

Loving God,
Sometimes my heart
turns in every direction
except towards You.
Please help me
to turn my heart toward You,
to gaze upon You in trust
and to seek Your kingdom with all of my heart.
Soften my hardened heart
so that I might love others
as a way to glorify and worship You.
Grant me this
with the ever-present guidance of Your spirit.

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

Christ’s martyrs feared neither death nor pain.   He triumphed in them who lived in them;  and they, who lived not for themselves but for Him, found in death itself the way to life.”

St Augustine – (354-430) – Father & Doctor of the Churchchrists-martyrs-st-augustine-14-march-20181.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on LOVE, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 March – “But I say to you, Love your enemies”

One Minute Reflection – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 5:43–48

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”...Matthew 5:44matthew 5 44 but i say to you love your enemies - 16 march 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “No lawgiver would ever make the demand that his laws should be internally accepted and cheerfully observed.   Rather, it is ‘do what I say’.   God alone asks that His people should keep His laws “with all their hearts,” because He is the King of human hearts.   An internal acceptance is the strength of an idea, ideal, norm.   Mere external compliance is mimetic, mechanical, lifeless.   No wonder religion collapses, spiritual life gives way, devotions dry up!   The show and display of religion is empty, the prophets denounced it.   Un-reflected accommodation and shallow compliance is self-deception.   Some give up in the face of trials, others before tempting goods.   Someone who has built up a measure of inner stuff alone can understand the full meaning of the message “Love your enemies.”   Few have delved into the various dimensions of the teaching “love your enemies,” be good to all, like the Father.   But you can, if only you know His love, if only you wish and pray to be like Him.”...Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil

PRAYER – Turn our hearts to yourself, eternal Father, so that, always seeking the one thing necessary and devoting ourselves to works of charity, we may worship You in spirit and in truth and thus learn Your ways.   May our beloved Mother, the Blessed Virgin, give us her heart, to grow in love.   We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

The One Thing Necessary
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

O my God, help me to remember that time is short, eternity long.
What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death?
To love You, my God
and save my soul is the one thing necessary.
Without You, there is no peace of mind or soul.
My God, I need fear only sin and nothing else in this life,
for to lose You, my God, is to lose all.
O my God, help me to remember
that I came into this world with nothing,
and shall take nothing from it when I die.
To gain You, I must leave all.
But in loving You,
I already have all good things,
the infinite riches of Christ and His Church in life,
Mary’s motherly protection and perpetual help,
and the eternal dwelling place Jesus has prepared for me.
Eternal Father, Jesus has promised
that whatever we ask in His Name will be granted us.
In His Name, I pray:
give me a burning faith,
a joyful hope,
a holy love for You.
Grant me perseverance in doing Your will
and never let me be separated from You.
My God and my All,
make me a saint.
Amenthe-one-thing-necessary-no 2 - st-alphonsus-liguori-24-feb-2018blessed virgin mary our queen and mother pray for us 16 march 2019


Our Morning Offering – 16 March- “The Mater Christi”

Our Morning Offering – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C- “Marian Saturdays”

The Mater Christi

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
What shall I ask of thee?
I do not sigh for the wealth of earth
For the joys that fade and flee,
But, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This do I long to see —
The bliss untold which thy arms enfold,
The Treasure upon thy knee.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
He was All-in-All to thee,
In the winter’s cave, in Nazareth’s home,
In the hamlets of Galilee,
So, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
He will not say nay to thee,
When He lifts His Face to thy sweet embrace,
Speak to Him, Mother, of me.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
The world will bid Him flee,
Too busy to heed His gentle voice,
Too blind His charms to see,
Then, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
Come with thy Babe to me,
Tho’ the world be cold, my heart shall hold
A shelter for Him and thee.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
What shall I do for thee?
I will love thy Son with the whole of my strength,
My only King shall He be.

Yes! Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This will I do for thee,
Of all that are dear or cherished here,
None shall be dear as He.
Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
I toss on a stormy sea,
O lift thy Child as a Beacon Light,
To the Port where I fain would be!
And, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This do I ask of thee —
When the voyage is o’er, oh! stand on the shore
And show Him at last to me.the mater christi no 2 - 1st saat of lent 16 march 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 March – St Heribert (c 970–1021)

Saint of the Day – 16 March – St Heribert (c 970–1021) Archbishop of Cologne, a miracle-worker and counsellor – born in c 970 at Worms, Germany and died on 16 March 1021 at Cologne, Germany of natural causes.   Patronages – against drought, for rain and of Deutz, Germany.   St Heribert was a German Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Archbishop of Cologne from 999 until his death.   He also served as the Chancellor for the Emperor Otto III from 994 and collaborated with Saint Henry II Obl. SB (973-1074) with whom relations were strained though were strengthened over time.   St Heribert’s Canonisation was confirmed in 1075 by St Pope Gregory VII.heribert

St Heribert was born at Worms in Germany about 970 and educated at the Abbey of Gorze in Lorraine.   He wanted to enter the Benedictine Order there but his father recalled him to Worms and obtained a canonry for him.   As a young priest, Heribert became a trusted counsellor of the youthful Emperor Otto III, chancellor of the diocese and finally Archbishop of Cologne in 998.Saint-Heribert-of-Cologne

In that same year the Saint accompanied the Emperor to Rome and assisted him in his last moments before his death in 1002.   In the ensuing skirmishing for the post of Emperor, St Heribert at first was opposed to St Henry II through a mutual misunderstanding.   But in time the two Saints, Archbishop and Emperor, were publicly reconciled and laboured together for the good of the people.

St Heribert was practically a model of what a Bishop should be.   He was a peaceful man but a firm disciplinarian, a holy man but one who knew the value of money and saw to it that his was always divided among the poor.   He was a man of prayer and in a time of drought, it was in answer to his prayers that a torrential rain fell, saving the harvest and delivering the people from famine, hence the reason he is invoked against drought and prayed to for heribert

Heribert built the monastery of Deutz, on the Rhine and was already honoured as a saint during his lifetime.220px-Rathausturm_Köln_-_Heribert_(detail).jpg

He died in Cologne on 16 March 1021 and is buried at the Cathedral of Deutz, which replaced the original Church, destroyed during WW II.   St Heribert’s shrine, completed in 1175, is one of the major goldsmith works of the 12th century.   It is displayed in the centre of the apse. shrine of st heribert - cologneshrine koeln_deutz_st_heribert_heribertschrein_19582

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 16 March

St Abban of Kill-Abban
St Abraham Kidunaia
St Agapitus of Ravenna
St Aninus of Syria
St Benedicta of Assisi
St Dionysius of Aquileia
St Dentlin of Hainault
Bl Eriberto of Namur
St Eusebia of Hamage
St Felix of Aquileia
St Finian Lobhar
Bl Ferdinand Valdes
St Gregory Makar
St Heribert of Cologne (c 970–1021)
St Hilary of Aquileia
Bl Joan Torrents Figueras
Bl John Amias
Bl John Sordi of Vicenza
St Julian of Anazarbus
St Largus of Aquileia
St Malcoldia of Asti
St Megingaud of Wurzburg